Friday, 15 August 2014

Trying to Get Back to Life...

So, as you can see I've been MIA for quite awhile...

Life has been chaotic to say the least. I've been struggling to stay on top of my homework, studying, numerous assignments, being a single mom, trying to save what little money I have to move, and wouldn't you know it? A nasty bout of depression. Again. I feel like I've been walking in a haze, just trying to survive one day to the next...making sure I'm getting the meals done, quality time in with Emily, baths done, hands and faces washed, teeth brushed. Just the smallest daily things, have been exhausting, and all I've felt like I've needed to do is sleep. And even then, a couple of hours at a time for almost 3 years straight (with a few breaks in between) doesn't help much...

I have fully accepted that depression and anxiety are most likely always going to be a part of my life. A big part, and this past year I was able to deal really well, always trying to find the positive side to things, but these past two months I feel like I've been sucked back down into a dark place that I'm just starting to crawl back out of.

An excerpt from a quick journal entry a week or so ago:

"Just when you start to stand back up on your feet,
depression digs in her sharp claws and drags you back down to her level.
Back into her darkness.
I try and shut off my mind,
thinking that if only for a little while...
I can hide.
But there's no hiding,
no denying her presence as it swallows you bit by bit,
until finally she has you fully consumed.
You know you are there,
you know you want out,
but there's no path, no light...
no hands to help you up.
It's just you and her, face to face.
It's so dark, you can't even see her,
but you feel her there -- her breathe kissing your face with that all too familiar heat.
The heat that travels through your body,
consuming you even further because like it or not,
since our mother's womb,
we find the warmth comforting."

I feel like the happier I become and the better things are going for me, that's when I find myself going through the most severe depression. It's a vicious cycle, and one (of many) that I am trying my hardest to break.

I'm thankful to those who have been patient with me in general in my life, but in the blogging world, a huge thanks to those who are patiently awaiting any outstanding reviews I have to write. I assure you, that you were in the back of my mind the whole time.

In all honesty, that's where a lot of my guilt comes from because I like to meet my deadlines. I like to do my best whenever I put out any kind of work. That being said, I think it is important to take a step back from this blog and focus on being a Mom, my health, and my education.

The decision to finish up my last reviews and posts, bringing Living As We to an end has not been an easy one, but I look forward to rejoining the blogging world at a later date when I have the proper time to dedicate to it. It truly is a full time job....and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. ;)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Can't Wait to See Sex Tape!! #BedroomSpice

Friday marked the opening of Sex Tape, starring the talented Cameron Diaz and one of the funniest actors I've watched on the big screen, Jason Segel.
When Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) first got together, their romantic connection was intense – but ten years and two kids later, the flame of their love needs a spark. To kick things up a notch, they decide – why not? – to make a video of themselves trying out every position in The Joy of Sex in one marathon three-hour session. It seems like a great idea – until they discover that their most private video is no longer private. With their reputations on the line, they know they’re just one click away from being laid bare to the world... but as their race to reclaim their video leads to a night they'll never forget, they'll find that their video will expose even more than they bargained for.
Can you imagine?! Technology fail, at its' worst.

Maybe you've heard of this little thing called 'sexting'...I think it's hilarious and so when I see funny sexting fails posted online, I can't help but laugh! Personally, not for me, but I know a few people that do it. I have seen some pretty interesting fails, whether it be with autocorrect, or sending the sext to the wrong person.

Just a few of my favourites:

dirty text fail fort 


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 And just in case I ever do receive a sext....consider yourselves warned ;)

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I can't wait to go see this movie, especially since the trailer makes me laugh every time. Haven't watched it yet, or in need of a good laugh?


For those who went to see Sex Tape opening weekend, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts in the comments. For those who didn't, what do you think of the trailer? :)

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

First Day of School, and Happy Canada Day!

I couldn't help but feel like I was 5 years old again when I walked up to the school yesterday for my first day of class. Uneasy, nervous, feeling especially small.

I managed to make it through the morning without being physically sick, onto the bus and to school on time (I'm horrible for being late.) I drowned out the people around me on the bus with my headphones, trying to distract myself from what I was about to do since I didn't have a great experience with school previously. We constantly moved around during my primary years and never being able to build stable friendships really took its toll on me mentally, to the point where I didn't know how to connect with people anymore come high school. So an eclectic mixture of music has always been a comfort of mine, and on this particular day SOAD and CCR seemed to do the trick. Not to mention a little 90's dance music (one of my many guilty pleasures) to top it off.

An odd sense came over me when I walked into that building. I said good morning to the woman behind the desk, and she smiled at me. I felt welcome and I felt like I was finally on a human level with everyone else that walked those halls...if that makes any sense at all. I found my classroom okay, but there were other students in it (which threw me of a little). But, it turns out they were in the wrong class, not me, so that was a bonus. :)

My instructor is way better than I expected. He is extremely intelligent, well-mannered, and has an amazing sense of humour. Plus, it helps that he cares about what he does. That showed through clearly, even just from this first class. One thing I noticed was he's a bit biased when he's speaking about certain topics. Not often enough to be detrimental to what he's teaching, but enough for me to notice. I can see us having some really intriguing discussions down the road.

There are only 3 people in my class right now, so that is very tolerable in terms of my social anxiety levels. I actually spoke up a few times, and felt completely free to answer questions if I could. If I had of had any questions, I'm sure I would have felt comfortable asking them as well. But I think my learning style is a little different than others. I tend to not have questions until the very end when I'm trying to piece together everything I just learned into one big picture.

It's a lot more work than I anticipated though. So much reading! One chapter a day, one assignment a day, two exams, plus projects in between, before this one is finished. I guess that's the name of the game, but goodness only knows how I'm going to get all of this done with a two and a half year old that thinks pen and paper are for her to draw with whenever they are out.

