Friday, November 29, 2013

Muppets, Mary Poppins, Lone Ranger, Iron Man & Hulk Come to Disney DVD in December!

Coming to Disney DVD/Bluray Combo Pack in December!
My family loves Disney movies and we have a wonderful bluray/dvd library, that we are constantly adding to and growing.  December in Canada means the days are growing colder and shorter, and it's a good time to watch a great family movie together.  Some Disney movies releasing onto bluray/dvd combo pack this December include: Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United, The Great Muppet Caper & Muppet Treasure Island - 2 Movie Collection, Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition, and The Lone Ranger!
Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United Comes to DVD/Bluray Combo Pack on Dec 3
Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United comes to stores everywhere on December 3rd!  If your older child or grandchild is enraptured by superheroes, this may be a title you should consider putting under the tree this year!

Movie Synopsis:
"Hulk’s mega strength and Tony Stark’s high-tech intellect come together to create a powerful duo necessary to fight against one of the most dangerous enemies, "Zzzax"!  When Zzzax, a seemingly invincible, energy devouring monster threatens to destroy the planet, these two Avengers are mankind’s only hope. Alone, neither can defeat the awesome power of Zzzax, but as a team, they just might have a chance – if they can find a way to work together without smashing heads before time runs out!"

The Great Muppet Caper & Muppet Treasure Island - 2 Movie Collection
Come to Bluray/DVD Combo Pack on Dec 10
The Great Muppet Caper & Muppet Treasure Island - 2 Movie Collection arrives on bluray/DVD combo pack on December 10th, just in time for Christmas!  See all your favourites: Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Gonzo, Beeker, and Professor Honeydew!

Movie Synopsis:
"Two of the funniest, most action-packed Muppet movies of all time make their Disney Blu-ray debut in a 2-Movie Collection. From the special star-studded lunacy in Muppet Treasure Island to the jewel-heist hilarity of The Great Muppet Caper, these two classic comedy-adventures are packed with mirth, mayhem.  Jim Henson’s whodunit heist-movie The Great Muppet Caper and the silly and swashbuckling high-seas adventure, Muppet Treasure Island, both restored and remastered, are loaded with unforgettable music and special effects."
Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition Comes to Bluray/DVD Combo Pack on Dec 10
I'm looking forward to owning Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition and sharing this classic Disney movie with my children.  I think that they'll be amused by how Jane and Michael Banks are naughty to their new nanny, Mary Poppins, but how Mary teaches the children an important lesson!  It releases to Bluray/DVD combo pack on December 10th!

Movie Synopsis:
"Releasing from the Disney Vault in celebration of its 50th Anniversary, creative visionary Walt Disney’s classic shines for the first time on Blu-ray. Starring Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews in her Academy-Award winning role, and featuring iconic toe-tapping songs including “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” Mary Poppins is a movie experience your family will enjoy again and again. An all-new digital restoration adds even more magic – helping bring the award-winning songs and amazing picture to life like never before."
The Lone Ranger Comes to Bluray/DVD Combo Pack on Dec 17 
Disney's The Lone Ranger is a movie that I sadly missed when it came to theatres, but I've been eager to see.  I'm especially excited to see Johnny Depp in his role as Tonto, as he's very amusing and an exceptional actor.  It comes to bluray/DVD combo pack on December 17th!

Movie Synopsis:

"Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer star in The Lone Ranger, from Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Director Gore Verbinski. It’s a wild ride of high velocity action, explosions and gunfights that brings the famed masked legend to life through brand-new eyes. The Lone Ranger (Hammer), the last of his kind, teams with Tonto (Depp), a dark and mysterious vigilante, to seek vengeance after justice has failed them. It’s a runaway train of epic surprises, as these two unlikely heroes must learn to work together before the ultimate showdown between good and evil explodes."

Have you seen any of these Disney movies in the theatre?  Which one or ones would you and/or your family enjoying seeing the most?  

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Record a FREE Group Greeting on the Vello App & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

Vello Is a FREE Group eGreeting App!
For the Holidays, are you looking for a meaningful gesture that incorporates other friends, co-workers or family members?  Have you heard of the FREE Vello app that allows you to record a group e-greeting, from wherever in the world your group members are situated?  It also allows an e-gift card to be purchased for the special occasion (optional)!
The Look of Vello: Many Faces!
It's simple: download the FREE Vello app on your Apple device, and record a 6-second video greeting.  Then have friends, family or co-workers add to your greeting--even if they are on the opposite side of the globe.  Lastly, add a gift card (optional), and send your eCard!

http://www.velloapp.com

Vello is great for Christmas wishes, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, baby showers and holidays!  It's FUN to record the group greeting and then play back the entire message!  That's one message with big personality!  It's also easy to send an e-gift to the card recipient through the app (optional).

