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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Win A Year of Coupons from Gay Lea Foods #GayLeaFoods

With the colder days I’ve become a bit concerned about my daughters’ breakfast habits. They do eat in the mornings but they have been grabbing a cereal bar as they run out the door and this has me concerned that they’re not getting enough…both in the nutrition department and in my efforts. When I was a girl here in the ‘burbs, my Mum didn’t spend time making us a hot breakfast. For some strange reason my childhood self found this to be unacceptable and off I went, hands on hips to demand my Mum provide us with a hot meal on the table in the mornings….yup I was fiesty.

After I’d finished my wee tirade of comparisons to other families my Mum simply smiled, reached into the cupboard and produced a box of instant porridge. BAM there was our hot cereal, ready as soon as the kettle boiled! Well played Mum.

So, as you can see weekday breakfasts have always been quick in my home but now I feel the pull to do MORE for the girls. No more cereal bars on the go but what can I do? Thankfully I’m an online-savvy woman and know where to turn!

Fast Hot Breakfast

This week I’m making my Not So Blondie Brownies – With Hidden Veggies as a surprise breakfast choice for the girls. I can easily keep them in the fridge, then pop them into the oven to warm them up for a few minutes in the mornings.

Brownie Blondie

As an extra treat I’m using Gay Lea’s Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Spreadable on top. Not only will the girls LOVE the taste but they’ll be getting the benefit of a hot meal with hidden veggies in it!

The perfect blend of Cinnamon, Brown Sugar and Real Gay Lea Butter that spreads right out of the fridge.  Gay Lea Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Spreadables lets you enjoy the delicious taste of cinnamon on French Toast, pancakes, and fresh bread or your favourite savoury dishes like carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash.  It is the perfect for baking and adding that cinnamon taste to your buns, cookies and apple pie filling.

WIN Gay Lea’s Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Spreadable for a YEAR

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Gay Lea is giving on lucky  Canadian reader a whole YEAR supply of their brand new Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Spreadable butter!!

The winner will receive 12 coupons for free products, mailed to you within 4-6 weeks. To enter, you must be a resident of Canada (excluding Quebec) over the age of 18

Simply fill in the Rafflecopter form below, winner will have 48 hours to respond. Giveaway ends to enter by October 28.

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Chicken Soup Kicked Up a Notch & a Giveaway! #ChickenDotCa

At this time of year I feel like I’m cold almost all day. There’s no real reason for it, yes the temperature outside is dropping but to my husband’s dismay I’ve turned on the heat. Wether it’s a psychosomatic thing or not I’m chilly and when I feel like this there’s nothing like soup to make me feel all warm and cosy. Funnily my family get bored of my chicken soup quickly… so I have to kick it up a notch and get going on come different flavours to make them love soup as much as I do.

When looking for healthy, delicious soups I often head over the the Chicken Farmers of Canada recipe page. Here you’ll find dishes that are super simple (a requirement for me) and a variety of flavours which will make even my picky eaters happy.

Broccoli, Potato & Chicken Soup

broccoli, potato & chicken soup

This easy, creamless soup looks big on effort but is not. Potatoes provide the soup with body and Emmental cheese lends its distinctive flavour. This makes a lot, and is perfect for company. It doesn’t require a lot of time to put together, and the delicious combination of broccoli, cheese, and chicken makes this recipe well worth a try!

Chicken Chilli with Pumpkin & Chocolate

chicken chilli with pumpkin and chocolate

Chili loves pumpkin and chocolate! Use these fun ingredients to help revitalize an old favourite. The pumpkin adds fibre and body while the chocolate and cocoa powder blend in creating rich, smooth flavour. Make this quick, warming dish with lean ground chicken to hit the spot on a cold day.

These are just a few of the recipes I’ve Pinned to try. Go check out the site, there are some tasty looking Crockpot recipes as well!

Easiest Ever Southwestern Dinner

southwest chicken dinner

The ideal weekday slow cooker recipe – one that can be put together in minutes with extremely flavorful results that appeal to all ages. This recipe fits the bill on all points. Try it once, chances are you have everything you need right now, and this recipe will become a constant in your repertoire.

