Getting Your Back Yard Canada Day Ready

If you’ve visited your local home and garden store in the last couple of weeks, you likely noticed that the seasonal aisle is stocked full of BBQs, patio furniture, and oh-so-fabulous backyard lounge chairs. Everything is red and white and definitely Canada Day ready. It can definitely be tempting as it is to toss out the old stuff that’s been sitting in your garage all winter – or worse, taking a beating outdoors for the past few months – a few simple, budget-friendly tips and tricks will help to make everything old look new again. It’s easy to get your backyard Canada Day ready.

1.      Make old, new again. There’s nothing worse than removing your patio furniture cushions from storage and realizing they’re all stained. Before you think about tossing them, give them a clean. Mix OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover with water and let the cushion covers soak for 1 to 6 hours, depending on the severity of the stain. Wash as normal and your cushions should come out stain-free and look brand new. This is great to get those cushions Canada Day photo worthy. 

2.      Win the weeding war. Did you know that watering your weeds makes it easier to pull them out? If it hasn’t rained in a few days, water your weeds before yanking them. Fun fact: If the soil is moist, you are also less likely to disturb any plants nearby. With all the rain we have had in Toronto this shouldn’t be a concern but might be a great trick for other parts of Canada. 

3.      Save with a little scrubbing. There’s a simple solution for removing dirt, grime, and stains from patio furniture and even your deck. Mix OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover with water (following the instructions on the package) and apply the solution to almost anywhere. Let stand for a few minutes and scrub as needed. It will leave everything looking neat and clean again. There is nothing worse than dirt when you are throwing that family barbecue. 

4.      Wheel your way to wonderful. Re-arranging rather than replacing is also a good way to give new life to your backyard. Consider moving planters and patio furniture to different spots within your space to give it a wonderful new look and feel. Remember, you’re not alone when moving heavy items like lounge chairs… there are wheels to help! Wheeling your furniture around doesn’t eliminate all the hard work but will put less strain on your back.

5. Add Simple decor items.  Have red and white items in the house. Bring them out for your celebration. Did you know those white Christmas lights make for a great late night get together as you watch all the fireworks going off in your neighbourhood.

Be prepared that after a weekend of weeding and wheeling, your back, arms, legs – yes, your whole body – may be aching with pain. Make sure you leave yourself enough time on Sunday evening for a warm bath and a few hours curled up with a good book or movie. Before going to bed, rub and soothe your sore muscles (all of them!) with Rub A535 Extra Strength Heating Cream. The best things about this product is that it works fast and is non-greasy so you can put it on right before going to bed and it won’t stain your sheets.

Have you started prepping your yard for your Canada Day celebrations? What’s different this year?

*I am a #ChurchandDwight ambassador and have been compensated for this post, as always my opinions are my own. 

Mothers Day Gifts

Mother’s Day Gifts from Hallmark #LoveHallmarkCA

Becoming a mom is one of the best experiences a woman feel. I remember the first time I held my daughter, motherhood was something I always wanted. Even though motherhood did not come under perfect circumstances for me I have been blessed and changed by motherhood.  This Sunday is Mother’s Day, a day to celebrate all the moms we know.  We cherish all the times and special moments we have shared over the years. We talk, we share and we have bonded more over time and memories.  I won’t be able to spend the day with my mom since she lives far away, but I will give her a call and chat on Mother’s Day.

I recently received a box full of Mothers Day gifts.  It was a rainy day and I couldn’t wait to get outside and use my new umbrella. The Catalina Estrada Flourishing Blooms Scarf is one of my favourites. It is something that just adds style to just about any outfit I put on. It has been a great fashion accessory and has been spotted wearing it often.

Mothers Day Gifts

Mothers Day Gifts from Hallmark

Mothers Day Gifts

There are a variety of gifts that will be a sweet addition for anyone’s taste. Your mom will love any of these Hallmark items.

  • Catalina Estrada Springtime Petals
  • Catalina Estrada Flourishing Blooms Scarf
  • Signature Gift Bags
  • Catalina Estrada Flourishing Blooms Cuff Bracelet
  • Blue Ceramic Tea Mug with built-in Infuser win a
  • Catalina Estrada Hummingbird Haven
  • Catalina Estrada Blue Rose Cosmetic Bag
  • Signature Greeting cards

Shower mom with love and make it a special day full of fun and memories to last a lifetime.

mothers day gifts

It’s time to enter and win a special gift or two for Mother’s Day. One lucky reader from Canada will win a Catalina Estrada Flourishing Blooms Scarf

and a Catalina Estrada Flourishing Blooms Cuff Bracelet.

