It’s a Hallmark Christmas and a #Giveaway

It is that time of the year that we are all busy getting ready for Christmas. The decor gets pulled out, the house gets decorated, hot chocolate is sipped, and our favourite Hallmark movies get watched. We are definitely a Hallmark house. From our decor (thanks to the team at Hallmark Canada) to what’s on tv you would think you have entered a Hallmark home at our place.

As a teen I started collecting Hallmark Christmas ornaments. We have always been a Hallmark family, even my grandparent’s tree had Hallmark ornaments. I am so glad to keep this tradition alive.  I have been blessed to work with Hallmark Canada over the past few years and they have sent a box this year that was filled with beautiful decor items, cards, gift bags, gift items and of course a few ornaments.

I went through the box while watching a Hallmark Christmas movie and  the W Network. Did you know they have been showing many a Hallmark movie this month.  Since I have been in recovery mode after a fall late last month I have had the time to snuggle on the sofa and watch some of my favourites. Have you been watching?

The box itself was filled to the brim with a great selection of items and I wanted to share a few of my favourites.

There is the 2017 Dated Frame, which I thought would be a perfect gift for grandparents. I love giving the gift of photos.

There was lots in the box for the wine lover. When I saw the Mover and Shaker Martini glass, I thought of a girl friend who is a definite mover and shaker every day. It’s available for $19.95. There are also great bottle tags and wine charms that would be a divine add on.

They also sent this beautiful copper coloured retangular metal tray, a 3×4 Pillar candle, mixed rosehips, and adorable poinsetta lights. I have combined these for a beautiful centerpiece for my coffee table.

To add to my snowman collection for this year there is the “Stockings Hung with Care” Snowman and pup. It is only $17.95 when you purchase 3 cards. It is the 14th in the snowman series. So far I have 5 from the series. Candy canes light the way in sync to the tune of Jolly Old St. Nicholas.

Two of my favourtie things in the box this year were the Mixed Media Santa and the Mixed Media Santa in a Sleigh. Both are great decor pieces that would look perfect on the mantle.

Here on my blog, one reader can win the Mixed Media Santa this holiday season.

*Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only.

**Giveaway ends December 15th at 12:00 am.

 

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Worry Eaters Review – A Safe Way to Express Emotions

Sometimes it is easy to dimiss our children’s concerns and worries. Whether they are worrying about monsters under the bed or the abilty to make friends each worry and concern does impact them. We have a worrier in our midst and one of the toys she is getting this year will help with her worries. It is called a Worry Eater. Perhaps if you are a parent of a child with anxiety and or worries you may want to check them out.

Worry Eaters are plushies with a zippered mouth that can eat thier worries. This allows a child to get thier worries out in a safe manner and helps to omfort them. What is the thought behind the worry eaters? The worry eater helps the child “talk” things out. If you ever had a child with an anxious heart you understand that getting them to verbalize things can be difficult. All children have to do is print out thier worry on a piece of paper and place it inside the worry eater. Zip the mouth shut and the worry eater goes to work.

Worry Eaters may not solve the issue but they do start a dailouge and that is a wonderful thing. As a mom with a child who had many concerns I wish I had this toy when she was little and I can see its use.

Worry Eaters come in two sizes small and large and there are several characters to choose from, We received Flint who looks like a pirate for this review. They are reccomended for age 3, my personal recommedation would be for the 5-7 age range as that is geared for kids that can print and do things in secret if neccessecary. Overall a great Christmas plushie idea for kids and parents to help them communicate.

Let’s Talk Practical Stocking Stuffers for the Family #ChurchandDwight

It’s almost crunch time when it comes to Christmas shopping! Yesterday, I was out shopping for the stocking stuffers for our family. I know traditions are different in every family some go expensive, some go for chocolate and candies and some go practical. We tend to go practical in our family with a few food items along the way. I grew up this way practical stocking stuffers have always been part of the package along with at least one clementine and some chocolate.

Typically in ours you will find clementines, chocolate, always a new tootbrush, toothpaste, personal care items, socks and if for a kid there is always a small toy. So we are a family that thinks practically but we like many others have a sweet tooth and a craving for a bit of fun.

What about your family?

My friends at Church & Dwight have some suggestions for you. They are all very practical for those of you who are like my family and love to have a few practical items amongst what you give.

