This Holiday Season, Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

December 15, 2014

Be honest: How often do you say thank you to the special people in your life?

The truth is, it’s quite easy to take people for granted, especially the ones we depend on from day-to-day. Fortunately, there are always simple ways to show gratitude, including (my favourite)… the gift of chocolate! And no one knows this better than HERSHEY’S.

Just in time for the holidays, HERSHEY’S has created the Thank You Store. Located at 473 Queen St. West (Queen & Spadina) in Toronto, the store will be open from December 19th – 21st and will give away FREE chocolate to store visitors. The only ask: gift the chocolate to a special person who deserves a sweet “Thank You!” And for those thoughtful enough to pop by, you can indulge in complimentary hot chocolate (and a break from the cold winter air).

Not in the Greater Toronto Area? HERSHEY’S hasn’t forgotten about you! HERSHEY’S wants to help you say “Thank You” – with the #HersheysThankYou Twitter Party!
Hersheys graphic v2Join us this Thursday, December 18th at 1PM EST as we thank those special people who have made our 2014 a little brighter. Of course, a fabulous Twitter Party celebrating friends, loved ones and all things chocolate wouldn’t be complete without fantastic prizes! Up for grabs, six (6) prizes valued at $50.00, and a Grand Prize valued at $250.00!

RSVP below to join the fun, and see you on Thursday afternoon!  (more…)

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Movies, Memories and More…

December 13, 2014

It’s the holidays… and that means, my home is about to get noisy. Like, really noisy.

With the kids home for two whole weeks – and likely, high on a sugar rush from all the Christmas cookies – I’m already planning for ways to keep them entertained, busy…. OCCUPIED.

Thank goodness for Redbox Canada.

I can find our favourite Christmas movies, the most watched DVD and Blu-ray titles, and of course, NEW releases! I can’t tell you how amazing it is to grab the latest movies my boys have been eager to watch (or watch again). Renting through Redbox is an affordable and convenient way to keep kids entertained over the holidays.

And you can have it all for just $1.50 (plus tax) a day.

You’ve likely seen a Redbox kiosk at a big-box retailer, grocery or convenience store near you. Redbox is Canada’s largest DVD “rentailer” with more than 1,350 automated kiosks across all 10 provinces, and if you’ve ever used the service, you’ll know it’s as easy as pie.

Simply find a location online and select your disc (DVD or Blu-ray) and reserve it. Go to the box, touch “pick up”, swipe your card and grab your disc. And the best part? You can return your disc to ANY Redbox location in Canada.

So, how will you keep your kiddos entertained over the Christmas holidays? We’re gearing up for a fun-filled movie chat at the #RedboxCanada Twitter Party! 
redbox graphicJoin us on Wednesday, December 17th at 8:00PM EST as we chat holiday favourites, traditions, movie night must-haves. And to make your holidays even brighter, we’ve got some amazing prizes up for grabs! 10 tweeters will walk away with 10 free movie rentals, and 3 lucky tweets will win a Blu-ray player plus 5 free rentals!

RSVP below to join the fun, and see you on Wednesday night!  (more…)

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So What is First Phone Etiquette? Find Out.

December 7, 2014

According to a recent survey by Microsoft Devices, almost all Canadians (98%) think it’s important for parents to set guidelines for their children’s smartphone use, with most of that group (88%) saying it’s actually “very important”.

Sounds reasonable, yes?

Well, it’s no surprise that parents grabble with “the first phone dilemma” around the holidays more than any other time. When is the right time to get your child a smartphone, and what should parents know before doing so, and after the gift is opened?

At 6-years old, Ryder is still a little young to start the discussion, but – gasp – I’ve seen a few of his classmates with smartphones. (I know, kind of crazy, right?) Hence, it’s pretty obvious that the time is coming, and I want to ensure – as tech savvy as I think I am – that I have a clear understanding of how to introduce a smartphone to my child and what expectations and guidelines we can set as a family for its use.

