Today marks the beginning of the third week of school. This is about the time that you realize the fuzzy, fluffy animal shaped backpack you bought your daughter, which has now been leaving furry bits all over your daughter, her room, the bus and her locker, was not such a good idea.
This school year I worked with the good people at Best Buy Canada and Best Buy mobile to prep myself for back to school. I wanted to actual put the products to use before writing my review so my readers would have a true vision of what I experienced during the first couple weeks of school.
I have never shopped at Best Buy for back to school in the past, this was a completely new experience for me. The Ogilvy Road location in Ottawa was the first store I visited on my back to school journey. The staff, manager and on site experts were very helpful in helping me find the best items for my family and I. ****FULL Disclosure: I may have liked the store so much because two of my former students work there…they both mentioned that I hadn’t changed in 10 years.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S is my first Android device. The screen had the biggest impact on my choice of tablets. It definitely has the wow factor that is lacking on my iPad with a 2560 x 1600 pixel WQXGA Super AMOLED screen, which works out at 360 pixels-per-inch. I also found my Tab S interfaced with my laptop and school programs seamlessly. For my needs, this was the perfect product to add to my office. On a personal note, the app store quickly became my new favourite place to visit. My days are very long, I am up early with the daily morning organizational chores, I send my day in a busy fast paced school setting and usually end my day sitting by the pool deck for 3 hours. My Tab S, keeps up with my hectic schedule, with no need to recharge during the day. I am very impressed with the battery life on this device.
Keeping my family and I organized has been challenging, I’ve been working with two apps that are making my life easier and more organized:
Artkive, is the best app I have found for organizing my children’s art work and special projects. Artkive lets you snap a photo of your child’s artwork, save it to the cloud and share with family and friends. Create profiles for each child as photos get tagged with name, grade, date and title. Create printed books of your child’s work which makes for a fantastic keepsake or gift for grandparents, uncles and aunts.
Cozi Family Organizer has helped keep our family on the right track. This app helps manage the chaos of back-to-school and everyday life. It allows you to keep track of all family-members’ schedules, share grocery, chore and to-do lists in real time and access, view and update from any mobile device or computer.
Did I mention that both apps are free?
The FitBit posts I see on social media have made me very curious about this device and how it could help motivate me to become more active. I am a very competitive person and enjoy making and achieving both long term and short term goals. This fitness gadget has become my constant accessory this past month. I updated to the premium membership and have a greater insight into my sedentary periods of the day, how much I am sleeping each night and my input vs output on a daily basis. My biggest aha moment has been seeing how many steps I take at school during the day. I had thought my job had become more sedentary but now I realize how active I truly am during the school day.
Best Buy Canada also has detailed BTS Shopping List that my three kids and I found very helpful during our back to school shopping adventures. But we only went shopping for our electronics after the first weekend after school started, that way we knew exactly what was needed for school. In 14 weeks we will be celebrating Christmas in my home, this list has also helped my three mini me’s identify items that would be perfect under our tree this December.
If you would like to find out more about what Best Buy Canada has to offer for the back to school season or just to help make your like a little less chaotic check out their Twitter handle @BestBuyCanada and use the hashtag #setmeupBBY to follow along with the conversation.
But wait, there is more! I am giving one of my lucky readers a chance to win a $250 dollar gift card from Best Buy Mobile to use towards a new device, mobile accessories (apps, cases, etc) or an upgrade. Just leave me a comment telling me what your favourite Best Buy product is and why. You can enter daily and the winner will be emailed on Monday September 22nd 2014. This contest is open to residents of Canada.
If you win, you can also take advantage of the some of the amazing Best Buy services such as:
i. Lowest Price Guarantee: Our Lowest Price Guarantee to customers is the best in Canada. We guarantee it in-store and online. We are adding thousands of new categories every month to our online assortment
ii. Reserve and Pick-up: Customers can reserve their product online without entering any credit card information and pick up their item at the store of their choice in as quickly as 20 minutes.
iii. Assortment: Nobody in Canada can offer a better selection of products. We are adding thousands of new categories every month to our online assortment
iv. In-store Pick-up and Web kiosks: If we don’t have something in-store, our Blue Shirts will assist customers to purchase the product online at one of our in-store web kiosks and have the product shipped to their home or the store for easy pick-up.
