16 Mar

Give Them Confidence

Having to raise two girls puts a lot of stress on a mother.  I was a young girl myself long ago and the world has certainly changed since the days I wore over sized red glasses and had bangs that reached 2.5 inches high.  How am I to ensure the girls have confidence in this new world, not just while they’re young, but in their teen years and right through to adulthood?

No pressure, parents, but this one rests solely on you…. Ok, thankfully not completely, but it’s important we can give them a good base to begin with.

The other day my daughter was drawing a picture at the dinner table. I struggled to sip my coffee in one hand while, with the the other, I was trying to balance a toddler on my knee as she lunged for more crayons to imitate her sister’s drawing.  The girls drew their pictures and I watched in awe as they showed off their work.  It’s a common occurrence in our home.  The girls are always busy drawing/colouring/crafting… (Insert any kid activity, they enjoy doing everything), I participate and life is good.  When the project is done, we’re all pleased, then we do it all again the next day… Or hour.

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This one time, however, I was encouraged to look at these activities in a new light during a visit from my cousin, who’s a father of four. The girls did their artsy thing, I balanced the young toddler as she imitated her sister and they showed off their work as usual.  I didn’t even think twice, but as they finished their work, they showed everyone and asked “do you like it? do you like it?” And of course as an encouraging mother, I replied “yes of course, it’s beautiful, let’s put it on the fridge”.  That’s when my more experienced cousin chimed in, asking the girls whether, more importantly, THEY liked the drawings they done. This struck me really hard.

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It’s more important for my girls to feel pleased in their own work than to seek approval from others.  This is true not simply in their artwork, but for everything in life.  If they learn this at a young age, it’s my hope that they will have confidence in themselves as teenagers and not always seek the approval of their peers.  As long as they can feel pleased with the way they look, their clothing, their grades….  the approval and confirmation from peers and boys hopefully won’t be required, because they have already satisfied themselves with their own confidence.

 

From now on, rather then simply saying “yes, I love the way you managed to rearrange the Christmas tree with all the ornaments at the bottom”, I will be more inclined to ensure they are proud of their own work. It’s a very simple thing I feel that I, as a parent, can instill in the girls; their own confidence and future depend on it.

 

Confidence starts at a young age…

 

It’s time to deal with bedwetting head-on. Visit Control bed wetting www.controlbedwetting.ca to learn about helpful tips on dealing with your child about bedwetting.

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Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Ferring Canada via Mode Media Canada.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Ferring Canada.

 

19 Feb

Tax time – what you can claim

It’s Tax Time Again. Here’s the 411 on What’s New for Your Tax Return.


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The holidays weren’t that long ago but believe it or not, spring will be here before we know it. And with spring comes tax season. Are you ready? Make sure you are up to date on what’s different about your tax return this year because there are new tax credits that can help keep a few dollars in your pocket where they belong. Caroline Battista, senior tax analyst with H&R Block, provides insight into these new credits and who can benefit from them:

• New Family Tax Cut: The Family Tax Cut provides a tax credit to families with children under 18 equal to the tax savings that would be realized if up to $50,000 of taxable income were transferred from the higher income to the lower income spouse or common-law partner. The maximum credit is capped at $2,000.

• Pumped up Children’s Fitness Tax Credit: If your children are active, the government increased the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit to $1,000 and made it retroactive for 2014. Parents should claim the receipts in the year they paid – not the year the activity takes place.

• Remember the First-Time Donor Super Credit: Much like the name implies, if you were a first-time donor in 2014, you will get some extra credit for your donation. Originally introduced last year, when we asked Canadians on a Leger survey if they were aware of the credit, 72 per cent said no.

• New search and rescue credit: Meant to complement the volunteer firefighters credit, search and rescue volunteers who put in 200 hours or more of work can claim a personal amount of $3,000, which means $450 tax savings.

IMG_6458-1 And more good news for Canadian families. Though the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) does not show up in your tax refund, parents with children under 18 will start to see an increased benefit in July 2015. For children under six, the monthly amount will be $160 (up from $100) and for children between six and 18, it will be $60 a month. The increase for January to June will be paid in a lump sum in July 2015. And then parents can expect the increased amounts to arrive monthly after that. If you haven’t applied for the Canada Child Tax Benefit, use Form RC66.

These, and other possible credits, can make a difference on your 2014 tax return; even a few dollars can make a difference. Battista advises Canadians to do their homework before they file in order to take advantage of every credit you are entitled to. If you don’t feel comfortable doing your own taxes, visit a local H&R Block office where a professional can assist you in every step, do a thorough review of your information and ensure you don’t miss a thing.

