The Flying Machine Review and Giveaway

  Do you love Chopin or animation? If so then one of the movies being screened at the Toronto Film Festival will be perfect for you.

The festival tries to bring us the best from around the world, films we might not of heard of other wise.The Flying Machine come to us from Poland.

I was fortunate to get a sneak peek and a DVD of the movie to giveaway on this blog.Academy Award® winning Hugh Welchman and famed pianist Lang Lang introduce Chopin to new audiences in this modern fairy tale.

The Flying Machine’ is a 3D live action/animation family feature film about a stressed out business-woman, Georgie (played by Heather Graham), who takes her two children to see the animation film ‘Magic Piano’ –a wordless film, to which  world famous pianist Lang Lang performs Chopin live. Georgie and the kids view  The “Magic Piano” which is a stop-motion animation tells a story of Anna, a girl whose dad had to leave Poland to work in London. Anna and her cousin Chip Chip find a broken piano which magically transforms into a flying machine and takes them across the Europe. The girl hopes to meet her longing dad whom she is reunited with at the end of the movie.

As the “Magic Piano” ends Georgie loses track of her kids and they end up in the magical animated world and she has to pursue them.

I watched the movie with my 13 year old daughter, and then with a 4 and 5 year old. All liked the animation but not especially Chopin. I loved the marriage of the classical music with animation and I think if you have a music student in the family they will enjoy it greatly.

Now if you would love to see this movie in your own home you can win a copy of the DVD, here as I have one to giveaway. Simply leave me a comment on this post.



Baby and You Helping Parents Connect and Save

Baby and You is a fairly new  program developed by Loblaws, Superstore, Zehrs, Independent Grocers, Valu-Mart and SaveEasy. It offers community and savings through its Facebook commuunity. The Facebook page is a great place to meet other parents who might be in a similair situation as you. You can share your pictures, get advice and save all in one spot.

They have 2 wonderful feature bloggers Jody from Mommy Moment, who keeps the conversation going about everything mom, and Lisa from Growing Your Baby, focusing on all things baby. When I visited the page people were talking about girfriends, diapers, and even nursery decorating. Lots of places the coversation could go.

They also offer a great way for you to save with exculsive coupons and a link to the weekly flyer. Lets just say you want to be a PC Insider if you have little ones and like to save. I know for me as someone who shops to feed little mouths now I am watching for those coupons.

So if you are the parent of a child why not visit this great community, hope in on the conversations and save at the same time.

*“Disclosure – I am participating in the Baby and You program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Loblaw Companies. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.”


I am a Kinder Mom and I Have Some News For You!

I was very happy this week when I got chosen to be a #KinderMoM. You see we have loved Kinder Eggs in this house for a very long time.

You see Kinder Eggs got me through potty training, stocking stuffing, many an egg hunt, and treat time since my daughter was a little girl. We both love Kinder eggs. Kinder eggs are a frugal treat when you are looking to put a smile on your child’s face. I know many a time that has been the reaction from my girl.

Kinder Eggs are perfection, it’s two treats in one! (and NUT FREE). It being nut free is a very good thing. I have many a friend with children with nut allergies so am glad I don’t have to worry if giving Kinder eggs as a gift.

First, there is the yummy Kinder chocolate outer shell, then a toy to put together. My daughter only wishes the shell was a bit thicker so she could have more of that yummy chocolate.  We have often sat at the table for an hour putting together the toys. The harder it is, the happier she is, she thinks of them like a puzzle and well she loves the assembly part.

There is other news to share as well:  Kinder Canada is now on Facebook, and in celebration of their re-launch, they’re giving away 5000 Free Kinder Egg Coupons.  Now, they haven’t started giving them away yet, but do mark it on your calendar for August 29th.  Keep an eye on the  facebook account, cause they’re going to go really fast after all who doesn’t love Kinder Eggs?

Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Promote Your Local Business and Win Big with CentrSource

Do you have a small business? Want to promote it big time?

I was raised in a great family and was taught to work hard and create opportunities for yourself whenever you could. My grandfather was a smart man who knew how to grow a business or two, and he passed on his love of work to his granddaughter. I just opened my own business here at home, a daycare. Literally my doors have been open for 2 weeks now.  One of my current challenges is letting people know we are here.

Now CentrSource has come up with a contest and there is a huge prize for the big winner.

What would you do with an extra $15,000 for your business? 

I know for my small business $15, 000 would go a long way! I could advertise more, I could get more equipment. There are many ways to spend it I am sure.

