20 Oct

Memories with McCain’s

With thanksgiving behind us and Christmas right around the corner it’s hard not to be nostalgic about the wonderful traditions I remember as a young child and try to make the best memories for my own kids.

I remember spending time at my grandparents house surrounded by loving family and friends and an abundance of food.  We played games, we sang songs we joked we laughed we cried (when it was time to leave) overall, my parents have left me with the most amazing memories.


A few things will stick in my mind forever, like the hours we spent playing IQ 2000  and the Game of Life – I think there were only 2 games at granny’s house.  Whenever I see either of those games I’m taken back to my childhood and teenaged years and it puts a smile on my face as it’s all good memories.  Thankfully I don’t have a van full of twin boys.

I was recently asked by McCain if I was interested in their classic cakes.  When I received the email, I couldn’t help but think of the time I spent at my grandmothers as a child with all my cousins.  The McCain Deep n Delicious cakes were guaranteed to be in my grandmas fridge when we visited.  The moist chocolate / marble/ vanilla cake with creamy chocolate or vanilla frosting and topped off with perfectly laid out sprinkles.  Without even seeing a cake in front of me, I can recall  the perfection in each cake and eating more than a slice or two over the years.

It’s not that my grandmother can’t or didn’t/doesn’t bake, she can certainly whip up a pie better than anything I’ve ever made, but value for dollar and in terms of a bought cake, the McCain Deep n Delicious cakes are one of the best and she could always have a frozen one waiting and ready to go for our arrival. Even today when I go to my grandmas house (and I won’t tell you how old she is, but I am 35… So take that into consideration), there’s still a Deep n Delicious cake waiting for us.  While I personally love the chocolate cake (you’re surprised, I know) with chocolate frosting, there are a lot of different options:

Who would think that a signature cake would bring back so many great memories? I’ll think of my grandparents place for years to come every time I’m served a piece of delicious McCain cake.  And, just to add some extra nostalgic feeling, I’ll make sure to serve it on the finest China with a cup of tea, just like granny.  Or have a piece while watching the Blue Jays game with my grandfather while he watches the game with two sets of glasses on… These are good times!

“Disclosure: This post was brought to you by McCain Foods Canada.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of McCain Foods Canada.”

30 Sep

I love chocolate!

As much as I try to eat healthy I am still going to have to satisfy a chocolate craving. I have always been a chocolate lover and most likely will always be a chocolate lover. I have my favourties just like other chocolate lovers and I can bet that 9 times out of 10 we all pretty much have the same type of chocolate on our top 10 list. One of those chocolate flavours? Reese Peanut Butter Cups. There aren’t too many combos that are more satisfying than chocolate and peanut butter (and a cool glass of milk).


The classic chocolate and peanut butter cups that come in a bright orange package have been satisfying my chocolate addiction for years. When I was asked if I wanted to try their new product, Reese Spread, the chocolate lover inside of me could not refuse and I actually giggled a bit too.

Like I mentioned before, I try to eat healthy but there are times when I cave and chocolate is my default go to snack. I’ll usually grab an entire bar and chow down and then feel guilty. The spread gives an option to satisfy cravings in smaller doses. Like peanut butter it’s 100 calories a tablespoon, so I can spread it on a piece of toast or dip apples into the spread and get my chocolate fix. The spread is creamy yet thick and is a bit chunky as the peanut butter and chocolate are all mixed together. It doesn’t sound like that combo is even possible, but when it’s slathered on a piece of toast, you’ll see what I mean. While It doesn’t taste exactly like the cups but it’s pretty darn close, I think the difference is that the chocolate is smooth rather than the hard chocolate in the “cups”.

There is also a quick ready to grab snack with the new Reese Snack, the sticks are made from graham crackers. My personal opinion is that there are too many flavours going on to really enjoy the spread. Graham crackers should stick to s’mores. My family also agreed that the graham cracker/peanut butter chocolate spread combo wasn’t The best, but it might be something that works for you.


I think I’m mostly excited about making cookies with this new PB and chocolate combo. I was thinking of trying the classic peanut butter cookies (you know the ones that you squish with a fork). But if you’re looking for a way to use this new spread in a recipe, here are a few to get your started https://www.hersheycanada.com/recipes/en-ca/products/spreads/reese-spreads.