** Disclosure: this is a sponsored post, but I hope you will be able to use some of these tips to get some money back come tax time.

12 Feb

Valentine’s Day Love – Red Velvet Blizzard Cake

We’re in the middle of winter here in Canada.  Despite the cold weather, every year around this time, things heat up because the warmth of love is in the air – if just for a few days.  I truly enjoy showing people love.  I have a lot to give, so while many feel Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday, I think it’s fine if we’re reminded if only once a year, that it’s marvelous to show other people love and celebrate it.

Red Velvet Blizzard Cake

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be for “lovers” either.  It’s important to show love to everyone we meet throughout the day (everyday) and especially to those who are nearest and dearest to us.  Caring doesn’t mean you have to buy the most expensive presents like diamond rings; giving people your undivided attention, being truly engaged, listening, and helping around the house are simple ways to show others you love them. I’m a firm believer that love is present in it’s actions and not simply in words.
I’d be remiss however if I didn’t mention a little something about chocolate (and ice cream) at Valentine’s Day.  It’s pretty much my favorite things together in harmony, love and chocolate and ice cream. The only thing that would make it better is if I was on a warm beach. Valentine’s Day … chocolate … Ice cream … Beach – ok that was kind of a hint – I hope my darling husband is reading this.  Friends, could you please tag him, I prefer to be discrete.

Dreaming……

And I’m back…. But without a tan :(

This Valentine’s my family and I cooled things down with a little Red Velvet Blizzard Cupid cake from Dairy Queen.  This cake is the perfect size for our little family of 4 / 5 (my mom’s with us most of the time).  We each had a few small pieces without feeling too guilty.   Generally Dairy Queen cakes are for special occasions with lots of people, birthdays, anniversaries and big parties.  This mini Red Velvet blizzard cake (at only $12.99) is perfect for a smaller get together, family or maybe for lovers to share.  The cake is made with the classic Dairy Queen ice cream but on the inside there’s  a layer of red velvet cake and a layer of blizzard.  We were also able to get the cake personalized in less than 1 minute.  I should have thought of something more creative, but I guess Happy Valentine’s pretty much covers it.

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We often call desserts “love”, so this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to bring a little “love” home.  This little red velvet blizzard cake is available in adorable cupcake form too.

DQ Spoon
Giveaway: 1 lucky Canadian reader is going to receive a $20 Dairy Queen GC as well as a special jewellery box with a fitting surprise.

To Enter: Make a comment below on how you show others love

Bonus Entry: Follow me on Twitter @myweeview and Tweet about this giveaway with a link to this post

Bonus Entry: Like my page on Facebook

 

Giveaway is open to Canadians, closes February 28th @ 11:59 PM AST

 

 

*Disclosure, this is a sponsored post.  But seriously, please think about love not just at Valentine’s Day, but all year round.

 

04 Feb

Thai at home

Temputa Shrimp

I love food.  I’m really great at eating food, but not very good at making it.  I need simple and easy to follow recipes.  I also need quick, as a full time working mom, I do not have an extra spare moment to spend slaving away in the kitchen.  There are a few meals that I can get away with making regularly and there are a few things that we’re always better off ordering in.  One type of food that I have never been able to recreate properly is Thai.  While I love the taste, I don’t necessarily love it when I try to make it on my own at home.


An ingredient that is frequently in Thai food is fish sauce.  And to be honest, I never cooked with it – until recently, maybe that’s why my Thai recipes were always off.  So what is fish sauce? Well, if you really want to know the deets …. This info-graph has the whole thing laid out for you.  (There’s a reason I haven’t made fish sauce on my own before…. I don’t have 30 minutes to put together a meal, let alone 9 months to make a sauce.  I guess it’s best to leave this one to the pros).

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To put the fish sauce (and my “stellar” Thai cooking skills) to the test I made a recipe found on the Thai Kitchen website.  Tempura Shrimp!  I absolutely love tempura in restaurants and wouldn’t ever dream of trying it at home, but here I am, trying it at home.  Here’s my website putting me outside of my comfort zone.

