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.
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.
Check out our amazing August #AfLkids Instagram Challenge!
After the thrilling success of our Twitter and Facebook parties we are very excited about having some more social media fun with our Active for Life community, but this time on Instagram. We hope you and your friends will join us for an activity-filled August, please help us spread the word.
Every day this month, simply check out that day’s activity keyword e.g. “jump” & snap a photo of your kids doing that movement e.g. jumping in puddles, jumping off rocks, jumping in the water, on the ground, whatever you and they want to do!
Summer can either be a wonderful time spent moving and exploring outdoors or it can be challenging to get kids off the couch and away from their electronics. Add a little physical activity to your daily routine, become a role model for others looking for inspiration to get their own children moving, and connect with a fun community who values raising active kids.
How you can join:
Follow @activeforlifeca on Instagram. We’ll be posting a daily reminder photo of each movement on our Instagram
Each day, snap a photo of your child doing the movement then, follow and
tag @activeforlifeca and add the hashtag #AfLKids in your caption.
Search for the #AfLkids hashtag to find others joining and following along with the fun!
There will be random draws and fun surprises all month long.
Not only will you get your family more active, make friends, and have fun, but your name could be drawn to win Active for Life swag and other surprises along the way.
Have fun and we will see you on Instagram!
ARe you ready
Are you ready?
Living in the Ottawa region has many advantages. One of those advantages is living close enough to New York State, that a trip to the US can be an afternoon day trip or an overnight adventure.
Destiny USA is less than a two hour drive from Ottawa, in Upper New York state. This family destination has hundreds of shops, various restaurants and many activities for families to enjoy.
The Destiny USA Summer Fun Day Pass gives families the opportunity to experience four great attractions for one low price. There are nine amazing entertainment venues at Destiny USA that are working together to give your family a summer of fun and great new experiences at the same time helping you save money on your adventures. The Destiny USA Summer Fun Pass give you access to four entertainment venues of your choosing.
You can choose from:
The Guthrie children have decided that the Canyon Climb adventure is our first stop, followed closely by Pole Position. Since we are making a day of it, we will be staying at one of Destiny USA’s hotel partners. We are fans of the Marriott family of hotels and the Marriott Courtyard is perfect for our family. Check out the Destiny USA site for directions, packages and more accommodation choices.
Having children ranging in ages from 5 – 10, it is difficult to find activities that are appropriate for everyone. Destiny USA offers free Tykes Tuesday program. Every Tuesday through August 26th, in the Canyon Area at Destiny USA, from noon to 2 p.m., there will be exciting free entertainment including a magician and hands on gymnastics demonstrations.
In conjunction with the Tyke Tuesday and Regal Summer Movie Express, at 10 a.m., families can enjoy PG-raged movies for only $1. This is a perfect solution to the “I don’t want to shop anymore” complaint from my five-year old son.
I am giving away 2 Destiny USA Summer Fun Day vouchers. Each voucher is good for 2 passes. One winner will walk away with 4 Destiny USA Summer Fun Day passes. I will contact the winner via email on August 11th, 2014. The passes expire on August 31st, 2014.
To enter please tell me which of the 9 Destiny USA Summer Fun Day adventures your children would enjoy the most? You can enter once a day.
I might have an issue with my kitchen. As strange as it sounds I love waking up each morning to an empty sink as well as clean & dish free counters. It starts my morning off on a good foot and makes me feel a little less frantic.
However, cleaning my kitchen is the last thing I want to do each night just before bed. Scotch-Brite contacted me about their new line of kitchen cleaning products designed to help make clean up less of chore.
Scotch-Brite has two new Ultra Scrub Sponges to rid the mess in my kitchen. The new Ultra Appliance Scrub Sponge targets my microwave and toaster oven messes. One side scours away the mess and the other side wipes the appliance clean. I throw the sponge in my dishwasher after each use to rinse the bacteria away and reuse over and over again.
I also used the Ultra Stainless Steel Sink Rejuvenator which shines worn out sinks, which leaves my kitchen sink spick and span, at least until the next meal. I have also found this sponge particularly useful at the cottage with burnt on grime from the campfire cooking. It brings my pots back to the original shine with little effort.
The entire line up of Scotch-Brite Stay Clean was impressive. However, even more impressive was how my AndiePandie got involved in the cleaning process. She is an experimenter at heart, just like her Dad the chemical engineer. AndiePandie wanted to see if Scotch-Brite Dishwand actually worked. While she was testing, all the leftover dishes from our spaghetti supper ended up sparkly clean. A complete win-win situation if you ask me!
I will be giving away a Scotch-Brite prize pack to one of my readers. This is the same prize pack I received and it is chock full of all the tools you need to keep your kitchen clean. Just in case you don’t win, I also have a coupon for my readers to use to purchase one of the handy Scotch-Brite Stay Clean tools for your own kitchen.
Leave a comment letting me know which Scotch-Brite Stay Clean tool you are most excited to try? You can enter once per day! I will email the winner on August 11th, 2014.
Swimming, gymnastics, running, and kayaking…you name it and my family and I are doing it! We are a busy family and one of the problems we face is eating healthy food on the go. We already pack fresh fruits & veggies for our commute between events, but we were missing the protein needed to keep our bodies functioning efficiently. The girls and I recently tried Maple Leaf Natural Selections Protinis snacks.
The easy to open and compact Protinis gives a powerful protein punch especially when the girls are training for gymnastics events & swim meets. KT enjoyed the Oven Roasted Chicken with Mango, AndiePandie thought the Oven Roasted Chicken and Apple was the perfect snack during breaks at the club and I enjoyed the Mild Salsa Chicken as my snack of choice.
The new PROTINIS™ snacks are available in eight flavours including Oven Roasted Chicken, Sweet Thai Chili Chicken, Mild Salsa Chicken, Honey Garlic Chicken, Oven Roasted Chicken and Cranberry, Oven Roasted Chicken and Superfruit, Oven Roasted Chicken and Mango, and Oven Roasted Chicken and Apple. They are available at major grocery stores across Canada and retail for approximately $4.99. Each retail pack comes with two PROTINIS™ snacks.
I would love to know what you think of Protinis! I will be giving 2 of my lucky readers, 5 free product coupons to test out these tasty protein packed snacks.
Beckett even decided to try a Protinis on his last field trip. His teacher made a comment to him about how healthy his snack was, he was very proud!
Just leave a comment and tell me what is your favourite on the go snack? You can enter once per day!
For an extra entries:
1. Follow me on Instagram and leave a comment with your handle.
2. Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment with your handle.
3. Like my Facebook Fan Page and leave me a comment that you did!
Thanks for entering, the winners will be chosen on June 30th and notified by email.