Monday, October 31, 2011

First Alert Breast Cancer Awareness Fire Alarm Winners!


Thank you to everyone who entered our giveaway. The TWO winners for our First Alert Pink Ribbon Fire Alarm giveaway are Robyn C and Anne-Marie T. An e-mail has been sent to the winners. Please reply with your mailing addresses so your prize can be sent to you.




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      192 Anne-Marie T Leave a Blog Post Comment

Happy Halloween!!! (Plus, a Message from Ford)


Can you believe Halloween is here already?  My little one is excited! For the past week, all we've been hearing is, "Is it Halloween today?"

The costumes, the parties, to goodies...It's all very exciting! Just remember that with all the little ghouls, goblins, superheroes and princesses trick-or-treating tonight, exercise extra caution when driving. The streets will be filled with children going house to house to collect treats and they just may be caught up in all the excitement and forget to stop, look, and listen.

Yes, even on "the Island", the roads get busy with trick-or-treaters! We've already prepped our little one with the "Look before you cross the street, etc, etc, etc." Okay, it's more like, "Don't let go of Mommy's hand!" She's still little, so either Hubby or I always hold her hand. 

What are some safety tips you have for Halloween? Here are some Halloween safety tips from Ford:

Ford is committed to being an industry leader for safety and would like to remind drivers of the following tips to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time:

1.       Slow down. Children move in unpredictable patterns and will be running up and down sidewalks and zigzagging across streets. Drivers should lower their speed, especially in residential areas, as children may appear unexpectedly in the route of travel.
2.       Lights on. Having full headlights on at all times not only helps drivers to easily spot children, but also lets trick-or-treaters know when a vehicle is approaching.
3.       Eyes wide open. Children’s costumes may be dark in colour or without reflective patches, limiting their visibility. Children’s masks may also cause their view to be limited or obstructed. Drivers should keep their eyes peeled and be extra mindful behind the wheel.
4.       Stay alert. All it takes is one second for a child to dart across the street and into a driver’s path of travel. As always, stay alert and keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

For additional safe driving tips from Ford, please visit: http://www.ford.ca/app/fo/en/our_company/safety/safety_tips.do
Friday, October 28, 2011

Win a $10,000 Dream Canadian Vacation!!!


I have to admit that I feel really guilty. Why? Well, I love traveling. I love exploring different countries, learning about new cultures, and just taking everything in. Before I turned 25, I had traveled to eleven countries, twenty U.S. states, and only four Canadian provinces.

Yes, only four. Don't get me wrong. I love my country. I guess I've always just taken for granted that it's here for us to explore. When I was younger, I didn't want to go sightseeing in my own "backyard". Now, it seems so appealing. I want to show my daughter just how amazing our country is. I want her to see, feel, and breathe what it is to be Canadian. There are so many stunning spots to visit in Canada. It's now my dream to go coast to coast and see the country I was born and raised in.

If someone gave you $10,000 for your Canadian Dream Vacation, where would you go?

Where would I go? I've been to Quebec and Ontario (those don't count, because I have lived in both provinces). I've also been to New Brunswick and British Columbia. I had a layover in Calgary once, but that doesn't count because I never left the airport!

Like I said, I would go coast to coast and try to see as much of the country as I could. Big on my list are Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Alberta.

Enter CentrSource's DREAM BIG CANADA contest to 
Win the Grand Prize!

There are also eight weekly secondary draws for $500 gift cards to be won! Even if you win one of the weekly draws, you're still eligible to win the $10,000 Grand Prize. You know how some contests are closed to residents of Quebec? Not this one! That's right! Salut, mes amis Quebecois! This contest IS OPEN to all Provinces!! :)

An added bonus? You will get great offers just for entering!

All you have to do is fill out the form on their DREAM BIG CANADA site. After you've entered, you can  share it with your family and friends. By sharing the contest, you can earn multiple entries that will increase your odds of winning.

Contest is going on now and ends December 11, 2011.

In case you are unfamiliar with CentrSource, here is some information about them:

CentrSource brings customers and Sellers together in one convenient online community. What makes CentrSource different from other sites is that CentrSource helps you find products and services in specific areas. Your area! Simply go to centrsource.ca, type in what you’re searching for and enter your postal code. There you go! It’s that easy. No more sifting through thousands and thousands of links that are not suitable or in your search or neighbourhood. This is easy...and fast! Find what you want and what you need - in an instant!