Here’s what you’ll need to make tempura shrimp:

Shrimp
Canola Oil
Tempura batter
Thai Kitchen Premium Fish Sauce
Dips (Thai Kitchen Plum SauceThai Kitchen Sweet Red Chili SauceThai Kitchen Pineapple & Chili Sauce)

This is was quick and easy to make.  I literally dipped each shrimp into the fish oil and then rolled them into the tempura mix and popped them on a hot skillet with the canola oil.  They were ready in about 30 seconds on each side.  It’s just a bit harder than sticking bread in the toaster and slathering on peanut butter – that’s my kind of cooking.  Oh yeah, and the verdict? Very yummy!  And not just for  adults, but the kids (6 and 2) enjoyed them too.

They are best served hot so make sure the rest of your meal is ready to go when you throw these in a pan. You’ll be serving up appetizers or a meal (3 or 4 on a skewer) in just a few minutes.  You can use a dip, or just eat them on their own (yes they are that good).

Temputa Shrimp

Now that I’ve tried the shrimp, I’m going to experiment with different veggies (sweet potato tempura, or how about home made onion rings) in the fish oil and tempura batter.  I can’t express how easy it was and how much it did taste very similar to what I would order in a restaurant.  I was actually impressed with myself and perhaps now that I have found the fish oil Thai secret, I won’t be so scared to try other Thai food at home too.

Tempura Shrimp Skewer

When you see fish oil as an ingredient, there’s no need to be scared, use it, it really does make the Thai difference.

Looking for another recipe? How about these Thai Cocktail Meatballs – or check out all the recipes for the #TKeveryday Recipe Challenge.

Enjoy!

*Disclosure, this is a sponsored post.  Please try this, you will like it.  I tried other recipes, and they were not nearly as good. Promise.

16 Nov

Mexican night with Old El Paso

As a working mom, I love taco night. It’s a no brainier, the spices required conveniently come in the same box and all I need to do is shred cheese, dice tomatoes, cut lettuce, stick them all in fun bowls and voila, it’s Mexican night. But the best thing is that everyone will actually eat something even though we all have different tastes.

I will usually eat the tacos with a lettuce leaf rather than a taco shell (or 1 soft shell) to limit carbs and the kids will have a soft taco without meat but load up on cheese and veggies. Hubby likes hard shells and the next day will bring a taco salad to work for lunch. Taco night is alway a huge hit.

Recently my favourite taco company Old El Paso introduced a few new authentic “restaurant quality” taco kits. There are three new flavors . I was a little surprised Old El Paso felt the need to make a better quality product, because well, I didn’t find there was anything wrong with the original. Truth be told, I didn’t find the Chicken Tinga to be a hugely different than the original chicken flavor. It’s still yummy and has a slight zing to it, but is say it’s just as great as the chicken tacos I’ve enjoyed from Old El Paso for years. The taco kit comes with soft shells so if you have a hard shell over don’t forget to pick up hard shells as well.

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As a kid the only international dinner night we had was Italian, spaghetti and pizza. As I got older (in my 20’s) I started experiencing different flavors, different international dishes and a life time of amazing food I had missed out on. I want my kids to know about all the great foods that are out there and Mexican is one of them. While I probably won’t be successful in getting them to try chili achilles for breakfast, I hope they will be pleased that we opened up their dinner options to more than just American / Canadian dishes.

The other new flavors are Steak Asada and Baja fish. I normally only use chicken or ground beef for taco night. So these should get me out of my comfort zone.

Want to try some for yourself? You can pick it up in stores now.

Giveaway:

1 lucky Canadian reader is going to receive a box of each of the new old El Paso kits and a $75 GC

To Enter:

Post a picture on Instagram or Twitter of your Mexican inspired dish @myweeview and a #mexicanchef #tag. (Make sure to comment below with the link to your tweet)

Bonus entry:

Tweet about this giveaway with a link to this post (make sure to comment below with the link to your tweet)

Extra Bonus Entry:

Check out my other posts and make a comment (make sure to comment below to let me know what post you commented on)

Giveaway closes November 28th @ 11:59pm EST. Open to canada only.

**disclaimer: sponsored content here – but seriously, taco night is awesome and we buy nothing other than old El Paso. We once tried the no name brand and the shells were stale… We will never go back! True story!

21 Sep

Moms Helping Moms

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There is one thing around the world in which we can all agree upon, the love a mom has for her babies is unmatched. Politics, religion, culture, country, social status or money plays no role when it comes to mommyhood and the unending love she has for her children.

Like every other mom before me, I never experienced or understood (or expected) the depth of true unconditional love until I had children myself. I want to ensure my children have all their needs (and a lot of their wants) filled, I would go so far to sacrifice my own wants to ensure the kids get theirs. I can not even begin to imagine what it would feel like as a mother to be unable to deliver on the most simple needs like feeding my own child.

