Category Archives: Kids

Happy Birthday Roald Dahl! #RoaldDahlMonth #Giveaway

24th September 2015

ROALDDAHL

I love weird and different.

I love smart and entertaining.

I LOVE funny and bizarre.

This is a few of the reasons I LOVE ROALD DAHL and his books. I can’t think of another author that I like that is so quirky and strange, and yet so beloved and respected by so many adults and kids alike.

There are so many wonderful messages in each of his books, they’re just impossible not to love.

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September is his birthday month, so Penguin Kids has declared it Roald Dahl Month in celebration. I’m all for it! To celebrate, I’m giving away a Roald Dahl prize pack that will include three Roald Dahl books of your choice, and a Roald Dahl event kit that will include a poster, sticker sheet, bookmarks, and a word search.

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This giveaway is open to U.S. RESIDENTS only this time! The giveaway will run until September 30th, 2015 and you can enter below! Good luck!!

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Frozen Fever Books – HairStyles and Party Book #Giveaway

28th August 2015

frozen-fever

A little while back I reviewed this super cute EDDA USA title, The Ultimate Disney Party Book, full of great ideas for having a Disney themed party. I was recently sent two more titles from EDDA USA – Frozen Fever Party Book and Frozen Fever Hairstyles.

FROZEN FEVER PARTY BOOK

This book has 22 fun ideas for creating your very own Frozen Fever party. The book is divided into several sections: Invitations, Decorations, Cakes & Drinks, Games and Party Favors. Each section has several ideas that are simple to re-create for the perfect Frozen Fever celebration. There is also a section that includes some of the templates used for the invitations.

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Some of my favourite ideas are the Spring in a Bottle Invitation – so pretty and simple, yet such a great idea for an invite. The Sunflower Table Decoration – my little eight year old artist picked this one as one of her favourites too. I also really love Anna’s Birthday Cake – this is the most complicated thing in the book, but it’s super gorgeous.

FROZEN FEVER HAIRSTYLES

Want to re-create Anna and Elsa’s hairstyles? This book will definitely help you do just that. In it you will find 28 hairstyles to choose from. The first section of the book is called BraidSchool and it teaches you the basics that you will need in order to be able to do the more difficult hairstyles. The traditional braid, french braid, dutch braid, fishtail braid and french fishtail braid are all outlined up front. The book is then divided into Twists and Braids, Updos and Buns, and Waves and Ponytails.

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Each hairstyle is photographed with step-by-step instructions and a final photograph that shows what it should like when it’s done. From simple to intricate, each hairstyle is super pretty and an especially handy reference for changing things up.

Both of these Frozen Fever themed books are perfect for celebrating all things Frozen. Full of gorgeous photos, they’re a great gift idea for yourself or any Frozen Fever fan. Want your own set? I’m giving away a copy of each book to ONE lucky winner!! Please enter below – the giveaway is open to Canadian residents and will run until Friday, September 4th, 2015.

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Back to School with Mabel’s Labels and a Giveaway #BTS

14th August 2015

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On Monday, I blogged about Back to School and posted a giveaway involving school supplies. Today, it’s all about labels – MABEL’S LABELS.

I’ve blogged about Mabel’s several times in the past because they’re a company that I love to talk about and endorse. They offer a product that is dependable, pretty, affordable and 100% guaranteed. Their labels are dishwasher safe, microwave safe and waterproof, so they can be adhered to everything from clothing to school supplies, to rain boots, and everything in between. I adhere them at the beginning of each school year to the kids’ shoes and boots, their knapsacks, notebooks and pencil cases, their lunch paraphernalia and all their outerwear. And every end of school year, every single label is still attached. Worth every penny!

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Have you ever ordered from Mabel’s Labels? Their website is super easy to use. Once you’ve chosen the labels you want, you enter the NAME, you choose your DESIGN and then choose your FONT, and that’s it. You can see what the product will look like as you enter your info, so you can make any changes you like. You add it to the cart and you’re ready to go. I ordered THE STYLISH SCHOLARS COMBO for my 11 year old son, and with the free shipping, it arrived quickly and within a week. So you still have time to order your labels before school starts!!

mabels-labels

Want to win a STYLISH SCHOLARS COMBO? This combo is great because it will appeal to all ages with their sleek design (12 different design options and 2 font options). It includes 40 mini custom name stickers, 50 Tag Mates clothing labels, 16 round labels and 2 mini tags. With 108 labels (and the two tags), it retails for $42 CDN. You can find Mabel’s Labels online on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Enter below to win your own Stylish Scholars Combo from Mabel’s Labels. The giveaway is open to Canadian Residents and will end Friday, August 21, at midnight EST. GOOD LUCK!!