It happens every year! Just when you think you’ve wrapped up your holiday gift list without going over-budget, you realize that there are still stockings to stuff. Not to worry, we have you covered. Here’s a list of some of the best stocking stuffer ideas out there that are both practical and affordable.

Gifts for Her

Batiste™ Dry Shampoo Lotus: With hints of Apple, Wildberry, Grape and Citrus, Batiste™ Dry Shampoo Lotus instantly refreshes your hair between washes by absorbing excess oil from the roots, leaving hair smelling fresh and clean for every and any occasion.

Nair Nourish Crème for Legs & Body with Grape Seed Oil & Nair Nourish Crème for Face with Grape Seed Oil: Nair™ Nourish™ Crème with grape seed oil and antioxidant rich Resveratrol provides a luxurious at-home hair removal experience that nourishes the skin. It’s like a spa treatment in the comfort of your own home.

Gifts for Kids

 

Orajel Spider-Man and My Little Pony Anticavity Fluoride Toothpaste and Manual Toothbrush: The perfect stocking stuffer for your children, and their smile! Thanks to these beloved classic characters brushing has never been more enjoyable for kids, and healthy holiday presents have never been easier!

 

Gifts for Adults

Vitafusion Men’s and Women’s Complete Multivitamins: Be at your best through an exhausting month. Vitafusion™ Multivitamins will help ensure your body has the vitamins and nutrients it needs for a happy holiday season and a successful year ahead.

Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Bright & Strong Toothpaste and Battery-Powered Brush: This is the only toothpaste with Baking Soda, Fluoride and Liquid Calcium. The brush does more than just whiten – it removes 2X more plaque than a manual toothbrush. Use them together and everyone will want to know the secret behind your gorgeous smile.

Diovol Tablets: Enjoy and indulge this season. And stop heartburn and indigestion in its tracks! Diovol™ Tablets provide effective and quick relief of occasional digestive problems.

Ovol Regular Strength Chewables: Too much bubbly this season? Keep these chewables close by to help avoid unwanted hiccups at a holiday party.

RUB A535 Anti-Inflammatory Cream: Shovelling, sledding, and skating can be harsh on your muscles and joints. RUB A535™ Extra Strength Heat Cream is effective at soothing stiff, sore muscles, and sprains.

Trojan Chain Reaction Lubricant: Ignite your intense passion and watch sparks fly with delightfully unpredictable changing sensations. Trojan™ Chain Reaction™ Lubricant allows you to reach new heights of pleasure with a special blend of intensifiers that keep releasing a variety of sensations during use, providing a unique experience every time. Get ready to work up a sweat unlike any other because with this long-lasting lubricant, you won’t want it to end!

Gifts for the Whole Family – Aged 6 and Up

Gravol Ginger Lozenges: Don’t let a bumpy flight or long car ride ruin your holiday travel this season. Pack Gravol™ Ginger Lozenges to prevent nausea and vomiting.

OxiClean Stain Fighters & Arm & Hammer Baking Soda NOTE:

The holidays can be a messy time of year, so share your secret of keeping things fresh, clean and stain-free with OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover and Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda

A Practical Stocking Stuffer Giveaway

And, today may be your lucky day. From vanity cabinet must-haves to at-home beauty treatments, jump on the chance to win a holiday stocking filled with tried-and-true products valued at $150 to help cut down your holiday shopping list.

In the comments let me know and don’t forget to enter using the Rafflecopter entry.

What are your favourite stocking stuffer products listed here?

*this post is sponsored by Church and Dwight and I do receive product and cash for my posts as part of an ambassadorship.

**giveaway is open to Canadian residents only.

***giveaway ends December 20th, 2017

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The Common Cents Mystery Box Christmas Giveaway

 

It is that time of the year. We are six weeks away from Christmas Eve.  If you are a planner like me you are already getting ready. I have already started a list and have checked it more than twice. This year I will be hosting a few giveaways here on the blog but I wanted to start with a very special one.

Have you ever seen a mystery box unboxing on YouTube? My daughter is addicted to them. Really, she is.

 

I am giving away a Common Cents Mystery box. What is in it?

If you know me you know I have a few loves so does my teen. I will say the retail value of the box is over $150.00 retail Canadian.

Need more clues?

It includes brands we love.

Some of the things it may include:

Essential oils, tea, chocolate, puzzles, beauty items, toys. Does this get you thinking?

