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Showing posts from November, 2013

Top Five Holiday Movies To Get You In The Mood (For Christmas!)

Can you believe Christmas is just a few weeks away? (Yay!) Before the panic sets in because you haven't started shopping yet and you're hosting Christmas for your family of 35, why not kick up your feet and relax with one of these holiday classics that'll make you smile and get in the spirit of all things festive? Here are my picks for BEST HOLIDAY MOVIES EVER: Love, Actually Oh, this movie... my heart... you know . This scene right here: Enough said. Home Alone True story, you guys. When Home Alone came out 20 years ago (Yes, 20 years ago. I know. We're old, okay?) I loved it so much, I saw it in theatres three times. Little did I know that this holiday movie ( shout-out to John Hughes ) would become my five year old's favourite movie. He went through a phase where he actually collected Home Alone DVD's like hockey cards. Let's not talk about that, because I may weep over the money I spent on this collection. Anyway, I'm glad my chil

Easy Holiday Entertaining Ideas

One of the things I love most about the holiday season is hosting parties and entertaining my friends and family in my home. Of course, I love attending festive parties just as much, if not more, because all I have to do is slip on a sparkly dress, wrap up a hostess gift, and I'm ready to rock and roll! As much as I love hosting friends during the holiday season, it can be stressful when I'm trying to find unique and delicious recipes that will please everyone. I enjoy preparing a variety of different appetizers so it's a more casual atmosphere than a formal sit-down dinner. It's also easier when you're having more than ten people over, and finger foods that are easy to eat make it easier for guests to mingle and walk around, too. Thanks to Parmalat Canada —and just in time for the holiday party season—a new Black Diamond product has arrived that's sure to be a hit... the  Black Diamond Cheese Spread . Parmalat came to the rescue to help me prepare for th

Shoppers For The Holidays? Yes, Please!

I think I've finally come to terms with the fact that summer is over. After all, it's almost December, the red cups are back at Starbucks, it's freezing outside, and it has started snowing. (Hold me as I weep.) The one thing that keeps me smiling through the cold until about January 2nd is the holidays. I love everything about the festive season, especially the shopping for other people part. And, okay, for myself, too. (We all need some new sparkle for the parties, right?) Shoppers Drug Mart  is one of my favourite holiday destinations for gift giving. And right now there are some amazing promotions going on that'll make your holiday shopping easy—I promise. You'll find something at Shoppers Drug Mart for literally everyone on your shopping list. From amazing fragrance sets and gorgeous gift baskets to toys and electronics, Shoppers is your one-stop shop. Shoppers Drug Mart always has great in-store sales and promotions, and they're always open la

Shop Wise(ly) This Holiday Season

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to a cool shopping app called ShopWise . After testing it out, I hosted a fun event with Yellow Pages Group and ShopWise at the Pantages Hotel in Toronto so I could talk about how practical and easy-to-use an app it was. What can I say? I love to talk about shopping, and I love spreading the word about shopping news I know others will appreciate, especially this time of year when we're trying to save money with all the holiday shopping we have to do. If you're not familiar with ShopWise, you should be. ShopWise (by Yellow Pages Group) is an app that offers Canadians a better, smarter way to shop. It's basically the most important shopping app ever if you're looking for great deals and want to do some comparison shopping before you even leave the house. With the holidays around the corner, who wants to waste time driving from store to store to find the best price when you can find out all the deals with the click of a button

Lost In The World Of Play... And Imaginext

I've found that one of the great joys of parenthood is watching your children get lost in the world of play. As much as I love playing with my kids—I'm a very hand-on mom—I also enjoy sitting back and watching my children, as a silent observer.  I love wondering where their wild imaginations will take them, and what they'll think of next. Sometimes I'll catch my boys talking to each other, and I try hard not to laugh out loud at the things they say. Whether they're playing at the park, running around the neighbourhood, or swimming together, they are definitely on their own adventure. Often, I'll catch my five year old deep in play, with his favourite Fisher-Price Imaginext   toys. An entire part of our family room is devoted to these toys, and that's fine with me, because this child of mine plays for hours on end. He has a great way of setting up all his little people and then taking them on a wild adventure from Joker's Funhouse to the Batcave. Heli

Obsessions (And The Best Movie Ever)

I fall in love with things very easily. Perhaps that's not the right word... I get majorly obsessed over new things like movies, songs, books, and TV shows . If I've seen the BEST MOVIE EVER and you haven't, you better, or else I won't shut-up about it. Related, if you've seen the BEST MOVIE EVER and you didn't like it? Don't even tell me. I probably will not be able to be friends with you anymore, let alone look you in the eyes. I'm just kidding... sort of. I still haven't forgiven one of my best friends, who years ago, decided Dead Poets Society was too boring for her. Seriously, how can someone not absolutely love Dead Poets Society? I saw it again recently—the first time watching it since having kids—and I think I cried for an hour straight. BEST MOVIE EVER , you guys. The BEST MOVIE EVER  six months ago was The Great Gatsby . I mean, I was obsessed! I read the book again, I told all my friends to read the book again, and I fell in love

How To Save Money When Shopping For The Kids

Last week I was on CTV Ottawa Morning Live talking about a fabulous Canadian online shop, .  is guaranteed to help you save money when shopping for your children. We all know how quickly children outgrow their clothes, so it's not always the best idea to splurge on things like jeans and coats for the kids. is the perfect solution if you're looking to de-clutter your children's rooms, too—hop onto, fill out your information, and the company will send you a bag. You fill the bag with items your children don't wear anymore, and ship it back to them—for free! Then, you'll get "credits" so you can shop new or gently used clothes for your little ones. How fabulous is that? Here's my segment on CTV for all the details on —yes, I get very enthusiastic when I talk about shopping, especially when it's about a company as unique and easy-to-use as Happy Shopping!