"Earn rewards when you browse

The best part about shopping on CentrSource is our Sellers want to reward you with SourcePoint$ when you request product samples, download a discount coupon, try a new product or whatever else a Seller has to share. Collect your points so you can cash them in on great products at the SourcePoint$ Store. If you find a Seller you really like, simply click 'Follow Seller' and you'll be informed of all of their great Offers - now and in the future. You won't ever miss out on a great opportunity again." {from the CentrSource site}

  DREAM BIG CANADA CONTEST:
  • Contest runs October 11, 2011 – December 11, 2011
  • Grand Prize $10,000 Canada Vacation Voucher
  • 8 weekly secondary prizes of $500 gift cards to be won
  • Travel Voucher must be redeemed between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012
  • Open to all of Canada including Quebec {age of majority}
  • Read the rules & regulations
*DISCLAIMER: For helping promote this campaign, I am being compensated for posting.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time Keeps on Slipping


It's hard to believe that this time three years ago, I was sent to Toronto by air ambulance and was placed on strict hospital bed rest.  I didn't realize that I'd be spending the next weeks/months practically living in the NICU with my baby.

That was when I really started blogging.  After all, there wasn't much I was able to do while confined to the bed and on my back.

I blogged about my worries and concerns.

I blogged about how terrified I was.

I was touched and shocked by how many people around the globe e-mailed me, left me comments, phoned, sent cards and good luck trinkets, and even visited me in a time I needed comfort and support the most.

My family and friends were very supportive. They visited me in the hospital, sent cards, and called me. I suspect the phone calls were to ensure that I didn't go loopy while on bed rest or that I wouldn't get depressed with being 6 hours away from my husband and for such a long period of time. Maybe my loved ones were concerned that I might be overly worried with what may or may not have happened with a baby being born so soon.

Thank you, everyone. Your support kept me going and kept me strong during my high risk pregnancy. You have touched our lives in ways you cannot even imagine.

That was three years ago.

This is now.
Monday, October 24, 2011

It Feels Like A Congee Day


I think I've been in denial. Wearing sandals and trying to get away without wearing a heavy sweater or jacket will not ward off Fall and Winter. Summer, where did you go!?!?!

With the crisp Fall air (okay, blasting Wizard of Oz-like winds!) we've been getting, it's time for the comfort of warm, feel good soups!  In my family, Congee and Arroz Caldo have been favourites in the cold Winter months.
Photo from here via Google Images (because I can't find my digital camera and my cell phone camera is terrible!)

Both soups are basically rice soups. They're porridge-like in consistency. They really stick to your ribs and keep you warm! My toddler and Hubby aren't big fans of fresh ginger, so for them, I go easy on the ginger.

Congee Recipe
  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
  • fresh ginger
  • scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rice
Cooking Instructions

1. In a big, heavy pot, boil water and bring chicken pieces to boil. Make sure to skim the froth off the surface. Add rice wine, ginger, scallions, and salt and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and place in a bowl for later and continue to cook chicken stock. Simmer for 2 hours and a half hours.

2. Once chicken is cooled enough, remove skin and bones. Shred chicken.

3. Pour chicken stock through a sieve into a large bowl and remove any solids. Return stock to cleaned pot and add rice. Bring to a boil and stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered until consistency of oatmeal. Stir frequently during last 1/2 hour of cooking. The Congee will continue to thicken as it stands. You can thin the soup with water if necessary.

4. To garnish, you can add finely sliced fresh ginger, thinly sliced scallions, and a drizzle of sesame oil

I had congee at a Chinese restaurant in Toronto on Friday. The one we had didn't have chicken in it. It had shrimp. This recipe is actually based on my Filipina Grandma's arroz caldo recipe. I make this soup and call it either congee or arroz caldo (with no distinction between the two soups).
Saturday, October 22, 2011

Recipe To Riches


I have a confession. I am addicted to Food Network Canada. Addicted!

Truth be told, I wasn't always a good cook.  In fact, my family will tell you how awful a cook I once was. I was a spoiled child who never ever had to cook a meal until I moved out on my own. Not-quite-done okay, still very pink! baked chicken, hard-as-nails pasta and rice...Yes, I was a failure at culinary techniques! It took moving to the other end of the globe and having to fend for my own for me to learn how to cook and bake!

