8/14/16

The summer months have seemed to just slip by between outside summer fun and just enjoying the time off.

I don't know about you but I have already started to organize and get things together for the kids grand return to school in September. 

Starting junior high this year, our oldest daughter was happy to see some great items from Hallmark Canada to start off her new year at a new school! 

She can start her days off with a smile using new Peanuts drinking glasses! There are different ones to choose from, ours are Charlie Brown and Linus! So cute! 

 

Personal Journals will allow her to get creative, jot down ideas, class notes or maybe even phone numbers from new friends! They come in different sizes, lined or blank and different cover styles with 160 pages to get creative on. 

 

Clipboard with tablet is perfect for quick note taking at school or even in the home office. 

 

Planners will help both of us keep a more organized schedule this school year. Yes, most students get their own planner from school but it's always nice to have a more personal one she can write things in. 

 

Who doesn't love rainbow-unicorn-kittens and gaming?  Although she has to wear a uniform at school, she can really express herself with these new styling tube socks! There is always casual Friday to show these babies off! 

 

Mini note cards can be used to say thank you or maybe she isn't too old for mom to leave inspirational notes in her lunch bag. They are super cute but of course not made to be mailed. 

 

Add a little colour to the dorm or home office with items like this glass plate which can be used to place remotes, pens, change or just use it as a decoration! 

 

These are just a few lovely items from Hallmark Canada this fall! You can find so much more to start off the new school year at Hallmark.ca or in Hallmark stores! 



Posted in participation with the Hallmark Canada blogger panel. Complementary product received for review purposes. Opinions and comments are those of the author. 

8/8/16

They say music soothes the soul, music sets the mood. We have always included music in our lives. None of us are very good at it but we all enjoy singing and dancing along to our favourite songs when the mood hits.

Growing up my mom listened to a lot of old rock music including John Lennon and The Beatles. Needless to say, even for my age, I know most of their hit songs still to this day.

If you love the Beatles, you and your kids will love Beat Bugs! A new Netflix original series for kids (and kids at heart)! 



Follow five loveable bug friends on fun and heartwarming adventures featuring hit songs from the Beatles such as "Help!", "Lucy in the sky with Diamonds", "When I'm 64", and "Blackbird" performed by top artists like Eddie Vedder, P!nk, Sia and many more. 

I love how Beat Bugs brings new life to beloved classic music and introduces great music to a new generation through a well-animated show for kids. The tunes are remade but still original, the kids even recognized a few songs. Beat Bugs is bringing something new to our kids and bringing back memories to those of us who grew up with the original Beatles music.

Check out Mr. D and Miss M showing some love in our fun Beat Bugs talent show video below! :) 


You can come together with your family over Beat Bugs streaming now on Netflix!

WIN IT! 

If you've got music in your veins, show some love and share a video of your family singing Beat Bugs theme "All you need is love" on social media for a chance to win a 3 months Netflix Canada subscription on us! 

Fill in the giveaway ballot to get started! 

Open to Canadian residents 18+! One mandatory entry per household must be done for extras to count. Winner will be drawn at random after August 31st and contacted via provided email. 

Questions about giveaways? See the AME disclosure policy.

Posted in participation with the Netflix Canada Stream Team. Special perks are received in affiliation with the program. Opinions and comments are my own.  

8/6/16

Dreams are more than just imaginary things we wish we could do. They are our ideas, our creativity, our passions and our memories. Dreams take us away from the every day, help us solve problems and be who we are meant to be. 

My girls are dreamers with big imaginations. They are always coming up with ideas like how they want to dress to games they play and pictures they draw. The sky's the limit when you let your imagination take you away. 

Barbie (Miss M's favourite doll) is encouraging kids to celebrate their creativity with the new release of Dreamtopia! 

Dreamtopia is a larger than life, magical world that brings dreams to life and opens a world of opportunities by taking girls through make-believe lands that encourage self-expression, teamwork, invention, and belief in oneself.



While watching Dreamtopia, little ones can experience the four magical worlds in real life with the new Dreamtopia Barbie doll and accessory collection! Follow along with the journey and give your Barbie a magical experience!

You can learn more about Barbie Dreamtopia, watch videos and play games on the website or through the Barbie Life app (free at the App Store!). 

Stay up to date with the latest on the official Barbie Facebook Page

Have fun!

Win it!

To celebrate Barbie Dreamtopia we are giving one lucky AME reader the chance to win a Barbie Dreamtopia doll (choice between princess mermaid and fairy).

Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Winner will be drawn at random using GiveawayTools on August 20th 2016. Valid email address and skill testing question to qualify. Winners have 48 hours to claim before prize is redrawn. More about giveaways can be found here.

Prize provided by representatives of Barbie. By entering the giveaway you are accepting that if you win your contact info will be shared for shipping purposes only. Please allow 4-6 weeks after giveaway closing for your prize.

Entry-Form

Posted on behalf of Mattel. Complementary Barbie for review purposes. 

7/28/16

This is a true story, based on true events.


You may or may not remember, our son loves everything to do with video games. He loves to play video games and watch videos about playing video games. He will play on any console he can get his hands on. His xbox, his tablet or even sometimes my phone. He has even tried to convince me to put my new Apple TV in the livingroom (they have an older model to use) because there are games! Needless to say he didn't win that argument. 

Anyway back to my story...

I have a password on my phone, like many people do but the boy ended up figuring it out. I don't know how but he did. 

I caught him several times on my phone without permission so I changed the password to something else. Everything seemed okay, he was finally leaving my phone alone. 

One day last week though I let my guard down. I made a mistake and I left my phone plugged in on the kitchen counter unsupervised. It was nice out and we were all in and out of the house all day. I stepped outside for a few minutes because Miss M was busy eating a snack and I figured I would take a couple of trash bags out in the meantime. 

In the short minutes I was outside two police officers show up in the driveway saying an emergency call was traced to a cellphone coming from our address. They said it was someone with a small voice and sounded like an elderly person. Bizarre. There are no elderly people in my house. I started thinking of who called from my phone. Obviously not the youngest she doesn't have access to the kitchen and the oldest was out at a friends house. 

As I was walking in (in panic mode I may add) to grab my phone and check it dawned on me. The boy! He had been playing in the livingroom. He must have went into the kitchen and tried to unlock my phone but pressed the emergency button which is the only one you can press on iPhone if the phone is locked. 

I asked him if he called. He attempted to deny it (to avoid getting in trouble) until I told him two policemen were outside and I needed and explanation for them. He burst out crying saying he didn't want to go to jail. I told him he wasn't going to jail but he did have to go explain to them that he made that call. 

It turns out he thought "emergency" was to dial apple care if you needed help with your phone. When he realized it wasn't he hung up. When they called back he got scared and pressed the end call button. One officer had to turn away with his smirk trying not to laugh at the innocence while telling my son not to do that again. 

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry from embarrassment. I was apologizing profusely like a crazy lady. From now on my iPhone stays where I can keep an eye on it. I think we both learned a lesson here! 

Big credit to the Ottawa Police for being quick to respond to an emergency call - again we are REALLY sorry! 

Have your kids ever done something that made you want to melt into a puddle and disappear? Share your embarrassing moments in the comments below! Let's talk! 

7/26/16

It feels as if summer time just began (technically it did on June 29th!) but it's time to think of the hustle and bustle of going back to school for a new year! 

I know, nobody wants to talk about it but I for one like to be prepared way in advance and not have to worry about last minute things like supplies and clothes. 

As our oldest daughter K gets ready to head into a new school for Grade 7, we find ourselves looking at security features for her things while she's at school. For one she will have a new locker, she will need a lock. It's a big school with a lot of students, we want to make sure we are sending her off as safe as possible. Below are some great school safety tips from Master Lock for tweens, teens and parents. With these, everyone should have a great start to the new school year! 

Familiarize Yourself With Your School: Your first day in a new environment can be overwhelming. If possible, head to campus or your school building prior to the first day of classes and find your classroom, test your route to class and explore the campus or facility. It’s important to learn the buildings’ exits, emergency protocol and evacuation plans and the location of the nurse’s office or school health center so you can be prepared for the unexpected.

Use a Trusted Locker Lock: Perfect for lockers, Master Lock’s innovative, technology-based Indoor Bluetooth Padlock (4400D) is operated by a Smartphone versus a combination or physical key. Not only does the product appeal to tech-savvy students but also to parents who are concerned about their child forgetting their locker lock’s combination. The product has an award-winning design and is feature-rich, allowing authorized users to control their padlocks, monitor the padlock’s activity and share digital keys. Equally innovative, the 1500iD Speed Dial™ Set-Your-Own Combination Lock which opens with a combination of directional movements, is easy to use and comes in four vibrant color options (red, purple, blue and black).



Secure Your School Supplies: School bags and gym bags include important school documents, personal information, homework and valuable items, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets and money. Attach the easy-to-use Master Lock 1550DAST Backpack Lock, which comes in four bold colors to help identify your bag. Or, use the versatile Master Lock 1548DCM Set Your Own Combination Padlock. This added layer of protection will help deter possible theft and provide peace of mind so you can worry less about your belongings and focus on enjoying the school year and extra-curricular activities.


 Add Safety Precautions to New Living Quarters: For those heading out and living on college campuses, dorm living is an adjustment. While it may be fun to pop in and out of your neighbor’s room to study or watch TV, it’s important to remember that all your possessions, such as electronics, remain in your dorm room even when you are not. Keep your valuables securely stored to help protect against theft and other vulnerabilities. For smaller electronics and other valuables, such as cell phones and MP3s, use the Master Lock 5900D SafeSpace portable mini safe and for your laptop, consider the SentrySafe PL048E Portable Laptop Safe.


  

For more back-to-school safety tips, visit the Master Lock website or connect with Master Lock on social via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube.


WIN IT!

We want you to start your tween or teens school year off safe too! One lucky AME reader has the chance to win a Master Lock (choice between Master Lock 1550DAST Backpack Lock or Master Lock 1548DCM Set Your Own Combination Padlock) just in time for preparing for BTS! Fill out the giveaway ballot for your chance to win!

Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Winner will be drawn at random using GiveawayTools on August 5th 2016. Valid email address and skill testing question to qualify. Winners have 48 hours to claim before prize is redrawn. More about giveaways can be found here.

Prize provided by representatives of Master Lock. By entering the giveaway you are accepting that if you win your contact info will be shared for shipping purposes only. Please allow 4-6 weeks after giveaway closing for your prize.






Posted on behalf of Master Lock. Complimentary product provided. Opinions and comments are my own.


7/23/16

Argh! Matey! Did you know there is a Pirate Ship right in Ottawa? That's right, a pirate ship. Complete with a captain and pirate crew on the Grey Ghost located on Mooney's Bay with Pirate Adventures Ottawa! 

We took the kids on an adventure fit for the whole family. We had never been on anything like this before so it was exciting not knowing exactly what to expect. I heard great things from fellow bloggers and they were right! Fun from the get-go!


Before setting sail, the kids (and adults) got to dress up in Pirate gear, face (and fake tattoo) painting and get an official Pirate name! I couldn't wear a vest because I was already too hot (hello 30-degree sunny day!) but one of the Pirates got me with the face paint and I was the "mustache woman" as the kids kept calling me. 

There is a gift shop on site where you register for your pirate cruise. Although we didn't buy anything, it looked like there were some great souvenirs. 

That afternoon we were official pirates! We sailed around Mooney's Bay fighting off evil pirates and finding hidden treasure! 

I thought it was great! Interaction from start to finish, not a pirate missed a beat! Our oldest volunteered at first to take the Captains hat and be a new Captain. She had fun with it.  Not only the kids got to have fun either, some of the parents were chosen as volunteers for the pirate story. At one point the Captain sneezed and she wiped her pirate goobers on me (not really). It was a lot of fun for everyone. 


This is totally a family friendly activity. There were kids of all ages but I would recommend ages 3 and up. There was a lot of laughing, jokes and stories, music, dancing and just simple fun. It would be a fun event for a birthday party too!

There are several shows a day - morning, mid-afternoon and later in the afternoon. They run for about 75 minutes. The shows are offered in English or French or both. Tickets cost $28 per person or $22 per person in groups of 10 or more. Kids under 2 are $12. 


You can learn more about Pirate Adventures and book your pirate cruise on the official Pirate Adventures Ottawa website!

You can also follow the pirate fun on Facebook and Twitter!

Want to see more of our Pirate Adventure pictures? Head over to AME's Instagram!


Posted by AME on behalf of pirate adventures Ottawa. Complimentary cruise obtained for review purposes. Opinions and comments are my own. 


7/19/16

In June we were introduced to #MixedFeeding our dogs and tried it out for the last few weeks thanks to some fantastic products from Pedigree!

It wasn't difficult to introduce them as they sometimes have canned food as a treat, they seemed to look forward to "wet food day". The only protester we had was our Sofi. For some reason she wouldn't eat the wet food at first, even mixed with dry unless we hand fed her. I'm not sure she understood it was her new dinner at first! 

Of course we had no problem with the other three - Sasha, Ruffy and big Daizy - adapting to their new diet. They enjoyed every bit of it every time. 



After several weeks of #MixedFeeding we have good results to report. All of the dogs have been loving this new doggy menu. 
  • When mixing wet and dry, the dogs will now eat both instead of just eating the wet and leaving behind the dry.

  • We have also noticed healthy weight gain (Sasha was always on the smaller side), boosted energy and less fur shedding in the past month with Pedigree compared to other brands or strictly dry food feeding. This could be because of the extra nutrients they get from both types of food mixed.
Overall #mixedfeeding has been an enjoyable experience and I think we will be continuing on this track for our dogs! What makes our dogs happy, makes us happy! 

Did you know #MixedFeeding is good for both dogs and cats? It can help keep them hydrated through the hotter summer months! Great tip to know! :) 


Win it!

Hey #AMEBlog pet owners! Do you want to try #MixedFeeding with your dog or cat? Enter to win a $100 MixedFeeding bundle by filling out the ballot below!

Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Winner will be drawn at random using GiveawayTools on July31st. Valid email address and skill testing question to qualify. Winners have 48 hours to claim before prize is redrawn. More about giveaways can be found here.

Prize provided by representatives of Pedigree. By entering the giveaway you are accepting that if you win your contact info will be shared for shipping purposes only. Please allow 4-6 weeks after giveaway closing for your prize.




Sponsored post on behalf of Mars Pet & Pedigree. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


7/14/16

I may or may not get flack for this from some people but I cannot sit back and take in this virtual trash any longer. 

For the past couple of days, posts have been popping up about this Instagram picture of Victoria Beckham giving her five year-old little girl a kiss on the lips. 



Oh. My. God! HOW could she?!? Excuse me while I finish laughing. 

Now we also have "experts" claiming there could be psychological damage caused by this method of affection...ahem.

This isn't the first time this argument has graced us with its presence but I wish it would be the last time. 

First of all mad people of the Internet (not everyone, I know many awesome people out there), kissing your child on the lips is not a big deal. 

am tired of grown adults sexualizing everything about our kids. Let them be kids, show them they are loved and how to love in a world that's so full of hate! 

When we talk about families and affection, we don't ever mention that most kisses come in the form of a quick peck. A quick peck that teaches your child how to show affection. It shows them they are loved.

Their innocent minds don't think like a corrupt adult. To them, a kiss or a hug is a form of expressing their love and gratitude. Nothing more. 

Are parents not guides to their children? Besides teaching them right from wrong, it is also our responsibility to show our children how to be loving, caring individuals.

