Living, Laughing & Experiencing Life in Canada's Capital Region

Category Archives: Product Reviews

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.

 

BTS_Backpack_Campaign_ElementarySchool-1 BTS_Backpack_Campaign_HighSchool-1 BTS_Backpack_Campaign_Preschool

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.


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.

ScotchBriteLogo

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.

#CleanFeelsGood

#CleanFeelsGood

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.

#CleanFeelsGood

#CleanFeelsGood

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.

We have soapy dishes! Success #scotchbrite

A post shared by Sherrie Guthrie (@goodkarmababy) on

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!

Helping me clean! #scotch-brite #summer2014

A post shared by Sherrie Guthrie (@goodkarmababy) on

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.

Win this Scotch-Brite Prize Pack!

Win this Scotch-Brite Prize Pack!

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.

 


This summer the Guthrie kids are testing out the best toys the Summer of 2014 has to offer. With three children under ten, we have a wide variety of likes and interests. Luckily we have found toys that make all of the mini-me’s happy.

All three Guthrie’s wanted either a puppy, guinea pig, kitten or a new baby brother (WHAT?). A compromise needed to be reached in order to bring order back into our home.

We decided to add some aquatic members to our family. Meet the two newest members of our swimming family,

Orangie

 

and Bubble Puffy Guthrie.

 

 

We named our Hexbug Aquabot Orangie and she is the first waterborne mirco robotic creature with smart fish technology. She is powered with electro-magnietic propoulsion, and propells herself around her bowl to explore her envormonement. Orangie came with her own bowl that the kids clean once a week as part of their chores.

The only issue the kids had with Orangie was that they thought she was lonely. So our next pet needed to be someone to keep Orangie  company. We decided on another Hexbug, this time a Aquabot 2.0 Angelfish, named Bubble Puffy Guthrie,  which is packed with smart fish technology, added sensors and an inner glow that makes her seem even more alive.

We have taken our Aquabot in the our pool and raced them, most of the time Bubble Puffy wins. Both fish made the trek to Grandma’s house this summer and have provided entertainment for the cats who live here.

Thanks to Hexbug for allowing us to test these hot summer products. These fish have quelled the “Can I have a puppy, kitten, new baby brother”,  question at least for a little while.

hexbug

 

 


Orleans Grand Opening

Orleans Grand Opening

Toys“R”Us invites families to participate in grand opening festivities on Saturday, July 12 at 9:30am for the official grand opening of our new Orleans location!

Toys“R”Us invites families to take part in grand opening festivities. Meet Geoffrey the Giraffe and enjoy a fun-filled day with fun activities, face painting, costume characters, exclusive deals, giveaways, and much more! The first 200 families to arrive will receive a mystery gift card valued from $5 to $100.

toys_r_us_giraffe.03

Barb Hall the District Manager of Toys“R”Us, Canada will be present for the ribbon cutting ceremoney which takes place at 9:30 am.  The festivities will take place at 3742 Innes Road in Orleans, Ontario. I hope to see you there! 

 

Sherrie-Mae


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.

#PROTNIS

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.


#Protinis


I completely feel like the parent in this commercial, running from practice to practice and consistently being late!

 

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.

#protinis

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!

#protinis

 

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!

 

Take a moment to find out more about Maple Leaf Products on their Facebook Fan Page & Twitter social media channels. You can follow along with the conversation by using the hashtag #Protinis.

Thanks for entering, the winners will be chosen on June 30th and notified by email.


Cottage season is here and the Guthrie family is prepping for another fantastic summer on the lake.  Cooking at our cottage can be a challenge depending on the size of the crowd. As I would rather spend more time on the dock than in the kitchen, I’ve created some easy cottage recipes that save time without sacrificing taste.

Beckett vs The Fish

Beckett vs the fish

We have been testing two separate dishes using the very adaptable Demptster’s  Ancient Grain Tortillas for our first cottage weekend.  The first recipe is one that the kids can and the second can be created completely on the BBQ.

 

Dempster Ancient Grain Tortilla

Yummy, easy to make on the BBQ.

 

I prep everything we need to create the perfect hassle free cottage pizza including slicing the peppers & mushrooms, shredding the cheese and pre making our homemade pizza sauce. The kids then chose their own toppings and place everything onto a Demptster’s  Ancient Grain Tortilla. Beckett gives this two thumbs up!

