5/4/16

Posted in participation with the #PampersBabyPanel blogger program. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 


Being a Mother means that we wear about one hundred different hats a day as we navigate the new waters of parenthood. Being a Mother means more than dirty diapers and cleaning up messes. We are care takers, nurses, helpers, cooks, confidants, and teachers. Our days, dedicated to making life better for our baby, teaching them and trying to give them only the best as they grow up quickly before our eyes.


Nobody said it would be easy, my Mother showed me that even before I became a Mother myself. She was always there in situations throughout my entire life so far Those times when I didn't even have to tell her I needed her, she knew. Through the good times and the bad, over the years, we have grown closer thanks to her teachings. I see my mother in myself as I raise my family now. 

She knew she wanted only the best for me, even as an adult she wants the best for me and now my children. 


Every baby shower gone by, she has gifted us with the best gift ever - Pampers diapers and the knowledge that babies really do need the best we can give them, even diapers. Seriously, a tip for you new moms out there: you cannot have enough diapers and you need to get the best ones. Remember, a happy baby makes a happy mommy! I have used Pampers diapers and wipes on all three of my children. Compared to other brands, they are my absolute favourite and I highly recommend the investment if you use disposable diapers and wipes. 

My mother has taught me so much through life, diapers were just the beginning. 

Have you seen the new "Thank You Mom" video in celebration of the upcoming Olympics? Once again, P&G brings us a tear-jerker that will make you want to call home to Mom. Check it out by clicking here!


WIN IT!

We want to say "Thank You Mom" to one lucky AME reader! Enter using the ballot below for your chance to win a Pampers Mother's Day prize pack which includes: 


  • Ivory Snow Detergent 1.18L
  • Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive Super Newborn 80 ct
  • Pampers Baby Wipes Sensitive 3X Pack
Representatives of P&G are providing the prize to the winner on AME's behalf. By entering, you accept your information will be shared with the representatives of this brand should you win. Winners must qualify with a valid email address by filling out a winners claim form with skill testing question. Winners have 48 hours to claim before prize is redrawn. 

This giveaway may be offered on more than one blog. You may enter as many blogs as you like however this prize can only be won ONCE. More about giveaways can be found here. Giveaway ends May 10th!


5/3/16

It's hard to believe we are already in MAY! This year (especially the last few months) have been so busy with so many things going on, I am actually looking forward to this Mother's Day - the one day, aside from our birthdays, that is honestly, and truly ours for the taking! 

Hallmark Canada is the place to go for these Mother's Day must-haves! 

For the gardening Mom: 



- True Nature Fairy Door $24.95 - This adorable fairy home is perfect for her flower garden. 

- Fairy Figurines $19.95 - Made with weather resistant resin, each fairy includes a display stand. Choose from "Heart of Gold", "Just Believe", "True Nature", and "Seize the Moment" for a sweet fairy to watch over her favorite flowers. 

For patio drink time:

- Tea Towel assortment $12.95 each - These are perfect for her next patio party. Just the right blend of witty and sweet, each has a saying on them. 



- Lights in Bloom Round Ceramic Lantern $19.95 each - Let her know she lights up your life with these lovely coloured lanterns. 

For the traveler: 

- Love and Laughter and Hugs insulated travel mug $12.95 - Keep mom feeling as special and warm as the coffee she loves in this sweet travel mug. 



For the home:

- Mother's Day Frames $16.95 - Whether the frame says "Mom" or "First Mother's Day", the memory it holds will be forever treasured. 

- Note Pad $5.95 - Jot down a note to Mom reminding her how special she is on this cute, happy notepad.

No matter what gift you choose for mom this year, make sure to top it off with a Hallmark Canada greeting card! It's #NoOrdinaryCard, Hallmark Canada has something for your #signaturestyle!



Not only does Hallmark Canada have a great assortment of gift ideas for Mother's Day (and every other occasion), but you can also sign up for free Hallmark rewards to earn points toward savings on future purchases, get sneak peeks and more! 

