Category: reviews

Your Home, Your Oasis – Keep it Fresh with Febreze Air Purifier


I love my home – I can not wait to come home from a busy day at work to throw off my shoes, get into comfy clothes and just unwind with my kids before we are back out the door for soccer practices. I know I am not alone in this, your home should be the one place in the world that is your special place where you can escape the craziness of life.

The only complaint I have?

Between two dogs and two active young boys, our home can become stinky and full of dust quite fast. There are weeks that I feel I can not keep up with the dust, dog dander and the smell from the soccer cleats (honestly – how is it even possible that cleats can become so stinky???).

Your Home, Your Oasis - Keep it Fresh with Febreze

But look at those adorable faces – I wouldn’t change it for anything even when you come home and have to clean before you can relax.

To top it off, both of my boys and myself have allergies and asthma which means we have to be extra careful in the home with dust and the dog dander. To combat the allergies and dog dander in the home and to prevent medical flare ups, we make sure that we follow the steps below:

  • Limit the amount of carpet in the house. Our main floors and bedrooms are laminate which makes it easier to spot the dust and vacuum on a regular basis. I know this isn’t the most budget friendly option for every home but this has definitely helped us out as a family.
  • Change dog bedding three times a week. Our eldest dog has a skin condition that I like to explain to others as similar to dandruff. Her skin is always itchy and she constantly scratches and pulls off layers of skin and fur. When she has a flare up, we have to be careful and ensure we are vacuuming her sleeping area and keeping her blankets clean to remove the flakes from the floor. For reasons that the vet can not explain, when she has these flare ups her skin also becomes oily and emits a foul smell.
  • Chore charts to include our children in the dusting, vacuuming and dog walks. We have tried many different methods in the past but we found that recording their completion of chores on the fridge puts a competitive edge to their chores and helps get it done.

The number one item that we have introduced into our home to help improve air quality? A Febreze Air purifier.

Your Home, Your Oasis - Keep it Fresh with Febreze

This air filter comes in three sizes (table top, mini tower and tower) and has the ability to trap up to 99% of the most common airborne particles like dust, pollen and pet dander with the added bonus of the famous Febreze scents.

Your Home, Your Oasis - Keep it Fresh with Febreze

We used the tower for the toughest area in our home, the living room, and the table top for the bedroom. Once you have decided on the most appropriate size for the area, set up is extremely easy. We literally pulled the system out, removed the taping, inserted the filter and Febreze cartridge and the unit was ready to go.

Your Home, Your Oasis - Keep it Fresh with Febreze

We noticed a marked improvement in as little as a day – when the units were operating you didn’t notice the smell from our dogs and the dust didn’t bother us, the air quality in our home was greatly improved. When you forgot to turn the units on and came home, the smells and air quality hit you like a wall (for me I feel it the worst in my sinuses with instant sinus pain, sneezing and irritation).

You can choose from three air cleaning settings on the unit, we had a personal preference for the highest setting for a good portion of the day and using the middle setting at night. The setting choice would come down to how tough the area is with the air particles and smell, since our family spends a great amount of time in our living room and on the main floor – we needed the strongest setting to combat the smells and dust/pet dander. The same applies to the scent setting, you can choose how strong you want the Febreze scent to be. The units are discreet and can be placed in any room without distracting from your décor.

Are you fighting dust and indoor particles? Use my tips above and check out this helpful video that provides you with additional steps to keep your living room clean, fresh and free from airborne particles:

How do you help control and eliminate airborne particles in your home and keep your home smelling fresh?

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned products in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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How to Create the Ultimate Homemade Easter Basket

How to Create the Ultimate Homemade Easter Basket

Easter is just around the corner and you may be struggling to come up with ideas that are outside of the traditional giant chocolate eggs. You may have even left this to the last-minute as the season seemed to come up pretty quickly this year.

How to Create the Ultimate Homemade Easter Basket

I love to create baskets that are personalized to the child and more than just sweets and chocolates as let’s face it, as parents we know our children don’t need anymore sweets – they get enough. But sometimes we may be at a loss on what to purchase and how much. I like to follow my three item checklist: something educational, something fun and then something sweet and delicious. But where do you start?

Here is your complete Easter basket checklist:

Know the child you are buying for! Sounds simple right? But a lot of times people forget this and get things that look cute and are Easter branded. Look at the child’s hobbies, extra curricular activities, their personality and their age. All of these factors will give you great clues into what to buy for them.

Set a budget and stick to it. We spend roughly $40 on each boy and $30 each for our niece and nephews. Now before you think that is too much you could easily blow that on chocolate alone for each child and we try to shy away from that.

Add in something educational. I love reading and always include at least one book in every gift that I give someone. Personalize the inside cover with a special message to make the book that much more memorable for the child.

