Thursday, February 28, 2013

FREE Disney Junior Channel Preview & CONTEST!


My family is SO excited that I'm a new Disney Junior Mom, and I'm thrilled too!  The first time we discovered the Disney Junior channel, our oldest son was about 2-years old.  We had been trying to find a show for him with friendly characters, and one that did not show fighting or violence.  My husband and I were delighted to find Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that had all the qualities we had been looking for in a show!  That son is now 7-years old, and my hubby and I still call him a "Mousekadoer", because he is very independent and likes to solve problems on his own.  
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Disney Junior!
It is in that spirit, that I would like to announce a FREE Disney Junior preview the whole month of March and a Disney Junior Canada CONTEST!  Even if you don't have Disney Junior in your tv package, you will be able to preview it for FREE all of March 2013!  Take a peek at the Disney Junior channel finder to find which channel to tune into.  This is an amazing opportunity to try out Disney Junior programming with your kids!        

Disney Junior English is FREE all of March 2013, and is available with most TV services, as follows: Bell, Rogers, Shaw Cable, Cogeco, TELUS, SaskTel, Westman, Mitchell Seaforth Cable, Source Cable, Cable Cable, Videotron, MTS, TbayTel and Citywest Cable.

Watch & Win CONTEST!
WIN a $500 Gift Card to the retailer of your family's CHOICE--EVERY day, starting March 4th! WOO-HOO! Just tune into the Disney Junior channel every day in March 2013 from 6:00 to 7:00pm (EST) and look for the SECRET CODE. Then hop over to DisneyJunior.ca to enter the CONTEST on the same day as you discovered the code! There will be a brand new secret code and a new chance to WIN each and every day!  

Take a look at the great programming during the Watch and WIN contest timeframe. There are some GREAT shows for your little one to enjoy!

Saturday March 16th @ 6:00pm EST - TOY STORY premieres on Disney Junior! And it will be commercial-free...what could be better than that? If you can't watch, remember to set your PVR to watch later!
TOY STORY PARTY! Why not make the premiere of Toy Story into a party and have your child dress up in his or her favourite Toy Story character? Then serve a nutritious Toy Story-themed meal that your child can help to prepare (adults should do the part with the skewers)! A cute party idea, could feature fruit on colorful skewers, whole wheat English muffins layered with your child's favourite meat (chicken or turkey), and topped with sliced cheese that you can shape with a knife into Woody's sheriff star, his cowboy boot, or even his cowboy hat! Add thinly-sliced carrot sticks and celery to the mix (not shown).
March 11th - 15th @ 6:00 - 7:00 pm EST - We Love Our Toys Week! Be sure to check out this fun week, which will feature back-to-back episodes of Doc McStuffins and her menagerie! Leading up the March 16th premiere of Toy Story, Toy Story shorts will be screened in between each episode. 
Doc McStuffins "We Love Our Toys Week" March 11-15th, 6-7pm ET
from Disney Junior Channel!
The Happy World of Doc McStuffins
What's your child's favourite Disney Junior show? Will you be tuning in for the FREE Disney Junior preview this March? What $500 gift card would YOU choose if you won the Disney Junior contest?

Disclosure: I’m part of the Disney Junior Mom programme and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dempster's Whole Grains Bread & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

Putting Together a Well-Balanced Meal
When my friends Dempster's heard that I was trying to raise money for the YMCA Megathon, they kindly agreed to sponsor me!  In fact, the proceeds from this post will be donated to the YMCA Megathon, which will help fight childhood obesity.  If you've followed my blog, you'll know that since January 1st of this year I have been trying to get more active and eat healthier with my family.  So far we've been very successful...more on this in a future post.

It is on that note, that I'd like to talk about Dempster's Whole Grains Bread and Dempster's 100% Whole Grains Whole Wheat bread.  As a family of 7, with 5 kids aged 2- to 7-years old, we are big consumers of Dempster's bread.  We often enjoy it as part of our morning routine, and sandwiches are staples in my kids' lunch bags.  We go through about one loaf of bread per day!

If you flip over the Dempster's bread and have a read of its nutritional value, you will notice that it offers some excellent nutrition.  It is a great source of selenium--essential for the immune system (60% daily requirement), manganese--helps metabolize carbs and fats (50%), magnesium--helps promote strong bones & promote normal blood pressure (20%), vitamin B1--helps release energy from carbs (15%), folate--helps prevent neural tube defects in the early stages of pregnancy (15%), and niacin--helps the digestive system (8% daily value).  

The bread is 90 calories per slice and is definitely filling, which is important to me when I'm feeding the kids and I.  It is a reality that if my kids are not full, they will keep going back to the refrigerator for food.  (The same can be for their mother.)  Two medium-sized apples are also 90 calories like one slice of Dempster's bread, and also contain the same amount of calcium and iron as a slice of Dempster's bread!  

I checked out the Dempster's website for ways to shake up and add more nutrition to our daily sandwiches.  I found this nice recipe for Crunchy Tuna and Radish Salad Sandwich.  It was really easy to make, and I had never thought to use radishes in a sandwich--or any other dish, for that matter.  It was a very healthy meal: Dempster's 100% Whole Grains Whole Wheat bread, tuna fish, radishes, celery and lettuce.  I added mangoes, strawberries, grapes and blueberries on the side for added nutrition.  Take a look of my creation, below, and check out the recipe.    