.

 

Cut the Clutter: Cleaning Your Closets

Cuttheclutter

It’s time! From personal experience, I have learned I like stuff. It can accumulate quite fast. As a blogger, we often get sent stuff to review, swag and gifts. Then there is the fact I work for a toy company. Then there is the stuff I buy. It all adds up. Having lived in the same home now for five years, we have lots of stuff. I am living in clutter. It is time to cut the clutter and to live with the stuff I love, will use and need.

Join me this month as I cut the clutter and live with the stuff we love. I was at an event two weeks ago and one of the speakers mentioned, if you live in clutter, you do not get much done. I believe this to be true. So where do we start? I am starting with my closet.

How do closets get so overcrowded?  We start with just a few basic pieces, and then as we get older and head out into the work world, we seem to need more to wear.  And if we have a walk-in closet and not enough clothes to fill it . . . we need to buy more!

We even hold on to clothes that no longer fit because we’re hoping they will fit again one day.  Clothes that need repairs because at some point we’ll get them to the tailor.  Or clothes we don’t really like because we spent so much money on them.

It’s time get realistic about the clutter we have in our closets and start getting back to basics.  You only need ten essential pieces, yes ten!  Here’s how to start paring down and decluttering:

closet purge

Step No. 1: Confront your closet head-on. Do you even know what’s in there? First, empty your closet of everything. If you do not love it. If it does not serve a purpose, it will not go back in your closet. Start by grabbing everything you love. If you hesitate, for even a second, you don’t love it, and you need to ditch it.

Let’s start with the clothes. Place the clothes you love on your bed and arrange them by type: jeans, pants, sweaters, etc.

Step No. 2: Take a look at everything on the bed to see if a pattern emerges. Is everything black? Or maybe you chose clothes that only have comfortable fabrics. Did you select only your best-fitting jeans? Did you leave all the dresses in the closet?

By looking at the clothes you love all together, you will start to see a pattern. Maybe you like striped tops. Or only love pants and jeans. Next time you’re thinking about buying something new, think back to this moment and about how the new piece would fit in with your favorite items?

See that loved dress you haven’t worn in two years? Is it just taking up space? Can it find a new home?

Step No. 3: Put together outfits. How many different ways can you mix your key items to create different looks? Lay out as many outfits as possible.  Next, take photos of your outfits so when you don’t know what to wear, you can refer to the outfits you already put together.

Step No. 4: Edit. Are there some favorite pieces that you weren’t able to make outfits with? Take them out of the pile. Are there things that do not fit? Are you saving them for when you lose weight? Get rid of them. Clothes you have not worn at least once in the last year need to go.

Step No. 5: Pick and choose. Are there any essential pieces missing? What are your needs?

Step No. 6: Fix or donate. If an item doesn’t fit right or needs a replacement button, take it to the tailor.  If you don’t want to spend the money, get rid of the piece. Don’t let it stay around, taking up space if you can’t wear it.

Step No. 7: With everything out of your closet, store away non-seasonal items. Vacuum sealed bags work great for this. You want to create space.

Step No. 8: Think about where you are placing your loved items.  Which were the key pieces you used to create the most outfits? Put them back in your closet or on shelves where they are visible and accessible. Make it a joy to go into your closet.

organized closet

This is just the first step to a clutter free life. Let’s cut the clutter in our homes and lives this month. Join me on the journey and let’s see where this takes us.

 

 

 

How to Make a Profit at Thrift Store Shopping

 

 

Hello Common Cents Mom readers, from Sneaky Pete the Savvy Thrifter. I’m writing this guest post, reacting to the article on Torontonicity, Secrets of a Thrift Store Technology Picker, which I thought was pretty clever. But I also reckoned I might share with you some of my own tactics for Thrift Store picking and especially the game we call Pick-n-Flip.

Pick-n-Flip – Participants shop local and then sell items online. We play over an entire shopping season (three months). No I’ve never won. And I have a half dozen friends who play the game with me, and they’ve never won either (you have to end the season in profit). Its a tricky thing and unless you watch yourself you could become a ‘hoarder’ when your merchandise doesn’t ‘flip’.  The secret to being a successful picker is to have buyers waiting in the wings, or at the very least a physical store shelf to properly display items for resale. If you don’t have that you’ll probably destined to become a Hoarder.