In terms of the blog, I have gotten a bunch of nothing accomplished this last week! It has been a week full of heightened anxiety levels because of the start of school approaching. Now that I've gotten through the first day, I am hoping that my anxiety will lessen and I'll be able to get at least one review done. I hate making people wait. It weighs heavily on me, but I have to be sure that I am taking care of my health first. I'll get there. :) I promise.

I'm sifting through my neglected inbox today, writing out this post quickly, and then taking the rest of the day to celebrate Canada Day with my daughter! It is so cold outside we are most likely just going to stay in, but I want to be sure to spend as much quality time with her as possible now that I won't be seeing her as much on a daily basis. I didn't realize how much time I would be spending away from her four days of the week. It kind of makes me sad, but at the same time, I am telling myself that this will better us both in the long run.


Happy Canada Day to all of my fellow Canadians!! I hope you are spending it however you want to. 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

New Releases to Watch for in August

This summer is full of great new family friendly DVD releases! These are some titles that I will be watching for:

August 5th:

Sofia the First: The Enchanted Feast

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Emily loves Sofia the First! She is absolutely obsessed with the castle from this show, and was so excited when I showed her this cover. She was quick to spot Snow White, who makes a special appearance.
The wicked fairy, Miss Nettle, disguises herself as a powerful sorceress and attempts to steal Sofia's magical amulet. With the help of Snow White--Sofia must learn to trust her instincts and speak up when she suspects someone is not who or what they say they are.
Features voices from Ariel Winter (Modern Family), Wayne Brady (Lets Make a Deal), and Tim Gunn (Project Runway), over 110 minutes of playtime, 4 bonus episodes, and a free enchanted mirror!

August 12th:

Disneynature's Bears

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I remember seeing Disneynature's "Chimpanzee", and their "Earth" is on my list of movies to watch in the near future. Now, in this studios latest release, "Bears", I look forward to seeing nature close up once again.
From Disneynature, the studio that brought you "Earth" and "Chimpanzee", comes the must-own true life adventure "Bears" available on Blu-Ray Combo Pack (BluRay, DVD, + Digital), Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA), and On-Demand, Aug. 12, 2014. An epic story of breathtaking scale, this heartwarming, and visually spectacular film showcases a year in the life of a bear family, as two young impressionable cubs are taught life's important lessons. Families everywhere can now travel to a majestic Alaskan wilderness teeming with life without leaving home as "Bears" arrives on Blu-Ray Combo Pack, and Digital HD featuring stunning high definition picture, transporting sound, and exciting bonus features both parents and children will love.
 As a bonus, for the first week of sales, Disneynature will be making a donation through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to the National Park Foundation (a charity that helps protect and conserve the wildlife, and enhances field research).

Special features include the music video for "Carry On", featuring Olivia Holt, and 4 making-of videos.

Disney's Muppets Most Wanted

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I grew up on The Muppets, through and through. Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Animal, Fozzie Bear...they were all my favourite at one point! I am so glad this continues to be a classic, and can't wait to share this movie with Emily! Hard to believe we haven't watched it yet.
The Muppets are back in the globe-trotting, star-studded musical comedy adventure Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted", available on Blu-Ray Combo Pack, Digital HD, DVD, Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) and On-Demand Aug. 12, 2014 from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Starring Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey, this must-own family film makes its in-home debut with THREE versions of the film: The Original Theatrical Cut, the Statler and Waldorf Cut, and The Unecessarily Extended Cut, featuring hilarious bonus content, plus more music, more mayhem and more Muppets!
Picking up right where "The Muppets" left off,  this Blu-Ray Combo Pack includes a version with 12 minutes of footage that wasn't seen in theaters, the hilarious gag reel, and the music video for "I Can Give You What You Want". With special guest appearances by Chloe Grace Morentz, Ray Liotta, Sean Combs, and Salma Hayek, this movie is sure to be jam packed full of laughs. 

August 19th:

Toy Story of TERROR!
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Who doesn't love Toy Story?! This is one of our favourite Pixar movies, and I love the idea of a Halloween themed adventure for Woody and the gang!
What starts out as a fun road trip for the Toy Story gang takes an unexpected turn for the worse when the trip detours to a roadside motel. After one of the toys goes missing, the others find themselves caught up in a mysterious sequence of events that must be solved before they all suffer the same fate in this Toy Story of TERROR!
Featuring the talents of original cast members Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack (plus many others!), as well as introducing us to newcomer Carl Weathers as Combat Carl/Combat Carl Jr., the Blu-Ray Combo pack also includes Toy Story shorts, deleted scenes, parody vintage toy commercials and a special teaser!

Which of these titles are you looking forward to the most? Which do you think your kids will enjoy?

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Canadian-Friendly Giveaway Round-Up! #4

Love entering giveaways? Me too!! Here's a list of some awesome prizes. Some end over the next few days, so don't miss out. Good luck!

***Entrants please note that I have no association with these giveaways and these will never be referral links.

Bloggers, if you see a link to your giveaway that you don't want here, feel free to email me and I'll take it down right away! :) oddball2003 at hotmail.com***

If you would like your giveaway included in my next round-up post, please fill out this form. I am aiming to have these posts up at least once a week!  