Crunchy Tuna and Radish Salad Sandwich
Ingredients
1 (170 g) Can low sodium tuna, drained

½ cup (125 mL) Diced radish
1 Stalk celery, diced
¼ cup (60 mL) Plain yogurt
1 tbsp (15 mL) Lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon
Dash hot sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) Light mayonnaise
Pepper to taste
Shredded lettuce
2 Slices Dempster’s® WholeGrains™ Flax Bread, toasted

Directions
MIX together tuna, radish, celery, yogurt, lemon juice, mustard and mayonnaise. Season with pepper.
DIVIDE lettuce between toasted bread slices and top with tuna mixture.
SERVE as an open faced sandwich.


A Happy "Customer"
You can follow Dempster's here:

Dempster's on YouTube

CONTEST - 2 WINNERS (~OVER~)

WINNERS: Joyce P & Karen H.

Would you like to WIN $25 in coupons to try Dempster's Whole Grains Bread or Dempster's 100% Whole Grains Whole Wheat bread?  Then I invite you to enter my  Dempster's Bread contest.  2 WINNERS of $25 FREE Coupons ($50 in prizes in total)!  Open to Canada, ends March 20th, 2013.

How To Enter:
Leave a COMMENT below stating what kind of sandwich you would LOVE to make with Dempster's bread...and then fill out the entry form, below.  GOOD LUCK!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

We Met BARBIE! Barbie & the Pink Shoes Movie Party!

All Smiles Waiting to Meet Barbie!
Thanks to Momstown Brampton and Mattel, I was invited with my daughter to attend the Barbie and the Pink Shoe DVD/Bluray party at Canada's National Ballet School in Toronto!  My daughter has really fallen in love with Barbie films and we have most of them, so she was very excited to go!  She had also urged me to purchase the new dvd, but it isn't instore until today, February 26th.
Beautiful Ballet Tutus & Silky Pink Ballet Slippers Were on Display!
The event was really a beautiful one that was targeted toward little girls who aspire to be ballet dancers.  There were beautiful ballet dresses set up around the party room, and displays of pink, silky ballet slippers.  Canada's National Ballet School kept the girls "on their toes" by teaching them some lovely ballet moves.  You can see a video clip of the girls dancing with real ballerinas, below.

Ballet Circle
video
And there were pink treats set up for the girls, including pink lemonade, pink popcorn, and pink sparkly ballet slippers.  Actually, we were all tickled pink!

Pink Ballet Slipper Cookies & Pink Popcorn for the Girls!
The icing on the cake for my daughter was definitely meeting the "real" Barbie, who wore a fuchsia ballgown.    Beside her, there was a celebratory display of pink and lavender balloons.
My Daughter Meeting Barbie!
Of course, Barbie had her toys and books set up from the Barbie and the Pink shoes line!  My daughter wished aloud that we could buy the toys, but they were for display, not for sale!

Barbie and The Pink Shoes Movie, Toy & Book Line Up!
After all the excitement, it was time for the screening of Barbie and The Pink Shoes on Canada's National Ballet School's big screen.  There was so much anticipation in the room and the auditorium was full with excited little girls and their mothers.   

SYNOPSIS: Barbie and the Pink Shoes is about Kristyn, a talented young ballet dancer who lets her heart guide her dance moves.  Her ballet teacher is disappointed that Kristyn will not follow her dance steps, and tells her that she can do better.  As she thinks on her teacher's words, a caring adult gives Kristyn a pair of beautiful dark pink ballet shoes.  

Once Kristyn puts the ballet slippers on her feet, she and her friend Hailey are transported to a magical ballet world that is made up of the most famous ballets, such as Swan Lake, Giselle and The Snow Queen.  Kristyn and Hailey encounter big trouble along the way and have to work together to find a solution.  I won't spoil the fun, but Kristyn saves the day by following her heart--and interpreting the dance steps in her own way.  She then learns a valuable lesson about trying to be herself and not someone else.

My daughter really enjoyed the CGI-animated Barbie and the Pink Shoes movie and asked if she could see it again.  I also thought that it was nicely done, and always enjoy the "be yourself" and empowerment messages that Barbie movies encourage to young viewers. 

When the Swan Lake sequence first appeared in the film, I was wondering how it would be executed.  We own a copy of Barbie of Swan Lake that is simply delightful, so I was curious if there would be repetition.  Although there was a bit of overlap, the appearance of the secondary characters were altered, which made for a slightly different experience.  Adding The Snow Queen to Swan Lake definitely made it fresh!

At the end of the party, the girls were surprised and delighted to receive a copy of their own Barbie in The Pink Shoes Dance Instructional Video (DVD).  My daughter is excited to learn dance moves inspired by the movie!

Does your child enjoy Barbie movies?  Are you planning to pick up of Barbie and the Pink Shoes?

Disney's Phineas and Ferb: Animal Agents DVD & Contest (~OVER~)


In our household, we LOVE all things Disney!  We took a wonderful vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida this past December; we recently added the Disney Wreck-It Ralph dvd to our family library; and we're anticipating with baited breath Disney's OZ: The Great and Powerful movie on March 8th!  Of course, let's not forget the Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy skating show we saw also in December--and the Disney on Ice: Rockin' Ever After "icecapades", which we can't wait to see during March break in Toronto!  We definitely are a Disney family.
And EXCITING NEWS: I'm now proudly a Disney Junior Mom!