Kissing is also a form of respect in many cultures. Look it up! 

If that's not your way of showing affection, that's OK. But please don't come at those who show affection in this way with burning torches. There are worse things in this world than a parent giving their child a loving peck.

As parents, we all try to do our best with what we have and what we know. We should be building each other up, not tearing each other down or making each other’s means feel wrong.

Posted by AME on behalf of all loving parents around the world. Edited in part by ReeseSpeaks. Image embedded via Instagram. Opinions and comments are our own. 

7/9/16

We had a splashing good time last year enjoying the sunshine at Calypso Waterpark in Limoges, Ontario. Click here to read about our adventure!

This year we made a family fun day of it and went as a group with the five of us plus my sister in law, niece and nephew. Rain or shine we were determined to go again this year and that we did. 

Yes, we were all a little disappointed in the weather not cooperating and it was a bit chilly but we didn't let it put too much of a damper on the day. We brought long sleeve shirts and extra dry towels! There are plenty of tables with umbrellas to relax at between rides! 


If you didn't know, Calypso has over 35 state-of-the-art water slides, heated pools, two theme rivers, North America's highest water slide tower, Canada's largest wave pool, over 100 water games and more!

Also, Calypso takes safety seriously with over 600 trained staff and a team of 120 certified lifeguards and slide attendants. There is also an on-site nurse if needed. If you need a life jacket for your kids, they are available on site. Like any theme park, the best way to have fun is to follow the rules and play safe! 


During our visit we hit some of our favourite slides and attractions like the Pirate's Aquaplay and Zoo Lagoon. We also tried some rides we hadn't before like the Kongo Expedition and spent some time in the wave pool! We made a game with Miss M to "swim away" when the waves came! 

I admit, I'm a little (a lot) afraid of heights therefore I tend to stay away from rides that you need a ladder or a bunch of stairs to get up to. Miss K talked me into doing the Black Hole, her favourite slide. It wasn't that bad but I screamed anyway. 

We enjoyed a hamburger and fries lunch at the Cafeteria followed by some more rides and relaxing beside the wave pool to finish off our day. We returned home to Ottawa once again happy and tired!  

If you're looking for a great day out take a trip to Calypso! 

Did you know Calypso Waterpark is one of the finalists in the Top Outdoor Attraction category of the ONTARIO CHOICE AWARDS?   

Make a splash in your new bathing suit this summer and take the family to Calypso Park for a day of thrills, laughs and new memories!

Share your Calypso fun on social media Instagram, Twitter and Tag Calypso on Facebook when you visit and show everyone what they're missing out on! 

Have you been to Calypso before? Know someone who has? VOTE and let's bring our favourite water park to the top! Click here! 

Win it!

We want you to experience the fun of Calypso park this summer! One lucky AME reader has the chance to win a family pass (vouchers) to Calypso! Please carefully read rules before entering.

Enter using the ballot below! 

Open to Ontario, Canada (and surrounding area including Quebec) residents 18+. This giveaway is for 4 Calypso Waterpark (Limoges, ON) day passes. 
Passes must be used during the 2016 Season (season ends September 5th) and outside of the following Blackout dates: July 30th and August 13, 2016 
.

Travel, food, parking and any other accommodations are the responsibility of the winner.

Prize provided by Calypso Waterpark on behalf of AME. 


Posted on behalf of Calypso Waterpark. Complimentary theme park tickets were acquired for review purposes. Prize compliments of AME. Opinions and comments on this blog are honest and my own. 

7/5/16

Giveaways are a great way to say Thank You to our readers and share with you the things we think are pretty awesome!

Who doesn't love the chance to win something cool? If you enter giveaways why not share in our new AME Canadian Giveaway Linky page! Each month we will be refreshing the page accordingly. 

We welcome all Canadian Giveaways to come link up your JULY giveaways! 

Follow the link below (or page tab at the top of the blog) to get started! 

http://www.amotherhoodexperience.com/p/giveaway-linky.html