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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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How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft Online

Common sense tells us we are all at risk for identity theft? So how can you best protect yourself? Especially from online attacks?

There are some simple things you can to ensure your personal safety online.  Personally, I have had my wallet go missing and I hate to admit it has happened more than once. I know for me I got the sinking feeling and worried most about my identification. Since many of our lives and daily transactions are now done online, it is just as important to protect our online identities.

No one is exempt from online identity theft. We have seen thousands of people impacted each time a company gets compromised. Even the credit bureau, Equifax was recently compromised. Fraud is a real issue and it impacts many Canadians on a yearly basis. A couple of years ago Interac invited me to an evening out where I learned lots about the dark web and the real dangers that lurk at every turn. So how can we can we best protect ourselves from identity theft online? This is important to know as many of us right now are doing our Christmas shopping online.

How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft Online

  1. Create a seperate shopping ID account. When you shop, do you use the same email address as all your social accounts? Don’t! Create a seperate account with very limited permissions. Use this for banking and shopping.
  2. Watch what you share online. In the age where many of our lives are online, don’t overshare personal info. You never know who is watching. Share what you would share if you were giving a speech with a megaphone.
  3. Sign up for a credit monitoring service and get alerts. Did you know you can get alerts every time  your card is used? Credit Karma offers a free service. This means if new credit is opened in your name you are alerted as well as any major changes even a creditor reporting late payment.
  4. Don’t carry non essential ID. Do you carry your SIN card? Stop! Carry what you need.
  5. Be careful where you store your credit card information. In the age of the internet of things it is easy to have your card info stored in many places. Be mindful where your information is being stored. It may not be that secure over time.

Remember an once of prevention helps especially when it comes to your credit.

Recovering From a Slip and Fall

Last weekend, I went to Kitchener Waterloo for a party at a friends house and spent the night. The next day I was out and about and met up with another friend for a hot chocolate and some Christmas shopping. It was a perfect weekend.  It was perfect until I was on the way home and tripped and fell as I was running to catch my bus home that had just arrived at the stop. Immediately I was in immense pain and couldn’t get up for a few minutes. Literally, I couldn’t move.  I had pulled my muscle and scrapped up my knee and bruised my leg as well. It was a pretty brutal fall. The fact I did far from home was a real issue as well. How I managed my way home that night I am still not sure. Let me say this the pain level was real. I think I broke down and cried several times throughout the trip.  It truely was a slip and fall, so how does one recover from a slip and fall?

 

Here is what I have been doing.

Know what is going on with your body?

At first I think it was a scrapped knee and a few bruises. It was not till I went and got seen that I truely knew the extent of the damage. I had pulled a muscle as well as all the visible stuff.  I have learned from my sister who is a bus driver that since this happened on city property at a bus stop I should have reported immediately. Since I have found out what is happening to my body I have been following my doctors advice.

Rest and Elevation

This week I have spent plenty of time on the sofa with my leg elevated resting. I have also been taking pain medication which is why the blog has been quiet. I will be back to posting as of Monday and you will want to be back as there will be 2 giveaways posted this week.

Follow Doctors Orders

I am doing as my doctor says and my recovery will take a few weeks but I will mend. I should be back to normal just in time for Christmas and my birthday later this month. I have been using hot and cold treatments, essential oils and pain meds all week long. I feel like I am on the mend finally that is why you finally see me posting today.

So have you ever slipped and fell and done major damage to yourself? If you have let me know your story.

 

 

 

Put Your Best Self(ie) Forward #ChurchandDwight #ad

Are you like me? Do you take selfies every day? I may not always post the photos I take on social media but there are plenty of ways to put your best self(ie) forward. From the equipment, you use, ( I have a special mic and light I use for mine) to the prep work there are lots of ways to get ready for this season of selfies.

Gone are the days of shoving embarrassing holiday photos in a drawer never to see them again. Whether its Instagram, Facebook or everything in between, you can’t hide from an onslaught of holiday photos that you cannot escape from. I bet you’re thinking – so, what’s the secret to selfie success? It’s the prep you do even before the presents are wrapped and the stockings are hung by the chimney with care…!


Don’t let a stain spoil the occasion

Get the kids to pick out their holiday outfits well before the festivities begin. Nobody likes to find a stain on their favourite outfit, or worse, notice it once a photo has been taken.  Have them check for stains and spills and use Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 3-in-1 Power Paks to get the job done. OxiClean stain fighters help to remove stains, plus the formula freshens and deodorizes with the freshness of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda.

