Christmas Traditions with Portable North Pole

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There are certain Christmas traditions that our family looks forward to every year. An advent calendar is always exciting and our kids have a Lego Advent Calendar each December. We also do our favourite (and less creepy!) elf on the shelf, Christopher Pop-in-Kins. We read the book on the last night of November, and then each morning we run around the house searching for the elf until Christmas Eve when he heads back up to the North Pole!

The personalized video messages from the Portable North Pole are quickly becoming one of the most memorable holiday experiences for my family.  Each year, Santa sends a unique video message to the kids, complete with pictures, fun scenarios, silly elves, and even reindeer! The personalized videos remind the children that Santa is on his way, that he’s been watching their behaviour this year, and he let’s them know if they’re on the naughty or nice list!

It’s hard to describe just how magical these videos are for the children. Watching Santa speaking right to them, using their name and knowing how old they are, it creates a sense of wonderment and awe, and really brings magic to Christmas. You can feel their sense of anticipation, waiting to know if they’ve been naughty or nice! It’s super easy to make these video messages, and the best part? They’re free! Let me show you how you can make your own message from Santa!

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Choosing the Perfect Gift with YP Shopwise App

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Christmas shopping can be hectic and stressful – and can really suck the holiday spirit out of you. From choosing the right present to finding the best deal, the new YP Shopwise app puts the fun back into gift finding and giving!

I confess that I’m an avid online shopper, but shipping and handling costs easily skyrocket this time of year, and I try to find the best local deals on my Christmas gift list. Shopping locally not only helps local businesses, but also ensures my presents will be given on time! 

Not sure what to give? The new Gift Finder on the YP Shopwise app is here to help! Shopping for men can be difficult at any time of year, especially when they already have everything they need! Socks can be such a dull gift… so I gave the Gift Finder a spin to see what cool gift they would recommend for my  hard-to-shop-for guy!

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Holiday Gift Guide: My Little Pony

I love that my daughter is a huge fan of My Little Pony, because when I was a little girl, I loved My Little Pony, too! Although the ponies have gotten a makeover (love that, too!) since the original series, the new series is full of fun, friendship, and pony magic! Here are some of my favourite Christmas gifts that would be perfect for any My Little Pony fan!

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My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks 
This all new feature-length film brings the battle of the bands into Equestria! The Rainbooms are up against the Dazzlings for Best Band at Canterlot High, and they need Princess Twilight’s help save the school! We received a copy of this movie from the awesome team at Shout! Factory for review, and we watched it with my daughter’s two best friends, who are also My Little Pony lovers – the verdict? They all loved it! I think it’s a perfect gift for the My Little Pony lover in your life!

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POP My Little Pony Vinyl Figures
These collectible figurines from POP! are cute and trendy right now, and I’m glad they’ve created these awesome My Little Pony collectibles! I think these are great to decorate a room or a locker, and super awesome for fans of any age! 

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Visit an RBC Avion Holiday Boutique & Shop in Style! #AvionVIP

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RBC wants to make your holiday shopping more luxurious! If you’re an RBC Avion Card holder, visit an RBC Avion Holiday Boutique to get the full VIP treatment as a thank you for being an Avioner!

Some of the perks at the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique:

  • Valet Parking – so you don’t have to circle the parking lot for a spot!
  • Coat and Parcel Check – drop off your shopping bags and continue to shop some more!
  • Gift Wrapping – so your presents are ready for gift giving!
  • Private Lounge & Cafe – to rest your feet and enjoy a beverage.
  • Concierge & Porter Service – to help you with your Christmas list!
  • Free Wifi, entertainment, and more!

Don’t have an RBC Avion card? Don’t worry! You can still access gift wrapping services, valet, and coat check for a small fee which is donated to Sick Kids Foundation. And while you’re there, sign up for your own RBC Avion card so you can receive all the benefits of being an Avioner!

I am so ready to get the VIP Treatment at the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique – and I’m sure my husband will enjoy watching tv in their lounge while I shop! In the Vancouver area? Stop by the Coquitlam Centre and enjoy the RBC Avion Holiday Experience!

Disclosure: I am part of the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Keeping Memories Safe with Timewyse Life Locket App

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I must have taken over 3000 pictures of my daughter’s first year. This was before iPhones and Instagram – this was on my regular point-and-shoot camera, then developed at a photo shop and actual photographs were placed in old-fashioned type albums and scrapbooks. This was only 8 years ago.

Nowadays, I can take pictures anywhere I go, but I don’t have the time to chronicle each and every single memory of my two kids (second child syndrome is alive and well in this house!). That’s why I am loving a new app I discovered that helps parents preserve their kids memories, the Timewyse Life Locket App.