Just in time for the holidays (and beyond for parents like me!) we’re throwing a party to discuss, learn and share all things #FirstPhoneEtiquette with Microsoft Devices! Join us on Tuesday, December 9th at 12:00pm EST for a fun-filled and informative chat.
FirstPhoneEtiquette GraphicNow I just *have* to tell you about the prizes, because honestly, they’re pretty terrific. We’ll give away 6 prizes of a Microsoft Devices Lumia 830, valued at $500 each – and a grand prize, valued at more than $700, which includes:

Microsoft Devices Lumia 830 Smartphone
Wireless, Bluetooth connected speakers
Wireless charging stand
Portable USB car charger
Treasure Tag

With a total of 7 Microsoft Lumia 830 Devices being given away, I anticipate a lot of happy squeals on Christmas morning! I’m really looking forward to learning more about #FirstPhoneEtiquette – RSVP below for a chance to win, and we’ll see you on Tuesday!  (more…)

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Last Minute Shopping? It’s an #airmilesshops Twitter Party!

December 4, 2014

Tick tock, tick tock. That’s the sound of the clock, counting down the days… hours… minutes left for you to complete your holiday shopping. So, how are you doing with that list? Have you crossed off all the names yet?

Reality: Last minute shopping happens.

Take a deep breath. And then log onto www.airmilesshops.com. With over 75 bonus offers from popular online stores, Collectors can earn more rewards on their holiday shopping, and find more great gift ideas for everyone on their holiday shopping list.

So, who are you shopping for this season? Because we’ve got you covered. With over 175 major brand name stores, including Sears, The Apple Store Canada, Dell Canada, Chapters Indigo, Amazon.ca, Bose, Victoria’s Secret, ALDO Canada, Toys “R” Us, Old Navy Canada and more – you can find the very best gifts quickly and conveniently. And while you’re making wishes come true, you’re also rewarding yourself! Remember, www.airmilesshops.ca is the ONLY online AIR MILES shopping mall that gives Collectors the ability to earn reward miles. Earning AIR MILES reward miles while shopping online through airmilesshops.ca is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

Step One: Sign In – Sign in with your AIR MILES Collector Number and click “Shop Now”
Step Two: Shop – You will be taken to the retailer’s online site and shop as you normally would
Step Three: Earn – When you check out you will earn AIR MILES reward miles on your purchase!

Looking for a little last minute shopping inspiration? Join us for the #airmilesshops Twitter Party!
21089_AMSHoliday_P4_LastChance_TwitterParty_Blog_665x494_R1[1] (2)On Monday, December 8th at 8:00pm EST, we’ll share our best shopping tips and tricks for finding the perfect last minute gifts. To thank you for attending, we’ll be giving away six (6) stunning holiday prize packs, filled with the hottest, on-trend products from AIR MILES’ most popular retail partners! (See our official rules here.)

RSVP below for a chance to win – and be sure to bring your wish list to the party!  (more…)

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Get into the spirit with the #HeritageHoliday Twitter Party!

December 2, 2014

Snowflakes falling, jingle bells ringing, the spirit of the holidays is here and Heritage Education Funds wants to help you find the perfect gifts for your family and friends!

That’s why I’m so pleased to invite you to the #HeritageHoliday Twitter Party. Be a part of a fun, fast-paced event, where we’ll share lots of great gift-giving ideas for everyone on your list. Of course, we are looking forward to hearing YOUR gift ideas, too – the more ideas, the better! And, to help make the holidays as stress-free as possible, we’re giving away fabulous prizes – including Target Canada gift cards – to make your holiday shopping a breeze!*
image_galleryJoin us on Thursday, December 4th at 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. EST. There will be over $800 in prizes up for grabs, courtesy of Heritage Education Funds:

7 – $50 Target Canada gift cards
1 – iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi 16GB Grand Prize (ARV $439 + tax)

*No purchase necessary. Open to age of majority residents of Canada (excluding Quebec and Nunavut). Skill-testing question required. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Click here for full contest rules.

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

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Power Shopping 101: It’s the #airmilesshops Twitter Party!

November 21, 2014

Attention Readers: It’s time to SHOP ’til you DROP.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday (the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season) just around the corner, now is the perfect time to get a head start on that holiday shopping list! Oh, I know you’ve got about a gazillion people to shop for, and that’s why I’m here to let you in on a little secret.

While you’re making that list, and checking it twice… you can be rewarding yourself, too.

It’s true! All you have to do is make sure you visit www.airmilesshops.ca – the ONLY online AIR MILES shopping mall that gives Collectors the ability to earn reward miles as well as access to over 140+ major brand name stores. Earning AIR MILES reward miles while shopping online through airmilesshops.ca is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

Step One: Sign In – Sign in with your AIR MILES Collector Number and click “Shop Now”
Step Two: Shop – You will be taken to the retailer’s online site and shop as you normally would
Step Three: Earn – When you check out you will earn AIR MILES reward miles on your purchase!

