4/25/18

The other night I was thinking in bed (who needs sleep right?) and one thought that came to mind was "wouldn't it be nice to get a new family print for the living room?". It's funny how things work out because my friends at Canvas Factory offered me a custom print of my choice!

Canvas Factory offers a variety of custom print options like canvas, glass and metal prints as well as a variety of different sizes. You can also customize canvas collages as well. 

Unlike traditional framed photos, I find canvas prints give an artsy feel to a room while allowing me to customize my decor to suit my family. We have several canvas prints in our living room that have quotes on them, it's nice to have an actual family photo print or two! 
It's easy to get started: Visit the website and click the blue "Create A Canvas" button, follow the easy steps and within minutes, your custom print will be ordered! 

With our style and size selected (40cm x 50cm canvas), we decided on one of our favourite family photos from a trip we took to Park Omega a couple of years ago. We then decided on a mirror wrap, no filters or text on it as we just wanted the family photo. It took about 5-10 minutes and it there was no hassle at check out. Canvas Factory accepts Paypal, Mastercard and Visa as methods of payment. 

I like the fact that they give you a proof before ordering so you can make sure your canvas looks exactly how you want it to. Also, the customer service is great. Someone from Canvas Factory emailed me with a concern about my image before sending it off for printing but it turned out alright in the end! It was nice to have customer service that cares about the product and the customer's satisfaction. 



My print came within about two weeks of ordering. I am very impressed by the quality although this particular kind is gorgeous, it's also very fragile. Literally, a canvas print stretched on a frame. The only problem I have now is deciding where to display it! 

If you're looking to put life on display, check out Canvas Factory today!  


WIN IT!

We want you to have life on display too! One lucky reader has the chance to win a free 40cmx50cm canvas print from Canvas Factory ($58 value)! 

Open to Canada and USA residents 18+ only (excluding Quebec or where prohibited). Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Ends May 2nd, 2018 9:00PM EST.



Sponsored post on behalf of Canvas Factory. Compensation + product received in exchange for this feature. Prize provided by Canvas Factory. Opinions and comments are those of AME. 

4/23/18

We are an SUV kind of family. With three kids and sometimes a dog or two, travelling in anything smaller wouldn’t make for a great trip. The Ford Escape gives you a safe and quiet ride while still boasting power and loaded with the best technology a smart SUV could bring.



The 2018 Ford Escape Titanium has a 2.0L Twin-Scroll EcoBoost engine under its sleek looking exterior. That means you get both power and eco-efficiency. It has standard auto start-stop technology which turns off the engine when the vehicle is sitting idle (waiting at a really long red light maybe?) and restarts when you lift your foot from the brake pedal so you can be on your way. 

Inside, the Ford Escape is roomy with bucket seats and a large console in front. The back seat is big enough to fit our crew with three seats. Travelling with baggage (or just our size family grocery order) is easy with large cargo capacity and the capability of opening your liftgate with the kick of your foot under the bumper thanks to the intelligent access key right in your pocket. 



The Escape has the technology to keep you comfortable with heated front seats, remote start, winter wiper de-icer, heated mirrors and heated steering wheel; always nice to have a little luxury in your ride. 

Stay connected and bring your mobile life on the go with the SYNC 3 technology and AppleCarPlay. The console (which lights up an aqua blue at night, including the cup holders) has a touch screen with swipe and zoom capabilities and with AppleCarPlay it's like having Siri right in the SUV to answer calls, read texts and play music so you can drive with both hands on the wheel.



Although our initial plan was to make an escape with Ford, we were stuck at home thanks to a ridiculous ice storm while the 2018 Ford Escape was sitting pretty in the driveway. We did, however, get to use it locally around Ottawa and what a ride! Smooth, powerful and the enhanced active park assist plus obstacle distance indicators make driving easier. The 2018 Ford Escape is an all around great vehicle if you're looking for your next new SUV!  

To learn more about the new 2018 Ford Escape please visit www.ford.ca and follow @FordCanada on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #FordEscape for the latest!




Sponsored post on behalf of Ford Canada. Complimentary fleet loan and gift card exchanged for review purposes with no obligations. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of AME. 

4/20/18


I have a fun giveaway right in time for Earth Day! 


A wonderful book called The Magical Mindful Day: A story about mindfulness, connection, and caring for the earth by Deborah Salazar Shapiro, is being released fittingly on Earth Day! This book is intended to inspire the practice of mindfulness in our little ones, raise awareness in our interactions with all living beings and remind kids that the Earth is their friend. 

