Tag Archives: Review

New Kid’s Book – The Hueys in What’s The Opposite? and a GIVEAWAY! #TheHueys

12th January 2016

the-hueys

I remember when I first discovered an Oliver Jeffers book was when I was in the bookstore with my then toddler son looking for something funny for his bedtime story that night. I just happened to find The Incredible Book Eating Boy on the shelf, and immediately adored the illustrations. And then I read it and fell in love with it’s story and just how funny it was. It became one of our absolute favourite family reads and led to our love of all things Oliver Jeffers. If you haven’t yet read anything written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, you are missing out. They’re creative, hilarious and will amuse your kids, regardless of their age.

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Today is the release date of Oliver Jeffers’ newest book called The Hueys in What’s The Opposite? This is his latest book in The Hueys series, which explores the funny world of opposites. The Hueys are a quirky little bunch that will delight your children. The book is available in hardcover picture book and in board book formats today as well, so even your littlest one can enjoy this delightful book.

I’d love to share my love for Oliver Jeffers’ books with a giveaway today. This prize will include:

  • The Hueys in WHAT’S THE OPPOSITE? (hardcover picture book)
  • The Hueys in WHAT’S THE OPPOSITE (board book)
  • The Hueys in THE NEW SWEATER (board book)
  • The Hueys in IT WASN’T ME (board book)
  • The Hueys in NONE THE NUMBER (board book)

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This giveaway is open to Canadian AND U.S residents and will run until January 21, 2016.

Good Luck!
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Smithsonian Design: The Definitive Visual History #awesomegifts

26th November 2015

smithsonian design book

Smithsonian Design: The Definitive Visual History lays out the complete evolution of design, from its origins in early cultures to the contemporary design – physical and digital – of today. This comprehensive volume covers every major design movement, along with the iconic designers and manufacturers who influenced everyday life through the objects and buildings they created.

If you’re a fan of design, you will absolutely love this book. Smithsonian Design is a gorgeous coffee table book that covers all aspects of design. It takes the reader through the evolution of design, from the Arts & Crafts period (1850-1920) to the Mid-Century Modern (1940-1959) to the Postmodern & Contemporary of the 80s and onward, and everything in between. At the back of the book, you’ll also find a glossary of design terms and a designer index.

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Smithsonian Design is full of large, gorgeous photographs that complement the book beautifully. In each section, key dates are outlined and after a brief description of the era, specific pieces are highlighted, naming the designer and estimated date of the piece. There are also several pages that focus on the evolution of the design of specific items, such as chairs. This really gives you a great glimpse of how the design has changed over the last century.

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If you’re looking for #awesomegifts this holiday season, this is a winner. I’m such a fan of DK Canada coffee table books – they’re always such a beautiful and quality read. They have something for everyone, so make sure to click on the #awesomegifts graphic below to take you to some other great gift ideas from DK Canada. You can find DK Smithsonian Design online at Indigo.

dk awesome gifts

Help Feed Children With Cuddle + Kind

23rd November 2015

cuddle-and-kindThis is Everest.

He’s 20″ of cute – hand-knit with premium yarn, stuffed with hypoallergenic goodness and non-toxic. He was handmade in Peru using Fair Trade practices. And when you purchase Everest, you’re not just buying a sweet knit doll, you are also providing ten meals to children in need in North America and around the world, through the World Food Program USA* and Children’s Hunger Fund.

Everest is just one of nine super adorable knit dolls available from Cuddle + Kind. You can also choose from two lovely mermaids (Isla & Pearl), two cute reindeer (Willow & Scout), two sweet bunnies (Chloe & Benedict) and two kittens (Maximus and Chelsea). They’re all so damn cute, but I’ve develped a bit of a crush on Benedict – how could I now with those glasses and bow tie and vest. They’re just the sweetest and they would make such an adorable prezzie for any little boy or girl, while also giving to those in need at the same time.

