Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Monster High Clawesome Double Feature on Blu-Ray/DVD July 1st & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

Monster High Clawesome Double Feature on Blu-Ray/DVD July 1st!
My daughter went from princesses, straight to the spooktacular world of Monster High.  It was as if she went from a girly-girl to a ghouly-girl overnight, or so it seemed.  This change happened the same year that she got dressed up (for the first time ever) as a witch with a bright green face for Halloween, whereas in years past she had always been a princess with a dark pink dress with poofy sleeves, jewelled tiara, and other royal finery.  I watched this change take place in her 7th year, and now it's also about Forever High alongside Monster High.

Ghouls, let out a shriek: Monster High Clawesome Double Feature comes to blu-ray and DVD on July 1st, 2014!  The run time of the set is 184 minutes, or just over 3 hours of eery fun!  As a petrified parent who takes long road trips with her ghastly gang, the length of the bluray is to be applauded.
Monster Monster Monster High!
Monster High deals with the day-to-day life of teenagers in high school...who just happen to be monsters!  Together they brave the horrors of high school, including fitting in, standing out, crushes, first dances, and even survival.  Monster High encourages girls to express individuality, embrace imperfections, and build friendships that last.

Monster High Clawesome Double Feature Synopsis:
"It’s time to “fang out” with your favorite ghoulfriends in this frightfully fabulous double feature straight from the latest scare‐mester at Monster High! Everyone’s ready for some monstrous fun in the sun during spring break in Escape from Skull Shores. But when they find themselves shipwrecked on a totally strange island, Frankie Stein is taken by a mysterious Beast…who may just need a little rescuing of his own!"

The Ghouls Are Alright
"Then it’s time to pull together all the student bodies when a meddling normie tries to drive a stake into the imperfectly perfect harmony of Monster High in Fright On! It’s up to Frankie Stein, Clawdeen Wolf, Draculaura and their fangtastic friends to prove that the culture clash of Fur and Fang is no longer an issue for this scary-cool student body!"

(VIDEO) Watch the Monster High Clawesome Double Feature trailer, below!


CONTEST (~OVER~)

WINNERS: 
Suky K.  (entry #921)
michele k.  (entry #858)
Bernie W.  (entry #188)
tracey b.  (entry #410)

Colleen F.  (entry #902)

WIN 1 of 5 (FIVE!) copies of Monster High Clawesome Double Feature on blu-ray/DVD from SnyMed.com!  Contest is open to Canada and USA, and ends on Thursday July 31st, 2014.

How to Enter:
Leave a COMMENT below stating if you know a Monster's High fan OR if you would rather be a teen werewolf, dracula, or frankenstein.  Then, use the entry form below to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Eczema: Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
My Son's Eczema on a Better Day
I've written before about my children's eczema, and how it can be an uphill battle. Even by diligently treating the eczema twice daily with special lotions, it's frustrating to still see the kids with red, raw, and itchy skin. My daughter developped a very persistent eczema on both wrists during the wintertime, and months later we're just beginning to get it in check. It got so bad, that she was just one step away from drawing blood.  She has scars from persistently scratching the raw skin.

Up until this point, I've been trying over-the-counter lotions, and have not yet sought a steroid cream from the pediatrician.  My logic being that there could be a product out there that will greatly improve the eczema, without having to use stronger medications.  One such product that I have being administering to my daughter over the past few days has been steroid-free Polysporin Eczema Essentials Daily Moisturizing Cream.  Also available, is the Polysporin Eczema Eczema Essentials Daily Body Wash, which I have not as yet tried--but would like to.

Reading the Polysporin lotion ingredients list, I noticed that it contains Polysporin's hallmark petrolatum (Petroleum Jelly), which is great for smoothing raw skin and healing cracks.  Petroleum Jelly is a great moisturizer, and works better than water-based lotions.
Polysporin Offers a Lotion (and Body Wash) for Eczema Relief
Available in Wal-Mart Locations Across Canada
I was intrigued by the claim on the bottle of Polysporin Eczema Essentials Daily Moisturizing Cream that it "provides healthier looking skin in 3 days, and starts working immediately to reduce itch".  As claims go, I'm always skeptical but thought that for under $16 per bottle it would be worth a try if it meant my children would stop scratching their eczema right away--and if I could see an improvement in their skin in a 3-day period.

