School is starting, school is starting! We have been preparing the kids for their big day back next week, including preparing their school supplies by putting their names on everything with labels and tags. We all know there is nothing worse than your child coming home within the first few days of school having lost something new and it never returns.

I've probably said this before but my kids love anything personalized, who doesn't! We were happy to be introduced to SwaggerTag, the tag that allows you to personalize your gear in a fun new way! 

SwaggerTag was created by Toronto Mompreneur, Karen Walker. Upon getting ready to send her child off to school, Karen was in search for something to attach to a backpack so it could be easily identified by her child and returned if it ever happened to get lost. She needed something that she could customize, that would last through the every day wear and tear of a kid but also something that didn't overly display personal information. After searching with no luck at local stores, Karen came up with the idea and launched the SwaggerTag at the February 2011 American International Toy Fair in NYC and the rest is history! 

SwaggerTag is a bag tag that reflects your personality and style while keeping your stuff properly identified. Outside is a personalized image and your information is hidden safely inside. It's really easy to customize a SwaggerTag for your bag! Simply measure your picture (using the guide provided), cut it out and put it in! If you can't decide on what picture to add you can always browse the new "Window Art Library" on the SwaggerTag website. 

Just be careful not to make the same mistake as I did and put it in upside down the first time! ;-) If you do make a mistake, need to change info inside or your SwaggerTag happens to need a replacement window you can always order a "refurbish" kit online!
SwaggerTag in "hot pink" and "dolphin blue"
SwaggerTag easily attaches to any gear with a sturdy cable tie (comes with spares) and come in six great colours. They are water, weather and impact resistant. Excellent for back to school, camp, travel, pet tags, sports and other extra-curricular activities!

SwaggerTag is a proud supplier to Scouts Canada (branded with their logo in dragon red)! You can buy SwaggerTag at certain retail locations or online

Connect with @SwaggerTag on Twitter and Facebook

Disclosure: Posted on behalf of Swagger Tags. We received complimentary product and compensation for this review. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 


Birthday Clipart

Today is a special day in our house - Our little girl lady's 8th birthday!! 

Ever since she was born we knew she had a spark. She has never been afraid to show how she feels no matter what the emotion. Through her funny jokes, witty comments and fun ideas - we know she is going to grow up to be someone amazing no matter what she does in life. She is known to NEVER give up (do you know how many times shes asked us what shes getting for her birthday this summer??) and always willing to try. 

She cares about others, friends and family. She loves the environment, animals and everything in between. I don't think there is very much that this girl worries about in life, seeing her happy makes me happy. 

We are so proud of her, every day and always will be. 

Happy 8th Birthday K - love always Mommy and Daddy! :) 

 Disclosure: Personal post by AME. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


When you think Best Buy, you automatically think technology, home entertainment and things like that as that is what they specialize in. I recently found out that Best Buy has expanded what they offer customers and now carry baby gear in a new Home & Lifestyle section online! I knew they sold things like baby monitors but we are talking gear like play parks, high chairs and strollers among others.

Yes, Best Buy does Baby gear. It is actually one of the last places I would have thought to look for items we will be needing for our bundle of joy but after taking a look at the website - wow. They have some pretty nice things to offer, it's nice to have another option when baby shopping!

One important baby item that we had been talking about is of course a new stroller. I am very picky when it comes to strollers because I do a lot by foot. It has to be both functional and also last us more than a couple of months. I also look for various safety features and simplicity, if you have to fumble with it to open or close it chances are it isn't for you. 

Best Buy sent us over one of the strollers they have in their baby gear line, the i'coo phoenix stroller - in red! This stroller has an aluminum frame, which makes it totally light weight and solid up to 40 lbs weight. It's got a padded seat and 5 point straps with shoulder pads, perfect for a newborn. It has a cleverly designed full canopy, when open it covers the whole front of the stroller so no matter what the weather baby stays dry and warm. There's a little window on top to check on baby and a pouch on the back to maybe put things you need at hand in. It has a large sized basket at the bottom, a must for storing your purse or baby bag etc while out. Baby is in for a smooth ride with the i'coo phoenix as its got lockable 360 degree turning wheels and adjustable back/foot rests! It's easy to fold up and store; Remove the canopy and front padded safety bar, push the lever and you can fold and store in no time.  

