About Me

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I work in the city but I love living in the 'burbs so much we moved there - despite my crazy commute. The closer I get to home, the more relaxed I feel.
This Mama can't wait to share all the fabulous finds and 'must have' things that come my way. After all, if something's great I've gotta tell everyone! 
Join me as I share the ups and downs of suburban living, my journey to be more creative and organized (even with 2 super active little boys) and a whole lot of this and that. While I live in Fraser Valley, B.C., it's easy to translate the suburban experience to pretty much anywhere - and even city folk love to leave the hustle and bustle sometimes!
And living in the most expensive corner of the country, it takes a little savvy to keep it all together.  I'll share what I've learned - and hopefully you will, too!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Copy-Kids eat fruits and vegetables DVD Review and Giveaway

My kids are picky eaters.  I can’t think of any better way to describe them.  They don’t like to try new things and sometimes it’s a chore to get them to eat at all.   Some of this is because of their allergies (when you can’t have certain foods, it does shrink the potentials list somewhat) and some of it is because they have decided they don’t like anything new.

Enter Copy Kids – a DVD that is designed to help kids get interested in healthy foods.   I have to admit, when I heard about this DVD, I was intrigued.  After all, I’m not making a heck of a lot of headway here on my own.  I figured anything was worth a try.   

We put the DVD into the machine at snack time and after observing the main menu – I set up a little plate of snacks with some crackers, cheese and veggies.  Veggies are something I have a hard time getting my youngest to eat so I decided to pick cucumber for this first experiment. 

The menu is set up with different foods so that you can choose the one you want to introduce.  There are twelve different 6-8 minute chapters with a different fruit or vegetable.  There are: 

  • Bell Pepper
  • Carrots
  • Raspberries
  • Broccoli
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Oranges
  • avocado
  • apples
  • blueberries
I clicked on cucumber and we got to watch a cute kid eating cucumber.  At a quick glance there were some giggles & some eating. It looked pretty simple and I wondered if it would catch my son’s attention. 

I left the room to move the laundry and when I came back, there was my three year old fixated on kids eating cucumber.  With its very simplistic style, this DVD caught his attention and then some.  I won’t say he ate all of his own cucumbers, but he did eat a little, which is a first for us around here.   When the section was done I went to change to something else and he was adamant I left it alone.  So we watched it again, then we watched bananas.  He already eats those, but he was fascinated by the kids again so I added some banana to his plate.  After all, I’m not one to miss an opportunity to add something nutritious to his day and the timing here was golden! 

We’ve had the DVD for a few weeks now and my three year old is still fascinated with it.  He’s tried a few more things and definitely knows what the rest of them are called.  My five year old wasn’t as interested in the DVD, but I’m hoping that he will catch on by copying his slightly more adventurous brother – who is copying the kids on the DVD.  So in a round about way, it might work for him, too.  

I think this would be a great DVD to have around when you are introducing foods to your babies and toddlers.   It’s bright and colourful, simple and yet attention grabbing.  And because kids like to copy each other, it should give you a bit of an edge in getting them to try new things.   I would have loved to have had this when my older son was younger as we had to restart food with him a couple of times due to some severe allergy reactions.  Because we had to take away so much to start over, it was a huge challenge to get him to move to a new food.  I really think this would have made it fun for him and might have helped move him forward in a much more positive way.   

Copy-Kids DVD runs for 115 minutes and retails for $19.95.  It’s available at www.Copy-Kids.com.  Copy-Kids has also generously offered a copy for one of my readers!!  Fill out the rafflecopter form below for your chance to win this awesome DVD!  Thank You Copy-Kids!

**Disclosure** The products in this review were provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in the review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

While I'm a little late jumping in, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to be a part of this fabulous event!   Blogs from all over the world - thousands of them - all gathering together so we can meet new people and find some new blogging sites to become addicted to.  How Fun!

I'm a mom of two little boys who loves to write. While Romance writing is my best love (and someday there will be a novel, it's just slow going with the boys and all)writing my blog has given me a chance to find my own voice.  I've been working on getting healthier this past year and while there have bit slips and slides, there's also been great progress.   I am also working on clearing the clutter from my live.  I crave the peace I feel in the homes of friends who've gotten it somewhat figured out (none of us is perfect, but some are way ahead of me on that front!). 

I love the feel of a busy, living, thriving family but can't deal with the amount of 'stuff' we've accumulated.  And like so many writers have said, I truly feel there is a link between all that 'stuff' and all the extra weight I've packed on since my boys arrived.  So order, organization, healthier living and finding new and interesting things to help me reach my goal is what I like to discuss.  I used to write a green blog (which I might resurrect soon) and I'm trying to continue that path as well so I can leave a lighter footprint.

So come join me - browse the old posts, sign up on Google Friend Connect to check out the new ones!  Follow me on twitter @rjdoghouse and most of all - relax and enjoy the Ultimate Blog Party while you meet new friends.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Have Kids will travel... in ambulances?

If I've said it once around our house, I've likely said it two or three times.  Keep a bag packed for emergencies.    Today we made another visit to the ER.  Our sixth in the last two years.  Yep.. 6... all with our second son.  He's had allergic reactions (first ambulance ride) fallen in a hole and gotten hurt, caught the RSV virus which triggered bronchiolitis, and asthma attacks.  All of which were scary.  The first time it happened, I had a diaper bag packed.  I'd gotten into the habit of reloading it whenever we got home and thank goodness!   All I had to do was grab my purse and we were good to go.

