November 2015

Holiday Gift Guide: LITTLE LIVE PETS™ LIL’TURTLE TANK {#Giveaway}

Little Live Pet Lil Turtle Tank

Adorable and fun and the best words to use to describe the LITTLE LIVE PETS™ LIL’TURTLE and TANK which make them an excellent gift this holiday season.

We received the Little Live Pets Turtle and Little Live Pets Lil ‘Turtle Tank to check out before Christmas. Here, Little S unboxes them and shares a demonstration:


Little Live Pets are a series of various animals such as owls, turtles, mice and more that fit in the palm of your hand and interact with you in various ways. Many of the pets also have their respective habitats that are available to make the experience even more life-like.

Little Live Pets have been rated as one Toys ‘R’ Us’ Top 15 Toys and are very reasonably priced. You can check out the full lineup of pets at


Little Live Pets are sold at many popular retailers including Toys R Us, Home Hardware and Loblaws (to name a few).


Lil Live Pets Reviews

One City Mom reader will win the Lil ‘Turtle Tank and Lil’ Turtle included. This contest is open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who are 18+. Please read the full rules in the giveaway widget.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

City Mom

DIY Rustic Wooden Ornaments

DIY Rustic Christmas Ornaments

I have recently shared that I am looking to create a rustic, beachy Christmas this year in our new home as our old decorations aren’t going to fit in with our brand new colour scheme. That is why when I saw my friend Jennifer’s post on Facebook about these rustic tree ornaments she was making, I fell in love. The images she shared were beautiful and I know from following her on FB, that she is quite talented in the DIY and “upcycling” department.

Not only did I want some for myself (I’m buying four) I wanted to know how she did it. I figured that if I was curious, there were probably a lot more people who would be curious too. Jennifer has graciously agreed to share a ‘how-to’ for us so that we can make our own or perhaps just gain some inspiration to get out and discover ways to “upcycle” what is right in our own backyards.

There has never been a better time to do so as rustic, shabby-chic and natural elements design is right on trend.

Please “meet” Jennifer and learn how to make these beautiful, rustic wood ornaments.


Hello! My name is Jennifer and I’m a habitual recycler and upcycler of just about anything I can get my hands on! I love to create and repurpose items that I often find curbside or in my backyard.

These simple DIY Rustic Wooden Ornaments are no exception; they’re made from branches from my yard that came down in a windstorm a few weeks ago. The steps are simple and the tools required are minimal:


  • Branches (mine were 2 – 2.5” in diameter)
  • Wood-burning tool (I use one from Lee Valley)
  • Circulating chop saw or table saw (I use The Mister’s)
  • Hand drill
  • Pencil
  • Decorative ribbon


DIY Rustic Wooden Ornaments How To

  1. Cut branches 1/4” thick, sand away any rough pieces
  2. Drill a small hole in the pieces (for ribbon)
  3. Draw your pattern onto the wood pieces (I did rustic trees)
  4. Using your wood-burning tool, trace pattern on each piece
  5. Repeat for each ornament
  6. String with ribbon and hang!


These ornaments make great personalized gifts! Be creative…get outside and see what you can find to re-purpose. How inspiring!

DIY Rustic Christmas Ornaments


If you like Jennifer’s rustic ornaments and would like to save it for later, here is a fun image that you can use to Pin!


Thank you Jennifer for sharing your how-to and for this wonderful inspiration as we head into the holiday season.

City Mom

American Girl Beforever Doll Maryellen’s Poodle Skirt Outfit & Jukebox

American Girl Maryellen Larkin

If you’re a follower of City Mom on Pinterest and/or Instagram, you likely know that we are big American Girl fans in our house. It’s not just Little S who loves AG…I have not outgrown my love for dolls and collectibles, so we share this love together.



Among American Girl’s wide variety of dolls and accessories is their Beforever line of dolls from different era’s, e.g. Maryellen Larkin from the 1950’s.

Maryellen Larkin

Maryellen Larkin is the newest member of our family (and AG’s), as Little S received her as a birthday present. We love Maryellen because she is just so cute and deliver’s an excellent message for young girls…follow your heart instead of the crowd; an important principle for girls today.


Maryellen Larkin's World

Another aspect that we love of all the Beforever dolls including Maryellen, is the education their “world” provides on important times in history.

Maryellen is from 1954 so her clothing, accessories and furniture reflect this era. There are also three books (and perhaps more to come) that provide more insight into the life of a nine-year-old girl growing up in the 1950’s.


American Girl All For Girl

We fell in love with the American Girl brand for more reasons than the cute dolls, fashion and furniture; we fell in love with the motivating message for girls to be all they can be and to follow their inner star. From the American Girl award-winning advice books like The Care and Keeping of Us, A Smart Girl’s Guide: Friend Troubles to their All For Girl, Girl for All campaign that will unite 3 billion girls who have each other’s back.

