Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What's YOUR Dream Vacation? KFC Bucket List Contest! (2 CONTESTS!)

Visiting Lightning McQueen & Tow Mater
at Walt Disney World (2012)!
If you could win a dream vacation to anywhere in the world, what destination would you choose--and who would you bring with you?  As the mom to 5 young kids, my dream destination would have to be family-friendly with lots to do and see with the kids.  Here's my "bucket list" of some places that I'd love to explore as a family!  Some of these places I've already visited before, and would love to see again! 

1.Walt Disney World, Disneyland or a Disney Cruise - My family had such a fantastic time in Walt Disney World when we visited in December 2012, that I would love to go soon!  Seeing my kids' favourite characters like Tow Mater, Mickey Mouse, and Pooh Bear was such a thrill!  To this day, my kids still talk about the rides, the shows, and our time in Orlando, Florida.

My family has never been to Disneyland, and it would be a dream to take the kids to Cars Land in California where they could walk through "Radiator Spring" (the imaginary town in the Disney Cars movies).  My 5-year old is the biggest cars and Tow Mater fan that ever lived.

We have also never been on a Disney Cruise--or any cruise for that matter--and don't think that we would ever forget it.  One day I know I'll take my family on such a magical cruise...
Loving Maui, Hawaii (2001)
2.Maui, Hawaii - Before having had children, my husband and I had visited Hawaii twice - and we fell in love with the island of Maui!  Maui is such a beautiful island surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, which is always directly in front of you or just over your shoulder.  Beaches are everywhere and there is such a relaxed feeling on the island.  I'd love to take my kids to visit Hawaii - and I know that they would also fall in love with it!

3.The Galapagos Islands - Many years ago my husband and I had a choice: to either visit The Galapagos Islands and deplete our savings, or plan a trip in the distant future.  We chose the latter and missed the opportunity to travel before having our family.  It would be a dream to visit The Galapagos and see 100-year old tortoises--and penguins and seals who have not yet learned to fear man.  One day.

4.Australia - My husband and I have never been to Australia before, but we both would love to visit!  The climate is spectacular, the local accent charming, beautiful beaches abound, and I'd love to snorkel the coral reefs with exotic and fantastic sealife.  And yes, I'd like to see kangaroos and koalas in their natural environment.  Unless good fortune smiles on me, a family vacation to the beautiful Australia will have to wait a while.
Enjoying One of Ontario's Many Lakes (2012)
5.Canada - Canada is my homeland, and yet I've not explored most of it.  I'd love to visit Vancouver's westcoast, or the eastern Maritimes (PEI, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick).  I'd also love to explore more of Ontario in the summer, and swim in a pristine northern lake with a soft, sandy bottom.  I'd love to go so far north in Ontario, that I'd hear the call of the loon and see the northern lights during the same stay.  Part of this dream will come true, as my family hopes to visit some Ontario lakes this summer!
WIN $10,000 to Build Your Own Dream Vacation
with KFC Bucket List Contest!
Are you looking to WIN your own dream vacation?  The KFC Bucket List Contest runs this year from May 12th - June 15th, 2014!  Just purchase any KFC bucket or combo, and receive a game card with 1 in 3 chances of winning!  Every bucket or combo ALSO has an instant peel and reveal food prize - and a pin that is entered online to reveal the prize.  Every pin is a WINNER!  And to sweeten the deal, a 12-piece bucket is only $14.99!  ENTER THE KFC CONTEST HERE!  

Check out the prizes below:

PRIZES:
3 Grand Prizes: $10,000 to build your own dream vacation 
5 Prizes: $5,000 Earth to Echo Adventures 
5 Prizes: $10,000 Pepsi Dream Rooms 
40 Prizes: $300 Try That Prizes 
Over 3 Million Shutterfly Prizes 
Over 1 Million Food Prizes

Follow the hashtag on social media: #KFCBucketList 

CONTEST #2: Shutterfly (~OVER~)

WINNER: Erin M.

WIN a Shutterfly prize pack from SnyMed.com!  Includes a Shutterfly calendar, 15 free cards, and a collage print.  Ends Monday May 19th, 2014.  Readers can apply across blogs, but may only win once time per household. 

How to Enter:
Leave a COMMENT below stating what your dream vacation would be OR if you've ever been on a dream vacation.  Then use the entry form below to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!

Disclosure: I am part of the KFC Bucket List Blogger Campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Salmon Waldorf Salad on Whole Wheat Recipe - DIY Sandwich!

Salmon Waldorf Salad  for Dinner
With 5 kids ages 3- to 8-years old in our household, we do dinner early.  Sometimes after school the kids are so hungry that a snack won't do - and they will eat an entire dinner by 4:00pm!  Come 6:00pm and beyond, a healthy snack (or two) can suffice until breakfast time.  

