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 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.

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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.

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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! :)

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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.


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: .

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!
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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

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

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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! 

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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!

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


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: .

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

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Canadian-Friendly Giveaway Round-Up #2

Welcome to my Canadian Friendly Giveaway Roundup. 

Love entering giveaways? 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***

Thanks for stopping through and be sure to stop by my giveaway page to find even more chances to win!
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!  

Sweeps4Bloggers- Picture Keeper 4GB US/CAN 5/22
Pawsitive Living- Skech-Air Inspire Shoes CAN 5/26
Tammy's Reviews, Giveaways, and More!- $100 Paypal WW 6/2
Journeys of the Zoo- KinderGlo Night Light CAN 6/2
Addict Readers- $25 Amazon GC/Paypal WW 6/1 (One time entry)
Addict Readers- $50 Amazon GC/Paypal WW 5/31
He Calls Me Grace- $320 Paypal WW 5/30

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Celebrate Acceptance with Second Story Press

You've heard it once, and you'll hear it again...Emily is a bookworm. Just like her Mom. I can't help but relish every single moment of our bedtime story routine.
Second Story Press is dedicated to publishing feminist-inspired books for adults and young readers. We are proud to have been publishing award-winning books that entertain, educate, and empower for over 20 years.
We received a package from Second Story Press with some stories to review. Packed inside, safe and sound, were three lovely hardcover books. All three had a central theme of acceptance, diversity, and aimed to empower readers of all ages. I want every kid to grow up knowing that it is okay to be you, and to know the joy that comes along with embracing people from different walks of life.  :)

Mom and Mum are Getting Married
Title: Mom and Mum are Getting Married!  Author: Ken Setterington Illustrator: Alice Priestley  Publication Date: Sept. 23 2004  Publisher: Second Story Press  Pages: 24

Rosie is so excited to find out her Mom and Mum will be getting married soon! She starts to wonder, what will it be like to be flower girl? What will her little brother Jack be doing in the wedding? What kind of dress will she get to wear?

This book celebrates the love between two people, no matter what their gender, and their families. This story follows Rosie and her family as they prepare for a small ceremony, and welcome their guests on their extra special day!

I found this book to be well-written, with soft, simple illustrations. It was the perfect age-appropriate way to introduce Emily to same sex couples. This is one that she reaches for every once in a while for bedtime, and I look forward to it gaining a deeper meaning as she grows older.

Find it online:  Second Story Press  |  Amazon  |   Book Depository

Violet Title: Violet Author: Tania Duprey Stehlik Illustrator: Vanja Vuleta Jovanovic  Publication Date: Sept. 10 2009  Publisher: Second Story Press  Pages: 24

With butterflies in her stomach, Violet braves her way through the first day of school, only to be left wondering Why am I Violet? by the end of it.

Violet goes to school with blue kids, yellow kids, and red kids, but no where does she see any other purple kids, like herself. When one of the other kids asks why her dad is blue, and Violet isn't, she is left worrying about it. Luckily, her Mom knows just how to explain it to her.

Being that Emily comes from two different backgrounds, I felt this was a great story to share with her. Tania has an interesting way of explaining that people are people, in a kid friendly way. The meaning behind this book is clear and inspirational.  I can see this becoming a favourite, even just for the unique pictures alone.

Vanja has decorated each page with one of a kind artwork that appeals to my daughters' imagination. I can see a lot of parents loving this book, as much as their kids do.

I found it impressive that this is both the author, and the illustrator's first children's book. I hope to see more in the future.

Find it Online:  Second Story Press  |  Amazon  |  Book Depository

Ink-BlotTitle: Ink-blot Author: Maria Eugenia Illustrator: Maria Eugenia  Publication Date: Oct. 7 2013  Publisher: Second Story Press  Pages: 28

Girls are critical of themselves. No matter their age, height, size. No matter their hair colour, if they wear glasses, if they have braces, and on and on. The list seems never ending. But Ink-blot? Ink-blot is happy. She is busy, she sticks out from everyone else introduced to us in the story, she is beautifully odd, and she is loving every minute of it!

