Holidays, Life, Parenting, Reviews & Giveaways

Sparkling Vintage Jewelry!! My best giveaway ever – $250 to Bee’s Knees Gems (Open to Canadians)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a little obsessed with big sparkly gem jewelry this year.  I know they’re a big trend right now, and that might be why I’ve gone bling crazy, but you have to admit, they do look great.  I spent most of the winter season searching for a perfect necklace to wear for the various holidays parties, but all my searches resulted in me leaving stores empty-handed.  While I did spot some beautiful pieces they were too expensive, and everything that was more affordable just looked cheap.  I was left a little disappointed to say the least.

More recently, I was introduced to an amazing Canadian company that specializes in beautiful vintage Gem jewelry; Bee’s Knees GemsBeeskneeslogoI probably spent a good hour perusing the web-site.  Every piece was so pretty and special.  I had a hard time deciding whether I should pick the trendy emerald-green and rose gold ring, the teardrop sapphire pendant on a rose gold chain, or the black onyx ring.  After much deliberation and some consultation with my husband (yes, he even helped), I decided to get the cushion cut pendant necklace.  I’ve been searching for something similar to this for a while now.  I also wanted something that I could wear on a daily basis but easily use to go from day wear to evening wear.necklace

Continue reading “Sparkling Vintage Jewelry!! My best giveaway ever – $250 to Bee’s Knees Gems (Open to Canadians)”

children, Family, Parenting, Reviews & Giveaways

Winter time means dry skin. Why George’s cream is your new best friend {Review & Canadian Giveaway}

Here’s a guest review of George’s Cream by one of my readers, Fern from Gotcha Covered Baby.  George’s Cream is a great Canadian company that provides something for everyone in the family.  Lets face it, we can all use a little cream here and there in winter time.  Read her review and see details below regarding the Giveaway.

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georges creamI was recently lucky enough to be given the opportunity to test two of Georges skincare products.  This came at a perfect time for me since every winter my husband suffers from really dry, and red knuckles. Being a typically man though the only other product I could ever get him to try was Vaseline Intensive Cream which did nothing to help with his problem.  Since George products are fragrance free he was willing to give Georges Special Dry Skin Cream a try, and within a few days his dry red skin was gone. Now he uses this cream as part of his daily routine so that his dry red skin does not re-occur. Continue reading “Winter time means dry skin. Why George’s cream is your new best friend {Review & Canadian Giveaway}”

children, Events, Family, Parenting, Reviews & Giveaways

Toronto Family Day Event for a Great Cause; TheChill.ca #StoppingKidsCancerCold

Family day was first introduced in Ontario in 2008.  Beyond another long-weekend to break up the looooooong winter, it’s a great way for a family to spend some much-needed time together.  While my husband and I enjoyed this long weekend even before we became a family of three, we love it even more now that we can celebrate it with our little one.

I was recently told about a new and exciting event that will be taking place in Yonge-Dundas Square Toronto this upcoming Family Weekend (February 17th & 18th).  The Sears Great Canadian Chill (www.TheChill.ca) is a nationwide series of Polar Bear Dips that will Stop Kids Cancer Cold!  It’s mission is to raise money for kids cancer.  Specifically in Toronto, the funds raised will go to support pediatric oncology research and treatment initiatives at the Hospital for Sick Children.  This is such a great initiative that I just had to spread the word.TheChill.ca

Continue reading “Toronto Family Day Event for a Great Cause; TheChill.ca #StoppingKidsCancerCold”

children, Family, Parenting, Reviews & Giveaways

My love for flyers 2.0 – FlyerFlo Review & $50 Metro GC Giveaway (open to all residents of Ontario, CDA)

A friend of mine, who was my roommate a while back, introduce me to the fun of flyers over five years ago.  Fast forward and I have to say that I’m like a little kid come Thursday night. The local newspaper arrives filled with flyers.  I look through each one and before I know it, they’re scattered all over the floor.  Most recently, my son has joined my hobby.  Of course, he’s mostly interested in the Toys R Us flyer or any flyer that has toys in them.

While I despise couponing, I love flyers.  I love comparing the deals the various companies have and seeing what I may need / want that I haven’t realized I needed yet.  To say the least, Friday is definitely my favourite shopping day.