In order to keep the kids' hunger in check, I have to be able to prepare dinner quickly - otherwise they will start helping themselves to food and spoil their appetites!  One healthy meal that I can prepare in about 2 minutes I call "Salmond Waldorf Salad".  It's canned salmon with walnuts pieces and apple slices - in a sandwich of Dempster's 100% Whole Wheat bread.
A Lighter Choice for Dinner
Salmon Waldorf Salad Recipe
Servings: 2 | Preparation Time: 2 Minutes

Ingredients:

4 Slices Dempster's 100% Whole Wheat Bread (or your favourite Dempster's bread variety)
213 g Canned Salmon (I used Sockeye Salmon - Wild Red Pacific)
1 tbsp Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Walnut Pieces (about 10 pieces or so)
1 Apple - Cored & Sliced finely, your favourite variety (I used green apples - sliced in large pieces)
Optional: Serve with your favourite veggies

The Nutrition In This Recipe Is Through The Roof!
Directions:
1.Drain can of salmon, mash with a fork.
2.In a medium-sized bowl, mix in salmon, mayonnaise and walnut pieces until coated.
3.Add salmon mixture to 2 pieces of plain (or toasted) Dempster's 100% Whole Wheat Bread.
4.Top salmon with half of apple pieces, and close sandwich with second slice of bread. 

Hint: slice apples and walnuts into smaller or larger pieces, according to your family's preferences.
Keeping Him Healthy
I like the nutrition that's packed into this recipe, including: protein, potassium (2 sources), iron (3 sources), thiamine, niacin (2 sources), folate (2 sources), phosphorus (2 sources), magnesium (3 sources), zinc, selenium (2 sources), manganese (2 sources), molybdenum, vitamin B6 (2 sources), vitamin B 12, omega 3, omega 6, riboflavin, calcium (3 sources), pantothenic acid, zinc, copper, fiber and vitamin C.    

Follow Dempster's on Social Media:
Follow the hashtag on Facebook and Twitter: #DIYSandwich

What quick and nutritious dinner can you make in 15 minutes or under?  How often do you prepare sandwiches for a quick dinner?

Easy Breakfast Egg 'N' Cheesers Recipe With Dempster's English Muffins!

Easy Breakfast Egg 'N' Cheesers with Dempster's English Muffins
Yesterday morning we were crazy busy getting ready for my son's birthday party.  His entire class was invited to the party, and we had been racing against the clock to put the finishing touches on the food, music, decorations and more.  My husband and I had been working toward this goal for over one week, and our kids were really looking forward to a nice celebration with some of their classmates!

I wanted to give the kids a hot, hearty breakfast today, so I decided to make breakfast "Egg 'n' Cheesers".  They are simple to make, and take just minutes.
Start with Dempster's English Muffins & Soft Eggs Made Your Favourite Way

Easy Breakfast Egg 'N' Cheesers Recipe!
1.Cut in half and toast one Dempster's English Muffin for every person eating breakfast.
2.Make one soft-boiled egg for each person (I made sunny side up in this recipe, but you can do regular soft-boiled, over-easy, etc).
3.Once toasted, microwave a few thin-sliced pieces of cheese only on half of the Dempster's English Muffins - not on both pieces.  (I used mild cheddar cheese in this recipe.)
So Easy to Assemble!
4.Add one egg serving on the bottom, plain half of the Dempster's English Muffin.
5.Put the melted cheese half on top of the egg side of the Dempster's English Muffin.  Enjoy!
A Good Start to Her Morning
Follow Dempster's on Social Media!

What's your favourite fast and hearty go-to breakfast recipe?  How do you enjoy eating English Muffins (ie: with eggs, cheese, peanut butter, cream cheese, etc)?  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Paul Frank Brings Fun & Colour to Julius Monkey Clothing Line!

Fun Paul Frank Julius Monkey Tees!
I wrote about Paul Frank clothes last year - you know, the clothing line with the cartoon monkey Julius.  Looking at some of the Paul Frank "Julius" collection, above, I would classify it as bright, colourful, comical, fun, and all about feeling good.  Paul Frank Julius clothing comes in infant to adult sizes, which means that there's a "Paul Frank" for every member of the family.

As a Saban Brandbassador, my kids and I were delighted to try on these great Paul Frank styles!  Check out the different tees, below!
Paul Frank "Fun In The Sun" Tee
I like that the girls' collection for Paul Frank features bright colours and a special touch like polka dots or glitter.  My daughter was crazy about this Paul Frank "Fun In The Sun" t-shirt!

