Monday, November 30, 2009

Pillsbury Baking Challenge ~Voting time!! Vote and Win!

In October I informed my Canadian readers of the Pillsbury Baking Challenge! Canadians were challenged to create their own unique recipes inspired by and utilizing their favourite Pillsbury products. A fabulous contest from a brand we've known and loved for years.

Why do we love Pillsbury? It could be the convenience, perhaps the great taste but I dare say we can't resist that lovable, perma-smiling little bundle of dough, that icon of North American baking, the Pillsbury Doughboy {A.K.A. Poppin' Fresh}! I can actually recall the popularity of the Pillsbury Doughboy dolls when I was a young child.

Northern Mama readers, both those in Canada and the United States will have the opportunity to win one of these adorable little Doughboys or a Pillsbury Doughboy totebag while voting for their favourite Pillsbury Baking Challenge recipes! Starting November 16th and running until December 31st visit the Pillsbury Baking Challenge site and vote for your favourites. The top three winners in each category will then undergo the ultimate challenge, scrutinized by the esteemed Pillsbury Judging Panel, featuring popular web personalities, the Pillsbury* Kitchenista, and an Olympic Gold Medalist!

To reiterate the contest details, the Grand Prize winner will walk away with a dream suite of kitchen appliances courtesy of Whirlpool®, cleaning services for a full year courtesy of Molly Maid®, and a year's worth of groceries, all valued at over $11 500! To learn more about the contest details read my Pillsbury Baking Challenge post from October.

Vote now and one Northern Mama reader will win a Pillsbury Doughboy doll, a second will win a Pillsbury Doughboy Totebag! To Enter:
  • Visit the Pillsbury Baking Challenge site and rate your favourite recipes {leave a comment here telling me which recipe was your favourite} {Required}
  • Non-bloggers please leave me your email address with your comment.
Extra Entries:
  • Follow Northern Mama {via google friends connect}
  • Be a Northern Mama Facebook Fan
  • Follow me on Twitter @Northernmama35 and tweet about this giveaway
  • Grab my Button

{Please leave a separate comment for each entry}

Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway ends December 30th, 2009 10:00pm CT. Read Giveawy Rules for further details.

post signature ~ Cell Phone Recycling! Cash in Your Cell Today!

As technology has been developing and upgrading at breakneck speed, even top of the line electronic and digital devices have become "disposable", obsolete overnight! These advances in technology may impress you with their new and upgraded capabilities but you would not be impressed to know their contributions to the growing problem of E-waste! Yes, one of the latest forms of environmental pollutants is the E-waste caused by your despondent, unwanted "dinosaur" computers, and your discarded, "outdated-as-of-yesterday" cell phones! Flipswap wants to raise old cell phones from their garbage dump graveyards and has found a way to free our planet from cell phone pollutants and provide you with a little cash besides! Flipswap makes trading in your cell phone for recycling or reuse simple! Visit Flipswap to determine the value of your cell phone, create your Flipswap account and start trading your old cell phones today for credit with your cell phone store, for cash, or as a donation to your favourite charity! Flipswap will put your old phones back in use or recycle the parts to create new products. Add value to what otherwise would be considered trash and know you are Helping to Reduce E-waste on Earth.

Once you have determined which phone{s} you will be sending print out a prepaid shipping label, slap it on your package and race to your nearest postal outlet--I'm not joking, Flipswap will pay the shipping! With Fast and Free Shipping you can rest assured following your environmental conscience will cost you nothing while the costs of ignoring your conscience are incalculable. Have you ever been confronted on the evening news with the images of our E-waste being shipped to developing 3rd world countries to be heaped in landfills, children picking through the toxin infested electronic parts? It's just one more example of our society putting technology before environment and humanity!

Since launching in 2005, Flipswap has facilitated the trade-in of more than 800 000 phones. In 2008 alone, Flipswap’s program kept the equivalent of 80 tons of solid waste–much of it toxic—out of landfills in the United States. Flipswap wants cell phones to live out their usefulness but those which are past use are recycled using the most eco-friendly methods available. And Canadians like myself can participate as well! Best Buy Canada offers Canadians instant store credit at 63 of their Canadian locations powered by Flipswap instore or just trade online for Best Buy gift certificates!

