Call me superficial, but the one thing I always notice about a person upon first meeting is their teeth. Ever since I can remember I have always had this thing about having good teeth and keeping good oral-hygiene, it's just one of the things my parents instilled into me since a young age I guess, but it doesn't mean I actually take care of my own. I admit, I usually only brush two times a day (if even that) because of my ongoing busy schedule, and often times I feel like I have neglected my mouth over the years. Lately, I get swollen gums as a result, and I always promise that I will try harder next time to keep this from happening... but it always comes back!

That's why I am super-excited to tell you about the LISTERINE® Challenge*!  The LISTERINE® Challenge* is built upon the misconception that bleeding gums are a result of brushing too hard, when actually, bleeding gums are a sign of early gum disease that can be reversed with LISTERINE®. I can't wait to treat my mouth to a much-needed retreat and be on my way to a fresher smile.

With the LISTERINE® Challenge*, Canadians have a chance to win $20,000 too! How amazing is that?

I hope that with this challenge I can learn to take more care of my mouth as well as develop a routine that I can stick to in the future. Setting goals is just the beginning of a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. I think it's time I focus more on me so that my children will also see how important it is to take care of themselves too.

I'm ready to take the challenge, are you? 
Join me by clicking below!

*The LISTERINE® Challenge runs from January 27th , 2015 to July 15, 2015 and is only open to Canadian residents. 
No purchase necessary, please see full contest rules and regulations for details.

Always read and follow label

Disclosure: This post was generously sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Inc., the makers of LISTERINE® the opinions and thoughts are my own.
If you have any comments, concerns or questions about LISTERINE®, please click here to contact Johnson & Johnson Inc.
While pregnant with my first born, I promised myself that I would never lie to him under any circumstance. . 
Then came the time when I had to stretch the truth a tiny bit - "No honey, the needle won't hurt at all." And again when my youngest started school and I told him that I sit in the parking lot everyday waiting for him to be done - he still believes this by the way...shhhh!

Over the years, I have come to realize that lying is not a bad thing if you are doing it to protect the feelings of someone else. We all know that as parents we sometimes have to stretch the truth or even pretend that something is real (aka man in read) just to keep childhood alive, and sometimes it comes in the form of a lie unfortunately. 

Trying to explain this to a 6 and 8 year old is tough however. We all know that children will tell the truth at the most embarrassing moments and in fact lie when they are supposed to tell the truth. The best way that I can open up the lines of communication with my children and teach them about telling the truth is by allowing them to identify with a character and then explain why they lied or whether it was the right thing to do afterwards. Big thanks to Netflix Canada for making my job as a mother a little simpler with these fun titles:

Side note: My most favorite Netflix title involving the theme 'Liar' is and always will be Pretty Little Liars - if you haven't watched, be prepared to binge watch all the seasons within a month. (That's exactly what I did)
Disclosure – I am part of the Netflix Canada #streamteam and receive perks in exchange for my affiliation with them. All opinions expressed are my own.
After the LONG and really exciting March Break I have had with the kids, I learned a really important lesson....
Kids NEED stimulation. 
I'm not just talking constant environmental changes, but real stimulation. The kind that proposes an answer to the million questions that are going on in their tiny brains. So, what do you do with 2 really inquisitive kids while on a week long venture to drive you insane? 

Question everything - and learn so much!

I made it my personal venture to find everyday things and make them extraordinary - like this Ivory soap bar below:
Who knew that by placing a bar of soap in the microwave for 1-2 minutes would make this wonderful mold-able doughy substance? Simple things, simple minds with endless kids are on their way to be great explorers and little scientists, and yours can too with these educational shows on Netflix Canada NOW!

Disclosure – I am part of the Netflix Canada #streamteam and receive perks in exchange for my affiliation with them. All opinions expressed are my own
I admit, I have a little diva on my hands and he's 8! Cookie is all about the jewels, stardom and everything 'pretty' in between - he has dedicated his life to becoming famous and rich and boy am I in trouble!

For the longest time I have referred to him as 'Richie Rich' because well, growing up, this kid was the kid I idolized - I mean, who wouldn't want to be the kid who has it all right? Can you imagine how excited I was to see that Richie Rich has now been re-vamped to relate to the little divas and dudes of today - ecstatic! 

My kids don't often love what I chose to watch but I begged them to try at least the first episode of this series, and guess what? They LOVED it! Now, little Cookie can relate to me when I call him Richie and aspire to be a little more ambitious because he now knows that just because fame and fortune can find you by chance, it is not always easy to attain and maintain - with it comes work and integrity.

Personally, I love this show just as much as I used to in the past...maybe even a little better since my kids are now watching it with me ;)

Check out Richie Rich and a whole bunch of destiny inspired titles on Netflix Canada this month!
In my opinion, there is nothing like a good book to keep your imagination hooked and wanting more.

Nothing, except maybe a movie!

I admit, I've always been a sucker for an exciting novel, but since Netflix has taken on a whole list of my own personal childhood favorites, I've found myself yearning to watch more movies. The truth is, my kids will most-probably never read the same stories I read and I most likely will never actually pick up that old book to re-read it either - so binge watching on Netflix becomes a happy medium for mama and kiddos alike ;) Besides, you really can't get quality tales like these nowadays anyhow (how old am i? lol).