Giveaway: 1 lucky Canadian reader will receive a $100 Reese Spread prize pack (Contest ends October 12 @ 11:59 pm EST, open to Canadians excluding Quebec).

To Enter: Please make a comment below about how you enjoy chocolate

Bonus Entry: Tweet about this giveaway and send me the link to your tweet below.

**Disclosure: My name is Lynette and I am a chocoholic… this sounds more like an anonymous meeting… In all seriousness, I am a chocolate lover so I may be biased when it comes to chocolate.  However it also means that I am well versed in the world of Chocolate.  Either way, I did get the product for free and as such this is a sponsored post.

28 Sep

Children’s Vision Month

I was 5 when I got my first pair of glasses. I’m by no means an expert, but I would think 5 is one of the more common ages kids get glasses for the first time. It wasn’t until I started school and my teacher noticed I was struggling to see the chalkboard (yes chalkboard it was 1985) that I was sent for eye testing. Sure enough, I required eye glasses. This same type of story is most likely consistent with many early glasses wearing kids. I would also feel confident to make the assumption that teachers are the ones that suggest to parents that their kids get their eyes checked.


(my first pair of glasses – 1985)

October is Children’s Vision Month. With the kids back to school and settled in for a new year, it’s the best time to get eyes checked. Kids have all summer to play and not have to worry about seeing the whiteboard, the beginning of the school year would be the time to catch any vision problems to ensure the best success for the school year (don’t wait for the teacher to make the suggestion).

Every week from September 28th – November 9th, one randomly selected winner will receive an HP Pavilion laptop and a rebate of up to three-hundred dollars CAD of goods and services from a Doctor of Optometry (excluding eye exams). Five of these prize packages will be awarded, with winners randomly selected on Wednesdays, from October 7 to November 4. All contest entries will also automatically be entered to win the grand prize.

The Grand Prize, which will be randomly selected on November 12, includes an HP ENVY Recline computer (valued at $,1700), one five-hundred dollar gift certificate to a sporting goods store of the winner’s choice, one rebate of up to three-hundred dollars of goods and services from a Doctor of Optometry (excluding eye exams), and one $2,500 contribution towards an RESP or other educational savings plan. That’s a huge giveaway!

This contest is open to all Canadians (except residents of Quebec) who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry. Full sweepstakes rules are available at DOCcontest.com . Participants must have a valid Facebook account to enter.

So parents you now have some homework set for yourselves.

1. Get your families eyes checked

2. Visit DOCcontest.com to learn more and enter the giveaways.

Good Luck!

*Disclosure: I strongly encourage all parents to get their kids eyes checked, as I know my story is not unique.  While this is a sponsored post, it’s a reminder about the importance of regular eye checkups.

19 Sep

Sick of Packing Lunches Yet?

We’re not even through September and I’m already seeing desperation in tweets and Facebook posts surrounding the dreaded lunch packing. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but we have over 9 months left in the school. Have the carrot sticks cut out into 3D bunny rabbits lots their excitement? (I kid you not, I own all the cut out pieces to make a 3D bunny out of sliced carrots… I’m not even sure why I bought it, it’s just taking space up in my overflowing drawer). Are you still spending hours with your adorable bento boxes?

While I may use penguin cut outs for sandwiches, I try to make lunch packing simple, and ensure I pack things they will actually eat. I may look like the best mom in the world sending asparagus and acai, but I’d be wasting my money each day  the spears and berries are thrown into the garbage or comes home uneaten. I like to pack lunches I know my kids are going to eat. Cheese and/or ham sandwiches, pasta, apple sauce, carrots, cucumbers, berries (nearly any berry… Well other than acai) and then once in a while I throw in a little treat.


Recently, I was asked by Snack Pack if we would like to try their new EZO Lid Snack Pack puddings. I am a chocolate lover so agreed to give it a shot, to see how the kids would like it and to test if they could open the snack. We received chocolate, vanilla and butterscotch. The girls were excited to test them and my 7 year old was able to pull the cover off alone.  My youngest is only 2.5 years old and needed some help. To my surprise, the girls weren’t really much of a fan of the puddings. There are plenty of choices and flavours to choose from (see below) So we tired the Orange and Strawberry flavours that are more like gel and they really enjoyed those. So as a treat, I’ll throw one in for lunch.

