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Game On: Nintendo 2DS #Giveaway

Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

Years ago, when I first became a mom, I had an idealist view of how I would parent – and how my boys would flourish and grow. I’ll make their baby food from scratch! I promised. No television for my boys! I declared. And the kicker – They’ll never, ever be caught with those dreadful handheld gaming devices!

Well, I didn’t make baby food from scratch. And Lord knows I can sing the theme song from almost every Disney Junior show, so there’s that. But I held out on avoiding video game systems for as long as possible, wrongfully assuming that every child who encounters them instantly becomes addicted. Not true at all.

In fact, I found that introducing my boys to the Nintendo 3DS XL has had a very positive effect on their cognitive skills, such as spatial navigation, reasoning, memory and perception. Additionally, I’ve absolutely seen an improvement in their social skills, like sharing, compromise and offering encouragement (although we do have a tug-of-war over the device from time to time, but they’re siblings and it’s to be expected). All in all, you could say that my opinion of handheld gaming systems has changed incredibly over the past few months.

So what’s all the fuss about? The Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL systems feature a stereoscopic 3D display on the upper screen to give objects within the game world a feeling of space and depth. It becomes easier to see the position of characters and obstacles, making many game experiences even more intuitive for all types of players.

(Since the boys are still young, we disable the 3D effect thanks to a built-in 3D Depth Slider, which allows us to adjust the intensity of the 3D settings on the Nintendo 3DS system.)

Of course, one feature we haven’t tried and are eager to as the boys grow: the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL systems can take photos in 3D. Capture eye-popping images of friends and family, have fun with filters like the Merge lens, or even use the system’s AR technology and included AR Cards to make Mii characters and Nintendo heroes appear in the real world. Très cool!  (more…)

Contests

#CelebrateAdminsCA with @StaplesCanada!

Food for Thought: The majority of administrative professionals are happier than their bosses (61% vs. 18%). Yup, it’s true! The survey was conducted by Staples in honor of National Administrative Professionals’ Day on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014. And for the second year in a row, a majority of respondents say the admin boosts employee morale and is a better team player than the boss. Who knew?

In fact, when it comes to who holds the most power in the office, the boss wins. But second in command is the admin, ahead of the chief financial officer and human resources director. Administrative Professionals are multi-talented, go above and beyond the duties of their position, and sometimes even assume the role of office “matchmaker.” Is there anything an admin can’t do? I think not!

“Staples is proud to recognize the great work being done by administrative professionals and the critical role they play in companies across the country,” said Mike Edwards, Staples executive vice president, merchandising. “National Administrative Professionals’ Day is an opportunity to thank these hard-working individuals for helping their businesses make more happen every day.”

Know a fabulous admin? Staples Canada offers an assortment of great gift ideas – and we’re happy to dish out some amazing suggestions. In honour of National Administrative Professionals’ Day, Staples Canada is hosting a #CelebrateAdminsCA Twitter Party! Join us on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 from 1-2 pm ET to learn more interesting tidbits from the survey – as well as the chance to win some amazing prizes.

Now heads up party people – it’s a daytime Twitter Party, so be sure to pop in for a fun afternoon chat. If you’ve attended @StaplesCanada Twitter Parties in the past, you’ll know that they are AH-MAZING. RSVP for a chance to win, and see you on Wednesday afternoon!  (more…)

Contests

ROAR Into Spring with #RoyaleTigerTowel!

After a long – okay, extra long – cold, unforgiving winter, there are just some things that *must* be done:

1) Ladies, whip out your Schick razor. You know what to do with it.
2) Is it safe to take the winter tires off yet? Somehow, I am not confident we’re in the clear just yet.
3) The patio set and barbecue. Locate them, and keep them on standby.
4) Grab your favourite cleaning solutions and supplies. It’s time for a good spring cleaning!

Will you be partaking in a little scrub-and-shine fest this season? I’m pleased to report that my spring cleaning is underway, and this year, I’m on the prowl for a soft, strong and thirsty multipurpose paper towel. Introducing Royale Tiger Towel! Using the latest in Thru-Air Dried (TAD) technology, Royale Tiger Towel delivers a soft, strong and more absorbent paper towel. Dye and fragrance-free, Tiger Towel was launched in handy half sheets to accommodate both small and large clean-ups and come with an absorbency guarantee so Canadians can be confident they will do the job every time.

Prowling the shelves of retailers across the country, Royale has also partnered with Pathera, the world’s leading wild cat conservation organization, which works in partnership with Save the Tiger Fund to conserve the world’s remaining 3,200 wild tigers. As a proud partner, Royale will donate $40,000 to the fund as well as provide ongoing support to raise awareness and increase fundraising efforts throughout 2014.