However, what I hate is going into a store, and asking the employees there if the item I’m holding in my hand is the one advertised in their flyer and getting a stare blank back from them.  To be fair, they’re not paid enough to remember the weekly flyer by heart (I guess), but it’s frustrating as a shopper.  ENTER FLYERFLO.

FlyerFlo is a great new free app for your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch that allows you to view all of the weekly flyers of your local stores with the touch of your finger.  No more schlepping around flyers with you to the store and no more memorizing the deals.  You can access all of your favourite deals from your favourite companies immediately. Continue reading “My love for flyers 2.0 – FlyerFlo Review & $50 Metro GC Giveaway (open to all residents of Ontario, CDA)”

Family, Holidays, Parenting, Reviews & Giveaways

Holiday Entertaining Made Easy. Pickle Barrel Catering Review

If you’re anything like me, you love entertaining.  Ever since we bought our house almost seven years ago we’ve found many excuse to have people over.  House warming party, birthday parties, holidays, engagement parties, BBQs on warm summer days, mommy-group play dates, meet the baby, hosting guests from out-of-town, girls night in, clothes swap, super bowl parties and every other excuse I could find.  We’ve probably hosted 50 + events at our place and we’re not stopping anytime soon.

However, if you’re also like me, you’re not into cooking.  I know so many people who love to cook and bake as a way to relax.  But for me, I cook to stay alive and to feed my family something other than cereal, cream-cheese bagels, and Kraft-Dinner.  In fact, I only started cooking about four years ago.  So while I’ve hosted several parties, I did what any decent business would do, I outsourced the part that I wasn’t good – FOOD.DSC_0559

With the holiday season upon us, toddler in tow, my very pregnant self and lack of experience (or desire) for cooking large meals, I once again decided to outsource what I feel is the most important part of entertaining.  I got a chance to try out the amazing holiday feast offered by Pickle Barrel Catering while I had my family over for a pre-holiday, holiday dinner.  This simple, yet delicious and traditional meal is perfect for holiday entertaining. It comes with easy reheating instructions and there’s plenty to offer for  vegetarians.

Here’s what you can expect to receive (http://picklebarrelcatering.com/featured-menu/complete-turkey-holiday-dinner.html):

A whole turkey roasted, pre-carved and decorated or ready to be carved and enjoyed; accompanied by stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. This ready made meal for your holiday celebration also includes butternut squash soup, mixed greens salad and your choice of herb roasted mini potatoes, maple mashed sweet potatoes, or garlic mashed potatoes, choice of green beans with caramelized onions and almonds or roasted root vegetables, and a crumble top apple pie and an assorted fresh fruit platter for dessert!DSC_0566

For $25.99 per person, this meal is definitely affordable, especially considering how much food you get.  If you were to eat out, you would never receive so much “bang for your buck”.  Even after feeding six people, we had enough left-overs for a week and if there’s one thing I love more than a turkey dinner its having left-overs the next day.

Rose Reisman, who helped create the menus for Pickle Barrel has some great tips for easy entertaining on her blog: http://www.artoflivingwell.ca/blog/easy-entertaining-tips/  I also had a chance to speak to her and here’s a few of my favourite tips:

  1. Inquire of potential allergies and have an option of chicken, fish and vegetarian dishes
  2. Ask for help from your guests or hire help if you think you’ll need it.
  3. Set the table ahead of your guests’ arrival
  4. To involve the kids with the meal, make something special for them (i.e. cheese pizza’s instead of pizza with various toppings) and let them play pretend that they’re servers or cooks.
  5. Hire a babysitter to keep the kids occupied (arts, reading, playing) in a separate room while you’re entertaining your friends
  6. Let the kids in on the fun.  They may stay up later than usual, but they’ll probably behave themselves knowing that they’re included in the celebration.

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The holiday feast is available to order now through December 31st.  The Pickle Barrel even delivers on Christmas Day!  You can place your order online here: http://picklebarrelcatering.com/holiday-entertaining-menus.html or by phone at 416.493.4333

So any of you moms or parents out there who want a traditional holiday meal but don’t have all day to prepare it, this is a GREAT alternative.

children, Family, Holidays, Parenting, Reviews & Giveaways

Imagine celebrating the holidays every month! Now you can, with the Baby Trunk {Review}

Opening Happiness Every Month is Baby Trunk’s tag line; and this perfectly describes their unique service.

