Planet Sock Monkey – GIVEAWAY! Holiday Gift Guide #SJHolidayGiftGuide

Here’s a unique, adorable gift anyone would love! Ok it’s probably meant for kids but I’m having one wrapped under the tree just for me…she may have pink hair and a sassy attitude, how could I resist this cute Planet Sock Monkey?

Planet Sock Monkey isn’t a planet—c’mon, we’re not that literal—but it is a cool new soft doll collection that’s out of this world! We slapped life into sock monkeys with our humor and style, making each one different and provocative. And we believe in a life uncaged, and we make no apologies: These characters are who they are, all of them hot, and their attitudes on fire. There’s no wishy-washy here, no half-ways or almosts. We go all the way and give sock monkeys full-blown personality, taking them where no sock monkey has gone before. But we promise that you’ll always end up in undeniable monkey love.

 

Planet Sock Monkey Holiday Gift Guide for Kids

 

Sock monkeys with attitude, humor, style…oh my! Planet Sock Monkey is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. These sock monkeys have names, bios, clothes and accessories. They’re not your momma’s sock monkey, that’s for sure. #MonkeyUp

 

Sockologists and Monkeyologists believe Planet Sock Monkey was created during a spontaneous and cataclysmic event occurring in an undiscovered location in space. It is theorized that highly intelligent monkey astronauts were on a mission in their shuttle and unexpectedly collided with a ginormous jumble of lost, floating socks. The results were life-altering. The results were AWESOME.

Sock Monkeys 2013 Holiday Gift Guide for Kids

Planet Sock Monkey dolls are great gifts for tweens, teens and just about anyone (ages 8 & up). Give them as birthday surprises, Christmas gifts, stocking stuffers, Easter basket stuffers and more! Collect them all!

To connect with Planet Sock Monkey® check out their Website, Facebook Page or Twitter profile.

If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas for more people on your list, make sure to check our the rest of our Holiday Gift Guide features.

GIVEAWAY ALERT

Enter to #win a complete lineup of Sock Monkey Dolls, a $130 value! Open to Canada & US. Tell me what character best suits you from HERE and enter in Giveaway Tools below. Bonus entries to increase your chances!

Disclosure: We were provided with product in exchange this advertorial. All opinions are my own.

 

WIN Mother Hen Baby Food for a Week!

When my kids were babies I was frequently overwhelmed trying to prepare healthy, nutritious meals for them which they’d actually eat. Between getting used to functioning on little sleep and the babies tastes, it felt like I’d never find an easy solution. These days there are choices for Mum’s everywhere, one of which is Mother Hen.

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Mother Hen was founded in Montreal and developed with three purposes: healthy, high quality and food cooked just like at home. Mother Hen focuses on baby/junior foods as well as fruit sorbets for the whole family.

Mother Hen

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In our products we only use certified organic fruits and vegetables.

Our products are certified organic by Ecocert Canada. This certification ensures the integrity of organic products throughout the production chain from the field to the finished product.

An organic food can only be called “organic” when it is produced under “natural” conditions without pesticides, herbicides, artificial fertilizers or growth hormones and in accordance with the lifecycle of animals and plants.

These rules ensure that production conditions are non-polluting and respectful of the animal’s welfare and of the surrounding ecosystem.

Where to Find Mother Hen

You can buy Mother Hen baby food & other products at Shoppers Drug Mart, Metro, Walmart, Fortinos, Longos and many other retailers. To preserve the high quality of their products they are frozen so be sure to check out the freezer section or the fridge in the baby sections.

WIN A Week of Mother Hen

One very lucky Canadian reader will be winning a coupons for a full week of Mother Hen’s products!! Giveaway is open to Canadians, enter by filling in the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends November 26th and the winner will have 48 hours to respond.

Good Luck!
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World Vision Heart 4 Heart Girls – Holiday Gift Guide #SJHolidayGiftGuide

If you have a little girl in your life, you’ll be looking for the perfect gift to have under the tree. World Vision has many choices in their Holiday Gift Items list but for that little girl in your life a Hearts 4 Hearts Dolls may just be the perfect choice!

