I am a tradition-a-holic. From a very young age, I have been addicted to the traditions that surround each holiday. Meticulously sorting Halloween candy with my brother, reading holiday-themed books with family, piling into a vehicle with friends to go on a Christmas light tour, and hand-decorating Valentine’s Day cards for classmates. Traditions are an integral part of each holiday and they are what evoke feelings of nostalgia, comfort, and most of all connection with each other.
The real holiday lifesavers are the smaller shops with tons of heart and authentic finds. Local is good. And eco-friendly, online stores with big hearts are even better. Meet Thrive.
We always tend to do back to school at the last minute, and not because I’m lazy. It’s more that I can’t possibly bear to let go of summer.
Summer is just around the corner, and with the arrival of warm weather it’s time for outdoor activities with the kids and events that can last all day. Olay and Crest want to help keep your skin hydrated and fresh and your smile shining bright through your endless summer fun!
To start your summer off right, try Olay’s newly enhanced Total Effects formula with 40 per cent more vitamins, which has the highest level of Niacinamide in an over-the-counter Olay skincare product! This moisturizer packs more vitamins than the leading prestige moisturizer and will help you get ready for the hot, sunny days ahead.
To brighten your smile, we’re giving away Crest Luxe Supreme FlexFit Whitestrips, which are super easy to use and offer great results. These strips use an advanced technology called FlexFit, allowing the Whitestrip to stretch around your smile for a perfect fit that hugs your smile’s curves. Not only do they whiten as well as a $500 in-office professional treatment, but they are the best fitting Whitestrips yet.
We have a Brighten Your Summer prize pack, valued at approximately $40*:
- Olay Total Effects Anti-aging Moisturizer, Fragrance-Free– $32.99
- Crest 3D White Whitestrips Luxe Supreme FlexFit – 4 samples
*Pricing at discretion of the retailer
Ends July 30, Can only, excl. Quebec. Good luck!
Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.
P&G has only provided me with the product that I am using as the prizes for this contest. The contest is not otherwise endorsed, designed and/or administered by or associated with P&G.By entering the following contest you are accepting that, if you win, your contact information will be shared with a P&G PR and shipping agency for the purpose of mailing your prize. Please allow 4-6 weeks from the contest closure date to receive your prize.
This giveaway may appear on other blogs as part of the #PGmom/#mamanPG program. However, to be fair, you can only win once per giveaway. If your name is chosen more than once, another winner will be selected. All winners must be from within Canada.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ddebold/
Canadians love to entertain and host dinner parties. Did you see our swanky party? To help create magical evenings, Food Network Chef Michael Smith teamed up with Cascade Platinum to share tips on how to make your dinner party sparkle, while cutting down your clean up time! Want your dinner party to sparkle? Follow these tips from Chef Michael Smith and your guests will be blown away.
Dinner Party Hosting Tips
- Spend time to save time: Prep as much as you can in advance – from food to your table. Smart preparation will allow you to spend more time with your guests.
- Make your guests feel special: Thoughtful details tell your guests they are special. Set the mood with music, place cards, flowers and sparkling dishes and glasses. I use Cascade Platinum in every cycle to make sure everything is ready for a big event.
- Start with a bang! Do something collectively right away. A group activity subtly reminds everyone “We’re in this together!”
- Give your guests something fun to do: At some point, engage your guests in an interactive activity, something hands on, that’s not work.
- Clean as you go: Get the mess out of the way, and load the dishwasher as you prepare dinner. With Cascade Platinum, you don’t need to worry about pre-rinsing – it will clean stuck-on food in one wash.
- Share the work: Many hands make light work. After the main meal and before dessert, encourage everybody to pitch in with clean up.
- Grand finale: End the evening with something spectacular, something memorable, or my favourite—something flammable!
But you don’t have to host a party to have a Sparkling Clean dinner. Sitting down to family dinner is a special occasion in itself as it brings people together. Why not give your family an extra special night by putting Michael’s tips to action? And with Cascade Platinum, you’re sure to have sparkling clean dishes every day. We’ll be sending you a Sparkling Clean bundle with two tubs of the new and improved Cascade Platinum, valued at $18.99 each.
Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom/maman P&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.
To help start the night off right, prep with Olay’s newly enhanced Total Effects formula with 40% more vitamins and the highest level of Niacinamide in an over-the-counter Olay skincare product. The enhanced formula makes this anti-aging moisturizer a must-have summer beauty staple. This moisturizer packs more vitamins than the leading prestige moisturizer and will help you get ready for your night out!