Modeling a Paul Frank Julius Popsicle Heart Tee
 Look at this sweet baby girl tee from Paul Frank.  It features a "jewelled" hearts, a popsicle and polka dots.  Shh, don't tell my son that this is a girl's shirt.
Paul Frank Hamburger Tee
Here's my son showing his best face again.  He's wearing the famous Julius "hamburger" t-shirt.  Truth be told, whenever I see this shirt I feel like having a barbecue!
Paul Frank "Tennis Club" Tee
Don't be fooled: here's a different son wearing the Paul Frank "Tennis Club" t-shirt.  I love that the features four different Paul Frank characters playing sports.
Paul Frank Julius "Shirt and Tie" Tee
Brace yourself for yet another son modeling the Paul Frank "shirt and tie" tee.  I love how Julius's tie hangs down the shirt, and that he's dressed like a working man.
Paul Frank Julius "Hike Through The Woods" T-shirt
Last but not least, here's my oldest son wearing the Paul Frank Julius "hike through the woods" tee.  It's not a long-sleeved top, but my son is wearing a different shirt beneath.  This shirt is pretty funny, as it depicts Julius hiking through the woods with a camera around his neck like a man, but he's being observed by a real monkey.
Mom Gets a Paul Frank Tee Too!
And look at my cute Paul Frank t-shirt: it's a simple print of Julius wearing blue eyeglasses.  The tee feels very good on, and I'll reach for in the warmer months.  Thanks to my 5-year old for taking this pretty good picture of dear old mom!

All these Paul Frank styles and more can be found at the following retailers:
Nordstrom.com
Macys.com
Amazon.com
Lord & Taylor
Bon Ton 
Belk.com
Our Customized Paul Frank Julius Iphone Case
Check out this personalized Paul Frank Julius iPhone case from GetCommon.com.  It fits my husband's phone great, and we had a photo of the kids physically printed onto the case.  The design I chose was called "Happy Julius Buds", and retails for $34.95.  There are a total of three different Paul Frank cases from which to choose.
Paul Frank Is a Blast & Adds a Smile to the Day!
Follow Paul Frank on Social Media!
Paul Frank Website
Paul Frank on Facebook
Paul Frank on Twitter
Paul Frank on Instagram
Paul Frank on Pinterest
Paul Frank on YouTube
Paul Frank on Tumblr

Have you heard of Paul Frank Industries - or do you recognize Paul Frank's Julius cartoon monkey?  Which Paul Frank tee or tees do you like the best, out of the ones shown above?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Disney's Million Dollar Arm Movie In Theatres May 16th & CONTEST! 7 Canadian Cities (~OVER~)

Disney's Million Dollar Arm Film
In Theatres May 16th, 2014
My dad is a gigantic baseball fan and has watched Field of Dreams with Kevin Kostner about a gazillion time.  I can't tell you how many conversations have ended in the whispered punchline and lesson: "If you build it, they will come!"  Me, I'm up to watching a Toronto Blue Jays home game every season, and would love to watch them win another World Series in 2014!  I'd even be elated to see the Jays make it to the World Series, and feel the intense buzz of hopefulness and pride around town!

On the topic of baseball, Disney's Million Dollar Arm movie comes to theatres on May 16th!  It's based on the true story of sports agent J.B Bernsteain (Jon Hamm), who set out to find baseball's next all-start pitcher.  J.B. travels to India, hoping to find a young cricket player that he can turn into a major league baseball star.

Once there, he cleverly produces a reality show contest called: "The Million Dollar Arm."  With the help of retired baseball scout Ray Poitevint (Alan Arkin), J.B. discovers Dinesh (Madhur Mittal from Slumdog Millionaire), and Rinku (Suraj Sharma from Life of Pi).  Dinesh and Rinku are 18-year olds who can throw a great fastball, but are unknowledgeable about baseball.  

In the hopes of signing the young men to major league baseball contracts, J.B. brings Dinesh and Rinku to America to start training.  As they learn baseball inside out, J.B--with the help of insightful friend Brenda (Lake Bell)--learns important lessons about teamwork, commitment, and what it truly means to be a family. 

(VIDEO) Check out the movie trailer for Million Dollar Arm, below!

CONTEST (~OVER~)

WINNERS:
TORONTO: Darlene W & Melanie B
WATERLOO: Shelley H & Renee H
CALGARY: Caryn S & Gloria K
OTTAWA: Joy M & Bryan M
WINNIPEG: Kayla B & Margaret K
EDMONTON: Adam B & Jorge C
VANCOUVER: Andrew A & Grant Q


WIN 1 of 14 double passes to see Disney's Million Dollar Arm movie advance screening from SnyMed.com!  4 tickets (2 pairs) are available for each of the following cities: Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Waterloo, Winnipeg.  Movie will be on Wednesday May, 14th, 2014 at 7:00pm (7:30pm Winnipeg).  Show will Contest ends on Thursday May 8th, 2014.

IMPORTANT:
Winners will have 24 hours to claim tickets so don't forget to
check your e-mails and spam by Fri May 9th!