This was our favourite amongst the three. I appreciated that it was a quick read that kept Emily's attention the whole way through. It picked up on every possible insecurity that are common among young girls, and had an overall message of self-acceptance.

Maria has certainly created a memorable story with wonderful, quirky illustrations, and a meaning that will stick with people, both young and old. This has become one of our regular bedtime books to read.

Find it Online:  Second Story Press  |  Amazon  |  Book Depository

Overall, I am really happy to call these books a part of our collection, and by her reaction in the pictures below, I think Emily is too! We are sure to be reading these for years to come.

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What are some of  your favourite children's books? Which of these books do you think you would enjoy reading with your kids most?

To keep in touch and hear about the latest news, upcoming titles, and more, feel free to connect with Second Story Press on Facebook and Twitter.

Be sure to check out these fantastic giveaways to enter

Would you like to see your books featured in a review similar to this one? I would love to work with you! Please feel free to email me: .

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

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Around the Clubhouse World on Disney DVD May 20th!

Watching Mickey and his friends was always a favourite of mine growing up, and I am happy to see that Emily enjoys his shenanigans too. Mickey is friendly, loves to go on new adventures, and enjoys trying new things. I can't wait to share this one with you and her both. Follow Mickey as he goes around the world!

Pack your bags and grab your passport. Join Mickey, Minnie and pals on a whirlwind trip Around The Clubhouse World! Climb the Eiffel Tower in France and say “bonjour” to Mademoiselle Daisy and Monsieur Donald Duck. Then, rescue Gondolier Goofy when he goes adrift in Italy’s Grand Canal; solve the mysterious riddle of Pharaoh Pete’s pyramid in Egypt, and meet a dancing dragon at the Great Wall of China. With your help – and the right Mouseketools – your Clubhouse friends can get their special passport stamped at each wonderful location. Featuring over two hours of song-filled fun, including four additional episodes, this global adventure proves it’s a small world after all!
Featuring catchy music, 2+ hours of viewing time, AND a free bonus activity book for the kiddos, I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for this one. Below is one of the songs that Emily really enjoyed. She made me put it on more than once, to say the least! :)

Happy watching! 

Rescuing Her Honor by Johnny Ray Book Blast ($25 Amazon GC Giveaway)


New Book Release!

Her Honors Bodyguard book 2Noella thought they had stopped the stalkers, and several corrupt governmental factions who wanted her to step down from being a judge. That is until the threats reappeared. Vance, her bodyguard turned fiancĂ©e also thought so. But then again, many secrets are still hidden deep inside a safety deposit box in Switzerland. While going to receive Vance’s inheritance in Zurich could be a dream vacation for this now engaged couple, who only want to work out some serious conflicts in their wedding and careers, sinister politicians and crooked cops have other plans waiting for them in Europe. This is the much anticipated follow up novel to HER HONOR'S BODYGUARD. Since the reviews were great, and the fans were demanding more, it was a great novel to work on, including a trip to Zurich where the novel unfolds.  

Rescuing Her Honor, follow up to Her Honor's Body Guard is releasing May 15th 2014!
Buy on Amazon

Meet Johnny!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJohnny Ray won the Royal Palm Literary Award for best thriller, and he is often interviewed on various literary blogs, as well as TV and radio shows. His blog, located at, has a large following from around the world, and this is his central hub to his other social media activity. There you can find his links to other social media sites, such as twitter (sirjohn_writer) where he has over 165,000 followers. He also would love for you to join Sir John's Army, his fan club, which is located on his blog.

Johnny Ray belongs to the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America. He loves attending various national and international writer conventions, like the Frankfurt Book Fair, throughout the year.

As an avid traveler and international businessman conducting business worldwide for years he has made many interesting contacts and received numerous awards for top sales production. He loves radio and TV talk shows, as well as speaking in front of various audiences. Feel free to contact him if you need a guest speaker.

When it comes time to play, he is very active in many sports including dancing, swimming, tennis, biking, and skiing. While he loves a life full of action and adventures that are new, interesting and challenging, making friends that share his passions is a special gift.

