11/30/11


We all love to be pampered, to treat our bodies, minds and souls well. What better gift to give this holiday season to someone you love than something they can pamper themselves with. There are so many different choices out there when it comes to health and personal products in every store today from department stores to drug stores and specialty stores, what about going a different route when purchasing your health and beauty gifts than purchasing that random "beauty" gift basket from the drug store.



Andrea Schaefer is a mom and entrepreneur from Ottawa, who left the corporate world last year to live her dreams of travel and also spend more time with her girls. Andrea embarked on a journey as an independent consultant for Arbonne products and after a year of success with her new business is now is the Executive Area Manager!

Arbonne offers certified vegan certified and PETA approved, organic health and wellness products through independent consultants such as Andrea. You can contact her directly or you can purchase products online through the website, you can even look into becoming a consultant yourself!

Andrea was kind enough to send me along some of her favourite Arbonne products to check out for myself, as I had never heard of Arbonne before. She set me up as a preferred client, which I thought was just absolutely fabulous of her. It allowed me to have the true client experience. My package included some samples and information along with the products I was sent some of her favourite Arbonne holiday picks:





Lip Polish Palette Gift Set: Arbonne's most popular lip polishes wrapped up in a pretty little package make the perfect gift. This luxurious gift set comes with four Arbonne Lip Polishes; Brown Sugar, Posh, Raisin and holiday exclusive Champagne Shimmer. Silky, smooth and conditioning, these gorgeous colours bring a finishing shine to your lips day or night. They are not sticky or oily and are long lasting compared to cheaper brands I have used in the past.

Makeup Primer: An important element to have in any makeup routine, Arbonne Makeup primer is non-greasy and helps hydrate your face and protect against the harmful elements. This vitamin-rich makeup primer virtually diminishes fine lines and pores leaving you with a flawless base to your 
makeup application.

Seasource Detox Spa Remineralizing Body Lotion 24H: This mineral-enriched formula is created to help firm and tone the appearance of tired skin. This body lotion is silky, not greasy and leaves you with a fresh mild scent.

FC5 Shower Set (shampoo, conditioner and body cleanser): Smarten up your shower with this fabulous shower set of three to help keep skin and hair hydrated and radiant. Typically I have issues with body washes being it scent or chemical included in the ingredients my skin ends up dry, rashy and itchy. This was not the case with the FC5 Invigorating body cleanser. The enriched formula moisturizes while you wash leaving the skin soft and supple, not dry and itchy. I love how the shampoo and conditioner leave my hair feeling soft, healthy and manageable. FC5 products contain no parabens, phthalates, mineral oils, PABA, Petroleum or animal-derived ingredients.

Another thing I like about Arbonne products is that they have a shelf life of two years (6-12 months opened depending which product) unlike the products you find at your local drug store which have a shelf life of up to 10 years, Arbonne products are always fresh with the expiration date right on the products!

Check out the entire Arbonne line available on Andrea's Arbonne site as well as how you can contact her for a beauty consultation and take advantage of great savings she has to offer!

Keep up with all things Arbonne by Following @PurelyBotanical on Twitter and Like Purely Botanical on Facebook!

Win it!


We have a gift for you! Andrea has offered up a fabulous Arbonne Prize Pack for one lucky A Motherhood Experience Reader to win! The Arbonne Prize Pack includes: 
  • Free 1 year Preferred Client Membership ($35 value)
  • 30 minute personal skin care consultation
  • Lip Polish Palette from the Arbonne Holiday Collection
Please fill out the raffle copter ballot below to be eligible to win this prize! Open to residents of Canada, US, UK and Australia 18 years old and older. 




*Alyssa*

*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of Andrea Schaefer and Arbonne. We received mentioned product for review purposes. All opinions are honest and always our own.*

11/28/11


I am all about comfort when I am at home.  Don't be so surprised, I do get dressed in the morning - being a stay at home doesn't mean we automatically always wear jogging pants and pony tails (well, not all the time anyway). As soon as my day is officially over, usually after the kids baths in the evening, I change out of my day clothes into something more comfortable for the evening like pajama pants and a sweat shirt. Very attractive picture isn't it? Either way, I don't care, I love my lounge wear. It's all about the comfort!

