10/31/11

Ever notice how quickly dust collects in the air more in the fall than ever? I notice that no matter how often I dust - it's always there. Collecting on my shelves, reason why I don't have too many nick-nacks laying around. You can see it especially well during sunny days when the light beams through the windows making a ray of dust particles floating around. We live in a fairly old house and it's heating ducts are one of the main causes of airborne dust in the house during the cooler months.

We have used air filtration systems before but the one we had was small, it didn't cover much space and the filter for it was hard to find. We've been long due for a better one for a long time and We were excited when asked to try out a  new Sharp Air Purifier.

Sharp introduces a new way to clean the air in your home with their new series of Air Purifiers featuring Ion Plasmacluster technology. They come in a variety of sizes from ones that fit on top of your work desk to ones that cover larger sized room.

We had the choice of the smaller one or the bigger one which also includes humidifying.We've never had an issue with the air being too dry as our house is heated by gas as opposed to electric baseboard heating and the room that I had in mind didn't really require a big one so we decided on going with the smaller FP-A40C-W model.


The Sharp Air Purifier systems have unique features:
  • High density plasmacluster Ion Technology 
  • Unique combination of air treatment technologies (Three layers of filters)
  • Washable pre-filter traps dust, pollen, mold and other large airborne particles
  • HEPA filter traps 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns
  • Deodorizing filter absorbs many common household odors
  • Plasmacluster refreshes the air similar to the way nature cleans the environment by emitting a balance of positive and negative ions
  • Ideal for medium sized rooms up to 200 sq. ft.
  •  Slim, sleek design
  • Three fan settings (High, Medium, Low), Ion Plasmacluster button, power button.
  • Library Quiet
  • Energy Star approved
Our experience with the Sharp Air Purifier FP-A40C-W:

The Air Purifier itself is sleek and slim, it's lighter and smaller than what we expected which is good because we are able to bring it up to our bedroom at night. Our two loving dogs sleep in our room so the Sharp Air Purifier has helped clear the air of debris like dog hair and dander.

When downstairs, it fit perfectly in our livingroom and didn't stick out like a sore thumb like most large fan-type appliances would. It is extremely quiet and doesn't disturb any other sound in the room like music playing or kids in the background. I'm happy to say my three year old had no interest what so ever. It's not flashy and only has three buttons so nothing to pull or push in, nothing little hands can really break!

We noticed a difference in the air of the livingroom having the purifier on during the day for a couple of days.

A Sharp Air Purifier would be the perfect gift for anybody who suffers from allergies or just wants to ensure cleaner air in their home - you can purchase the Sharp Air Purifier at store like Best Buy or Sears for under $300. Put in your postal code under "where to buy" on the website and you can see where exactly these sell in your area!

*Alyssa*

*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of Sharp Electronics. We receieved trial product for review purposes only. No compensation was exchanged for this review All opinions are honest and those of A Motherhood Experience.*

10/29/11


October seems to have just flown right by with the blink of an eye! This past week we have been preparing the house and the kids for Halloween on Monday night. Oh how excited they have been getting everything ready for the spooktacular celebrations!
Halloween has been an annual tradition since I was a kid and in our house ever since K was born. We feel Halloween is one of the "kids celebrations" - a time to celebrate make-believe and go out and have fun, it brings back fond memories. A night to be spoiled just the once with free candy. I remember loving Halloween - as I became an older child it was an excuse to get creative with my costumes, I went one year as "The Mask". You know, the green weirdo played by Jim Carrey from that movie in the 90's? ;-)

Speaking of creativity, DH and the kids decorated the living room with Halloween lights, scary spider webs and various other Halloween decorations we've collected (and managed to keep) over the years. Those blow up Kinder Surprise toys came in handy as K thought the bat and would make a great decoration along with her home made ones from school.



K spent the weekend before with my dad, grandpa to her and one project he did with her was carve out a Halloween pumpkin. Typically this is part of our family Halloween tradition but it was a nice touch this year to have someone else convince her to pull the guts out of the pumpkin. They did a really good job and of course K picked a cat on her pumpkin.


Now, I don't trust the kids in our neighborhood, they are known for smashing pumpkins (no, not the band - physically smashing nice decorative pumpkins!) so I created a nice little centerpiece for the table using it and some other Halloween decorations we had around. I know the pumpkin means a lot to K and she would be devastated if anything bad should happen to it - even though eventually it has to go into the green bin.

We aren't going to nor throwing any Halloween parties this year but it always puts huge smiles on the kids faces when we decorate and it's a fun activity to do together. 

The kids are prepared with costumes and trick-or-treat buckets for the big night. K is going as a witch and D is going as batman. It took K a while to decide, she was flipping between a fairy and a witch. Honestly I can say I'm happy she chose a witch, it's a more traditional costume - I think we've all been a witch on a Halloween or two.

