Bringing Memories Into The Future

Date: Sunday February 26, 2012
Posted in: reviews

EmilyI feel really lucky to have been chosen as one of the ambassadors for LiveOn. For someone like me, who takes hundreds upon hundreds of photos, and who tries to document our life via THE BLAWG, it’s a great tool to help me capture what I can for my kids (And grandkids!)(One day!)(Holy crap!) so that they can see what our life was like here. And now.

One other great service that they offer is LiveOn Rewind. You can send in your old videotapes and they will convert them into digital (DVD) format. The plan was for me to send in our old videos, get them back, and tell you how awesome they are. Sadly, 2012 is trying to eat my face, and the box I had packaged for shipping sat in my minivan for weeks. WEEKS. Because I have dealt with more bodily fluids than any (non-medical) person should have to.

The good news is that I finally made my way to UPS last week. The box that included Hi-8 (So advanced, ten years ago!) video tapes were sent off to LiveOn Rewind. The video of our wedding, which the kids haven’t seen. Videos of Graham’s first year. So much more. I cannot WAIT to get them back and watch them with the kids. They are going to FREAK OUT. In a good way.

This just in: I have a coupon code for 30% off on LiveOn Rewind to share with you lovelies. cgc61

Thank you to LiveOn for sponsoring this blog post. Please visit LiveOn to learn more about sharing and preserving your most important memories. I was selected for this sponsorship by Clever Girls Collective. Although story ideas were provided, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Christmases Past

Date: Friday December 16, 2011
Posted in: reviews

Playing with bokeh

If you know me at all, then you know that I like to take photos. I rely a lot on my handy-dandy iPhone for the little moments, but I pull out the big camera when there’s a birthday party, or when we go on walks, or when there are dance recitals or Christmas plays, or any other big events. My camera is out on Christmas morning, too. I don’t take photos of EVERY present being opened, but I try to catch a few delighted expressions. Or, not-so-delighted expressions. This one of my daughter from Christmas 2009 still cracks me up.

Not impressed

I love that I take a few moments here over the holidays, catch candid and posed photos, and my kids will be able to look at them ten years from now and remember how much fun we had. We even do that now – look through photos from last year and beyond and they love seeing the smaller versions of themselves and the places we’ve gone/people we’ve seen/presents we’ve opened.

As for my childhood, I have one photo album that covers birth to high school. Yes, really. I think I took more photos with my old point-and-shoot film camera in high school than there are in my entire album. Heck, I scan shoot more photos of my kids in ONE DAY than are in my album. Photos weren’t really my Mom’s thing, I guess, and it’s OK. I have enough in there to see myself at different stages of my life.

It just spurns me on to keep taking photos of my kids, and not just when they’re polished and smiling nicely. Pajama-clad grumpy moments are just as important to capture, in my humble opinion. And I will store them and save them and keep them safe for, well, forever.


Don’t forget that you have a unique coupon code for 30% off on LiveOn Rewind: HOLIDAYREWIND

Thank you to LiveOn for sponsoring this blog post. Please LiveOn to learn more about sharing and preserving your most important memories. I was selected for this sponsorship by Clever Girls Collective. Although story ideas were provided, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Elephoto Photo Products (Canadian! Yes, Really!)

Date: Friday December 9, 2011
Posted in: reviews

The lovely Ernesta Rossi (She is a PR superstar)(Not like the “I thought you might be interested in posting this” people), asked me if I would be interested in reviewing a Canadian photo company. They had approached her, she immediately thought of me, and a connection was made.

I had never heard of Elephoto before, but it’s the time of year where I purchase many photo products, so I was game. Plus! They’re Canadian! They offered to give me a photo book, but I didn’t have time to go through 400 photos and make a photo book in time to give you guys the sweet discount code they gave me, so I opted to make one of their photo calendars. Last year was the first year I made a photo calendar and every month, as I turn the page, I get all misty. It’s like going into a one-year-old time capsule and seeing where the kids were a year ago.