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Back to School with Crayola And a Giveaway #BTS

11th August 2015

Crayola-logo

It’s that time of year again – Back to School! (Insert my children’s moaning and groaning here).

The BEST part about Back to School time for me, is buying all the school supplies. I find that the kids start to get excited about getting organized and ready for school when we pick up the school supplies – at least the little one does. Personally, I love it so much that I often buy too much so that I can hide some for myself. I make sure to pick up all the basics and some of the fun stuff too, and when it comes to the fun stuff, I always choose Crayola products. From the first package of crayons I bought as a new mom for my little guy, until now, with two kids who love to paint and draw and create, I have always preferred Crayola. It’s just one of those brands that people trust for quality, including myself – they call it the Crayola Difference.

This is why I was very excited to become part of the Crayola blogger program – me and the brood are big fans. Recently, they sent us a box of goodies for back to school, and we were super excited to check out all their new products and those products that are new to us. Our little eight year old artist got right to it immediately and picked her four favourite products – the Glitter markers, Metallic markers, Watercolour pencils and the scented PowerLines Markers.

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So to celebrate Back to School (YES I’m celebrating – Mommy needs some alone time!), I have a fab Crayola giveaway!! One lucky winner will win a great $50 package that includes:

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  • 24 ct crayons
  • 24 mini twistables fun effect
  • Ultra-Clean Broad Line Markers, 10 ct Tropical
  • Power Lines Scented Markers
  • Ultra-Clean Stamper Markers
  • Coloured Pencils, 24 ct
  • 24 Washable Watercolour Paints
  • Glue Sticks
  • Blunt Tip Metal Scissors
  • Construction Paper Pad, 120 ct
  • 5 Paint Brushes, assorted

Would you like to win this fab Crayola prize? Enter below to win! This giveaway is open to Canadians only, and will run until August 19, 2015 at MIDNIGHT EST. GOOD LUCK!
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Mabels Labels Limited Edition Camp Label Pack GIVEAWAY

18th May 2015

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I love Mabel’s Labels.

I discovered them when my son was little and started losing everything at school and I needed a better solution than just writing his name on the tags of his clothing and shoes. Of course that would only last until the item was washed anyway. But then I found Mabel’s Labels!

I’ve used these labels for both kids now, for 5+ years and they’re the best label on the market. They are dishwasher, microwave and laundry safe. They are also UV resistant and waterproof. That’s what makes these a fantastic label option for camp. Mabel’s Labels Limited Edition Camp Label Pack includes everything you need to get the kids ready for camp.

The pack includes:

  • 10 Personalized Name Stickers
  • 24 Mini Custom Name Stickers
  • 50 Tag Mates Stick On Clothing Labels
  • 8 Custom Shoe Stickers
  • 2 Personalized Bag Tags
  • 5 super cute postcards for writing home (*only while supplies last*)

mabels-labels-camp-labels

On the newly re-designed website (love how user-friendly it is now), you can choose from a solid or multicolour design, countless adorable icons and four different fonts. The Limited Edition Camp Label pack sells for $39.95 with free shipping.

Of course, Mabel’s sells labels for so much more than just camp – from household, to hockey gear, to allergy alert labels, you can get all your label needs met with Mabel’s Labels. You can find Mabel’s on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Want to win your own Limited Edition Camp Label Pack?? Enter below to win – this giveaway is open to Canadians only, and will run until May 28, 2015. Good luck!

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100 Family Adventures – Book Review

18th May 2015

100-Family-Adventures

Remember when you were young, way back when, when it was the norm to spend hours outside, when fast food meant reheating leftovers and when the only electronics in the house was a big clunker of a television and the Atari with Pong on heavy rotation.

I still remember all five of us kids sitting around watching each other play Pong and being riveted. RIVETED. Seriously.

As a mom now, it worries me how much time my kids will play on their iPads or the XBOX if I don’t limit them. Literally hours will pass, and not a peep. Don’t get me wrong the lack of fighting and overall silence is BEAUTIFUL. But it also frustrates me at the same time. We have a house FULL of toys and crafts and books, let alone a garage full of scooters, bikes and hockey equipment and all that fun stuff. Of course, the irony is the moment I take away all the electronics they get over it and play. They’re outside playing hockey, or baseball in the backyard for hours, and they’re happy and dirty and smelly and it just feels right.