21· Chocolate
· Vanilla
· Butterscotch
· Chocolate Fudge
· Tapioca
· Chocolate Vanilla Triples
· Chocolate Caramel Swirls
· Chocolate/Butterscotch
· Chocolate/Vanilla
· Chocolate Lovers
· Toffee Caramel
· Banana Cream Pie
· Lemon Meringue Pie
· Ice Cream Sandwich
· Strawberry/Orange
· Cherry/Lemon Lime
· Raspberry mix Berry
· No Sugar Added Chocolate
· No Sugar Added Vanilla
· No Sugar Added Strawberry
· No Sugar Added Strawberry/Orange

I think as parents we’ve made lunches way too complicated. I’m not sure when or why the shift changed over the years. I was reading a forum where a man (who is now responsible for packing his own kids lunch) said his mom made him the same sandwich, apple and cookies (or whatever it was) for lunch every single day… For 12 years… and he didn’t complain. I think it’s ok to get creative, but parents, we really have to be realistic about the expectations we’re creating for ourselves. Being stressed over lunches isn’t high on my priority list, but making sure my kids eat their lunch and can enjoy a tasty treat, that’s more my idea of a good lunch.

Happy back to school, only 9 months and 1 week to go… but who’s counting?

“Disclosure: I am part of the Snack Pack Blogger Campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

14 Sep

Make it a meal, or five with Boston Pizza Kids Card

My husband and I enjoy evenings out with friends. Since having kids, we’ve had to make some adjustments to our evenings out.  For example, we are now always home before 9 pm.  In our “life before kids” we would only leave the house around 9 pm. Keeping the kidlets entertained is also a new priority as it can be a challenge to enjoy an adult evening together while the kids are jumping over the booth seats, but there are a few places that have the adult and kid enjoyment balanced out perfectly.  One restaurant we have enjoyed plenty of times is Boston Pizza.  They have a menu just for kids, along with a package of goodies to keep the kids busy colouring, connecting the dots and playing games together or solo.  The kids always enjoy the activity booklets and it keeps them busy while the adults can enjoy one another’s company as well.  Happy kids =happy adults.

Boston Pizza_KidsCard_Image_367x364

A few years ago we purchased the Boston Pizza Kids cards. These little cards are good for 5 kids meals and are available for a minimum donation of $5. The card itself has a value of $35. For myself with 2 kids to feed (they love the Bugs ‘N Cheese) it’s probably the best deal in town. You can even get a 6th meal if you register your card on the Boston Pizza website. I’ll repeat that just in case you missed it… Wait, you can just go back and read that paragraph again.

Here’s how to Boston Pizza Foundation’s 25th anniversary and get your own Boston Pizza Kids Cards.

This year, Boston Pizza hopes to raise $730,000 for the Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects.  The foundation supports role models and mentoring programs for kids.  So the $5 you spend (or donation of your choice) to buy 5 (or 6) meals for your kids, goes directly to helping kids.  Some of the foundations BP supports are: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Kids Help Phone, Live Different, JDRF and The Rick Hansen Foundation.
2013 BPF Live Different Build in the Dominican Republic

(Photo was taken at the 2014 Boston Pizza Foundation Live Different Build in the Dominican Republic project)

Since Boston Pizza started this program in 1990 (which is 25 years ago already), the Foundation has raised and donated more than $20 million to directly improve the health and well-being of children and families right at home, here in Canada.

We have enjoyed this program in the past; this year, my family and I will be getting a card (or two) once again. Parents, tell your friends and then have an evening out together.



*Disclaimer: This is sponsored, but I can assure that I will be buying this card and using it with my 2 girls!

09 Sep

When to Visit a Pharmacist

Welcome to the new school year. Summer has gone by in the blink of an eye and now we’re back to the “regular routine” which actually feels like a whirlwind. With all the activities and two kids it seems like my calendar is so jammed packed there’s no time to think.

A few months ago, I wrote a post about pharmacists and how they can give advise, and in some cases, prescriptions for minor ailments. Have you taken advantage of that yet? If not, I would recommend it. A quick session with a pharmacist is easy to build into your regular routine while picking up “a carton of milk, a loaf of bread or a stick of butter”. While you may be tempted to search Dr. Google I only recommend it if you want to increase your stress levels.