Johnny was born in Texas, raised in Alabama, but now loves living in Clearwater, Florida where he works full time as a writer. He can be often found in one of the hundreds of coffee shops along the beach working on his next international thriller, murder mystery, or perhaps a contemporary romance novel that is guaranteed to be full of action and adventure you should expect from a romantic suspense novel. His signature combination, however, is international romantic thrillers.

Find Johnny on:


I've always found books set abroad really interesting! This one is no exception. I'm curious to see what Johnny Ray's writing has in store. What do you think about this book?

Enter below for  your chance to win a $25 Amazon GC! Good luck.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

I Can't Let That Stop Me

In my last post I took a moment out of my frazzled mind to write about going back to school. I spent this past week looking over my options, while trying to keep things on track here on the blog.

There was a program that spoke to each piece of me. The wannabe psychologist, the numbers geek, the designer, the animal lover, the traveler, the designer, the writer. Overall, it unleashed my inner Dreamer and my inner Realist all at once.

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I tried to picture myself ten or fifteen years down the road, doing a whole slew of things. 

I thought of myself as a fashion the prairies. Probably not the best route to go down in this city, where to say fashion is under-appreciated, is an understatement. I can't imagine myself permanently moving somewhere else to make my career successful. Now traveling, that's a different story.

I thought, maybe a travel agent! I've always wanted to explore everything this planet has to offer, plus I've always enjoyed helping people. Why not help people explore? But, then the realist shook my inner dreamer by the shoulders, and checked the job prospects across Canada, only to find a demand mostly towards the larger cities. 

Of course. So...on to the next one. 

To me, the idea of capturing a once in a lifetime moment is indescribable. That is why photography has always been a love of mine. Little did I know how technical photography can be. Learning about the many little things to take a technically great shot isn't something I really want to go and sit in a classroom to do. I would much rather just point and shoot what appeals to me at the moment. 

Legal assistant, Accountant, Librarian, on and on..

At this point I started getting really overwhelmed and had a mini-breakdown. Was every option going to have a million and one things to consider? After I cried by myself for a few minutes I decided to call it a day and sleep on it.

The next morning was easier. All I could think about was getting up, writing. That is when it really struck me, just how much I wanted to write. Children's books, memoirs, fiction and non-fiction of all kinds! 

Often when I tell people that I've always planned on writing as a career they look at me funny, and ask all sorts of questions about how realistic it is, how stable it is, and what would be more practical. What they don't realize is how judgmental that is. People make it every day writing, making movies, making music, and more importantly, just doing what they love! 

Those newspapers, books, magazines, travel guides and heck, half of the movies we all watch, were written by someone! By people like me. People that love to develop characters, plot out twists and turns and generally, just enjoy the written word.

Will I always know what I'm doing? No. Does that scare me? A little. But I can't let that stop me, and that doesn't mean that I am afraid to learn along the way!

Ultimately, I settled on a Business Administration course. While this doesn't really do much to foster my writing or creativity, it does satiate my need for a more practical beginning out in a working world that has never agreed with my anxiety and I. It will provide me stability at the same time as I continue to further my other passions on my own time. Plus, eventually I would like to run my own business, so what better place to start?

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Heroes of the City Review & Giveaway

Heroes of the City was completely new to us until a couple of months ago, when I started reading about it on a couple of my favourite blogs. I was excited to learn more about this show, and the story behind it.
"Heroes of the City is a television cartoon about rescue vehicles in a small town where everyone can be a hero!
 Follow the fantastically exciting adventures along with friends in town.

Meet Pauli Police Car and Fiona Fire Engine as they help the townspeople find thieves, put out fires, and solve one of the many mysteries that happen in the otherwise quiet town.

You will also get to know Calamity Crow, the most unlucky bird in town. Emphasizing friendship, Heroes of the City contains a great deal of warmth and what may be accomplished by helping each other."
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We received a great little gift package that contained a DVD, a book, a beach ball, and a couple of the toy car characters. All of this came in handy to keep Emily busy this past week, while I was super busy, and it was rainy outside.

