Holiday Guide 2012

Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy:

City Mom's Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy

Imagine the look of wonder and surprise when your child receives a photo of Santa caught in the act in his or her very own home. is a unique website that helps visitors create those memorable keepsake photos.

In just three steps anyone can upload a holiday photo, add Santa Claus and print it as proof… or share it via Facebook and Twitter. Last-minute shoppers can buy Gift Cards and eGift Certificates for loved ones with children, making a great gift idea even if you don’t have kids yourself.

Please note, I added this border on my own after I completed my image. Borders are available with the tool.


I wrapped our gifts from “Santa” and placed them in the spot under the tree, where we will leave them on Christmas Eve. Next, I took a high-res landscape image with my camera. I did some editing on the image before I uploaded it on so that I could crop it, adjust the colour etc.

Then the rest was really easy and fun. I uploaded my photo and used the tools to select the specific position I wanted Santa to be in, his size and even the colour and brightness I wanted him to be.

The process is really foolproof and so much fun!. Now the hard part will be waiting until Christmas day to share the photo with Little S.


Visit to create your character image. You can even create one with Rudolph, The Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny.

By using that link above, you will receive 25% off the regular price of $9.99.  When you create a photo, you can also enter to win one of three iPads in an exclusive giveaway.


There will be five lucky City Mom readers who will win an eGift Certificate which is good towards creating one image on

Please use the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck and have fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

City Mom

Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy: Sports Illustrated Kids

City Mom's Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy

Do you have a little sports lover in your life? Are you looking for the perfect gift for him or her?

You can stop searching because I think I’ve found the perfect gift! Sports Illustrate Kids is a monthly magazine geared towards sports loving kids. The magazine presents sports the way kids want to read about them; with great action photos, easy-to-read stories about star athletes, helpful instructional tips from the pros, and humor, comics, and activities.

Sports Illustrated Kids


Toys are great and of course they’re on every child’s list, but it’s nice to give a good variety of items over the holidays. Giving SI Kids promotes reading and learning. Sport Illustrated Kids has won highest honors from the Association of Educational Publishers and the Parents’ Choice Award.  You can’t feel better about putting a gift under the tree that has been backed by those two respected organizations!


This past year, Sports Illustrated Kids crowned their first ever “SportsParent of the Year.” The title of SportsParent of the Year was awarded to Kristie Finnan, a mother of 3 who coaches, cheers and supports her children and their sports.

So when the kids are finished reading that month’s issue, it’s your turn!


Giving the gift of sports and education is super affordable too. I was really impressed when I found out that you can buy a one year’s gift subscription for only $19.95 which is 66% off the cover price.

I had already bought both my nephews their Christmas gifts when I found out about this deal but because the price is under $20, it made it affordable for me to add it on to their gifts. I ordered the subscription to get delivered under both their names so they can take turns reading each issue. This way it works out to only $10 each.

Order Sports Illustrated Kids


You can follow along with SI Kids on Facebook and visit them at to play games, get more sports news, find out sports score and lots more!

I received a Christmas stocking full of goodies and a free one-year subscription from SI Kids in exchange for this post.

Happy gifting!


City Mom

Give the Gift of Memories: {FLASH #Giveaway}

City Mom's Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy

There are few things that can beat the look on someone’s face when they open a gift of memories. Using photos to surprise someone special in your life is always a priceless experience.

I’m going to show you something that I think will make the perfect gift for someone in your life but we have to hurry as Christmas isn’t going to wait!


At you can create many different types of photo art in many unique ways. I got to test out the Photo on Acrylic feature and I am so glad that I did.

Check out my work of art below:

Acrylic Print Before

Acrylic Print

Acrylic Print

Note: the Acrylic Print shown here does not yet have the design mounts installed which come included.

An Photo on Acrylic is a modern and fresh way to display your photos. The look is very clean and simple which puts the focus on the photo and the quality of the product. technicians reverse the photo and print on the back of a piece of acrylic. Then they seal in the print and add opacity by printing a flood coat of white behind it.

The result is a bright and beautiful piece of art. I couldn’t be happier.


Check out the FAQ’s about Acrylic Prints as can answer all your questions. I found the process of creating my print to be really straight forward and easy to do. It’s a step-by-step process that is foolproof.

