2/26/15


The snow is still coming down in piles as we reach the near end of February and already we are thinking about summer time. Thinking in particular about things the kids could do this summer, namely summer camp for our oldest Miss K. 

I attended summer camp when I was growing up, I think I spent about 3 or 4 summers there. I enjoyed it more or less, I remember having a good time and making some good friends. That's the important part, our daughter learning about herself and making friends this summer. 

The first thing we did was ask our daughter. Why? Because she is the one who will be spending time away from the family, on her own for twelve days and we want to make sure she is ready. Last year she was hesitant when we asked her if she would be able to handle herself away from mom and dad for that long a time. She was not ready to leave the nest just yet, it all depends on the child like everything else. 

This year is different, she was asking about it before we even had a chance to ask her. She must get that "planning ahead" thing from her mama. 

There are so many different camps to choose from, depending where you live. Some summer camps can be expensive but if you contact your local community you might be able to find out where you can get and if you are eligible for subsidized camp prices for your kids. 

We have had our eye on a specific camp for a while now, mostly because of location but also because we have heard really good things about it plus it suits our family and child's needs which is important. 

So, why talk about this so early? Because most camps have long lists of children who want to attend and spaces are always limited. Since we already had camp in mind since the year before last, I emailed the camp and requested a sign up form. 

It took a couple of weeks for a reply but our sign up forms should be in the mail any time and we can start the process of filling them out and getting our girl registered for her first summer at camp! 

Wish us luck, I'll need to keep myself together this coming July when she actually leaves for her adventure! Have your kids been to summer camp? 


Posted by AME. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

2/25/15

A photo posted by Alyssa (@amotherhoodblog) on


Posted by AME. Photo by AME via Instagram. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.

2/24/15


It was announced that the province of Ontario would roll out a new sex ed curriculum for elementary school students starting in September. This topic actually fits in with my recent post about talking to your tween. 

News articles that highlight some of the topics that will be taught per grade might make you cringe but it may not be such a bad thing. 

For those who are utterly against it, I understand. I have young kids myself. I'm neither here nor there on the subject but something happened recently that really made me want to learn more about this new approach to educating our kids. 

Several weeks ago we dealt with a situation that involved my daughter, a couple of other girls and personal space. For privacy purposes, I won't get into the details but I'm not talking minor stuff. 

The kids involved were not educated about personal space, about how other people's bodies are not theirs to touch and that those type of acts are not a joke. Had they "known better" would they have done it? They knew about the acts they were committing but had no idea about them at the same time. That's scary. My daughter wasn't harmed because she knew how to say NO when she felt even the slightest bit threatened or uncomfortable in a situation. 

My daughter is educated by means of open-ended conversation. We have never hidden anything from her and have always had talks about different subjects as the questions came in, according to what her young mind could handle. We do/plan to do the same with her younger brother and sister. I am happy she knew enough to get help and tell an adult about what happened.

My point is not all families are the same, not all families have these talks and not all kids are as educated as others on the subject. For those parents who have it covered, excellent! That is what we need to be, the primary guidance in our children's lives, the ones they turn to with the hard questions we try our best to answer for them. 

Not all parents are the same. Some may be uncomfortable having those kinds of chats, I don't know. I'm not here to judge any other parent, I have no time for that. I'm just saying the parenting world is a very diverse one and this could be a step in making the future a safer place. 

Times have obviously changed. There are more issues than when we were our kids ages. There was no cell phones and no texting. There was no Internet and these days, you know as well as I do how much access young kids have. Not all young kids, maybe not even yours but enough to need to give this class a serious upgrade into the new age.

Having the option to have it taught in school would be a better approach though. Everyone has their own reasons for the decisions they make for their families and that should be respected. If you feel more comfortable having your child learn it in school, great. If not, you should have the option to opt out in my opinion. 

Are you for these new changes? Against? Have your say in the comments! 



Posted by AME. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. Image free from morguefile.




