Kelly Connor

Murder For Hire: Take Your Party to the Next Level

Mad Men Style Party

When it comes to celebrating the big milestones and special occasions in life, you want to do it with style; something unique, exciting and something that your guests have likely never experienced before.

This was my line of thinking when I began planning my husband’s milestone surprise birthday party. After some research, I happily discovered Murder For Hire, a high quality, interactive murder mystery dinner theatre experience.

I loved the concept of providing entertainment for our guests in a home setting and providing something just a bit unusual. For the guests that preferred to sit back and watch, a live story unfolded right in front of them. For the more outgoing guests, an opportunity to become a part of the story presented itself. And to round it all off, all the guests were able to interact with the actors and take part in trying to solve the murder. It was so much fun!

THE MURDER FOR HIRE EXPERIENCE

Murder For Hire is a company based in Thorndale, Ontario (just outside of London) and is dedicated to the presentation of the highest quality interactive murder mystery dinner theatre, paying particular attention to detail. The company was established in 2006 by Kay Rogers whom writes all of the scripts for the stories as well as the creation of costumes, props and sound effects for each show.

When you visit the Murder For Hire website, you can check out the different script options. I chose the Diamonds, Death and Second Chances show because I loved the idea of the late 60’s themed basis. The script is based on an auction of fine jewels hosted by Lady Ophelia so I decided to go with a Mad Men-inspired theme. I even asked the guests to dress up in their favourite 1960’s look…it really added to the experience.

I served 60’s style foods like Swedish meatballs, deviled eggs, pigs in a blanket and a cheese ball. I also set up a Martini Bar so that guests could sip away in style.

The party starts like any other, mingling among the guests; the Murder For Hire actors blend seamlessly into the crowd and begin to tell their back stories. This shapes the characters for the upcoming events. With fun sound effects, vibrant props and costumes, the mystery unfolds until the climax takes place; the murder.

During this time, the cast will get to know you and your guests too and they will throw in some fun surprises that will seriously take your party to the next level. Again, I don’t want to give away too much, but let me just say that I never knew some of the guys in my life looked so good in leisure suits!

It is then time for the guests to gather the evidence, question the actors and submit their hypothesis on whodunit and possible motives. The truth is finally revealed and awards are given out to party guests based on various criteria (I don’t want to give anything away here) that are fun!
This all takes place over a few of hours and provides a really fun and out of the ordinary experience. We opted in to add a photo booth setup to enhance the experience and to make sure we got some great shots of all the fun costumes and actors. You receive all the images on the spot on a handy USB card.

Murder For Hire Photo Booth

The Murder For Hire team does a wonderful job of staying in character and providing laughter, entertainment and the opportunity to bring out your inner detective. This is something that I would highly recommend for your next celebration.

TAKE ANY PARTY TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Each month, there are featured Murder For Hire scripts to bring your party to the next level…check out GHOULS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN! for a unique way to celebrate Halloween, or CRIMES OF PASSION to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a whole new way. And the Holidays will never be the same with the 2017 featured script, THE CHAOS IS KILLING ME, a Christmas themed show featuring the annual CHAOS (Canadian Honorary Association of Santas) Convention. Sounds fishy huh?!

CONTACT MURDER FOR HIRE

If you want to throw a party that your guests will never forget, be sure to check out Murder For Hire online or call 519-495-1446. You can also follow on Facebook to learn more.

Thanks to Kay and the Murder For Hire Team for providing such a fun and memorable event to celebrate such a special day in our lives!

City Mom

Huge Limeapple Children’s Apparel #BlackFriday Sale Nov. 25 & 26

Limeapple Black Friday Clearance Sale

More often than not, when Little S is out and about wearing a piece of Limeapple apparel, we receive compliments and always the question: “where did you get that?” and of course, we happily reply, “Limeapple!”.

Awarded Best Tween Line via the Earnie Awards, Limeapple not only sells style, but quality too. From active wear to school wear to party attire, Limeapple has everything and anything for your stylish, active tweens.

LIMEAPPLE BLACK FRIDAY SALE

Limeapple Black Friday Sale

Just in time for the holidays, Limeapple is offering yet another amazing sale that not only includes 50% off all clearance items, but also these awesome outfit bundles at amazing package prices. This sale only lasts for two days (Nov. 25 & 26, 2016) so grab the deals while you can.

We got to pick out one of the holiday packs and Little S fell in love with the Bells Boutique Pack which includes the following items:

This pack is on sale for $100 CAD! Amazing huh?! The other packs are filled with cute and functional pieces for equally amazing prices. Be sure to check them out.

