11/26/14


With Christmas comes the historical story of saint Nicolas aka Santa Claus. The jolly old man who rides around the world in one night magically bringing presents to deserving children everywhere!

I have always played the whole Santa role with the kids. It's fun and I find it adds a special magic to the holiday season. They get so excited and full of curiosity wondering how this guy can pull it off all in one night and every year they get almost exactly what they asked for, magical! They only believe in the Santa who brings presents though. They know the mall Santa's, the charity Santa's and the Santa's in the movies are all dressed up. 

It starts when they start to understand the concept of Christmas and that decorations are not for eating. Us parents get a good ten years if we are lucky  before that dreaded time comes when our kids are growing up and they ask us if the whole thing is just one big fat fantasy. 

"Mommy, is Santa really real?" asks my ten year old girl. "My friends say it's the parents, I know you buy me gifts too but does Santa really exist??". Taking a deep breath and thinking quickly, I answered her question with a question. 

"What do you think about Santa?". I was expecting her to explain exactly how it is - mom and dad lied to her and the whole thing is a bust. I remember finding out young enough. I had an older brother who had friends and I had friends who had older siblings, you know how it goes. I don't remember being angry with my parents, I don't even think I cared much after I found out and still Christmas has always been my favourite holiday.

I'm happy my girl is like me. She wasn't angry at all. She said "I know you and dad buy our gifts but Santa is the spirit of Christmas he's what makes it magical." 

She's right. It's not about who gives you what, it's about thinking of others and making the holiday season as magical as it can be through the love of others. She didn't ask any more than that. She's ten and she's smart. She knows deep down inside there is no Santa (did I just say that??) but she won't admit it. She knows how special it feels to really believe when you're little.

Not believing in Santa anymore is leaving part of your childhood behind (it also means my kids are getting older!) and at ten years old I think she has every right to want to hold onto that one moment during the year that's special, that one moment to her that is the magic of Santa.

At what age did your kids start questioning the whole Santa story? How did you answer? Share your experience in the comments below, you  know I love to chat! :) 

Posted by AME. Image from Morguefile.com free stock photos. Opinions and comments on this blog are always honest and my own. 






11/25/14


I have said this before and I will say it again, as long as I am living in a country that has snow - I do not like winter. Unfortunately, being Canadian means that unless I want to run off to a tropical island for the season, I have to bundle up and face it like everybody else. 


This year I may just enjoy the winter months a little better thanks to Lands' End. Once upon a time I had a black jacket that was my ultimate favourite jacket. It was fairly warm, it fit perfect and I looked nice in it. Over the years, I have no idea what happened to that jacket but this gorgeous one from Lands' End reminds me so much of it. I have found my new favourite jacket. 



The Women's Wool Blend Duffle Coat is just what I needed to top off my winter wardrobe. This jacket is very warm and soft for those less harsh Canadian winter days out. When I first looked at this jacket I thought it would run small but it fits perfectly in my size and I can easily put a sweater underneath for an extra layer without looking bulky if I need to. This jacket is made with a blend of virgin wool kissed with cashmere for a soft-to-the-touch feel. It has a deep hood with a removable faux fur rim. Its got deep pockets on the front and a pleat in the back for extra mobility. It's the type of jacket you can wear dressy to the office, with a dress or casual with jeans and pants. I love it! 



To add a little colour to my style I have the Women's Indigo Tile Square Scarf which is soft and light. I also have the soft and oh-so-warm Women's #CashTouch Plaid Scarf that has my name embroidered on it. It is my new favourite scarf to go with my jacket. You can actually get many items personalized from Lands' End from scarves to bags and more!




On my feet I will be wearing the women's Blakeley tall riding boots. I love wearing boots for both style and comfort. The 16" shaft height helps decrease wind on your legs if you're like me and enjoy wearing dressy pants or jeans in the winter. I do not like anything with a heel but the 1 1/4" height on these is not that bad. They are comfortable to walk in and they give support where its needed at the calf and ankles. There is an interior zipper which makes it easy to put them on and take them off. These are a size 9 and fit me perfectly considering for boots I usually take a 9W.



Huge thank you to Lands' End for helping me find my new winter style!  I just might have to go take a look at some things for the rest of the family. 
There is something at Lands' End for everyone - Mom, Dad, kids and even the family pet! Maybe you will find your new winter wardrobe, too! 

Show some love and follow @LandsEnd on twitter! http://www.twitter.com/LandsEnd

WIN IT!

Our friends at Lands' End have a lovely #CashTouch scarf in Macbeth Tartan ($35 value) to gift one lucky AME reader! Enter to win it using the ballot below! 


Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. One entry per household. Entrants are required to use a valid email address upon entering. Winners are required to fill out a prize claim form and answer a skill testing question to qualify.