The Life Locket App makes it easier to keep track of your child’s photos, as well as cute little memories like their favourite foods, books, and toys they liked to play with. The Life Locket App prompts you to take pictures, audio, and videos of their rooms, a fun activity you did that day, a favourite outfit – and you can even take notes, called ‘snips’, to remind you of things they said or did that day.

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We Tried It: Simple Human Waste & Recycle Bin #SimpleHuman

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When I need something for my house, the first place I look is always Simple Human. Their designs are sleek, modern, and uber practical, especially for our family. I love the look of their items, with their sleek and fingerprint-proof stainless steel, and the durability can’t be beat.

I was looking for a solution to our garbage and recycling issues. I really wish I had taken a “before” picture to show you what a mess that corner used to be. A garbage bin with no lid and a bright blue recycling box overflowing with cardboard, paper, and cans. It was a disaster! I avoided looking at that corner, and if friends came over I would try to hide everything in the closet!

Solution? The Simple Human 48-Litre Steel Bar Recycler. Durable enough for a family, practical enough to hold all my waste and recycling in one beautiful steel container.

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Free Printables to Get You Organized during the Holidays!

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photo credit: Eliza Ellis

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photo credit: Eliza Ellis

I’m constantly feeling overwhelmed. Lately, especially due to the holiday season, it’s a struggle with anxiety and time management and trying not to forget all the things on my to-do list. Working at home has gotten busier, the kids have a ton of their own things to do, and I’m still trying to manage the household, typically by myself.

Deciding to get more organized, I started researching time management for moms and household management planners. I scoured pinterest for printables. I read blogs about time blocking and how to organize your entire life. And then I finally discovered Eliza Ellis’ blog, It’s a Beautiful Life.

Eliza Ellis creates gorgeous, free printables. They are absolutely stunning and she’s put so much thought into them. There are different colours and designs, and not only does she have a whole array of daily planners, note pads, meal planners and chore sheets – she’s created a free printable Christmas Planner, too!

I’ve already printed out the Christmas Planner – do you know how hard it is to choose one design? They’re all so beautiful! I was going to go with the foxes but ended up using the Christmas Trees design! I’m also currently working on a Daily Management Binder, using the Orchid theme planners. I’m super excited to start organizing and planning better, and I’m hoping it keeps me from feeling too overwhelmed!

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Fast Pain Relief with Tylenol Arthritis & $50 Giveaway

As a child I was constantly being shouted at to put my slippers on and wear warmer socks! Arthritis runs in my family and the fear of the condition coupled with an over-protective mother meant my sister and I were always very, very warm. My father has a slight form of arthritis, as do both of my in-laws, and it’s hard to see the people you love struggle with pain.

My mother-in-law has started using Tylenol Arthritis to get relief. My children are active and toddlers need to be picked up at times, but if you have arthritis affecting your joints, especially in your hands or shoulders, it can be difficult to keep up with the kids. My mother-in-law is constantly resting her hands and can’t lift anything too heavy because the pain can get too much.

Arthritis is a condition characterized by stiffness and inflammation or swelling of the joints. There are many types of arthritis, and it might surprise you to know that it’s not just an “elderly person’s disease”, and can actually affect people of any age. Click on the infographic below to learn more about arthritis.

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Kid-Friendly Eco-Conscious Furniture #BuyGreen

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Kids furniture should be durable, stylish, and affordable, and the ‘green’ choices at BuyGreen.com are also eco-friendly! I have a really tough time finding furniture for my kids – it’s either over-priced or cheaply made, and I certainly don’t want to spent a ton of money on furniture that will likely be turned into art by way of crayons and highlighters! I try to find used furniture pieces to add to my home, sometimes refurbishing an item can give it a new life in a home! However, it isn’t exactly affordable purchasing a used piece of ‘modern’ furniture (if it has ‘mid-century’ in the title, watch for extra zero’s added!).

I am always scouring the BuyGreen site for items that are needed in my home – this online shop has absolutely everything eco-friendly including clothing, health and beauty products, items for your office, and even furniture! I was super curious about the line of WayBasics furniture made of zBoards, which claims to be the ‘World’s Easiest Assembly’, and uses no tools to put their furniture together.

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The prices were very affordable and the modular cube storage was modern and fun! The shelving is light-weight but strong, each shelf can still hold about 50 pounds of weight. After some long decision making, we finally chose the Madison Bookcase for my daughter’s room (which BuyGreen supplied to us for review – thank you!). Since moving, we still hadn’t completed her bedroom (…it’s only been 5 months!) and it was difficult for her to keep her room clean and tidy. See the before picture after the jump!

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Kmart Fab 15 Toy Giveaway

Kmart Fab 15 Toys

I am so excited to be partnering up with Kmart to offer a fantastic giveaway for their Fab 15 Toys! We want to help make your holidays a little easier by giving you the chance to win these popular and trendy toys. In the spirit of the holiday season 13 winners will receive 1 toy from the Kmart Fab 15 Toy List! 

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