Trade in your cell phone today! Whether trading in your phone for reuse or recycling, whether as a donation or for cash flipswap has found a way to empty your drawers and the landfills of old cell phones and benefit you! I'm scrounging through my drawers now because Flipswap's committment to the environment goes beyond battling E-waste. You can now choose to have a tree planted in your honour in exchange for your unwanted phone through Flipswap's Releaf program! An estimated 250 000 trees have been planted in 2009 thanks to the Releaf initiative!
Visit FlipSwap now--Making our earth a little greener and putting a little green in your wallet!
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Flipswap is a paid sponsor but the review I have written is based on my honest opinions!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Permission Slips Winners!

#29 was randomly selected twice so I picked another number for the fifth winner {25}. The winners are Matt and Kara, Amanda, Food According to Karen, ossmcalc, and the newly selected winner pipirose! You have all won copies of Permission Slips! It's a fun read:)

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Shoo Foo Winner!

Congratulations to Belinda M. You've won the bamboo crib sheet from Shoo Foo!

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Oral-B Winner

Congrats thesehappydays! Toobrushes for all the kids and toothpaste for you, yay! I'll email you

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Leap Frog ~ Tag Reading System!!

Leap Frog has become a household name with families! This company understands the significant role technology and electronics play in the lives of modern day children. They also understand the concerns this can present to parents. Parents want to know that their children are not only enjoying play but are receiving opportunities for valuable play. As an educator and parent I know that some of the most powerful learning tools for children are the toys that develop skills and are exciting! Leap Frog toys are brilliant tools for child development!

As our children grow and learn the importance of basic skills evolves into the importance of literacy skills. According to some statistics 14.6 % of Canadians are functionally illiterate this is a sad state of affairs for a developed and economically rich country and the numbers are almost identical in the United States. Literacy is the single most important educational focus, without the ability to read other subjects suffer and the ability to information gather is severely hindered.

What are the most valuable tools to fight illiteracy? Books, books, and more books! But children sometimes require that extra motivation, a way to make books come alive, speak to them. The Leap Frog Tag Reading System gives children the Independence they sometimes require to feel book confident!

If you are a regular reader of my blog you know we are "book people". I've read to my children since birth and we never seem to have enough bookshelves in our home to accommodate the overflowing volumes of books but despite this my eldest daughter, 7 year old Emma, has recently grown a bit of an apprehension of books. Emma is a perfectionist and I believe she stresses about the work reading sometimes requires. She loves to be independent and is frustrated when she cannot accomplish something without our assistance. Emma took to the Tag Reading System immediately. She uses it every evening in bed and I think it has built her reading confidence because it offers her more reading Independence.

Tag is easy to use and similar to the original Leap Pad systems but with less bulk, and without the need for cartridges--much easier to take anywhere! The Tag is a reading pen. Point to the words with the pen and it reads them for you or set it to read an entire page. Tag adds an extra element of fun to the reading experience by providing your child with a games setting. The games setting asks questions of your child regarding the words and illustrations on the page increasing comprehension skills and providing extension activities! Designed for children ages four to eight the Leap Frog Tag library includes classic popular children's literature as well as great new stories about the characters today's children love and recognize. The diversity of titles and the availability of quality literary titles is important to me!

Again like the Leapster2, the Tag Reading system can be connected to your computer and comes with the Learning Path software. Access the Learning Path to add the audio for new book titles, and to track your child's development as well as their Tag activity! The Learning Path is a fabulous, innovative tool for parents! Once again Leap Frog invents and creates for parents and children alike!
One Northern Mama reader will have the opportunity to experience the Leap Frog Tag Reading System {MSRP $59.99} and The Learning Path with her/his child{ren}!

To Enter:
  • Visit Leap Frog and tell me which Tag book title would be your favourite {Required}
  • Non-bloggers please leave your email with your comment.

