Monday, September 30, 2013

WIN a Trip to Walt Disney World from CAA Game of Life!

Game of Life is back from CAA!  Ontario players can WIN a vacation for 4 to Walt Disney World, gift cards, and a total of over 2700 prizes (worth up to $200 each)!  You can also play on your tablet, computer, or smartphone this year! 

Good Luck!

Did you play the CAA Game of Life contest last year?  Would you love to WIN a family vacation to Disney World?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

♛ How Disney Dazzled Me: The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition Red Carpet Event! ♛

Walking the Red Carpet
at The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition Event
Have you ever wondered what it's like to go to a special red carpet event?  To witness the stars, the fashion and glamour first-hand?  Well, my children and I were honoured to be invited to the The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition Red Carpet event in Toronto yesterday.  In the Walt Disney version of the red carpet, the stars were the children, the fashion: Disney Princess attire and tiaras, and the glamour was absolutely everywhere!  My daughter went as The Little Mermaid, my son went as himself.
The Fantastic Disney Junior Canada Room!
Our first stop at the special red carpet event, was the fabulous Disney Junior Canada room!  There were giant flatscreen tvs set up playing episodes of Sofia the First, a huge cardboard colouring panel of Sofia (with 100s of different colour crayons from which to choose), a humongous mural of Sofia the First's castle (against which you could take your child's photo) and...a real life meet and greet with Sofia the First in the flesh!  

Meeting Sofia the First!
I heard that the awesome people at Disney had flown over the Sofia the First costume all the way from Walt Disney World in Orlando!  Now THAT'S Disney: always thinking of the children and what will delight them!
The Little Mermaid Room Made a Big Splash!
Our next stop was to the The Little Mermaid room, which was like a dream!  As the kids entered the room, multiple bubble machines filled the room with bubbles!  Overhead, ocean-themed balloons hung down setting an underwater theme.  There was a giant The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition ice sculpture, that the children could touch.  There were seashells with jewels carved out of the ice.  We were DAZZLED!   

In the grotto, the kids could meet Sebastian the crab in real life!  There were also iPads embedded in the walls and a Wii on which the kids could play Disney Princess videogames.  There were under-the-sea chairs on which the children could relax.
What a Great Way to Celebrate
The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition DVD!
My kids particularly enjoyed finding Ariel's hidden "treasures" in the sand.  The children would dig in the sand and find light-up cubes with shells, forks and flowers on them.  After finding one of each, the treasures were placed in a little stream.  The activities were well planned out and absolutely thrilled my kids and I!
The Little Mermaid Sweet Table!
To say that my kids were floored at the The Little Mermaid Red Carpet event sweet table, would be an understatement.  The kids had their choice of colourful macaroons on a tree, mini marshmallows, caramel corn, goldfish crackers, Disney Princess cookies, Hershey Kisses of different colours, and delicious mini cupcakes!
Goodies at The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition Movie Screening!
When it was time for the movie to start, we felt like we were already in a dream!  The afternoon had  been so much fun with all the kids in costumes, decorations everywhere, great activities, awesome sights and tasty nibbles!
We got ourselves comfortably seated in the lovely Tiff Bell Lighthouse theatre, and enjoyed watching Disney Junior Canada shows like Jake and the Never Land pirates before the movie started.  When The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition started playing, it was as wonderful as the first time we saw it!  My kids have seen The Little Mermaid many times before, but quickly became engrossed with the story, their favourite characters and the music.  

Carly Rae Jepsen has been added to the new Disney Diamond Edition to sing the "Part of Your World" song, and it was a modern touch to the classic title.
Check Out The Little Mermaid Swag Table!
What happened after the movie was like Christmas in September!  Fantastic swag bags were given out to all the kids in attendance at the The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition Red Carpet event!  Disney and it's partners were extremely generous to the children.  The eyes of the children were lit up with magic.  Below, are The Little Mermaid and Disney Princess-themed swag items all the kids received.  We were SPEECHLESS. 

Disney dazzled me again and again yesterday and put on such a MAGICAL event at the The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition Red Carpet event.  Thank you Disney!
Kids Swag Bags at the Red Carpet Event
Thank You Disney!
The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition comes to Bluray/DVD combo pack on October 1st, 2013!  It will be available in stores everywhere!  Buy it October 1st, and put it away for Christmas!
The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition
Comes to Bluray/DVD Combo Pack October 1st, 2013!
Movie Synopsis:
"Ariel (voiced by Jodi Benson), is a free-spirited mermaid, who is off on the adventure of a lifetime with her best friend, the adorable Flounder (voiced by Jason Marin), and the reggae-singing Caribbean crab Sebastian (voiced by Samuel E. Wright) at her side. But it will take all of her courage and determination to make her dreams come true—and save her father’s beloved kingdom from the sneaky sea witch Ursula (voiced by Pat Carroll)." 

Bonus Features: All-New Music Video; @ Disney Animation; Disney Intermission; Deleted Character; The Real Little Mermaid: Live Action Reference Model; Part of Her World: Jodi Benson’s Voyage To New Fantasyland; Howard’s Lecture; Classic DVD Bonus Features.  