Just remember to sign in through the portal and you’ll automatically earn rewards.

Curious about the participating brands? You should be! You’ll have a choice of over 140 major brand name stores, including Sears, The Apple Store Canada, Dell Canada, Chapters Indigo, Amazon.ca, eBay.ca, Lands’ End, LL Bean, Expedia, Bose, Victoria’s Secret and Hotels.com – just to name a few. My picks: ALDO Canada, Toys “R” Us, Old Navy Canada and Lancôme Canada, of course. BONUS: Top US retailers available through airmilesshops.ca include Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and JC Penny. Now that’s a rewarding cross-border shopping trip.

HOT TIP: From Nov 24 – Dec 3, AIR MILES Collectors who shop through the www.airmilesshops.ca portal will earn 10x the reward miles at 175+ online stores!

Ready to start shopping? We’ve got a ton of tips, tricks and deals to share at the #airmilesshops Twitter Party!
AMS Twitter Party GraphicJoin me and moderators @FeistyFrugal and @Candace_DX on Thursday, November 27th for a shopping party like no other! In addition to the fabulous shop talk, we’ll have some amazing prizes up for grabs, including the chance to win 1 of 6 Holiday Gifts from @AIRMILES. Mark your calendars – you won’t want to miss it! (See our official rules here.)

RSVP below for a chance to win – and be sure to bring your wish list to the party!

(more…)

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This Season, #HolidaysHappenHere with Home Depot Canada!

November 20, 2014

My husband and I don’t always agree on everything. In fact, more often than not, we have a ying-yang thing going on. However, right around this time, as the snow falls lightly to the ground and Christmas carols play softly on the radio, we both agree that holidays happen at The Home Depot Canada.

From holiday trees (real and faux) and stunning ornamental décor, to outdoor inflatables and Griswold-worthy lights, they’ve got you covered – with unbeatable prices and selection both online and in-store. Browse their inspiration gallery and find festive touches that will perfectly fit your space. And, with contemporary, distinctive items from the Martha Stewart Living Collection, you’ll be the most stylish stop on Santa’s route.
north_star_close(HOT TIP: From Thursday, November 20 to Wednesday, December 3, 2014 receive a $25 coupon when you purchase any fresh-cut or artificial tree. The $25 coupon is valid for redemption from January 1 to 28, 2015 on a purchase of $100 or more.)

This season, I’ve got my eye on this gorgeous 32 inch Holiday Wreath With Silver Balls – I can perfectly picture it over my fireplace! And these Martha Stewart Living Antique Brass Stocking Hangers? Necessary to complete my mantle, of course. In fact, you may just want to pop by in a few weeks, as I’ve got a gorgeous DIY makeover to debut!  (more…)

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Let’s Talk About Bones.

November 17, 2014

If you’re a woman, in your 30’s, it’s likely one of those things you haven’t given a second thought.

Osteoporosis. 

Oh, come on! That’s not on your radar for… what… another 30 years or so? I used to feel that way too. Until I received a very effective wake-up call, in the form of one single statistic: Women and men alike begin to lose bone in their mid-30s. Simply put, what you ignore today… could catch up to you tomorrow. Or even sooner.

So, what can you do? Educate yourself, of course! It’s never too early to think about your bone health. A well-balanced diet, consumption of calcium-rich foods, along with regular exercise, is the key to osteoporosis prevention. Thankfully, we have access to expert information from the folks at Osteoporosis Canada, in addition to dietitians who can offer advice and support, such as Diana Steele from Earth’s Own.

Bone is living tissue, constantly renewing itself. Give it the respect it deserves.

Have questions about bone health? Join the #AlmondFresh Twitter Chat on Thursday, November 20th at 1:00pm EST. We’ll take your questions, share our tips, and most importantly, give you the information you need to start taking care of your bone heath today.
Twitter-party-graphicTo thank you for participating, we’ll have some fabulous prizes to give away, including 9 x Earth’s Own Prizes Packs valued at $50 each, and one Grand Prize consisting of a grocery gift card, Earth’s Own products and more, valued at $130.  (more…)

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We All Love to Connect. That’s the #CheeriosEffect.