By entering AME giveaways the entrant understands that his or her information will be shared with representatives of Lands' End should his or her name be drawn winner for prizing purposes only. Privacy is important on AME.
Click here for full terms and conditions.



Posted on behalf of Lands' End. Complimentary products received for review purposes. Opinions and comments on this blog are always honest and those of the author. 

11/24/14


Home security is important. We all want to know whats going on behind our closed doors when we are not home. The best gift you can give yourself and your family is peace of mind with a new smart home system that you can control from the palm of your hand! 

A great gift idea for a family on the go is the Belkin WeMo home automation system. Belkin's WeMo home automation products use your home wifi and a simple smart phone app to let you do things from afar. 


An ever-growing family of smart home electronics, the Belkin WeMo home automation system allows you to do simple everyday tasks like start dinner, adjust your outside lights, turn on your heat and more. Whether you're lying in your bed or on your way home from work, Belkin has your home covered. 


There are different accessories in this system including WeMo Insight Switch which connects your home electronics and appliances to your home WiFi network allowing you to control them from your smart phone! You can turn things on or off, program custom notifications and change device status from anywhere! WeMo Insight Switch can monitor your electronic devices and send info about energy usage to your smart phone or tablet. Perfect to pair with things like space heaters, wall AC units, TVs, washers, dryers, fans and more. 


The WiFi enabled WeMo Light Switch allows you to turn your home lights on and off from anywhere. You could be across the house or across the world. How it works is, WeMo Light Switch replaces your standard switch in your home and can be controlled remotely with an app on your smart phone or tablet. It supports both Android and Apple products. It works with your existing WiFi network so no need to sign up and pay for any new services because it's controlled by you. It's easy for most DIYers to install themselves without any professional help. If you don't know anything about light switches, I suggest calling a pro though, worst case. 

Control your Belkin WeMo home automation system from the palm of your hand by downloading the free WeMo app. The award-winning WeMo app is designed to handle simple or more complex tasks with ease. With the updated app, you can also explore new features and settings. 

The app also lets you schedule tasks as simple as turning the lights on at a certain time in the evening or before your kids come home after school activities, or you can turn specific lights off every day to reduce energy consumption in your home. Complex tasks feature turning lights on and off at different times on different days. You can customize schedules and easily adjust them using the WeMo app. Great for those with a family who's schedule is all hours or when you are away from home for longer periods of time.


There are other additions to the WeMo system including the WeMo smart LED bulbs, Netcam HD wifi camera, Holmes Smart Humidifier with WeMo, Crock Pot with WeMo and more! You can turn every room in your house into a smart room with Belkin WeMo! 

Overall, the Belkin WeMo home automation system is a fantastic way to keep an eye on whats important to you, do your part and save more energy by monitoring your family's usage and giving you peace of mind when you can't be there to keep an eye on things in person. 

For more information about Belkin WeMo Home Automation System and additional products please visit the official website


Posted on behalf of Belkin. Complimentary products received for review purposes. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

11/21/14


The holidays are a time to celebrate with family and often out-of-town visitors come for the festivities, visiting the kids and catching up on old times. Having your home in tip-top shape is a must, at least here. I like everything to smell and look nice, it's not every day certain guests grace us with their presence we might as well make their short stay an enjoyable one.

Here are some great tips from P&G to help everyone make the best of their holiday visits!

In the kitchen:

Have a guest who may be a bit messy? Clean up those stains with Tide to Go pens. You can offer your guests a quick clean up after a mealtime mishap in minutes without having to run the laundry machines.

Harsh winter air and a sinkful of dirty dishes is not a way to spend time with your guests since they are probably first to offer a helping hand. Show your gratitude and dishwashing pleasant by using Dawn hand renewal with Olay! Cutting greasy dishes and moisturizing hands in just five washes!


In the living area and guest rooms:

Places your guests will be using should be fresh. Sprinkle Downy Unstoppables in your laundry before guests arrive to ensure linnens like hand towels and bedsheets for the over night visitors are fresh smelling and clean for their arrival. 



Create a relaxing atmosphere by placing Febreze Frosted Pine Air Effects candles around common areas or at bedside tables in guest rooms. They will love the aroma.

In the bathroom:

Make sure you stock up the toiletries if you have over night guests. Always make sure to have an extra roll of Charmin bathroom tissue on hand. You don't want your guests to have the embarrassment of using the last square.

Travel sized shampoo, conditioners and body washes work great for your guests personal use. These are usually simple things everyone forgets to pack before they travel so why not leave Olay body wash and Olay Regenerest at their sinkside. 


In their shower, add a personal touch and offer up small travel sized bottles of different kinds of shampoo to suit their hair needs. Pantene Smooth for the super sleek or Pantene Volume for 24 hour volume.