We promise no lint, no broken items.  All will be usable.

It includes things for kids and adults.

We will gladly send this mystery box anywhere in the United States or Canada. Our only ask is that you share the opening of the box on your own social channel.

 

  • Open to Canadian and US Residents over the age of 18.

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The College Care Package and Advice from Mom #ChurchandDwight

It is hard to believe I have a high school graduate in the house. Time flies. Some days I wish we were starting elementary school but were are not. There are new realities when you have one heading off to college. There are important conversations to have, care packages to prepare, lessons to be taught. Will she remember every thing I have been talking about? I think not. That is what care packages and phone calls are for right?

No matter how old your kids get, you’ll never stop being their mom. So naturally, when that bittersweet milestone finally becomes a reality like it is in this house you want them prepared and you want to make sure they are ready with all the advice we can give.

Who’s kidding whom? They likely don’t want our advice so keep it short and sweet. Talk about life and the skills they need to get through the day.

First up, the talk

 One of the biggest challenges as a parent is how to talk to your kids about safe sex. At any age this is a hard conversation! The harsh reality is that kids are having sex, yet not properly protecting themselves. [1]In fact, a study found that almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of post-secondary students across the country had a sexual encounter within the past year. Furthermore, 72 per cent of students engaged in intercourse during their last sexual encounter, yet only about half (51 per cent) reported using a condom. Those are harsh stats, as a mom of a kid who is at the age where she is sexually active,this freaks me out. For a couple of years now, I have made sure she has had access to condoms.

Tip: If you have a child heading off to school, buy condoms for them and pack them in their suitcase.  Trojan™ condoms are the number one condom choice of Canadians for protection. Make sure they understand the risks. Yes, they have been taught them is school but a gentle reminder from mom may be something they need.

 Laundry must get done

 Stain removers, sorting, and scooping are not for students. My teen has hated doing laundry. They’re just looking for an easy solution to the challenge ahead – no clean socks or underwear and they’ve got a date in a few hours. Send them off to school with a container of the new Arm & Hammer™ Plus OxiClean™ 3-In-1 Power Paks. This all-in-one detergent tackles tough stains, doesn’t require any measuring or scooping and is student-budget friendly. If you’re lucky, it may also mean you’re not greeted with a load of dirty laundry every time your kid comes home to visit. Talk about a win for mom!

 Tip: Don’t be surprised when you receive a call or text saying, “Mom, how do I sort my laundry?” Or “Where do I find the washing instructions?” To help make laundry easier (and prevent shrinking t-shirts and colour bleed disasters at the same time!), educate them on the proper laundry symbols. In fact, you can download a fun laundry symbols postcard from Arm & Hammer Laundry here that lists the most common symbols and what they mean.

 Sometimes, kids know best! 

 Just because you’re the one who’s prepping the kids for back-to-school, doesn’t mean they can’t teach you a cool thing or two – beauty hacks are no exception! One must-have item that’s as just as popular amongst moms as with students is Batiste Dry Shampoo. My daughter loves this stuff! It is the world’s #1 dry shampoo* for a reason – it instantly refreshes your hair between washes, no water required.  It works by absorbing excess oil from the roots leaving hair looking clean and fresh.  So, whether you’re running late or just looking for an instant refresh, new Batiste Dry Shampoo Heavenly Volume is a saving grace as it has the additional benefit of transforming hair with gorgeous, touchable volume and bounce. This is one item you won’t forget anytime you’re in a pinch and who knows, you might even find yourself sneaking into her bag to borrow some when you’re out! Trust me I borrow this all the time right now. I may even have to buy one just to have at home.

Know of someone heading off to college/university this Fall? Help make sure they’re equipped with this student care package giveaway.

*Batiste is sold in over 50 countries

*GIVEAWAY*

  • OxiClean Colour Shield Laundry Stain Remover
  • Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean Power Paks in Fresh Scent
  • Trojan XOXO Condoms and Bareskin Lubricated Condoms
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo Heavenly Volume

 

Approximate. retail value $75

 Let me know are you and your kids ready for back to school? and what advice would you give a teen headed off to college?