Click here to learn more about Hallmark Rewards! 

WIN IT!

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY FROM HALLMARK CANADA! ENTER USING THE BALLOT BELOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A HALLMARK CANADA MICKEY MOUSE CHALKBOARD NOTEPAD SET



*Posted in participation with the #LoveHallmarkCA blogger program. Opinions and comments are those of the author*



5/2/16

It's May which means we are getting ready to heat up the BBQ and slap some steaks on for some sizzling goodness! 

It's time to chat #SteakEveryday with Montana's BBQ & Bar and Canadian Beef! 

Join the #SteakEveryday Twitter Party! Check out the details below



WHEN: WEDNESDAY, May 11th 2016

TIME: 8:00PM ET - 9:00PM ET

HASHTAG: #SteakEveryDay

HOST: @lovecdnbeef

GUEST: @MontanasBBQ

NO RSVP and $500 in gift cards to be won! 

Join the #SteakEveryDay Twubs, follow the hosts and have fun! 



Today is a day to celebrate everything precious and new, it's National Baby Day! Let's celebrate our little ones, from the tops of their new-baby-smell heads to their wiggly little toes. Today (and every day) we cherish the giggles, smiles and of course the faces they make...

Every baby does it, my babies have. You can totally tell when they are about do it by the faces that start, maybe some sound effects too. Your baby is about to do some serious damage in that diaper, they are making the "Poo Face". 

Thankfully with Pampers sensitive wipes, the face making is sometimes worse than the actual mess! 

Don't forget to get your Pampers coupons here

Retweet my pinned Tweet about #PampersPooFace for your chance to win a $50 Pampers Baby Wipes Bundle! 



Open to Canadians 18+. You MUST be following me @AMotherhoodBlog on Twitter and ReTweet the Tweet above to qualify! One winner will be chosen from random retweets on May 5th 12pm EDT!

Posted in participation with the #PampersBabyPanel Blogger Program. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

5/1/16

No matter how much you plan, no matter how much you think you have it all covered, anything can happen to you anytime, anywhere. Do you know what to do in an emergency situation like a fire, earthquake, flood or storm? If you're bound to your home for more than 72 hours, do you have what it takes to keep things going until help arrived? It may seem like a silly question but considering Canada alone was dealt 6,235 forest fires and 169 earthquakes in 2015, it's not such a silly question after all! 

When an emergency occurs, first respondents have a big job to do. When you and your family are prepared, it helps them help those who urgently need it which has an impact not only on their survival but the survival of everyone involved like family and neighbours too. 

May 1-7 is Emergency Preparedness Week, and this year, Duracell and the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) have teamed up to remind us that everyone needs to be prepared in an emergency.

According to a new survey conducted by Duracell in partnership with the CAFC, even though 34% feel they have experienced more storms and natural disasters in the past five years than ever before, they majority 53% do not have an emergency kit to survive up to 72 hours after a disaster may strike. 


Ready Tips from the Duracell Ready Kit:

BUILD A KIT
Focus on the essentials - the things you need everyday - and stock your kit with enough of those items to get you through 72 hours. 

Prepare two kits: one for you and your family, plus one for your pets if you have any. 

It's also important to check your kits every six months to make sure nothing is expired like food or medications. 

MAKE A PLAN
In the chaos of a disaster, a thorough plan of action can make all the difference. Here are a few considerations when creating an emergency strategy:

- Draft an evacuation route - how you'll safely exit your home and/or take shelter.
- Designate a set meeting spot - where you'll assemble.

- Create a contact list - who you'll reach out to if you and your family are separated.

- Store your contact list and ready kit - where you can easily access them in case of emergency. In a closet near the front or back door, in the garage. Just make sure everyone knows where it is and that they can access it. 

- Know school and employer emergency plans - how they'll communicate with you about family members. 

BE INFORMED
Stay informed about what types of disasters may affect your region. Be aware of your local emergency contacts and news outlets so you can have up-to-the minute information on what's happening and better react to sitations.

For more information about Duracell, please visit the official website!

