The best part about summer is getting out as a family and having fun and this is the summer to do it. The kids are finally at a good age where we can all enjoy many summer activities including a day trip to a themed water park. I have not been to a themed water park in ages; this was the first time in a long time and the first time with the whole family.

Needless to say the kids were excited when we told them we were heading to Calypso Water Park located in Limoges, Ontario just outside of Ottawa. We packed the gang up with bathing suits, towels, spare clothes and anything else we thought we may have needed to bring for our day trip (including sunscreen, snacks and plenty of water!) and headed out for a day of fun in the sun. Did I mention we'd be riding some awesome water slides? 

Calypso was nothing like any of us had ever seen before. It was buzzing with people but surprisingly not as busy as we had anticipated on a hot and sunny Friday, which was great! The park just screamed "fun" from the get-go. The staff were friendly and accommodating, answering any questions we had. 
Calypso Theme Water Park 2015

 It's great to know Calypso takes safety seriously too with over 600 trained staff and a team of 120 certified lifeguards and slide attendants. If you have any questions or concerns, it’s not hard to find someone to answer them. Like any theme park, Calypso asks its attendees to please be responsible and safe while visiting. There's a nurse on-site in the case anything should happen but if you play safe, you shouldn't need to pay her a visit. 

We brought the basics in with us including a stroller for our littlest one, she tires out quite quickly. We carried our things from site to site but you can rent a locker too if you want to store any valuables while you're on the slides.

There are so many attractions at Calypso. It's beautifully put together and easy to navigate around with maps at almost every corner. There are places to get food like the Bistro Kongo and even places to get a souvenir or spray on tattoo. Plus, it's not hard to find a washroom which is very important when you're visiting with kids! 

Some of the slides were huge; it's amazing how some people have the courage to ride them! Just looking at them you can tell they aren't for the faint of heart. If you need a life jacket you can rent one on-site with ID or a $40 deposit. Some rides require children of certain height to wear one. We brought our own for our two younger kids.

There is something for everybody from little kids to kids at heart. There are over 35 state-of-the-art water slides, heated pools, two theme rivers, North America's highest water slide tower, Canada's largest wave pool, over 100 water games and more! We couldn't take it all in in one day but we did take in what I think was a good fun portion! 

@AMotherhoodBlog #Calypsopark

Although little guy was a bit too little for some of the bigger slides he still got the chance to go on a couple of them like Black Hole, Zoomerang and Canyon Rafting. His dad and sister are the thrill seekers of the family and they took on the big slides like nobodies business.

One of our favourite spots was the Zoo Lagoon. This is a zoo themed lagoon for little ones, basically a toddler’s water park heaven! There are slides, sprayers, climbers and so much fun. Plus the pools are heated. Our younger two had a blast in the Zoo Lagoon. Having a two and a half year old with us, we spent plenty of time there as she was too young for some of the other attractions.

When we eventually go back we are definitely making the Kongo Expedition and Lazy River two of our first stops. They seemed the most popular that day with quite the line ups.

Pirate's Aquaplay is a magnificent themed pirate ship designed for older kids with big slides, steps, climbing and more! The main attraction on this one is the giant bucket that would fill up and eventually tip over, soaking anyone standing on the decks below! Little guy was just consumed with the Pirate's Aquaplay, his favourite attraction in the park!

Jungle Challenge is an exotic course that features obstacles and surprises along the way like walking on logs, crocodiles and water lilies, while holding onto ropes and nets all while trying not to get wet! How fun is that! My two older kids tried their luck, laughing if they fell into the water.

We finished our day with burgers and fries from the cafeteria. Quick, friendly service and the burgers were great! 

Overall I can say I would definitely take my family to Calypso again! It makes a great day trip for the family. The opening hours are 10am to 5pm or on some days 10am to 7pm. You can get a day pass, or VIP pass which gives you access to the various cabanas located on-site. There is also a Splashback Pass available which means that for an additional $10 you can visit the park a second time in the 6 days following your first visit. Calypso is a good day out with time to drive back home if you are local like we are since it is located just 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa!