During the winter months our house gets incredibly cold and warm, fuzzy, comfy pajamas are a fashion must-have in our family. There's nothing like a warm pajama with a cup of hot chocolate to warm up that crisp winter day.

I'm sure you know who Snugabye is, they created the popular Convert-A-Foot pajama for babies, toddlers and kids that mothers have come to know and love for years. My kids wore many a Snugabye pajama in their baby years, they were always so soft and comfy plus the Convert-A-Foot feature is always so adorable. I have always liked the option of having baby's feet uncovered or comfy and warm.

Moms can stay warm too this winter with the Snugabye Convert-A-Foot lounge wear for women. Snugabye has super-sized their traditional one-piece Convert-A-Foot pajama to an adult sized one just for us moms. They are made of 100% polyester and look just like your typical Snugabye pajama except much bigger.

They come in three sizes, small, medium and large. When you look at the suit for the first time it does look big but keep in mind its a body suit that wears from neck to foot so you need a little wiggle room. Babies always look very comfy in Snugabye outfits and believe me they are! Snugabye Convert-A-Foot lounge wear is made from 100% polyester, it's soft and very warm, perfect for that crisp winter morning.

I can say I haven't worn a one-piece anything in a long time, so this was definitely something new and I love it. So warm, actually really warm. Really comfy, I'm looking forward to wearing it on Christmas eve and Christmas morning with the kids. I'd like to get them each a one piece like this too for Christmas.


Snugabye Convert-A-Foot lounge wear for women come in various styles including red heart, multi plaid, blue, green, flower and leopard. I chose leopard in a medium, which I think is pretty funky. Comfy, warm and everything you expect from Snugabye.

Snugabye now offers something for the whole family from comfy baby layettes and pajamas, kids, women's and recently announced men's lounge wear! Just in time for the holiday season!

Keep everyone warm this holiday season and give the gift of Snugabye. The Snugabye Convert-A-Foot lounge wear for women goes for $34.99 at www.snugabye.com.

Win it.

Our friends at Snugabye want to keep you warm this Christmas! One lucky A Motherhood Experience reader has the chance to win their own Snugabye Convert-A-Foot lounge wear for women in their preferred style and size. Fill out the raffle copter ballot below to be eligible to win. Giveaway open to Canadian residents only.


*Alyssa*

*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of Snugabye. We received the mentioned product for review purposes. All opinions are honest and our own.*

11/27/11

A couple of weeks ago I received a surprised email, I was chosen among many talented digital women in the ShesConnected community to be an official Toshiba Holiday Hero Brand Ambassador and help spread the word this holiday season about the Toshiba Tablet and/or the Toshiba Passive 3D TL515 Series TV.

For our mission, each of us were given a Toshiba Camileo HD camcorder to document our experience either in pictures or video. Huge thanks to ShesConnected and Toshiba Canada! The Camileo is pocket sized and waterproof, has face recognition, 10x digital zoom, LED light instead of typical flash and it takes amazing photos in natural light. A great little camera with big capabilities.

The closest retailer to us that I knew would more than likely have what we were looking for was Best Buy. My seven year old daughter always helps out with reviews and this was no exception. She was thrilled to come along and help mom on her mission!



With Christmas less than a month away Best Buy was packed with shoppers, many of which were searching for the perfect tablet to gift this year.  We took a walk to the tablet section and found the Toshiba Tablet, there was a sales person who was very helpful - he answered my questions with ease.



I learned the Toshiba Tablet is powered by Android 3.1 Honeycomb, this sleek and slim 10.1" high-res touchscreen tablet brings a full-featured, customizable experience to the user. It has a 8Gig internal memory with optional 32Gigs of memory card capacity, having the option for extra memory is always a plus. The Toshiba Tablet has two cameras, a 5.0MP rear camera and a 3.0MP front camera which enhances video calling over wifi. It has three ports, mini usb, usb and HDMI, a replaceable battery and comes in six different colours.



This is a tablet I could see our family using. Although the Android interface would take some getting used to, it has so many options that I noticed other tablets are missing when it comes to Internet use which is pretty impressive right off the bat. The Toshiba Tablet goes for $399.99 at Best Buy.