How to Create the Ultimate Homemade Easter Basket

Add in something fun – this is a must for kids of all ages. This year, we added in Zing’s Glove-A-Bubbles. These “bubble gloves” come in eight different animal themes including lion, alligator, hippo, elephant, dinosaur, panda, bunny and monkey. Each package comes with one glove and two bubble solutions for hours of active play. They are super easy to use (especially for younger kids who struggle with the bubble wands and their smaller fingers), just dip the glove that is on their hand into the solution and begin to wave it around to create bubbles. These super fun gloves come in at a great price of $3.99 Canadian and can be found at Amazon, Mastermind, Indigo, Giant Tiger and Canadian Tire. You can find even more unique and fun gifts for all year round at the Zing Store online.

How to Create the Ultimate Homemade Easter Basket

Add in something sweet. Let’s face it while we can try to avoid the sweets as much as possible, the kids still expect a little something in their basket. I like to avoid the holiday commercialized sweets as much as possible and go for candies and chocolates that my children will actually eat. This means I pick up a couple of chocolate bars from the Dollar Store to add to the basket.

Pick a base. Now that you have all the items for your basket, you can choose the type of Easter basket you want to use. I have used everything from a traditional basket to a plastic basket to even a plant pot. I have also just used the green “grass” under the presents and wrapped the entire gift up in cellophane with no firm base at all.

Beautify it! Once the base is chosen, I like to add in the extras like green “grass” and some small plastic eggs around the gifts. Then wrap it all up in cellophane and tie it off with a bright bow in a colour of your choosing. Then display it proudly for Easter morning in a giant wooden basket.

What are your top choices of Easter basket gifts? Do you prefer sweets or choose practical gifts to add to your homemade basket?

How to Create the Ultimate Homemade Easter Basket

Make sure to follow Zing on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with all of the coolest new toys and games.

Disclosure: I received Glove-A-Bubbles in order to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Encourage and Celebrate Individuality with Kuu Kuu Harajuku Giveaway

Shout! Kids Factory

It is so important, especially in the times that we are currently living in, to encourage and support the young girls in our lives to embrace and love themselves. Too often they are told to be and act in a certain manner that differs greatly from their personality and their hopes and dreams. Young girls should be encouraged and celebrated on expressing their personalities, being creative and chasing their dreams – even if that doesn’t fit into the perfect image of what society thinks a young girl should be or dress like.

Encourage and Celebrate Individuality with Kuu Kuu Harajuku Giveaway

Gwen Stefani’s animated series Kuu Kuu Harajuku is all about celebrating the power and uniqueness of young girls. The series follows the lives of five young girls, Love, Angel, Music, Baby and G, and their band HJ5. G is the leader of this group of fearless young girls who are ready to take the world by storm through music and fashion. The show’s setting is inspired by the street fashion and creative youth culture of the Harajuku district but takes place in a magical fantasy world. The series follows the girls adventures as they travel around the world performing and getting caught up in adventures that fosters loyalty and friendship.

Encourage and Celebrate Individuality with Kuu Kuu Harajuku Giveaway

Young girls can now bring the Kuu Kuu Harajuku world to life with the animated series new fashion doll and doll line from Mattel! Mattel infuses the popular Japanese harajuku fashion with the dolls show imagery, allowing young fans to customize and create their own fashions, interchangeable outfits and accessories. Each of the five band members brings their personality to her fashion, brand and doll. Fans have the opportunity to connect with their favourite character and use their own creativity and imagination to bring the doll’s personality to life.

Encourage and Celebrate Individuality with Kuu Kuu Harajuku Giveaway

Kuu Kuu Harajuku teaches us about loyalty, being true to ourselves all while expressing ourselves the way we want to (go ahead and rock that fashion accessory or item regardless of what anyone else says!). Too often girls are taught to only like certain clothes or styles but this series teaches us to love and show off our style with pride!

Encourage and Celebrate Individuality with Kuu Kuu Harajuku Giveaway

Two new DVDs featuring a selection of the popular television series are now available for purchase (Music Baby and Super Kawaii). The Music Baby DVD and Super Kawaii DVD can be purchased online at Shout Kids. Each DVD runs roughly from an hour and a half to two hours long.

Series Clip

The Giveaway!

My Canadian and American readers can now enter to win a Kuu Kuu Harajuku prize pack valued at $70 that includes: 1 doll purse, 1 fashion doll, Kuu Kuu Harajuku Music Baby DVD, Kuu Kuu Harajuku Super Kawaii DVD. Enter via the rafflecopter form below – good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received the above prize pack free of charge in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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For No Apparent Reason Book Review

For No Apparent Reason Book Review

Thrust in a maze of money laundering and murder, our main character Madison experiences the value of true friendship and witnesses the healing power of love in For No Apparent Reason.

For No Apparent Reason Book Review

About For No Apparent Reason

A focused law student, romance has been absent from Madison’s life. She has successfully planned each phase of her life and resigned to the fact that there will be plenty of time for love after she passes the bar exam—that is until the single act of seeking shelter from a spring downpour dramatically alters the course of her life. Madison is lured away from the security of law school into a world where she learns about the destructive nature of greed. Thrust in a maze of money laundering and murder, Madison experiences the value of true friendship and witnesses the healing power of love.

