8/28/17

The last few weeks of summer have been spent organizing the kids who are heading back to school in just a few days and I've been attempting to reorganize the house a little. I think I'll make better progress once the kids are officially back in the full swing of school. They say to take it one room at a time, that's what I've been doing!


The basement (laundry room) was cleaned and organized in mid-July after our neighbours clogged their basement plumbing causing a flood in ours. Thankfully we are smart enough to use laundry baskets and bins, not leaving things directly on the floor of the laundry room, in the case of accidents just like that.

The kitchen got a redo as far as organizing the cupboards go. The cupboard I keep everything plastic containers had been rampaged by the kids and myself, always in a hurry to grab a container and have to dig around for a matching lid. I ended up recycling a whole bin of just lids. Insane, I know! It looked like something from hoarders. I did order new containers for the upcoming school year. I also got rid of old travel mugs; no matter how well you wash them they're just no good after a while. They get gross, they get tossed and replaced with new ones.

My closet is tiny but I managed to organize it a little better. I tend to do a clothing purge twice a year so that wasn't an issue, there are always spare clothes hangers. I noticed I have gathered a small collection of shoes. I should probably get a closet shoe shelf instead of line them up across already limited space on the closet floor. Bags, wow I have bags! To save space I folded them up neatly and put them all into my large suitcase. If ever I travel again, I'll figure out what to do with those bags like a closet bag hanger; could also be used to organize my row of shoes. Now if I could get hubby interested in sorting through the two boxes of clothes he hasn't touched in years, that would be great!

The linen closet still needs work but my mom gave us some new towels so it gave me an excuse to refold just about everything the kids attempted to fold (aka scrunched up or just shoved in between other towels) in the closet.

The kid's rooms are just, I can't even find a nice word for it; they need a lot of work. I haven't had the chance to get to that part yet but I have big plans for the fall. You know, once they are in school and I can go crazy getting rid of stuff giving their rooms a real do-over. At least I managed to sort through their clothes, donate what doesn't fit and bag the summer clothes for next year.

I'm sure I'm missing a few things on my Fall to-do list!

What do you do to get ready for the upcoming season?


Sponsored post on behalf of Amazon.ca. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.



8/25/17

In just a couple of more weeks, we will be sending our three kids off for a brand new school year. I've finally got all of their things together including our sons new Marvel Avengers back to school gear from the Disney store!


Kids love characters, my son will be starting grade four with this Avengers Hulk backpack. It's got a hard shell Hulk face, two zippered compartments, mesh interior with pockets and adjustable padded shoulder straps. It's really roomy inside which is good, my son usually has a bag full to take home from school! 


The matching Avengers lunch bag features Iron Man, Thor, Black Panther, and Captain America on a hard shell cover design. It's large in size with two zippered insulated compartments to keep his lunch cold! 


The Avengers Water Bottle is leak-proof and features a screw-on flip top sipper cap with attached straw plus a handy finger-grip carabina clip for easy storage on the go! 

And of course, the collection isn't complete without Avengers Stationery set! This isn't your average stationery set either! The case features Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Black Panther and Black Widow embossed on a hard cover. The pencil case acts as a little folder carrying all Avengers branded tools for school like pencils, a pen, eraser, pencil sharpener, markers, crayons, glue stick, scissors, and note pad.


You can find the Marvel Avengers back to school set at your local Disney Store or online.


Posted on behalf of Disney Store. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 




8/23/17

With back to school comes figuring out a way to keep the kid's new school items (which we all know cost an arm and a leg in some cases) from being lost.



My favourite label brand, Mabel's Labels sent us enough labels to cover every kid this coming school year. I love that they have labels for literally every age and stage from babies to school aged to high school and beyond, they even have labels for seniors! There are many colours and icons to choose from to suit your kid's personalities and allow their items to really standout; not to mention, they're durable. 

Little Miss M is not a baby anymore! She's starting Kindergarten and I know all too well how easy it is at that age not only to misplace your items but they can be taken by accident and we all know how little kids act when they are sure it's "theirs". Stick a label on it, avoid the tears. The little kid's shoe labels are so cute; they should really help her keep her shoes on the right feet!