Meyersberg Flea Market near Campbellford Ontario – 26 Feb 2017

Thrift stores and flea markets are poor places to prospect for bargains compared to estate auctions, yard sales and community rummage sales. The last three venues are essentially clearing houses, and this is where most pickers find impossible deals and maximum profits reselling rare merchandise.

But let’s remember, auctions and yard sales are special occasions; they are time-sensitive events. Finding and buying anything at one of these big sales usually requires traveling some distance and waiting in crowds before bidding in live auctions. Thrift stores by contrast are everywhere, and easily accessible. and you can buy whatever you find right on the spot.

The charity thrift store model essentially resells donations from the public, . These stores are not charities; they’re for-profit businesses which donate a portion of the proceeds to charity. Rural community thrift bazaars like the Meyersberg Flea Market pictured above are better places for finding bargains as locals really don’t know international prices or even the market prices set in neighbouring urban centers.

the iron mongery behind the counter of neighbourhood thrift store Homemade iron ‘broad axe’ for sale,, only $79 including the Hickory wood handle!

For example, when visiting the Meyersberg flea market be sure and visit the iron monger who sells handmade iron broad axes for what Sneaky Pete perceives as a mere fraction of their true market value. What cottager wouldn’t want a homemade iron implement like the one seen above on hand to split kindling and log wood for their fireplace? You just don’t see this stuff, or these prices here in Toronto.

Salvation Army and Value Village are two of the biggest chains here in the city, but there are many smaller shops, Like even Black Market Vintage on Queen, seen below. has deals that frugal moms might miss while knowledgeable Fashionistas can spot vintage North American classic clothes that are still cheap and plentiful here, but hard-to-find and expensive overseas.

Black Market Vintage on Queen – photo courtesy of BlogTO

When Picking for Profits in Toronto Area Thrift Stores…

Experienced shoppers who do set about ‘picking’ through Value Village and Salvation Thrift Store shelves might be tempted to peruse the clothing section looking for vintage leather jackets, flight suits, satin shirts, and handmade Alligator skin shoes.  Or they might wander the kitchenware aisle hunting collectible coffee mugs, Jadeite cups and saucers, and real silverware. While there, experienced pickers would be surely scour the bottom shelves looking for unusual shaped chocolate molds.

A quick search for rare books usually yields something in every store in Toronto. Sneaky Pete seeks out original graphic novels, and ‘official’ corporate colouring books and Big Little books.  Near the book section there’s generally two racks of paintings and commercial art; like this vintage Lucas film poster art which sold for $60 new and is available here in Value Village today for ten bucks. That’s a steal.

Star Wars storm trooper Lucas Film poster 1983 Star Wars storm trooper Lucas Film poster 1983 for sale in Value Village for $9.99

Finding such obvious bargains at these places often requires perfect timing because every picker worth her salt knows that Star Wars stuff sells – but what else is there? How else can you know what’s in demand before you buy the item in a thrift store?

Kijiji ‘Wanted’ Lists can become Daily (or Hourly) Shopping Lists

Why not take a minute and explore online the many ‘Wanted Lists’ published online everyday? The Toronto Wanted section of Kijiji,and on Craigslist and other smaller (less frequently updated) ‘swap and shop’ type sites – check the lists once or twice a day. Desperate people on these pages are always looking to replace proprietary phone chargers and battery backs and power adapters etc. Lori mentioned how Standard Telecom buys and sells office phone networks, and to keep a particular eye out for the Nortel 9417CW.

battery chargers for technology Value Village thrift store tech picker

And this brings Sneaky Pete to reflect on the tenacious Thrift Store price tags (also mentioned in Torontonicity’s Thrift Store picking article). How does one remove those pesky stickers off painted surfaces, and especially plastics.without damaging the finish?

Lorpon Labels, sticker adhesives, glue on labels strengths, Canada

The tiny square paper price tag labels on items for sale in Toronto area thrift stores are often welded right onto the objects with the objective of deterring label swapping and other fraudulent activities that happen in these stores. View the entire adhesives cheat sheet from the product label printing experts at Lorpon Labels to understand which combination of oils and soaps to use (Sneaky Pete uses peanut butter) to remove those pesky price tags off plastics and other smooth surfaces

computer chips - price tag

A2ZPC computer repair store in Toronto buys and sells used computer chips

There’s about eight bucks worth of rare earth metals (including gold) in a desktop computer, and even more in a laptop computer.