Vello group video eCards make gifting a breeze with digital gift cards (optional), from places like Bon Appetit (Swiss Chalet, Harvey's Kelsey's, Montana's Cookhouse and Milestones) and Kernels.  Depending on country, other gift cards are also available!  The Vello app is brought to you by the same people as Card Swap, (buy gift cards to major retailers and save; sell your unwanted gift cards for cash).

Follow Vello App on Social Media!
Vello App on Facebook
Vello App on Twitter
Vello App Website


Take a look at this Vello greeting, VIDEO below, to get an idea of how it works!

 
CONTEST! (~OVER~)

WINNER: Doreen H.

WIN a $50.00 CDN/USD gift card of your choice (subject to availability) from SnyMed.com and the Vello App!  Contest open Worldwide, and ends Monday December 23rd, 2013 at 8:00pm EST.  Please read contest instructions carefully.  Thank you!



How to Enter:

1.Download the FREE Vello app to your Apple device (iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, etc).
2.Record a 6-second e-greeting on the Vello app, and ADD it to my own greeting above, by entering code: DZT437.  (Examples include a Season's Greeting or a "Hello" to Jenna Em or SnyMed.com.)
3.Use the entry form, below, to enter the contest!
4.Please leave a COMMENT below so I know who made added a video.

No swearing, nudity, racial slurs or any inappropriate content, as this is a family blog.  One entry per person.

GOOD LUCK!

What do you think of the Vello app to record a group e-greeting?  Do you like the idea of being able to send a gift card along with the message?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Simpsons Season 16 Comes to Bluray/DVD December 3rd & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

The Simpsons: The 16th Season Comes to Blu-Ray & DVD December 3rd!
The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season, is finally coming to bluray and DVD on December 3rd, 2013!  I say "finally", because the 16th season first debuted in 2004, almost 10 years ago.  If you follow the Simpsons at all, you'll know that it's the longest-running scripted show in television history.  As of 2013, it is up to the season's 25th season (it's season premiere was on December 17, 1989)!  The show is an animated series that is targetted to teens and adults, as the humour can sometimes take on a mature tone.

Professor Frink Fact Sheet
Synopsis:
Season 16 of the The Simpsons includes all 21 hilarious episodes, tons of meticulously slapped together special features, plus a veritable who’s who of celebrity guest voices, including Fantasia Barrino, Jason Bateman, Gary Busey, James Caan, Stephen Hawking, Eric Idle, Jane Kaczmarek, Lucy Liu, Liam Neeson, Amy Poehler, Ray Romano and many more!  The movie collection runs for over 8 hours too!


What Do You "Frink" of the Simpsons Sixteenth Season?
Special Features:
• Greetings, Junior Scienteers! 
• Sketch Galleries
• Special Language Feature (Pranksta Rap) 
• Living in the Moment
• Animation Showcase – Future Drama ACT 1
• Bonus Episode  – Holidays of Future Past
• Deleted Scenes
• Audio Commentaries on all Episodes
• Easter Eggs

Subtitles: English / French / Spanish
Total Run Time: 483 minutes
Closed Captioned: Yes

The Simpson's Season 16 Episode List:
Episode 1   Treehouse of Horror XV
Episode 2   All's Fair in Oven War
Episode 3   Sleeping with the Enemy
Episode 4   She Used to Be My Girl
Episode 5   Fat Man and Little Boy
Episode 6   Midnight Rx
Episode 7   Mommie Beerest
Episode 8   Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass
Episode 9   Pranksta Rap
Episode 10   There's Something About Marrying
Episode 11   On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister
Episode 12   Goo Goo Gai Pan
Episode 13   Mobile Homer
Episode 14   The Seven-Beer Snitch
Episode 15   Future-Drama
Episode 16   Don't Fear the Roofer
Episode 17   The Heartbroke Kid
Episode 18   A Star Is Torn
Episode 19   Thank God, It's Doomsday
Episode 20   Home Away From Homer

Episode 21   The Father, The Son, and The Holy Guest Star

CONTEST (~OVER~)

WINNER: Gwen H.

WIN The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season on Blu-Ray from SnyMed.com!  Contest open to both Canada & the USA, and ends on Monday December 23rd, 2013.  Winner please note that prize will not likely be shipped in time for Christmas.  Thank you for your understanding.


How to Enter:
Leave a COMMENT below stating your favourite The Simpsons character OR episode OR who you'd love to WIN this for!  Then, use the entry form, below, to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!

Explore the 2013 Holiday Gift Guides & 2013 Hot Toys from SnyMed.com!

Have you checked out the 2013 Holiday Gift Guide from SnyMed.com?  It features the season's hottest gifts for adults and children, like apparel, electronics toys and movies!  The 2013 Holiday Gift Guide will be updated regularly up until Christmas!  We encourage you to bookmark the page and come back often!

Just looking for toys?  Check out the 2013 Hot Toys section of SnyMed.com!  Find the season's hottest toys, movies, apparel and more!  The 2013 Hot Toys section will be updated regularly up until Christmas!  Feel free to bookmark the page to check back regularly!

