Monday, September 22, 2014

Planting Seeds For Future Dreams #RESPwithRBC @RBC_Canada

Miss G is 5 years old and wants to be a horse
 trainer when she grows up.

This month marks a monumental milestone for me. As my girl begins her educational journey, mine is finally ending.  A rite of passage that makes me nearly weep with pride.  You see, I have been chipping away at my student loan debt since 1999.  On September 30 I will mark my final payment off my financial calendar and breath a huge sigh of relief.  I have shared my student loan woes in past posts, but want to now focus on ways to save my girl from the crippling debt that has prevented me from buying a home, car, travelling, and accomplishing many more dreams I have had. I did learn a lot about financial independence by finding my own way through college, but have resented the constant burden of paying for those loans.


Since my princess was born I had intended to open a savings account for her and start an RESP.  Five years have gone in a blink, unemployment and low family income has seen us barely scraping by, let alone investing in savings. Our girl is now in Kindergarten, my income is more stable and I wondered if it's too late to start saving for her future? 
After chatting with a RESP specialist at RBC, I was happy to learn that it's not too late to start saving for my daughter's education.  With a commitment of $50-100 per month and help from family members, my goal of having at least $20,000 saved for her post-secondary studies, is achievable.








RBC wants you to know:
  • Saving for a child's education is easier if you start early and contribute regularly ($25 a week can add up to $50,911** in 18 years)
  • You can receive free money from the government! The Canada Education Savings Grant will match up to 20% on the first $2,500 contributed annually. That could mean up to an additional $500 a year in your RESP, up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200!
  • With advice from RBC, it's easy to start. No need to be overwhelmed. You have the flexibility to use the RESP for university, college, apprenticeship, non-credit courses etc., and if your child doesn't use the funds, you can use your contributions and earnings to fund your RRSP!
There are many ways to save for a child's education - with gifts from relatives and friends or a weekly contribution that fits your budget, maybe $25/week with an RESP-Matic®

Join the @RBC_Canada community for more information about RESP's and chances to win money!

  • Mark your calendar for the @RBC_Canada Twitter party on October 1! The hashtag will be #RESPwithRBC and participants can win one of 6 $100 gift cards.
  • Enter the Grow Your RESP with RBC contest. There are 4 prizes of $500 (towards an RESP) to be won, winners can get a head start in saving for their child’s dreams.

You can find more great tips on saving for your child’s education here: http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/resp/ and rbc.com/education


“Disclosure: I am part of the RBC RESP blogger program 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.”

Image credit: RBC Canada facebook page

Monday, September 15, 2014

Easy Apple "Turkey" Craft {Preschool Activities}

Apple Turkeys

Items used:

  • large craft feathers
  • round toothpicks
  • small marshmallows
  • large apple preferably with a stem
  • turkey face printable

  1. Start by threading marshmallows onto toothpicks, leaving enough space to stick the toothpick end into the apple. 
  2. Choose feathers to press into the top of the apple like a fanned tail.
  3. Cut out the paper turkey face and use a toothpick to poke a hole in the middle, use the stem of the apple to secure the face.
  4. Optional: Use coloured marshmallows instead of feathers. Thread the marshmallows onto toothpicks and stick on the top of the apple in place of the feathers. 
If you're concerned about the hygienic issues of eating an apple after having craft feathers stuck in it, take a walk and leave it outside for the birds and squirrels to eat like we did.

Learning Outcomes:

Symbolism and representation- Using simple materials to construct a sculpture representing a turkey will help young children expand their cognitive functions.

Language - Chatting as you work on projects is a great way to introduce new words, explain traditions, and get your child to open up and process what is happening in their fast-developing minds.



Disclosure: This activity was inspired from four different sources. I printed the face template from www.dltk-kids.com.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Seven Days Of Gratitude Challenge. #7Cards7Days and #HallmarkPressPause


I am a fan of traditional, old-fashioned, thank you notes and I still mail Christmas cards annually even though it seems to be falling out of fashion for some.  Hallmark Canada challenged me to send out 7 Cards in 7 Days as part of their Share the Love campaign. I decided it was a perfect chance to get my five year old involved in sending thank you's to people who have been generous and kind to us this summer while on vacation.

Thank you list:

  1. Gramma S. for looking after our kitty while on vacation.
  2. Miss Amanda for taking care of G this summer while hubby and me worked.
  3. Granny and Poppy in Newfoundland for taking good care of us on vacation.
  4. Auntie L and 
  5. Auntie C for the the rides to and from the airport.
  6. Auntie D for the vacation sleep overs and swims.
  7. Haddie the new pen pal for sending a birthday present.

Instilling acts of gratitude in young children can help foster caring and compassion.  It's also a great way to practice printing without calling it homework.