Check out our images below and click to see a larger version:

Limeapple Bells Boutique Pack

Be sure to check out the Limeapple Sale section to see the items that will be selling at an additional 50% off for this Black Friday sale.

PIN YOUR FAV FOR LATER

So I know I’ve got you all excited but you’ve got to wait right? The sale doesn’t start for another two days so I’ve got some handy prepared pinables for you to save so that you can go back to them on the 25th and 26th .

Which is your favourite?

Limeapple Jungle Active Holiday Pack on Sale Nov 25 & 26

Limeapple Bells Boutique Holiday Pack on Sale Nov 25 & 26

Limeapple Merry Minky Bubble Holiday Pack on Sale Nov 25 & 26

Limeapple Joy Boutique Holiday Pack on Sale Nov 25 & 26

Happy shopping and happy holidays!

City Mom

Keeping my family happy & healthy with the flu shot

Ontario Flu Vaccine

Prior to last March, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you the last time I had the flu. I never really made getting the flu shot a priority. I’m not considered high-risk, and none of my family members are either, so it’s not something I had thought a lot about.

But that changed at the end of last winter when I did catch the flu and I was sicker than I could ever remember. I had to miss five days of work, was not able to care for my family, could not have any close contact with my daughter for over a week and I was really scared that I was seriously ill.

When I could barely take a breath and my chest felt like an elephant was sitting on it, I knew it was time to seek medical attention.  I was really worried that I had pneumonia but after a chest X-ray, that fear was diminished. Unfortunately, with the flu, there is nothing that can be done to “cure” it.  Needless to say, it was one of the worst weeks of my life and I vowed to myself that I would never let that happen again.

FLU 101

With my daughter as my main concern I decided to do some research into influenza and the flu vaccine to prepare for the 2016 flu season and what I learned was quite interesting:

  • Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is a contagious respiratory infection that can lead to hospitalization and even death
  • People experience a number of symptoms, including:
  • Fever
  • general aches and pains
  • Extreme fatigue
  • For some people the flu can lead to complications, such as pneumonia
  • The flu is spread by coughing, sneezing, talking and from hands and surfaces contaminated with the virus
  • In Canada, influenza generally occurs each year in the late fall and winter months. Anyone can get the flu. Even healthy individuals can become seriously ill with the flu
  • Young children, especially those under 5, are at higher risk of serious illness, and even death, from the flu
  • School-age children are most likely to spread the virus due to their close proximity to other children at school
  • The flu virus can live up to 8 hours on surfaces. A sneeze can spread the virus up to 2 metres (6 feet) away
  • The flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu.

FLU VACCINE 101

With the scary statistics and my past experience, I came to the conclusion that the flu shot was a must for my family; again, I wanted to do some research and I learned even more interesting and vital facts. You can visit ontario.ca/flu to dig a little deeper, but below, I have highlighted some of the important information I discovered.

  • Getting the flu shot is your best defense against getting the flu; if you do get the flu after receiving the shot, it can reduce the severity of your symptoms
  • You cannot get the flu from the vaccine.
  • The flu virus is pretty smart and may change year to year; the formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed each year and is updated, when necessary, to match the virus strains that the World Health Organization believes will circulate during the upcoming influenza season. That’s why it’s important to get vaccinated every year!

GETTING YOUR FLU SHOT

I absolutely love how easy the Ontario government makes it for families to get their flu shots. Simply visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-flu-shot/, enter your location (or enable location services) and a list of pharmacies and other locations will display to show you where you can go to get your free vaccine.

I encourage you to take a look at the Ontario Flu site to find out all the information that you need to make an informed and healthy decision for your family.

Here’s to happy and healthy flu season!

City Mom

This post was developed in association with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The opinions are my own.

 

American Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2016 #Giveaway

American Girl Merry Magenta Outfit for Dolls and Girls

If there is one thing that Little S loves more than her American Girl dolls, it is dressing the same as her American Girl dolls. This is why we were so excited when we got a look at the American Girl Holiday Gift Guide for 2016. It featured many cute matching holiday outfits for girls and their dolls, but our favourite was the Merry Magenta Dress for Girls and Dolls.