In R Dream- Twilight Turtle Tunes T3 CAN 6/27
The Knit Wit by Shair- Skechers GoRun Performance Shoes CAN 6/23
Kidsumers- Bissell Steam Vacuum CAN 7/18
Nugglemama- Hamilton Beach Ice Shaver CAN 7/8
Frugal Mom Eh- Sassy Inspire the Senses Discovery Bathtub CAN 7/11
Frugal Mom Eh- Cosmos on Blu Ray US/CAN 6/29
Mom vs the Boys- P&G Travel Essentials CAN 6/27
The Mommy Mix- Little Tikes Slam n Curve Slide US/CAN 6/30
Bay Area Mommy- iPad Mini and Scentsy Companion System US/CAN 7/16
Crunchy Beach Mama- $75 Gymboree GC US/CAN 6/30
Crunchy Beach Mama- Little Tikes Sports n Slide Bouncer US/CAN 6/27
Mom & Pop's Business Cents- $50 Prepaid Visa GC CAN 7/4
Merry About Town- $50 Superstore GC CAN 6/25
Merry About Town- $1000 Paypal Cash WW 7/7
Rambling Redhead from Florida- Hello Kitty Lip Gloss Kit US/CAN 6/28
Ron & Lisa- Balanced Guru Organic Skincare Prize Pack ($350) US/CAN 7/5
Ron & Lisa- Wash It Detergent-less Laundry System US/CAN 6/21
Living la Vida Eco- KitchenAid Stand Mixer US/CAN 6/25
West Coast Mama- $50 Starbucks GC WW 6/30
Older Mommy Still Yummy- $50 Superstore GC CAN 6/27
Mommy Moment- Essential Oils Prize Pack CAN 6/30
Book Goodies- $50 in Amazon GC's (3 Winners) WW 7/1
Little Miss Kate- KitchenAid Stand Mixer CAN 6/24
Mommy Kat and Kids- Masterlock Prize Pack US/CAN 6/30
Mom Mom On the Go- MadPax Bubble Pack US/CAN 6/30
Mom Mom On the Go- SmarTrike 4-in-1 Trike CAN 6/30
Thrifty Nifty Mommy-Pirate's Booty Mac & Cheese US/CAN 6/24
Contest Queen- 25 FPC Medium Slurpees CAN 6/25
Addicted Readers- $20 Amazon GC WW 6/30 
The Beat- Build-A-Bear $100 eGC WW 6/23
Happy Chinadoll- TRESemme Renewal Hair and Scalp System CAN 7/7
Happy Chinadoll- The Wiggles DVD CAN 6/25
iVillage.ca- $100 CAN 6/30Jones Soda- GoPro Camera, plus other prizes! US/CAN 7/1
Mom to Bed by 8- iPad Air US/CAN 8/6  
divine.ca- 1 of 12 Hawaiian Tropic Summer Essentials Kits CAN 7/4  
divine.ca- Kandoo Prize Pack CAN 6/23
Steamy Kitchen- iPad Mini US/CAN 7/14
Steamy Kitchen- Kitchen Workshop: Pizza (Cookbook) US/CAN 7/14
Steamy Kitchen- Nespresso Lattissima machine US/CAN 8/31
Steamy Kitchen- Portable Ice Maker US/CAN 7/14
Contest Patti- SmarTrike 4-in-1 Trike CAN 7/1
Contest Patti- Little Life Box Subscription CAN 6/23
Nintendo 3DS XL Bundle CAN 6/30
Mommy Kat and Kids- Canadian Tire Gardening with Kids Prize Pack CAN 6/30
Mommy Kat and Kids- Mother's Day in Hollywood Prize Pack US/CAN 6/30




Friday, 20 June 2014

Glutenfreeda Giveaway! US/CAN 7/5

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Here's your chance to win some great Gluten-Free products for yourself! Whether you already love Glutenfreeda, or are itching to give their oatmeal and granola a try, enter for your chance to win below! Just fill fill out the Rafflecopter form below...Good luck!!

Prize: One winner will receive the same items from my review. (Variety Pack of Instant Oatmeal, Cranberry Cashew Honey Granola, Apple Almond Honey Granola)
Eligibility: US/CAN, 18+ (Quebec excluded)
Entry Period: June 20, 2014 - June 25, 2014 11:59pm EST  
Rules: See Rafflecopter for full terms and conditions. By entering you agree to these terms.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A winner will be chosen at random, and will be contacted by email. You will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email before another winner will be selected at random. The winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter form once they have confirmed/responded to my email.   
Would you like to see your products featured in a giveaway similar to this one? I would love to work with you! Please feel free to email me: oddball2003@hotmail.com
 

Natural Foods from Glutenfreeda

There are people who eat gluten free just because it seems like the new thing to do, people who have an actual allergy, and then there are people like Emily and I who just notice a huge difference in digestion. For me, living with IBS, it is important to pay attention to what bothers my stomach and what helps it.

I came across Glutenfreeda Foods on my search for natural products available here in Canada. All of Glutenfreeda products are made in a 100% gluten free facility using all natural ingredients, no GMO's, dyes or trans fat, and are certified kosher.

The assortment of oatmeal, and granola in particular jumped out at me.  The variety of flavours was quite nice and they all sounded appealing, especially the Strawberries Brown Sugar and Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. I was kindly offered the choice of what I would like to try, to work with our dietary needs. I decided to go with the Apple Almond Cinnamon Granola, the Cranberry Cashew Granola, and since I couldn't choose between all of the oatmeal flavours, I had to go with the variety pack.

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The package arrived quickly. Emily was with me when I opened it and she automatically grabbed for a box of granola. We tried the Cranberry Cashew Honey flavour first. I loved that it could be eaten as is, with a bit of milk, or on top of yogurt for a quick breakfast or snack.. The granola came in four individual packages, which helped maintain freshness, and made for easy portion control. I found there was a fair amount of cashews and cranberries in each package. It had a good balance of savoury and sweet. We both liked it.

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Next, we tried the Apple Almond Honey flavour. This one was even better for me. I enjoyed the apple more than I did the cranberries (probably why I overlooked getting a picture). I loved the combination of apple and almonds together along with the granola. This is a granola that I would buy again and again, and would be especially great for camping, hiking trips, or to take with you when you are on the go, in general.

