August 2011

Back to School In Style – Wee Squeak Style {Giveaway}

Wee Squeak Canada

What’s your favourite back-to-school item to shop for? For me it was always shoes. There’s something about putting on a brand new pair of shoes and heading off for the first day of school that just felt good.

This feeling hasn’t changed and now I can pass the tradition of a new pair of school shoes to little S. Thanks to Wee Squeak that’s exactly what I did.

Little S and I picked out a pair of adorable Wee Squeak shoes for her first day. There are so many to choose from but we finally narrowed it down to a pair of the Hot Pink Peony Maryjanes.

 Wee Squeak Canada

NOT YOUR AVERAGE SHOES

The Wee Squeak shoes are high-quality, comfortable and stylish shoes for kids, but they have something extra. They make a ‘squeak’ sound with each step your child takes. They’re quite cute and entertaining. The kids love them for sure and if you’re a parent wondering if that ‘squeak’ can get a little annoying, rest assured, there’s a solution for that.

Each pair of Wee Squeak shoes comes with a set of plugs that you can swap with the squeaker. This allows you to turn the squeak off. The plugs are really easy to pop out and pop back in and are on the outside of the shoe. The option for squeaks some days and not others is really easy.

JUST IN TIME FOR FALL

I really love the stylish look of the Wee Squeak shoes and I’m in love with the Fall 2011 Collection. My favourites are the Cross Strap Boot for girls and the Two Tones for boys.

Wee Squeak Canada

The girls boots (and other shoes) come with one set of Chinese Roses to clip on, but you can also buy other flower styles and colours to change-up the look. Now that’s fashion!

Wee Squeak Canada

BUY A PAIR

Wee Squeak shoes can be purchased online at Wee Squeak Canada or at one of over 700 retailers worldwide. Visit the Store Locator section on the Wee Squeak website to search for a store near you.

WIN A PAIR

Today on City Mom, one lucky reader will win a pair of shoes or boots from Wee Squeak. For this giveaway I will be trying out Rafflecopter for the first time, so things may look a little different.

 Good luck!

City Mom

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Making Time For Play With Kinder Surprise

Kinder Surprise 2012

Kinder Surprise 2012

Running a family can be stressful. There’s so much to do like preparing meals, washing clothes, transporting kids to and from school and sports, cleaning house, grocery shopping, planning, fixing, teaching, nurturing…the list is endless.

It can be a difficult task to add some fun and play time into the mix when’s there’s so much to do. That’s why I’m really excited to be a part of the re-launch of Kinder® Surprise® Canada and to be a KINDER® Mom ambassador!

Kinder Surprise is a treat that I’m happy to share with little S. They’re made from high-quality cocoa and real sugar. I’m also impressed with Kinder’s belief in responsible treating and global commitment not to market to children. They celebrate the small wins and have been creating moments of joy for Canadian families for over 30 years.

KINDER® SURPRISE® 2012 TOY COLLECTION

Kinder Surprise 2012

Little S has always been a fan of Kinder Surprise. I’m not sure which she enjoys more, the sweet treat or the surprise inside. She’ll be thrilled to learn of the new 2012 toy collection that is part of the Kinder Surprise re-launch. There are 70 brand new toys including some bigger, better and more playful toys!  

Check them out (you can also visit the Kinder Surprise Facebook page to see the whole collection). And ‘Like” their page today (Aug 29, 2o11) for your chance to receive one of 5,000 free eggs!

Kinder Surprise 2012

MAKING TIME FOR FUN

A day in the life of our busy family involves the morning routine, school for S and work for us. After the day is over I make a point of walking to pick S up from school and stopping in at the park for some play time before the evening routine begins. This was one of the reasons we chose to move into our condo, so we could be close to her school and enjoy some more outdoor time rather than ‘in-the-car-time’.

We often share a snack under our favourite tree and then we head down to the playground for some time on the swings and climbers. It’s here that I get to learn about her day and share some unique one-on-one time with her. We both look forward to this time to recharge after a long day and enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle.

How do you and your family make time for play? Do you celebrate the small wins too? Share your stories and some tips. And keep your eye out for the new Kinder Surprise!

Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

City Mom

Fabulous Female Friday – City Mom on Britney Spears

In honour of my recent night of fame that you may or may not have heard about, today’s FFF is going to be a little different. Today I’ll be featuring Miss Britney Spears as August’s second Fabulous Female.

My sisters and I have always been fans of Britney Spears. We’ve made a tradition to attend her concerts together when she’s near London. We’ve seen her in Hamilton once and her recent concert makes it twice in Toronto.

Her Circus tour was the first time we decided to dress up like Britney. Her recent concert, the Femme Fatale tour at the Air Canada Centre, was the second time. For Circus we dressed up as characters that might be found in the production; we wore corsets, top hats and lots of lace. This time around we decided to dress up as past Britney personas.