Last but not least don't forget to spray the air and change the atmosphere with Febreze Frosted Pine air effects. You may be noseblind but your guests are not!

With these great tips, I'm sure everyone will have a smooth and happy holiday season! 

For more information please visit www.PGEveryday.ca and follow @PGEverydayCA on Twitter! 


WIN IT


To give you a helping hand to prepare for your holiday guests, our friends at P&G are giving one AME reader the chance to win a Holiday Host kit valued at $40! This kit includes:

Downy Unstoppables
Tide-To-Go

Olay body wash
Olay Regenerist Sachets
Pantene Smooth Shampoo

Pantene Smooth Conditioner
Pantene Volume Shampoo
Pantene Volune Conditioner
Febreze Sugared Cranberry Candle
Febreze Frosted Pine Air Effects
Dawn Hand Renewal

Open to Canadian residents 18+ excluding Quebec. Enter using the ballot below. Mandatory entry required. Ends December 12th, 2014. By entering this giveaway you understand your information will only be shared with representatives of P&G should your name be drawn winner. 

This giveaway is offered across various P&GMom/MamanP&G blogs. You may enter on as many as you like however you may only win this prize once. Click here for AME terms and conditions.



Posted in participation with the #PGMom ambassador program. Special perks, incentives and complimentary product recieved as part of this program. Opinions and comments on this blog are always honest and those of the author.






11/20/14


My kids have grown up in a technological age, I'm sure you can relate. Everything is remote, accessible at their finger tips. Everything is advanced compared to what we grew up with as kids. I remember my first console being a Nintendo, the original back in 1989. Wow, make myself feel old. 

Fast forward to 2014 and we have a gadget for everything from learning to productivity to entertainment and more. Kids want to be just like mom or dad. They want to experience the joys of using today's technology but there is a big problem - tablets can be expensive, they are usually too advanced for younger children to use with ease and it always leaves mom or dad with that gut fear of them somehow breaking it. Even with an ultra-case trying to protect it. Trust me, we have been down that road before with our kids. 

The VTech Innotab Max is every parent of techy kids dream come true. Have a little one who always reaches for your iPad? Well reach no more, now he or she can have her own tablet. It's made just for them with special learning apps, no worries about them accidentally streaming unwanted videos and the like.

Its the fastest 7" kids tablet that gives kids the best of both worlds of fun and learning. There are different apps for different ages and stages! Over 500 Educator-Supported Android Apps which feature some of your child's favourite characters from Disney to Dora, Ninja Turtles to Sponge Bob and many, many more. You can also buy Innotab learning cartridges to add to your child's collection. There are some apps and games you have to purchase but they do have a great library of free ones too.

It's easy to set up by simply charging your new Innotab and pressing the power button. There is a step-by-step guide as you go through the process of registering the device, signing up for Kids Connect (as a parent) and creating your little ones profile(s). 

Although it does connect to your home wifi, the Vtech Innotab Max features kid-friendly wifi allowing safe browsing. With Vtech Kid connect, your little one can send text messages, voice messages, drawings and fun pictures between Innotab Max's and smart phones - how cool is that! You don't have to worry about them having access to things on the internet that they shouldn't. 

Kids will have endless fun with 8GB of memory - expandable up to 40GB with a 32GB memory card. Inside it's got a 1.2GHz processor and runs Android 4.2.2 OS making it pretty close to what you get from a grown up tablet. 

The Vtech Innotab Max is made for smaller hands and has a durable, removable case for wipe downs or if your kid wants a more "grown up" feeling tablet. 

No batteries required in the Vtech Innotab Max - I LOVE this feature! Just plug in the included AC adaptor in the wall and voila! It charges just like any other device that has a non-removable battery. 

As a parent of kids who are all about gadgets I am happy this is the type of device that helps both learning and entertaining plus it grows with my kid! We originally got this with our six year old son in mind but his older sister who is 10 likes it just as much. With the best of all worlds in one kid-friendly device, I can say that this just may be my kids (and my) favourite new device this holiday season!


For more information about Vtech and the Innotab Max please visit www.vtechkids.ca

Follow @vtechcanada on Twitter and Like the Vtech Canada Facebook page for the latest news and updates! 


Posted on behalf of Vtech Canada. Complimentary product provided. Opinions and comments on this blog are honest and those of the author. 

11/19/14



One gift I really enjoy both giving and receiving for Christmas is PJs. Soft, warm and comforting, PJs make a great gift for anyone young and old! Every year we have made it a tradition to get our kids each a new pair of pjs. They get to open them on Christmas Eve so that they can wear them for Christmas morning. It's sometimes the little things that make the best memories. 

