What Motherhood Means to Us

My niece and fellow blogger on Common Cents Mom have spent a lot of time speaking this week about what Mother’s Day means and more importantly what motherhood means to us. We are both moms at different stages in the journey of motherhood.  For me the days of late night feedings, diapers and trips to the playground are behind and these days I am more about being an advocate and friend for my young adult daughter. That the thing with this motherhood journey, it changes and grows every day just as your child does.

So we both wrote about what motherhood means to us.

Jaslyn’s take on Motherhood

Being a mom means more than having given birth to a child. It’s loving and knowing a soul before you even see it. It’s carrying and caring for a life completely dependant on you for survival. It’s giving air to the lungs that grew within you, and sight to the eyes that will never see you as anything but mommy A mother is a selfless, loving human who must sacrifice many of their wants and needs for the wants and needs of their children. A mother works hard to make sure their child is equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities to make it as a competent human being. Being a mother means being completely and totally overwhelmed (in the best possible way) by love, joy, responsibility, and selflessness. Motherhood means sleepless nights, big belly laughs, caterpillars on the coffee table, finger-painting in the kitchen, stubbed toes, and gapped toothed grins. Being a mother means being an emotional blankie for your children. They snuggle with you at night, run to you when they’re hurt, and stand behind you in scary situations. Getting into the car, starting to buckle up, then getting out of the car and dashing back into the house for something you forgot. Usually multiple times. Every time you go anywhere. It has become a natural part of our culture to be sarcastic, to put things down, to be a complainer. It’s a blessing, a gift, a relationship that never ends and a love that never dies. It’s the best thing I have ever become, the greatest love I have ever felt and the best part about being me.

Hollie’s take on Motherhood


Motherhood is more than giving life, it is the raising of a child, it is the joys in the journey and all that entails. As a young mother, it meant late nights, co-sleeping, walks in the park, reading together and ensuring my child was healthy no matter what life threw at us. I learnt in time that I would become a teacher, a coach, a nurse, a finder of things, a friend and most of all an advocate for my child. Now, mostly as my child reaches for her dreams I find I am the advice giver, the advocate still, the nutritionist, and mostly I get to be her friend. Mother is a wild ride and I am blessed every day to be her momma.

Every mom’s journey is different but we are all moms. Hope you all have a wonderful time on this rollercoaster ride called motherhood.


Last Minute Gift Ideas for Mothers Day from Hallmark Canada

Yes, this year is flying by and we are almost at Mother’s Day. For those of you who leave things to the last minute like me, breathe in and know you can still get a great gift for mom. I actually stopped by the Hallmark store last week while in Eaton Centre. There were so many great finds for mom and then Hallmark Canada sent me a box of goodies so I have to share some of what I found and some of what they sent me. So what can you find at Hallmark Canada for all those last minute Mothers Day gifts?

Have a mom like who loves books and journals?

Fierce Love, It’s a Mama Bear thing is perfect for moms like me. This was sent to us this year. A great little book that describes the love of a mom pretty perfectly.

We also love the selection of journals at the store and if you have a mom who loves to write it makes a great last minute gift.

Have a Mom who loves to garden?

We are loving the Marjolein Bastin Garden Bag. It is so big and roomy perfect for all her garden tools. This bag with it’s pretty print and roominess could also be a great go-to bag for all those summer outings. I love the two pockets on the end that are perfect for water bottles.

Have a mom who loves to be in the Kitchen?

We are loving the Marjolein Bastin Bird Tea Towels alongside the Marjolein Bastin bird napkin rings that were sent to us. They also have some beautiful mugs and teacup for the mom who loves her tea and coffee.

Have an active mom?

We loved the Glamour has no age limit Waterbottle that was sent to us. It is perfect for my trips to the gym and a metal bottle is great if you use essential oils in your water.

Have a mom that loves fashion?

Hallmark Canada sent me a beautiful colour block tote and a floral scarf. They have a great collection of bags and scarfs that you can check out.

Have a mom that needs a spa day?

We love the cute slippers and the Crafters and Co Comfort Wrap in a Gift Box.  The slippers are warm and soft and the comfort wrap smells of lavender which simply helps you relax!

Now, these are just some of the last minute gifts you can find at Hallmark stores today in Canada. Now, let’s talk about the one thing you don’t want to forget, the perfect card. We love the Signature Cards and they are my go-to cards for almost every occasion because they seem to get the sentiment just right. Want to do something a bit different for your Mother’s Day card this year, try the Wonderfold cards.

Let me know what you got you, mom, I love hearing how everyone celebrates their moms.

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.



Blogging Moms I Adore this Mother’s Day


This morning it is Mother’s Day, my teen is busy making me pancakes and we are headed to Canada’s Wonderland for the day. We have season passes so this is our first excursion of the year. We will be taking in the special brunch and making sure we hit Wonder Mountain’s Guardian and all of the other rides. Since it is Mother’s Day, I wanted to announce something new on my blog. Every Sunday you will be able to come and find me sharing things I love.