Having traveled the world and having enjoyed the culinary delights of the countries and cultures I've explored, I just had to learn how to recreate some of those meals! That, and when Hubby and I were dating, my Grandma told me that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach!  Boy, was she right!

I watched my Dad as he cooked. He is a genius in the kitchen. My late grandfather was a great cook as well. I gathered recipes from family and from the internet. I poured over cookbook upon cookbook. I watched the Food Network religiously too.
One of the shows I am very excited about is Recipe to Riches!
"RECIPE TO RICHES is a new competitive reality series where each week, Canadian home cooks battle to have their original recipes become a President’s Choice product, win $25,000 and become eligible for a grand prize of $250,000."

Doesn't that sound like fun?! Imagine having the chance to have your recipe made into a President's Choice product and available in grocery stores nation-wide?! Each week, Recipes to Riches will have three contestants compete in 1 of 7 food categories. The winner of each segment will compete in the season finale for the chance to win the grand prize of $250,000 (the largest amount ever to be given on Canadian TV)!
Recipe to Riches is hosted by Jesse Palmer,  former star of The Bachelor.  The competition is judged by a panel of experts including Laura Calder, host of French Food at Home, Tony Chapman, Founder and CEO of leading advertising agency Capital C, and Dana McCauley, Culinary Director at Janes Family Foods. Finally, Galen Weston, the Executive Chairman of Loblaw, joins the judging panel for the final deliberation.

I am excited to add that each week, a featured blogger will be making the winning recipe and sharing it online. I'm even more excited to let you know that I will be making some and sharing with you on my blog! Ooooh! The anticipation!

I  hope you're as excited about Recipe to Riches as I am!
Watch Recipe to Riches on Wednesdays at 9 pm on Food Network, and Saturdays at 8pm on Global TV.

Find Recipes to Riches on Facebook too, and join in on all the fun discussions!
Thursday, October 20, 2011

Delicious Diwali Recipes for Finicky Vegetable Eaters!


Got any picky eaters in your house? These recipes are bound to get them asking for more veg! Introduce tantalizing new flavours to your kids and inject some culture into your family dinners!
 Sweet Potato and Corn Vindaloo with Spinach

and

Tomato and Chickpea Vindaloo with Rice
Click here on my other blog for the recipes!

Diwali Festival Recipes for Finicky Vegetable Eaters


I'm sure it comes to no surprise that many children are not fans of veggies. According to a survey commissioned by VH Sauces, households across Canada have some moms trying to find clever new tactics to get their kids to eat their veggies.

"And it’s not just the kids, as 16 per cent of the respondents said their spouses are the veggie-phobes. The surveyed moms reported trying everything from intense negotiations to extreme camouflage, cutting vegetables into fun shapes or hiding them in other food.
But VH believes there may be a more straight-forward, fun and Canadian way to increase vegetable approval ratings."

Many of our friends have children who refuse to eat anything that does not come in the form of chicken fingers and french fries.  Finding ways to get veggies into kids can be a challenge sometimes.

One great way to bump up the veggie intake in children can be to introduce a little excitement with some cultural and flavour diversity! Think of it - we can teach our children about other cultures and food at the same time!

{Excerpt from survey findings}

“Canadians have a great appreciation for cultural diversity; the traditions, sights, sounds and flavours that new Canadians have brought with them from all over the world,” said Tony Angelucci, Senior Brand Manager, Meal Enhancers.  “That creates a wonderful opportunity to make mealtime a celebration of cultures, and at the same time change the humdrum meal-time habits we can fall into.”

For example, October 26th marks the beginning of Diwali, also known as the festival of lights.  This five-day festival is one of the most important festivals on the calendar for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. It is typically celebrated with the preparation of vegetarian dishes to be shared with family and friends."

“Families who may not traditionally celebrate Diwali can use meal-time as an opportunity to learn about a beautiful cultural tradition and a new way to enjoy vegetables,” said Mr. Angelucci.  “And for moms who are not familiar with Indian cooking, we’ll be your ally in the kitchen. Just open a bottle of VH Indian Market Vindaloo Sauce or Mango Curry Sauce to add exciting, delicious-tasting new flavours that just might win over some of those picky eaters.”

VH Indian Market Sauces are available in six flavours: VH Indian Market Vindaloo, VH Indian Market Mango Curry, VH Indian Market Butter Chicken, VH Indian Market Korma, VH Indian Market Tikka Masala and VH Indian Market Tandoori.  The sauces are available at most major grocery retailers for a suggested retail price of $3.69."


