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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cricut Doodlecharms Ladybug Birthday Card

Whenever possible, I try to make my own handmade greeting cards and personalize them as well. This is a card I made last year. I played around with the different sizes of font from the Cricut Storybook cartridge and used the ladybug from the Cricut Doodlecharms cartridge. It didn't have any antennae so I added some from a different cut. I also layered the wings to give it dimension. Isn't she cute?

Participating in Wordless Wednesday? Feel free to link up your post below.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Haunting Halloween Must-Haves From Hallmark Canada

Beware of haunting images lurking below! These frightful Halloween décor items may give you quite a scare. Read on, only if you dare...

Hallmark Halloween decor

OK, I digress. The newest in Halloween must-haves from Hallmark Canada aren't really that scary. More like adorable! The recent batch of Hallmark Press Pause samples I received last week are sure to be a real hit with treak-or-treaters this Halloween. A fun complement to last year's Halloween décor items from Hallmark, they will also make a great addition to my growing collection of décor items at school. My personal favourite is already hanging on my bulletin board:

Hallmark Halloween decor BOO
"BOO" Door Décor - $19.95
For more door décor ideas, check out the "Trick-or-Treat" Pumpkin Greeter (seen above) that greets little goblins with one of six motion-activated phrases (MSRP: $24.95). Or how about these creepy cool silhouettes?

Hallmark Halloween decor silhouettes
Halloween Door Frame Décor - $9.95 each
Looking to add some fall pizzazz to your buffet or dinner table? This beverage napkin basket adds a simple touch of earthy tones and looks great next to my Family Tree Frame Holder.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Master Lock Portable Security

Okay, ladies. Time to empty your purse and take inventory. How many personal items would cause you undue stress if they were ever stolen or go missing? Credit cards, IDs, car keys, house keys, money? The number one item on my list would be my cell phone. It is my life. I use it to tweet, take family photos, navigate, schedule, email, text message, listen to music, read ebooks, watch Netflix, shop,... Get the picture? No? Let me put it this way: my cell phone is like an additional appendage that I cannot live without. Period. Whenever I have a temporary loss of memory and can't remember whether I left it in a public washroom or in my car, I experience heart palpitations. My sanity aside, you have to agree with me that no one would ever want to lose their cell phone, let alone other valuables and personal items that we carry with us on a daily basis. For peace of mind, I needed a solution for security on the go. And this summer, I found just what I needed - a Master Lock Portable SafeSpace.

Master Lock Portable SafeSpace 5900D storage


Your life. Your stuff. Protect it.

During the summer, the kids often wanted to go swimming at the local community pool. One of the reasons I would dread going is the simple fact that, when I remove my glasses, I can't see very well. If I am alone with the kids, I have to be close by them at all times in order to see them clearly, which makes it difficult to keep an eye on my personal belongings poolside. Next to having my cell phone stolen or accidentally kicked into the pool, my biggest fear is that someone steps on my glasses and crushes the lenses. Luckily, Master Lock sent me their Portable SafeSpace 5900D to help keep my valuables safe and out of harms way.

Master Lock Portable SafeSpace 5900D durable case

The durable water-resistant construction is the perfect solution for my portable security needs. It is also lightweight and has plenty of room for MP3 players, glasses, keys, credit cards, passport, and even my new LGG3 smart phone.
Master Lock Portable SafeSpace 5900D combination

The Master Lock SafeSpace is also great for people who may suffer from PIN-code overload like I do because you can set your own combination.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Announcing the Birth of Walmart's Baby Registry!

Growing up with a gazillion cousins, I attended a lot of bridal showers, weddings and subsequent baby showers. I remember thinking to myself how I just couldn't wait to get married, build a family of my own and finally be showered with baby gifts and well wishes. It had nothing to do with that silly little bonnet made of bows that I would get to wear or watching family and friends attempt to guess the circumference of my belly. It had more to do with the special celebration of a miraculous bundle of joy and sharing the anticipation with loved ones. And perhaps it had a little to do with feeling spoiled, I'll admit. I recall how everyone would fuss over mom-to-be, oohing and ahhing over the cutest baby gifts and tiniest outfits. I also remember how many women of the older generation would marvel over the innovative Diaper Genie. Oh, how I wanted a Diaper Genie!

Unfortunately, I never had a baby shower, except for the unexpected party my dear colleagues threw for me at work. While I am truly grateful for their kindness and generosity, I still longed for a baby shower with my family and friends. Was it selfish of me to yearn for the excitement inherent in planning for baby's arrival and creating a baby registry? Maybe so. But perhaps I should have signed up for a registry anyway. It sure would have come in handy when people asked us what they should buy for our kids for Christmas or for their first birthday. Plus, it could have helped them find the perfect gift in their price range. I know I always found gift registries so helpful. It was gratifying to know we would be getting something for the parents-to-be that they would actually need and that they could also remember us by. There are so many great gift ideas available that it is rather useful to have a list of items on a registry to help narrow down our selection.