November 16, 2014

In today’s busy, fast-paced, technologically-advanced (obsessed?) world, it’s easy to go days – even weeks – without having face-to-face contact with friends, family and neighbours.

Guilty, as charged.

And while it may seem normal to us, we’re actually missing out on the amazing benefits that direct connections provide, such as learning, happiness, resilience and longevity. Think about the spring in your step after a coffee date with girlfriends. Or the smile on your face following some uninterrupted family time. And now imagine how much healthier you’d feel if you made this a habit.

To help celebrate the happiness and joy connections bring to our lives, Cheerios has launched the Cheerios Effect.

You might ask yourself, what does cereal have to do with human connections? Well, the Cheerios Effect is a real scientific principle that is nicknamed after the cereal. The principle highlights the fact that if you drop two Cheerios into a bowl, they’ll always eventually float together and connect. Because just like those two tiny, floaty little Os, we’re all drawn together. In fact, we’re hard-wired to connect with those around us; nothing could be more natural.

And no matter who you are, where you live, or who you choose to share your life with, Cheerios believes that everyone is worthy of love and connection.

Share your personal connection story at CheeriosEffect.ca, where each unique story will be brought to life with a personalized video of Cheerios connecting in a bowl. And, join our #CheeriosEffect Twitter Party on Thursday, November 20th at 8:00pm EST, where we’ll celebrate all those connections that add value, happiness and health to our lives.
CheeriosEffect GraphicIn addition to an uplifting, inspiring chat, we’ll have some amazing prizes up for grabs, including 6 x $75 Visa gift cards (plus three boxes of Cheerios), and a grand prize of a $200 Visa gift card, with six boxes of Cheerios.  (more…)

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Toys? Oh, We’ve Got Toys!

November 14, 2014

Holiday shopping for wee ones *used* to be easy. You picked up a pink or blue outfit, grabbed whatever toy was on sale, et voila! Gifting = done.

But now… now there are whole aisles dedicated to baby toys. And really, how does one choose? They’re all so darn cute! But wouldn’t it be great if someone just told you about the hot toys for Holiday 2014? You know, took the guesswork out of selecting which one to buy, and pointed you in the direction of the toys that are on every parent’s wish list?

Ladies and gents: I’d like to cordially invite you to the Fisher-Price #fpwishlist Twitter Party. Join us on Wednesday, November 19th at 8:00pm EST as we share the hottest toys of the season!
FP_EVITE_BKG_wishlist_2 (2)In addition to a fun-filled chat, we’re also very much in the holiday spirit… a very generous holiday spirit… as we’ll be giving away TWENTY-FOUR (24) Fisher-Price toys! That’s four winners every ten minutes… so get ready for a fast-paced party!  (more…)

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Win It! Disney Blu-ray/DVD Combo Prize Pack

November 7, 2014

Great news, Disney fans! I’ve got a very special giveaway just for you!

Enter to win this 2-pack of Disney Blu-ray/DVDs, including the hit movies Maleficent and Planes: Fire & Rescue, both available this week! (Release date: November 4, 2014)disneyprizepackThis holiday season, delight your family with two of Disney’s most popular films.

Planes: Fire & Rescue – When Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he joins a forest fire and rescue unit to be trained as a firefighter.

Maleficent – A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land.

Can’t wait to see if you’re the winner? Both movies are now available on DVD and Blu-ray. I have a feeling they’ll be under many trees this Christmas, including mine! (Shh… don’t tell the boys!)  (more…)

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Movie Buffs Rejoice! It’s the #RedboxCanada Twitter Party!

November 4, 2014

I know, I know. You know all about Redbox from my previous post, right? But just in case you missed it, I simply have to remind y’all why it’s fabulous. Because what if I told you that you could watch everything from NEW RELEASES to old school favourites, in the comfort of your own home, for just $1.50 (plus tax) a day? That’s Redbox, friends.

You’ve likely seen a Redbox kiosk at a big-box retailer, grocery or convenience store near you. Redbox is Canada’s largest DVD “rentailer” with more than 1,350 automated kiosks across all 10 provinces, and if you’ve ever used the service, you’ll know it’s as easy as pie. Simply find a location online and select your disc (DVD, Blu-ray or Video Game) and reserve it. Go to the box, touch “pick up”, swipe your card and grab your disc. (Enjoy the show.) And the best part? You can return your disc to ANY Redbox location in Canada.

