Tuesday, December 23, 2014

He Knows if You've Been Bad or Good - PNP

At this time of year a lot of us can get away with reminding our kids that "he" is watching.  But how much fun would it be for the kids to actually get to hear from the man in red himself?!?




The Portable North Pole is a fun way to bring the magic home.  Your kids can receive a FREE personalized video from Santa.  You can upload 2 photos and include a gift that is on your child's Santa List.  These videos are so quick to make and my kids LOVE having Santa talk directly to them.




There are great features on the site including:


  • Stories you can read with your children
  • Behind the scenes information about Santa, the reindeer and the elves
  • Colouring pages
  • Additional general videos from Santa

You can upgrade to a Premium version.  The Premium option is great for families with more than one child because it offers 3 different storylines and additional options to upload more photos and personalize the video even more. This means your kids can each have a slightly different message from Santa.  The Premium video is longer than the free version and has extra scenes from Santa's Village.  A portion of the cost of the Premium video goes to a Children's Hospital in your area.  That's a win/win!

I've got a coupon for my Creative Mama Readers to save 20% off any paid products you upgrade to at the Portable North Pole.  Use promotional code BLG20BKP.

These are honestly so easy and fast to make and the kids just LOVE them.
I hope you all have a magical Christmas!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Black Friday Deals & Giving Back at the Body Shop

I love a good deal, I love giving back, I love giving people and hand-up and I love the Body Shop.

On Black Friday (that's this Friday), stop by your local Body Shop and pick up The Body Shop's tote bag filled with 8 customer favourites for only $30 (worth $120).  



The Tote contains:
  • The Body Shop Shea Body Butter
  • Strawberry Shower Gel
  • Vitamin E Moisture Cream
  • Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
  • Satsuma Body Polish
  • Satsuma Body Sorbet
  • Hemp Hand Protector 
  • A Bath Lily
What is great about this is that you can keep the tote or give it as a gift.  You can keep some of the products or group a few together for a great teacher or hostess gift.  This saves you money but it does something even better!

What makes this an extra awesome purchase is that The Body Shop Community Fair Trade partner, Teddy Exports, in India has produced the tote bags this year. Teddy Exports employs 70% female workers and provides them with a safe and friendly work environment. They also provide childcare and education for their children. Pretty awesome!

The Black Friday tote being made in India with the help of 2 employees from The Body Shop. 


Hurry in though. The tote bag is only available while supplies last. Race you there!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#Win a Family Pass to "It's a Wonderful Life" at #Cineplex

It IS a wonderful life and it is wonderful to be able to share this classic film with your family.  I love watching old holiday classics.  This is a tradition with my dad.  So whether your family is you, a spouse and your kids, or you and 3 of your closest friends it doesn't matter.  The holidays are about spending time with those you love.



I have 2 sets of 4-passes to see a screening of "It's a Wonderful Life" at any Cineplex theatre across Canada.  The movie is playing December 20th, 22nd, and 24th.  You can pick which date to attend.

Go back in time with Donna Reed, Henry Travers, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore and Thomas Mitchell as they light up this film.  Enjoy remembering the first time you saw this angel help the compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.  A true holiday classic!

Enter below for your chance to win these tickets courtesy of Cineplex Front Row Centre Events.


Giveaway:


Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to Holiday Shop & Spend No Money!

December is an expensive month in our house. Not only do we have Christmas but we also have my daughter's birthday. What does she want more than anything in the world this year? An American Girl doll. Now, I almost choke at the price but I also know that kids are growing up fast these days and the years are numbered before she's asking for a phone or the keys to the car so I'm holding onto this time tightly and relishing the fact that my baby girl (turning 10) wants a doll. That being said, as a savvy shopper, a frugal momma and someone who LOVES a great deal - I'm getting my daughter's American Girl doll for free! Yes, you read that correctly, FREE.



The best thing is, I didn't win it, I wasn't gifted it for the blog, it is something that anyone who is an RBC Rewards member can do too. This year I planned for the holidays by shopping for the things we needed all year long and putting them all on our RBC Visa card. This allowed me to accumulate RBC Rewards points. Now I'm taking advantage of my RBC Rewards points that I earned, to ease the financial burden of my holiday shopping.




Not only will I be able to get my daughter's birthday gift, I can get the teacher's gifts, hostess gifts, some holiday decorating done too and not spend a dime.  Here's a breakdown of my plan.


Teacher's Gifts: 

  • $25 Starbucks Gift Card  - 3000 points
  • $25 Indigo Gift Card - 3000 points

Hostess Gifts:

  • $25 Bath & BodyWorks Gift Card to purchase nice candles and soaps - 3000 points
  • $5 Me to We "Thank You" Cards - 6500 points

Babysitter's Gift:

  • $25 iTunes Gift Card - 3000 points

Daughter's Gift:

  • $120 American Girl Beforever Samantha Doll & Book - 17,000 points

Holiday Decorating:

  • $50 Homesense Card -  6000 points


Holiday Shopping Value = $275  vs. Money Spent = $0


Okay, so the iMac Retina (on my wish list) is not quite within my grasp yet but I can start growing my points now and maybe later this year I'll be able to log back into RBC Rewards and get it. 