I really like the ideas and lessons this book represents in simple literature young children can understand and whimsical illustrations throughout. The book is aimed at kids aged 4-8 and can be purchased in both English or Spanish editions. 

You can learn more about the book and the author behind it by visiting the official The Magica Mindful Day website! You can also find the book on the website or on Amazon! 


WIN IT!

ENTER to win a copy of The Magical Mindful Day: A story about mindfulness, connection, and caring for the earth by Deborah Salazar Shapiro! 

Enter using the ballot below. Open to Canadian and US residents 18+ (excluding Quebec and where prohibited). Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Please click here for general giveaway info. Giveaway ends April 25th, 2018 9:00 PM EST. Good Luck! 

Entry-Form


Posted on behalf of Smith Publicity as part of a book tour. Complimentary product received in exchange for the review. Opinions and comments on this blog are my own. 


4/19/18

Earth Day is this weekend (April 22nd) but teaching your kids the importance of taking care of the environment around them is something we should do on a daily basis.

In our house, we try to do our part and set an example. We use reusable lunch containers instead of plastic snack bags. We also recycle. We sort it into bins and we reuse items that can be reused. I try to save the laundry for off-hours. I’m also a fan of donating purchased items that are still good instead of throwing them out. As they say, every little bit counts. 

In celebration of Earth Day, we are sharing some fun earth-friendly tips from our new friend Ranger Rob, to help you and I do our parts to keep our Earth a great place for our kids and the future generations.


Ranger Rob is a show about the adventures of an enthusiastic park ranger who LOVES going outside to PLAY, EXPLORE and DISCOVER in Big Sky Park! The show teaches kids and preschoolers the importance of taking care of the environment, recycling, conserving and preserving the beautiful world we call HOME. It also teaches them the importance of teamwork and friendship.

You can watch Ranger Rob on Earth Day via Treehouse (Canada): April 22- Ranger Rob Marathon 3:15pm-6:30pm ET or Sprout (US): April 22 – Earth Day Special at 9am, repeating at 3:30pm EST.



Posted on behalf of Treehouse for Earth Day. Complimentary product exchanged for the feature. Opinions on this blog are my own.


4/13/18

We have been bringing jewellery and technology together for some time now and I have to say it always amazes me. My most recent find is Code to Canvas, jewellery that comes to life with augmented reality (AR).

Okay, what is AR you ask? It’s like VR (virtual reality) except instead of having to sport headgear to submerge into a virtual world, AR brings the virtual world into yours using the help of your phone. AR is one step away from being a hologram.


Code to Canvas brings your jewellery to life with AR. Using the handy app on your phone, you can bring unicorns, cats and butterflies to life on necklaces, keychains, rings and more. You do need to use screen record or snap a screenshot on your phone to take images of the AR action but it’s still pretty cool and makes a great conversation piece.


Each piece of jewellery is handcrafted and comes either silver or gold plated starting under $30. Code to Canvas offers three designs: The Cat, The Unicorn or The Butterfly on a necklace or keychain.

Check out Code to Canvas, they are always adding new designs like soon to come Zodiac signs!

Like the Code to Canvas Facebook page and keep up with the latest on social media!


Posted on behalf of Code to Canvas. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Opinions and comments are those of the author. 

4/10/18

Handmade items are always a popular choice when it comes to a gift for someone you love (even if it's for yourself!). I personally love them. Not only do you get a quality made item but they are gorgeous and it always feels good to help out a small business owner and support someones passion. 

Fellow blogger and Ottawa-based entrepreneur, Kamerine owns and operates Tiny Feet Creations. Custom handmade jewellery celebrating the tiny feet in our lives! You can read all about how Tiny Feet Creations came about, here! It's such a sweet story. 

Just in time for upcoming Mother's Day, I was sent over this beautiful black onyx (stone of energy and focus) and rose quartz (stone of love) Mama bracelet. It's beautifully designed and custom sized to my (very tiny) wrist! What's cool about this besides the fact it's absolutely gorgeous, the beads are arranged in morse code and spell out "Mama". 




All designs are created with beautiful hand selected beads, metals and gemstones. You can find earrings and necklace sets, bracelets, car diffusers, and more all handmade and personalized for you! You can see the entire Tiny Feet Creations collection at the TFC Etsy shop

Thank you Kamerine for allowing me to add one of your beautiful pieces to my jewellery collection!

