"Far Flutterby"- A beautiful book by Karen Kingsbury ( R+G) 2/10 (US/CAN)




Synopsis: 

This picture book from best-selling author Karen Kingsbury introduces Cody the caterpillar. Cody isn’t happy being stuck on the ground, but he’s encouraged to have faith and soon discovers than God has a wondrous plan for him.   


Cody, the caterpillar isn't happy being stuck on leaves and eating them. Sounds like some of us? We do not like being ar certain places in our lives. We are unaware that we are growing and maturing, only to move on to a better place. Cody, longs to have wings and fly to the land where he sees colorful birds. Little does he understand that in due time, his wish will become true. Karen uses that story of the how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly to illustrate that God has good plans for us and in due time we will see them become a reality.

My son loved the colorful illustrations. There are 2 pages that just shows a big, beautiful butterfly! It took many readings for him to understand how the caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Older children have a lot to learn from the story on how to wait patiently for God's timing in life. 

You can read a sample of the story here: Far Flutterby

Buy it for $11.99 from Christianbooks.com

Thanks to Zonderkidz, one lucky reader will have the chance to win a copy of the same book!

Pamper yourself with Chocomania! At Bodyshop from Feb 6, 2012 ( + A Sweet Giveaway!) 2/10 ( CANADA only)


( I decided to write this post all in brown to show how chocolatey I feel, read on to find out.)

Love is in the air! Shops filled with red hearts and messages that melt your heart.

Hard to pick something for the one you love, when there are a gazillion options. One thing I am sure everyone will give is a box of chocolates. Not many can say no to chocolates.

I know of a little, delicious something that looks and smells exactly like chocolate. You can give this to everyone as it is very good and not bad for health. You maybe tempted to eat it . I understand why as I just stepped out of my bath after papering myself with some of these yummy smelling stuff. 

My bathroom smells like a chocolate factory! My 3.5 yr old's face said it all when he stepped into the bathroom filled with the rich chocolate smell ! "Mommy, what are you doing here?" He must have thought I was secretly eating chocolates in the bathroom! I gave him a bath with the heart-shaped soap to convince him that it was truly a soap.  

                                                                   Chocoholics, beware!


Inside every pot is an exclusive formula of 12 Community Fair Trade Ingredients from around the world - making this the most lavish Body Butter from The Body Shop to date. 

The Chocomania collection from Body Shop has the most delicious aroma and is not overpowering.

I had the chance to try the soap, body scrub and the body lotion. 

The soap has awesome moisturizing properties and the little exfoliants are a great way to cleanse your skin. I truly loved the way I smelled and felt after using this! It is priced at $4.

The chocolate body scrub that has cocoa butter, Brazil nut oil, soy oil and sugar, leaves your skin feeling completely clean, nourished and soft. The exfoliants melt as you scrub them on your skin. It is a GREAT choice if you have dry skin as I found that it moisturizes RICHLY with all the natural oils that are present in it. I am in love with this. It is priced at 200 ml $18/ 50 ml $6.

The body lotion is a rich, creamy  moisturizer with a texture like silky, smooth mayonnaise. My 3 yr old asked me if I was putting mayonnaise on my skin! It smells like chocolate but it is delicate and leaves a refreshing smell and feeling. It is priced at  250 ml $12 / 60 ml $4.

Since I have mentioned chocolate everywhere, I want to emphasize that it smells like chocolate but  not in a overpowering way. I stay away from strong aromas but I absolutely enjoy this smell. My son, often runs to the bathroom to smell it and says "this smells delicious".  It has to be some chocolate for him to say that!

Exceptional quality and smell! Check out your local Body Shop or make sure to find Chocomania online at The Body Shop starting February 6th! Great Valentine's Day gift!

A big thanks to The Body Shop for sponsoring a sweet giveaway ! One lucky Canadian reader will win this gift set! 


2mi.ca Facebook Contest!



2mi.ca is an online design store in Canada.  I had the chance to try their German Kahla Porcelain collection and I love the velvet touch in my cup and I am using it everyday!

They are hosting a Facebook contest. It is pretty simple to enter! Just click a photo of the best designed product in your home and post it on their Facebook page. 

You can read more about the contest here. 5 participants will have the chance to win a glass board from Siegel! 

You can surprise your loved one with this glass board and a cute message on it? Then, repeat it often!


Worth checking out their classy products ! 

Sticky Mosaics for kids from Orb Factory ( R+G) 2/5 (US/CAN)



The Orb Factory was born out of a passion for creating interesting and rewarding play ideas for children.Steven Kay, the founder of Orb Factory started designing toys when he was 6 yrs old. So he exactly knows what would interest a child, in a toy.