I was compensated for this post, but all view & opinions are my own.
Our summer has come to end and we are getting back into the swing of school. The kids and I had a fabulous summer, we travelled together, laugh with each other and lived nomadically. We enjoyed our adventures together and have decided that we will make many of our adventures from this summer annual traditions, including playing without distraction on the beach near my childhood home.
We will absolutely return to Canada’s Wonderland to scream ourselves silly on the roller coasters, eat funnel cakes and play endless games of Whack a Mole.
We will also spend more time, with friends watching movies under the stars with our friends and family.
Kinder Canada had been part of our family for 3 years, we have had an amazing time eating, sharing and building with our kinder friends. Kinder Canada has brought a many smiles to our family and now you can bring #KinderSmiles into your own home.
Starting in August 17th, 2014 Kinder Canada launched their new “photo-strip” app on the Kinder Canada Facebook Page. The photo-strip is a fun and interactive way for parents to capture and sharemoments of joy in a playful way.
Once you’re a KINDER® Fan, it’s just a fewsimple steps:
Step 1: Fan KINDER® on Facebook
Step 2: Start your photo-strip
Step 3: Upload your photos
Step 4: Choose a fancy KINDER® frame
Step 5: Choose a filter (make yourself look silly)
Step 6: Save & share
I hope you enjoy the last few moments of summer & I hope you have a wonderful playing with the new Kinder “photo-strip” app. Don’t forget to post your pictures and include the #kindersmiles hash tag, to join in the fun!
“Disclosure: I’m part of theKinder® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation withthis group. The opinions on this blog are my own”
Yesterday, my family, our friends and I made our way to the Canadian Tire Centre to meet a dinosaur. I had no what to expect or what my three little event critics would think.
There were many familiar faces in the crowd yesterday. It feels like homecoming weekend when I see the members of the Ottawa blogger community, hugs all around and chatting about what each one of us are up to this summer.
I have a very loud nervous laugh. When I saw Baby T Rex, I wasn’t sure what Beckett & Andie would think, it was truly very life like and I may have been a little scared myself.
Beckett snuggled up to me as close as he could and, of course, Andie-Pandie decided to pet that T Rex, while it snapped, growled and generally made the entire crowd feel like we had a real dinosaur in our midst.
This shot was taken one second after Baby T Rex grabbed my phone with his giant teeth! Yes, we were that close and that baby dino had a little attitude.
Then I kissed that Baby T Rex, I mean really a girl only lives once right?
This show promised to be exciting and eventful, if the media show was any indication, even my tween Katie is looking forward to the show.
Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular will perform eight shows over the course of five days from Wednesday, Aug. 20, to Sunday, Aug. 24, as follows:
Wednesday, Aug. 20 – 7 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 21 – 7 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 22 – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 23 – 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 24 – 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Tickets start at $19.50 and can be purchased by visiting www.CapitalTickets.ca or www.evenko.ca, by phone at 613-599-FANS (3267) or 1-877-788-FANS (3267); in person at each of the 10 participating Canadian Tire stores in Ottawa as well as the store in Perth, The Sens Store at Carlingwood Mall and Place d’Orléans, any Ottawa Sports Experts location, Les Galeries de Hull, Ottawa Festivals and at the Canadian Tire Centre box office.
We will see you at the show!
One Day Blowout Sale $29.99 – Available August 7th ONLY
Tickets valid August 10th – 28th, 2014
Summer is here and CANADA’S WONDERLAND is the place to be! Enjoy over 200 rides and attractions including our 20-acre waterpark for one INCREDIBLE price!
Tickets are valid any one day from August 10th – 28th, available exclusively online on August 9th. Get your Single Day Admission tickets tomorrow and tell all of your friends before this deal expires at midnight.
