Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Fun for Little Hands #PreschoolActivities

Working in an infant room full-time has been a new challenge for me after being with three and four year old's for a decade.  My repertoire of sensory activities will have to be adapted for little ones that like to put everything in their mouth.  Here is one of my sensory-motor Fall Harvest activities.

  1. I cut open the pumpkin and scooped the contents in a bowl. 
  2. Using large freezer bags, I divided the contents up into four bags. 
  3. I put a teaspoon of food colouring into each of the three bags, leaving one bag plain. 
  4. Squeeze the air out of each bag before sealing tight. I also used heavy duty packing tape to tape the zipper seal shut. 
  5. It is recommended to have one sensory activity item per infant. Direct supervision at all times is a must when playing with any item that could be a choking hazard.

The infants were able to explore the pumpkin stuff without putting the seeds in their mouth or risking allergic reaction (especially if they haven't yet had pumpkin or squash yet).

Learning Outcomes:

Fine motor exercise as the babies squeeze the materials.

Visual comparison and observation as they see the food colouring mix through the orange pumpkin stuff.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Kelloggs Treats With a New Flavour Twist #RiceKrispiesHalloween

Kellogs Canada recently sent me a recipe to try.  It is much like the standard Rice Krispies Treats recipe but adds one extra ingredient.

What I used:

Tip: Spray cookie cutters with non-stick
spray to help with easy removal.
1/4 cup margarine
1 (400 gram) package of mini marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup of instant butterscotch pudding powder
6 cups of Rice Krispies

What I did:
Melt margarine and marshmallows in a large pan.  Add vanilla extract and butterscotch pudding powder. Stir everything really well and mix cereal in to the marshmallow mix.  Press the mixture into a shallow pan.  When it's firm to the touch, press cookie cutter in to get fun shapes.

When your treat shapes are cut out, decorate with icing and any candy that you like.  We ate the left over Rice Krispies Treat mixture and saved the fun shapes for our party guests.

Disclosure: As part of the Kellogg Canada blogger community I receive occasional perks. All opinions on this blog remain honest and my own.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Trick or Treat Greeter via @Hallmark_Canada #Giveaway

This Hallmark Canada product is available in store.
This cheerful pumpkin could be yours. It is motion activated and says six different spook-tacular phrases.  Easy entry below for this quick turn around giveaway.  

Have fun and play nice!

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, October 8, 2014

Fun Halloween Decorations @Hallmark_Canada #PressPausePanel

Halloween is just around the corner and my girl is already making plans for this special treat-filled day.  She is going to be a bride and wants to Trick or Treat a little bit and then go to a friends' Halloween party for 6:30 pm.  To get in the mood for Fall and Trick or Treating, Hallmark Canada has a new crop of fun decorations.  These are two of our favourites.
Toe Tappin' Trick or Treater
retails for $15.95 with purchase of three
greeting cards.
*Available in store only.
 This product has taken residence on my coffee table and has enough space for a few handfuls of wrapped candies in the opening. The candies dance out as my daughter activates the sound and music, but that adds to the fun.

Trick or Treater Greeter
retails for $19.95 with purchase.
*Available in store only.
Even though the Trick or Treater Greeter is one of our favourite products for Fall 2014, we found the pumpkin decoration a little loud to be honest.  I prefer more than one volume setting on most music and sound products.  I have hung it on my door, between the exterior and storm door.

Disclosure: As part of the Hallmark Canada Press Pause Panel, I receive occasional perks with no obligation to post. All opinions remain honest and my own.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Elegant and Refreshing Home Decor #Lampeberger #Review

This elegant Lampe can be displayed in any room.
Starter kit prices start at $48. Or purchase the lampe
and fragrances separately. 
I used to work in a home decor and giftware store that had a small selection of Lampe Berger lamps and fragrances.  Lampe Berger Paris has been in business for more than 100 years and is what I would call a premium brand in the world of home decor and fragrance.  There are other brands who are producing and selling similar lamps I finally got a chance to try one out for the last two weeks.  

I have hoarded air freshening sprays and smelly candles for years. I have at least two problem areas in my house.  The air never stays fresh or pleasant on my upper level for long after a smelly dinner of poached salmon.  My basement space is rarely used because the cat box is in residence down there.
Lampe Berger boasts a unique catalytic action wick that actually removes odours and purifies your air when used as specified.

This video gives a demo of how to set up your lamp for the first time, please read and follow all directions in the booklet provided at time of purchase.  I have used this product in many places, but the Lampe Berger essence is very flammable so please take all necessary precautions. Never move it when lit and let the wick cool completely before trying to remove it to refill.

Verdict:  As with any flammable product, use with due care and caution.  Since lighting the Lampe Berger every night (usually after supper) for 20 minutes, I have reduced my use of air freshening sprays and candles. I am also enjoying my basement space much more since the Lampe Berger is in regular use down there as well. This product would be a great gift for many different occasions, it comes in many styles/colours/price points.


Lampe Berger Facebook

Lampe Berger Brand Page

Store locator for Lampe Berger Paris to show availability in Canada.

Disclosure: I received a Lampe Berger starter kit to aid my review.  All opinions on this blog remain honest and my own.

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: and

“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