How to Enter:
Leave a COMMENT below stating if you like baseball OR your favourite sport OR if you have a sports hero.  Then use the entry form below to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Shaw Launches Free Disney XD, Disney Junior & Family Channel Apps & Contest! (~OVER~)

My Son Watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
on Shaw Go Disney Junior App
Late last year I wrote about the Free Shaw Go YTV and Free Shaw Go Treehouse apps, which are free for Shaw subscribers that currently subscribe to those two kids' channels. My 3-year old son has been crazy about the Shaw Go Treehouse app, and watches many of his favourite shows like Thomas & Friends, Team Umizoomi, Bubble Guppies, Caillou and more!
Shaw Just Introduced 3 New Kids' Apps!
Shaw Go Disney XD Shown Above
Just eariler this month, Shaw also launched Shaw Go Family, Shaw Go Disney XD and Shaw Go Disney Junior apps to complement their "Shaw Go Kids" apps!  These new apps can be accessed anytime and anywhere on iOS and Android devices such as tablets and smartphones.  I believe The Shaw Go Disney Junior app is best suited for kids up to 6-years old; Shaw Go Family app for 6- to 11-years olds, and Shaw Go Disney XD channel is also for 6- to 11-years old.
The New Shaw Go Disney Junior App!
My 3-year old son likes the shows on the new Shaw Go Disney Junior app, and it's a simple interface for a non-reader.  He just touches the picture of the show that he wants to watch, and then the available episodes appear beneath.  My feedback for the Shaw Go Disney Junior app would be to include different stillshots of the available episodes--rather than the same one.  This approach would help kids identify favourite or unwatched episodes.
A Peek at the New Shaw Go Disney XD Line Up!
The Shaw Go Disney XD app is also very easy to use, with a pictorial and text interface.  I counted 18 different shows, and 84 different episodes--which is great for this complimentary service.  As content is licenced for a 30-day period, episodes that are about to "expire" are marked as such.  I like this "countdown to expiry" feature, as my kids sometimes search for favourite episodes on other streaming services, and they just disappear without notice once the licencing period runs down.  New episodes are also marked as such--and the shows get "refreshed" on a regular basis.  
Parental Control in Shaw Go Disney XD App
I like that the Shaw Go Disney XD and Shaw Go Family apps include parental controls in their apps.  This is a fantastic feature of this free, value-added app and one that I applaud.  The parental controls require a PIN in order to access the settings. I wish that more apps would include such a feature!

A View of the New Shaw Go Family App!
The Shaw Go Family app works the same as the Shaw Go Disney XD app.  I counted 18 different shows available for viewing, and 93 different episodes--so lots of content to keep the kids entertained!  There is very little overlap of content from the Shaw Go Family app to Shaw Go Disney XD, although Phineas & Ferb are represented in both apps.   This is a great service to have when you're mobile with the kids.

Shaw Go Family App!
A great feature of these new Shaw Go apps includes intelligent streaming, which provides the best video quality possible regardless of connection speed.  Also, Shaw Go kids apps include a video bookmarking feature which allows the show to be stopped and played back at a later time.  

New Shaw Go Disney Junior App!
How to Get Shaw Go for FREE
Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct customers can simply download the apps by visiting shaw.ca/shawgo or shawdirect.ca/shawgo. Shaw Go Family, Shaw Go Disney XD and Shaw Go Disney Junior are available to all Shaw Cable subscribers. Shaw Direct subscribers will initially have access to the Shaw Go Family and Shaw Go Disney Junior apps for download.  

Shaw Internet customers are able to complement their use of these apps by accessing the Shaw Go WiFi network. A full list of locations is available at www.shaw.ca/wifi or through the Shaw Go WiFi Finder App!

Follow Shaw Communications on Social Media:
WIN This Disney Prize Pack of Swag!
CONTEST (~OVER~)

WINNER: Viv S.

WIN a Disney Prize Pack of Swag from SnyMed.com and Shaw Communications!  Prize pack includes Disney XD Ogio gym bag, Disney XD hat, Disney Junior water bottle, Family HD calculator, Disney Junior pen and other Disney Junior item.  Contest open to Canada, and ends on Tuesday June 24th, 2014.

How to Enter:
Leave a COMMENT below stating if your kids or grandkids ever watch shows on the computer, tablet or smartphone OR state who you'd like to WIN this prize for.  Then, use the entry form below to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!

Moving or Renovating? Check CAA Rewards For Discounts & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

It Took 32 Months, But We Finally Found a Home!
Seven months later, I still have to pinch myself to see if it’s real: our new home, a new school for the kids, and new friends and neighbours.  After an exhausting 2.5 year house search in this crazy Toronto real estate market, my family and I finally found our home!  Odds were against us ever finding a home in this climate: with real estate agents holding offers, bidding wars driving house prices up, interest rates of 2.99% and 3% fueling the fire, and limited house inventory in Toronto and the GTA.  But we did it!  By George, we did it! 

Looking back, I wish I had planned the move and sale of my previous home a bit differently.  For one thing, I searched online for a mover without checking first what kinds of deals and discounts were available with my CAA Membership card.  Truth be told, I was pressed for time and forget all about the CAA Rewards programme.  As a result, I paid hundreds of dollars more than I should have for a mover.  CAA Members save 12% on local trucks, moving accessories and supplies every day with Penske.  Members also earn $100 CAA dollars on a move with AMJ Campbell Van Lines.
We Painted the House Thoroughly When We Put It Up for Sale
Unfortunately, I also overpaid on paint for the home that I was selling.  I was just so thrilled to have found a painter who could come on short notice, that I paid extra from him to provide his own paint (at quite a mark up).  Given that he painted my home from top to bottom to make it more appealing to potential buyers, I spent hundreds more than I should have on paint.  With my CAA Membership card, I could have saved 25% off on Dulux Paint  and 10% on accessories. 