Velvet Chicken & Corn Soup

corn and chicken soup

This silky soup comes together very easily, thanks to your slow cooker. Aromatic ginger infuses this Chinese-inspired soup with loads of flavour. A finishing touch of tamari, an aged soy sauce, brings all the flavours together into one comforting chicken soup.

These are just a few of the recipes they have listed which I’m going to try out. Are you like me, please tell me you’re feeling the cold these days and suddenly crave soups like a mad woman? or man?

GIVEAWAY ALERT

The fine folks at Chicken Farmers of Canada have provided me with a lovely prize for you soup lovers! One Canadian reader will win this set of bowls and a thermos (which is amazing, I have one and it’s wicked good).

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To enter simply fill in the Rafflecopter form below, winner will be drawn on November 8th and have 48 hours to respond.

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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.”

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups Recipe $400 Giveaway #EggItForward

Here in Ontario it’s Thanksgiving weekend which always gets me to thinking of the blessings in my life. As I take the time to truly reflect on my journey, I’m struck by the amazing opportunities, people and gifts I’ve been given. There were times in my life when I had much less, when my health failed, when finances were in the gutter…so many times when people would step in with a gesture of kindness which would change my negative perspective. I can remember right after my first daughter was born I found a homemade meal on my doorstep with a loving note from someone wishing us well. It probably the BEST meal we’ve ever eaten and reminded us that we had folks pulling for us.

With this in mind I’m so happy to have teamed up with This Lil Piglet to invite you all to #EggItForward to someone in your life. We are giving you a chance to win $250 towards your local food bank AND $150 Burnbrae Farms gift basket, including coupons. Details about this fantastic giveaway are at the bottom of the post…way below these delicious photos…oh and be sure to check out This Lil Piglet’s Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake, you’ll thank me later.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups Recipe

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups Recipe @SoberJuilie.com #EggItForward

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup  graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup  plus 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 3 Tbsp.  butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 pkg.  (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp.  vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup strawberry jam
  • 6 strawberries
  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup

Preparation:

Begin by heating the oven to 325°F.

Mix the graham crumbs, 2 Tbsp. sugar and butter until they are well blended.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cup base

Now press the graham cracker mixture onto bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin pan cups; I found it easy using an ice cream scoop.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups Muffin tin

Set aside the muffin tins and beat cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups mixing

Now pour the cream cheese mixture over crusts in the muffin tins.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups before baking

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until centers are almost set, then cool completely.

Spread evenly with 1/3 cup strawberry jam, (I was far too generous and ended up with very messy cheesecake cups), garnish with fresh strawberry halves and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups Recipe @SoberJulie.com #EggItForward
Strawberry Cheesecake Cups
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Julie Elsdon-Height
Serves: 18
Lovely Strawberry Cheesecake cups which are perfect to take to gatherings.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup strawberry jam
  • 6 strawberries
  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
Instructions
  1. HEAT oven to 325°F.
  2. MIX graham crumbs, 2 Tbsp. sugar and butter until blended; press onto bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin pan cups.
  3. BEAT cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crusts.
  4. BAKE 25 to 30 min. or until centers are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 2 hours.
  5. Spread evenly with 1/3 cup strawberry jam. Garnish with fresh strawberry halves and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

#EggItForward Giveaway

#EGGITForward

One lucky Canadian winner will recieve a donation of $250 in their name to their local food bank AND a $150 Burnbrae Farms gift pack full of swag and coupons.

 

It’s simple to enter:

  1. Often food is used to show our appreciation. First tell me how you give thanks using eggs around Thanksgiving in the comments below.
  2. Pin one of the 2 finished Strawberry Cheesecake Cup images in this post to Pinterest.
  3. Mandatory Entry: Using Instagram via Twitter or simply Twitter, tweet your favourite recipe you use to #EggItForward and include another fellow Twitter pal. You can either tweet a picture of that recipe OR just tell us in a tweet using the hashtag #EggItForward using the following format:

For example: ” @BurnbraeFarms I would share my Strawberry Cheesecake Cups with @ThisLilPiglet #EggItForward “

Note: You can tweet directly on Twitter using a statement OR via Instagram through to Twitter using attaching a picture to your tweet. You can enter as many times as you want on Twitter BUT always use this format.

 

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

Looking for a Restaurant to Please the Whole family? #MandarinON

When given the choice of where to eat our kids will always scream they want to go to Mandarin!