Enjoy your summer and make a splash at Calypso Park! For information, ticket pricing and more please visit the official Calypso Park Website! Show some love and follow @CalypsoPark on Twitter and Like the Calypso Park Facebook Page!

Sponsored post on behalf of Calypso Park and Savvy Mom Media. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


I grew up in the country, we had farms (although we did not live on a farm) and animals, forests, rivers, trails and wildlife. I can say I learned a lot about nature and life just growing up with it literally right outside my door. 

We are raising our kids in the city and they haven't seen the kind of wildlife we grew up with, at least not up close. There's a difference between seeing animals live in their environment and seeing them on TV or in books. 

This summer has been all about getting out and having fun as a family, we've been on a fun-filled day trip almost every week since school ended for the kids!

This week our summer adventures lead us to Parc Omega in beautiful Montebello, Quebec. The perfect destination to get away for something quieter, something down to earth and something back with nature. It's about an hour and a half drive from Ottawa, if you're lucky enough to avoid city traffic.

Parc Omega brings Canadian wildlife face to face with families from all over the area and beyond. Elk, Caribou, Deer, Buffalo, Wolves, Bears, Geese and other gorgeous wildlife lives at Parc Omega and we were invited to take a tour of this glorious nature park.

The car tour allows you to drive along the path following the map and directional arrows to give you an up close and personal view of nature at its finest. You can rent a caged vehicle to use but we were brave and took the truck through. These animals are so docile, we knew there wouldn't be any worry.

We fed carrots to the Elks who greeted us on our route. I admit, it had been a long time since I had seen much wildlife so close and I was a bit nervous at first but it didn't take us long to make friends! Some were quiet while others more eager. One even managed to lick me while I tried to take photos of the kids feeding the Elk in the back. It was trying to get my attention for carrots! The kids were amazed by all of the animals. It's not every day they see this!

The wolves and bears seemed to sit lazily in the sun, wouldn't we have all loved to spend our Friday afternoon that way! There were new additions to the park like Black Wolves and newborn baby wild pigs (who were along side their big mama!) and baby deer! 

We noticed the many beautiful carved native art like totem poles and statues throughout the park. There is even a beautiful play house and play park area. The boardwalk gives you a better view of some of the animals, if you can brave the heights like we did! 

There is so much more to Parc Omega than just the animals and beautiful scenery. It's got history and you can learn about it in the Trading Post while you stop to get some carrots (sold on site) and take a break for lunch with the deer. We took our break near Trout Lake and had some cute baby deer join us for our snack. There were Geese nearby and the lake was just beautiful.

We had so much fun at Parc Omega, I thought a little video would help give you a better idea if you have not been, yet. 

I would definitely recommend visiting Parc Omega this summer with your family. It's an experience with new friends you won't soon forget!

For more information and to plan your next day trip visit www.parc-omega.ca

Have you been to Parc Omega this summer? Share your memories with @Parc_Omega on Twitter or @parcomega on Instagram using hashtag #parcomega!

Complimentary visit provided for this post. Opinions and comments on this blog are always honest and those of the author. 


A friend is more than just someone you know. They are someone you can count on it any situation. If you need to vent, they know how to listen. When you feel like crying, they hand you a tissue. When you both need a good laugh, you know what stories to tell and the best part is you wouldn't want to be laughing with anyone else. 

Friendship comes from all forms from people you may have grown up with to people that live provinces away from you. One thing is for certain, they hold that special place in your heart. That's the power of friendship.

International Day of Friendship is coming up on July 30th - a day to celebrate friendship. My Little Pony has been teaching everyone young and old about the power of friendship for over 30 years - that's amazing! 

To celebrate #MLPFriendshipDay, you can visit http://mylittlepony.hasbro.com/friendshipday and check out cool project ideas and help strengthen friendships to help make a difference in your community.