The TV section of Best Buy is huge, there are rows upon rows of different brands of TVs. I asked an employee to help point me in the right direction and  my surprise they carry the Toshiba Passive 3D TV! I was unable to actually take a look at the 3D feature in action but I did ask questions and found out some cool info about the Toshiba Passive 3D TV.



I learned that the Toshiba Passive 3D TV has an LED screen and has RealD technology which lessens eye strain for longer viewing time, this is a great option for people like my hubby who are long time video gamers. This TV has TriVector 2D to 3D technology, that means you can watch regular TV using the glasses for a 3D experience. Some 3D TV's come 3D ready but that means they require a 3D blu ray player of some kind for this option, not Toshiba!  

It also has built in wifi that allows you to stay connected through Yahoo TV widgets like YouTube, Netflix, Facebook and Flickr. There were so many features it was a little bit overwhelming but I know someone in my family who would be over the moon with something like this if it was within our budget. The Toshiba Passive 3D TV like any other is not cheap and goes for $1399.99 at Best Buy.

All in all my experience was a pleasant one, I was happy that Best Buy carried both products so this mission was a total success! I could see Toshiba on many a Christmas list this year!

To learn more about Toshiba Canada and its innovative products visit www.toshiba.ca. You can also follow @ToshibaCanada on Twitter and Like Toshiba Canada on Facebook!

While you are on the Facebook page why not take a minute and nominate your holiday hero? Both you and the winner could walk away with an amazing Toshiba prize pack! Check out the Holiday tab on the left side of the page!


*Alyssa*


*I am participating in the Toshiba Brand Ambassador program by ShesConnected. I received a Toshiba Camileo in exchange for my participation in this campaign. All opinions are honest and always our own*

11/24/11



Play dates are a fun way to get kids (and adults) together for a couple of hours of socializing, whats even more fun is when the play date is a special one shared with special friends. This weekend we did just that, we had a special play date and the best part - it was sponsored by Mega Bloks!

We celebrated Mega Bloks Thomas and Friends with some of our friends! I had to keep it a secret from our little guy although his sister knew all about it. It was so hard keeping it a secret for as long as I did (a whole two weeks!). When the day finally arrived, he was very happy having a Mega Bloks themed play date in honour of his favourite blue train especially since he got to share them with his friends.


For 25 years Mega Bloks have been creating award-winning toys with great play value, specifically designed for little hands and big ideas. Mega Bloks encourages children to discover their imagination and use their creativity as the construction set toys are meant to expand and grow like children do.

We have had Mega Bloks play sets in our house since the kids were of age to play with the larger Mega Bloks. They have such bright ideas, there is always something to build. We were quite excited to dig into the Thomas and Friends play sets.

Mega Bloks Thomas and Friends play sets allow children to be creative and build railways for their trains to ride along. The kids got to build and play with Thomas and Diesel, each set contains 17-18 pieces. You open up the container, take out the pieces, flip the container over and you have your rails to begin building from. Flip it back over and put all the pieces back in the container for easy storage. Very convienient, we all know how hard it can be keeping a set completely together for more than one day.



During playtime the kids enjoyed watching Thomas and Friends: Thomas and the runaway kite, although I believe it was supposed to be "Day of the Diesels", must have been a DVD mix up. Either way everybody had fun, us grown-ups (as usual) joined in helping the kids put together their train sets. They were a little easier to put together than the ones at our Mega Bloks play date last year. I remember how we laughed so hard trying to figure out how to fit them altogether. Always an enjoyable time when Mega Bloks is in the house!



Choo-Choo!
Our play date ended with a hot-dog and fries lunch, you can never go wrong with kids and hot dogs! We had so much fun that our guests didn't want to go so we promised we would get together again soon enough. The kids left happy and so did their mom as the winner of the Mega Bloks Thomas and Friends themed play set! I was pleased everyone had smiles on their faces, what a great play date!

Thomas - one of the doors is backward
idk must have been a defect.