So, want to learn how you can ROAR into Spring?  Join the #RoyaleTigerTowel Twitter Party!

We’ll chat about your favourite ways to get prepared for the warmer months ahead, and how Royale Tiger Towel can assist with your spring cleaning efforts. Of course, we’ll have some terrific prizes up for grabs – including a ONE YEAR supply of Royale Tiger Towel for the Grand Prize winner!

(Tip: You could win a $15,000 Kitchen Makeover with Royale Tiger Towel – plus 70 daily prizes! Enter here.)

RSVP below for a chance to win, and see you on Wednesday night!  (more…)

fashion

End Violence: Shop for Hope #Giveaway

Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only. 

Did you know that half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16?

I’ve witnessed the effects first hand. When I was just 17 years old, I volunteered at a battered women’s shelter in my hometown. I offered makeup application to women who had job interviews, and provided resume writing services to those who were ready to get back into the workforce. At the time, I felt very detached from the residents; to me, violence against women was a small, isolated occurrence confined to the spaces of the shelter and its inhabitants. Never have I been so wrong.

Today, I’m proud to support The Canadian Women’s Foundation; Canada’s only national foundation dedicated to giving women and girls in Canada a chance for a better life.

“We invest in the strength of women and the dreams of girls. The Canadian Women’s Foundation raises money to end violence against women, move women out of poverty and build strong resilient girls through funding, researching and promoting best practices. We are a leading voice for women in Canada.”

In its continuing efforts to end violence against women, the Canadian Women’s Foundation has paired up with Winners and HomeSense to create the Shop for Hope campaign that runs throughout April 12th to May 11th, 2014. This unique program donates net proceeds of specially marked Canadian Women’s Foundation products to help raise hope for women and their children across Canada who experience violence.

From pillows with inspirational quotes, to throws, candles and jewelry boxes, this exclusive line of products has something for everyone, with the added benefit of helping women in your community.

Clockwise from top: Charity Plush Elephant with Embroidery $14.99; Charity Candle $9.99; Ladies T-Shirt $14.99; Charity Quote Pillow $19.99; Mirror Box $14.99/ $19.99; Charity Bag $1.49; Charity Teacup $5.99; Charity 5 PC Set Nail Polish $12.99. Center: Charity Throw $24.99; Charity Sport Towel $7.00; Charity Hydration Flavour Bottle $9.99.

Visit Winners and Homesense and check out their exclusive, specially marked Canadian Women’s Foundation products in the Shop for Hope aisle. Net proceeds will help raise hope for women who have experienced violence.

To help spread the word about this incredible initiative, one lucky reader will win ALL the products pictured above (retail value over $150.00). To enter, simply fill the form below with your qualifying entries.  (more…)

Contests

The #cleanwater Twitter Chat

Most of y’all are used to my fun and catchy post titles – especially when promoting Twitter Chats or other online shindigs. However, I recognize that the upcoming #cleanwater Twitter Chat is simply one of the most meaningful initiatives I’ve ever aligned with, and hence, wanted to give it the respect it deserves.

FACT: The majority of Canadians take clean drinking water for granted… while one billion go without.

It can be said that nearly all Canadians enjoy an unlimited supply of clean water, so it’s no surprise that a recent survey by P&G and Walmart Canada found that 80% of us take safe drinking water for granted. And, many of us may be shocked to learn that one billion people in the developing world do not have the same luxury.

FACT: Diseases from contaminated water kill more children than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.

To help combat this global issue, P&G and Walmart Canada have teamed up to donate one day of clean drinking water for every P&G product purchased at Walmart or Walmart.ca during the month of April. The Canadian initiative will support the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program (CSDW) that aims to save one life every hour by 2020 through the provision of two billion litres of clean water each year. For a 12-month period, a selection of more than 20 P&G products will continue to generate donations for each purchase at Walmart Canada.

FACT: Canadian actor and #cleanwater activist, Jason Priestley, supports the initiative.

“More than 1,600 children die every single day from water-borne illnesses,” says Jason Priestley. “I believe that everyone should have clean water. As a dad, the thought of children dying every day from preventable diseases caused by lack of clean water is an unfathomable tragedy. I’m proud to partner with P&G and Walmart Canada to educate Canadians about how they can bring clean drinking water to children and families in the developing world.”

