11/12/18

We can’t have the holidays go by without including something Star Wars. It is, after all, one of our favourite movie franchises! 

Last year we gifted the Chewbacca Mask by Hasbro which is still one of the most played with toys in the boy’s room. This year we thought it would be fun to add the Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Electronic Yoda mask to the collection. It looks just like Yoda and like the Chewie mask, when you wear it and move your mouth you’ll hear fun Yoda sounds and phrases, he also wiggles his ears! So funny! Fits most head sizes $34.99 ages 5+.



Star Wars Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie is one of the most fun electronic toys this holiday season. Coming together with FurReal Friends and Star Wars, Hasbro brings us one incredible Wookiee! 



Chewbacca is known as Han Solos Co-pilot aboard the Millennium Falcon in the Star Wars movie and now you can bring him home for yourself! This interactive Chewie is the ultimate sidekick with over 100 sound and motion combinations including his facial features (eyes, nose and mouth!) and arms. He roars, whales, growls and more, just like Chewie does! He reacts when moved around and speaks back in Wookiee when spoken to. He has sleek fur and comes with his own bandolier with a satchel. $130 ages 5+.

Check out a little sneak peek video below! Seriously, a must-have for any Star Wars fan, young or old(er)! 





Win it! 

We know there is a Star Wars fan or two out there who would love a gift this holiday season! That’s why we’ve teamed up with Hasbro to give one #AMEblog reader the chance to win a Wookiee! 

Enter using the ballot below to win your very own Star Wars Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie! 

Open to Canadians 18+ (excluding Quebec). mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Giveaway ends November 23rd, 2018 

Posted in partnership with Hasbro. We received a sample product to feature. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. Giveaway prize provided by Hasbro. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

11/9/18

The following post is in partnership with MGA Entertainment, Mattel and HEXBUG. We received product in exchange for our views. Opinions and comments are those of the author. 

The holiday season is coming faster than we know it with Christmas right around the corner!

Check some gifts off your list with these fun gift ideas for kids of all ages from great brands like MGA Entertainment, HEXBUG and Mattel this holiday season!

From MGA Entertainment

Crate Creatures Flingers (ages 4+)



Crate Creatures are fun interactive pets that you need to unleash from their cage to find out which special features they have. All you need to do is pull their tongues, squeeze their bellies or turn them upside down to find out what your creature is capable of. Break into the crate and unleash your new beast friend!

Ready2Robot Singles (ages 4+)



This is the only collectable line for kids that lets you build, mix and match custom 'bots and battle your friends in a robot-brawl. Add on your blasting and slime weapons to take your battles to the next level! There are over 1,000 ways to mix and match your bots.

Air Chargers Vehicle + Launcher (ages 5+)



Experience the thrill of high-speed racing action with the Air Chargers Vehicle Launcher. Pump your car to charge it and hear the fun racing sounds it makes when it launches. Children can control the speed for a thrilling race experience!

Social Star (ages 13+)



#SocialStar is a great game to play with friends or even Mom and Dad to teach them all about the world of social media. It‘s the only game where players must climb the social ladder and gather ’Likes’ in order to gain fame. Have a laugh as you work to complete challenges and dares that strive to take you out of your comfort zone. Uncover whether you truly have what it takes to be the Star of Social Media.

From Mattel


Flushin Frenzy (ages 5+)



This one is kind of gross but amusing if you have kids who like toilet humour and know it’s a joke. Its the game of one plunger, some poop, and fast reflexes! Flush the handle on the toilet to roll the die, and when a number comes upyou have to plunge the toilet that number of times. But be careful, after any given push of the plunger the poop may COME FLYING OUT OF THE TOILET! The first player to grab it gets points etc. I personally don’t like the concept of playing with poop but for older kids (and some adults) this game is quite amusing.

Gas Out (ages 5+)



Another toilet humour style game except this one is based on farts and is a card game. Having a son, I know who will find this game the most fun. Kids won't be able to stop giggling with the Gas Out Game! Guster the Gas Cloud is full of discomfort and he's ready to rip!

