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Toys R Us Play Day, June 22

 

More fun happenings this weekend! This Saturday, June 22, from 11am-1pm, ToysRUs locations across Canada (excluding express locations) will be hosting a Play Day to celebrate the start of summer vacation.

Top Toys 2020 : Top Toys of the Year | Kohl's

Activities may vary by store, and are available while quantities last, but include a special Lego build, a chance to design a Thomas cargo car, a Klutz craft station, and more. Little Boo and I attended a Lego build at our local ToysRUs before Mother’s Day. He made me a heart box and had so much fun. And of course, these activities are free. We’re planning on visiting again this weekend.

Disney’s Frozen – Family Pass Giveaway

 

Walt Disney Animation Studios, the studio behind Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph, presents Frozen, a stunning big-screen comedy adventure. Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey – teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven – to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. “Frozen” hits theatres in 3D on November 27, 2013.

Conceal, Don't Feel: A Queer Reading of Disney's [Frozen] – Angel ...

A Giveaway

Disney’s Frozen may not officially open until November 27, but I have a special treat for two Raising My Boys readers. On November 9th, at 10:00am, Walt Disney Motion Pictures Canada will present a number of screenings of the new film in cities across Canada. I have family passes to give out for the GTA screenings, in Richmond Hill and Whitby. Can you attend? The screenings will be at the Silver City Richmond Hill and Empire Theatres Whitby. Each family pass provides admission for four people. I have one to give away for each location. Entries are via the Rafflecopter widget below and will be accepted until 12:00 midnight EST, November 4. Open to Canadian residents only, and the winners must be available to attend the screening in person on November 9. Best of luck!

Diamonius Simulated Diamond Jewelry

Who doesn’t love the pretty? And when the pretty sparkles? So much the better for this girl! I was approached earlier this month to review a couple of simulated diamond rings from Diamonius. I hadn’t heard of this company before, so I had a look around their website to see what they were all about before I committed. What I saw impressed me, both in terms of the jewelry pictured and the company’s philosophy and practices.

diamonius Archives | Stop, Drop & Blog

The Company

“Every woman should have the opportunity to own extraordinary jewelry that is conflict-free, and has no negative environmental, economic or humanitarian effects. Diamonius’ philosophy is to provide all women with their dream jewelry at an affordable price without compromising luxury or elegance. We enable fashionistas to wear $150-$200 rings that look visually identical to $2000-$8000 rings.

Diamonius uses only the highest quality lab-created diamond simulants as substitutes for naturally mined diamonds. Diamonius diamond simulants truly capture all the brilliance and luxury of mined diamonds. Our Diamonius diamond simulants will not fade, discolor or cloud. Our diamond simulants are colorless and flawless. Diamonius diamond simulants are visually indistinguishable from a mined diamond except by specialized gemologist equipment.”

The Rings
I received the Adrianna and Cheryl designs, pictured below. They are both stunning pieces and were very difficult to photograph simply because they sparkle so much. Adrianna is my favourite of the two, maybe because it has the three gems, but mostly because the visual weight of the ring looks great on my finger. I tend to prefer chunkier designs. The Cheryl is exquisite and very delicate. It would be great for a slender finger or anyone who prefers a simpler design in their jewelry.

Mother’s Day Gifts From Blurb.com

Mother’s Day is coming up soon, and you may still be looking for ideas of what to get for the woman who gave you everything. How about a collection of memories?

Mother's Day 2020 Wishes: How to greet 'Happy Mother's Day' in ...

Blurb Designer Instant book templates allow you to easily make a professional quality photo book filled with memories for mom. Scan and upload pictures from your childhood, or hers. Or send Grandma a photo book filled with beautiful images of her grandkids.

 

Instant Books are easy to create, take about an hour, and start at just $12.99. This is definitely a present she will leave on the coffee table for everyone to see each and every day! Start creating your Blurb Designer Instant Book today and save 20% with promo code LOVEYOUMOM, valid through 5/10/13!

Blurb Yearbooks – New Discount Code

My big 25% off code for Blurb Books expired yesterday, but you can still get 15% off all books until April 30 with the code APRIL15. Plus, there’s a special new discount code available to celebrate the launch of the Blurb Yearbooks.

Our Family Photo Yearbooks: Blurb Book Review » Everyday Little ...

Remember all of those special moments of the last year? (Your child graduating and moving onto a new school, your kids first soccer season or school field trip!) Now, you can remember them forever by creating a Blurb School Book! The best part about Blurb School Books is they are easy to create and a great fundraising tool for your school or class (there are discounts for bulk orders). Or, get together with other parents and create a wonderfully meaningful teacher’s gift for the end of the year.

Use the code MYSCHOOLBOOK to receive your 15% discount* on Blurb School and Yearbooks until 5/31/2013.