The i'coo Phoenix stroller pretty much has every feature we are looking for in a stroller, except hubby pointed out there is no front tray or cup holder but that's not really that important a feature as they do sell various stroller accessories to add on to. We cannot wait to take our new baby out for a walk in this new stylish and fun i'coo stroller

The i'coo phoenix comes in red or black and is available at Best Buy! Connect with Best Buy via Twitter and Facebook!

Disclosure: Posted by AME on behalf of Best Buy Canada. We received complimentary product for review purposes. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 


This past weekend our local community center had it's annual end-of-summer community party! As usual they had music playing and set up a bouncy house for the kids to jump around on, informational kiosks about local services, hot dogs, face painting and lots of other fun stuff for families to get together and enjoy!

They even had an evening showing of "The Lorax" on a big screen. It was late when it showed and time for little guy's bed time so we skipped out on that part but we did have fun during the daytime events!

They really loved the bouncy house, little guy kept wanting to go back for more turns!

 The volunteer face painters did a great job turning K into a cat and well little guy wanted some "Avengers" symbols on his face like on his shirt and a green heart on his chin. What can I say, I have creative kids! ;-)

We checked out some of the kiosks with information like safe drinking water in our community, the importance of wearing a bike helmet and demonstrations of some of the community trucks and paramedic ambulances where the kids could go inside and check them out!

Huge thanks goes out to the community and volunteers who make events like this possible. Although only once a year, we enjoy it nonetheless.

A great way to say "Good-bye" to summer!

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


Kids express themselves in many ways from their personalities to how they play, what they like and don't like and also, what they wear! Clothing is a great way to allow your kids to express themselves through styles, patterns and colours especially with shoes. 

When we go shoe shopping with the kids we typically let them choose which style they want to wear (within reason, no mini-heels or silly things like that). After all, they are the ones who will be wearing them and it allows them to feel more independent having made their own decision on what to wear. 

We were recently introduced to Chooze, a vegan line of shoes which help your kids express individuality. Providing unique clothing options and building their confidence. Chooze kids choose to be different, to think for themselves and to stand out of the crowd. Chooze supports programs to enable kids to do and be whatever they Chooze!

They are like no other shoe I have seen before! While the same style of shoe, the pattern on each shoe is different from the other, no two pair are alike. What a cool way for kids to express themselves!

We were sent a pair of Chooze in toddler - Scout Protect pattern to try out with our little guy. As soon as I opened the package and he saw the shoe box he knew it was for him. He absolutely loved them and was thrilled that one was different from the other.  

Chooze are made with 100% cotton, 100% vegan material and are slip ons with no straps or laces to fumble with. Perfect for little learners. They have an anti-microbial memory foam insole for added comfort and a thick outer sole for support.

What I like about Chooze is not just the fact that they are unique but also because of what the company itself stands for. I'm all for letting my kids express their individuality and now little guy can with his new Chooze shoes!

Choose are available in multiple colours and patterns for both boys and girls. You can buy your own Choose  for $59.99 and up at www.snugglebugz.ca, mom approved products for everything baby!

Win it!

Do you have a child who loves to express themselves in unique and colourful ways? Win a pair of Chooze shoes courtesy of AME and SnuggleBugz.ca! Enter using the rafflecopter ballot below via email address or facebook!

Open to Canadian residents only. Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Giveaway open August 20th to August 31st.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Posted by AME on behalf of Snugglebugz.ca. We received complimentary product for review purposes. Giveaway prize provided by Snugglebugz.ca. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


I am 19 weeks along (already) and we had another ultrasound this Friday afternoon. I had missed my second set of blood tests at the end of July because I had been sick with a bad tooth abscess and on antibiotics etc. My Dr's secretary actually called to remind scold me about missing it a couple of days ago. Funny because the hospital had no problem, I technically had another week before the cut-off point for the testing. Also, its easier for me to do two things at once at the hospital then have to bus back a second time. Either way it's done and over with.

Next up is an appointment with my doctor at the end of the month. She will go over the results from the hospital and any concerns she may have. Typically my doctor will call, or the hospital calls if there is a concern and so far we have been lucky. Count our blessings we stay this lucky!

The ultrasound went good, I brought K with me for the experience. She was eager to find out if she was getting a baby brother or a sister since we were expecting to possibly find out.

She was full of questions as the technician checked to make sure everything was alright and took images etc. She had no problem explaining things to K as we went along. 