Keep up the good smile

Maintaining good oral health shouldn’t be reserved for the holidays. However, if you need to brush up (pun intended) on your smile, I suggest switching to the Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Sonic Pro Pulse Brush. Can you believe that its brush removes two times more plaque than the regular, manual brush? That’s because its head spins around as you brush to reach back corners. When paired with Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Bright & Strong toothpaste, you’ve got a winning combo to strengthen and clean. And smile your best for that selfie, teeth showing!

 

Cut down on prep time

Beauty prep, that is. If you’re like me, that fabulous blow out only lasts a day before you need to rinse and repeat. Until now. Dry shampoo is the latest trick up my sleeve. I love Batiste Dry Shampoo — it instantly refreshes hair between washes by absorbing excess oil from the roots and leaving hair looking and smelling clean and fresh. Now I no longer stress when I’m running behind schedule and don’t have time for a full wash or styling session before heading out to visit the in-laws. Batiste Beautiful Brunette dry shampoo plus a hint of colour compliments medium, brunette and auburn hair tones. Genius!

What is your favourite selfie success story?

*this post is sponsored by Church and Dwight. I have received financial compensation for this post as always my opinions are my own.

Create a Reverse Bucket List and be Thankful and Happy now.

Ever had a week or month where you really have the fear of missing out? Life can be unpredictable. With my recent job loss, I have had this intense fear that everything on my bucket list is dreams that can’t happen. I found myself getting discouraged. My bucket is list is long after all. So how did I combat some serious FOMO?

I wrote a reverse bucket list yesterday.  I found it brought me into the present and I became thankful and happy with the now.  It’s easy especially at this time of year to let the fear of missing out rule the day but a reverse bucket list can help deal with today and the now.

 

There are real benefits to the reverse bucket list

Did you know being more thankful actually increases your overall well-being?

Think of a reverse bucket list as what you are most grateful for. As our neighbours in America celebrate Thanksgiving it is a perfect time to do this exercise.

Grab a notebook. I love starting fresh with a new journal. Think back. What are you most proud of? What have you achieved? Think of it as travelling back in time. Write down everything you are proud of in your life. What are those major happy memories? What were the best days?

Having issues remembering? Sometimes glancing at old photos, older social media posts will remind us of those events.

Here are a few of my reverse bucket list items

  • Was the first family member to attend University
  • Helped feed 5000 on Venice Beach for Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • Met Bob Hope
  • Traveled on Via Rail from the East Coast of Canada to the West.
  • Traveled from Nova Scotia to California on an Epic Road Trip
  • Created Common Cents Mom
  • Created the first personal finance chat in Canada on Twitter.
  • Solo parented an amazing daughter who graduated as an Ontario Scholar
  • Helped the homeless in LA
  • I have been featured in a national magazine.
  • I have been featured in a national newspaper.

After you have written your list

The list can go on and on. Some have short lists others have lists with hundreds of items. The reverse bucket list is an exercise in gratitude.  When you step back you should feel a sense of joy, a sense of gratitude and pride for all that you have been blessed to do. It is not a brag list. It is a list of all that has been, all that has been celebrated.

Place your list somewhere you can be reminded of it. Mine is on my night table. In this season of gratitude, I am trying to add to it daily.Sometimes we need to be reminded of our success, the good we have done.

Create your own reverse bucket list and let me know what you were reminded of. Mine reminded me of how even when we have little we can find ways to do much.

 

Teaching Our Children About Money Twitter Party #TangerineFLM #ad

Ever think about money? Ever think about where you learned the money concepts you follow today. If you live in Canada, you most likely did not learn about money in elementary school. You definitely didn’t learn about savings, investing, TFSA’s or retirement.  When it comes to what we know about money it was our families who taught us.

My parents taught me you have to work hard to earn every dollar but both of them lived pay cheque to pay cheque. Savings and investing was never talked about. My grandfather was an astute businessman who bought and sold properties. If you drive an hour north of Toronto, he owned many cottage lots that he sold off in the fifties one by one. He is the one who taught me to work hard but also have your money invested and that it could grow.

How do you pass on what is important to your children?

How are you teaching your children about money?

Money concepts are not part of the curriculum much here in Canada. Financial literacy isn’t taught to our children. It is up to us the parent to teach children about money.

Do you feel you know enough to be able to teach them well?

Even young children can understand basic money conversations. I know I started talking to my own daughter about money when she was five. It all started with a piggy bank and later a bank account. I also instilled in her the importance of giving back no matter the income level.

This week, join @TangerineBank and @RobinTaub as we talk about teaching our children about money.

 

Here are some great teaser tips from Tangerine to get you started.

 

Hope to see you at the Twitter Party on Tuesday night for a great conversation with Robin Taub. There is NO RSVP and there are 4 prizes being given away!