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Pictured: One package from start to finish, Banana Maple with Flax flavour.
Last on our list to try was the variety pack of the instant oatmeal. This box had 6 packets inside, 2 each of Banana Maple with Flax, Apple Cinnamon with Flax, and Banana Maple with Flax. I haven't seen a Banana Maple instant oatmeal anywhere else, but thought it was delicious. The maple raisin was yummy too, but I would have liked to see more raisins. And my favourite, the Apple Cinnamon. This is a pretty typical flavour, and I was happy to see it because it has always been my favourite! There was a good amount of apples in there, though I did have to add a bit of brown sugar.  I appreciated that none of them were overly sweet and that the addition of flax didn't stand out. I didn't even bite into any pesky seeds. :)

The directions called for 1/2 cup of boiling water for preparation using the method I chose, but I found that I didn't need the full amount. My advice would be to add the water slowly until you get the desired consistency.

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Emily likes it too! Complete with a blueberry stained, soy-milk mustache.
Overall, I am happy to have found this brand, and most importantly, it has earned Emily's seal of approval. Not only do they have some fantastic products that I have tried, they have several more that I look forward to trying in the future. The website itself is a great resource for those dealing with gluten allergies, and has some delicious sounding recipes (many of which I'd like to try myself). I would recommend these products to anyone who eats gluten free, prefers natural products, other moms, and any campers out there. 

Glutenfreeda products can be found in natural food stores across the US and Canada, major stores in the US and on Amazon.com/Amazon.ca.

Connect: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest

For your chance to win the products from this review, you can enter the giveaway here!

Do you try to eat gluten free? Which flavour sounds best to you?
 
I receive sample products in order to conduct my reviews. Opinions are always 100% honest and my own.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Wordless Wednesday- The Beauty Around Us

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Boost Your Energy with NuGo Protein Bars!

Recently I had the opportunity to try NuGo Bars! NuGo, short for Nutrition on the Go, is a brand that specializes in a variety of nutritious protein snacks in bar form for those of us that are on the go.

Using only the finest wholesome, natural ingredients these snacks are a great option for anyone who has to or anyone who tries to eat gluten free. They are also GMO free, and are made with REAL dark chocolate, none of that fake stuff.
NuGo's dark chocolate comes only from cocoa beans (cocoa butter and non-fat cocoa solids) and is a superfood. For people with cholesterol levels within a normal range, REAL Dark Chocolate can help maintain good cholesterol (HDL). The vegetable fat in fake chocolate is an unhealthy saturated fat that can raise bad cholesterol (LDL) above normal ranges.

The fake chocolate coated snacks substitute vegetable fat, usually palm oil, for cocoa butter, which raises the melting temperature above body temperature, thus the chocolate doesn't melt in your mouth creating a waxy texture and an overly sweet taste. REAL dark chocolate homogenously melts at 89-93 degrees, below body temperature, exploding the dark chocolate flavor as it melts. That's why NuGo Dark chocolate coated protein snacks are so tasty compared to the competition.
Have I noticed a difference in digestion with GF products? Yes! Which is one of the reasons I decided to reach out to NuGo in the first place.

I was sent 5 different protein bars to try.
 
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The first one I tried was the NuGo Slim Brownie Crunch. It was okay, but not a favourite of mine. If you are a dark chocolate lover, you will love this though! I did like how much protein it had (16g!), and there was a great amount of fibre as well.

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NuGo Slim Brownie Crunch Close Up
The next one I tried was the NuGo Organic Cherry Pomegranate. I enjoyed this one way more than the Brownie Crunch. It was more similar to the granola bars I am used to eating, and had a good ratio of chocolate to the rest of the ingredients.

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 NuGo Organic Cherry Pomegranate Close Up

The other three flavours were the NuGo Organic Double Dark Chocolate, NuGo Organic Dark Chocolate Almond, and the GoSlim Raspberry Truffle. I have these ones saved for after a good workout (aka a day at the park with Emily). I could definitely feel an energy boost after eating both, and as a Mom that was an amazing feeling. 

I would recommend these bars to athletes, other Moms, and anyone who is interested in making healthier eating choices in their day to day lives.

Find NuGo Bars online:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Instagram

Have you tried NuGo Bars before? What are your thoughts on these products?

 
I receive sample products in order to conduct my reviews. Opinions are always 100% honest and my own.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Stress, Anxiety, and Exciting News!

They go hand in hand.

This last week (almost 2 now) I have been waking up with an upset stomach, which I can only put down to stress and anxiety. It has resulted in cancelled plans,  and a lot of TV, books and cereal breakfasts for Emily, while I spent the time back and forth between the bathroom and the couch. Needless to say I haven't been able to get much work done in the way of reviews and my participation in giveaway events has been lacking too.

Of course, it didn't help my workload being without internet for almost a week either. Luckily that is back on thanks to my brother.

Some exciting news though, and probably the source of my stress/anxiety at the moment...

I am officially a college student!! 

I will be taking a business administration course and am really looking forward to getting started as of the 30th. I still have to work on finding housing and a more permanent solution for child care for Emily, but I feel better knowing that I am getting started on my education.

I am thinking that while I'm in school I'm not going to have as much time to dedicate to reviews or running giveaways, so I hope you will bare with me throughout this next year, until I can get back at it with more focus. Currently, I still have plenty to get posted, but I won't be actively pursuing sponsors like I have been. If opportunities should come my way and I think they would be interesting for you I will definitely give them a try if time allows.

I'll most likely be entering a lot more giveaways so Twitter followers beware!  Plus, I've been getting back into reading some books on my TBR list....yay!

Books, giveaways, and classes....oh my!

Let's see where this road leads...

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

imPRESS Press-On Manicure Review

 

When I was chosen to be one of the lucky recipients of an Influenster VoxBox I was very excited. Inside were two imPRESS Press-On Manicures, Working Girl and Joyride.

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Working Girl (left), Joyride (right)




My previous experience with press on nails hasn't been the greatest, and because of it, I have avoided wearing them for a long time. I am used to the old-fashioned, hard plastic, overly fake looking nails, so I was hoping that things had changed when I brought these out to try.