Has your child or grandchild ever seen The Little Mermaid?  Who is you or your child's favourite Disney Princess?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

NEW Thomas and Friends Toys & DVDs from Fisher-Price! (Christmas Shopping)

My Son Enjoying an Evening of Thomas!
My youngest child is a Thomas and Friends fan through and through: he has Thomas clothing and pjs, Thomas books, Thomas trains and Thomas DVDs!  For his third birthday party this year, he had a Thomas train cake and a Thomas-themed birthday party.  For Halloween 2013, my son has asked to dress up in a Thomas costume too!  Yes, Thomas and Friends has touched my son's heart and it is such a sweet stage in his life that I love being part of.

Now that my four other children are in school during the day, my youngest son and I have been enjoying lots of one-on-one time together.  Each morning we enjoy the outdoors together and play at the playground, visit wildlife at the local pond, walk nature trails, and play Thomas trains together!  I try to take my cue from my son and let him decide what he would like to do each day, and then make it special for him.  It's easy to see that my son is savouring our one-on-one time together as much as I am.
A Typical Day With My Son
Evenings are family time in my household most nights, starting with dinner, homework and bathtime.  When the nightly chores are completed, we create crafts together or relax with a family-friendly film.  During craft time, it's the perfect opportunity to chat and get caught up with the older kids' lives.  Some of the crafts we have created recently include a pirate ship in a bottle, and the kids have worked for weeks already to create Halloween decorations (spiders, cobwebs, gravestones, little ghosts, and more)!

One of my favourite adages is "the family that plays together, stays together", and this would be a good label to describe my family!  It takes some coordinating to get the 7 of us all together, but it's well worth it!
NEW ON DVD! Thomas & Friends: King of the Railway, The Movie
If you have a Thomas fan in your household, you'll be interested to know that Fisher-Price's Thomas & Friends has just come out with a brand new DVD and two great new Thomas toys--a great way to relax and interact with your little one!  Read on to hear about the new Thomas DVD and toys!  

The new Thomas DVD is called Thomas & Friends: King of the Railway, The Movie, and it's available right now for purchase instore!  The DVD is in English, but also comes in French.

A very special guest has arrived in Sodor with a BIG surprise and important jobs for Thomas, Percy and James!  While the engines meet new friends, they also discover a knight's armour, a shield with a coat of arms, and wonderful tales of long-ago heroes.  When their new friend Stephen goes missing, their bravery is put to the test.  Can the engines solve the Island of Sodor's biggest mystery?  Watch Fisher-Price's Thomas & Friends: King of the Railway, The Movie to find out!

The film is toddler-friendly and perfect for family movie night!    

NEW Fisher-Price Take-n-Play Thomas' Adventure Castle Playset!
The NEW Thomas & Friends: Take-n-Play Thomas' Adventure Castle Playset is a great way to join your preschooler for some exciting cause-and-effect playtime together!  Inspired by the Thomas & Friends: King of the Railway, The Movie DVD, The Troublesome Truck and Thomas race down the spiral track of Ulfstead Castle, unfurling flags and revealing an amazing treasure!

Includes a die-cast Thomas engine, Troublesome Truck and two more play pieces.  The playset is portable (folds up) for on-the-go play and storage!  Ages 3 years +.

NEW Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends: Trackmaster Castle Quest Playset!
Also inspired by the Thomas & Friends: King of the Railway, The Movie DVD, the NEW Thomas & Friends: Trackmaster Castle Quest Playset relives Thomas's journey for the missing King's crown!  You and your child can enjoy hours of fun together as Thomas powers himself around the track, navigates the crumbling castle grounds, and emerges with the prize!  Swing the crane over to replace the missing track piece, and help Thomas on his journey!  And better be quick: race through the castle before the gate drops down!  Finally, descend into the abandoned mine and rescue the crown!

Thomas features a motorized engine and requires 1 AA battery (not included).  For ages 3 years +.

Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends Toys & DVD Make Great Christmas Gifts!
"Thomas & Friends give children and families a time and place to slow down, share, imagine stories, and make new friends. They deliver messages about important values through imaginative, relatable storytelling and characters… and always in the friendliest, most engaging ways!"  The wonderful Fisher-Price Thomas and Friends toys and DVD mentioned in this blog post can be purchased now, and stored away for Christmas!  Ages 3 years + (due to small parts).

Disclosure: I am part of the Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Do you have a Thomas & Friends fan in your household?  Would you child enjoy the NEW Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends DVD or the brand new Thomas playsets?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Transformers Rescue Bots: Griffin Rock Rescue on DVD Oct 22nd & CONTEST! (CAN/US)

Transformers Rescue Bots: Griffin Rock Rescue
comes to DVD on Oct 22, 2013!
When my middle child was 3- or 4-years old, he became fascinated with Transformers!  First, it was only BumbleBee, the yellow Transformer, but next came Optimus Prime, the head Transformer.  Needless to say, at that stage we had Transformers pjs, shirts, shoes, bedsheets, DVDs, and of course toys!  And doesn't it go without saying that we had a Transformers birthday party for him, complete with a themed cake!