Finally the moment we had been waiting for came. The technician was able to see what we are having. 

It's a...



I don't know why but when the words came out "and its a baby girl" it didn't seem surprising. It was almost like somehow I already knew we were having a girl. Hubby found out when he picked us up after the appointment, he initially had guessed boy wanting another son but was just as excited to find out he's got another little princess on the way!

We've got 21 weeks to prepare everything (including ourselves!) which sounds like a lot but if you think about how fast the first 19 went - it's coming quicker than we know it!  


August is upon us and if you haven't started already, it'll soon be time to get organized to get the kids back to school! 

There are so many things to think of when sending kids back to school, in our case we are sending one back to school and one to school for the first time so its quite an exciting time for us! Not only do the kids need new clothes to wear but they also need school supplies including back packs. 

Backpacks need to be sturdy, they carry our kids supplies to and from school for nearly ten months. We made the mistake last year and bought a backpack that wasn't so durable and had to replace it mid-year. They also have to be roomy enough to carry everything and small enough for kids to store at school and carry.

Here are some great tips for choosing a proper backpack for your kids to head off in September with:
  • Choose the right design; Look for durable bags with plastic bottoms to keep items safe, wide-adjustable straps also make for comfortable carrying. Separate compartments help adjust weight and keep items organized.
  •   Watch the weight; A child's back pack should not weight more than 10-20% of their body weight. Avoid over packing a bag - this can cause serious back strain. Back packs should be worn on both shoulders to evenly distribute weight. The best way to pack a bag is the heaviest items placed closest to the lower back and evenly distributed from left to right inside the bag.
  • Stay organized; One thing I cannot stand is when I'm cleaning out the kids bags and there are loose papers. Keep papers in appropriate folders or binders and keep supplies in pencil cases. Start up a weekly routine of cleaning out the back pack of junk and debris, you'd be surprised what extras your child will be bringing home in that bag!
  • Style matters; A new school year is like a clean slate and a new back pack is a chance for your child to celebrate the new school year. Remember that unlike clothes, back packs are used all year long so trends and opinions of peers often matter when choosing a back pack. A back pack should reflect personal style, it's always great to let kids choose which bag they would like for the year. Bags like ones from Dudley come in a variety of different styles. 

Our friends at Dudley were nice enough to send over one of their fabulous new backpacks/lifestyle bags to take a look at just in time for back-to-school! This eye-catching backpack is made with sturdy material perfect for school, gym, sports or travel. It has hidden interior and exterior pockets as well as ear bud hole access for music on the go. Lightweight and easy to carry, they also feature a molded plastic bottom for durability. Dudley backpacks/lifestyle bags are available in 5 colours and exclusively at Staples Canada for around $49.99.

From combination locks to locker mats, backpacks and stationery kits you can be sure to have everything you need for back to school with Dudley! 

Right now Dudley has a fun little contest going on: Tweet @Dudleylocks using hashtag #NameThisBag with your backpack name ideas for your chance to win a Dudley prize pack worth $2000! Please see Dudley's website for full contest rules and regulations! You can also connect with Dudley via their Facebook fanpage

Good luck!

Disclosure: Posted by AME on behalf of Dudley. We received mentioned product for review purposes. Backpack tips provided by Dudley. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 


With only six months left to go before our bundle of joy will be gracing us with his or her presence, we have had baby shopping on the brain. There are so many things we have to think about getting to prepare for his or her arrival, it's almost overwhelming! 

Not just cribs, clothes and car seats, oh no - we need items for the kitchen too! When T-fal Canada asked me to take a look at their T-fal Baby Home appliances I was so excited! Just what we were talking about not too long ago! 

Being a parent is busy enough let alone making sure our families eat healthy, T-Fal introduces us to PTPA Winning "T-fal Baby Home" series of appliances created to make feeding the newest member of the family a little easier. Featuring Disney's Pooh Bear and friends, this cute BPA-free line currently offers four fabulous products including a 2-in-1 steamer/blender, steam sterilizer a bottle and jar warmer and our favourite a 2-in-1 bottle sterilizer and warmer

Although it will be some time before we actually get to put it to good use, I already love the T-fal Baby Home 2-in-1 bottle sterilizer and warmer. It is not a very big appliance, perfect for our small counter space and even on the go! It sterilizes the bottles and also warms up at the same time with the simple push of a button/turn of a dial. It isn't one of those baby appliances we'll only use for a little while either because it can also warm up baby jars; How convenient is that!  