What's on your wishlist this year for the Holidays?  What are you looking for for others on your list?  Have you started your shopping yet?  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Kinder Supports Children's Miracle Network With "A Joy to Share"! FREE Kinder Mini Eggs Too!

Fill Your "Stockings" With Kinder Holiday-Themed Chocolates!
One of the great things about being a Kinder Mom is all the sweet surprises that show up for the kids on my doorstep!  Take these Christmas and holiday-themed Kinder Surprise chocolates, for instance!  They are so adorable, festive and of course tasty!  When a box of Holiday Kinder chocolate eggs arrived for my kids last week, I was surrounded by a group of merry-making "elves"!    

Of course, the usual discussions took place: who would snag the giant Kinder egg, (and the Kinder Christmas tree, the chocolate Kinder Santa, and the packages of mini Kinder eggs)!  My kids are meticulous when it comes to dividing up Kinder chocolate, to the point of it being a science!  Kinder chocolate is very serious business in our household!
Dreaming of Kinder Chocolate! 
I decided that the Kinder Mini Eggs would be put to good use in a picnic lunch I packed for the kids this weekend.  They were hugely popular with the kids and they enjoyed unwrapping each of the little eggs and enjoying the chocolatey treat.  (Note: the Mini Eggs are NOT peanut-free due to the hazelnut centre.)

I'm planning on keeping a package of the Kinder Mini Eggs in my purse to pull out for "emergencies", such as a scraped knee, or a grocery store meltdown.  Hey, Kinder chocolate cures tears and tantrums too!
A Picnic Lunch With Kinder Mini Eggs
NOT Peanut-Free
For the second year in a row, Kinder has partnered with Children’s Miracle Network for the “A Joy To Share” program!  This is one of the ways that Kinder is helping bring joy to families this holiday season.  As families come together this holiday season, it's a wonderful opportunity to teach our little ones (and loved ones) about what it means to help others.   

Make a Greeting Card For "A Joy to Share", get FREE Kinder Mini Eggs!
A Joy to Share isn’t just a donation, it's a call to action for Canadian moms and kids to create a greeting card as a means to share some holiday joy with other kids and their families at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals this holiday season.  For every greeting card that is created, Kinder will donate $1.00 to the Children’s Miracle Network, to a maximum of $25,000!  Click HERE to create your own greeting card--the first 10,000 people to create a greeting will receive a coupon for a FREE pack of Kinder Mini Eggs!
You Can Spread Joy With Kinder A Joy To Share Program!
I'm very fortunate to have children who enjoy sharing and "giving back" to other children in need.  In early December every year, our family (and kids) have a tradition that unused toys, books and clothing are donated to kids in need.  My older kids actually start collecting items to giveaway on their very own initiative!  Throughout the year, the kids also enjoy raising money for autism, for "Terry Fox", "Jump Rope for Heart", and other community-driven initiatives.      


My Family's Greeting Card
My kids were excited to create their own greeting card for the Kinder "A Joy to Share" program!  The idea of bringing holiday cheer to other kids and their families at Children's Miracle Network hospital really make my kids happy!  My oldest son believes that "when the kids and their families get so many cards, they will know that we care about them and have a happy holiday, even though they're celebrating in the hospital."

Will you make a Kinder "A Joy to Share" greeting card this year to support Children's Miracle Network?  Would any child you know enjoy finding a Kinder chocolate treat in their Christmas stocking?    

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

Take Power Rangers Monopoly Home for the Holidays! 20th Anniversary Edition!

As a proud Saban Brandbassador, my family gets to try out the hottest toys and swag from Saban Brands!  Just last week, this awesome The Power Rangers 20th Anniversary Monopoly arrived on our doorstep!  It was great timing, as we had planned a family game night on Sunday night.

Power Up for a Power Rangers Family Game Night!
This special edition board game lets players buy, sell and trade iconic locations spanning the entire 20-year Power Rangers legacy!  Some locations include The Power Chamber, The Command Center, Rita Repulsa's Palace and more.  And Power Rangers fans will love that the game comes with 6 collectible tokens: Lightning Bolt, Alpha 5, Megazord, White Ranger Helmet, Goldar and Power Morpher!

Monopoly: The Power Rangers 20th Anniversary Edition retails for $39.95 USD, and is available at Amazon.com and Go! Toys & Game stores.
Good Times With Power Rangers Monopoly
My kids really enjoyed playing Monopoly: The Power Rangers 20th Anniversary Edition.  My husband and I liked that it was a fun variation on an old favourite.  We are all excited to add it to our game collection and include it as part of our family game night tradition!
What are your favourite board games and do you have a family game night?  What do you think of the Power Rangers 20th Anniversary Edition Monopoly?  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Make Rice Krispies Squares: Princess, Racecar, Dinosaur, Robot & Train! With Full Printable Instructions!