Join us on Tuesday, April 15th at 8:00pm ET for the #cleanwater Twitter Chat. We’ll share a wealth of information about this incredibly important initiative, and have amazing P&G prize packs on hand to reward our chat attendees.

Our GRAND PRIZE is valued at over $250, which includes a $200 Walmart Gift Card. Plus, please welcome @Jason_Priestley – he will be our special guest, tweeting LIVE on the chat!

RSVP below for a chance to win. See you on Tuesday night! (more…)

Contests

Nestlé Baby: Feeding Time Fun #Giveaway

Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

I remember it like it was yesterday. My kitchen was covered with assorted strips of fruit peel and discarded cores. Chunks of pear, apple and mango were simmering away on the stove, condensing into a sloppy, mushy substance. After slightly cooling the mixture, I transferred it to a blender, where it was puréed until smooth. Then, ever-so-carefully, I spooned the puree into washed and sterilized ice cube trays, and set it in the freezer. I tackled all the dishes in the meantime, in between washing formula bottles and distracting little Ryder. After two hours, I transferred the cubes to a zipper bag, and once again returned the package to the freezer.

That was the first and last time I made my own baby food.

Honestly, I have much respect for parents who make their own purées. Because you what? It just wasn’t my thing at all. In fact, I found more satisfaction popping open a jar of baby food than I ever did taking the time to make my own. It’s what worked for me and I am totally cool with that.

And if you are a do-it-yourself parent, remember that while homemade baby food totally rocks, you may be missing the mark when it comes to including enough iron in your child’s diet. Most healthy infants are born with enough iron stores to initially meet their needs, but at about six months, baby’s iron stores start to deplete and breast milk can no longer meet his or her nutritional requirements.

Health Canada recommends babies between six and twelve months should be offered iron-rich foods two or more times a day. Iron is an essential nutrient for an infant’s growth and carries oxygen from the lungs throughout the body, including the brain, and helps a baby remember all of the new things learned each and every day.

Today, Nestlé Gerber is serving up the chance to WIN a “Feeding Time Fun” prize pack, valued at over $100, with special treats including Baby Cereal, which provides 100 per cent of the daily value of iron babies need.

The prize pack includes:

· Three boxes of Nestlé Gerber Cereal
· Deluxe Reclining Feeding Seat
· Snack bowls
· Kiddy Cutlery 3-Pc Set
· Babies R Us 10 pack bibs
· Babies R Us 12-pack super soft washcloths

It’s the perfect gift pack for an expecting mom or parents with wee ones. And even though my little guys are well beyond the mushy food stage, Nestlé Gerber is still the only baby cereal I trust. Each serving of cereal provides 100 per cent of the daily value of iron babies need, without any added sugar, salt, preservatives, artificial flavours or colours. They’re the only infant cereals in Canada with Probiotic B. lactis, which helps contribute to a healthy digestive tract flora. Good luck everybody!  (more…)

Contests

Grab a Taste of the Big League! #Giveaway

Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

Take me out to the ball game… Take me out with the crowd!
Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks… I don’t care if I never get back!

Yes folks, the boys of summer are back! It is officially Opening Weekend for the Toronto Blue Jays – Canada’s favourite (okay, Canada’s only) major league baseball team. After a long, cold winter, it’s a treat to welcome the sights and sounds of the ballpark – the buzz of the crowd, the snap of a baseball bat, and my favourite, the call of the hot dog vendor! Hot Dogs! Sausages! Get ‘em while they’re hot!

Sigh. Can’t you just taste it? A plump, juicy hot dog on a soft, fresh baked bun. It is summertime perfection! And in the spirit of things that go great together, I’m pleased to announce that once again, Schneiders is the official hot dog – and Villaggio is the official sausage bun – of the Toronto Blue Jays!

And now, you can grab a taste of the big league at home! Recreate the iconic taste of the ballpark with Schneiders Country Naturals Jumbo Beef Wieners. They’re made with beef raised without antibiotics and crafted with only authentic, wholesome ingredients so you and your family can experience meat the way it’s supposed to taste – free of artificial ingredients and preservatives. Then, wrap it in a Villaggio Italian Style Sausage Bun for the ultimate fan experience. Now that’s a home run!

So, will you be cheering on the Toronto Blue Jays this Opening Weekend? Show your team spirit by supporting the boys in blue… and entering to win a fabulous prize pack!

Courtesy of our friends at Schneiders and Villaggio, I’ve got $100 worth of FREE product coupons up for grabs! So, whether you’re at the ballpark or in your backyard, you can enjoy the most epic Country Naturals Hot Dog or Grill’ems Sausage on us.  (more…)

Contests

Get Ready to #BakeWithStyle!