My kids played with their Thomas and Friends sets until bedtime - I had a little bit of a rough time putting it away with little guy, he insisted on sleeping with Thomas in his bed, that was fine with me. Fun for everyone, the Mega Bloks Thomas and Friends sets are definitely something to look into for the Thomas and Friends fan (ages 3-6) on your Christmas list this year!

For more information about Mega Bloks and the Thomas and Friends play sets please visit www.megabloks.com

*Alyssa*

*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience in participation with MommyParties sponsored by Mega Bloks. We received a Mega Bloks play set as a thank you gift. All opinions are honest and our own*

11/19/11


Let's talk sweeteners for a moment.  Sweeteners were created for people who want to cut down calories on sugary foods or for people who are diabetic, like my dad. We have sugar for our coffee but when dad comes
to visit he requests sweetener for his coffee. I kept on forgetting to buy some for when he does visit so he was nice enough to drop off a box so we have it handy for him. It's important he watches his daily sugar intake.

I think it's important for restaurants to offer a variety when it comes to condiments for their customers and this includes sugar and sweeteners. Some people prefer one brand to another for their different reasons and diabetes is a very important one.

Equal is one choice many have when it comes to sweeteners. Originally discovered in 1965, it wasn't until the 1980's that Equal became a popular low-calorie sweetener choice in the USA and now today in Canada.

This week we were on a mission to find out if Equal sweeteners are an option at our local McDonald's restaurant location. Now, the location closest to us within walking distance is on St. Laurent boulevard and it's quite small. It's not a sit in location (they really should build a bigger McDonald's closer to where we live) but we did stop in to see if they had any McCafe's and of course Equal.



I noticed that location changed their exterior signage on the door and now offer breakfast starting at 5am! I'm usually not up let alone out and about that early but for those who are, enjoy! 



Because the location is so small I went inside by myself and hubby stayed outside with the kids, we were out running some errands together. I waited in line for about two minutes and when my turn came I asked if they served McCafe's and the employee shook her head and said no. So, I then asked if they offered Equal as a sweetener option for customers coffee and she said no, handing me another brand of sweetener in place. I then asked if she knew if there was anybody I could talk to regarding offering Equal to their customers and she said her manager was unavailable. I did not notice any specials or deals available.

No Equal at this location :(


The initial point of going there was to get some supreme hot chocolate for the kids (and a Mocha McCafe for the adults) I unfortunately left with regular coffee and no Equal. With that joined my family outside and we went to head on our way to finish our errands. We ended up getting the kids a treat at the store for being so good waiting while mommy checked if McDonald's had what we wanted!

My first shopping mission and it was a bust but I did fill out a customer survey for McDonald's Canada online when I got home. I noticed that McDonald's has a contest going on when you fill out a customer satisfaction survey you are automatically entered to win $1000 cash or one of six $25 gift cards weekly! 

The survey doesn't take long to fill out and there's an area to leave a comment. I simply asked about McDonald's possibly offering Equal as an option for customers who use artificial sweeteners. I also requested they bring the McCafe to this location. Let's see if a customer service rep will get back to me. 



We will have to visit another McDonald's location on our next mission for #EqualCanada!

Visit the website to learn more about Equal. Do you use social media? @EqualCanada and @McD_Canada can be found on Twitter, don't forget to like
the Equal Canada facebook page too!

*Alyssa*

*This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias. All opinions and comments are honest and our own.*

11/17/11



Do you have any hockey fans in your house? We do, hubby is a huge hockey fan and although he proudly supports our home team in Ottawa, he does keep up with everything hockey related. I wanted to get him something for Christmas this year that had to do with hockey, something sentimental and that can come from all of us. There is so much memorabilia available with Canadian hockey team logos stamped on it. It can be hard to find that perfect, unique gift besides your typical hockey hat and mitts set that are oh so popular every year.

This year we have decided to gift him with the 2011 $25  Fine Silver Wayne & Walter Gretzky Hologram Coin from the Royal Canadian Mint. This is a unique, limited edition coin which celebrates the Great One in action with his father, Walter Gretzky as a cameo. The coin is encapsulated and presented in a maroon clam shell case lined with flock and protected by a customized sleeve with Wayne and Walter's authentic signatures. With each coin sold, a portion of the proceeds go to the Wayne Gretzky Foundation.