Dad & The Boys Making Rice Krispies Squares!
My kids love to make (and eat) Kellogg's Rice Krispies squares for special holidays and events: birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, Valentine's Day, and more.  They also love to help out kids both locally and nationally.  This week they had a chance to do both, and decided to participate in the Rice Krispies Treats for Toys programme from Kellogg's, which funds toys for children across Canada via The Salvation Army.
Rice Krispies Treats for Toys Has Potential To Raise Up to $30,000
At this time of year, it especially hits home for my kids that while they are receiving gifts for the Holidays, other children may not be as fortunate.  My kids begin clearing out unused toys, games, books and clothing in November, and we try to gift them to charity by early December.

Rice Krispies Treats for Toys Programme
It's simple to participate in The Rice Krispies Treats for Toys Programme!  Just make a toy-shaped treat using Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal, take a photo with a digital camera or smartphone, and upload the photo to RiceKrispies.ca.  For every original photo uploaded to the website, Kellogg's will donate $20 to The Salvation Army, up to a maximum of $30,000!  The Salvation Army will use this donation to purchase toys for kids in need across Canada this holiday season.  It's easy for you to participate too, click here for more details!   
The Rice Krispies Decorating Kit Used In This Blog Post!
We first started with this Rice Krispies decorating kit, that you see above.  The Rice Krispies recipe itself is quite simply, and consists of Rice Krispies, marshmallows and butter (or margarine).  The original Kellogg's Rice Krispies squares recipe can be seen here, and I've copied it from the Rice Krispies website, below.

Kellogg's Rice Krispies Squares Recipe
INGREDIENTS
50    ml

  • 1/4 cup
  • margarine or butter
    1.25    L

  • 5 cups
  • miniature or 40 regular (250 g pkg) marshmallows
    2    ml

  • 1/2 tsp
  • vanilla extract (optional)
    1.5    L

  • 6 cups
  • Cereals Rice Krispies* cereal
    PREPARATION

    Stove Top Directions:


    1. In large saucepan over low heat, melt margarine. Add marshmallows; stir until melted and well blended. Remove from heat.
    2. Stir in vanilla. Add cereal, stirring until coated.   


    Getting Ready to Make Rice Krispies Squares!
    The kids were glad to don aprons and help make the special Treats for Toys Rice Krispies squares!  In this recipe we used the regular Rice Krispies cereal, but you can also use the Holiday kind, shown above (center)...or any of the other varieties (gluten-free, etc).

    We decided to create a Rice Krispies squares princess to submit to The Rice Krispies Treats for Toys Programme, shown below.  I have included the "proper" instructions to make the princess, below, but I'll tell you how I made it (as I did not follow the instructions).  When the Rice Krispies mixture was complete (melted butter and marshmallows coating the Rice Krispies cereal), I sculpted the princess, below.  It was done when the mixture was still warm, and  NOT after it had cooled in the fridge.
    Our Princess Made From Rice Krispies Squares!
    On a greased sheet, I made a round ball for the princess's head and pressed it flat.  Then, I added a rectangular neck, attached it to a triangle dress, stuck on 2 rectangle arms, and 2 rectangle legs.  I made a princess crown by using a rectangle for the base of the crown, and added 3 rectangle peaks for the crown.  I made the wand by hand-sculpting a long, thin rectangle and attaching a small ball on top.

    While still warm, I added a Smarties face and attached it with icing sugar.  I cute a Smarties candy in half to make the nose.  I used Smarties to also decorate the crown and wand with "jewels".  Icing sugar made the princess's face, hair, heart and embellishments.  "Tangy Zangy" (or any flat ribbon candy) made the princess "dress", and "Tangy Zangy" (or any long thin tube candy) added length to the princess's hair, wand, and trimmed her dress.  Everything was glued down by icing sugar.  I also used candy sugar "sparkles" to add a little bit of fun to the princess!

    How to Make a Princess Out of Rice Krispies!
    How To Make a Rice Krispies Princess
    Click This Image, Above, To Get a Downloadable/Printable Copy!
    How to Make a Racecar Out of Rice Krispies!
    How To Make a Rice Krispies Racecar
    Click This Image, Above, To Get a Downloadable/Printable Copy!
    How to Make a Rice Krispies Dinosaur!
    How To Make a Rice Krispies Dinosaur
    Click This Image, Above, To Get a Downloadable/Printable Copy!
    How to Make a Rice Krispies Robot!
    How To Make a Rice Krispies Robot
    Click This Image, Above, To Get a Downloadable/Printable Copy!
    How to Make a Rice Krispies Train!
    How To Make a Rice Krispies Train
    Click This Image, Above, To Get a Downloadable/Printable Copy!
    Do your kids or grandkids enjoy making Rice Krispies squares with you?  What is your favourite Rice Krispies creation shown on this blog (ie: princess, racecar, dinosaur, robot or train)?  Would you be interested in creating your own for "Rice Krispies Treats for Toys"?

    Saturday, November 23, 2013

    Canada Goose Kid's Grizzly Snowsuit Bites Winter Back!