Tenderflake knows how good you feel when you #BakewithStyle and wants to help women coping with cancer feel good too. That’s why they’ve partnered with Look Good Feel Better, Canada’s only charity dedicated to empowering women by helping them manage the effects that cancer and its treatment have on their appearance.

Sounds amazing? IT IS. And here’s how you can help: Vote on one of their stylish Easter recipes and you’ll be making a $1 donation toward the Look Good Feel Better organization.

Of course, a campaign this wonderful is a cause for celebration – and we’re celebrating with a #BakeWithStyle Twitter Party! Join @TenderflakePie as they share stylish and scrumptious recipes like these Easter Sweet Treats. Best of all, we’re giving away FREE Tenderflake coupons and TWO KitchenAid Artisan Mixers – valued at $499.99 each!

RSVP below for a chance to win, and get ready to #BakeWithStyle!  (more…)

Contests

We’re Celebrating #EggsAtEaster!

Few things go hand in hand like Easter… and Easter Eggs, of course! And just in time for the EGGcellent feast, the Egg Farmers of Canada are hosting a party of EGGpic proportions. EGGcited? So am I!

(In case you’re wondering, no, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of inserting “egg-isms” where appropriate. Too much fun!)

Join @eggsoeufs on Tuesday, April 8th at 9pm ET for the #EggsAt Easter Twitter Party. We’ll be chatting up a storm about your Easter traditions, creative tips for decorating Easter eggs, and how fresh, local Canadian Eggs play a supporting role in your holiday feast. From Festive Brunch Pie to Chocolate Bunny Bread, there are so many reasons to celEGGbrate the holiday!

We’ll have fabulous prizes up for grabs, including 7 x Easter Get Cracking Prize Packs (includes tons of Get Cracking Swag and an Easter Egg Decorating Kit), plus a GRAND PRIZE of an Easter Quiche-in-a-Box Prize Pack!

The Easter Quiche-in-a-Box Prize Pack includes everything you need to create the perfect Easter morning celebration – Get Cracking Swag, an Easter Egg Decorating Kit, a KitchenAid Mandolin slicer, a Quiche Dish Set from Crate and Barrel, a KitchenAid Box Grater, and a variety of special seasonings like thyme, basil, rosemary, peppercorns and sea salt. The prize is valued at $250.00! (Please see our official rules.)

RSVP below for a chance to win, and be sure to bring your #EggsAtEaster recipes, tips and ideas to share! (more…)

food

Five Steps to Five-Minute Pizza #Giveaway

Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

Pizza is a BIG thing in my house. As a mom of two boys with hollow legs, I’m constantly looking for satisfying meals and snacks that will keep the boys’ hunger at bay. In recent months, I’ve discovered that often, pizza is simply the best option; it’s loaded with protein, is a finger food, and most importantly, can be customized to suit tastes and preferences.

Yet it occurred to me some time ago that my kitchen drawer was littered with delivery flyers. My freezer was overstocked with frozen pizzas – both family-sized and snack portions. A growing fraction of our children’s diet was dedicated to convenience food; surely there had to be a better way?

Yes, I could make pizza myself. And I do! But I am also realistic: I am not the type to make my own pizza dough from scratch on a weekly basis. I choose my battles carefully, and battling with sticky dough is not a war I will ever win. So, I found a wonderful alternative in flatbreads; they’re easy to work with and offer a desirable thin crust. But the equation wasn’t perfect just yet – because making your own pizza also means you have to preheat your oven. And bake it. And watch it. Hmmm… where were those microwaveable pizza snacks?

But just when I thought I had doomed my boys to a childhood of convenience food, the heavens parted… and I was introduced to a game changer. The Hamilton Beach Pizza Maker. YES, a countertop pizza maker! It’s a snazzy, easy-to-use appliance that makes pizza, snacks and appetizers in a flash. Heat up a 12” pre-made frozen pizza or create your own delicious and nutritious pizza from (almost) scratch!

The kicker: It cooks up to 40% faster and is up to 52% more energy efficient than your kitchen oven.

Do the math, friends: in the time it takes to preheat my oven for a frozen or fresh pizza, we could have pizza on the table. And for this mom of boys who say “I’m still hungry” exactly 8.2 times per day, that is very attractive indeed!

Presenting: Five Steps to Five-Minute Pizza. Made possible ONLY with the Hamilton Beach Pizza Maker.