As a creative toy manufacturer, The Orb Factory prides itself on creative designs, high quality products, and outstanding customer service. This allows the company to keep focusing on those aspects that are the most important. For example, every product has an educational component to it. As a result, many have been recognized as useful learning tools in the classroom. For items that are made by sub-contracted manufacturers, The Orb Factory employees are involved in the production decisions and quality control process.
We believe in the power of play. We strive to produce toys the not only stimulate a child’s mind, but their creativity as well. Our kits allow children to lose themselves in a world of magic, imagination and artistic freedom.
My son is not much into arts and crafts although I continue to provide and expose him to various arts & crafts activities. Sometimes, I run out of ideas. Anything that has cars, trucks, planes will interest him. I decided to choose the Vehicles Sticky Mosaic from their preschool collection.This has everything that will interest a little boy like mine.



The idea is simple but it is a very rewarding experience and you see it unfold slowly as you progress in your work. There are separate sheets with colours and shapes. It comes with little foam stickers in all the shapes that is required to complete the activity. So your child will just peel the corresponding mosaic stickers and stick them in the right place on the sheet. 



It helps them learn colours, shapes and encourages use of their fingers, thereby contributing to development of fine motor skills.
The best part is this package with 5 vehicles costs only $9.99! This is an interesting activity for preschoolers as they can proudly display it up on their walls when they complete it! Bright and colourful! It also comes with some mounting pieces.
Thanks to Orb Factory, one lucky reader will have the chance to win the Vehicles Sticky Mosaic!

Meet " VIOlight ". The Toothbrush Sanitizer. ( + Giveaway worth $60!) 2/7 ( US / CAN))

Let's get ready to face some facts.

A single toothbrush can harbor millions of microorganisms, which translate into harmful bacteria — bacteria that thrive in the warm, moist environment of the average bathroom.

Ouch! But truth as it is...this is our toothbrush that we just used this morning.Honestly, it has never occured to me that my toothbrush can actually be a "bed of bacteria". That means, I chew on bacteria every time I brush! Ok, I will stop making it sound so gross..LOL. BUT there is a solution to this yucky problem. Thank God that there IS a way to sanitize our toothbrush.

I was more than just happy when I discovered VIOlight I breathed a sigh of relief as it is simply amazing to have this product at home. Believe me, I am not a clean freak. I certainly do not go around wiping counters and toys with anti-bacterial wipes. But I do want anything that goes into the mouth to be clean and free from bacteria as much as possible.

Because most people keep their toothbrushes in the bathroom, bacteria from the mouth isn't the only contaminant. Flushing propels germs from the toilet into the air, where they can land on toothbrushes. Toothbrushes are usually stored together, so contact between family members' toothbrushes can spread germs from one brush to another.

Now, I present to you, VIOlight!



VIOlight uses a germicidal UV bulb — the same technology used in hospitals — to kill germs. A blue-violet glow lets you know the sanitizer is working. The entire process takes minutes. When finished, the bulb automatically shuts off and your toothbrush is fresh, clean, and protected for the next time you brush! 



The Proof


Numerous studies have shown ultraviolet light to be effective in killing germs on toothbrushes.

UV toothbrush sanitizers have been reported to kill of bacteria, yeasts, and viruses.


It takes only 10 minutes to sanitize your toothbrush. The parts are easy to assemble. Once assembled, simply place your toothbrush - head side down. Plug in the adaptor and after 10 minutes the light goes off by itself. That means the toothbrushes are sanitized.

The insert can hold normal toothbrushes and electric toothbrush heads. I had no problems placing my Oral B electric toothbrush heads. I am so relieved to know that I am not brushing over and over again with a dirty toothbrush that visibly appears clean.

It is a convenient size that can be stored away when not in use. It comes with a travel toothbrush sanitizer that is battery operated. It is great for travel and looks sleek and stylish! Especially when you throw your brush into a travel tote or a toilet bag, it is a good idea to sanitize them!

Personally, I really appreciate the idea behind this product that is highly beneficial for oral hygiene. This is something you gotta have at home and use it at least twice a week. 

Now you can have the germ-eliminating power of Violight wherever you are...at home, in the office, at the gym, or traveling on business or for pleasure. Comes with a FREE toothbrush. Order NOW and save $20.00 

I am all about practical and useful gift giving. So if you want to give something useful for a loved one this Valentine's Day, check for some ideas that will fit your budget at Violight.

Thanks to Violight, one lucky reader will have the chance to win  a Violight Countertop Sanitizer with Personal Travel Toothbrush Sanitizer worth $60! 