Are you a small business owner like me? Maybe an Etsy Shop, or maybe you own a hair salon in your home like my sister, a wedding photographer like one of my girlfriends, a mortgage broker like another girl friend, you get the idea small business owners surround us. If you have an online website for your business you can enter the CentrSource’s Contest and enter to win these amazing prizes valued at over $40,000:

  • Grand Prize: $15,000 and six months of free ad space on CentrSource
  • Second Prize: $5,000 and three months of free ad space on CentrSource
  • Weekly Draw: 8 weekly prizes for $1,000 and one month of free ad space on CentrSource
  • As a bonus, everyone who votes will be entered into a draw for an iPad2!

Visit the CentrSource Facebook page and…

  • Register your business information
  • Create your ad in three easy steps
  • View your ad and your competition
  • Vote for your ad and get your friends and family to vote too!
  • The more votes you get ~ the better your chances to WIN!!
  • You can also enter for the iPad2 just by voting for your favourite ad.
  • The contest is open to Canada Only {excluding residents of Quebec} and ends AUG 31, 2011. Visit CentrSource on Facebook today and enter to win these great prizes!

    Are You Part of the COLDSORE-FX Revolution? Want to Win A Trip Anywhere?

    Do you love travel as much as me?

    What if you had $5,000 to travel with?

    Where would you go?

    COLDSORE-FX has been offering up a great contest and one lucky Canadian is going to win $5,000 to travel with. To enter all you have to do is fill out the entry form found here. If you are french speaking you can enter here. Oh and my Quebec friends are going to love me this contest is open to Quebeccers! Another good thing this is a share and win. So if you share this contest with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and they enter well it is a bonus entry for you.

    So I remember a Dr. Suess story with the line ” the places you will go”, so where would you go? Where do you dream of going? Can it be done with a mere $5,000.

    I know if I won I would head to Europe and then to Morocco. I so want to see and walk the streets of Paris, taste the foods of Spain and then cross the strait on the ferry, visit Tangier and then venture further into Morocco.

    So where oh were are you headed if you win?

    And when was the last time you had a coldsore? doesn’t the thought of travel just about make it bearable.

    You have till July 17th to enter, so get to it!

    Eligibility:Entrants must be a legal resident of Canada and must be of the age of majority in the province or territory of residence.

    Have you entered the COLD-FX “Proudly Canadian” Contest Yet?

    Have you entered the COLD-FX “Proudly Canadian” Contest yet?

    COLD-FX has been hosting a contest on Facebook since April and the grand prize is $3000 Canadian. Yes, you read right $3,ooo cold hard cash. Can you thinks of ways to spend it? I can.You have till July 14th to enter.

    Along with the wonderful cash prize of all that moola, you can also enter the contest daily by answering Canadian trivia questions. They have been giving away weekly cash prizes of $100 Prepaid Visa Cards. There are 3 weekly prizes remaining. Have you won one already? If so where did you spend your $100? if you haven’t won why not rust off your trivia knowledge and enter. You can even keep track of how you measure up to your friends who are playing. All for fun of course, but who doesn’t like to know how much smarter they are.

    You have till July 14th, 2011 to enter. Remember you enter for the grand prize after you like the facebook page, and then you can play the trivia game every day to try and win the weekly prize. How well do you know Canadian trivia? Are you up for the challenge? and I do want to know what will you do if you win either prize?

    Eligibility:Entrants must be a legal resident of Canada (excluding residents of the province of Quebec), must be of the age of majority in the province or territory of residence, and must be a fan of COLD-FX® on Facebook at the time of entry in the Contest.

    Do You Want My Blackberry Playbook?

    Last week on Twitter there was a contest held by Blackberry and 50 lucky people got to attend the Launch Party here in Toronto along with 3 of their friends and each of the 50 guests of honor went home with a 32GB Blackberry Playbook.

    I was lucky enough to be one of  the 50 winners. I am a huge Blackberry fan and my Blackberry has always helped me stay productive and communicating just as I should be.

    Tonight it was all about free food, free drinks, great music, mingling with friends and learning  all about the playbook.

    Let me just say if you are looking for a productive tablet the Blackberry Playbook is the one you want!

    The head of the Enterprise for Blackberry(Shaun) walked me through the playbook and all of its security features. By tethering through the Blackberry Bridge your Blackberry phone becomes  your web server thus no need to new internet protocols, I can see some IT departments loving that. One of the things I noticed was the amount of work you can actually get done on the tablet, definitely will make productivity a breeze.

    As most of you are aware the Blackberry Playbooks has outstanding graphics and well when watching a video the quality was the best I have seen. I also played a game of Tetris (d0n’t get addicted, it will take away from your productivity) and it was easy to manipulate and have some fun.

    Overall I do give the playbook a 4/5 as they still have a few things that are needed like more APPS, but we have to remember when the Ipad launched they didn’t have a huge selection out of the gate either. My wish though is for the Skype App, BBM, and one other chat app. Yes I am a big chatter!