Step One: Get your hands on a Hamilton Beach Pizza Maker, of course! Available at TruServ, Amazon.ca and SHOP.CA, the unit retails for $69.99 and for pizza lovers, is worth every penny. In addition to cooking pizza, you can also warm appetizers, wings, cinnamon rolls and more. Bonus: the gorgeous red colour looks great on your countertop or tabletop.

Step Two: Add your frozen pizza, fresh pizza dough or flat bread to the pizza maker, and load up your toppings. Did you see that? I created my pizza directly in the pizza maker. So, there are less dishes and almost ZERO cleanup! Because my boys can get picky about toppings, I hide them between layers of shredded mozzarella. On this particular pizza, I’ve buried pepperoni and sauteed mushrooms – a classic combination.  (more…)

Contests

Sing Along Now: I #FeelGood(Bread)!

Now that I’ve started a James Brown earworm, tell me – what makes you feel good?

Is it taking care of yourself by eating right? Maybe you burn off extra energy by hitting the gym. Or perhaps you keep your life a drama-free zone (recommended). Whatever it is, Dempster’s Feel Good Breads are made for movers and shakers who like to look and feel oh so good.

Great taste, good-for-you ingredients and customized to fit your lifestyle. What could be better? From boosting your protein intake to maintaining a healthy diet, Feel Good Breads are satisfying food choices that can help keep you on track and complement your busy lifestyle.

So far so good? Join us at the @Dempsters #FeelGoodBread Twitter Party, where we’ll chat about ways to spread the goodness, including how you can help your city top the Dempster’s Feel Good Index!

Visit www.feelgoodindex.ca. The Feel Good Index monitors what Canadians are tweeting across the country. It then calculates the overall feeling in each region by comparing the number of times people use keywords associated with “good” feelings to the number of times people use keywords associated with “not-so-good” feelings.

If people in a city tweet more “feel good” keywords than “feel not-so-good” keywords, the city is given a positive score – or a negative score if they tweet more “feel not-so-good” keywords. The Index then adds up all the scores from each region and averages them out equally to calculate the mood of Canada as a whole.

Want to improve the Feel Good Index of your city? Use the Feel Good Tweet Generator for a random feel good message to tweet to all your followers. I tried it, and it’s fabulous! See my Feel Good Tweet.

Intrigued? Join our Twitter Party on March 31st at 9pm EDT, where you know there will be amazing prizes up for grabs… up to $1,000 in Feel Good Prizes, to be exact!  (more…)

Contests

Protect Yourself: The #FellowesProtects Twitter Party

If you read my post Protect Yourself with #FellowesProtects, you’ll know that like so many, I’ve been a victim of credit card fraud. And, I don’t want the same to happen to you! Be sure to check out the Top 10 Documents You Should be Shredding, and enter to win a Fellowes Powershred 63cb Cross-Cut Shredder to help protect against identity theft. (Giveaway ends in two weeks! Good luck!)

Since March is Fraud Prevention Month and I’ve got Family Travel on my mind, I’m eager to share the following tips to Protect Yourself from Identity Fraud while on Vacation:

1. Put a hold on your mail. If you are planning to be gone for an extended period of time (a week or more), it’s a good idea to put a hold on all your mail (bank statements, credit card bills etc…).

2. Take out the garbage. Don’t leave any personal items that are not shredded in your blue bins or garbage cans. If thieves notice you are away, it doesn’t take long to go through your bills and obtain information leading to fraud.

3. Alert Credit Card Companies. Be sure to let your credit card providers know you will be travelling, so if any suspicious charges appear on your card, they will know ahead of time. Also, this will help them keep track of other possibly suspicious charges that could appear elsewhere.

4. Limit Online Banking.  If you use internet cafes or other public- usage computers, ensure you log out of all sites that may give out personal information – especially when on a public computer.

5. Keep your wallet light. Travel with as few cards and personal information as possible. Lock all valuables in your hotel safe or your suitcase. Pickpockets are more common than you think!

6. Never leave valuables unattended.  Be sure to never leave your passport, birth certificate credit cards etc. lying around your hotel room. Most hotels provide a safe in each room, so use it!

7. Keep a close watch on your bills. When you get home from your vacation, ensure you thoroughly check your bank statements and credit card bills for any possibly suspicious activity.

8. Choose ATMs carefully. Banks have been reporting more and more ATM-skimming crimes. This is when thieves insert a card reader into an ATM to capture your account information and PIN number when you use your card. It’s best to stick with ATMs located directly in a bank.