Here is a list of some personal favorites that have been keeping us warm this winter:
For the older child:

I forgot how much I loved the Babysitters Club until i sat down and watched the film myself. It's amazing how quickly I remembered the names of the characters and the whole series of events that happened over the duration that I read this book series as a kid. I can only hope my children get to experience the art of reading and sharing with the generations to follow.

Disclosure:  I am part of Netflix Canada™s Stream Team and get perks as part of my association, but as always, opinions are are completely my own.
Often times I talk about how much I love my teas and the rare occasions that I get to sit back and enjoy a cup of that warm, comforting goodness. That is exactly why I am super-excited to tell you about a fantastic promotion from Tea Leaf Co just in time for Valentine's Day!

Rewind time and go down memory lane to a time when notes of sweet nothings were exchanged via a
Valentine's day candy gram. Recall the joy when your name was finally called out by the homeroom
teacher to receive that oh so special candy gram. And although the treat was sweet, it was the message
within the note that had your heart skip a beat.
Tea Leaf Co. is bringing that same spirit back with our Valentine's Day Tea Gram. They'll include a
personalized handwritten note to your sweetheart too! Our hot and steamy teas will recapture the
playful spirit of this romantic occasion. You'll be sippin' and kissin' the night away.... 
The premise of this campaign gets me nostalgic because I can vividly remember sending candy-grams to the boys I had little crushes on way back in grade school, and the heart-skipping feeling I had when I received one in return. Something about the curiosity, thought and sentiment that goes into receiving a simple gesture brings alive so many emotions. Not to mention the fact that I have grown to adore my teas- probably more than candy now- making the #Sipandkiss concept perfect in my opinion.
Tea LC's Promotional Offer:
Pre-order any gift set before January 30th and Tea Leaf Co. will include the perfect tea spoon, a 20 gram Teaser plus free shipping in Canada. Enter discount code SIPandKISS at check out. A discount of $7.50 will appear for each gift set purchased. Include a tea gram message to your sweetheart in the notes section before completing your order.

So, who will you be sending this special Valentine to? I know I will be hinting for a special package myself, because a girl can never have too much tea ;)
The past few years, New Years Eve has been spent at home with the little ones while daddy works and mommy watches the clock tick. I always try my best to make this night fun but like most parents, once the witching hour takes effect bedtime soon follows and we don't actually ever make it to midnight for the 'real' countdown. I usually find myself tucking them into bed way before midnight strikes, and mommy is exhausted.

This year, I have a plan...praying it works and thanks to Netflix, it just might ;)

The first (most important) thing I will make sure I make time for is an afternoon nap. Followed by a super-delicious dinner from Boston Pizza - what kid wouldn't want to indulge in pizza right? Then once their bellies are all full and they are settled down, we will binge-watch Netflix's newest seriesAll Hail King Julien episode, after episode until midnight and with all the party favors that were provided to us, I have no doubt the kids will enjoy a NYE like no other! 

...and the award to the greatest mommy goes to....

Happy New Year to you and your family! 

Here's a clip of all the fun we will be having (shhh don't tell the kids, but mommy has already watched all 5)
Remember to visit Netflix and have a little fun with All Hail King Julien too- now streaming on Netflix.
Disclosure: As part of the Netflix #StreamTeam I am given certain perks and opportunities but as always my opinion is my own.
Lately my late afternoon school pickup routine has been depressing...cold, dark and gloomy to say the least! By the time I get the kids, drive home and start dinner, I find myself dreaming of sleep and warm sheets. The kids on the other hand, always have their own bubble of energy and excitement that seems to begin right after the last plate is washed and put away...lucky me!

My easy solution for getting my kids to actually sit for a short period of time so mommy can enjoy a cup of tea is my most favorite fiend at the moment, Netflix Canada! There is always something to watch online and I just love the fact that my kiddos can wind down and giggle all the way to their warm beds too!

If you haven't already watched any of these titles, I suggest you do. So much fun for the whole family and a good 1-2 hour stretch for mommy and daddy to relax a bit too! 

1. Shrek Forever After
2. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
3. Despicable Me
4. Dr. Suess' The Cat in the Hat
5. Kung Fu Panda 2
6. Mr. Popper's Penguins

Right now my kids have been watching Mr Popper's Penguins over and over again - Silly humor, lots of messes, and so much screaming! Just what a tiny 6 year old and 8 year old ordered ;)