Extra Entries:

  • Follow Northern Mama {via google friends connect}
  • Be a Northern Mama Facebook Fan
  • Subscribe via email
  • Grab my Button
  • Follow me on Twitter @Nothernmama35 and Tweet about this giveaway
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back here {please leave me a link to your post}

Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway closes December 11, 2009 10:00pm CT. Please read Giveaway Rules for details.
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Book Tour: For the Love of St. Nick

Looking for a tale of hope and miracles this holiday season? Garasamo Maccagnone's For the Love of St. Nick is one boy's memory of a childhood Christmas miracle. For the Love of St. Nick reminds me of a short story one might read in high school, a story built around the innocence and pain of childhood experiences and around religious sentiment. Its simple, plain-speak language brings a Michigan winter to life in a way that is pure and rich in family values. Heartwarming and at times heartrending I felt a sincere sense of pathos for Tiger, the narrator of memories, and his younger brother wrapped in hope and the true faith of the innocent!
The publisher's description of For the Love of St. Nick:

Two California boys, coping with the loss of their mother, find themselves uprooted when their father, a Navy Commander, is transferred to a base in northern Michigan. With the youngest boy continuously sick the family must survive military life and the northern elements as they dwell in their little hunter's cabin on Lake Huron. When the boy's father, the commander, must leave prior to Christmas to fulfill his secret mission for the United States Military, the boys are surprised by a chance encounter that saves a life, and reunites a family.

I enjoyed the sentimental reminiscences of their mother the boys, Johnny and Tiger, share and the descriptions of their winter excursions--hockey on the pond, snowmobiling, and hikes in the woods. Canadians will also appreciate these passages:

Hockey became our life. Johnny and I couldn't wait to feel the ice under our skates. Pete, Sammy, Alex, and Cooper, whose fathers also worked at the base, greeted us enthusiastically, smacking their sticks against our pads or giving us high fives. We played for hours in one pickup game after another, acting like John Ogrodnick of the Red Wings or Wayne Gretzky, "The Great One", from the Edmonton Oilers. For his age, Johnny was one of the best skaters on the lake. (Maccagnone 2008:16)

I am not particularly taken by the religious sentimentality but can definitely appreciate the magic and miracles of the holidays and the hope For the Love of St. Nick evokes. This is a book I think appeals to all ages and I'm sure my 9 year old son will appreciate it as I now place it on his bookshelf of holiday reading!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Golden Moon Tea Review ~Coming Soon for Tea Addicts like me!

Golden Moon Tea captures the essence of distant lands! If you are a tea addict as I am myself, you will look forward to my review of Golden Moon's fine whole-leaf teas. As a tea connoisseur I am forever in search of the perfect teas to indulge my moods and tastes. Golden Moon Tea is a business founded in 1993 dedicated to providing unique quality teas they have crafted and tested themselves! I am eager for a taste and they are eager to introduce you to the wonder and ceremony of the teas they have perfected. Offering exotic and varied oolong tea, as well as the very best in black, green, white, and flavoured teas Golden Moon may just be a tea drinkers heaven! Please look for my upcoming Review!

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The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes

When I first set eyes upon Marian Keyes' 600 + page tome The Brightest Star in the Sky I admit I procrastinated! I was daunted as the books on my nightstand piled higher and higher and I kept sliding it to the bottom of the pile in favour of the smaller, "faster" reads. I was honestly doing myself a disservice! Having never read a Marian Keyes novel before I was at a disadvantage. She's been touted as the dowager of Chick Lit but after reading this well-crafted masterpiece of soulful fiction I feel this is perhaps a misnomer.

Marian Keyes has the unique gift of making the ordinary and everyday lives of others fascinating and alluring. Like a voyeur the reader feels the intense emotions of an omniscient being peering into the lives, relationships, and intimate moments of Keyes' characters. Almost guiltily I picked up the book again and again eager to learn what new secret would be divulged, what skeleton would be unleashed from whose closet!

The Brightest Star in the Sky follows the lives and relationships of people living under the same roof at 66 Star Street in Dublin and like the brightest star, this guardian angel, we are privy to all that unfolds, all that is revealed. The familiar, and everyday nature of the characters gives the reader an air of delving into the lives of friends and neighbours. I invested in the lives of these characters and slowly but surely developed an emotional attachment to them as the story progressed and bit by bit I discovered their truths. And those heartrending truths shocked and tore at my soul in the end just as they would if revealed by a friend or relation. Fiction made real, characters made flesh by the talent and crafting of Marian Keyes!

Reminiscent of Maeve Binchy but with a youthful , modern spark of wit and sparkling charm that is truly unparallelled and undefined, Marian Keyes is a genius of character development and weaving of plot. Don't procrastinate nor feel daunted or you will deny yourself an emotional experience you won't soon forget. Released November 7th, The Brightest Star in the Sky by bestselling author Marian Keyes is the perfect holiday gift for women on your list!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bella Sara Winner!

