yoda 8th birthday

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.

 

 

 

 

Pregnancy 101

Trying to Be A Mom: Questions and Answers to Get You Started

Pregnancy 101

Whether you’re considering becoming a parent for the first time or having a second (or third), it’s an experience that can be both exciting and scary at the same time.

How long will it take to get pregnant? Should I start tracking my cycle? How do I care for a newborn? Will I ever fit into those skinny jeans again… all good questions and while I don’t have all of the answers, here are a few questions and answers to get you started and on the right track.

1.       How can I keep track of my cycle? Simple! Pick up a First Response® Digital Ovulation Test, which predicts your most fertile days based on your personal LH surge. Remember that the best time to start tracking your cycle is before you start trying to conceive. Your two most fertile days begin with the LH surge and you are most likely to get pregnant if you have intercourse within 24-36 hours after you detect your personal LH surge.

 

Don’t panic if you’ve never heard of your LH surge before! I didn’t know what it was either. If you’re curious, visit firstresponse.com for more info.

2.       I think I may be pregnant. Now what? Anxious to find out if you’re pregnant? The First Response™ Early Result Pregnancy Test can tell you if you’re pregnant up to six days before your missed period. If you’re interested in sharing the news with friends and family, how you share it is up to you!

 

3.       Who will take care of me during my pregnancy? It’s important to determine if you would like a doctor or midwife (or someone else) to care for you during your pregnancy. There are many different options. Pick the person who you feel most comfortable with and don’t let friends or family sway your decision.

4.       What should I pack in my hospital bag? There are lots of great suggestions for the must-have hospital bag items. I suggest starting your research on Pinterest. Pick a list that feels right to you and start shopping/collecting the items. You’ll want to have the bag packed and ready to go well before your bundle of joy is set to arrive.

5.       How else can I prepare? The most important tip is to enjoy the experience and make sure to take time for yourself! Unwind after a busy day with a good book and a cup of tea. Plan a weekend getaway and sneak away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Curl up on the couch and watch your favourite movie. These are just a few suggestions.

 

Before you know it, you’ll be holding your little one in your arms. Nine months went by quickly and being prepared is essential, especially as you tackle sleepless nights and dozens of diaper changes! I suggest stocking up on the essentials – diapers, baby clothes, blankets and bottles are a must. Don’t forget to also stock the medicine cabinet with diaper cream and something to help with colic, such as OVOL™ Drops, which is a simple, alcohol-free solution that can be added to a bottle or used on its own. It helps relieve discomfort caused by trapped gas, making it easier for babies to pass gas and burp at feeding time. Don’t forget to ask your doctor first to find out if this product is right for your new baby!

Oh and those skinny jeans… they’ll fit, eventually!

Are you a first-time mom? Do you have a story about trying to conceive? I’d love to hear it.

Giving a Complete Rubdown On the Benefits of Massage Chairs

Panasonic Massage Chair

A massage chair offers a customized solution for deep relaxation of mind and body. There are specialized massage techniques and preset programs to provide you holistic health benefits. The soft gliding strokes with mild to heavy pressure irons out knots and adhesions in the muscle tissue. Massage therapy improves physical as well as mental health by aiding muscular as well as emotional stress.

 

Benefits of having your own massage chair

 

Although a traditional massage in a spa would be great, it is becoming less preferable and popular, as many people may not have the time and money to go to a luxurious spa. A massage chair, on the other hand, is a one-time purchase and offers the same health benefits as a professional therapist at your own  time and convenience.

 

Not convinced yet? Read on and find out how owning a massage chair is one of the best decisions to achieve holistic wellness.

 

  1. It acts as an energy booster – A massage chair is like a battery pack that reenergizes and revitalizes worn out and tired muscles after a hard day at work or school.

 

  1. It alleviates muscle tension and pain – Backache is an increasing physical ailment among students and working professionals primarily due to bad body posture. A massage chair is designed to relax your spinal cord and press relevant stress points to alleviate fatigue and muscle tension. Some chairs also come with a built-in heat therapy that heals sores and muscle swelling.