Also, with over 100,000 items from Best Buy and Future Shop, as well as gift cards for over 40 popular retailers and access to merchandise from top brands and designers such as KitchenAid, Miele, Michael Kors, Pandora, Melissa & Doug, LEGO, Taylor Made and Calloway, I know I can find something for everyone on my list. Better yet, I can do it in my jammies in the evening after the kids have gone to bed which trust me, makes keeping the magic of "Santa" a lot easier as the kids get older. I love that I even earn bonus RBC Rewards points when I shop online through the RBC Rewards eMall (see, I’m building up for my iMac).





So savvy shoppers, here are some key things to remember to help you save money and create your holidays "on a dime":


Make Your List:

Check out the The RBC Rewards Holiday site to see their offers, special features and gift ideas.


Shop Early & Save:

Many of the retailers are offering early holiday shopping deals. This means that you redeem less points for these items which leaves you more points for other items on your wish list!


Take advantage of Black Friday:

Starting Black Friday (November 28) to Cyber Monday (December 1) the majority of retailers at the RBC Rewards eMall will be offering bonus points. This is key in allowing you to earn points faster which means more shopping later!


RBC Rewards Giveaway:

Throughout the holiday season RBC will be running a Not-So-Secret Santa Giveaway on Facebook. Comment on their post and tag a friend who would like the featured item for a chance to win. 3 people will be selected to win each item, plus the nominator of the winner will receive 5000 bonus RBC Rewards points!

Giveaway Dates & Items:
  • November 21 - KitchenAid Mixer
  • December 5 – DeWalt Drill & Saw
  • December 9 – GoPro4 bundle

As you all know, I love saving money and saving money at the holidays is even more exciting and important. RBC Rewards is MY holiday shopping destination, make it yours too!

This post was brought to you by RBC Rewards, but the opinions are my own.
For more information, please visit www.rbcrewards.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Candy Crush - Christmas Edition

I have a candy crush and it is especially rampant at this time of year. In my mind there is nothing better than a good old fashioned candy cane! They signal the start of the holiday season, family gatherings, and some delicious eating.




When I was little my family would hang candy canes on the tree. Of course my brother and I would always sneak a few throughout the season but at the when New Years came around and the tree was taken down there were always a few left.


Not being one who likes throwing out perfectly good food (you can ask my kids about that), I thought I'd put together a gallery of ideas for using or reusing these delightful holiday candies. Some use new Candy canes, some can use old leftover ones. All of them look fantastic! Link through under the photos for instructions.





Peppermint Mocha:

Mmmmm...the holidays are all about peppermint and chocolate, aren't they? Okay - in my mind I guess. This is the perfect drink to whip up when you come in from the cold. Got kids and don't want them drinking coffee, just omit it and make theirs a peppermint hot chocolate!


Image & Idea: A Night Owl Blog



Peppermint Reindeer:

These will put smiles on the faces of everyone who receives them. I love the built in antlers that the hooks on the candy canes create. Rudolph never looked so good!

Image & Idea: By Stephanie Lynn



Holiday Bark:

It doesn't get much easier than this! This is perfect for those broken canes that you inevitably end up with. They taste just as good and the finished product is perfect to give as a hostess or teacher gift.

Image & Idea: The Frugal Girls


I ️ Xmas Lollipops:


These look impressive and are great for a bake sale at the church or to stick onto a gift. Won't the kids love them at their next holiday party too! Show people your candy crush with these adorable lollipops!



Starbucks Inspired Peppermint Brownie Pops:

I know I'm not the only one who looks at Starbucks goodies and drools. Here's a way to use your leftover candy canes and make a dessert that is sure to wow any crowd. Pssst...it is really easy!

Image & Idea: &Sweet



Peppermint Candy Cane Milkshakes:

I live in the coldest place on earth (okay, not really but I hate the cold so it feels like that to me) but not everyone has cold Christmases. These peppermint milkshakes might be the perfect alternative to a cup of hot chocolate for those seeking refuge from the warmth (I'm so jealous).







Candy Cane Vases:

By adhering Candy canes to the outside of a low vase you create something bright, colourful and festive! A little red ribbon tied around the candy canes takes it from great to amazing!

Image & Idea: Ecopolitan Bride


This amazing version uses candy cane sticks and sandwiches them between the outer beautiful, decorative bowl and an inner bowl (doesn't have to be beautiful) so that it looks like the flowers are actually in with the candy canes but in reality your candy canes are safe from the effects of water.