Valentine's Day Gifts at Bed Stu ( R+G) 1/31 (US/CAN)

Fundamentally based in nature with a thorough understanding of craftsmanship and endurance, BED|STU products are handcrafted of the finest natural materials available. With multiple lines to choose from – BED|STU cobbler, bed|stu footwear, Roan, and others - the company offers a broad selection of styles and unique looks.


At Bed Stu you can find the gift of your choice for your man / woman. I love to browse their site as it is so easy to shop by price, if you have a budget in mind. You can also narrow your choices to man/woman, type of boots etc. Shopping should be a stress-buster and not an overwhelming experience! Bed Stu has got you covered with some high quality gift ideas.

We had the chance to review the Dublin Black Wallet- $35. Great gift for a man. Everyone needs a safe place to keep their money safe. So this will be greatly appreciated and a very useful gift !

This wallet is made of genuine leather and has ample space and pockets to store everything from cards to money. My hubby and my dad are fans of good leather products. It is light weight and fits perfectly into the pocket. It also comes packed in a really neat box. No packing material is required. Tie a ribbon and voila! your gift is ready.

Here are some gift ideas for men:

Bed Stu also carries another line of products that goes by the name Cobbler.

The Cobbler products are like the people at Bed Stu, scratched, worn, comfortable and unique. The shoes and accessories are meticulously made one pair at a time. The body and the sole of each shoe forms to the shape of your foot. Once you wear them you will understand the meaning of custom made products. The Bed Stu products have the same hand finishes, vegetable tanned leathers, and minute detailing inspired by the bench made footwear, but at a more accessible price. 

I admire their taste in selecting colors, texture and style and putting them together to create these stylish and comfortable shoes. This is my kinda style. I see myself parading in these. I am not a boots person except for winter, but looking at these styles makes me think, why not? I want!


For genuine leather, I find their prices quite reasonable. If you want to hop on to Bed Stu for some shopping, don't forget to see what's on sale! There are some amazing deals on some hot styles. 

Thanks to Bed Stu, one lucky reader will have the chance to win a Dublin Black Wallet right here on my blog!

Review: Whiskers - The Dirt Devil Robotic Vacuum

A few days ago, I shared a little bit about Whiskers - The Dirt Devil Robotic Vacuum. So I've tried it and here is what I think about Whiskers. And guys, if you are reading this, listen, your lady who holds your fort might appreciate this as a Valentine's Day gift! 


Whiskers™ SV Robotic Vacuum BD70000

Firstly, we "love" the name. Whiskers. If I ask my son to go get Whiskers, he's off to get it and appears in a few seconds, carrying Whiskers. It is that light, not heavy at all.

 He does look it at it like a pet and throws papers at it asking it to "eat" ( or clean?) it. It is not noisy and my son doesn't run away and hop, skip and jump when I turn on Whiskers. Not that it has to child friendly to do its job but it will not wake up a sleeping baby. We all know how we tip-toe around when it's baby's sleeping time. Now you can clean when your baby sleeps! 

Assembly was a breeze, like less than 3 mins to put the dust cup with the filter.Lift the top round, thin cover and you will find the slot for the cup.Make sure that the cup rests properly and snap the lid on. 






Whiskers has to be charged for 4 hrs every time after use. It automatically shuts off charge at the end of 4 hrs.So even if you go out and forgot to turn it off, you do not have to worry.That's the point where you plug in the adaptor that comes with it. It is marked with a sticker which I thought was a great idea as I often get confused with so many chargers and adaptors for all the gadgets at home. Wrong charger for the wrong gadget could be a really bad idea!


Now I placed the whiskers - which are the long bristles that rotate in circular motion and bring the dust inwards where the dust sucking valve is located. The grey valve in the center is the one that takes in the dust. Although the entire circle goes around the floor, the part of the floor that comes in contact with the valve is the  part that will be actually cleaned.


If you wonder, how this robotic vacuum moves around like it knows every corner of your home, there are 3 cleaning patterns with which Whiskers does the job:


3 Cleaning Patterns – first the random pattern covers from wall to wall, then moves into circular pattern for larger open areas, and finally moves into perimeter pattern to clean along baseboards and corners. It is best suited for tile, linoleum, and wood flooring. 