This is why I really like this book – 100 Family Adventures by the Meek Family (Tim, Kerry, Amy and Ella Meek – known as the UK’s “most adventurous family”). They’ve created an informative, fun reference guide to inspire families to enjoy the outdoors no matter where they are, or what the weather is like. The book includes activities grouped into themes: Woodland, Water, Close to Home (my personal favourite – how did you guess?), Hills and Mountains, Exploring, By the Sea and Extreme Weather.

100-family-adventures

Every adventure also includes great advice and suggestions including tips and considerations, instructions, things to remember, trivia, safety tips, advice and cute jokes. Canoe down a river, Climb indoors, Go on a night hike, Geocaching, Sleep in an Eco Tent are just some of the adventures in this fun adventure book.

100-family-adventures

This is a great, fun resource for families who enjoy the outdoors and/or who endeavour to be more adventurous with their kids. Lots of great ideas to experience no matter where you live, all year round.

You can find 100 Family Adventures (published by Frances Lincoln Publishers) online and in stores. You can find The Meek Family on Twitter, Facebook and on their website www.dotrythisathome.com.

Crayola Colour Alive Giveaway #ColourAlive

11th May 2015

Crayola-logo

Crayola comes out with fun new products every year, so I’m sharing some of their Spring 2015 virtual products that are now available. First up are the Crayola Colour Alive products.

colour-alive
To use the Crayola Colour Alive books, you will need to download the free Colour Alive app on your tablet or smartphone. Colour Alive books work as a traditional colouring book – you begin by colouring the pages with the included markers. Then, you then scan the coloured page using the app and click the 4D button and up pops this virtual image of your coloured image.

colour-alive

You can then interact with the image, take a pic, share it and/or save it.

colour-alive

Colour Alive is available in the titles shown above, as well as Minions and Monster High.

Another fun product are the Virtual Design & Drive and My Virtual Fashion Show. These products each have their own free apps that are required – Crayola Design & Drive and Crayola My Virtual Fashion Show.

crayola-products

These products are a little different in that you use the included pencil crayons to design the outfit or car, from various angles, and then photograph each of the angles, and the app puts it all together. Below, you can see that my daughter coloured the front of the outfits for the fashion show on the left, and the final virtual product on the right. It’s actually very cool. She really enjoys playing with it.

crayola

My eight year old really enjoyed playing with the virtual Crayola products, and I think they’re a great, affordable option for birthday prezzies for friends, fun and quiet for road and/or air travel or for some afternoon fun.

Want to try them out for yourself? I’m giving away a Crayola Virtual Products Prize Pack (valued at approx. $65) that includes all six products featured in this post – Four Colour Alive books, Virtual Design & Drive and Virtual Fashion Show. The giveaway is open to CANADIANS only and will run until Tuesday, May 19th, 2015. GOOD LUCK!!

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Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

8th May 2015

ripleys-aquarium-canada

I’ve been meaning to blog about our first visit to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto for a while now, and I’m finally getting around to it. My son chose a visit as part of his birthday present for his 11th birthday this year.

ripleys-toronto

Ripley’s is a relatively new attraction in Toronto, featuring 16,000 aquatic animals and North America’s longest underwater viewing tunnel with 5.7 million litres of water and many interactive opportunities. The aquarium is divided into nine different galleries, from the Canadian Waters to Planet Jellies (my personal favourite). Beyond that, there is a huge gift shop, a café, and other great activities that we didn’t experience, such as a stingray experience.

ripleys-toronto

When planning for our visit, I had heard stories about how busy the aquarium was during the day and it was so crowded at times that it was difficult to really see the fish or enjoy the viewing tunnel and interactive aspects to the aquarium. So we decided to head there late at night instead, since it closes at 11pm. We arrived just before 8p.m. which gave us about 2.5 – 3 hours to explore which is how long you really need to experience everything. If you have really little ones, I’d plan for longer for sure.

ripleys-toronto

The visit really was for my kids’ benefit but I have to say I absolutely LOVED every moment we were in the aquarium. I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed it. It was beautiful and very clean and so quiet, that it was an absolute joy just to be there and see all these incredible fish. In some parts of the aquarium they have this beautiful music playing and it really was relaxing and mesmerizing. Honestly, I couldn’t have walked slower if I tried.

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The kids absolutely LOVED the viewing tunnel with the moving walkway. This particular gallery, called Dangerous Lagoon, featured stingrays and sharks and giant turtles. We were alone on the walkway so once we came to the end, the kids turned around and ran back to the beginning to experience it one more time.

