1/31/2016

Gift and Home Decor Products #LoveHallmarkCA #Giveaway (02/14/16 CAN)

There is always something to celebrate in life; birthdays, anniversaries, and school milestones are among the top three things we reward and give gifts for in our house. My girl just got an academics award in school for jumping three reading levels since November and we celebrated this special achievement with her.

Photo opp after she was recognized for her
academics reward on Wednesday.

Thanks to Hallmark Canada I usually have gift options on hand to give for the day-to-day special events that pop up.  Cuddles to Share Small Plush Bear (($9.95 MSRPwas on hand to give after she was recognized for her academics reward on Wednesday. Other gift ideas are pictured below.

Love A Saurus Interactive Plush ($17.95*), Embroidered Happy Pillow ($34.95 MSRP),
 and I Love Us Note Book ($9.95 
MSRP
are just three of the great gift ideas I received.

Win It!
Marjolein Bastin memo pad set: Includes 3 memo pads and a designed pen.
Large memo pad has 100 sheets, medium memo pad has 100 sheets, small memo pad has 50 sheets.
Stationery tower comes wrapped with a ribbon.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I receive occasional perks as part of my involvement with the #LoveHallmarkCa blog community. All opinions remain honest and my own.

1/27/2016

It's Always A Good Time To Think Of Eye Care and Health. #Life

My new bifocals.
I couldn't live in denial any longer. The headaches, squinting, ever-increasing font on the e-reader, covering my left eye when it started to hurt while working on computer- all led me to the conclusion that I needed to get an eye exam. The first question asked by the doctor was; How long has it been since your last exam? The answer...20 years. I was prescribed reading glasses in university to help with eye strain, but have never had an exam since.  I purchase reading glasses to help me get through the day, but they are no good if your eyes need two different prescriptions.

The last straw for me- I have gotten off at the wrong bus stop twice in the last month when returning home in late evening darkness. Not being able to see the street signs left me walking an extra 10-15 minutes and a little sheepish at my mistake. It was time to admit my normal day-to-day functions were being effected by my stubborn attitude towards eye exams and glasses. My exam last week confirmed that I have trouble with distances now, not just reading, resulting in bifocals. Dr. Lai told me it is common for vision to change near the age of 40.  She encouraged me to come back for another exam in a year, but not longer than two years.

I know I'm not the only one who was ignoring her eye health. In a random survey of friends, three of them admitted to having trouble with their eyesight but stubbornly getting on with their life in spite of not having exams in 5, 10, or 15 years. It isn't just about needing to correct vision, an eye exam will help a doctor find eye problems early.
When’s a good time to go for an eye exam? How about right now? Consider this: 250,000 Canadians are walking around with glaucoma this very moment. And half of them, 125,000 people, don’t even know they have it. These people are losing vision, but won’t figure it out until it’s too late to recover what they’ve lost.         CNIB.ca 
I don't usually do preachy health posts, but thought this topic was important enough to send out to my readers. Taking time to get routine health examines can seem like a waste of time when we are all too busy taking care of our family. Vision loss is a real issue for a good friend of mine, it is sad to see his journey to blindness, but it inspired me to book eye exams for me and my hubby and daughter.


 Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and is intended for anecdotal purposes only. Please seek professional advice for any health concerns.

1/20/2016

Huggies Little Movers #IChooseHuggies #IGotItFree

I have been a preschool teacher/nursery caregiver since 2003. I can't count how many diapers I have changed since then, but if you're interested in figuring it out, I change an average of 30 per day/five days a week. That being said, I have seen every brand of diapers and wipes, but only have one favourite that I would recommend. Huggies just keeps getting better in fit and leak protection. Here are a few reasons I love the Huggies Little Movers.

Here is my #IChooseHuggies Voxbox as it arrived.
I reviewed the size fours, but they also come in
sizes 3,5, and 6.

I Choose Huggies...for the wide waist band that helps shape to baby's
back and gives freedom of movement with the stretch.

I Choose Huggies...for the double contact sticky tabs that
hold on tight. (The purple area on front left and right of the diaper
and the white tabs that pull around from the back).
I Choose Huggies...for the two elastic leg bands that contour to
your baby's legs. This double barrier helps keep messes in.

Visit Huggies.com to help with sizing or to find more information about this product.

Disclaimer: This complimentary product was sent to me by Influenster as part of their #IChooseHuggies Voxbox campaign. All opinions remain honest and my own.

1/10/2016

Hand Washing Tips For Kids To Beat Post- Holiday Sniffles and Flu.

The Holiday Season is done and we had fun visiting with family and friends. Now that we have shared our germs for two weeks, we are back to school and work to share the germs we picked up along the way.  My girl woke up with a fever and sniffles today so I am reminding her to cover her cough in her elbow if she doesn't have a tissue in hand and wash her hands really well after coughing and blowing her nose. The following post has excerpts from a post I did for LYSOL in 2012.  She was a busy Toddler then and just learning to wash her hands independently. With the flu season in full swing I wanted to share some ways I get my kid and the kids in my childcare classroom to wash up and curb the spread of germs.
No Touch Hand Soap sensors even work for little hands.
Children learn by exploring the world and their environment.  So I'm sure my Princess has learned a lot about fine motor control and artistic expression when she finger paints my kitchen wall with soft, stinky, cat food.  Did you know that hand washing is one of the single most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs*?  I have a few fun tricks to get my preschool students and my own Princess Destructo washing their hands after messy activities and as part of a healthy routine through out the day.

