Month: August 2013

An Update On My Garden

I wanted to give you a quick update on my bell peppers. I am so incredibly proud of how they have grown (I do not have a green thumb at all so this is a huge achievement for us!). 
Look at the little buds coming up:

My children are so proud of the way they have grown!
What vegetables have you planted? Any tips on starting a garden in the fall for the next year?
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La Roche-Posay: Cicaplast Balm B5 #review

I was given an opportunity to try out La Roche-Posay new product Cicaplast Balm B5. I was pretty excited to try this product out as I suffer greatly from dry and cracked skin especially on my heels and elbows (not to mention the eczema all over!).

Cicaplast Balm B5 is designed to speed up the recovery of the skin from irritations, cuts and cracks. It can be used all over the body – even your lips! I loved the fact that it was paraben free, fragrance free and lanolin free. It is safe enough to use on infants and children. The perfect family product! No more buying different creams for different family members.
I can not believe I am even showing this awful picture of my heel but this was my before photo:

Awful isn’t it? I am cringing as I am uploading and looking at this awful picture! I suffer with cracked heels all through out the summer made worse by the love of my sandals that have little to no support.
I used the balm for just under two weeks, applying daily. I was really impressed with the rich texture of the cream and its quick absorption. You only need a small amount and it feels as though it creates a protective barrier over top of the skin. I could feel the difference in my heels within four days. Not only did they feel softer but the cracks were healing (which was a first!) and no more sandpaper sounding feet rubbing at night (my husband was grateful – he could not stand the noise!).
Here is a look at my heel now:

Pretty neat, eh?! I will definitely be purchasing this in the future!
Disclosure: I received a trial product at no cost but the opinions expressed are my own.
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Mother Hen: Food for Your Family Just Like How You Would Make!

For the past three weeks, my family and I have been trying out Mother Hen products both on our youngest and immediate family (we babysit a lot!!). I had been hearing a lot of very positive comments about Mother Hen Junior food products and seeing their products in store but had yet to try their products – I usually prefer to prepare my own infant food for my children. When PTPA asked for parents to test out these products I was happy to give them a try.
Mother Hen products have their roots in Montreal founded in1994 and are based on three principles: healthy, high quality and food cooked just like at home. Mother Hen focuses on baby/junior foods as well as fruit sorbets for the whole family.
What stuck out the most to me with Mother Hen is their emphasis on quality. Each product you purchase for your family is: organic, natural, no additives and allergen free (you can find more info here). They have a wide variety of choices for your children inspired by European dishes – some that stick out in my mind the most are Beef Parmentier, Veal Ragout, Lamb and fruits and Parisian Turkey. Sounds delicious doesn’t it?!!

I love to cook my children their own food. When my eldest son was an infant I made all of his own baby food and froze it even though I was completing my undergraduate degree and working at the same time (which meant a good portion of my week was spent outside the home or studying!). I was worried about the ingredients in some of the baby food products and to be very truthful I truly enjoyed making his food (it made me feel good!). This has held true for my second son as well.

With my second son I have found not only am I in more of a time crunch, I had to re-purchase a good blender, containers, mixer, etc.. I did not realize how much extra work one little body could make in our family! My decision to provide our family with high quality foods did not waiver though.

We picked up three boxes of Mother Hen products to start with: Parisian turkey, chicken cacciatore and pear puree. The boxes ranged in price from $4.99-6.99 and were easily found in the frozen food aisle at Walmart (in their own little freezer apart from the other products). What I did not realize when I picked them up was each fruit box contained six individually packed containers and the meat products had four! What I had originally thought was a bit pricey actually works out on par with the other organic baby products which can range from $0.99 (on sale) to close to $2.00 (I used Walmart to compare these prices but I am sure you are all more than familiar with the high price of infant/junior food!).

The container sizes were perfect for our little testers – each container contained a perfect amount to give to both of our testers without wasting any of the food. It was easy to remove from the box, warm up and serve. What impressed me the most was how similar the food was to anything that I have made for my own family at home – from the fruits to the meat products (although my children would never have tried pork and leeks before this!).

I really felt comfortable, happy and impressed that the food I was serving to my children was of high quality with no additives. You can taste the real flavour of each product. They loved every  bite. I could not have been more happy with our trial of the Mother Hen line of products.

Growing up we drank a lot of fruit nectar drinks and we made an experiment using the pear and mango purees. We watered them down slightly and created our own fruit nectar at home out of fruit and water!

In case you are wondering what the infant meat puree’s look like, here is veal (yes – veal!) puree:

Here is another little tip for picky eaters. As your child grows and you are worried about their intake why not try using one of the meat and vegetable purees (like the chicken cacciatore) as a sauce on pasta or even on top of another grain like rice. This was the only way I could ensure my eldest was having an adequate intake of vegetables and meat when he was little.

 You can purchase Mother Hen products at Shoppers Drug Mart, Metro, Walmart, Fortinos, Longos and many other retailers. To preserve the high quality of their products they are frozen so make sure you check out the freezer section (or in Shoppers Drug Mart’s case they are in a little freezer chest in the baby aisle). Shoppers Drug Mart even has buy one get one coupons out for their products right now!
I was very excited to find out that Mother Hen received the PTPA winner seal! It is definitely very well deserved!


 You can find Mother Hen on Facebook and Twitter – make sure you connect with them! Also check out their website, they even have a healthy recipe section!
If you have not yet signed up to be a parent product tester make sure you do. I was very happy to be able to participate in this product testing and have in turn found an excellent product that I will continue to purchase! This is one of my favourite things about PTPA – finding excellent, high quality products recommended by the best people able to give advice – other parents! You can sign up here.
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OMGuac Your Lunch! One Lunch, Two Ways! Contest- US only

Let’s face it preparing lunches is hard! You want your children (and yourself!) to eat healthy but not become bored.
Here is where Wholly Guacamole comes in! The One Lunch, Two Ways gives you inspiration on how to create two different lunches using similar ingredients! Perfect isn’t it?! 
Have you visited the Wholly Guacamole site lately?
Right now you can visit their site and find:
  • OMGuac lunch inspirations and shopping lists to print
  • Watch videos to help inspire you to get out of the boring lunch preparation mode
  • Print a $1.00 off coupon
  • Enter their current contest, OMGuac your lunch photo contest! 

Are you creative and competitive?
How do you feel about photo contests?! Photo contests are my favourite.
Here is what you have to do:
Use Wholly Guacamole minis and get creative while making lunch, snap a picture and enter! The best lunches can win lunch boxes full of guac products and a gift card for $100. Full rules and regulations can be found here.

Please note that this contest is only open to residents of the U.S.
Disclosure: I received coupons in exchange for promoting this contest. The opinions are my own.
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