On this note, I would like to announce that Disney's Phineas and Ferb: Animal Agents is on dvd, and will be available in stores today, on February 26th!  Animal Agents is the sixth dvd release of Phineas and Ferb, and the first dvd containing episodes from all 3 completed seasons!  I love that Disney included COMPLETE seasons in each volume, as I've never been fond of purchasing season 1, volume 1...and then having to purchase season 1, volume 2 separately!  Thanks Disney!

MOVIE SYNOPSIS:
The premise of Phineas and Ferb: Animal Agents is that behind the cute and cuddly exterior of your pet, there may also hide a clever crime-fighter--with a top-secret identity!  Such is the case of the heroic Animal Agents of the O.W.C.A "Organization Without a Cool Acronym".

Agent P, a.k.a. Perry the Platypus and his fellow agents join forces to fight Dr. Doofenshmirtz and the sinister "Inators".  Perry and his clandestine gang will stop at nothing to vanquish evil in the Tri-State Area and beyond.  

The dvd runs for over two hours, and includes the awesome two-part Phineas and Ferb cliffhanger "Where's Perry?  The Canadian dvd cover also has French wording (not shown in my pic above).  Yes, the dvd also contains a Disney Movie Rewards code!

CONTEST (~OVER~)

WINNER: Brandi Y.

Would you like to WIN Disney's Phineas and Ferb: Animal Agents DVD?  Well you can here on my blog because I think it would make a great addition to your family dvd library!  Ends March 8th.  Open to Canada (excluding Quebec).

HOW TO ENTER:
Leave a COMMENT below stating you very favourite thing about Disney movies and use the entry form, below to enter.  GOOD LUCK!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Horrid Henry The Movie & Treehouse TV on DVD & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

My kids saw this Horrid Henry The Movie dvd package at Wal-Mart and were pretty impressed.  After all, it comes in a neon green "slime pack" that allows the kids to...slime themselves!  If you're the mom of little boys, you'll totally understand that sliming yourself is a good thing.

We had a chance to watch Horrid Henry: The Movie, a Wal-Mart exclusive.  It features an all-star cast including Anjelica Huston, Parminder Nagra (Bend it Like Beckham), Richard D. Grant and Theo Stevenson.  The movie is based upon the book series by Francesca Simon, which is the second most successful literary character in the UK--after Harry Potter.

Horrid Henry is about Henry, a boy of around 10-years old who always gets into trouble at home and at school.  However, his chance to be a hero presents itself when he is faced with having his public school permanently closed down--and he can raise funds to save it.  He rises to the challenge.  

The movie was a success with my kids, especially with my 6- and 7-year old children.  I believe it would be popular with even older public school aged kids.  It definitely had lots of laughs, and my oldest child said his favourite part was when Horrid Henry almost fell into a pool of green slime (in the game show scene).  The dvd was just released on February 19th.

Check out a trailer from Horrid Henry: The Movie, below!
video

In addition to Horrid Henry: The Movie, kaboom! Entertainment will also release the CGI animated version of The Jungle Book: The Movie, to be available in Wal-Mart stores on March 5th.  For families who love Treehouse TV shows, nine titles were also released exclusively to Wal-Mart and are available for purchase right now, (see titles below).  In fact, Wal-Mart now houses a special Treehouse TV section, which carries exclusive titles along with key episodic titles such as Toopy and Binoo and The Octonauts.  
My Guys Checking Out At the Treehouse TV Display 
The "Treehouse Presents" series includes nine titles of select episodes from the top-rated kids' shows on the Treehouse channel.  Check out these great titles!

Mike The Knight - Galahad the Great (WIN IT!)
Mike The Knight - Knight in Training
Max & Ruby - Ultimate Collection - Ruby Edition
Max & Ruby - Ultimate Collection - Max Edition
Franklin - Ultimate Collection
Chuggington - Ultimate Collection - Wilson Edition
Chuggington - Ultimate Collection - Brewster Edition
The Berenstain Bears - Ultimate Collection - Brother Bear Edition
The Berenstain Bears - Ultimate Collection - Sister Bear Edition

CONTEST (~OVER~)

WINNER: Christy M.

Would you like to WIN 2 (TWO) fantastic kid's dvds?  WIN a dvd copy of Horrid Henry: The Movie (in a slime pack!) AND Mike the Knight - Galahad the Great!  Open to Canada only (sorry guys), ends Mar 18, 2013.

HOW TO ENTER:
Leave a COMMENT below and fill out entry form, also below.  GOOD LUCK!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Eddie Bauer Travex Line for Spring & CONTEST! (~OVER~)


I wrote about My 20-Year Affair with Eddie Bauer late last year, and I have really enjoyed my Eddie Bauer WeatherEdge Superior Down Parka this winter!  However, Spring is just around the corner, and it's time to think about the fun, carefree clothing (and weather) that go hand-in-hand with the season!