    Canada Goose "Grizzly" Snowsuit in Sunset Orange!
    If you've followed my blog for a while, you'll know that I'm Canadian and always looking for a way to defeat the winter!  I know that Toronto's climate is not the same as the Arctic, but -40°C/F with windchill is really nothing to sneeze at!  Which is why I'm always looking for solutions to keep my family warm and protected even in the most frigid Canadian weather.

    Have you heard of Canada Goose outerwear?  It has been made in Canada since 1957!  I first spied down-filled Canada Goose parkas with fur-lined hoods at our local high school.  It was very popular with the students there, and I saw dozens of white, black and red Canada Goose winter jackets.  The kids looked "cool", but clearly stayed warm.

    My kids take a long time getting out the door in the morning, especially during the winter.  With hats, scarves, mittens, and boots to put on, getting ready seems endless.  On those particularly S-L-O-W mornings, I appreciate the invention of a one-piece snowsuit.  Canada Goose carries one piece snow suits in sizes newborn  to 6/7.
    One Happy "Grizzly" In His Canada Goose Snowsuit!
    The Canada Goose kid's Grizzly snowsuit is an incredibly well-made product, made from an abrasion-resistant and durable micro-stop fabric.  Of great importance, the fabric is also water-resistant: a must to keep children dry and warm in the winter.  The Grizzly is incredibly warm with 625 fill power white duck down as its insulation.  The snowsuit features a removable hood and a removable coyote fur ruff.    

    Some great features of the Canada Goose Grizzly snowsuit include reinforced seat and knees (with additional waterproof layers in these areas), reinforced elbow patches for durability, reflective tape on the snowsuit for added visibility, storm flap over centre front zipper to keep out the elements, rib knit cuffs to keep out the cold, seals at bottom of the snowsuit to keep snow out of boots, and a "Gosling Graduate System" which allows the sleeves to lengthen by 1.5" and the legs by 2" so your child gets another season out of the snowsuit.
    Canada Goose!
    The snowsuit is also easy to care for: just remove the fur ruff, machine wash cold in a front-loading washer, and tumble dry on low.  Easy!

    The Grizzly comes in 3 kid's sizes: sizes 2/3, 4/5 and 6/7.  I would be delighted to see sizes 8 and 10 also offered, as my 8-year old does not fit into the upper size range, though my 5-year old does.  The Canada Goose Grizzly snowsuit comes in 14 spectacular colours (from left to right, top row): Aurora Green, Arctic Surf, Arctic Tundra, Arctic Dusk, Black, Blue Topaz, Mid Grey, Military Green, (from left to right, bottom row): Ocean, Red, Spirit, Summit Pink, Sunset Orange and Tan.  The snowsuit shown predominantly in this blog post is Sunset Orange. 
    Canada Goose's Grizzly Snowsuit Comes In 14 Wintertastic Colours!
    I had my two eldest sons try out the Grizzly snowsuit and found that the size 6/7 best fit my child wearing size 6 (with lots of room), instead of my child wearing a size 7/8.  My oldest child loves the colour orange and absolutely fell in love with the snowsuit!  He was very warm and happy wearing it to school and raved about it!  I have no doubt that he will be super warm wearing the Grizzly snowsuit on the very coldest days of winter.

    If you are looking for a solution to extreme winter weather for your child, the Grizzly snowsuit offers an extreme cold weather remedy!  Find the Grizzly snowsuit for $495 CDN at these fine stores.
    The Grizzly Snowsuit Shown in Red
    Follow Canada Goose on Social Media!
    Canada Goose on Facebook
    Canada Goose on Twitter
    Canada Goose on Instagram
    Canada Goose Website

    How do you dress your kids or grandkids so you know that they're warm for winter?  Do they ever complain of the cold?  Have you heard of Canada Goose and did you know that Canada Goose carried kid's snowsuits?

    Friday, November 22, 2013

    Check Mattel.ca for Barbie Dreamhouse, Hotwheels, Fisher-Price & Thomas!

    The Barbie Dreamhouse Instore!
    When it comes to finding gifts for the Holidays, I'm a Mother-on-a-Mission trying to track down the Hot Toys on my 5 kids' wish lists!  I try to leave myself plenty of time, and purchase the items on their lists well before December.  However, sometimes there's a crimp in my plans when the kids make last minute changes to their want list.  That's when I'm left scrambling and all chaos breaks loose!

    One year, my son became obsessed with Spiderman films in December, and wanted the complete Spidey animated movie collection.  Unfortunately for me, the collection was sold in separate volumes and were not all stocked in the same store!  So off I went driving all across downtown Toronto AND the GTA.  The roads were snowy, the malls jammed, and another parent almost snatched the last Spidey copy from my own hand--but well worth it for my son's smiles and enjoyment!

    Every Christmas season, I try to gauge what each of my children would like for the Holidays.  My oldest kids will ask me for specific items, whereas the littles need a little bit of guidance and I usually buy toys based on their favourite characters or interests.  I also read a lot of online reviews and get gift recommendations from friends with kids who are the same age as mine.