They will give your photo a rating for the particular type of print you’re creating. The rating will be based on image quality and image size so there will be no surprises when you receive your art in the mail.

You’re also able to perform edits to your image right within the image creator. You can add effects, crop, and add borders and more.

THE GIVEAWAY has shared their Holiday Shipping Info so we’ve got to act fast. This is going to be a FLASH GIVEAWAY open to Canadian residents. If you want to create a Photo on Acrylic in time for a holiday gift, your order has to be completed by December 10, 2012. So let’s go.

One City Mom reader will win a $50 credit code to and Free Shipping! Note that the code expires December 31, 2012.

Please use the Rafflecopter form below.

Good luck!

Note: this is a time sensitive giveaway so the winner will have 2 hours to respond to their winning notification. Winning notification will be sent out on Saturday, December 8th, 2012 at 9:00 am.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

City Mom

Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy: 10 Perfect Gifts for Teachers

City Mom's Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy

It seems there’s always a lot of question around what are appropriate teacher/caregivers gifts for the holidays. Well you’re in luck. I don’t know why, but I happen to run in a “teachers” circle. I’ve got a lot of teacher friends so I had a really easy time of researching this topic.

This list has come courtesy of real working teachers. I simply asked, ‘What are your favourite items to receive from your students at Christmastime?’ Their answers (in no particular order) are below:

Note: the teachers I interviewed were all female.

Perfect teacher gifts

  1. Movie Theatre gift certificates:
    • Everyone loves going to the movies! And going to the movies can get pretty expensive. Give your teacher an excuse to make a date night. They’ll be refreshed and treat your child better!
  2. Scholar’s Choice gift certificates:
    • Believe it or not, teachers spend a lot of their own cash for some class activities and projects. This is a gift that not only helps your teacher, but your child too!
  3. Candle(s) from Bath & Body Works
    • If you’re confident in selecting a well liked scent then go for it. If you’re unsure, opt for number 4.
  4. Gift certificate to Bath & Body Works:
    • Same sentiment, but allows for the teacher to select her/his favourite scent.
  5. Restaurant gift certificates:
    • This one can be difficult as it’s tough to know everyone’s favourite restaurant. Try to pick a place that has a wide variety of menu options. Consider the Bonappetite gift cards that allow usage at Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s, Kelsey’s, Montana’s Cookhouse and Milestones.  You’d be hard pressed not to please every taste with that one.
  6. A bottle of wine:
    • This can be a hit or miss gift. If your particular teacher is not a wine drinker, than it’s a miss. But if they’re like my teacher friends, then this is a big hit!
  7. Gift certificate to the LCBO:
    • Again, as in number 6, this is hit or miss.
  8. Gift certificates to Tim Hortons/Starbucks:
    • What teacher doesn’t drink coffee? Seriously, to spend six or more hours a day with other people’s kids…I’m surprised it’s just coffee they need to get through the day.
  9. VISA/Mastercard gift cards:
    • Even though this sounds like one step above giving an envelope of cash, it’s actually not. Prepaid VISA cards allow for online shopping and in store shopping to almost anywhere. It’s not the same as cash as it’s still a statement that says ‘here, go treat yourself’ because it can’t be used to pay bills or put into the bank account.
  10. Group gifts:
    • Last year I was the parent rep for my daughter’s class and I rallied the other parents together (through email) to contribute cash towards a group gift. I set the suggested payment amount and listed the way they could get the money to me. Once I collected it all, I used it to buy items as listed above, just in larger amounts. There’s strength in numbers after all!

The truth is that any memento to show thanks will be much appreciated by your child’s teacher. I don’t think that they expect anything so an item from the list above to home-baked goods to handmade crafts will all achieve the same thing; teacher appreciation!

Happy shopping!

City Mom

Ten Gifts for Her Under $10

City Mom's Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy


Secret Santa? Stocking Stuffers? Your children’s teachers? Or just because? You’ll love this list of ten suitable gifts for anyone (female) on your list.

All items cost $10.00 or less.

All Canadian shopping, in-store or online.