WIN IT!

Be prepared for the next emergency situation with Duracell! One lucky AME reader has the chance to win a $200 Emergency Preparedness Kit which has everything on the checklist you need!

Enter using the ballot below! 

Open to Canadians 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done for others to count. One entry per household. 

Representatives of  Duracell are providing the prize to the winner on AME's behalf. By entering, you accept your information will be shared with the representatives of this brand should you win. Winners must qualify with a valid email address by filling out a winners claim form with skill testing question. Winners have 48 hours to claim before prize is redrawn. 



This giveaway may be offered on more than one blog. You may enter as many blogs as you like however this prize can only be won ONCE. More about giveaways can be found here. Giveaway ends May 15th! 



4/29/16

I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group, I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.

We have a big household, so cleaning daily is something I cannot avoid. Most of the time it's light maintenance like sweeping or mopping up a mess. We have to keep up with things or it can easily get out of hand with everyone's hustle and bustle through the house. It can go from picture perfect to tornado wreckage in a matter of minutes if nobody does anything about it. 

I don't particularly like cleaning, who does? But it has to be done and for me the easier, the better. I usually turn to my favourite P&G products to help me get the important jobs done. The best part, they are easy and safe enough to use that the kids can help too!

Dust here, there and everywhere with Swiffer 360 Duster. Make your floors shine with Swiffer Sweeper! The extending arm on the Swiffer 360 Duster makes reaching for tough places like up light or down low, less of a job. 



The Swiffer Sweeper with wet/dry replacement pads has always been one of my favourites for a quick floor clean up between my weekly deep cleanings. Dog hair, outside dirt and even whatever the kids drop on the kitchen floor can easily be cleaned up with a simple swipe of the Swiffer.



There's nothing like having crisp, clean and fresh linens in the house. Whether it be bedsheets, towels or curtains, Downy Unstopables Fresh in-wash scent and Bounce Free & Gentle Dryer sheets are sure to freshen things up. 

Out of these two, which are both good, my favourite is Shimmer.

Not only do Bounce Free & Gentle Dryer sheets give your linens a fresh scent that lasts but they are also clean and gentle on you, too. 



The final touch when cleaning around here is creating an atmosphere of clean, fresh scents. I like using Febreze Air Fresheners and Febreze Unstopables Candles in common areas like the living and dining rooms. Candles are always great in the evening. They change the smell and they are also relaxing.

Of course, I have more favourite P&G products that help me and my family get our home clean. These are just a simple few. To learn more about P&G products and how to get coupons and savings, sign up at PGEveryday.ca

4/28/16

Have you ever wondered what goes into making your family vehicle? During the BConnected Conference last weekend, Paula Roy, a well-known Ottawa food commentator and food editor of Ottawa Home Magazine gave an educating and informative morning keynote speech as well as curated an impressive breakfast inspired by Ford's approach to sustainability. 




Did you know that food by-products, oversupply, and other biomaterials are used in Ford vehicles? 



Ingredients like soybeans, rice hulls, wheat straw, coconut, and cellulose all go into parts of making a Ford vehicle! They are continuously looking for ways to keep green. Other foods like sugar cane, tomatoes, dandelion, corn, bamboo and algae are currently being tested, too! 



There was a fantastic buffet-style arrangement of healthy and delicious food for the attendees to enjoy on our first morning. The food we enjoyed was organic and locally sourced where possible and was prepared by the kitchen at the Courtyard Marriott. 



On our menu we had:

Tropical Green Smoothies

Yogurt Parfaits with Sustainable Muesli

Breakfast Polenta with Spiced Apple Compote

Cane Syrup and Five Spice Glazed Pork Belly

Asian-spiced Tomato and Egg Frittata with Pickled Bamboo Shoots

Fruit Summer Rolls in Rice Paper with Spicy Honey




Although I didn't try all of what was on the menu, what I did eat was enjoyable but different than what I have ever tried! Thank you to Paula Roy for her great speech and thank you, Ford, for providing the inspiration for our breakfast! 