You're probably going to hate me for saying this - and, I am totally not trying to be smug here, but our toddler actually likes her veggies. Well, love is a more appropriate word.  She loves chickpeas, spinach, okra, tofu, squash, cucumber, seaweed...and she eats hummus and babaganouj by the spoonful and right out of the bowl.

I know. She's a weird kid, right?

When I read that a not surprisingly high percentage of children have a strong dislike for their veggies, I smiled. Why? This reminded me of my husband!  He actually loves veggies, but only raw veggies. He absolutely abhors cooked veggies! He is also new-ish to culturally diverse foods, but welcomes them wholeheartedly. He's a beef farmer. A real meat and potatoes kind of guy. Having married someone of Filipina/Chinese/Caribbean roots, he has been introduced to food from all over the world.

My husband now loves cooked veggies when they're in dishes that are made with VH Indian Market Sauces. His favourites are VH Indian Market Vindaloo, Korma, Butter Chicken, Tikka Masala, and Tandoori.

Here are some delicious recipes you can try out with your family for your Diwali dinner night!
Sweet Potato and Corn Vindaloo with Spinach
Total preparation time:   15 minutes

4 cups (1 L) sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 ½ cups (375 mL) frozen corn, thawed
1 bottle VH® Vindaloo Cooking Sauce
2 cups (500 mL) baby spinach
1 cup (250 mL) green onions, finely sliced

1.         In a large pot of boiling water cook the potatoes until tender, about ten minutes. Drain, but do not rinse.
2.         In the same pot add corn, sauce, spinach, onions and ½ cup (125 mL) water. Cook two minutes then stir in sweet potatoes. Warm through and serve over rice.

Serves 4. 
Tomato and Chickpea Vindaloo
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Prep time:  2 minutes
Cook time:  13 minutes
Total time:  15 minutes

PAM® Original Cooking Spray
2 pints Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1 can Chick Peas (about 540 mL), drained
1 bottle VH® Vindaloo Cooking Sauce
1/3 cup (80 mL) fresh Cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup (80 mL) Green Onions, finely sliced
¼ cup (60 mL) Pumpkin Seeds (optional)

1.         Spray large pot with PAM® Original Cooking Spray.
2.         Heat tomatoes over medium-high heat, cook until tender [about 10 minutes].
3.         Add VH® Vindaloo Cooking Sauce, chick peas and ½ cup (125 mL) water, cover and simmer 3 minutes.
4.         Stir in cilantro, green onions and pumpkin seeds, warm through and serve over rice.

Serves 4.

Tip: This recipe works wonderfully with a variety of the VH® Indian Market Sauces.
Try it with VH® Butter Chicken Cooking Sauce or VH® Korma Cooking Sauce.


Don't these dishes sounds deeeelish?!?! If you don't already do "Meatless Mondays", this is a great way of incorporating vegetarian dishes into your family's dinner practices. Yes, I am "The Beef Farmer's Wife", but we also have vegetarian meals! :)

To find out more about the VH Sauces product line, visit their website: www.vhsauces.com
For more information about the survey, visit VH at www.conagrafoods.ca .

Disclosure - Information for this post was provided by survey findings at the ConAgraFoods website. I was sent some VH Sauce samples for writing this post.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dancing With The Cars


By now, you must all know how much we love the wonderful folks at PhotoCaptiva.  They keep coming up with such amazing ideas for photo shoots. We get our annual family Christmas card photos done by them and Little One's milestone pics have been taken by them too.

PhotoCaptiva just had their first experience with the video in their DSLR camera.  Check it out! Tell them what you think!



P.S. I love the firetruck... and not just because my hubby is a firefighter :)

Not So Tricky Halloween Blog Tour


It's that time of the year again! Halloween!
Sure, the scary Jack 'O Lanterns, the spooky decorations and getting dressed up in costumes is exciting (okay, for the kids too!), but what I looked forward to the most when I was a kid was...

You guessed it! The loot!

It was always so fun to see what kind of treats our neighbours would have for us.  "Make sure you go to so-and-so's house, because his Mom is giving out chocolate bars!"

"Don't go to the last house on the block, because they're giving out raisins!"

Not that I had anything against raisins, but c'mon! It's Halloween!
That was then. This is now.

I'll be the Mom giving out tooth brushes to kids so as to promote healthy teeth and gums.

Just kidding.