The website was a breeze to work through and the colour and layout options were pretty vast. I sat down with a cup of coffee, clickity-click-click-clicked and, BAM. Submitted my order.



(I went for the simple white version, because I’m all about a clean background (see my website), but they have a lot of great backgrounds. And photo books and greeting cards and posters, oh my!)

They’ve been reported to have the fastest shipping in Canada. If you order as late as Dec 18th 11:59pm with basic standard shipping, your order will still arrive in time for Christmas to most parts of Canada.

They gave me a custom reader discount code! It’s for 15%! The reader discount code is valid until January 31, 2012. These codes are entered at checkout, easy peasy. I know, because they worked for me.

The discount code: BLITZ15

Happy shopping, friends!

The 2011 Christmas card

Date: Friday November 25, 2011
Posted in: giveaways,reviews

I was contacted by to see if I wanted to sample their Christmas cards and review them. DO I? Of course I do. We send out Christmas cards and letters every year. Getting the cards for free is awesome, and I’ve purchased from Moo before and it was awesome, so this was something easy to say yes to.

I haven’t received my cards yet, because the USPS and Canada Post are like oil and water, but here is the photo I used on the front:

The family

Here is the photo that I used on the back:
On the trampoline

I would wait to show you the actual card, but the USPS is telling me that I won’t receive my cards until mid-December. has asked me to give away 3 sets of 25 cards to you guys (Three sets! Three chances to win!) and waiting until mid-December is a little late for ordering.

So here we are. My cards are en route and probably in Fargo or some other random US city, but I can give three (THREE) of you a set of 25 Christmas cards.

Here are a few of their card styles:



To enter, just leave a comment telling me if you send Christmas (or holiday) cards or not.

I’ll draw the winners this coming Friday, December 2nd, 2011.


We have our three winners!

Screen shot 2011-12-02 at 12.32.55 PM


Screen shot 2011-12-02 at 12.34.32 PM


Screen shot 2011-12-02 at 12.36.02 PM

Mrs Wilson!


LiveOn Review

Date: Thursday November 24, 2011
Posted in: reviews

When the lovely folks over at the Clever Girls Collective contacted me about trying out a new product that helps to preserve memories in a digital format, I thought it sounded pretty interesting. I read the description to Matthew (I always run ideas by him before taking on something extra) and he thought it would be a good fit, too. I signed on, got my account activated and…have been dealing with sick kids on a non-stop rotation for the past MONTH.

Luckily for me, the kids are now healthy (knock on wood) and the LiveOn folks had a later launch date than expected.

They have been so great about communicating with those of us who got early access and even set up a conference call to walk through the site. I couldn’t make the call (work, schmerk) and wondered if I’d even know where to begin and if I’d be overwhelmed. WHAT WOULD I DOOOOOO?

The great thing is, right on the home page, before you even log in, there’s a video explaining what LiveOn is about and how to use it. Then once you log in, each different section has a separate tutorial video that shows you how to use it. Which is actually pretty awesome, because it would be hard to say to you guys, “Go check it out! It’s AWESOME! But you’ll have no idea how to use it.”

Screen shot 2011-11-26 at 9.08.59 AM

(Click on photo to embiggen.)

So what is LiveOn, exactly? Think of as a free repository for your memories — photographic, written, audio, video. You choose to add content in the form of “memories” on a timeline. You upload photos or video, type or record your thoughts about that memory, add music if you so desire, then save it. I think of it as kind of a mini digital scrapbook for each memory I want to keep.

Another feature of LiveOn is “Answer A Life Question”. Click on the icon in the top corner and you are taken to a page of life questions. You can answer the questions with text or a video recording. Connect your webcam and LiveOn records you answering the questions. The idea behind it being that your kids, grandkids, etc. will all be able to get to know you better, even after you’re no longer around.