Now, onto your eyes! Lash fame… it’s a thing! Get ready to shine the spotlight on your eyes and give your lashes a starring role with NEW COVERGIRL The Super Sizer Mascara. This new mascara will help lengthen and volumize your lashes for that “Oh La La” look! This mascara is perfect for adding that extra pop for that date night or evening out on the town.
This new mascara has a unique Lash Styler that is designed to allow maximum mascara-to-lash contact and can give your lashes 400% bigger, corner-to-corner volume.
Go on, twirl it and get the best false lash look in 3 easy steps:
- Place the Lash Styler’s narrow, long core and short bristles right at the base of the lashes.
- Pull the Lash Styler through the lashes from root to tip, twirling or rotating it a bit as you go.
- Sculpt and style the lashes until you reach supersized, corner to corner volume.
For more drama, pair your wonderful super-sized lashes with Intensify Me! Liquid Liner. Its paddle tip provides two looks – thick and dramatic or thin and elegant and can help you achieve the perfect cat-eye.
- COVERGIRL Super Sizer Mascara- $6.99-$9.99
- Intensify Me! Liquid Liner- $6.99-$9.99
- Olay Total Effects Anti-aging Moisturizer, Fragrance-Free– $32.99
Please fill out this Rafflecopter form. Canada only, Excl. Quebec. Ends 30/05 Good luck!
*Pricing at discretion of the retailer. Available in select stores May 2015.
According to a recent PetSafe Survey, 98 per cent of Canadians consider their pet to be part of the family, so why should they be left out of this gift exchange this holiday season? Knowing that the average pet owner spends approximately $21-50 on their pet a month, we’ve pulled together our top five must-have stocking stuffers for your pet this holiday season!
LIKETY STIK— a durable nylon and rubber treat-dispensing toy challenges your dog to figure out how to get the delicious natural rawhide treat. Perfect to preoccupy your dog for hours! $3.49-5.99 (.84 – 1.69 Oz.)
BUSY BUDDY JACK— a durable nylon and rubber treat-dispensing toy challenges your dog to figure out how to get the delicious natural rawhide treat. Perfect to preoccupy your dog for hours! $7.99-12.99
EGG-CERCIZER CAT TOY — make playtime more fun or help your cat stay in shape. Adjust the dispensing holes to slow down cats who eat too fast and encourage exercise. Rewarding your pet, while providing exercise! $4.49
INDIGO TRIPLE CHEWS —delicious, long-lasting chewable treats that are made with a recipe fortified with healthy ingredients. Available in small, medium and large sizes to suit a variety of dogs. $24.99
FROLICAT BOLT — an interactive laser toy that projects a laser pattern allowing your pet pounce, chase across the floor, up the walls, and over furniture. $19.99
We’re giving away all of these awesome stocking stuffers for dogs and cats and you could win just by filling out the Rafflecopter form below. Canada only, excl. Quebec. Ends 12/12. Good Luck!!!
The Love Crunch stopped me in my tracks. And then I discovered the Q’ia. We can’t get enough of Natures Path – nor can the kids. We are doing an epic giveaway of a huge box of #FeelGoodHoliday products, but first I wanted to share a not-so-secret recipe for healthy gingerbread men that the kids and I will be making this year. We may make the odd gingerbread dog too.
As fun to decorate as they are to eat, Gingerbread Men have long held the top holiday cookie title. These DIY gingerbread men are primed to keep the top spot. With just 15 minutes to make, decorating takes centre stage. Use our organic Gingerbread Love Crunch and get creative , using berries or seeds for detail.
- 1 cup Nature’s Path Love Crunch® – Gingerbread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup fancy molasses
- Ready-to-use frosting or icing
- Assorted nuts, seeds, dried fruit and/or chocolate chips
- In a food processor, pulse granola until finely crushed.
- Add to a bowl and whisk with flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, baking powder and salt until well combined.
- In a large bowl, with electric beaters, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
- Beat in molasses.
- Stir in dry ingredients and beat just until mixed.
- Knead as needed to form dough.
- Divide dough into quarters and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Flour work surface.
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll to 1/4-inch thickness.
- With floured 5-inch gingerbread man cutter, cut out cookies, pressing firmly. Reroll dough as needed.
- Arrange on prepared pan, spacing 2-inches apart.
- Cook in batches, baking in middle oven for 10 minutes or until just until lightly golden on the bottom.
- Transfer to rack and cool completely.
- Ice with frosting and decorate with nuts, seeds, dried fruit and/or chocolate chips as desired.
My grandmother and I always shared a kindred bond. I look like her, sew like her, and thankfully don’t cook like her!!! She’s probably laughing from heaven. Always there to rub my back and sing, she would also arrive at our house with a plate of squares in her arms and the intention of doing all of the ironing.