Here’s the fine print:
Tickets are valid any one day from August 10th – 28th, 2014
Tickets must be purchased on Thursday, August 7th from 12:00 AM through 11:59 PM
This incredible offer is only available online
Click Here to purchase tickets. PLEASE NOTE: This link will not work until 12:00 AM tonight, an error code will pop up until that time.
We will see you at the park!
The kids and I were on an adventure last summer. We were headed to Manitoulin Island to see my friend Christine. After a long drive from Clifford we finally pulled into the holding area for the cars waiting to get on the Ferry.
The kids immediately jumped out of the car and ran towards the wharf to feed the ducks and watch the boats. Just as I closed my car door, the car behind me bumped into the back of my car. Thankfully, that car was going 10 km s or less, when it hit my car. I was even more thankful, that my children were not standing behind my car as the driver of the car, who was checking his text messages, would not have seen my children standing behind my vehicle. We checked out the minimal damage, just a scratch really and everyone seemed fine as we walked over to the grocery store to pick up snacks for the boat.
Later on as we enjoyed the quiet sailing across Georgian Bay, we entered the on board gift shop. KT, who had earned money helping me clean out the pool, bought some trinkets for herself as the other two picked out their favourite items.
Later on that evening as we settled in for the night, after the two littlest Guthrie’s had fallen asleep, KT said she had questions.
“Mommy you know today, when that car bumped our car?”
Yes, honey…but no one was hurt, everyone is OK.
“I know Mommy, but I wanted to give you this because you drive all the time and I always want you to come home.”
Don’t worry KT, I’ll always come home.
“Mommy, you don’t text and drive ….right?”
No honey, no I don’t.
Even though it was a very small bump, it had effected my oldest as she knew what could have happened. I promised myself that I would keep my phone in the middle council of the car when I was driving because it is too much of a distraction for me. I made a promise to my daughter I would come home each night and I intend to keep it.
The folks at CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) and other traffic safety partners have come together to launch a six week long education and awareness campaign (July 29 – Sept 12 ). They are urging all drivers to make a promise. It’s simple, go online to caasco.com/focus and promise to your family and friends to focus on the road.
A couple of simple facts made my Promise to Focus on the Road an easy one to make:
1. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of collisions and easily one of the most avoidable.
2. Distractions can come from almost anything that makes you look away from the road. A split second is all it takes to dramatically change the rest of your life.
3. Driving requires your full attention. Losing your focus on the road can lead to weaving in an out of your lane, missing a traffic sign and putting yourself, passengers and others at risk.
Are you ready to make the promise to end distracted driving?
As painful as it is to type, summer is officially half over. On September 2nd, 2014 we will all officially be heading back to school. We have spent much of this month at my parents home in my home town of Clifford, Ontario. I have spent time with public school, high school and friends made through athletics and via summer jobs.
The truly shocking part has been how wonderfully our children get along. It is a very surreal experience to see how the next generation interacts, so very similar to how I did in my youth, with he offspring of those I shared my hopes, dreams and shed tears with so very long ago.
Talk about eating my words, this past week I tweeted that I was avoiding seeing the movie Planes. Just days later here I am at the Hanover Drive-In, watching it on the large screen old-school style while my son sits in his Planes tent, cuddled in his Planes sleeping bag and holding onto his Planes lantern. Nothing says summer in Southern, Ontario like a drive in on a Friday night and me being wrong.
July has also brought many road trips and mini breaks along with way. Trying to keep my children occupied has been challenging. DD 10 has taken up photography , this is one of her favourites so far.
Yes, I know. This is my best side.
I am sending everyone good thoughts as we embark on the last half of the summer. Thank you for following along with our #GuthrieFamilyAdventure.
Are you looking for something fun & easy to participate in for the month of August consider adding your pictures to our Awesome August #AfLKids Instagram Photo Challenge. Follow @ActiveForLifeca on Instagram, check out the daily action word for inspiration and post with the #AfLkids hashtag and you are entered to win Active for Life Swag.