Those days, I spent hours with my son transforming Optimus Prime (semi-successfully) from truck form, then back to robot form, and then back to truck form again!  We had a lot of fun playing Transformers together, but I found that the Transformers movies were too mature for him, although the toys were age-appropriate.
Transformer Rescue Bots Help Humans Rescue People!
If you have boys aged 4- to 10-years old who like action shows, I would suggest the Transformers Rescue Bots series.  It is definitely a more juvenile version of the Transformers, then the movie format.  I would kind of equate the tameness of the series with the Scooby-Doo cartoon, and it also features some funny sight-gags.

The Transformer Rescue Bot characters transform from robot to rescue vehicle, to help their human counterparts rescue people!  For example, Heatwave transforms into a fire engine, Chase into a police car, Blades a rescue helicopter, and Boulder into a Bulldozer!  If your child or grand-child loves robots, vehicles, or rescue, then he will enjoy watching Transformers Rescue Bots!  

Transformers Rescue Bots: Griffin Rock Rescue comes to DVD on October 22nd, 2013!  Watch a clip from the Transformers Rescue Bots: Griffin Rock Rescue DVD, below!  

Episode included on the Transformers Rescue Bots: Griffin Rock Rescue DVD are:
  1. The Other Doctor
  2. The Reign of Morocco
  3. Small Blessings
  4. The Griffin Rock Triangle
  5. Rules and Regulations

WINNER: Tammy P.

WIN a copy of 
Transformers Rescue Bots: Griffin Rock Rescue on DVD!  Contest open to Canada & USA, and ends on Tuesday October 15th, 2013.

Leave a COMMENT below stating what your child or grandchild is crazy about: (ie: Transformers, robots, cars, trucks, rescue vehicles, etc).  Then use the entry form, below, to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Littlest Pet Shop: Petacular Escapades on DVD & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

Littlest Pet Shop: Petacular Escapades Comes to DVD October 1st, 2013!
If you have a daughter 8-years old or younger, you've likely heard of Littlest Pet Shop toys.  Littlest Pet Shop toys are small, adorable animals with big eyes--and are totally irresistible to little girls!  So irresistible, in fact, my own daughter collected about 100 LPS animals over several years!  Of course, LPS playsets are also available to purchase--so your animal can have a home!  Yes, little boys can also play with Littlest Pet Shop toys.

Imagine my daughter's delight when she learned that there's a Littlest Pet Shop series!  She set out right away on a mission to watch each and every episode of LPS--and succeeded.  She really loves the series, and calls it cute and funny.  And if your daughter or granddaughter loves irresistible, colourful animals with puppy dog eyes, then she will LOVE Littlest Pet Shop too!

On October 1st, 2013, Littlest Pet Shop: Petacular Escapades is coming to DVD!  The DVD features 5 pet-tastic episodes, and runs for 110 minutes.  Enjoy fun episodes like Blythe's Crush, Dumb Dumbwaiter, Lights Camera Mongoose, What Did You Say, and Terriers & Tiaras.  And there is a sing-along feature that your child can enjoy on the DVD, and sing her heart out!          


WINNER: To be announced shortly...

WIN 1 of 2 copies of Littlest Pet Shop: Petacular Escapades on DVD from!  Yes, contest open to both Canada and the USA.  Ends Monday October 7th, 2013.

Leave a COMMENT below stating if your child or grandchild has any Littlest Pet Shop toys, OR if she or he has ever watched the Littlest Pet Shop series.  Then, use the entry form below to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

CheeCha Puffs Is Peanut-Free For School & Hallowe'en!

Find CheeCha Puffs Single Serve Bags Exclusively at Bulk Barn!
I first wrote about CheeCha Puffs back in April 2012, when I was looking for an alternative to chips for my kids.  At only 70 calories for 2 entire cups of CheeCha Puffs (original flavour), I thought that there was a lot of snack packed into CheeCha Puffs.  After my kids (and their mom) sampled the CheeCha Puffs flavours, it confirmed that this was not just a low cal snack, but also a tasty one!

Only 70 Calories Per 2 Cups of CheeCha Puffs!
(Original Flavour)
Of great importance to me as a parent of school-aged kids, CheeCha Puffs are peanut-free and tree nut-free...and 5 flavours are gluten-free (look for gluten-free packaging for select flavours)!  My children's school is peanut-free, which means only peanut-free lunches and snacks are permitted.  That's why it's great that Bulk Barn sells the single serve size of CheeCha Puffs, which are perfect for school lunches or to hand-out for Hallowe'en trick-or-treating!
Meet the CheeCha Puffs Snack Size Flavours!
Have you ever tried CheeCha Puffs single serve size bags before?  Terrific flavours include: Triple Cheese, Sea Salt & Spiced Pepper, Crispy Dill Pickle, Original, Smokey BBQ, and Sea Salt & Vinegar!  It's still a source of debate in my household, but I love the Triple Cheese, my kids swear by the Crispy Dill Pickle...and we all agree to disagree! 