It may be a great deal, a new place here in Toronto I have tried out that I am not being paid to talk about, or it may be something I am learning about the business of blogging and community management. Trust me, from now on while you are having your Sunday morning coffee you will want to check out my blog.

This week I really want to tell you about some blogging moms that I adore. I have been blogging for a long time and I have had many favorite reads over the years. Some of my most favorite bloggers are no longer writing, some have moved on to other projects and some, like me, have struck around. Now the ladies below are on my most read list. They are mostly Canadian and American and there is even one who lives in Dubai; another lives in Morocco (even though she is American). I am very grateful to call these women friends. So who are my must read moms? Here’s the list.

1. My friend Grace lives in Dubai, we became friends many years ago during the first 5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party and we have been friends ever since. If you want to know what that part of the world is like, she is a great resource. I have loved watching her and her children grow. You can find her at Sandier Pastures. Happy Mother’s Day Grace!

2. My friend Amanda lives in Morocco. Like me she converted to Islam. She has been one of my favorite food bloggers for many years as I love Moroccan food, one of her specialties. These days though she is doing a lot of sharing for some amazing travel opportunities that have come her way. She also runs a new small business showing travelers all of the best spots to eat in Marrakesh.  You can find her at MarocMama. Happy Mother’s Day Amanda!

3. My friend Susan is half of the team at 5 Minutes for Mom with her sister Janice. Both of them are amazing women who I have gotten to know over the years. I really do love Susan though and she has taught me much about the business of blogging. I also love how she loves her 5 Minutes for Mom community. If you are a blogger and you want to grow, check out their weekly emails. Happy Mother’s Day Susan and Janice!

4. My friend Diane has a famous son in Social Media circles but I love her more, and well I do think Chris learned much of who he is from her. She has a wonderful blog called Mom Pop Pow. I love that she simply writes about her life and loves in Las Vegas. Happy Mother’s Day Diane!

5. My friend Liz Strauss is definitely one person you want to follow if you are a business owner. I am excited to learn more about her new project, Genius Shared. She she really is a genius when it comes to social media I am sure it is going to be quite exciting! She is the person behind Successful Blog, and I consider her one of my mentors. She taught me much in my early years. Happy Mother’s Day Liz!

6. My friend Kerry is a newer mom (her daughter is a preschooler) and I was super excited when she left the farm and moved into my neighbourhood. I have loved reading Squawfox  since long before she was a mom. When it comes to being money smart, fun, and informative well, she has it all. Happy Mother’s Day Kerry!

These are just a few of the moms I read on a regular basis. My Feedly feeds brings in about 60 that I read at least once a week, that is many moms, many posts, many topics. I love that, I love the mix of women I do follow and each gives me a perspective on life, business and family and for that I am very grateful. Now if you do not know these moms, check out their blogs and projects. Trust me they are worth knowing.

Hope you all have a blessed Mother’s Day surrounded by love.

Join Us for a Special #MothersDay #CDNMoney Chat with #takeabreak

As moms we can get really busy and if you aren’t a mom but have one well let me tell you she is one busy lady. She really deserves to take a break. With Mother’s Day coming up, ( a great website that allows you to find the lowest rates anywhere instantly)has teamed up with the #CDNmoney chat to talk about our Moms and Mother’s Day. So our #CDNmoney on May 5th is dedicated to Mother’s Day.

Now remember this woman who carried you for 9 months, this woman who really took care of you well she deserves to be honored on Mother’s Day. Well, actually every day. She deserves time off, she deserves the break that often comes with Mother’s Day. So remember the breakfast in bed, the card, the works, you know what you mom needs best. Do what will make her feel loved and appreciated.

When I think of my mom I think of a woman who raised 2 daughters. She worked hard cleaning at av local hospital for veterans for many years and then worked for the Department of National Defense before she retired. She worked hard, volunteered in the community and did the best she could for her girls. Even now as she is in retirement, she deserves  to take a break.


Now my friends at Lowest Rates have a wonderful giveaway on their site right now, perhaps you have seen it. It has over $750 in prizing! Everything your mom might need from coffee ( a Starbucks gift card) to music to a day of pampering with a Way Spa gift card to a travel gift certificate and car cleaning. Just a little bit of everything perfect for mom. One mom will definitely be able to take a break with that!

LowestRates MothersDay

Now please do join us for this very special Mother’s Day chat with There is no RSVP and well you can enter to win their Mother’s Contest.

Now go enter their Mother’s Day contest! and see you Tuesday May 5th at 7pm EST for the #CDNMoney chat.




Spring Must Haves from Hallmark Canada & Giveaway #LoveHallmarkCA

spring must haves Hallmark CaToday I could feel it in the air as I went out for my walk, as it was a double digit day here in Toronto, spring is in the air. I was so thankful to get out for a walk without having to bundle up. With spring around the corner so is Easter and right after that we will be shopping for Mother’s Day. There really are some great spring must haves from Hallmark Canada this year.