Hasbro wants to celebrate International Day of Friendship with a My Little Pony Friendship is magic giveaway! One lucky AME reader will win an assortment of products from the new line (valued at $100) that includes:

- Friendship is Magic Collectible Story Pack Playset
- Friendship is Magic Collectible Story Playset
- Friendship is Magic Collectible Story Pack with accessories
- Friendship is Magic Collectible Scene Pack
- MLP Tritan Bottle (14oz)
- MLP Tshirt or Sleepwear

Assorted prizes may or may not be as shown. 
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 August 10th 2015. 

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 Hasbro. Qualifying winners have 48 hours to fill out a claim form including skill testing question before another winner will be drawn.

Sponsored by Hasbro Canada. Complimentary product received as a thank you. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 


It's summer time and that means it is officially the season for outdoor play! No matter what, active kids mean accidents happen. They can be climbing a tree, playing at the park, riding a bike, running around being kids and then it happens. They take a tumble or a fall and you have yourself a non-life threatening, minor injury that needs a bandage and a hug from mom or dad. 

Be prepared for the occassional summer scrape or bump with Nexcare Sensitive Skin Products. They help with any minor injuries that may happen during those fun and active summer months, as well as all year round. Kids will always be kids! 

I like Nexcareproducts because they are silicone-based and have an adhesive that stays in place and holds without being harsh on the skin when you remove them. They are one of the kid-friendly brands of bandages we can count on to make the boo-boo go away. 

Nexcare™ Sensitive Skin Adhesive Pads are great for protecting wounds such as cuts, minor burns, abrasions and post-surgical incisions.

Nexcare™ Sensitive Skin Tape is a new kind of tape that has been clinically designed for fragile or sensitive skin; idea for use on infants. Features a constant adhesive strength for as long as it’s left in place, unlike traditional tape that increases adhesion over time. This explains why bandages are usually so difficult and painful to remove!

Nexcare™ Sensitive Skin Eye Patches (also available in a junior size) were clinically designed for that extra sensitive skin around the eye.  A central non-adherent pad prevents eye secretions from sticking. The product is idea for treating amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eyes) as part of your doctor recommended treatment. 

As the saying goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry”, make sure to pack some Nexcare™ in your first aid kit. Summer has just begun, be prepared! 

You can purchase Nexcare Sensitive Skin products online at amazon.ca and at the following stores:

Shoppers Drug Mart
Jean Coutu
London Drugs

To learn more about Nexcare™ Sensitive Skin line and other great products, please click here to visit the official website! Show some love and like the Nexcare™ Facebook page for the latest updates!

Sponsored post on behalf of Nexcare™. Complimentary product was received for review purposes. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author


Summer is all about getting out, taking advantage of the gorgeous sunny weather and having fun. There are times though through busy schedules, that we need to just take it easy, relax and unwind. Maybe even take the time to reconnect with our families. Just because we play together doesn't mean we're always really together. 

On those evenings when the mosquitos are out to feast or those days when the weather doesn't want to cooperate with our summer fun, we can turn to games to keep everyone occupied. Not video games, real games. Games we grew up with and remember playing at the cottage, games we can sit down with our own children and teach how to play. This kind of family fun never gets old. 

This summer, Mattel is challenging YOU to have a game-night with your family! Here are some great tips and tricks to make the most out of family game night:

Prepare your space.

Transform your everyday living space into a fun family game room! It's as easy as making sure there are enough comfy seats for everyone who's playing and setting up some yummy snacks for everyone! You could even put on some fun music to set the mood. Something upbeat but not too exciting! Doing even the smallest things like this will show the kids you take gaming night and family time seriously.

Play a variety of games. 

We have a large collection of games from kids games to games just for grownups. During family game time it's nice to have a variety to choose from to keep everyone entertained and allow everyone to try something new. Start the gaming with UNO™ followed by Apples to Apples and finally how about a little Pictionary. These games are sure to keep everyone entertained and gives everyone the opportunity to win at a new game!

Disconnect to connect. 

As someone who is online almost all the time, this one can be a toughy. It's always a good rule to have everyone disconnect from technology during family game time. To get that real one-on-one quality time and not have attention spanned to the TV, tablet or smartphone. By disconnecting from technology, even for a little while, we are better able to reconnect with our loved ones!