I can't wait to show you what they look like all dressed up in their costumes! K ended up with two witch hats so I might end up throwing the extra on when we take the kids out for trick-or-treating. Why not join in the fun! ;)

As every year I am looking forward to this Halloween - more memories in the making! This weekend we will be attempting to make some ghostly goodies for Halloween night!
Do you and your family have any special Halloween traditions?
- Posted by Alyssa

*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions on this blog are honest & my own*

10/28/11


The holiday season is just around the corner (or so that's what it feels to me) and it has me thinking about family, the ones who live far and we don't get to talk to often because of the cost of long distance on a cell phone. Most people would tell us to use a land line but the thing is we got rid of the land line when our oldest daughter was born - that's over seven years living off cell phones. The plan isn't costly, we have a good plan and good deal considering we have two smart phones with data plans too but like on any cell phone no matter what provider, what type of plan - long distance can get you.

High Liner knows how important it is for moms to save money and still keep in touch with their loved ones during the holidays or anytime without the worry about how much it's going to cost on the phone bill in the long run.


High Liner and GL2GO have you covered. GL2GO is a free smart phone app that allows you to call long distance, anywhere, anytime with any provider without putting a dent in your current phone bill. It's like a calling card app for your smart phone! It's also great to have if you need to make a long distance call but don't make them often enough to pay for an extra feature like "so many minutes for such price" in your current phone plan. GL2GO offers long distance rates for less than 2 cents. Right now High Liner is offering 40 free GL2GO minutes on specially marked packages.


When I was approached about this particular app I immediately thought of my cousin and how we never actually get to talk other than via text because it would be a killer on both of our cell phone bills as neither of us run from a land line anymore.

It was easy to get started by going to www.40FreeMinutes.com and signing up. Once you sign up you'll be prompted to verify and download the (free) app. Once you download it, enter your user name and password to start making calls! You can add codes up to 200 free minutes!

Have a Smart Phone and want to try out GL2GO for yourself? Fill out the RaffleCopter Ballot below to be eligible to win one of three Full Product Coupons for High Liner so you can collect the points and try out this great long distance rate calling app for yourself!

Don't forget to "Like" GL2GO on facebook! 




*We received 200 free minutes for review purposes but are under no obligation to post about this promotion. All opinions are honest and those of A Motherhood Experience*

10/25/11


When we attended ShesConnected Conference we had the opportunity to talk to Andrea Karpala of Faye Clack Communications and she wanted us to try products "ET TU by Linsey Foods". I had never heard of ET TU before but as always I love trying new things and always encourage my family to do the same, what better way than through a family meal!

Linsey Foods began in 1989 with the introduction of the first-ever boxed salad kit under the brand name of ET TU Caesar. With the addition of other salad types, a desert line and now dinner kits, they shortened the name to ET TU in 2004.

ET TU food kits are created to take the guessing and the waiting on making scrumptious, nutritious meals the entire family can enjoy. I know I am one of those moms who can cook a from-scratch meal but when things get busy I love having the option of using dinner kits to help speed the process of making dinner up.

ET TU Kits include Salads such as Caesar, Caesar Light, Southwest Ranch; Deserts such as Apple Crisp and Banana Cream Pie and Dinner kits for preparing your favourite fish dishes like Citrus Dill with Wild Rice Medley or Maple Mustard Fish Fillets with Orzo Pasta! 





We were sent a few of each kind of kit to try out with our family. So far we had the chance to try out the salad kit and the apple crisp kit.

Each Family size ET TU Salad Kit makes two large sized salads or six or more side salads. We tried the Caesar Light Kit. It boasts the rich flavour of the ET TU Caesar Original but contains only half the fat and one-third less calories. Ingredients include a creamy and light Caesar dressing, multi-grain croutons, bacon flavoured bits and Parmesan cheese. We have used different salad kits in the past but I have to say the ET TU Salad kits are really good, you can taste the quality ingredients used to prepare them. My family really enjoyed the salad we created with the kit, we ran out of romaine lettuce and had to add in a bit of regular lettuce but it was really good just the same. It served our family of four one decent sized serving each. For those who enjoy larger servings or seconds, it would be recommended to make two boxes of the kit in place of just one.

Each ET TU Desert Kit makes up to eight servings. The kits include the finest ingredients, that when paired with fresh fruit, come together to create a delicious dessert no one will know didn't take ages to prepare. Apple Crisp is one of my favourite fall deserts and I usually make it from scratch myself so I was excited to try out the ET TU Apple Crisp Desert Kit. The Apple Crisp Desert Kit includes raisins, a blend of oats, brown sugar, spice and a caramel drizzle. It was so easy, we just peeled and cut up the apples, followed the directions and a little over 30 minutes later we had yummy Apple Crisp straight from the oven! I really enjoyed the ET TU Salad and Dessert Kits experience. The kits were beyond easy to prepare and not to mention really good. They tasted home-made and the portions were decent (although like always, my little ones wanted seconds so two boxes would be needed for a big meal for sure). It's a nice change to your typical ready to make foods. Can't wait to pick up some fish fillets and try out the fish kits next!

Here is a list of stores across Canada that carry ET TU Salad, Dinner and Desert kits!The Apple Crisp kit featured here is the old packaging however if you happen to be looking for it in store it looks more like this now:



Win it!

Now that we have you drooling, our friends at Linsey Foods want you to try out ET TU Salad and Dessert kits for yourself! One lucky reader has the chance to win a ET TU food kit gift basket (which includes a variety of ET TU kits courtesy of A Motherhood Experience on behalf of Linsey Foods.




