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Thursday, May 21, 2015

What Will You Do Today? #TodayList

Recently, I discovered the hard truth that I just can't do it all. I try and I try but no matter what I do, I cannot seem to tackle everything on my to-do list. It has always been a daunting task trying to live up to my roles as a mother, a wife, an educator, a blogger, a warrior... you know, just your typical run-of-the-mill responsibilities many of us women face in today's world. So I know I'm not alone in feeling the despair that comes with being unable to cross off the endless list of everyday chores and work-related tasks.

Quaker #TodayList

In a recent Google survey done by the Quaker Canada brand, 70 per cent of Canadians indicated that they make To Do Lists to help them manage their life. Yet, almost half of Canadians omit the most important and fulfilling things in life on their lists. What do they include on their lists? Everyday errands, job-related tasks and household chores. What about the things that really matter like volunteering in the community or spending time with family and friends? Surprisingly, only 15 per cent say that they include these on their list.

Do more of what matters, today.

Given the results of this survey, the Quaker Canada brand felt compelled to help Canadians shift their thinking and help them focus more on what really matters. Their #TodayList is a new social movement designed to inspire, celebrate and reward Canadians for doing more of what matters. 
Through www.TodayList.ca, they are encouraging each of us to commit to doing one thing every day that is important to do TODAY. We're not talking about tackling that mountain of laundry or mowing the lawn. We're talking about those little things that are much more fulfilling than menial chores: reading a story to your children, going for a walk with the family, enjoying a cup of coffee with an old friend, or taking time out for yourself. 


You can sign up on www.TodayList.ca with an email or easily connect to your Twitter or Facebook accounts to get started. Then you can select from a beautiful assortment of art to be used as a backdrop for your #TodayList. Type in your list and a graphic will be created for you. Simply share to Facebook and/or Twitter to inspire others to do the same. Participants can also earn badges for making commitments as well as track their progress.

Quaker Canada #TodayList

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Barbara's Snackimals Cereals

Barbara's Snackimals Cereals - Vanilla Blast & Cinnamon Crunch

Ever since my husband and I became parents, we knew we wanted to provide our children with wholesome foods. Our preference has always leaned towards natural and organic foods so it wasn't long after our first-born began to snack on solids that we discovered Barbara's Cereals. We also found ourselves stocking our pantry with their fig bars and Snackimals cookies. Using high quality ingredients, Barbara's has been creating wholesome snacks and cereals that have no refined sugar or hydrogenated oils for more than 40 years. 

Barbara's Snackimals Cereals - Cinnamon Crunch

Our family recently had a chance to sample two varieties of Barbara's Organic Snackimals Cereals: Vanilla Blast and Cinnamon Crunch. Of the two flavours, vanilla was the clear winner. We even offered a box to the neighbour's kids down the street and they picked vanilla over cinnamon, too. To be honest, I'm not surprised. I personally have to be in the mood for cinnamon. Our family doesn't use cinnamon often and so I think my kids don't have much of an appetite for it. In fact, they would only have the vanilla cereal for breakfast. The stuff was gone before I had a chance to sample it myself!

Barbara's Snackimals Cereals - snack tray

What I tried instead was adding the cinnamon Snackimals cereal to a snack tray and left it out on the table after school. I noticed my son nibbling on some of it and had one of those "a-ha" moments. Forget about offering the cinnamon variety at breakfast and just keep it on hand for snacks. They are 'Snack'imals, after all! 

Barbara's Snackimals Cereals - snack bag

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hallmark Gifts For Grads and Dads

Hallmark Gift Ideas - Autograph Graduation Bear #LoveHallmarkCA

What's that you say? It's almost June? I hadn't noticed. It's not like I was counting down until the last day of school. No, not me. But now that you mention it, I am really looking forward to June. Graduation is always an exciting time and, although I do not teach any grade 8's this year, I still help during the graduation ceremony by handing out the French awards and looking after the music. Last year, I even worked with two graduates who performed a rendition of "Say Something" while I played the piano. It's always nice to send off the graduating class as they embark on their new journey. And they're lucky to have amazing grade 8 teachers who work extremely hard to put together a graduation celebration and luncheon, not to mention an amazing yearbook year after year. It's such an important occasion and what better way to commemorate than with a memento from Hallmark.

Hallmark Graduation Gift Ideas #LoveHallmarkCA


At the top of my list of Hallmark must-haves is the Autograph Graduation Bear. This adorable fabric bear includes a black marker and plenty of room for autographs. It retails for $16.95 but you can save $4 with any purchase. They also have a couple of dated mugs with designed handles: Class of 2015, as seen above, and YOU DID IT! Tassle Mug. These ceramic mugs are dishwasher safe and retail for $12.95 each. Of course, they have plenty of frames as well, including graduation frames. The one above can hold a 4" x 6" photo and includes the sentiment, "When their dreams come true, ours do, too." This frame costs $12.95 but other sizes are also available. Don't forget to pick up some graduation themed gift bags or a set of thank you cards for your future grad.

Hallmark Father's Day Gift Ideas #LoveHallmarkCA

Now I know, June is not just about grads. Dads celebrate a special day, too. Luckily, Hallmark has you covered with a fabulous assortment of Life is good products. From wooden Father's Day Frames ($16.95 each) and matching gift bags to ceramic mugs with uniquely designed handles ($14.95 each), there are plenty of gift ideas at Hallmark. My favourites are the golf and BBQ towels. They are 100% cotton and retail for $16.95. The best part? Life is good donates 10% of its net profits to help kids in need. So it's like your gifting twice!