From HEXBUG

VEX Battling Boxing Robots (ages 8+)




Step into the ring and immerse yourself in STEM action, assembling the VEX Balancing Boxer 2-Pack by HEXBUG. Compatible with the VEX Pilot App.
615+ snap-together pieces. Includes 2 Boxing Bots.

HEXBUG Ring Racer



This self-stabilizing remote-controlled robot runs mesmerizingly on dual spinning rings. Watch it spin, tumble, and flip over a full 360 degrees! Push your robot to the limits. Two-speed settings allow you to drive in regular mode, or blast-off into turbo mode! Create your own clever stunts and recharge your bot’s batteries to keep the fun going!


Happy holiday shopping!

11/8/18

November is Financial Literacy Month (FLM)!  Throughout the month, Canadians are encouraged to invest in their financial well-being. This means taking control of their finances and reducing financial stress by making a budget, having a savings and debt reduction plan, and understanding their financial rights and responsibilities!
In celebration, Tangerine Bank is hosting TWO Twitter Parties this month where you can join in and learn all about Financial Literacy chatting with special guests and also a chance to win a prize! 

See details below!


#RetirementPlanning Twitter Party
Date: November 15, 2018 at 8:00pm ET
Host: @TangerineBank
Guest: Caroline Cakebread @CCakebread, Pension Expert
NO RSVP | $500 in Prizing | Anyone can participate but only Canadians excluding those in the province of Quebec can win prizes




#ControlYourFinances Twitter Party
Date: November 26, 2018 at 8:00pm ET
Host: @TangerineBank
Guest: @RobinTaub, Financial Literacy Advocate
NO RSVP | $500 in Prizing | Anyone can participate but only Canadians excluding those in the province of Quebec can win prizes

*Posted on behalf of ShesConnected for Tangerine Bank. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author*

Posted in participation with Disney blogger panel. We received complimentary product in exchange for this feature. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

Our oldest was just a baby when Disney Pixar released The Incredibles back in 2004! We are excited about the Blu-ray release of the long-awaited sequel, Incredibles 2! 



It took 14 years but our favourite superhero family is back in Disney Pixar's Incredibles 2! This time, Helen aka Elastigirl (voice of Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, while Bob aka Mr Incredible (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with the kids when a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot that only the Incredibles can overcome together. 

An enjoyable family film that's full of laughter and heart, a great watch for the whole gang! Fans can reunite with this incredible family of Supers instantly on Digital in HD, 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD,™ Blu-ray,™ DVD at your local retailer and On-Demand now!

WIN IT!

Bring home the fun! Enter to win a Disney Pixar Incredibles 2 on Blu-ray! 

Open to Canadian residents 18 + (excluding Quebec). Use the ballot below to enter. Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count! Giveaway ends November 16th, 2018 12:00AM EST. 

GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

11/7/18

The following post is in partnership with YULU Toys and Zing Toys. We received products in exchange for our views. Opinions and comments are those of the author. 

Toys and games go hand-in-hand during the holiday season. To be honest, we can never have too many games. With three kids of different ages, we are always looking for fun new games to add to their collection and YULU has some great ones we will be putting under the tree this year! 



Tic Tac Tongue - Are you ready for a duel battle between lizards? Put on a lizard mask and get ready for some face to face action with Tic Tac Tongue! This is a game of skill, speed and agility and in order to win you have to be the first to knock down the target that matches the card you draw. Catch the bugs and catch the giggles with this fun new game! Each game comes with 4 masks (with washable mouthpieces and tongues!), 10 game cards, 10 target cards and rules. This game is recommended for ages 4+ and can be purchased at your favourite shops like Indigo, Toys R Us and Incredible Novelties for $19.99 CAD. 



Spy Code Hackathon - After the success of the original Spy Code games in 2017, YULU expands its spy-line with a new Hackathon. Players must work together to hack the code. Your identity has been stolen by a group of villains and is saved inside a super-advanced console. You are in possession of the console and your Spy Code squad (aka your family and friends) has instructions to hack and retrieve the secret information. However, only one person can see and work on the console at a time. You can only hear each other. How cool is that? Work together, keep talking and start decoding the console. There are eight modules. You have limited time and there is no room for mistakes. What are you waiting for? Get hacking, quick! This game is recommended for ages 8+ and can be found at Toys R Us for $44.99.