Fill out the rafflecopter ballot below to enter for your chance to win!



*Alyssa*

*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of ET TU Dinner Kits and Linsey Foods. We received product samples for review purposes. Giveaway prize sponsored by Linsey Foods. All opinions are honest and always our own*


10/24/11

Don't forget Ottawa, My Little Pony will be at St. Laurent Shopping Center with special guest Chuck the dump Truck for a free show both Saturday and Sunday this weekend!


Check out my post about it for more info and show schedule!


http://www.amotherhoodexperience.com/2011/09/my-little-pony-at-st-laurent-shopping.html

 *Alyssa*

*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and always those of A Motherhood Experience*
Blissdom Canada was our destination in Toronto last weekend but before we got into the real conference and celebrating we had the opportunity to meet Canadian entrepreneur Samantha Graff - owner and creator of Sammy G’s - Personalized, quality, unique gifts and services for bizee peeps!

I first heard of Sammy G’s through a promotion by our Blissdom Canada sponsor @KidZoomer. I already knew what Sammy G’s offered, high-quality, personalized items for just about any occasion, but I didn’t know much about the woman behind the idea.

We met Samantha in the Hilton hotel, in fact she found me in the lobby before we even checked in and I let her know we just needed to get settled in. Shortly after we got settled we tweeted and set up a meeting place to sit down and chat with her. She came fully prepared with a suitcase full of samples of just about everything in her line on www.SammyGs.com. She demonstrated and told us all about her products and also told us a little bit of history behind Sammy G's.

In 1996 a journey began with homesick students at the University of Ontario, baking up goodies which soon after flourished into a passion for Samantha, creating beautiful products adding a personal touch. Everyone who experienced the cookies loved them. The cookies themselves not to mention the presentation wrapped with love - Samantha was encouraged to take it a step further, she decided she wanted to take the guessing out of gift giving and offer her services with personalized items for everyone, not just cookies anymore! Having a history in real-estate including the overall desire to just make people happy, Samantha knew it was a risk worth taking. She puts pride, love and joy into her projects. Even her mom is involved with her in a mother-daughter Realtor business - they have a strong mother/daughter bond which I admire so much!

When talking about her brand Sammy G’s, Samantha was very thorough and showed her passion for her business (or as she says her “baby”) - she showed she really cared about what she does and the people she serves - it reminded me how I am about my blog. We had something in common, we are both business women with a dream and a passion to reach out to others through our talents.
Sammy G’s offers a wide variety of special gifts for everyone including babies, kids, bridal party, and even pets! Every one of Sammy G’s items are personalized with a name embroidered into the material.



Items like the Polar Fleece Blanket for babies and toddlers, Wrap Around Hoodie Animal Towels and B Squeezer pants are sure to make a great gift for any mom-to-be!




There were so many items she had to show us, it's amazing what your passion and a little imagination can come up with. We were shown two of her featured items - Purse Organizer Bag and Magnetic Key Finder and given them as gifts to take home with us.

The Purse Organizer is great for keeping important things together a tote bag. You can organize your wallet, makeup, biz cards and just about anything you need to take with you on an outing and simply put the bag into your tote and makes switching purses a snap. It closes with a string and the front pocket has a zipper to keep your belongings in the bag. Check out the different colours and styles here.You can have whatever you want written on the bag. Mine says "wet stuff" because it was originally made for summer time to put wet bathing suits and the like in. I don't mind, it goes inside my purse anyway!

The Magnetic Key Finder is handy for women who carry big purses. Put the trinket on one side of your purse lining and the magnet on the other, that’s it. Then you just place your keys on it and the magnet does the rest. Being an iPhone owner I was concerned about the magnet being so close to my phone if it would mess it up but according to Sammy she said she had the same concern when she first put this item into her shops and she was guaranteed there would be no problem. They are useful and stylish as they come in different patterns including a special Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon - part of the proceeds from sales of this particular PINK Magnetic Key Finder goes to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. These are not personalized items but they are meaningful. I received the lovely cupcake magnetic key finder (pictured above).

Click here to check out more of what Sammy G’s offers!

It was a pleasure sitting down and chatting with a fellow Canadian business woman, my fellow blogger and friend Jeannine from My Bits and Bleeps had the opportunity to speak to her as well - check out her blog for her review!

Thank you Samantha for taking the time to meet with us, talking to us about your passion for business and life, and for the gifts you kindly gave to us as well!

*Alyssa*


*This is not a sponsored post and was written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of Sammy G as a Thank You for our gifts received during our meeting. All opinions are honest and always my own*

10/23/11

I have a little bit of an announcement to make. No, I didn't win the lottery, I'm not pregnant and we didn't get any more pets - but I did achieve my very first award here on A Motherhood Experience!

To some this may seem like a small, insignificant milestone but to me it's important. A Motherhood Experience was recognized among the thousands of mommy-blogs out there in the world wide web for its content, the heart and soul I have been pouring into this blog for over two and a half years. It goes to show you, you never know who is reading your blog.