The good people at KPDI digital solutions agency in Toronto accept e-waste from thrift stores which scrap for charity and Sneaky Pete sometimes helps out in the fun.
Tech scrapper at KPDI com digutal solutions agencyTech scrapper at KPDI com digital solutions agency
Broken computers and laptops are not ‘junk’ until they have been stripped of the chips and capacitors. When stripping computers search for monolithic capacitors, rhodium and  Tantalum capacitors. Its common for these chips to have silver conductors, but more importantly the rare earth metals inside these cylindrical components are worth more than gold. Do not open them up to look, as they are toxic and worse the metal will oxidize quickly and be worth less money.

Polaroid camera for sale in Thrift Store, image courtesy of Torontonicity Polaroid camera for sale in Thrift Store, image courtesy of Torontonicity
Old Polaroid cameras are almost always worth the asking price if they still work. See here this definitive article on buying selling Polaroid cameras by Dan Finnen shows this camera and how to appraise its value with links to the (his) Polaroid camera section on eBay.

Lastly – Ask to see what’s not on display, or behind the counter

Sometimes the managers of donation based thrift stores have problem pieces which they don’t know how to display or price properly. They may be convinced to sell these difficult objects to you for whatever price you divine assuming you can prove some market price index using eBay or another online catalog. Even more fruitful is to find items with problems you can solve at home – repairs, missing components, and TLC.  What”s hidden behind the counter, and not on display is sure to be more interesting than the rest of the rummage.

10 Uses for Baking Soda in Your Home

Bakingdoda1

You may find baking soda listed in the ingredients of many of your favorite recipes, but did you know that it also has some great household uses? We love using our Arm & Hammer Baking soda every day here at home. There are so many uses for it!  Here are 10 great ways you can use it save time and energy when cleaning around the home.

Microwave Cleaner:

If you’ve got a grungy microwave, clean it quickly and easily by adding a couple of teaspoons of baking soda to a bowl of water and place in microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, depending how dirty it is. When the microwave stops, keep the door closed to give the steam from the heated bowl of water a few minutes to work. Remove the bowl and take a moist, warm cloth and wipe the inside of the microwave. The grime should wipe off easily.

Grease Buildup On Range Hood:

If you have grease buildup inside the hood, you can easily clean it with baking soda. First, make a thick paste with baking soda and water. Take a cloth and wet it with hot, soapy water; then scrub the grease with the paste in a circular motion. Wipe off as much of the grease as possible then rinse the cloth in a bucket of hot, soapy water. Reapply the paste and repeat until most of the grease is removed. Once the majority of the buildup is gone, wash the hood with hot, soapy water to remove any traces of the paste.

Dirty Stovetop:

Sprinkle baking soda around the stovetop generously then spray hot water (boiling if possible) over top, enough to dissolve the baking soda without making it run all over. Let it soak for about 30 minutes then scrub it clean.

Smelly Dishwasher:

Freshen your dishwasher up by sprinkling a layer of baking soda on the bottom. Close it and let it sit overnight. The next day use a damp sponge to scrub the baking soda into the inside walls and door of the dishwasher. Remove most of the powder then run a full cycle on empty to remove any last traces.

Mattress Freshener:

When stripping the beds down to wash the sheets; freshen up the mattress by sprinkling a thin layer of baking soda on top of it. Let it sit for a few hours then vacuum the powder up.

Trash Can Deodorizer:

Mix 4 teaspoons Eucalyptus oil with 4 cups of baking soda. Store it in an airtight plastic container. After cleaning the trash can, sprinkle a handful of the mixture inside the dry can.

Blood Stain Remover (Laundry):

Blood stains, if fresh, can be removed by washing in cold water. If the stains are hard and dry, soak for a few hours in cold water with a pinch of baking soda. Wash the clothes in cold water. Never wash blood stains in hot water.

Slippery Sidewalks:

Generously sprinkle baking soda on icy patches on walkways. It’s friendly to your sidewalk than salt and makes a slip free zone.