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[1] 2013 survey among university students age 18-24, conducted by Trojan™ and the Sex Information Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN)

Win the Royal Treatment at Medieval Times in Toronto

Ever wanted to step back in time, to the days of knights, princesses, and kingdoms?  At Medieval Times here in Toronto, you can do just that. My daughter and I have been a few times now and enjoy the show every time we go. It is a great family fun night out and we love taking guests along with us. Our first time there we were with 20 friends, our second we took along another friend and on our most recent visit we had friends with us again.  It really is like stepping back in time for a night. From the moment you enter the castle, you are taken back in time. As a family we have celebrated birthdays, Mother’s Day and brought her guest

As you enter the castle you find out which knight will be yours for the evening, and can check out the bar, souvenirs, and even the see the horses. We have cheered for the green knight, the black and white knight and the blue knight.  In the pre show, my daughter was even knighted on one of our recent visits.

You will then be called into the castle where you will be treated to a four-course dinner that you eat with your hands, and a show of jousting and amazing horsemanship. The show is full of fun and pyrotechnics. The entire family will enjoy it.

 

Since we love getting to the castle at least once a year, this summer they are offering a SUMMER SAVINGS special rate of: Adults $42.95 & Kids $32.95 (Save up to $23 per person) by using the Code: SMR17 at time of purchase (cannot be combined with other offers or group rates). We always suggest checking out any specials the castle may be having no matter what the season.

Now to share some good news, one of my readers will win four tickets to Medieval Times including the Kings Royalty Upgrade from our friends at Medieval Times.

What does that include?

  • Priority Castle Access
  • VIP First Row All Section Seating or Second Row in Center Section
  • Priority Seating Access
  • Knight’s Rally Towel
  • Cheering Banner
  • VIP Lanyard
  • Framed Entrance Group Photo

If you are going this summer, you can always add this to your ticket for $22. Now to enter for the giveaway!

Please leave me a comment letting me know what you would enjoy and who you would take.

*Open to Canadian residents only who can attend the Toronto Medieval Times Castle. 
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Oh Canada! Arm and Hammer Celebrates Canada’s 150th #ChurchandDwight

Ever since I was a little girl there has always been a box of Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda in my house. There was one in my grandmother’s house as well and if memory serves me well it was even in my great grandmother’s house. Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda  is something that gets used every day in my house. From cleaning and cooking we use it every day.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with that little orange box in your fridge, freezer or baking cupboard. Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda has been helping generations of Canadian families cook and clean for decades.

Over the years, the team at Arm & Hammer – with the help of their loyal fans – have come up with more than 100 uses for baking soda and I’m sharing some of my favourites here.

·         Baby, baby, baby.  Baking soda is an all-natural cleaning product that’s gentle enough for even the tiniest baby clothes, yet effective enough for big baby odours. It can be used to treat spills on carpets, clean equipment and toys, deodorize baby bottles and diaper pails as well as freshen stuffed animals to give them a new life.

·         Have you tried it in the bathroom? It helps remove the dirt and grime from bathroom tiles or no-wax floors quickly and easily. It’s also effective at cleaning shower curtains, deodorizing drains and wastebaskets, surface-safe cleaning and for septic system care.

·         Not just for cooking in the kitchen. Yes, Arm & Hammer Baking Soda is a staple baking ingredient as it causes dough or batter to rise, becoming light and porous when heated, but it can also be used in the kitchen to clean lunch boxes, microwave ovens, dishes, pots and pans, recyclables, drains and garbage disposals. Did I mention it removes odours from plastic containers, polishes silver, freshens sponges and stinky sinks, refreshes tea pots, cups and mugs and works great as a fruit and vegetable scrub? It’s also a common deodorizer for fridges and freezers. Changing the box regularly (every 30 days is recommended) helps ensure optimal odour elimination.

·         Don’t fret about your floors. It helps remove unsightly scuff marks without unwanted scratch marks from tile and no-wax floors. It’s also great at neutralizing common household odours and freshens stale-smelling air in your home.

·         Tackles the greasiest of garages. Arm & Hammer Baking Soda safely cleans your car lights, chrome, windows, tires, vinyl seats and floor mats without you having to worry about unwanted scratch marks. It’s also a great deodorizer for car interiors and camper water tanks and tackles oil and grease stains on your garage floor or driveway.

·         Smelly gear no more. Use Arm & Hammer baking soda to clean and deodorize smelly sports equipment like hockey or camping gear, as well as gym bags.