Congrats I am Lee-Ann! You have won the Bella Sara cards and figurine:)

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Crazy Dog T-Shirts ~ The Shirts That Get Noticed!

Are you an attention seeker? You want to enter a room and turn heads? Or maybe you just enjoy the humour and conversation a unique T-shirt might trigger! T-shirts are the personal billboards of today! They can express individual identity, make statements both political and social, they can express the wearer's unique personality, advertise the wearer's status, or just convey humour. Offensive, cute, retro, political--whether they repulse or attract, people of all ages can appreciate or rage against the perfect tees. Crazy Dog T-shirts--the shirts built by robot dogs, of course--are all these things!

Now maybe you're like me, a parent who would be aghast if your son or daughter attempted to wear a garish and offensive shirt to school or another public venue. I would probably be the first to march him or her to his/her room to change! But am I prudish and humourless? No, I'm not above a good joke well adults are concerned even one that may be slightly offensive.

When I had to pick a Crazy Dog T-shirt to review I opted for one that may offend those of the "weaker" of course! Now I am not one of those raging feminists than tilts the social balance entirely in the opposite direction but I'm certainly not above evening out the score with a little "male bashing" humour. My husband and son only rolled their eyes and chuckled when I donned my eye-popping new "Boys are stupid, throw stones at them" Crazy Dog tee. I admit I would not find the sentiment funny at all if applied to my own gender but as my husband pointed out this is because it would hit on a horrible reality if applied to females. When applied to males it is entirely goofy.

What I love about my Crazy Dog T-shirt goes beyond humour. Have you ever had a favourite old tee that fits like a glove and is so soft and comfortable that you never want to take it off? That is exactly how my Crazy Dog T-shirt felt straight out of the package. Soft cotton with a bit of span for stretch and fit. The sizing is exactly as you expect so no fishing for the proper size! The range of T-shirt categories will keep you busy enough!

If you want to spark some conversation, express your wild self, or just "be", do it in a Crazy Dog T-shirt! They are the only tees you'll ever find made by crazy robot dogs and they beat a billboard for entertainment any day of the week!

Crazy Dog gives away free t-shirts daily to Facebook Fans and Twitterers!
One lucky Northern Mama reader will receive their favourite Crazy Dog T-shirt!
To Enter:
  • Visit Crazy Dog T-shirts and tell me what your favourite is. {Required}
  • non-bloggers please leave me your email address with your comment

Extra Entries:

  • Follow Northern Mama {via google}
  • Be a Northern mama Facebook Fan
  • Be a Crazy Dog T-Shirts Facebook Fan
  • Subscribe to Northern Mama via email
  • Follow Northern Mama on Twitter @Northernmama35
  • Follow Crazy Dog T-shirts on Twitter @CrazyDogTshirts
  • Grab my Button
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back here {please leave me the link to your post}

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Dove Wants Girls to Know They Are Beautiful and they want to Thank you for Making a Difference!

Unfortunately, due to Facebook policy changes you are no longer able to upload your daughters' videos to the Dove Facebook Fans Page! This is an unfortunate circumstance beyond the control of the company and the Dove Self-Esteem Program! However due to this frustration Dove will still donate to the wonderful girls' charities that participated and will be sending me Self-esteem workbooks and products for review and giveaway opportunities! Remember you may still enter your Dove UPC codes at Dove Self-Esteem Fund Facebook Page to support the Dove Self-esteem fund!
Dove wants to fullfill its commitments to both Girls' Charities and to Northern Mama readers!

Thank you from Dove and myself and stay tuned for more from Dove and the Dove Self-Esteem Foundation!

Previous Post About the contest and UPC donations:

I am a mommy of two girls and because I have suffered from self-esteem issues myself over the years I am aware of the toll not feeling beautiful can take on girls and women!
According to the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, almost three-quarters of mothers with daughters aged 17 and under, like myself, hope they have not passed on feelings of self-doubt or insecurity to their daughters. It's a concern I struggle with daily!

My Beautiful Girls!
Media does not make being a mom of girls today any easier forcing images of beauty into a uniform package! I want my daughters to know that their beauty does not come from a bottle, it is not dependant upon perfection, and is reflected in ways that transcend appearances {tears well up in my eyes as I type this}! I believe so many women including myself have let harm come to them and have limited themselves by not surrounding themselves with the "self-esteem bubble"! Dove is a company that knows this and is working to help more and more girls worldwide form their own "self-esteem bubble" to shield them from the forces in our world that eagerly chip away at their confidence in their personal beauty and worth!