Curling Iron Cleaner:

Clean the gunk off of your curling iron by scrubbing it with a paste made from baking soda and water, then wiping clean with a damp cloth. Be sure the curling iron is turned off and unplugged first.

Crayon On Walls:

Remove crayon scribbles from walls with a paste of baking soda and water then use it to gently scrub the marks. You could also just sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and rub clean.

*I am a brand ambassador with Church and Dwight, however, we have used baking soda in our house for many years. I was taught most of these tricks by my mom and grandmother. As always my thoughts are my own. 

5 Budget Friendly Date Night Ideas

budget friendly date ideas

Remember when you first met your sweetheart and started dating? You probably looked forward to going out on date night. Making plans and going out was so easy. Just find something fun to do and do it. There are many budget-friendly date night ideas.

Life can get busy and distract you.  You may have started feeling a little disconnected from each other. Some quality time, just the two of you is exactly what you need to reconnect. And make even more great memories together!

It’s time to enjoy date night again. Whether it’s a special occasion or just an average night, hire a babysitter or drop the kids off with friends or family and get out for a kid-free night.

Your date doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some great ideas for an inexpensive budget friendly afternoon or evening out:

1. Star Gazing

Star gazing is a perfect cheap date. Pack a picnic and a bottle of wine, head out to an open field where you can clearly see the stars, and lie back on a blanket to marvel at the universe together. This is a great way to reconnect and just spend some time talking to each other.

2. Groupon and Living Social deals.

You can find many great deals for date night adventures on Groupon and Living Social. You can score discounts on weekend getaways, restaurants, wine tastings and more. The deals are typically a 30-60% discount, and you can find deals for things you would not have done otherwise because of the cost. Here in Toronto I have loved using these to get a great night out.

3. Museums.

Many museums and other tourist attractions are free. Some offer special events or exhibits. Usually, we tend not to be “tourists” in the city we live, but that means we’re missing out on the history and fun of our local area. Find a great museum exhibit or site to take in for the evening. Check the museum schedule, they often include a time when they are free to the public.

Here in Toronto, you can take advantage of the Sun Life Financial Museum and Art Pass that is available at the Toronto Library.

bike-ride-1871378_960_720

 

 

4. Rent Bicycles.

If you don’t have a bike, look for someplace that offers bike rentals then head out to the nature trails or parks in your area. This is a great way to see your community in a new way. Pack a picnic and enjoy an afternoon in the sun. Or go for night ride and enjoy some star gazing.

5. Go for a walk downtown.

A weekend night is the perfect time to just walk and window shop. There is so much to see and people watching is always fun. Get creative and make up stories about the interesting people you see while grabbing dessert in your favorite cafe. You’ll share a lot of laughs and enjoy some quality time together.

Spending quality time with your sweetheart doesn’t have to be expensive. What other ideas can you think of to enjoy date night on a budget?

How to Eat Fresher and Cheaper on a Budget

How to Eat Fresher and Cheaper on a Budget

If one of your New Years’ resolutions is to cut your grocery costs while buying fresher groceries,  it can be done.  There are a number of strategies that you can use to save money every time you grocery shop.  I love heading to my local FRESHCO where I can definitely get fresher and cheaper on a budget.

 

Meal Plan

When you plan your meals before you head to the grocery store you know what you need.  You know what your meals will be for the week. You are not simply scanning the aisles for what looks good.

 

Make a List

Research has shown that if you can avoid impulse buying you can save at least 20% on your weekly grocery bill. Always shop with a list. I use an app to keep my list handy.

FRESCHO shopping trip

Eat Your Veggies and Fruit too

You can save 25% by adding more fruits and vegetables to your cart. You can have a healthier and fresher grocery list simply by choosing fresh for snacks and the main event. Not only do you save money, but you are getting healthier as well! You have to love that!

FRESHCO flyer

Shop Seasonal and Sales

If you know me, you know I love to shop seasonally and love a great deal.  Have a freezer? Stock up on meat when it is on sale. I love checking my local flyers on a flyer app. You can always find the FRESHCO weekly flyer here as well. It lets me know what sales I can find that week, as I meal plan I am often referring to this list.  Fruit and vegetables in season are always cheaper.  Choose fruit that is ripe and ready to eat and some that needs to ripen in a few days. That way there will be no waste.