Looking for more information? Be sure to like Fellowes Canada on Facebook to gain access to a great variety of ID Theft Prevention Resources, including an ID Theft Prevention Kit, Shredding Tips, What To Do if You’re a Victim and more. And for a great chat focused on keeping your personal information safe and secure, please join us at the @FellowesCanada #FellowesProtects Twitter Party!

Join us on Wednesday, March 26th at 8pm EDT as we tweet up a storm with important, relevant information perfectly timed for Fraud Prevention Month, and in advance of tax season! Of course, we’ll have amazing prizes up for grabs:

2 x 63Cb shredders (retail value $189.99)
2 x P-12C shredders (retail value $99.97)
4 x 4-pk of Fellowes Bankers Box R-Kive boxes (retail $19.99)

RSVP below for a chance to win, and see you on Wednesday night! (more…)

Contests

Disney’s Frozen Will Melt Your Heart! #Giveaway

Walt Disney Animation Studios presents a chilly twist on one of the most humorous and heartwarming stories ever told. Widely acclaimed as one of Disney’s best animated features of all time, Frozen will melt your heart.

Fearless optimist Anna sets off on an epic journey – teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven – to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.

Bring home Frozen on Blu-ray High Definition on March 18th, 2014 – featuring a blizzard of never-before-seen bonus extras with gorgeous animation, memorable characters and unforgettable music. It’s dazzling fun for the whole family!

“Oh, I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved the idea of summer, and sun, and all things hot.” << Me too Olaf! But for one lucky reader, I’ve got a Frozen Blu-ray Combo Pack up for grabs!

Simply fill the form below with your qualifying entries. Good luck, and remember: some people are worth melting for! (more…)

Contests

Must See TV: The Blacklist #Giveaway

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

Ah, the war of the remote control. While at one time it intensified the power struggle within a marriage or relationship, the truth is, with multiple-television households, this quirky little tug-of-war is now all but extinct. Case in point: in my home, usually, you’ll find my husband holed up in his basement “man cave”, while I snuggle in our bed channel surfing for chick flicks. His preference is ultimate fighting competitions; mine – cooking competitions.

However, we do agree on a few television shows – namely, The Blacklist on Global TV. It starts the brilliant James Spader as Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington. Ex-government agent Reddington is one of the FBI’s Most Wanted fugitives, who has brokered shadowy deals for criminals across the globe. Known as “The Concierge of Crime,” Reddington has mysteriously surrendered to the FBI, offering to help catch high-profile terrorists – but on the condition that he only speaks with rookie profiler Elizabeth “Liz” Keen (Megan Boone).

Following so far? Here’s the Coles Notes version for those who are new to the show:

Monday night has become “date night” at our place as we settle in for an always-thrilling episode. And with a BRAND NEW episode airing Monday, March 17 at 10:00 ET, my husband and I will continue our tradition of actually watching television… on the same floor, in the same room!

“Season 1, Episode 16: The Hunter Becomes the Hunted – The next target on the Blacklist is one of Red’s past associates, crime lord Mako Tanida. After Tanida escapes from prison he is out for revenge. Elsewhere, Tom confronts Jolene after interfering with his mission…”

So… will you be watching The Blacklist this Monday night?

I’ve got a nifty little prize pack to give away: a 4-pack of tee shirts featuring The Blacklist, and a mug for you to start your mornings off right (hopefully without the drama and suspense from the night before!). The prize pack is valued at $50. To enter, simply fill the form below with your qualifying entries. (But please, no spoilers in the comments!) (more…)

Contests

Make Yourself #RightAtHome with Urban Barn

It’s not every day that I have the opportunity to work with one of my most favourite brands. As a self-professed Urban Barn junkie, I’ve coveted their furniture from the moment we signed the purchase agreement for our home. (In fact, I’m quite positive I buggered off work for the rest of the day so I could pop into a nearby store.)

Regardless, when I think of effortless style with a contemporary flair, I think of Urban Barn. And my Yoshi Bedroom Set. And my Groove Chair… Lucent Round Damask Mirror… City in Motion Collage… Aldo Bar Stools… London Bedding Collection… Carradine Leather Sofa Chaise… Strike Coffee Table…

Am I obsessed? I prefer the term, “fan girl”.

And it gives me great pleasure to announce the GRAND OPENING of Urban Barn’s newest location – 18166 Yonge Street in Newmarket, Ontario. If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, pop by the store this Saturday, March 15th from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. as they welcome customers to the Green Lane Centre.

BONUS: You’ll enjoy 20% off all Décor Accents! AND, use this EXCLUSIVE coupon to save 15% off furniture! Remember, both promotions are valid on Saturday, March 15th at the Newmarket store only.

