Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Story ~ My son's an aspiring writer too!

Here's a little guest writer feature! The featured writer is my 9 year old son Gabriel.


On Halloween Night
One Halloween night I was getting ready to go trick or treating. I left the house with my friends. We decided that we would go to all the houses in the community including the haunted house. We were finally done all of the houses except the haunted house.

I was about to knock on the door when it went wide open by itself. We all shivered of fright. We went inside all of a sudden there was a loud crack it was a skull! We kept going. I tripped and fell. I got covered in something then I noticed it was blood. A werewolf jumped in front of us.

We ran as fast as our legs could take us but the werewolf was gaining on us. I tripped on a root and found something shiny. It was a pearl! The werewolf saw it and disappeared. We went to my house and sorted our candy. It was the scariest Halloween of my life!

Twilight Halloween Giveaway!

Fast becoming a Cult Classic the Twilight series has been a literary phenomenon! No other vampire series has appealed to such a large and diverse audience and no other author of a vampire series has brought humanity to the forefront and created such relatable characters. Twilight draws its readers into a story fraught with the feelings of love and lust and the concepts of good and evil. Readers become engrossed and emotionally attached to the characters in a way that becomes intensely personal! From teens to 30 something stay at home moms Stephanie Meyer has created a saga that transcends age, and even gender! Are you team Edward or Team Jacob? Hasn't everyone picked a side in this love story? I admit my best friend is the real Twilight Saga fan so this is for you Nichole;)

With the upcoming release of the movie New Moon approaching and in honour of Halloween Northern Mama would like to give away a special holiday treat! A Twilight Saga Collection box set which includes four full-colour collectible prints! But that's not all...I would also like to offer this lucky reader a Twilight "Grab Bag" {yes, a surprise bag of Twilight goodies} to accompany your reading material!
Addition: There will now be a second "grab Bag" for a second lucky winner!
(To see the reveals of the possible Grab bag contents click "Twilight Grab bag item" under the Labels menu {right sidebar} or look through the Review & Giveaway posts.)

Pictures in this post found on Google images {ABCnews and}
To Enter:
  • Follow Northern Mama {via google Friends Connect} OR Subscribe {via email}

Extra Entries:

  • Be or become a Northern Mama Facebook Fan
  • Follow on Twitter @ Northernmama35
  • Grab my Button
  • Tweet about this giveaway
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back here {please leave me the link to your post}

Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway closes November 17, 2009 10:00pm CT. For further details read Giveaway Rules.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Book Tour: The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault!

To mark my first Book Tour date with Pump Up Your Book Promotions it is with great pleasure that I bring you The Broken Teaglass a debut mystery novel of the most diverting kind by Emily Arsenault!

"Dear Ms. Fine,
We are flattered that you considered using our definition of love as a reading for your wedding. I'm sorry you were ultimately disappointed with our work.
It's important that I clarify one point, however. At Samuelson, we do not aim to define the limits of emotional experiences such as love,hate,faith,friendship,etc. We aim only to define what these words mean in standard English discourse. That is, what is generally meant by a speaker or writer when he utters or writes these words. If our definition is, as you say, "unromantic", it's because lexicography is, by nature, an unromantic exercise. Precise, clear, and thorough definition is the main objective--and the only objective. A definition could not possibly capture the sensations, the depth, or the variations of something like love as it is experienced by everyone lucky enough to encounter it. And isn't it best that even the most precise of words cannot capture such things?
Best wishes for your upcoming wedding.
Dan Wood
Samuelson Editorial Department" (Arsenault 2009:22-23)

Perhaps even dictionary editors know, words often transcend meaning but they are the tools we employ to tell the tales of our lives, detail our experiences, define ourselves! When Billy Webb, a recent college grad, stumbles upon unusual citations in the dusty, stuffy files of the dictionary publishing company that employs him he realizes a hidden story lies buried protected within the stacks, disguised as excerpts from The Broken Teaglass--a non-existent source.

A crossword of a mystery,word by word, clue by clue, the pieces lead to the discovery of an untold personal story of tragedy. The Broken Teaglass is a well-crafted mystery and a stunningly intelligent and original debut novel for Emily Arsenault. Arsenault has followed the age old advice given to writers "Write what you know" by creating the uniquely "academic" setting of a dictionary publisher's office, a place she knew well from her past experience as a lexicographer. This quirky and atypical backdrop conjures up a refreshing twist to the traditional mystery genre and presents the perfect venue for unlocking a word puzzle which slowly reveals a secret truth. A truth Billy and his intriguing co-worker Mona Minot {if that is her name} discover is hidden within us all! They discover we all have a carefully hidden tale which defines us!