My Thoughts

I fell in love with this novel and could not put it down – I had to finish it in one sitting! The characters were loveable, funny and full of adventure and the plot was fantastic and kept you on your toes (I definitely did not see the ending coming!).

Our story starts with a murder that really makes no sense – she was a loving Mother and a friendly and active participant in her community. A short while after the murder (which was first viewed as a suicide), Madison finds herself on that same woman’s porch by chance. She finds something on that porch that sets her down a path of adventure, betrayal, greed and murder.

Madison is full of adventure and spirit. She has such a good heart and wants only to help the murdered woman and her family. Her help at times can be dangerous and actually puts her in the way of the FBI! But even the FBI can’t resist her spirit and her desire to help this family.

For No Apparent Reason is a well written, exciting novel that I could not put down. It draws you in to the story and you can’t help fall in love with Madison. Her sense of adventure and wanting to help this family warms your heart especially as she learns and grows in friendship and love.  A definite must read addition to your home library!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, S.K. Derban moved to London within the first three months, and remained in England until the age of five. Her father, an American citizen, was a decorated veteran of the second world war. Derban’s mother, born and raised in the United Kingdom, was involved with the London Royal Ballet Company, and a great fan of the arts. Even after returning to the United States, Derban’s life was filled with a love of the theatre and a passion for British murder mysteries.

S.K. Derban has always remained passionate about writing, and is thrilled to finally share her work with others. Her personal travel and missionary adventures also help to transport readers virtually across the globe. When writing, S.K. Derban relies on all aspects of her life, from her faith in the Lord, to her love and knowledge of the arts.

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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Long Way North Movie Review

Shout! Kids Factory

A beautiful tale of strength, hope and courage can be found in Long Way North, when a young girl sets out to discover what happened to her Grandfather and the Davai.

Long Way North

About Long Way North

Directed by celebrated animator and filmmaker Rémi Chayé and produced by Sacrebleu Productions (Oscar®-Nominated Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage), Maybe Movies (Oscar®-Nominated Ernest & Celestine) and Norlum Studios (Oscar®-Nominated Song of the Sea), France 3 Cinéma and 2 Minutes, LONG WAY NORTH won the coveted Audience Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and the winner of Grand Prize and the Governor of Tokyo Award at Tokyo Animation Festival 2016. This captivating animated adventure, bolstered by emotionally resonant storytelling and visually exquisite hand-drawn animation, has continued to attract universal acclaim as it enchants movie audiences around the world.

A spirited and inspiring tale of hope and courage, LONG WAY NORTH is the feature directorial debut of animator Rémi Chayé (first AD and head of storyboard for Oscar®-Nominated The Secret of Kells, The Painting) and tells the story of a young heroine persevering through a physical and emotional journey to find her Grandfather and his lost ship, the Davai.

LONG WAY NORTH is set in the late 19th century in Saint Petersburg. Sacha, a young girl from the Russian aristocracy, dreams of the Great North and is devastated over the fate of her Grandfather, Oloukine, a renowned scientist and Arctic explorer who has yet to return from his latest expedition to conquer the North Pole.

Sacha has always been fascinated by the adventurous life of her grandfather and has the same calling to be an explorer. But Sacha’s parents, who have already made arrangements for her marriage, strongly disapprove of the idea. Defying her destiny, Sacha flees her home and launches a quest toward the Great North in search of Oloukine and his ship.

LONG WAY NORTH features an English voice cast of Chloé Dunn, Vivienne Vermes, Peter Hudson, Antony Hickling, Tom Perkins, Geoffrey Greenhill, Claire Harrison-Bullett, Bibi Jacob, Martin Lewis, Tom Morton, Leslie Clack, Kester Lovelace and Damian Corcoran.

Long Way North

Our Thoughts

Long Way North is a beautiful, moving tale that draws you in to Sacha’s life and hopes. She is a strong, independent young woman in a time that did not always encourage this. She loved her Adventurer Grandfather and has so much faith in him. When he doesn’t return home from his adventure to the North Pole, she is not only devastated but her family becomes the butt of jokes of the unsinkable Davai.

Sacha knows in her heart that her Grandfather’s ship did not sink. She does her own research and discovers a secret that could unlock the mystery. But no one would listen to her, not even her own family. She was forced to make a difficult decision – to follow her heart or follow her parents wishes. She chooses to follow her heart.

This is when the story really evolves and we see this strong side of Sacha. She is so much more than anyone gave her credit for. We watch her grow and mature into a young woman who her Grandfather would have been so proud of. As we follow her brave and dangerous adventure, you are left on the edge of your seat – nervous and excited for her.

Long Way North is a beautiful and unique movie, with an interesting plot and beautifully played accompanying music. The graphics are not your typical, animated graphics but suit the story perfectly. A fantastic family movie for every member of the house!

Find out more about the movie on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The movie will be released on September 30th, 2016 and you can find a full listing of theatres here.

Disclosure: I received an advance screening of this movie in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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