This year, I'm excited to be giving the kids in our neighbourhood something many will appreciate: candy that is not so tricky. What does this mean? I'm sure you remember Allan Candy. They're a Canadian candy company (with candies made here in Canada) that has been around for quite some time now.  A lot of the candy I loved as a kid (not that we were allowed candy all the time) was made by Allan Candy!
Anyway, one of my biggest worries now is giving out candies that may include peanut or may have been contaminated by peanuts.  As a kid, this was not something I worried about, but as a Mom? BIG stress and anxiety added for me!

I am pleased to say that Allan Candy's Halloween products are peanut-free! Now you don't have to worry about the candy you're giving to the neighbourhood kids. You know that if they bring the candy to school or other social gatherings, it's safe.
I pretty much guarantee that parents will be sneaking some of their kids' loot on Halloween when they find out they've got Big Foot, Green Thumb, Hot Lips, Sour Cherries, Sour Peaches, and all kinds of other treats in their bags!

Confession: Hubby and Little One have already sampled some of the candy! Two Green Thumbs up!


Disclosure - As a thank you for participating in this Mom Central Canada blog tour, I was given a variety of AllanCandy, which included Chewy Rascalz (individually wrapped Big Foot, Sour Big Foot, Green Thumb and Hot Lips), Fruit Buddies (individually wrapped sour candies in a variety of fruit flavours) and Intense Sour JuJubes & Jellies, along with a gift card. All the thoughts and opinions on this blog are honest and my own.
Sunday, October 16, 2011

PhotoCaptiva's Summer's Cutest Baby & Child Contest Winner


Thank you to everyone who voted for Little One's photo! Thanks to you, she won a photo session with PhotoCaptiva (along with a DVD of the high resolution images from her photoshoot).

This is just a sneak peek of her photo shoot this morning! The location of the shoot was none other than one of the many beautiful, picturesque spots on our farm!

Got a wedding coming up? Need engagement photos? Expecting a wee one on the way? Got a special family event? Milestone birthday? Anniversary? PhotoCaptiva does it all! They're based in the Sudbury area, but they do travel and do "on location" photo sessions as well!

Check out their website for their services. They are fantastic! They capture special moments from weddings to pregnancy shots, family portraits to newborn pics...and more! They've got a fun blog too!

Mini Butternut Squash Muffins


With Thanksgiving only a week behind us, we've still got tons and tons of squash and apples on our farm. How best to use up those delicious Fall staples?
 
We certainly love our butternut squash soup, curried squash, baked squash, butternut squash ravioli (the list goes on, and on, and on)!

This time,  however, we've made...
Butternut squash muffins!

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash (cooked and pureed)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup apple sauce
If you want to do this recipe the traditional way, use 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 egg (beaten). I substituted those for 1 cup applesauce.

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan.
  2. In a saucepan with enough water to cover, boil squash 20 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat, drain, and puree in a food processor, blender, or if you have neither, mash with potato masher.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. In another bowl, mix together milk, applesauce. Make sure to mix the ingredients thoroughly. Stir in squash. Fold the squash mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling cups about 1/2 full. You can use the paper mini cupcake liners, but I don't. We're trying not to create unnecessary paper waste in our household. If you don't use the paper cupcake/muffin liners, make sure to grease the pan so your muffins don't stick.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from muffin pan and cool on a wire rack.
Homemade applesauce recipe can be found in the recipe archives on my blog.
Thursday, October 13, 2011

My First Baby



To be honest, I was never really a dog person growing up. Yes, puppies were cute, but I was a bit scared of dogs! Who would have thought that I'd fall in love with a cute, stinky little puppy and that he'd become such an important and special part of our family.

Yes, Chance ("Luck" in French) wiggled his way into my heart forever.

He's been through all sorts of adventures with me over the years. He's seen me through good and bad: break-ups, births of nieces and nephews, weddings, deaths of loved ones, and the birth of his human sister, Little One. Well, he wasn't there in the hospital room with me, but he was a source of companionship during my long weeks of bed rest during pregnancy.

Happy 10th Birthday to my first baby! You may be my canine baby, but you're just as special as my Little One :)
Little One will be 3 years old in a month! My babies are growing up way too quickly for my liking! :(
 Hubby's Birthday cake from Ultimately Chocolate! I chose the Chunky Chocolate Blitz - Rich milk chocolate truffle icing layered between chocolate cake made with chunks of milk and semi-sweet chocolate. Decorated with semi-sweet chocolate truffle icing.