Like Tiny Feet Creations on Facebook for the latest releases, giveaways and Ottawa-based creative workshops offered! 


Posted on behalf of Tiny Feet Creations. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Opinions and comments are those of the author. 


4/1/18



May your day be filled with chocolate treats and yummy eats! 
Happy Easter from the #AMEBlog family! 
xo

3/26/18

It’s officially Springtime and even though there is still some snow on the ground, I’m ready to welcome the new season and new shoes!

Winter kept me warm with my Skechers On The Go City 2 North Ice boots, one of the most comfortable pairs of boots I’ve worn. It felt like I was wearing really warm, comfortable running shoes all winter to be honest. Now, with the changing season, it’s time to put the boots away and step out in something new!


This spring I’ll be sporting Skechers Flex Appeal 2.0! Soft jersey knit fabric upper in a lace up athletic sporty training sneaker with stitching accents and Skechers famous Air Cooled Memory Foam insole. They come in a variety of colours, I chose black/coral.



For him, Skechers After Burn M Fit Air in grey/black. A comfortable, athletic shoe for the everyday, smooth nubuck leather, synthetic and mesh fabric upper in a lace up training sneaker. They have air cushioned heels and of course Air Cooled Memory Foam insoles. He can be picky when it comes to his shoes. Not only does he say they are comfortable but they also come in a 13 wide which is sometimes hard to find for him. 




What I love about Skechers is as someone with back and hip problems, they are one of the only brands of shoe I can comfortably wear without the worry of foot cramps or sore feet after wearing them for long periods of time. I would recommend trying out Skechers if you're looking for comfort and style at an affordable price. 

You can buy Skechers shoes at many different stores like Mark’s, The Bay or at a Skechers factory outlet store (I believe there are two locations right here in Ottawa).

Whatever your style, step out in Skechers this spring!


Win it!

One lucky AME reader has the chance to win a pair of Skechers shoes! Step into spring and enter using the ballot below!

Open to Canadians 18+ Excluding Quebec. One winner will be drawn to win 1 pair of Skechers shoes of their choice provided by the sponsor. Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Please see our disclosure page for more. Giveaway ends April 8th, 2018 9:00 PM EST.


Posted on behalf of Skechers Canada. We received complimentary shoes for our opinion. Giveaway prize provided by the sponsor. Comments and opinions on this blog are those of the author. 

3/18/18

One can never have too many gadgets in the office to help facilitate work life, especially gadgets and tools that can benefit part of your daily health. 


Fersgo Ergoslider Plus: Ergonomic Mouse is designed for efficiency and comfort, reducing stress on your wrists and hands by having the mouse right in front of your keyboard instead of on the side. It eases tension by eliminating the constant back and forth wrist motions which can aggravate or cause serious conditions like arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Click here to see more images on Instagram! 

It connects via USB. I do wish it would be wireless as the rest of my devices are but it has the choice of left or right cable out plugs on it to make it a little easier. 

It's sleek, lightweight and fits right under the keyboard (as pictured above). My desk is small (I have a desktop PC) which doesn't leave me much room with a mouse like this but it's perfect for use with a laptop. We all know how much of a pain those mouse pads on laptops can be.

It's not like any mouse I've seen before. Instead of moving your hand all around you basically, navigate with the scroll wheel and use the left, right, forward and backward buttons instead of a typical "left or right" mouse buttons. It makes for a simplified user experience. 

You can find the Fersgo Ergoslider Plus: Ergonomic Mouse on Amazon!


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






3/14/18

The school called on Friday (before March break) and I unfortunately missed the call. As soon as I saw the number on my missed call list I had a bad feeling about it. My gut instinct was kind of right, something did happen but luckily it was quite minor. My son had been punched in the face at recess by another kid. I was expecting a full blown black eye or something out of a Rocky movie but no, he was okay thankfully.

He came home from school that day unharmed except a scratch on his face and of course his ego. They had been arguing over snow forts and one kid took it too far. I asked my son if he had hit the other child and his response made me smile.

He looked at me and said, “No mom, I’m a nice guy! I don’t hit people!”

I am proud of him. That’s my boy!

That’s just who he is though. He’s our relaxed child, he’s quiet unless he’s got something to say. He loves his LEGO, crazy YouTube videos and gaming on his device. I hope he never changes, not too much at least.

He’s turning 10 years old today. He’s growing up fast, as are all three kids. It’s hard to believe the preemie baby they gave slim chances to is growing up to be such a strong, smart young man. With wisdom like that, the big world won’t have a chance against him.