The Little Kid School Combo comes with 40 Mini Custom Name Stickers, 
50 Tag Mates™ Stick On Clothing Labels, 12 Preschool Shoe Labels (6 pairs), and 2 Personalized Mini Tags. 104 Labels & Tags - $42.00CAD

Our one and only boy is growing up and with that comes his funny personality. His new emoticon labels will help keep him organized while showing off his silly side.


The Ultimate BTS combo comes with 40 Mini Custom Name Stickers, 50 Tag Mates™ Stick On Clothing Labels, 16 Custom Shoe Stickers (8 pairs), 2 Personalized Mini Tags. 108 Labels & Tags - $42.00CAD

My oldest is going into grade 8 and has a bad habit of forgetting where she puts her things sometimes. I've labeled her things since I got my first set of labels; at least she can distinguish them easier from other people's things in the school office lost and found. 


This year we got her the Middle School Label pack which comes with 40 Mini Custom Name Stickers, 50 Tag Mates™ Stick On Clothing Labels, 16 Round Labels, and 2 Personalized Mini Tags. 108 Labels & Tags - $42.00CAD

They may not have a tracking device in them to pinpoint the exact location of items (maybe a future project?) but hey, knowing your kid is coming home with the right pair of shoes or items they thought were gone forever because they recognized their Labels is more than enough for me, saving everyone time and hassle for sure! 

I've been a fan of Mabel's Labels since I was first introduced back in 2010, the rest is history. You can find your style at mabelslabels.com!

Follow @themabelhood on Twitter and Like the Mabel's Labels Facebook page for the latest updates and deals! 



Posted on behalf of Mabel's Labels. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Comments and opinions are my own. 

8/21/17

Evening time is my "adult time" (get your heads out of the gutter), the time after the kids have finally fallen asleep (you can tell by the symphony of snores echoing through the hallway) and one of the only times the better half and I can sit down, relax and possibly watch something; uninterrupted.


The thing is, he and I have different tastes in movies and often different moods. For example, I may be in the mood for something slower like Atypical or a movie like To the Bone, while he wants to one of "his shows" like Marvel's The Defenders or a movie like Star Wars Rogue One. How do we persuade our partners in Netflixing to watch what we want for once?


We could just go into separate rooms or sit together in the same room on different devices but what fun is in that? Absolutely none! When I get into a brand new show I like seeing his reactions and having someone to comment on episodes with. I do like time to myself to binge watch shows I know just are not his style no matter how much convincing but when we both have an interest in a show, it gives a new meaning to the term "Netflix and Chill". 

In all honesty, it is as simple as taking turns. Kind of like what we try to teach our kids about sharing; he picks something one night and the next is my turn, so on and so forth. Often one of us will pick something the other turns their nose at only to find out, in the end, it was worth the watch. 

Check out the fun graphic below which could help you persuade your next binge partner to just sit down and watch it with you already!

Click for larger image
Netflix always has new binge-worthy originals, new seasons and new movies coming every month. This month you can persuade your family to watch these gems! 


Posted in participation with the Netflix Canada #StreamTeam. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


8/18/17

If you grew up in the 90's I'm sure you remember a show about lifeguards *ahem* called "Baywatch". Paramount Pictures brings us a new and improved Baywatch movie starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Zak Effron.

I wasn't a fan of the original show but I am a big fan of Dwayne Johnson (Sorry Zak Efron fans, he's ok too) and so is hubby; we watched this one together and actually enjoyed it. It's got action, comedy and well romance...those parts you might not want to watch with the kids in the room. It's what you would expect from the title, not that bad at all I might say!  ;-)



About the movie:
When a dangerous crime wave hits the beach, legendary Lt. Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson, The Fate of the Furious) leads his elite squad of badass lifeguards on a mission to prove you don’t have to wear a badge to save the bay. Joined by a trio of hot-shot recruits including former Olympian Matt Brody (Zac Efron, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising), they’ll ditch the surf and go deep undercover to take down a ruthless businesswoman (Priyanka Chopra, TV’s “Quantico”), whose devious plans threaten the future of the bay.