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Cuddle + Kind sent us Everest and my daughter is in love. He’s officially her new bedtime buddy and has been every single night since he arrived. You can tell he’s been made with care and every detail has been carefully thought out, front and back, from his little scarf and knit hat, to his booties and perfectly yellow beak.

Cuddle + Kind is the brainchild of Canadian couple, Jennifer and Derek Woodgate, and their goal is to provide one million meals every year. To purchase a doll you can go here to order them via Indiegogo. You can also find Cuddle + Kind on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Holiday Gift Ideas With Crayola And a Giveaway!

23rd November 2015

Crayola-Holiday

The holiday season is here and it’s time to get shopping for everyone on your list.

My kids started their lists weeks ago – they’ve taped them to the fridge and just keep adding to them as they see things they want. I figure they’ll have a short story by the time we get to December. Lucky me.

My 9 year old always has something from Crayola on her list – she loves being creative and art and is very imaginative. ‘Crayola believes in the genius of imagination, the power of play and the magic of dreams.’  I love that and I’m all for it.

Crayola has some great gift ideas that would be perfect for this holiday season. We had a chance to try some of them out and they are definite winners!

Crayola Crayon Carver

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The Crayola Crayon Carver is a multiple award winner and geared to kids ages 6+. The Crayon Carver allows kids to experience engraving by tracing. First, you remove the crayon wrapper using the included wrapper ripper tool. You then place the crayon into the chamber to hold it in place. You select the tiles for the message you want to engrave, and then you trace the tiles which will simultaneously engrave the message into the crayon. This was one of my daughter’s favourites and she was amused with it for a long time. It was a definite hit.

Easy Animation Studio

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Another award-winner is the Easy Animation Studio, geared to kids ages 8+. To use this toy, you must download the Animation Studio app. The toy includes the mannequin and stand, a 30 page booklet, coloured pencils and a device stand. First, you choose which character you want to play with and colour and design it front and back, and then scan it in to your smartphone or tablet. You then place your device in the stand and position the mannequin in various poses. The on-screen character you scanned earlier then mimics the poses of the mannequin and records it as a video.

My daughter LOVED playing with this and didn’t require any help setting it up. She had a great time making videos and recording her voice into them, and then showing them off. Another hit!

Cling Creator, Thread Wrapper and Light-Up Stamper

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Need more award-winning ideas for prezzies this year? The Cling Creator allows you to create clings using included molds that will stick to and peel from virtually any surface. You can make up to 20 clings but refill packs are available as well.

The Crayola Creations Thread Wrapper is a motorized threading machine that allows you to style things you own with colourful threads. The Thread Wrapper comes with six spools of thread but you can use any thread with the machine. You can also use Crayola markers to add colour to the threads as well.

The Light-Up Stamper kit allows for mess free colouring by using Color Wonder inks. These inks are clear but the Light-Up Stamper kit actually lights up so you can see what colour you’re using. The great thing about Color Wonder inks is that they don’t colour or mess up your clothes or furniture or anything. It’s delightful.

Crayola has so many great gift options for the holiday season, and I want to help you get started. I’m giving away two of these fun products – The Crayon Carver and the Easy Animation Studio (valued at $60). You can enter below via Rafflecopter – the giveaway is open to Canadian Residents only and will run until December 1, 2015. GOOD LUCK!!

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The Whole 30 – The 30 Day Guide

6th October 2015

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I bought this book the day it came out, read it and then put it lovingly on a shelf fully intending to try it out at some point. I had read great things about this ‘diet’ and how it acts to reset the body and is great for people with health issues and sugar addictions.

I’m that person, 100%. Besides the fact that sugar is my spirit animal, I’m also dealing with a very intense case of PCOS that I was diagnosed with a few months ago. If you’re as lucky as I am and have every possible symptom connected to PCOS, you’ll get why making dietary changes are really important. I also have a lot of stomach issues that seem to appear whenever I eat any kind of starchy carb – if that’s not an evil thing to do to a Greek girl, I don’t know what is.