He makes us proud every day.

Happy 10th birthday “Miracle Man”.

3/10/18

There are certain things that allow me to function normally on a day-to-day basis. No, I can't live without food, water, shelter, clothing, my better half and the kids (and pets) but I'm talking about those things that if there was an apocalypse of some kind and man ended up back in the dark ages, I doubt I would survive very long without them. 

5 Things I Can't Live Without (as a Mom)



1. Coffee. Be it home-brewed or drive through, I have to have my morning coffee (and it has to be with cream and sugar). Maybe it's because I have been drinking it for so long (think before kids) but without it, it's like watching a zombie in a reality TV show. It's not pretty! 

2. Internet. Okay, I could "live without it" and get away with using a pen and paper but it is something I rely on for a majority of things. Planners, emails, chats and live videos that keep me in touch both in the business realm and also in the social one, keeping up with the kids schools, weather, local news, banking, medical stuff, you name it the list goes on beyond entertainment (although I am a sucker for celebrity gossip). 

3. My favourite dogs. We have several dogs in the house and I love them all to pieces and I can't see myself without them. We have a special bond them and me. They’re my buddies who have cuddled while I cried, snored beside me while I binged my shows, follows me around and the only ones who randomly bite at the bottom of my yoga pants for attention. They’re my other babies. 

4. Disposable Earplugs. Laugh if you will but I am an extremely light sleeper. I need them or I get ZERO sleep at night. Every sound tends to wake me up especially the sound of the entire house snoring. It's like a symphony with everyone (hubby, kids AND the dogs) snoring. I'm sure I probably snore too but at least everyone else is muffled out and I can get some shut-eye to enjoy that coffee waiting for me the next morning. 

5. Music (can you tell by the Mariah GIF?). I love music, always have and always will. It's a part of me whether it be attempting to entertain the kids with an embarrassing dance party, terribly singing along to my favourites while I clean (a rendition of 'Ken Lee' anyone?) or ugly crying the feels out when things aren't going my way. My musical taste varies from rock to pop to rap to Broadway tunes; it all depends on the mood. 

There are probably a lot more things I "can't live without" but I'll leave the list at 5 for now.

What are some things you just can't live without? Share in the comments, I love to chat! 



This post is meant to be humorous. Not sponsored. Opinions and comments are those of the author.


3/9/18

Here's a fun idea for your next round of "me time", Mamas! 

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time you'll know that I love everything nail art. It's always been a hobby of mine and having two girls who also love to have their nails painted, I've grown quite the collection of different kinds of polishes. 

The latest for me is gel polish ("shellac" if you will, I'm not fond of the hard gel). Unlike typical nail polish, gel polish requires a LED/UV lamp to cure, giving an instantly dry, shiny and durable manicure for up to two weeks. You can get a lamp at beauty supply stores or online for under $50 and most gel polishes run between $10-$30, depending which brand you go for. 

One of my new favourite brands of gel polish is AimeiliI came across Aimeili while shopping nail art supplies on Amazon last fall. Designed in Hong Kong and established in North America and Europe, Aimeili offers quality at-home gel polishes in a variety of vibrant colours including glow in the dark and my new favourite, thermal colour changing polish. They are around $10 a bottle making them not the most expensive but not the cheapest on the market either. 



Now, before I start I want to say I am in no way a qualified professional nail technician but if you are like me and enjoy pampering yourself once in a while “a la DIY”, here is a little “how to” when it comes to doing my own nails.

How to DIY gel manicures at home!

Note: this tutorial covers the basic application of gel polish only. If you are new to gel polish, there are plenty of beginner tutorial videos online that can help you out.

Also, that's NOT my hand modelling the polish in the pictures! It's a dummy practice hand I sometimes use for creating decorated glue on nails. Isn't she fabulous??

Step 1:

Prep your nails. This means removing any old nail polish, trimming (if necessary), file the shape, gently pushing cuticles and cleansing your nails of any debris and oils using rubbing alcohol.


I skipped this little step on my dummy hand but typically, start with a base coat. Very important if you want a strong, long-lasting polish. One coat is sufficient. Cure in your lamp.

Step 2:
Choose your colour and apply two THIN coats curing for 30 seconds between coats. Wipe off any sticky residue between coats (they sell cleanser but I just use a lint free swab and rubbing alcohol in a spritz bottle which works the same).