This holiday season you can find a great assortment of comfy, warm PJs available at Giant Tiger stores across Canada! From two pieces to one big jammie, you can find what you are looking for at GT! 


Let's celebrate!



Join us on December 4th from 8pm-9pm EDT for a #GTCookiesnMilk Twitter Party! 

Hosted by @OttawamommyClub and @GTBoutique, moderated by @CanBlogHouse and @AMotherhoodBlog, this party is all about the PJs! 

Prizes include: 

6 X $100 Giant Tiger gift cards 

GRAND PRIZE of $200 GT gift card + Great Value cookies + onesie Pj in your size!

BONUS PRIZE: During the party, tweet a picture in your best pjs for your chance to win $150 Giant Tiger gc! 


WIN THE GRAND PRIZE!!
RSVP below and join the comfy cozy pj fun! Click here for official party rules and regulations!




See you there!

Posted on behalf of Giant Tiger Canada. Opinions and comments on this blog are honest and those of the author. Party sponsored by Giant Tiger Canada.



11/18/14


My kids love to be creative and use their imaginations. We have a couple of shelves in our game cupboard in the basement that are dedicated just for arts and crafts kits the kids enjoy. We try to replenish it on birthdays and christmases, keep it fresh and find new ways for our kids to show their uniquness through arts and crafts. 

My daughter has always been fond of kits that allow her to decorate an item she can actually use afterward like purses, wallets, photo frames, secret boxes and things like that. They keep her entertained and also allow her to use her creativity, who doesn't like making their own designs! 

From the makers of Play Doh, theres a new way to do arts and crafts with the DohVinci Style & Store Vanity kit! Let her imagination be her guide and create a unique and stylish 3D Vanity she can use! 




Use the four included Deco Pop Tubes, Sculpting tool and Styler to let kids decorate the vanity their way. Swirls, flowers and other decals are a snap - she can just aim, squeeze and design to her heart's content. The specialty tips make it even easier to create unique designs and details. The vanity also has a working drawer (to store secrets in maybe?) and real mirror.

I can see the DohVinci Style & Store Vanity as a great gift for the unique and creative one in the family. It's easy to work with and doesn't make a mess like glue, sparkles and those little beaded jewels can make.

DohVinci Style & Store Vanity set has everything your little artist needs to get started, all they require is the great ideas from their imaginations. This particular set comes with everything you see in the picture. Other sets include the Anywhere Art Studio set, Flower Tower Picture frames and more! 



You can find DohVinci products at local toy stores like Toys R US, Target, Walmart and online at Amazon for around $25.

For more information about this and other DohVinci creation kits please visit the official Hasbro website!

Posted on behalf of Hasbro Canada. Complimentary product provided. Opinions and comments on this blog are honest and those of the author.  

Peek-a-boo, I see you! The long known game toddlers love to play and parents love to watch the reactions of their little ones. Every one of my kids LOVED to play some form of peek-a-boo when they were toddlers. We are still having fun with our youngest who finds it the best ever when mom or dad hides behind a toy, blanket, around a corner or just our own hands and reappear like magic! 

When I saw the Playskool Sesame Street My Peek-a-boo Elmo, I knew it would be something my youngest would absolutely adore. She loves peek-a-boo like I said and she also loves Elmo. The best of both worlds!

Playing Peek-a-boo is so much fun with everyone's favourite, friendly red monster. Recommended for little ones ages 18 months to 4 years old, Playskool Sesame Street My Peek-a-Boo Elmo helps little ones learn about cause and effect. It also helps with social play skills and promotes imaginative expression.



It's easy for little ones to play peek-a-boo with Elmo by squeezing his tummy. Elmo will put his hands in front of his face and say fun phrases in his famous Elmo voice. He says 15 phrases in all. When his tummy is released, his arms lower for more peek-a-boo fun.

I have always enjoyed watching my kids play with Elmo toys. They have had a bunch of different Elmo toys over the years but this is one of the best so far for children under the age of two. Elmo is soft and bright, his voice catches little ones attention every time. Its simple enough for a toddler to operate and simple enough for them to understand. With the holiday season fast approaching, I think this new Elmo would make a great addition to any toddlers Sesame Street characters collection!

You can find Playskool Sesame Street My Peek-a-boo Elmo at local toy stores like Walmart, Toys R Us, Target and online at Amazon for around $20.

For more information about this and other Playskool Sesame Street toys, please visit the Hasbro Canada website! 

Posted on behalf of Hasbro Canada. Complimentary product provided. Opinions and comments on this blog are honest and those of the author.




11/17/14

The fall season isn't only flu season. It's also a season for overindulgence. From Thanksgiving through Halloween and onto Christmas, people tend to overindulge on sweet desserts more often than not. I know we are guilty of this ourselves in our house!

