Month: April 2015

Raincoast Mother’s Day Book Collection and Giveaway

Raincoast Books Mother's Day Giveaway

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching and why not spoil Mom with a collection of books all about her? Raincoast books has put together a collection of books to celebrate those selfless women in our lives. These titles include: Drops of Awesome, Icebox Cakes, O’s Little Book of Happiness, The Quotable Mom, Motherhood Realized and Perfume Notes.

Motherhood Realized from Raincoast Books

Motherhood Realized

The power of Moms! The belief that family life is beautiful and that motherhood is a privilege. We also believe it is often hard to see all that beauty in the midst of mothering. Too often we feel like we are spreading ourselves far too thin. Our hearts want to do more than our hands can manage. As we cycle through household duties, discipline, errands, conversations, teaching and hundreds of unexpected, we are often left tired, worried and in need of encouragement. Power of Moms is an online community that has been providing Mothers since 2007 with a community to gather, learn and grow together.

I fell in love with this book. Too often as Mothers, especially in our fast paced lives, we forget how special being a Mother is. We don’t always stop, listen (really listen) and appreciate the little moments even when those little moments are full of stress. I could find myself relating to the chapter Will It Be You by Taunie Reynolds. Motherhood Realized reads like a collection of stories you would share with your girlfriends broken down in four stages: Becoming Our Best Selves, Getting Through the Hard Times, Shifting Our Perspectives and Savouring the Moments. You can read each story and come back to them in your moment of need to connect with another woman who has also been there and dealt with the same situation.

Raincoast Books Mother's Day Giveaway

O’s Little Book of Happiness

Insightful inspiration, practical advice and an abundance of stories by great writers, O’s Little Book of Happiness features some of the best work ever featured in O, The Oprah Magazine. Again this is a book designed to be read at your leisure, taking your time to savour each story or even to turn to in times of need. The chapters are broken down into: Simple Pleasures, Bliss in Action, The Joy of Discovery, Awed and Amazed, Oh What a Thrill!, Sharing Delight and Come On Get Happy.

My favourite quote from this book is featured right at the front by Oprah Winfrey: “You can never be happy living someone else’s dream. Live your own. And you will for sure know the meaning of happiness.”

Raincoast Book Mother's Day Giveaway

Drops of Awesome

If you are not rooting for yourself – who will? Drops of Awesome is about the unique discovery and celebrating you! Based on the viral blog, Drops of Awesome, this book helps you to become your biggest cheerleader and tells your inner critic to put a sock in it.

As you work through Drops of Awesome, you will start to see how much goodness you contribute to the world and as you feel that success, you will find that you can accomplish anything!

Raincoast Books Mother's Day Giveaway

Icebox Cakes

Icebox Cakes features crisp wafers and whipped cream layered together and chilled overnight, where they transform into heavenly delight! This cook book is perfect for all skill levels who want to make more traditional icebox cakes to more modern versions.

Raincoast Books Mother's Day Giveaway

The Quotable Mom

It is said that God could not be everywhere so he made Mothers. With more than 200 unique quotes, The Quotable Mom shares thoughts, ideas, humour and advice. This is the place where Mothers are celebrated not compared.

Raincoast Books Mother's Day Giveaway

Perfume Notes

Shaped like real perfume bottles, these die-cut notecards evoke the glamour and femininity of the world’s most loved perfumes. Four distinct designs are repeated for a total of sixteen cards. Perfect for every lover of stationary!

Raincoast Books wants one of my readers to win their own prize bundle for Mother’s Day featuring all of the above mentioned books!

Raincoast Books Mother's Day Giveaway

My Canadian readers can enter via the Rafflecopter form below – Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received Motherhood Realized and O’s Little Book of Happiness free of charge in exchange for my reviews and post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Five Easy Tips to Encourage Your Child to Contribute to Their RESP

Heritage Eduation Funds

Saving for your child’s post secondary education can be daunting – not only for yourself but for your child as well. They are at an age where they may not yet understand personal finances and the financial obligation that goes along with attending post-secondary institutions. Personally, I did not understand the OSAP loans I signed off on at that time, and I wish I had paid more attention – or at the very least had a second check – to make sure I wasn’t making a mistake.

Saving is an essential part of life, and the earlier our children learn how to do it, the better it will be for them in the long run. Helping your child understand the importance of saving for their own education will not only give them pride in their accomplishment, but foster sound financial skills later in life. It will also encourage them to take control of their education, as they have more at stake when contributing their own finances.