Find CheeCha Puffs single serve bags at these Bulk Barn locations.  Find large-sized bags of CheeCha Puffs at these retailers!

Follow CheeCha Puffs on Social Media!
CheeCha Puffs Website
CheeCha Puffs on Facebook
CheeCha Puffs on Twitter

WINNERS: To be announced shortly...

WIN 1 of 3 cases of CheeCha Puffs single serve snacks (16 bags each)!  Contest open to Canada, and ends on Monday October 28th, 2013!  Do allow a few weeks to receive prize, flavours shipped subject to availability.  

Leave a COMMENT below stating which flavour of CheeCha Puffs you would like to try OR if you've already tried CheeCha Puffs (and if so, what's you're favourite flavour).  Then, fill out the entry form below to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Paul Frank "Monkeys" Around With Kid's Clothes & New Julius Jr. Show!

I'm very excited to announce that Parigi Group has teamed up with Paul Frank, to create a kid's clothing line (sizes infant to 16)!  If you don't know the name Paul Frank, you will likely recognize his mascot Julius the monkey, above!  

As a Saban Brand-Bassador, my kids were very fortunate to receive some Paul Frank tees, and they thought they were just great!  I really liked that the shirts were fun and colourful, and loved that they were made from a nice soft cotton.  (If you look at the photo below though, you'll see that I already have my own monkeys!)
My Own Monkeys Wearing the Paul Frank Monkey!
Currently the Paul Frank Parigi Collection is sold at Nordstrom in the US, and will be coming shortly to the following retailers: Amazon, Belk, Bloomingdale's, Bon-Ton, Buy Buy Baby, Dillard's, Lord & Taylor, and Canadian Tire (<--not really, but I threw that one in for my wonderful Canadian readers, to see if they were paying attention)!

Our friends at Saban Brands also sent the kids over this great Paul Frank stackable cube, made by Narajian Furniture and sold on  The cube swings open to store books, blu-rays/dvds, toys, clothing, towels, linens and other kid's gear.  My kids love the orange cube, and it's also available in white, blue and pink.    

Would you like 30% off your Paul Frank furniture purchase on  Enter coupon code: paulfrank at checkout, offer valid unitl December 31st, 2013.
Get 30% Off Your Paul Frank Purchase!
Enter Coupon Code: paulfrank
Since we're talking about Julius the monkey, did you know that the Julius Jr. television show will premiere on
Sunday September 29th, 2013 at 11:00am EST on Nick Jr?  That's less than 2 weeks to go! 

Your Preschool Child Will Love Julius Jr!
Julius Jr. is a brand new preschool series "where ordinary objects come to life and fantastic adventures are just a door away.  Julius Jr. is a rambunctious monkey who enjoys saving the day by making savvy inventions with his friends. On every adventure, the show's socio-emotional curriculum provides kids with the opportunity to learn how to interact with others and begin thinking outside the box." 

For more information, you can visit the Julius Jr. official website!  Be sure to follow Julius Jr. on social media too!

Julius Jr. on Social Media:

Less Than 2 Weeks Until Julius Jr. Premieres on Nick Jr!
Premieres Sunday September 29th, 2013 at 11:00am EST
Have you ever seen Paul Frank's monkey Julius before?  Do you think that your child would enjoy watching the new Julius Jr. television show? 

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Croods Movie on DVD/Blu-Ray Oct 1 & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

The Croods Movie Comes to DVD/BluRay Combo Pack on October 1st!
In March, my family watched The Croods film in the movie theatre and we all loved it!  You can read my movie review of The Croods here.  The Croods is about a family of cavemen, that live holed up in a cave for the sake of survival.  However, teenager Eep wants to see more of the outside world, and this is a recipe for disaster in prehistoric times.  The Croods is about family bonds, home, survival and new love.  

Although the movie title might lead you to believe that it's crude, it was actually a very clean family comedy.  And it was so hysterical, it had the adults in the audience really cracking up!  That's why I'm looking forward to owning The Croods when it comes to DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack on October 1st, 2013!  See below for some great The Croods kid's activities!

The Croods Bookmarks!
Click on The Croods images below to supersize them and print out The Croods bookmarks from your home printer!

The Croods Bookmarks #1!
Click Image to Supersize & Print!
The Croods Bookmarks #2!
Click Image to Supersize & Print!

The Croods: What's That Animal Quiz!
Look at the prehistoric animals in the puzzle and try to find out their modern-day equivalent!  Click on the image below to supersize  it, and print it out from your home printer!
The Croods: What's That Animal Quiz!
Click Image to Supersize & Print!
The Croods comes to DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack on October 1st, 2013!  Get your copy in stores everywhere on that date!


WINNER: To be announced shortly...

WIN a copy of The Croods movie on DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack AND a small stuffed animal of the "Belt" character!  NOTE: Prize will be packaged differently than shown, and stuffed animal will NOT be packaged inside movie. Open to Canada and the USA.  Ends Monday October 7th, 2013!