My friends at Eddie Bauer were kind enough to let me try out their awesome Eddie Bauer Travex Collection!  It's their exclusive series of gear and apparel made for trekking and travelling.  The clothes in the Travex Collection are lightweight, packable, stretchy, very comfortable and versatile.  Of special interest, Travex clothing are also UPF sun protective for your skin, wick moisture away, and dry quickly.   

Having tried the line, I can tell you that the clothing are very flattering on and feel very good against the skin.  The clothing also do not wrinkle very easily, so you there was no need for me to iron.  I first tried on the Travex Infinity Button-Down Shirt in Sugar Plum (purple), $59.95 usd.  I really loved it and see myself wearing this on a regular basis.  I loved that it is a long-sleeved shirt that converts to a short-sleeved shirt.  It also comes in black or vivid blue.
Eddie Bauer Travex Infinity Button-Down Shirt
& Travex Aster Convertible Skirt
I paired the Travex Infinity Button-Down Shirt with the Eddie Bauer Travex Aster Convertible Skirt in black, $59.95 usd.  The skirt also felt great on and was very stretchy to fit nicely to your body.  There was also a wide belly band, which offers a bit of control.  Of interest, the skirt also converts with great versatility into the bandeau strapless dress, shown below.  It also comes in washed teal.
Eddie Bauer Travex Convertible Skirt in Black:
Converted into Bandeau Dress
I next tried on the Eddie Bauer Travex Daisy Wrap in heather gray, also $59.95 usd.  It is also an extremely versatile, comfy, flowing piece--and a basic to any women's wardrobe.  I will definitely get a lot of use out of the Daisy Wrap, and I would highly recommend it for all figures and body types.  It is also available in black.
Eddie Bauer Travex Daisy Wrap in Heather Gray
Last but not least, I put on the Eddie Bauer Travex Aster Dress in eggplant (purple), $79.95.  Okay, I love purple--I can't hide it!  The dress was very stretchy and form-fitting, but absolutely comfortable.  It was also available in black and washed teal (blue).  My husband really liked it and commented that it would be great for upcoming Spring functions.  
Eddie Bauer Travex Dress in Eggplant
I really love the pieces I have shown you on and think that the Eddie Bauer Travex line is great!  As mentioned earlier, I would recommend the pieces for every body type and figure.  I think that the pieces conformed to my body in a flattering way, and did not put an emphasis on problem areas.  I think you will also love the Travex line, even if you have had no luck with finding clothing that fit you well.

In regards to the sizing of the Eddie Bauer Travex sizing, I have to say that the sizing was very generous and you will feel flattered!  In the Infinity Button-Down shirt I went down one size, and in all other Travex items I went down two sizes.  If you are looking at the sizing chart on the Eddie Bauer website, please note that the measurements seem inaccurate--especially the waist measurements.  So if you are usually and XL, be prepared to buy a L or probably M!  
  
CONTEST! (~OVER~)

WINNER: Sarah S.
Ladies AND Gentlemen, would you like to WIN a great piece of clothing from the Eddie Bauer Travex line?  Then please enter my CONTEST!  Open to CANADA & USA, ends Friday March 15th, 2013.

The winner will have the choice of an Eddie Bauer women's Travex clothing item (the Travex Aster Dress in size and colour of your choice, subject to availability), or an Eddie Bauer's men's Travex clothing item (the Travex Coast Swim Shorts in size and colour of your choice, subject to availability).

HOW TO ENTER:
Leave a COMMENT below stating which piece in the Travex collection did you like best in the photos, above.  Then enter the contest via my entry form below.  GOOD LUCK!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wreck-It Ralph Coming to Blu-Ray & Review!

My family and I had the pleasure of seeing Disney's Wreck-It Ralph in 3D at the theatres late last year.  I really wondered if all 5 kids would be able to appreciate it, as their ages range from 2- to 7-years old.  However, they all enjoyed it immensely and all had different favourite parts of the movie.  I would absolutely recommend it for boys and girls, if you are considering adding it to your bluray or dvd library.  I would also recommend it to parents, who so often participate in family movie hour.

The story is about Ralph, the nemesis in videogame Fix-It Felix Jr., who decides that he would like to be the hero for a change.  However, all the characters that he encounters make light of his aspirations and declare that his destiny is to be a villain.  Determined to show the world that he can become a hero, Ralph goes "turbo", leaving his videogame programme in search of the gold medal that will "prove" naysayers wrong.  What ensues is a big adventure, with friendships made along the way--and true acts of heroism.       

For those who have not yet seen Wreck-It Ralph, I have to say that the Sugar Rush (videogame) scenes will especially appeal to your princess--especially the adorable Vanellope von Schweetz.  The scenes are cute, bright and "sweet".  Actually, which child won't love the candy scenes?  Take a look at my son at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, who jumped into Vanellope's go-kart made entirely of candy.  (I don't think it was allowed, but he went "turbo" on us!)
My Son Driving Vanellope's Go Cart at Disney!
I have always loved Disney films--from when I was a little girl to the present day when I share the movies with my kids.  The Disney name on a movie gives me confidence that the title will be family-friendly, provide family morals, and entertain my children even upon repeated viewings.  It is with great enthusiasm that I add Wreck-It Ralph to our family blu-ray library!