So, are you a movie buff? You won’t want to miss our star-studded #RedboxCanada Twitter Party! Join us on the red carpet (er… Twitter) for a movie-themed chat that you won’t want to miss. We’ll dish on celebrities, screen favourites, the most epic one-liners and more!
Redbox Canada GraphicSo, grab a bowl of popcorn and settle in for the party. And you just know we’ll have some amazing prizes to give away, including MOVIES FOR A YEAR! That’s 52 free rentals, tweeps! RSVP below, and see you on Thursday night.  (more…)

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Smart Stages: Toys for Every Stage

November 3, 2014

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

When my boys were young, and when it came to toys, I was only concerned with two things: 1) Finding a quality toy from a reputable brand, and 2) praying that it would hold the boys’ attention for more than a few months. The first point? Easy. If you’ve been reading my blog for, oh, the last six years, you’ll know that I’ve always trusted Fisher-Price. But the second point? Well, that was a little trickier – because even with the most engaging, educational and fun toys, the truth is, babies by nature develop at different rates. And my babies outgrew their toys in hot New York minute.

But what if there was a way a toy could keep up with your child, with learning content that could adapt and grow as your baby grows?

Say hello to Smart Stages™ technology from Fisher-Price, a NEW learning technology for the stages babies grow through.
Smart StagesSmart Stages content can be set by parents to complement a baby’s different stages, offering toys with value and longevity to both parents and child. Imagine – the toy you purchase for your 6-month old can grow with him until he’s 36 months old, and be stimulating, entertaining – and most importantly, educationally relevant – every step of the way.  (more…)

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Natural in a Nutshell: #AdamsPB Twitter Party

November 1, 2014

It’s one of life’s greatest pleasures… a ritual that everyone must try at least once.

Eating peanut butter off a spoon, straight from the jar.

Come on! You know you want to! And with Adams Natural Peanut Butter, you can enjoy the best in peanut butter goodness, made with 100% fresh roasted peanuts and just a dash of salt. Of course, once you’ve had a taste, you’ll want to add Adams Natural Peanut Butter to everything… like Mini PB Oat Cupsa PB & J Coconut Smoothie, or my very favourite after school snack to give the kiddos: No-Bake Fruit & Nut Balls. Oh yes, I said no-bake.
recipe_5175Want to learn the natural upside of peanut butter? Join the #AdamsPB Twitter Party on Thursday, November 6th from 12:00 – 1:00pm EST.

AdamsPB Graphic v5We’ll be sharing tips and tricks for snacking, baking and pairing the most delicious natural peanut butter around, in addition to hearing your thoughts and suggestions on how to keep a balanced, healthy lifestyle.

And, of course we’ll have some amazing prizes of the delicious variety up for grabs!

You’ll go nutty (sorry, couldn’t help it) for our Adams PB Prize Packs valued at $100, featuring their famous natural peanut butter and everything you need to create some scrumptious snacks.

(If anyone makes this PB & J Popcorn, you will instantly become a neighbourhood legend. Trust me.)

⅔ cup Adams 100% Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
1 ¼ cups Smucker’s Pure Strawberry Jam
1 ½ cups toasted coconut
14 cups salted popcorn

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Heat peanut butter and jam together until starting to bubble, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in coconut. Toss with popcorn. Spread on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake in oven 20-25 minutes until golden. Cool on wire racks.

Tempted to join the natural upside? RSVP below for your chance to win, and see you at the party!  (more…)

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Walmart Canada #MomoftheYear Twitter Party

October 29, 2014

It’s no secret: Mom has the most important role on the planet.

Shaping, molding and nurturing one of our most important resources – our children – is no small feat, and is one that requires patience, perseverance and passion. Through countless hours, Canadian mothers play many different roles, and display courage and self-sacrifice that deem them real life heroes to their families and the communities in which they serve.

In honour of all that moms do and the impact they have on those around them, @WalmartCanada is pleased to host the #MomoftheYear Twitter Party, celebrating all Canadian moms, including the six 2014 Mom of the Year recipients. Join us on Tuesday, November 4th at 8:00pm EST for a chat dedicated to that special lady – our chief scheduler, organizer, driver, coach, nutritionist, caregiver, best friend… and more.
MomoftheYear GraphicThe Walmart Canada Mom of the Year Award gives all of us the chance to say “thank you” to those mothers who have had the biggest impact on us. Get ready to share your favourite moments and memories (and, you may want to bring a box of tissues too). In addition to an inspiring, emotional chat, we’ll also have hundreds in Walmart gift cards to give away, including TWO grand prizes of $200 gift cards. (See our official rules here.)