Step 3:

Finish with a coat of top coat and cure in your lamp. Apply cuticle oil to finish and you’re good to go!


I used Aimeili Temperature Change colour and No Wipe top coat for this tutorial. 

Thanks, Aimeili for complementary colours to add to my collection: TC29 - Purple/White Sparkle and TC20 - Red/Hot Pink (below). I can't wait to wear these bright colours in the spring and summer months!


I always love trying new things when it comes to doing my own nails. I hope this little tutorial will help you create beautiful manicures using gel polish at home in those “me time” moments where you just want to pamper yourself. 

Oh, you can find a video version below! 





Sponsored in part by Aimeili. Complimentary product received for the mention. Opinions and comments are those of the author.

3/7/18

Ever wonder what it would be like to be five inches tall? The movie Downsizing takes us there when a couple decides to join the latest in living life large just inches tall.



“When scientists find a way to shrink humans to five inches tall, Paul Safranek (Academy Award winner** Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to ditch their stressed-out lives in order to get small and live large in a luxurious downsized community. Filled with life-changing adventures and endless possibilities, Leisureland offers more than riches, as Paul discovers a whole new world and realizes that we are meant for something bigger.”


If you’re looking for an overall entertaining and thought-provoking (dark) comedy, you’ll enjoy this one!

Downsizing comes to digital, 4K Ultra and Blu Ray on March 20th, 2018.

Check out www.downsizingmovie.com and follow @DownsizingFilm on Twitter and Instagram

Win it!

Enter to win a copy of Downsizing on Blu Ray from #AMEblog and Paramount using the ballot below!

Please fill out the entry ballot below to be eligible to win! Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done to qualify. One entry per household. Ends March 18th, 2018 9:00pm EST.

By entering this giveaway you understand the terms and conditions of AME. Your information will not be shared unless you are drawn a winner in which it will be shared with representatives of Paramount Home Media Distribution. For more information about giveaway please see our terms and conditions page.



Posted by AME on behalf of Paramount Home Media Distribution. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Opinions and comments are my own. 

3/2/18



March break is just a couple of weeks away. The thought of the kids being home for March break is a really nice one, I love my kids but let’s be real, sometimes its hard to survive March break at home! 

Take a timeout not for the kids but for yourself! As tempting as keeping a busy schedule for everyone is and I know some of us still have to work 
despite the kids being off, take a break for a day or so at least. That’s what March break is for! Take time out for yourself and let the kids handle their own entertainment. Catch up with a girlfriend, finish that book you haven't been able to, take a bubble bath - whatever, just relax! I always have to remind myself that I need a break once in a while, too! 

For those of us with older kids, it can be a little bit easier. My oldest is almost 14 which makes her old enough to watch her 9 and 5-year-old siblings while I'm in another part of the house doing what I need to do. As for entertainment beyond plopping them in front of a TV or handing them a device - crafts, colouring, board games or even card games can be fun as long as nobody turns it into an all-out war as siblings sometimes tend to do. Worst case, they could always help us adults with the household duties, I’m just saying the bathroom doesn't clean itself!

Go outside and get some fresh air. We all need to see the sunlight and breathe from time to time. Plus, it helps burn the energy right out of everyone possibly making bedtime much easier! Ottawa has some great sights like the Rideau canal, various museums and there are several sugar shacks open for the maple season, too! We might take a trip to a local one ourselves for a mid-week treat!

We will be staying local as usual for March break, with two birthdays back-to-back, nobody has time to say “I’m bored!”

Whatever you and your family do this March break, have all of the fun!

2/20/18




Disney's Lady and the Tramp was one of my favourites when I was a kid, I think we may even still have it on VHS! I'm super happy to tell you that Disney's Lady and the Tramp is being added to the Walt Disney Signature Collection. 

Future generations can enjoy this timeless tale plus, this release is loaded with three versions of the film, classic bonus material and three all-new features! You can bring Disney's Lady and the Tramp home on Digital Feb. 20 and on Blu-ray on Feb. 27.


Win it!

AME readers: enter below for your chance to win a copy of Disney’s Lady and the Tramp on Blu Ray!

Open to Canadians 18+ excluding Quebec. Mandatory entry must be done to qualify. Ends March 5th, 2018 12:00 PM EST 

Click here for general giveaway rules.



*Copy of featured film obtained for review purposes. Giveaway prize provided by representatives of Disney. Opinions and comments on this blog are my own*

2/12/18

We all want what's best for our children. We all want to raise well-rounded, independent, intelligent human beings to continue our legacies and make the future an even better place. 