I am not a fan of really sparkly things, and so Working Girl wasn't really my taste. I put them aside to share with my sister or a friend later on. Joyride was a bit better of a colour, so I tried them on.

The directions for application and removal were printed right on the back of the package and were easy to follow. Included inside were 24 nails, varying in sizes, and a prep pad. All I had to do was sort through to find the 10 that fit my nails best, lay them out for easy access, use the prep pad to cleanse my nails, peel off the back, press on firmly, apply some pressure, and go on about my day!

 photo impressmanicure2_zps6da0cd54.jpgFinding the proper size to fit my nails was a bit of a challenge, even though there was a good variety of sizes available. I wound up choosing a larger size for my middle finger than I would have liked, but the smaller ones were just too small and wouldn't have looked right.

Another challenge for me was getting the backing off of the nail when I was applying it. Once I got a few nails on, it became more difficult to peel the backings off. I guess that goes to show the strength of the Revolutionary SafeHold™ Adhesive Technology that is used though. I did find that they stuck a lot better than any other press on nail that I've used in the past. They lasted a few days before coming loose while I was washing an apple for my daughter, but other than that they stood up okay to my day to day life.

I was a little disappointed to notice that there were a few jagged pieces of plastic at the tips of a couple of the nails, but after I had the nails on for a couple of days, they wore down on their own.

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Me wearing Joyride.

Overall, I am left with mixed feelings about this product. I love the convenience factor, and all of the amazing colour choices available. They are also affordable, widely available, and were the most flexible press-on nails that I've tried to date. However, I didn't like the name choice of Working Girl, finding the jagged tips, and having so many nails left over with no more prep pads to use if I did want to save them to mix and match with other leftovers down the road.

imPRESS Press-on Manicure is available in the US for $5.99 – 7.99 at CVS, Kmart, Rite-Aid, Target, Walgreens and Walmart stores nationwide.

imPRESS Press-on Manicure is available in Canada for $8.99 – 10.99 at Walmart, Target, London Drugs, Jean Coutu, Katz, Loblaws, and other major drugstores. 

For more information and how-to videos, visit imPRESSmanicure.com.

What do you think about the imPRESS Manicure?


 

Would you like to see your products featured in a review/giveaway similar to this one? I would love to work with you! Please feel free to email me: oddball2003@hotmail.com .

I received the products mentioned in this review complimentary from Influenster.  Opinions are always 100% honest and my own.

Slugterra: Ghouls From Beyond DVD Giveaway


Join the Shane Gang in Slugterra: Ghoul from Beyond, the first feature-length Slugterra adventure! Based on the hit animated television series, Slugterra: Ghoul from Beyond continues the epic sci-fi comedy adventures set deep underground, where the ammo’s alive and only the quick survive! In this luminous, high-tech, underground world, every cavern holds a new adventure, a new battle and weird little slugs to be discovered. Available on DVD June 10th, 2014 from Shout! Factory in collaboration with Nerd Corps Entertainment, this exciting animated movie also includes a bonus ‘slugisode’ and has a suggested retail price of $14.97.

Just when the evil Dr. Blakk has been defeated and it seems like Eli Shane’s duties as protector of Slugterra are getting easier, a new danger emerges from beyond the 99 caverns. Eli and the Shane Gang rush to the rescue, but nothing can prepare them for what they encounter: a slug that can do something no one in Slugterra has ever seen — or heard — a slug do before! Traditional slugslinging no longer applies. Eli will have to engage in a very different kind of duel to save Slugterra…and himself!
Not only did I get the chance to review this movie, you have the opportunity to win!! The lovely folks over at Shout Factory have offered one lucky Living As We reader a DVD copy of their own. All you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form below...Good luck!

Prize: One winner will receive a copy of Slugterra: Ghoul From Beyond on DVD.
Eligibility: US/CAN, 18+ (Quebec excluded)
Entry Period: June 11, 2014 - June 25, 2014 11:59pm EST  
Rules: See Rafflecopter for full terms and conditions. By entering you agree to these terms.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
A winner will be chosen at random, and will be contacted by email. You will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email before another winner will be selected at random. The winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter form once they have confirmed/responded to my email.   

Would you like to see your products featured in a giveaway similar to this one? I would love to work with you! Please feel free to email me: oddball2003@hotmail.com

Slugterra: Ghouls From Beyond DVD Review


Join the Shane Gang in Slugterra: Ghoul from Beyond, the first feature-length Slugterra adventure! Based on the hit animated television series, Slugterra: Ghoul from Beyond continues the epic sci-fi comedy adventures set deep underground, where the ammo’s alive and only the quick survive! In this luminous, high-tech, underground world, every cavern holds a new adventure, a new battle and weird little slugs to be discovered. Available on DVD June 10th, 2014 from Shout! Factory in collaboration with Nerd Corps Entertainment, this exciting animated movie also includes a bonus ‘slugisode’ and has a suggested retail price of $14.97.

Just when the evil Dr. Blakk has been defeated and it seems like Eli Shane’s duties as protector of Slugterra are getting easier, a new danger emerges from beyond the 99 caverns. Eli and the Shane Gang rush to the rescue, but nothing can prepare them for what they encounter: a slug that can do something no one in Slugterra has ever seen — or heard — a slug do before! Traditional slugslinging no longer applies. Eli will have to engage in a very different kind of duel to save Slugterra…and himself!

Our Thoughts:

We have watched this show a few times before on TV, and I was excited to have the opportunity to review the first Slugterra movie. Emily was even more excited than I was when I pulled it out on a rainy day to surprise her. I think she recognized the characters on the cover.

I love the cute little slugs that fill up Slugterra. They are brightly coloured, and absolutely adorable. The animation for this movie is really different than what we normally see (take a peek at the trailer to see what I mean!), and it's a nice change. I appreciated that there was a bonus episode included.