If you'd like to try these recipes at home, click here

To learn more about Ford's approach to sustainability, and its use and research into sustainable materials please click here

Have a question about Ford and sustainability? Ask your questions on twitter using hashtag #FordFarmToCar. 

4/27/16

I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.

With three kids in the house, we have had many messy times which make messy memories to look back on (and laugh at) today. They sometimes happen when mom and dad are preoccupied and they get a bright idea to create something resulting in a mess to clean up. 

It starts off innocent, you finally sit down with a hot cup of coffee and suddenly realize it's a little too quiet and you haven't seen your kids for a few minutes. You bolt upstairs into the bedroom to find your wall and your child covered with colourful marker! This has happened on more than one occasion in our house, our son once drew a lovely bunny behind his bedroom door. Our oldest loves to draw and do crafts. Our youngest still gets into things she shouldn't like markers, pens, crayons etc and creates artwork on a wall.

Did you know that 65% of parents have said "no" to their kids request to create something because of a possible mess it would make? I have been there but sometimes remind myself that when you have kids, you have messes. It's all part of learning!

With the help of Swiffer, us parents can stop worrying so much about it and say "Yes to the Mess!". 70% of parents agree mess making helps encourage creativity.  

There are several celebrities who even agree with this creative process. Actress Sarah  Michelle Gellar recently hosted a Swiffer event in New York City where she encouraged parents to say "Yes to the Mess" in an effort to foster children's creativity and independence. 

As our kids grow up, we won't ever wonder "what could have been" when it comes to the creativity they express, as long as we're providing them a warm and welcoming (and Swiffer clean) environment. 

Share your kids most brilliant mess to date via social media twitter or instagram using hashtag #YesToTheMess! 




Check out the entire Swiffer line of products at Swiffer.com!

Get coupons and offers to save on the everyday via P&GEveryday.ca!


WIN IT!

This month we are offering one AME reader the chance to say #YesToTheMess by offering a Swiffer kit to handle clean up with ease! The kit ($80 value) includes:

- Swiffer 360 Duster Starter Kit $5.95*
- Swiffer Wetjet Starter Kit $29.97*
- Swiffer WetJet refill $14.88*

- Swiffer Sweeper $14.97*
- Swiffer Dry Refill $9.97*
- Magic Eraser $7.24* (not pictured above)

Good Luck!

*Prices at the discretion of the retailer

Enter for your chance to win by using the ballot below! Open to Canadians 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done for others to count. One entry per household. 

Representatives of P&G are providing the prize to the winner on AME's behalf. By entering, you accept your information will be shared with the representatives of this brand should you win. Winners must qualify with a valid email address by filling out a winners claim form with skill testing question. Winners have 48 hours to claim before prize is redrawn. 


This giveaway may be offered on more than one blog. You may enter as many blogs as you like however this prize can only be won ONCE. More about giveaways can be found here. Giveaway ends May 10th!



4/26/16

What a whirlwind of a weekend we had, I know my head is still swimming! I left the kids with hubby and headed off to the BConnected Conference. Although not far for me being local, it was a weekend retreat to connect, reconnect, network and learn. 

Friday evening started off with checking into the hotel room with my roommate @ReeseSpeaksBlog at the Courtyard Marriott on Dalhousie Street in the Byward market. It had been a while since I had been on the market, especially on the weekend. It was nice to see the hustle and bustle, get out a bit in my own city. 

After getting settled we headed off to lobby to meet up with other committee members and bloggers to kick off the BConnected Tour, Sip, and Socialize with Ottawa Tourism & Haunted Walks

Attendees had two tours to choose from. My group took a spooky tour through the Old Carleton County Jail, apparently one of the most haunted buildings in North America! I couldn't believe the size of the jail cells inside, I would not survived as a criminal in those days! Our tour guide did a spectacular job of telling a tale of the man who may have been wrongly hanged for the death of D'Arcy McGee and haunts the converted Hostel today! 