 

When you stock up on staples like rice, beans, pasta you have them on hand to make great healthy meals. Watch for these when they are on sale as they do have a longer shelf life.

photo-2017-01-08-5-10-30-pm

Shop the Perimeter

 

I love shopping at my local FRESHCO. I walk into the produce section and from there I do 80 percent of my shopping around the perimeter. That is where I pick up my fruit, my vegetables, my meat, my eggs, my cheese, the basics for a healthy meal. When I shop the inside aisles I am looking for healthy staples like beans, nuts, and healthy whole grains. I am also looking for my spices.

Let me know, how you save at the grocery store.

 

*This post has been sponsored by FRESHCO, as always the opinions are my own.

 

5 Tips to Help New Moms Cope #ChurchandDwight

Do you remember what being a new mom was like? Life was a bit overwhelming. I can remember when I brought my child home, there was much to learn. Between trying to bond, trying to get my child to take to the breast I was a mom simply trying to cope.  During this time of learning, growing, bonding and coping there are some simple things you can do.  There are also great products that will ease this time of transition. Here are five tips along with their products that will help you cope.

img_1322

Stop Worrying About Messes

Spills, stains and messes are status quo with a little one on your hands. The hardest part of tackling the laundry is finding a detergent that’s right for baby’s clothes.

The makers of OxiClean™ stain removers have developed a 100 per cent dye and chlorine-free Multi-Purpose Baby Stain Remover Powder and Spray to be gentle on your baby’s washables while being tough on your messiest baby stains. You can pre-treat stains with the Spray and use Powder in every load to make your baby’s cloth diapers, bedding, clothes and accessories cleaner, whiter and brighter.

Schedule Some Down Time

Every day, do your best to carve out some time that’s just for you. Between feeding, changing diapers and lulling your baby to sleep, you may find yourself emotionally and physically exhausted. When your baby is sleeping or enjoying time in the swing or bouncy seat, give yourself a face mask, read a magazine or paint your nails. Even just 10 minutes for yourself will make a huge difference.  I found that even 3 minutes for myself; but more often throughout the day, really helped.  I would take my 3 minutes (when my baby was safe), I’d close my eyes, and breathe.

Gassy Tummy? No Problem!

If your baby is fussy for no apparent reason, it may be a gassy tummy. It’s widely accepted that keeping a baby upright for feedings, burping them often or massaging their belly may help to relieve gas pains. When your child has an uncomfortable gas pain that you cannot seem to soothe, try giving them infant gas relief drops like Ovol® Drops. They provide gentle and fast relief of colic, bloating or gas by helping to break up gas bubbles to relieve discomfort caused by trapped gas – making it easier for a baby to pass gas and burp at feeding time. The pleasant mint-flavoured drops make them easy for parents to administer.

Get Plenty of Rest

A shift in your sleeping pattern, or overall lack of sleep, can be one of the hardest parts of being a new mom. If your baby likes to nap in the morning, nap with them! House chores will always be there so stop using this time to try and get ahead. Even if you’re not actually sleeping, the downtime will give you a boost.  Before you know it you’ll have gone through this initial stage … cherish every moment (good and bad) because one day you’ll miss it.

Soothe Teething Gums

Crying, drooling and tears can make teething quite the ordeal for both moms and babies. Gently rubbing your baby’s gums can help to ease your baby’s discomfort as does a chilled washcloth or teething ring. If your baby is especially cranky, try using an homeopathic remedy like Baby Orajel™ Naturals Nighttime Teething Gel. With the soothing power of Chamomilla (commonly known as Chamomile) and passion flower, this product helps to relieve teething pain and discomfort and calm the restlessness that comes from teething so that your baby can get a good night’s rest.

Help Combat Dryness

Many women experience vaginal dryness after childbirth which can make intercourse uncomfortable for them. To help provide relief from vaginal dryness, try using Trojan™ H2O Water-Based Liquid Lubricants. These two water-based lubricants are made with hyaluronic moisturizer (which locks in up to 1000x more moisture and hydration), allowing you to enjoy comfortable intimate moments with your partner.

