April 2012

New Year’s Eve on DVD – Giveaway {#ResolutionReset}

 

New Year's Eve on DVD

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Have you followed through on it? Do you need some help to get back on track? If so, you’ll love today’s post and giveaway opportunity open to Canadian and US citizens.

NEW YEAR’S EVE ON DVD

Warner Bros. Pictures is proud to announce the release of the hit romantic comedy New Year’s Eve on DVD and Blu Ray May 1st! This all-star comedy stars Ashton Kutcher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Katherine Heigl, Sofia Vergara, Hilary Swank, Sarah Jessica Parker, Zac Efron, Jon Bon Jovi, and Josh Duhamel!

NEW YEAR’S EVE RESOLUTION RESET

It’s been almost 5 months since we made our New Year’s resolutions and with the New Year’s Eve Resolution Reset Blog App you can check in to see if you are on the right track to making your resolutions a reality!

ENTER TO WIN YOUR OWN COPY

Today on City Mom you can enter to win your own DVD copy of the hit movie New Year’s Eve. Follow the instructions below.

Good luck!

HOW TO ENTER

1. Take the Reset Quiz (in the widget above) and note your outcome. Visit City Mom on Facebook and leave a quick comment stating your answer. Then leave a comment below letting me know you did.

2. Tweet about this giveaway by tweeting the following: “I took the New Year’s Eve Reset Quiz with @_CityMom. You can try it too at http://www.citymom.ca/?p=3099 #ResolutionReset #Giveaway”  Leave a comment below with the URL of your tweet. THIS CAN BE DONE ONCE A DAY!

RULES

1. Open to Canadian and U.S. residents

2. Contest will run from April 27, 2012 to May 11, 2012.

3. One winner will be selected using random.org and contacted at the email address used upon entry.

4. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize.

Good luck!

Putting FINISH® Quantum to the test: Scrambled Eggs

I love making scrambled eggs. They really are the easiest breakfast item to prepare, especially when you’re in a hurry. You can just crack one or two eggs into a bowl (I like to add salsa too) and pop it into the microwave. But I always dread making them because of the cleanup afterwards. And if you forget to soak the bowl, well forget about it…you’re in trouble!

So when we (the #FinishRevolution Bloggers) were asked to prepare our favourite meal and put FINISH® Quantum to the test, I knew what dish I needed to make! If I found a solution to my scrambled-egg-woes, I’d be thrilled!

TEST ONE

So I made the scrambled eggs as usual, and put the bowl right into the dishwasher, no soaking required. And the results were disappointing (see photo).

But I wasn’t going to give up. I had heard so many great things about FINISH® Quantum and I knew something must be wrong.  As the third owner of our condo, I had little hope that any of the previous owners had properly cleaned the dishwasher. And I knew that we hadn’t since we moved in and that was two years ago. I had received a trial of the FINISH® Dishwasher Cleaner so I used it by following the instructions.

Before - Salsa Scrambled Eggs

 

After first wash - Salsa Scrambled Eggs

TEST TWO

Not only was I impressed with the awesome smell coming from my dishwasher, I was shocked at how sparkling clean the inside of it appeared.

Now it was time to rerun that scrambled egg dish. I was fearful that I was setting myself up for more disappointment; not only was I trying to wash the hardest item of all time to clean off a dish, I was doing it in a baked-on form from the previous, high-heat wash. But I’m happy to share the results which are not only a testament to the FINISH® Dishwasher Cleaner but also the FINISH® Quantum detergent.

Only a couple of specs of food were left and I suspect that is due to running the dish twice. Test three is coming and I’ll do it all over again, but I’ll use the FINISH® Dishwasher Cleaner first (it’s recommended to use once a month) then run the scrambled eggs bowl right away. So stay tuned!

After FINISH Dishwasher Cleaner: Salsa Scrambled Eggs

EARTH DAY TIP

From the FINISH Canada Facebook page: “You can feel good about running your automatic dishwasher today since it only uses 4-6 gallons of water per wash compared to the 27 gallons it would take to wash the same amount of dishes by hand!”

SPECIAL OFFERS

Get a Free box of FINISH Quantum (after mail in rebate). Go to the Special Offers section on the Finish Canada Facebook page to learn more. And check back often for regularly updated offers.

Disclosure: I am part of the Finish Blogger Program by Mom Central. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

Exciting news for City Mom!

I must start with an apology and that is because I have been a little MIA this week. But I have a very good reason so read on…

I am happy to officially announce that City Mom is coming soon to a TV near you! In addition to the blogosphere, City Mom will become part of the television world.

ROGERS TV

Though I have been sharing Tweets and Facebook updates about my recent experiences taping City Mom on Rogers TV, I have not made the formal announcement yet.

So, starting in July, City Mom will begin airing on Rogers TV Cable 13 here in London. Exact air date is still to be determined so stay tuned!

ABOUT CITY MOM

As most of you know, I began citymom.ca to journal my thoughts on raising my daughter in an urban setting. I quickly fell in love with London’s downtown core so I started to write more and more about London and all the family friendly events taking place in the city.

I soon developed a love for the blogging world and for other mom blogs. I became more involved in the ‘mommy blogging’ community. I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. But my true love is my passion for London and all it has to offer. So when the opportunity came up to take City Mom to the next level, I jumped!

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

City Mom on Rogers TV will feature spaces and places unique to London. There will also be a focus on healthy eating and meal preparation for the family.  You’ll see some fun elements of the City Mom blog on air too like fashion and interior design. Okay, okay I’ve already given away too much so you’ll just have to tune in.

For those not local to London, you’ll be able to follow along on the Rogers website . And of course, I’ll be blogging each week to provide even more exciting information about each episode.

BUSY MAMA

So it goes without saying that the life of a TV star (he he) is rather busy. Blogging is just a part-time hobby for me and I’m a work out of the home mom. Add in a community producer role and show host and well, it adds up to a lot. So don’t worry…I’m still around and will try my best to continue with writing but it may be a little sparse for the next few weeks. And as always, I so appreciate your readership and support!

FOLLOW ALONG

If you’re not already following @_CityMom on Twitter you can do so to follow along on taping days and you can stay in the loop with the hashtag #CityMomTV.

Hope to see you in July!

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why blogging is like online dating

 

If you’re a blogger, you’ll get this post. If you’re not, it may be hard for you to understand just how much the blogging life resembles online dating.

It’s hard to compare my friendships with real life people to my blogging friends. My real life friends come with a long history. They know me well. They know my past. They laugh at my jokes even when they’re not funny. They know my family. Their husbands are friends with my husband; their kids, friends with mine. They get me.

But there’s a huge part of my life that my real life friends don’t get, despite my best efforts to try to explain it.  Blogging, and all that comes with it, becomes complicated to explain to those not involved. And at the end of the day we only have so much time to chat that I tend to leave out the not so important stuff.

The more I interact with my blogging friends, the more I turn to them in times of need. Connections are created everyday and since we are all social media gurus you know you’re guaranteed to find a friend online at any given time of the day. They’re always there for you.

BUILDING THE RELATIONSHIP

First it starts out by following each other on Twitter; chatting about common interests, blogging advice and so on. Then, if all goes well you ‘friend’ each other on Facebook. Now you know you’ve become more serious. You get a more intimate look at one another’s life. Maybe you get to see pictures of their kids, their husbands and their real life friends.

Next you’ll start chatting about your day, your job, your in-laws and your husband. But you know it’s gone to the next level when you go to them for some serious advice about serious matters and they actually help you. Provide a solution to your problem or at the very least make you feel better because they’ve provided you a shoulder to cry on.

EXCHANGING NUMBERS

So far it’s remained pretty anonymous. Sure you’re friends on Facebook, you’re in each other’s Circles and you’ve given each other Klout but it hasn’t crossed over yet to the real big stuff. It’s not totally serious until you exchange numbers. This is a big step. You don’t give out your cell phone number to just anyone right?

Now you have instant access to one another any place, any time with no dependency on the Internet. You text each other for the first time and then again a few days later (because you don’t want to seem too eager) and before you know it, their name always appears at the top of your messages window. Guess what, you’re in a relationship!

THE ONLINE RELATIONSHIP

Don’t forget that at this point you still have not met each other in real life. You know their middle name, the school they went to and the ages and birth dates of all their children, but you have not met face-to-face. You’ve now Stumbled each other more than you can remember and you’ve contributed to lowering their Alexa rank but you couldn’t necessarily pick them out of a crowd.

THE FIRST DATE

Whether it’s a planned meeting or a chance encounter, the first date is always the most exciting. It doesn’t matter whether the first meeting happens on a group date like at a blogging conference or if it’s a run in at the local grocery store. Putting a face to this online name means never turning back.

How do you greet her for the first time? Do you shake hands or is that too formal considering the relationship you’ve built. Do you hug her; after all you’ve developed strong feelings for her over the past few months. But will that scare her off?

THE AFTERGLOW

Now that you’ve met and you’ve put a face to the name and the anticipation is over what happens next? Are you friends for life? Do you plan your next get together? Where does it go from here? Is she as into you as you are to her? I guess only time will tell.

This post is dedicated to my first date, Amanda from Multi-Testing Mommy. She has so graciously allowed me to share a picture from our first meeting and this (posting a pic) is a big deal for her!  My friendship with Amanda inspired this post and though we don’t live in the same city, she’s got a friend for life in me. And yes, she lived up to and exceeded my expectations!

City Mom & Multi-Testing Mommy

And to all my blogging friends (you know who you are) thanks for always being there and for sharing this journey with me!

Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Why I Joined the Lysol #HealthyFamilies Ambassador Program

 

Germs, everyone’s got them and everyone fears them and it’s just the way it is. There are some germs that are impossible to avoid and there are some that we can protect ourselves from.

I’m not a ‘germaphobe’ by any means but I do care what goes into our bodies that don’t belong there, especially for my four-year old daughter. Germs can sometimes mean resulting illnesses and illnesses can sometimes mean ER visits for us.

My daughter has not been diagnosed with Asthma but we have ended up in the emergency room quite a few times for colds that went wrong. Once they turn into upper respiratory infections, we’re in trouble and she’s often needed a Ventolin treatment.

So to say I care about the bacteria in our household is an understatement. That’s why I was thrilled to become a Lysol Healthy Families Ambassador. Not only do I get to share the awesome things that Lysol is up to but I get try out some of their new products and put my stamp of approval on them and share them with you.

MISSION FOR HEALTH

I was impressed to learn about Lysol’s Mission for Health and what it entails. I’m happy to be able to share this initiative with you today and help to spread the word about all the great things Lysol is up to.

We do more not just because we can, but because we must.
Health matters. To all of us. That’s why we’ve started the Lysol Mission for Health. With new mom programs, healthy habits initiatives in schools and disaster relief efforts, we are dedicated to doing more for health. Our mission is fueled by passion and backed by our expertise in killing germs. So when you use Lysol at home, you’ll know you’re a part of something bigger. – Lysol

NEW MOMS

Lysol is committed to educating new moms on the health and wellbeing of their new babies and their entire families. They offer online information that will help moms prepare for their newborn’s arrival and they provide information as your baby progresses through life.

SCHOOLS

Lysol is helping to motivate kids to take an interest in their health and improve school absences for health related reasons. From fun programs like the Lysol® Germ Detectives Program for the students to free downloadable programs material for teachers, Lysol is helping to make classrooms healthier.

DISASTER RELIEF

Lysol is a big supporter of disaster relief efforts around the world. When disaster strikes, bacteria and germs become a huge concern and through product donation by Lysol, the hospitals, clinics and temporary shelters, these facilities are staying as clean as possible.

HEALTHY FAMILIES

Check out the Lysol’s Healthy Families section on their website to get some great tips for the health of your family. From Cold & Flu prevention tips to games in the Kid Zone to information on allergens, Lysol has some great information that is important to you and your family.

What are your feelings on germs? How do you protect your family?

Until next time, stay healthy!

Disclosure: I am part of the Lysol Healthy Families Ambassador Program by Mom Central. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

A Must-Have iPhone App For Weight Loss

 

Let’s be honest, most of us have to work very hard at maintaining a healthy body weight and nutritious diet. As busy moms to young kids, time for ‘us’ is at the bottom of the to-do-list, therefore it becomes a fact that any weight loss approach has to be easy and enjoyable in order to be attainable.

I have personally tried many programs and methods and while I’ve enjoyed most of them, I often ‘fall off the wagon’ because I can’t maintain the lifestyle. This happens for various reasons but mainly it’s due to lack of time and money that I can’t stay committed.

Weight loss comes down to a simple equation; calories in vs. calories out. This means that as long as we are eating healthy and staying fairly active, we are able to maintain a healthy body weight and sense of wellbeing.

MY FITNESS PAL

This is all well and good but monitoring the calories we’re eating and the ones we’re burning can be time-consuming and difficult to track. That’s why I have fallen in love with a handy little iPhone app called MyFitnessPal. This calorie and activity counter is also an online tool and guess what? It’s free!

I don’t know why it’s free because honestly, I would pay for it (shh! Don’t tell them I said that) since it’s so effective. As I’m on the go a lot I tend to favour the iPhone app over the web version. Here are a few of my favourite features:

It does the calculations for you:  your calories burned through activity are subtracted from the calories consumed you throughout the day to provide a net daily number so you are always aware of how many calories you’ve got left.

MyFitnessPal

Food is tracked in a diary format: this allows you to monitor your eating habits and look for areas of improvement, repeat favourite snacks and meals and edit entries easily.

Save your favourite recipes: we all have our favourite, go-to meals that we’ll repeat again and again. Enter it once in the Recipes section and reuse it over and over. This takes the guess-work out of weekday meals!

MyFitnessPal

Search for thousands of foods: I have been using this app for a long time and I have never run into a situation where I wasn’t able to find the food I was looking for.  And if that case ever comes up, it’s easy to add in your own food.

MyFitnessPal

Scan your labels: one of the newer features of MyFitnessPal is the built-in ability to scan bar codes of your favourite foods. I’ve used label apps before and I’ve never had success with the food coming up. Today I scanned two different foods and to my delight, they both popped of immediately.  It automatically adds all the nutritional value and calorie count. Talk about time-saving!

Track your exercise: just as you can search and log your food, you can also track your exercise by choosing from hundreds of activities already entered and estimated for calorie burn. Again, if you don’t find your particular activity, you can enter your own. As mentioned above, your calories burned are added to your daily log and included in our daily total.

Get social: we all love social media and sharing our life events for all to see. You can do so with MyFitnessPal by adding friends and following their progress, motivating them and seeing their achievements. You even get updates when a friend hasn’t logged on in a while and you can send them a message to encourage them.

MORE FEATURES

Among these features mentioned you can also access charts logging your progress, set reminders, watch tutorials, edit your profile to reflect your current statistics and set your weight loss goals.

You can sign up for a free MyFitnessPal account and access even more features at www.myfitnesspal.com and download the free iPhone app here or iPad app here.

If you do end up joining feel free to add me to your community. After all there is strength in numbers. You can find me under citymom.

Until then, good luck with your weight loss goals!

Image: stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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