    2013 Hot Toy! Barbie Dreamhouse Dollhouse
    This year my daughter asked for The Barbie Dreamhouse, which I agreed to with pleasure!  As she was very impatient for it, we agreed to an "early Christmas" and set up the dream house.  If you are looking for a dollhouse for your daughter or grandchild, look no further!  The Barbie Dreamhouse is FANTASTIC: both fun and glamorous!

    There are TONS of Barbie furniture like a canopy bed with sheets and pillow, toilet, couch, dining room table and chairs, a wardrobe with hangers, and more.  The tiny Barbie accessories include cutlery, drinks with straws, a roast turkey on a plate, an icecream sundae, a dog and dog bed and much more!  The Dreamhouse also features a musical doorbell, toilet, mirror and more.  There's even 2 elevators in the dreamhouse: one for Barbie, and one for her wardrobe!  Of course because it's Barbie, everything's either pink or purple!

    As my daughter is 7-years old, I wondered if the dollhouse would be too young for her, but it has given her (and her 4 brothers) hours and hours of enjoyment!  The Dreamhouse is recommended for children ages 3- to 8-years old.  Takes  AA batteries (not included).  Does not include Barbie dolls.  Please allow 2 hours to set up the dollhouse (so don't leave the task for Christmas morning if you can help it)!


    As a busy mom of 5 kids aged 8-years and under, I do a lot of online research before buying my kids' presents for the Holidays.  This research includes where to buy the toys, the cost, age-appropriateness, and availability of the items.  Whether I purchase online and save myself time by having it delivered to my home, or call ahead to the store to put the item on hold for me, this frees up a lot of time in my day and helps keep the Holiday gift scramble at bay!

    Did you know that Mattel.ca features great toy brands like Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, Barbie, Monster High and Thomas & Friends?  There you can browse all the hottest toys for the 2013 Holiday season, make a wish list, and even share your wishlist with family and friends!  Similarly, you can shop for the toys on their wishlist, if friends and family provide you with their wishlist link!  I really love the wishlist feature on the Mattel website, and it takes the guesswork out of giving.  I can now just tell Grandma and Grandpa to pick a toy from my Mattel.ca wishlist!  It's easy!

    What toys are your kids or grandkids requesting for the Holidays this year?  Have you already bought and put away the gifts, or do you plan to shop in the future?

    Disclosure: I am part of the Mattel Holiday 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. 

    Thursday, November 21, 2013

    Sorel's Joan of Arctic Boots Put Winter In Its Place!

    Sorel Footwear's "Joan of Arctic" Winter Boots for Women
    I am Canadian and don't let the weather keep me indoors.  Even in the very worst weather, when there's hardly a soul around, you can see me outside with the kids tobogganing, building snowmen, "igloos" and even walking for fitness in the frigid weather.  To prepare myself for subzero weather, I just bundle myself up with a hat, scarf and warm gloves and I'm ready to go.  I own a parka and am not afraid to wear it!  And for the first time ever this year, I own a pair of snow pants!  YAHOO!

    But up until last week, I was a Canadian devoid of winter boots.  My last year's ones, which I unaffectionately called "space boots", had cracked and were letting ice water seep onto my freezing feet!  The boots had to go immediately, but that meant finding a great replacement pair this year.  If you're a busy mom, you'll know that getting a chance to go boot shopping is not a common occurrence.  So I began my search online, looking for a brand that would survive the Canadian winter: which meant warm, waterproof, comfortable, dry...and okay, cute!

    I began searching on Sorel Footwear's Website because I had owned a great pair of winter boots that had lasted me for almost a decade many years prior!  No, not the "space boots" that I mentioned earlier, but a wonderful pair that had kept me warm through blizzards, ice rain, and dog walking on the coldest days of the year.  My kids have also owned Sorel winter boots over the years, and they have been handed down reliably from child to child.
    A Closer Look at Sorel's Joan of Arctic Boots
    I fell in love with Sorel's Joan of Arctic boot that not only had a cute name, but was also a cute boot with the tuft of faux fur on top!  The pair you see above is in "tobacco/sudan brown" colour.  The boot is beautifully rated at -32° Celsius/-25° fahrenheit, which is great for women who want toasty warm feet in the winter!  And listen to this: the boots feature seam-sealed waterproof construction, and waterproof full-grain and suede upper.  I like that Joan of Arctic boots measure about 12" in height, so I don't get a bootful of snow when I'm walking in a snowdrift.  I found the boots comfortable to wear.    

    Other features include a removable 6mm recycled felt InnerBoot for added warmth, and a 25mm bonded felt frost plug.  A fantastic feature on those melty days is the handcrafted waterproof vulcanized rubber shell with herringbone outsole.  The boots are very well made and cost $190 CDN on Sorel Footwear.ca, which is well worth the price for a boot that will last for many years to come.