This coin not only represents Canadian hockey but also celebrates all that is Wayne Gretzky. Growing up, Gretzky practiced for hours on end spending as much time as he could skating, shooting and stick-handling, perfecting his hockey playing. His father built him his first back yard skating rink when he was just six years old. Walter gave his son more than just an ice rink to play on. He gave him inspiration and fueled a passion. Wayne Gretzky became what he is today because of love and support from his father.

Today, Wayne is deeply involved with numerous charitable organizations and works toward bringing hockey to physically challenged and disadvantaged children. His father, as supportive as ever, nurturing a passion which would make any son feel grateful and proud.

What I like about this coin is it's unique artistic beauty, I love the detail put into it. It's not something everybody else has and it's something to look back on over the years and remember. Something to pass down to our own son one day who at the young age of three has already begun to show his interest in hockey. It's more than just a coin. It's a memory in the making.

The 2011 $25 Fine Silver Hologram Coin featuring Wayne and Walter Gretzky can be purchased on The Royal Canadian Mint website but remember, there are only a limited number of coins available!

Win it!

We have teamed up with the Royal Canadian Mint to bring this exclusive coin to my fabulous readers. That's right, one lucky A Motherhood Experience reader has the chance to win their very own 2011 $25 Fine Silver Hologram Coin featuring Wayne and Walter Gretzky!

Please fill out the raffle copter ballot below to be eligible to win. Canadian residents 18 years and older only.

*Alyssa*

*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of the Royal Canadian Mint. We received a complimentary coin for review purposes. All opinions are honest and our own*

I'm heading down a new path and I have another announcement to make! In case you haven't noticed there is another new button on the sidebar - PTPA Blogaholics!

PTPA stands for Parent Tested Parent Approved which is exactly what they do, test products for today's families and give them the official PTPA seal of approval. You may have seen the seal of approval around the web or on certain products you've purchased for your family!



I was invited to join as an official PTPA Blogaholic! I'm happy to be able to share my motherhood experiences on a whole new level with so many other amazingly talented writers and inspiring moms.

No, I'm not going to quit writing here, are you crazy? I love it too much! I don't know how often I will be writing at PTPA But I will be contributing as much as I can or as much as I may be needed :) Always happy to help out where I can.

My first post is an introductory post, I wanted to let the PTPA community get to know me a little bit and kind of get an idea of what I'm going to be contributing to the blog.

Check out www.ptpamedia.com and see if your favourite products got the seal of approval. You can also sign up to be a product tester which is really fun, you don't have to be a blogaholic to join!

Keep up to date by following @PTPA on Twitter and Liking PTPA on facebook!

*Alyssa*


*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience in celebration of my new role as a PTPA Blogaholics Blogger. All opinions are honest and always my own*

11/11/11

Get ready Ottawa, Santa Clause is coming to town! Come down to St. Laurent Shopping Centre on November 13th 9am-10am in the food court for some festive fun as Santa is welcomed for his annual visit to the mall!

Wear your comfiest PJ's and bring your most special teddy along for the fun as you enjoy pancakes, crafts, live music and raffles!

Tickets for Santa's Arrival Pajama Party are $7 each (free for kids under 2 years old) and can be purchased at the guest service desk but it's advanced tickets only! Proceeds go to the Ottawa Food Bank!

I'm not sure if we will make this event however it does sound like a lot of fun and for a good cause! Here is all the official info:


*Alyssa*

*This post was written by a Motherhood Experience and is not a sponsored post. Information was provided to me. All other opinions are honest and always our own*

11/10/11


Being involved in blogging and social media the past couple of years has opened up doors I never thought about even knocking on. It has brought relationships both business and casual closer - it has given me opportunities I am grateful for.
Did you see the new button to the right? I have been chosen among 44 women to participate as a Toshiba Canada Ambassador through the Toshiba Holiday Heroes campaign with ShesConnected!

"This season, Mom is the Holiday Hero! And we’ll help you give the gift of technology to all the little heroes on your list. Simply check out the Toshiba Tablet or a 3D HDTV at your nearest authorized retailer, and tell us about your experience in a blog post. For your convenience, you’ll receive a Toshiba Camileo camcorder to take visual stills, record footage on your shopping trip, or record a vlog after your excursion (or a combination of the three). The Camileo, valued at $139.99, is yours to keep in appreciation of your efforts."

