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.

 

 

 

 

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.

Color-Blocked-Cork-Journal-root-1695HWJ6933_HWJ6933_1470_1.jpg_Source_Image

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