Cut The Wire - It's a mission impossible, race against time style game that will have everyone entertained.  You are challenged to defuse the device as quickly as possible by testing each of the wires. The aim of the game is to figure out which wire is the special defuse wire! Take turns to review the clues that flash up on the device and then have a go at cutting the wire. Turn the game of Cut The Wire up a notch by switching from classic mode to timed mode. While playing in timed mode, each player has only 15 seconds to take their turn. If a player doesn’t make a move in time, the device will explode and the player will be eliminated. Stay calm, listen to the clues and defuse the device before it explodes! Ages 14+ $29.99 Walmart Canada exclusive! 



My son has been asking about these; he's going to be thrilled! Joining the world of Stikbot are the new Stikbot Monsters (by Zing) that let aspiring stop-motion animation movie makers create themed pop-up movie scenes right at home. 



Glove A Bubbles - Just because the weather is cool doesn't mean the bubbles have to stop! Although created to be an outdoor toy, Glove A Bubbles (by Zing) are just as much fun in the bathtub! Basically, an all in one bubble glove, open and start having fun! It comes with a glove, solution and resealable bag. You can find party packs of these for under $25 on Amazon! 

Happy Holiday Shopping! 


11/1/18

I hate to say it but we all know, winter's coming and we are not the only ones who need some gear to keep warm during the sub-zero, colder than cold should be, temperatures of our lovely Canadian winters.

Our dogs are all short hair breeds which means outdoor time is very limited in the winter. They can’t handle the cold for very long and look forward to snuggling up in their blankets beside the kitchen heater after some time outside.

Chiko is the dog who is so small we could never find anything other than old doll clothes to fit over him. He looked cute but Chiko needs something both stylish and functional. We had the opportunity to shop canine fashion at its finest with Canada Pooch



Canada Pooch offers a variety of stylish and functional canine clothing for dogs of all sizes to suit our Canadian winters. We picked out the Everest Explorer Vest and the Cozy Caribou Hoodie in the smallest size they had.



I am very impressed with the quality of the jackets and the sizing! Every time we think the smallest size fits little Chiko, he ends up swimming in it. These two jackets fit well (measured according to the websites recommendations) and he looks SO CUTE in them!



If you have a furbaby, check out Canada Pooch's Fall/Winter line. Free shipping over $60! 

Follow @CanadaPooch on Instagram!

Follow @SmallPawBigPaw on Instagram for Chiko and friend's latest adventures! 


We received the complimentary product in exchange for our views. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

10/14/18


The following post is in partnership with Hallmark Canada. We received product in exchange for our views. Opinions and comments are those of the author. 
Fall is here! The leaves are changing colours at a rapid pace, we’ve already passed Thanksgiving with Halloween only weeks away!

Hallmark Canada has some wonderful products to help celebrate the fall season and Halloween from decorations to greetings!

Know someone who has a birthday close to or just really LOVES Halloween? Hallmark offers cute items like Glass Bead Bracelets, Skull Socks and Stickers! Gift it all in a spooky Halloween gift bag which in my opinion could also double as a trick or treat bag, don’t forget the tissue paper!



This fall especially has me thankful for my family; there is no other feeling like having a real family. We would love to welcome them into our home this fall and beyond; what better decor than a welcome placemat on our living room side table which welcomes our family and friends! We can set the table with a Bowl of Thanks and beautiful country-style napkins!



I love the Rustic Wood Sign that reads "Count the really good blessings twice", we sure will! Lastly, in the kitchen, a new set of country-themed measuring spoons sure to spice up the kitchen with their bold colours!

You can find something you need online or in your local Hallmark store!


Win it!


Enter using the ballot below for your chance to win a Glass Bead Bracelet courtesy of A Motherhood Experience Blog and Hallmark Canada!



18+ Canada (excluding Quebec). One entry per person. Please see our giveaway guidelines page for official extended #AMEBlog giveaway rules. Giveaway ends October 26th, 2018!

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10/6/18




HAPPY THANKSGIVING #AMEBlog READERS!
Wishing you a wonderful long weekend filled with good food and love! 