The program is going to run in two waves, I was among the 22 chosen for the first wave - so excited when I saw the email sitting in my inbox!

I am honoured to be able to work with such a well-known brand like Toshiba and so many other great women who were also chosen for the first wave! I can't wait to see the new Toshiba Camileo and get working on our first assignment!

Which would you want for Christmas if you had the choice (and money was no object), a 3D TV or a Tablet?

*Alyssa*

*I am participating in the Toshiba Heroes Brand Ambassador program with ShesConnected. We will receive a Toshiba Camileo camera as a thank you for our participation. All opinions are honest and always our own*

11/9/11


HP is back this holiday season with some fantastic additions to their estation line of home office printers. Introducing to you the HP Envy 100 - a less complex version of it's big brother the HP PhotoSmart with Zeen, the HP Envy 100 brings the quality and fun into your home office with it's unique sleek model and front panel touch screen.

We have always been fans of HP printers, the quality has never disappointed and the models they have come out with recently are ones you want to show off. I remember my moms first HP Printer, it was one of the first all-in-ones and it looked like a big blue lunch box. Despite the size, that printer is still working almost ten years later. The HP Envy 100 - is a sleeker, more compact hub of all things print.


About the HP Envy 100:

The HP Envy 100 has a sleek, black and compact exterior with a hidden paper tray that holds up to 80 sheets of regular sized printing paper. Wireless networking is integrated to make it easy to connect to your home network. The wireless network also allows you to download HP apps right from the on-printer screen and print from the web without using the computer. Unlike the Zeen this is just a screen and is not a removable tablet. The front touch screen panel also makes it easy to scan and copy images having the options to email, print or save them.

As any HP web-connected series printers, the HP Envy 100 also has the eprint capabilities allowing you to send an email to the specific printer email address, sending your pictures and documents right to your printer while you are away. If you are worried about security you can always set up specific senders on a private network. This is one feature that I really like about the HP e-series.

The print quality is that of your standard 2 cartridge printer but remember with any printer it all depends on the documents printed, quality of paper and printer settings.

HP has apps for their e-series printer, we use HP apps on our HP TouchSmart computer so we are not new to these. App is short for application, a program that enhances the features of a computing device such as a printer. Similar to what you have on your smartphones.
HP web apps provide direct connections to easy to use web content with a wide variety of uses:
  • Parents can easily find and print games, puzzles and colouring pages for kids and make life a little easier with coupons and recipes at easy access.
  • You can check Face book with your smartphone and see if anybody tagged you in those holiday photos. If you like the photo you can print it off on the go and have it waiting for you when you get home.
  • Preparing work schedules and other documents to review from home is a breeze and can save the busy business person time in the office before heading out for their holiday days off.

Being as it is, the HP e-series run a little on the more expensive side when it comes to a printer, the Envy 100 goes for $299.99 on the HP website but with features like downloadable apps and the ability to print from afar, this is not your average everyday printer.

If in the budget and you want to surprise someone this year, give them the gift that lasts all year with a HP e-series printer!

*Alyssa*

*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of HP. We received an HP Envy 100 for review purposes. All opinions are honest and always our own.*

11/8/11



Baking has always been in my family. My grandmother baked, my aunt and mother baked, even my dad bakes! I love baking too although sometimes my attempted creations don't turn out how I want them, I get more compliments than complaints overall from the family when I whip up tasty treats for them.

My daughter also has the love of baked goods - both eating them and helping make them. Usually when I am in the kitchen she is not far behind me, putting on her small bakers apron or "helpers apron" as she calls it. We don't always bake from scratch but the time spent together and the smiles afterward are what we look forward to the most.

I understand my daughters love of baking, when I was a little girl I remember begging my parents for my very own baking oven - The Easy Bake Oven. It ended up that Christmas in delight, I had received it from my godparents. Thrilling to be able to create your very own baked goods without having to ask mom and dad to use their big (and way more dangerous) stove! Back then I remember the treats were a little more limited down to cookies and cakes than today's options.