Last week I received an email from Jason Young, writer and editor for PocketChange.com congratulating me on being chosen to receive the Editors Pick award from www.Become.com.

Become.com  are a group of shopping experts and bloggers who say they recognize talent when they truly see it. Their mission is to recognize their fellow blogger and the accomplishments, hard work and dedication put into their websites. Thank you guys so much for the honour of wearing this badge proudly on A Motherhood Experience.

An award such as this means a lot to someone like me who began her journey into the blogosphere knowing just about nothing and relying only on what she had learned and continues to experience being a mom and a woman in the world today. It's not just the digital badge I get to display on my sidebar, it's the grateful feeling knowing my blog, my words and everything I put into it is making a difference, even if it seems small.

Thank you to everyone who has supported and continues to support A Motherhood experience like the fabulous brands I have had the opportunity to work with and continue to work with as well as my fabulous readers, without you guys checking out my content, this wouldn't be. And to my friends, my kids and my loving hubby. My official pep squad who keep the inspirational juices flowing. I dedicate this to all of you :)

Editors Pick Become.com
Baby and Parenting Blog
baby and parenting blog

*Alyssa*

*This is not a sponsored post. A Motherhood Experience received the Editors Pick Award from www.become.com by their choosing. All opinions are honest and my own.*

10/20/11



I am part of the Mom Central Canada Seventh Generation Blog Tour and being part of this program means I get to do some pretty good things for deserving people. I have always been passionate about giving back to our local community whether it be giving books we no longer need to our daughter's school library or canned/non-perishable items to the food bank, it just feels good to give.

We have been talking about the Eco-friendly brand Seventh Generation, how they thrive on bringing safe, chemical free products into our homes and harmful chemicals out, we have had the opportunity to try out  their line of baby products like Seventh Generation diapers.

Right now Seventh Generation has a BOGO program going on. No, not buy one, get one but Buy One Give One. Every time someone buys Seventh Generation diapers, Seventh Generation gives a bag of their diapers to a local shelter in need. If you'd like to participate all you have to do is buy a bag of Seventh Generation diapers and they will give a bag. Our local Metro carries Seventh Generation brand diapers.


Our local community center runs a program called "The Baby Cupboard" where they collect donations for moms and babies in need such as food, clothing, wipes, diapers, bottles and so forth. I think its a wonderful program, no baby should go without things they need. When I found out the second part of the Seventh Generation program was to donate bags of diapers to a local charity of our choice I thought of our community center right away and the great program they have for moms and babies in our area. Not only do they have the "Baby Cupboard" program, but they also have mom and baby play groups, we actually looked into the playgroups program when K was little.



As soon as I received the box of diapers I  e-mailed the coordinator of the program to let her know what was going on - that I would be delivering those diapers for the Baby Cupboard program within a couple of weeks. She was very happy and said they accept any and all donations - always appreciated. I love feeling good about doing good - there doesn't have to be something in it for me and my family either, just that feeling. If you've ever given to those who need it more, you know what feeling I'm talking about. 

Early one rainy morning after dropping my daughter off at her bus stop, I gathered the diapers (and a bunch of extra reusable shopping bags I wanted to donate at the same time) and headed off to the Overbrook-Forbes Community Center. It is usually a pretty busy place - everyone had the same reason for being there, they needed some help. I can admit in my life there have been times in the past where I have needed help and I was never turned away - I was thankful and I am grateful to have been able to help out our own community like this.

Unfortunately the coordinator was not available at the time I went, so I left her a note and my business card attached so she can contact me when she can. The receptionist was about to remove the diapers from the purple shopping bags when I told her the bags were included as part of my donation to the center and more were in the bag with the diapers. She said she really appreciated and that shopping bags are a good idea - always welcome.

I walked in to that building with bags full and left with a heart full - although not the first time, it felt good to give this much thanks to Seventh Generation.

If you'd like to learn more about Seventh Generation, their products and to join the 7th Gen Nation please visit http://ca.seventhgeneration.com/community_ca

Follow @SeventhGen on Twitter and Like Seventh Generation on Facebook to get the latest updates anytime!

*Sponsored by Seventh Generation. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author*

Halloween is just around the corner, we can't wait to take our little ones out again this year for our annual family Trick-or-Treating. We usually don't hand out candies because we have two crazy dogs who would be barking all night at every door bell ring,  but we may just make an exception this year!


Instead of your typical junk-food treats like candy, chocolate, chips and other sorts of sugary goodies why not treat the kids with a fun  sized can of Play Doh compound that's sure to last long after that last piece of candy is all gone!

You can purchase special Halloween bags at www.HasbroToyShop.com, Amazon, Walmart and Toys R Us. Each bag contains 20 fun-sized containers for $4.99! That's also cheaper than buying candies, they also make a great addition to Halloween party loot bags for your little gobblin guests to take home after your hosted Halloween Party!

We have received these miniature versions of Play Doh at other events and occasions I'm happy to see they brought them out for Halloween! I can't wait to give ours to family and friends! I'm sure our kids won't be disappointed as they LOVE Play Doh!


Have a Safe and Happy Halloween everybody!