One thing I wondered about is…what happens when I die? Do all of my memories get deleted? Does all of the time I spent documenting these memories go to waste? Nope.

The LiveOn promise:

We promise to keep your memories forever. Not 100 years, not 500 years, but forever. We have an intricate backup system of servers that will act as your personal vault, ensuring your stories are here for all future generations to enjoy. This promise of memory preservation is the number one focus of our company and we will do everything in our power to keep this promise to you.

So, your photos, memories, and life questions are safe. PHEW. But what if you have the opposite problem…instead of  a hard drive full of pictures you have boxes of old photographs. There’s LiveOn Rewind! They will digitize your photos and albums FOR YOU. Plus, they gave me this discount code (cgc54) to share with you guys so that you can save 20% on this service.

Also! For those of you concerned about privacy, only those people who you add as “tribe members” can see your timeline. You can link your memories to Facebook if you want, but FB does not have access to anything. You have to choose what you want to share and nothing is shared unless you purposely do so. To share the Timelines, Time Capsules, and Life Questions with family members just click the “share button” or invite people to join your tribe.

Will I continue to use LiveOn, past the time I’m sponsored to do so? Yes. I think it’s really neat, actually. I need to spend more time on there learning the ropes, and figuring out what and how I want to save my memories, but I can see this as something really great for future generations. Pictures and videos and blog posts are great for documenting everything, but this takes it up a notch. It’s kind of awesome.

Thank you to LiveOn for this sponsored opportunity to blog about storing and sharing my most important memories with those closest to me. Please visit LiveOn to learn more about sharing and preserving your most important memories. I was selected for this sponsorship by Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Tiny Prints Business Cards

Date: Sunday September 25, 2011
Posted in: reviews

Way back in June (June!) the very sweet Megan at Tiny Prints contacted me to see if they could hook me up with business cards. My stash was completely out and BlogHer was coming up and so I wrote back and said, “OF COURSE!!” Or, ‘That would be pleasing to me. What might I do in return?” I’ve used Tiny Prints for years (Christmas cards, mostly) and looked forward to checking out their business cards.

I placed my order, got email notification that it had been shipped and then it fell off of my radar. There was beach time and work and that trip to Cannon Beach, etc. The week before I left for San Diego, I realized that I had yet to receive my cards. I checked the tracking on the package and the last stop had been in Vancouver…three weeks earlier. I contacted FedEx and after two days of searching, they told me that the package was lost.

I contacted Megan and asked her if there was any way to get a box of cards sent to San Diego. She dealt with it immediately and was so sweet about it and told me that they were scheduled to arrive on the Friday, but I may get them on the Thursday. Hooray!

I checked my tracking online/the hotel front desk on Thursday and…nothing. Same thing on Friday. And then on Saturday, the status said that it was on the truck in San Diego! At 6:30 a.m.! I went down to the UPS store mid-morning to see if FedEx had dropped off my package. He informed me that they had done their delivery for the say and weren’t expected to come back and that there was no package for me. He looked up my tracking number for me and pointed out that FedEx had scheduled my package to be delivered on Monday. They day after I flew home.

(FedEx isn’t my favorite.)

Megan at Tiny Prints asked if she could still send me some cards and they arrived within the week. Third time’s the charm!

They’ll come in handy a couple of weeks from now when I’m attending/speaking at Blissdom Canada in Toronto. If I see you there and you want one, hit me up. I kind of love them.


They were super easy to make and if you’re in need of some cards, here’s the link. They also have great Christmas cards, Holiday cards, and Invitations.

Thanks to Tiny Prints for getting me these cards despite FedEx’s attempt to keep them from me.

Be Uncommon

Date: Monday August 15, 2011
Posted in: giveaways,reviews

Way back in June, a lovely lady from Uncommon contacted me to see if I’d like a (Free!) customized iPhone case before I traveled to BlogHer. Added bonus: I could give a custom case away to one of my lucky readers.

Yes, and yes.