Rated 14A - Baywatch is available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack August 29th, 2017 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.  Fans can dive in two weeks early on Digital HD August 15th.



WIN IT!

You could win a copy of Baywatch on Blu-ray combo! Follow the directions and enter using the ballot below!

Open to Canadians 18+ excluding Quebec. Click here for general giveaway rules. Ends August 31st, 2017!




Posted on behalf of Paramount Home Media Distribution. Complimentary copy received for review purposes. Opinions and comments are those of the author. 


8/16/17

Back in April, I was introduced to Toddy Gear, fun and fashionable mobile accessories. I have to say they have become some of my favourite things!



Toddy Gear sent us a taste of their Back to School/Back to work designs; Monday Blues "I hate Mondays" and honestly, who doesn't? I think this new design is so fun and as usual, you get the quality Toddy Gear has to offer. 

The wedge acts as a bed for a phone; when not in use, that's where our phones can usually be found. It's compact enough to sit on my bedside shelf and strong enough to hold my iPhone 6 Plus.



The Smart Cloth has a permanent home in my purse; I always seem to only notice massive smudges on my phone screen when I'm out.




The Pocket Toddy is what I call the smart cloth's little sister; the same cloth except it folds neatly into a little square pocket, hence the name.



Lastly, the Smart Charge Deluxe Power Bank allows us to charge more than one device at a time (including iPads!).




If you are looking for fun and fashionable accessories for back to school or to spruce up your home office, you can check out the entire line of Toddy Gear's different new designs at www.ToddyGear.com


Win it

Gear up for Back to School with Toddy Gear! Enter to win a Smart Charge Deluxe Power Bank (your choice style!) from AME!

Follow the instructions and enter using the ballot below!

Open to Canadian residents 18+ excluding Quebec. Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Ends August 31. For full AME giveaway disclosure click here.


Posted on behalf of Toddy Gear. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Opinions and comments are those of the author.

8/15/17

The other day the kids and I were randomly talking about Disney movies; which ones have the best songs (all of them?), which ones have the saddest or happiest moments and so on. My kids have seen their share of Disney movies but not the older ones, not the ones I remember growing up through my childhood and teenaged years; my younger two children have never seen The Lion King. *Gasp!* 



As a big Disney movie fan myself, I'm surprised but not. We have many Disney favourites on blu-ray or DVD but the classics are on VHS, including The Lion King. Only our oldest child has had the joy of watching one of the best Disney movies of the 1990's while her siblings haven't even 
experienced the joy of singing along to "Hakuna Matata"!

One of the biggest animated films in history— "The Lion King"—joins the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection. The coming-of-age masterpiece, filled with humor and heart, breathtaking animation and soul-stirring Academy Award®-winning music (1994: Best Original Score and Best Original Song, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight"), arrives on Digital on Aug. 15 and on Blu-ray and DVD on Aug. 29. Audiences will fall in love all over again with the treasured classic, and a new generation of fans will laugh with Timon and Pumbaa, cry with Simba and Mufasa, burst into song, and find their place in the "Circle of Life."
One of my favorite Disney animated movies, I am happy to share The Lion King with all of my kids! The Lion King truly is heartwarming with an unforgettable story, that has the magic only Disney can bring us (Hakuna-Matata!)!

The Lion King Circle Of Life Edition will be available on Digital Aug 15 and Blu-ray Aug 29 as part of the Disney Signature collection of animated films. I am so happy to add this one to our growing Disney 
collection!

Win it!


Win a copy of Disney's The Lion King Circle Of Life Edition on Blu-ray combo! Follow the directions and enter using the ballot below! 


Open to Canadians 18+ excluding Quebec. Click here for general giveaway rules. Ends August 31st, 2017!



Entry-Form


Posted on behalf of Disney Studios Canada. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Opinions and comments are those of the author.

8/14/17

August is our last chance to really "get out there" before things start winding down, the socks get pulled up and we begin another busy fall season. With school just around the corner and everything that comes with it, it's always nice to take one last day trip or two with the kids; this time in a new 2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport!