- The #AMEblog Family

10/5/18

Ever since we have had cellphones, selfies and home photography have become more and more popular while age-old film camera/running to the drugstore to have the film developed has become something of the past.

I’ve always loved instant cameras and now I can turn my phone into one, kind of. TOMY brings instant photos and digital photography together with the KiiPix photo printer. It’s an easy-to-use instant film printer that doesn’t require any special plugs, apps or even batteries to work.


Get printed photos in a “snap”

- Simply open KiiPix
- Place your phone on top
- Push the button and turn the knob to watch KiiPix turn memories into physical, shareable photos to give to friends and family or display them on the fridge like I did!



The KiiPix requires Fujifilm Instax film to work and there are 10 photos per film; be sure your phone screen lock is on so your screen doesn’t go dark mid print and make sure the photo alignment (using the reflective mirror) and lighting are exactly how you want them or you could waste your film. For best results use KiiPix in a well-lit area, natural light works best. It takes a little while for the film to totally develop, the blotches in this image actually went away after about an hour. 

You can purchase the KiiPix by TOMY ($49.99 film not included) at Toys R Us!

Check out KiiPix on Instagram






9/19/18

“How do you do it?” Is a question I’ve heard more than once when it comes to my relationship. Not a topic I discuss often here on AME (I have to keep some aspects of my life on the private) but an important element in our family dynamic, the relationship between my partner and I didn’t happen “overnight”, it’s not always bliss but we make it work. We’ve made it work and some for 15 years.


Communication is key
Cliche to say but it’s the honest truth. If you don’t communicate, you won’t get anywhere.

Hear to your partner
You want your voice heard, so does your partner. Don’t just listen to your partner's voice, hear them out and try to find a happy medium for any problems. Compromise when it comes to trivial things like who picks the movie or the never-ending question “what should we have for dinner?”.

Do the little things
Everybody needs to feel appreciated if someone doesn’t feel appreciated they won’t be happy and you can’t be in a good relationship when you’re unhappy. Gestures of love and caring don’t have to be grand. They can be as simple as getting them a coffee when you know they need it, doing something just because. You don’t need a special day to show you care about someone and appreciate their role in your life.

Be partners in parenting
If you have kids you need to work together to raise them. You need to discuss what works and what doesn’t work. If one parent is doing it one way and the other another way it will definitely put a strain on the relationship and it’s not good for your kids. Communicate (see, there’s that word again), compromise and back each other up. You’re better as a parenting team!

Have fun together!
Make your next date night a game night for two featuring a fun and exciting box from Crated With Love date night subscription boxes! Crated With Love is like a date in a box. It comes with everything you need for a fun game. It gives a little twist on date night! You can get different games; all packaged and shipped with love rightto your door. Make it a ritual with Crated With love subscription boxes.


So, get the kids babysat (or put them to bed ultra early if you can’t find a sitter) and spend some quality time with the one you love. Enjoy your next date night!


Posted on behalf of Crated With Love. Opinions and comments are those of the author.

9/17/18

The kids may be back in school and summertime may be virtually over but that doesn’t mean that the fun has to end!

You may or may not remember me sharing about new Nerf Laser Ops via Instagram; they are the coolest thing ever! They are the new age of laser blasters! 


These babies have all new designs with laser tag technology. Featuring lights, sound effects haptic feedback and a solo play experience, Nerf takes laser tag to the next level. Oh yeah and there’s also an app to expand the laser tag experience! Check out the official tv spot below:


Follow @HasbroNews for the latest and hottest on all things toys!

WIN IT

We have a surprise for you!

One lucky #AMEblog reader can win a Nerf Laser Ops Pro AlphaPoint 2-Pack (ages 8+ $59.99 value)!

Enter using the ballot below for your chance to win!

Giveaway is open to Canadians 18+ excluding Quebec. Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Winner will be drawn via Rafflecopter on September 30th, 2018 11:59PM EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway sponsored by Hasbro/Nerf. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.

9/11/18

Summertime is officially over, the weather is cooler and the kids back are back in school! Everyone is still getting back into routines with earlier nights (and earlier mornings), new schedules, places to be and people to see; it’s one of the busiest (and stressful) times of the year at our house!