2/17/15


It's hard to believe my oldest daughter is going to be 11 years old this summer. Oh how much she has changed from being a little girl to...wait for it...a full-fledged Tween!

We always say "they grow up so fast" and honestly they do. She has been been going through changes in every way from physically to emotionally. These are fragile times when you sometimes don't know what to say to your tween or how they may react. 

I wasn't even sure at first how to approach such a delicate subject without embarrassing her or making her uncomfortable. I know schools cover this subject somewhat but as a parent it's our duty to talk to our kids no matter what the subject. It won't be the last conversation like this. 

Give them their space, let them ask the questions, answer them and you too will get an some insight into their tween world. The best thing you can do is talk to them and listen to them.

You don't have to be an expert to answer questions. I'm no expert but I am a mom of girls and I am a woman. Talking to my daughter isn't as hard as my mind can make it out to be sometimes. Luckily at this stage my daughter is still very open with me. 

She had no fear asking me about the changes in her body and why she feels how she feels inside. We have had discussions about many a topic including the dreaded period. Not always the most comfortable topic but it is a fact of life. Luckily we will be well stocked up with Always when that time comes. 

These are not exactly subjects I was prepared for on the surface but I answered her questions to the best of my ability and to her maturity level. I feel the more she understands, the less she will feel she is that "different" because as much as a tween/teen can feel different (didn't we all?), they are really all just the same in many ways. 

That my friends, is the best thing we can do. Be open and honest with our teens. Be there for them and if you don't know the answer, talk to a professional like a doctor, nurse or counsellor who can explain it if that's what makes you comfortable. Do what works for you and your tween or teen. 

As a woman, I want my girls to grow to be strong and powerful in their own rights. I will always let them know not to be ashamed about how they look and who they are. They are beautiful. They are tough. They are unique and they do everything "Like a Girl" just how they should.

If you need some good advice about talking to your tween or teen about puberty and more, here are some great conversation starters courtesy of P&G Everyday! 

Posted by AME in participation with the #PGMom program. Products and perks are obtained as part of this affiliation. Comments and opinions are those of the author. 


2/14/15





Roses are red, violets are blue
Happy Valentines Day to you! 

Valentine's Day is a traditional day to celebrate love and those you love. When you have a family, it goes beyond celebrating you and your lover. It goes beyond the heart shaped box of chocolates and flowers.

For those with families like ours it might be heart shaped pancakes and home made cards but it's family love. It's the kind of love you know you can count on, the kind that's unconditional. We show our love every day, Valentine's Day is just a fun perk. 

Maybe you don't celebrate Valentine's Day and that's fine! Just remember to always show you care, even if it's lending a helping hand or an ear to listen. You never know when your small gesture may brighten somebody else's day. 

No matter what you do today, enjoy it with those you love and above all - have fun and be kind today and everyday! 

2/13/15

Family game night would not be the same without at least one game of Monopoly. Did you know the family-loved classic is celebrating it's 80th year? This game has definitely changed yet remained the same all these years. With different versions available from Monopoly classic to Monopoly Junior and even electronic Monopoly, it's no wonder this game has something to celebrate!

In this special 80th edition of the game, Monopoly brings you all the fun of this fast-paced trading game featuring tokens from the 1930's to the 2000's! With a retro board and cards, the game takes you back to where it all began but you still have to build houses and hotels to bankrupt everyone else, classic play. You've got to buy and negotiate your way through Monopoly!



Exciting news! Monopoly is looking for the next Canadian Monopoly Champion! The Canadian Champion will receive $10,000 CAD in prize money and a trip for 2 to the MONOPOLY World Championships in Macau China! How cool is that??

For more information about the Championship and to take the qualifying quiz, visit www.monopolycanadianchampionship.com

Monday is Family Day here in Ontario, what a perfect time to spend some time together and play an all-time family favourite we played when we were kids, with our own kids! 

Visit the Monopoly Facebook page for more the latest updates on your favourite buy-sell game! 

Posted on behalf of Hasbro Canada. Complimentary product received for feature. Opinions and comments on this blog are always those of the author. 