When my house went up for sale on the real estate market, I did my best to stage it so it would look its very best.  However, my realtor remarked that I was lacking accessories and centrepieces in my kitchen, dining room and hallway.  She kindly brought me over artificial fruit and flowers for this purpose, but I think that the house would have looked better and more “alive” with some plants and floral bouquets.  With the CAA Membership card, Members earn 20% in CAA dollars with every purchase at Teleflora.
Staging the Kitchen: This Table Could Have Benefited From Fresh Flowers
Regardless of having overpaid on movers and paint—and staging my previous home with a conspicuous lack of greenery—my house was quickly sold, and my move right on track!  After vacating my old house, I was so excited when the deal was done—and the realtor handed me the keys to my new home!  But surprise: the previous home owners had left the garage and basement filled with large pieces of lumber, broken appliances, and garbage. 

My husband and I were furious, and we spent the next two months clearing and disposing of the junk.  This was hard, heavy work.  Not only was it gruelling, but it was time wasted when we could have taken care of other aspects of our new home.  It would have saved time and our sanity had we hired a professional company to haul the trash.  With a CAA Membership, Members save 10% off on junk removal everyday with 1-800-Got-Junk?
Have You Seen Our Boxes?  Some Were Lost During the Move!
Did I mention that during the move some of our boxes went missing—and 7 months later still have not shown up?  One rogue box was our entire collection of kitchen knives, and the other was the winter duvet for our bed.  These are small potatoes, and I know it could’ve been worse.  CAA offers Home & Content Insurance for families looking for peace of mind.  It’s definitely worth checking out if you have more at stake during your move than utensils and blankets!

There are many benefits of a CAA Membership card, and it's not only a sound investment for roadside assistance--but also for savings on all Home Essentials!  Click to see the perks that CAA Members enjoy—and see how to save with CAA Partners via CAA Rewards!  This is a must if you’re planning on moving or renovating this summer!  Read to find out how CAA can make your next move or renovation more affordable!

CAA Rewards Partners
for Your Move or Renovation!
Follow CAA on Social Media!
CAA Rewards Website
#caarewards

CONTEST (~OVER~)

WINNER to be announced...at the CAA Home Essentials Twitter Party (Thurs May 22nd, 2014 12-1pm ET)

WIN a fantastic $500 gift card from CAA! Winners can choose between a $500 gift card to use at one of the following CAA partners: Dulux, 1-800-Got-Junk?, Teleflora, Penske, AMJ Campbell Van Lines, ComparAction or CAA Home Insurance OR $500 CAA Dollars (for CAA Members)! Contest open to Canada, and ends May 9th, 2014.  

Winner of the $500 Gift Card/$500 CAA Dollars will be announced at the CAA Home Essentials Twitter Party on Thursday May 22nd, 2014 (12:00 - 1:00pm EST)!  See @CAASCO for tweets on that day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Littlest Pet Shop: Strike A Pose Comes to DVD June 3rd & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

Littlest Pet Shop: Strike a Pose! on DVD June 3rd!
I've written previously about the Littlest Pet Shop: Lights, Camera, Fashion DVD, and the Littlest Pet Shop: Petacular Escapades on DVD!  Littlest Pet Shop is just one of the tv shows that my daughter--and all of her four brothers--will watch and enjoy.  I credit this to the show's humour, adorability factor, and bright colours.  There's just something mesmerizing about the Littlest Pet Shop creatures' gigantic eyes!  Now, Littlest Pet Shop: Strike a Pose! is coming to DVD on June 3rd, 2014--and I'm betting that your daughter or granddaughter would love to own it!

DVD Synopsis:
Blythe Baxter and her dad moved into an apartment about the Littlest Pet Shop, so imagine her surprise when she realized she could talk to the pets--and they can talk back to her!  The Littlest Pet Shop: Strike a Pose! DVD features five fun-filled episodes starring Blythe and her best friends!  Join her and Zoe the spaniel, Pepper the skunk, Vinnie the gecko, Penny the panda, Sunil the mongoose, Minka the monkey, and Russell the hedgehog as Sunil becomes an internet sensation, the friends film a TV commercial, the Pet Shop welcomes a young alligator, and Vinnie makes friends with dancing lizards! 

The DVD showcases all-new original music by Daytime Emmy Award nominee Daniel Ingram, so get ready to get ready to sing and dance!

Episodes Included:
  1. So You Skink You Can Dance?
  2. Commercial Success
  3. What, Meme Worry?
  4. The Big Feathered Parade
  5. Alligators and Handbags
♫ Bonus Feature includes a sing-along! 