World Vision Heart 4 Heart

 What if you could change the world just by buying a doll?

You can, with Hearts For Hearts Girls™ dolls! Each doll is a girl that wants to make a difference in her life, community, and culture. When you buy a Hearts For Hearts Girls doll, a portion of the purchases price is donated to children’s causes in countries around the world. Available at WalMart, Target, Sears, Canadian Tire and London Drugs.

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Every Hearts Girls doll represents a real girl from a real place around the world. Each has her own story to tell and ideas about how to make life better for her family, community, country, and the world around her.

To connect with World Vision Heart 4 Heart Girls check out their Website, Facebook Page or Twitter profile.

If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas for more people on your list, make sure to check our the rest of our Holiday Gift Guide features.

Disclosure: We were provided with product in exchange this advertorial. All opinions are my own.

Family Game Night – Giveaway from @MattelGameOn #GameOnParty

We are a family who loves to spend time together playing games. Usually this finds us at the dining room table, split into teams throwing jibes back and forth. Yup we like to refer to this as bonding time. Mattel wants to bring back family game night and I’m all for it. The time spent together, winning and losing has allowed us to bond and help our kids to become gracious losers….and remind myself of this all too often.

The fine folks at Mattel recently asked me to hold a Family Game Night and of course I said YES! They did present me with a challenge, I had to head over to the Mattel Gameology Facebook App which asked me a bunch of questions in order to determine my game sign. I’m a Socialies. Mattel sent me an amazing box of games and party accessories which were based upon my gameology profile.

Game On Family Game Night Kit

Mattel sent me a gorgeous box which included some games, coasters, bottle openers, napkins and colourful fortune cookies. For our game night we decided that we’d invite my Mum and our friend from next door to join the kids, my husband and I.

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After putting out some chips and blending up some Pina Colada Mocktails we were all set for our night of fun.

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We chose to play UNO first, this is a card game we play often. It’s perfect if you have a variety of ages, believe me when I say it can get competitive. Our girls actually ganged up on me and well….I may have come in last…My Mum had never played UNO and it was hilarious teaching her. She caught on quickly and much to my dismay she joined in on the “Get Julie” mantra.

family game night UNO

Because it was a weekday evening we gave the kids the choice of our final game. While we’d love to have gotten to play all of them, it was getting late. It was no surprise that they jumped on Angry Birds, they’d been bugging me to open the box since it crossed the threshold of the front door.

This game is AWESOME, we love the digital version and this one didn’t disappoint. First thing you do is line up the cards and choose form 4 levels of difficulty. You choose a card and build your obstacle as per instructions.

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Now you line up the birds specified on the card and send them flying towards the obstacle. The idea is to knock off all of the birds to WIN.

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We really enjoyed our Game Night and encourage you all to get one on the calendar yourselves.

Enter to WIN a Game Night Package

In fact…the kind folks at Mattel have provided me with one Game On package to giveaway to one of my Canadian readers! The winner will be drawn on November 29th and have 48 hours to respond. Good luck!

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Unique Gift Ideas, a Twitter Party & a Giveaway #myurbanwear

As I’ve aged I’ve come to appreciate unique gifts or purchases. Gone are the days when I would head into a pyjama shop and knock folks off my Christmas list all in one shopping trip. It came to me in my mid-30s that personalized gifts matter more than the price tag.

Shocking isn’t it, it actually took me that long! These days I enjoy browsing slowly through antique stores or artisan galleries with my husband, leisurely hunting down fabulous gifts for friends and family. As a woman who is online as much as I do, I was searching for an online alternative to my beloved shopping when a friend recommended I check out MyUrbanWare.ca.

my urbanware is a online marketplace for high quality, rare products made by Canadian artisans. We save you time by making it easier for you to source modern, stylish products at affordable prices. Many of our products are handmade, one of a kind or recycled with prices that compete with mass produced goods.   All of our products are made by Canadians. You know who made your product as we highlight each of our artists on the product page and throughout the website. We hope you enjoy your visit and see you again soon!

