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Inside Her Brain

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We have a new piece of art for our home! Actually, it's not really new. It's been waiting for framing for almost four years now. Since it is so large, the estimate we received to frame it ranged from $800 to $900. So Hubby recently got inspired to try some framing on his own. The matting can be purchased at a local art store (approximately $10-20 for one large coloured sheet), and the glass is ordered custom to fit the wood frame. All up, … [Read more...]

10 Reasons Why I Love My Beats Studio Headphones by Dr. Dre

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I was at the mall today. So I can personally vouch that if you have yet to pick out a perfect gift for someone special, you are definitely not alone! It is a busy world out there. But thanks to Staples, I can recommend the ideal gift for that person who seems to have everything: Beat Studio headphones by Dr. Dre. Whether they're a music lover, business traveller, or public transport devotee, these headphones will make life just that much more … [Read more...]

Gift Guide for Young Boys (Age 4-7)

Toys for Boys

Are you reading this post because you haven't finished your Christmas shopping yet? Eep -- I haven't either! But, hey, there are still SIX WHOLE DAYS before Christmas Eve. And you know what that means? Yep, anyone who has all their shopping done before Christmas Eve is a super-organized super-star! So if you have a young boy on your list, like I do (my son Max is 5 years old), I have some great gift ideas for you! Playmobil Puzzle For … [Read more...]

Hot Cars Kill: 5 Low-Tech Ways to Remember a Child in the Backseat

Baby in back seat car seat

  Hot cars kill. Today, a Canadian child died in a parked car in Edmonton's heat. Last week, it was a Toronto-area boy. Stress, scheduling changes, sleep deprivation ... these all affect our ability to function at full capacity and this includes our memory. Parents with young children know that these can be a dangerous combination. But most of us escape through our children's young years without disaster striking. Unfortunately for … [Read more...]

When Your Daughter Wants to Play Football

Full range of mouth guards

As part of a social shopper insights study, I was compensated to write this post. Yes, that means I got paid to go shopping. It's tough work if you can get it, but I'm definitely grateful for the opportunity to pick up some outdoor sports gear for my family. Thanks Collective Bias!  My daughter is a book worm. My daughter is the smallest kid in her class. And my daughter wants to play football. Hubby and I aren't sure where the interest in … [Read more...]

Can Gadgets Help Kids Be More Active Or Are They Just Gimmicks?

Front and Side View of a Pokewalker

There's a whole lot of talk lately about kids and their low fitness levels in Canada. This week, as example, Healthy Active Kids Canada just released their annual report and gave Canadian kids a grade of "D minus" (yikes!) for overall fitness activity levels. I've been working with a client who focuses on this, so I've had the opportunity to read into some of the research investigating the roots of this issue and, needless to say, it's a complex, … [Read more...]

Three Fun Games for Pre-Schoolers (and their Parents!)

Go Fish! Card game by Imperial Kids

First things first, I don't enjoy games. I think it's because I'm too impatient ... I don't like the time involved in reading through all the rules, nor do I like it when a game drags on and never ends (I've been known to lose on purpose just so a game would end!). My daughter, who is almost 11 years old now, has a mild interest in games. And since this interest is mild, I only feel mildly like a bad mother for not engaging her more in … [Read more...]

Apres-Ski Green Beaver Boreal Face Cream and My Cosmetics Quest

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Sure, snow looks pretty. But that doesn't mean my skin likes it. Dry, winter skin is sort of a fact of life from December through to April in this area of the world. So I was definitely intrigued when I came across a Green Beaver line of lotion called "Apres-ski." I needed some new cream since I'd run out of my other stuff and our family has had a good experience with the Green Beaver Shampoo and Conditioner, so I thought I'd give this line a … [Read more...]

Don Draper is My Personal Trainer, and Other Secrets to Meeting My New Year’s Resolution

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When I told you about my New Year's Resolution, I also said I'd tell you how I planned to achieve it. I have three steps in my success plan. #1: The FitBit My goal is to hit 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. So, naturally, I needed a way to track how many steps I'm doing. For this task, I chose a handy dandy gadget called a FitBit (I bought the "Ultra" now replaced by the "The One"). I had been eyeing this fancy version of pedometer for a while … [Read more...]

Makeup Primer, Arbonne, and my Cosmetics Quest (Part 2 of 2)

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This post is a continuation. To read Part 1, click here.   As I was telling you in my post yesterday, I went to an Arbonne party. I had fun. I tried stuff. I bought stuff. Arbonne is different from a number of other products on the shelves of my drugstore because they are formulated without: Parabens Formaldehyde donating preservatives The following petroleum-based ingredients: Benzene Mineral … [Read more...]