Since the weather was threatening to rain on and off, camping was kind of not a great idea with three kids so we headed to the Quebec side of the river and visited our closest relatives including both sets of grandparents who each live at least an hour and a half outside of Ottawa.

It's quite the car to look at, the Ford Fusion brings power, safety, and luxury into one vehicle with its amazing new features. The powerful 325 hp EcoBoost engine delivers high performance, this car also has Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive. The all-new rotary gear shift dial takes up less room and gives the interior more room for things like cup holders and a USB port right where you need it. It's a car for serious driving enthusiasts (aka my hubby) with its speed and general performance on city streets and highways. 



Adjustable ten ways and heated (or cooled) the seats alone can make the driver and passenger feel like they are in a true luxury ride. 12 speaker, 390 watts Sony surround sound with HD radio, CD, FM radio and Bluetooth capabilities; your tunes never sounded better on the road. SYNC3 technology makes it easy to get whatever's on your phone, right on the dash.


Some new safety features include adaptive cruise control with stop and go, pothole detection, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, enhanced park assist, blind spot, reverse and lane keeping system, and so much more. As hubby says, with all these features this car makes you a better driver.


The 2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport has many of the same technical features as the Ford Fusion we tried out in early July but it's definitely not the same kind of car. It's sporty, it's luxurious and like all Ford vehicles, it's made to drive. Although I'm sure there are many other features we didn't get to try, we had a great week with the Ford Fusion! 

For more information about this and other Ford Canada models please visit your local Ford dealer or www.ford.ca!



Posted by AME on behalf of Ford Canada. We received a week long car loan and a gift card as a thank you for our review. Opinions and comments are my own.



8/9/17

We are only days into August and I am thinking all things "back to school", "back to routine", which means not only getting the kids organized but also myself and our home. 



Over the summer we have kept up with the basics around here but hey, it's summertime and the major jobs, of course, were put off to the sidelines. My new Dirt Devil Reach Max™ Plus 3-in-1 vacuum couldn't have come at a better time!

It's small, it's lightweight and with a 24V battery, it's powerful for getting my cleaning jobs done; did I mention it's also cordless? It's easy to set up, basic "click and go" attachments. It steers under, above and around the house with ease and a powerful SPIN4PRO brushroll designed to tackle messes on both carpet and hardwood floors.  

Need to get rid of those cobwebs in the corner, crumbs in the stairs or the kids last snack mess in the back of the car? This vacuum easily converts to a cordless hand vacuum and comes with accessories like crevice tool, powered cleaning wand, carpet nozzle and stair/upholstery tool to get those jobs done. 

It's easy to empty with the simple press of a button. Just be careful if you have pets that shed, I accidentally jammed up the vacuum but taking it apart and emptying it was super easy. It also comes with a wall mount for easy, out of the way storage.

If you are looking for something small, lightweight and not too pricey, the Dirt Devil Reach Max™ Plus 3-in-1 could be the vacuum for you! You can find this and other Dirt Devil vacuums at your local Canadian Tire, Lowes or Walmart stores. 

Visit www.dirtdevil.com for more information. 



WIN IT!

We want you to experience some lightweight cleaning! Enter to win a Dirt Devil Reach Max™ Plus 3-in-1! 

Open to Canadian residents 18+ excluding Quebec. Ends August 30th, 2017. Click here for general giveaway policy.


Posted on behalf of Dirt Devil. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Opinions and comments are my own.



8/8/17

Normally, I do the reviews here on AME but lately, we have someone who has been wanting to start writing, my oldest daughter. What better way to start than her first review here on AME! 



"I Have tried (and failed) lots of those youtube tricks to smooth and straighten my THICK hair before but with the new Conair Straightening Brush my hair looks amazing using just one brush.



My mom has the Conair Infiniti Pro Ionic Straightening Brush which is almost the same size as my straightening brush except heavier to hold. I like how my new Conair Straightening Brush is light and easy to handle. It makes your hair shiny and also smooth. This one has one setting so there's no making mistakes and heating too hot for your hair. It heats up fast and it's easy to use. It's small to store in a drawer or locker. The only thing I'd change is making it cordless.

