Saturday, February 26, 2011

Winners! Winners! Winners!

Winners have been chosen for our JetBaby giveaway and our Summer Fresh Salads giveaway.

Congratulations to
SueBooBadoos said... 73
I would love love love to win the Kiss bear tee but my husband says The My Daddy Rocks would be the best prize
You have won your pick of a rock tee or rock onesie from JetBaby! Please e-mail me your mailing info so you can claim your prize!

Congrats to
jenn29love said... 59
Follow you on fb.
You are the winner of our Summer Fresh Salads giveaway! Please e-mail me your mailing info so I can get your prize to you! Enjoy!

Winners have been chosen via Random.Org. Thanks to everyone for entering our giveaways! More exciting stuff to come! :)

Designs by Dani Giveaway Ends March 4th.
Saving Women's Hearts (Book) Giveaway Ends March 9th.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Saving Women's Hearts: Book Review and Giveaway

Heart disease is probably something that many of us worry think about. When I was a kid, it wasn't something I even gave a single thought about. Now, I find myself making sure I go to my dance and pilates classes and go to my Zumba classes. I make sure my family and I healthy, well-balanced meals with lots of veggies. I won't lie. I do worry about heart disease.

I was shocked when I discovered that heart disease is the leading killer of women in North America. Did you know that? I thought it was breast cancer. I was mistaken. It's heart disease!

When asked to review the book Saving Women's Hearts: How You Can Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease With Natural and Conventional Strategies by Martha Gulati and Sherry Torkos, I jumped at the opportunity.  I was happy to discover that the book was written by two highly qualified women. Martha Gulati is a cardiologist, specializing in cardiac disease prevention in women and Sherry Torkos is a pharmacist with training in both conventional and complementary medicine. The book was written in hopes of empowering women to recognize the risks and improve their heart health.

Saving Women's Hearts discusses in great detail, the screening procedures, diagnosis, treatment options, and the prevention of heart disease. What I liked the most was that each chapter was informative and as a whole, helped me understand the illness better.

Chapters that caught my attention:
* "Affairs of a Woman's Heart" and "The Risks to a Woman's Heart": Why heart disease is different and unique for women. I was interested in reading about Non-modifiable, Modifiable, and Emerging Risk Factors for Heart Disease Development. I won't spoil this read by giving all the details, but there are lots of interesting facts about genes, ethnicity, age (among other factors), and the roles they play when it comes to heart disease.

* Nature's Pharmacy - the role of vitamins and other supplements
Again, I won't ruin this for you (as I know you are now aching to get your hands on a copy of this book so you can check it out for yourself!). All I  have to say is: Green foods, garlic, cinnamon (to name a few heart-friendly foods)!

* The impact of stress and practical tips on managing stress: This is a chapter I should be memorizing! Strategies for surviving stress and managing stress are discussed in Chapter 10. The chapter opens with the story of Leslie, a single mom with two  young children, who owns her own business, puts in at least 10 hours of work a day, plus has all the responsibilities of her kids and their activities. She goes to bed at midnight and has to get up for work at 6AM. Apart from some slight differences, Leslie's routine sounds strikingly similar to mine. The running from one commitment to another with no time to relax, feeling out of time, anxious, overwhelmed, stressed out...Ummm...Hello?! I feel that way!!!

* The role of sleep and heart health: Yikes! Were you aware that lack of sleep can increase your risk of heart disease and other health problems?

I've read the book from cover to cover and would definitely recommend it to every woman out there. This is something I'm considering getting for my female family members and friends.

Would you like your own copy of Savings Women's Hearts? You're in luck!

WIN IT! Here's how! 

MANDATORY ENTRY:  To be entered to win your own copy of the book, simply leave me a comment about why you'd like to read Saving Women's Hearts. Please remember to leave your email address so I can reach you if you win!

* Follow me on Twitter @chancesmommy (2 entries)

* Tweet this contest: #win book Saving Women's Hearts @chancesmommy (Ends 3/9) #giveaway (each Tweet = one entry--you may tweet once each day, please leave link to your tweet)

*  Grab my button and leave me the link to where you posted it :) (2 entries)

*Follow Random Thought  and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on Google Friend Connect! (2 entries)

* "Like" Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on Facebook. (2 entries)

This giveaway closes on Wednesday March 9th, 2011. Open to Canadian Residents only.

Disclosure - I am participating in the Saving Women’s Hearts program by Mom Central on behalf of Wiley Publishing. I received a copy of the book to review and gift card as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.
Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mommy Needs a Time Out!

