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Go Ask Dad

Stop Searching Online: Go Ask Dad

beauty, GEAR By June 13, 2016 Tags: , , , , No Comments

In a world where screen-time often outweighs actual face time, the internet has become the go-to source of information – and as we all know, websites don’t always give you the most unbiased and truthful advice… It’s quick and easy to search the internet for videos and how-to articles in seconds, but do the results truly give the answers teens really need? This Father’s Day, Gillette is reminding people everywhere to “Go Ask Dad” for answers to their everyday questions.  While your Dad will certainly appreciate a card (or a new razor) for Father’s Day, taking a moment to ask his advice will mean more to him than you might guess.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Tooth Fairy Receipt

Tooth Fairy Traditions

FAM, kids By March 19, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , No Comments

The tooth fairy is a magical character who swoops in and leaves some funds under your child’s pillow on the night they lose their teeth. If Mom and Dad remember. (And hasn’t every parent awakened in a cold sweat trying to remember if the tooth fairy made her visit?)

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Jill Amery Covergirl

The Winter Beauty Rut

beauty, GEAR By March 3, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Many of our readers know that I have struggled with depression in the past, and somehow this winter has been harder than most. Today I gave myself gentle permission for some self care and set out to fix the winter beauty rut.

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Helping Syrian Refugee Families

Helping Syrian Refugee Families in Canada

charity, FAM By February 24, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

We all saw the news clips – from heart-stopping marine rescues near Turkey to Justin Trudeau handing out winter coats to our new friends from Syria. But sometimes, apart from handing over money to large organizations, Canadians don’t know exactly what they can do to help.

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Summer Bucket List

Contests By July 3, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , 47 Comments

Summer Bucket ListSummer 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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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/

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Tips for Out on the Town Makeup (with Giveaway!)

Contests By May 20, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , 58 Comments

katy-perryTo get you ready for an evening out on the town, look no further, COVERGIRL and Olay are here to help you achieve that star look so you steal the spotlight.

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:

  1. Place the Lash Styler’s narrow, long core and short bristles right at the base of the lashes.
  2. Pull the Lash Styler through the lashes from root to tip, twirling or rotating it a bit as you go.
  3. 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.

The Giveaway:

Please fill out this Rafflecopter form. Canada only, Excl. Quebec. Ends 30/05 Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Pricing at discretion of the retailer. Available in select stores May 2015.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Jason Priestly Drinking Water

Children’s Safe Drinking Water: An Interview with Jason Priestley

charity, FAM By February 25, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

How important is water? Very. A lemonade stand to raise funds for water wells is fabulous, but there are still 1800 kids who die EVERY DAY due to the lack of clean water in their communities. A billion people around the world don’t have access to safe water. Even with access to medications, people often take their pills with toxic water – it’s the only option.

A  lack of education means that some wells are dug only feet away from the spots where latrines are situated, causing even more harmful bacteria.

P&G Clean Water - Jason Priestley 1UrbanMommies had the opportunity to conduct an interview with Jason Priestley – actor, director and activist who travelled to the Dominican Republic and is working to promote the Children’s Safe Drinking Water program (CSDW). Since the program launched, it has succeeded in donating over 20 million days of clean drinking water to those in need, and we hope to reach our goal of 25 million days of clean drinking water by March 31, 2015.

It doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference. Just 10 cents provides one P&G water purification packet that creates 10 liters of clean water. The packets are stirred into 10 litres of water and after ten minutes, the water can be strained through cloth (even a t-shirt works) and is safe to drink.

Just $1 gives a child clean water for 50 days.
$7.50 gives a child clean water for a year.
$30 gives a family clean water for a year.

Procter & Gamble and Walmart have partnered in a simple program to provide water to people in need. Every P&G product sold at Walmart Canada will provide 1 day of clean drinking water for a family. And these are the products you are buying anyway like Tide, Gillette, Bounce, Pantene and Tampax.

Here’s our exclusive interview with talented and kind Dad, Jason Priestley.

P&G Clean Water - Jason Priestley 3UM: There are so many charities and people in need – why water?

JP: I am a dad. 1600 children die every day. Its shocking to us who live in Canada where there in such an abundance of drinking water. This is a simple program that makes huge difference in people’s lives.