Circus Tour

Our costume selection was quite the hit with Britney fans in Toronto. From the moment we took the roof down on my sister’s black convertible as we entered the city, to the moment we returned to the car to make the long drive home, we held celebrity-type status.

Toxic, Oops I Did it Again & Hit Me Baby One More Time

We were asked to pose for over 100 photos. Radio stations, other fans and even Britney’s official photographer were among the paparazzi. One photo even made it to britneyspears.com and to her official Facebook page.

We grabbed some drinks at a nearby patio before the show and it was there that a tour group walked by and in unison began clapping and cheering at us. It was unreal.

It was a whirlwind of an evening and I didn’t hesitate to post it all over Facebook and Twitter. After all, I do have a secret desire to become famous and I believe this is the closest I’ll ever get.

It was a response to one of my posts that made me decide to feature Britney this week as City Mom’s Fabulous Female. The comment said something like “…impressed that you’re a proud Britney fan, I’m still in the closet.”

I wouldn’t dare reveal who said this (don’t worry, your secret is safe with me) but it made me realize that I have been defending my fanaticism for Britney for years and it’s time once and for all to put some words behind it.

Today I’m interviewing myself on Britney…

Tell us about Britney.

Britney Jean Spears was born on December 2, 1981 in McComb, Mississippi but raised in Kentwood, Louisiana. She began singing and acting as a child with her first notable role as a Mouseketeer on the hit show The All New Mickey Mouse Club.

Britney is now 29 and the mom of two young boys. She’s not only a singer but also a songwriter, dancer, actress, record producer, author, fashion designer and video director.

Whether you are a fan of Britney or not, it’s impossible to say that she’s not a fabulous female. She has all the attributes and accomplishments that other fabulous females have, and she’s got something else, the ability to cope with living her life very much in the public eye.

What inspires you about Britney?

Britney is a business-woman before all else. Yes she sings, dances and puts on a hell of a good show, but she’s also an entrepreneur. She runs a very lucrative company and that is what we see on stage and on her album covers – her business.

The amount of controversy she has managed to overcome is amazing. Many women, if in Britney’s shoes would have given up by now. She has taken a childhood dream and turned it into an empire and not given up. But it’s not all about money and fame.

Britney is also a mom, just like me and you. She struggles with the same issues that motherhood forces on us. Whether she did in fact have postpartum depression or not, she struggled with motherhood just like the rest of us.

She had her low time but she fought it and won. This takes a strong woman and it’s something I identify with. She’s back on track, back to work and looking fabulous.

How do you identify with Britney?

I’m not joking when I say I know how she must feel. One day of being famous and I was exhausted. I couldn’t make a move without being looked at, spoken to, photographed, pointed and stared at. I imagine if everyday were like this it would get quite overwhelming.  

Big jobs come with big money, but the way I see it, even if she were to choose to quit today, the attention would never stop. This is something she’ll have to live with for the rest of her life. Knowing this I think she handles herself really well and puts effort into doing the best she can.

Though I didn’t shave my head in a fit or mental disarray, I did have moments of ‘craziness’ while battling Postpartum Depression. I did things I wish I hadn’t and I felt feelings that were scary and shocking. Had the world been watching my every move at the time, they’d think I was crazy too.

I know in a small dose what she went through and as most women who have suffered from PPD would agree, you feel  solidarity with other women who have travelled the same path.

Who wore it better?

Why do you think Britney is worthy of the Fabulous Female title?

You’ve heard the saying ‘actions speak louder than words’ right? Well when it comes to Britney Spears, this saying couldn’t be more appropriate. Take a look at this list of Britney’s accomplishments:

  • Only the second artist in history to have two consecutive singles debut at number-one
  • Third-most number one hits (among Mariah Carey & Janet Jackson)
  • Biggest selling musician worldwide (2000–2010) with global album and single sales of over 180 million as of 2010.
  •  Eighth best-selling female recording artist in the United States with 35 million albums sold
  • The youngest singer to receive a star on The Walk of Fame
  • The artist with the most mainstream Top 40 chart hits since 2000, with 21 tracks
  • Only female artist in history to have 6 of her albums debut at no. 1

 And this list doesn’t even come close to capturing all Britney’s accomplishments. She takes a lot of criticism and as do her fans but the proof is in her work. She’s doing something right.

What’s your favourite Britney song?

This is a tough question to answer, but it’s the question that always gets asked when someone is the fan of something in particular.

I love most of her songs but I’d have to say my favourite is Gimme More from her Blackout album.

What is your favourite Britney look?