CONTEST (~OVER~)

WINNERS: Carolle H & Lesley F

WIN 1 of 2  Littlest Pet Shop: Strike a Pose! DVDs from SnyMed.com.  Contest open to Canada & USA, and ends on Monday June 23rd, 2014.
How to Enter:
Leave a COMMENT below stating who you (or your child/grandchild) would rather have over at a party: Zoe the spaniel, Pepper the skunk, Vinnie the gecko, Penny the panda, Sunil the mongoose, Minka the monkey, or and Russell the hedgehog!  Then use the entry form, below, to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!
 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Around the Clubhouse World on DVD May 20 & CONTEST! (~OVER~)


It's been 16-months too long since our first and last trip to Walt Disney World with the kids.  What a fantastic time we had with the kids visiting Main Street USA, riding the monorail, visiting the Magic Kingdom, enjoying classic and new rides together, and meeting our favourite Disney characters!  My youngest who was 2-years old at the time, had a dream come true when he met Mickey Mouse in person!  All he talked about the whole time was how he hugged Mickey!

There is no doubt that Mickey Mouse is my son's favourite Disney character--and he shares this love with his maternal grandfather!  As a child I remember my dad getting ready for work each day--always sporting a different Mickey Mouse tie clip.  He may have also had tie pins, but I really remember the gold tie clips sporting a Classic Mickey Mouse.  Above, you can see my son eating a chocolate Mickey Mouse icecream at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  Mickey Mouse has the ability to add joy to the day, that's for sure!
Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Around the Clubhouse World
on DVD May 20!
Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Around the Clubhouse World arrives on DVD May 20th, 2014!  Join Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Clarabelle, and Pluto on a fantastic trip around the world! Ascend the Eiffel Tower in France and say “bonjour” to Monsieur Donald Duck and Mademoiselle Daisy.  Then, save Gondolier Goofy when his boat drifts away in Italy’s Grand Canal; solve the enigmatic riddle of Pharaoh Pete’s pyramid in Egypt, and meet a dragon that loves to dance at the Great Wall of China!
Pharaoh Pete, Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse in Egypt!
With a child's help and the correct "Mouseketools", the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse gang can get their special passport stamped at each magical destination!  

Enjoy two hours of fun-filled song, plus four more exciting episodes!  Includes a bonus FREE Passport Activity Book, enclosed with the DVD!
Gondolier Goofy Sings His Heart Out to Clarabelle in Italy
As Always, Goofy Entertains
Episode Guide:
  1. Around the Clubhouse World (Full-Length Feature)
  2. Donald And The Beanstalk
  3. Goofy On Mars
  4. Mickey’s Handy Helpers
  5. Pluto’s Dinosaur Romp
CONTEST (~OVER~)

WINNER: Steph N

WIN Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Around the Clubhouse World on DVD from SnyMed.com!  Contest open to Canada & USA, and ends on Friday June 20th, 2014.

How to Enter:
Leave a COMMENT below stating what your child or grandchild (or you!) would like to see the most: 1.Donald and Daisy in France, 2.Goofy and Clarabelle in Italy, 3.Pharaoh Pete in Egypt with Mickey, Minnie and Pluto, or 4.a dancing dragon in China.  Then, use the entry form below to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!

Friday, April 18, 2014

My Reflections on 2 Years of Blogging, PromoSimple & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

Happy Belated 2nd Anniversary to SnyMed.com!
Celebrating With 2 Great Ford Mustangs #FordMustang50!
It's been so busy here on the blog, that I never stopped to celebrate SnyMed.com's 2nd anniversary in January!  Well, Happy belated Anniversary to us!  I originally started SnyMed to create a fun place where readers could kick back and have a good time--in a family-friendly setting.  I knew that I'd be talking about family life with my 5 young kids, brands that I love, entertainment, travel, life in Canada, and more.  Without doubt, I knew that I'd be running fantastic contests for readers, as I love to "give" and pass joy on whenever I can.

Did you know that in this 27-month period, SnyMed.com has run over 155 contests and given away over 551 prizes to loyal readers?!  During that timeframe I've given away a laptop and printer; Kobo e-readers; a child's tablet; lots of blurays and DVDs; tickets to advance movie screenings, theatrical events and other special occasions; books; tasty snack packs; subscriptions; a playhouse; free product coupons for popular food items; a kid's costume; a stroller, carseat and base travel system; gift cards; awesome clothing; kids toys, great prize packs and more!  Phew!


On the topic of contests, I want to thank PromoSimple, the contest entry form people.  They work hard behind the scenes for every contest that you enter here on SnyMed.com, and I think it's important to give praise where praise is due! 

Prior to PromoSimple, I was having problems with the contest entry form that I was using.  Specifically, the entry form would come unanchored and "fly around" my website, often blocking my written content in the process!  Unfortunately, the support team behind my previous contest entry software looked into my issue and could not fix the problem or even isolate it.  The previous entry form was also unreliable and would often be down, causing frustration for both my contestants and I.      