*Alyssa*


*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of Hasbro Canada and Play Doh. We received samples for review purposes. All opinions are honest and always my own*



10/18/11

Music influences our lives and for me it has since I was a young girl. When I was going through the process of surgery and recovery at the age of 9-10 years old, one of my favourite groups was of course New Kids On The Block - if you don’t know who they are you’re either too old or too young (just kidding, everyone has their own taste but this for me 20 years ago was what I enjoyed quite a bit). Being stuck in bed a lot I would listen to the tapes (oh god did I just say tapes?) on the Walkman (Now I feel old) my dad set up for me, over head foam ear phones and all! That’s how we rolled back in the day ;-)

I had posters on my wall of all the guys but my favourite (along with zillions of other girls) was always Jordan Knight. My friends and I even had the dolls - wait, should I call them dolls? They resembled Barbies boyfriend Ken or maybe GI Joe - so I suppose “action figure“ would be appropriate. Anyway, I had two Jordan’s and everyone else but was missing Donnie because relatives I guess didn’t communicate back then and I was double gifted that Christmas needless to say. Of course years passed, I grew up and I don’t  have any of that fan memorabilia anymore.

This past Saturday night something pretty amazing happened at Blissdom Canada ‘11 - Jordan Knight himself made a surprise appearance at the Blissdom Canada Costumes and Karaoke Party! Yes, you read that right - Mr. New Kids On The Block crashed our party!  It was an event of a lifetime for a room full of  (happily partying) digital women. While we caught our glimpse @ThatEricAlper was standing by handing out Jordan’s new CD!

For me, I thought it was pretty cool that they surprised us and I got to meet someone I looked up to as a kid - you don’t get that every day, at least I don’t!

We were all lucky enough to not only catch a glimpse of Jordan but also take a picture with him. He thought my Disco Diva costume was pretty neat.  I don’t want to know what he thought of my goofy dance moves - hey, he asked and I demonstrated. :) I’m such a dork! Happily the picture came out great!! (Thanks to the photog!)

@AMotherhoodBlog & Jordan Knight


Another surprise came when he actually went up on stage and sang a few of the old hits we grew up with including one of my favs “Hangin’ Tough”. I was lucky my iPhone battery lasted long enough for me to capture some footage for all of you to see how much fun we had with our surprise guest at Blissdom Canada ‘11! I would have had more pictures to share but you know, the whole battery dying thing didn’t help but here’s a little two-minute clip of what we experienced!

Enjoy!



One last note: Thank you everyone who made Blissdom Canada ‘11 possible and THANK YOU again to Jenn and my Blissdom Canada ‘11 trip sponsor www.KidZoomer.com for sending us to this amazing event!

*Alyssa*

*This post was written by @AMotherhoodBlog and is not a sponsored post. All images and videos in this post are copyright A Motherhood Experience 2011 - Please don’t steal my content but feel free to share it using the appropriate share buttons! All opinions are honest and always my own*




We just returned from  Blissdom Canada ‘11 in Toronto, Ontario. This was something we had planned since the beginning of the year, something we worked hard for and something we are grateful to have had the opportunity to be able to experience.

I'll start this off by saying it was an amazing event - it was more than what we expected and we came home with so  much more than we thought we would (idea-wise, although the swag was pretty good too ;))

Honestly, I am still really tired from the whole weekend (it was that good!) and I had a hard time finding the words to describe how great the entire event was. We connected with some great brands, we met some fantastic tweeps in real life. We were pampered, star studded and educated but there was just so much more to it than that.

Thank you to the Blissdom Canada team Barbara, Paula, Alli and Catherine - you ladies did an amazing job putting everything together, we love you! On top of having a fantastic team, without the sponsors we wouldn't have been able to experience what we did. From booths to suites and everything in between thank you to those who sponsored and we a part of our Blissdom Canada experience:

I came up with a little something using what pictures I had (if I’ve used one of yours you’ve been credited in it! If not please let me know!) This was my very first attempt at doing any kind of video-media for the blog, (be kind) I hope you enjoy it - my own "thank you" from the heart.



As for the learning aspect of the event, not only did I come back with more knowledge to put toward A Motherhood Experience but I also learned some things I didn't know and was reminded of things I should be doing. I also learned what it means to have a real community of people who are just like me. We were all there because we are women, we have blogs, we inspire. For those I had the opportunity to meet and finally give that long overdue hug to - thank you for the experience!

After an experience like this, I would definitely attend next years Blissdom Canada '12 - Who knows what luck will bring our way!

*Alyssa*

*The video was created by and post was written by @AMotherhoodBlog. Video Music by Cindy Lauper. Thank you to our Blissdom Canada ‘11 sponsor and partners www.KidZoomer.com for making this trip possible for @CouponMomCanada and I. All opinions are honest and always our own. Updated October 21st 2011*

10/17/11



Ever notice how kids don’t seem to get enough sleep these days? With early rising for daycare, school and busy evenings  after evenings packed with activities, homework and just life in general - kids are lacking one thing they need most for their growing bodies and that’s sleep.

