Saturday, November 29, 2014

(VIDEO) My Son Explodes Lego Bombs!

7 Lego Bombs to Detonate!
What does my 9-year old son do on a lazy Saturday afternoon for kicks?  He builds and explodes Lego bombs of course!  It's an activity that helps him blow off a little steam, and he did clean up the whole basement by himself when he was done!
(VIDEO) Watch my son exploding Lego bombs!  Click image below to start video.
What do your kids or grandkids do to blow off some steam?    

Friday, November 28, 2014

Rubbermaid LunchBlox Sandwich Kits Are Kid-Friendly For School Lunches!

With 5 Kids, We Make 25 School Lunches Weekly!
In my household, we make 25 kids' school lunches each week, which I'll readily admit is a lot of lunches! Each day we're kitchen wizards tasked with the difficult chore of guessing the food whims of our children, putting the right lunch in the correct backpack, and getting this all done before 8:00am.  Then it's off to work for dad and I!  PHEW!  Unfortunately in this mad dash, we don't have time to create Pinterest-worthy lunches like the one shown above.

Our kids' school insists upon "litterless" lunches, an initiative that we support.  What litterless means, is that no materials in the lunch bag should be thrown away, like plastic wrap or sandwich bags.  As a result, we pack lunches using reusable plastic containers.
My Sad Little Cupboard of Mismatched Plastic Containers & Lids
Unfortunately, we have a sad little cupboard of mismatched plastic containers and lids.  Many of the lids don't seem to fit any of the containers, and other lids are either cracked, warped, or missing.  The matter is exacerbated because my boys enjoy using the lids as frisbees, and they often make their way down to the basement playroom.   
Did Someone Say Lunch?
Also available in boy's colours
I recently was given the opportunity to try a Rubbermaid LunchBlox Sandwich Kit modular container.  The unit snaps together to stay organized in the lunch bag, and the sandwich and 2 snack containers connect to the Blue Ice tray to keep lunches cold (helpful in the warmer months).  The LunchBlox containers were simple to use from a lunch-packing (and cleaning) perspective, and they were well-received by my daughter!
Some SuperMom Packed This Cute Little Lunch...
and it wasn't me!
Some of Rubbermaid LunchBlox's benefits include:
  • Easy-to-open leak-proof lids
  • Perfectly sized for kids’ favorite lunch foods, so packing and carrying a variety of foods is easy
  • Fun, kid-friendly colour combinations
  • BPA-free
  • Microwave, dishwasher and freezer-safe
Learn more information about LunchBlox!

Follow Rubbermaid on Social Media:
Rubbermaid on Twitter
Rubbermaid on Facebook
Rubbermaid on Pinterest

What do you think of these Rubbermaid LunchBlox Sandwich Kits for kids?  Do you regularly use Rubbermaid products in your day-to-day life?

Disclosure: I am part of the Rubbermaid 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 27, 2014

Give a Gift Card for the Holidays with CardSwap & CONTEST (~OVER~)!
Gift cards have been my present of choice over the past year for birthdays and Christmas.  My logic is simple: why spend hours searching for gifts hours, only to purchase one that may not be the right fit for the recipient?  I once recall buying the cutest baby outfit at H&M, only for the recipient to ask me upon opening it if I had included the gift receipt!  BAM!

Have you heard of CardSwap?  It's a fast and easy to purchase gift cards for the Holidays.  This is how it works:

1.Shop - Buy gift cards from your favourite retailers. 2.Earn - Collect SwapPoints rewards. 1,000 SwapPoints = $10. 3.Redeem - Use your SwapPoints towards gift cards of your choice, or cash out using PayPal!  CardSwap also allows you to sell unwanted gift cards too!    

I have purchased a gift card on CardSwap previously, and the transaction went very smoothly.  I found it very convenient to have the gift card mailed directly to me.  The recipient of the gift card was very pleased too (it was a steak house gift card, woo-hoo)!