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As someone who has recently developed a taste for Oriental foods, in the past I shied away from dining at Mandarin…boy I didn’t know what I was missing! This is a restaurant which caters to all tastes, the atmosphere is amazing, the customer service is stellar and the food…oh the food is delicious!

buffet shot

What began as a small Á-la-carte restaurant in Brampton in 1979 has transformed over the years to the buffet style restaurant which has 20 locations across Southwestern Ontario. Each location’s award-winning buffet has an extensive soup and salad bar, grill tables, a prime rib counter, a sushi corner, and a variety of hot foods showcasing the best in Chinese Canadian fare. An array of desserts and an ice cream sundae bar offer the perfect end to the meal. Take-out and delivery are also available at every location.

Mandarin is committed to customer service, their missions statement is certainly upheld each and every time we visit!

“Every customer must feel welcomed as soon as they arrive. Every customer must be happy and smiling when they leave.”

Mandarin Moon Festival

Recently I was presented with the chance to take our family to experience the Moon Festival at Mandarin. We knew the girls would be super excited and to make it even more of a celebratory dinner we decided to include two of their friends.

Mandarin Outside kids playing

When you enter Mandarin the atmosphere immediately speaks to you. The restaurant was totally dressed to celebrate the Moon Festival and there a gorgeous pond which spans the waiting area at the front of the restaurant. The children were fascinated watching the Koi swim around the area and it kept them occupied as I went to the desk.

mandarin pond

 

The staff greeted us all warmly and our reservation was confirmed. We didn’t have to wait long, right on time we were led through the restaurant by our host who happily explained the entire layout and the legend of the Moon Festival.

Once upon a time there was a famous archer, Hou Yi, who with his arrows was able to slay mankind’s worst enemies, ferocious beasts that inhabited the earth. Yi was married to Chang-O, a beautiful but inquisitive woman who had been an attendant of the queen mother of the west before her marriage. Now at this time, there were 10 suns that took turns circling the earth-one every 10 days. One day, all 10 of the orbs circled, together, causing the earth’s surface to burn and threatening mankind. The wise emperor of China summoned Yi and commanded him to kill but one of the suns. This Yi proceeded to do. Upon the completion of his task, Yi was rewarded with a pill, the elixir of life, and advised: “make no haste to swallow this pill, but first prepare yourself with prayer and fasting for a year.” Being a wise man, Yi took the pill home and hid it under a rafter while he began healing his spirit, In the midst of this, Yi was summoned again by the emperor.

While her husband was gone, Chang-O noticed a beam of white light beckoning from the rafter. She followed it and a fragrant perfume, discovered the pill and swallowed it. Immediately, Chang-O found she could fly. Just at that moment her husband returned home, realize what had happened and began to reprimand his wife. Chang-O flew out the window into the sky. Yi sped after her, bow in hand, and the pursuit continued halfway across the heavens. Finally, Yi had to return to the earth because of the force of  the wind.

His wife reached the moon and there, breathless, she coughed and part of the pill fell from her mouth. Now, the hare was already on the moon and Chang-O commanded the animal to take pestle and mortar and pound another pill so that she return to earth and her husband. The hare is still pounding.

As for Yi, he built himself a palace in the sun as Yang (the sun and the male principle), Chang-O as Yin (the moon and the female principle).

Once a year, on the 15th day of the full moon, Yi visits his wife. That is why the moon is full and beautiful on that night.

It’s a romantic legend which we all appreciated and the decorations were gorgeous. Once we were seated at our table our very engaging server arrived to explain the buffet system to the children and take our drink orders. She had a great sense of humour and totally understood the kids, even to the point of teasing them about eating dessert first.

Mandarin family

There was much banter and the kids boasting about who was going to eat the most….and off we went to experience the buffet. To say there’s something for everyone is the understatement of the year! From salads to desserts Mandarin has thought of every dietary need, low sugar, low sodium…it’s all represented in their delicious dishes.

Mandarin Buffet

The staff at Mandarin were very conscious, we were paid close attention to with offers for drink refills and even warm facecloths to clean up before and after our meals. And in case you’re wondering how the kids did…..well I think that they’d agree the buffet at Mandarin kicked their butts!