As adults, working parents and stay at home parents alike,  we get up early every day and the majority of us go to bed pretty late during the week, trying to pile it all into 24 hours and we expect our weekends (Saturday and Sunday) to be the days we get to sleep in. If you have young kids who can’t tell time yet this isn’t the case, they are so used to getting up early during the week that it doesn’t matter if its Saturday, Sunday or Wednesday, their little clocks tick and eyes pop open at the first sight of light being it 6am or 8am - kids just don’t sleep in. At least mine don’t.  don’t nap and often have melt-downs midday due to being tired which results in a sour afternoon for everyone.

When I was asked to review the Gro Clock by The Gro Company I thought to myself “This could actually work”. My kids like I said are early risers who are up every day between 6:30 and 7:00am. This particular item is made more for our son who is three. He can’t tell time so this is perfect to help him learn when an appropriate time to get out of his bed would be.



About The Gro Clock Sleep Clock by The Gro Company
:

How do you teach your little ones who can’t tell time yet when it’s time to get up? Easy, “It’s time to get up when you see the sun!”. The Gro Clock Sleep Clock uses fun images of the stars and sun to help teach young kids when its an appropriate time to get up and out of bed in the morning. Parents set the sun to a relatively later time of the morning than 5am and this helps children understand that they are to get up when they “see the sun”.

A new updated version has an optional digital clock so older children can begin to learn to tell the time on a digital clock, as well as wait for the sun to come up!

The Gro Clock Sleep Clock comes with an illustrated book, which helps encourage kids to stay in bed a little bit longer.

The Gro Clock Sleep Clock Features include:


  • Silent operation
  • Glowing screen which shows the stars and sun to tell sleeping and wake times for children
  • Adjustable screen brightness
  • Stars go out one by one at night to show the passing of time.
  • Key-lock option
  • Option to set two separate wake up/sleep times for weekdays, weekends or nap time with optional audio alarm.
  • New educational option of digital clock
  • Suitable for ages 2 and up
  • Includes power adapter



Our Gro Clock Sleep Clock Experience:

We thought the Gro Clock Sleep Clock was really cute. It’s simple with three programming buttons - it took me a minute to figure out the settings but it does comes with a manual if needed be. The clock itself is round and designed for a child's room except for one thing - it doesn’t take batteries and needs to be plugged in to work. For some parents this is a problem as cords are very dangerous for young children but you could also put it on a dresser with the cord behind the dresser as you would for a bedroom lamp.

It will take our little guy some getting used to as the Gro Clock Sleep Clock is a learning tool as well but I think it’s a great idea. It would make a great Christmas gift too for anybody with preschoolers and young kids learning to tell time! The Gro Clock Sleep Clock can be purchased through www.oyaco.com.

Win it!



Our friends at www.oyaco.com want you to get your extra Z’s too! One A Motherhood Experience reader has the chance to win their very own Gro Clock Sleep Clock ($50 value) by filling out the raffle copter ballot below! Remember, mandatory entries must be done for the extras to count! Giveaway open to residents of Canada. 


*Alyssa*

*Post written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of Oyaco Company. We received product for review purposes. Giveaway prize provided by Oyaco Company. All opinions are honest and always my own*


10/12/11

Toronto, Ontario
Our view during ShesConnected Conference from the hotel room


The big city.

*Alyssa*
Fall is upon us in full swing although we did have a few days so far that were seemingly summery, but truthfully,  the season of Autumn is here. Leaves are changing colours and falling from the trees, before we know it it'll be winter once again.

With the winter coming, so does the fast approaching holiday season. Many of us have already started making our lists and more of us are going to start our shopping within the next couple of months - of course there are also the early birds who have done everything. Kudos to you!

Do you have a charity you give to annually every year? We try to give year round sometimes money but mostly donations like toys, clothes and household items we don't need to our local salvation army or community center. We also donate books to K's school library, they always welcome new books to their collection for the kids!

This holiday season think Canadahelps.  www.Canadahelps.org is a one stop shop for giving that allows Canadians to donate to any Canadian charity with a few simple clicks. There are over 86,000 charities listed, you can find the perfect gift for anybody on your list including mom, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and coworkers all in one spot.

You can choose to give to a charity that is near and dear to your loved one or simply order a CanadaHelps.org Gift Card and the recipient can simply choose a charity to donate the amount to on their behalf.

Here are some gift ideas for those on your list this year:

For animal lovers
Animal enthusiasts are a special breed; their passion for all living creatures gives a voice to all animals- from fury felines to polar bears.
  •  Canadian Animal Assistance Team
  • Paws People Animal Welfare Society
  • Canadian Federation of Humane Societies
For the green hearted
Whether your aunt meticulously sorts her recycling or simply wishes she could do more to help the planet.
  • Earth Day Canada
  • Friends of the Earth 
  •   Pollution Probe
For mom, dad and relatives who already have everything:
 Mom and dad can be the hardest people to shop for because they seem to have everything and more. Surprise them this holiday season by showing that you listened to their lessons about giving back.

  • Their favourite cultural organization like a local museum
  •  Is there a hospital or health organization that has had an impact in their life?
  • Scouts Canada
For teachers
Mrs. Smith may have given Johnny a B in English, but her enthusiasm for education and children goes beyond the classroom walls.
  • CanEducate
  • 60 Million Girls
  • Learning Disabilities Association of Canada

This is a thoughtless gift that can keep on giving. I find more and more people taking this approach rather than buying a relative another something they don't need or won't use, putting the money to good use and making a donation in that persons name.