 

  1. It stimulates circulation – A relaxing full-body massage stimulates blood circulation in every part of your body from the scalp to the tip of your toes. This kind of deep relaxation removes harmful toxins from the body, rejuvenates all organs and absorbs essential nutrients. Massage therapy also eases high-blood pressure, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

 

  1. It corrects your posture – The specific pressure points of the massage chair will exert light or firm pressure on your back, flexing the stiff muscles and adjusting the alignment of the spine. A massage chair can improve your posture and prevent or heal back-related problems.

 

  1. It acts as an emotional stress reliever – Not only does a massage therapy reduce physical stress it provides emotional relief too. Its special mechanism increases neurotransmitter levels to beat anxiety, depression, stress headaches and migraines. It also improves sleep and digestive functions.

 

  1. It increases endorphins – Perhaps one of the most crucial benefits of a massage chair is that it increases the amount of ‘feel good’ chemicals in the body. This improves recovery from ailments, reduces stress and anxiety ensuring overall well-being.

How does a massage chair work?

Depending on your preference and disposable income, there are many options available. Most massage chairs have simple vibrating elements. Others are equipped with hydro or air massage therapy.

The simplest chairs work on vibrating mechanisms in which several small devices that contain a weighted wheel are used. This wheel is intentionally unbalanced so when the electric motor rotates, it causes vibration. Hydro-massage therapy uses water to relieve stress and tension. Air massage therapy uses airbags to massage the muscles and stimulate blood flow. If you are not keen on purchasing an exclusive water or airbag-based massage chair, you can pick one with vibrating mechanisms and an option of either hydro or air.

 

 

Panasonic’s Reclining Massage Lounger gives you a luxurious massage experience. This relaxing piece of soft, black faux leather upholstery offers multiple massage styles such as Kneading, Rolling, Hawaiian, gentle tapping  and many others for all parts of your body.  You can customize massage options or use one of their pre-set functions. The airbags in the ottoman also provide foot reflexology and lower leg massage, plus customizable massage ranges, guarantee complete relaxation.

 

Massage chairs are becoming increasingly popular in homes as well as offices because of their innumerable health benefits, their ability to relax the mind and body, and the chance to treat ourselves without creating a separate outing to a massage studio or spa. They are also becoming more affordable than before, making it a luxury, but not an outrageous purchase decision for a household to consider. Manufacturers are constantly upgrading designs, textures and the overall look of massage chairs so you can pick something for your home without it looking out of place, bulky, or an ‘eyesore’.

 

A massage chair can be a useful and quality furniture piece for your home, making it easy to have your own private oasis (even if for 5 minutes), and suggests a level of affluence; even if you didn’t break the bank on your purchase. If you find your friends coming over more often than before, don’t be surprised if you end up influencing your popularity. A massage chair may be your next luxury purchase, but after a while, you’ll wonder how you managed without this slice of luxury in your life.

Celebrating Love this Valentine’s Day with a Giveaway! #LoveHallmarkCA

Tis the season of love. In our house, I am a single lady, and my teen is the one who has a beau. The one thing we have in common though is we love to celebrate love. There are so many ways to celebrate love. We love our sweethearts, our best friends, our classmates and even ourselves.

Here in Canada, the average Canadian adult spends more than $100 on Valentine’s Day. You may choose to budget or go all out for this special day. Last week, my friends at Hallmark Canada sent a wonderful box of goodies that are helping my teen, and I celebrate the day in style.
Hallmark Valentine's Day

One of the things, we have done this year, we kept our Christmas tree, but we changed out the ornaments. The tree is full of hearts and everything red, pink, silver, white and gold. Right now there are a few gifts under the tree all in pretty bags and wrap provided by Hallmark Canada.

Hallmark gift ideas

You can find gifts for all you love at Hallmark from a cute clutch for you BFF, to a journal for your favorite writer, to wine glasses and bottle openers for your wine expert.

For me, I love to find humor in all things, so I found this video on Youtube that I just had to share. This Valentine’s Day I am on my own, so it will be a night of wine, heart shaped pizza and most likely a night of colouring and watching a favourite show on TV. One of the ways, I celebrate all the things I love is to journal daily. I actually keep one by my bed so I can write each night.

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To help you celebrate, during this month of love, I have a special giveaway from Hallmark Canada. A sweet cork journal.  I hope that no matter how you choose to celebrate, you celebrate those you love.