  • It is great for closed spaces like kitchen and bathrooms. It did an excellent job in cleaning the floor, corners and the intersection of the floor and wall.
  • For larger spaces like dining space- I found that I could help Whiskers be more efficient by moving the chairs and just leaving the empty floor. It does recognize an obstacle but it will change its pattern at the obstacle and may go back to clean the same part again. If you have toys lying around, scoop them all up and leave the dirty floor to Whiskers. 
  • It can clean up to 2 medium sized rooms after a 4 hr recharge. Again, I want to emphasize that cleaning is most effective with less obstacles like toys etc. 
  • It is sleek and can easily go under a dresser or a settee to clean the space underneath. 
  • It is suggested that the filter be cleaned and rinsed after every use. I rinsed it with a bit of soap after 3 uses and it was white as new. I emptied the dust cup after every use.
  • If the battery runs out while cleaning, it stays where it is. It does not come back to the charging station.
  • It ignores and drives over cables as it is not equipped with a brush, which is a great feature.
  • The wheels are well-designed and they go around smoothly.They tend to get stuck when they meet an object that is smaller than the wheel. Like a small stone from my boot got stuck in the wheel.It moves around big objects though.
  • I am so happy that it is such a compact vacuum and doesn't need a lot of space to store it.
I love the quiet feature that I have really grown to appreciate a lot. Since we live in an apartment, Whiskers is perfect for our space. I push away my son's toys to a corner , roll up the carpet as it doesn't clean rugs/ carpets and let Whiskers run around on the floor. 


I lay down on the couch and catch up on my reading. Cleaning isn't intrusive to my reading anymore.

If I plan my cleaning and schedule it for the week, I can make the best use of Whiskers. It takes around 20 minutes to clean my living room. It is a long duration as the suction air path is small. But since I do not have to bend down with a broom, I do not mind the 20 minute run time. My other vacuum is very noisy which is why I resorted to my broom.

I also like how it cleans out the edges with its bristles. Here are some photos: 





If you are looking for a hands-free approach to cleaning, Whiskers is great option for small, flat spaces.


MSRP: $119.00
Availability: In-stores now at Canadian Tire, or visit DirtDevil.com 

Disclaimer: I received a sample for review purpose only. No monetary compensation  was received. The above post reflects my personal opinion.

Tropical Traditions Organic Thick Rolled Oats + A "Rich" Breakfast Smoothie Recipe ! ( R+G) 1/31 ( US/ CAN)



Oats provide high quality, well-balanced protein. Thick Rolled Oats and other whole grain oats are a good source of soluble fiber. Tropical Traditions Thick Rolled Oats are most commonly used for oatmeal, and cook in about 15 minutes. Thick Rolled Oats can also be used in granola and of course oatmeal cookies.


Oats when consumed has been known to slowly release energy and is also a great source of fibre and other rich nutrients. Me and my son regularly have oats at least 2 or 3 times a week.We love it! 

Tropical Traditions' Thick Rolled Oats comes in 10lb and 5 lb bags. They taste very natural and are free from any flavours or colours or other additives. Which means, you have a lot of space to create your own recipes with oats. Cookies always cross my mind when thinking about what to do with oats. We have been having it with bananas for breakfast and they are delicious.I haven't tried them in cookies but I am pretty sure that they will be a wonderful choice.

I also stumbled on a great Banana-Oatmeal Smoothie recipe and have been making it almost everyday now! I simply boil the oats to cook them and once cooled, I use it in this smoothie.I have tweaked it a bit to suit my own taste.


Ingredients:

  • 2   whole Chiquita Bananas (best with brown flecks on peel)
  • 2   cups Ice
  • 1/3   cup Yogurt - regular 3% yogurt + 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2   cup Cooked oatmeal
  • 1/3   cup Almonds

Pour all ingredients in blender pouring ice in last. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until smoothie thickens.


The best thing about this is all natural ingredients mixed into a nutritious breakfast. The Organic Oats gives it a thick, smooth and heathy taste.

 Tropical Traditions Organic Thick Rolled Oats can be purchased for $10.69 for a 5lb bag.

Thanks to Tropical Traditions, one lucky reader will have the chance to win a 5lb pack of Thick Rolled Oats!

Beau"Tea"ful children's clothing from Tea Collection! (+$50 GC Giveaway) 1/31 ( US Only)


Tea is definitely "unique". I say that even before mentioning anything about the company because it IS truly a style apart. I love to dress my little boy in cute, stylish and vibrant colours that really reflects his personality. AND I also love to shop online. Such a time saver and I get look at so many clothes just at the click of a button. That's how I discovered Tea Collection.

The designs reflected in Tea Collection are a reflection of the thirst for travel and putting the experiences into a piece of clothing. "Travel is the only experience that can make you richer" - ever heard of that? Well, it truly has made the founders of Tea come out with ideas rich with style, texture and colours from different parts of the world.

Travel opens anyone's heart and mind to people and places that we don't know. The clothing we create at Tea transforms the foreign world into a smaller, friendlier and more familiar place. We believe that we bring a little bit of that world home to you. - Emily Meyer, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer.