Leave a COMMENT below stating what is the most interesting thing about the prehistoric period (ie: dinosaurs, cavemen, volcanoes, etc), and then enter using the entry form below.  GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Relive Your Favourite Television Series on Netflix & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

What Would YOU Watch on Netflix?
WIN This Great Netflix Bundle!

In April I wrote Is Netflix Right for Your Family?, which describes the simple process of setting up my family with a Netflix subscription.  It's now been 5 months since my family has started using the Netflix service, and we love it!  In addition, I've recommended Netflix so highly, that most people I know have also set up Netflix!  I enjoy watching all the movies, my husband enjoys the documentaries, and my kids love all the children's shows!

In case you haven't heard of Netflix, it's a service that provides unlimited movies and television series for only $7.99 per month--and you can watch anytime you want.  The first month of Netflix is FREE and you can cancel online anytime if you wish.  (PayPal or credit card information is required, in case you choose to continue the service.)  Netflix can be watched on your HDMI-compatible television, on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.  

Now that it's September and the kids are back in school, my family has settled into our fall routine.  For us that means school, homework, playdates, lots of invitations to kids' birthday parties, swimming lessons, and cooler weather.  And after a busy day before bedtime, the kids love watching a Netflix show.  The most popular show by far in my household is the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic cartoon series, for both my sons and daughter!  My daughter is currently watching H20: Just Add Water (an Australian tv show about teenaged mermaids).  My 3-year old loves watching the Caillou cartoon on the iPad (there are 4 seasons available to watch)!         
Everyone I have know seems to be watching a series on Netflix!  My real estate agent is watching Homeland with her husband and loved the House of Cards series with Kevin Spacey.  My friend's son is watching the G.I. Joe series.  My dad loved the Arrested Development series, and my husband and I are currently watching My Name Is Earl together.  I'm currently shopping for a tv series that I can "get into".    

Relive These Great Series on Netflix!
Netflix is a great way to get caught up on earlier seasons of television series, as well as to relive past episodes.  I love that I can start watching a long-running series and get up-to-date, without having to dive straight into the newest season that's airing on tv!  It's shocking how many well-rated tv series I have missed, and 

Check out a few of the top streaming series on Netflix:

Breaking Bad, Seasons 1 - 5
Community, Seasons 1 - 4
The Walking Dead, Seasons 1 - 2 (Season 3 streams September 29)
Heartland, Seasons 1 – 6
Vampire Diaries, Seasons  1- 3 (Season 4 streams October 1)
How I Met Your Mother, Seasons 1 – 7  (Season 8 streams October 1)
Bones, Seasons 1 - 7 (Season 8 streams October 8)
The Killing, Seasons 1 - 2 (Season 3 streams November 1)
Homeland, Season  1
Glee, Seasons 1 - 3         
Archer, Seasons 1 - 3
Pretty Little Liars, Seasons 1 - 3
Hell on Wheels, Seasons 1 - 2 
American Dad, Seasons 1 - 7 

CONTEST! (Canada)

WINNER: Ginette A.

WIN 12-months of FREE Netflix, a Roku 2 streaming box, Roku remote control, and 2 Scholastic books (may or may not be the same titles as shown on this blog)!  Contest open to CANADA.  Ends Thursday October 10th, 2013.

Leave a COMMENT below stating what television show(s) you'd love to watch on Netflix (whether it's on Netflix or not), and then use the entry form below to enter.  ♧ GOOD LUCK! 

Monday, September 09, 2013

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec Movie & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec
Is Now On Bluray/DVD Combo Pack!
Years ago, my husband insisted that we buy a minivan with a built-in DVD player.  I have to admit that I initially challenged him on the DVD purchase, stating that the kids did not need to be entertained during a car ride.  However, I am so thankful for this purchase--and it has kept peace during family trips!  By peace, I mean no screaming, fighting, hitting, kicking or spitting (yes, they spit like camels).

It was on a recent car trip that I put on The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec movie.  My husband was in the car with the kids as a "stepped in" to Wal-Mart for a 5-minute shopping.  Inside the store, I realized that it was a Wal-Mart Supercenter with a supermarket inside, so my 5-minute trip turned into an hour as I shopped for groceries too!
Adele Blanc-Sec Is the French Version of Indiana Jones!
Adele Blanc-Sec is a movie about a daring young women, Adele Blanc-Sec, during the lush Parisian period (1910s and beyond), who goes on a quest to bring a mummy back from the dead.  Add to the mix a 136 million year-old pterosaur egg, and scenes befitting Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark, and you have one big adventure!

The movie is directed and produced by Luc Besson, and was adapted from Eisner Award winner Jacques Tardi's French classic comic book series.  It stars Louise Bourgoin as Blanc-Sec.  I liked that The Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec features a strong heroine, and yet was also suitable for a male audience.  My kids aged 5- to 8-years old enjoyed the movie, but I would say that it was best-suited to a teen audience, due to some graphic scenes of bloodshed.  The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec movie is now on DVD/Blu-Ray Combo Pack!