I still remember the days of having to do it the long way. Taking the necessary steps in sterilizing bottles and warming on the stove top. The T-Fal Baby Home 2-in-1 bottle sterilizer and warmer has the capacity to sterilize a bottle and accessories in six and a half minutes and heat it in three - saving time while getting baby ready for the feeding in about nine minutes without using the stove!  

The T-fal Baby Home 2-in-1 bottle sterilizer and warmer is going to be such a life saver when the baby arrives! 

You can find T-fal's Baby Home line of appliances at Sears stores across Canada! For more details please visit www.t-falbaby.ca!  


Are you expecting a baby or know somebody who is? Our friends at T-fal Canada want to give one lucky AME reader the chance to experience the simplicity of a T-fal Baby Home 2-in-1 bottle warmer and sterilizer! 

Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. Please fill out the RaffleCopter ballot below with a valid email address or through FaceBook to be eligible to win! 

Giveaway begins August 17th and ends on August 31st! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Posted by AME on behalf of T-fal Baby Home. We received mentioned product for review purposes. Giveaway prize provided by representatives of T-fal. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


Last week we received a surprise package delivery!  Being part of the Canada Kellogger's Network we occasionally get surprises from Kellogg's to try out with our family. I knew it would be something delicious, Kellogg's doesn't usually disappoint in our house.

Kellogg's sent us over some chocolaty goodness to try! New Krave cereal, Special K Crisps in Chocolate and Cinnamon Brown Sugar and Special K low fat Granola

Chocolate craving, Kellogg's Krave is the new chocolate lovers delight to hit store shelves. Crispy pockets filled with yummy chocolate. I have never tasted a cereal like this before! They are made with 8 whole grain and a source of fibre (2g) per 3/4 cup serving. Krave is the ultimate chocolate experience and is available in chocolate or double chocolate. With a glass of milk and piece of fruit this makes a great breakfast or if you are like me and crave chocolate in the middle of the afternoon, makes a great snack!

Satisfy your sweet craving with new Special K Crisps in Chocolate or Cinnamon Brown Sugar! They're crispy wafers with a creamy filling, drizzled with chocolate or vanilla icing! Only 100 calories per two bars (25g) Special K Crisps are a perfect light snack anytime and on the go!

Need a topping for a healthy treat? Special K low fat Granola has 50% less fat per serving than leading granola. Crunchy, whole grain oats with a sweet touch of honey, a high source of fiber and contains 7 grams of protein per serving! Special K low fat Granola is great on its own or delicious sprinkled on yogurt or in fruit salad!

Just a quick warning, you might want to hide most of these from the kids - they are that good.

Find these and other great Kellogg's products at www.kelloggs.ca or your local grocery store cereal aisle!

Disclosure: Shared by AME on behalf of Kellogg's Canada Kellogger's Network. We received complimentary product which does not reflect our overall satisfaction nor obligation to publish. Opinions and comments are those of the author.


We either look forward to it or we loathe it but it is already time to start preparing to send the little's off to school. Some of us are sending first timers and some of us are sending older ones back-to-school for another year of fun and learning ;-)

Today's post can be found over on the PTPA Blogaholics blog where I talk about preparing the little ones (and ourselves) for the first days of school! Join in the covo and leave some comment luv :)

Stay tuned for more great posts here on AME including back to school with Dudley, Goodness from Kellogg's, a T-Fal Baby home surprise and more!

Disclosure: Posted by AME in participation as a PTPA Blogaholic. No compensation was received for this posting. Official post published on the PTPA blog. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


Do you brush your teeth for the dentist recommended two minutes, twice a day? I have problematic teeth to begin with and I for one can honestly say that I do not always brush for the two minutes but I do brush my teeth twice a day. Making time to take care of our oral health should really be more of a priority. My biggest problem was my tooth brush. Your typical manual tooth brush, almost every single kind is too big for my mouth and misses the hard to reach areas which end up causing problems in the long run, even with flossing.

Being in "the bad books" when it comes to dental care, I was very happy when I was asked to try the Oral-B Professional Care SmartSeries 5000 electric tooth brush Powered by Braun! Did you know using an electric toothbrush can remove up to 99.7% of plaque from hard-to-reach places vs regular manual toothbrushes, and can even help prevent gingivitis.