 

 

 

 

How to Create the Perfect Black Friday Shopping Plan

We are less than a week away from a day many of us wait for, Black Friday. For businesses, it sets the tone for the holiday shopping season. For the deal hunter like me, it allows us to find the very best deals. So how do you create the perfect Black Friday shopping plan?  If you want to get an A+ for shopping you need to have a plan!

Years ago to in you would have been waiting until the last minute for the flyers to arrive and scouring them for the very best deals but now you can do everything you need with ease. You would have been using a map to chart your course. Can you remember those days?

So how do you create a plan to will have you getting the best deals this Black Friday? Follow these Steps:

 

 

 

Budget

Every good plan starts with a budget. Know how much you will be spending in total and on each person. Often we can just hit the mall without a plan and when January hits we realize we blew the budget.  Start your plan with a great foundation, your budget. The average Canadian family spends at least $1500.00 on Christmas and all the trimmings.  How much of this will you spend on Black Friday?

Make a List

You know Santa makes a list, right? Just like Santa you want to have your own list. Know who you are buying for and who you are not. Know what you are thinking of buying for them. What are you hunting for? Did you know you can make your list of coveted items on your free Flipp app? If you have not downloaded this app yet, you want too. It makes every shopping day a breeze.

 

Check out the Flyers

Many of the Black Friday Flyers are already out! You can find sneak peeks of many of them now so you don’t have to create your plan late Wednesday night. One of the advantages of the app once you have added an item to your list, it will show you every flyer that has deals.

Example: You want to buy a new TV this Black Friday? Add TV to your shopping list. Flipp will show you where all the deals are closest to where you live.

Love to just browse and then make your list, you can do that too.

Once you have your list, found the perfect deals, its time for the action plan.

Shop with a Friend

One of the things I love about the Flipp app is you can share your list with a friend or loved one. You can divide and conquer. Things go well when it is a team effort. Think of it, you know some items have very limitied numbers. Flipp makes is easy to get everything on your list.

Know Where Everything Is

Ever found a great deal in a flyer and you are not familiar with the store layout? Flipp even has your back for this. With store mode, it shows you which aisle you need to shop in.  Think of Store mode as your own personal GPS for in-store shopping.

 

By shopping with a friend and knowing where everything is, you are ahead of the crowds and are sure to get that A+ in Black Friday shopping.

If you are doing last minute Thanksgiving shopping you will also want to check out the rebates and coupons section of the Flipp app. If you haven’t started using the coupons and rebates with the app, you can find some helpful information with Flipp’s Guide to Rebates. Print off your coupons to match them with deals. Trust me the app is something you will be thankful to have on your phone. It’s a shopper’s best friend.

*This post is sponsored by my friends at Flipp, but the truth is I have been an active Flipp app user since it first came out. I love the app and my opinions are my own as always.

 

 

 

 

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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Let us Remember Our Vets Today and Everyday

Today is Veteran’s Day here in Canada. More and more,  Lest we forget, we stop and thank those who have gone before at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day. Many of us wear poppies today to remember the poppies that grow on Flanders Field. Each year I am proud to pick up my poppy and thank a veteran who has served.

Every year I am reminded of the stories that I know from personal family research. Lately, I have been using Ancestry.ca to learn even more about the heroes in my own family. This weekend if you want to research the military stories in your family you can do so for free.  In every generation,  I have had family members who have served here in Canada and who are serving in military services around the globe.

First, there was my great-grandfather. Charles Pollard who was a WW1 veteran. Not much is known about his service but that he did serve. He served as part of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Norman and Alice Pollard
Grandpa and Grandma Pollard just before my grandfather shipped off.

Then there was my granddad Norman Pollard and his brothers. He was one of 3 brothers who went and served. One did not come home: my Great Uncle Charlie was killed in action in 1942. He is buried in Germany. My grandfather was captured at Dieppe and transferred to a POW camp in Poland. In the final days of the war, with the world closing in, these men had to march for 86 days across 600 miles toward Berlin. My grandfather brought home with him unspeakable memories. He was hospitalized in England for 5 months after the war and then another 5 months at Sunnybrook Hospital before he could go home to his family. My grandfather’s story even made the local news as he was listed as missing in action and then when he was liberated.

Did you know when they would share news of those in the fight back then they would share what street they lived on? I live just a few blocks from where my grandmother sat and learned her husband was missing in action. The same home where she would receive a letter smuggled out of the POW camp telling her, he was alive. He was liberated not long after that letter reached her in May of 1945.

uncle_ron

My uncle Ron served as a diver with the Navy and did several peacekeeping missions. My uncle was even buried at sea.

My cousins Ronny and Tom have both served. Tom continues to serve.

My teen’s big brother, Seth serves in the American forces and has served in Afghanistan.