The Polysporin Eczema Relief products can be found in the pharmacy section of Wal-Mart.  It was not shelved with the small Polysporin ointment tubes, but with more pharmaceutical-type lotions.  Once I knew where to look, it was easy to find--for future, I just have to remember not to look in the "regular" hand lotion section.
Looking Good: My Daughter's Wrist Eczema Is Held In Check
I've been using the Polysporin eczema lotion twice daily on my daughter's wrists over these past few days, and it seems to be helping keep the eczema at bay.  We did start using it while the eczema was winding down, and during this period of time her skin has not been itchy, raw, red--and the "bumps" on her skin due to eczema have stayed at a minimum.  We will continue with the Polysporin Eczema Essentials Daily Moisturizing Cream over the next 2 weeks and hope that the eczema completely vanishes.

With eczema, finding a product that works well can be hit and miss.  However, being persistent does pay off and it's well worth the effort to be comfortable in your own skin!  If you or a family member have persistent eczema, I would recommend that you give Polysporin Eczema Essentials a try to see if it works for you.

Do you have a family member or friend with eczema?  Where does the eczema usually appear on the skin, and what makes it worse--or better?    

Monday, June 23, 2014

Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue Family Movie Ticket Contest! (~OVER~)

Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue In Theatres July 18th
I wrote previously about the Disney Planes movie, that is now on blu-ray and DVD.  My two youngest guys, are obsessed by cars and vehicles, and my 5-year lives and breathes the world of Disney Cars and Disney Cars 2.  His bedroom is just a shrine to every diecast Cars car that Disney ever made.  He in particularly loves the cars with eyes and big smiles across their faces.  He also owns quite a few Disney Planes diecast planes, and he and his 4-year old little brother play with them interchangeably.

As a parent or grandparent, you've likely heard that Disney Planes is coming out with a sequel to the movie: Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue, which is coming to theatres on July 18th, 2014!  Judging from past performance, that it's a Disney title, and from the trailer, it looks like it's going to be another good one.  I did note with pleasure that in Fire & Rescue, the worlds of Cars, Planes, and even Trains intersect (if there is ever to be such a movie).  As expected, airplane Dusty Crophopper stars in the newest Planes film!

It is noteworthy from the trailers I have seen so far, that Fire & Rescue looks a little darker and a bit more frightening than its predecessor, what with fire scenes and thunder and lightning sequences.  Therefore, do know the child that you will be bringing to the theatre--and ascertain in advance if such scenes will elicit fear.

(VIDEO) Have a watch of the Planes II movie trailer, below.


CONTEST (~OVER~)

WINNERS: Gary L, Haylie L, Kayla B, Michelle D & Elaine N.

WIN Family Tickets (of 4) to see Disney's Planes: Fire and Rescue movie advance screening, on Wednesday July 16th, 2014!  Screenings (depending on location) start between 7:00-7:30pm.  Family tickets are available in the following cities: Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.  (5 family passes are being given away, 1 family pass per city.)  Contest ends Thursday July 10th, 2014.  Unclaimed tickets will be redrawn after 24 hours, so do check your e-mails and spam by July 11th at 12pm noon EST to see if you're a winner.

How to Enter
Leave a COMMENT below stating who you would like to bring to see the newest Planes: Fire & Rescue movie OR if your child or grandchild has ever seen Planes I, Cars, or Cars 2.  Then, use the entry form below to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!   

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What Summer Means to Me & Chocolate Ice Cream Boat Recipe!