So it’s time for me to give Whole 30 a try. What I love about this book, is how easy the ‘diet’ is. Basically, you can eat MEAT, SEAFOOD, EGGS, VEGGIES, FRUIT AND NATURAL FATS. You can’t eat sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy or baked goods of any kind. You also are not allowed to measure yourself or weight yourself during the process. Measure/weigh yourself at the beginning and end of the 30 days instead.

The book is great in that it has a section that answers every possible question you might have about the diet and the food you can and can’t eat. It also covers what to eat when eating out, travelling, and during the holidays. The Whole 30 guide also gives you lots of recipes, a shopping guide, and a suggested meal plan.

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So I’m going to follow this diet for 30 days, but I won’t be that person who’s instagramming/facebooking/tweeting my meals and progress. I’m not much of a food photographer and I know most people have zero interest in seeing what I’m eating so it works out. If you’ve done this ‘diet’, I’d love to know how it worked out for you – what you found easy/difficult and how you felt after the 30 days. I hope you’ll share your experience and/or your tips for someone just starting out. After the 30 days, I’ll let you know if I made it and if it affected my PCOS in any way.

Disney On Ice: Treasure Trove #Kingston #YGK

2nd October 2015

disney-on-ice-treasure-trove

Disney On Ice is back in Kingston.

We headed to the K-Rock Centre with the kids tonight to see the first showing of Disney On Ice: Treasure Trove. We’ve been to a couple other Disney On Ice shows in the past and the kids really enjoyed them. This time round the kids are older, but they still had a fun night out, especially my youngest.

The show ran for approximately 90 minutes, with a 15 minute intermission. Several of the Disney movies were represented including Toy Story, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lion King, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Tangled and The Princess Frog.

Our favourite part of the show were all the great costumes, especially during the Aladdin, Alice in Wonderland and The Little Mermaid sections of the show. There were some great skating sequences as well, most notably during The Lion King, that really showed off the cast’s talents. There were even flying characters, a magic carpet ride and exciting pyrotechnics. Of course, if you have little Disney fans, they’ll recognize many of the songs and characters throughout and are invited to dance and sing along during the show.

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You might want to bring your wallet to the show as well. As with most kid-focused events, there are several booths stationed outside the show with pricey Disney-themed toys and paraphernalia, so you’ll need your wallet. Or perhaps some kid-sized blinders.

Disney On Ice: Treasure Trove is currently on tour at the K-Rock Centre in Kingston, Ontario and will run six more shows starting tomorrow: Friday, October 2 (7:00 p.m.), Saturday, October 3 (11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m.), Sunday, October 4 (1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m.). You can buy tickets online and at the box office.

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The Last Man On Earth Season One – Review and Giveaway

28th September 2015

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The Last Man on Earth is a hilarious and critically acclaimed series starring the adorably weird Will Forte as Phil Miller. The show is set in the year 2020 after a virus has killed off the entire population, with only one survivor: Phil. Phil drives across country looking for survivors but when he finds no one, he heads back to his hometown of Tucson, Arizona. Some of my favourite moments come from watching Phil amuse himself as the last living man, from drawing faces on all these different balls so he can have a some company at the local bar, to moving into the mansion of his choice and filling it with priceless art and artifacts.

I’ll admit that when I first heard about the concept of this show, I had no idea how they could possibly pull of a show with one character. Of course the answer is they don’t, because we soon learn that there is in fact another person who is alive in Tucson and her name is Carol. Carol, played by Kristen Schaal, is the queen of playing funny, quirky characters and she doesn’t disappoint. She’s perfectly cast as the ‘last woman on earth’ who’s determined to correct Phil’s grammar and his ways.

This is a great show – it’s funny and creative, and really allows its cast to shine. I adore Will Forte and I can’t imagine anyone else that could be more perfect in this role. The Last Man on Earth Season One has been nominated for four Emmy Awards including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and is now out on DVD.

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Would you like to win a DVD copy of The Last Man on Earth: The Complete First Season? The giveaway is open to Canadian residents and will run until Monday, October 5, 2015. GOOD LUCK!!