Check out this clip to see how they created the 8-bit videogame world of Wreck-It Ralph! It really is a fascinating process that helped create this retro world!

The HD Digital and HD Digital 3D versions of Wreck-It Ralph were just released on February 12th, with the Bluray combo pack, Bluray 3D, DVD, SD Digital and on-demand versions coming out on March 5th!  The 4-disc 3D combo pack features the Paperman theatrical short; a look into the creation of Wreck-It Ralph; a gamer's guide to Wreck-It Ralph, and deleted and alternate scenes.

Have you seen Wreck-It Ralph in theatres?  Is Wreck-It Ralph a title that you will be adding to your bluray or dvd library?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Is Your Child Acting Destructively?

My 5-year old son waited until I was in the bathroom, when he began wreaking havoc on my household.  In only 5-minutes he had pulled down the birthday presents, placed “out of reach” on the top shelf of my closet.  Not only were all sealed boxes taken down, they had been ripped open, cut with scissors, and coloured heavily upon with markers.  Naturally, I was furious and stepped back from the situation until I could determine how to better manage it.

Meanwhile in the kitchen, multiple pears and apples had been removed from the refrigerator.  All had bites taken from them, and yet none were finished.  This was the handiwork of my sons aged 2- and 3-years old.  A memory was instantly called up of a new puppy I once owned, who ate my shoes, jewelry and baseboard—also in only 5-minutes.  There was definitely a commonality between the dog and my boys. 

Suddenly, I began putting together the pieces of the puzzle: new toys broken—no decimated—in under 60 seconds; clothing cut up with scissors; unfinished food smashed with a toy “hammer”; scribbles on my wall and ripped down wallpaper; purposely torn pages in books, and the painting of the house with bright pink nail polish.  It then became clear that my children had been displaying destructive behaviour, and if I did not put my foot down, my house would become a zoo!
Here are some steps I put in place to get my house back, which I call SCABS for short: Supervision, Consequences, Activities, Boredom and Segregation. 

Supervision - It’s inevitable that when the cat’s away, the mouse will play.  So, if you’re a parent with young kids, then that private shower or bathroom break will have to wait until the kids are in bed.  An unsupervised child will find all kinds of ways to entertain himself, which is why supervision is essential to ward off destructive behaviour!

Consequences - Newton’s third Law of Physics states that every action has an equal and opposite action.  So, if my kids are displaying destructive behaviour, I will find a fitting punishment to match the infraction.  For example, a child shredding copious amounts of paper and throwing the shreds onto the floor, will have to pick up all torn remnants.  In addition, there will be no more paper offered the next day.  The same would ring true for a child caught drawing on a wall: the perpetrator will have to scrub down the desecrated wall with a magic eraser—and no crayons will be available the following day.  

Activities – As a child, my parents never scheduled activities for my brother and I, and yet we entertained ourselves happily.  However, as the mother of children who will destroy the house when left to their own devices, scheduled activities are important—if I want to keep the house in one piece!  Some great activities to keep the kids happily engaged include outdoor play, drawing, reading, writing and problem solving (ie: jigsaw puzzles).

Boredom – From my Ph.D in Parenthood, I have learned that a bored child is a destructive child.  Watch for boredom, as it is your enemy.  When my kids get bored, they like to stick pencils through my kitchen chairs, tear up my bedroom, and stuff entire boxes of Kleenex into the toilet bowl.  Combat boredom with some of the activities, listed above.

Segregation – If you have kids that are 3-years old or younger, a safety gate that divides off sections of your home is a great way to set boundaries—and keep personal possessions safe.  After 3-years old though, all bets are off—as the little darlings then learn to open or climb over the gate.  Regardless of age, all kids should be taught what areas of the home are off-limits, and where they are allowed to play.  The same can be said for what they may play with.

Have your kids ever displayed destructive behaviour?  How did you manage it?  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Disney's Oz: The Great and Powerful Movie! And Oz Video!


My family is very excited to see Disney's Oz: The Great and Powerful movie, coming March 8th, 2013!  We first saw the trailer for this film late last year, when we watched Wreck-It Ralph in 3D.  With all the costumes and special effects, it really did look magical and we we've been waiting with anticipation all these months!

I did grow up watching the 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz, which was a movie that I watched a few times yearly on television.  What stood out then was definitely the costumes, bright colours--and of course the music.  I think that most people I have ever met know (Somewhere) Over the Rainbow, which was sung by Dorthy (Judy Garland) in the movie, and written by Harold Arlen (music) and E.Y. Harburg (lyrics).  

Oz definitely offers a spin on the original 1939 movie version, by telling the tale of the man who will one day become the great and powerful Wizard of Oz.  In the original film, the wizard is talked about at length throughout the movie, but only seen briefly at the very end.  However, Disney's 2013 version follows Oscar Diggs (James Franco) on his journey to become the Wizard of Oz.  It chronicles the events in his life that lead up to Diggs claiming this great title--as he strives to be a better man along the way.

Take a peek at some of the costumes and make-up in the Oz: The Great and Powerful film!  Only a couple more weeks until it is out in theaters on March 8th!