Mandarin after dinner

If you’re in Southwestern Ontario, grab your family and head over to your local Mandarin to experience the Moon Festival before October 20th! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

WIN a Trip to Bahamas from Mandarin

In celebration of the Moon Festival, Mandarin is giving away an all inclusive trip for 2 to the Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort in Nassau Bahamas! Head over to Mandarin’s Facebook page and share your story of romance with the one you love to enter.

 

WIN a KitchenAid Diamond Blender & Berry Smoothie Recipe #KADiamondBlender

Blenders have become the bane of my existence! There is nothing more frustrating that trying to whip up a Mocktail or smoothie only to have the ice caught in the blade of a blender. Usually I have to unplug the thing and begin prying the ice out to get things moving. It’s definitely a first world problem but one that could easily raise my blood pressure far too high. KitchenAid recently tasked me with testing out the new KitchenAid Diamond Blender and I was amazed to see that I just couldn’t jam this sucker up!

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As of today I’ve made 3 smoothie recipes, 2 Mocktails and many purees using ice and not once did it jam. This is a gorgeous machine and it performs wonderfully!

Recipes Made with KitchenAid Diamond Blender

Last week I shared two recipes 20 second smoothie recipes with you which I made using the KitchenAid Diamond Blender. The first was the Energy Boost Smoothie which was in the recipe card which came with my blender. It is a gorgeous blend of fruits to fuel you up!

energy fruit smoothie recipe @SoberJulie.com #smoothie

 The second is the Good for You Green Smoothie, this recipe also came with the blender and I must admit I wish I’d tried a green smoothie sooner because it’s delicious!

green smoothie recipe WM

Today I’m happy to share yet another recipe which I made using the diamond blender, I know you’ll all appreciate the fact that it only takes 20 seconds to make and it’s oh-so delicious!

Berry Smoothie Recipe

berry smoothie recipe

Ingredients:

Berry smoothie recipe ingredients WM

  • 1/3 cup blackberries
  • 1/3 cup raspberries
  • 1/3 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 cup of water

 Preparation:

Berry Smoothie recipe 20 seconds

Toss all of your ingredients in, turn it on for 20 seconds and it’s ready. That easy; no prying ice out of a blade or any fuss.

beautiful berry smoothie recipe

KitchenAid Diamond Blender Review

The KitchenAid Diamond Blender, with exclusive diamond blending system, provides the ultimate blending performance to stir, chop, mix, puree and liquify, with pulse 1-5 settings and crush ice mode.   A robust motor, unique one-piece, BPA-Free diamond pitcher, stainless steel blades and electronic controls combine to create a powerful vortex that is fast and thorough for exceptional blending results.  Additionally, Intelli-Speed® Motor Control senses contents and maintains optimal speed to power through all ingredients. Retails for $199. 

What I love:

  • Looks beautiful (yup that matters!)
  • Crushes ice in seconds EVERY.SINGLE.TIIME.
  • Has a 60 oz BPA free shatterproof, scratch proof, stain proof, dishwasher friendly pitcher
  • Rubber feet on the base to hold it in place when I twist off the pitcher
  • Evenly blends ingredients by using the pulse option.
  • Five blending settings—stir, chop, mix, puree, and liquefy

Final thoughts:

This blender has renewed my faith! It hasn’t failed me yet and has been actively used by myself and my kids on a daily basis. There is no fuss and even better no splatters on my counters, this blender is worth every single cent in my eyes.

WIN a KitchenAid Diamond Blender

Today I have the pleasure of announcing I’m giving away one KitchenAid Diamond Blender a very lucky Canadian reader!

#KADiamondBlender

The #KADiamondBlender giveaway will run until October 20th, the winner will have 48 hours to respond via the email they enter with. All entries will be verified so please take your time and enter properly. Simply fill in the Rafflecopter form below and GOOD LUCK!

To check out other amazing KitchenAid products, recipes and connect with the folks there check out the KitchenAid Canada Facebook page where they’re active and very FUN.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was provided one KitchenAid Diamond Blender to perform this review but as always all opinions are my own.

 

Looking for more great drink recipes? Click here to follow me on Pinterest! 

Follow SoberJulie’s board SoberJulie Drink Recipes on Pinterest.