American Girl is a brand that I am proud to share with my daughter and one that I truly enjoy her immersing herself in. It is nothing but positive, showing the strength and inner beauty within all of us.


Little S and I were fortunate enough to receive Maryellen’s Poodle Skirt outfit and her Jukebox. Little S unboxes and demos these two items in the following video. We will also highlight a few key points below:

Maryellen’s Poodle Skirt Outfit

Maryellens Poodle Skirt Outifit

Poodle skirts were very popular in the 1950s, and Maryellen is thrilled when her mother buys this one for her to wear to her first day of fourth grade! This outfit includes:

  • A black quilted skirt featuring a pink poodle with a stitched leash
  • A pink blouse with a cute Peter Pan collar and contrast polka dots on the sleeves
  • A polka-dot kerchief that can be worn in her hair or around her neck
  • White bobby socks
  • Black-and-white saddle shoes

Maryellen’s Jukebox

Maryellen's Jukebox

In Maryellen’s day, jukeboxes were often found in restaurants and diners. People would scroll through a list of songs, then put in a few coins to play their favourites.

This jukebox lights up and plays six pre-recorded ’50s-style songs when the buttons are pushed. Plus, girls can connect their own electronic music players to play all their favorite songs! Includes a 3.5 mm audio cable. Note: Electronic music player not included. Requires 4AA batteries, not included.

Little S absolutely loved these two items to go along with Maryellen and she says that girls would love to find these items under the tree this year. If your child doesn’t already have Maryellen, she will also make for an amazing gift this holiday season!


As we enjoy sharing our AG experience on social media, I often get a lot of inquiries on how we Canadians can buy American Girl items and the answer to that is pretty easy. Canada now has American Girl boutiques in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver and hopefully more soon!

If you don’t live near any of these cities, not to worry, you can shop online at Sign up for the newsletter and you’ll even get notifications of special promotions like free shipping!


This one you’ll have to act fast on, American Girl is offering free shipping until November 24th, 2015 via on orders over $100.

We encourage you to get to know the American Girl brand if you don’t already. You will love the quality, selection and “extras” that come with the experience.

Happy holidays from us!

Disclaimer: we received the above mentioned products to perform this review. The opinions are 100% our own.

City Mom

Don’t Forget Your Pets This Holiday Season! {#Giveaway}

PetSafe Giveaway

We have a fun and furry pet in our home, his name is Hammy (the hamster) and Santa never forgets him at Christmastime. Hammy receives fun hamster treats and climbing devices in his stocking filled with love by the guy with the white beard.


If you have a family pet or a pet-friend that you like to spoil over the holidays, PetSafe® has you covered. Each season PetSafe® puts together a really fun, and affordable pet gift guide. This year the PetSafe® Holiday Gift Guide features six fun and functional gift ideas for your pets.
And it gets better, one lucky City Mom reader will win the entire PetSafe® Holiday Gift Guide – a $125 value! Read on to learn more.


Every pet, like their human family members, has a different personality that makes them lovable. Some love to chase squirrels and run through the park, while others prefer to lie in the sunniest spot on the floor and relax for better part of the day.

For this holiday season, PetSafe® has the perfect gifts for all pet personalities…from the playful and peppy to the rowdy and rambunctious to the calm companion:
PetSafe Holiday Gift Guide

  1. The FroliCat™ DART DUO™
    • Automatic Rotating Laser Light with 2 lasers for shared play with multiple cats and dogs
    • 2 lasers move in a circle, darting and switching directions in random patterns
    • Unpredictable movement entices your pets to dart, pounce, and chase the red dot
    • Each laser spins in a circle on opposite sides so pets aren’t competing for the same laser
    • 4 adjustable speed and 4 timer settings create 16 engaging play combinations
  2. Busy Buddy™ Tug-a-Jug™
    • The Tug-a-Jug™ toy keeps your dog engaged and motivated to play
    • Unique design lets dogs see, smell and hear the food or treats as they roll around in the jug
    • Treats and dry food pop out as your dog tips, tugs and rolls the toy around
    • Attached rope is perfect for dogs who like to grab and shake their toys
    • Perfect for obedience training and feeding meals
  3. Busy Buddy™ Waggle™
    • The fun Waggle™ toy lets your dog shake and wag the toy to his heart’s content
    • The patented Treat Meter™ prongs randomly dispense treats as your dog shakes and wags the toy.
    • Trim the adjustable rubber prongs to increase the treats’ rate of release
    • The super flexible middle makes this toy fun for all dogs
  4. The FroliCat™ POUNCE™ Rotating Cat Teaser
    • POUNCE automatic, rotating, hide-and-seek cat toy will have your cat playing for hours
    • Marshal Maus the electronic mouse zips around the circular path, zooming forward, reversing direction, hiding under obstacles and occasionally twitching back and forth
    • The unpredictable movement stimulates your cat’s natural instinct to hunt, chase and pounce on prey
  5. Funkitty™ Egg-Cersizer™
    • A treat/feeding ball that randomly dispenses treats & dry food
    • Uniquely adjustable to your cat’s level of play
    • Open 1, 2 or 3 holes to customise to your cat’s needs and increase the challenge over time
    • The Treat Meter™ prongs randomly pop out treats from all angles
    • For cats that need to lose weight: Feed your cat each meal in the toy for more exercise and portion control in one fun package
  6. Busy Buddy™ Bristle Bone
    • The durable nylon bristles and rubber nubs of the Bristle Bone™ toy encourage good dental health
    • Irresistible, replaceable treat rings easily slide on the sides for longer lasting playtime
    • Your pet can gnaw and chew on the treat rings but can’t gulp or gorge on treats
    • The toy unscrews for easy treat loading and cleaning
    • 2 sets of treat rings are included. Additional treat rings are available separately