Easy Bake Oven has evolved over the years from its classic beige and black, old style 1980's microwave look to it's new pretty-in-pink new aged Easy Bake Ultimate oven. You can not only bake cakes and cookies but also pizza, pretzels and many more yummy treats!

About Easy Bake Ultimate Oven:

Bake up fun in the new Easy Bake Ultimate Oven! Unlike it's old counterpart the new Easy Bake Ultimate Oven doesn't need light bulbs to create yummy treats anymore!

Use the included mixes to make cakes and cookies, decorated how ever you want! Each recipe has a specific way to make it so just follow the instructions that come with Easy Bake Oven to find out how long to bake them for!

Easy Bake Ultimate Oven comes with baking pan, cupcake pan, pan pusher, chocolate chip cookie mix, red velvet cake mix, pink frosting mix, rainbows sugar crystals, paper cupcake wraps, and the instructions/recipe booklet.

If what it comes with isn't enough for your little baker, you can always pick up some extra baking supplies and tools for the Easy Bake Ultimate Oven!

As with any electronic toy this one is rated ages 8+ with adult supervision required. Don't forget to store this item out of reach of younger children, as you would any other electronic item.

You can find Easy Bake Ultimate Oven at most local toy retailers like Walmart for $49.99 or less.

I love the new design, it's bigger than the old model. It's too bad they don't make a unisex coloured one though - boys like to bake too.

In my overall opinion, Easy Bake Oven has always been a great way to teach a little bit about baking; following instructions, mixing, timing, patience waiting and using imagination when it comes to decorating etc. The kids are proud knowing the made the goodies all "by themselves" in their own oven.

For older kids like the tween-aged, Easy Bake Oven can be a fun way for the girls to make an evening snack during a sleep over or birthday party gathering fun! Make whatever your heart desires with Easy Bake Oven!

Right now my daughter is only seven so something like this calls for some quality mom/daughter time, even more special having the goodies we share baked in her own oven.

A great gift to think about for the little baker in your family this holiday season, who wouldn't want to make Christmas goodies of their own? ;-)

For more information about Easy Bake, accessories and to see the official Easy Bake Ultimate Oven commercial click here!


*Alyssa*

*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of Hasbro Easy Bake Oven. We received a complimentary Easy Bake Oven. All opinions are honest and our own*



11/6/11


Growing up my mother used to cook with a Crock-Pot. She would try a slew of different types of foods, but mostly roasts, stews and chili. It was always nice to come home to the house smelling like freshly cooked roast beef stew. Did you know the first Crock-Pot was introduced to the public in 1971 and featured a basic crock interior, iconic glass lid and a bright red exterior!

I was given a Crock-Pot one year as a Christmas gift, I guess it was a hint after having our first child that I needed to start making more productive meals than meat and potatoes. As I said before I'm no Martha, but I try!

Today, with busy lifestyles slow-cooking with Crock-Pot has never been more popular. Typically Crock-Pot is known for cooking meals as I mentioned like stews, roast and chili but you can cook virtually anything in a Crock-Pot from quick meals to deserts and even drinks with today's models. It makes the life of a fast paced family slow down just a little and with the Crock-Pot smartphone app, you have everything you need at your fingertips!

Crock-Pot is celebrating 40 years of taking the slow road to cooking and we had the chance to take a look at their newest addition to the Crock-Pot family, the designer series and The Crock-Pot Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes cook book!



Made for the modern at-home chef, the Crock-Pot Designer series slow cookers are designed for today's busy lifestyle. These stylish, 6-quart slow cookers feature programmable settings, dishwasher safe stoneware and a gasket lid for extra comfort and grip when handling. The lifting handles easily hide away, tucking completely under the base. The rectangular shape allows this slow cooker to stand on its own, looking great on the counter in brushed stainless steel!