2/12/15


Traditional gifts of flowers and candy are welcome on the day of love, aka Valentine's Day but why not treat your sweetheart to the scent of Lampe Berger this time?

If you remember back in fall 2014 I featured a great way to cleaner and better smelling air with the touch of Lampe Berger Paris fragrance lamps. I absolutely love the concept of Lampe Berger, one of the only lamps of its kind that changes the air in your home with purifying and tantalizing fragrances. 

They are so simple to use too following the included instructions. Within 20 minutes the air in your home will smell and feel fresher. Of course this being something that is flammable, we keep them well out of reach of children. In fact they are in rooms the children do not have access to and never used unsupervised. Our bedroom and our adult living area in the basement where my office is located are key rooms to get the Lampe Berger treatment! 

The Lampe Berger family has grown since we were first introduced. The collection of lamps is fantastic, you can find just about any size, style and colour to meet your needs.



There are seven families of fragrance to choose from now including: Functionals, Oriental Dreams, Sweet dreams, Dreams of flowers, Pure dreams, Dreams of freshness and Dreams of fruit. Fragrances come in different sized bottles including 180ml as shown. 



Make Valentine's Day special and change the aroma of the air in your home with a Lampe Berger lamp paired with "Sensual Bouquet" for a romantic atmosphere. Maybe surprise your loved one by setting up an evening for two. Have a romantic date set up with food, music and Lampe Berger to really set the mood with a new fragrance, burning in the background.

You can make any room into anything you desire with Lampe Berger. Take a look at the great selection on their Facebook page and find out where you can find Lampe Berger near you! Follow along hashtag #LampeBerger and chat it up with other customers and fans! 

Do you Instagram? Follow @lampebergercanada and check out what they have going on! 


WIN IT!



Bring Lampe Berger into your home and enter to win a romantic Lampe Berger prize pack valued at $59! This luxerious prize includes:

- The Ovalie Gift Set (lamp, burner and 180ml Fresh Linen fragrance)
- Neutral Fragrance 

Enter using the giveaway ballot below! 

Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be completed for extras to count. One entry per household, valid email address required. Odds of winning depends on amount of valid entries. 

By entering this giveaway you agree your information will NOT be shared unless for prizing purposes should you win. For more information about giveaways please see our giveaway terms and conditions



Posted on behalf of Lampe Berger Paris Canada. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Opinions and comments on this blog are always those of the author. 

2/10/15


We are just a few days away from a whole day dedicated to "I Love You's" and heart shaped boxes filled with chocolates. It's almost Valentine's Day!

There will be no babysitter to watch the kids or night out with hubby but Valentine's Day is different now that we are a family. We celebrate almost everything as a family, even if it's just Valentine's Day. Besides like I've said before, once the kids are in bed we can still have our date night. 

To the kids, it is a day to celebrate love. They want to give out Valentine's just as much as we want to treat them with Valentine's Day goodies. The most important thing to me of course is the memories we will give them. 

I want to make Valentine's Day extra special this year, maybe with some fun heart shaped pancakes to start the day. If the weather is nice I would like to get outside and enjoy it as a family. Go for a family walk or play in the snow and just have plain fun. Maybe afterward we can come in and enjoy a hot chocolate with a Kinder Surprise and watch a good family movie!

Did you see the awesome Valentine's Day themed Kinder eggs in store? Transformers and Fairy themed, these are sure to be a hit with little ones on Saturday! They come in packs of four Kinder Trains or you can get cute Kinder heart shaped boxes with kittens and puppies on them containing 2 Kinder eggs.

Also, if you like the Kinder Canada Facebook page you may have noticed #KinderPlayWednesday where you can expect to see fun games and tips for parents to have fun with their kids! If you have instagram, use the hashtag and tag @KinderCanada our pictures could be regrammed by Kinder! 

Have a Valentine's Day (and everyday) full of #KinderSmiles


Sponsored post in participation with the #KinderMom program. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 






2/9/15


Date nights are oh-so important to spend time together as a couple, to reconnect and strengthen your bond. Date nights are also sometimes easier said than done depending on your circumstances. 