Witty, revealing, and unique The Broken Teaglass is an intelligent and fun novel of suspenseful puzzling and relentless clue gathering. As a mystery fan and a lover of conundrums, I thoroughly enjoyed this fresh take on mystery and as an aside was fascinated by the inside look at lexicography--something I was so unfamiliar with before I would have had to employ a dictionary to define!

Emily Arsenault has worked as a lexicographer, an English teacher, a children's librarian, and a Peace Corps volunteer. She wrote The Broken Teaglass while living in rural South Africa, to pass the long, quiet evenings i her mud brick house. She now lives in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, with her husband.
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

How to Add whimsy to your Christmas Tree with Bossy's Feltworks ~ Review & Giveaway!

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose..." Christmas is about those cozy traditional, family moments that make us feel all warm and fuzzy within but commercialism and plastic glitz has taken over in recent years. Bossy's Feltworks puts the warm and fuzzy back into Christmas with homespun ornaments so endearing they tug at everyone's heart strings!

I love Christmas! Snuggling by a cozy fire watching the falling snow outside my window, baking cookies for Santa, and spending extra quality time with family. One of my favourite seasonal activities is carefully unpacking my cherished ornaments, my treasured Christmas decor. This year I have one more precious ornament to hang on my tree, a beautiful hand felted wool sheep created with meticulous care by the talented hands of Amy, Mandy, and Kari of Bossy's Feltworks.

Bossy's Feltworks is the cooperative effort of Amy Lum, Mandy Troxel, and Kari Van Gelder. Kari says, in 2006, they discovered felting needles and dove into a pile of wool from Amy's farm. Since then, they have continued to combine friendship, parenting, work, and craft into one big wool ball!
Their signature animal of course being the sheep, I was given a delicate and adorable white sheep ornament sporting a variegated purple and blue scarf to review which has fast become a favourite! Whimsy and home spun traditional charm are certainly inherent in its precious design. The ladies of Bossy's feltworks handcraft these classic darlings in a variety of charming forms. From fanciful flying pigs to amazing orca whales their unique wool creations add delight and character to transform any tree! These ornaments make unforgettable heartfelt gifts!

Among my favourites is the polar bear {of course everyone knows my affinity with this majestic creature}...I have several other favourites but would hate to spoil it for you. You will just have to visit Bossy's Feltworks, discover your own personal favourite, and enter to win an endearing Sheep Ornament {your choice of white, black, or black and white}which will be a conversation piece at your Christmas gathering this year!
To Enter:
  • Visit Bossy's Feltworks and tell me your favourite ornament {Required}
  • Non-Bloggers may enter but please leave me your email address

Extra Entries:

  • Follow Northern Mama {Google Friends Connect}
  • Become a Northern Mama Facebook Fan
  • Subscribe {via email}
  • Follow me on Twitter @Northernmama35
  • Tweet about this giveaway
  • Grab my Button
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back here {please leave me the the link to your post}

{Please remember to leave a separate comment for each entry!}

Giveaway open worldwide. Giveaway closes November 12, 2009 10:00pm MT. Read Giveaway Rules for further details.

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Mrs. O ~ Winner!

Congratulations edmontonjb! You have just won a beautiful hardcovered copy of Mrs. O: The Face of Fashion Democracy. It's exceptionally photographed and I found it fasinating.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sports Guys from Kaskey Kids ~Review and Discount!

My son has developed an interest in toy soldiers and army figurines in the last few years. While I love that playing with these armies of tiny figures allows him to engage his imagination in ways that vary from the virtual screen action of the ever popular video and electronic games I often feel uncomfortable with the concept of war games and violence. Kaskey Kids has created a fun, and fabulous alternative--toys which provide the opportunity for child controlled imaginary play combined with the love of sports!