Getting Your Child to Contribute to their RESP

An RESP is a helpful tool used by parents (or grandparents) to help finance higher education for their child. Opening an account is pretty straightforward, and involves contacting an RESP company (such as Heritage Education Funds) to set up an account. Once the account is open, growing the account is all up to you and your child!

Encouraging your child to contribute their own earned money towards their education is important, but may seem like a daunting task at the time, as your child has other priorities. Here are some helpful tips I have learned along the way to encourage your child to save towards their education in an RESP:

1. Take the first step in encouraging financial independence by setting up a bank account for your child. Both of  my children have their own bank accounts, bank books and debit cards (the cards are mainly used for deposits and not purchases at this time) and this was a major stepping stone for them. I want them to understand finances, how money works and how quickly it can depart! Children need to appreciate the value of a dollar, as this will better help them appreciate the cost of their education.

2. Encourage your child to be part of the monthly family budget. An important part of attending a higher education institute is dealing with the extras: utilities, rent and groceries. This is one of the areas I lacked knowledge of when I went off to university. Since a portion of my RESP’s went to financing my room and utilities, I needed to understand how they worked and how to budget for these costs, but I had no clue. So of course I overspent in these areas and my budget never balanced.

3. Start up an allowance system for your child. Having a bi-weekly allowance for your child is important, regardless of their age. This allows your child to allocate their money for wants, needs and savings. Our boys put their savings into their RESPs at the end of the month. It’s important to let them view their statements, so they can see their education fund increase month to month. If there’s an online option, allow your child to view it monthly, so they learn to appreciate growth over time.

4. Once your child reaches the working stage, encourage them to contribute money to their RESP. This will probably be the hardest thing to do, but it is so important for them to save rather than splurge all that hard-earned money on clothes, movies or food. This is where all previous education on budgets, utilities and being involved in the family budget will pay off. Your child will have a greater appreciation for their pay cheque and will spend it wisely.

5. Have your child create their own post-secondary education budget. Sit down with them and help them figure out tuition, supplementary fees, textbook fees, rent and utilities (if they are moving away for school). Use this as a tool to figure out how much money should be contributed monthly into their RESP. This is an area I wish I had concentrated on more before I made my educational choices. I was never involved in the family budget prior to living on my own, so I had unrealistic expectations of the costs, which forced me to rely on loans.

Teaching our children how to save for their post-secondary education is an essential lesson that will help them later on in life as they leave our homes to start their own home.

To help you on this journey, you can now enter to WIN a $50 gift card from Tim Hortons sponsored by Heritage Education Funds. Contest is open to Canadian residents only and ends on May 17th, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How do you help encourage your child or teen to save towards their RESP and post-secondary education? Are they currently contributing to their own plan?

Make sure to follow Heritage Education Funds on Facebook and Twitter to keep up-to-date with news and advice for planning for your child’s educational future.

Disclosure: I am a Heritage Mom and receive perks associated with this affiliation. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Blogger Brunch with Boiron Canada #WW with linky

Yoga with the real Gillian B, Holistic Health Coach and Yoga Instructor

Last week I was able to attend the Blogger Brunch hosted by Boiron Canada. The event included a wonderful yoga class by Gillian B, holistic health coach and yoga teacher, followed by an information session on Arnicare from Boiron Canada as well as lunch. I had an incredible time and could not wait to show you some of the photos from the event.

The event was held at Jule’s Wellness Centre in Toronto.

Jule's Wellness Centre

We were introduced to the lovely social media experts behind Boiron Canada.

Boiron Canada Blogger Brunch

We then went into a yoga class, led by Gillian B. This was my first yoga class and it was fantastic! She was so inspiring and a wealth of information and knowledge. If you are curious on finding out more about her please check out her website – you will not be disappointed!

Yoga with the real Gillian B, Holistic Health Coach and Yoga Instructor

Dry brushing with Gillian B, Holistic Health Coach and Yoga Instructor

We were treated to drinks from Village Juicery:

Village Juicery

Then some more information about Arnicare Gel from Boiron Canada.

Arnicare Gel from Boiron Canada

Boiron CanadaDon’t forget to link up below so that I can come visit you and see what you have been to up this past week! Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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Refresh Your Decor with Posterjack This Spring


Winter felt like it would never end this year but spring is finally here! Many of you may have even started your spring cleaning already (I have a giant checklist of things to get done but not quite sure where to start). One of the more forgotten areas of your home is your home decor and the prints on your wall (you know all those infant prints you have up in frames and your child is now nine with no updated photos in sight!). The best way to refresh your home for the spring months is to update these few easy items on your walls.