What can you visit your pharmacist about? I’ll give you a refresher:

Cold sores
Joint and muscle pain

Or just print out this handy dandy quick reference sheet and walk in to talk to your neighborhood pharmacist. (Click Image for larger view)
Minor Ailment Treatment Options - Rx & OTC-2

My husband is a seasonal allergy sufferer. The runny, drippy nose, itchy eye type of allergies. He visited the local pharmacist and has used their advise to find the best medication for his allergies. For the past 2 years he’s been very pleased with the service and the results he’s had during allergy season (or should I say allergy seasons… Spring, summer and fall). He’s suffered with the allergies for years and years and this is now the best he has ever felt.

The school year is busy enough with the kids, if there’s a way to make your life easier, take advantage of it.

Happy “return to chaos” I mean back to routine month!

**Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. This is has been my families own experience using a pharmacist, your experiences may differ. And if you see my auntie, say hello, she’s super kind.  She’s been a pharmacist at Shoppers for at least 20 years.

12 Aug

Cesar’s Mix Feeding Program

If you would have told me a month ago there was a solution to my dogs rancid breath, I would have passed your suggestion by.  Sure, I know there are solutions, like chewing doggie bones but my little Cammy isn’t into those bones and sending her to the dentist… I may as well be singing off on her death certificate.  I’ve brushed them myself regularly with peanut butter flavored toothpaste but within just a few hours, doggie breath makes its reappearance.  We all still love Cammy to pieces, but she has rank dog breath.

A few months ago, I was asked to participate in the #mixfeeding blogger program with Cesars.  The mix feeding program included using wet and dry food.  This is something we  regularly did anyway.  Cammy would enjoy 1/2 a tin of Cesars on dry food every morning.  The big change would only be the brand of dry food.   I’m always up for a good challenge and it seems Cammy was ready too.

Cammy once ruled the house but now with 2 kids in toe, it’s not often she gets anything new.  The people at Cesars sent Cammy a new bed a new collar and a few other nice treats including a brush and dishes.  She was in her glory with her new digs although the girls quickly sorted through the assortment, once again leaving Cammy not being able to enjoy her new toys first. But being 12 years old in dog years, she’s learned a lot and she didn’t let it get to her.

The program started on June 25.  For one month we were to start her on the Cesars dry food as well as 1 can on wet food.  I already knew how much she enjoyed the wet food and being only ~10 pounds I figure 1/2 a serving a day is enough for a good treat.

>cesarsRight away I was surprised at how much she enjoyed her dry food.  She’s never been one to regularly lick her plate clean, but in the first few days, I noticed we had to replenish her dish.  It seemed that Cammy really enjoyed being part of the program too.  While we didn’t serve her a generic brand of dog food before, she is a senior now and we had been buying the same food for a number of years.  Perhaps a bit of a change was good?

It took about 2 weeks to fully notice the big difference but one day, it struck me really hard.  We were sending Cammy for a sleepover and I always feel so embarrassed for poor Cammy’s dog breath.  When I went to pack her up and cleaned up her eyes and beard I noticed she didn’t smell bad.  Not only didn’t she smell bad, she didn’t smell at all.  I was shocked.  She really had the worst doggy breath ever.

I know these are pretty big claims to make.  And I have tried to come up with every other reason that her breath could be normal now, but nothing else in her life changed.  It’s the only thing that has been different in the last month an a half.

I will say without a doubt, the Cesars dry food has definitely convinced me that it’s doing good things for my little Cammy.  I can’t explain how or why, but I have continued and will continue to feed Cammy this food even though the program has been completed for over 2 weeks now.  A part of me does want to go back to the old food just to test, but for the sake of those around her, we much prefer her current breath over what we had for the last years.

Thank you Cesars for getting us out of our regular routine and for asking us to try something new.  We always love Cammy but now we enjoy snuggling even more without having to hold our breath.

Giveaway: 1 lucky Canadian reader is going to receive a prize pack over $100. (contest ends August 30th @ 11:59 PM PST)

To Enter: Please make a comment below about a time you have been surprised by something.

Bonus Entry: Tweet about this giveaway and send me the link to your tweet below.

Extra Bonus Entry: Tell me a little about your Fur Baby.

**Disclosure: I was selected to be a part of this program through the PR agency and received perks for being a part of the program… including but not limited to – a dog with great breath now!