Gifts for $10

    1. Chocolate Heart Soaps Gift –
    2. Fireside Rim Trimmer –
    3. POLARVIDE Fleece Throw –
    4. Tea Light Holder –
    5. Twisted Peppermint Mini Candle –
    6. Crystal Love Necklace –
    7. North American Hemp Co. Hemp Exfoliating Face Cloth –
    8. Mulling Spices by The Spice Hunter –
    9. Rose of Hope Stuffed Sheep –
    10. NailRock Designer Nail Wraps: Big Money –
What’s your favourite?
Happy shopping!
City Mom

Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy: Ten-Minute Trainer {#Giveaway}

City Mom's Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy

As it nears the end of November, the holiday stress is starting to set-in for some. The traffic is getting heavier, the stores busier and the lineups longer.

If you’re like me, one of the first things you neglect in times of stress is your fitness routine. With less time to cook, healthy meals get a little unhealthier and your workout routines get shorter and shorter until they’re nonexistent.

Luckily there’s a remedy for that and that is Tony Horton’s Ten-Minute Trainer by Beachbody. Whether this is what you need to make it through the holidays or the perfect gift for someone special, you’ll be impressed with this product.

Ten-Minute Trainer


Beachbody’s Ten-Minute Trainer is a home workout program that guarantees results with just ten minutes a day. I was lucky to receive a Ten-Minute Trainer DVD fitness program to test out.

The Ten-Minute Trainer includes five different workouts:

  • Total Body
  • Cardio
  • Lower Body
  • Yoga Flex
  • Abs Routine

It also includes everything else you’ll need to conduct a full fitness regime:

  • Resistance Band Kit with Cardio Belt
  • Tony Horton’s 10-Minute Meals
  • Customized workout calendar
  • Rapid Results Guidebook
  • On-the-Go Workout Cards
  • 10-Day Lean Jean Plan
  • Bonus measuring tape


The holidays are one of the busiest times of year for bloggers like me. The holiday season starts well before November and December as we plan our holiday features. My fitness regime has gone out the window but when I received the Ten-Minute Trainer I started back up in small doses.

I love the 10-Day Lean Jean Plan. It’s a ten-day plan to help you kick-start your commitment. Sometimes I get frustrated when I don’t see the results I expect right away. This plan is a great way to drop a size to give you that motivation you need to keep going.

The meals aren’t complicated and don’t require you to find all sorts of ingredients and spend hours in the kitchen. This whole program seems to be designed for people like me and probably you.

Here’s an example of one day’s menu (This is just a ten-day plan and not intended to continue for longer):


  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • ½ cup sliced peach
  • 1 slice whole-grain bread


  • 1 cup fresh fruit


  • Tuna Sandwich with mayonnaise


  • Roast turkey breast
  • 1 cup spinach


  • 1 baked apple, sliced
  • 1 tsp sugar & cinnamon

The Customized workout calendar directs you on what workout programs to do and when. And it’s set up for all types of people. For example, it shows you what workout to do if you’ve really only got ten minutes. But if you have twenty minutes it tells you what other workout to do and so on.

The calendar is set up for an entire month of workouts and by combining them with the healthy 10-minute meal suggestions and Michi’s Ladder, you’ll see significant results. I have not been about to complete a full four weeks yet because I wanted to get this out in time for Christmas) but I am excited to do so and report back.

I also found the DVDs easy to follow and easy to understand with clear instruction and demonstrations.


I watch late night TV. I know there are a lot of products out there that promise to shed weight in no time flat and I admit I’ve tried some of them. Sadly, the truth is that you need to burn more than you take in. The Ten-Minute Trainer is just that! And it’s all packaged up in a way that makes it impossible to come up with excuses as to why you can’t lose weight and stay fit.

If you’re looking for a fitness and nutrition plan that is realistic and easy to follow then I recommend this program. And not just for the busy holiday season but for always as a way to stay fit. I also recommend this as a good Christmas gift  for someone in your life that has a busy schedule, travels a lot, has young children or is just looking to keep fit in the comforts of their own home.


I’m just one person so you should see what others are saying too. Like any fitness and diet routine, results and experiences vary with each person and how they are using it.


The Ten-Minute Trainer retails for $89.99 and can be found at Shopper’s Drug Mart, London Drugs, Sears and Target.


One City Mom reader will win a Ten-Minute Trainer package as described in this post. Please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

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 City Mom

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