More about the 6.0 Qt Designer Series Crock-Pot Slow Cooker: 
  • 6.0 QT/5.0L oblong slow cooker is ideal for a 6-7 person meal.
  • Removable stoneware for easy serving and cleaning
  • Tempered glass lid
  • Digital timer that counts down cooking time
  • Auto-shift to warm setting when cooking time is complete
  • Dishwasher safe lid and stoneware
  • Rinse-clean stick resistant coating
  • Programmable from 30 minutes to 20 hours.
  • Gasket lid
  • Brushed stainless steel finish
  • Integrated handles and cord storage
  • $89.99 Available at Sears
Crock-Pot (the original slow cooker) Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes is an excellent book to have in your library as it has over 190 yummy recipes to try out in your Crock-Pot slow cooker. Start with a savory appetizer, whip up a quick meal to come home after work to or satisfy your sweet tooth with some slow cooked treats - with imagination and Crock-Pot, the skies the limit!



Easy-Cheesy BBQ Chicken:

Makes 6 servings

You need:
  • 6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bottle BBQ sauce
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 6 slices of Swiss cheese
Place chicken in Crock-Pot and cover with BBQ sauce. Cook on LOW for 8-9 hours. If your sauce becomes too thick - add some water.

Before serving, cut bacon slices in half and cook on stove top. Place two cooked bacon slices on each chicken breast and top with cheese. Cook until cheese is melted.


*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of Crock-Pot's 40th anniversary. We received a complimentary Crock-Pot and cook book for review purposes. All opinions are honest and our own*

11/3/11

With such busy lives today and the high demand of everything being online from work to family and keeping in touch with friends and loved ones, I think every woman should own a smartphone. I am a smartphone owner and it's honestly one of the most useful investments we've made.

There are many different models out there made for different types of users, it all depends on personal preference. For me a smartphone has to both be functional for everything I do online from Tweeting and blogging to sending texts and making phone calls with ease, I'm a big multitasker. Also, aside from functionality it has to make me go "wow" when I see it. It has to have that look to it that just makes me want to buy it right on the spot (notice I said "want to buy").

Now, you all know I've been an iPhone user for a long time. It was the first smartphone I was introduced to and it just stuck but I also know not all of you are iPhone users. In fact many of you are BlackBerry users (which is cool, like I said all about personal preference!).

That's why when I received some info about the new BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 4G through Virgin Mobile I had to share it with you. You may want to put this one down on your Christmas list this year.

With Virgin Mobile members get deals and discounts from H&M, The Body Shop to New York Fries and access to the hottest concerts! You don't get that from every provider, I can tell you that!

After checking the Virgin Mobile website it has me second guessing my current provider, I love the service but honestly I don't always feel we are getting our money's worth. Unfortunately even if we wanted to switch right now, we are in a contract (something Virgin Mobile doesn't bestow upon it's members) and I have to wait a bit.

Visit www.virginmobile.ca for more information about their pricing, benefits you can get as a member and check out their new smartphones!

Why would I talk about Virgin Mobile when I'm not a customer you ask? Because one day down the road I'm bound to get fed up and switch providers - having information for other options is always nice, just in case.

Plus, my best friend uses Virgin Mobile and my cousin uses Virgin Mobile. I have been bugging her to get a smartphone forever, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 4G would be an excellent phone for someone like her who loves to be online but is always on the go.

A bit about the BlackBerry Bold 9900 4G:
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 4G smartphone delivers the ultimate BlackBerry experience to Virgin Mobile Members. Sleek, high end, and loaded with the ultimate BlackBerry tools, the Bold 9900 is the thinnest BlackBerry smartphone yet.

Combining a handy QWERTY keyboard with a brilliant, fluid, Liquid Graphics™ touch screen, the Bold 9900 is loaded with everything needed to chat, text, post, tweet and IM like never before. With a 1.2 GHz processor, BlackBerry 7 OS, HD video recording, dual-band Wi-Fi and made of high-quality brushed stainless steel, it’s got the hot looks to match its power.



The BlackBerry Bold 9900 4G is available at www.virginmobile.ca, Virgin Mobile stores, Best Buy, T-Booth, Wireless Wave, Visions and The Source.

*Alyssa*
*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of Virgin Mobile. This feature is based on information and research, all other opinions are honest and those of A Motherhood Experience*
 

11/2/11

The Batman and The Witch!












- Posted by @AMotherhoodBlog

*All opinions on this blog are honest & my own*