Friday, September 19, 2014

Making Dreams Come True! #RESPwithRBC

**“Disclosure: I am part of the RBC RESP blogger program 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.”.

It was just 2 weeks ago that our kids went back to school...and we completed our yearly Back To School tradition in our home! It's simple really...but a lot of fun too, and will make for some great memories when they are older. Every year, the kids color a paper stating what grade they are in, and we take a photo or two with them holding it. But the most fun part is when I do our 'back to school interview!' We record a video of them answering the same questions every year - ranging from 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' to 'What do you think you will look like when you are older?' to 'Where are you going to live when you grow up?' I always love hearing their answers and there are always a few that surprise me or make me laugh. :)

With school being on the forefront of our minds, we've also been thinking about the whole topic RESP's for our kids. Yep, those Educational Savings Plans can be pretty important when it comes to the future of their education. When we first began this journey of raising children (8 years ago) we went ahead and set up some RESP's for our oldest children...however, little did we know that the place we set them up was not going to give us what we had thought they would (money for our children to use if they decided to further their education...and if they didn't decide to further their education we didn't want to lose the money either!) So we began to explore new options and different places to set up our RESP. We really liked what we saw at RBC, and have since begun switching all our previously made RESP's over to RBC. For our youngest who is now 2 months old, we are going to start with RBC right off the bat! There are a lot benefits that we found to setting up an RESP with RBC. For example, they are versatile - and can be tailored to fit your particular family and situation. They also have excellent growth potential, are flexible and even have a neat option where other family members can donate to the RESP as a gift to your child with a Gift Cheque!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Safety at it's Finest ~ DIONO Radian RXT GIVEAWAY!!

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](

As parents, I think we can all agree that we want the best for our children! There are so many aspects to that statement, but one of them is wanting the best for our children in regards to safety. For us one of the main places that we emphasize safety for our children is in the vehicle. Over the past years I've learned a lot about car seat safety and about the different ways to make sure that we provide the best safety possible for our children. I will admit though, that I've often been unsure about the installation of the car seats in our vehicles. It should be simple, right? But sometimes, the proper installation and use of the car seat can be challenging at first - especially as a new parent! I recently received some great safety tips from Allana Pinkerton who is a Global Safety Advocate for Diono. She shared some of her top tips for installing car seats safely with me, and I'd like to pass them on to you so that we can all have the peace of mind that our children are as safe as possible in the vehicle.

Top Tips for Installing Car Seats Safely

#1 READ THE MANUAL: It sounds simple, but most of us do not read manuals for the products we buy. While it might be easy to set up your new coffee maker or flat screen TV, installing a car seat is serious business and the manual is written according to how the car seat is crash tested. Read the warnings and the table of contents first, and then refer to the pages for your specific installation. Some situations might require a phone call to the manufacturer. Do not hesitate to call them if you need assistance. They are happy to help!

#2 SLIDE THE BELT IN THE RIGHT PLACE: Car seats have belt paths for either the seat belt or the lower anchor straps to slide through. If the seat is a convertible, it will have two belt paths: One for rear-facing and one for forward-facing. It’s very important to use the appropriate belt path.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Keep Your Food Alive...Naturally!

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](

Food storage is something that has been happening for thousands of years. These days that are loads of different storage options available for our homes. From glass containers, to plastic containers, to plastic bags and of course, one of the most popular options - plastic wrap. I will freely admit that we have used a lot of plastic wrap in our home. Until recently I was confident that it was one of the easiest and most practical ways to keep our food fresh. However, I've made a discovery that has been changing my opinion over the past few weeks. We've discovered Abeego and what Abeego offers is a natural, affordable, long-lasting way to cover or wrap your food and keep it fresh and alive! Abeego has a variety of sizes of flats or food wraps that you can add to your home to replace many of the plastic and disposable products.

What is so special about Abeego? It is a cover for food that is made from natural ingredients such as Hemp, Organic Cotton, Beeswax, Tree Resin, Jojoba Oil. I love the 'feel' of the Abeego food wraps in my hands - and they're even better when they're being used with your food! Abeego is driven by common sense and a desire to help us change the way we think about our food...and this is where their unique and high quality products enter the scene. We have really been enjoying our Abeego food wraps so far and they have already been used many, many times over the past few weeks. Abeego creates and gives us a versatile material that can be used in many ways for all kinds of food storage - and to top it off, their products are completely natural with no chemical alterations! The ingredients of beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil that coats the hemp and cotton fabric have all been specially selected due to their natural characteristics that they have to help keep your food fresh. All these ingredients are approved by the FDA for food contact, so you can be sure that your food with be stored with a food wrap that is safe, natural and effective.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Imagination & Pretend Play = Learning! ~ GIVEAWAY!

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](

When it comes to learning, it seems that we are often stuck on the idea that learning from books, worksheets, classes, etc. is the one of the best ways to teach and learn a variety of skills. Even I am guilty of this at times...have you ever tried teaching your kids manners by reading a manners book to them? ;) Although it may help a little bit, there is nothing like actually practicing those manners throughout the day - and something like this can even take the form of practicing during playtime. For example, a dress-up princess tea party is a great way to practice those manners! It may take a bit of extra creativity at times, but there are not many faster ways to get a child to learn a skill than through pretend play. As I've watched my children grow and learn, I've become a huge advocate for pretend play. It gets the imagination going, and allows for play that includes experimentation, role play and more. There are so many benefits to imagining and pretending that I try to always allow my children ample time to do these two things - and often it's amazing to see what they come up with!

As I mentioned, there are plenty of benefits to allowing your children the privilege of having time for pretend play. One of our favorite types of pretend play is Dress-Up. We've got a tickle trunk of fun Dress-up clothes that our kids love to pull out and put on! It's always fun to see a 'real' policeman wandering through our house. *wink* A few of them include:

Scholastic Monday ~ Fox & Squirrel Make a Friend

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](

Fox and Squirrel are some of the cutest little characters we have come across! They are the most unlikely of friends, but regardless of this fact, they are the best of friends! We recently the latest Fox and Squirrel book to our bookshelf. Fox and Squirrel Make a Friend by Ruth Ohi is a sweet tale of the two close-knit friends who have the opportunity to make a new friend! Will their be room for Yellow Bird?

As the story unravels, Yellow Bird and Squirrel spend some time playing high up in the treetops where, unfortunately, Fox can't reach. Fox tries to be a part of their games, but eventually begins to feel like Squirrel doesn't need him and his friendship anymore, so he heads off to a quiet spot on his own. Can Squirrel help Fox realize that there's room in their friendship for another friend?

As a parent, I really enjoyed the message that this book delivers. It's a cute and fun little story that uses the adorable characters of Fox, Squirrel and Yellow Bird to share some important lessons and messages of friendship, loyalty and acceptance. It's a great lesson for children to learn, and this Fox and Squirrel Make a Friend provides a simple and heart-warming and beautifully illustrated tale to teach children about friendship.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Add a Little "Culture" to your Meals! ~ GIVEAWAY!

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](

When it comes to food, I would probably be described as "adventurous!" Yes, I'm one of those types would will eat the more exotic and perhaps unheard of foods - especially if someone tells me that it is healthy and nutritious! I've tried all kinds of things, some of the more "exotic" ones include beef tongue, fish eggs, and canned snails! That said, I don't normally include these types of foods in our monthly meal plan. However, in the past few years I have discovered the amazing benefits of foods that contain live and active probiotic cultures. In fact, some foods have FAR higher probiotic counts than an actual probiotic capsule. One of our favorites has been kefir. Ever heard of that one? ;) I've often gotten a blank stare when I say that we had some kefir with our fruit for a snack, but I'm sure that at least some of you have heard of kefir and all it's amazing benefits, right? In case you haven't, kefir is a drinkable yogurt that can be served in a variety of delicious ways. It can come in some great flavors, or you can even make your own plain kefir right in your own home if you're feeling extra adventurous. Kefir is rich in some of the essentials that our bodies need: protein, calcium and probiotics!

We recently were able to try a new brand of Kefir that has recently been launched in grocery stores all across Canada. Lifeway Foods has a great line of delicious flavored kefir drinks. They include plain, strawberry, blueberry and peach. Lifeway's formula contains 12 live and active probiotic cultures. Because of this, Lifeway's drinkable yogurt will provide you with a higher probiotic count than most regular yogurts. The flavor of kefir may take a bit of getting used to for some people, but our family LOVES it. Myself and all of our children drink kefir regularly, and we thoroughly enjoy it. Just to give you an idea of what you'll be getting when you take that first sip of kefir, you'll likely find that it is a wonderful mixture of something that is smooth, tart and refreshing.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Amazing Apple from Avon! ~ GIVEAWAY!

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](

Avon's Naturals Kids products always seem to have something new and fun arriving! A few weeks ago we came home to a delightful (and very tasty smelling!) package from Avon Naturals Kids. Inside was a bag full of their Amazing Apple products which were all an instant hit in our home! With three five children, three of which are girls, there is always room for more hair brushes, stylin' Gel and Hand & Face Wipes. Yes, if I'm not doing one of my daughters' hair, there is a good chance that you'll find me wiping another child's face, helping someone was their hands or cleaning up a sticky mess somewhere. It's all a part of being a mom! :)

Our girls love to get their hair done and they love to try new hair styles. My oldest is always coming up with all kinds of funky hair-do's of her own that she'd like me to attempt on her hair! Some of them are pretty wild, and although I might not always follow her hair style wishes exactly, I am glad she's got the imagination to dream them up! One thing that helps keep girls hair in place is some high quality Stylin' Gel. Avon Naturals Kids has some great gel in their Amazing Apple line. Not only does it work well, but it smell just as delicious as a freshly baked apple pie or a box of fresh apples just picked from the tree. Yum! The gel was formulated with kids in mind, so it is a gentle formula that keeps hair in place, but also keeps your hair feeling soft - not hard and crusty like some gels and hair sprays would do.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Get rid of those paper flyers!! FLIPP~ GIVEWAY!!

We recently stopped getting the newspaper, and so far, haven't gotten any flyers either. Here in our city, flyers are included in the newspaper for those with a subscription, and are delivered separately for those who don't have one. When our subscription first started, we were getting flyers both ways. Man was that a lot of paper!! I only really look at flyers of stores I shop at regularly (in an attempt to curb spending of things I don't need!) so most of the flyers go right into the recycling.  What a waste of paper.

But I really like looking at the flyers. It's very handy to sit down with the grocery store flyers, for example, when making my grocery list. Of course, it annoys me to have this great collection of papers around me, and to find deals at several shops when I really only want to go one place and get it done!

I've tried looking at the flyers online, but you have to find each one and look at them separately, and then make a list and then and then and then... lots of reasons why THAT didn't work.

Someone suggested an app for my smartphone, so I tried that for a while too. But it wasn't easy to move around in, and I didn't like how the flyers were displayed. Scratch that idea too.  I was back to paper flyers. But they pile up so quickly!!!

Then I found out about Flipp.  It's a smartphone flyer app - with complete functionality for iPhone and almost all features for Android phones - that helps you find the flyers in your local area. When you set it up, you have to enter your location.  From there, it picks up all the stores who have a flyer published. I should say - many flyers. I can't promise it will find them all, but it was certainly more than I'd ever seen in paper delivered here!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Looking for unique stationery and giftware ~ Muffymade!!

So you want to send a note, or a card, or a cute little gift. But you don't want yours to look like everyone else's! Or you'd like cards that represent who you are and show your personality. Right down to your favourite colours. Or you need a custom design to suit your situation perfectly. But short of drawing everything yourself (and if you're as artistic as me, that's a challenge!), how do you go about this?

This fledgling design company, founded by Canadians Meredith Shaw and Nicole Clark, can provide you with customized stationery and giftware! Some of their graphics can be tweaked to your taste, but even more exciting is their ability to create something special just for you! Figures are simple, but recognizable details and preferences are included, making the end result definitely yours!

The muffymade website is still in development - while you're waiting, you can colour a fun graphic 'wallpaper!' But if you head over to their Pinterest page, you can see some of the fun stuff they've already created! Check out their Facebook page to see what others think of their designs!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Simple, Safe, Sustainable and SUPER! ~ GIVEAWAY!

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](

It often seem to me that toys these days have become rather complicated. You know, lots of buttons, gadgets, little tiny pieces, batteries, etc. Although toys like this do have their place, I tend to lean towards enjoying the more simple toys. Perhaps it's because I remember playing with toys such as these when I was young, or perhaps it's just because when I watch my kids play, they often will choose the simple things to play with (boxes, balls, wooden toys, etc.) instead of the ones with all the noises and buttons. There's beauty in the simplicity of some of the traditional toys that have been around for years and years and years...and yet they are still being enjoyed by children today!

I was really excited when I discovered a little factory located in Québec that creates some of the most adorable and fun wooden toys that I've seen in a long time! Atelier cheval de bois is the name of this unique Canadian company and their mission is to create toys that will nurture a child's imagination and to create unique toys that will be long lasting...even throughout future generations!

We've been having a lot of fun playing with our new school bus from Atelier cheval de bois. Not only is this a great time of year to practice driving a toy school bus but it would also make a fun toy for those younger children who are still at home and are missing their older siblings and watching them ride the bus every day as they head to school! This little wooden school bus comes with five of the cutest little wooden dolls/men (I just love their little hats! :) ) The roof of the school bus can easily be lifted off and placed back on so your children can easily get the dolls on and off the bus. The roof was simple enough for our 2 year old to easily take off and put back on without any difficulty. It's a great toy to encourage and build hand-eye coordination, motor skills and, of course, it gets your kids using their imaginations! I've found that the toys that our children tend to play with the most are the ones that allow them to be imaginative and creative...I think kids are wired to be imaginative and creative and toys such as the wooden toys from Atelier cheval de bois are just the kinds of "tools" that children need to inspire them!


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