PetSafe products such as the ones listed in PetSafe Holiday gift guide can be purchased through Amazon and/or Petland.


PetSafe is offering one City Mom reader all the items (as listed above) from their holiday gift guide – that’s a $125 value. Open to Canadian residents (excl. Quebec). Contest runs from Nov. 20 – Dec. 4, 2015 (12:00 am). Please read full contest rules in giveaway widget.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

City Mom

Getting Beachy with Walls Republic Wallpaper

Walls Republic Wallpaper

By now you are probably well aware that we have moved from our downtown digs to a new, furnished, model home. We have loved the transition albeit a little unusual to buy a fully decorated home.

As great as it is, we also want to personalize it to really make it our own. We’ve done a few projects here and there, and we have more planned, but today, I am so excited to share our most recent project, a feature wall in our master bedroom.

A few weeks ago, I shared with you that our new home features a beachy feel and colour scheme and that I had fallen in love with a weathered laminate that looked like an old beach house. This laminate can actually be used to create a feature wall. Sadly, when I received a quote for this, it was close to $1,000; too much for our budget.


Walls Republic

I wondered if I could create this beach house feel in a cheaper way so I began searching. I’m so glad that I did because I discovered an amazing wall covering company called Walls Republic. For 17 years, Walls Republic has been providing designer wallpaper, contract wallcoverings, and wall murals.

I fell in love with Walls Republic because they feature a variety of colours, textures and designer styles that fit every budget. They keep up on the latest trends like wood, stone and brick textures and have been featured on styleathome, House & Home and more.

We were able to create our beach house dream for a third of the price and turned an impossible project, into a reality by choosing the Pastel Blue Vintage Wood wallpaper.


Our entire decorating experience from start to finish with Walls Republic is shown in this video. Check out how easy it was and the dramatic outcome:


For some, choosing a wallpaper online might sound daunting, but let me tell you that it is easy-peasy with Walls Republic because they have put a lot of effort into making it that way.

First, you can order up to five free samples at so that you can shop with peace of mind. Once you choose and order your favourite pattern, you have 30 days to return it (unused) no questions asked! From nature wallpaper to flower wallpapers to graphic black and white wallpaper, Walls Republic has a huge selection of beautiful wallpapers to choose from.

Walls Republic provides a handy and easy-to-use wallpaper calculator, but if for some reason you find yourself with more than you need, you can return that too (unopened)…see what I mean about peace of mind?

And lastly, all orders (within CAN & US) ship for just $10. And speaking of shipping, many of the Walls Republic patterns qualify for ‘2 Hour Shipping’ which means your order gets hand-picked, packed, and shipped within a maximum of 2-hours’ time. Cool right?!


Wallpaper Before and After

I cannot express how impressed I am with our Walls Republic experience. First, I am in love with the weathered, wood paneling look that we have achieved. It makes me smile each time I walk into our room because it truly makes me feel like I am in a rustic beach house and we all know how much I love the beach! It gives the room depth and adds interest to an otherwise, blank wall.

Beyond the esthetic appeal, the quality is top-notch as well. The wallpaper is very durable and easy to clean. And speaking of easy, Walls Republic Residential wallpapers are non-woven backings, making installation a breeze. Non-woven papers mean you apply the paste to the wall, not the paper itself.

Our pattern came with instructions but you can also visit Walls Republic University to learn wallpapering techniques and tips.

If you’ve been thinking about including a feature wall in your house, I highly urge you to do so. It is so fun and exciting to go bold and to step outside your comfort zone…you won’t be sorry. And I absolutely recommend that you do so with Walls Republic; they have the best quality, prices, designs and customer service.

Walls Republic


As mentioned, you can check out Walls Republic on the web but you can also gain inspiration and learn more on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

leave a comment

City Mom


Disclaimer: we received complimentary product for the purpose of this feature. All opinions are completely our own.

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