Homemade Garlic Croutons

This week I decided to be a bit daring and create my own Homemade Garlic Croutons. See, my kids LOVE the garlic goodness but I wanted to see if I could make a healthy version. The result: an easy, inexpensive, delicious Homemade Garlic Croutons recipe. You gotta try this…

Homemade Garlic Croutons

What made my Homemade Garlic Croutons healthy? I used Demptser’s Garden Vegetable Bread (vegetables in bread?! yes, there are carrots and pumpkin in it…but I assure you it doesn’t have an overbearing “veggie” taste).

Homemade Garlic Croutons Recipe

Homemade Garlic Croutons
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Making Homemade Garlic Croutons is easy, inexpensive, and yummy! Great for salads, snacks, and cheese plates.
Serves: 8
  • 6 slices of Dempster’s Garden Vegetable Bread
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • garlic powder (to taste)
  1. Heat over to 375C
  2. Place 6 slices of Dempster’s Garden Vegetable Bread on a cookie sheet
  3. Brush melted butter over each of the bread slices
  4. Sprinkle garlic powder on each bread slice (to taste)
  5. Place cookie sheet in oven and bake for 12 minutes.
  6. After baking (turn off oven), place toasted garlic bread slices on a cutting board and cut into cubes.
  7. Then, return garlic bread cubes to cookie sheet.
  8. Next, return cookie sheet to hot oven (which is turned off) for 3-5 minutes.
  9. Serve warm immediately or store in an airtight container for 2 weeks.

Homemade Garlic Croutons Ideas

These Homemade Garlic Croutons are great for after-school snack (and in the lunch box too). They are also crunchy additions to any green salad. Oh I realized a grown-up switch up when I stumbled upon my husband munching on my Homemade Garlic Croutons…

Garlic Toast with Brie and Salami

Homemade Garlic Croutons

I know what I’m putting out for the guests the next time we do a wine & cheese!

Disclosure: #spon and these Homemade Garlic Croutons were truly a hit with the Brie. As always, the opinions in this post are my own. Visit Dempster’s on Facebook and follow @Dempsters on twitter 

Stokke MyCarrier Cool Review

My experience and knowledge of baby carriers grew with every one of my babies. With my first baby I thought fashion was most important for a baby carrier (you want to look good right?). Then, with baby #2 I thought comfort was most important (you want it to fit). Then, with baby #3 I thought function was most important (can we wear this carrier in more than one way?). I now realize you want fashion, comfort, and function! Read my Stokke MyCarrier Cool Review for information to make choosing your next baby carrier easier…

Stokke MyCarrier Cool Review

Stokke MyCarrier Cool. The breathable 3 in 1 baby carrier

The Stokke® MyCarrier Cool has the same unique design as the Stokke® MyCarrier, but is made with breathable mesh textiles. This reduces heat and moisture to keep both you and baby cool and dry for outdoor, active or warm weather use.

Stokke is a family owned Norwegian company (established in 1932) – very well known as a solid brand for children’s products. You might know the Stokke strollers, highchairs, nursery line, as well as the popular baby carriers. Stokke’s reputation (and brand) is well known throughout the baby gear world.

When choosing a baby carrier – I think it is important to research the brand.  The reviews. The product specifications. You don’t just choose the baby carrier with the “right price” but the baby carrier which is right for YOU (personally I take into account fashion, comfort, and function as my top 3 guidelines).

What I like about the Stokke My Carrier Cool is the fact that it is a 3 in 1 carrier. This means the baby carrier can adapt to your growing baby. When my son got to be a bigger baby…I really wished we had a back carrying baby carrier (I hadn’t thought of it when he was a newborn and we were baby gear shopping). Though he still loved being front facing…it didn’t work for me (ouch-my-back!).

How you can wear the Stokke MyCarrier Cool

Facing inwards

From newborn (minimum 3.5 kg/ 7.7 lbs and 53 cm/ 21 inch) until your child can hold his/ her head unaided.