WIN $75 Kit for Chicken Fajita Friday with Old El Paso #YouMexiCAN

Our house often feels like it’s overrun with kids, thankfully the gaggle of children who live on our street are pretty amazing! As Friday sets in the kids all arrive home from their respective schools and begin planning the weekend fun they will be enjoying together. This bunch spans in age from 5-15 and each have very different tastes in food but the one meal that we’ve found works across the board is an easy Chicken Fajita. My love for Mexican food is no secret, it’s simple, nutritious and makes me look really good to the kids in the ‘hood. Given the choice between supervising this gang in the pool or spending hours prepping dinner, I’ll choose hanging with the kids every time. The Old El Paso Fajita kits are fantastic when I want to whip up dinner in a pinch.

kids swimming

Chicken Fajita Recipe With Old El Paso

Chicken Fajitas WM Portrait

Ingredients:

Chicken Fajita kits

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into strips (600 grams, frozen works fine)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • Old El Paso Fajita Kit

Preparation:

Add oil into a pan and cook the chicken strips until they are thoroughly cooked. Throw in the onion, peppers and Old El Paso stir in sauce and sauté.

Chicken Fajita in pan

Sizzle away, stirring or tossing until the chicken is browned keeping the veg crunchy. To warm the Old El Paso Soft Flour Tortillas pierce the packaging and microwave on full power for 35-40 seconds (cooking time may vary depending on microwave). To heat in the oven, remove packaging, separate tortillas and wrap in foil. 10 minutes at 200°C (180°C for fan assisted ovens), gas mark 4 should do it. Keep them covered and warm until ready to serve. Serve with sour cream, cheese, lettuce, salsa or guacamole!

chicken fajita recipe square WM

Our crew loves a good Mocktail with it, my Limeade recipe is always a favourite for Fajita Friday!

Limeade Drink Recipe Square WM

In just 20 minutes I go from frozen chicken to a lovely meal that becomes a Fiesta! Check out the Old El Paso Facebook page for more inspiration!

WIN an Old El Paso Kit worth $75

Old El Paso wants you to enjoy a Fajita Friday or Taco Tuesday and are providing me a kit filled with bowls, a cookbook and of course some Old El Paso kits worth $75! Entry is simple, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below, this is open to Canadians and the winner will have 48 hours to respond. Giveaway ends October 7th. a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Have you Heard? You Can Bring Milk With You! #MilkUnleashed

My children are BIG milk lovers and there are many mornings when I’ve had to explain why I don’t send milk along to school in their lunch boxes or to the beach for the day. Well that won’t be happening anymore because I have found shelf-safe milk with Milk Unleashed!

When I first heard about shelf-safe milk I was shocked, I couldn’t imagine it being safe but after doing a bit of research I have to say it’s impressive.

What Is Shelf-Safe Milk?

You may be wondering what this could be, is it an added chemical…or something strange? No, shelf-safe milk is plain old milk which has undergone an ultra-pasturization. This means that it is pasteurized at a temperature higher than normal and placed into the unique Tetra Pak container.  This eco-friendly packaging preserves all the wholesome goodness of milk and helps kids get the vitamins and nutrients of milk anytime, anywhere.

Milk Unleashed

Milk-Unleashed-Logo-featureUp until now we’ve been stuck with using milk at home only. Milk Unleashed is a campaign from Tetra Pak which is educating us all on the benefits and availability of shelf-safe milk.

Imagine for a moment that you’re packing lunches for everyone…you reach into the freezer for that little carton of milk which will keep your child’s lunch cold all day and be ready to enjoy by lunch time. That to me is a HUGE benefit of this!

The Tetra Pak’s are recyclable, come in different sizes, flavours and can be stored in your pantry for six to nine months!!

Rarely do I become excited about a food staple but our family’s fridge usually has 2 packages of bagged milk in it at any one time. This is some serious real estate friends, I can’t wait to reach into my pantry storage instead!

Summary of Benefits:

  • Easily portable, freezable
  • Stored from 6-9 months in pantry (means freeing up fridge space)
  • Jammed with nutrients
  • Different sizes available
  • Different flavours available
  • Mom of the Year award pending….just sayin’

Here’s some more information on shelf-safe milk:

 

For more information head to the Milk Unleashed websites, either English or French.