Hubs celebrated his birthday yesterday and to avoid global warming, I decided not to put candles on his cake. Just kidding.

What Do Housefires and Breast Cancer Have in Common? (Plus, a Giveaway)


Did you know that October is not only Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but Fire Safety Awareness Month as well?

Both are killers and for both, early detection is very important in saving lives.

Many of us have loved ones whose lives have been affected by cancer.  Many of us have had mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, sisters, or friends who have had or are going through breast cancer. The number of strong women in my life who have had breast cancer is alarming. Just recently, three of my friends have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

In Canada, more than 5,000 women and 50 men die of breast cancer each year.  Breast cancer continues to be the most common type of cancer for Canadian women. [Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation]The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation wants Canadians to make sure they get their routine mammograms and examinations. Prevention is key.

It's Fire Safety Month and First Alert, the leading maker of smoke alarms (as well as carbon monoxide detectors, combination alarms, fire extinguishers, safes, security camera, etc...) wants Canadians to make sure they have their smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and everything they need to prevent, detect, and be safe when it comes to house fires.

Did you know?
71% of structures lost in Ontario fires are residential.
Cooking is the number one cause of household fires in Ontario. Among other causes are smoking, candles and electrical equipment.
8 Canadians die from fires every week. 73% of the fatalities are due to residential fires.

Many of these deaths could be prevented by proper placement and replacement of alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers.



First Alert and CBCF have one common and very important message to spread to Canadians. "Early detection saves lives – whether it be a middle-of-the-night fire alarm or a routine mammogram."

Together, the CBCF and First Alert have formed a partnership.

First Alert has developed a line of Canadian Breast Cancer Fire Safety products. You might have seen the Pink ribbon products in stores near you. In this line of First Alert Breast Cancer Fire Safety products are: two smoke alarms, a carbon monoxide alarm and a kitchen fire extinguisher. For each product sold, First Alert will donate $1 to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.



The proceeds from First Alert pink ribbon products will support the CBCF as it invests in research and community projects to improve and save the lives of Canadians at risk of breast cancer and those living with the disease.

This sounds like a great idea to me. Every household needs several fire safety products, so why not make yours make a difference in the lives of others?

My husband is on the fire department and every year, he and the other firefighters in our township go door-to-door, inspecting people's homes to make sure they have their fire alarms and are protecting their loved ones by being aware of fire prevention. When I told him about this amazing partnership, he thought it was a great idea. Fire Safety Awareness is very important to us (especially now that we have a toddler) and Breast Cancer Awareness is a cause near and dear to us because of the loved ones in our lives who have been affected by the disease.


For more information about the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, please visit www.cbcf.org.
For more information about Safety First (marketed by Jarden Branded Consumables), please refer to www.jarden.com.

BUY IT!

Remember: First Alert, has developed a new line of pink ribbon fire safety products. Purchase yours and for each First Alert Pink Ribbon fire safety product sold, First Alert will donate $1 to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

WIN IT!
First Alert is giving TWO of my readers a chance to win a Pink Ribbon Smoke Alarm! 

To win, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form! Don't forget to leave a comment on my blog and let me know what you do to keep your family safe from household fires. This is my first time using Rafflecopter.com for a giveaway, so I'm very excited! **If you are having problems viewing the rafflecopter form, please try refreshing the page and it should load. It may take a while, but it will load :)  **



Disclosure - I have received a Pink Ribbon fire alarm from First Alert as a thank you for writing this post.All thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and my own.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mommy Needs a Spa Night!


WARNING: The following post contains links to adult material. You must be 18+.

I don't know about other couples, but as parents to a toddler, down time is hard to come by. I don't even remember the last time Hubby and I had a "date night"! I suppose the last time we went out sans toddler was when we attended a funeral last year. That hardly constitutes a date, in my opinion.

I do know at the end of a hard day, an evening at a spa or an hour at the massage therapist's would be ideal. Sadly, I don't even have time for that! However, EdenFantasys has a great line of products that are great for massage at home!