WINNER: Darlene S

WIN a $100 gift card of your choice from CardSwap and (subject to availability)!  Contest open to Canada, and ends on Friday December 19th, 2014.

How to Enter:
Leave a COMMENT below OR on the CardSwap Facebook page, stating which $100 gift card you would love to WIN from  (Note, visiting the Facebook page is NOT mandatory, but it lets the sponsor know that this contest is working--and that a $100 prize is desirable.)  Lastly, use the entry form below to enter.  GOOD LUCK!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Check the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique - Free For Avioners!

Valet Parking Is Worth Its Weight In Gold at Christmas!
With the early snowfall in Toronto this autumn, it seems like everyone has been convinced that Christmas is right around the corner.  At least that's how it seems at malls like Yorkdale Shopping Centre, where it's packed with people loaded up with shopping bags.  It's literally shoulder-to-shoulder there--both inside the mall, and outside in the parking lot! 
Recently my family and I had the chance to experience the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique at Yorkdale, as a respite from our holiday shopping.  This is a free service for RBC Avion cardholders (Avioners).  We were first treated to complimentary valet parking outside of Holt Renfrew, which was awesome, as we had all 5 of our kids in tow.  As we breezed into the mall, drivers circled the parking lot like vultures looking for parking spots. 
Inside the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique
Next we did some holiday shopping inside the very busy mall, and then sailed into the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique.  They offer coat and parcel check, which is a great way to take a load off.  As my husband lined up with the kids at the café, I beelined over to the complimentary gift wrap station.  Then, we all relaxed in the VIP lounge with hot cocoas and gingerbread men for the kids (there were also adult refreshments and nibbles).  My kids were delighted.    
I noticed a bookshelf full of children's book for the kids to enjoy, as well as a sign that said that an iPad could be signed out for holiday entertainment purposes.  I understand that the RBC Holiday Boutique also offers concierge services, although I did not try these out.
Taking a Load Off
My family was very pleased to take a break from holiday shopping, and understandably so.  I was surprised to see how many Avioners there were--and how many were making use of the lounge.  Whereas the lounge was bustling, it was in no way as busy as the mall outside its walls.  I was very pleased to get a Christmas gift wrapped in the lounge, and really loved this perk which made my life easier. 
Wrapped & Looking Good! 
"The Avion Holiday Boutique is a unique and exclusive program designed to enhance the holiday shopping experience for RBC Avion cardholders at Yorkdale and Square One Shopping Centres. As well, an RBC Avion Holiday Boutique will be available in Coquitlam Centre in Coquitlam, BC and a mini Avion Holiday Boutique pop up at Halifax Shopping Centre in Halifax, NS.  RBC wants to thank Avioners for their loyalty, and to help turn their holiday shopping experience from good to great!" 

Available Services: 

  • Valet parking
  • Coat and parcel check
  • VIP lounge and café (beverages and snacks)
  • Concierge services
  • Gift wrapping service 
Although the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique is for Avion cardholders, the public can enjoy the valet parking, coat and parcel check and gift wrapping services for a pre-set fee (all coat & parcel check and gift wrapping fees are donated to charity).

Click for more information about the Avion Holiday Experience.
Have you completed your Christmas or holiday shopping yet?  Do you find that your local shopping centres are busy already?
Disclosure: I am part of the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique 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 20, 2014

VIDEO: My Son Shows His Disney Cars Toy Car Collection!

My 5-Year Old Son With His Toy Cars

This past week, I've tried to film my kids playing with their favourite toys or games.  For me, it's a tool to capture them at their current age, so I can always go back and remember them at 4-years old, at 5-years old, and so on.  
Here is another video of my 5-year old son showing his Disney Cars toy car collection.  These are the diecast cars based on the Disney Cars and Cars 2 movies.
(VIDEO) Click image below to play the video!  Family-friendly.
Do you take photos or videos of your kids or grandkids, in order to remember them at various ages and stages?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

(VIDEO) Epic Beyblade Battle Between My 2 Sons: Which Will Win?