Visit the Oz website
“Like” Oz The Great and Powerful on Facebook
"Follow" Oz The Great and Powerful on Twitter
“Like” Walt Disney Studios Canada on Facebook
“Follow” Walt Disney Studios Canada on Twitter

Friday, February 15, 2013

What's New with Kellogg's & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

Hello!  This Arrived on My Front Porch!
Whenever a box arrives from Kellogg's, I know that my family is in for a real treat!  So you can imagine our thrill when a big delivery arrived right on Valentine's Day!  

Inside the box was new Kellogg's Mini-Wheats Centres cereal, new Kellogg's All-Bran Cranberries & Clusters cereal, new Kellogg's Special K Cracker Chips (BBQ & Zesty Southwest flavours), new Kellogg's Special K Granola Bars (dark chocolate & peanut butter and chocolate), and new Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Soft Bakes (Blueberry Muffin & Banana Bread Bars flavours)!

At breakfast time, I was really curious about the Mini-Wheats Centres, that had raspberry filling inside.  If you look at the photo below, you can see I cut one open to see the inside.  I'm all about reading labels these days, and I was impressed that it was made with 100% whole grain and listed as being a high source of fibre.    The cereal is particularly high in iron (50% the daily value), thiamine (90% the daily requirement with milk added), manganese (80%), phosphorous (30%), magnesium (25%), zinc (25%) and niacin, vitamin B6, folate, and pantothenate all at 20% daily value!

I tried the new Mini-Wheats with my kids, and we all liked it!  The filling really tasted like raspberry jam!  One side of the shredded wheat rectangles were coated in sugar, so that added some sweetness.  Add to it the raspberry filling, which brought a nice fruity taste to it.   
The Inside of a Mini-Wheats Centres Raspberry Flavour Cereal!

Mini-Wheats Ready to Be Eaten!
I was also very curious about the new Kellogg's All-Bran Cranberries & Clusters cereal which is "made with natural wheat bran, to promote your digestive rhythm."  It is a great source of fibre (28% daily value), iron (50%), thiamine (80%), manganese (35%), magnesium (30%), phosphorous (25%) zinc (25%) and niacin, vitamin B6,  and pantothenate (20%).  Some of these values assume a 1/2 1% cup of milk has been added.

I sampled the cereal, and found it be not too sweet and not too bland--a perfect combination.  In the photo below, you can see the dried cranberries and sweet multi-grain clusters.  I thought that it was a nice addition to All-Bran cereal, which I generally find too plain on its own.  The new Kellogg's All-Bran Cranberries & Clusters cereal attracted my husband's interest, who often enjoys adding nuts and raisins to his breakfast cereal.  
New Kellogg's All-Bran Cranberries & Clusters Cereal
Needless to say, the new Kellogg's Special K Granola Bars (dark chocolate & peanut butter and chocolate flavours) were a big hit!  I first found out about the dark chocolate flavour bars in my last Kellogg's post, here, but the peanut butter and chocolate flavour was just as good!  I have now put them aside as "mom's own stash", as I like that they are 110 calories per snack!  That is perfect for when I want to treat myself, but do not want to go overboard.

Check the new Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Soft Bakes (Blueberry Muffin & Banana Bread Bars flavours)!  They were a big success with my kids, who really enjoyed both flavours.  I liked that each prewrapped portion was only 130 calories, so I can feel good about offering this to them as a snack.

New Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Soft Bakes (Blueberry Muffin flavour)
Eager to try the Nutri-Grain Soft Bakes!
Do I have to say much about the new Kellogg's Special K Cracker Chips (BBQ & Zesty Southwest flavours)?   They're both great to snack on, and 80 calories per 18 chips.  The Zesty Southwest flavour was my favourite, with BBQ a close second.  I doubt that anyone will be disappointed with these chips, so give them a try!

CONTEST (~OVER~)!

WINNER: Sue S.

I guess you don't want a contest?  Maybe I should just keep this section blank because no one likes winning (joke)!

WIN Six (6) Kellogg's Free Product Coupons (FPCs)!  Open to Canada.  Ends Friday March 8th, 2013 @ 8:00pm EST!  GOOD LUCK!    

HOW TO ENTER:  Fill out the entry form below and follow all instructions in the entry form!  Please leave a COMMENT in the section below, stating which new Kellogg's product you'd like to try most, (see list below).  

PRIZE:
The following Six (6) Free Product Coupons will be included to the contest WINNER!
  1. New Kellogg's Mini-Wheats Centres raspberry flavour cereal (FREE Coupon)
  2. New Kellogg's All-Bran Cranberries & Clusters cereal (FREE Coupon)
  3. New Kashi Blueberry Oat Clusters & Flakes cereal (FREE Coupon)
  4. New Kellogg's Special K Cracker Chips, BBQ or Zesty Southwest flavours (FREE Coupon)
  5. New Kellogg's Special K Granola Bars, dark chocolate or peanut butter and chocolate flavours (FREE Coupon)
  6. New Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Soft Bakes, Blueberry Muffin or Banana Bread Bars flavours (FREE Coupon)

Skyfall Blu-Ray Review!



I wrote about 10 Lessons James Bond Films Taught Me a few weeks ago, which also appeared on MovieFone.  My husband and I had just seen Skyfall in the theater, and were really excited about it (a few months after release, but such is the life of parents with little kids)!  In my opinion, Skyfall is the best James Bond 007 film to date.  Daniel Craig reprises his role as Bond (Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace were his other 007 roles).  Skyfall celebrates the 50th anniversary of James Bond films, since Dr. No, was released in 1962.    