    The Joan of Arctic winter boots come in Tobacco/Sudan Brown, Black/Sail Red, Shale, Curry and Black colours.
    Sorel's Joan of Arctic Boot Is Fairly Tall - Great for Stepping Into Snowdrifts!
    Sorel's Joan of Arctic winter boots were intended to be worn as tie-up boots, but can also be slipped on if the laces are slightly loosened.  They also have 2 handles on each side of the boot, which really helps when pulling up these tallish boots.  I do find them a little hard to pull off (though easier than rain boots!), but this can be remedied by loosening the laces.  I also love that the boots come in half sizes, as I often end up with a pair of boots that are too loose.  The boots are available in full and half sizes from women's sizes 5 to 11...and also in full-sized 12!   

    I would highly recommend Sorel's Joan of Arctic winter boots for any woman who wants to stay warm, dry, comfortable and cute this winter!  If you have a harsh winter to contend with, then these boots will be a great asset!

    Follow Sorel Footwear on Social Media!

    Do you have a very warm pair of winter boots that you can depend on?  Have you ever tried Sorel winter boots?  Have you ever suffered with ice cold feet in the winter?

    Wednesday, November 20, 2013

    Turbo Movie Is Now on Bluray/DVD Combo Pack & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

    Turbo Is Now on Bluray/DVD Combo Pack!
    I love underdog films and always have enjoyed watching the least likely winner (with the good heart) coming out in first place!  My kid also love cheering for the underdog, and loved the movie Turbo, which we saw during the summer in the movie theatre--and more recently on bluray!  Turbo just came out on bluray/DVD combo pack last week and it's a great gift for the Holidays!
    Never Give Up On Your Dreams!
    Turbo is about the snail of the same name who dreams of going fast like a racecar.  All the other snails laugh at him for wanting to be something that goes against his nature.  But that doesn't stop Turbo from dreaming and trying to increase his speed.  However, a freak accident gives Turbo special powers that turn him into a snail of great speed, and his dream of racing seems closer than ever.  Along the way, Turbo makes some great friends, both snail and human, who also believe in his dream and his abilities.  With the backing of his new supporters, Turbo registers to be in the Indianapolis 500...and you'll have to see the movie to find out what happens then!

    My family enjoyed watching Turbo very much, enough to own it on bluray.  It was a nicely animated, funny film with a good message for the kids: no dream is too big, and with perseverance (and a good heart) anything is possible!  Turbo makes a great gift for the Holidays that will be enjoyed viewing after viewing!

    VIDEO: See the movie trailer of Turbo, below:


    CONTEST! (~OVER~)

    WINNER: To be announced shortly...

    WIN the Turbo movie on Bluray/DVD combo pack from SnyMed.com!  Open to Canada & USA, ends Wednesday December 11th, 2013.  Please note that we cannot guarantee Christmas delivery for the winner, although every attempt will be made.  Thank you for your understanding.

    How to Enter:
    Leave a COMMENT below stating a big dream you once had, whether it came true or not OR tell me the fastest you've ever run--and why!  Then use the entry form below, to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013

    Imaginext Rescue City Center with Ed Venture & CONTEST!

    The Imaginext Rescue City Center !
    The last 2.5 years of my son's life have been spent with one favourite past time: playing cars with me!  Why he thinks that his mom is more fun to play with than his 3 brothers or 1 sister, I'll never know.  But we play cars together and do so daily.  Two scenarios that my 4-year old son loves to play out include: cars running out of gas and needing help getting refueled, or cars having "broken" tires and needing help from a tow truck.  My son is also fanatical that we know all the "names" of his cars, and we refer to each by his or her name!

    My boys were elated when the Imaginext Rescue City Center arrived at our house!  It's a playset with a firetruck, 2 action figures, and lots of accessories for the town and the rescue guys.  The Center features flashing lights, siren sounds, and recorded fire fighter and police dispatcher phrases!  The boys were very impressed, and I'm sad to say that there were tears and a "biting" incident over it--but everyone's okay!  We played with it for HOURS after it arrived, and then for HOURS the next morning.  My 4-year old was crazy about rushing over with the fire engine to put out the "fire" in the hotel!
    Engrossed in Play: The Boys With The Imaginext Rescue City Center!
    More Features of the Imaginext Rescue City Center!
    • Gas station with gas pump, Bank with switch-activated vault and barred door, Hotel with jewelry store (with switch-activated "flames" that can be extinguished), Police Station with switch-activated jail, and Hospital with revolving door and elevator (includes x-ray machine and gurney)!
    • Fire Station with flashing lights and switch-activated door for fire truck!  Fire truck activated voice communication ("ActionTech" Technology) between truck and station which broadcasts dispatcher information to the truck.  Firetruck can extinguish "flames" with shooting projectiles!
    See my three youngest boys playing with the Imaginext Rescue City Center, in the Vine VIDEO below!