Brother Against Another: Which One Will Win?
My sons love battling their Beyblades with each other! Watch as my 9-year old son battles his 6-year old brother, with my 4-year old son cheering them both on! Which boy will win this time?

FAMILY-FRIENDLY VIEWING CONTENT.  WATCH the VIDEO, by clicking the image below:

Do your kids or grandkids enjoy beyblade battles?  What do they like to do the best during playtime?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

(VIDEO) My 5-Year Old Tow Mater Fan Shows His Toy Mater Collection!

World's Biggest Tow Mater Fan
My 5-Year Old Son
My 5-year old son has been a Tow Mater fan from the Disney Cars movies for years! He made this little video to show you his Mater toy car collection.  See Dracula Mater, Materhosen, Hot Rod Mater, Francesco Fan Mater, and more!

Click image below to start VIDEO!
This video is suitable for children and Mater fans of ALL ages.

Does your child or grandchild collect any specific toy or toys?  What is your favourite Mater in my son's video?  

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

What RESPs Mean to My 9-year Old Son

My Son Looking at the Macroscopic World of Bacteria
I asked my 9-year-old son to write about RESPs and what they mean to him. He’s familiar with the concept, as we’ve told him ever since he was young that we were setting money aside for his, and his four siblings’ education in the form of an RESP. Below are the main ideas he put down (quite messily) on a piece of two-sided paper, which I edited to make his composition flow more easily. I think he did a great job!
I’m 9-years old and I wanted to tell you what an RESP is, and why it’s important to me. An RESP is a Registered Education Savings Plan, which means my parents put money away each month to save for my university education. I think that an RESP is a good idea, because getting an education after high school is expensive, and paying for it over several years makes it easier to afford. An RESP can help pay for my education, so I can get the job I’ve always wanted. 

When I grow up I want to be a scientist, so I can find cures to diseases and answer some of my deepest questions. I also want to know what was the first living thing on earth that ever mutated. I first became interested in becoming a scientist when I had a dream. The dream was about germs and viruses, and I could see them without using a microscope. The dream made me want to see what real germs and viruses actually looked like.
Studying a Specimen Under the Microscope
I watch videos on YouTube of viruses that can’t be cured, which makes me want to be the one to find a cure for the virus. I also want to find a cure for rabies that always works. The cure for rabies right now doesn’t work a lot; it works rarely. From videos, I learned that only mammals can get rabies, and an animal has to bite a person or another mammal for the mammal to get rabies. 

I’m thankful to mom and dad for saving money for an RESP. My mom and dad also put money toward an RESP every month for my four siblings. I’m glad that my parents started putting away money for my education when I was just a baby, because now the money is really growing!

Heritage Education Funds is available on: Facebook | Twitter
Visit the Heritage Website

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

RSVP for #EczemaAndMe Twitter Party! Over $600 in Walmart Gift Cards!

RSVP for the #EczemaAndMe Twitter Party!
#TwitterParty, #shop, sweepstakes on Twitter
Are You "Itching" To Talk About Eczema?
Join the #EczemaAndMe Twitter Party - Over $600 In Walmart Gift Cards!
Attention Twitter Party lovers!  We're excited to host a party about eczema and how to keep it in check!  On Friday November 14th at 8:00pm ET, please join us for the #EczemaAndMe Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing eczema, and giving you a chance to win prizes! 

Eczema can seem to be an uphill battle, especially as the weather gets cooler.  However, POLYSPORIN® ECZEMA ESSENTIALS TM products can make you comfortable again in your own skin! I wrote about their line of eczema products previously, and more recently about their eczema body wash, and my daughter continues to use the POLYSPORIN® ECZEMA ESSENTIALS TM Daily Moisturizing Cream as a preventative measure. We're hoping this year that "forewarned is forearmed".