Remember it's not always the size of the gift but the message that can bring the biggest impact. You can gift these in a card with a sentimental note explaining why you chose such a charity to donate to in your loved ones name. You can wrap it up in a small box with a ribbon for the same effect, you're guaranteed a great response this holiday season. It's one of the most selfless gifts you can give.

Check out www.canadahelps.org to see a complete list of charities you can donate to this year!

*Alyssa*

*This is not a sponsored post. This post was written by A Motherhood Experience voluntary on behalf of CanadaHelps.org. All opinions are honest and always my own*

10/10/11





Happy Thanksgiving 2011, I hope everybody had a fantastic weekend filled with good food and above all, good company. 


We gave thanks and celebrated with my dad, it was a Thanksgiving like no other although it was just the five of us. The kids were excited and couldn't wait for the today. They love when grandpa comes to visit.

Dad brought everything we needed to make a full on turkey dinner, something we hadn't really planned on doing. Initially I had invited him over for maybe a lunch and a coffee or something but he insisted he wanted to come over and have us make Thanksgiving dinner, together.

We had of course the turkey, homemade stuffing, turnip, potatoes, coleslaw, cranberries and buns. The turkey was huge, 20lbs. I couldn't believe he brought such a big turkey, we have left overs for a week!

I have honestly never made such a big meal in a long time, in fact I don't think I have ever made that big a meal with someone who knows as much about cooking as I do, okay dad knows a little more but he's not far off. We had a good laugh about his liquid gravy that ended up being tossed and my over-cooked turnip. Ah well, I gave them some colour and they were still edible!


The turkey was really good, we cooked it in an electric turkey pan as I also needed the stove for other things and the turkey was going to take five hours to cook. Dh made coleslaw, he normally does not touch a thing in the kitchen but I give him credit! He did well making the coleslaw, even the kids enjoyed it and normally they don't like cabbage salad of any kind!


Dad had made two nice pies, apple and pumpkin but we were so full from dinner we didn't get around to those until later ;) We can all say we had a really great day, it was nice to spend the time together and him with his grand kids too. I'm thankful we were able to have that second chance to reconnect and as my father said during his dinner toast "begin a new era". That's one other thing I am thankful for this year.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone :)

*Alyssa*

*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and always my own.*


10/3/11

We have officially said goodbye to  the double digits of summer and are preparing ourselves for cooler weather as fall is now upon us.  The leaves are starting to change colours and tumble down from the tree branches on our street. The field across the street at the park is filled with excitement of children and youths playing after-school sports and the laughter of our own kids as we get out and have some family fun - even if the weather is a bit cooler.

When you think of a water bottle you may automatically think they are for summer time but did you know the importance of keeping your young one hydrated while they go about their after school sports and activities? Warm liquids will warm one up but they don't help keep you hydrated like a cold drink will, even on a chilly day. In fact a recent study done by Thermos Brand showed that drinking cold water (4 degrees) will actually keep the core body temperature down and increase performance during physical activity.

A great way to keep your water cold is with an insulated beverage container from Thermos Brand. Thermos features unique Thermos vacuum insulation technology that keeps beverages cold up to 24hours. Thermos has convenient features including hygienic push button lids with pop-up straws, leak-proof sipper lids that lock and sweat-proof designs that won't leave water rings.

Thermos Brand also offer a variety of mugs and tumblers for those adults who like to get out and active or those parents who sit up in the bleachers cheering on their little athletes.

As you know, we are big fans of Thermos Brand and we were happy to recently have the opportunity to review the ROHO Hydration bottle! A Thermos Brand bottle for adults.




About the ROHO Hydration Bottle:
  •  710 ml capacity
  • Made from BPA-free, single layer stainless steel
  • Leak proof lid features one hand push button for easy access
  • Large enough opening for cleaning and adding ice cubes
  • A long neck to ease grasp and prevent cold hands
  • Available in 9 designs including Tweet, Tag and Scan
The ROHO Hydration Bottle by Thermos Brand can be purchased at London Drugs, Sobeys and HomeHardware from $14.99.

Having used Thermos Brand products recently we were not disappointed when it came to the ROHO Hydration bottle (Exposure design). It is a much larger size than we are used to with the children's Thermos which guarantees they won't try to bring it to school as its too tall to fit into a lunch bag. It brings all the quality that Thermos Brand promises plus, the design is something both hubby or myself could use on an outing with the kids.

Win it!

Our friends at Thermos Brand want to hydrate you this fall! Enter the raffle copter ballot below for your chance to win your very own ROHO Hydration Bottle by Thermos Brand!