If you're like us then you know what I'm about to say - Date night can be a rare thing when you have kids but it doesn't have to be! We live on a tight budget, raising three kids you can only stretch the dollar so far and sacrafices have to be made including going out on dates and spending money we really shouldn't 

Instead, we have at-home date nights and they don't only happen on special occasions although special occasions are the ultimate excuse. Valentine's Day is around the corner and I am actually really happy it falls on a Saturday. 

The kids are off school so there will be no rush-rush in the middle of the afternoon. We can spend our day with the kids and maybe I can even slip in  couple of hours of "at home" pampering (aka taking a shower!). By evening we could order some take-in food, light some candles and enjoy each others company - a Valentine's date night.

Pamper yourself for your next date night with help from Pantene, COVERGIRL and Crest! There's no rule saying you can't dress yourself up just because you're not heading out to a fancy restaurant. Date night with my better half is reason enough, I think! 

Ladies, lets give our locks the treatment they deserve with new Pantene Pro-V Full & Strong shampoo and conditioner. Boost that 'do with Pantene Pro-V PowerFULL body booster spray. Yes, it's fun to pamper for date night but we can turn it into a daily thing by using Pantene Pro-V Powerup daily treatment. Pantene Pro-V gives hair a healthy looking shine, one of my favourites! 



Even though we brush, floss and take care of our teeth, sometimes being not so bright is unavoidable. Don't worry, you don't have to make an appointment with your dental hygienist. Whiten up at home with new CREST 3D Whitestrips Luxe Supreme Flexfit. One simple step to whiter teeth and you can even do it while you shower! 



Finish off your date night look with COVERGIRL Colourlicious Lipstick. There are a variety of colours to choose from including new Enchantress, Tantalize, Succulent Cherry and Caramel Kiss. Creamy, sleek and bold; They all sound (and look) so enticing, you'll be smiling all evening.



Date night is a time of celebration, make it so and enjoy the moments together. 

For more information about P&G products please visit www.pgeveryday.ca


WIN IT!


P&G want you to have a date night you won't forget featuring Pantene, Covergirl and Crest! One lucky AME reader has the chance to win a Date Night Essentials Prize (*$72) courtesy of P&G! 



This prize includes:

Pantene Pro-V Full & Strong Shampoo ($5.99)
Pantene Pro-V Full & Strong Conditioner ($5.99)
Pantene Pro-V Body Booster Spray ($7.99)
Pantene Pro-V Powerup Daily Treatment ($7.99)
CoverGirl Colourlicious Lipstick Enchantress ($10.99)
CoverGirl Colourlicious Lipstick Tantalize ($10.99)
CoverGirl Colourlicious Lipstick Succulent Cherry($10.99)
CoverGirl Colourlicious Lipstick Caramel Kiss ($10.99)
Crest 3D Whitestrips Lux Supreme Flexfit (sample size)

 *Prices are at the sole discretion of the retailer. 

Canadians 18+ (excluding Quebec) can enter using the entry ballot below! One random winner will be drawn on March  2015 via provided email. Mandatory entry required to participate in bonus entries. 


By entering AME giveaways you understand your information is never shared unless your name is drawn winner in which case your information is shared with representatives of P&G for prizing purposes only. For general info about giveaways please check out the AME terms and conditions.



Posted by AME in participation with PGMom. Products and perks are received as part of this program. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.

2/5/15


The month of February has us thinking about L-O-V-E and not just the romantic kind. Family love and continuing to try to do our best to make sure our families are happy and healthy. 

Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday this year and the following Monday is Family Day here in Ontario so it will be a long weekend of LOVE at the Hart house. 

I have some Valentine's Day goodies set aside for the kids and I plan to start our day off right; Breakfast smoothies made with love! 

You can add Orange Naturals ND shakes to any smoothie or shake recipe you can come up with. It adds the goodness of daily nutrients your body needs. It's not for everybody, it's for your body. One ND shake is one step closer to a healthier you. 