See that…it’s online shopping but it’s unique products which are made by Canadian artisans! Nice, now I can support artists, fellow Canadians and score some very special items.

Wedding Gift Ideas

my urban ware

Children Gift Ideas

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For the Home

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Catch up with the folks at My Urban Ware oneline by visiting their profiles on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Twitter Party Alert

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Join us on Wednesday November 6th at 9pm EST for the #MyUrbanware Twitter Party. Win over $300 worth of great prizes and support some fantastic Canadian designers! Head over HERE and enter your Twitter profile url to RSVP.

Giveaway

In celebration of their grand opening Urban Ware is giving away a Casual Leather Clutch valued over $195!!! Good luck!

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Sick as a Dog Plus a Tooth Abscess = Invalid Julie

I am horrifically sick, like teary-eyed, body aches, nose running and sinus inflamed gross sick. Lovely use of English grammar there I know but you’ll have to forgive me as I’m typing through a haze. This haze isn’t one from pain killers, no-no…although that would be a relief this alcoholic won’t take any kind of addictive medication.

This all started with a gentle sniffle a few days ago and overnight progressed into a cold that knocked me to my knees. One would think that’s enough but nope, add to it some pain in my jaw and you’ve got my current situation. On the morning when my sniffles had turned to the Monster cold I began feeling tooth pain in one of my molars. I put it down to a popcorn kernel, flossed and said a prayer it wasn’t a major sinus issue.

Off to the Dentist

Later that day I was immobilized by the pain in my upper left jaw, I couldn’t even talk anymore. I’d been taking Ibuprofen and Tylenol cold remedies and although my sniffles were in check the jaw pain was not. My husband had enough of my whining and insisted on driving me to our dentist’s office before they closed. Note: I have a serious anxiety issue with the dentist, I wouldn’t go there unless it was a DIRE situation….and this was.

I sucked it up and went in, thankfully they squeezed my aching self in for an Xray.

SoberJulie at dentist

As I sat there one part of me was hoping the Dentist would put it down to my sinus pushing on the nerves because of the cold, another part hoped it would be tooth-related. I had no idea what was wrong but I needed relief from this awful pain.

The Dentist’s Verdict

In the end the X-ray showed that I had a filling which was too close to the nerve. This means that the nerve becomes irritated over time and forms an abscess at the root which sits against the nerve line. Voila = wicked pain and a root canal in my future. (Sorry to the dental professionals of the world for my horrible explanation.)

SoberJulie tooth

The Dentist was in a quandary when it came to helping me with pain-relief. I cannot take codeine and won’t take a narcotic so in the end I’ll have to make do with Tylenol and Ibuprofen based meds. Thankfully she prescribed a strong antibiotic which seems to have begun working I was getting slap-happy from not sleeping. Funny how a lack of sleep can diminish functionality so quickly.

As someone who lives with chronic pain on a daily basis I thought I was pretty hardened to discomfort and pain. Nope, this pain created the perfect storm in my body to over-whelm me. Suddenly all the chronic pain flared up, a wicked migraine came along and I was in the depths of something I can’t properly describe.

I’ve missed a bunch of plans we had a as a family this weekend, lost sleep and am left so tired and weak. But through this there was a lesson….the obvious one is to go to the dentist more regularly because they could have caught this….but the other one is how fortunate I am.

I’ve been too ill to care for my kids or myself and my family jumped in and filled that gap. My husband readily gave me cold cloths, made me cream of potato bacon soup and loved me in every way he could. My Mum (who lives here with us) made sure the girls were loved and was there if we needed anything. Our wagons circled during this time and once again I’m grateful.

Ok now I’ve learned a lesson me thinks it’s time for this freaking cold to move along…..

Smoothie Recipe & 2K Giveaway from Almond Fresh

Anyone who visits SoberJulie.com often knows how I love a good smoothie recipe. One ingredient I commonly use is Almond Milk so when I heard that Almond Fresh is giving away some AMAZING prizes I jumped on the chance to share the Almond Fresh Giveaway with you.