Makeup Primer, Arbonne, and my Cosmetics Quest (Part 1 of 2)

Book inscription by Gillian Deacon

This post is part of a personal quest to find and use face and body products with fewer toxins. To catch up on this series, you can start here.  So have you heard of ARBONNE? I hadn't heard of this company until just recently, and now it seems all my girlfriends are mentioning it of late. Like Tupperware, Stella & Dot, and other direct-to-consumer businesses, Arbonne is sold at parties in people's homes. I'm sure you've been to similar … [Read more...]

BIG Bedside Tables Reveal!

Master Bed - Wenge Wood

I love piles of books--waiting to be read, half-read, already-read, or just looking pretty. Hubby jokes that the pile get so high on my bedside table that one day he's worried he'll find the pile collapsed on top of me. (I figure there are far worse ways to die!) Because of my book-collecting affliction and the long rectangle shape of the master bedroom, he thought BIG bedside tables were in order. No more tall, toppling piles. These tables … [Read more...]

It’s Monday. Let’s Do a Giveaway, Shall We? Enjoy a Visit to Ottawa’s Terra20!

Daniel Thompson Beauty at Terra20

So, yesterday, I started to tell you about my visit to the Ottawa store Terra20. My goal was to go in to the store and learn a bit more about commonly used chemicals in cosmetics, try out some of Terra20's safer cosmetic brands, and then share it all with you. At the Terra20 store, like most other large department stores, you are welcome to come in and receive a complimentary makeover. I've done this before at other makeup counters ... … [Read more...]

It’s Monday. Let’s do a Giveaway, Shall We? Create A Blurb Photo Book!

Blurb Photo Books Look Gorg!

I suspect that many of you are like me ... with their children's photos sitting around as electronic files on a variety of devices -- phones, tablets, laptops. Digital photography has its reams of benefits, but it makes me cringe just thinking about all the unorganized photos I have hidden in every electronic device I own. … [Read more...]

It’s Monday. Let’s Do a Giveaway, Shall We? Win a “My Pretty Playhouse” by Cascades!

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A few months ago, our neighbour had a large appliance delivered. The big cardboard box that it came in was brought out for all the kids on the street to play with. Despite having a garage full of fancy ride-on toys and other delights of suburbia, the kids just never tired of the cardboard box! I suppose then that it's no surprise that my kids were so intrigued when the "My Pretty Playhouse" arrived to our house. This playhouse is produced by … [Read more...]

Planning for a Big Boy’s Room

When we moved into this house, we'd promised Stella that we'd decorate her room right away. She was feeling upset about leaving our old home and neighbourhood and we thought that a special room of her own would help. We followed through on that promise and her room is pretty darn cute, if I say so myself. But for Max, a toddler with no real emotional ties to the old house, we simply plunked his existing furniture into the new bedroom. We … [Read more...]

My Top 5 Product Picks for Road Tripping!

This post is sponsored by Snuggle Bugz. Starting today, Snuggle Bugz is celebrating Canada Day by offering 5 days of Daily Deals. These deals won't last -- each day there will be one amazing deal – but just for that day!   Our family is heading out on a road trip to spend Canada Day up at a cottage. We’ve got our share of travelling under our belts, but I always find I can use a few extra things to keep things rolling smoothly. So I took … [Read more...]

The Homemade Gift

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Us busy folks just love a homemade anything, don't we? Marketers, of course, know this and like to use the word to advertise their wares any chance they get. But the truly homemade gift is a special thing indeed. Some of the most cherished homemade gifts I've received include a quilt from my mother-in-law for each bed in the house, a quilt from my special Aussie girlfriend Nat, and a scrapbooked collage from my mom. As for gifts from Hubby, I … [Read more...]

10 Grand Gifts for Kids: $30 or Less!

We all know Christmas spending can easily get out of control. But really, most young kids like a $20 gift as much as a $200 gift -- they don't know the value of money, it's just about having some fun! So, in that spirit, I thought I'd share some gift ideas that I think are "winners" under the $30 price range. Some are products that were sent to me to review and some are simply things I've come across on my own. 1. Walrooz sleds: These … [Read more...]

The Back-to-School Outfit

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Back-to-school is here! As usual, summer has whizzed right by and we're back into the busy fall season (both at work and at home). This summer was a milestone for us -- we moved houses for the first time in 14 years and we enjoyed a special visit from overseas relatives. But we're ready for routines again, I think. That's one bonus of school-aged children; it helps the whole family get into consistent routines. Not to be outdone by Valentine's … [Read more...]

“Month of Me” post #01: There’s a hashtag, so it must be real

A while back, I decided that I'd really like to attend Blissdom Canada, which is a blogging conference taking place in Toronto next month. I thought, hey, I love blogging and it's my 40th birthday in October, so why not? All the tickets were sold out ages ago, but I was able to buy a ticket from someone who wasn't going to be able to go. (Although I am still hoping to win a ticket so that I can recoup my cash. Keep your fingers crossed for … [Read more...]

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