There was my grandfather Hilliard Kain who served in the Canadian Navy, as did my stepfather Alfred Smoat.

remember our vets- graduating class 1953

My mom was a member of the Canadian Airforce as well. This photo is of her graduating from basic training.

I am thankful to each and every family member who hearts were big, whose strength was real, whose courage was beyond measure. I am thankful for all we have as Canadians and know it is because of the valor of men and women just like my family members that I can even blog today. We owe huge debts of gratitude for each who have served.

As an action note, today if you are thankful for the service to this country of others, please support the vets in your community. Often they come home injured and get forgotten and let me put it this way, we don’t do enough at any level to offer the support or services so many need. Health care and home care right now are needed by so many vets who served so valiantly and funds are lacking, rehab care for our returning warriors is lacking as well in so many ways…so please add your voice to mine and write a letter saying that our VETS deserve the best treatment and access to funds we can possibly afford.

Today may we forget not the sacrifice and service of those who have served and those who wear a uniform every day so we can live here in Canada as we do.

Who today will you remember? For me it a long line of family members who have served in every major Canadian military action, from war to peacekeeping efforts every generation has given what they can to serve this great land I call home.

It’s Time to Start Talking Financial Literacy- It’s Financial Literacy Month in November #FLM2017

It’s my favourite time of the year. For the fourth year in a row, as November begins, Canadians are encouraged to talk about money during Financial Literacy Month. For 8 years I have hosted online money conversations. Financial education is important to me. When I started this blog my goal was to share my story and give Canadians access to the experts. Over the years I have been blessed to host some of the very best money experts on my #CDNmoney chats and been parts of hundreds of online money conversations.

For the last four years, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has helped lead the money conversation in Canada with the Financial Literacy Month. They work with organizations from the private, public and non-profit sectors to improve the financial literacy of all Canadians. They have even worked with bloggers like me. The theme for the conversation this year is:

“Take charge of your finances: It pays to know!”

Throughout the month, FCAC will feature weekly sub-themes that bring attention to the benefits of basic money management practices at different stages of life and encourage Canadians to reduce debt and save for the future. They are:

Week 1 (November 1-4) – Achieve financial well-being What does it mean to be financially fit? Are you struggling to be fit? This is a great place to start this conversation. Do you have a budget?

Week 2 (November 5-11) – Live within your means Did you know most Canadians spend more than they earn? Have you tried to live within your means? This week we will be talking about what it means to live within your means.

Week 3 (November 12-18) – Manage money for student life I have a teen daughter, she is a college kid. Teaching our youth, our teens while they are young sets them up for long-term success. Can’t wait for this conversation.

Week 4 (November 19-25) – Teach children about money I have talked about this topic for years. Did you know most Canadian kids don’t get taught financial literacy in school?  As parents, we must be teaching our kids.

Week 5 (November 26-30) – Know your financial rights and responsibilities  Do you know we have rights and responsibilities that go beyond taxes? We will talk about these are well.

To help celebrate and carry on the conversations, Tangerine is celebrating with 3 Twitter Parties

Twitter Party Details

 

Twitter Party Details

  • Theme: Live Within Your Means
  • Date: Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 7:00pm ET
  • Guest: Kelley Keehn @KelleyKeehn
  • Host: TangerineBank @TangerineBank
  • Hashtags: #TangerineFLM#FLM2017
  • Prizing: 4 X $100 MasterCard Gift Cards
  • Eligibility: Canada excluding Quebec

 

Twitter Party

  • Theme: Teach Children about Money
  • Date: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 7:00pm ET
  • Guest: Robin Taub @RobinTaub
  • Host: Tangerine Bank @TangerineBank
  • Hashtag: #TangerineFLM #FLM2017
  • Prizing: 4 X $100 MasterCard Gift Cards
  • Eligibility: Canada excluding Quebec

About Tangerine Bank

Tangerine is a direct bank that delivers simplified everyday banking to Canadians. With over 2 million Clients and close to $38 billion in total assets, we are Canada’s leading direct bank. Tangerine offers banking that is flexible and accessible, products and services that are innovative, fair fees, and award-winning Client service. From no-fee daily Chequing and high-interest Savings Accounts, Credit Card, GICs, RSPs, TFSAs, Mortgages and Investment Funds through its subsidiary, Tangerine Investment Funds Ltd., Tangerine has the everyday banking products Canadians need. With over 1,000 employees in Canada, our presence extends beyond our website and Mobile Banking app to our Café locations, Pop-Up locations, Kiosks and 24/7 Contact Centres. Tangerine was launched as ING DIRECT Canada in 1997. In 2012 it was acquired by Scotiabank, and operates independently as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

 

This is a sponsored Post. We were compensated to write this post, but as always opinions are our own.