Have a blast on your next family game night! Learn more about UNO™, Apples to Apples and Pictionaryplus other great family games by liking the Mattel Games Facebook page!

Tell us, how do you connect with your family during the summer months? How do you make family game night at your house?


Mattel wants you and your family to have some real Mattel Game time this summer. AME readers have the chance to win one of two Mattel Games bundles that include UNO, Apples to Apples and Pictionary for your game playing enjoyment!

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 August 3rd 2015. 

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 Mattel. Qualifying winners have 48 hours to fill out a claim form including skill testing question before another winner will be drawn. 

Posted in participation with the Mattel #PlayAdvocate blogger program. Complementary products were obtained as a thank you. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


When I was quite young, summertime always seemed never ending. From the moment that school bell rang on the final day in June, we had our freedom. We could wake up early, get dressed and head outside for a day of wonder. Our parents didn't always have a plan, often they even had to work but we always managed to make the most of it and have an overall good summer. 

I would spend weekends at my grandparents or aunts houses, sometimes we would go to a local beach for the day and swim. Other times when the weather wasn't so great we found ourselves inside doing crafts or maybe driving each other a little bit crazy. We always found something to do and spent plenty of time as a family. 

As a parent today, summertime still feels never ending. We are always busy coming up with ideas for things to do with the kids. From a picnic of healthy snacks in the park to fun at the splashpad or local pool and even day trips we planned ahead, we want our kids to also feel like summer is never ending and make the most of the time we have while they're still young. 

Whatever you do this summer, Orange Naturals has what you need to make your own summer first aid kit! What do you have in your first aid kit? 

Aside from bandages for your cuts and scrapes, try Bumps + Bruises to ease just about any well, bumps and bruises. Are you prone to bug bites like we are? Try new Bite + Stings to ease the pain when those pesky mosquitos, bees and other bugs try to ruin your fun! Both of these are available in liquid and NEW cream form for both adults and kids! 

You can learn more about these and other great Orange Naturals products in the July #ONatural newsletter! Signing up is FREE! :) 

Have you checked out the #ONatural blog lately? It's packed full of great articles about family health, tips, tricks and more! Show some love and like the Orange Naturals facebook page and follow @OrangeNaturals on Twitter for the latest! 

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


As parents, it's natural for us to have hopes and dreams for our children from the moment they are born into this world. We dream of them growing up happy, healthy, educated and well-rounded. We hope they meet someone special, get that dream career and maybe one day get married and have a family of their own. 

That is the thing about kids, they are unique just like you and I. We have our hopes and dreams for them but really, they have hopes and dreams for themselves. Regardless of what my kids decide to do with their lives, be it the path we hope they take or follow their own hearts and dreams, it is our job as their parents to support them and help them find their own destiny.

Support their interests

Dance, soccer, science or art - whatever your child has a particular interest in, let them explore it so they can discover where their true passion is. Showing your kids you support their interests gives them the chance to decide what's best for them and what they should pursue in the long run.

Give them options

When it comes to activities, let your little ones have a hand in choosing how they spend their time. No matter what they choose, giving them the chance to do the decision making lets them know your support them and listen to their true voice. 

Challenge them

One of the best ways to get your kids interested in other things outside their comfort zone is to get them involved and try to encourage them to try new things. This will give her a wider range of interests and broaden the horizon for future aspirations. You never know unless you try! 

This month Ever After High™ is encouraging kids to find out if they are a Royal or a Rebel! How can you tell? Take a look at the following characteristics and find out! If your child checks off more on the Royals traits than the Rebel, she probably has more in common with Apple White™ or Alistair Wonderland™. If your little one is more on the Rebel side, she will have more in common with Raven Queen™ or Dexter Charming™!

Royal Characteristics:

As a Royal, you  believe it is your duty to follow your destiny. You've long dreamt for the day you would sign the Storybook of Legends and you can't wait to live your "happily ever after".

Rebel characteristics:

You are a rebel who is ready to rewrite your story and live your own life. You believe everyone should be able to live their own "happily every after".