When I think of these two holidays I am filled with joy and peace, besides Christmas they are two of my favorite times of the year. Traditionally in our family Easter is a time of renewal, of Easter egg hunts, chocolate and well my mom is known for her ham and scalloped potatoes.

Now when it comes to Mother’s Day, since my teen is now a teen, I get a bit spoiled often getting breakfast in bed, and well on that day I don’t cook or clean, and we usually go out for dinner as well. Sometimes there is even a gift, often they are hand crafted. Sometimes though there have been small gifts that mean something to her. I celebrate my mom often with a call, a card and a small gift.

Now Hallmark Canada sent us brand ambassadors a sweet selection from their must haves. They included some great Easter items that kids will love, and well they had to send a few things us moms will adore as well.

Hallmark Canada

The first thing my daughter reached for was the Flappy Happy Chick. This cute chick even sings and bops to a parody of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”.  MSRP -$32.95 or 17.95 with each purchase of 3 Hallmark Cards



My nieces will adore Mimi. You can even sing along with this plush mouse. Tell her which song of her 7 original songs you would like to sing or you can even let her choose. You even get a song book so you know the words. MSRP- $24.95

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The little guy in our house fell in love with the Easter Beagle Snoopy Plush. Snoopy looks adorable dressed as a bunny. MSRP $19.95

There are also a great selection of gift bags for Easter perfect for your gift wrapping needs. Find them at your local Hallmark Gold Crown Store.

Now for moms they have a great selection as well. We can’t possibly forget about mom can we?

We loved the Framed Embroidered Sentiments. They reminded me of my grandmother’s needlepoint. You can celebrate life’s moments in a bigger way with “Life is a Special Ocassion” from Hallmark. You will love the selection. MSRP $12.95

We also loved the Embroidered Pillows. Home is where your loved ones are. These pillows each feature an embroidered sentiment perfect for Nana, Grandma or home. MSRP $19.95

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There were also some adorable books in our boxes that would be perfect for any mom. We loved that you could personalize the “You’re Loved Mom” book.


We also we given a beautiful white Ceramic Whiteboard with Marker. It’s perfect for jotting down quick reminders, goals or just a note to make someone in your family smile. MSRP- $19.95 for the small one an $24.95 for the larger one.

To see everything on the Spring must have list and a bunch more visit your local Hallmark store.

Now for the readers of CommonCentsMom, Hallmark Canada is giving you the chance to win a Ceramic Desktop Whiteboard with Marker. 


* Open to Canadian residents and the giveaway will end April 5th, 2014

Simply fill in the Rafflecopter below to enter and leave a comment on this post and let me know how you celebrate Easter.

* Disclosure: I am part of the #LoveHallmarkCA Blogger panel, as such I do receive perks and product for my participation in the program. All opinions are my own and posts and giveaways are not required.

a Rafflecopter giveaway





5 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas Under $25

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and many of us are wondering what to get for dear mom. Sometimes I think shopping for my mother has been one of the hardest things I have done after all you love her very much and she is that person who has done so much for you. But I learned a long time ago there is not a price tag attached to Mother’s Day and there is no amount of money that can be tied to a child’s love for their mom.

If you are out shopping for your mother I wanted to give you some frugal suggestions from brands that I love and adore. All of these can be found for $25 or less.



First some of you know I am Community Manager for BlowMeCool and well I love my mini-fan. If you have a mom who is  menopausal and is getting hot flashes well this discreet little gift is one they might love. We have even come up with many uses for the fans besides the hot flash.How about cooling off something hot?  For my readers I can even get you a discount. If you are ordering a fan use the code CCM30 to get 10% off so the fan then costs $17.95


Mother's Day Gift Ideas



Many moms are tea lovers like me as well, and well David’s Tea have a number of suggestions. I especially loved the retro cup for $9.50 and with a nice bag of tea you are still under the $25 figure. You can check out there selection of teas here.

mothers day gift ideas

Another thing I love is chocolate. What mom doesn’t love chocolate? I have loved Purdy’s chocolate for years now and well I went window shopping on their site and found a great deal in The Peacock Tin. You get a selections of dark and milk for  $19.95


Mother's Day Gift Ideas


Can’t afford to give your mom a day at the spa but want her to indulge in the tub? Well we love Lush in our house. My daughter and I are both Lush addicted so it has always been on our lists of wants, and this year my daughter knows how much I love butterflies and well now Lush has a perfect one for the bath, the Madame Butterfly. It is rose petal and lemon scented two of my favorites for the spring and it lasts more then one bath. It lasts 6. By the way I noticed that Lush has a Pinterest contest going on right now.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Finally if you have a mom like mine who has everything, and well is an avid reader like mine well I would have to head to Chapters Indigo for a gift card, that way Mom can spend hours in one of her favorite places-the book store.

These are just some of the things we are loving this Mother’s Day on a budget of $25 or less. What would your picks be?

*This is not a sponsored post, just some ideas for Mother’s Day.