RSVP below for a chance to win, and we’ll see you on Tuesday night!  (more…)

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It’s a #StayfreeContest Twitter Party! $1000 + in Prizing!

October 24, 2014

So, I did something a little different… I participated in two Twitter Parties. About women’s underwear. And I had a hell of a good time.

In fact, I don’t think I can ever refer to them as “unmentionables” again… because not only were women talking about them… they were sharing photographs too! Oh my!

That’s why, when I was asked to help moderate the #StayfreeContest Twitter Party, I couldn’t refuse. After seeing how much fun the conversations were from the previous two parties, I wanted in! Ready to leave your inhibitions at the door? You won’t want to miss this chat!

Join the #StayfreeContest Twitter Party on Wednesday, October 29th at 8:00pm EDT, hosted by @SassyModernMom. In addition to super fun conversation, a few true confessions, and a lot of laughs, of course we’ll have some ah-mazing prizes up for grabs – specifically, more than $1,000.00 in prizes, including our GRAND PRIZE valued at $500! (Prizes are open to Canadians only.)
StayfreeContestTwitter-Party-Grand-Prize-Image-Value-500BONUS:  Starting in November, @The_PantyParty will be hosting a daily prize giveaway contest that you will not want to miss! Be sure you are following them on twitter and get prepared to answer some fun panty themed questions for your chance to win great daily and weekly prizes as well as a Grand Prize valued at $1, 000.00!

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

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Attn Movie Buffs: Meet Redbox

October 22, 2014

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

On a day-to-day basis, I’m a romantic comedy kind of girl. Chick lit novels, Seinfeld reruns, stealing kisses from my husband. It’s a nice genre to live in.

However, like everyone, there’s a little drama in my life too… and while I steer clear from episodes of horror, raising two children always places me firmly in the adventure category. And action. And often, satire.

Am I a movie buff? Sure, but I tend to gravitate towards one category in particular… brace yourself… I am a science fiction geek. It’s true! If it involves space, mutant warriors, sorcerers and/ or rebel starships, I am all over it. In fact, I’d rather spend three hours with X-Men than some sappy Nicholas Sparks hero. So, when I do find time to relax and unwind, you can usually see me popping a good old sci-fi flick into my DVD player.

RBXca_KIOSK_LFT2_v2Now I know there are ways to get your movie fix. But what if I told you that you could watch everything from NEW RELEASES to old school favourites, in the comfort of your own home, for just $1.50 (plus tax) a day? That’s Redbox, friends.You’ve likely seen a Redbox kiosk at a big-box retailer, grocery or convenience store near you. Redbox is Canada’s largest DVD “rentailer” with more than 1,350 automated kiosks across all 10 provinces, and if you’ve ever used the service, you’ll know it’s as easy as pie. (Just not American Pie, k?)

Simply find a location online and select your disc (DVD, Blu-ray or Video Game) and reserve it. Go to the box, touch “pick up”, swipe your card and grab your disc. (Enjoy the show.) And the best part? You can return your disc to ANY Redbox location in Canada. That means if the boys are getting antsy at the in-laws, I can rent a movie from a Redbox in Oshawa and return it in Toronto. And hello, just $1.50? SOLD.

Now here’s the thing. Fridays get all the attention – it’s the end of the work week and the start to a care-free weekend. Redbox is changing that with Free Movie Thursdays offering customers a free one-night DVD rental each Thursday at all Redbox kiosks across Canada throughout the month of October.

“What’s better than getting a quality movie when you want it, where you want it, all for free?” says Kate Brennan, Senior Communications Manager at Redbox. “We’re inviting our customers in Canada to get a headstart on the weekend by picking up a free one-night rental at Redbox. Whether you’re a returning customer, or new to Redbox, we hope you’ll enjoy a movie on us!”  (more…)

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Enjoy McCafé at Home

October 9, 2014

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

It is day 10 of McCafé at Home. Three cups per day, taken as my usual double milk, one sugar. The cups are all consumed within 17 minutes of being brewed. And, I have a very unusual side effect to report.

I’m happy all the time.