With everything going on its also time to get Back To Budget! After a fun summer of family outings, school supply (and uniform) shopping plus those school fees, it’s always a good idea to get the budget back in order and learn ways we can stretch that dollar. 

What better way to learn some great money tips and tricks than to have a Twitter party?!


Join us on September 12 2018, at 8:00PM ET as we kick off the #BackToBudget Twitter Party with @TangerineBank!


Twitter Party Details

Back to Budget Twitter Party
Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Time: 8:00pm ET to 9:00pm ET
Host: @TangerineBank
Prizing: $500 in Gift Cards
No RSVP Required.

Anyone can participate in the Twitter Party. Only those who live in Canada, excluding the province of Quebec can win prizes.




Click here learn more about Tangerine Bank!

See you at the party!


Sponsored post. Opinions and comments are those of the author.


9/10/18

The other day I went upstairs to my daughter's room and opened up the closet. Cue horror music in the background. You couldn’t see inside the closet, that’s how much junk stuff they’ve accumulated since I went through, sorted, and purged their rooms before summer break began back in June. It’s time for some Fall closet purging!

Living with packrat kids isn’t easy either; they keep EVERYTHING. Oh, we’ve had this ratty doll for ages! They keep it but yet it is in the closet with messy hair, naked (because they lost her outfit) and along with all the other unwanted things. I’d love to have a playroom/wreck room the kids can keep all their toys in but our house is too small and they’re at the age where there are less toy playing and more of other activities (other than the 5-year-old, you can’t pry her fav toys from her if you tried). It’s like a used toy wasteland in the closets though. The final place toys go before they leave forever!




Keep age in mind when sorting

Kids outgrow everything including toys. Some may be keepers for remembering the old days of babies but some are just nothing but clutter inducing because it’s considered a “baby” or “little kid” toy and your older kids want nothing more to do with them.

Keep only what they love.

Some kids do have a sentimental attachment to certain teddy bears or dolls, I know mine do. We have a certain bin for those special toys that they still want to keep but don’t necessarily play with/sleep with them anymore.

Donate what’s still good.

Before you donate teddy bears and dolls make sure to ask the place you are donating. Some places like hospitals and police stations have their own teddy programs due to hazards used toys can cause if parts like eyes or noses are loose or missing. There could be community used toy drives in your area or you could always drop them off at a Salvation Army or Value Village thrift shop. One kid's garbage is another kids treasure, they say.

Sell what’s “like new”

Chances are we have a toy or two that the kids only played with a handful of times, all the parts are intact and it works great! Used websites like Kijiji can help you get rid of it quickly.

Use bins (or boxes) for what you’re keeping. Bins can help organize the toys your kids still use and want to keep. You can find some decent bins at dollar stores or Walmart. Boxes are good for long-term storage. Just don’t store it in a basement or humid place, whatever’s inside could get mouldy and will have to be tossed out, what a waste.

Not only does purging the toys from the kid's rooms and closets make more space but also gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Enjoy it while it lasts, only a few more months until Christmas rolls around and more stuff will eventually take its place. ;-)

9/5/18



As children grow and develop different interests, they might just get into console gaming, mobile gaming, or even watching other kids play games on Youtube. Kids have been known to be drawn to video games since the dawn of gaming existence. I know, I was a child of the '80's Nintendo gaming console! We know that sometimes games get a bad rap but to be fair, there are some benefits to letting kids play (or watch other kids play) video games. As a parent, it's up to us to make sure they adopt healthy gaming habits and not get too much screen time.


Most parents want to be able to monitor/check up on how much the kids have been playing and what games they've been playing. It's just our way of keeping them safe and making sure that they aren’t overdoing it (or doing something they shouldn't).

Here are some great parenting hacks to keep in mind while you're keeping an eye on the kids gaming:

Don’t Let Them Keep Consoles in Their Rooms

As tempting as it would seem, it's not a good idea to give young kids TVs or consoles in their private bedrooms. This gives them more access to do what you don't want them to do and more time to be spent ignoring the real world. You have more control of the time they spend on consoles by putting it in a common area like the living room. So, not allowing a console in the bedrooms could work out for everyone.