I received the whole kit which includes not only the Oral-B Professioanl Care SmartSeries 5000 but also a stand, storage case and the wall mountable wireless SmartGuide, it is a tooth brushing timer and clock in one! I have never owned an electric toothbrush before so having one in my possession with as many features as the Oral-B Professional Care SmartSeries 5000 is quite exciting. I had to read the manual of course before I got started, to make sure I knew how this new tooth brushing technology works! 

The Oral-B Professional Care SmarSeries 5000 features:

  • Dentist inspired cleaning technology; The round brush head surrounds each tooth for a tooth-by-tooth clean.
  • Indicator Bristles let you know when to change your brush head every three months for a better clean. Bristles become faded half way.
  • Pressure sensor lights up if you brush too hard.
  • Advanced Oral-B FlossAction brush head with Micropulse Bristles; Bristles surround each tooth for an outstanding overall cleaning.
  • Wall mountable Oral-B Wireless SmartGuide helps you brush for exactly the Dentist recommended two-minutes or three-minutes for deep clean action. It helps guide you to give you a thorough cleaning across all areas of the mouth. You can program up to two brushes on it so other family members can use it too!

The Oral-B Professional Care SmartSeries 5000 has five modes: Deep clean, daily clean, sensitive, whitening and massage. With the simple push of a button you can switch through modes and see which one you're using on the Wireless SmartGuide.

I really love my new Oral-B Professional Care SmartSeries 5000, it is really a revolutionary way to a fresh, clean mouth. My favourite feature is the five different modes, a setting for every type and also the fact you can use removable heads makes it great for both hubby and I to use. 

It takes a few seconds to get used to the vibration of the tooth brush but from its very first use I can tell you I will not be going back to my old style, manual tooth brush ever again. I can tell the difference now between brushing with a standard toothbrush compared to an electric, I was missing out! This is the way my teeth should look and feel thanks to Oral-B! All it takes is brushing for two minutes to feel the difference.

Check out this and other great Oral-B products as well as great savings at http://www.oralb.com/en-CA/offers/!

Disclosure: Posted by AME on behalf of P&G. We received mentioned product for review purposes. Giveaway prize provided by representatives of P&G. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


Headed into week 18 of my pregnancy I can feel the baby moving! Around 16 weeks I started to kind-of feel it, it felt more like bubbles than actual movements. Now, it feels like baby flutters and it's quite often so I think this baby is very active, we may be in for it!

Into the second trimester I am feeling better than I did in the first trimester. My sleeping pattern was out of whack for a couple of weeks as I was also fighting off a tooth abscess which kept me up many nights when I first started antibiotics for it. My teeth and gums are extra sensitive these days, I read it is a common symptom during most pregnancies especially if you already have problematic teeth like I do!

I have not been having any weird cravings like pickles and ice cream but I have been craving specific foods at random times. Suddenly I might want a Big Mac and triple thick milkshake from McDonald's and another time I'll want a big bowl of cereal with a banana.

Needless to say that my baby bump is getting bigger by the week, my oldest is full of questions about what the baby is going to be like when it's born. My youngest is always coming up to me and "kissing the baby" (my belly). He's going to make a great big brother! I'm soon going to have to go buy some maternity pants because the pants I currently have in my closet are not fitting quite comfortably anymore.  
We have an ultrasound next Friday, August 17th. I was a little sad at first because we don't have anybody to watch the kids, hubby would have to stay home with them and miss witnessing possibly finding out of baby #3 is a boy or a girl. An event we kind of wanted both of us to be there for. Luckily my awesome cousin said that she would be able to watch the kids for us that morning.

My next doctor's appointment is at the end of the month, right before our oldest 8th birthday and school starts up for both kids. Ah the other side of pregnancy, all the doctors appointments, tests and ultrasounds. We are looking forward to the next few months, the second trimester is supposed to be the best!

Stay tuned for more pregnancy updates to come!

Disclosure: Posted by AME. Not a sponsored post. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


Enjoy dessert without the bakery with Allan Candy's new type of treat - Dessert Bites. Dessert inspired bite sized coated candy that lets you enjoy 
delectable desserts anytime, anywhere!