To win the cork journal I am giving away here on the blog, you must be a Canadian resident. Giveaway ends Feb 19th.

Valentine' Day Giveaway with Hallmark Canada

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Canucks Rock the New Year with a $550 #Giveaway

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It’s a new year and one of my personal goals this year is to partner more with some of the best digital influencers in Canada. There are several great Canadian bloggers who I count as friends and I am very thankful for that. In the year ahead you will see me coming together with some of my friends to offer original content, host Twitter parties and do a few Facebook Lives together. To start the year off though a group of Canadian bloggers are hosting a joint fun giveaway.

We are giving away $550.00! That is quite a bit of cash, and it will go to a Canadian blog reader! Sweet right.

What would you do with it?

Here are a few options I might consider:

  • buying a new laptop
  • paying for a week at summer camp
  • a new camera
  • a weekend away in Niagara Falls
  • a series of city adventures for my teen and I
  • photography lessons
  • French lessons

That is how I might spend the cash but alas I can not win, either can any of the Canadian bloggers who are hosting this event! Want to know how you can win share with us how you will spend the cash.  Is there something you want to do that becomes possible with the extra cash? Would you splurge?

To enter, comment and let us know how you would spend the cash. There are also a couple of other free entries as well.

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Celebrating the Holidays with Hallmark with a #Giveaway #LoveHallmarkCA

Tis the season of decorating, card sending, tree decorating, baking and celebrating the holidays with family, friends, and Hallmark. Hallmark has been a part of my life, especially for the holidays since I was born. There have always been Hallmark cards and gifts each and every year. I am thankful to be a Hallmark ambassador and love the boxes they send out each year. This year whether you are celebrating a December birthday like me, Christmas, Hannukkah or New Years, you can find the perfect card, gift, gift wrap or decor with Hallmark.

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This year’s Hallmark box, was filled with things both Rachel and I loved. Rachel gravitated to the snowman blanket and the Peanuts Holiday book. Both would make great gifts.

 

Do you still send out Christmas cards to family and friends? Hallmark has a wonderful selection of cards including those from Dove decorated Hannukah cards, Wonder-Folds White Christmas Tree cards, Home and Native Land Canadian Exclusive boxed cards and Signature boxed cards.

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Have you finished decorating your tree yet? Ours seems to be a work in progress every year. This year there are some beautiful Hallmark ornaments. Some of my favorites include the Red Poinsettia Glass Ball, the Itty Bitty Star Wars: The Force Awakens BB-8, the Scottie Dog Ornament, the Coffee Signature ornament, and the Itty Bitty Elsa ornament.

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My almost 19 year old spotted the Cheers Bottle Bag and thought that would be perfect for a bottle for her birthday. I laughed out loud!! They also included a couple of other gift bags.

I then showed her the Not on the Naughty list Toe-of-a -Kind socks and told her she is on the naughty list.

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Now, here is the best thing about being a Hallmark Ambassador, I get to share a giveaway with my readers. I am giving away one of the beautiful Red Poinsettia Glass ball ornaments this Christmas season. To enter the giveaway, tell me how do you decorate.  Do you have ornaments that are sentimental? A color scheme? An angel or a star on top? This giveaway will end Christmas eve and you will be able to add this heritage ornament to your collection for Christmases to come.

Please use the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Perfect Stocking Stuffers from #ArmandHammer and a Giveaway

This that time of the year! Hopefully, you have started your Christmas shopping and it is time to start thinking about those stocking stuffers. What do you put in stockings at your house?

We have some traditions. There is always a clementine. Some candy. Some chocolate and a few small gifts. Some are practical. Some are fun. One of the practical gifts we get is a new toothbrush. We definitely want to look after our winter whites! After all the Christmas sweets this is a gift that definitely comes in handy.

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Over the past few years we have gotten the Arm & Hammer spin brushes for each one in the family.  We love tha each has the following great features:

. Unique brush head that removes plaque and massages gums
. Smaller brush head that is ideal for smaller mouths
. Ergonomically designed handle for a comfortable grip
. Batteries are replaceable (requires two AAA)
. MSRP $7.99. Available at mass, drug and grocery retailers across Canada.