 

 

Cottage Hack Pizza

Good Pizza = Happy Kids

Sherrie-Mae’s Home Pizza Sauce

250 ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 small can of tomato paste ( low salt option is best)

1 roasted garlic clove (medium)

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 tbsp dried Oregano, Basil & Rosemary

Salt & Pepper to taste

There is no cooking needed for this recipe. I mix everything in a mason jar the night before we go to the cottage & we spread it on the tortillas just before we pop the cottage hack pizza into the oven or on the BBQ. Just perfect.

 

The next cottage hack recipe is a family favourite. In order to make my time at the cottage less about working & more about enjoying our time together as a family I prep everything at home. I prep the pork roast the evening before by removing any excess fat & salt and pepper to taste and place in a sealed container in the fridge for a transport to the cottage.

Cottage Crowd Pleaser!

BBQ Pork Loin with Maple Syrup Marinade on a bed of Mexican rice & spring mix on a toasted Ancient Grain Tortilla

 Sherrie-Mae’s Maple Dijon Marinade 

125 ml Canadian Maple Syrup (dark)

25 ml Apple Cider Vinegar

10 ml Yellow Mustard 

10 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pinch of Brown Sugar

Salt & Pepper to taste

I simply combine all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake until well mixed. Once the pork loin is on the BBQ I brush on the marinade onto each side of the pork loin. I also slightly toast the tortilla on the BBQ to give it a crunchy texture. The unused marinade can be mixed with balsamic vinegar for a light salad dressing.

If you are interested in finding out more about the versatile tortillas I used in my cottage hack recipes, follow along on the Dempster’s social media channels. You can follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Enjoy and let me know if you tried these recipes at our cottage!

Sherrie-Mae 

 


Spring is finally here and the entire Guthrie family is finally spending more time outside in the sunshine. We enjoy spending time together as a family, walking our dogs Snickers & Easton during the warm spring days. When the children were little one of the biggest challenges we found, while walking our dogs, was maneuvering the dog leashes around the pram or stroller wheels.

 

When we has our oldest daughter we had no clue what we needed, so we bought a hugely over priced & oversized pram. It was almost impossible to go for a walk without stopping to untangle the dog’s leashes from the pram wheels. When our second daughter came along,  we gave up on strollers all together and used baby carriers. Our problem then became making sure the baby did not fall into the dog poop as we scooped our pups poop.

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Can we go for a walk now?

Recently, as I was searching for a baby shower gift for a colleague, I came across a review opportunity for the SmarTrike® 4-in-1 Touch Steering Chic Tricycle. I was able to test this product and was immediately impressed by how easy it was to steer, the ability to switch between parent controlled with only the push of a button and the longevity of the product. I wish I had found this product just a few years earlier, I know this trike would have made a huge difference in our family dog walking experiences.

Great News! I am giving you, my readers, a chance to win the SmarTrike Chic in your choice of either  Pink or Black.

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SmarTrike® 4-in-1 Touch Steering Chic Tricycle

The 4-in-1 Touch Steering Chic tricycle is SmarTrike’s premium tricycle offering both parent and child the ultimate outdoor experience. Equipped with SmarTrike’s patented Touch Steering technology, the Chic enables parents to steer the trike just like a stroller, directing it easily in any direction with the lightest touch of the parent handle.

chic

Its red navigator button allows for easy transition from parent steering control to child steering control. Its 4-in-1 capability allows the trike to grow with your child featuring 4 stages for children from the age of 10 months up to 3 years old. The stages include: Stage One – Parent-controlled trike: At 10 months, the baby is comfortably seated in the high back padded seat with full control in the parents hands. Stage Two – Guided trike: At 18 months, the back support is removed while still being fully controlled by the parent. Stage Three – Training trike: At 24 months, the footrest is folded in and the child learns how to pedal. Stage Four – Classic trike: At 36 months, the parent handle is removed and the child can ride independently. The SmarTrike Chic comes in two colours (black and pink) and includes several accessories including: telescopic parent handle, extendable UV protective canopy, bottle holder, toy phone, storage compartments and more. Age: 10 months – 3 years old MSRP: $169.99.

pink

Entry is simple! Leave me a comment with the best piece of advice you have for new parents who want to get outside and active with their little ones? (one entry per day)

For bonus entries:
1. Follow me on Instagram (SherrieGuthrie) then come back and tell me your handle so I can follow you.

3. Follow me on Twitter @SherrieMae23 and/or @PRMomOttawa then come back and tell me your handle so I can follow you.

3. Like my PR Mom Ottawa Facebook Fan Page.

4. Follow my PR Mom Ottawa blog.

That is a total of 5 bonus entries and you can comment on my post everyday!

 

The winner will be notified via email on May 24th, 2014. Good luck to everyone & happy Spring!

 

Sherrie-Mae 🙂



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