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Tilda is a brand that helps moms-to-be around the world get the basic nutrition required while growing their little Bundle of Joy. With every bag of Tilda rice bought, an expecting mom will get a nourishing meal who otherwise may have an empty belly (other than their growing baby).
Not only do I think the concept is amazing the Tilda bismati rice has also been a huge hit with my little eaters.

I was nervous to make the Tilda rice at first because (confession time here….) I have only been successful at making minute rice. I followed the directions exactly, which included letting the rice soak for 1/2 hour, and after cooking I had perfect, fluffy bismati rice that I made. The girls enjoyed it so much they went for extra servings and the leftovers were perfect for a homemade soup.

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The Moms Helping Moms promise that Tilda has made is an easy one for this mom and family to support. I wish every mom and mother-to-be around the world is as fortunate as I have been, but in reality, it’s not the case. Purchasing Tilda rice is an easy way to make a huge difference for an expecting mom and baby.

Giveaway:

Want to be part of the mission? Tilda is giving 2 lucky readers a chance to try out their bismati rice.

To Enter:

Make a comment below about how fortunate you feel or other ways you help those in need.

Want a bonus entry?

Tweet about this campaign … (With a link to this giveaway in your tweet) and leave the link to your tweet below.

Want another bonus entry?

Make a comment on another post and let me know which one you posted on below.

Giveaway closes October 5th @ 11:59pm AST. Open to canada.

**Disclosure: this post is sponsored, but I do feel this is a great message to send out to readers. We have rice for dinner regularly and by purchasing Tilda I’ll be helping a mom and baby to be. All thoughts are my own and your thoughts and experience may be different – and that’s ok! That’s what’s makes us unique & special.

“Low birth weight can seriously affect babies’ physical and cognitive development, so it is essential that they receive vital nutrition from the start.” -Tilda

14 Sep

Pay as you go is the way to go

It took a number of math equations before I could accept this upcoming statement as truth: It’s been 16 years since I’ve graduated high school. Gasp! Yes, I’ve almost spent as many years out of school as I did in school. I have to admit the last few years have gone by twice as quick. During my time in school, I probably didn’t appreciate the good things, it wasn’t until I was actually out of school and into the ‘real world’ that those good things were apparent.

Looking back, the best thing about school was the beginning and the end. Every year when September rolls around you have the ability to create new dreams, to get rid of old habits and create new ones with fresh new school supplies, new teachers and maybe even new friends. When you join the real world there’s no beginning and there’s no end – it just continues year after year. You can get into a real cycle of beginning and no end, just accepting things as they are. That’s why, even though I’m not in school anymore and September means new things as a mom, I still make the forced effort to scrutinize myself and choices.

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My husband and I have been using PC® mobile prepaid plans for at least 5 years now, and at least once a year, we look at other cell phone plans to ensure we’re getting the best deal. And every year, it’s confirmed, for us the PC® mobile prepaid plans are unmatched by any other plan out there.

For us, there are many benefits to using a prepaid plan. While we have to buy our phones outright, we get to set our own plan and choose the features that we need, and it’s not dependent on when a contract is up, which is my favourite benefit. We also only pay for services that we actually use, such as texting and phone calls. This means we have to put on our thinking caps when it comes to some services, but with private messaging through social media, it can be months before we spend what many pay for in just one month.

So this new school year (whether you are returning to school or have been out a number of years and are in denial like I am…although I don’t think I’d want to go back to those old brick phones…), think about your current mobile plan, usage and what it costs.

While you’re at it, also think about your cell phone etiquette, and the example you’re setting for your kids (current or future cell phone users). According to a recent national Leger survey conducted for
PC® mobile, 75 per cent of adult respondents admit to breaking at least one social rule – or law – with their mobile phone use. And guess what, parents are among the worst offenders according to the survey, with 90 per cent of those with kids in the home admitting to bad behaviour. That’s it moms and dads, you’re grounded!

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Texting while driving, phones at the dinner table…All things that young texters are taking in and learning from the best – us. Even my 6 year old will remind me to put my cell down during dinner when I’m updating my fitness apps. Cell phones are an important part of society today, but we can’t forget the importance of using them wisely.

About the survey
The PC® mobile survey was completed using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb, between July 25 and July 29, 2014 with a representative sample of 1,336 Canadians. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ± 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of PC® mobile. The opinions on this blog are my own.