Now, some good news if you are still on the hunt for stocking stuffers for the little ones. I have a package of Arm & Hammer tooth brushes and toothpaste perfect to add to the little one’s stockings! The value of the giveaway is $50.00 (MSRP)

What will you win? Along with some toothpaste you will be sent one of each of the:

  • Arm & HammerT Kid’s SpinbrushT My Little PonyT Battery Brush
  • Arm & HammerT Kid’s SpinbrushT Paw PatrolT Battery Brush
  • Arm & HammerT Kids’s SpinbrushT Spiderman Battery Brush

To enter the giveaway please leave a comment and let me know how you fill the Christmas stockings in your house.  You can earn one additional entry by leaving a comment to a link where you shared this giveaway.

 

This giveaway ends DEC 14th at 6pm! 

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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5 Must-Haves for Back to School Tech from Best Buy

This month has been one of those months. My teen is not hard on tech but this month both her cellphone and her laptop died. Yes, it was one of those months. We all have them, which made shopping for tech mandatory this fall. I think my teen and I have been in Best Buy more than twice this week and will be back there today for the VIP sale. There are some great deals today!

So what are the five must-haves according to my teen?

chromebook

She loves the  Acer 11.6 Chromebook. At $189.00 during today’s sale, it is a steal! After sale price is $249. For us this was affordable. This Chromebook will make it easy for my teen to get her school work done here at home, at school or on the go. She loves that it is small and light weight.  Perfect for the high school student on the go.

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The IRISPen Executive Pen scanner is available online only on BestBuy.ca, but it allows you to scan your favourite book quotes, newspaper headlines, and more with the IRISPen Executive 7 text recognition pen scanner. Simply slide this digital pen over printed material to scan the information directly to your computer screen. It recognizes over 130 languages and can even translate the scanned text into 55 languages. Think of all the time saved.

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My teen has fallen in love with her Skullcandy Ink’d In Ear Wireless Headphones. She received them last week when I brought home a swag bag from the Life and Tech Show here in Toronto. She loves how light they are and tells me the sound quality is incredible.

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Every piece of digital equipment needs a great backpack. We have loved the Jansport brand for years, so our pick is the Jansport Digitial Student 38 L Laptop School backpack. As a mom I love how durable these backpacks are! This one is perfect for students who carry electronics and even has a side water bottle pocket so you can stay hydrated in a hurry.

tracker

Ever have kids lose something expensive like their phone, laptop or other device? The TrackR Bravo Bluetooth Tracker-3 Pack makes misplacing items a thing of the past. Attach the coin-sized TrackR bravo to any item, then use the TrackR app to locate it in seconds. Quickly ring a missing item around the home or press the button on the TrackR to ring your phone on silent mode.

These are our five favourite pieces of Tech this fall. Do you have any favourites, let me know?

 

 

 

 

Hallmark Back to school

Back to School with Hallmark #LoveHallmarkCA

In the hustle that is back to school sometimes it is so nice to have a box of must haves arrive at your door. My teen and I have been trying to take in the last few days of summer while juggling getting ready for back to school.  Sometimes I miss the days of simple shopping lists. My daughter’s list changes daily it seems after all she is a teen.

Supplies for high school depend on the classes they will take. This year my daughter was even told to bring a device with her. My teen will be filling each semester with 4 high school courses and one college. She will split her time between her local high school and George Brown College. This week we have been seeing what we have on hand and then heading shopping. She still needs some of the basics and a new laptop.

Hallmark Back to school

Thanks to my friends at Hallmark Canada some of the things she needs can be scratched off the list. They sent a box filled with great items for the back to school teen. She loved picking out a calendar, and yes I will use the other one. For her, she was happy to see journals and notebooks. She said these are perfect for taking quick notes and making lists. The folders will be used to keep class work organized.

 


As someone who loves Hallmark, I am thankful she is going off to her new school with items of great quality. She feel in love with the cute fun socks that were also included. They also included adorable Peanuts glassware. The teen loved that her favourite character Linus was on one of the glasses, the other had Charlie Brown.  So fun. The past couple of weeks she has been using her Linus glass exclusively.  The other item included was a sweet glass dish perfect for those end of the day pocket dumps.

Check out everything they have  at Hallmark.ca to help yours be more organized this year. Let me know are you almost ready for back to school?