Again, tough one…she’s got some great stylists. I loved her I’m a Slave 4 U look. The python was impressive!

Image from www.vertigoshtick.com

So there you have it, my take on Britney Spears as a Fabulous Female. I realize this isn’t the traditional format for the FFF feature but while I am trying to get a hold of Britney for a real interview, this will have to suffice.

Britney if you’re reading this…call me! I’d love to interview you for the Fabulous Female Feature properly!

City Mom

My London: Canada’s Favourite Baseball Park {#LdnOnt}

supremes

Photo courtesy of baseball.ca

 

If you’re a follower of City Mom, you know I love my city and all the great things about it. But did you know that we’re in the running for winning the title of Canada’s Favourite Ballpark

LONDON MEETS THUNDER BAY

Baseball Canada’s contest, Canada’s Favourite Ballpark has just finished the preliminary voting and it’s now down to two finalists, London’s Labatt Memorial Park and Thunder Bay’s Port Arthur Stadium

It goes without saying that I think Labatt Memorial Park should win the title. Not only because I’m a Londoner or because my husband, dad and brother-in-law play baseball there many times throughout the summers, but because Labatt Park really is the best ball park in Canada with a very rich history. 

Photo courtesy of baseball.ca

 

LABATT MEMORIAL PARK

Labatt Memorial Park is Canada’s “oldest continually operating baseball grounds in the world.” Its history goes back as far as 1877 and has been owned by the City of London since 1936. 

LMP started out as Tecumseh Park after the London Tecumsehs Baseball Club was established. The Tecumsehs played their first game there on May 4, 1877.
Today LMP is home to the London Majors, a team in the Intercounty Baseball League, a semi-pro organization. It`s also home to the London Badgers junior team and many other youth leagues. 

Image courtesy of London's Sports Hall of Fame

 

What I find particularly interesting is the fact that during World War II, LMP (then Tecumseh Park) was home to several women`s baseball teams including the London Supremes who played in the Michigan-Ontario Women’s Fastball League into the 1950s. 

Does the movie A League of Their Own come to mind? It should because the movie was almost filmed there but due to the schedule of the home team at the time (London Tigers) taping couldn’t take place. 

 

From 1877 to present day, a lot of things have taken place at Labatt Memorial Park. I’m not much of a historian and most of this info can be found on Wikipedia, but I am really proud to have such a great historical landmark in my hometown and I would love to see London bring this title home. 

HOW TO VOTE

I know, I know, everyone always say voting is really easy, but in this case, it really is. It will only take you two clicks. Well three if you count closing the window after you vote. 

You don’t have to be a Londoner to vote, you just have to be enthusiastic about Canada’s history. You could also just be a fan of City Mom and vote because I asked you to! Whatever your reason for voting, please do so. Help my city win this much deserved title. 

Voting is open until September 6, 2011 and can be done so here. Thanks for voting! 

If you’re a Londoner, what are your favourite memories of Labatt Memorial Park? I’d love to hear some stories!

 

City Mom

Seventh Generation For Your Family {Giveaway}

7soap

Seventh Generation

I must admit that before having children, I wasn’t too concerned about the products I used for myself or in my home. If I liked the product, I would use it.

Today as a mom, things are very different. Now I read labels, research before buying and I care to know more about the companies that make the products I bring into my home. I make my decisions based on health, safety and eco-friendliness before anything else.

That is why I’m so excited about the Seventh Generation  products that have come to Canada. Each product is safe for your family and good for our environment.

Free & Clear Diapers

  • Hypoallergenic, fragrance and latex-free
  • Absorbent core is processed without chemicals containing chlorine
  • Free & Clear Baby Wipes
  • Free of dyes and fragrances
  • Hypoallergenic with a plant-derived cleaning agent
  • Made with a soft cloth that hasn’t been processed with chemicals containing chlorine

Natural 2X Liquid Laundry & Fabric Softener

  • Non-toxic, biodegradable formula
  • Plant-derived cleaning agents
  • Chlorine-Free Bleach
  • Non-toxic peroxide formula without chlorine bleach or optical brighteners

Natural Dish Liquid

  • Hypoallergenic, non-toxic and biodegradable
  • Automatic Dishwasher Gel, Powder & Pacs
  • Phosphate and chlorine-free

Natural Household Cleaners

  • Non-toxic and biodegradable without harsh fumes

Paper Products

  • Made with 100% recycled paper (minimum 50% post-consumer)
  • Whitened without chemicals container chlorine
  • No added dyes or fragrances

“In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions
on the next seven generations.” – From the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

ABOUT SEVENTH GENERATION

Seventh Generation believes their products are healthy solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within your home – and for the community and environment outside of it. They want their products to make a difference – from their development through to their production, purchase, use and disposal.

