Tag Archives: Review

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:

crayola

  • 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

mables-labels-logo

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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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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Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb – GIVEAWAY!

16th March 2015

night-at-the-museum-secret-of-the-tomb-dvdI’m a big fan of the Night at the Museum movies – loved the first one, adored the second. Both of the kids also really love them and we’ve watched them a ridiculous amount of times. I can’t help it – I love museums, and the thought of art and statues coming to life at night is just too fun not to enjoy.

Then I heard there would be a third and I thought, really? I wasn’t going to watch it at all but we watched it the other night with the kids, and with very low expectations, we really loved it. It was hilarious and fun and a perfect way to end the series.

This time around Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) heads to London to “save the magic that brings the museum exhibits to life.”  Many of the beloved characters of the past two movies are back including Jedediah Smith, Octavius, Ahkmenrah, and Theodore Roosevelt. We also get introduced to some new characters, including my family’s personal favourites played by Rebel Wilson and Ben Stiller. It’s a really fun film and perfect for family movie night!!

The DVD combo pack has some great features including deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel and some great behind-the-scenes featurettes.

I’m giving away a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb! The giveaway will run until March 24, 2015 and is open to Canadian Residents only. Good Luck!!

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July Ipsy Bag Reveal

16th July 2014

ipsy-july

I just joined ipsy last month and finally received my first bag yesterday.

Each bag has a theme and this month’s theme is Sensationally Sun Kissed.

Here’s what was included in my bag:

ipsy-july

Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray Conditioning & Texturizing Spray

Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil SPF 08

Pixi Beauty Mini Tinted Brilliance Balm

POP Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer

A card offering Free Shipping at ULTA.com with any bareMinerals purchase – with the promo code IPSYBAREFS.

I should have also received another product – the bareMinerals5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow Broad Spectrum SPF 15 but it wasn’t in my package. I emailed them about it and received an email very quickly, letting me know they would send me a replacement as soon as possible.
ipsy-julyMy thoughts on the July Ipsy bag:

Do I love it? It’s ok. I love the little cosmetic bag, it’s adorable and my seven year old keeps stealing it, so it’s definitely a hit. I’ve heard from a friend that the beach spray is fantastic, but I haven’t tried it yet. The bronzer powder is nice and I adore the packaging, but I have never tried bronzer so it’s going to take a little practice so I don’t end up looking like a tan zebra. I really like the pixi balm in terms of it’s consistency and packaging but the shade is VERY PINK. The oddest thing by far I think, was the dark tanning oil. Do people still wear tanning oil in this day and age? Aren’t we all slathering ourselves with sunscreen at this point? I just think it’s a big miss, and I’ve read the forums and people are not loving it at all. I agree – awful idea to add a tanning oil.

Do you get ipsy? What did you get this month? Are you happy with your July bag??

I’m Doing The Microsoft Canada #SummerSwitch Challenge

27th June 2013

Hello Lovelies!!

I was invited to take part in the Microsoft Canada #SummerSwitch Challenge this summer.  So, I’ve put aside my beloved iPhone 4 aside (we sleep together, seriously) to test out the Nokia Lumia 920 phone Windows 8 phone. 

As someone who uses both Microsoft and Apple products on a daily basis, I thought it would be a great opportunity to finally try out the Windows 8 platform.

First Impressions?

  • IT’S SO FLUFFY!!! Translation: Super nice looking phone.
  • It’s big with a nice big screen! I LOVE the 4.5″ screen – especially for watching videos or movies.
  • The phone is so adaptable to your needs that the setting up of the phone is really half the fun. That sounds super dorky I suppose, but dorky is so in right now.
  • The back button may be the best thing ever invented for a phone. I LOVE it and use it constantly. Seriously, it is fantastic.
  • It’s definitely heavier than my iPhone.

My favorite things about this phone so far:

  • The camera on this phone takes amazing photos and with the numerous apps available with the camera, you can get some amazing results.
  • The speaker volume on this phone is nice and loud which I really appreciate – I can watch videos and movies using the Vevo and Netflix apps (LOVE) and the sound is clear and loud (old lady hearing requirement).
  • Again, the back button is definitely a favorite – use it all the time.
  • As a blogger using WordPress, the WordPress app is excellent and you could easily blog from your phone using it – love that.
  • Kid’s Corner is such a great option if you have kids – it allows you to create a separate area on your phone for your kids that will amuse them with fun apps, while keeping your phone totally separate. It is such a great idea and my kids use it as the reason they keep stealing the phone because they believe it gives them about 40% ownership. Kids are so cute.