Sports Guys and Girls are complete sports teams of small 2" athletes! Whether you favour Hockey {yes, the Canadian sport}, Football, Baseball, or Soccer {Canada's new hockey alternative} there are Sports Guys for you! They come with their own field, ball, and goals in a portable and stackable handled case. When asked to review a Sports Guy product the Kaskeys were sure my son, being an all Canadian boy would choose Hockey but he surprised them. Yes, soccer is the new hockey among young people in Canada these days. It's a far less expensive sport to play and so many children are joining soccer teams--mine are no exception!

Gabriel tore excitedly into his Soccer Guys as soon as they arrived and all three of my children have been enjoying them daily ever since! I can almost hear the buzz of the crowd now as a rousing soccer match plays out down my hallway! Sports Guys are the new favourite. Now war room battle plans are being replaced with strategic plays on the sports field. Let's face it...boys in particular and people in general have a fascination with aggression and action. Sports concepts are certainly a preferable outlet for this imaginary action! My girls love the Soccer Guys just as much as my son and Kaskey Kids has thought of this too--Soccer Girls are also available and perhaps Santa will be dropping these and other Sports Guys under our tree this year!
For Americans or fans of American College Football Kaskey Kids has introduced College Football Guys. These teams are approved by the Collegiate Licensing Corporation and feature such teams as University of Michigan, Ohio State, and the University of Georgia {just to name a few}. Maybe someday Canadians can convince Kaskey to create some Canadian Hockey Guys or for those of us in Saskatchewan, Canada--Roughrider Football Guys {I think you have to be from Saskatchewan to understand that market}!! What I do know is Sports Guys make a wonderful gift and because Kaskey also offers Mini-Packs with just the figurines for a lower price they are perfect for every child on your list and even make a unique stocking stuffer!
Northern Mama readers can enjoy Kaskey Kids Sports Guys at 10% off with the promotional code: GoGuys. Just use this code at checkout and your family will be hollering "He Shoots, He Scores!" or "Play Ball!" as they enjoy this "Best Toy Award" winning product!

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Moms R The Best T-Shirt Winner!

Congratulations to the Moms R The Best winner Janine! I will be emailing you today!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my followers for supporting my blogging endeavours. You are responsible for bringing Northern Mama more and more wonderful giveaways and promotions:) Look for come new and big names coming in the next while!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

It's a Great Bloggy Day!! I Won A Flip Mino HD from Mom Central :)

I opened my email this evening to a wonderful surprise! I just won a Flip Mino HD camcorder from Mom Central!! I believe it was thanks to a post at Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous which is where I received the entry information. I don't think I've ever been more excited to win something. Thank you Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous and thank you Mom Central for making my day!

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

My First Award!!

This week I was honored to receive not one but three awards {well two are the same but from two different bloggers}! My first--

The Honest Scrap Award
Presented to me by


To accept this award I have been asked to do the following:

~Say thank you and post a link to the giver {but of course!}

~List 10 Honest things about me

~Present this award to 7 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and or design, or those who have encouraged me.

~Tell those 7 people they've been awarded Honest Scrap and inform them of these guidelines in receiving.


10 Honest Things About Me:

1. I actually Love writing and blogging but hate my computer {yes really!! LOL}.
2. I am OLD {well I often feel old and think maybe I look older than a modern 35 year old woman should}.
3. I have the hots for my hubby...seriously after 13 years he's still my dream man!
4. I have a very extreme fear of failure!
5. I really love sleeping in and I will do anything to steal even one extra minute in bed in the morning!
6. I am addicted to tea!! {I drink it all day long}
7. I would love to go back to school and get a master's degree in Anthropology.
8. I love digging in the dirt...literally {the archaeologist in me...maybe that's why I like to garden}
9. I clench my teeth when I am stressed out {like all the time lol}. Even my dentist has noticed.
10. I love to dance {if you happened by my house when I'm home alone you might catch a glimpse of me through the window dancing like I'm auditioning for "So You Think You Can Dance Canada?" LOL}

I would love to present this award to:

:: Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous ~ For being such a great friend to me inside and outside the blogosphere and because her blog is a fabulous Canadian blog!

:: Once Upon a Blog ~ For helping me with my sidebars and being so easy to work with!

::The Wee View ~ For a wonderful pep talk via email ;)

::The Snail's Trail ~ I just came across this sweet blog this week and think it's adorable with great content for parents and teachers on learning ideas for kids!

::Maternal Spark ~ Another blog I just recently discovered. The content includes great writing submissions from mom's and displays the work of creative moms...their spark!

:: Mommy is Green ~ A newer GREEN blog I found this week with a great background design!

:: Household Treasures ~ For interviewing me when I was just getting started and giving me support!

I have another award to give out but I thought I'd reserve The Honest Scrap Award for those who have helped me in some way during my blogging endeavour and some just starting out or looking for a following themselves! To all of you thanks for blogging!

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Michael Connelly's 9 Dragons ~ Book Review and Giveaway!

Ready for a read that will leave you breathless? 9 Dragons is a heart-racing and exhilerating crime drama filled with the intensity and suspense Michael Connelly is famous for. Looking for an exciting and gritty cop drama? Travelling at a fast and furious pace this novel delivers!

As a cop's wife believe me I am relieved that real life cop drama most often does not parallel the excitement found in such novels! Despite this I certainly can't get enough of reading them! Connelly's tough-as-nails cop, Detective Bosch, is back but has he met his match? Known for his hot-headed nature Detective Bosch is pushed to his limits, his anger unleashed in 9 Dragons by a high-stakes case!

Connelly takes Bosch to the emotional edge in an investigation of a liquor store homicide which becomes deeply personal. Bosch is soon led through the unknown world of a traditional Asian Street Gang--the Triad--and is eventually forced into the sadistic and brutal Hong Kong underworld. His quest to find answers draws him to a place known as the 9 Dragons, a place where his life will be changed irreparably. Bosch leaves his corner fighting but he may come out battered and bruised by the time he's through!

I found this a blistering and satisfying leisure read! Intense, riveting, guaranteeing excitement and suspense at the turn of each page! You can enjoy the suspense yourselves! 5 lucky Northern Mama readers will win copies of Michael Connelly's latest 9 Dragons.
To Enter:
  • Follow Northern Mama {via google friends connect} or Be a Northern Mama Facebook Fan

Extra Entries:

  • Subscribe to Northern Mama {via email}
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back here {please leave me the link to your post}
  • Follow Northern Mama on Twitter @Northernmama35
  • Tweet about this giveaway
  • Grab My Button

{Please remember to leave a separate comment for each entry}

Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway closes November 8th, 2009 10:00pm MT. For further details read Giveaway Rules.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Paddington and Bronwynn Paint the Town!

During a Spring trip to the book store my youngest daughter Bronwynn, age 5, felt underestimated as I approached her with a lovely children's picture book. Her older brother and sister had already chosen their chapter books and Bronwynn was adamant that she required a "chapter book" as well. An avid reader myself and an educator who always focused on literacy I have felt it is essential to read to ones children and not only picture books. I remember reading "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" to my son during infancy. My son now eats books so I suppose there may be some correlation.

Perusing the shelves we finally struck gold--Paddington Bear! Paddington is a bear from darkest Peru who immigrated to England and loves marmalade. It amazes me how easily children are able to build a rapport with some fictional characters. Though much of the language is mature beyond my daughter's comprehension and most of the jokes and word play fly far above her head the stories of Paddington are endearing to her and hold her attention in an unexpected way. Perhaps cuddly bears eating marmalade and wearing a hat and coat is understood by children on an entirely different plane. Regardless of why or how my daughter relates to Paddington and it is beautiful to watch the relationship, both imaginative and fanciful, develop as she develops an understanding of the concepts of friendship and unconditional love!

A few weeks ago during a phone call to my mother I told her of Bronwynn's new found bond to Paddington bear. I truly love my mom--yesterday, unexpectedly a package arrived in the mail addressed to Bronwynn. Enclosed, a note from my mother about a special friend she had sitting at home named Paddington and how she had decided to send him to live with Bronwynn, knowing that Bronwynn would take good care of him! The look on Bronwynn's face is something I will treasure and I know the adventures Bronwynn has with Paddington will be something she will always treasure! Former kindergarten teachers make great grandparents by the by!
Ever since Paddington crawled out of his brown papered package He and Bronwynn have been painting the town! {I wonder if Pooh will also find this much attention when I crack open "Return to the Hundred Acre Wood"

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Luv Loo...It's a Baby Review!