I like Seventh Generation because of their environmental consciousness and their concern for my family and yours. I like that they make the decision process easy and provide lots of good information on their products. Bottom line, I feel good about bringing these products into my home.

JOIN THE SEVENTH GENERATION NATION

Come join me in the Seventh Generation Nation. As a member you’ll receive coupons (there’s a great one now for free wipes!) and special offers and you’ll be able to create your own member profile where you can interact with other eco-conscious moms. You’ll be able to share tips and info on the forums and participate in research panels.

WIN SEVENTH GENERATION PRODUCTS

Whether you are a new consumer of Seventh Generation products or a long-time fan, you’ll love today’s giveaway opportunity.

One reader will win a 100% organic cotton Seventh Gen Eco lunch bag as well as coupons for a FREE package of Seventh Generation Free & Clear Diapers, Free & Clear Baby Wipes and dish washing products. Note: the Seventh Gen Eco lunch bag and Coupons are provided by Seventh Generation.

HOW TO ENTER

First Entry (must complete before extra entries):

Simply share your best tip on how to be more environmentally conscious. Leave a comment below.

Extra Entries (Leave a separate comment for each)
  1. Like City Mom on Facebook.
  2. Follow @SeventhGen and @_CityMom on Twitter and Tweet the following (Can be tweeted once a day): “Enter to win eco-friendly products from Seventh Generation via @_CityMom and @SeventhGen http://www.citymom.ca/?p=2104 #giveaway #SeventhGenCanada
  3. Share this post using the orange Share button below. Leave one comment for each share method
  4. Sign up for City Mom’s Free Updates (You must confirm your subscription to count)
  5. Follow City Mom through Google Friend Connect
  6. Google+ 1 this post (click the button below the post)
Contest Rules
  1. Contest is open to Canadian Residents only
  2. The contest will run from Aug. 23 – Sept.16 at 11:59 ET.
  3. One winner will be chosen using And the Winner Is and will be notified at the email address used upon entry. The winner will have 48 hrs to respond and failure to do so will result in a new winner selection.

Good luck and have fun!

Disclosure – I am participating in the Seventh Generation program by Mom Central Canada. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

City Mom

Back to School In Style – Green Style

Steeltainer-15

There are just seventeen days until the first day of school. I can’t believe how the summer has flown by; it’s time to start preparing for back to school.

New clothes, shoes, backpacks, lunch bags and pencil cases are just a few of the items on the back-to-school-lists of many busy moms and dads. Some children are excited to return for a new school year and some are dreading the day. Nonetheless we must send them off prepared.

Little S has a litterless lunch rule at her school. That means that whatever she brings in her lunch bag (which also must be garbage-free) must be reusable or edible – no garbage left behind. So to comply with this rule, we use reusable plastic containers for her snacks and sandwiches, but they have their flaws.

Plastic containers don’t last forever and crack under pressure. They also have dangerous chemicals like BPA in their makeup that worry me. That is why I was eager to try the stainless steel food containers from Steeltainer.

PEACE OF MIND

Steeltainers are eco-friendly, leak-proof containers that are a good choice for many occasions, namely school lunches. They have also been tested by a certified U.S. lab for BPA, lead and phthalates and passed with flying colours. This gives me peace of mind knowing that I’m not only being considerate of the environment, but also providing little S with the safest possible products.

The Steeltainers come in two convenient sizes: snack size and sandwich/salad size. In addition to safe and eco-friendly, Steeltainers are also economical. Snack containers retail for $11.95 and sandwich containers for $14.95; when you compare that to the cost of sandwich bags or disposable containers that’s a huge savings.

STEELTAINER ADVANTAGES

Steeltainers help to minimize food contact with plastic and eliminate wasteful single-use baggies. They’re also leak-proof with a silicone seal so you can send a wide variety of foods, this opens up the lunchtime options.

The snack-size container comes with an adjustable and removable separator and both sizes come with see through lids so you can see what’s inside and cleaning is a breeze. They’re freezer and top rack dishwasher-safe.

Steeltainers have an easy-clip lid that snaps open and alternatively snaps closed. The clips can be a little difficult to maneuver for small hands but little S, who is 3.5, had no problem at all taking the lids off or putting them back on.

BUY THEM

Steeltainers are available in a variety of retailers and online stores as well in Canada and the U.S. Check out the full listing here.

Ontario

The Big Carrot
iQ Living
Kol Kid
Mom Knows Best
The Ninety Ninth Monkey
Planet Kid
Simply Green Baby
Sip With Style

Quebec

Bio Terre

B.C.

The Good Planet Company
Pebble Baby and Children’s Store
Polka Dot Pond

Online

Amazon.com
Fenigo.com
GoGreenInStages.com

City Mom

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