Here are some helpful tips from Posterjack to help you accomplish this task:

Embrace Spring Photography

Spring time is an incredible time to get outside and take photographs. The flowers are budding, the weather is cool and not too warm and the lighting is perfect for your pictures. If you have kids take them outside to join you in the hunt for budding flowers, bugs and special nature shots. Use this time to explore and build your child’s knowledge of the outdoors.

Refresh this spring with Posterjack

Encourage Your Children to Participate in Photo Shoots

Is the weather wet and rainy outside? No worries! Set up an area inside and create your own family photo shoot. Have your children choose their props and set up the area in which you will be taking your pictures. Maybe take to Pinterest or the internet to figure out how you would like to set up the photos and go from there. In the photo shoot below our boys wanted to include their Dad’s ucalaly so we went for it and captured this perfect picture of their hands that melts my heart everytime I look at it.

Refresh your spring decor with Posterjack!

Add a Pop of Colour to Your Decor

Colour has a way of changing the mood in a room. So liven it up and give your photographs a hint of colour this spring. Posterjack offers image customization features that allows you to add borders or photo effects.

Refresh your spring decor with Posterjack

Spring Clean Your Hard Drive

This is the one area that I have been slacking in. I have over four thousand photos to scroll through, save and transfer! It is also an important task to make sure you don’t lose anything important (who wants to lose those first baby photos??).

Join the 12 Prints Project

Have you been following the #12PrintsProject online? If not head over to Twitter and check it out to win prizes. Remember to keep on top of printing off your photos to make it less overwhelming on yourself at the end of the year.

Refresh your spring decor with Posterjack

Celebrate Mom!

Photographs and photo books are my personal favourite gift to receive and with Mother’s Day fast approaching, I can’t wait to see what my boys create for me! Capturing a special moment in time and gifting it to the person you love is the ultimate personal gift you can give the special person in your life.

Posterjack Mother's Day Promo

How do you update your wall art and photographs in the Spring?

Make sure to follow Posterjack on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with current offers and tips and tricks!

Posterjack Mother's Day Promotion

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Kidnap: Part One of Guy Erma and The Son of Empire

iRead Book Tours

Two boys whose lives are as different as any two boys could be. One act of cruelty will bring them together in Kidnap: Part one of Guy Erma and The Son of Empire.

Kidnap Part One of Guy Erma & The Son of the Empire

About Kidnap: Part One of Guy Erma and the Son of Empire

“I don’t want to go….do I have to go?”

Thirteen year old Prince Teodor of Freyne knows his duty to the memory of his Father and his Kingdom. He must always help those less fortunate than himself. Yet a frightening nightmare fills him with foreboding but still he must go – into the Dome.

Thirteen year old Guy Erma lives in the shadow of the Dome. He has no Father and no Mother and his future is uncertain. He must start to earn a living when he reaches the age of fourteen. He knows not where he will live or even how he will eat to survive. His only dream is to enter the military academy at the heart of the Dome.

These two boys will have their lives intersected with one cruel act but who will they trust?

My Thoughts

I LOVED Kidnap! I am a huge sci-fi thriller fan and this young adult version delivered suspense, adventure and science fiction with exciting plot twists. This is the first book in this series and I could not put it down – I finished it in one sitting!

The world that Sally creates is realistic and easy to understand and follow along throughout the novel. The terminology was easy to follow and made sense within the context of the novel. While a sci-fi novel, I did not find it overwhelming in words and you can easily relate to the characters in the book.

The differences between the majority of the people of Freyne and the rich is wide and full of quiet unrest. You feel compassion and concern for the majority of the people living in Freyne and are left wondering what will happen to their welfare. Not to mention their Prince and city!

Sally draws you into this world and leaves you craving for more. I was so sad when this novel was done and can not wait until the next novel in this series. While a young adult novel, I fell in love with it and I am well past my young adult years thus making this a novel for all individuals who love sci-fi.

You can find this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

Kidnap: Part One of Guy Erma and The Son of Empire

About the Author

Sally was born in Wallasey, England in 1964 and moved to the South of France when she was eleven. She spent her teenage years in Monaco learning the languages and cultures. As an English girl in a French school, she would spend her English classes at the back of the class writing stories thus inspiring her love of writing. Sally now writes marketing communications and manages large international websites. Sally currently lives in Farham with her husband and two children. You can connect with Sally on her website, Facebook or Twitter.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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