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Back to School with SportChek And a Giveaway

20th September 2015

sportcheck-logoWe are officially back in school and already in the third week, with September quickly coming to an end. Yikes. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE the fall, but I HATE the winter, so slow down already.

I don’t know about you but I approached things differently with back to school this year. Instead of just going out and buying the kids a whole bunch of new clothes and things before school started, I picked up only the necessities like school supplies and indoor shoes, and figured I’d pick up the rest as needed.

I picked up a couple of pairs of shoes for each of the kids as well, but quickly realized the dude would require some really good running shoes for gym. Enter SportChek! They contacted me about checking out their site and picking out some shoes for the kids, which was very timely so I was so thankful about that.

I’ve been on the site before a few times for clothes, but never for kids’ shoes. Their selection is fantastic, ranging from running shoes and basketball shoes, to hiking and trendy options as well. They have a wide range of brands and price points, and often some great sales too – they have a 20% off sale on right now actually.

So what did we pick?  My son picked out athletic shoes: Nike LunarGlide 7 Kids’ Grade-School Running Shoes

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And my daughter went for trendy and picked: Converse CT All Star Slip It Girls’ Trend Shoes

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We placed our order and received our shoes a quick two days later! They were both great picks and the kids were thrilled with their choices. And personally, I just love being able to order online within Canada, and avoiding extra duties and taxes and exchange. SportChek has you covered from shoes, boots, athletic wear, sports equipment and even fitness/sports related electronics.

I’d love to give you a chance to do a little shopping online at SportChek as well, so I’m giving away a $50 gift certificate to one lucky winner! The giveaway is open to Canadian residents and will run until September 28, 2015. GOOD LUCK!

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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!

mabels-labels

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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My Experience Using RapidLash Enhancing Serum #RapidLash

12th August 2015

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This is part two of a two part blog post where I tried the RapidLash Eyebrow & Eyelash Enhancing Serum. The first post was here, and it’s been about eight weeks since that initial post.

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A little about how the product works first. You apply the RapidLash to the upper lash line of your clean, make-up free eye. You apply it every night before bed and you should apply it at least eight weeks to get the best results. It’s also safe to use if you are a contact lens wearer, which I am.

I’m not a huge fan of putting things anywhere near my eyeballs because my eyes tend to get irritated very easily, so I was a little bit worried that I’d have some kind of reaction or irritation to the product, but thankfully I did not. I found it very light and easy to use, and the serum had zero odour to it, which I appreciated, a lot.

One of the main reasons I was curious to try out this product is because I was recently diagnosed with PCOS and I’ve had some hair loss, among a million other symptoms, and have been self-conscious about it. I wanted to see if I could see some improvement using RapidLash. Again, I know that eight weeks is the minimum amount of time to use it before you see any real change, so my expectations were low with the intention of continuing beyond the eight week period, regardless.

So, has there been any change in the first eight weeks of use? Personally, I do see some improvement, although I’m not sure it’s obvious to anyone else. Here are my before and after pics and let me just say, my before pic is taken at such a bad angle (and evidently blurry) and I didn’t realize how bad until I tried to photograph the after and realized I should have taken several angles. Live and learn I guess.

Here’s my BEFORE:

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And AFTER!

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I know, it’s hard to tell because I don’t have the same angles for the before shot – but personally, I see the most difference with the shot with my closed eye.

So am I happy with the product SO FAR? YES! I plan to continue using it to see how it improves. It’s such an easy product to use so why not – honestly the hardest part is remembering to apply it. I had a reminder on my phone that would ring every night to remind me to do so, so it wasn’t that bad at all. I will say that there were four days that I didn’t apply it because I was away in Quebec City, and forgot it at home. Other than that, I was very consistent in my use and intend to continue it to see how it goes from here. Now if only I could get something similar for the hair loss on my head, and I’d be thrilled.

If you want to try it out, check out their website for store locations and more information about the product.

Disclosure: I am part of the RapidLash campaign with Influence Central and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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