The first thing we looked at was the book, because that's the first thing Emily reached for. The book was the 6th in the series, but I appreciated that I didn't need to have read the first 5 to move on to the sixth. The bright, colourful illustrations really caught her eye. I think the overall length of the book was slightly long for Em's attention span and will probably be better suited for older children.

The front and back pages had a "Where's Waldo" type game, and this was Em's favourite part of the book. Plus, she had a great time driving her cars around while I was reading to her, and finding the pictures along the way that matched her toys.

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The cars themselves felt well made but do have some small parts (the wheels in particular) so for younger children I would save these for supervised playtime until they are a bit older.

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The DVD includes the first 5 episodes in the Heroes of the City TV Series. I appreciate that this show is all about the heroes that support the places we live in a fun and positive way. This show is aimed towards kids ages 3-6, but Emily (2) was completely captured by each new character that was introduced. Characters range from Fiona Fire Engine and Pauli Police Car, to Tommy Tow Truck and Harry Hot Rod, but there were so many others too!

My favourite was Calamity Crow. He was the unlucky mixture of good intentions, and clumsiness, that reminded me of myself, in an animated bird form. Em preferred Pauli Police Car. I think that is because she has the toy that she can play with, while watching.

In our favourite episode, "The Race", Harry Hot Rod is up to his sneaky ways, and poor Tracy has to find her way out of a sticky situation because of it. I loved that this episode teaches kids that cheaters don't win! :)

After experiencing this wonderful package full of HOTC goodies, I am left wishing I had a way to try the HOTC Movie and Books App. I would definitely suggest checking it out if you are able to! The Movie App gives you 6+ hours of movies to watch, and 9 games, while the Book App has 12 stories, and 2 of all, they're free!

Download the Apps on the HOTC Website. To keep up to date with the Heroes, news, and upcoming promotions, follow along on Facebook, or Twitter.


  You could win a Heroes of the City Prize Pack of your own!
 photo HOTCGAImage_zps3980d327.jpg

Prize: One lucky winner will receive a similar prize package (may not be exactly as shown)
Eligibility: Worldwide, 18+ (Quebec excluded)
Entry Period: May 13, 2014 - May 29, 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: .

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

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Canadian-Friendly #Giveaway Round-Up #1

One of my favourite things to do, especially on days when I find myself starting to feel overwhelmed and overly stressed (like today), is to enter giveaways. I find it strangely relaxing, and a nice break from going through/responding to emails, researching, focusing on review posts, etc.

I figured since I know most of you enjoy the chance to win as much as I do, I would put together a list of links for you to visit that are Canadian friendly.

***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***

Thanks for stopping through and be sure to stop by my giveaway page to find even more chances to win!

Kidsumers- Oxy Prize Pack ($50) Canada Ends 5/16
Pawsitive Living- Cake Boss Flower Cookie Pan and Cookie Jar Canada Ends 5/17
Multi-Testing Mommy- 10 FPC for Maple Leaf Protinis Canada Ends 5/26
Pawsitive Living- Moulinex Slow Cooker Canada Ends 5/19
This West Coast Mommy- Board Books Canada Ends 5/13
Canadian Mom Reviews- Devil's Due Blu-Ray/DVD Combo US/CAN 5/14
Parent Club- Green Cleaning Products ($50) Canada 5/14
Pawsitive Living- Yonanas Frozen Dessert Maker US/CAN 5/23

Monday, 5 May 2014

What a Day!!

What a day!

I just got back from my appointment with my Career Development Counselor. Only a few hours big deal! Turns out the receptionist that checked me in, didn't really check me in, so the counselor had no idea I was there for over an hour! Talk about feeling invisible.

After we got it all figured out, they had me in there pretty quick, and I took as much as I possibly could away from our discussion. She threw a lot at me all at once though, so it's hard to know how much will actually stick with me.

At the end I was left feeling almost as lost as I felt at the end of high school when everyone started asking the same questions.

What do you want to do? Where do you see yourself in the next few years? How will these courses help you towards your career of choice? Starting wage? Flexibility? Availability? 

If I could have answered those questions back then I would have. I'd like to think that the timing simply wasn't right, and that I've had some time to think about it. Only, I didn't think about it at all.