A Typical Summer's Day at the Toronto Beaches
As a Canadian, I am so incredibly thankful for summer and all that it brings.  I wonder if Californians or Texans feel this way too, seeing that they receive warm weather all year long?  I suspect that this winter's ice storm and long-lived cold spell make me especially appreciative of the sunlight, the flowers, and the wildlife that had migrated and has now returned.  Yes, I savour every warm, beautiful day--knowing that they are precious and numbered in Canada.
A Trip to the Playground & Splash Pad
Summertime to me means the last day of school for my children, and the beginning of summer camp for them.  Picnics, splash pads, hikes through nature, a stay at a cottage, a deep dive into a pristine Ontario lake, fun at a theme park, roasting marshmallows over a crackling fire, picking raspberries, upbeat music drifting over the neighbour's fence, and pool parties all make me think of summer.
Roasting Marshmallows Around the Fire
The summer is also a bustling time for birthdays in my family, with all 7 of my families' birthdays spread out from spring to late July.  We have fantastic birthday parties with a great big fruit salad--and gifts for the kids of wading pools, crazy sprinklers and long-range water guns.  We take hundreds of wonderful family photos in the summertime, which I enjoy looking back at over the subsequent years.
Enjoying a Summer Picnic
Sandy Legs Compliments of the Beach ;)
When I think about the summer months, food always comes into my mind: an ice-cold watermelon or two sliced to share, the ice cream truck coming around--attracting the kids with its "Pop Goes the Weasel" song, and my husband or my father at the barbecue roasting corn, chicken skewers, or salmon squeezed with lemon.  There is lots of entertaining and conversation in the summer months in our world.
Enjoying One of Ontario's Pristine Lakes
What summer means to me, is a carefree time with less personal commitments.  Summertime seems endless, intoxicating, and filled with hope.  I feel that my mood is at its best in the summer, and that those around me have a light and sweet demeanour.  In the summer, I feel like I return to nature and I'm more in tune with myself and the natural world.  Summer is a peaceful and happy time for my family and I.  Sometimes, I wish it would never end and that my family could enjoy the "simpler" days of summer all year long.
Make This Sweet Treat With Kinder Surprise Eggs & Ice Cream!
Kinder Surprise Eggs Ice Cream Boats & Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe
As a special summer treat, the kids and their friends love when I make ice cream boats out of Kinder Surprise Chocolate Eggs!  They're fast and easy to make, see instructions below!

INGREDIENTS
1 Kinder Surprise Chocolate Egg per child
2-4 tablespoons of ice cream per egg, your favourite flavour

DIRECTIONS
1.Remove tin foil wrap from each Kinder Surprise Chocolate Egg.
2.Use a dull knife, and cut along the "seam" of the Kinder Chocolate Egg until it's cut evenly in half.
3.Remove plastic capsule with toy, and set aside as a surprise for after the sweet treat.
4.Fill both halves of the Kinder Chocolate Egg with ice cream and then close together like a "sandwich" (for a Kinder Chocolate Egg ice cream sandwich), or fill each half of the Kinder Chocolate Egg separately with ice cream for an ice cream boat.  No spoon needed!

Reminder: be cautious when travelling to the USA, as Kinder Surprise eggs are not allowed to cross the border.
Kinder Surprise Egg Ice Cream Sandwich or Boat? 
Follow Kinder Canada on Social Media!
Kinder Canada on Facebook
Kinder Canada on Twitter
Kinder Canada Website


What do you look forward to most about summertime?  Would you rather eat a Kinder Chocolate Egg as an "ice cream sandwich" or as an open-faced boat filled with ice cream?

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.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Refreshing Summer Drink Recipe Round Up!

Wild Flowers I've Snapped This Season
With the warmer weather now here to stay, I find myself spending endless hours outdoors daydreaming, hiking, enjoying the colourful wildflowers, and local wildlife.  It is now more than ever, that I appreciate the simple and beautiful things that life has to offer, and want to drink it in all around me.  There are just some things in life that money cannot buy.  

These glorious days, we eat our meals outdoors: by the lake, on a picnic table by the woods, in the backyard, or on a park bench beside the playground where the kids frolic with friends.  Every beautiful day has become a reason to celebrate outdoors--and to appreciate life to its fullest.

We're always having company over, so the SodaStream Drink Maker is portable enough to set up in the backyard or bring along to our picnics.  It has been widely received by our friends and family, who are delighted to create their own refreshing carbonated beverages.

Take a look at the drinks below, created by Canadian bloggers.  Many of these drinks can be recreated with the SodaStream drink system, and by using tasty ingredients like watermelon, lemons, strawberries, tea, coffee, cream soda, and even birthday cake!
Refreshing Summer Drinks
For Photo Credits Follow Numbers Below

Refreshing Summer Drink Round Up
  1. Fizzy Strawberry Lemonade Recipe by Sew Creative Blog
  2. Birthday Cake Cocktail Recipe by Frugal Edmonton Mama Blog
  3. Watermelon Lemonade Recipe by Addicted to Recipes Blog
  4. Iced Tea Recipe by Tales of Mommyhood Blog
  5. Easy Punch Recipe by Little Miss Kate Blog
  6. Italian Cream Soda Recipe by Addicted to Recipes Blog
  7. Watermelon Lemonade Recipe by Just Us Girls Blog
  8. Home Made Iced Capp Recipe by Canadian Mom Reviews Blog
  9. Farmer's Market Lemonade by Frugal Edmonton Mama Blog
  10. Strawberry Lemonade Recipe by Addicted to Recipes Blog
SodaStream Drink Maker:
Portable For On-the-Go Summer Refreshments!
My own summer mix is quite simple: SodaStream carbonated water fused with lemons and lime to quench my thirst!  It always goes great on its own, with a fresh summer salad bursting with mandarins, or a light pita wrap stuffed with veggies and grilled chicken strips! 