Dove has a mission! Their mission is to reach 5 million girls with their self-esteem programming by 2010! This may seem like a daunting task but Dove has already reached 3.5 million girls globally since 2005 and Dove wants to "Thanks For Making a Difference" to those who have supported their Campaign for Real Beauty.


Visit the Dove Self-Esteem Fund Facebook page and upload a 30 second video of your daughter sharing what she feels makes her beautiful by November 20th, 2009. Your video could be featured on the and websites! But even better, Dove not only invites you to show the difference self esteem makes in your family AND support local self esteem building programs at the same time!

Upload your video then come back here and leave a comment saying you have done so. The top 5 sites with most videos {including the #1 site} will receive a $1000 donation from Dove in their site’s name to the local chapter of a partner charity that builds self esteem! I would be thrilled if one of these donations was made in Northern Mama's name! I hope to post a video of each of my daughters here and on the Dove site shortly.


Finally, Dove also wants to thank you for making a difference when you purchase Dove products. Enter your UPC codes on the Dove Self-Esteem Fund Facebook Page and select a participating charity. Dove will donate $1 from each purchase to inspiring self esteem programs run through your selected charity!

So get those cameras rolling and capture your daughter's star like beauty for the world to see!

And be sure to look for the Self Esteem tools and online workshops also available through Dove's website--great for parents, educators, and program facilitators!

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Indigo on the Go ~ Sign up for shortcovers E-books

E-Reading in Canada
We all do it: we spend hours on end with our BlackBerries, iPhones and Palms to stay entertained. With busier lifestyles and a push toward online experiences gaining momentum, it can sometimes be difficult to maintain cherished hobbies and activities off-line, such as reading.

According to Indigo Books & Music, this will result in an approximate 10% shift from hard books to e-books over the next five years.

Earlier this year Indigo launched Shortcovers - a new e-books service to provide free, open-access way for tech-savvy Canadians to find their favourite books online through mobile devices you already own. Whether on your laptop or through your smartphone, Canadians now have access to close to 100,000 titles to read and 1,500 free titles – from the newest books, poetry and short stories!
Sign up at today!!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Language Lizard~Marek and Alice's Christmas~Book Review and Giveaway

Looking for an original holiday story to share with your children this year? Perhaps like me you are eager to share not only the excitement of your own family holiday traditions with your children but would like to expose them to the full mosaic of unique cultural festivals the world has to offer.

As Canadians my family is immersed in a society of cultural diversity--that of the traditional aboriginal cultures who have inhabited this land since time in memorial, that of the early French and English settlers, and of later immigrants from a myriad of countries-- creating a fascinating and exciting mecca of variance!

Language Lizard offers books which not only celebrate culturally diverse themes as does Marek and Alice's Christmas, but celebrates the diversity of language as well through bilingual literature. Marek and Alice's Christmas is part of the Celebrating Festivals Series and brings to life for young people the warmth and beauty of a Polish Christmas ans it's heart felt traditions. This delightful Christmas story is available in English with Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, French, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, or Welsh. After reading the story you may even wish to try the Christmas cookie recipe featured in the back of the book!

Because French is one of the two official languages in Canada and because French Immersion is becoming a more and more popular educational choice for Canadian parents I was sent "Marek and Alice's Christmas"/ "Le Noel de Marek et d'Alice" to review in the English with French version. If you are a Canadian with a child enrolled in French Immersion or just a Northern Mama follower who loves exposing his/her children to other language experiences you might enjoy winning a French/English copy of "Marek and Alice's Christmas"!
Also remember Northern Mama readers receive a 10% discount on this title, "Marek and Alice's Christmas" and "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" in their choice of language until December 4, 2009!
To Enter:
  • Follow Northern Mama {via google friends connect} or Be a Facebook Fan {Required}

Extra Entries:

  • Subscribe via email
  • Follow on Twitter @Northernmama35 and Tweet about this giveaway
  • Grab my button
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back here {please leave me a link to your post}

{Please leave a separate comment for each entry}

Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway closes December 10, 2009 10:00pm CT. Please read Giveaway Rules for further details.

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