    Imaginext has just introduced new Ed Venture content, including Ed as a fireman (in the Imaginext Rescue City Center), dino warrior, and a knight!  Imaginext's vision is "to empower and inspire kids through imaginative play that helps them build confidence, solve problems and discover who they are".  Imaginext also prides themselves on providing "preschool appropriate entry into the exciting world of action and adventure play!"

    Imaginext is very pleased to have launched an Imaginext kid-directed and parent-directed site!  There you can watch a 22-minutes pilot video based on the Imaginext castle theme to introduce Ed Venture, his friends and their adventures!  This free episode is action-packed and worth checking out!  By the way, Imaginext is by Fisher-Price!

    CONTEST (CANADA)!
    Have you visited the new Imaginext CONTEST microsite?  Play an online game by solving clues and unlock the next phase of the game.  Win the game by solving all 9 clues and be entered to WIN 1 of 5 $300 Imaginext prize packs!   Each prize pack includes the following: Imaginext Rescue City CentreImaginext Mega ApatasaurusImaginext Eagle Talon Castle and Imaginext Batcave!  Contest open to Canada, ends December 13th.  See Rules and Regulations.  GOOD LUCK!



    What is your child's or grand-child's obsession (ie: cars, princesses, dragons, pirates, fairies, etc)?  What is he or she asking for Christmas this year, and do you think that he or she would love an Imaginext playset like the one mentioned above?  

    Disclosure: I am part of the Fisher-Price Imaginext 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.

    Monday, November 18, 2013

    Take the Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Challenge! FREE Sample to Try!

    Take the Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Challenge Today!
    I take very good care of my teeth: brushing multiple times per day, flossing once per day, and visiting the dentist twice per year to have my teeth cleaned.  In addition, I try to make healthier food choices so my teeth don't get cavities or become stained.  Regardless of my good oral health, I still have teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold foods.  I'm not talking about foods hot enough to burn a tongue either, just regular hot.  Perhaps it runs in my family, as I remember my paternal grandmother using a special sensitive toothpaste when I was a child.
    My Smile :)
    In an effort to keep my sensitive teeth at bay, I usually let all hot beverages cool to room temperature, and won't eat or drink anything straight out of the fridge or freezer.  To do otherwise will send a little jolt of pain into my teeth.  Such has been my routine for many years, and it has been like second nature to me.  My kids always look perplexed when I pour myself a cup of tea, but won't drink it until 30 minutes later.  Interestingly, my maternal grandmother also has this same habit, so I'm guessing that I have sensitive teeth on both sides of my family!

    Having sensitive teeth is not the only challenge I've had to overcome recently: just 2 months ago I had to move houses--with all 5 kids home for the summer holidays!  Yes, there was a crimp in our plans: we had to vacate our old house by 6:00pm, but did not know when we would receive the keys to our new home!  And the plot began to thicken when our movers brought a van too small for our household's items, and the seller's real estate agent forgot to hand us the key to the front door!  But I digress!

    Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Helps With Sensitive Teeth
    Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Challenge!
    Have you heard of The Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Challenge?  It encourages people with sensitive teeth to sign up for a free trial-sized tube sample (22ml) of Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste, and then to try the product!  It also comes with a coupon for $1 off Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste.  More details about the FREE sample, below!       

    I recently took The Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Challenge, and started by ordering my free sample tube of toothpaste.  It arrived quickly with a $1 off coupon.  I began by rubbing a bit of the new toothpaste into one of my most sensitive teeth for 1 minute.  Then I took ice cold hummus spread from my fridge (which would usually trigger tooth sensitivity), dipped some pita bread into it and took a bite.  A little jolt of pain hit me right away: but not from the treated tooth.  The pain was from another (untreated) tooth--and the treated tooth felt less sensitive than it had previously.
    Very Cold or Hot Foods Set Off My Sensitive Teeth
    For 2 weeks now, I've brushed twice daily with the Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste, and I have noticed that my tooth sensitivity seems less than it was prior.  It's definitely an improvement, and I'm glad that I tried it!      

    Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Toothpaste & Colgate Toothbrush for Sensitive Teeth
    Here's what they say about the toothpaste:

    "Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste is formulated to shield and repair sensitive teeth for long-lasting protection (with regular use). Most other sensitivity toothpastes contain potassium nitrate, which primarily numbs the tooth nerve, masking the pain of tooth sensitivity, and will take 2 weeks of use before relief is delivered. Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste works by plugging the channels that lead to the sensitive tooth nerves, to block the pain. With regular use, it builds a long-lasting protective barrier that acts like a seal against sensitivity."

    FREE Sample of Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief to TRY!

    GET your FREE Sample of Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, here!  Limit 1 sample per Canadian household.  TRY it by rubbing the toothpaste directly on a sensitive tooth with your fingertip and gently massage for 1 minute.  Drink or eat something that triggers your tooth sensitivity, and discover the instant relief and freshness of Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste!

    Do you have sensitive teeth or any tooth complaints?  Have you ordered your FREE sample of Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief yet?  

    Disclosure: I am part of the Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief 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.
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