·         Don’t forget to take it outside. It is a must-have for your next camping trip! It’s a dish and pot scrubber, hand cleanser and deodorant, just to name a few. It also cleans your plastic and vinyl pool toys as well as lawn furniture when it’s time to bring them out for the summer and works wonders on barbecue grills.

And that’s not all!

 

Because of the gentle and all natural formula of Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda, it’s a popular personal hygiene product for many. It can be used as a body and facial scrub, hand cleanser and a refreshing bath soak. It also helps to fight bad breath and body odour and is great for washing hair.

For a full list of these 100 uses of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and usage instructions, visit www.armandhammer.ca. You’ll find them under the ‘Solutions’ tab.

Giveaway

We’re offering one lucky reader the chance to win 12 boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda – one for every month of the year – in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary! Share your favourite baking soda secret for a chance to win!

Giveaway includes the following Arm & Hammer Baking Soda products:

·         Three (3) 250g boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

·         Nine (9) 500g boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

Approximate value: $20

*To win leave a comment telling me your favourite way to use baking soda. Giveaway ends July 5th.

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.

.

 

The Konifer Wood Watch Are Works of Beauty

Awhile ago, I was sent a Konifer wood watch to review. These beautiful watches are made right here in Canada of 100% natural hard wood and are light weight and reliable. I have been mine through the paces for the last couple of months and I am impressed. It has become my favourite watch to wear.

Max Clement, the founder of Konifer has been making these beautiful works of art for the last four years. Konifer sells women’s watches, men’s watches, sunglasses and even rings. All are works of art. Some important facts to know:

  • For every watch sold, 1 tree is planted with WeForest.
  • There is a 5 year warranty on all watches
  • Free worldwide shipping

 

I received the beautiful Pink watch. The Pink wood watch is a very special edition created in support of breast cancer awareness. It is elegantly beautiful and part of each purchase goes to support the Breast Cancer Foundation in Quebec.

Now each Pink watch comes with an ebony black band making it wearable with many outfits. The pink comes in on the watch with a gorgeous pink ribbon and pink Swarovski crystals in place of numbers on the face of the watch. I love how the word Hope is engraved in French and English around the edge of the watch as well. I chose this watch to support those in my family who have had breast cancer.  It is a precious reminder this battle can be won.

Favourite Konifer Wood Watches

Now there are lots of other watches to choose from. Here are some of my favourites:

The new Karbon watch for ladies in another work of art. It is done with red sandalwood and stainless steel. It is water resistant to 50 meters and has a Japanese Citizen movement while being designed right here in Canada.

I also love the Navigator line of watches that come with athletic features. I especially loved the mix of sandalwood and maple in this watch. With my guiding background, I fell in love with the compass engraving on the edge of the watch.  This one is truly unisex.

Love something eye catching for your man? The Tagia Mahogany is stunning. It comes with a decadent mahogany finish. This tropical wood is durable and versatile. This watch could be worn every day with its satin oil finish and is so beautiful it could also be worn for date nights.

Want to check out these works of beauty? You can visit them here.

 

 

 

What 8 Years on Twitter has Taught Me

yoda 8th birthday

Today is my birthday. My Twitter birthday that is.

In 8 years, I have learned a few lessons. There are also a few facts I thought I would share.

I have made many friends because of Twitter. Some are the tops in their fields. Twitter broke walls and allowed you to start conversations with anyone. Over the years I have had great conversations and even forged friendships with some pretty amazing people. I have even gotten work because of Twitter. I am afraid to start a list as the list is rather long now.

In 8 years I have tweeted over 88,000 times on topics as varied as personal finance, to recipes, to world events.

I have hosted or moderated hundreds of Twitter chats and Twitter parties.  I started the first personal finance chat in Canada Those parties produced over a billion social media impressions.

The two apps I helped launch on Twitter both grew rapidly. The second one, even got four dragons from Dragons Den wanting a deal partially because of the digital strategy and rapid growth of the app.

I now have a job I love because of Twitter.

So what has all of this taught me?

Seek knowledge. If you don’t understand a new platform, a new way to share your voice learn.

Share. Share great content.

Start conversations. Don’t just share content, have real conversations. Ask questions and listen.

Behind every handle is a real person. Treat them well.

Now over on Twitter this week, I am giving away a $100 gift card. All you have to do is tweet me a lesson I have taught you before Friday, March 24th at 8pm EST. My twitter handle if you need a reminder is @commoncentsmom.