We've got the Treasure Trove Gift Tin (strawberry flavour) and really like it.
Great way to get that back massage and keep the romance alive. The warming gel works very well! It heats up within seconds. It goes on cool at first, and then the heat intensifies. The contrast is quite remarkable. Another item I love is the honey dust. To be honest, I was quite surprised. I didn't think I would like it, as I don't like products that are messy. Just the thought of "dust", be it honey dust or otherwise, leaves me feeling anxiety filled. Yes, I'm the kind of person who freaks if there's sand or crumbs in the bed. Everybody knows that the bed is no place for sand or crumbs! This is precisely why Hubby and the toddler know there's to be no eating, snacking, or anything in the bedrooms.

Back to the dust! I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the dust.I found that the honey dust left my skin feeling really soft and there was only a slight hint of fragrance, which is what I like. I'm not one for strong fragrances or scents, as they give me headaches. This was the perfect amount - just a light hint of sweetness.

Other products worth checking out for those evenings when you just need to relax and unwind are the candles! EdenFantasys has a vast collection of candles ranging from aromatherapy to massage candles!

I'm sure you'll find items of interest on the EdenFantasys website. Whether you're looking for quality products for at home spa/massage nights or something more risqué, I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for. Oh! Since it is October, and Halloween is almost here, you may even be interested in a little dress up evening too! Yes, they've even got Halloween costumes!

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought you'd also be interested in this:
Support Breast Cancer Awareness - Enter to Win $500 Prize


Disclosure - I received a gift card from EdenFantasys as a thank you for writing this post. The opinions on this blog are honest and my own.

Trick-or-Treating photography tips & Kodak's Free Print Week!



Being a parent of an only (for now) child, I tend to take a lot of photos of Little One! Yes, A LOT of photos! Halloween is an exciting time (and an occasion that gives ample photo opportunities)!  How can a parent resist taking pics of their little cuties all decked out in adorable costumes?

Kodak has these tips for parents (like me!) who will be snapping a million Halloween photos two weeks from now!

"Whether they’re posing for the camera or running to the next house for candy, keep these tips in mind when capturing the excitement of your little witches and goblins parading in their costumes:

·         Check your settings: Digital cameras have a special feature for night-time photography called Night Portrait which captures the subject and background clearly. Better yet, the Kodak EasyShare Touch Digital Camera features Kodak’s Smart Capture which automatically adjusts camera exposure, focus, and ISO for clear pictures in any environment, even in low light.
·         Keep it steady: For night-time photography, using a tripod will help to eliminate blur in your photos. Don’t have a tripod handy? No problem. Brace your camera on a railing or a solid surface.
·         Include a silhouette: Add some depth and perspective to your Halloween photos. Turn off your camera's flash option and photograph silhouettes in the foreground--like the silhouette of a jack-o-lantern or the wings of a fairy costume.
·         Add some blur in your background: The Kodak EasyShare Touch features a variety of post-capture effects and retouching tools, including background blur. Adding the background blur effect will create more emphasis on your subject.

Spooky Photography
Making people appear transparent, ghostly, two-headed, and just plain eerie in photos is easy to achieve, even without costumes. Try these spooky photo ideas to scare your friends and family this Halloween.

Visit: Kodak Spooky Photography tips, for detailed instructions on how to make ghostly images, double exposures, and eerie scenes."

Great tips for capturing cool, memorable moments our kids will cherish forever! Thanks, Kodak! Oh! Wait! It gets even better! Kodak wants to let you know about Kodak’s Free Print Week - You can print photos from your Facebook account for free directly from a Kodak Picture Kiosk from October 17 through October 23 at select Kodak Picture Kiosks in Canada.

Simply "Like" Kodak on FACEBOOK during this time period and opt to receive emails from Kodak in the future. By doing so, FACEBOOK users will be able to download a coupon to print up to twenty (20) free 4x6 instant prints from FACEBOOK at a Kiosk.

Sweet deal? I think so! 
Have a howl of a time this Halloweeeeeen, boys and ghouls! Muahahahaha!

  
Okay, can you tell I'm just a little bit excited for Halloween?
Saturday, October 08, 2011

What Are You Thankful For?


We try to not take for granted all the blessings in our lives, but when things get busy, it's sometimes easy to forget just  how fortunate we are.

I'm thankful for

my wonderful, loving, and hard-working husband,

our sweet, happy, healthy, smart, funny toddler,
a fabulous family (my parents, brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephew, mother-in-law, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, cousins, etc),

living on a beautiful island, where we get to see the most spectacular sunsets,
our farm (which sometimes drives me crazy, but also gives us enjoyment, fresh food, lots of outdoor activity, and our livelihood),

being able to be outdoors,
being able to enjoy our lives and our family as much as we do,
being able to share all of these riches with our toddler.
 
Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and family.
Thursday, October 06, 2011

Seventh Generation Diaper Program: Buy One, Give One


Reaching out, offering help, or performing an act of kindness makes us feel good about ourselves and about helping others. This is something we try to teach our children from a very young and impressionable age. Be kind - it makes everyone feel good. Plus, young children enjoy being helpful (even if "helpful" means Mommy has to spend an extra hour cleaning up the kitchen after her toddler has "helped" her clean it).

My point is, I feel it is our innate desire to want to help others and want to reach out. I know some may dispute this, but I really do feel that it is in us to give. Even if we don't have much to give or are not financially in a place to give, we try to help in other ways.

This is why I think the Seventh Generation Diaper Program is a fabulous one. You may have read my review of Seventh Generation Eco-friendly products last month. I blogged about the variety of eco-friendly products Seventh Generation has created. They have everything from laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaners, to baby wipes and diapers!

Because we are taking part in the program, we have been given the opportunity to use Seventh Generation diapers on our daughter. Our toddler is in the throes (or woes for me!) of potty training and still uses diapers for nap time, bedtime, and when we're in the car. She actually prefers the Seventh Gen diapers!

We were on our way to run errands and Little One demanded that we use the Seventh Generation diaper and said, "This one, Mommy!" She was really, really adamant about wearing the Seventh Generation ones. Discriminating taste for a toddler! Hmmmph!
I love how they are fragrance and dye-free and that they are unbleached. It makes me feel good knowing that even though we are using disposables, we are treading a little lighter on the earth. I feel really, really good about using Seventh Generation diapers on our daughter.

I wanted to let my readers know that I am participating in Mom Central Canada's Seventh Generation Buy One, Give One program, and I hope readers willencourage readers to as well.
For the second year in a row, Seventh Generation is aiming to reach their goal of giving 240,000 diapers to families in need in over 40 shelters across Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. 240,000 diapers! This means they will be giving $160,000 worth of diapers to charitable organizations that may otherwise not receive corporate help.

How You Can Help
You can get involved by simply going to your local grocery store and purchase a bag of Seventh Generation diapers. Seventh Generation will donate a bag of diapers to a local shelter. The Seventh Generation Buy One, Give One program only runs until October 31st, 2011.

For my readers on Manitoulin Island, The Island Pantry in Gore Bay carries Seventh Generation products. You can purchase your diapers there! The next closest place would be The Superstore in Sudbury. They have a very impressive selection of Seventh Generation Eco-friendly products there.

Follow our posts, as we will be participating in the diaper donation program on behalf of Seventh Generation and Mom Central Canada. We'll be donating Seventh Generation diapers to a local charity of our choice and helping out families in need.

Head over to the Seventh Generation Facebook page and find out what you can do to tread a little lighter on the earth. We all want a greener future for our little ones, and sharing tips and ideas for green living is helpful for everyone.

Added bonus? Join the 7th Gen Nation and as a member, you can get access to all the exclusive coupons, special offers, and tips on greener living!

 







Disclosure – I am participating in the Seventh Generation program by Mom Central Canada. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Thanksgiving with Hallmark


Thanksgiving is almost upon us. Can you believe Thanksgiving is this weekend!? It's time to give thanks for all the blessings in our lives.

I'm thankful for my family and friends, my happy and healthy toddler, my wonderful husband (whose birthday is this weekend!), my health, a roof over our heads, food on our table, jobs that put that roof over our heads and food on our table.

I'm not even ready for Thanksgiving weekend or for my husband's birthday! Usually, I'm on top of things, but I just got home from a conference in Toronto and family arrived the day after I got home. It's been busy!

Hallmark has fabulous items to help make your Thanksgiving special. How about decorating your table with some festive Fall pumpkins and leaves? They've got Thanksgiving themed plates, bottle stoppers, candles, candle  holders, cheese trays/knives, salt and pepper shakers, and so much more!

 Of course, Hallmark also has greeting cards! I don't send out cards to loved ones we spend Thanksgiving with, but for those far away who are unable to be with  us, I send a little note in a Hallmark card letting them know how thankful we are to have them in our lives. I really do think it is important to be thankful for all the blessings in our lives. We sometimes don't take time to remember and appreciate these things.
What are YOU thankful for this Thanksgiving?

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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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