When I was married I decided not to throw my bouquet. It seemed a bit like an archaic practice. Instead, I walked over to my grandmother’s wheelchair and gave her my bouquet. I miss her dearly.
If you drop two Cheerios in a bowl, they will eventually float together and connect. This is actually a real scientific principle called the ‘Cheerios Effect’. People are also drawn together, and yet we often sit behind computers without truly having face-to-face contact with friends, family and neighbours.
Cheerios is encouraging Canadians to share their personal connection stories at CheeriosEffect.ca, where each unique story will be brought to life with a personalized video of Cheerios connecting in a bowl. I wanted to do one and, of course, it’s about a special memory of my grandmother. Here it is!
Please fill out our form below to enter our giveaway that includes a $100 Loblaw gift card and 5 boxes of Cheerios! Full rules and regulations can be found here.
Create your own personalized “connection story” video on CheeriosEffect.ca and tweet us the link using the hashtag #CheeriosEffect. Canada only, excluding Quebec. Ends 11/30. Good luck!!
When I was a child, our summer vacations were usually a three hour journey from our front door to the door of where we were staying. Most of the time we journeyed to our vacation destination via car and ferry. My sister and I loved that our parents were sharing with us all of the fabulous sites that our province had to offer whether we were camping by a lake, staying in a cottage by the ocean, or exploring the coast in an RV.
Now that I’m a mother myself, I am taking a page out of my parents’ book. My husband and I alternate our family vacations between destinations that you travel to by plane with places closer to home that travel to by taking a road trip.
Our last road trip was an epic two day journey from Vancouver to Calgary in 30 degree heat with a 1 year old, a 5 year old, a 12 year old yorkie and two very cranky parents. I think the kids survived the road trip better than the parents and the dog did. Despite all of the “bumps in the road” we managed to have a great time, see sites both awe inspiring (Lake Louise) and entertaining (The Enchanted Forest in Revelstoke) and spend time bonding as a family.
After our trip, I put together 5 tips to make future road trips smoother. Pin them for easy reference for your next road trip.
5 Tips for a Fabulous Family Road Trip:
1. Make Your Road Trip About the Journey, Not The Destination- It’s so easy to get caught up in “We have to be to X destination by X day.” When planning your next road trip try to throw your timeline to the wind and enjoy your journey. Not getting caught up in how long it’s taking you to get from here to there will allow you to enjoy your stops more and not get so frustrated when the kids need an extra pee stop or chance to stretch their legs.
2. Be Flexible- Children can be unpredictable. Sometimes naps happen and it’s better to let sleeping children lie than wake them for a pre-scheduled activity and risk the crankies. Save the stop for your trip back home and continue on or take a road trip break, find a shady parking spot, roll down the windows and enjoy a good book. Be willing to be flexible depending on your children’s moods. Making a trip to the history museum may not be the best plan if your kids are feeling cooped up and extra rambunctious. Being prepared to make unexpected changes depending on the moods of your passengers will lead to a much happier family road trip.
3. Plan Ahead- Research pit stops along the way, a list of pet friendly parks and hotels if you are traveling with a furry companion, family friendly restaurants, gas stations and site seeing opportunities. Even if you don’t end up needing all the resources you collect you’ll be happy to have them when you need them, especially when you get stuck in the mountains with no data coverage. (Does it sound like I’m speaking from experience???)
4. Bring Food… Lots of it- Nothing causes the crankies like an empty tummy. Bring a range of snacking options, in pre-portioned containers or snack bags and make sure that you put them someplace that is easy to access. Fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds are all great great snack options but make sure to include some treats as well to avoid expensive gas station cravings.
5. Plan Entertainment- Before I was a mom, I swore up and down that I would NEVER have a DVD player in my car. Now that I am a mom I often rethink that decision. Let’s face it, even the most amazing kids can get bored when cooped up in a car for too long. Hearing “Are we there yet?” for the 100th time will try any parent’s patience. Create a playlist of family friendly songs on your phone, learn the words to a few good road trip tunes, research car road trip games, find a few car travel games and activities and when all else fails… have your kid’s favorite movie loaded on the iPad.
Shell wants to help you create amazing summer driving experiences with your family whether your taking a road trip across Canada or cruising your local watering holes. That’s why Shell just launched the Shell V-Power Formula for Driving Excitement Contest–to honour and discover the best drives in Canada.
One of our readers could win: $100 in Shell Gift Cards to spend on your next road trip. Simply fill out this Rafflecopter entry form! Ends 9/3 , CAN only.
Disclosure: This post was made possible by Shell. All opinions and anecdotes are our own.