Emily enjoyed this one too. I could feel her energy throughout, but especially during the duel! We will definitely be pulling this one out on other rainy days, or when my nephews are here to visit. I am sure they would like this too!

Find it Online: Shout Factory!

Don't forget to head over and enter for a chance to win a copy!

Have you watched Slugterra before? What did you think of the trailer? What other shows do your kids like?

 
I receive sample products in order to conduct my reviews. Opinions are always 100% honest and my own.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Canadian-Friendly Giveaway Round-Up #3

Welcome to my Canadian Friendly Giveaway Roundup. 

Love entering giveaways? Me too!! Here's a list of some awesome prizes. Some end over the next few days, so don't miss out. Good luck!

***Entrants please note that I have no association with these giveaways and these will never be referral links.

Bloggers, if you see a link to your giveaway that you don't want here, feel free to email me and I'll take it down right away! :) oddball2003 at hotmail.com***

If you would like your giveaway included in my next round-up post, please fill out this form. I am aiming to have these posts up at least once a week!  


Pawsitive Living- Luma Comfort Air Purifier US/CAN 6/15 
Mom to Bed by 8- iPad Air US/CAN 8/6 
One Smiley Monkey- Bonjour Baby Basket $50 Store Credit US/CAN 6/15 
divine.ca- 1 of 12 Hawaiian Tropic Summer Essentials Kits CAN 7/4
divine.ca- Samsung Galaxy TabPRO CAN 6/18
divine.ca- Kandoo Prize Pack CAN 6/23
Steamy Kitchen- iPad Mini US/CAN 7/14
Steamy Kitchen- Kitchen Workshop: Pizza (Cookbook) US/CAN 7/14
Steamy Kitchen- Nespresso Lattissima machine US/CAN 8/31
Steamy Kitchen- Portable Ice Maker US/CAN 7/14
TechQuark- Samsung Galaxy S5 WW 6/15
Contest Patti- SmarTrike 4-in-1 Trike CAN 7/1
Contest Patti- Little Life Box Subscription CAN 6/23
Nintendo 3DS XL Bundle CAN 6/30
Mommy Moment- SmarTrike 4-in-1 Trike CAN 6/15
Kaley Davies- 2 Year Supply of Lypsyl CAN 6/13
Knit Wit by Shair- 3000th Post Prize Pack CAN 6/13
Simply Stacie- Coca Cola OPI Collection CAN 6/11
Sober Julie- Samsung S5 & Gear Fit CAN 6/17
Real Moms, Real Views- Jack & Lily Shoes US/CAN 6/13
Fru-Gals- $50 Giant Tiger GC CAN 6/11
Whats Your Tech- Samsung Smart Camera MV900F CAN 6/15
Mommy Kat and Kids- Canadian Tire Gardening with Kids Prize Pack CAN 6/30
Mom With a Dot Com- $500 Cash WW 6/17
Mommy Kat and Kids- Mother's Day in Hollywood Prize Pack US/CAN 6/30
Conair Canada- Conair Prize Pack for Men CAN 6/12 (One Time Entry)
The Kit- Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0 Trainers CAN 6/20
The Beat- $100 Amazon GC WW 6/16
The Beat- Build-A-Bear $100 eGC WW 6/23
Happy Chinadoll- TRESemme Renewal Hair and Scalp System CAN 7/7
Happy Chinadoll- The Wiggles DVD CAN 6/25
iVillage.ca- $100 CAN 6/30
Canadian Mom Reviews- Trinity 3-in-1 Suitcase Tool Box US/CAN 6/13
Jones Soda- GoPro Camera, plus other prizes! US/CAN 7/1
Purple Monster Coupons- XBox1 or PS4 US/CAN 6/20
Pawsitive Living- Mod Dream Pod Pet Bed US/CAN 6/24
Simply Stacie- Veet Natural Inspirations Prize Pack CAN 6/20
Frugal Mom Eh- $100 Shoppers Drug Mart GC CAN 6/15
Mythical Books- Book of Choice (up to $20) WW 6/14
Addicted Readers- $15 Amazon GC WW 6/14 
Addicted Readers- $20 Amazon GC WW 6/30
Addicted Readers- $50 Amazon GC, $25 Amazon GC WW 6/12
Sober Julie- $100 Hapari GC US/CAN 6/19
Sober Julie- Ryobi Drill CAN 6/18
Saving More Than Me- $25 Amazon GC US/CAN 6/15
Blogging Mamas- 3 Kids Tees US/CAN 6/15
Simple Wyrdings- Professional Skin Care and Cleansing System from ToiletTree US/CAN 6/15
A Busy Mommy- Fusion ProGlide with FlexBall Technology CAN 6/15
A Busy Mommy- Ryobi Brad Nailer CAN 6/12
Simply Stacie- Eddie Bauer Rolling Commuter Duffel Bag US/CAN 6/20
The Kindle Book Review- $400 Amazon GC WW 6/15
Thrifty Nifty Mommy-Pirate's Booty Mac & Cheese US/CAN 6/24
Contest Queen- 25 FPC Medium Slurpees CAN 6/25
Contest Queen- Udderly Smooth Prize Pack US/CAN 6/15
My Baby Stuff- Playtex Sippy Cups CAN 6/12
Mommy Kat and Kids- Masterlock Prize Pack US/CAN 6/30
Mom Mom On the Go- MadPax Bubble Pack US/CAN 6/30
Mom Mom On the Go- SmarTrike 4-in-1 Trike CAN 6/30
Giveaway Frenzy- $50 Buffalo Wild Wings GC US/CAN 7/1 (One Time Entry)
Enchanted Savings- $50 Amazon GC/Paypal/Visa GC US/CAN 6/14
Enchanted Savings- $50 GC to keep & $50 GC to share with a friend US/CAN 6/13


So many giveaways, so little time! :) Any wins lately? I'd love to hear in the comments!