When they are babies we want to make sure to be there for every first moment making sure they get the best of what we can give them from diapers to cuddles and everything in between.

As the kids are getting older things are changing, they are growing and their individual needs are changing. They are becoming their own people more and more. They are unique individuals with each their own journey to follow but one thing they have in common is the values they are learning and we have the Catholic Teachers to partially thank for that. 


Our kids have been attending Catholic schools since we started them in school (you can read more about this here.) and I strongly believe that the atmosphere children are exposed to on a daily basis helps build who they become as teens and young adults. When you have teachers like some of the Catholic teachers like the ones who have been teaching my children over the years, you know you're helping them down the right path.

Catholic teachers teach more than just your basic reading, writing and math skills; they teach lessons for the test of life, shaping the characters and values of the students they teach. These values help students become engaged and contributing citizens. Graduates of Catholic schools participate in elections, donate to charities and volunteer in their communities at very high rates.

Catholic teachers make values such as fairness, compassion, respect, concern for social justice and the environment a priority in their classrooms. We can agree, all of us benefit from this approach.

Please visit http://www.catholicteachers.ca/LessonsForLife to learn more about our wonderful Catholic teachers and all they do for our kids! 


This post is part of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers #catholicteachers sponsored program. I received compensation as thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.

1/30/18

We’ve all been there, pushed to our limits and losing our cool. Whether it be from sleepless nights of an unhappy infant to multiple wakings from boogie mans in the closet or the constant young teenager power struggle, we all need a moment to calm down when we’ve had enough.




Time outs aren’t just for toddlers.
Even grown ups can feel overwhelmed from time to time. Taking a time out doesn’t mean jumping in your car and heading for the hills, as tempting at times as it may seem. Taking a time out could be as simple as going to a different room, doing something that isn’t what is currently upsetting you. Gather your thoughts and try to figure out a solution. Maybe there isn’t a solution but at least you (and your kids) will feel better calmed down.

Talk about it.
Call your best friend, partner or mom and vent. It’s never good to keep things bottled up inside even if you may think these things are trivial. Maybe they’ll have some great advice to help ease your situation. Either way, a good chat can always brighten your spirits.

Meditate
The kids can join in this too. Create a quiet, dimly lit room and do some meditation and breathing exercises. You can find a whole bunch on YouTube.

Be productive!
If you can’t sit still and have to keep moving, one thing that can help with frustration is housework or maybe a little outdoor exercise. These are both things you can include the kids in or do on your own.

Hug your child.
No matter how angry or upset you or they are, hug/cuddle them. They’re probably feeling as emotional as you are and sometimes that’s all it takes.

Remember “this too shall pass”.
That phrase has kind of been my mantra since I can remember. It just stuck with me my whole life and I’ve even found myself repeating it during hard times.

Above all, as hard as it is sometimes please try not to be so hard on yourself. We are all learning as we go in this motherhood thing.

Have any tips? Leave a comment and share!

1/26/18

Just a little update, why it’s been a little quiet here on #AMEBlog...

I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!!!


I honestly thought it was something that would go away within a few days, we’ve all pulled a muscle before.

It’s been two weeks of “taking it easy” due to a back injury; my lower back. I’ve been updating my healing progress over on my other blog (you can read about me almost catching fire there too!) and have been working on my creative writing blog while I’m down for the count. “Taking it easy” isn’t easy for me. I’m always in the need to be busy doing something.

I’ve had to swallow my pride and delegate tasks to everybody else in the house and it’ll be like this for a few more weeks at least. I can do some things, I have to do some things. Sitting idle won’t help. Most people would take this as a blessing and tell me to let everyone else take care of me but it is no blessing when you’re suffering chronic pain. It’s very difficult when you’re so used to being the number one that everyone comes to for everything they need, now the tables have turned.

It’s really hard to try and take care of yourself when you’re worried about taking care of everybody else. I’m lucky to have my better half by my side. I know it must be hard without me there to take the extra loads of life but he does what he has to do just the same. The kids have been trying their best, they don’t fully understand and I’m sure it’s not easy for them. My son is always concerned if I leave my walking cane too far from reach. My oldest daughter who usually rolls her eyes when asked a task, kept her eyeballs in her head this time.