With SodaStream, it's easy to customize what goes into every beverage: less or more carbonation--or more or less sweetness. And according to SodaStream, their flavours contain less calories, sugar and carbs than traditional sparkling drinks. 

FUN FACT: Did you know that one SodaStream bottle can replace 2000 bottles and cans?  With almost one billion regular bottles manufactured daily, and 800 million of these ending up in landfills, SodaStream is an environmentally sound choice.

Get 15% Off a SodaStream.ca Purchase!
Use Coupon Code PTPA to get 15% off the purchase of a SodaStream drink maker, when you make the purchase on SodaStream.ca! Discount code valid online only, and not in-store.

Follow SodaStream on Social Media!
Follow the Hashtag: #BubblesMyWay


Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with SodaStream Canada and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Get African Lion Safari Tickets at 15% Off From CAA Store & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

Lion at African Lion Safari!
Source: African Lion Safari Website
I have a pretty funny story to tell about African Lion Safari!  When I was a child in the early 80s, my grandparents took my older brother and I on an excursion to Niagara Falls.  We had planned a day trip to Marineland, but my grandfather was unclear on the directions and we soon became lost.  Too proud to stop and ask the way, my grandpa instead started following signs pointing to African Lion Safari.  And so our day trip to Marineland was rescheduled permanently--and it soon became a wonderful family excursion to African Lion Safari!

What a blast driving through African Safari! My brother and I sat in the rear seat of my grandparent's blue-on-blue Oldsmobile 98, and munched on the picnic that my grandmother had packed. 30 years later and I still remember the food: mountains of sandwiches wrapped in tin foil, and cans of Country Time Lemonade!

It was such a long time ago, and yet I remember that we missed seeing the monkeys!  My grandpa's Oldsmobile 98 had a vinyl roof, and a sign warned us that the monkeys would scratch such a roof.  And so we took the alternate route, and saw...rhinos?  Hard to recall!  However, I do remember that we had a wonderful time together at African Lion Safari!   
African Safari Celebrates 45 "Wild" Years!

Almost a lifetime ago, and this June I will be taking my own family to African Lion Safari for the first time ever.  My kids have browsed the African Lion Safari website and are pumped to go!  And truth be told, I'm looking forward to getting up close and personal with the monkeys this time!  It's hard to believe that African Lion Safari is now celebrating 45 "wild" years since they first opened their doors!

A Little Bit About African Lion Safari:
"Go ON SAFARI!  Get closer than you ever imagined….to majestic lions, graceful giraffe, rhino and many more animals from around the world. Drive through 9 kms of safari trail in your own car or take an educationally guided Safari Tour Bus (additional cost). Your truly “WILD” experience also includes a full day of family fun with bird & animal performances, boat & train tours!"
Receive a 15% Discount on African Lion Safari Tickets With a CAA Membership Card
When Purchased in Advance at the CAA Store 

Did you know that CAA Members enjoy 15% off admission tickets to African Lion Safari (when purchased in advance at the CAA store)?  Or, a 10% discount when a CAA Membership card is shown at the African Lion Safari front gate!  CAA Members who purchase tickets at a CAA store, also enjoy an additional 10% off discount coupon to redeem at African Lion Safari retail stores!  GO WILD!

Follow African Lion Safari & CAA on Social Media!
CAA Rewards Website
CAA on Facebook
CAA on Twitter
African Lion Safari Website
African Lion Safari on Facebook
African Lion Safari on Pinterest 


CONTEST (~OVER~)

WINNER: Yuen C.

WIN Family Tickets to African Lion Safari (for up to 5 people) from SnyMed.com on Saturday June 28th, 2014!  Includes Safari Bus Tour for your whole family!  Note: return transportation to African Lion Safari is NOT included.  You must be able to arrive by 9:45am on June 28th in order to collect the prize.  Contest is open to Canada, and runs until Thursday June 19th, 2014.  

How to Enter:
Leave a COMMENT below stating if you've ever been to African Lion Safari before OR what animal(s) you would like to see at African Lion Safari.  Then, use the entry form below to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!
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