Image & Idea: Pinky Girl



Holiday Name Holders:

You've made the perfect meal and set a beautiful table. You don't want to leave dinner conversation up to fate. Put together these adorable name holders and let the seating arrangements begin!


Image & Idea: Fun Holiday Crafts



Peppermint Pretzel Wands:

This is an amazing treat. Sweet and Salty!!!! YUM!!! It really couldn't be any simpler and if you have pretzel sticks on hand you can whip up a batch in minutes. Don't have pretzel sticks, substitute pretzels, Oreos, shortbread or biscotti. Mmmm...I'm getting hungry.





Peppermint Vodka:

Well, it just wouldn't be Christmas without a little Christmas cheer would it? Super simple and very festive. You'll be the most popular bartender in town with this concoction. Dress up the jar and you could even take this as your hostess gift to one of the many holiday parties you'll be invited to.

Image & Idea: The Speckled Palate



So don't throw out those old candy canes, in fact, stock up on more this year and try out some of these festive ideas. Happy Holidays!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Win Tickets to Big Apple Circus

Take your family to the circus in NYC without ever leaving your hometown!

On Saturday, November 8th, 2014, for the first time in its 37 year history, New York’s original one-ring circus Big Apple Circus comes to the big screen with a brand new show, METAMORPHOSIS.



In this live-streamed performance, audiences will experience performers from the U.S., Russia, France and Mongolia, in an array of classical circus artistry such as clowning, juggling, acrobatics and equestrianism (with completely animal-friendly acts).

Date:  Saturday November 8, 2014

Location: Cineplex Theatres across Canada 


Runtime: 2 hr

Admission prices:
Adult: $14.95
Senior: $12.95
Child: $12.95

GIVEAWAY:


Cineplex Front Row Centre Events has provided me 2 Family Passes (4 tickets each) to the screening to share with YOU, my loyal readers. Big Apple Circus' METAMORPHOSIS will be screening in participating theatres across Canada on Saturday, November 8th.  Enter below for your chance to win tickets for you and your family!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 29, 2014

Back to School with OshKosh & Carters #Giveaway

Just like everyone else's kids, my kids like to get new clothes to start the school year.


For me though, the thought of spending our last few days of summer in the mall makes me sad; we'll be spending the next 9 months indoors. That is why I was so excited to see that Carter's | OshKosh B'gosh now have a Canadian website.  My kids have literally been wearing OshKosh and Carter's since the day they were born!


I have always loved the way the clothes wear.  Kids can be tough on clothes but they have always held up well in the playground and when I've had to scrub those grass stains or ice cream spills.  I've also loved the styling and adorable prints.

Love the vintage prints and camo influence!

I must say, my kids seem to care a lot less about well wearing fabrics and nostalgia than I do but they care A LOT about style, comfort and fitting in on the playground.  They were so excited to pick out their new clothes online and of course the anticipation of that package being delivered always helps a mom out.

Layering and mix & match - my fave way to save $.

My daughter automatically gravitated to the new activewear line of clothes for girls.  She picked out a neon top and bottom that are sure to grab attention.  She liked the colour and comfy factor, I like the positive messages on the shirts.  I also love mixing and matching because it means more outfits with less clothes...that's the "on a dime" kinda mom I am.


Of course, being a girl the shopping couldn't stop there.  She picked out the chambray tunic and leggings below as well.  These make a great layering outfit which I love because it will take her from right now, the end of summer, all the way through the fall and into winter with just a sweater, hoodie or jean jacket.

Casual, comfy and coordinated - it's easy to look put-together.
She even threw in these adorable "Ugg" type Sherpa boots with a little bling for good measure.

Only $25 - can you believe it?!?

My son isn't that into layering (even though I WISH he'd wear an outfit like the ones below left). For him it is all about comfort and readiness to play any sport that comes his way.  That being said, you can still put together a super cute outfit that fits his needs and my sense of style.  Throwing on a hoodie or an OshKosh jean jacket makes this a great transitional outfit too.



I know that when I shop for myself online I get nervous at the checkout because of shipping fees but that was one of the things I liked best about shopping at the new Carter's | OshKosh B'gosh Canadian website - FLAT FEE shipping and only $8.  So, even when I added the boots (and a scarf, hat, socks, and hairbands) I knew exactly what the shipping fee would be and let's face it, between gas to get to the mall, impulse purchases and snacks for the kids while we're there, I probably came out ahead.



Even better, you can return your purchase to any of the Canadian Carter's | OshKosh B'gosh store locations or you can mail it back.  No hassles, no worries.

Giveaway:


Well, I can't just tempt you with all these adorable outfits and not give you a chance to WIN something!!!  Carter's | OshKosh B'gosh is giving readers of Creative Mama on a Dime the chance to win a $50 CDN VISA gift card to use on the Carter's | OshKosh B'gosh Canadian website.  Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck in the contest and wishing you all a great back to school experience!