We’ve tried to keep things as normal as possible except miss M didn’t take well to the change in bus stop chauffeur’s over the past two weeks. Mommy usually takes her and big brother but lately its been daddy who is in charge of the afternoon pick up, he’s been doing both. After a couple of days she looked forward to the morning walks.

Today is Friday and as a treat for helping out extra the past while, the kids got to take a trip to the dollar store with their Dad and pick out a few surprises.

For now I’ll continue to “take it easy”, let my minions help me out, do my stretches and try to get past this hurdle that decided to pop up so soon into 2018.

**Stay tuned for more on #AMEblog in the coming weeks including some reviews, a fun gel polish tutorial for you beauty DIYer’s and maybe a few giveaways😉!**


1/24/18

It’s more daddies and more problems in the uproarious family comedy DADDY’S HOME 2! When it comes to raising their kids, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad
(Will Ferrell) finally, have this co-parenting thing down. That is, until Dusty’s macho dad (Mel Gibson) and Brad’s sweet-natured father (John Lithgow) come to town, throwing the whole family into complete chaos. As old rivalries create new problems, Dusty and Brad’s partnership is put to the ultimate test in this hilarious and heartwarming comedy that gives new meaning to the term ‘blended family.’

You can find this title on Blu Ray, DVD and 4K HD where home media entertainment is sold on February 20, 2018. Daddy's Home and Daddy's Home 2 will also be available in a double movie set! 

For more information about Paramount Pictures, please visit www.paramount.com! Follow @ParamountPics on Twitter for the latest home entertainment news and releases. 

WIN IT!

Make Daddy's Home 2 part of your Blu Ray collection! TWO lucky AME readers have the chance to each win a copy of Daddy's Home 2 from Paramount Home Media Distribution and AME blog! 

Please fill out the entry ballot below to be eligible to win! Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done to qualify. One entry per household. Ends Feb 2nd, 2018 12:00pm EST. 

By entering this giveaway you understand the terms and conditions on AME. Your information will not be shared unless you are drawn winner in which it will be shared with representatives of Paramount Home Media Distribution. For more information about giveaway please see our terms and conditions page.




Posted on behalf of Paramount Home Media Distribution. Review copies of movie titles obtained for review. Comments and opinions on this blog are those of the author.



1/22/18

January has had us cooped up from the cold, a couple of weeks ago we had record breaking freezing temperatures past -35 degrees (Celsius). What better to do than catch up with the latest and greatest (and make your next to watch list) on our favourite streaming network, Netflix!

This new year finds some great new Netflix shows visiting our livingroom while some of our favourites return for new seasons.



Lots to keep the littles entertained on cold blustery January snow days:Trolls: The Beat Goes on is a new Netflix series based on the hit movie. Join Llama and his Mama (voiced by Jennifer Garner) Llama Llama series (based on the hit nursery rhyme) on January 26th. For the older kids, A Series of Unfortunate Events brings a second eerie season to fans; my son loves that one in particular.

For those nights in away from the cold, Netflix always has something for the parents to kick back and relax with. I for one am excited about the return of Santa Clarita Diet, a dark comedy about a wife and mom turned raw-hamburger meat-eating zombie (played by Drew Barrymore) and her husband (played by Timothy Olyphant) trying to keep it all under wraps. If you haven’t watched the first season, you have time as we have yet to find out exactly when new episodes will come!

Also, the hit show This Is Us along with One Day At A Time are now streaming. I think I may be the only person ever who hasn’t watched them yet. They’re officially on my 2018 “to watch” list!

February brings viewers some really great titles like Queer Eye; making its debut after 15 years, crime drama Seven Seconds, 1990’s high school based drama Everything Sucks and On My Block. Later this year Sci Fi fans can look forward to a reboot of Lost In Space set to launch mid-2018! Just a few you might want to add to your own 2018 “to watch list”!

Check out www.netflix.ca or your Netflix app for the latest movies and shows you and your family will love. Know someone who doesn’t have Netflix? They can sign up and get 30 days free! Tell them!



Posted in participation with the Netflix StreamTeam. Special perks are obtained in affiliation but all opinions, comments and recommendations are those of the author.

1/17/18

It’s really sad to read the news lately. My heart dropped when I read that article about a little girl, the same age as miss M, pinned by an idle car after it backed into her at a school drop off of all places. She later died of her injuries. I can’t imagine what her family must be going through. Isn’t school supposed to be a place kids (and adults) feel safe?

Apparently it’s not uncommon for school parking/drop off/pickup zones to be what I call: War Zones!