Hallmark Gift Ideas - Autograph Graduation Bear #LoveHallmarkCA

Thinking of You Butterfly Card

Thinking of You Butterfly Card Cricut

Sharing an old Thinking of You Butterfly Card I made a few years ago. A lot has happened over the past week and I've been thinking about those who have been directly affected. Makes me realize how life is short and all those other clich├ęs. But really, life is too short. Especially when you dwell too much on the negative instead of focusing on the positive. For me, my craft space where I make my own greeting cards is my happy place. I think I need to spend more time there and try my hand at another one of these shape cards. The butterfly cut is from the Cricut Indie Art cartridge and the circle shape card is from the Cricut Wild Card cartridge. I embossed the circle using the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder and added a couple of little extras.

Participating in Wordless Wednesday? Link up your posts using the linky below.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

How to Make a KINDER SURPRISE Minion

How to Make a KINDER SURPRISE Minion

In honour of the exciting news that the Limited Edition Minions collection will be coming out this month in specially marked KINDER® SURPRISE® Classic eggs, I was challenged to create a mini Minion using a KINDER® SURPRISE® capsule. I am a big fan of Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 and I'm always up for a fun craft so this was right up my alley. And it is also fitting seeing as the new Minions movie will be coming to the big screen on July 10.

How to Make a KINDER SURPRISE Minion - materials

How to Make a KINDER SURPRISE Minion


Materials:

  • 2 Elmer's Painters pens in opaque blue and black, medium tip
  • 1 silver ink pen, fine tip
  • 1 black Sharpie, fine point
  • Glue Dots
  • googly eyes
  • KINDER® SURPRISE® capsule

How to Make a KINDER SURPRISE Minion

Step 1: Apply googly eye(s) by placing a Glue Dot on the back. I used a mini Glue Dot for mine.

Step 2: Outline the eye with a silver ink pen to form the goggle. I used an extra fine tip.

Step 3: Use the black paint pen to draw the goggle strap.

Step 4: Paint the coveralls using the blue paint pen. I did this free-hand.

Step 5: After the blue pain has dried, use the black paint pen to add details such as the buttons and the insignia. I chose to outline the coveralls as well but you can skip this step.

Step 6: Using a fine tip Sharpie in black, draw the mouth and hair. I tried using the paint pen but as it is a medium tip, it was too thick.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Special Offer: FLARE Beauty Boxes #flarebeautybox #PGmom


FLARE Classic Beauty Box #flarebeautybox #pgmom

Because I know many of you love a good deal, I couldn't help but share with you an exciting offer from FLARE Magazine and P&G. They've partnered up to offer up TWO amazing FLARE Beauty Boxes that are an incredible steal. The best part? They cost only $9 each and that includes shipping! No, you need not pinch yourself. Each kit includes a hair colour coupon valued at up to $16.00 as well as a full-size COVERGIRL lipstick and mascara, plus other essentials as selected by FLARE's beauty team. 

The FLARE Classic Beauty Box featured above includes:
  • COVERGIRL Clump Crusher Mascara by LashBlast in Very Black 13.1 mL
  • OLAY Regenerist Wrinkle Revolution Complex 7 mL sample tubes x 2
  • COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lipstick in nude shade 3.5 g (full size)
  • PANTENE Expert PRO-V Advanced+ Keratin Repair Split End Fuser 100 mL (full size)
  • OLAY Ultra Moisture Body Wash 50 mL (travel size)
  • SPECIAL OFFER! Clairol Nice ’n Easy Coupon, up to a maximum of $16.00, expires June 30, 2015

FLARE Fearless Beauty Box #flarebeautybox #pgmom

The FLARE Fearless Beauty Box includes:
  • COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lipstick in Succulent Cherry 3.5 g (full size)
  • OLAY Ultra Moisture Body Wash 50 mL (travel size)
  • COVERGIRL Full Lash Bloom Mascara by LashBlast in Very Black 13.1 mL (full size)
  • HERBAL ESSENCES Rejuvenating Shampoo & Conditioner 100 mL each (travel size)
  • OLAY Fresh Effects Clear Skin Swirled Mattifier Sachets 0.5 mL x 2
  • SPECIAL OFFER! Vidal Sassoon Hair Colour Coupon, up to a maximum of $16.99, expires June 30, 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Suteki Stencil Station


Earlier this year, Imports Dragon debuted one of their newest items for children - Suteki. Derived from the Japanese word meaning "awesome", Suteki was designed to empower kids to unleash their inner artist by allowing them to create their own layered art pieces. 


For review, our family received a kit that contained two sets of stencils (a dog with shades and a zombie girl), four paint colours (Shadow Ninja Black, Bubble Pop Pink, Caterpillar Crush Green and Duck Fluff Yellow), a pink frame, a blue frame, a paint sponge, a pallet, paper and cardboard.


Initially, we weren't achieving promising results until we realized we were using paint strokes instead of dabbing. If you try to apply the paint using a wiping motion, the paint will appear more faded. However, if you apply the paint by dabbing repeatedly, then it looks much nicer. It even gives the final art piece a textured look.