*Alyssa*

*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of Thermos Brand. We received a complimentary ROHO Hydration bottle for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own however product information has been obtained from Thermos Brand website*


Saturday I came home from a three day trip away from home to Toronto for ShesConnected 2011. ShesConnected is a community for women by women and ShesConnected Conference is an invite-only event (you have to be a ShesConnected community member) and is co-founded by Donna Marie Antoniadis and Mark Grindeland. First off I would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone at ShesConnected for giving me the opportunity to attend ShesConnected Conference (not mention participate in a panel discussion!).
ShesConnected Conference began at 11am on September 29th, Jenn (@CouponMomCanada) and I had just arrived in Toronto around 10:15am so we didn't have long to wait. The Sheraton Hotel is grande, it's very nice and our room wasn't bad. They accommodated us with an early check in which we appreciated because we had our luggage from our trip with us.



After getting our conference badges and swag bags we headed down to the Exhibit area from 11am to 1pm where all the official ShesConnected Conference sponsors had their booths set up to network with us digital women who were eager to mingle with eachother as well! It was so fantastic to finally meet some of my favourite tweeps and digital women in person.



We met and networked with the following amazing brands during the conference, some of which we have worked with previously on A Motherhood Experience:
We had an amazing time learning and soaking in what the panelists and speakers had to say during the sessions. So many people had so many amazing things to contribute.

Day one began with Keynote speaker Sheryl Connelly from Ford Motor Company followed by an hour long session - How to Successfully engage with bloggers and build long term relationships with them.



After a break in the exhibit area and more networking, we headed to our next session, Brands and Digital Women. This session was an ice-breaker which allowed us to engaged and interact with the sponsors, speakers and other attendees of the conference! It was such a great learning experience but at the same time so much fun - I was nervous for nothing *and Donna Marie, you were right!*



Day one wrapped up with closing comments and a nice dinner buffet, Molson was serving up some Molson 67 drinks for us to try out. They were pretty good :)



After the dinner reception we got our makeup and nails glammed up and headed off to the ShoesConnected party hosted at TownShoes on Bloor Street. We tried out some STLTO wine, mingled with some fellow digital women and met the maker herself. It was really fun and no, I didn't end up buying a pair of shoes or boots although if I would have had more money it would have been tempting!

Day two was more about learning than anything, it was a wonderful learning experience in many ways. Breakfast was served at 8:00am - buffet style and so much to choose from. We sat with @chancesmommy, @aaricamakeupblg, @MapleleafMommy, @_littlemisskate, @milkandcoco and @JulieCole - such a lovely group of ladies!

Day two went on with a recap with highlights of everything we experienced day one followed by an incredible speech by keynote speaker Elisa Camahort Page, COO & Co-Founder of Blogher. She spoke about Blogher, women and blogging. She shared her own life experiences and stories with us all. I think we all walked out of that session having learned a few new things.

We heard from some amazing panelists and speakers during day 2 listening to topics including:
  • What Brands want from Bloggers and digital women
  • Product Reviews vs Blogtours/Panels vs Brand Ambassador Programs vs community management programs.
  • Social Good Panel
  • Social Media Rockstars
  • What is a Blogger Worth
  • Rate Cards, Guidelines and Disclosure (I spoke on this panel with fellow digital women) I'm proud of my fellow panelists - @MyBitsandBleeps, @MissFish, @Listen2Lena, @MapleLeafMommy and our great Moderator @TerriMcBay, Director of Social Media at OgilvyOne Toronto. Thank you ladies for making it so great!
  • The 10 Rules of the road, putting it all together

The ShesConnected Conference ended with a closing speech, recap and announcements including prize draw winners and also the announcement of the next ShesConnected Conference in Spring 2012 - I can't wait to hear more about that!

We walked in nervous, not knowing what to expect from the ShesConnected Conference but walked out with smiles and knowledge beyond what we imagined we would have experienced.



I learned how powerful women and social media combined are and how I can better engage with brands and build a community from my social media followers. The causes that were spoken about during the Social Good Panel including Heather Hamilton (@tjzmommy) & her incredible story of courage and determination for Zack's Dream, reminded me how powerful one heart and soul can be no matter what your situation. It reminded me how important it is to care about those around us no matter what, any little bit of your time and your heart can make a big impact.

When the conference ended and everybody went their ways, it almost felt like Cinderella's midnight calling. The excitement and anticipation was over for ShesConnected Conference 2011.

After the conference, Jenn and I had some dinner at a Thai place called Salad King and went back to the hotel to prepare our things for departure the next day. Before leaving for Union Station October 1st we took a walk to ChinaTown and found some "Angry Birds" to bring home for the kids.

We met many incredible people so if I missed mentionion you please leave me a Tweet, comment or send me an email. If you took a picture with me at the conference please tag me and let me know about it!

As much fun as we had and as much as we learned and experienced, I am happy to be home - I missed my family and I know they missed me too.

Now, we are going to do it all over again in a week and a half for Blissdom Canada '11!!

For more ShesConnected Conference Trip fun please check out my Shes Connected Conference 2011 Flickr Stream!

*Alyssa*

*Disclosure: A Motherhood Experience and Canadian Coupon Mom are proudly sponsored for ShesConnected and Blissdom Canada Conference trips by KidZoomer. Sign up at www.KidZoomer.com today for daily kids deals in your inbox! Thank you to everyone at ShesConnected for allowing us the opportunity to attend your digital women's conference. All opinions are honest and always our own.*


*Thank you to our hubbys for taking care of everything at home while we were away at our conferences!*