I for one love both dessert and candy, hubby has to be the biggest candy fan in the house. We were happy when Allan Candy sent us over some Dessert Bites to try for ourselves! Each four flavours of Dessert Bites were inspired by some of north america's most popular and loved desserts - Strawberry Shortcake, Keylime Pie, Apple Pie and Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake! Each 200g bag contains bite-sized, soft chewy candies that are coated with a yogurt confection (may contain nuts).
Perfect for that afternoon indulgence when you just don't have baked goods at your disposal. They should come with a warning, they are addictive! Out of the four flavours, which are all really yummy, I would have to say my favourite is the Strawberry Shortcake! Hubby liked the Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake the best!

Unfortunately, not everyone is as enthusiastic as we are. There is this lady named Helen who decided to rain on the Dessert Bites parade and has started to boycott the candy claiming Allan Candy stole her recipes because these candies taste so much like real dessert. She has made quite the career of it all. She video taped herself spray painting her name on Allan Candy Dessert Bites advertisements in her home town, maybe she has gone further who knows. If you happen to see any of this woman's "artwork" take a photo and share it on the Allan Candy Facebook page - they want to know what shes been up to!

Allan Candy of course has not been taking her ridiculous claims laying down. They deny her crazy idea that they stole her personal recipes in this video.

Oh well, it's too bad Helen doesn't like Allan Candy Dessert Bites - more for the rest of us! :-) Show your love on the Allan Candy Dessert Bites Facebook page and see whats happening on Twitter with hashtag #DessertBites.


Dislcosure: Posted by AME on behalf of Allan Candy. We received complimentary product for review purposes. All comments and opinions on this  blog are those of AME.


Upon scouring the Internet for Canadian-friendly coupons and deals, I came across an offer by Similac for a free sample of Similac Mom when you join the Similac Club.

Similac Mom is the first and only nutritional beverage for pregnant women and breastfeeding moms. It gives needed daily nutrients for both mom and baby, great for getting nutrition on the go.

It took only a couple of weeks for my package to arrive after signing up. I received one bottle of Similac Mom to try for myself, information booklets and also a voucher good for another six pack of Similac Mom! 

I was expecting it to be like other nutritional shakes I've tried, chalky, tasteless and disgusting. I am not usually a big fan of Vanilla, which is what they sent me, but this was actually pretty good! It was sweet but not too sweet, not too thick and I felt quite energized for most of the afternoon! I think I might try the chocolate flavour when I pick up the free six pack!

Sign up for the Similac Club and get your free Similac Mom sample today!

Disclosure: Posted by AME. This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Similac or Abbott Nutrition and was written for the interest of AME readers. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


Summer grilling to me means taking advantage of the freshness that summer brings. I love enjoying meals created with fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the summer, especially since most are in season and so easy to buy local.

Get local this summer with Metro and Harvest from Home! From June to October during the Harvest from Home program, Metro purchases foods from 100's of local farmers across Ontario providing its customers with the freshest most delicious produce. Proudly supporting local farmers and the economy, Metro brings new meaning to eating close to home.

To give us a taste of what they have in store, our friends at Metro kindly sent over a fabulous gift basket filled with ingredients we need to create a yummy summer dinner of Rib Steak with Chimichurri sauce sided with fresh grilled veggies! 

This is a delicious (spicy) recipe that features fresh Ontario grown red onion, jalapeno peppers, fresh flat-leaf parsley, fresh coriander and basil. Seasonings include sea salt, paprika, salt & pepper, white wine vinegar and vegetable oil. It's a fairly simple recipe to make (takes about 20 minutes with preparations) and serves a family of four. 

You can get this and other great recipes to try with your family here and eat local with Metro!

Win it!

Metro wants you to eat local this summer! One lucky AME reader has the chance to win this fabulous gift basket courtesy of Metro! 

Basket includes dry ingredients and a $50 Metro GC to purchase fresh produce!

Note: Because Harvest from Home is only offered at Metro locations in Ontario, we can only offer this giveaway to Ontario residents. Please fill out the rafflecopter ballot below to be entered for your chance to win! 

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  Posted by AME on behalf of Metro. We received complimentary product and a gift card for our participation. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


 Welcome to the very first AME "Monday Mingle" - Guest posts are a fun way to introduce bloggers we love to all of you fabulous readers. I thought "Monday Mingle" would be a great idea to show the luv for my fellow bloggers, every Monday (or as often as guests come by!) feature a fantastic blogger I admire here on AME!

Submit your family-friendly post to alyssa@amotherhoodexperience.com to be featured on Monday Mingle here on AME! 