Facing outwards

Only to be used once your child can hold his/her head unaided. Every child is unique, but a rough guide is around 4 months +.

Back carrying

When your child can sit unaided and is longer than 72 cm/ 28 inch with a maximum load of 15kg/33lbs.

Stokke MyCarrier Cool Review

The breathable mesh is a great feature of the Stokke MyCarrier Cool baby carrier.  It allows for better airflow for cooling (great for warmer weather or hot kids/parents). And the look is simply clean and classic.

The Ergonomic design is super important (especially when you have to ensure it is a good fit for different sized parents). This Stokke carrier has a fantastic unisex fit. It’s adjustable for all sizes and body types.  It’s easily adjustable (something I realized is something very important when I had a not-easily-adjustable baby carrier with baby #2 – it was cumbersome, took forever, and ended up causing a lot of back pain for me).

And they thought of parents…it’s machine washable, has a pocket for your keys, and integrated sun shade for baby.

A baby carrier is one of the baby gear items which you might use every day (I did for a while). You really want to invest in research…determine what factors are most important to you…and you might even want to try one on at a Stokke retailer to get the real life feel.

Want the Aveeno Experience?

Sharing a very cool find….Want the Aveeno Experience?? Canadians you can! Aveeno has launched a new campaign  in 120 nail bars across Canada where clients can experience Aveeno products, coupons, and even take home a free trial. Awesome n’est pas?!

Shea Coco, Toronto, ON

We often forgot that a little bit of pampering is good for the soul.  I had the chance to visit SheaCoco in Yorkville (and I brought my tween/teen; making it a fantastic girls day out) and experience the Aveeno experience. As my hands were gently massaged with Aveeno daily moisturizing lotion I thought to myself “this feels soooo good”.

This nourishing moisturizing lotion was formulated to help prevent and protect dry skin. It uses ACTIVE NATURALS® Colloidal Oatmeal to moisturize for 24 hours, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth. And it’s clinically proven to reveal healthier-looking skin in 1 day, with significant improvement in 2 weeks for everyday beauty that lasts.

After a long, dry, cold winter…my hands really appreciated the moisturizing. And my soul appreciated the field trip with my girls. Why don’t we do that more often?! Here is your chance to do it more often…

Click here for an exclusive pdf list of the  Aveeno Cross Canada Nail Bar Locations

Aveeno Cros Canada Nail Bar Locations

  • Toronto: 60 venues participating
  • Montreal: 35 venues Participating
  • Vancouver: 25 Venues Participating

Oh and be sure to be on the look out for free samples at front cash as well as a $3.00 value coupon to purchase the product at local retailers…I would totally use this…

Want the Aveeno Experience?

Act now because this campaign ends March 23rd. I can tell you…I have adopted the Aveeno experience into my daily routine…change diapers/wash hands/apply moisturizer. Wash dishes/dry hands/apply moisturizer. Have a shower/dry off/apply moisturizer. My skin feels softer. My soul feels happier.

Sometimes you need an experience…to realize the experiences you need in daily life.

Disclosure: I am an Aveeno Ambassador. And my hands feel all the better for it. :-) As always, the opinions in this post are my own. 

Life’s Little Messes

Some of Life’s Little Messes become the best childhood memories. Like art activities. Baking together. Birthday parties.  We made a whole LOT of messes when creating the kid activities for my book Boredom Busters but you know what? It was time well spent. Life’s Little Messes are learning moments for kids (and parents alike)…

Hand tracing

Today’s activity du jour: hand tracing and foot tracing. All you need is paper, washable markers, and a few willing participants. Big sister traced while little brother giggled and stayed still (and both were building their developmental skills while they played). They had a great time together (cooperation). Big sister traced (hand/eye coordination). My son loved seeing his hand prints and foot prints (curiosity and discovery). He had fun comparing his prints to his bigger sister’s prints (big and small). He, of course, chose the colours (decision making).  And I learned never take your eyes off a toddler while he has a marker in his hand (third picture above – gah – he coloured on his feet!).  A washable mess and easily cleaned.