    Now you might be saying hey Hollie the title says Do you Want My Blackberry Playbook? Well I will be sending this Blackberry Playbook that I won to one of you. You might be saying huh? Why? Well I am a huge blackberry fan, and well really I would love to keep this playbook but as a Mom there is something I want even more.

    I am hoping  you will help me get what I want..

    My daughter Rachel has never gone to a real summer camp besides 1 when she was 6. She is now 13. She would love to attend the Circus Camp down on the waterfront. Cost $465 for a two week summer camp experience. She would also like to go to Wonderland. Being a mom on a very strict budget I can not afford to either of these for her. To do both this summer I need $600. That is the magic figure. So I am giving up something I love for my daughter to have the summer she deserves.

    Iam giving  my playbook to somone who helps me get her to camp.

    Rachel will thank you and so will I.

    I am hoping I have the $600 by May 1st so we can plan her summer and get her registered.  So can you help a Mom send her daughter to camp? and perhaps go home with my Blackberry Playbook? So do you want this?

    ALL funds needed have been raised $500 and 2 season passes from @UnMarketing.Thanks to all those who gave I can send Rachel to the more expensive even of the two week slots which costs $495 so my daredevil will be going to Circus Canp on the Toronto Waterfront. Thank you all for your support. Watch for the video of who wins in just a bit..

    An Additional Note:

    They say there is something called karma, sometimes I think blessings just come when you put things out in the universe. After posting this in the wee hours of Thursday as the day progressed two things happened that I want to share. I got a DM from someone who will remain nameless for now, lets just say I helped her get something she wanted last year. She has offered me and Rachel a day at Wonderland this summer on her.

    Then the second thing that happened Sara from Urban Moms read my post and well she has friends in the Marketing Dept of Blackberry who I just happened to meet last night. Infact the one who emailed me tonight I had given her advice on how to save money as a young techie. It seems the team came and read my post today and were impressed by how I wanted to provide camp for Rachel. Well, I think they also noted last night how HUGE of a Blackberry fan I am. They stated in the email that they wanted me to use the one I won to give my daughter the camp experience but they also wanted me to have one to keep, so they are sending me a second Blackberry Playbook. How awesome is that!

    Then this evening a third thing happened @unmarketing (Scott)  sent a DM( a personal message on Twitter) asking for our full names and for me to humor him. Well 10 minutes later –2 seasons passes to Wonderland appeared in the my inbox. 🙂 For those of you who don’t know Scott was one of the very first people I followed 2 years ago on Twitter, and I have been a huge fan of his since watching one of his many viral videos. So THANK YOU SCOTT!

    and finally THE WINNER IS—

    Jackie Yo won it!

    My Day At the CBC

    A couple of weeks ago I got an email in my inbox, it was the CBC inviting me to be part of a very special day at the CBC. They were bringing Social Media Moms in from across Canada to discuss children programming and the CBC. I was excited to be included in this group of women as we have watched the CBC and are huge supporters in our house.

    Well my day at the CBC actually began the day before when I got to meet up with Jody from Mommy Moment who had flown in from Manitoba ( my old stomping grounds in my youth). I was able to show her a few sites like the CN Tower and St. Lawerence Market, and we grabbed a bite to eat and got to know each other.

    Then Thursday began bright and early as I headed down to Union Station to meet Shannon from who as she says is GPS challenged. then it was off to the Intercontinental to gather up Jody and Tammy from My Organized Chaos and Lynnette from My Wee View. From there it was off to the CBC. We grabbed a quick coffee and breakfast in the building where we met up with several other bloggers.

    On the set of Steven and Chris

    First on the agenda. We got to spend some time watching a taping of Steven and Chris. Guess who the guest of honor was? Jillian Michaels from the Biggest Loser. She has written a new book and is currently on a book tour promoting it.  Her new book is called Unlimited How to Build an Exceptional Life. She even answered some questions and one was about a 13 year old girl who was being bullied, sound familiar? What she recommends for girls just like my Rachel: take a stand and use your body language to say NO.  One of the other segment I really enjoyed was about creating a salad bowl ( a mini garden for small spaces-I think my mom would love this for her new small balcony). We came home with Jillian’s book and skincare from Amway.

    After that we were whisked to the kids area of the CBC, where they had a wonderful lunch of sweet sandwiches, veggies and fruit, and the cutest cake. We got to mix and mingle with the staff behind Kids CBC. I had a great conversation with Kim Wilson Creative Head for Children and Youth Programming. We talked about the cuts and the lack of after school programming for school age kids.  She shared with me a project they are hoping to get funding for: a 24 hour CBC kids channel! Could it be? At that time school age, age appropriate programming would be available for our older school age kids as well. I really do hope they get the funding.