You can also find Milk Unleashed on Facebook or Twitter.

Disclosure: This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Milk Unleashed blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.


 

Celebrate #MomsMeTime with a $100 LuLuLemon Giveaway

As a Mom I’m a firm believer of finding some “MeTime” to dedicate to yourself. These days it’s so difficult to find even 5 minutes some days with the kids home, the dog going crazy and life just being life…..but taking time to rest and recharge is invaluable for peace of mind.

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Now some of you are probably laughing at me because your children are scampering around your feet or someone needs your attention, but I am really encouraging you to focus upon your own health in some way right now.

Are you tired, over-worked, ignoring stress or would just love a little bit of the day for yourself?

I give you permission to take that time, believe me when I say that it’s not in your best interest to become run down and exhausted.

Do something kind for yourself! Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read, meet with a good friend or hey how about beginning a new activity? Whatever it is, don’t wait…now is the time to jump into positive changes!

To celebrate this #MomsMeTime focus I’ve teamed up with some pretty fabulous women, Stacie, Tammi, Jody, Stacey and myself are happily treating 1 Canadian to a shopping trip to LuLuLemon with a $100 gift card!!!

Who can say no to a LuLuLemon giveaway?

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Nothing says #MomsMeTime like $100 to spend on yourself! Good luck everyone, we hope you enjoy this giveaway.

This giveaway ends on August 19th, open to Canadian residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Niagara Falls Weekend With CAA Blogger Shopping Challenge

It’s Week #4 of the CAA Blogger Shopping Challenge where Extreme Couponing Mom and I are each using a CAA No-Fee MasterCard with a limit of $2500 to shop at the CAA partner stores and blog about our experiences. The first blogger to save enough money with their CAA membership to cover the cost of a new CAA Plus membership + Plus Associate membership (totaling $209.05) will receive an East Side Mario’s OR Husky Gift Certificate worth $100!

caa Blogger challenge

For those who may have missed my previous 2 updates you can catch up on the amazing savings my CAA membership has allowed me at Payless ShoeSource, The Gap Factory Store and Banana Republic Factory store by following the link HERE for Payless and HERE for The Gap and Banana Republic Factory Stores.

In case you haven’t been following along for the past 3 weeks, you can read all about my shopping adventures at Payless ShoeSource, Gap Factory Store, Banana Republic Factory Store, East Side Mario’s and Petro Canada HERE.

Saving in Niagara Falls with My CAA Membership

When I received notice that I was one of the two bloggers chosen for this challenge I knew our little family simply had to take advantage of the hotel Partner Savings, so I planned a weekend away at Niagara Falls.

After doing a bit of research I decided we would stay at the Marriott Niagara Falls Gateway on the Falls Hotel. As we drove into the parking lot at the hotel we were amazed at the sight! We were quite literally right on the cusp of the Falls.

CAA Marriott

The Marriott Niagara Falls Gateway on the Falls Hotel offers over 230 first-class Fallsview rooms and suites and is 31 floors high. Check in went very smoothly, although there was one hiccup. We had chosen to visit Niagara Falls on the American Memorial Day weekend and the hotel was sold out which meant that CAA membership discounts weren’t offered. They did say that I should have been advised of this at booking but I wasn’t concerned because I had obtained a fantastic rate.

In the event that I had chosen a weekend on which the CAA membership savings was available, I would have saved up to 15% off of our stay.

Within minutes we had our Breakfast Vouchers and $25 Milestone’s Gift Certificate in hand and we were directed to our elevator. The look on our daughters faces when they saw that we were heading to the second highest floor was hilarious, I’m not sure if the lit up #30 was exciting or frightening to them.

CAA Blogger Challenge Marriott

A Room With A View

Walking into the room I knew that we were staying in the Superior Fallsview Guest room in their high floor category so I expected a good view of the Falls. I had NO idea how overwhelming the view would actually be!

 CAA Mariott Gateway View

It was breathtaking, all four of us stood at that huge wall of window in silence for a few moments before the excited “look at this” began. We really enjoyed our first half hour in our room, just standing and sharing the moment with one another.

The room itself was lovely, with 2 Queen beds each child chose a parent to sleep with (insert sarcastic yippee) a spacious bathroom and the fridge we would need for our snacks.

 CAA Marriott room

After relaxing in our room for a bit we decided to head to Cliffton Hill to check out the action.

If you’ve never been to Cliffton Hill in Niagara Falls, you may not quite understand when I say its a hilly, winding street jammed with the buzz of excitement. With Casinos, wax museums, arcades and tourist shops the energy on Cliffton Hill is a bit overwhelming.

Eats at Hard Rock Cafe

Soon enough we all found we were too tired to really enjoy Cliffton Hill so we decided to head to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner before heading to the hotel pool.

The Hard Rock Cafe is a fun place, we’ve been to their Toronto location but this was our first visit to this location. It’s a very cool atmosphere and we were so grateful for the comfy booth at this stage. We chilled out, unwound with the music  and enjoyed searching the walls to see whose memorabilia we’d find.

CAA Hard Rock Cafe

The food was delicious, I enjoyed a HUGE Ceasar salad while my daughters chose chicken fingers (eye roll, hope this stage ends soon) and my hubby had fish & chips. We also enjoyed some divine desserts and they even had a Mocktail for me!

Our Total for dinner was $84.01 before taxes and with our CAA membership we saved 10% ($8.40) making it $75.61 before tax.

Following dinner we went for a quick dip in the hotel pool then made our way back to our room, got into pjs and sat once again at the window watching the magic of the Falls. At night the view is spectacular, there is lighting on the Falls which turn them colours to the delight of the children. We had the added bonus of a fireworks show over the Falls for Memorial Day.

Fireworks over falls

Day #2 In Niagara Falls

This was my view when I woke in the morning, it was so peaceful sitting with a cup of coffee in the silence while my family slept. It didn’t last long, soon enough everyone woke eager to get the day going.

Morning view

Breakfast at Milestones within the hotel was gorgeous, it was a buffet which was sure to fit anyone’s tastebuds. With choices like dry cereals, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, porridge, fresh juices, baked goods, sausage and even an omelette bar everyone was happy.

CAA Marriott Breakfast

 

Cliffton Hill FUN

We decided to use our CAA Membership to buy a Cliffton Hill pass to enjoy for the day. We purchased 5 passes for the girls to the BIG FUN package and 3 for each adult. This allowed us to enjoy 5 of the 6 available attractions which are: Guinness World Records, Mystery Get Lost Maze, The Fun House, Bronto’s Adventure Playland, Brick City and The Haunted House.

CAA Cliffton Hill

I purchased the passes using the CAA online option and found out quickly that you cannot open multiple tabs without double-checking to makes sure you didn’t enter too many passes into your card. Thankfully the fine support staff corrected my errors, we printed our passes and off we went!

When we arrived we realized we had forgotten our passes in the car so my darling husband went back to get them while the girls enjoyed the games outside of Bronto’s Adventure Playland. As I stood waiting I noticed a young couple looking distressed near a car. It didn’t take me long to realize they had locked their keys in the car.

I know how awful this feels, and so like the forward person I am I approached them and offered to use my CAA membership to get a tech out to open their car. They were overwhelmed but it was no big deal because I have a number of services available for the year. Within 20 minutes of us calling the CAA mobile arrived to the rescue! They were unlocked and on their way in no time, just another example of the benefits of my CAA membership.

CAA Cliffton Hill FUN

The Cliffton Hill Big Fun Value Passes are a great deal:

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  • Regular price for 3 Pack Adult Pass is $31.61, they give Savings of $11.33 which made them $20.28 each.
  • Regular price for 5 Pack Child Pass (4-17) is $41.33, they give Savings of $19.79 which made them $22.54 each. 
  • I saved $62.24
  • I earned $1.67 CAA Dollars

CAA Members Save At Husky

On the way home we stopped for gas at Husky and I was please to see they had a HUGE sign welcoming us as CAA members!

CAA Husky

We bought $77 worth of gas (groan!) and the attendant told us we would see our CAA dollars on our monthly statement because we were using our CAA Mastercard so I’ll have to see my total then.

This Week’s Progress Report

As of today, by using my CAA membership card at CAA Partners in TOTAL I’ve saved $180.90 and have spent $1,90.22 of the $2500.

Disclosure: As a chosen blogger for the CAA Blogger Challenge I am being compensated for participating. All opinions and experiences are my own.