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My favourite part of the exhibit was definitely the gallery that held all the jellyfish, from teeny tiny baby ones, to giant ones that swam in this incredible backlit display that changed colours highlighting the jellyfish in different ways. SUPER LOVE.

ripleys-toronto

Ripley’s Aquarium is a great day out for the family, providing hours of fun. If you’re coming from out of town, it is located right at the base of the CN Tower, between the Rogers Centre and the Air Canada Centre. and next to a fabulous hotel within a five minute walk, the Renaissance Hotel.

ripleys-toronto

This is not a sponsored post, and I wasn’t asked to review the Aquarium. We just really enjoyed ourselves and wanted to share it and our plans to definitely return this summer. We can’t wait to go back!

Legoland Discovery Centre Toronto – Giveaway

1st May 2015

lego-discovery-centre-logo

My family and I were recently invited to check out the Legoland Discovery Centre Toronto (located in Vaughan Mills), and with two big Lego fans in the house, we were excited to finally check it out.

The first thing you’ll see when you arrive is a Lego store (well played Lego people) filled with every set you could possibly imagine, if not every set actually available, including that wall with all the bulk pieces that my children love. Perhaps you’ll want to put the child blinders on until you get into the attraction. Just a thought.

lego-discovery-centre

Once inside, you’re invited to stand in front of a green screen to take some pics, which will be available for purchase later on inside. The kids were into it, so we agreed and all the employees were really nice and great with the kids so it was fun to watch them get into it. We then moved into a small area for a Lego Factory Tour where you can see how Lego is made and also get on a scale that will tell you what your body weight equals in Lego bricks.

Next up was the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride where we climbed onto a moving “chariot” and using the attached laser guns, shot at various targets throughout the ride. You can see each person’s score and our eight year old kicked everyone’s butt by far. Little do you know that your picture is taken during the ride and you have the option to purchase that as well. Right after the ride exit, is where you will see the pics taken at the green screen and the one taken during the ride.

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Up next was MINILAND, my favourite, where you can see a Lego reproduction of some of the great landmarks, including the CN Tower. It really is fantastic to see the incredible detail in the replicas, created with over 1.5 million bricks! The exhibit moves from day to night as well – it’s quite fantastic.

After MINILAND, the Discovery Centre opens up into a large room that houses the rest of the attraction. Including the Lego Racers Build & Test (where you can build your own racecar and race them on ramps), the Lego 4D Cinema, Merlin’s Apprentice (a pedal ride), Lego Fire Academy and Construction site (a play area for the younger set), a cafe and birthday rooms.

legoland-toronto

My son’s favourite part of the attraction was the Lego Star Wars MINILAND Model Display. It had several displays of Star Wars scenes and battles, some interactive, others involving sound and light effects. It was very well done, and according to the 11 year old, very, very cool.

Overall, the kids had fun at the Legoland Discovery Centre, and especially enjoyed the MINILAND exhibits, the laser ride and the pedal ride. I do think a lot of the attraction is geared towards younger kids, so if you have little ones (age 2 and younger are free), you might want to consider annual passes.

legoland-toronto

Have you been to the Legoland Discovery Centre in Toronto yet? Want to? I’m giving away a FAMILY PASS (four tickets) to one lucky winner! Please enter below – the giveaway is open to Canadian residents, but please keep in mind that you’ll want to live close enough to be able to get there, or if you’re planning a trip to Toronto soon. The giveaway will run until Thursday, May 14th and the winner will be chosen using Random.org. GOOD LUCK!!

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The Funny Six Year Old – Future Drama Queen Or Soap Opera Actress

30th May 2013

My funny six year old is a character.

She sings all day long and most of the time, it’s something she’s come up with. Her songs always involve love which is funny because she is the first to tell you how much she “hates womance”.

She also draws and writes all day long. There isn’t a piece of paper, napkin or box in this house that doesn’t have her little etchings on them. We are also not allowed to throw any of her creations away, ever – future hoarder in our midst.

So, the other day, I find this piece of paper with her writing on both sides of it and of course, I read it. To say I was shocked is an understatement. I actually had to ask her where she copied the words from because I’m still finding it hard to believe that she wrote them on her own.

However, she insists that she did and they’re just too good not to share.

(I had a Heart. you took it right away. I needed you. then left some day. I loved you. you took me in your heart. then i saw the musical number of life.)

(why I want to be with you. I had a mix up. I loved you then I hate you now. I Left forever.)

I mean, seriously??

This kid is a gem or a future soap opera actress. Of course, I can’t help but imagine this kind of angst during the teenage years and just want to start drinking now in preparation.

But for now, I’ll enjoy her drama queeness – it’s adorable, most of the time.

The rest of the time, I sleep with one eye open.

Disclaimer: Yes, I asked if I could share this and she was cool with it, otherwise I wouldn’t have shared it. Believe me, you don’t want to mess with the wrath of this darling six year old. 

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