Watch the movie trailer of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, below!


WINNER: Wanda T.

WIN a copy of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec on DVD!  Contest is open to both Canada and the USA.  Ends Friday October 4th, 2013.

How to Enter:
Leave a COMMENT below stating if your child/grandchild seen The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec movie OR if you or your child/grandchild enjoy watching fantastical films?  Then, use the entry form below to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!

Saturday, September 07, 2013

"Finished" With Your Dishes? Try Finish Boosting Products!

My Dishwasher Before Using Finish Dishwasher Cleaner!
In July I bought a new home, and then was tasked with selling my previous home in only one week!  We painted the entire house from top to bottom, decluttered, took care of minor repairs, and made sure that the electrical and plumbing were in perfect working order for the new owner.  What nobody told me about selling my home, was that prospective buyers would open up every single drawer, cupboard, closet, medicine cabinet, refrigerator, oven--and even dishwasher! 

Our old dishwasher was built-in under the kitchen counter and showed signs of age (see top photo).  As replacing the dishwasher was not in our budget, I wondered how to get it really clean before selling our house?  This was the same dishwasher that I wrote about last year in my blog post Help! There's a Mouse In My Dishwasher!  (Yes, somehow MICE had gotten into my dishwasher the previous year!)  I wish that I had heard about Finish Dishwasher Cleaner at that time!   

It was good timing that I found out then about Finish Dishwasher Cleaner, which is designed to intensively clean visible and hidden dishwasher dirt build up.  Previously, I had just cleaned the actual dishwasher by removing all the dishes from it, and putting it on the "wash" cycle.  But if I had to take a good guess, I would say that previously I was not removing lime scale and grease build up.  After all, doesn't a cleaner dishwasher mean cleaner dishes too?  

I easily followed the instructions, below, to clean my dishwasher with Finish.  When the cleaning cycle had completed, I opened up the dishwasher to check out the results.  After using the Finish Dishwasher Cleaner, it was noticeably cleaner and felt "squeaky clean" to the touch.  I did not see any errant food deposits or films from sauces.  It made me feel confident that prospective home buyers were seeing (and smelling) the cleanest dishwashing machine possible!  
Finish Dishwasher Cleaner WILL Get Your Dishwasher Clean!
How To Use Finish Dishwasher Cleaner     
Finish Dishwasher Cleaner was very easy to use, just follow the steps below.  For best results, use once a month.

1.Remove the sticker from the top of the Finish Dishwasher Cleaner bottle without removing the cap.
2.Be sure that the dishwasher is completely empty.
3.Place the bottle of Finish Dishwasher Cleaner upside down in a dish rack, or in a secure position.
4.Run the dishwasher and you're done!

When I was done cleaning my dishwasher, I noticed that the glass fruit bowl on my kitchen table looked cloudy, although I had recently washed it in the dishwasher.  This was supposed to be a focal point in my kitchen, when staging the table with a bowl of fresh green apples.  (Home staging is a very popular trend in the Toronto housing market.)  But instead of looking fresh and clean, the fruit bowl looked old and tired.  

For an elegant look, I also wanted to stage the dining room table with wine glasses, but many of my "clean" dishwasher washed glasses looked foggy, or had a film on them!  I decided to try Finish Jet-Dry Rinse Agent to see if I could get my glassware sparkling clean!

 Trying to understand what was happening to my glassware, I looked a little more into the issue.  Apparently with detergents, food and chemical residues can redeposit on dishware during the rinse cycle, causing spots and residues to remain.  However, the Finish Jet-Dry Rinse Agent was designed to combat this problem by rinsing away leftover food and detergent residues.  As it wicks away the residue, it also helps the dishes become more dry than using dishwasher detergent alone.   

I rewashed my wine glasses and glass fruit bowl in the dishwasher, this time with Finish Jet-Dry Rinse Agent added to the load.  When I took out the glassware to check on the results, I was delighted to see that using Finish had made a huge difference!  All the glass was now sparkling clean, and no longer had a cloudy or foggy look to it--and the film covering the wine glasses was gone!  NOW I was ready to stage my home using the glassware as a centerpiece, and because I didn't have to hand-wash it, I had extra time to pack for the upcoming move!
Find Finish Jet-Dry Rinse Agent in Stores Everywhere!
How To Use Finish Jet-Dry Rinse Agent     
Finish Jet-Dry Rinse Agent was also very easy to use, following the steps below.  

1.Fill the dishwasher rinse agent dispenser with Finish Jet-Dry Rise agent.
2.Finish Jet-Dry Rinse Agent is automatically released in the rinse cycle each time the dishwasher runs!

Have questions about cleaning dishes in the dishwasher, or about the dishwasher itself?  Check out Finish's website Dishwashing Expert!

Disclosure: I am part of the Finish Canada Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Do your dishes usually come out clean from your dishwasher?  Have you ever tried Finish products?

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Great September Line Up on Disney Junior Canada & CONTEST!

My Crew on The First Day of School!