We all enjoy a good treat in our house but we try not to over do it and make treats a regular thing. If the kids want a snack, they ask. That way we know what they are eating (or not eating) most of the time. 

Not only that but people can become less active during the colder months with the outdoors not being as activity friendly once the snow falls if you are like me and don't like skiing or skating. On top of the sweetness, you're asking for trouble. 

As parents we are always trying to balance health and keeping fit all year round, especially in the cooler months. Keeping active when the weather is chillier is as easy as dressing for it and going outside. Going for walks or just playing in the leaves is something better than nothing.

November is World Diabetes Month with November 17th being World Diabetes Day

As scary as it is to say, Diabetes runs in my family and my family's health is important to me. I know how difficult it can be to reduce sugar intake in your diet but we need to make sure our kids are happy and that includes their parents being healthy too. 

Blood sugar is important. Talk to your doctor about having your blood sugar tested and make some serious changes to your diet and your life. Some things to help reduce sugar in your life is looking for sugar free and other healthier alternatives to foods you love. Check labels carefully and shope wisely. Did you know, Orange Naturals offers a variety of suppliments to help lower blood sugar including my favourites, ND Shakes for the whole family!



Orange Naturals has made some changes to their blog and newsletter! They are now called "O Natural - The Official Orange Naturals Blog"! If you haven't signed up for the newsletter you should! It's packed full of as much goodness as Orange Naturals themselves!  

On the O Natural Blog you can find great tips and recipes featuring Orange Naturals products - for whatever ails you!

Show some love and follow @OrangeNaturals on Twitter and Like the Orange Naturals facebook page for the latest!



Sponsored post on behalf of Orange Naturals in participation as a #ONatural Ambassador. Compensation and complimentary products are received as part of this program. Opinions and comments are always honest and those of the author. 


11/14/14


Like it or not, the holiday shopping season is upon us. Some of us start holiday shopping as soon as last Christmas is over, some of us shop up to the last minute on Christmas eve all in search for that perfect gift for that perfect someone. 


One place that we shop at during the holiday season is Best Buy. We are a big tech-gadget family so naturally we try to find gifts that may suit people in our family from new movies to cases for their devices or ad-ons like itunes cards and things like that. 

With Best Buy Canada's online expansion with VIVA, not only can you find home entertainment and electronics but you can also find things for health, beauty, travel and more. They make it easy to find what you want on the website, they also offer various methods of payment including PayPal and free shipping on orders $25 and over. Delivery methods make it a breeze by either having it delivered or picking it up at your local Best Buy location. 

Just in time for for the holiday season, Best Buy Canada is adding even more to the online shopping experience and proud to launch their Toy Portal! Shop this seasons hottest toys from your favourite brands including Melissa & Doug with great toys like Monster Bowling, The Easle Companion or a Basic Skills Board!


Visit Best Buy Canada to check it out and start saving on your kids holiday wish list before the shopping rush begins! 

Show some love by following @BestBuyCanada on twitter and liking the Best Buy Canada Facebook page!

Win it!

To celebrate the launch of Best Buy Canada's all-new Toy Portal, we are giving away a Melissa & Doug prize pack which includes THREE toys available now at Best Buy Canada's new Toy Portal! 

Prize includes:

- Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling Game ($24.99)
- Melissa & Doug Easel Companion Accessory set 29 pc ($29.99)
- Melissa & Doug Basic Skills Board ($19.99)

Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry required to be eligible to win. One entry per household please. Information submitted will not be shared except with representatives of Best Buy Canada for prizing purposes. Privacy is important on AME. Click here for full giveaway terms and conditions. 

Good Luck!


Sponsored post on behalf of Best Buy Canada. Complimentary gift cards received for promotional purposes. Prize sponsored by Best Buy Canada. Opinions and comments on this blog are honest and those of the author. 


11/13/14

It's not very often we see real photos these days. Everything is digital with our iphones and cameras, saved on hard drives and usb chips. I used to love using photo albums. I would always keep the most precious photos to me in my albums and look at them from time to time. I wish I still had those albums all these years later. 

Now my albums consist of what I have saved (plus copies) on hard drives, uploaded to facebook and on my phone. I sometimes print out favourites to hang on the fridge or frame but I miss real photo albums. 

My mother in law came by and brought us an envelope of old photos, real photos. Ones she had collected over the years, a mix of hubbys childhood memories, loved ones and some of us as a young couple before we were parents. 

It's not often we sit down together and really look at old photos. I don't think I have very many from my childhood although I know both my mom and dad each have copies. I should ask to borrow them and scan them sometime. 