I kept that up, but now my son is potty trained and today I realized that we aren't all that prepared.  At least not like before. I need to get a big Ziploc bag ready just in case.   Luckily he was at my parents today.  By the time I got there (rushed back from work) his asthma was getting the best of him and we called for an ambulance.  My Mom was a quick thinker and had packed snacks, juice, colouring book, little cars, wipes and more.  On my way home I'd run into a store to grab a drink and a snack knowing I might be away from home for a while, even if we only had to go to a clinic. 

I've been saying to myself that I need to keep his medical info with me.  Not just his carecard, but the type of meds he takes, our hospital/doctor visit history etc.  I can't remember it all, but writing it down would be a good plan.  So that will be on my to do list as it sure makes an ER visit go smoothly when you have it all at your fingertips. 

We got lucky today and a pediatric paramedic unit was driving through the area, so they were equipped with all the little people stuff.  This is something else you need to consider.  Get to know your hospitals.  Some are not well equipped for children. Trust me, being in one that has nothing child sized is an issue.  The staff aren't as good with them, the equipment doesn't work right and it's a tough time ahead.  They try their best, but they aren't set up for kids.  I now know where I will and will not go if given the choice.  If you have more than one local hospital find out which has a pediatric unit and, better yet, pediatric emergency beds. You'll be so glad you did.

All is well here now, but I'll be putting a little grab and go bag together.   In it we'll have:

  • each child's medical history including vaccines, illnesses, allergies, medications etc.
  • a small snack/juice box/ water (while they shouldn't eat/drink when you make the decision to go - it's nice to have it with you when you get the all clear from the doctor
  • colouring book/crayons/small toy/book ( a distraction is sometimes critical)
  • phone numbers - when you have another child elsewhere such a daycare, ensure you have those numbers so you can call the place and call for help from a family member or friend if possible.
  • change of clothes - or at least a clean shirt and maybe undies. Thin cotton outfits will fit in a little bag and are better than nothing.  Accidents happen when they are sick - they vomit, spill, etc.
  • a mini pack of wipes (see above)
  • If you are like us and have a grab/go medicine pack consider keeping both in the same place so you only have to get to one cupboard.
  • money - nothing like being caught away from home with nothing.  If you go by ambulance - how will you get home?  Can you pay a cab?.  You never know how long you'll be there and you might want a coffee, need to use a payphone or buy a snack if you run out.
That's all I can think of at the moment.  Do you have anything you'd add to the list?   What have you done to be prepared for an unexpected ER visit?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lovable Labels Camp Pack Review and Giveaway

When Lovable Labels asked if I’d like to do a review on their camp pack – I jumped at the chance!  What could be better than having all of my son’s stuff labelled so all the things that I know will go missing could come back to us. 

While my boys aren’t of the age for camps yet (we’re close though!), I have to say that the Lovable Labels camp pack really fit the bill.  With enough labels for everything you’ll be sending to camp (or Grandma’s in our case) you know that you’ve got things covered.

Available in 12 designs/Colours and 45 Icons, the Camp Pack comes with a great assortment of labels.  It consists of:

15 Sticker Labels
40 Slimline Labels
12 Shoe Labels
72 Press n' Stick Clothing DOTS™
2 Mini-Metal Tags (two 4” silver ball chains included)
12 Square Labels

The labels are Dishwasher and Microwave Safe, Waterproof, UV Resistant and are so easy to apply as they just peel and stick.

I have been using Lovable Labels for my other son’s school stuff since September and I have to say that after months of dishwasher and washing machine use – the labels are sticking just like new.  I’m more than impressed with their durability.    This time I used the labels for my younger son and his labels have withstood a multitude of washings and his containers still have all the labels on, too.   I especially love the shoe labels – in our home they are so practical since my kids wear some shoes that look the same and instead of arguing, they just read the label.  The shoe labels also came in handy when they went to a birthday party at a play place that required them to take their shoes off.  It was easy to see which ones belonged to my boys!

The Slimline labels are skinny enough to fit onto the smallest of containers and the Clothing Dots attach right onto the tags.  For camp you can label everything from suitcases to bed sheets and swimsuits to toothbrushes.   If you aren’t heading to camp, remember that your kids will be all over the place during the summer – friend’s homes, visits to grandparents, day trips and more.  Having everything labelled before they head out means that their stuff is more likely to come back home with them.  And if you’ve got more than one child it can help you keep track of what belongs to each of them even when you’re not going anywhere.

Lovable Labels are just what Mom’s need – and that’s how they began.  It all started with a Mom that found herself in the middle of a problem!  When she took her son to childcare she was asked to label all of his belongings.  This meant labelling everything from his outdoor clothing, to his indoor shoes, lunches, sippy cups and backpack. She recognized that there was a need in the market for personalized labels that were tough and durable and could stand the test of time and the everyday use that children put them through.

I think they meet the mark.  After putting them through the ringer around here, they’ve more than stood up to the test of both time and rambunctious boys. 

You can purchase your Camp Pack at www.LovableLabels.ca or call 1-866-327-LOVE (5683) for $44.95 Or…

You could win your very own Lovable Labels is Camp Pack!!  One of my readers will win this awesome pack of labels.  Fill out the rafflecopter form below to be eligible to win!