 I  have come to the conclusion that I am just a very high-strung, high-stress kind of person. I've noticed that recently, I've been getting very overwhelmed with everything and something has got to change. Meditation hasn't seemed to be working. Exercise has been very helpful and I love it. It's just that when I get back from dance/pilates and Zumba classes, I get home and the feeling of being overwhelmed is back...almost immediately.

I figured I may need better organizational skills. For example: Make batches upon batches of meals on Sunday so that we have all our lunches and suppers ready for the entire week. Ummm...No. Can't seem to get all of that done on Sundays since weekends are always so busy and I can't really seem to get a lot accomplished when the toddler wants to undo everything I do.

 The cattle  have been very bad and continue to "jump fence" even when the "juice" is on. Apparently, they don't mind the electric fence so much. Of course, they have to plot their escape when Hubby is off the farm and I am on my way to work! Ack!

 We had a cold spell and our water pipes were frozen. That meant no water for us. No water means no working toilet, no shower, no water for cooking. I know a few generations ago, this was the norm and people made due by collecting water so they'd have it on hand. For me, it's just one more stress right now. Thank goodness Hubby got the pipes unfrozen last night! I almost told him that he'd have to take us out for supper so that we could use the toilet at the restaurant!

 Little One continues to be her adorable, busy self. She has taken to playing dress-up lately and has been wanting to wear costumes every day! We're on Day 2 right now of her wearing her lion costume all day. She refuses to take it off. Yes, she ended up going to our friend's house for a play date and dinner in her lion costume. She's in the barn with Hubby at the her lion costume and snowsuit. *sigh*
 She's been showing signs of wanting to potty train. She keeps taking off her diaper and telling us when it's time to go. She climbs onto her potty and tries to go. She isn't always successful. Oftentimes, she'll get there a moment too late. She is starting to grasp the concept though. I still think she's not ready for it yet, but she thinks she is.

 She's also been doing this extremely whiny routine lately. It's just been this past week that she has started doing her "fake cry". It's really quite stressful and annoying. I ask her what she wants or try to direct her attention to something else. Sometimes distraction works. Sometimes nothing works.

Hubby is thinking we should consider Baby #2 soon. I would love another baby, but I can't seem to get my act together with just the ONE! Juggling toddler, husband, family, household chores, helping with farm, meetings, committees, ESL student, teaching, and everything else...I'm so overwhelmed. Plus, now my once mild-mannered, extremely well-behaved toddler is now exceedingly whiny and clingy. I know she wants my full attention. She tells me! She grabs me by the hand and says, "Come now, Mama!" When I take her little hand and spend time with her and cuddle, read a book, or play a game with her, she is happy for the moment. Then she gets whiny again.

Though I never experienced postpartum depression, I am wondering why I'm feeling so overwhelmed now...when it's 2 years after I've had my daughter.

I must be the worst mother in the world, because the whining absolutely drives me bonkers! Then I think of how fortunate we are to have her with us, despite the whiny bouts. After all, we went through so much to bring her into this world. I feel guilty for even being overwhelmed. Ack!

Working moms out there: How do you manage to go to work, take care of your children, do everything at home and out of the home, and keep your sanity intact? Any helpful tips? What works for you?
Saturday, February 19, 2011

Baby Gourmet Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Baby Gourmet giveaway 
The luck winner is...

Kristi said... 3
Christine, I've never heard about this product before and I would love to win some of it. I was making my own food for Lucas and think this product is a great idea!! Oh, I did go to their FB page and mentioned you sent me!!
 Kristi, please e-mail me with your mailing info so Baby Gourmet can get your prize out to you! We hope Lucas enjoys all the delicious Baby Gourmet combinations!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Designs by Dani GIVEAWAY!!!

I have to say that surfing the 'net for adorable items for kids can be somewhat overwhelming at times. The internet is inundated with website upon website and Etsy shop upon Etsy shop each showcasing tons of cute outfits and accessories for tiny tots!

In my search for all things girlie for my girlie girl, I happened to find Designs by Dani
Designs by Dani carries a wide array of items from homemade treats, tooth fairy pillows,  unisex Busha leggings and pants, hair accessories, etc. They also carry handmade items. Simply adorable!

Guess what?! Designs by Dani wants to give one of my readers a wonderful prize! One reader's tiny tot will be dressed from head to toe by Designs by Dani! Yes, you heard me correctly!  One lucky reader will win a customized onesie or t-shirt, choice of a pair of Busha leggings/pants and their choice of a Kaylee Baylee Hair Pretty!
To enter:
Just visit Designs by Dani on Facebook and "like" them. Tell them I sent you. (4 entries)
Make sure you leave me your e-mail address so I can reach you if you win. Also, please leave a separate comment for each entry!