Funny how life’s little messes just follow kids around…

Huggies wipes

I blame it on the “I do it by myself” phase my son is going through. From finding the computer keyboard icky and sticky (“Mom he’s licking his fingers and then touching the keys!”) to a yogurt covered mouth (I served it in an ice cream cone) to gooey fingers at breakfast (“Please I do it! I do it!”), life’s little messes are everywhere. However, they are part of growing up. Learning how to use technology (without licking), learning how to self-feed, and learning how to spread things…simple, messy, parts of life which are actually life skills kids learn every day through experience.

Life's Little Messes

Like yesterday, when dear son was at karate class and wanted a snack. He was the one who noticed the smooshed chocolate chips on his hand. Without saying anything, I just opened my wipe case (I wanted to see if he was going to play the baby – he didn’t). He grabbed a wipe, put his granola bar down, and cleaned his hands. All. By. Himself. *proud*

I wrote my book because I LOVE doing crafts, activities, recipes, and experiments with my kids. It’s a great way to spend time together (screen free), it’s fun, and it teaches us about the world around us. Yes, there is mess but there are also great memories being created. Every time. Life’s Little Messes are important parts of childhood.

Only Huggies ® wipes have Triple Clean* layers – gentle on baby’s skin, thick enough to clean the mess. For more information, click here <http://www.huggies.com/en-CA/products/wipes/tripleclean>

Huggies Logo

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by the HUGGIES® brand via Glam Media Canada.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the HUGGIES® brand.


Grazing and Alice Eats

I am a grazer. I eat many small meals throughout the day. So do my kids. So when I heard about a recipe book called “Grazing” I was completely interested. Instead of a regular book review…I decided to do something different…actually test drive the recipes and see if they were a hit or miss with my family and friends…do you think Julie would approve?… ;-)

Grazing and Alice Eats

Written by Dinner With Julie super cook Julie Van Rosendaal (she is also super funny – I co-presented a Blog To Book presentation at Blissdom Canada with her and she was a natural at making people smile). Her publisher @whitecapbooks  saw me tweet about her Grazing and offered to send me a copy. “Yes please!” As a grazer, I truly appreciate recipes which give a healthier approach to snacks and finger foods. And being a Mom to kids who prefer finger foods for meals as well as snacks (especially my toddler) – the idea of a go-to book for finger foods is amazing!

My first test drive experience…Julie’s Cherry Tomato and Olive Bruschetta ->


And I upped the anxiety by making this for a dinner party appetizer. 1,000 fairy points to Julie for creating a recipe that has variations, make-ahead appeal, and taste. It was easy to make in the afternoon, hide it away in the fridge, and bring it out when the party started. HIT. The adults raved about the bruschetta (I served it with crackers, pita triangles, and thinly cut baguette). Being it was a tapas party…the bruschetta was the perfect appetizer to start our nibbling. So I said the adults loved it…the kids wouldn’t try it (gah kids!).

A few days later…I decided the test-drive had to be something I knew the kids would try…Homemade Chicken Bites ->

Homemade Chicken Bites

Now, don’t tell Julie but I went astray on her Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard recipe. I tried to double the recipe but somehow messed up my math on the homemade dry breadcrumbs part (my fault not Julie’s). Thus, my chicken “strips” looked more like “bites” (thus the name change). Despite the mix up…they were a resounding HIT. The kids loved them (so did adults). Moist chicken (I had never put chicken in buttermilk before…but I will do this always from now on!). Crunchy breading. It was delish! Truly.

Alice Eats is a highly illustrated cookbook which integrates Alice in Wonderland themed recipes with creative stories. It would make a great Alice in Wonderland themed wedding shower gift. Or a tea party! hmm…now I crave tea and scones…

Share! What’s your favourite “grazing” finger food?