Some bonus tips:

To help make the transition easier, try:

  • enlisting helpers (friends, family) that can help around the house, go shopping, or even watch the baby while you nap
  • if you know your due date, perhaps make several crockpots of a variety of meals and freeze them so you can use during the first few weeks after bringing baby home
  • read, read, read …. read up on everything and anything you don’t know about baby
  • locate a new mother’s group to potentially attend … it’s the perfect way to keep social

 

How to Find a Good Dentist in Toronto

I am going to admit something here until recently I had not been to a dentist in years. As I age, I realized my mouth needed care. I had put dental care for too long. I started to look for a dentist back in December after a conversation with friends.  It was time to find a good dentist here in Toronto.  So how do you find a good dentist in Toronto? How do you know when you have found one? I had several concerns. There were things I was looking for.

I made a list of my must haves and started researching dentists my area. My search ended with me finding a great dentist in Dr Natile Archer D.D.S. at the Runnymede Dental Centre which is part of Archer Dental Runnymede.  It is located inside the Runnymede Health Centre at 625 Runnymede Rd.How did I choose Dr. Archer?

img_2110

I had wanted a dentist and staff that were patient and answered every question I had. I also wanted clear explanations and options for treatment. I wanted a dentist that was affordable, and I wanted a local dentist with a great reputation. I found that at the Archer Dental.

So how can you find a great dentist in the city?

  • Get referrals from friends; this is exactly what I did
  • Read online reviews
  • Ask questions
  • Use the Ontario Dental Association Find a Dentist Service to find a dentist near where you live. Type in your postal code and they give you five local dentists. Archer Dental is close to home for me.

img_2120

After my first visit to Dr. Archer’s office, I knew I had found the right dentist for me. Archer Dental have two offices here in Toronto, one at Bloor and Sherbourne in Rosedale called Archer Dental Rosedale and the other inside the Runnymede Healthcare Centre on Runnymede. I love that we have such a great dentist office right here in the Junction. I walk to my Dr. Archer’s office.

2016-10-11_1029

How do you know you found a great dentist? Look for quality care. When I visited Archer Dental for the first time, I was warmly greeted by staff that showed they cared. While I was in the chair,  my dental hygienist Krista saw my nerves and was amazing with me. I have never met a dental staff so ready to answer questions in an environment that calms you.

2016-10-11_1030

Because I put off dental care for way too long, I now need multiple appointments to get the work done that is needed. Never put off dental care if you can help it! The one good thing I have found a great dentist and the staff at the office are amazing as well.  I have a compacted mouth so even cleaning my teeth is a chore which is why I am thankful I have Krista getting that job done. I will then need a few appointments with Dr. Archer for a couple of issues! I know I am in good hands.  I love how my mouth is changing, and starting to look better. I will be sharing my dental transformation in the weeks ahead here on my blog and on my social channels.

Now if you live in Rosedale or the Junction, I highly recommend a visit to Archer Dental. I can’t wait for my next appointment later in the week at the Runnymede location in the Junction.

Decorating For Fall with Hallmark

It is another beautiful day here in Toronto. I am so thankful that we have been blessed with some warm days as Thanksgiving. It has given me the incentive to get ready for Thanksgiving. One of my traditions is changing out the decor accents every season. Do you do this? Thanks to thrifting and my love of Hallmark, I have items stored for every season. I decorate for Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Spring, Canada Day, and Summer. I may be a bit of a nut that way, but I can remember my mother doing the same. It made things seem ready for the season right at home.

Fall is my favourite season and it is so nice to bring in some of those fall colours. It is amazing to have the oranges, golds and reds in the house! With Thanksgiving happening this weekend I also love what Hallmark Canada sent the team this year to help us celebrate the holiday.  Just take a peek at a few of these quality items that I will be able to use year after year. That is the great thing about Hallmark!

hallmark-thanksgiving

My daughters favourite piece is this large fabric pumpkin. Don’t you just love the herringbone fabric! Mine was this Medium Candle holder. Did you notice Hallmark’s wax-like votive candles. They are flameless, no flames to worry about.  I love it next to my fireplace.

img_2204

We were also sent a beautiful autumn oven mitt and these adorable  Thanksgiving inspired tea towels. I can not wait to use them for our Thanksgiving meal! Tell me do you change up the decor at your house.

hallmark tea towels

Here is how I change up the decor.

  1. I check out what I have stored away in the store room; I have fake flowers and decor for every season. I pull out my favourites.
  2. I add a piece or two each season that way it does not break the bank.

For us, doing these two things allow us to enjoy the beautiful decor of the season. Do change things up in your home each season? Let me know in the comments if you do. These little changes in our home are one of the things I am thankful for. What are you thankful right now?