*Offer valid through May 31st, 11.59pm Local time. A 15% discount is applied towards product totals for books made by you. Maximum discount avail is USD $200, CAD/AUD $250 or EUR 160. This offer is not valid for GBP purchases. This offer is good for one time use only and may not be combined with any other offers, discounts, volume discounts, gift cards or used for adjustments on previous orders.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Blurb Books affiliate program through ShareASale.com

Heard From the Backseat

 

Little Boo was playing a Mario game on his DS. He was talking about the Boos in the game, which are a kind of ghost. He said you couldn’t kill them and you couldn’t scare them. So I asked him, is that because ghosts are so scary nothing scares them? “Yeah,” he said. “Except maybe a zombie. Zombies are scarier.”

Are Backseat Seat Belts Required in Florida? » Abrahamson & Uiterwyk

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As I looked up and thought Hubs was about to run a red light (he wasn’t and didn’t), I inadvertently blurted out in fear, “Jesus!” A voice from the back answered, “Yes?”

Resolutions and Me

 

Happy 2011! I’m still a little shocked that 2010 is over and we’re in January already. And in a bit of denial that I have to go back to the 9-5 on Monday. Between Little Boo getting sick and then our holiday closure, I’ve been off for 2 and a half weeks, and I’m very much getting used to it.

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Lots of my friends have been talking about making New Year’s Resolutions. It is something that I used to do every year. I would even put my resolutions in writing and pin them up by my desk or carry them in my purse to remind myself and (in theory) to keep me on track. But I gave up probably a decade ago. Some resolutions stuck, some didn’t. Some caused too much anxiety when I failed. And I have to say that this is not my best time of year. Once we get past my birthday later this month, I go into a bit of a slump right through February and into March. So it’s not a great time of year for me for motivation and making changes. I mostly just need to focus on soldiering through and getting to the brighter days and warmer weather.

These days my resolutions may be made at any time of the year when I see the need for a change. It’s a bit like how I feel about Valentine’s Day I guess – why wait for one arbitrary day a year to show your love? or to start out on a new path or try a new skill?

In general, I’ve been resolving to be a more patient mother, and a more present friend. I’ve been working on getting out of the house more, networking and learning, both to help me figure out what my next career steps might be, and to create some balance and “me time” in my life. This directly feeds into my ability to become a more patient mother! These are the types of things I expect to continue working on in 2011, but I don’t consider them Resolutions. Just good decisions I made for myself and my family over the past many months.

What about you? Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? And, if you do, could you share some here?
Cheers!

Don’t Forget To Look After You!!

The Heart and Stroke Foundation tells us that the following are all warning signs of a heart attack:
• Chest discomfort (uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness)
• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body (neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back)
• Shortness of breath
• Sweating
• Nausea
• Light-headedness”
Do you want to guess how many of these I experienced at work yesterday afternoon? Every. Single. One. Seriously. I was terrified.

Look After You (Look After You, #1) by Elena Matthews

And at the same time, part of my head was telling me, “Don’t be so silly! You are in an extremely low risk category (non-smoking, great cholesterol & blood pressure, no family history). You’re too busy to go to the hospital. What a waste of precious time. And who will pick up Little Boo from daycare?” Do any of these excuses sound familiar to you? Mom can’t go down. Period.

On the other hand, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has different advice. If you experience these symptoms? Call 9-1-1. Stop what you are doing, take an aspirin if you have the chest pain, and lie down. I was miserable, in pain, numb, short of breath, dizzy, scared.

So what did I eventually do, once the chest pain really kicked in? I walked two blocks to my preferred hospital. (I did at least take my assistant with me in case I collapsed on the sidewalk. I’m not a complete fool.) After a brief 90 minute wait (triage nurse clearly wasn’t worried by what she saw), I saw a doctor, had an ECG, and was assured that what I was really experiencing was just the worst anxiety attack I had ever encountered. The doctor took a quick history, including a run-down on the hellish week I’ve just come through, patted my hand and gave me a script for something to take when necessary. He also told me to go home and rest, take a couple of days off work. I am following those orders.
And I still made it to daycare in time to get Little Boo.

The bottom line, I decided to go with better safe than sorry. I have experienced panic attacks before, but this was unlike any other. What if I were wrong and this were a heart attack? Who would look after my family if something happened to me? So I called on my dear friends to arrange help with Little Boo. I called on my assistant (and friend) to help me to the hospital. And I called on the medical professionals to check me out and fix me if need be. I realised while in the Emergency waiting room, if any of my friends, family, or staff had reported these symptoms to me, I would have been the first to haul their butt in to a doctor.