My easy- peasy go-to smoothie that is a fruity, yummy treat is my "Strawberry delight smoothie" featuring vanilla ND shake mix. It's really easy to make, in fact you only need a few ingredients to get started.


I used 1/2 cup Astro strawberry delight yogurt (this yogurt is great because it's low fat and creamy smooth), less than 1/2 cup milk (any kind you like) and a scoop of vanilla ND shake. If you want to make it more festive for Valentine's Day, try adding in some fresh red berries and other fruit! Adding in strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and bananas etc will give it an even thicker texture and add some colour to your smoothie! 


I am super happy to announce I will once again be taking on the role of #ONatural Mom for a third time round! What excites me is having the opportunity to try the best of what Orange Naturals has to offer in its homeopaths, tinctures and my favourite, ND Shakes and also sharing it with all of you! 
February is heart health month and Orange Naturals has some great products to help support your family's health. Omega 3's are a tried and true way to maintain a happy, healthy heart. For those looking for a heart strengthening formula, Orange Naturals Heart Health tincture is packed with botanicals to keep your heart happy and healthy!

Signing up for the (free) #ONatural newsletter means you get a weekly email packed with great tips, advice and recipes by real people just like you and I. 

Can't wait for the newsletter? Hop on over to the #ONatural blog! Lots of great articles about all kinds of family health issues plus tips on healthier living and more great recipes you can share with family and friends!

Show some love on twitter and follow Orange Naturals to answer any of your questions about products they have to offer for your family! 


Posted in participation with the #ONatural Mom Ambassador Program. Perks and incentives are received as part of this program. Comments and opinions on this blog are those of the author. 

2/2/15

If you have a toddler to preschool aged child in your home you may be all familiar with the dynamic duo, Toopy and BinooMy kids grew up with the cartoon. My youngest currently is a big fan, she asks specifically to watch that show.

What I like about Toopy and Binoo is that they teach little kids to always be kind, happy and friendly. Toopy and Binoo always show that they care about their friends. I love how my daughter reacts when the show comes on.Her face lights up when the theme song begins. She sings along, laughs, and dances. She loves the imaginary adventures Toopy and Binoo go on together!



Show some LOVE this Valentine's Day and celebrate with your little one! Toopy and Binoo have TWO brand new Valentine's Day themed DVD's for your family to enjoy:

I Love Toopy - Celebrate this Valentine's Day with your best friend Toopy. Watch as Toopy shows us the meaning of friendship as he goes on a fishing trip with Binoo, looks for the perfect planet, has a camp out and plays in the land of bubbles. 

I Love Binoo - Celebrate this Valentine's Day with your best friend Binoo. Watch as Binoo gets ready for Valentine's Day, gets lost playing with books, plays peek-a-boo with Toopy and shows us the true meaning of friendship. 

Each DVD is 75 packed minutes of Toopy and Binoo fun your little one will be sure to enjoy! Our little one absolutely loves new Toopy and Binoo cartoons so naturally, these were a hit!

For more information about Kaboom Entertainment and Toopy and Binoo please visit the official Twitter and Facebook fanpages!


Win it!

We want to share the love too! That's why our friends at Kaboom Entertainment have a set of Toopy and Binoo Valentine's Day DVD's to give away to one lucky AME reader! 

Enter for your chance to win BOTH "I Love Toopy" and "I Love Binoo" DvD's by filling out the giveaway ballot below!

Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Entrants must complete the mandatory. Winners are notified via valid email address and have 48 hours to complete a winners form + skill testing question to qualify. Prize sponsored by SkinFix. Ends January 23rd!

By entering AME giveaways you understand your information is kept private unless you win in which case your information will be shared with representatives of Kaboom Entertainment for prizing purposes only. Please see AME's terms and conditions for more. 


Good Luck!



Posted by AME on behalf of Kaboom Entertainment and EOne Entertainment. Sample product received for review purposes. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.