Boomerang Kids

Boomerang Kids: where smart families shop. Why? Canadian. Resale store. Easy.  A triple threat in the family shopping world. Let me tell you a bit about the Boomerang Kids shopping experience. WARNING: reading this post may influence you to buy kid gear…

Boomerang kids


Boomerang Kids is a Canadian franchise chain of resale stores. Most of the stores’ inventory is consigned by families in the local communities the stores serve. About 25% of Boomerang Kids stores’ merchandise is new product, or “factory fresh” items.   Boomerang Kids stores operate in Ottawa, and are soon to open in the communities of Barrhaven (Ontario), Vaughan (Ontario), Gatineau (Quebec) and Montreal (Quebec). Franchises are available across Canada.

Boomerang Kids shopping experience #1 – You can shop on-line. Search, add to cart, pay and then have the order shipped via Canada Post. As a busy parent, who does shop at consignment stores regularly for kid gear…I think this is a great feature (and it would make me a return customer!).

Boomerang Kids shopping experience #2 - You can shop by category, brand, size, and sale. And then filter from there to boys or girls, condition (I love that they flag things as new, excellent condition or gently used), and price. Also, they have a wide range of name brands to fit every family budget…

Boomerang Kids strollers


Boomerang Kids shopping experience #3 – Shop, strollers. And baby gear. And Toys. Great items and affordable prices. Boomerang Kids states that they inspect everything (which is a safety-must). My first child we bought everything new. By child #2 we realized a lot of our baby gear could easily be bought 2nd hand – in great condition and at half the price as brand new. Plus, it’s good for the environment to give a 2nd life to quality kid stuff – why put it in a landfill?!

Boomerang Kids shopping experience #4 - Shop kids’ clothes. And if you are like me…you know the sizes of your kids. Size 3 jeans are size 3 jeans. I need only look for condition, price, and brand (in that order for me).  I shopped during “quiet time”, with a cup of tea in one hand and my laptop mouse in the other. Easy.

Boomerang Kids jeans

Boomerang Kids shopping experience #5 – shop NEW. Boomerang Kids offers “Factory Fresh” i.e. NEW items for sale as well as resale items. I bought 3 brand new, factory fresh, lunch boxes for my kids to use next year.

What I would like to see in the next Boomerang Kids online update: a size category on the shopping cart order. I shopped for shorts  for different kids- in different sizes – and when I went to review my order it just said “shorts” and didn’t specify which jeans were which size. It made it hard for reviewing…

Boomerang Kids

Boomerang Kids shopping experience #6 – Fast communication! Within minutes of placing my order, I received a order confirmation email. Then, same day, I received another email letting me know my order had been shipped via Canada Post. I found the communication to be extremely efficient.

I love supporting Canadian business. Especially online businesses (because shopping in my pjs – at home – makes life easier). And resale shops are affordable, environmentally friendly, and good quality.

Share! What are your resale store shopping tips?

 #spon. And I shamelessly love the lunch boxes. As always, the opinions on this post are my own.

A World Without Dieting & #Giveaway

I do not talk, blog, or parent about diets. I wrote about why – in the post Mom’s weight, eating and body image (it’s pretty personal). I have body issues, food issues, issues out-of-my-control…and I own that. However, when my girls started imitating my eating choices I realized I had to make a real effort to live with a healthy balance.

Which is why…when I received an email  communicating “Multi-Grain Cheerios has launched “Generation Healthy”, a program aimed at encouraging women to recognize their self-worth and become part of the solution as a role model living a healthy, balanced lifestyle“…I responded YES!…because for me…for my girls…I want to share a world without dieting. TEASER: #Giveaway below to encourage you to take the oath to a world without dieting too!


Infographic stats according to a recent survey commissioned by Multi-Grain Cheerios examining young women ages 10-17

True story: tween daughter asks (often) “Am I fat? Should I go on a diet?”

See my issue with “diets“?!!! Why does a healthy, beautiful, active, healthy 10 year old feel the need to ask if she requires a diet?! Obviously, the answer is the messaging she receives from ads, T.V., pop culture. And I am ready to battle against those messages. It’s time for a new key phrase…A World Without Dieting.