A $125 Citrus Silver Holiday Giveaway For You!

I first fell in love with  Citrus Silver last year when I attended a pre-Mother's Day event in Toronto's Park Hyatt hotel. The unique, personalized silver jewellery Citrus Silver creates is easy to love. I was lucky to receive a stunning, hand-stamped pendant with my children's names on it, on a silver chain, along with a simple chain and small cross. I wear these two necklaces together, almost every day. I love them, and I receive a lot of compliments on them, too. Citrus Silver creates stunning, quality, hand-stamped personalized jewellery. Made in Canada and sterling silver, every piece is as unique as the person who wears it.  I love receiving—and giving—jewellery as gifts to people I love. Birthdays, Mother's Day, just because gifts, and, of course, CHRISTMAS GIFTS! I think personalized Citrus Silver jewellery is a great gift idea for the holidays. Perfect for a surprise stocking stuffer, or great wrapped under the tree. There are many different styles

Win Two Tickets To See The Sens Take On The Leafs!

Almost winter in Canada means one thing: hockey time! Okay, it means a lot more than that, but most Canadians I know love their hockey and have a favourite team.... like the Ottawa Senators, whom I predict will take home the Cup this year. A lot of Canadians I know also love the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it's okay, we can still be friends. Whether you're a Sens fan or a Leafs fan, I've got the perfect giveaway for you, thanks to the Ottawa Children's Gala —I'm giving away two tickets to the Ottawa Senators vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs , taking place on Sunday, December 7th at 7:00 p.m. How awesome is that? A night out to watch your favourite team ( Go Sens Go! ) score the winning goal? I wish I could enter! I attended last year's Children's Gala and it was a wonderful event filled with entertainment for children and adults. From great food and drinks, to fun entertainment for the kids, it was a one-of-a-kind event, all in support of a very worthwhile ca

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

I'm officially freezing, and I'll be freezing until about... oh, May. I don't do well with winter, you guys. I know I've pretty much lived here my entire life, so at this point, I should basically embrace the cold, dark, dreary, miserable, icy long months of winter, (tell us how you really feel, Loukia!) but I just... cannot. I love summer way too much. Little dresses. Flip flops. Cute wedge heels. Bikinis. BBQ's and pool parties and never-ending sunshine and tanned skin and sand and swimming and cold drinks and patios and and and... the list goes on and on. Last year, Canada Goose basically saved me , because they thought it would be a great idea to give me one of their oh-so-toasty-warm coats to review and keep. Seriously. (Thank you times infinity, Canada Goose Inc!) And I kid you not—this coat changed my life. I was no longer crying when I had to watch my children play after school with their friends in the snow.  I was able to stay outside in minus 35C

For The Love Of Reading

As a mom of two boys, I do my best every day to make sure my children are eating well and staying active. Their health and well-being is my number one priority. On occasion, I take my boys to McDonald's for a treat, because every once in a while, a Happy Meal is totally okay with me. (Especially since there are healthier options like apple slices and yogurt.) Here is some good news I'm happy to share with you about McDonald's: right now, Happy Meals will be coming with a new softcover book, until November 14th. After this, a new digital book will be released every month, available using the McPlay App. The books can also be found on I love seeing my boys read, and love stocking up on new books for them and filling their home library. The four books that can be found in Happy Meals right now are: The Goat Who Ate Everything: This softcover book is about a goat who has a big appetite and struggles to eat smart. But when he does, he feels great and bec

Turning Treats Into Toys

As the holidays approach, I love working with companies who give back to those less fortunate. This holiday season, Kellogg Canada is donating $20 to the Salvation Army for every toy-inspired treat you make and upload to  The Salvation Army will be using the donations to buy toys for children in need. It's really simple—and a great way to remind your children about the importance of giving back to others, especially during the holiday season. I had fun making some Rice Krispies treats with my youngest son, even though an artist... I am not. If you want to take part, just create your own "toy" shaped treat—get as creative as you want—and then take a picture of your creation and upload it to Rice Krispies will then donate a toy to a child in need. To see what other crafty people are making, and to get some inspiration, check out  #treatsfortoys on Twitter. Disclaimer: I received a package from Kellogg's. All views and o

A Perfect Stay At The Marriott Bloor Yorkville

As much as I love living in Ottawa, I have a major soft spot in my heart for Toronto. If my extended family didn't live in Ottawa, it would make my decision to movie to Toronto a little easier. At least, I think it would be easy. Even though I don't call Toronto my home, I visit as often as I can for events, celebrations, and just to get away. It's close enough that I can do the drive in no time, it's cheap enough to fly, and if I want to get some work done? I hop on the train. Several times, I've had the opportunity to stay at the Marriott Bloor Yorkville , my favourite place in Toronto. My children love this hotel, and always ask to go back whenever we are in Toronto. The first time we went to celebrate my 35th birthday, and were treated to the two-floor Presidential Suite. The kids were so excited, and so was I. The rooms were grand... the service was amazing... and the special treats in our room? (birthday cake, balloons, special gifts for the kids, snacks,