Announcing the birth of Walmart's Baby Registry!

To help Canadians get ready for a new baby on the way, Walmart Canada recently launched its new baby registry on Featuring a large assortment of baby products from diapers and bath supplies to car seats and strollers, Walmart offers more than 1,500 online exclusives to help you find every little thing for a very big moment. And registering for a baby registry is as easy as 1-2-3!
  1. Create a registry and give it a name.
  2. Add anything and everything you need to your baby registry.
  3. Share your baby registry with family and friends.
And if having access to thousand of must-have baby items wasn't enough, signing up for a Walmart Baby Registry comes with additional benefits:

Milton Fall Fair and Demolition Derby

Last month, my sister suggested the kids and I meet up with her and my nephew at the Milton Fall Fair. If you didn't already know, my son is unbelievably obsessed with cars and had to sit inside every car he saw when we checked out the new Nissan lineup at the Canadian International Auto Show this year. It was an easy choice to take my son to the fair to check out some old classics as well as a demolition derby for the first time. Personally, I could have lived without the demolition. It seemed so... pointless!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Canada Salsa and Bachata Congress, Toronto

This weekend marks the 12th Annual Canada Salsa & Bachata Congress held at the Sheraton Centre here in the talent-filled city of Toronto. It is the time of year when Canadian and international instructors, performers, DJs and musicians unite to bring you amazing workshops, phenomenal performances and endless hours of dancing. Founded and produced by Steps Dance Studio Inc. owner Jennifer Aucoin, the Congress is the longest running Salsa & Bachata event in Canada.

Sponsored in part by DanceFeet, Ossington Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, Aventura Dance Cruise, Telelatino, Salsa in Toronto and Lula Lounge, to name a few, the Congress attracts some of the most talented performers from the world over.

Tonight is the final dance performance showcase and if it is any good as last night's performance, you definitely don't want to miss it. We watched in awe as local dance troupes took the stage along with performers from Montreal, Vancouver, New York, Miami and even as far as Italy.

Grupo Alafia from Italy

Tickets are available at the door for $45 and include access to the Farewell Party and social dances that follow. Three separate ball rooms offer bachata, hustle and salsa dancing. If you plan on driving in, I suggest parking at City Hall which has an underground connection to the Sheraton Centre. I arrived at 7:30 pm, left at 2 am and parking cost a mere $6. The show starts at 9 pm but the doors open at 8 pm. Arrive early to get preferred seating or you can upgrade to VIP seating for an additional $20. At the very least, bring your dancing shoes y baila, baila, baila!

In the meantime, check out some photos from last night's performances. More to come!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Introducing the New Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair

Thinking back on how many toys the kids have had over the years, I am flabbergasted by the number of toys that served their purpose for a relatively short time. In some cases, my kids simply had no interest. In others, the kids outgrew them faster than the designer outfit their aunties bought for them for Christmas. With the exception of a really sweet party thrown together by colleagues at my first school here in Toronto, I never had a baby shower so we were very particular with what we purchased for our growing babies. Several toys the kids enjoyed in their toddler years were in fact handed down from my nephew or from my goddaughter once they no longer needed them, many of them bearing the Fisher-Price logo. These were the toys that I look back on with fondness, in addition to a must-have nursery item - the Fisher-Price Cradle N Swing - which I had purchased second-hand. Not only were they sanity-savers, they were extremely durable and withstood endless hours of play even after three or four children outgrew them. But just imagine if they could last even longer, adapting to developmental stages as your child grows, just like the new Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair!

One of the things my kids liked to do when they were infants was mimic mom and dad. They wanted to be just like the big people and the original Laugh & Learn chair was perfect for that. With the NEW Smart Stages Chair, little ones can do that and whole lot more. And with simple, straightforward assembly, mom and dad can have the chair ready in no time. It comes with five parts, screws and instructions which I suggest you read first. It took me less than five minutes to build before I realized that it is much easier to install the batteries first before assembling the rest of the chair. Also note that the conjoined rear legs have a protruding lip which helps prevent the chair from tipping backwards when baby tries to mimic daddy's infamous reclined position.

The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair has a similar flip book as the original with brightly-coloured images.

In lieu of a lamp, the new chair has a light-up remote to help teach baby about numbers and shapes.

It also features a "magic" ABC seat that knows when baby sits, activating learning songs and phrases when baby stands. And the lift-up cushion is perfect for a fun game of peek-a-boo.

But what makes this chair so unique is the Laugh & Learn Smart Stages technology. It is what allows this chair to evolve with age-appropriate learning content that suits your child's learning stage, all with a flip of a switch.