Our tour ended with the BConnected attendees meeting at the Lowertown Brewery for some drinks, food and good company! 

Day one of the BConnected Conference began with an early Bodygym class by Fitness with Jules. Although I didn't participate in this (I'm not much of a morning person some days) it did look like fun! 

After registration we had a special breakfast inspired by Ford's sustainability. You will be able to read more about this here. It was a good breakfast and we learned a lot about how Ford is keeping things green and how they are keeping their voice while building the brand with Paula Roy. 



The day went on with some very informative sessions: 

Periscope: It's Time for Your Close-up with @cyngagen - I have dabbled with Periscope but my big problem is being camera shy. I don't like my own voice, I think I look weird etc (you know!) but after Cyn's session, I may just try Periscope again. She talked about Periscope and how to really get use out of this live video social media tool. 

"Be Authentic". I can't even count on my fingers how many times I have heard that phrase since I began blogging in 2009. @joeboughner gave us a lesson about what it really means to be authentic with his session Authenticity Means Never Having to Censor Your Curse Words. Now, mind you I may curse from time to time in my personal life, I try to keep those away from my blog because well, we are family friendly here people! I really enjoyed Joe's speech, it was raw and it was real - just how we all should be here in the blogosphere and everywhere else.

Lunch time came with a special Keynote that was inspiring, brave, amazing and all of the other good things. Change: You (And Your Audience!) Can Handle It with @MayvenOfMayhem. Amanda Jette Knox gave an incredible speech about her own journey and changes in her own life, in her family and in herself. She deserved that standing ovation X100! I read her story online but hearing her speak it was something else.



The afternoon continued with an informative session Trademarks, Copyrights and Image Consciousness in Content Creation by @ari_FYW which is something everyone who works in social media and blogging has to know. It was great to hear what we have been doing here on AME has been good! 

@JordanDangerInc gave an insightful workshop about how we portray our image, message and brand through staying "on message", losing the audience's attention and our self of direction, called Your Image and Brand: How to Look, Talk and, Walk With a Message. It reminded me to not let things go so easily and keep on it. 

After a break checking out the sponsor booths and selfie booth, we headed in for roundtable discussions. We chose our tables ahead of time and mine were: Community Management 101 with @commoncentsmom, Rock Your Photography with @LifeOverEasy and Can My iPhone or iPad Satisfy all of my video needs? Yes, if... with @DoMoreVideo

I can say I am very pleased with the selections I made for attending the roundtables. Each expert had some great information for me to take away and use in every aspect of my own blogging  from what tools or apps to use for creating great video to DIY backdrops for taking those product shots.

After day 1 ended we headed off for a bite to eat at the Rideau Centre again, this time poutine at Big Smoke Burger before getting ready for the BConnected Social Blowout Party.



The party was hosted by Derick Fage and included a silent auction where proceeds went toward The Canadian Continence Foundation. The party was spectacular! On top of the silent auction there was music, a dance floor (and let me tell you some of us really got our groove on!), drinks, a candy bar (so yummy!) plus a very amazing demonstration by @Ottawa_Pole_Fit! We finished off dancing the night away! I think the best part of the evening though were the amazing people who were at the party, you guys are what made it happen! I had a great time! 



After somewhat of a night's sleep in the hotel room, we were ready to take on BConnected day 2! Breakfast was provided by Egg Farmers of Canada along with our morning Keynote with Julie Cole of Mabel's Labels! You may have seen my Mabel reviews over the years here on AME, love them! 

Next up was a panel session hosted by @Sab_Media featuring @joeboughner, @finding_joy@DoMoreVideo and @larawellman discussing Next Stage of Blogging and Social Media. They had some expert information to share with everyone. 

@ImFreckles talked to us about creating kickass content - remember that grammar, people! I think she may have a thing or two to say about my writing sometimes here on AME, I try! :) 



Lunchtime came with a great session, Shared Roots & Rubber Boots, Connecting with Canadian Farmers by @amyemathe. Amy explained to us just how her farm works, how the cows are treated like family and she even debunked some milk-farmer myths for us.