As someone who uses Twitter and Facebook every single day, the absolute best thing about this phone for me is the PEOPLE and PHOTO section. The PHOTO section not only holds the photos you take with the camera but also compiles all your photos that you have in your Facebook, Twitter and any other accounts that you’ve set up on your phone, into different albums. In the PEOPLE section, each contact appears with all their contact info but also shows their updates (from FB, etc) and allows you text, email and call them from their contact page. Also in the PEOPLE section, you can use the Family Room section to invite people and then privately share your calendars, photos, group chats and notes in one place – very, very cool feature.

I’ve only scratched the surface of all the cool features on this phone. Next post, I’ll explore some more including the XBOX features that are a gamer’s dream!!

Disclosure:  The Nokia 920 Windows 8 phone was given to me to use for the Microsoft Canada #summerswitch Challenge, and I will receive compensation for my participation.  Regardless, all opinions are my own.

Our Stay At Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel

7th February 2013

Just before the holidays, my family and I were lucky enough to have a long weekend in Toronto and we stayed at the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel.

The Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel is newly renovated and boasts 6 floors, 222 rooms and 36 suites. It is perfectly located downtown on Bloor Street East and within walking distance to great shopping, fabulous restaurants and museums. If you’re headed to a game, or hitting up the Eaton Centre for some more shopping, it’s just a short drive or subway ride away.

We arrived at the hotel Friday afternoon and drove right up into the valet area which is located right next to their side entrance and steps away from their lobby and registration desk. We were warmly welcomed by the valet and actually, we experienced wonderful service every step of the way, from registration to room service to the concierge. Every one made a point of welcoming the kids, who get no bigger thrill than staying in a hotel so this just added to their joy.

The lobby was beautifully decorated for the holidays and absolutely immaculate, as were the elevators and hallways. (A germaphobe notices these things.) We arrived to our room and it was very nice – a suite with a separate sitting area with television, a desk, a bedroom with two queen beds and huge closets (and another tv) and a very nice bathroom with separate glass shower and separate bath. It was perfect for a family of four.

We headed out on foot, after checking in and spent a few hours shopping in the Bay/Bloor & Yorkville area. It was great to be able to walk with the kids and be at our destination so quickly. We did some major holiday spending damage, and we lugged our bags home among all the pretty sparkly lights in the area. It was just a fantastic day. When we returned, we were surprised with some great treats – sadly, I don’t have any pics because the kids ravaged it immediately.

The next morning, on Saturday, we enjoyed a breakfast in the colourful hotel restaurant, Matisse. It was delicious. Sunday morning, we had room service instead, because we’re spoiled and the kids really wanted to see Spongebob on tv – two birds, one stone.

We had a wonderful stay in a great hotel, and would absolutely stay again next time we’re in Toronto, especially if the goal is shopping. If I have one complaint, I would have to say because it was agreed among the four of us, the pillows on the beds were very uncomfortable. The rest of the bedding was nice and crisp, but the pillows were just too soft and shapeless. Other than that, everything was fantastic. Thank you so much to the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel for a wonderful family weekend.

You can find the hotel here and on Facebook and Twitter.

The Hip Hop Dance Experience – Review #UbiChamps #UbiHipHop

6th February 2013

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this post. Please visit Ubi.com to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. #UbiChamps

If you love dance video games, than Hip Hop Dance Experience will not disappoint.

Hip Hop Dance Experience for the Kinect features 40 hip hop songs from old classics to recent chart toppers – there is something for everyone.

The game can be played alone or with a friend in several different modes:

  • Dance Party – Alone or with a friend, you choose a song and the level of difficulty.
  • Dance Battle – Two players will battle against each other to see who can dance better by performing their moves correctly.
  • Dance Marathon – A non-stop dance-a-thon for one.
  • Power Skooling – Here’s where you can ‘skool’ yourself  and practice all the dance moves at your own pace.
  • Wardrobe – This is where you can customize your avatar with outfit options.
The Hip Hop Dance Experience for the Kinect requires you to try to dance and mirror the dancer on the screen as closely as possible. The more moves you do accurately and in sync with the screen dancer, the more points you earn. The game offers hints as to what move is coming up in the form of the ‘next dance card’. It’s a great help especially if you’re just starting out with the game and not necessarily a hip hop dance star.
After each song, each player earns a score and some feedback on the dance moves  you need to improve. Each song has three levels: Newbie, Mack Skills and Go Hard.  So you pick the mode, then you pick your song and then you pick your level. Lots of options and lots of opportunity to improve.
I will say, I found this game much harder than Just Dance 4 and I think it’s definitely geared to older kids/adults. My 9 year old tried it out and also thought although it was fun to dance around and he really liked the music, it was too hard for him to follow along. This makes sense since the game is actually rated Teen (for lyrics, partial nudity, suggestive themes and use of alcohol and tobacco). 
Personally, I really enjoyed it (at the Newbie level) and wanted to keep at it to try to get better at the dance moves. Lots of variety, great songs and really good Kinect-ability with the game. I wish it had the video playback like the Just Dance 4 game does, but it’s still a great game for those who love to dance.
The Hip Hop Dance Experience can be found at Amazon.com.

Mega Bloks Barbie Toys

23rd December 2012

Hey last minute shoppers,

Are you looking for a gift for a little person who loves Barbie and loves to build things? Then these might do the trick.

Meg Bloks just released their new line of toys this month, featuring the ever popular Barbie. They’ve previously introduced lines with Hello Kitty, Smurfs and Skylanders, just to name a few. Yes, I’m naming what is all over my house right now.

My six year old LOVES the Hello Kitty line and she’s constantly playing with them and taking the sets apart and building her own creations. They really do amuse her for hours, so I knew the Barbie line would be a hit with her as well.

There are several Mega Bloks Barbie Build N’ Style sets available right now, with various price points, including:

The great thing about these sets is that they can be built and rebuilt a number of ways. Currently, my six year old’s Barbie sets are having a meeting of the minds with her Hello Kitty play sets, and her brother’s Halo set.

She also likes that the Barbie mini figures come with outfit options, and even hair accessories. Yes, some of these pieces are TINY and if you have normal sized hands or man hands (ahem, like me – I blame childbirth) then you may need to let the little ones take over with dressing the Barbies.

If you have a little fan who loves to build things AND loves Barbie, I think these would be a huge hit. The smaller sets would make a great stocking stuffer as well. They are geared to the 4+ age range and are available everywhere now!

Happy Holidays!

*I was sent Mega Blocks Barbie product for the purposes of this review, but my words are my own.*

Just Dance Disney Party #JDDisney #Ubichamp

13th December 2012

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. #UbiChamps

Recently I had the opportunity to review Just Dance 4 for the XBOX Kinect and the entire family was sold after the first dance. We just LOVE it so much, so the kids were excited to try out the “kid” version of Just Dance – Just Dance Disney Party.

Verdict: My kids LOVE Disney everything and they loved this version of Just Dance too. We’ve seen pretty much every Disney movie there is, so they were excited to recognize all the characters throughout the game and dance along.

The kids were able to easily navigate through Just Dance on their own which is great for those times when Mommy doesn’t want to boogie. There are three sections to the game – Just Create, Parents and Dance. Just Create is all about taking pictures and videos while dancing, Parents allows for parents to monitor progress and Dance is, you guessed it, all about Dancing. Just like with Just Dance 4, up to four people can play at once which makes it such a great game to enjoy with family or friends.

This version uses original music from many of the Disney movies and the shows from the Disney channel – my kids really liked that they were able to sing along to the songs while dancing. They included:

Classic Disney songs for the whole Family: Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Tangled, Lilo & Stitch , Tinker Bell, Enchanted, The Muppets, Bolt, Mary Poppins, and Aristocats. Dances from the hottest Disney Channel shows: Shake It Up, Phineas and Ferb, Jessie , Hannah Montana, A.N.T. Farm, Wizards of Waverly Place, Camp Rock, High School Musical and Good Luck Charlie.

The game also has an added fun feature that my son really enjoyed called Balloon Mode that allows the players to earn more points while they compete with one another. Other options include creating your own playlists and Non-Stop Shuffle Mode for when you need to dance non-stop! I had to ask the kids to shut down the game because they were totally into it and not interested in stopping anytime soon. It made them sweaty and giggly and happy – another reason this game is a definite win as a family/kid game in my book.

Just Dance Disney Party can be purchased at Amazon.com and ToysRUs.com

 

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