Disclosure Statement
Carter’s | OshKosh B’gosh partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote their back-to-school season. As part of the program, I received products or gift cards. Carter’s believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Carter’s provided me with information on promotions and messaging concepts, but did not tell me what to purchase or what to write in my blog or what to say about the products I used. The winner of any giveaway in this program will be randomly chosen and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

5 Amazing Summer Backyard Activities!

Summer is just around the corner and it is time to get ready for some fun. Turn your backyard into a fun-filled oasis for your kids and their friends.  






Sponge Ball Water Fight:

This is such an inexpensive game that is sure to provide hours of fun during the hot summer months. 


Image: Create.Craft.Love

You can pick up all the materials at the dollar store!

Materials Needed:


  • Sponges - 3 sponges per ball
  • Hair ties
  • Scissors
  • Bucket

Instructions:

These sponge balls are simple to make and Jill at Create.Craft.Love has great photos of each step.  Head over to her blog for full instructions.



Angry Birds Course:

Start keeping all those boxes because you'll need them for this fun backyard game that gets kids away from the screen but still playing their favourite game.


Image: Kara's Party Ideas

You can either make a catapult to make your backyard game as close to the real game as possible or simply let the kids throw the balls at the boxes for an easier, quicker game.



Materials Needed:


  • Cardboard boxes - multiple sizes
  • Multiple size balls
    • Dry eraser marker
    • Acryllic paint
    • Primer
    • Paint brushes
    • Black paint pens 
    • Sealant
  • Catapult (if using) - instructions here
Note:  If the process of making your birds and pigs is too much and you feel that the project is just too involved, use permanent markers to draw the faces.  It won't be as durable but it might be less stressful.

Instructions:


Creating your own Angry Birds course can be as involved or as simple as you want to make it.  You can paint the boxes, create amazing birds, build a permanent sling shot in your backyard or you can keep it simple and still have loads of fun.  Maegan at Simply Styled Home has amazing instructions for creating awesome Angry Bird Balls and even instructions for building your very own catapult to fling those birds.  



The Water Blob:

This is such a fun idea for the kids if you don't have a pool but they're always clammering for water fun. Create your own giant water blob in under 30 minutes that they can run on, jump on, roll around and get crazy on. 

Image: Homemade Toast

Make it even more fun by hooking up your sprinkler beside it and now you've got an amazingly fun slip-and-slide in your backyard.


Materials Needed:

  • Painter’s plastic *4 mil*
  • Ironing board and iron
  • Parchment paper
  • Duct tape – optional, for sealing the hole for the hose
Note:   Make sure to get the 4 mil painter's plastic as it is thicker & more durable.

Instructions:

I love this version of the backyard blob (you will find many on Pinterest) because the iron seals the blob closed and therefore reduces the likelihood of leaks.  Duct tape alone can spring leaks but you will need some for taping up the hole for your hose.  For full instructions, check out Homemade Toast.


Obstacle Course:

This could be set up at a cottage, in the backyard or even in a park.  If you set it up somewhere the kids can use it over and over again then they could even work on improving their time over the summer.  Great for kids of all ages.

Image: Under the Sycamore

Materials Needed:

This one depends a little on exactly what you want to do and how much room you have but here are some ideas.
  • String
  • Old tires
  • Caution Tape
  • Empty large sized cardboard boxes
  • Hay bails
  • Pylons
  • Logs

Instructions:

Decide on a location and get creative.  Tie ropes between trees at various heights and angles.  Pile some logs on top of eachother that the kids must get over, place cardboard boxes on their sides so the kids must run through them.  Put old tires on the ground that the kids must dash through as if they're training for the NFL. Spread hay bails along the course that the kids must hurdle themselves over.  The more creative you can be, the more fun the kids will have.  Heck, you can even throw in a mud pit or a sand pit if you want.  For some great photo inspiration, check out Under the Sycamore.

Reading Oasis:

Sometimes in the summer you just need somewhere to chill and get away from all the action.  This reading hideout is just the spot.

Image: The Craft Nest

Materials Needed:

  • Hula Hoop 
  • Safety Pins
  • Twine or Rope
  • Sheets (or tie tab curtains - see note below)
  • Scissors
  • Cushions and Blankets
  • Tulle and/or Ribbon (optional for decoration)
Note:  This version calls for you to attach the sheet to the hula hoop with safety pins but you could purchase inexpensive tie tab curtains (and you'd get two in package most likely) and just tie them on instead.

Instructions:

This really couldn't be any simpler and the kids could help you make them and personalize them by choosing the sheets and with their own ribbon decorations.  For easy to follow instructions, visit the Craft Nest.


I hope you enjoy!


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