Hand Washing tip # 1: Let them wash a toy in the sink, rubber duckies work well.  This will get their hands soapy and while they're having fun, they will also be scrubbing away grime and germs. 

Scrub a dub dub, one ducky in the tub
Hand Washing tip # 2: Sing the Alphabet Song at least once while hand washing. This will help give a time frame for scrubbing since children might not know how long 20-30 seconds really is.

LungAssociation_Handwashing_Poster_EN.eps

Hand Washing tip #3: Take pictures of the different hand washing stages and post them near the sink.  We have done this at the child care center where I work and laminated the photos to keep them from getting soggy.  This will give children a visual reminder of what to do while hand washing. Or you can find free download and printable posters to post. Some children have difficulty with multi-step routines so could use a visual reminder.


I'd love to hear tips for getting your family to scrub up!

12/21/2015

Own PAN on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or DVD December 22! #Review #WarnerHomeVideo

PAN: A Thrilling Family Adventure
"Own PAN on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack or DVD on
December 22!"
 We watch a lot of movies, and PAN was on the top of our must-see DVD list this Christmas.  I was pleased to receive a Blu-Ray+DVD+ Digital HD copy to review for Warner Brothers/Warner Home Video.

Credits:
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
Based on: Peter Pan by J.M Barrie
Story by: Jason Fuchs
Music by: John Powell
Original UK Release Date: September 2015
Rated: PG

PAN opens in Lambeth, England which caught my husbands attention because his family immigrated to Canada from there. The young actor portraying Peter (Pan), is Levi Miller, and he holds the audience captive with his charm and witty portrayal of the much loved legendary character created by the works of J.M Barrie. PAN is a galloping tale of boyhood adventure that leads us on an emotional journey that can be described as a prequel as it gives us the origins of how a special boy, seemingly abandoned in a care home, can survive desperate and dangerous situations, keeping faith in the hope of being reunited with his mother someday.  The cinematography is outstanding, and would be a thrill to see in 3D.  It took me a minute or two to recognize the actor playing Blackbeard, as Hugh Jackman. His transformation through costume and makeup/hair is wonderfully frightening. Blackbeard/Jackman and pirate cast delivers a performance of some familiar songs, add suspense and drama plus sing along entertainment. There is cheeky humour and a rebellious streak in Jason Fuchs', Peter. There was more than one time we caught ourselves holding our breath to wait and see how Peter and co-actors would escape the precarious adventures they tumbled into.



"SYNOPSIS
Peter (Levi Miller) is a mischievous 12-year-old boy with an irrepressible rebellious streak, but in the bleak London orphanage where he has lived his whole life those qualities do not exactly fly. Then one incredible night, Peter is whisked away from the orphanage and spirited off to a fantastical world of pirates, warriors and fairies called Neverland. There, he finds amazing adventures and fights life-or-death battles while trying to uncover the secret of his mother, who left him at the orphanage so long ago, and his rightful place in this magical land. Teamed with the warrior Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) and a new friend named James Hook (Garrett Hedlund), Peter must defeat the ruthless pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman) to save Neverland and discover his true destiny—to become the hero who will forever be known as Peter Pan."
Press Release, December 2015

Verdict:
If you still have some Christmas shopping to do, I recommend adding PAN to your shopping list this week. It will possibly become a family favourite as I know it already has been "whisked away" to my seven year old daughters room to find a home in her portable DVD player for quiet time. It runs a little long for her to see in one sitting before bedtime (111 minutes) but I have seen her skipping through the chapters to hear favourite songs and re-enact favourite scenes.

Disclosure: I received a DVD+Blu ray+Digital HD Copy of PAN for review. All opinions remain honest and my own and are based on two viewings of the Blu-Ray disc.

12/18/2015

The Force Is Strong @Hallmark_Canada #LoveHallmarkCA #Sponsor

Star Wars Itty Bittys Collector Set
MSRP $29.95

The much anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens will make its debut to the general public today and I have friends who have had advanced tickets for weeks. If you have to wait to get into the theatre to see this epic new movie from Lucas Film Ltd., there will be a bounty of new merchandise to keep you busy in the mean time.  My friends at Hallmark Canada have sent me this new Star Wars Itty Bittys Collector Set to show how they are helping to celebrate the Star Wars saga. Itty Bittys are great for collecting and great for promoting pretend play for children young and old.

I would love to pick up the Holiday Itty Bittys as well, Chewbacca has always been my favourite character.

Each sold separately in store for $6.95.

A great gift idea for your Star Wars fan who loves to cook, is this salt and pepper shaker collector set pictured below.  You will hear me say pass the Stormtrooper during Christmas dinner.
Snowman-shaped Darth Vader™ pepper shaker & Stormtrooper™ salt shaker
MSRP $19.95/set

Thanks to Hallmark Canada for awakening the force in our home and giving me a lot of gift ideas this season.  I hope you liked these gift ideas as much as I do and that you enjoy the new movie!

Disclosure: I receive occasional perks as part of my involvement in the #Love HallmarkCA blog community. All opinions remain honest and my own.

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