Why? Because I am drinking McCafé at Home! McCafé Premium Roast ground coffee, as well as on-demand single-serve formats compatible with T-Disc and K-Cup brewing systems (I recommend the Hamilton Beach 2-Way FlexBrew Coffeemaker), are now available in major grocery retailers across the country. This means that the consistently rich, smooth and delicious taste of McCafé coffee can be enjoyed in the comfort of my home – and that’s enough to put a smile on this girl’s face!

Think I’m overly enthusiastic about coffee? I’m not alone. Consider this: 65% of Canadians aged 18-79 drank coffee yesterday, and coffee drinkers consume on average 3.2 cups of coffee per day. (Look at that! I’m completely normal.) In fact, coffee and tap water are the most commonly consumed beverages in Canada.

But there’s also an emerging trend in coffee consumption – the single cup brewer. Single-cup machines are now in a strong second place (25% of past-day coffee users drank a coffee prepared using a single-cup machine). And single-cup brewer ownership is markedly higher in Canada than in the United States (20% vs. 12%).

Of course, McCafé has got you covered, offering both formats for your enjoyment. We generally brew a pot of McCafé Premium Roast ground coffee in the morning, and then switch to single-cup brewing in the afternoon. It’s convenient, it’s delicious, and it’s a huge win for coffee lovers everywhere.
McCafe at Home(Also: this Songza playlist, developed by McCafé, is what I like to call fabulous “brewing music.”)

What are your coffee habits? Do you fit nicely into the survey averages, or do you drink more/less coffee every day? Do let us know in the comments! And there’s definitely something in it for you… the chance win a McCafé Premium Roast Coffee Prize Pack, valued at $145! (more…)

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The #MATCHGirlTalk Twitter Chat

October 5, 2014

I am a female, in Canada, in the year 2014.

The above statement requires thanksgiving, praise, and sheer reverence for my complete and utter fortune. Because I am very aware that not every woman is as lucky as I.

Are you a female, in Canada, in the year 2014?

Changing the world for women has to start with helping them live through the realities they face today. But in order to make real progress, we must also find ways to change those very realities. That’s why The MATCH Fund is committed to helping women hold the ground they’ve gained, while they look for new ways to break ground in securing the basic human rights they seek.

The MATCH International Women’s Fund works to increase the resources available to women’s organizations striving for change in their communities.This approach means that they are not a traditional charity. Direct-grant making ensures that money and resources reach the hands of women working for change in their communities. They support projects that dismantle barriers, challenge perceptions, change behaviours and, ultimately, transform society for a more equal world. From supporting education-based initiatives that also generate income to aiding survivors of violence by building capacity with midwives; the Fund is working to strengthen the ability of grassroots women’s rights organization to plan, respond and track their actions.

The rights of women around the world is an integral issue that warrants more discussion. As such, I’d like to invite you to the #MATCHGirlTalk Twitter Chat on Wednesday, October 8th at 7:00pm EDT. We’ll share ways to get informed and get involved. And to thank you for your participation, we’ll have hundreds in gift cards up for grabs.
MATCHGirlTalk Twitter Chat GraphicPlease, join us for a compelling and comprehensive discussion, because transforming society is not easy. Stopping the cultural, societal and physical oppression of women requires new thinking and novel solutions – innovations which harness new ways to bring about social change. RSVP below to indicate your attendance and to be eligible for prizing (Canadians only).  (more…)

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Giveaway: $200 Minute Maid Prize

October 3, 2014

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only. 

Earlier this week, I shared my views on childhood independence, and how it inspires individuality, confidence and competence.

(I also shared a kid-friendly recipe for Creamy Orange Fruit Dip, which is a big hit chez Lena!)
Minute Maid Creamy Orange DipNow, we want to hear from you –

How do you encourage independence in your children? Please take our short survey, found in the contest form below, to share your views. To thank you for participating, one lucky reader who answers the survey in full will have a chance to win a Minute Maid Prize Pack.

The Minute Maid Prize Pack, valued at $200, features everything needed to help nurture independence – especially as kids settle into school mode! The prize pack includes: a pitcher and wooden mixing spoon, two Minute Maid aprons and chef’s hats to get into the role of head chef, a large mixing bowl, a kitchen accessories kit, and a food processor (to use with a parent!) to create Minute Maid’s scrumptious recipes.  (more…)

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