It's perfect for a first-time hair styling tool for girls my age. I plan to use it as part of my hair styling before school!

Thank you, Conair for this amazing product you have sent to us! I would recommend this product for anyone looking for a fun, easy to use and not too expensive hair straightener."

Follow @miss_khart on Instagram!

Learn more about Conair Straightening Brush visit the Conair website!

*Written by our NEW teen reviewer on behalf of Conair. Complementary product received for review purposes. Edited by AME. AME does not recommend the use of heated hair tools or products for children under the age of 13. Always read directions before use.*






8/7/17

It's still summertime, we are supposed to be relaxing yet I still find myself with my "mom hat" on, thinking ahead. I don't want to be a downer but there are only a few more solid weeks before school starts up again.

Having three starting this year means I have to be extra diligent when it comes to school supply shopping. I need three of almost everything and some.


Our local stores mostly have what we need to get the kids started on an organized foot with school clothes but I found some really great deals online for basic supplies too. It may be only August but you know as well as I do that getting this stuff as early (and as affordable) as you can, is key! Nothing worse than last minute back to school shopping only to find half the shelves of what you need are already empty.

Our youngest starts Junior Kindergarten, that means other than her school clothes, book bag, and lunch bag, she doesn't require much to start her first year. She will need two pairs of running shoes, tennis balls (to prevent chairs from scratching floors), crayons, and a box or two of tissues.

Our son is going into grade four which is a bit more stuff than his little sister minus the tennis balls. He will need a new backpack and lunch bag, "inside" running shoes, a few duo-tang folders, pencils/erasers, glue sticks, coloured pencils, pencil case, and a box or two of tissues.

We are lucky our elementary school supplies most of the major things like paper and such but our oldest is in junior high, grade 8 and requires much more than just a backpack of simple items.

She needs a big school bag, a binder with dividers, duo-tang folders, pens, liquid paper, highlighters, a scientific calculator, combination lock, loose leaf paper and a few other items I'll probably end up forgetting.

It's always good to check your school or school board website to find out if they have a supply list, most do.

Have you started your back-to-school shopping yet? Share your deal finds in the comments below!



Sponsored by Amazon in participation with Amazon Associates. Comments and opinions are my own





8/4/17

Pringles are one of those once in a while treats we buy (and hide from the kids) to enjoy when we get the taste for something "snacky".


A new "Mystery Flavour" has hit store shelves, perhaps you've seen them at your local grocers? Canadians are invited to put their taste buds to the test and try to identify the new Pringles flavour in a Pringles #MysteryChallenge for the chance to win $10,000!

How to Enter the Pringles #MysteryChallenge:

· Try Pringles Mystery Flavour Chips for yourself!

· Follow Pringles on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest breaking clues. Pringles will be posting a new flavour clue each week from July 2 to August 21.

· Post your guess in the clue comments on Facebook using #MysteryChallenge. For Twitter, become a follower of @PringlesCA, share your guess using #MysteryChallenge, and tag @PringlesCA. You can guess as many times as you want (up to a maximum of one time per day), so keep tasting and trying.

· Contest ends December 31, 2017! 

Full contest details can be found here!.


We were sent some of these "Mystery" flavoured Pringles to try out; I tasted a ranch/cheese with a bit of bite type flavour, I'm not sure exactly what the Flavour name would be. Maybe Nacho-cheese? My oldest and hubby agree, something with Cheddar. 

Check out the video below to see what "flavour" our youngest decided it was...;-)


Try them, take a guess and enter the #MysteryChallenge! Good Luck!


Posted in participation with the Kellogger's blogger program. Opinions and comments are those of the author.


8/3/17


My family loves snacking on veggie plates so I came up with a simple creamy sour cream parmesan dip everyone enjoys. The best part, it goes great with veggies, crackers or dipping chips!


How to make:

1 cup sour cream
2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2-3 tablespoons French salad dressing
Garlic or salt, and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients well in a bowl, serve chilled with your choice of sides *veggies, crackers, chips etc*.

I don't know the exact nutritional value of the dip but you can always alternate ingredients to suit your taste!

Enjoy!