The doctor I saw was wonderful. And he was very clear with me – I did the right thing by coming in. I want to share this story with you, my readers, to encourage you to listen to your bodies. If something doesn’t seem right, if something is scaring you, it is worth getting checked out. See your family doctor, or a walk-in, or go to emerg if necessary. Keep yourself well! Your friends and family are counting on it.

Please note: this post is in no way sponsored by or authorised by the Heart & Stroke Foundation. The opinions here are my own. The symptoms and actions listed above are from the Heart & Stroke website, as noted.

Empty Nests

I had intended to tell you a story tonight about my wonderful week. You see it’s been one of those weeks where my job really rocks. I’ve seen friends and movies, and friends at movies. I’ve had spa treatments and enjoyed cocktail parties and helped to launch charitable events. My work isn’t always this eventful or “in-person” social, so this week really stood out. And I’m now exhausted, but in a really good way.

Empty Nest Advice — Empty Nest Syndrome Tips and Solutions

But something not very awesome at all happened at some point Wednesday evening or overnight.

The baby robins are gone.

Hubs had chased away some crows earlier in the day who’d been showing a little too much interest in the nest. And then all seemed well. The parents were taking turns watching and feeding the babies. I got to see them lifting up their little beaks to accept the worms. I didn’t have time to grab the camera and take a picture, and told myself I’d get one another day. But it was not to be.

When I got home Wednesday evening, there was no parent at the nest. And no parent when I glanced out the window while making coffee. When I came back to pour my first cup, there was again/still no parent, so I went to investigate. And I found an empty nest.

I talked to Hubs and he commented that he didn’t see any robins when he got home the night before either, and had worried. It’s all very sad, but I guess it’s the circle of life, right? Crows and Common Grackles are known to be natural predators to robins and likely one or the other of these chased off the parents and grabbed the babies while we were away.

So now I feel guilty for being away for 7 or 8 hours. Like the babies were my responsibility, which I know they weren’t , but still.

I’ve read that robins build a new nest for each new clutch of eggs, plus I don’t think this was a great location for them anyway. The hanging basket kept the babies safe from squirrels and chipmunks, but there was no coverage to hide the nest from flying predators. So, I removed the nest, intact, and sent it in to school with Boo. His teacher said she will use it in the science curriculum. It is in awesome shape, since it didn’t fall out of a tree or anything. You can really see and appreciate the amount of work that went in to weaving the grasses and twigs and cementing it all with mud. The structure also includes some strings and ribbons momma found, and the nest is lined with really soft grasses. It is a thing of beauty.

I truly hope that momma and daddy robin have better luck with a second set of eggs, and that they find a more secret place to safely raise their family.

Legoland – It’s Our Turn Now!

Lego is truly a toy to entertain across the generations. I love watching my three boys – the dad, the teen, and the schoolager all bonding over their building projects. Actually, our Lego collection itself spans the generations, including bricks that Hubs played with as a boy, right up through sets bought for the boys over the last couple of decades. When a new set or series is announced, I think Hubs is even more excited than the 7 year-old.

Resort Village LEGOLAND Feriendorf, Günzburg, Germany - Booking.com

For grown-ups like my big boys, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto will be holding a series of adult only evenings, beginning on May 29, 2013. For these events, the centre will open its doors to give adult visitors a chance to leave the kids at home and reconnect with their own childhoods. In conjunction with Superhero movies like Iron Man 3, Man of Steel and The Wolverine coming out this summer, the first adult only night will be Superhero themed.

Adult night will take place from 6:00 – 9:00 pm, and tickets can be purchased online for $15 or at the door for $19. In addition to the café and LEGO shop, guests will have access to the LEGO Factory Tour, MINILAND, Kingdom Quest laser ride, Merlin’s Apprentice and the 4D Cinema. LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Master Model Builder, Graeme Dymond will lead building challenges throughout the evening. Each of the activities in the attraction will be set up to win prizes, including a Superhero scavenger hunt in MINILAND, Kingdom Quest High Score Challenge and a Superhero vehicle building competition at the Build and Test racetrack.

Adult Night’s will also feature fun, interactive games and photo opportunities. On May 29, there will be a costume theme and all guests are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite superhero and take action shot photos in front of a green screen to win a prize! Voting for Best Dressed and Best Builds will take place at 8:00 pm, with winners being announced at 8:30 pm.

On the grown-up event dates, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre will be open to the public during the day, with the last admission being at 4:00 pm, and adults’ night beginning at 6:00 pm. Only those 18 years of age or older will be granted access after 6:00 pm.

I’m not sure the costume theme would appeal to Hubs or the Teen, but the chance to get kid-free access to the Legoland Discovery Centre for an evening of building certainly would. These evenings will provide a wonderful opportunity for any grown-ups without kids to experience the Centre, as unaccompanied adults are not normally admitted.