Visit the Ever After High™ website, take the quiz and find out which side your little one is really on! 


We want to know, are you a Royal or a Rebel? Take the quiz and enter for your chance to win one of two prizes of TWO Ever After Highdolls! 

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 August 3rd 2015. 

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 Mattel. Qualifying winners have 48 hours to fill out a claim form including skill testing question before another winner will be drawn.

Posted in participation with the Mattel #PlayAdvocate blogger program. Complementary products were obtained as a thank you. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


Things can accumulate quickly when you have a family. Kids outgrow just about everything from toys to clothes plus furniture and we tend to put things aside accidentally creating an unwanted and unneeded collection of things. 

Garage sales are a popular choice to easily sell items you don't need or find items you need at a fraction of the cost brand new. I honestly don't have time to set up tables and sit outside trying to sell our used things so I find myself turning to the internet. We have tried various buy and sell websites in the past always to find at least one fault in them we aren't satisfied with. I am happy to have been introduced to a new way to buy and sell online with VarageSale. 

VarageSale is a free online marketplace app that allows families to buy and sell affordable second hand items locally and connect with new people in nearby neighbourhoods. 

VarageSale is easy to set up by downloading the free app and connecting your Facebook account. You choose a password and find your community. You can head off on your own or follow a quick and easy tutorial to get your started. Within minutes you are all ready to start searching for your next treasure or posting some of your own.

I posted my first item, some toys we had put aside that the kids outgrew. I used the app to post it although you could do it through the web too. You are allowed one photo, a title and description. You can update and edit your post as you please too.

Unlike other buy and sell type websites, VarageSale is based on location. Chances of finding the perfect item only to realize its not in your city, are slim to none. On other buy and sell sites I have used posts can easily get lost in the swarm of ads people post by the minute. VarageSale allows you to give your post a free bump so it stays at the top for longer, upping your chances of having it seen by your community. You can really get to know the community too, with features like "liking", watching and even commenting on items. It's like one big virtual garage sale - VarageSale. I can't wait to see what happens next! 

Visit www.VarageSale.com  OR download the free app to sign up (for free) and see how easy it is to buy and sell local! Show some love and Like the VarageSale facebook page to stay up to date on the latest!

Post your first item using the VarageSale app and use hashtag #VSDeal in your item description and you can earn yourself a cool $10! Don't forget to tweet your first post @VarageSale and show off what you're selling!

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


Summer fun is keeping us busier than usual. With the sunny weather, who wants to be cooped up indoors? 

I thought I would let you all know about a new giveaway Hallmark Canada launched not long ago. From now until August 9th you can enter for your chance to win 1 of 4 $250 Disney prize packs by visiting winwithhallmark.ca.

It's easy. Just enter your info and press submit - you're in. You will also receive a special offer for just entering and you can enter daily to up your chances of 

You're welcome and good luck!

Posted in participation with Hallmark Canada Ambassadors. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 


Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Have you done something "Like A Girl" lately? 

You may remember last year, Always kicked off an initiative to empower young girls and get rid of the insulting phrase "...like a girl" to belittle. Instead, it has created a wave of power from young girls and women across the country.

There have been thousands of inspiring #LikeAGirl posts around the world from people like you and I, and our girls. Always has made tremendous progress in influencing the shift in this phrase's meaning but they aren't done yet! In fact, a new Always survey shows that 72% of girls still feel held back by society, which dictates what they should and shouldn't do.

Always has created a new social experiment video that brings the above statistic to life and encourages girls to feel unstoppable to smash anything that tries to hold them back. 

As a proud supporter of Always #LikeAGirl, I am excited to share the newest inspirational and motivational video showing exactly how unstoppable our girls can be. Enjoy!

Do things #LikeAGirl and share this video, share the message! Follow @Always on Twitter using hashtag #LikeAGirl and take a step into the future of our girls. 


We have been following the PC Guiding Stars program for only a little over a month but already I am seeing a difference in how I look at food when we are food shopping for our family. 