Last year and the year before we drove the kids to school. The bus rules changed and we were no longer eligible. Driving them to and picking them up from school was a nightmare. A small, overcrowded parking lot with rude, inconsiderate people. Parking in no parking zones, cutting off other cars, parents, faculty and students on foot! Every day was an accident waiting to happen or a fight waiting to brew between two frustrated parents.

Hubby tried to reason with some of the parents only to be called crude names, flipped a middle finger and the worst one even called the police because he told them not to park in a no parking zone! The officers at the time agreed with hubby, that parking situation was an accident waiting to happen.

This year I wasn’t putting my family through that again. We fought for a bus for our son since his sister automatically gets a bus being a Kinder student. We won. After much pestering, we got a bus to and from school. No more nasty parking lot confrontations before coffee.

This year we have a new principal at our school. I received two emails within two days about the school parking lot.

The first were a set of simple rules and a warning to those adults who refuse to abide by them. The second was a final notice: parents must wait until all students are dismissed before picking them up. The parking lot will be closed from 2:45-3:10pm, when there are kids in the masses leaving to walk or getting on the bus in that area, including my two little ones. It gives me a bit of relief knowing some changes are being made, it’s just really sad that it took a tragedy like what happened to that little girl to make people wake up and open their eyes.

To the parents who are guilty of this irresponsible behaviour: shame on you! We all have the same goal: get the kids to school, get in and out as quickly as possible. Which is fine and dandy but when it comes to an unpredictable parking lot with cars and people everywhere, take the safe route. Wait until the traffic passes, drive SLOWLY and pay attention! Why not even park a few blocks away and walk the kids in or if they’re older have them walk with a buddy and know the rules. Anything to be safe but please don’t be so inconsiderate and only think of yourself.







Look to your left, look to your right, look in front of and behind you. Those people you see, their lives are as important as yours, remember that.



1/10/18


New on DVD, your little princess will enjoy watching Nickelodeon's Nella The Princess Knight! Let your Knightly heart shine! This DVD is packed with 8 enjoyable royal adventures! Whether she's hosting a regal concert at her castle or protecting her kingdom on a daring quest with her best friends Trinket, Sir Garrett and Clod, Nella the Princess Knight uses kindness and courage to save the day! Check out the trailer below!




You can find this on DVD where home media entertainment is sold on January 30th, 2018!

For more information about Paramount Pictures, please visit www.paramount.com! Follow @ParamountPics on Twitter for the latest home entertainment news and releases. 


WIN IT!


Enter to win Nickelodeon's Nella The Princess Knight on DVD from Paramount Home Media Distribution. Fill out the ballot below, two winners will be drawn contacted via provided email address. 

Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done to qualify. One entry per household. Ends January 20th, 2018. 

By entering this giveaway you understand the terms and conditions on AME. Your information will not be shared unless you are drawn winner in which it will be shared with representatives of Paramount Home Media Distribution. For more information about giveaway please see our AME giveaway guidelines page.




Posted on behalf of Paramount Home Media Distribution. Review copies of movie titles obtained for review. Comments and opinions on this blog are those of the author




1/7/18

You know how they say “sleep when the baby sleeps”? I chose to take a break when the kids had a break. From everyday chaos to preparing for Christmas, I started to feel run down. We didn’t even host anybody except the five of us for Christmas yet I felt as though I had.


Was it the end of the year burn out? Was I pushing myself too hard? Was life THAT demanding of me? I’m not sure but I had to hit that pause button and just focus on the bare minimum while the kids were off. I definitely needed it and now I’m back to hit the new year head on! I am going in with a positive attitude.

I don’t have "New Year's resolutions" (I don’t do those) but I have goals. Times are changing, the kids aren't babies anymore. I'm growing in my own personal ways but one thing I do know that won't change: I'll always be a mother, therefore I will always be experiencing motherhood. This blog has grown and changed over the years, I plan to continue growing and changing in that area but I'm not going anywhere despite my slight thought over the holiday season to just throw in the towel. I know, it may be a shock to some of you. After all, I have been doing this for nearly nine years!

I almost lost my way for a brief moment and forgot why I do this to begin with: my love of writing and reaching out to people, even in the smallest way. That and I don't give up. I'm not a quitter and I don't plan on becoming one. Thank you to all my regular readers who continue to be the drive I need in my blog life some days. 

I’m looking forward to 2018 of new opportunities both on the blog and in my ever busy personal life. 

Until next post...


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