Want extra chances to win?
-"Like" Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on Facebook. (2 entries)

- Follow Random Thought  and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on Google Friend Connect! (2 entries)

-Grab my button and post it :)

-Follow me on Twitter @chancesmommy and Tweet this contest! (2 entries)

Ends March 4, 2011. Open to Canadian and U.S. residents. Good luck, everyone!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

A wise friend once told me that 
"Sometimes the best decisions at the time 
are the hardest ones to make".
Monday, February 14, 2011

Cheerios Prize Pack Winner!

Congratulations to...
Dragonfly said... 24
I've been following the BabyCenter site since I found out I was preggie! I Love the weekly updates how baby is coming along! All three of the kids here LOVE thier Cheerios for breakfest and or just a fast snack! In fact my 6 year old is having a party for 100 days of school soon, and I've already counted out 100 pcs of Cheerios for the occasion! I can;t wait to see how baby XYZ will take to these little O's!!!!

You have won The Cheerios Prize Pack ($50 value!) will include a: Cheerios On-the-go Tot ContainerCheerios playbookBox of CheeriosBowl and utensil set and a $30 Cash Card. Please contact me with your mailing info so MomCentral can get your prize out to you! :)

Thank you to everyone who entered our giveaway! More exciting stuff to come!
Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mom Bloggers Making a Positive Impact on Canadian Health, One Post at a Time

For those unfamiliar with the blogging world, Mom bloggers have a very strong role in the health of Canadians. As socially/digitally connected moms, we care. Be it in the form of a simple Tweet, responding to a fellow mother's questions about breastfeeding or car seat safety, or leaving comments on blogs or message boards, we help one another. By giving support when it comes to grief and loss of a child or sharing experiences so others know they are not alone, we  help one another.

When I was put on strict hospital bed rest for my high risk pregnancy, I was overwhelmed with all the support, love, and encouragement that came from readers all over the world. What could have been a depressing time (I was on my back for almost five weeks with only bathroom privileges!), wasn't! I received many comments, e-mail messages, cards, phone calls and visits from some blog friends (and friends I reconnected with via the 'net). I posted questions about preterm babies, checked out websites and mom boards that specialized in premature babies and preterm labor.

Then came the very early arrival of our daughter, Little One.  She arrived at 28 weeks gestation and spent the first 70 days of life in the NICU. Readers of my blog followed our long and sometimes scary journey. They shared in the ups and downs of each day in the hospital.

Mom bloggers do have an impact on health. By being there for other parents, we offer support. Just from the mental health standpoint, if I didn't have the blog during my bed rest during pregnancy or while our baby was in the NICU, I know I would probably not have come out of the experience as well as I did. This is just me being honest. The blog world lets us know that we are not alone. Other parents have gone through what we have and can provide a sense of community.

When I posted "HELP! How do I soothe a baby when teething?", I was overwhelmed with how many Moms replied to my Facebook status update.

I also received amazing advice from Moms on Facebook and Twitter when I posted that my toddler had been screaming all night, complaining that her legs and feet hurt. I am thankful to have the resources we have now. Drawing from the experiences of other moms (and of course, seeking advice from health professionals) has been such a blessing. In return for all the support I have been given, I've been prompted to become an advocate for premature babies and help raise awareness and give support to other parents of preemies.

Being a Mom is probably the hardest (yet most rewarding) job a woman could have. The daily struggles and anxieties of life and trying to find a proper balance between family, work and everything else are ever present. I have to say thank goodness for Mom bloggers! We do have an impact on the health of Canadians (as well as around the globe). Even my husband agrees!

I wrote this post for the chance to win tickets to Blissdom Canada. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook . Please don't forget to follow @BabyDdrops #DdropsBliss on Twitter and Facebook

Best of luck to all the wonderful Canadian Mom bloggers who are entering this contest! Thank you, Ddrops for this amazing opportunity!
Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Green and Canadian! It's Planet Echo!

As a Mom, I am very mindful of what my child is exposed to. Whether it's the chemicals in produce, the unnatural ingredients in processed foods, harmful UV rays, or even shows on TV, I try to keep her health and well being in mind and offer her body and mind as much wholesome food as I can.  Some may balk at me being a bit fussy about what my child eats. I get the "No sugar? No junk food at all? Oh, Mom. You are so mean!" (actually, "mean" is one of the kinder adjectives used!). I also get the "Aren't you being a little bit overly cautious about the UV rays?" when I cover my toddler up with a wide brimmed hat and a full cover swimsuit!  Some may also think I'm a bit "weird" for not wanting my two year old to watch too much TV.