UM: I read your piece on your trip to the Dominican. When I travelled to Liberia with Right to Play I saw the need for clean water and also health education. How does Children’s Safe Drinking Water choose where to help? What about education?

JP: Kids can’t go to school half the time because they’re sick. There’s not enough education. We need to do something to break that cycle – water is one of the basic building blocks of society. Clean water makes people healthy and strong so they can get to school.

UM: You have 2 children – how to you teach them to be socially conscious?

JP: That’s one of the big challenges we all face. It’s difficult but I try to look at everything as a potential teachable moment. Scarcity and the importance of water is all around us – in California too. Water is a precious commodity. We talk a lot about the importance of helping others, not just giving people money but the tools they need to improve their lives. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Water is a tool. It restores people’s health and also their dignity, improving their lives and the strength of the community.

UM: How can Canadians help?

JP: This is such a simple program. Go to a Walmart store or walmart.ca and buy the household products you use every day. P & G takes care of donating. It’s a 1 for 1 swap. 1 product = 1 day of drinking water for a family.

So far they’ve given 21 Million days of safe drinking water to families in developing countries.

UM: How do they determine where to distribute the water purification packets?

JP: They work with not for profit agencies across the globe to determine need. Unsafe drinking water kills more kids every year than HIV, aids and malaria combined.

UM: I know I went through many life changes after visiting Liberia. What was your big take-away, as a dad, after travelling to the Dominican?

JP: I loved the children. Children are the same everywhere you go: happy, joyous, playful and beautiful. There kids playing in the dirt with a ball and stick are no different than my children. I felt the need to help them. They are innocent, joyous and pure and they deserve better. We can see what the future hold for these kids even when they can’t.

A billion people don’t have access to safe water. 1600 kids die every day.

You can learn more at Walmart.ca/cleanwater

Disclosure: I am a P&G Mom and was give then chance to interview Jason Priestley. I was not compensated for this article and all opinions are my own.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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organize-your-life

Tips For Living Simply

beauty, GEAR By January 27, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

I don’t like new year’s resolutions because they usually amount to more pressure and disappointment. I try to look at life as progress – are every few years getting better than the last? Are we happy? Over the past two months I’ve been focusing on living simply, eliminating stress and organizing life. Along with drinking lemon water, buying a juicer, there are 10 things the family has undertaken to ensure we are living simply with as little stress as possible.

Mabels Scan and Store Labels

1. Unsubscribe from as many email lists as possible. Keep the ones that you covet, but recognize that your time – even that 5 second glance to your phone when it dings – is worth gold.

2. Do a closet overhaul. (It doesn’t have to be a What Not to Wear episode where you feel guilty and depressed.) Put anything that doesn’t quite fit in a suitcase labelled with the size and date. We love Mabel’s Labels new Scan and Store barcode labels with an app so you know what’s in the box and where you put it! Check for stained items, holes, pills and shoes beyond repair. Invest in new, thin felt hangers (Homesense is a great place for these) and take metal hangers back to the drycleaner.

Statement Necklace Organization3. Place all of your jewelry on the bed. Separate any broken pieces that need repair, and start a collection of unwanted or broken costume pieces for a little girl in your life. When I was a little girl, a friend’s grandmother did this for me and I was thrilled by my treasures. Polish the silver and clean gold, pearls and gems with a soft cloth. I hung chunky necklaces on scarf hangars and places bangles in shoeboxes.

4. Pull out your makeup and toss anything that is too old. Wash brushes with Dawn and water and dry flat on a cloth. 97.9 % of us, according to a 2003 study on the use of cosmetics, are guilty of  using make-up after the expiration date, with mascara being the most frequently mentioned product. Products with a higher water content have a shorter lifespan after opening due to the ability for bacteria and microbes to breed in moisture. Curious about expiration dates? Here’s a cheat sheet:

Cover Girl and Olay Makeup

Expiration Dates for Makeup:

Mascara (regular or waterproof), liquid, pencil or gel eyeliners: 4 to 6 months
Cream, Liquid or Stick Foundations or Concealers: 6 months to 1 year
Powder-based products (including mineral makeup): 2-3 years
Lipsticks, Lip Gloss, & Lip Pencils: 2-3 years

Skincare:

Cleansers: 1 year
Toners: 6 months to 1 year
BHA or AHA Exfoliants: 1 year
Facial or Body Moisturizers and Serums: 6 months to 1 year
Lip Balms: 1 year

Foreign Currency Travel Packs5. Eliminate undue travel stress. Note passport expiry dates in your calendar and apply for a Nexus/Global Entry pass to skip long airport security lines. Keep travel chargers and ziplocks sorted with different currencies from past trips in your go-to suitcase, and have a few key seasonal clothing items at the ready in case you take a trip to a different climate. Check balances on hotel points cards and ensure you are using them to your advantage.

