2/15/17

Winter has me feeling like a bear, staying indoors and avoiding the cold weather as much as possible. It's got my fashion sense to an all time low with warm sweatpants and sweaters, I may or may not have been wearing thick socks with panda faces on them. 

This winter hibernation phase won't last forever. I bet I am not the only one dreaming of the warmer days. It's time to put a new sleek look from Svelte Shapewear into the wardrobe!

Not wanting to completely ditch my comfy style, the Wide Leg Leggings work for my needs. They are all-season ready for any occasion. The flared ankle draws the eye all the way up, giving a leg lengthening effect. To top off the dramatic result is the waistband which gives you a slender physique. 

I am used to wearing tight, stretchy black pants. They have become part of my everyday attire whether I'm staying in or going out. They go with casual or fancier tops and can be thrown on in a hurry.



Although I still love my regular black pants the Svelte Shapewear look and feel great on. They are tighter than what I'm used to (and honestly maybe I could have gotten away with a bigger size) but their not "muffin top" tight, which is good because that is not a good look to sport. Overall, impressed with the quality, comfort and that they do cater to what a woman would need when looking for a higher-end stretchy pant! Dressy enough to wear out, stretchy enough for a workout!

This is just one style of shapewear pants Svelte has to offer. They also have denim and a new line of tank tops! 

You can see the entire line of Svelte Shapewear by visiting the official website!

For the latest updates and more:

Follow Svelte Shapewear on Instagram
Like the Svelte Shapewear Facebook page
Follow Svelte Shapewear on Twitter 


WIN IT


We want you to look as good as you feel too! One lucky AME reader has the chance to win a Svelte Shapewear piece of their choice (over $100 value!)! Enter using the ballot below!

Please follow the guidelines: Must be Canadian 18+ excluding Quebec to participate. One entry per household. Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Ends March 1st 2017

For more info about giveaways please see our disclosure section. 



Posted on behalf of Svelte Shapewear. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Giveaway prize sponsored and sent by representatives of Svelte Shapewear. Opinions and comments on this blog are my own. 

2/10/17

We do everything for our kids, we love them and we make sure all of their needs are met every single day of our adult lives, it's all part of the parenting gig. When Valentine's Day comes along, as much as I love to include them and show them how much mommy and daddy love them, I tend to want to put them in bed a little bit earlier so that us adults can spend some quality alone time together - with a bit of Netflix!

This month you can settle down with your honey and tune into some great programming - for grownups! 

For the romantic couple:


I have my moments when I am in the mood for something lighthearted, something that will tear at the emotional love heart strings. You might want to have a box of kleenex while watching these.

PS I Love You 
The Longest Ride
The Time Travelers Wife
Valentines Day
The Princess Bride
Amour
Kate & Leopold

For the couple who have been together forever:


Romance is all fine and dandy but it doesn't matter what you're watching, as long as it's together. You are one of those couples who has "their shows" and watch them together religiously.

Netflix Original Series - Santa Clarita Diet
Netflix Original Series - Lovesick
Netflix Original Series - Love
Riverdale - weekly episodes
Mr. Right

For the solo celebrator:


Not everybody is in a couple and that's OK, call up your single BFF and have some fun on Valentines Day! 

Brides Maids
How to lose a guy in 10 days
Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club
Ali Wong Baby Cobra
Far from the madding crowd

Anti-Valentines Day:


You stumbled upon this post and don't really care about Valentine's Day, there's something for you too, my friend!

Netflix Original Clinical
Netflix Original I am the pretty thing that lives in the house
Green Room
Hush
Oculus
You're Next

However you celebrate and whatever you watch, have a happy Valentine's Day! 



Posted in participation with the Netflix Canada Streamteam. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.

2/7/17

Even though Valentine's Day is just one day, I always call February "the month of love". Although I would love to have a private (meaning grownups only) dinner alone with my better half but I can make you a list of reasons why that isn't possible. Instead, we take the day to show our love to each other as a family and make it a point to spend some alone time in the evening, even if it's just watching a movie and ordering in. 

I am one who likes to give little tokens of love when I can, I'm a gift giver by nature. If I can give, I will. I don't expect anything in return except for a smile and Valentine's Day is no exception. Don't expect Christmas in February but I like to give a little token of my love to show I am thinking about them on a special day. 

Step aside chocolates and roses (well, maybe just the roses)! This year, Hallmark Canada sent me a preview of what you can find in store for your sweetheart this Valentine's Day! 

For the fashionista:

For your mom, your sister, your daughter or your BFF; these cute and trendy gifts will surely warm your hearts!


Pink Eyeglasses Case $16.95
Marbled Wristlet Purse $19.95

Lips Mirror Compact $16.95

For the writer:


Apple Paperweight $24.95

Colour Block Cork Journal $16.95

Cork Coasters $24.95

For the wine lover:

You won't even need the actual wine to put a smile on their face! 


Lightbulb Bottle Stopper $12.95

Cheers to Us Stemless Wineglasses $19.95 - Promo $9.95

For the classroom:

For those with little ones who give out class Valentine's, Hallmark has some cute ones for their special friends and teachers!



Valentine Emoticons Tray $2.99

Gift your love with beautiful wrapping options:

It all starts with the wrapping. Hallmark always has an amazing assortment to make your gift look its best for presentation! 


Love on White tissue $1.99

Red and White Spiral tissue $2.49

Signature Marble medium bag $7.99

Signature xoxo small bag $6.99

Valentine's Day Greetings:

Of course what is a Valentine's gift without a beautiful and meaningful greeting card? Choose from a gorgeous assortment ($3.99-$9.99) in store!


Find these great items and more at Hallmark Canada stores near you! Happy Valentine's Day! 



WIN IT!

One lucky AME reader has the chance to win an Apple Paperweight ($24.95 value). Please fill in the entry ballot below! 


Must be Canadian 18+ excluding Quebec to participate. One entry per household. Prize sponsored by Hallmark. For more info on giveaway see our disclosure section. Ends February 20 2017!




Posted in participation with the Hallmark Canada blogger panel. Opinions and comments on this blog are my own. 





2/6/17

Valentine's Day is next week and kids are bringing home (if they haven't already) a class list of little friends they want to give Valentines to. Although I tend to always go the store bought route (easier and faster when we have more than one kid handing out 25+ Valentines) but the kids love making crafts for special occasions, Valentine's Day included.

They can sit at the table for hours creating things for the occasion. Now that they are a little older they can pretty much do it themselves with little to no help from me. It's nice to see them be proud of something they made themselves for their friends for Valentine's Day. 

If you are looking for something your kids can make for their little friends, here is a list of amazingly creative ideas from my fellow bloggers to get you started! 

Have fun!



















Links shared with permission for sharing purposes only. Opinions and comments on this blog are my own.

1/20/17

2017 brings us a new year to start fresh and brings us new changes as well. This year I am all about trying new things. 

So many good things starting out for 2017, my kids are doing well in school, life is overall good. If we keep at this pace we should have a great year! 

We always need good foods to help us keep our energy up so we can accomplish our goals. Kellogg's is proud to debut delicious new innovations to their ever growing breakfast food family that will keep you and your family going for 2017.

The next time you go grocery shopping, you will be pleased to find the following in the breakfast cereal aisle:
- Special K Nourish Popped Granola w/ Quinoa - Mixed Berries
Special K Nourish Popped Granola w/ Quinoa - Dark Chocolate Coconut
- All-Bran Granola -Cranberry Almond
- All-Bran Multi-Grain Crunch Cereal
- Special K Nourish w/ Quinoa Bars - Caramel, Sea Salt & Mixed Nuts
- Special K Nourish w/ Quinoa Bars - Coconut Cashew & Dark Chocolate Chunks.
- Vector Protein Bars - Trail Mix
- Pringles Ketchup Chips

I for one am excited to give these a try in our home! For more information about these and other great products from Kellogg Canada please visit www.kelloggs.ca

Note: these products contain or may contain traces of nuts/tree nuts/peanuts. 

WIN IT!

Are you all about trying new things too? Enter to win a Kellogg's New Year prize pack which includes all of the aboved mentioned products for you to try with your family! 

Enter using the giveaway ballot below! Good luck!

Open to Canadian residents 18+ excluding Quebec only. One entry per household. For information regarding giveaways see my disclosure section using the link at the top of the page. 



Posted on behalf of Kellogg Canada as part of the Kellogger's Canada blogger group. Complementary product received as a thank you for participating. Opinions and comments are my own. 


1/16/17

September 2017 is the month we will officially have a house full of school-aged kids. No more babies in this family!


Miss M turned 4 at Christmas time, therefore she will be registered to go to school this coming September. Our registration begins this week, I have to get on filling out all of the many forms. 

I'm excited about her new journey into the real world but also scared even though I have two older kids in school already. She lives in a world of preschoolers right now, I know it may take her some adapting to the routine and ways of school days but I know she will be fine. It's letting go of my baby that's the hardest part I think. 

Then I remind myself I had these same exact feelings for my older two kids when they started school, even when my oldest was starting junior high school I had those feelings, too. Nervous for nothing because they did just fine. I'm sure she will do just fine, too.

Once she is registered, Miss M will be included in any school tours and special preparations before her big first day in September. I may be nervous on the inside, I'm keeping this a positive thing for everyone, especially her. She shows such enthusiasm about going to school with her brother. 

The best thing we can do for our kids when they are heading on a new journey of any kind is always be their biggest backer and always be their voice. It's a big world out there and they need big humans to help them navigate. They will tell us when they're ready to let go of our hands.

While we are excited about our youngest's kindergarten experience, we can enjoy the moments we have left when she's still "the baby".

Do you have a little one heading off to school for the first time? What are you doing to prepare them (and yourself.) Share your thoughts in the comments below!

1/11/17

For the past 10 years and some, our home has been filled with the sound of children's entertainment. Name a cartoon or children's musical entertainer and chances are we know exactly who you're talking about.

As the kids are getting older, their interests are changing. We still have Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol playing on TV with a four-year-old in the house, but there are many different shows my older kids enjoy when their little sister isn't occupying the living room screen with her preschooler fun. 

The older two kids tend to lean toward shows geared for their ages and beyond, with themes and jokes we can finally laugh at together. They're bigger than I thought! 

Sadly, there comes a day in a child's life when all good preschooler cartoons must come to an end. Although I wouldn't go as far as letting the kids watch mature shows like The Walking Dead or the OA, I am happy Netflix has such a wide variety of programming for all ages and stages. 

This month, Netflix brings even more great programming for all ages, here is a list of what you can find for your bigger (but not too big) kids! 

Tarzan and Jane. Saved from a plane crash and given supernatural powers, teen Tarzan joins forces with brave city girl Jane to protect his jungle home from threats. A Netflix original take on a classic adventure, season 1 streaming now!
Netflix_Tarzan

Dreamworks TrollHunters. After uncovering a mysterious amulet, an average teen assumes an unlikely destiny and sets out to save two worlds. Created by Guillermo del Toro. A new and exciting adventure for the whole family. Season 1 streaming now! 

Netflix_Trollhunters

Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events. The extraordinary Baudelaire orphans face trials, tribulations and the evil Count Olaf in their fateful quest to unlock long-held family secrets. The classic books are brought to life in this Netflix Original starting January 13th! If you are a fan, you will not want to miss this! 


Voltron: Legendary Defender In an all-new series, five unlikely heroes and their flying robot lions unite to form the megapowerful Voltron and defend the universe from evil.Season 2 of this space adventure is coming to Netflix January 20th.


Home: Adventures with Tip and Oh. A misfit alien named Oh moves in with Tip and her family, in a series that picks up the dynamic duo's adventures where the hit film left off. Season 2 of this exciting adventure comes to Netflix January 27th! 

No matter what your age or your interest, you'll find something exciting to watch on Netflix! How do you decide when your kids are ready for more complex entertainment?




*Posted in participation with the Netflix Canada StreamTeam. Perks and initiatives are provided as part of the program however comments and opinions on this blog are always my own.*


1/9/17

Winter break and the holiday season are officially over as the older kids head back to school this week. Little Miss M was saying her brother and sister were still sick, so they had to stay home (they weren't and they didn't). She always misses them when they go to school, even if they constantly argue when they are home. Funny how sibling love works sometimes. 


Things were more relaxed during winter break (we were also sick the majority of the time) but it didn't make it any less busy between Christmas celebrations and other obligations.

Although most of us feel like we need a vacation from this "vacation", we still find ourselves jumping right back in where we left off before the holidays or at least trying to. Oh how I wished I could have hit snooze just one more time. 

I have plans to clean up and rearrange the kids rooms (again) sometime this month. There is so much I didn't get around to doing before the holidays and it's almost impossible to do with a small house full of kids. 

It always takes a few days to catch up with the every day after a break so let's just take it one day at a time. We can get back to reality after a nice hot cup of coffee.

How has your 2017 been so far? Share in the comments below! 





1/4/17

When I was first pregnant back in 2004, I had little resources (and little clue) into the new parenting world I was about to enter. When we first brought our baby girl home, we had no idea how much our lives had just instantly changed in front of our very eyes. 

In 12 years and 3 kids later, we've learned a thing or two about parenting our kids. Although there are various books, websites and blogs (ahem.) - there is nothing that beats the real life experiences you will have that you never expected. These are the things they don't tell you about parenting! 


You will finally know what real love is. You thought you knew all about love but you did not. Yes, you love your partner but this is a whole new kind of love. The first time you hear your new baby cry, the first time you hold them live, you will know what love is from that moment on. The sleepless nights and frustrated times won't matter when that baby looks up at you and smiles for the first time. You will know love, no matter how big they get.

You will teach and you will learn. That motherly instinct isn't always instant. Babies don't come with a manual. Everything takes practice, being a new mom included. You will teach them and you will also learn from them. It's all part of the parenting gig.