Disclosure: I am part of Netflix Canada™s Stream Team and get perks as part of my association, but as always, opinions are are completely my own!
What better way to enjoy an afternoon then to have some friends, crafts and a new cereal to test out? This is exactly what we did last week! I am super-excited to introduce you to the newKellogs Rice Krispies Multi-grain Shapes cereal and in one word, I will let you know that at first taste you will be 'hooked.' Our family was already huge fans of the original Rice Krispies, and now I think the bar has been raised with these new and in my opinion, improved Multi-grain Shapes cereal. When the children arrived everyone was just as excited to see something new, and couldn't wait to dive right in for the taste test, so we decided to incorporate craft time into our afternoon snack time.
All the children enjoyed orange juice and a bowl of cereal accompanied by various craft supplies to complete their final craft of making a place setting to enjoy 'dessert' which was provided at the end of our crafting project and baking fun. I couldn't keep their tiny hands off of the cereal, everyone was munching in no time! Most of the children actually said that they prefered this cereal because they could pick it up with their hands and that it tasted 'like sugar.' I personally love it because of the fun shapes and taste as well and to be honest, most parents don't have enough time to ensure that their children are getting nutrition on the go and this cereal, contains no artificial flavours or colours. For a burst of the sunshine vitamin, a one-cup serving provides 20 per cent of the daily value of Vitamin D. Combined with the goodness of whole grains, it’s a nutrient-rich, delicious and fun option for breakfast or snack time, any time of the day- how awesome is that?

As soon as the children arrived we immediately started with painting the individual cereal pieces which come in four inspiring puffed multigrain shapes: stars, fish, trees and “me.” Painting the cereal took a lot of time and patience, and the children did a fantastic job! We quickly set them aside to dry while we tested out the original Rice Krispy square recipe with our new favorite cereal - Kelloggs Multi-grain Shapes! 
Once we melted all of the ingredients for the Rice Krispy square recipe, everyone took turns pouring our new cereal into the bowl and mixing! So far our party was ROCKIN!
Just as suspected, the squares turned out smooshy, gooey, sweet and delicious! Just like the original recipe, only thicker and crunchier- my kinda snack ;)
Shapes are a great way for kids to learn cognitive skills that will later help them learn math, science, languages, and more! Since our Crafternoon Party, we have been using these pieces for math and counting and the kids just love eating the leftover pieces in the end- fun, healthy and educational - every parents favorite snack food ;)

GREAT NEWS! You can also make an afternoon of creative fun by making Rice Krispies treats with your loved ones, and then share pictures on social media with the hashtag #TreatsforToys, from now until December 24th. When the pictures are shared, Kellogg's Rice Krispies for the second year will donate $20 to The Salvation Army to buy a toy for a child in need. GET ON IT!

Remember to look for Kellogg’s Rice KrispieMulti-Grain Shapes in your grocery store cereal aisle NOW!
MORE GREAT NEWS! Contest Time!

This contest is open to Canadians who would like to win Kellogg’s goodies basket! 
Contest excludes Quebec. Only one winner per blog.
Disclosure: I am part of the Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Multi-Grain Shapes 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.
When my little guys were too young to go trick or treating in the neighborhood like the other little ghosts and goblins, I tried my best to ensure that we had fun regardless--because it is afterall my most favorite holiday EVER! So what does a mama do when her kiddos are home while everyone else is out having fun?

My first suggestion would be to stock up on candy - for yourself, not for your little one ;)

Then, bring on the games and fun for the long night ahead- what better way then to stay warm and enjoy all the fun of Halloween indoors? Remember to take a bunch of photos and have FUN with your baby, because before you know it, you will be out freezing and walking the rainy streets to earn that candy. Disney Baby has compiled a helpful list to get you started and even spark a little of that imagination to make your special day perfect with your adorable little monster!

Cookie on his very first halloween - We dressed him as a chick because we felt it was appropriate. Mommy and daddy were farmers to match ;)
Neigh, wore the exact same Halloween outfit that Cookie wore on his first Halloween- we've kept it for memories sake.

Spooky scenes, creepy costumes and eerie eats: these Halloween favourites can be overwhelming for a little one. But while there’s plenty to be scared of on All Hallows’ Eve, getting your baby involved should be no cause for fear. Here are five great ideas from Disney Baby for toning down the fright night festivities, so your little pumpkins can join in the action too!

Be an early bird
If your baby is old enough and you want to go out and trick-or-treat or take in the ghoulish sights, don’t be afraid to head out early. Try talking to your neighbours and organizing a special event for wee ones before the real action begins. Or find out who is home during the day, and make your rounds then!

Nix the neighbourhood
If you aren’t comfortable taking your little ones trick-or-treating, there are often local baby-friendly events you can bring them to instead. If you’re not sure where to start, try a zoo! Many organize Halloween activities specifically for young children.

Revel with your relatives
For a more low-key option, have a little party at home or take your baby to visit the family! Have everyone get dressed up in fun, friendly costumes, make a few treats like these frozen ‘boo’-nana pops, or set up a creepy craft station. 

Stick with stories
If the idea of Halloween is still a bit overwhelming, and you want to introduce it to your little one slowly, start with a few Halloween-themed tales, like Pooh says Boo! or Halloween Surprise. Books like these are a simple and easy way to bring the festivities home, ensuring that baby enjoys a Halloween treat, and you enjoy a quiet night in.

Choose a comfy costume
Whatever activity you choose, if you decide to include a costume, make sure baby is not only cute but also comfy. This cozy Mickey Mouse ensemble features soft fabrics, as well as snap button closures to make mom’s life easier! 

I am participating in the Disney Baby Mom Ambassador program, I have been provided with items in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions on this blog are my own.