Let Them Play on Your Devices

Little Johnny is only five, he doesn't need his very own iPod or iPhone. When we first introduced our kids to gaming devices we let them use ours, just make sure you have them in a secure case. You can monitor what they are playing and how long they are playing for. You could even download a couple of games onto your devices for them to play, like Final Fantasy 15 or Angry Birds. This is a good way of keeping up with your little ones in the gaming world.



Gain access to their consoles/PCs

As parents, we are responsible for anything our kids do online, including in the gaming world. As you know, anything they have to sign up for requires a password and in our house, the passwords (even ones to access devices) are either created by mom or dad and they are always written in a special "password book" we have access to. For our teen, we came to an agreement for safety purposes. This is a great way of keeping tabs on what they're doing online and what they are downloading as games.

Take them out and buy the games/let them choose apps they want

One of the best ways of monitoring the sorts of games they are playing is to take them out and buy them the games yourself or let them choose which games from the app store that they'd like if they are downloads. It's less tempting for them to browse and download things they shouldn't unsupervised since you already got them the games they really wanted!


It's important to know what's going on in your kids’ lives and with the ever-growing online gaming world, it's worth it to check in from time to time. There's nothing wrong with taking an interest in your child's life, no matter what age. That's what our job is as parents. We are sure you can come up with your own ideas that work for you and your family to keep an eye on your kids’ gaming but feel free to use these hacks as a starting point!

Happy gaming everyone!


8/23/18

Summertime is pretty much over with school routines just days away. Its already starting to get dark earlier, the humid summer temperature has cooled off. Fall is just around the corner and sometimes something new helps you feel more like you’re starting fresh.

My daughter is now in her teen years and needs a little help organizing her personal belongings. This Toiletry Cosmetic Bag comes in handy to keep her personal belongings organized. It’s got water-resistant material and interior padding, large storage space with multiple pockets (its a lot roomier than it looks on the outside!), zippered side pockets, clear pocket for important things and a hook/handle for hanging. You can put a variety of things like deodorant, hairbrush, toothbrush, personals etc. There’s enough space that your things stay organized and don’t get all mixed up. It is actually a travel bag but it can be used in the locker or in the gym bag also!


Is your better half as hard on wallets as mine is? He has to change his almost twice yearly so I’m hoping this Mens Black RFID Blocking Bifold Wallet will last time a long time! It’s a cool 100% leather wallet with RFID blocking technology (protects your credit cards and such from being scanned by scammers) and tons of room with 11 slots for your cards, cash and whatever else you carry! The leather gives it an elegant, classy look and soft feel. It's great for both casual and dressy styles. 


There are so many more stylish items for the home to find online at LaVieVert! You’re sure to find something to get your fall started on a stylish foot!

Follow LaVieVert on social media!
@OfficialLaVieVert on Instagram and LaVieVert Facebook page!


Sponsored post. Products exchanged for mentions. Opinions and comments are those of the author.

8/20/18


The kids will be back to school in just two more weeks and although we’ve started (slowly) preparing with things like the bedtime routine, gathering supplies and getting whats left to our supply lists ready, there are still lots of things that need to be done to get everyone prepared. 

When moms busy, she almost needs a second brain!

I was sent over just that; well, almost. Amazon introduced us to Echo and Alexa to help make the back to school transition a little easier. All we have to do is ask! 



What is Amazon Echo?
Amazon Echo is a Virtual Assistant device powered by Alexa that can help you with daily tasks around the home, I’m not kidding.

It’s a hands-free, voice-controlled speaker with an expertly tuned speaker and 7 built-in microphones. Echo connects to the Alexa voice service to do many different things like play music, add/remove items from a list, read the latest news headlines, hear the weather send and receive messages and more! Because it connects via your Amazon account, Alexa can also make and check purchases for you. All you have to do is ask.


Amazon Echo Dot is what I like to call the baby sister. Smaller in size, the Echo Dot can be connected to speakers via Bluetooth or through a 3.5 mm audio cable for louder sound. The sleek and compact design makes Echo Dot is a convenient addition to any room in the house. Perfect for smaller areas like the kitchen, home office or bedroom. It has all the same features as the larger Echo.

Through the Alexa app, you can set up your Echo and any skills you’d like Alexa to learn such as local newspapers, podcasts, local bus, horoscopes, jokes and fun facts plus more.