    As well as talking the brains behind Kids CBC we got to mix with other great mom bloggers and some CBC celebs as well. I had a great conversation with Dwight Drummond about bullying.

    Me and Dwight Drummond
    Me and Dwight Drummond

    After lunch we got to see the set of Kids CBC and learn some very interesting facts about the CBC:

    Did you know the have a developmental psychologist on staff? As some one who taught daycare for 15 years I was so glad to hear this as you can guarantee age appropriate content.

    They have a new series coming up soon called Napkin Man.

    The other thing this frugal mom loves the Kids CBC hosts several free events across Canada every year, and you know I love free, right.

    As we were in the Kids CBC, Patty Sullivan came in from maternity leave to meet and greet us, as well as Mamma Yamma and her puppeteer Ali Eisner.

    Asking Mamma Yamma for her Frugal Tip

    As the Tweet Up was coming to an end I got to interview Mamma Yamma and Patty Sullivan, asking then for their frugal tips. Come back tomorrow because I am going to share their tips and I have a give away.

    After the Tweet Up, I stopped by Mr. Dress Up’s Treehouse to check and see if Casey or Finnegan were home. They weren’t. Then it was off to watch George Stroumboulopoulos. We got to meet him before the show and we had a brief conversation about the World Food Program, and got to have a picture taken with him.

    Me and @Strombo

    It truly was a great day at the CBC. I had so much fun, learned alot and even  came home with a giveaway and some frugal tips so please do stop by tomorrow to learn what Mamma Yamma and Patty Sullivan do to stay frugal.

    Aint Misbehavin: A Guide for Parents

    Have you ever had a kid or a teen that misbehaved? I have! I can remember well the tantrums, the little princess laying on the floor a kicking and a wailing because she wanted want she wanted in the moment. I remember well having to deal with a daughter who loved to strip because her clothes just were not comfy. Now days I just have a teen with attitude. But no matter what you are dealing with, guess what, you are not alone!

    Every parent deals with misbehaving kids. Sometimes we want to pull our hair out, some days it is frustrating and for me some days seemed like a power struggle.  Recently I had the chance to attend Alyson Schafer’s  book launch for Aint Misbehavin, her 3rd book on the subject of parenting.

    I was lucky enough to be able to ask Alyson a question about those dang power struggles. Well her answer to me has helped me redefine my relationship with my tween. We are having more and more genuine conversations and working as a team.  Instead of I am your mom, so just do it. There is conversation. There is more peace here now and well alot more fun for both me and her. So I am thankful to Alyson for her suggestion.

    In her book Aint Misbehavin she lists 100 of our common parenting struggles from boggers to tv time she covers the gambit with practical solutions that have an impact. The layout makes the book an easy read and a great guide, because you can get to the solution for your exact issue in a matter of seconds. Trust me this book will be dogmarked by the time you are done raising your kids.

    I am fortunate enough thanks to Mom Central Canada to have a copy to give away here on my blog. Actually I am giving away a second copy as well at the Twitter party I am having on April 9th(details soon).

    If you would like to win a copy of Alyson’s Aint Misbehavin just leave me a comment here letting me know why you would want to read her book. What issues are you dealing with with your kids?Contest closes April 21 st.

    *I did receive a copy of her book to review free, but as always the opinions here are my own.  Giveaway is from Mom Central Canada who I am blessed to work with.

    A Review of HOP

    Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a great preview of the new movie out April 1st HOP.

    First I want to thank Klout Perks for the chance to attend with my daughter. Both of us had a good time and laughed at many of the antics of EB ( voiced by Russel Brand) and Fred (James Mardsen).

    HOP is a cute kids movie that blends animation and action. HOP tell the story of EB ( the son of the Easter bunny) and Fred ( an out of work slacker).

    EB has a dream. He runs away from Easter Island the night before he is to take the reigns of Easter. He wants to be a drummer.

    He ends up in Hollywood where Fred hits him with his car. Fred ends up taking in EB.

    As both try and follow their dreams all sorts of trouble happens. Both EB and Fred had lessons to learn.

    Meanwhile back on Easter Island, EB ‘s dad, the Easter bunny is facing off against a number 2 ( a chick with a major attitude) who thinks he should have the job of running Easter.

    By the end EB and Fred have both learned lessons and Easter gets saved.

    Rachel and I both laughed at many of the antics after all what bunny poops jelly beans. I will never look at a jelly bean the same way again. If you have a free afternoon and little ones this spring you might want to spend an afternoon watching this cute flick.

    Thanks again Klout Perks for the preview and thanks Universal for the silly bands- my daughter loves them.

    *I was given a free product or sample because I’m a Klout influencer. I was under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.