8/31/16

It's time to send the kids off for another school year! Most parents have a 50/50 feeling about this time of year - we like it but we dread it.

We like the routine, the fresh new start, and the kid's enthusiasm. We dread how much it can cost when we are out shopping for new school stuff. The supply list is long enough, they also need new clothes! They seem to grow at least a size or two just over the summer months! 

Also, as kids get older (tweens/teens) their taste may become particular and maybe a little more expensive than we are used to. They want to make a good first impression on that first week of school and nothing says confidence like looking good and feeling good about it. 

Did you know most Canadian parents can spend about $120 on one single outfit? Shirts, pants, socks, shoes - kids usually need the whole kit and not just one new outfit. 1 in 5 Canadians can spend $400 or more per child for back to school gear. We want the kids to have what they need to succeed without breaking the budget. 

You can get stylish, clothes that suit your budget at Sears with affordable top-to-toe brand name outfits for $65 and under. With everything from tops to pants, shoes, and backpacks, Sears Canada can help parents beat those back to school blues! 


The only thing you'll be sad about is watching them get on the bus that first day. 

Visit www.sears.ca or your local Sears Canada location and find the styles you want today! 

Sponsored by Sears Canada. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

8/30/16

Like everyone else, we enjoy going out and about with the family, who doesn't! When we do go out, we not only leave behind our home and belongings, but we also leave behind our beloved pets as they can't come with us when the car is full! 

Rather than signing up for home monitoring systems that are often offered by our own internet service provider, we prefer to do it ourselves and connect video cameras in the important areas of our home. That way we know how it is set up, we know who is watching and who isn't. We want to make sure we do our research before we just plug anything into our private lives. 

Over the years we have used different types of video cameras to keep an eye on things and one brand we have used is D-Link. They have evolved massively over the years going from basic black and white video cameras to wifi-HD, rotating and recording video monitoring systems for businesses and homes everywhere. 

D-Link brings HD monitoring to our home with The mydlink® Wi-Fi HD Day/Night Network Camera.  


It comes with everything you need to get started, including the instruction manual, wifi code and wall mounting screws if that's the way you want to set it up. We just use the included perch when we set up our cameras. This camera almost does it all.

It has crisp HD Video and remote viewing (through their handy My D-Link app!). It also has automatic night vision up to 16ft, sound and motion detection can notify you via the app if there was any movement in the room being watched. You can set it to auto record both sound and video (up to 128GB of video) on a MicroSD card, plus you can also set up smart alerts in the app to suit your needs. I always like trying out devices that I can control from my phone. 



Like most D-Link devices, it's easy to set up and you don't have to pay a monthly fee (except your internet connection which you need to use anything wifi these days, right!)

I like that this camera is HD, has night vision mode and records plus you can control it all from your smartphone or tablet. I don't like that it doesn't rotate or pivot like our other camera but everything has its pros and cons. Overall it is a good camera, it does what we need it to do and some.

 D-Link hasn't yet let us down when it comes to quality and security of their home monitoring devices. 

You can purchase these online and in store at most major Canadian electronics retailers for around $99.99. 

Posted on behalf of D-Link. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Comments and opinions on this blog are those of the author.


8/29/16

Twelve years ago today my entire world changed. It wasn't just me and hubby (and the dog) anymore. We were parents, we became a family twelve years ago today. 

We made it through her baby years, those terrible tantrum toddler years and watched her grow into a little preschooler with a big heart. She has always shown she cares to the people around here, even if some people don't always deserve her kindness. 

She has always been determined. She knows what she wants and she goes for it. Even if she doesn't always show it, she knows if she wants it bad enough and works hard enough, she will get it. Thats something we hope she uses more into the next chapter of her young life. 

Elementary school years weren't always kind. She did her best despite the troubles she faced in the schoolyard. You did good kid.

We all had our share of ups and downs. I'm happy to know she knows we are always there for her, no matter what. That won't change no matter how old we get. 

Junior high starts in September and that's a whole new world for all of us. The teenaged years await her after this. No more baby stuff. That's something I still have to talk myself into believing is a reality. 

For now, we still have a few days to enjoy the rest of summer holidays, twelve years go by faster than you know. 



Happy Birthday (and many many more to come) Little Girl! 😄🎂

8/26/16

Back to school season is upon us, even though we have a little over a week left of our lovely summer - it's time to start getting organized if you haven't already. 

Over the years, it's been fairly easy to supply the kids with what they need from clothing to classroom tools as they almost had the same list every single time. This year we have two kids in two different schools with two different rules. Not only is it a little different but it's also a little bit more expensive with our oldest requiring school uniforms this year. It's needless to say we rely on our family-friendly shops to give us the most for our money. 

Giant Tiger to the rescue! I have always loved going to GT to get both everyday clothes and needed supplies for the kids new year back to school. 


This fall, Giant Tiger is introducing three new clothing lines for kids:  Monkey Bars (which Miss M is wearing below), Bella & Birdie and Survival Gear (which Little Guy is wearing below). These new fashion lines were created with kids every day in mind. For bigger kids like K who is only going on 12 but stands tall there are great options in the women's department like the casual look with My Style which K is wearing below. 


Parents will be happy to see how far their dollar stretches thanks to the new kids lines with $4 mix and match basics to $8 denim to start off the school year. 

Giant Tiger has a new Happiness Guarantee on its kid's clothes. If you are not completely satisfied with your kid’s clothing simply return it along with your receipt and GT will cheerfully refund your money. No time limit! Click here for more details about the Happiness Guarantee! 

From affordable clothes and shoes to backpacks and lunch bags, you really should check out Giant Tiger's GT boutique for your family's BTS shopping! You could win $1000 weekly until September 6th! Check out your local GT or the GT website for details!

Did you know Giant Tiger is launching their very own blog? You can find it on the Giant Tiger Website starting August 29th, 2016!

Connect with GT on social media - Twitter - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest



Posted on behalf of Giant Tiger. Complimentary products were obtained for review purposes. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. Images in this post are those of the blog owner. 


8/14/16

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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



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

8/8/16

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

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

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



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

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

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


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

WIN IT! 

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

Fill in the giveaway ballot to get started! 

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

Questions about giveaways? See the AME disclosure policy.

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

8/6/16

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Have fun!

Win it!

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

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

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

Entry-Form

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