OUR MERRY MAGENTA OUTFIT REVIEW

Check out our YouTube video review and browse through some of the American Girl Holiday Gift Guide items. You’ll also get the first look at an awesome giveaway American Girl is offering one City Mom reader:

AMERICAN GIRL HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2016

American Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2016

As you probably saw in the video, there are lots of awesome gift ideas in the American Girl Holiday Gift Guide for every child on your list. Some of our faves include the Girl of the Year, Lea Clark (who will only be available until Dec. 31, 2016) the cute collection of Stocking Stuffers,  Melody, the newest BeForever Doll and her pretty Christmas outfit and if we can only choose one more, the Holiday Penguin PJs for dolls and girls.

What is your favourite item?

GIVEAWAY TIME

Enter to Win 4 American Girl Books

We are so excited to offer one City Mom reader an exciting and educational giveaway to put under the tree for someone special this year.

One City Mom reader will win four great American Girl books with a total value of $70 USD. Open to Canadian and US residents. Runs until Nov.21, 2016. Use giveaway widget below to enter and to read full contest rules.

You could win these great titles:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

City Mom

Holiday Gift Guide: Poppit Reveiw & Giveaway

Enter to Win a Poppit Mini Handbag Starter Set

We are excited to feature another hot toy for the 2016 Holiday Season; make a miniature world that looks so real with Poppit! Read to the end to enter to win your own Poppit Mini Handbags set.

POPPIT

Check out our video below to see all the cool things you can do with Poppit. From handbags to puppies to a Pop ‘N’ Display Bakery, the creation possibilities are endless with the Poppit line of air-dry clay sets.

It’s really easy to make miniature items with Poppit…load the Popper with clay, pop out your piece and make cute mini creations. We got to try the Poppit Mini Handbags and Pop ‘N’ Display bakery and it was really fun. Little S loves miniature things and she had a blast popping out these gems. And we think that any of the Poppit sets will make an excellent gift this year.

PICK YOUR FAV POPPIT IF YOU CAN

Poppit Collections

You can visit poppit.ca to check out all the different collections, but be warned, it might be hard to narrow it down to just one choice.

We loved the sets that we tried but would also like to try out the POPPITTM Shopkins Ballet Collection or the cute Bunnies.

ENTER TO WIN A POPPIT MINI HANDBAGS SET

enter to win a poppit mini handbags set

Today on City Mom, you can enter to win one Poppit Mini Handbags kit. Contest is open to Canadian residents and will run until Nov. 18, 2016 at 11:59 pm. Full rules listed in giveaway widget. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

City Mom

Refinish & Re-purpose Wooden Home Decor

Country Chic Paint Projects

This past summer I had a little “me time” in Buckhorn, ON. It’s a really beautiful, quaint town with some eclectic shops that carry unique items. My favourite shop was Style Your Nest; I could have spent a year’s salary in there if I didn’t know better.

I did however walk away with a beautiful purchase made by Krieger Customs. It was a very raw and rustic wood piece that acted as a blank canvas for me. I also happened to discover another amazing Canadian company, Country Chic Paint who among other things, makes Furniture & Home Decor Paint (chalk-based) and All-in-One Decor Paint (clay-based). They happened to have a special that day where you could receive one small jar of paint for free.

To say I was inspired is an understatement. I quickly went to work gathering the other materials that I needed to create the piece that you will see below in our video. I am quite proud of our finished product that we are using as a wall-mounted key and mail rack. A list of materials used and links are included below.

Check out our video and let us know what you think!

MATERIALS USED

DIY Chalk Paint

  • Country Chic Paint All-in-One Decor Paint in Chocolate Tart
  • Country Chic Paint All-in-One Decor Paint in Dune Grass (Spring & Summer Limited Edition colour)
  • Country Chic Beeswax Distressing Bar
  • All purpose paint brush
  • Various grits abrasive sanding sponges (really any type of sandpaper will do the job)
  • Paint brush (I used a cheap, regular paint brush, but read Country Chic Paint’s tip as to why that was probably not the best choice)
  • Sealing wax (I used some I had leftover from another project, but you can use Country Chic’s Natural Wax as it does not contain any mineral solvents)
  • Lint-free cloth or wax brush
  • Hooks & screws
  • Drill

BEFORE & AFTER

Country Chic Paint Before and After

The piece in its original state was beautiful on its own, but I really loved refinishing and re-purposing it to fit our colour scheme in our home and to fill a void; our front entrance is very narrow and doesn’t fit a table so this was the perfect solution.

DIY Chalk Paint with Country Chic Paint

Do you have a favourite chalk paint project? What items would you love to refinishing and/or re-purpose?

Thanks for reading!

City Mom

Page 1 of 7512345...102030...Last »