6. Be ready for sick days. Check first aid kits for expiration dates on medicines. Have homemade chicken soup in the freezer. We use the homemade chicken stock recipe from Kitchen Stewardship, which provides incredible healing benefits, including boosting the immune system, aiding digestion, increasing efficiency of protein use and providing easily digestible minerals, including calcium. You also get none of the ‘fake’ foods and preservatives when you make it yourself. Get rid of the dust. Give your kids an extendible Swiffer duster once a week and give them a quarter if they can cover it with dust from the tops of frames and chandeliers.

Closet Overhaul7.  Grab all of your gift cards and see if some can be amalgamated. If you have a stack of cards you will never use, use Cardswap.ca to exchange them for cards you will use.

8. Are your computer and mobile phone systems working well? I hadn’t backed up files, and my phone and computer contacts were duplicated or not being saved properly. Not being able to find a number for a mom during a playdate or losing precious photos to power surges can be devastating or just stressful. Calling Geek Squad or heading to the nearest Apple or Microsoft store could sort out all of your tech woes. Oh, and write your printer toner numbers in your wallet along with your license plate number. (Or am I the only one who always forgets these?) You can also photograph it all, along with membership cards and parking passes and store the photos in a special account in the cloud.

9. Evaluate the entertainment options. Our family is a bit over the top. We have a huge cable package, a Netflix subscription, Next Issue, and regularly make purchases on iTunes and Google Play. I sat down with the family and we discussed our needs. There isn’t enough time in the week to watch, play and read everything. We decided what is most important (English football and Netflix) and eliminated a few unnecessary distractions from there. It can be worth a call to your providers to check the options. Amazon Prime can cut down on entertainment costs. For film buffs in the US, Fandango is your best friend.

Personal Bags10. Do you and your kids do a weekly activity? We were always searching for shin guards, cleats and ski helmets, so we now have a system. Monogrammed bags for each activity (ours are from Land’s End) are packed and in the mudroom. We take them to the activity and then right to the laundry room afterwards. When the clothes are clean and dry they go right back into the bag and to their permanent home. Ditto for library book bags.

We’d love to hear your tips and tricks for living simply! Write them below and we will choose our favourite at random for a special gift card!

10 Ways to Simplify Life

Disclosure: This article is not sponsored. UrbanMommies does receive samples to test from time to time, and some Proctor and Gamble and Mabel’s Labels items are shown here, however all creative and selections are my own.

organize-simplify-your-life

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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No “oh no” Hair Moments Despite A Broken Wrist!

beauty, GEAR By July 25, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , 25 Comments

InaSnapThe season of sleeveless tops, sun dresses and shorts is in full swing, and it is a hot one. Unfortunately, with a broken wrist (send chocolate) it takes way more effort for me to appear beach-ready! Before I was sent a summer survival kit, I’d prep for a day out only to find I missed a spot shaving and the painstaking flat-ironing I was doing to create beachy waves, well, just wasn’t working. 

Even though my cast means I can only bathe once every few days – (carefully!) I was thrilled to discover Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Waves Enhancer Spray. A spritz and a scrunch and my hair looked gorgeous (if I do say so…). I applied the Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Waves Crème Pomade right afterward and it held all day. It didn’t get greasy at all, so with a few more spritzes of Wave Enhancer Spray the day after and I was ready.

As for those pesky missed hairs, the Gillette Venus Snap with Embrace mini razor that I threw into my beach bag ensured that I had an easy-to-hold-with-one-hand solution for that dreaded patch of hair I discovered when I finally started to relax on the beach. I did mention that I can shave with my bad hand, right? Epic. again by giving you smooth, beautiful skin, no matter where you are.