I started using PromoSimple on a recommendation in October 2012.  I needed a reliable solution for my contests, and one that would be free.  (You may notice that I am not tied into an ad network, and hence generate no blog revenue from ads.)  I liked that Promo Simple was very easy to use,  easy to customize, and quick to put together a new contest.  My readers began to e-mail and message me on social media, saying that they liked the new PromoSimple contest entry form much more than the previous format. 
The Outstanding PromoSimple Team
What differentiates PromoSimple from the previous company that I used, is their quick and efficient client service.  Whenever I've had a question or concern with the entry form, I've e-mailed them and received a very prompt reply.  They have also been responsive to my contestants' needs, looking into individual concerns with great care--and never stopping until the issue has been solved.  It's at this point I say thank you to Dan from PromoSimple, who has gone above and beyond the call of duty for me and my readers!     

Some interesting facts about SnyMed.com on PromoSimple: I've run 122 contests with them, received 430,000 entries submitted through them, and have recorded about 10,000 unique entrants in my contests!  WOW!  I draw all of my winners randomly, using either the built-in Random.org or PromoSimple contest winner randomizer.  

For bloggers, webmasters or companies looking to run their own contests, I would definitely recommend PromoSimple!  Once you set up your first contest, it's easy to reuse common elements in future contests--without having to recreate the entire form from scratch.  

Set contest start and end dates--and times; leverage the power of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram; add your own image; change the entry form's colour; encourage fans to subscribe to your newsletter--or RSS feed, and more.  Use the control panel to oversee your campaign's success and run reports.  You will be able to see how much social media amplification was generated from your contest alone (ie: number of Facebook and Twitter likes, Twitter retweets, etc).  

Follow PromoSimple on Social Media!
PromoSimple Blog
PromoSimple on Facebook
PromoSimple on Twitter
PromoSimple on Google+
PromoSimple on Pinterest
PromoSimple on LinkedIn

CONTEST (~OVER~)

WINNER: Amy J

WIN a $25 Amazon.com (or Amazon.ca) gift card from SnyMed.com and PromoSimple!  Contest open to Canada, USA and...worldwide!  Winner will have his or her choice of an Amazon.com or Amazon.ca e-mailed gift card code.  Contest ends Wednesday June 18th, 2014.

How to Enter:
Leave a COMMENT below stating what you like the best about the PromoSimple contest entry form (entry form is below to try) OR state how companies can make contest entry easier for you.  Then, use the PromoSimple entry form below to enter.  GOOD LUCK! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Eddie Bauer 2014 Spring & Summer Collection - A Review!

Eddie Bauer Sunshower Trench Coat in Oyster
Spring has arrived like a miserly grump where I live, and there's nothing to do but stare out the window at small heaps of snow on my lawn in the middle of April! However, EddieBauer.com has given me hope that Spring is somewhere out there hiding with the Easter Bunny, and I just did a great shopping of Eddie Bauer outfits I can wear during the Spring and Summer!

I've written about Eddie Bauer previously on SnyMed.com, showcasing the Eddie Bauer 2013 Holiday Line, Eddie Bauer Journeyman Bomber Jacket, Eddie Bauer Travex Line for Spring 2013, Eddie Bauer Summer 2013 Summer CollectionEddie Bauer 2013 Back-to-School Clothing for Kids and--the blog post that started it all--My 20 Year Affair With Eddie Bauer!  In the same tradition as my previous fashion posts about Eddie Bauer, I will model their Spring line up and tell you honestly what I think of their pieces.  

The first thing I can tell you about Eddie Bauer clothing, is that many of the pieces come in a wide range of sizes (from petite, regular or tall, to plus sizes).  So don't skip them over because of your size; do have a look!  

The second thing I can tell you about Eddie Bauer clothing, is that their sizes are extremely generous!  So, a size 14 is best to order a size 12--or even a size 10!  The exception to this rule would be their pant sizes, which fit just a bit larger than usual (although I find their waists roomy).  

In the photo above, I'm wearing the Eddie Bauer Sunshower Trench Coat in oyster colour, size small (I would normally wear a size medium), $129.  I think that it's a nice, versatile and neutral piece.  I like that the belt cinches in at the back, giving the raincoat a more fitted look for better tailoring.  I choose this style because while I love a trench coat that ties in the front, I never have enough time to tie and untie the belt.  The coat buttons down the front, but since the buttons are covered by a placket, I would have loved to have had a zipper down the front for convenience.
Eddie Bauer Girl on the Go Twisted Front Top in Black
& Horizon Roll-Up Pants in Dark Smoke
Above I'm wearing the Eddie Bauer Girl on the Go Twisted Front Top in black, size small (I'm usually a medium), $40, and Eddie Bauer Horizon Roll-Up Pants in dark smoke, size 6, $70.  I love that the pants are lightweight and can be quickly rolled into capris.  Honestly, the twisted front top was not for me, as I did not like the piece that hung down in the front.  I didn't select the correct sizing, and unfortunately both pieces were too large on me.  The size extra-small top would have been a better fit for a woman usually wearing size medium.  Similarly with the pants, size 4 would have better fit a woman wearing size 6.
Eddie Bauer Slightly Curvy Adventurer Stretch Ripstop Slim Cargo Pants in Pumice
& Infinity Polo Shirt in Mulberry
Check my favourite Eddie Bauer pants of the season: the Eddie Bauer Slightly Curvy Adventurer Stretch Ripstop Slim Cargo Pants in pumice, size 6, $70!  These pants are such a great fit and I have fallen in love with their "Slightly Curvy Adventurer" line and the ripstop fabric.  I love the pockets on the legs and the overall look of the pants!  Sadly, the Eddie Bauer website shows these as sold out right now--and for a good reason!  Again, I found the pants large in the waist and should either try these in a size 4, or wear a belt with these pants.  

I'm also wearing the Eddie Bauer Infinity Polo Shirt in Mulberry, size small (I'm usually a size medium), $50.  The shirt fits me well and is a great basic piece for all seasons.  It's very lightweight and is quite comfortable on the skin.  I'm thinking of picking up other Infinity Polo Shirts in the other 3 available colours.
Eddie Bauer Vintage Lace Underpinning Shirt in Almond &
Slightly Curvy Adventurer 8" Ripstop Shorts in Pumice (L) & Dark Smoke (R)
Last year I fell in love with the Eddie Bauer Slightly Curvy Adventurer 8" Ripstop Shorts.  They really are well-crafted, look great on, very versatile, and you cannot beat the ripstop fabric.  I also fell in love with the Eddie Bauer Vintage Lace Underpinning Shirt in almond, size small (I'm usually a size medium), $70.  The shirt is very sweet and wonderful for cool weather.  Do wear a camisole beneath, as it is a bit see-through (I wore a white cami beneath mine). 

This year I tried the Eddie Bauer Slightly Curvy Adventurer 8" Ripstop Shorts in pumice (left), size 6, $50, and in dark smoke colour.  These shorts are modest without being saintly.  As the shorts fit generously, I ended up exchanging both pairs for a size 4, which fit me very well.
Eddie Bauer Slightly Curvy Adventurer 5" Ripstop Shorts
Pumice (L) & Sprig (R)
I adored these shorts so much, that I also tried the Eddie Bauer Slightly Curvy Adventurer 5" Ripstop Shorts in pumice, size 4, $50 and in sprig colour.  I first tried the size 6 in the 5" style, and they were just too big all around.  The 5" shorts were also a great fit and not too short.  I would highly recommend both the 5" and 8" shorts, and suggest that you pick up at least a few pairs of each in different colours.  Last year these were my go-to shorts all summer long!  Be sure to purchase one size down from your usual size!
Eddie Bauer Live Your Adventure Graphic Tee in Ivory &
Slightly Curvy Ripstop Cropped Pants in Sprig
Check out this casual look with the Eddie Bauer Live Your Adventure Graphic Tee, ivory, size small (I usually wear size medium), $28.  I love slub cotton, so this has quickly become one of my favourite tees of the season--so cool and soft!  I'm also wearing the Eddie Bauer Slightly Curvy Ripstop Cropped Pants in sprig, size 6, $70.  As I mentioned earlier, I love the slightly curvy line from Eddie Bauer and their ripstop fabric.  These are a great-fitting pant, but a belt might be in order for me.  If you love these capris, purchase them in 4 other colours too!
Eddie Bauer Slub Texture Twisted-Front Shirt in Ivory &
Slightly Curvy Ripstop Cropped Pants in Sprig
Also paired with the Eddie Bauer Slightly Curvy Ripstop Cropped Pants in sprig, I'm wearing the Eddie Bauer Slub Texture Twisted-Front Shirt in ivory, size small (I usually wear size medium), $35.  Slub cotton is the best in my books, and I love how the thick and thin yarns alternate to create a light to mid-weight cotton, with a slight transparency.  I found that the shirt was too roomy, so I exchanged for a size extra-small that fit well.  Yes, the shirt works great for a larger bust, and is available in 5 great colours.
Eddie Bauer Lily Balance Dress in Black
Everyone needs a little black dress for special occasions, and the Eddie Bauer Lily Balance Dress in black, size small, $80, was a very good fit.  The Lily Balance Dress is from their Travex line and comes in 3 colours.  I like that the v-neck is flattering and yet not plummeting.  I also like that the fabric is lightweight, and that there is a half-sleeve to the dress (perfect for air conditioning in the warmer weather).  I would recommend this as a go-to dress for Spring or Summer--that can be dressed up or down, depending on your accessories.

Follow Eddie Bauer on Social Media!

What is your favourite piece or pieces from the Eddie Bauer Spring/Summer collection that I've shown above?  Do you ever shop online for your clothing?  If no, why not?
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