Looking at these old photos brought back memories, seeing photos of my first pregnancy, photos of our oldest daughter again when she was newborn. She's 10 now. Photos of my parents in law and sister in law and her family when everyone was much younger. Our kids are all babies in those pictures, now half are tweens and teens. 

It makes you realize how quickly time flies and how precious each moment is. Life is too short to let the little things get in the way of what matters most and that to me is family. 


Posted by AME. Photo and thoughts are those of the author. 

November is the month I begin longing for those warm summer days. It's so crisp and chilly in the early mornings when I'm bringing my kids to the bus stop. I sometimes bring my coffee to help fend of the morning chill. 

In our house we have our heat on. Our furnace was lit up as soon as the temperature dropped. We live in an older house with bad insulation on the windows so it tends to get cold quickly. I for one do not like cold feet that's for sure. 

As a parent, I not only want to make sure my family is warm this winter but also safe. There are so many stories of house fires or worse, carbon monoxide poisoning. Two scary dangers that can be prevented with proper precausions.


With families firing up the furnace like us, Duracell and First Alert have teamed up to share critical carbon monoxide tips to help keep families like yours and mine safe during the colder months. 

1) Have a professional check your furnace, appliances and ensure your chimney is cleaned properly.
2) Install at least one carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal close to the sleeping area in your home. Have at least one alarm on each level of your home. 
3) During a power outage, if you use a generator make sure to do so in a well ventialed area. 
4) Use the fall-back time change as a reminder to change the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Duracell batteries are recommended as they last long enough to only need changing during the seasonal time changes.

 
5) It seems like a good idea to warm up the car before leaving on a cold morning. Do not leave your car running in the garage. It's dangerous for carbon monoxide, even with the garage door open.

Installing the proper alarms and following these great tips, I'm sure we will all be off to a happy, safe and warm winter! :)  
For more CO prevention tips be sure to visit the First Alert website. You can find Duracell 9V batteries (used in smoke and CO detectors) at  your local retailer for around $7.99. 

Posted by AME in participation with the #PGMom ambassador program. Special perks, incentives and complimentary product received as part of this program. Opinions and comments on this blog are always those of the author. 

11/12/14

We are already speeding through November and the holiday season is fast approaching. The thoughts of Christmas decorations, holiday songs and egg nogg fill our minds as we prepare our homes and our hearts for this years festivities. 

The holidays to me are all about seeing my family smile, especially my three kids. We always include Kinder Surprise. You can guarantee they find at least one Kinder Surprise egg in their Christmas stockings! The simplicity of a chocolaty treat and a fun toy in one sweet small package. 

Around the holiday season you can find all kinds of Kinder Surprise treats in the form of traditional eggs and holiday themed goodies. As of November 15th you can find new Kinder advent calendars too! Your little one can count down the days in December with a Kinder chocolate every day! Look for them where Kinder Surprise are sold! 


For more information about Kinder Canada please like the Kinder Canada Facebook page and follow along the #KinderSmiles hashtag on Twitter!

Win it! 

This holiday season, share the #KinderSmiles with your little ones and stock their stockings with chocolaty goodness. Enter below for your chance to win a Kinder Canada prize pack which includes: 

- One Kinder advent calendar
- One Kinder Hollow Santa with SURPRISE
- One Kinder Surprise 100g Egg
- One Kinder Surprise MAXI 150g Egg

Enter using the ballot below. Open to Canadians 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry required. This giveaway is offered across various Kinder Influencer blogs. You may enter on as many blogs as you wish however you may only win once. Ends November 24th, 2014.

By entering AME giveaways you understand your information will only be shared with representatives of Kinder Canada should you be a prize winner. Privacy is important on AME! Click here for full giveaway terms and conditions. 


Posted in participation with the Kinder Canada Influencer program #KinderMom. Complimentary product and perks are part of this program. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

11/11/14

"Oh Canada, our home and native land..." was heard round the world two weeks ago when our nations capital, Ottawa was under attack. Some people snickered and sneered at our use of the word attack but to me (and many I'm sure), any means to cause harm to fellow human beings using utmost violence, is an attack, period. 

A brave soul who was simply doing his job, lost his life on Wednesday, October 22nd. A brave soul who was simply doing his job, gunned down the assailant - they are both heroes in the eyes of many. That day brought our country together, it may have felt like it made us weaker but it has made us stronger as a nation amidst the hate. This is just one of many events in our Canadian history that tells the tragic story of true heroes.

Today is remembrance day. A day to honour and reflect upon those who have given their lives and to those who give their lives every day to keep our Canada safe. Without them, what kind of country could we be living in. We would not be the true north strong and free without them. 

Today, take a moment and put your heads down. Thank every soldier with your hearts and souls. Say a prayer for their families who survive them. Wear your poppy and remember that because of them, we are Canada strong.