We learned more about how to make our videos work better for us with Tips to get your video found and viewed by @DoMoreVideo. Anthony Wong really knows his stuff when it comes to videos! He had some good tips and introduced us to some useful tools!

The last session of the day was Email Marketing with @larawellman. Here at AME we have a weekly blast and sometimes send the odd surprise and that is how we keep our readers updated and in the know about what's going on here at AME! Lara gave some great tips to maximize the use without overdoing it. 

I didn't stay for the Blogging Concentrated workshop although I am hearing wonderful things about it. I had to say my goodbye's after the closing remarks to go get my daughter from her weekend at her grandmothers. It was time to get back to reality! 

I had a great time being part of the BConnected Conference 2016 team and am so proud of everyone who worked so hard to make it happen, again.

It was a wonderful weekend of learning, networking and connecting. It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces and meet so many new. If we didn't get see each other, I'm sorry!  :-(

For those who couldn't make it for one reason or another, we missed you BUT it was announced that the BConnected Conference is heading to Toronto next Spring!

I can't wait to see what the next year will bring us! 


Posted in participation with the BConnected Team. Opinions and comments on this blog are honest and my own. 

4/25/16


The weather seems to be playing tricks around here lately. Warm and then cold and then back again. I am sure we will finally be able call it patio season soon enough though! Patio season means finding any excuse (besides the nice weather) to invite over family and celebrate with friends!


Cinco De Mayo is coming up - if you don't celebrate, you should! It's a great way to learn and also teach the family about Mexican culture, especially the food! 

Que Pasa has everything you need for a Mexican-style celebration with Que Pasa tortilla chips and salsa! You can share them with family and friends or create some yummy, Mexican-inspired recipes! 

Serve up some Cinco De Mayo goodness with these Zesty Lentil Tacos


Z
Ingredients
·         Que pasa corn tortillas (or flour tortillas of your choice) 
·         1 Tbsp coconut oil 
·         1 yellow onion, minced
·         1 can brown lentils, drained
·         1 small jar green chile enchilada sauce (or try this Roasted Tomatillo Salsa)
·         ½ tsp onion powder
·         sea salt
·         2 limes
·         Feta cheese (optional)

Spicy Sriracha Cream Sauce:
·         ½ cup plain yogurt (dairy or alternative) or sour cream
·         Sriracha to taste – depends on how spicy you like it!
·         Juice of 1 lime

Finishing Fixings:

·         Pineapple tidbits – left fresh or grilled
·         Red onion, thinly sliced
·         Cilantro, chopped

Directions

1.      Add coconut oil to a medium-size frying pan over medium heat. Saute minced onions until translucent and add the whole can (drain first!) of brown lentils. Saute for 2 minutes more and add green chile enchilada sauce, sea salt and onion powder.

2.      Prep the spicy sriracha sauce sauce by combining yogurt (or sour cream) in a small bowl with lime juice and sriracha, stirring well to combine.

3.      Build your tacos by first heating your tortillas, adding lentil mixture followed by pineapple, red onion, cilantro and spicy sriracha sauce.

For more recipes and information about Que Pasa Mexican Foods please visit the official website! Show some love and follow QUE PASA on Twitter and Instagram!


WIN IT!

AME wants you to have fun and celebrate everything Cinco De Mayo! That's why we are giving ONE lucky AME reader the chance to win a yummy Que Pasa prize pack with includes an assortment of chips and salsa plus FPC coupons courtesy of Nature's Path! 



Fill out the ballot below to be entered for your chance to win! You must complete the mandatory entry to be eligible. One mandatory entry per household. Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). 

Representatives of Nature's Path are providing the prize to the winner on AME's behalf. By entering, you accept your information will be shared with the representatives of this brand should you win. Winners must qualify with a valid email address by filling out a winners claim form with skill testing question. Winners have 48 hours to claim before prize is redrawn. More about giveaways can be found here. Giveaway ends MAY 5th 2016! 

Good Luck!