It's both scary, and a bit of a relief to finally be moving forward with something, even if I'm not a hundred percent sure what that is at this exact moment.

First thing first, time to do some research! I'm thinking the smaller classes of a college setting will be better suited for me and my anxiety.

As it stands right now....I have no clue.

Any advice for someone going back to school? I would love to hear in the comments. :)

Mighty Dads Book Blast ($50 Amazon GC/Paypal Giveaway)

Mighty Dads by Joan Holub and James Dean

About the Book

Title: Mighty Dads | Author: Joan Holub | Illustrator: James Dean| Publication Date: April 29, 2014 | Publisher: Scholastic | Pages: 40 | Recommended Ages: 3+ Summary: A new constructacular picture book from the New York Times bestselling creator of Pete the Cat, James Dean and bestselling author, Joan Holub.

Mighty dads, strong and tall,
help their children, young and small.
They keep them safe and bolted tight
and show them how to build things right.

Inventively told through James Dean's colorful construction vehicle characters, MIGHTY DADS is an adoring dedication to hardworking fathers and the subtle ways they teach their boys and girls to follow in their tracks. The Dump Trucks learn to get dirty. Crane keeps his little one safe from harm. The busy Cement Mixer gives his daughter a hug. The Forklift cheers his son on.

A surprising and touching view of a father's love for his children, MIGHTY DADS is the perfect way to say: I'm proud of you!  

Book Trailer



Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository (free worldwide delivery)

Also available at Walmart, Target, and Barnes & Noble stores.

About the Author: Joan Holub

Joan Holub author Mighty DadsJoan Holub is co-author of the best-selling Goddess Girls series, the Grimmtastic Girls series, and the Heroes in Training series. Her picture book Little Red Writing received three starred reviews and has been named to many Best-of lists. Her mighty cool dad inspired the creation of the picture book, Mighty Dads.

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About the Illustrator: James Dean

James Dean Author Pete the CatJames Dean is the creator of the best-selling Pete the Cat. Before James started painting Pete the Cat as a full-time profession in 1999, he wanted to paint cars and trucks. He loves things that go, and currently drives a 1971 VW bus camper and a 1959 Chevy truck. He worked as an electrical engineer for fifteen years before he decided to try to make a living with his paintings. James lives with his wife, five cats, and a pug named Little Emma.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Page


Want a Chance to Win a Copy of "Mighty Dads"?

Be sure to head on over to our review and giveaway of Mighty Dads for your chance to win a copy. Open US/Canada. Ends May 19, 2014. Just click on the cover below.

Mighty Dads by Joan Holub and James Dean  

* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card Prize: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: May 31, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Joan Holub and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Sunday, 4 May 2014

Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson ($50 Amazon GC/Paypal Giveaway)

Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson Book Cover 

Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson
After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off with the offer of a dream job. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, and no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help of Kevin Grantham, her handsome new neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own.
Fun, compelling, and romantic, Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn't afraid to show him that he doesn't. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.
Coming Soon...
Coming Next in the Meet Your Match Series
Prejudice Meets Pride Tour Banner 

RachaelAuthor Rachael Anderson A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

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 Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/25/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Thursday, 1 May 2014

Careful by Randy Anderson ($25 Starbucks GC Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop on the Careful Book Tour! Randy will be awarding an eCopy of Careful and a $25 Starbucks GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. You can follow along the rest of the tour here.

For two decades Tyler Gibbons has been keeping a secret from his family. At the tender age of sixteen, Tyler embarks on a student exchange program. Sent to the Andean city of Ambato, Ecuador, he finds daily adventure as he tries to fit in at school, connect with his host family, and navigate through a world of beaches, volcanoes, and jungles. But tucked deep inside this year are events so profound, so unexpected, they forever shape the man he will become.

Now, 25 years later, his mother pulls these soaring tales from her son, exposing, for the first time, the source of a deep unhappiness. While these memories contain the wounds of an unresolved past, they also possess the power to heal his painful present.

Thoughtfully crafted and boldly told, Tyler’s journey takes the reader on a wild South American adventure, while illuminating a mother’s unyielding power to heal her child.