The problem is, the US Postal Service hates Canada. No, really. Whenever friends from the States send me something in the mail it takes weeks and weeks (and weeks and weeks). The week before I left for BlogHer I realized that my case wasn’t here and I contacted my Uncommon contact (who shares my Maiden name, coincidentally) and she said that she would try to track down my package.

I got an email yesterday about the deadline for the giveaway and was sad that I couldn’t participate. But then! I checked the mail on my way home (we have community lock boxes) and my case had arrived!

Uncommon Case

Isn’t it great?

It’s way sturdier that my previous case and I can’t wait to show it to all of my fellow iPhone users at my office and in my life. (My husband wants one now.)

The fact that it arrived (Yay, USPS! A month later!) means that I also get to give away a custom case to one of you lovelies. And, if you live close to me (or are someone I send mail to), I have a bunch of 20% off coupons to hand out.

So, about the free case giveaway. Leave me a comment and tell me whether you will use your own photo/design or if you’ll use one of theirs and I’ll pick a lucky winner on…August 22nd.

Leave a comment! Get a free case!



So! I ran and got the number…2.

Screen shot 2011-08-22 at 4.11.44 PM

It’s all yours, Tanis!

McDonald’s Freebies For You

Date: Saturday February 5, 2011
Posted in: giveaways

Do you guys remember how, back in November, McDonald’s Canada contacted me to let my lovely readers know about a promotion they were having AND to give a $50 gift card to one of you? Well, they’re doing it again.

McDonald’s is unveiling their first significant addition to the breakfast menu since 2003 – the Buttermilk Biscuit:

As part of the big unveiling, they want you to try it for free. For FREE.

On February 9th and 10th, at participating McDonald’s restaurants in Canada, you can enjoy any Buttermilk Biscuit breakfast sandwich FREE – place your order and walk away with breakfast, at no cost to you.

You can enjoy the McDonald’s breakfast sandwich on a biscuit a variety of ways:

  • Sausage, Egg and Processed Cheese Biscuit
  • Bacon, Egg and Processed Cheese Biscuit
  • Sausage Biscuit
  • On its own with strawberry jam

And, as I mentioned above, McDonald’s wants to give one of you lucky (CANADIAN) readers a $50 gift card too. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me which biscuit you are going to try (for FREE February 9th and 10th).

And for an extra entry, you can tweet this:

I want to win $50 from @McD_Canada and @AngellaD:

The contest ends February 11th, 2011 and the winner will be chosen randomly.

Good luck!

***Edited to reveal the winner*** picked #2 and the winner is…Cheryl! I’ll email you to get your address!!

Product Review & Giveaway: The Tassimo T20 Brewer

Date: Sunday January 2, 2011
Posted in: giveaways,reviews

Tassimo T20

At the beginning of December I was contacted by Tassimo to see if I would be interested in reviewing their Tassimo T20 coffee brewer AND giving one to one of my readers. I said yes, for a few different reasons:

1. I love coffee and drink one every morning, either on my drive to work or at my kitchen table on my days off.

2. I’d heard a lot of buzz about the Tassimo T20 through Twitter and other giveaways and had been hoping to get one for Christmas.

3. I love it when I get to give away cool things to my readers.

The Tassimo T20 arrived at Purolator on Christmas Eve – just in time to keep me caffeinated for all the festivities of the holidays (including hosting Christmas dinner). It was so easy to use! The coffee tastes great! And the only clean up consists of throwing the T Disc in the garbage! My husband and extended family were pretty impressed as well.

A big thank you to Tassimo for spoiling me with the T20 and for letting me give one away to one of you lucky readers. They can only ship to U.S. addresses for this giveaway and so I asked if Canadians were allowed to enter if they could provide a U.S. shipping address. They can!

So! If you have a U.S. shipping address and want a chance to enter this contest, simply leave a comment below and tell me how you take your coffee. (I take mine with Splenda and Half and Half. It balances out. Or something.)