You will hear your mothers voice. One day when you call out to your little precious kids you will hear it: your mothers voice. That familiar voice you knew growing up is now you whether you like it or not. (Btw I love my mom!)

Eating/Drinking will never be the same. You will most likely have to reheat your morning coffee or tea several times, if you're lucky enough to pour one before the kids get up. Dinner will be nuked in the microwave, unless you like it cold or eat your kids leftovers. Snacks don't exist, unless you want to share (by share I mean give it all to the kids) or hide away in the bathroom/closet/bedroom/cubby under the stairs and sneak yourself something sweet. Tip: wait until they are all fast asleep and dig into that ice cream mama!

Pinterest isn't always real. Those super neat and tidy living rooms with kids playing happily, perfect lunches, unwrinkled laundry, awesome crafts - forget it. Before you know it you're stepping on yesterday's dried up, whatever fell onto the floor, throwing last nights leftovers into a lunch bag and wondering when you will ever get the glitter out of your hair as you rewash the load you forgot in your machine from the day before. Seriously, life isn't always perfect and that's OK!

You will make mistakes. Your job is to learn by them. Your job is to not beat yourself up over them. Everybody makes mistakes, even the best put together looking parents.

You will have good days and bad days. That's OK! Some days I feel like an award winning mom-of-the-moment and others I wonder what I'm doing wrong. Those are the times we need to sit back and remember we are only humans trying our best to raise little humans.

Each stage is different in its own way. From babies to toddlers, Tweens to teens - every stage of your child's life is also a new chapter in your life as a parent. Embrace changes and enjoy the enjoyable moments.

Time goes by too quickly. Everybody says it and it's the truth. It's 2017 and my oldest daughter will be 13, my son is 8 and my youngest baby just turned 4. My parents are grandparents X3 and have changed so much over the years. Cherish the small moments and let go of the trivial things that don't really matter. Keep the negative moments out and let the positive ones flow in. In the end the good memories are all you need. One day you'll miss that yesterday's dried up, whatever fell onto the floor, leftover lunches and glitter in your hair.

All fun aside, being a mom of 3 isn't always easy (I wonder how you moms of many more do it on the daily, kudos to you!) but I wouldn't trade it in for anything.

What have you learned that they just didn't tell you about being a parent? Share in the comments below!



1/2/17

2017 is upon us and it has me thinking back over the years about all we've done, all we've been through and how we've all grown, not just in 2016 but as adults in general.




I compiled a list of 10 Memorable things I've done before I hit 35. I'll be turning 36 this summer, time waits for nobody.

1 - Met that one person I know I'd want to spend the rest of my life raising a family with. I grew up with divorced parents, it's not something I like to talk about and it's not something I wanted to mirror as an adult. We are a great team. We compromise and delegate. We have our ups and downs but who doesn't, especially raising kids. I know I wouldn't have those ups and downs with anybody else.

2 - Became a mother, three times. After three, we can say we are officially off the baby making market. I love our children, they make a great trio. We still have a lot of raising to do!

3 - Became best friends with my own Mom. Life hasn't always been easy and there were many times when I was growing up that my mother and I did not see eye to eye. Maybe it was because I was immature in areas she was wise or maybe it was because we are so much alike, maybe a mix of both. Either way I'm grateful for our adult mother daughter relationship.

4 - Found something I am passionate about. Writing. Even if it's "just on the blog", I'm writing. I have always had that spark but it took a while to light the flame.

5 - Learned to make peace with people and things that I cannot change. There have been bad experiences and bad people in my life over the years. Situations I could not control but situations I could decide if I wanted to continue on with or not. I took those as lessons learned. I still have a lot to learn.

6 - Travelled to overseas. Before children, my family (mom, brother etc) went on a trip to Holland. Sure, there is much more of Europe to see and I would love to go back one day but I'm proud I was able to have the opportunity to go when we did.

7 - Travelled alone. Even if it was just to Toronto and back or staying downtown for a conference, I did it and I did it solo. I came out of my shell without anybody having to hold my hand and it felt great.

8 - Purchased a vehicle. Although due to my hip disability I do not drive but hubby does. We bought our first family vehicle in 2015. It may not be a huge luxury to some but it beats the city bus or walking.

9 - Met a celebrity. I've met several celebrities, grateful for each experience. Gail Vaz Oxlade, Jordan Knight, Katy Perry, Craig and Marc Kielburger (WE Day), and a few others. The ones I named would probably be my most memorable ones.

10 - Grew in more ways than one. I have been through many ups and downs, all experiences which model who I am today. Not just as a mom but as a woman in general.

These are nothing "over the top" and my accomplishments may not seem like much to others but they are something I am very proud of. I'm looking forward to see what 2017 promises.