Almond Fresh Facebook Contest – $2000 Value

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Product images are for illustration purposes only; products may not be exactly as shown

Almond Fresh has a contest live on Facebook where you can win a daily Almond Fresh prize pack along with a grand prize of a Kitchen Aid Countertop Appliance Prize Pack complete with a year’s supply of Almond Fresh. The contest runs until November 1st.

Entering is simple, go to the Almond Fresh Facebook Page, like them, and send a refreshing smoothie recipe to a friend and enter the contest.

Smoothie Recipe

If you’re looking for some delicious smoothie recipes you can see my recipes by clicking this link, try the one below or head over to the Almond Fresh recipe vault to see more.

Energy Boost Fruit Smoothie

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of pineapple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium orange, peeled
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 medium banana, peeled
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup crushed ice

Preparation:

You just cannot get more simple than this! Place all ingredients into the blender and blend on medium/high until it reaches your desired consistency. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

Twitter Party Alert #MexicanFiesta

We all know how I love a good FIESTA and now She’s Connected and Chicken Farmers of Canada are holding one on Twitter! Yes folks it’s a Twitter party you don’t want to miss.

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We will be talking all about delicious Mexican foods which have chicken in them, such as…

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Twitter Party Alert #MexicanFiesta

Date: Thursday November 7, 2013

Time: 8:00pm – 9:00pm EST

Hosts: @ChickenDotCA @SimplyStacieNet @MyChaos @MommyKatandKids

Hashtag: #MexicanFiesta

Prizing: 10 (ten) $50 AMEX Gift Cards

RSVP: She’s Connected

 

If you’re looking for more recipes for your own Fiesta night,  check out the Chicken.ca website.

 

Disclosure: I am participating in the Chicken Farmers of Canada campaign by ShesConnected. I received compensation in exchange for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Understanding Auto Insurance #AutoXplained

Three and a half years ago I was in a car accident which changed my life. When an accident like this happens to you, suddenly you can see the value of car insurance. So many of us resent paying car insurance premiums, thinking that we’ll never use it but the reality is we don’t know when an accident will happen. I certainly didn’t think I’d EVER be involved in a serious one after 20 years of driving.

Where payments go and how claims are paid out

Each person who pays car insurance premiums are actually putting the money into a pool. This is the money which is used to assist folks who have contributed with costs associated with a claim.

How Car Insurance Premiums are Calculated

The premium you pay for car insurance is calculated based upon your unique situation and the chances that you’ll actually make a claim. If you fall into a category where you’re unlikely to ever make a claim you pay less.

Tips to Help Control the Cost of Auto Insurance

  • Dropping collision coverage on an older car
  • Getting package deals for insuring your car and home, or more than one car, with the same insurance company
  • Installing an approved theft deterrent system in your vehicle
  • Buying a car with a lower–‐cost insurance rating

Considerations Before You Insure Your Car

  • Where you live – Collisions and auto theft are more likely in urban areas, which may affect your premium.
  • What car you drive – Your car’s make, model, year, value and potential repair costs are associated with risk factors. Your insurance company may consider the CLEAR system to rate your car.
  • What you use your car for – The more you drive, the higher your collision risk. Your insurance company will want to know if you drive often or for long distances.
  • Your driving record – A long, collision–‐free driving history can help you qualify for competitive insurance rates.
  • Your driver profile – Depending on your province, the claims history of the group to which you belong as a driver – for example, drivers of the same age and driving experience – may be factored into your rate.
  • Your premium may be impacted by how often your group makes claims.
  •  Your coverage (and endorsements)The more comprehensive your coverage, the higher your premium may be.
  • The listed drivers of your vehicle

I cannot stress how important it is to have your car insurance up to date. As a person who has had the unfortunate opportunity to see its benefits up close and personal I assure you I would have been lost without it. I know it’s not a cushy feeling to be paying for something you haven’t used…but chalk it up to peace of mind and hope you’ll never need it. By doing a bit of research before you purchase your car or insurance you can save yourself some costs on premiums.

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To learn more, head over to the IBC website where you’ll find everything you need to know.

Isn’t your peace of mind worth it?

Disclosure: Although this post has been generously been sponsored by IBC, the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect Insurance Bureau of Canada.