I had the chance to try some pieces from Tea Collection. They are superb - cotton, soft, comfortable, colourful, stylish and definitely makes my little one look like an adorable little man.

The best thing about these clothes were that you can dress them up by pairing them with some formal wear or just wear it casually. For eg. the Ticking Stripe Pant, feels lovely and soft for play.Looks stylishly formal with a plain t-shirt, formal shoes and a jacket. This is a must have pant for a little boy! He won't feel like stopping in these pants.They are oh-so comfortable! Wish they had them in my size!

The t-shirts were just the right size. If you want your child to grow into them, order a size bigger. They fit nice and snug.The feel is very soft and my son wore it all day even after getting back home from church.

The one thing that got him showered with compliments were the Sweater Vest - $44.50. Everyone wanted to know where I got it from! It made him stand out and I was so happy!


It not only feels soft and looks great, but a perfect layer that can be work under a winter jacket. Especially like a cold place where we live in, we cannot step out without a good jacket.




My son hates layering clothes as he feels too hot.I tried this and it didn't make him feel hot.It was just warm enough over his t-shirt.

The clothes are 100% cotton and a bit expensive.But it is worth the quality.But you can find some good deals on their sale items.

Tea Collection also has beautiful clothes for little girls too! 

They carry 100% Marino wool sweaters! I love these for winter as they not only feel warm but so soft.


I love to wear Tunics and I found these to be modest and fashionable, for someone like me.


I would highly recommend these to my friends. Tea is shipping only within the US now. But Tea Collection can be found at many shops across Canada. Canadians please check out this list to find your nearest shop that carries Tea Collection.

Thanks to Tea Collection, one lucky US reader will have the chance to win a $50 gift certificate to shop at Tea Collection!

DreamWorks Studios’ "Real Steel " Combo Pack ( R+G) 1/31 (US/Canada)

Releasing January 24, 2012 !



FILM SYNOPSIS:
Balancing gritty action and emotional heart, “Real Steel” is an inspiring and visually stunning film that takes audiences on an action-packed journey. Washed-up boxer Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) scrapes by as a small-time robot-fight promoter as he tries to make a comeback. Against all odds he eventually succeeds—at least in the eyes of his son Max (Dakota Goyo). “Real Steel” is spectacular family entertainment that will have everyone cheering again and again.

Release Formats &  3-Disc Blu-ray = $44.99 U.S./$51.99 Canada



"Real Steel" is certain to make you smile despite the stern robots you see on the cover. I initially thought it was an "all action" movie.. But it IS a family movie. With a simple storyline, infused with some action packed robot fights , Real Steel will leave you with a happy feeling towards the end. Max shares the same interest as his dad, Charlie. They both go on long adventures against all odds to make some most needed money and also win some battles.

I did not let my 3 yr old watch it as it is way too much action for him.He loved looking at the DVD sleeve and makes his own story about the robots. Hubby and I enjoyed watching it this weekend. My next door teenagers also enjoyed it and the boy loved it. It is definitely as treat for boys who likes big machines and robots.


I watched the bonus features in the DVD and the bloopers were hilarious to watch.It is interesting to know what happened behind the scenes. 


The Making of Metal Valley will give you a sneak peek on how all the complicated structures were built. The scene where Max comes sliding down ? It was so cool to see how the entire scene was shot and how much efforts went on to make it look like it is when you watch it. It is a chance to see how they producers went about setting up scenes and it is amazing to see how long it can take to shoot just a few seconds.I think this was my favorite bonus feature!


Building the Bots will take you on to show how the characters of robots were defined. Each of them have a personality and story. The bonus feature makes it more interesting to know how the robots originated from thought to screen. 

BONUS FEATURES:


3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (1 Blu-ray Disc + 1 DVD + 1 Digital Copy)
All 2-Disc Blu-ray Bonus Features
All DVD Bonus Features


2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack  (1 Blu-ray Disc + 1 DVD)

REAL STEEL SECOND SCREEN

Countdown to the Fight—The Charlie Kenton Story
Sugar Ray Leonard: Cornerman’s Champ
Deleted and Extended Scenes with introductions by Shawn Levy
—Extended “Meet Ambush”
—Deleted “Butterfly” Storyline
PLUS All DVD Bonus Features

1-Disc DVD (1 DVD)
Making of Metal Valley
Building the Bots
Bloopers

HIGH-DEFINITION & STANDARD DEFINITION DIGITAL
Sugar Ray Leonard: Cornerman’s Champ
PLUS All DVD Bonus Features 

One lucky reader will have the chance to win a combo DVD+Blue Ray pack of Real Steel right here on my blog!