Have you experienced a hair “oh no” moment? We’d love to hear about a time when you could have used these style saving products. Share your story with me on Twitter or Instagram (@urbanmommies) using #InASnap for shaving mishaps and #GoodbyeFlyaways for frizzy fumbles. And, to ensure you never find yourself in the same predicament again, we’re giving away a P&G Summer Hair Survival Kit so you can test these solutions for yourself.

This giveaway is valued at $45* and includes:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I am a P&G Mom. I receive samples to test in exchange for my participation in the program. All opinions are my own.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Summer Road Trip Travel Essentials Giveaway

Contests By July 25, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 16 Comments

Summer TravelSummer is finally here, meaning you’ll be spending lots of time in the car for day-trips and vacations with the family. We know road trip packing can be stressful – it’s mom’s job to be prepared for the unpredictable and remember everything, right?! To ensure your vacation starts off on the right foot, here is a list of our top summer travel tips and tricks. We’ve also got a Summer Road Trip Travel Essentials Giveaway sponsored by Procter & Gamble to make road tripping easier!

Take time to prep

  • Dedicate time well before departure to plan your pack—yes plan. Check the weather forecast, ensure flight times are accurate, check construction and closures and find alternative routes to make a realistic travel route to get you there on time. If flying, remember to double check what you can bring in your carry-on to avoid anything being thrown out.
  • Avoid the morning of mad dash to gather all necessary toiletries and invest in a travel set of essentials.  Do you need a full size shampoo and conditioner for the family to share, or can you use the adorable mini travel-sized items, like the super cute and convenient mini Scope Outlast ($2.99*) to maintain fresh breath on the go? If you have essentials you just can’t duplicate, like an electronic toothbrush, add them to your last minute pack list.

Make a list, check it twice

  • If heading on a road trip, packing the family and your trip essentials can mean a tightly packed car. Making a check list of what you really need will help eliminate those “nice to have” items that will overflow the car.
  • Involve the kids – throughout the week have the kids write down items they use in the day on a chalk or white board in a central location (i.e. kitchen fridge). At the end of the week, go through the list together and narrow it down to the must haves. You may be surprised by some of the things you use daily!

To pack it right, pack it light!

  • The lighter the better! We know packing with kids and pets it may be difficult to live by this mantra, however keeping things light and simple leaves room for souvenirs.
  • Downsize by bringing items that have more uses than one. Bring Pampers Sensitive wipes ($3.99*) – they work wonders for baby’s bottom and do double duty by wiping faces  clean of juice spills and other sticky messes. Be sure to have Puffs Basic Tissues ($5.99*) on hand to aid in the unexpected clean up!
  •  Bounce Free & Sensitive Dryer Sheets ($8.99*) are a great static solution on the go. Rub along your electric-charged clothing item to help remove pesky static!
  • When packing clothing, try rolling versus folding. It often helps keep things less-wrinkled and can save space in your suitcase. And to keep everything smelling fresh, longer, spray the inside of your suit case with Febreze Fabric Refresher Extra Strength ($2.99*).

Car essentials

  • It’s easy to get tempted by road side stops for fries and ice cream, which can add up and increase your budget. Try bringing cut fruit, veggies and bags of trail mix to help curb everyone’s appetite! And don’t worry about the mess, Bounty DuraTowels White Paper Towels ($3.49*) are perfect for spills and sticky fingers.
  • Bathroom pit stops can often be annoying if certain amenities are missing – don’t leave the house without bringing your own Charmin Basic ($4.99*) so you’re always fresh and comfortable. Keep your mouth feeling fresh too by bringing Oral-B Pro-Health Cross Action Manual Toothbrush ($7.99*) and ORAL B Pro-Health Glide Floss($3.99*) so you can head back into the car feeling rejuvenated, ready for the next leg of the trip.
  • Long car rides can often result in smells you’d wish you left at home. With leftover snacks sitting around, get rid of the odours by using aFebreze Car Vent Clip Air Freshener ($3.99*) to keep your vehicle fresh for hours and hours.

Safety first

  • Always remember to bring a first aid kit. No one wants to get sick on vacation so be prepared for everything that may get thrown your way. From cuts, bruises, to colds and allergies, be ready to tackle it all so the fun never stops!

You’ve had the chance to test these products throughout the year.  Now it’s time to share the love with your readers! We’ve gathered some of the top P&G essentials for any travel vacation this summer. This giveaway is valued at $50* and includes: