November 2013

Personalize the Holidays with Posterjack.ca {Giveaway}

PosterjackPhotoArt

Last May I took a life changing, solo trip to Paris, France and the memories will last forever but a picture is worth a thousand words. That is why when I was offered the chance to create a photo art piece with Posterjack, I jumped at the chance. I knew exactly which photo from my trip I was going to turn into art so I could hold the memory forever.

SO MANY PHOTO ART OPTIONS

From Posters to Acrylic Prints to Gallery Boxes and everything in between, there are so many photo art options to choose from at posterjack.ca. This is perhaps the most difficult part of the process; deciding how you want to style your photo.

I decided on the Metal Print for my photo because I wanted to go for a modern and sophisticated look and it proved to be a great decision with my particular photo…you’ll see why a little way down.

First, let’s run through the Posterjack process:

10 STEPS TO CREATING PERSONALIZED PHOTO ART

  1. Select the photo you’d like to turn into photo art (no need to make adjustments as Posterjack provides those tools)
  2. Navigate to posterjack.ca
  3. Select the style of print you would like to create. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure. Click on any of the labels on the homepage and you will see a description and example of each style.
  4. Once you’ve decided on your style, browse for your image on your PC
  5. Select the size you’d like your print
  6. Choose ‘Upload Image’
  7. Posterjack will provide an Image Quality Check which gives you peace of mind that your product is of the best quality.
  8. Follow the next steps as Posterjack easily leads you through the process. You’ll be able to make decisions like framing and hanging options, border choice and image effects.
  9. Once you’re done, verify your photo art information on the right hand side. If it’s all correct, you’re set!
  10. Click ‘Add to Shopping Cart’ and provide payment options and voila, you’re done!

MY PHOTO ART

So, I mentioned my trip to Paris and when you think of Paris what comes to mind first; the Eiffel Tower right? Of course I had to have a print of the iconic landmark that I took myself.

Here is my raw photo (shrunk and watermark for the purpose of this post):

PosterJackBefore

And here is my Metal Print from Posterjack:

Posterjack Metal Prints

Posterjack Metal Prints

Since I was going for a modern look, I knew the Metal Print was going to help to achieve that but I wanted something a little more edgy so I used the Charcoal Sketch image effect. The result is a personalized, original piece of art that means so much more to me than if I had of bought it in a store.

The Metal Print coincides with the iron used to build the Eiffel Tower. At the perfect angle, it reflects light and shines much like the tower does in real life. It truly is one of my favourite wall hangings in our home.

WIN IT

One City Mom reader will win a $75 + Free shipping credit to Posterjack.ca. This amount is plenty to create a gorgeous, personalized gift for someone you love! Imagine their surprise finding that under the tree this year? Open to Canadian residents only.

To ensure that the winner is able to create their piece of art and have it delivered on time for Christmas, this will be a short giveaway lasting just one week. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below and good luck!

Happy Holidays!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

City Mom

The LG G2: Refreshingly Different!

Lg G2 Review

For the past two weeks I have been learning, playing and having fun with LG’s G2 phone and I can’t wait to share my thoughts about it with you today.

As a long-time and exclusive iPhone user, I must admit that getting to know the LG G2 was a bit overwhelming; for starters, my thumb couldn’t stop searching for the home button on the front of the phone; with the LG G2 there is no button there.

Instead the G2 has a rear key function which means you can control everything with one hand. But more important is that with the key placed at the back of the phone, it allows for optimum screen space which creates a stunning display.

This was the first thing that I noticed when I turned the G2 on…the screen is crystal clear and larger than what I am used to with my iPhone 5. With a 5.2” screen in full HD IPS, it’s more like a tablet screen but still compact enough to feel like a cell phone. For someone who loves to play games and take pictures this was perhaps my favourite feature.

There are so many great features of the LG G2 that I want to share with you, so let’s break it down a bit. I’ve chosen some of the most important features that I look for when considering a phone:

CAMERA

LG G2 Camera

I love the camera that the LG G2 has; like the stunning screen, it takes stunning photos as well. I loved sharing my photos from the G2 on Facebook & Twitter because it’s obvious to look at them that there is a difference between a G2 photo and an iPhone photo.

With the Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) you get the perfect photo every time. The camera actually helps to stabilize moving objects on the screen.

BATTERY LIFE

If you’re an iPhone user you can share my pain with its short battery life. I can’t seem to make it through an entire day on one full charge. This was another luxury I experienced with the G2; with a 3,000 mAh SiO + Li-lon battery, you don’t have to worry about losing power throughout the day.

SPEED

Another aspect that caught my attention right away was the speed of the phone. Whether I was opening apps or downloading them, I noticed the ease and speed of both. Technically speaking the LG G2 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.26 Ghz processor. If that sounds too “techy” for you, you just need to know that it translates to a really fast phone!

FUNCTIONS

Some of my favourite aspects of the LG G2 are just the little things but as everyone knows, it’s the little things that matter.

LGG2_WeatherJPG

  • Knock on: wake the G2 up by knocking the screen twice and put it back to sleep the same way.
  • Weather: the home screen reflects the weather outside. This has been particularly fun with all the rain and snow we’ve been getting. Tap the G2 on and it could be raining on your screen.
  • Do You Know?: Built right on the G2 is this feature that gives you information and tutorials on the features of the phone. This really helped me in getting to know the phone.
  • Guest Mode: you can set up a unique pattern (like a password) and draw it on the screen to instigate ‘guest mode’ which makes some features of your phone private so that when you’re showing photos etc. to others, or letting your kids play with the phone, they don’t get to see your sensitive information.
  • Capture Plus: with capture plus you can get those screen shots you love and need with much more ease…if you want to grab a shot of an entire browser, you can do so with just one shot
  • Carriers: the LG G2 is available on all the major carriers of service including Bell, Rogers, SaskTel, Telus, Videotron and Wind Mobile

WIN AN LG G2

You can have a chance to try the LG G2 for yourself by winning one!

Visit savvymom.ca to enter!

IN CONCLUSION

There are SO many fantastic and refreshing features with the LG G2 that one blog post just can’t do it justice. If you want to learn more, check out the features, videos and more on LG’s website to really appreciate how powerful this phone is.

For me, the biggest question is, when it comes time to renew my contract, will I switch? and I can confidently say that yes I will. For my lifestyle and what I’m looking to get out of a cell phone, the LG G2 has it all and more. To be honest I look forward to making the switch and trying something new and getting out from under the same old.

This post was generously sponsored by LG G2, but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit www.lgg2.ca

City Mom

Holiday Gift Guide: The perfect gift for the iPad & Tablet User

PadPillow

Looking for a unique yet practical gift idea for Christmas? I have just the thing for you and the iPad enthusiast in your life!

The PadPillow – a pillow stand for iPad made by IPEVO , allows you to rest iPad on your lap while you use your wireless keyboard to type (as I am doing now while stretched out on my couch!) or, you can use it to support iPad in front of you, hands free, while you lay down to watch a movie, or simply have it on your lap in front of you while you lay in bed.

As it promises on the packaging, it certainly is versatile, soft and comfy!  It even comes with a removable, machine-washable cover made from 100% cotton fabric and comes in a variety of colours.  Not only is it perfect for iPads but it is also compatible with most tablet computers and my husband even used it with his laptop since the bottom of his computer often gets hot on his lap.

If you’re like me, you take your iPad all over the house with you. Unfortunately, before getting to test this product, I was not aware that anything existed to make my iPad experiences more comfortable; I would roll over on my side in bed so that I could be hands free but then I was looking down at it sideways and would often get a sore neck.

I’m still a breastfeeding mama, so I would often like to look on the iPad while my daughter was feeding and it was difficult to do so without having it raised up.  Now, I can prop it up and check emails or surf the net to multitask as a busy mom.  The ability to sit with my iPad on my lap while I watch TV without getting tired fingers and wrists from holding it has definitely made this my new favourite accessory!

Not only did I get to test this amazing PadPillow, but I was lucky enough to be sent the Perch – Desktop Stand for iPads to test as well.  I often use my iPad to look up recipes as I cook in the kitchen but then I’m constantly looking down at the counter to read and that also gives me a sore neck after hours of cooking.

If you need to reposition the iPad while you’re cooking and you have sticky or dirty hands from cutting/peeling, etc., you get your case all dirty as well.  The Perch allows you to securely mount your iPad in place with a heavy-duty holder so your recipes are accessible at eye-level and it tilts and rotates with precision so there’s no need to touch it with gooey fingers.

It has a heavy-gauge steel base which holds it securely on countertops, desktops and tabletops.
The only issue (and it’s very small) is that the Perch doesn’t fit my iPad with it’s protective case on it so I had to remove it in order for the iPad to fit securely inside, but when weighing out the cost/benefit of this, the advantage that the Perch offers far outweighs the alternative.

Ipevo has certainly listened to the complaints of iPad and tablet users and has brought us some extremely innovative and essential products that I am highly recommending you try this holiday season.

iPevo

BUY IT

iPevo has such a wide-range of innovative products like the items I’ve mentioned above to USB Superchargers, to document cameras to other iPad and tablet gear that can all be purchased online.

WIN IT

Today I’m excited to offer a giveaway just for City Mom’s US readers! That’s right; today you can enter to win one PadPillow in charcoal grey and one Perch Desktop Stand (S) in black. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below and good luck! Open to continental US states, Hawaii and Alaska.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Village Mom

Holiday Gift Guide: Gift a Healthy Snack Subscription from Snackbox {Giveaway}

Snackbox

I’m going to give you five really excellent reasons to try Snackbox, a Vancouver-based, healthy snack subscription service or to give you good reasons to gift it to someone you love this holiday season. Read on to get a 15% discount and a chance to win a one-month subscription.

First let’s learn more about Snackbox…

WHAT IS SNACKBOX?

Snackbox is a Canadian company that was developed to help simplify the task of discovering innovative products, new brands, and finding your new favourite snack.

It is a monthly subscription to delivery of healthy, natural, and most of all, delicious snacks! Each month your Snackbox will arrive packed full (10 to 12) of healthy snacks that are handpicked by Snackbox’s own in-house holistic nutritionist so that busy parents don’t have to spend time reading the labels. Each shipment comes with a guide describing the products you’re receiving and where you can find more.

Snackbox has flexible subscription options to meet your needs; there are three subscriptions for members to choose from. Prices start from $24 per month for a six-month subscription, $27 per month for a three-month subscription, and $33 per month  a monthly subscription (plus $6.95 shipping and applicable taxes).

FIVE REASONS TO TRY SNACKBOX

  1. Your children will be motivated to try new, healthy snacks: When we received a knock at the door and the mail carrier delivered our first Snackbox, Little S was so curious about what it was and what was inside that she didn’t question what things were or balk at trying them. She volunteered it because her inquisitiveness caused her to forget about her usual skepticism when it comes to trying something new.
  2. Your list of snack options will grow: If your family is like mine, you always need a pantry full of healthy snack options to send in school lunches and to have on hand for in-between meals. We constantly struggle to find a balance of what Little S likes and what we feel good about giving her. Now that her interest has grown because of her initial impression of the healthy snacks delivered to our door, I can now add those items to our list…this is priceless in my opinion.
  3. You can sample with confidence: Have you ever perused the health food aisle of the grocery store and thought that the products looked good but you just weren’t sure how they were going to taste and didn’t want to spend the money in the case that you and your family didn’t like them? Well with Snackbox, this dilemma is eliminated because you get a variety of items to try without having to buy an entire box or bag or a particular product. ! Next time you’re craving some treats, you can run into the grocery store, and grab the brand you’ve already tried (and know you like) in Snackbox.
  4. The hard work is done for you: Again, that health food section can be pretty overwhelming. Just because something says “green” or “lean” or “healthy” doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. Because the items in the Snackbox are curated by their in-house nutritionist, you can rest assured that the items are chosen for you because they are really and good for you! And the rest of the Snackbox team taste tests the items chosen and only the favourites get included!
  5. You don’t have to search high and low for healthy alternatives:  Thankfully there are a lot of options out there for health food shopping but trying to find particular items at particular stores can make you feel dizzy! Receive your monthly subscription and if you fall in love with a product, read more about it in the Snack Happy guide that comes with your Snackbox. It includes all the information you need about the stores you can find the products at and the cost of each product. It also includes a detailed description about each product so you can really get to know your food. 

MY SNACKBOX

I received November’s Snackbox and we just loved it. Here is what was included:

SnackBox

  1. Sensible Portions Veggie Chips
  2. Arora Creations Gobi Spice
  3. Teas’ Tea
  4. Bella Viva Orchards Pear Slices
  5. Pirate’s Booty Cheese Puffs
  6. My Smoothie Green
  7. Cocolico Toffee Coconut Dark Chocolate
  8. La Fourmi Fruit & Nut Medley
  9. Enerjive Quinoa Skinny Cracker
  10. True To Nature Hemp Protein Bar
  11. Lara Bar

CITY MOM SNACKBOX DISCOUNT CODE

If those five reasons aren’t yet enough to try Snackbox, here’s another: the team at Snackbox has created a discount for City Mom readers for the holiday season so that you can try it out or gift it at a reduced cost.

Enter the code “CITYMOM” at checkout and you will receive $15.00 off the cost of your first Snackbox (valid for first time customers only). Expires December 31, 2013.

ENTER TO WIN A ONE MONTH SUBSCRIPTION TO SNACKBOX

Today you can enter to win a one month Snackbox subscription. Use the Rafflecopter form below. Open to Canadian residents only. Good luck and happy snacking!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

City Mom

Holiday Gift Guide: Give the Gift of Perfect Skin! {Giveaway}

ArbonneIntelligenceGenius

This holiday season give the gift of perfect skin (or pretty darn close to perfect) with Arbonne’s Genius. I have been using Genius for the past 60 days and I can attest that this product lives up to its promise!

Read on to learn more about how Genius works and for your chance to win your own Intelligence Genius.

HOW IT WORKS

Genius is intended to improves the overall look and feel of skin texture to restore a healthy, radiant glow to dull skin. It is also designed to:

  •  reduce the look of dark spots
  • reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • provide the appearance of smooth, even-toned skin texture
  • show significant improvement in skin clarity and blotchiness

Nightly Resurfacing Pads are paired with a fresh-pour solution containing Arbonne’s dynamic proprietary PBR+ complex with Phytinol™, botanicals and retinoid. But what does all that mean?

Let’s take a closer look:

Proprietary PBR+ Complex combines science and nature to provide visible results in as little as two weeks:

  • P = Arbonne proprietary high-performance complex
  • Phytinol™ combines two botanical extracts, alfalfa (Medicago sativa) extract and chicory (Chicoriumintybus) extract, which work synergistically to help promote improved skin tonicity and surface smoothness for an even, less-lined look, to fight the visible signs of aging.
  • B = Delivers botanical Bakuchiol, a plant retinoid.
  • R = Delivers scientific Retinoid.
  • Mandelic acid helps encourage cell turnover at the skin’s surface for bright, even-toned skin, while bisabolol helps provide calming, soothing comfort.

MY RESULTS

While the above information is helpful to understand exactly what is going on to make Genius so effective, it’s usually more helpful to hear from someone who has used it and who has had positive results.

After just seven days of using Arbonne’s Genius, I received my first compliment on my skin from someone who was not aware I had started a new regimen. And I noticed the change too. For years I suffered from dry, reddish skin around my nose. And within the first few days this disappeared!

After about 14 days, I noticed a plumper feel to my skin and a reduction of fine lines around my eyes. After the first 2 weeks I noticed my pores were becoming less clogged. I looked at it much like a facial: it first cleans the dirt and grime out, causing it to come to the surface but after a few more days this cleared up.

Upon completion of the 60 day regimen, I am thrilled with my skin. Though not perfect (this is partially due to genetics and environment)  I was happy to notice a more toned look with a nice, even colour, minimized facial lines and zero dry skin patches.

Overall I would describe my results as more youthful looking skin with a sort of brightness to it. I have one sunspot that has slightly lightened in colour too which is tough to achieve and this speaks volumes on the product.

I recommend trying the Arbonne Intelligence Genius if you are looking for an easy, non-invasive solution to fine lines, uneven skin tone, clogged pores and dry skin.

And with all Arbonne products, Genius is made free of:

  • Gluten
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Petrolatum
  • Paraffin
  • Diethanolamine
  •  Formaldehyde-donating preservatives
  • Synthetic fragrance
  • Animal-derived ingredients
  • Dyes or colourants

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

  • 100% showed improvement in the appearance of depth and width of wrinkles and fine lines.*
  • 80% showed significant improvement in skin clarity and blotchiness.*
  • 82% said after using this product, they found their skin to be softer and smoother.**

*Based on a clinical instrumental study of 50 subjects
**Based on a 4-week consumer perception study

ENTER TO WIN ARBONNE GENIUS

Today you can enter to win one 60 day supply of Arbonne Intelligence Genius from Melissa Ublansky, Arbonne Independent Consultant a retail value of $110!

Melissa is a skin care specialist who has been in the skin care industry for over 13 years. It wasn’t until she discovered Arbonne and it’s line of pure, safe and beneficial products that she settled on working with one brand in particular. Now it’s all she uses and all she recommends to clients.

Melissa is super passionate about healthy skin so she is very excited to offer this giveaway to you today whether you decide to keep it for yourself, or gift it to someone special!

Good luck & enjoy!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

City Mom

iHope Watches: The Gift That Gives Twice!

City Mom's Holiday Gift Guide 2013

With most of society telling time via their Smartphone, wearing a watch has become more about a fashion statement than a function. With iHope Canada you not only make that fashion statement, but you also make a statement of charitable dedication.

PICK YOUR CAUSE

iHopeCauses

With iHope Watches, you pick the cause that is near and dear to your heart and buy a watch in the corresponding colour, select your face plate and boom!, you just donated 10% of the cost of the watch to the cause you selected, and you got a really cool gift for someone you care about that tells a story!

  • Black = Environment
  • Blue = Cancer
  • Green = Hope
  • Grey = Education
  • Red = Heart & Stroke
  • White = Hunger

THE iHOPE TEAM

iHopeTeam

So who is iHope and what are they all about? Meet, Francesca, Anthony and Michael.

IHOPE Canada is owned and operated by these three young entrepreneurs. They wanted to create a business and make a difference in the lives of Canadians.

iHope started several months ago with a design for a new interchangeable watch. While developing their idea into a real product they began to focus on the Canadian causes we could collectively support.

As it turned out, they discovered that there is more than just one great cause to support and they didn’t have to pick just one. By associating different coloured watches with different awareness’s they achieved their goal.

iHOPE Canada was born with the mission to offer amazing watches at a reasonable price while supporting some of the most important causes affecting Canadians.

THE WATCHES

iHopeWatches

The watches are made of silicone and are really comfortable to wear. They are fully adjustable from 16.5 cm to 22.5 cm so they’re suitable for adults and children.

The heads and straps are all interchangeable so you can mix and match as you choose. It only takes a couple of seconds to switch out the head with a different colour or place it into a different colour strap.

MY WATCH

iHope Watch

Since all the causes denoted by the watch colours are great causes, I felt free to make my choice based on both style and cause, so I chose white (for hunger) with a black face. Because of my purchase, 10% of the proceeds will go towards helping to eliminate hunger in Canada.

This is important to me as nourishment is one of our most very basic needs and it is truly sad to think of those who don’t have access to healthy food on a daily basis. I’ve heard many stories of children showing up at schools without a lunch and it’s heartbreaking!

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

Personally, if I received a gift under the tree of an iHope Watch and learned that the gift giver donated money towards an important cause by gifting it to me, I would be thrilled. It really is the gift that gives twice!

If you’d like to give one gift but give twice, visit ihopeshop.com. Watches retail for $40.00 and cost $3 flat rate shipping anywhere in Canada.

iHope is sharing a FREE SHIPPING CODE with City Mom fans today. Enter CMSHIP at checkout!

CONNECT WITH iHOPE

You can learn more and follow along with iHope Canada news and updates:

Web: ihopewatches.com

Youtube: youtube.com

Facebook: facebook.com/ihopewatches

Twitter: @ihopecanada

Which colour will you choose and will you keep it for yourself or gift it this holiday season?

Happy holidays!

City Mom

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