Now, without further adieu, allow me to introduce our very first Monday Mingle Guest blogger, Brandy from InsaneMamacita's Musings!

Book Review of National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why
By: Brandy @insanemamacita

All parents dread it.

We hope our kids never learn to say it.

But yet, some how and some way they do.

And once they know it, you never hear the end of it.

You guessed it. It's the question, WHY?

When my oldest son started asking us WHY after everything we said to him, we wanted to pull our hair and teeth out. It was exhausting trying to figure out how to properly formulate an answer to his simple yet frustrating questions.

Now, I have found the perfect book to help parents answer their children's WHY questions! It's called National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why by Amy Shields.

This book is simply amazing. It covers everything from "why do I have a belly button" to "why do planes fly" to "why can't we touch the stars?"

The book is divided into four categories: Amazing Me, How Things Work, Animals All Around, and Wonders of the World. Near the end of the book is a parent tips section as well as a glossary, additional resources, and an index. It is a very thought out and well organized mini encyclopedia.

Flipping through the book you will find numerous vibrant and beautiful pictures. These are sure to capture the attention of children and parents alike. The ratio of text to images is a perfect balance. The content is not heavy or overwhelming. Each question is answered using only a paragraph or two. The explanations given are easy to understand and straight forward. To further grab the reader's attention little fact bubbles are spread throughout the pages.

The book also includes experiments and games to try with your children. This takes the child's reading experience to the next level by being hands on and interactive. I love the WHY NOT? features found scattered throughout the book. This little game asks your child to point out how many things are incorrect in the picture. Every child will definitely love this neat and fun aspect of the book. You and your child will share tons of laughs at the silliness of some of the objects.

I would highly recommend that all parents buy this awesome reference book to add to their home libraries. It is extremely informative. You will be surprised at what you will learn with a simple turn of the page. The book is primarily aimed at preschoolers but older children will certainly get a kick out of it. I have enjoyed sharing and reading this book with my own children who are six and two years old. My oldest son can be found reading this book by himself for hours on end.

So, the next time your child comes up to with a dreaded WHY question, check out this book. It may just have the answers to the questions you and your child have been searching for.

Publishing information:

Title: National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why
Author: Amy Shields
Publisher: National Geographic Society
Year: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4263-0793-5

Brandy is a stay at home, work at home, study at home mom to two very active boys (some may call them insane). She spends entirely way too much time on social media but also loves to read and go for walks for mommy time outs. Brandy can be found blogging at www.insanemamacita.com. She tweets at insanemamacita and she would be pleased if you "like" her Facebook Page.

Disclosure: Written by InsaneMamacita's Musings in participation with "Monday Mingle". Opinions and comments on this blog are otherwise those of AME. 


Keeping hydrated is very important, especially during the hot months of summer. Water is always available and is natures way of providing us a healthy way to quench our thirsts. We always have a jug of cold water in the fridge and ice in the freezer, I like my water really cold. I usually have a couple of reusable water bottles filled up for the kids, they play outside a lot and are constantly thirsty in the summer! 

Brita is known for bringing fresh, filtered water to families everywhere with their signature Brita water filtration systems. I remember my mom having one of the first Brita water jugs for inside the fridge, we always had fresh clean water all the time! 

Over the years Brita has introduced many different styles to their water filtration systems and this includes personal water bottles. Brita Water Bottles featuring a Brita water filtration system, with a simple squeeze you get fresh clean water on the go straight from the tap! Brita Water Bottles are BPA free and not just your ordinary water bottle. Each water bottle contains a replacable filter that reduces chlorine taste and odour from your tap water. Filters last up to two months and one Brita filter saves over 300 plastic bottles from the garbage!

Brita recently added a kids size to the Brita Water Bottle family and were lovely enough to send us over two to try out for ourselves (along with a traditional adult size for mom!). The kids size are great because they are smaller and easy for little hands to hold. Great to bring along on family adventures, back yard play or even to school so your kids can have that extra fresh drink whenever they want with a simple squeeze! There is definitely a difference between water and clean water, Brita proves this with these water bottles. You can taste the difference in the tap water after using a Brita. 

For more information about Brita water filtration systems for your family and home please visit www.brita.ca.

Disclosure: Posted by AME on behalf of Brita. We received complimentary product for review purposes. Comments and opinions on this blog are those of the author.