We’re leaving for Disneyland on Wednesday, so I’ll leave the comments open until we return on January 12th and then use to choose the winner. Good luck!

Disclaimer: I received the T20 brewer to review at no cost and all opinions are my own.


We have a winner! #35!

Picture 15

I’ll email you, Chris, to get your mailing address.

All I Want For Christmas

Date: Wednesday December 8, 2010
Posted in: giveaways

This Holiday post is
sponsored as part of the UrbanMoms Network.


I’m sure that all of you know my friend Ali (aka my Canadian twin in many areas) and you may or may not know her boss Jen Maier from Urban Moms. I’ve known Ali for three years now (!) and Jen and I have gotten to know each other over the last six months or so and even sat together on a panel at Blissdom Canada in Toronto at the end of October.

(Ali was supposed to be on the panel but her Dad had health problems, so Jen graciously filled in.)

Both of these ladies are wonderful, as is the Urban Moms website (and team) in general. I’ve done a couple of guest posts for them in the past and when they asked me if I wanted to be a part of the new network they were launching, I responded with a resounding, “SIGN ME UP.”

So, here I am. They emailed last week to see if I was willing to be part of a promotion where they were giving away an Old Navy gift card. As a woman who has placed four (FOUR) online orders since the Canadian Old Navy website opened in September, I am all for giving my readers a chance to win money to spend at that mecca of Awesome.

What do I have to write about in order to host this giveaway? I simply have to write about what I want for Christmas. I know, right? SO EASY.

Except that I don’t really know what I want for Christmas. I tend to buy items that I need when I need them and am not really one to spend a lot of money on things that aren’t necessary.

Oh, WAIT. Christmas is (about Jesus’ birth, yes, but) not necessarily about what we need. It’s about wonder and surprise and about getting things that you might not even know you wanted. Or maybe that’s your birthday. Mine is next month anyway, so I’ll run with it.

1. A wireless remote for my camera.

Whether I’m taking macro photos of flowers or family portraits, I always use the self-timer on my camera to reduce camera shake/make sure I have time to slide into the photo. Wireless remotes aren’t even that expensive…I just keep talking myself out of spending the money on one.

2. A really great pair of jeans.

I have one pair of jeans that I like because my thighs appear less thunderous than usual but said jeans are quite faded and worn and not ones that I am able to dress up if I need to. I have yet to find a pair that works magic but I haven’t really tried or given myself permission to ignore the price tag.

3. A Photoshop Course.

There’s nowhere even remotely nearby to take a course in person, but I’d love to at least take an online course. I’ve read books and done free tutorials and can do more than I used to be able to, but I know that there’s so much more I could be doing. I just need to learn how.

4. A new bed.

My husband is a handy guy. He’s pretty much renovated our entire (over 3,000 square foot) house since we moved in nearly ten years ago, and has built a lot of our furniture to boot. It is this talent of his (and his inherent cheap/frugal nature) that is making him ask me to wait for him to find the time to build us a bed. The thing is, we have an AMAZING pillow-top mattress that is an absolute dream to sleep on that is…on the floor. WE SLEEP ON THE FLOOR. And have been doing so for OVER FOUR YEARS. I’d like a bed. With matching side tables too, please.

5. A trip to Hawaii, with just my husband.

We had tossed around this idea a couple of months ago when friends of our invited us to join them (sans kids) this coming January. We dreamed about it, we talked about it, we looked for deals, but it’s just not going to happen this year. The main reason is that we have nobody to come and hang out with our three kids. If we had an unlimited budget I could fly one of my sisters or my Mom here and cover their week off of work but, alas. It is simply not the case. But I’m allowed to ask for it anyway, right?

Enough about me. It’s now time to focus on YOU. And your chance to win $100 to spend at Old Navy. Head on over to this post at Urban Moms (Hello to another good friend, Metalia!) and leave a comment.

Good luck, friends!

Next page »