Skyfall was just released onto HD on February 5th, with the Blu-ray and DVD releases on February 12th.  Is Skyfall worth adding to your blu-ray library?  Absolutely!  Skyfall offers all that viewers have come to expect of James Bond movies: action, thrill, really bad villains, Bond Girls and of course spy 007.

But while Skyfall was light on gadgets (the film mainly featured a Walther PPK 9mm short coded to Bond's palmprint), it was strong on storyline and back-stories of Bond (Craig) and SPOILER: ex-MI6 villain Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem).  I was intrigued to learn about Bond's earlier life, his ancestrial home--and perhaps his motive to join MI6.  I was similarly drawn into mastermind Silva's story, revealing how he turned  from English hero to bad guy.  I also enjoyed how it showed the inner workings of the MI6 Bond world, and its vulnerabilities and fragilities.

And I found that unlike the film's predecessor Quantum of Solace, the story was easy to follow and comprehend.  Watching and enjoying Skyfall did not require a background into any of the other 22 Bond films, although there was a nod to Bond's ex-lover Vesper Lynd, whom had appeared (and died) in Casino Royale (Eva Green).   
The Skyfall Cast!
I also enjoyed performances immensely of Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench ("M") and Ralph Fiennes (Chairman of Intelligence and Security Committee).  If you have not seen Skyfall yet, you are in for some shocking revelations and surprising changes that occur in this movie!  One such surprise involves Dench's character, and there is definitely a surprise regarding MI6 agent Eve's new vocation (Naomi Harris), which in my opinion helps weave past Bond films together.

It is worth mentioning that Skyfall's theme song Skyfall by Adele is a wonderful tune that really drew me into the mood of the movie.  It is beautiful, dark and haunting.  If you want to see the Skyfall music video, do yourself a favour and have a listen!  Adele will perform Skyfall for the 85th annual Academy Awards (The Oscars) on February 24th, 2013!   

I am glad to say that I have added Skyfall to my blu-ray collection, as it is definitely a title that I will watch multiple times!  I did select the blu-ray/dvd/digital copy combo pack, which does include numerous featurettes about the Bond Girls, villains, car and more.  Of note, there is special commentary by Director Sam Mendes, Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, and Production Designer Dennis Gassner.  I would highly recommend Skyfall for anyone who wants to enjoy a thrill-packed movie!     

Note: the Skyfall Blu-Ray/Dvd/Digital Copy combo pack features different cover art then is shown above

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!


Have a very Happy Valentine's Day, my friends!  Are you doing anything special today for Valentine's Day, or are you just taking it easy?  Whatever you do, have a great day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How I Lost 15 lbs by Tobogganing! "The Sledding Workout!"

On January 1st of this year, I made a resolution to get my family more active, and eat healthier foods together.  The quintessential resolution, right?  But would you believe that I lost 15 lbs in 6 weeks by sledding?  Yes!  As in with a toboggan!  I’m proud to be Canadian, and it took a bit of creativity to stay fit outdoors in the winter, no matter what the weather.   And as the mom of 5 little kids, I knew that these activities would have to include my youngsters, as I have no childcare arrangement in place.  Read on to hear how I lost 15 lbs simply with my sled!

I began getting active with my kids by taking 1-hour daily walks, regardless of the weather that January blew my way.  I got my kids bundled up in snowsuits, and this worked well until our first major snowfall in the Greater Toronto Area.  Then, with sidewalks obstructed by snow, I decided to take my exercise to the toboggan hill!

Did you know that you burn 476 calories per hour by sledding?  It sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it, as it’s a recumbent sport enjoyed on your derriรจre!  And I wouldn’t have believed it either, until my clothing began to fall off me due to a 15-lb weight loss!  The sled ride downhill is simple, a piece of cake, but the walk up a snowy hill on an incline is a workout for leg and butt muscles.  Even the repetitive motion of standing up and sitting down on the sled works abs, quads, hamstrings and butt combined!  I did this sledding exercise routine 5 days per week, an hour each day, and started seeing results in just 2 weeks.

The kinds of results I began to see were slimmer legs, a disappearing backside, a leaner-looking face and an overall slimmer look.  In addition, I noticed an increase in my flexibility—and a decrease in my hip and waist size.  Now, at the 6-week mark, friends and family alike have noticed a change in my physique.  It’s a great feeling knowing that this change has been due to my increased activity level and improved nutrition.   

In respects to my kids, they’ve enjoyed our time tobogganing together!  For them, it has been a thrill-packed morning of outdoor play, laughter and fun!  For me, it has been a great time to bond with my kids, enjoy the snow—and regale in exercise disguised as play.

To parents of young kids, I know it’s not easy to find time to be active.  As a parent, it’s easy to put oneself last and quickly lose sight of personal health and fitness goals.  Although being sedentary can become a habit, it doesn’t have to be.  And finding a way to being active with your children doesn’t have to be difficult. 