Urban Barn offers a stunning array of contemporary furniture, home decor and gorgeous accessories that will look #RightAtHome in your place, for years to come. By shaking up a winning cocktail of great design, quality and value with liberal splashes of fun, they’ve become a true favourite of the style conscious shopper. (<< That would be me.)

Whether compact condo or roomy rural retreat, Urban Barn has the right furniture and accessories to bring sophistication and comfort to every room of your home. If you love your home, you’ll love their stores…it’s a given.

In the mood to Spring into a new season of style? Join us for the @Urban_Barn #RightAtHome Twitter Party!

We’ll chat about the best design and decor trends for Spring 2014 with Urban Barn, the original purveyors of effortless style. All those who RSVP below will have a chance win AMAZING prizes, including Urban Gift cards to get your shopping started off right!

Follow @Urban_Barn, RSVP using the linky below and tweet using #RightAtHome to be eligible to win. See you on Thursday night – and if you live in the GTA, be sure to pop by the Newmarket store on Saturday! (more…)

Contests

Protect Yourself with #FellowesProtects

Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. And I’ve been fooled before: a victim of credit card fraud, over $12,000 was charged to my account in just over six hours. I found out in the most inconvenient fashion; while exiting a parking garage after a rare romantic dinner with my husband, both our credit cards were declined at the checkpoint. Confused and frustrated – though lucky to have carried some cash that day – we arrived home to find two voice messages from VISA, asking us to call their fraud centre immediately.

So, we knew one of our credit cards had been compromised. However, thanks to insurance and card-user safeguards, we wouldn’t be responsible for the fraudulent charges. Still, we were impacted in the following ways:

1) My credit card was immediately cancelled, which meant that for this shopaholic, I had to wait up to 10 business days before a replacement would arrive. As I had holiday shopping to complete, it was highly frustrating.

2) A new card meant a new card number – which required several phone calls to creditors who auto-charge my card monthly. Between the insurance company, the cable company, utilities and various charitable organizations, I reckon I spent hours getting everything updated in their systems.

3) That feeling of being victimized. So, someone got a hold of my financial details and someone went on a shopping spree in San Francisco. But who? And more importantly, HOW?

The truth is, I have no idea how my credit card was compromised. But I immediately realized that there were steps I could take to prevent fraudulent activity; everything from safeguarding my PIN to ensuring that I don’t give thieves access to my personal and banking information – especially via documents that have been carelessly thrown away. Think about it – when was the last time you tossed a credit card statement in the trash? You could have tossed a thief everything he needs to steal your identification.

March is Fraud Prevention Month. According to Sylvain Patry, senior vice president of ProtectionPower.ca and identity theft expert, “shredding documents isn’t just for businesses and people with something to hide. Canadian households are full of documents that contain potentially compromising information.” (more…)

Contests

March Break Madness: Join the #CAAChat!

If you had a chance to join our super fun #FamilyTravelCA Chat last night, you’ll know that half the fun was having @CAASCO as our amazing prize sponsor! Now I know y’all know all about CAA’s 24/7 roadside assistance, but did you know that CAA offers Member-exclusive savings and rewards on gas, clothing, movie passes, restaurants, attraction tickets, hotels, travel services, insurance and so much more? It’s true!

And…  those exclusive savings could really come in handy if you’re staying in the city this March Break! Join us for the #CAAChat on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 between 12-1 EST. If you’re looking to make the most out of March Break with fun family activities (and maybe a prize or two), you won’t want to miss it.

So what does CAA have up their sleeve? Oh, only the best suggestions for family activities over March Break, road trip survival tips, staycation ideas, ways to save money and more. For full details, pop on over to CAA’s blog.

Tweet with us and you’ll have a chance to win one of the amazing prizes up for grabs, including CAA Memberships valued at $70, gift cards to CAA partners such as East Side Mario’s, Payless Shoe Source and more, plus the GRAND PRIZE of a $500 CAA travel voucher!

No RSVP is required; simply follow @CAASCO, tune into the conversation and include the #CAAChat hashtag in your tweets. Good luck everyone, and see you on Tuesday afternoon!

Contests

Join Us on the #EpsonRedCarpet!

Ah, the Academy Awards. Honoring achievements in the film industry; interest and anticipation builds to a fevered pitch leading up to the telecast, when hundreds of millions of movie lovers tune in to see who will take home the coveted statue. It’s about art… it’s about industry greats… it’s about cinematic masterpieces.

And oh yes, there’s also that itty bitty thing called the RED CARPET!