A mommy nightmare...driving down a crowded highway, rain obscuring your windshield, transport truck tailgating you as your precious bundle of joy lodged safely and comfortably in her government approved car seat screams incessantly because she has just lost her bottle or her soother into the abyss which is the van floor! "Why does this always happen?" you ask with a voice now brimming with tension. The stress of a mother's busy day increased ten fold by the intensity of a daughter or son's urgent cries! Why? Because you didn't know about LuvLoo and the Toy Wrangler.Kristy Awald-Stafford understood this frustration as she retrieved her son's discarded and wandering bottles and soothers, in restaurants, beneath tables. Instead of putting up with this nagging pet peeve she sought a solution and the Toy Wrangler was born! This handy little gadget is perfect for use in car seats, highchairs, strollers, and shopping carts. The Toy Wrangler and Mini-Toy Wrangler keep baby's necessities handy. An elasticized cuff on one end and a BPA free plastic ring on the other allows you to attach the Toy Wrangler to your young child's precious valuables, such as a bottle or toy, and secure them to your child's wrist, their car seat, or highchair. A simple idea which keeps everything within reach!

I no longer have babies but I do remember that it's the little things that frazzle the nerves and make life a struggle for parents of infants and toddlers. Simple solutions to the small stuff make the big stuff easier! Northern Mama wishes she had the toy Wrangler to keep her babies soother from tumbling into the snow banks and now one lucky Northern Mama reader will have the opportunity to rely on the Mini-Toy Wrangler {two actually} to keep his/her baby attached the the things he/she holds dear!

To Enter:
  • Visit LuvLoo and tell me what stores closest to your area sell LuvLoo {Required}
  • Non-blogger may enter but please leave me an email you can be reached at

Extra Entries:

  • Follow Northern Mama {Via Google Friends Connect}
  • Be a Northern Mama Facebook Fan
  • Grab My Button
  • Follow me on Twitter @ Northernmama35
  • Tweet about this giveaway
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back here {please leave me the link to your post}{Please leave a separate comment for each entry}
    Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway closes November 6th 2009 10:00pm MT.

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Message to the Prime Minister~We are Anti-Climate Change!

Make your voice heard
Join thousands of Canadians who have sent a message to Canada's Prime Minister and leaders of the opposition in support of a fair, ambitious and binding agreement at the UN climate summit this December.

Share the message
Watch David Suzuki's special climate message on Youtube (and then create your own!).
Together, we can be part of the solution.

~This message is curtesy of the David Suzuki Foundation~

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What are you doing tomorrow?

What are you doing tomorrow? Tomorrow, October 24th, is the International Day of Action on Climate Change and you along with millions or even billions of people around the globe can make your voice heard by joining in a planning 350 event in your area or by registering one yourself! It's not too late to join in and make a difference. 4000 events are planned across Canada. Visit Find an event to look for an event in your area. From hikes, and rallies, to pumpkin festivals and concerts any event to raise awareness and to let your government know you care about the number 350 and Climate Change can make a difference! You can also submit photos of your action and events on the website.

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Re chosen Spooner winners!

Our other two Spooner winners are bewitchin Kitchen and cherdon! Congrats!

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Winners of Spooner!

Sorry this was over due! Congrats to Jaime, edmontonjb and Peace Sweet Peas! Two were overlaps so I will repick the other two winning numbers {17 and 31} through a new random selection!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

A New Phase in My Life...maybe?!

As September approached I grew giddy! This year was going to mark a turning point in my life. My youngest daughter, Bronwynn, would be starting kindergarten. Kindergarten is half-time here mind you but the idea of having even every other day to myself after all my years as a stay-at-home mom would definitely be something to look forward to. I had my obligatory cry as my youngest and final child commenced her first day of formal education and then I was ready...ready to turn a page in my life, ready to move into a new and exciting "selfish" phase! Perhaps this phase would include career, maybe I could focus my attention on writing and art, maybe take courses, or even just catch up on all the things around the house that often seem impossible with children under foot.

It is now the end of October, two months into the school year and I am still waiting for life to change! Professional development days, appointments, errands, a son who has been sick and out of school for a week and a half I'm beginning to realize that this "new phase" is really only more of the same. I often wonder when I will ever give myself permission to be anything more than just mommy! Of course being mommy is lovely and cherish it always but I often wonder how many other women experience the same identity crisis I seem to be facing.
Oh well, another year then all three of my children will be lost to full time education and I'm sure I will be begging for it all to do over!

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