I can't believe that it's suddenly September, after scrambling all summer long to sell a home, move into a new home, and get the kids registered at a new school!  Well, I'm glad to say that with the new school schedule, things have quieted down a bit at home.  But here in Toronto, I do feel Fall just around the corner, with the crisp mornings and cool winds. 

For my kids, this September will mean meeting new friends and teachers, finding their way around a brand new neighbourhood, settling into a homework routine, and keeping active through bicycling and swimming lessons.  The Disney Junior Canada channel fits in nicely with our new September routine, especially when winding the kids down or providing night time entertainment.
NEW Episodes of Doc McStuffins!
Sundays at 11:00am EST on Disney Junior Canada
Starting September 15th!
Doc McStuffins, Sundays at 11:00am EST! - Starting on September 15th, brand new episodes of Doc McStuffins premiere Sundays at 11:00am EST on Disney Junior Canada!  Doc McStuffins is perfect for your child that loves to nurture and care for others.  The show features Dottie McStuffins who "doctors" all her stuffed animals with the utmost of kindness, love and compassion.

In my own household, my 4-year old son is a very nurturing little guy.  Although he doesn't play often with stuffed animals like Doc McStuffins, he takes good care of his diecast toy cars from the Disney Cars movie!  We can play endlessly towing a car in trouble out of a ditch, changing "flat" tires of a car that is stranded, or filling up a "sad" car that has run out of gas.  Of course, the conclusion is always a happy and repaired car, thanks to my son's assistance!
Justin Time Premieres Brand NEW Episodes!
Sundays at 8:30am EST on Disney Junior Canada
Starting September 8th
Justin Time, Sundays at 8:30am EST! - Starting on September 8th, brand new episodes of Justin Time premiere Sundays at 8:30am EST on Disney Junior Canada!  Justin Time features Justin and his imaginary friends Olive and Squidgy, as they embark on big adventures from every corner of the world.  Set your PVR so you're "Just in Time" to watch the show!

My 4-year old son's own imaginary friend is his favourite security blanket!  He makes the blanket talk, puts the "tired" blanket to bed, and the blanket can even "ride a bike".  My son has gone on some real-life adventures with his favourite blanket, including taking his first plane ride on our family vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, as well as sneaking it out for a toboggan ride in the winter.  My son's blanket may be his imaginary friend, but the affection that he shows it is real.
The Little Mermaid Series Is Coming Back!
Weekdays at 8:00pm EST on Disney Junior Canada
Starting September 16th
The Little Mermaid Series, Weekdays at 8:00pm EST! - Starting on September 16th, The Little Mermaid series is coming back exclusively to Disney Junior Canada!  Set your PVR to record it weekdays at 8:00pm EST, so your little one can enjoy it again and again! 

My daughter loves getting dressed up as The Little Mermaid, a costume originally from The Disney Store!  She loves that Ariel has long hair (just like she has), is a princess (just like she'd like to be), sings beautiful songs (just like she does), and is married to a prince!

When my daughter learned that there is going to be a special Private Red Carpet Screening of Disney's The Little Mermaid here in Toronto, she immediately grabbed her very best tiara, purse, and stuffed her handbag with her finest "treasures"!
My Daughter Dressed as The Little Mermaid!
Disney Junior Canada is holding a GREAT The Little Mermaid contest right now!  Get a chance to WIN a round-trip to Toronto, Ontario to experience Canada's Private Red Carpet Screening of Disney's The Little Mermaid!  There will be a special Under the Sea Adventure experience for children at the TIFF Bell Lightbox before the show!

One lucky family will be flown to Toronto for the The Little Mermaid Private Red Carpet Screening event, along with a fabulous 2-night hotel stay, transportation and $1000.00 in spending money!  A thousand dollars!  In addition, kids will take home a very special gift bag.  Read more about the grand prize details here!  Full contest Rules & Regulations can be read here.  GOOD LUCK!

How has your family's schedule changed now that it's September?  Does your child have a favourite character that he or she likes to dress up as?

Monday, September 02, 2013

Learning & Creating With HP & B-I-G CONTEST (~OVER~)!

Exploring the Corinth Micro Plant App on the HP Envy Rove20
The back-to-school season always has me asking, are the kids prepared for this new grade of school?  Have I kept their minds sharp during the carefree summer?  Could I have fit in more learning?  This summer we sold our home and then moved quickly into the new one, in order to have the kids start their new school on time.  And now rather than wondering if I offered enough extracurricular learning during the summer, I ask how I can help the kids learn throughout the school year?