Join me and RSVP for the #EczemaAndMe  Twitter Party on SoFabChats!
DATE: Friday November, 14th, 2014
TIME:  8:00-9:00 pm ET
PRIZES: FIVE - (1) CAN $110 Walmart Gift Cards
EARLY BIRD PRIZE: 1 CAN $55 Walmart Gift Card
RSVP & PARTY GRID: #EczemaAndMe Twitter Party Page

Relief for that itch? #EczemaAndMe Twitter Party 11/14 8pm ET. Prizes CAN$605! RSVP/Rules #ad

How To Participate In A Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

TIP:  How to join a Twitter Party - sign in! Before party starts, click on the green “Sign In On Twitter” bar at the top of the page!
TIP: Who to follow at a Twitter Party? Follow the Party Team by clicking on the Twitter handle links on the RSVP page!

TIP: Want to win Twitter Party prizes? RSVP by clicking on RSVP button before you join the party, follow everyone on the Party Team, and tweet with the party hashtag during the party to be eligible!

TIP: How to win the Early Bird prize? Watch for chance to share a tweet when you RSVP for chance to win!

TIP: Special deals and brand coupons? Keep that option checked when you RSVP for the party! 

TIP: New to Twitter parties? Watch your column and Party Team tweet columns - they are slower paced and easier to follow!

TIP: Where to find Twitter Parties? Check out the SoFabChats Twitter Party Calendar to find more fun parties to attend!

Find more helpful Twitter Party Tips on SoFabChats!

Hello Eczema, Our Old Enemy: Surviving Winter Eczema!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
Cold Weather Came Early This Year
November 1, 2014 Toronto, Ontario
As the cooler weather descends on us (with snow in Toronto on November 1st!), as a mother I try to forearm my family.  Because we are Canadian, we stock up on winter boots and mittens, scarves and hats, snowsuits and...cases of we don't have to venture out in the snow, ice and cold!  This year I also took inventory of the eczema remedies that we have on "hand", as it's our struggle to keep that beast at bay during the autumn and winter.  

I've written about winter eczema previously, which I welcome you to go back to read.
Cold Weather Eczema Has Already Started in Our Household
This year the eczema started in October for my daughter and son.  Eczema to us means red, raw, itchy and (eventually) painful skin.  If not kept in check, the skin will eventually crack and worse.  My daughter was very proactive last month, as soon as she saw small bumps forming on her wrist (which has been the tell-tale sign that the eczema is coming back).  She stared using the Polysporin Eczema Essentials Daily Moisturizing Cream again twice daily: morning after her wash up routine, and evening before bed.  It does help, but it's essential to keep up with the routine.

We had used the Polysporin Eczema Essentials product line last year, so this year I thought we could give the Polysporin Eczema Essentials Daily Body Wash a try.  Hand washing is essential, but it is very rough on eczema skin.
How To Find Polysporin Eczema Essentials Products at Walmart
The Polysporin Eczema Essentials Daily Body Wash is easy to find at Walmart, once you know where to find it.  Just go to the outskirts of the Pharmacy: it's located between the "bandages" and "elastics" section of Walmart, and one aisle over from the "hand and body lotion" aisle.  It is not placed with the Polysporin ointment bottles, so don't look there.
Polysporin Eczema Essentials Daily Body Wash
In our own personal experience, there has been no cure for eczema and it never really goes away.  At best, it hibernates like a bear--but comes out when the air turns cold and dry.  Improperly-dried hands make eczema worse, which can be a problem with young children.  This is true of kids wearing damp or wet mittens, and having their wrists exposed to the cold rain and snow.  

Therefore, finding an eczema routine that works well to keep it in check, is essential.  As a result, we'll be substituting Polysporin Eczema Essentials Body Wash in place of hand soap, this fall and winter.  So far it seems to be very gentle, and we'll update later how it has worked for us over the long-term!  Recommendation: I'd love to see the body wash bottle also available in a pump format, which would make hand washing easier for the littles.

Do you or any family members suffer from cold weather eczema?  How do you (or they) keep it in check?      
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