Til next time..

Monday, 9 June 2014

Littlest Pet Shop: Strike A Pose DVD Review

Littlest Pet Shop: Strike A Pose now available on DVD!
Blythe and her best friends — Zoe the spaniel, Pepper the skunk, Sunil the mongoose, Vinnie the gecko, Russell the hedgehog, Penny the panda and Minka the monkey — are back for five more exciting escapades in the Littlest Pet Shop! Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Hasbro Studios, will release Littlest Pet Shop: Strike A Pose! on DVD June 3rd, 2014. Featuring five wild episodes, this collection features Blythe and her friends filming a TV commercial, Sunil becomes an internet phenomenon, Vinnie befriends some dancing lizards and the Pet Shop welcomes a juvenile alligator into their midst! All of these adventures and more unfold in these five wild episodes of The Littlest Pet Shop!

When Blythe Baxter moved into the city with her father, she never expected to move into the apartment above the Littlest Pet Shop. But an even bigger surprise awaited her. Blythe can talk to the pets…and they can talk back! Littlest Pet Shop: Strike A Pose! delivers captivating entertainment the whole family can enjoy and contains a brand new bonus sing-along. Featuring all-new original music by Daytime Emmy® Award nominee Daniel Ingram and the vocal talent of Ashleigh Ball, Tabitha St. Germain, Nicole Oliver and Peter New, Littlest Pet Shop currently airs on The Hub TV Network in the US. Fans can order their copies of the collection now by visiting ShoutFactory.com
 Episodes include:
  • So You Skink You Can Dance?
  • Commercial Success
  • What, Meme Worry?
  • The Big Feathered Parade
  • Alligators and Handbags
Bonus Feature:  Sing-Along

Our Thoughts:

Littlest Pet Shop is a newer program for us. Emily often plays with the LPS toys over at her cousins house, so it was great to be able to introduce her to the show.  She likes seeing the different characters and how they come to life. Our favourite episode to watch was 'So You Skink You Can Dance?' Emily loves to dance so this is the episode she asks for most of the time. I enjoyed seeing her get up and dance along. 

The sing-along was the perfect bonus too! I can see it being on repeat so Em can learn the words. I appreciate that LPS is one of those shows that can help teach lessons, but is still fun to watch. Last week I was feeling slightly ill, so this was an absolute lifesaver while I got some much-needed rest.

I would recommend this DVD to any Littlest Pet Shop fan, or for those who haven't watched this show yet! It's definitely a fun one, and I'm pretty sure it's going to become one of our regular programs to watch together.

Find it Online: Shout Factory!

Do your kids watch Littlest Pet Shop? What are your favourite shows to watch with your kids?

I receive sample products in order to conduct my reviews. Opinions are always 100% honest and my own.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Going Slowly, but Still Going

Some may have noticed that things have been slow going around here, some may not have. Either way, life has been a tad overwhelming lately. Just a warning, this is probably going to be a lengthy post.

At the end of my last post, I had mentioned that I decided on the business administration course at a local college. Last week I attended a meeting with a really welcoming lady, who introduced me more to the program and the school itself. I did an entrance test, which was almost too easy, took a keyboarding speed test, which I pretty much conquered (88 wpm, woo hoo!) and did a quick computer usage test. That one I must have passed because I didn't hear anything else about it. Since I want to start as soon as possible, I decided to enroll for the June 30th start date with a start date in October as plan B. Then we took the time to talk about the challenges that may pop up and prevent me from succeeding in school.

So far, stable housing  and child care are the problems. I've been living with my family members since becoming a single Mom and have been really dependent on them financially while I am trying to get back on my feet. It seems that I've worn out my welcome though, and it is time to move on. My only problem is I have no where to go. I've applied for all of the subsidized housing organizations I can think of, and so far no one has a place for Emily and I, even after I tell them the situation. I hate to say it, but it certainly is starting to feel like they don't care. Like they are just there to do their job, get their pay and go home. Perhaps that's just the negativity in me speaking, but sometimes it is hard to look at the positives when there are such huge obstacles.

Goodness knows I can go rent an apartment in a more dangerous part of the city if I wanted to go that route, but I would like to see another day, and I would like not to fear being out past dark, especially in the winter when the sun goes down early. Ah, who am I kidding? The real crazies know to come out in the day when they are least expected. Anyway...

Finding daycare, or should I say affordable daycare, is another waiting game...and waiting games are especially cruel for us anxious folk. Luckily I've had a couple of offers from relatives to watch Emily while I'm in school, so that is a little bit of pressure off. Though my career development counselor is saying that would be acceptable, she is still wanting me to move towards subsidized of course.  But I'm glad that it's not as much of an obstacle as the housing thing.

To top off all of those worries, my lap top is looking like it might be on it's way out, which is a HUGE problem for me as a blogger. It doesn't stay on for more than 15 or 20 minutes without overheating. It's disheartening to say the least. Please forgive my slow replies to emails, and slow posting. My main priority at the moment is just trying not to get physically sick with my anxiety, being a good Mom, and trying to find a (stable) roof to put over our heads so this lady can keep moving her family in the right direction.

I'm sure everything will fall into place, it usually does...at the last minute, probably why I'm hardly ever prepared for the good stuff. I've always been one to prepare for the worst.

I guess that's the difference between Me now, and Me a year ago. Even while I'm feeling bogged down by life's challenges, I'm still preparing to attend my first day of class on June 30th. And I probably won't give up on the idea until July 1st. :)

I've still got about a month.


Monday, 26 May 2014

Endangered Species Memory Game Review & Giveaway

What could be better than children learning while they play? Saving endangered species, while they learn, while they play!