Imagine receiving a package every month with 4 or 5 products from the best brands for your little one.  Each package is customized based on your child’s age (newborn to 3 years) and gender so they can be utilized immediately.  And who doesn’t love receiving packages in the mail.  I know I do, especially those that are surprises.  That’s how I felt when I received my first Baby Trunk package in late October.  I tore it open and found 5 items in the box that fell under the theme of “The Little Monster Box”.

The items include “Boo Bunny!” book, a race car (by Green Toys), a (organic) Giraffe Lovie Blanket, a Toy & Surface cleaner and packages of Organic Baby Food.  Total retail price of the five products is approximately $50.

Not only are these products organic and environmentally friendly, but they have all been selected and approved by mom’s, not endorsed by the companies that they are purchased from.  So you know you are receiving quality, useful products for your family.

With so many of our family and friends expecting their first (and some their second) baby, this makes for a unique and special gift idea.  I know I would love to receive it 😉 (hint, hint, wink, wink). I’ve already purchased one for a friend of mine.

Here’s how it works:

1. Go on Baby Trunk’s website (www.babytrunk.ca) and register

2. Choose a plan…. (added bonus, shipping is free!!!)

$35 / month

$105 / 3 months

$175 / 6 months (1 month is free)

$350 / 12 months (2 months are free)

3. Look forward to your Trunk delivery (or have a close family or friend anticipate the arrival of their amazing gift).

In order to receive the next Trunk in time for the holidays sign-up before December 12th, 2012.

Happy Holidays & Happy shopping 🙂

children, Family, Parenting, Reviews & Giveaways

Delicious and sustainable Mexican food for the whole family. Chipotle review & Giveaway

About five years ago when I was in New York city for work, a colleague of mine suggested that we go to an amazing Mexican restaurant near our office.  Not knowing the area we were in too well, I took him up on his offer.

I have never heard of Chipotle (www.chipotle.com) before, but I was excited to try it out the moment I set foot in the door.  All of the ingredients looked fresh and the aromas were amazing.  I loved that I could order a burrito in a bowl. I have to say, it was one of my favourite restaurants to eat at in New York.  Yes, I just said that, but it’s true.  It was love at first taste.  I was sooooo excited when they finally opened their doors in Toronto and I could take my family there.  To this day it’s one of our favourite restaurants when we want a special “treat”.

Here’s some awesome facts about Chipotle (as if you needed additional persuasion to go and eat there):

  • It’s committed to serving natural and (unprocessed) organic meat
  • Food is freshly prepared in front of the customers in an open kitchen
  • They serve dairy products that are rBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) free.

There are four Chipotle restaurants in Toronto so make it a Chipotle night or lunch with your family.  And to help you achieve that, Babylish Advice and Mayahood Blog are giving away FOUR Burrito bucks.  Each Burrito Buck is equivalent to one free meal good for a Burrito, Burrito bowl, Salad or order of Tacos.

To enter this contest, you need to do one of the followings.  The more you do, the more entries you will receive in the draw.  Kindly leave me a message at the end of this post to let me know which of the following activities you have completed.

1. Like Mayahood on Facebook

2. Like Babylish Advice on Facebook

3. Follow Mayahood blog on WordPress.  Click on the “follow” button and enter your e-mail address to receive my latest blog posts directly to your mailbox as soon as I publish them.

4. Sign up for Babylish Advice’s newsletter found on www.babylishadvice.com

5. Share this giveaway on your Facebook page.  Copy and Paste the following sentences on your personal timeline: Great giveaway from Chipotle Mexican Restaurant.  Enter here for your chance to win 4 free meals for your family to enjoy: http://wp.me/p248bN-os.

6. Let me know (by leaving me a message at the bottom of this post) what you would get from Chipotle if you won this giveaway.

7. Follow Mayahood Blog on Twitter (@fitzpatrickmaya).

Contest deadline is Thursday, December 6th.  Open to all residents in the GTA.  Good-luck!