Posted by AME in honour of Remembrance Day. Opinions and comments are those of the author. Image courtesy of morguefile.

11/10/14

When it comes to creating beautiful wall art in our homes using our favourite family photos, we all start off with good intentions. With these good intentions we vision these beautifully put together memories to forever hold a place in our hearts and in our homes. Memories framed in time. Memories we can share with loved ones when they come to visit, memories we can just sit and reminisce about the times when our families were just growing. 

Unfortunately these good intentions can be put on the back burner as quickly as they are thought up because we become overwhelmed or don't have enough time in our day, life can get busy!

I have always wanted to create a wall mural in my living room with different ages and stages of the kids growing up. I have never actually attempted this but after watching the video below I definitely have some new ideas!

In this story, Alex (loving wife & mom of 2, founder of Clippo) began creating a lovely wall gallery for her family photos but found herself always frustrated about getting it done. There are so many things to consider when you're working on a project like this to how many and what size frames you need, what photos to choose and how to place them. It can be overwhelming for sure. 

Alex was in for a surprise when her husband teamed up with City TV's own DIY designer, Leigh Ann Allaire Perrault and Canon to learn exactly how he could help Alex complete her masterpiece quickly and easily using the Canon PIXMA PRO printer!

They send her off on a special anniversary spa day to come home to a real surprise she was never even expecting. The outcome is amazing and the reactions, priceless. 

Check out their heartwarming story below and learn some tips on how you can make creative and beautiful wall art out of your own favourite family photos! 



Check out the Canon PIXMA PRO printer by visiting the official Canon website

Sponsored post on behalf of Canon. Opinions and comments on this blog are honest and those of the author.

11/7/14


Learning is all part of growing up and as my littlest one gets bigger by the day, I encourage hands-on, imaginative play with her. There are so many things to explore in this big world, as a mom it makes me smile when she shows off something new she learned just from having fun. 

Fisher-Price has always been a part of our kids growing up. They have each had different types of toys over the years, most interactive and geared toward their ages at the time. New Smart Stages toys from Fisher-Price are geared toward growing with your child and have several stages, these types of toys are great because they last longer as your child doesn't outgrow them right away. 


We were sent over the Fisher-Price Smart Stages Mower. It's aimed at little ones aged 12 months to 36 months and teaches your little one all about mowing the lawn with simple words, phrases and songs! There are three stages to choose from: 

Stage 1 teaches the basics with curiosity! Turn the gas cap, pull the lever or slide the switch to hear a variety of simple phrases and words such as "up" and "down". 

Stage 2 expands on the introduction of numbers, opposites and more by encouraging baby to get involved in some hands-on play. Hear play prompts like "Can you count to ten?".

Stage 3 allows older babies to take control and engage in imaginative play. They can fill the tank, start the mower and push the mower around to activate even more fun.  


Each time the mower makes a sound, says something or sings, the face lights up. Little M really enjoys her new Fisher-Price Smart Stages Mower. She lovingly kissed the face when we first turned it on. She smiled, laughed and clapped her hands while playing with it on stage 2. I like that they voices are friendly and the songs are catchy, not your typical nursery rhyme songs but themed for...mowing the lawn! 

To find out more about this and other Smart Stages toys from Fisher-Price please visit the official Fisher-Price website

Like the Fisher-Price Facebook page for the latest news and updates!



Posted by AME on behalf of Fisher-Price. Complimentary product received. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

11/6/14

I love trying new things and I also love making my family try new things especially when it comes to food. They always enjoy the usual, what they are used to but mom likes to throw some changes into the mix once in a while. There is a whole big world full of delicious food waiting for their taste buds.  

One thing when it comes to meals in our house is time and taste. It should be simple enough and quick enough to make on a week night plus it should be enjoyable for everyone. Tacos are a no fail in our family and I was happy to try out the new Old El Paso Restaurante kits with my family!



Old El Paso brings fun, vibrant, modern Mexican food to Canadian families with new Old El Paso Restaurante. Cooking up restaurant-style, taco dinners at home can make you feel like a real #MexicanChef! 

Old El Paso Restaurante kits come with everything you need to season up your favourite meat and toppings for a one of a kind, flavourful dinner your whole family will enjoy. Very simple to put together following the directions on the box. We didn't have a chance to get any avacado to really make the steak tacos special but using vegetables we had on hand sure worked wonders and gave it our own unique touch. That's the beauty of taco kits, use what you have on hand paired with your cooking imagination. 


Old El Paso Restaurante has three different flavours available in stores that are sure to impress. Baja Fish for those sea food lovers, Steak Carne Asada for the meat lovers and Chicken Tinga for those who crave poultry. These three authentic Mexican flavours are easy to make and are packed with taste so you can rest assured that your family will be satisfied.  