As my kids are drawn to the wireless world of computers, tablets and smartphones, the obvious way to extend my childrens' learning is by offering educational computer apps.
Corinth Micro Plant Explores Plants on a Microscopic Level!
There are some excellent educational apps that are free in the Windows Store, such as Corinth Micro Plant, Cornith Micro Anatomy Augmented and Cornith Micro Engines.  The Cornith series fascinated my 8-year old, who loved Cornith Micro Plant.  Specifically, it allows you to look at a tree, and then drill down to branch, leaf, leaf section, plant cell, bacteria, and plant viruses.  You actually see each of these levels zoom into crystal clear focus.  It's a great education in biology and it's simply fascinating!
My Boys Enjoy Teamwork Using the Fresh Paint App

My 3-year old is crazy about the Fresh Paint app, which is preloaded on the HP Envy Rove20.  You can use the wireless mouse to draw, but my son prefers to "fingerpaint".  His painting may not look sophisticated, but he has fun selecting the different colours, drawing and naming different shapes, and using his imagination.  Can you figure out what he was drawing?
VIDEO: Animal Sound Box App Teaches Animal Sounds
One app that thrilled my 3-year old son, was the Animal Sound Box app, also available for free in the Windows Store.  The app teaches which animal goes with which animal sound, and is a delightful educational tool.  Real images and cartoon images of animals are used in this app.  Watch the video, above, to see the Animal Sound Box app in action.  I would definitely recommend this app to parents of children from 6 months old, to 4-years old.
Working on a Puzzle Together With the Puzzle Touch App
My oldest and youngest sons enjoyed the free Puzzle Touch app on the HP Envy Rove20 computer.  The 10-point multi-touchscreen of the HP Envy Rove20 allowed for the brothers to work on the puzzle in tandem, and have the system drag and drop puzzle pieces at the very same time.  My very favourite part of the app: no scattered jigsaw pieces to dig out of the carpet and put away!
Exploring the Star Chart App on the HP Envy Rove20
Another visually-striking educational app from the Windows Store is Star Chart, shown above on the HP Envy Rove20's 20-inch HD display.  If you or your child have a love of astronomy, you will be thrilled with this free app.  Star Chart  is much more than stars, and uses real and drawn images so that planets and constellations come to life.  Above, my son can touch to learn which stars make up a particular constellation. 
The HP Envy Rove20 Features a 20" Screen!
My children really enjoyed learning on the HP Envy Rove20 computer.  The HUGE 20-inch touchscreen monitor and HD display was super easy for my kids to use, and the resolution was extraordinary (WVA 1600 x 900).  From the eyes of a laptop user, it's like taking a tablet, and gigantifying it to the size of a small television screen!  

Also, the computer has a 10-point multi-touchscreen, which enabled the kids to join together for tandem game play (it responds to multiple gestures at once, such as playing the piano).

I really loved all the free and paid-for learning apps that were accessible to me via the Windows Store.  If you are homeschooling or extending the learning of your children, the HP Envy Rove20 is a great device to do it on!      
The HP Envy 5530 e-All-in-One Printer Makes School Projects Easy
The HP Envy 5530 e-All-in-One Printer is a great companion to the HP Envy Rove20 computer.  It's a wireless printer that prints anywhere from your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.  It holds the distinction of printing lab-quality photos when using HP Premium Plus Photo paper.

There are so many different learning activities that come to life using the HP Envy 5530 printer, such as creating short stories paired with hand-drawn illustrations, completing special homework assignments with both text and photos, and making birthday invitations by scratch.
Creative IQ "Gives Young Learners the Creative Edge"!
For great creative kids projects you can complete with HP Envy Rove20 computer and HP Envy 5530 e-All-in-One Printer, have a read of the Creative IQ book by Jo-Anne Schneeweiss and Shelly Sefton.  Some activities include creating a dream bedroom, a restaurant (complete with menus), an e-newspaper, and a pretend marketing campaign for a hotel (with travel posters and more).     
HP Envy Rove20, HP Envy 5530 e Printer & HP Printing Supplies Kit
For best results, use HP 61XL Black Ink, HP 61XL Tri-Colour Ink, HP Bright White Inkjet Paper or HP Premium Plus Photo Paper with the HP Envy 5530 e-All-in-One Printer for all your kid's school projects!

HP Brain Training Challenge activities shown in this blog post were supplied by HP Canada and Creative IQ™.  Disclosure: HP products mentioned in this post were supplied by HP Canada.
WIN These Great HP Items & MORE from!

WINNER: Belinda M.

WIN an HP Slatetablet (different than the computer shown and described in the upper blog post), an HP Envy 5530 e-All-in-One Printer, an HP Printing Supplies Kit (HP 61XL Black Ink Cartridge, HP 61XL Tri-colour Ink Cartridge, HP Inkjet Paper, and HP Photo Paper) and 
Creative IQ™: Giving Young Learner the Creative Edge in a Competitive book!  Contest open to CANADA only (sorry, not open to Quebec), and ends Friday November 1st, 2013.  Winner will be drawn randomly.

Leave a COMMENT below stating some ways you would enjoy using an HP Slatetablet,   HP Envy 5530 e-All-in-One Printer, and an HP Printing Supplies Kit (ie: e-mailing, surfing the internet, doing research projects, etc)!  Then use the entry form below to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!

Want more chances to enter?  Visit these great blogs who are also running HP back-to-school contests!
A Busy Mommy HP Back-to-School Contest!
Tales of a Ranting Ginger HP Back-to-School Contest!
Toronto Teacher Mom HP Back-to-School Contest!
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