Although we did make qualifying purchases on our last grocery shop, it looks like we still have some work to do when it comes to making better purchases when it comes to our grocery run. My last report from early July is 37% with only 19% of it being three star choices. Mind you, some of the items were not rated with stars on our list. We still could do better, I think. Changing your eating habits can be like trying to tame a wild beast. Sometimes you just have to start with smaller steps. 

With our numbers in mind, I headed over to our local Loblaws store to speak to the Dietitian, Margaret and have her take a look at my Guiding Stars profile. Maybe she could help tame the beast!

Not only did she check out my profile and also notice we need a little work but she gave me a "healthy tour" of Loblaws. 

During the tour we went through all of the healthy foods we should have in our grocery basket, how to substitute certain foods for other alternatives and also what to look for when it comes to labels - not all foods have stars!

When it comes to breakfast, the more whole grains the better. One trick to see how healthy your favourite cereal is, be it oatmeal or dry cereal, is to check the side panel and see what the first three ingredients are. If sugar is one of them, you should maybe find a new favourite start to your day. Plain oatmeal or cereal like Shredded Wheat is great because they are very low in sugar so you can add your own kind of sweet like brown sugar, fruit or maple syrup to taste. 

We all know that milk, eggs, fruits and veggies are all three star choices when it comes to the nutrients we need for a balanced diet. Did you know frozen fruits or vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh ones? I love using bagged frozen fruit for smoothies!

Meat such as beef, are rated according to fat content. If you aren't sure, a good way to get less fat is to look for anything with "loin" and of course less white on the meat means less fat. Fish is a healthy option but as much as we like our breaded fish, it's better to buy it fresh - the pinker the better. You can make your own homemade breaded fish and add your own flavour instead. This doesn't mean stay away from frozen fish though, if you look for the ones with the blue label you can learn what exactly you're buying from the fish freezer. 

Canned tomatoes and other canned veggies, lentils, beans and rice are obvious three star healthy choices and many are versatile meaning they can be used for many different recipes from soups to salsas. Just keep an eye on the pasta you buy, you'd be surprised that some contain ingredients you really don't need. Again, whole grain is the best way to go to get the nutrients you need from pasta. 

During the hot summer months we want to keep everyone energized and hydrated. Water is an obvious choice to keep hydrated but what about other kinds of beverages? Most pre made juices and sport drinks tend to contain a lot of sugar, look at the label. The less ingredients in your juice the better especially if one of them is not added sugar. Margaret suggested buying sparkling water and adding fresh fruit to taste or even the pre made PC brand flavoured sparkling water is a yummy alternative to premade fruit juices to quench thirst and keep hydrated.

As for summer snacks, Margaret suggested simple and nutritious snacks like crackers and cheese or crackers and nut butters/spreads, homemade trail mix, Terra Chips (healthy alternative to potato chips) and frozen smoothies made of real fruit. Frozen smoothies can also be made into popsicles for the kids on a hot summer day. Very versatile and not to mention healthy.

The tour was very informative and I do feel more prepared to put what we've learned to the test on our next grocery run at Loblaws. We will be following the stars and looking for omegas, grains, fibres, vitamins and minerals, low fat and low sodium. We will be looking for a more wholesome version of our current grocery list.

Are you a PC Plus member? Did you know about your Guiding Stars Profile? It is an exclusive profile that lets you to see how healthy your grocery bill is each week when you use your PC Plus card while you shop, you can compare your goals to those of other PC Plus members in Canada. You can earn PC Plus points on certain items and learn new healthy eating habits thanks to Guiding Stars.

Get your family on the right track by signing up for a PC Plus membership for free in store or online if you have a PC Financial account. You can also download the free PC PLUS app to get you started! 

Follow our journey finding our Guiding Stars on Twitter @AMotherhoodBlog using hashtags #GuidingStarsCA and #PCStarsCA

Sponsored post on behalf of the #GuidingStarsCA #PCStars Blogger Program. Loblaws GC obtained as a thank-you. Comments and opinions on this blog are honest and my own.