I want my daughter to enjoy the world around her and appreciate the environment which she lives in. She appreciates the lakes and forests that surround us on the beautiful island we live on. She also loves the animals (on our farm and in the wild) that she sees each day.
Yes, as a parent, there are so many things we need to consider when it comes to what we expose our children to. When I was told about a fabulous kids' show called Planet Echo, I just had to check it out!
The show is fantastic for kids of all ages (including moms who care about our planet)! In brief, Planet Echo follows the wild and wacky adventures of two brothers - Chuck and Andy.  The characters make the show interesting with their fun personalities, but viewers are conscious of the environmental theme to the show too. Another thing I was highly impressed with was the Canadian history and culture present in Planet Echo. With Chuck and Andy's background being French Canadian/Aboriginal, there is a lot of interesting information for young viewers to learn.

Not only is Planet Echo a fun show, but it is a wonderful teaching tool as well. What better way to teach our children about our country and our planet than by engaging in some fun and informative lessons with them? Even my toddler was interested in learning how to make dirty water clean...and she's only two years old!!! is a great website with plenty of  games and fun for kids (especially great for kids between the ages of 7 and 12, but even my 2 year old loves the videos and games when she watches with me). Of course, my husband loves the show too! All the facts and trivia are right up his alley!

Now that I've been introduced to Planet Echo, I think I'll be using the show for my ESL students too! It's a fantastic tool for students whose first language is not English. It helps improve their listening skills, vocabulary acquisition, and it gives them a healthy dose of Canadian culture and history at the same time! I am so excited that I've been introduced to Planet Echo! (Thanks, Mama Crumb!)

I hope you get a chance to check out this brilliant kids' show on APTN! If you do check out, let me know what you think! :)

* Disclaimer - For blogging about/reviewing Planet Echo, I received a $25 gift card for, a wonderful "green" Canadian mom-run company. All the opinions on this blog are my own.
Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Good Things Come in Threes???

Who can resist three great giveaways? For all those with tiny tots (or for those who are expecting or know someone who is expecting!), you will want to check these out!

Mom Central Canada and Cheerios are offering one lucky reader a Cheerios Prize Pack ($50 value). The Prize Pack includes: a Cheerios On-the-go Tot Container, a Cheerios Play book, a Box of Cheerios, a bowl and utensil set, and a $30 cash card.

Check out the exciting new first foods section on the brought to you by Cheerios! See my original post for contest details and enter by leaving your comments on my actual contest post!
Ends 2/14/11.

Baby Gourmet wants one of my readers to have their very own All Stage Sampler Box! We've taste tested a variety of Baby Gourmet Organic Baby Food and gave it two thumbs up! See our review and details on how you can win your own box of Baby Gourmet for your little one! To enter, leave your comments on my original contest post and don't forget to "like" Baby Gourmet on Facebook!
Ends 2/18/11.

JetBaby is giving one of my readers a rock onesie or rock tee of their choice. Enter by commenting on my original giveaway post here.  Picture your little cutie sporting a Beastie Boys tee or a Beatles onesie! Too cute! Make sure you "like" JetBaby on Facebook and show 'em some luuuuuv! 
Ends 2/25/11.

Wait!!! A fourth giveaway has just been added to our giveaway list for this month! 

Summer Fresh Salads is giving one lucky reader of mine a $10 coupon to be used towards Summer Fresh Products! Mmmmmm! My toddler loves the Artichoke and Asiago dip and we've caught her eating the Hummus out of the container with a spoon!

Summer Fresh Salads = Toddler Approved!
Want to win? Enter here. Ends 2/25/11.

Good luck, everyone!

Everything's Changing

We went from reading books to Little One... Little One "reading" stories to us.

She went from having a really sweet nursery and being in a crib... being in a big girl bed!

 She's growing up so quickly and I have to say that I miss my little baby. I'm enjoying the toddler years, but cannot believe how fast the years are flying by! 2 years old already. That's crazy!

She mimics everything we do and she asserts her independence. She demonstrates her likes and dislikes, and she  has no qualms about letting us know what she thinks. She is into everything...a walking disaster waiting to happen...always making me clean the house very inquisitive. She says the funniest things like, "BABY!!!" while pointing at her grandmother's tummy. *sigh*

The time between babyhood and school age years is just so precious and short. I just want to savour every moment. We can never get this time with our kids back. Remind me I said this the next time I complain about how exhausted I am! ;)

Summer Fresh Salads Review and Giveaway!

When I was in college and university (in Quebec we have c.e.g.e.p/college before going on to university), I was vegetarian. I basically survived on beans, legumes, tofu and veggies. This was when I was introduced to the wonderful world of Hummus and Baba Ghanouj!