For more information about new Old El Paso Restaurante and to find great recipes please visit the official #MexicanChef website!


Win it!

Our friends at Old El Paso want you to show off your inner #MexicanChef with an Old El Paso Restaurante prize pack which includes all three Restaurante taco kits PLUS a $75 visa gift card to help you cook up a delicious Old El Paso meal!

Enter using the ballot below! Open to Canadians 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry required. Winners are required to fill out a winners claim form and answer a skill testing question to qualify. By entering this giveaway you understand your information will only be shared with representatives of Old El Paso should your name be drawn winner. Privacy is important on AME!

Click here for full terms and conditions.




Posted on behalf of Old El Paso. Complimentary product and visa gift card received for participation. Opinions and comments on products on this blog are honest and those of the author. 

11/5/14

Unprotected devices make me nervous. We recently got the new iPhone 6 Plus and it's a really nice device. Like any other new phone I've had in the past, I had that immediate fear of somehow breaking or damaging it. It's easy to slap on a new case and protect the body but what about the screen?

Screens always smudge easily with finger prints or your face print if your on the phone for more than a few seconds. They are also easy to scratch, it doesn't take much to make a tiny yet annoying scratch in the middle of your screen. Dropping an unprotected phone face down is usually asking for disaster with a shattering screen despite having a protective case on.   

With kids in the house we have to watch our devices. Our younger two like checking what doesn't belong to them out and will grab hold of a smart phone if you leave it within reach (usually from the counter or table top). 

Typically when we purchase items like smart phones or tablets we take precautionary measures to make sure they are safe. This means spending a little more than just the cost of a phone but it's better to be safe than sorry. Insurance like Apple Care covers some things (I think you have two accidents before you pay) but it doesn't cover wear and tear of the every day. We have always purchased sturdy, shock resistant cases and cover the screens with a screen protector. 

With the new iPhone 6 Plus in hand, we have been looking for something better than just your average, plastic screen protector. Half the time you pay close to $20 and you have to replace it because they tend to not fit all cases and bubble up on the corners which makes the screen look bad.



PTPA WINNING - Phantom Glass is a new and genius way to protect your new phone's screen. It is unlike any other screen protector I have used in the past and here's why: Phantom Glass is made with corning gorilla glass. That is the same material used in the original iPhone screen itself. It is durable, scratch and smudge resistant. It is also pressure resistant and if you  happen to break it, it won't shatter into bits like typical glass making it safer. 



So, how do you put a glass protector on a glass screen? Phantom Glass adheres to your phone's screen with a silicone adhesive. It literally suctions on to the glass and all you have to do is smooth it out (to make sure no bubbles appear, we had no problem with that). It also works to fill in any existing scratches and scuffs should you apply it to an older phone. Last steps are to take off the layer of protective packaging and give it a wipe down. Unlike other screen protectors, Phantom Glass fits only on the actual screen and not the entire face of the phone which makes it universal to use with any kind of case.


What you see in the screen is a reflection not a smudge!
It feels just like your phone screen except it is not as easy to smudge it up with finger prints. Hubby and I did a test first by placing the Phantom glass on his phone and leaving mine with none. I cleaned my screen and within a couple of hours mine was full of finger prints while his had barely any on it and he used his phone more than I used mine. Imagine! It's also easier to wipe down I find. I hate having a dirty phone screen. 

We also got one for the iPad which I am happy about because the plastic one we have on it is finished. Full of scratches, dings, smudges. It's not pretty anymore and we all want our devices to look and work their best! 

Phantom Glass screen protectors come in different sizes for different devices besides iPhone like iPads, Microsoft Surface, LG, HTC, Samsung and Blackberry phones among others. Right now they come clear but look for new coloured ones come this November! 

You can find Phantom Glass at your local Best Buy, Staples and Future Shop or you can buy them online for $34.99-$39.99 each. Check out the Phantom Glass website for full details. 

Show some love and follow @Phantom_Glass on Twitter (hashtag #ThinkPhantom) and like the Phantom Glass Facebook page for the latest updates!


Win it! 

One lucky AME reader has the chance to win a Phantom Glass of their choice! Simply fill out the giveaway ballot below to be entered!


Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. One entry per household. Entrants are required to use a valid email address upon entering. Winners are required to fill out a prize claim form and answer a skill testing question to qualify.

By entering AME giveaways the entrant understands that his or her information will be shared with representatives of Phantom Glass should his or her name be drawn winner for prizing purposes only. Privacy is important on AME.


Click here for full terms and conditions.



Posted on behalf of Phantom Glass. Complimentary product provided. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. Prize provided by representatives of Phantom Glass.