For those who want to try my “Sledding Workout”, I should note I also cut out junk food from my diet, and ate nutritiously and moderately throughout this timeframe.  Although my diet definitely went hand-in-hand with my exercise regime, it’s definitely the sledding that has toned and shaped my body.  On days where there was insufficient snow to toboggan, I substituted my routine with a 1-hour walk instead.   Although I sometimes used a 5-seat wood toboggan for my workout, I eventually streamlined to red Crazy Carpet plastic sleds.

Disney Valentines - Printable! Wreck-It Ralph & Disney on Ice!

Disney on Ice Printable Valentines! Click Image to Download Full-Sized Valentine!
Valentine's Day in our household is a big deal with the kids.  No, it's not about spending a lot of money, but it's about appreciating friends, family and classmates.  My kids also enjoy dressing up in reds, pinks or heart-themed clothing!  This year we spent $8 on store-bought Valentines for our 3 kids that are in school, but I would've considered printable Valentines had we owned a printer (that's a story for a different day)!

Here are two sets of Disney printable Valentines that you are welcome to download and print out.  The top Valentine is a Disney on Ice: Rockin' Ever After themed Valentine.  It prints out big at 8" x 8" size!  Click on the heart image above, or click here to download the full-sized Disney on Ice Printable Valentines!  If you want to WIN tickets during March Break and are near Toronto, you can also WIN Family Passes to Disney on Ice on my blog here!  

Take a look at these Disney Wreck-It Ralph printable Valentines!  Very cute, especially if you've seen the movie and know the characters!  I personally love Vanellope!  My kids loved the movie and we'd be happy to own it once it comes out on March 5th!  Click on the Wreck-It Ralph image below, or click here to download the full-sized Wreck-It Ralph Printable Valentines!
Disney Wreck-It Ralph Printable Valentines! Click Image to Download Full-Sized Valentine!
Are your kids giving Valentines this year?  What are your favourite Valentine's Day memories?

Monday, February 11, 2013

My Old Navy Shopping Haul! And CONTEST! (~OVER~)

Ready For Spring!
We just shopped the Old Navy Kids and Baby Sale  40% off sale and discovered some great finds for our 5 young children!  ALL items are 40% off (until February 20th), including items shown in this blog post.  If you already follow my blog, you'll know that our 5 kids are 7-years old and under, so clothing shopping is big business in our household!     

For my youngest two boys, I chose the striped jersey polos (shown above)--green is the hot colour this season.  Add to the outfit coordinating pop-color khakis, and coordinating boy's canvas slip-ons, and they'll look smart for spring!
This Outfit Would be GREAT for Big Brother!
When dressing our kids, I admit that I try to dress them in their favourite colours.  My oldest son loves orange, second son loves yellow, third son love green, and my youngest son adores blue.  Easy enough, right?  I chose the above outfit for my oldest son: orange Hulk graphic tee, patterned poplin shirt, convertible cargo pants (zips off into shorts) and skater hi-top sneakers.
Pink Princess
My only daughter loves dark pink, purple and "rainbow-coloured" clothes.  However, the style has to be just right in order for her to wear it.  I picked this outfit for my daughter: a dark pink rhinestone flutter-sleeve tee, chambray shorts with thin hot pink belt, and hot pink heart cut-out ballet flats.  Cute, right? 
Hello Kitty Mermaid Outfit!
I thought that this outfit was adorable for my cousin's daughter: Hello Kitty as a mermaid in a seashell bikini top!  It's one of Old Navy's graphic tees.  I loved the purple tee and how Hello Kitty pops in dark pink!  I matched up this little outfit with hot pink pop-color skinny pants!  
The Little Mermaid Outfit
This Little Mermaid graphic tee was also really adorable, again with the lime pop-color skinny pants!  At 40% off, I thought, how could anyone go wrong?
Pretty for Easter
And take a look at this beautiful Easter outfit from Old Navy!  I put together this cropped crocheted bolero, with floral dress, and rosette slingback ballet flats!  


Okay, the boys could not resist dressing up in matching brother Hulk graphic tees!  They really look like they mean business!

This is the outfit I chose for my second son who loves yellow: graphic tee, yellow linen-blend roll-up shirt, and authentic cargo shorts in couscous colour!
I also really liked the boy's Easter outfits for my youngest two boys! Super handsome!  From left: rugby-stripe sweater vest, shirt and bowtie set, and linen-blend roll-up pants.  From right: patterned shirt and tie set, and canvas-belted jeans!
SWEEPSTAKES!  (~OVER~)


And be sure to participate in the Old Navy Pin to Win Sweepstakes (CAN/USA). Entering is super easy! Pin the Old Navy outfits featured in my blog post (each pin earns you one entry at the daily prize and one entry at the grand prize!), enter your e-mail and pin on Pinterest for a chance to win daily prizes of $50 Old Navy gift cards and a final grand prize of $1,000 for one lucky winner! You can receive up to 5 DAILY entries!  How great is that? Good luck and happy pinning!  Rules and regulations.  Contest runs until February 20th @ 11:59pm EST.

Want More Entries?  Check out my February 7th blog post about the Old Navy sale & collect 2 more entries here!
NOTE: If entry boxes are not showing up for contest, try Chrome or FireFox.  Entry form does not appear in Internet Explorer.   
Which is your favourite outfit or separate from my Old Navy Kids and Baby Sale shopping haul?  Who would you buy for if you won the $1000 Old Navy gift card?

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