From the mind of a talented Toronto artist, Anouk Bikkers at Anouk's Ark, the Endangered Species Memory Game is a great way to spend time with your kids, and help benefit those species at the same time! Anouk took her deep-rooted love for animals, and used her gift to bring to life an eco-friendly, educational game for children, and adults of all ages to enjoy.

 photo ESMG1_zps5005bba3.jpg

We received one of the memory games for review. Emily was so excited to play a game, something we don't do all that often since she's still pretty young to understand most game play.

Included inside were 72 memory game pieces (representing 36 species!!),  a 72 page booklet filled with interesting facts for each animal, and a cute sticker that my toddler couldn't wait to stick somewhere.

 photo ESMG2_zpsd42e1e46.jpg

Since Em is just 2.5 years old, and this was her first time playing a memory type game, we started out small and picked out 3 pairs to match up. We each took turns flipping over two, my turn mostly just to show her how it was done. If she decided they were different we flipped them back over and tried again. If she decided that they were the same (and they really were the same) we celebrated, and if she decided that they were the same and they weren't I gently explained why, trying to describe each one, or telling her the names of the two different species.

She caught on quickly, so even though this game is recommended for ages 3+, I would say it is never too young to start! :)

 photo ESMG3_zps36a7311e.jpg

Three Reasons I Love This Game

  • Promotes saving animals, and educational fun with kids all at once.
  • Canadian-made in Toronto
  • Eco-Friendly (printed on 100% FSC paper, with vegetable-based inks)
All on their own, I have to talk about the game piece illustrations themselves. They were so detailed, and in a humorous way too! For example, the Grizzly Bear (who, by the way, I had no idea were endangered!) was drawn in such a way that he was cross eyed staring down at a bumblebee on his nose. It made Em and I both laugh when I showed her.

Overall, I think this is the perfect game for all ages, especially those who prefer products that support a great cause, and are eco-friendly. I appreciate that this is a game that will grow with us, and will teach us many things along the way.

Also offered, are 2-in-1 Puzzles! You can find these games at several stores across Canada, as well as on the Anouk's Ark website.

***Giveaway***

Anouk has generously offered to giveaway an Endangered Species Memory Game to one lucky Living As We reader.


Prize: One lucky winner will receive an Endangered Species Memory Game!
Eligibility: US/CAN, 18+ (Quebec excluded)
Entry Period: May 26, 2014 - June 11, 2014 11:59pm EST
Rules: See Rafflecopter for full terms and conditions. By entering you agree to these terms. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A winner will be chosen at random, and will be contacted by email. You will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email before another winner will be selected at random. The winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter form once they have confirmed/responded to my email.   
Be sure to check out these other fantastic giveaways to enter

Would you like to see your products featured in a review/giveaway similar to this one? I would love to work with you! Please feel free to email me: oddball2003@hotmail.com .

I received sample products in order to conduct my review. As always, opinions are 100% honest and my own.
 

Hunting Faeries Review & Giveaway

Like most parents, I'm always looking out for fun, new ways to interact with Emily. Plus, I love encouraging the use of imagination when it comes to playtime!
  
 photo RhondaRaccoon_zps37ed5ecf.jpg
Having fun on one of our walks. She insisted on being a Raccoon for this one!
With a mission of "inspiring make believe and creative play for wee folk" Hunting Faeries is a wonderful online shop offering masks, crowns, hats, and my absolute favourite, the mask and tail combinations! From Faerie crowns, to a beaver, and maybe even a nurse? There is something to spark a little creativity in almost every child.

There were so many cute characters that stood out on my quest to choose just one to review. I wanted to surprise Emily, so I browsed while she slept. Elliot/Ellie the Elephant and Turner the Tiger were close runners-up, but ultimately, I chose Rhonda the Raccoon

 photo RhondaRaccoon2_zps9a76271c.jpg

Fan favourite, Rhonda Raccoon (Rod), came wrapped up nicely, and arrived in a good amount of time, coming from the US to Canada. 

 photo RhondaRaccoon1_zps2e9ba05c.jpg
Slightly uneven, no biggy!
At first glance, I did notice a few things that stood out to me, since I'm kind of picky. There were a few places on the tail that could have been trimmed better. The mask was perfect except for the close cut on the right ear, but, in no way did any of the things I noticed affect playing with them. Emily couldn't have cared less, she is loving that she can dress up as a raccoon, pretty much whenever she wants! 

 photo RhondaRaccoon3_zps7ce6b08d.jpg
The loop on the tail.
The tail has a loop that you put your kids belt through to be held on. This proved to be a little bit of a challenge for us at first (since Em doesn't have a belt), but with a quick fix of some ribbon we just tie it on comfortably.

So far my toddler has put Rhonda through the durability test, and the felt has stood up very well. With hours of fun already behind us, there are definitely many more to be had! Maybe even a few additions to our mask/tail family down the road too. And with most items being under $40, I think that is fairly reasonable for endless hours of enjoyment!

 photo RhondaRaccoon4_zps44bf4de5.jpg

You can find Hunting Faeries on Etsy, Facebook, and Pinterest for all things creative play! 

***Giveaway***

Here's your chance to win an item of your choice from Hunting Faeries!!

 photo RhondaRaccoon5_zpsaf29f126.jpg

Prize: One lucky winner will receive their choice of one items from the Hunting Faeries Etsy Shop (up to a $40USD value)
Eligibility: Worldwide, 18+ (Quebec excluded)
Entry Period: May 26, 2014 - June 11, 2014 11:59pm EST
Rules: See Rafflecopter for full terms and conditions. By entering you agree to these terms.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
A winner will be chosen at random, and will be contacted by email. You will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email before another winner will be selected at random. The winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter form once they have confirmed/responded to my email.   
Be sure to check out these other fantastic giveaways to enter

Would you like to see your products featured in a review/giveaway similar to this one? I would love to work with you! Please feel free to email me: oddball2003@hotmail.com .

I received sample products in order to conduct my review. As always, opinions are 100% honest and my own.