WIN IT!

10 blank cards from Hallmark’s Sarah Richardson Collection 

These lovely note cards are available for one reader to win so they can share the love too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: As part of the Hallmark Canada Press Pause panel, I receive occasional perks. All opinions on this blog remain honest and my own.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New Flavours From Pringles and More #KelloggCAInnovations. #giveaway

The newest crop of Kellogg Canada product innovations has been popular here.  My girl immediately ran away with the new family size format of KRAVE cereal after this photo was snapped. My hubby claimed all the PRINGLES TORTILLAS (Nacho Cheese, Zesty Ranch, and Original).  I was content to take the SPECIAL K, GRANOLA, and RICE KRISPIES because they have added Vitamin D for extra nutrient value.  The PRINGLES shirt is unfortunately too small for anyone in our house, but is going to be gifted to a friend.

My generous affiliates at Kellogg's have offered to give a similar prize pack to one of my readers. I hope you love the new or improved products as much as I do.
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Disclaimer: I am a member of the Kellogger's Blog community and receive occasional perks. All opinions on this blog remain honest and my own.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Easy Room Transformations With Prints From Posterjack.ca #sponsor @Posterjack



Being in a rental space means I am limited to the amount of decorating I can do. I don't even have permission to paint this time around. The goal is to personalize, yet put as few holes in the wall as possible (I'm talking about hanging pictures, not partying). I've been in this rental house for two years and have struggled with what to put on the blank kitchen wall. I played around on Posterjack.ca one evening and tried to create a personalized art piece to change the focal point in my boring Kitchen. I flipped through the art gallery and chose some favourite images as back up in case none of my own photos were high enough quality for printing.
Posterjack has 5 photo art tips to make the most of the small space:
1. Make it feel bigger with reflections - Metal Prints and Lacquer Frames catch and reflect light which can make a space feel bigger.
2. Make a statement - on oversized Poster makes a statement and also creates a focal point, tricking the eye into thinking the room is bigger than it is.
3. Create continuity - use a collection of Canvas Prints that have the same soft colours and are the same size for a natural flow throughout the room.
4. Add personality without the paint - create a great accent wall without the paint or damage with Peel & Sticks and Photo Boards.
5. Inspiration boards - create a collage of all the people, places and things that inspire you – perfect for above a desk or workspace.
After studying the different types of products available, I decided there was a photo from my recent vacation that I wanted to use to make a Photo Board. The process was easy and Posterjack.ca prompted me through the steps in no time at all.

Decorating with photo art from Posterjack is as easy as 1,2,3:
Upload a photo, Select your print and size, Sit back as Posterjack delivers right to your door.

Verdict:
I love the fact that I can use my own photos for free or choose an image from the very large photo gallery for a small fee. I love the helpful hints, for example if my image was low resolution, the photo editor would tell me in their Image Quality Check rating. There are also helpful hints for finishing touches like frames and mounting hardware before checkout. I will post before and after pictures of my kitchen when my photo board arrives in the next few days.


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions on this blog remain honest and my own.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Flipp App Helps Me Go Paperless and Save, Save, Save. #FREE #APP #Giveaway



I have been trying to go paperless for a few years now and feel like I'm losing the battle most days. Cancelling my local paper + flyer delivery was first on my to-do list after discovering a FREE app that lets me gain access to hundreds of store flyers in the palm of my hand. Flipp was free to download on my android phone, and can be customized to access the flyers I like best in my "favourites".  While travelling out of province on vacation this summer, I used Flipp to access local grocery and department store deals to save the cost of take out. It was simple to use, by updating the local postal code, I had easy access to current deals.  When I returned home, I once again updated my postal code to get current flyers and caught up on some grocery shopping to fill out post-vacation empty fridge.  I used the app again yesterday to see what back to school deals are advertised right now, because I haven't yet shopped for my girls return to SK.  My favourite use for Flipp is price matching!


About Flipp:Developed by Toronto-based tech company, Wishabi) can be downloaded in itunes and google play store
Flipp has a unique set of user-friendly features and functionality that set it apart from other apps, including:

  • Flip: Rapidly flip and browse between and within weekly circulars
  • Search: Easily search for a store, item, or brand
  • Clip: Clip items from any flyer straight to your shopping list by simply tapping on an item
  • Discount slider: Highlight items on sale to find the best deals and savings
  • Favorites: Save your favorite store’s flyers for easy reference and a personalized shopping experience every week
  • Share and Item Details are available on the iOS version.



Flipp is giving away an ipad mini online. Check out the easy entry here.


WIN IT!

Flipp is sponsoring a $50 VISA GC giveaway right here! It's my birthday so I was saving this giveaway announcement for today!


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions on this blog remain honest and my own.