Archive for the ‘Review Things’ Category

mm_logo_wordmark_reverseI had to get the exciting bit out of the way first — I’ve been a fan of Mastermind Toys since my older guys were babies, ordering many toys from their online shop. They are now opening their third Ottawa location in Chapman Mills Marketplace.

They are throwing a party and we’re all invited!

Attend the Grand Opening celebrations at 71 Marketplace Ave, from July 10-13, 2014, and receive loot bags for your kids, a special offer for you, and participate in giveaways. Attentive staff will be on hand to help you and complimentary gift wrapping will be available all weekend.

Did I mention the cupcakes? Who can say no to cupcakes?! (PSA: cupcakes are on Saturday only.)

Mastermind Toys has published their list of Hot Summer Toys, and was kind enough to send us something to play with, too!IMG_0308 (more…)


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When we bought our house, 13 years ago, the one thing that bothered me most was the scary 1960’s, water-guzzling, olive green toilet in the bathroom. It was grotesque, it used so much water, and it was so, so ugly. About 3 years ago, we replaced it with a dual flush toilet, hoping to improve our water consumption and enjoying the smaller footprint of the new toilet in our tiny bathroom.

Nobody told me how easily they clogged, especially if you live in a house with older plumbing. Nobody told me how frustrating kids wiping their own butts would become. I had no idea until it was installed and we invested in two plungers, because one style wasn’t always enough to do the job. No cushy Cottonelle allowed in this house!


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My favourite childhood memories often involve being holed up with a book somewhere — on the beach, in a tent, in the chair in the corner of my parents’ living room while the rain poured outside. The love of a good book is a gift I want to pass along to my boys.

Every year, I take a great deal of pleasure in planning what books will be under the tree on Christmas morning. I start making my long list in January, cut it in half by August, and whittle it down to a dozen or so by November. Every year, I wait — watching them open them — to see which one they start first, which ones they can’t put down, and which ones linger until everything else has been read. I like to see if I’m right. I take note when I’m wrong.

Under the tree this year:

1. The Maze Runner Trilogy : My 11yr old is a big fan of The Hunger Games, and whipped through them faster than anything else I’ve seen him read. He started reading this trilogy on Christmas Day and finished the trilogy 2 weeks later.

He loves it and insists that I it is my turn to read it (which I will). He’s a big fan of dystopian literature.


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Mornings can be hard. Mornings are even harder when you are immersed in an environment of controlled chaos, with kids are loudly racing around making lunches and looking for school bags, and you brew your cup of coffee — liquid fortitude against the morning onslaught — and that first sip of hot coffee makes your front teeth throb.

When I was around age 10, I remember my Dad introducing me to his special toothpaste for sensitive teeth. My front teeth had taken to aching every time I had something very sweet or very cold. I didn’t care for the taste, but I couldn’t argue with the results. As I moved into my teens, I entered the world of orthodontics and discovered all the wonders of braces. (Yes, there’s a hefty dose of sarcasm, in case you missed it.) The braces left a whole new world of hurt when they were done and I renewed my relationship with my sensitive teeth.


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