Join us on Sunday, March 2nd, 2014 from 7:00pm – 8:00pm for the #EpsonRedCarpet Twitter Party. We’ll be chatting about your favourite celebrities, fashion critiques, winning movie predictions, Oscar night traditions and more!

It’s guaranteed to be a fun chat – but that’s not the only reason you should join us. Epson Canada, makers of state-of-the-art, innovative home theatre projectors, want you to have the ULTIMATE Oscars viewing parties in years to come. That’s why our GRAND PRIZE is this brilliant PowerLite Home Cinema 750HD 720p 3LCD Projector, valued at $899.99! Oscar Night – Superbowl – Movie Night and more – you need this in your life!

We’ll also have a few more AH-MAZING Epson Canada prizes up for grabs, including the star of my popular #ThrowbackThursday posts – the Epson Expression Premium XP-810 Small-in-One Printer!

Follow @EpsonCanada, RSVP using the linky below and tweet using #EpsonRedCarpet to be eligible to win. See you on Sunday night! (more…)

Contests

What Would You Do if You Had #ZEROInhibitions?

Sometimes, you really, really, really want it… but something holds you back.

It’s right there. Right in front of you. So close you can taste it. Soft, comforting and pleasurable. You know that if you just reach out and take it, there’ll be no going back. And that’s exactly what you want to do; throw caution to the wind and sink your teeth in.

What would you do if you had #ZEROInhibitions?

Introducing Dempster’s ZERO. With no added fat or sugar, you can have your bread, and eat it too.

Dempster’s ZERO gives you all the taste and texture you love from a Whole Wheat bread. Think you’ll miss the fat and sugar? Think again. The bread is soft, dense and flavourful – the perfect feel good bread that you can feel confident serving to your loved ones.

Bonus: It won’t just make you feel good, it’ll make you feel sexy. That’s right, I said SEXY.

Have you ever dreamt of being the sexy star of your own romance novel? New Dempster’s ZERO is going to make your fantasies come true. Visit Dempster’s on Facebook and create your own personalized romance novel starring you and your friends. Best of all: it’s quick, easy – very easy – and you can read it on any eReader, tablet or computer.

“The sights and scents of Dempster’s Bakery were sending her into sensory overload. The utilitarian elegance of the stainless steel machinery was a visual contrast to the luscious aroma wafting from the hundreds of loaves of bread that were currently baking to golden perfection. The effect was comforting and sumptuous all at once.”

Oh my! I’m blushing!

So, what would you do with #ZEROInhibitions? We want to know – and you can tell us at the @Dempsters #ZEROInhibitions Twitter Party! Join us on Wednesday, February 19th at 9:00pm EST. We’ll be chatting about how you release your inhibitions… oh yes, I do believe it will be quite the chat :)

RSVP below and tweet on the hashtag, and you’ll have a chance to win FREE bread for 6 months, or the GRAND PRIZE of a $500 Life Experiences Gift Card!  (more…)

Contests

Recipes For Romance: Olivieri #Giveaway

Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

Everyone has a recipe for romance – just ask any teenage boy! Back when I was in high school, my boyfriend’s interpretation included teddy bears, chocolate kisses and a plea to “go all the way” (I accepted two out of his three offerings). Of course, as I grew – and matured – I became less focused on Valentine’s Day as an “event”, and started my rage against the roses. Today, with two kids, four mouths to feed, six hours of sleep and eight jobs, I’m just grateful for a quiet meal and a bottomless glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

I suppose my recipe for romance comes with only two ingredients… and two instructions. Eat and pour.

And, if that meal happened to be Blazing Heart Lobster Rosé Ravioli from Olivieri, I’d be okay with that. In fact, I’d be in love.

If you’re a faithful reader, you’ll know that Olivieri has debuted heart-shaped ravioli and new recipes perfect for Valentine’s Day meals.

How Do I Love Thee? Let me count the ways:

Heart Ravioli with Vanilla Champagne Butter Sauce
Ravioli Hearts with Brown Butter Sauce

Little Devils Sausage Borsetti

Thank you Olivieri – that’s three surefire ways to my heart – and my tummy. This Valentine’s Day, create a romantic meal for your special someone using Olivieri’s delicious fresh pasta and sauces.

(Hint: Olivieri’s Facebook Page is a great source for recipes and inspiration.)

And who knows? Had my high school boyfriend made me an unforgettable meal that incorporated lobster, heart-shaped ravioli and rosé sauce, perhaps I would have taken him up on all three of his romantic notions :)  (more…)