Since then, I've been crazy about hummus and other kinds of dips. I still eat them all the time. I've introduced my husband (the meat and potatoes farm boy I speak of on the blog every now and then!) and our toddler to hummus, Tzatziki, Artichoke and Asiago dip, etc.

You can only imagine how excited I was when I was asked to review  Summer Fresh Salads products! The funny thing is that this is the brand my Mom always buys and I never even realized it!

I was shocked at just how many different products are on the Summer Fresh Salads list! They have Spinach Dip, Tzatziki, Roasted Red Pepper, Bruschetta, Artichoke & Asiago Dip, Original Hummus, Garlic Hummus, Eggplant Hummus, Tofu Spread...just to name a few!

They also have Meals to Go in three great combinations!
1. Roasted Garlic Hummus/Taboulah/Flatbreads/Trail Mix
2. Red Pepper Hummus/Couscous/Flatbreads/Trail Mix
3. Hummus/7 Grain Salad/Flatbreads/Trail Mix

The products are healthy, nutritious, and delicious! Each container indicates whether the product is lactose-free, gluten-free, etc. All of the Summer Fresh Salads products are vegetarian. I really wish these products were around back when I was in university! I was vegetarian in a time when waitresses at restaurants and coffee shops told us to "Go and grind your own soy beans if you want soy milk instead of cow's milk"! I'm not kidding. It happened to a friend and me when we were in university! I almost said that one does not "grind" soy beans to make soy milk, but it was futile.

Another thing I love about Summer Fresh Salads is that the containers are resealable, reusable, and stackable. I was given the opportunity to try six dips/hummus (3 of each) and 3 Meal to Go combinations.
We chose:
* Spinach Dip
* Artichoke & Asiago Dip
* Tzatziki
* Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
* Garlic Hummus
* Eggplant Hummus

We haven't tried out the Meal to Go combinations yet. I'll have to write another post about them soon!

I have to say that I do not know which one I love the most. ALL of the dips and hummus flavours are delicious! I love the ALL!!! Hubby is quite partial to the Artichoke & Asiago Dip. He likes spreading it on crackers. Little One surprised us by inhaling the Garlic Hummus. Our two year old loves hummus so much that she eats it out of the container with a spoon!

I noticed that the literature for Summer Fresh Salads says that they're not just for dipping, so I tried to incorporate the dips into my own recipes. I may have to start blogging about all the Summer Fresh Salads recipes I come up with!

So far, I've just done a few things. For example, the pumpernickel bread and spinach dip for a dinner party we went to. I also made veggie sandwiches by spreading Artichoke & Asiago dip onto flat bread and adding alfalfa sprouts, thinly chopped lettuce, thinly sliced carrots, and a few other veggies. It was delicious! I also tried grilling veggies and adding them to a wrap with the Eggplant Hummus (as per the Summer Fresh Salads suggestion). Oh, the possibilities are endless! I'm so excited!

The dips and hummus are perfect for entertaining and for every day meals or healthy snacks at home! Thank you, Summer Fresh Salads for asking us to try out your products! We will definitely be buying Summer Fresh Salads all the time!

Available in the deli section of your favourite grocery store!

Summer Fresh Salads is sponsoring a giveaway on my blog for a $10 coupon for Summer Fresh Salads products (which could be used at stores that carry the products).  The products we tested were valued at $3.99 each  at the Superstore. If you win the $10 coupon, you can get two products like the ones we taste tested!
Just visit and let me know which Summer Fresh Salads product you would like to try! Make sure to leave your e-mail address in the comment section so I can contact you if you win!
(2 entries)

Want additional entries?
- Like Summer Fresh Salads on Facebook! Tell them I sent you over! (2 entries)

- Follow Summer Fresh Salads on Twitter! Don't forget to tell them I sent you :)  (2 entries)

- Follow me on Twitter @chancesmommy and Tweet this contest! (4 entries)

-"Like" Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on Facebook. (2 entries)

- Follow Random Thought  and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on Google Friend Connect and/or Networked Blogs! (2 entries)

- Post my button on your blog and leave me the link so I can see where you posted it :) (1 entry)

That's a total of 15 possible entries!

Contest open to residents of Canada. Ends February 25th, 2011.

*Disclosure: I received coupons to try dips, hummus, and Meal to Go Combinations from Summer Fresh Salads at no personal cost to me for review purposes. My family and I tried 3 Summer Fresh Salads Dips and 3 Summer Fresh Salads Hummus flavours for free. All the opinions on this blog are my own.

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About the Blog Author

City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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