My favourite features/skills on the Amazon Echo (so far):

- Ease of use: Voice control is a real game changer! Even with that, Echo has manual buttons for volume and also a mute button when you don’t want Alexa listening.

- Personalization: Alexa is a really smart AI. Info is tailored to you from your name down to your voice. After she gets to know you, Alexa will start calling you by your first name, like an old friend.

- Schedules and Lists: Alexa can add/remove events from your schedule, let you know what’s coming up on your calendar and you can even plan an entire day schedule using your voice. Alexa can also add and remove items from lists like back to school or grocery shopping, all I have to do is ask!

- Music: “Alexa play music” and that she will accessing Amazon (or your favourite) music streaming service. Even if you don’t have a subscription to a music streaming service, you can use Echo as a speaker and play whatever’s on your phone.

- Recipes: If I’m ever stumped and not around a device to google, I can just ask Alexa for the best after school snack recipe.

There are so many other features, you have to check it out for yourself to believe how cool Amazon Echo is! Here's a little teaser of Alexa telling me about the weather the other day! 


Echo powered by Alexa couldn’t have come at a better time with schedules and homework plus everything else life will throw at us with back to school time, I’m happy to have Amazon Echo by my side!

You can find the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot on Amazon.ca!



Posted on behalf of Amazon.ca. Complimentary product received in exchange for my honest review. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

8/17/18

Did you know that 2-3 of every thousand babies are diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia per year? Thanks to today’s medical advancements some cases are detected early but it wasn’t always like that.


I was born with hip dysplasia in the early 1980’s and have lived my entire life with hip and other problems because, in my day, the technology wasn’t there to detect things like bone malformation. There wasn’t any voice to spread awareness. Doctors (and parents) simply did not understand. I didn’t even fully understand until I was in my 20’s. Imagine had the tables been turned and they had known what to do and what not to do keep babies hips healthy.

The following is an important guest post on behalf of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute which is an organization that studies the disorder to maybe one day find a cure and helps spread awareness to parents who can help prevent its development in their babies.

When creating their lists of what to buy for a new baby, many expectant parents rely on friends and family for practical advice on what's really needed. Two must-have registry items, a swaddle and a baby carrier, may require a closer look to ensure that you are choosing the safest products for your baby. 

According to Dr Charles Price, Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon and Director of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, "All parents want to select the best for their baby, and in many cases, this also means the safest. When it comes to selecting swaddle garments and a baby carrier there are specific features parents should look for to ensure their baby's proper physical development."

When babies are born, their hips are not fully formed. Products that support healthy hip development are a must to avoid the possibility of post-natal hip dysplasia. Products that do not properly support baby's growing body can directly affect a baby's hip development resulting in lifelong issues such as arthritis and other ailments leading to early hip replacement surgery.  

Safe Swaddling

Here are some simple tips for choosing swaddles and carriers that will ensure healthy hip development for your baby:

- Look for a swaddle garment that features a roomy bottom, allowing baby’s legs to bend up and out at the hips. This position allows for the natural and proper development of the hip joints. 

- Any swaddle that wraps the baby’s legs straight or pressed together does not support proper hip development.

The right way to swaddle a baby:



Wrong way to swaddle a baby:



Baby Carrier Safety

A proper hip position is especially important during the first six months of baby’s life and when the baby is in a carrier for extended periods.

- Look for a carrier that allows baby’s legs to be in the “M” position with the thighs spread around the parents’ torso and the hips bent so the knees are slightly higher or level with the buttocks. The carrier should provide support from the thighs to the knee.

- In a proper carrier, your baby will be in a spread squat position and take on the look of a jockey.

Right way:



Wrong way:




The International Hip Dysplasia Institute was created to support parents and patients with hip dysplasia. They provide family support, preventive education and help patients identify physicians who can properly treat hip dysplasia. The U.S. based non-profit is also active in reducing the incidents of hip dysplasia around the world.

For additional information on hip dysplasia and hip healthy baby products, visit www.hipdysplasia.org!


*Guest post on behalf of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. This post is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional medical help if you feel you or your children may have HD. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.*