I encourage my girls (and myself) to live with healthy balance. Eat well (starting with a healthy breakfast everyday). Stay active (walk, play, karate). Manage stress (we talk about our days at our sit-down-family-dinner every night). Have a set schedule (school, homework, chores) and break the routine with fun activities (reading, movies, music, play dates). This is how we live with healthy balance.

I am proud to say I took the “Never Say Dieting Oath” this morning and here is my badge for proof…

a world without dieting

What is the Never Say Dieting Oath?

To help create a world without dieting, Multi-Grain Cheerios is encouraging Canadians to take the first step in being a positive, healthy role model by taking the “Never Say Dieting Oath” at WorldWithoutDieting.ca

A World Without Dieting

The Oath is simple. It’s a click. Yet, it is a promise to yourself and the ones you love to help promote good role modeling and a healthy balanced lifestyle. And yes, authentically chez moi, we do eat Multi-Grain Cheerios as part of that lifestyle (they make family breakfast and toddler snack time easier!)


Enter for a chance to win a $100 Loblaws gift card and vouchers for Multi-Grain Cheerios – that would make living a healthy balanced lifestyle easier wouldn’t it?! This giveaway is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec. 18+yrs. End date: Thurs. March 6, 2014.

Please use the rafflecopter form below for entry.
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Amazing Gifts for Valentine’s Day

Gifts which keep on giving are my personal favourite when it comes to giving (and receiving!). I want to share with you some Amazing Gifts for Valentine’s Day (all from amazingclubs.ca - Canada’s #1 gourmet gifts of the month).

Amazing Gifts for Valentine's DayAmazing Gifts For Valentine’s Day

  1. Tea Club
  2. Candle Club
  3. Chocolate Club
  4. Wine Club
  5. Necktie Club
  6. Beer Club
  7. Breakfast Club
  8. Pasta Club
  9. Cookie Club

The Tea Club would be a great gift for a tea lover like me - 2 varieties of premium teas every month! My mom would love the Candle Club - 2 different artisan candles every month. Need the perfect gift for that hard to buy person on your list? The Chocolate Club would be my go-to - A selection of gourmet chocolates every month! For the hostest with the mostest (or host with the most) try the Wine Club - 2 bottles of hand-crafted wine every month. The Necktie Club gifts a 100% silk, designer necktie every month (and this is a gift which gives back to YOU because you’ll have to take that necktie out for a test-drive on a monthly date night right?!).

The Beer Club gifts 12 bottles of hand-crafted beer every month (isn’t beer the national gift of hockey season?!). For the foodies, there are tons of great gifts which bring a yummy surprise every month. From the Breakfast Club to the Pasta Club to the Cookie Club (yum…cookies!). There is a “something special for everyone”. And these are just a few of the 15 gourmet Gift of the Month Clubs available at amazingclubs.ca!

About AmazingClubs.ca

Amazingclubs.ca offers 3-month, 6-month and 12-month clubs plus their popular seasonal club with new deliveries each spring, summer, fall and winter. You can also try a Variety Club where a different gift is randomly selected each month. Once you’ve made your selection, you can place your order online or call toll-free. Great for last minute gifts!

What I love best about these gifts…is that they keep on giving. And I happen to be one of those people who looks forward to getting deliveries of amazing gifts. And I happen to prefer to order online than schlep to a store when buying a gift (does that make me a Valentine Scrooge?!).

Valentine’s Day gifting is about giving a gift of appreciation to those your love. I hope these amazing gifts for Valentine’s Day might help your gift giving be a little easier ;-)


What is your scent family?

I am always drawn to the scent of vanilla. I think it’s because it is connected to my childhood memory of standing on a chair; helping my Mom bake pies. The smell of vanilla… it just comforts me. Makes me happy. It’s funny how scents are connected to memories and emotions. What is your scent family?

What is your scent family

I had the opportunity to meet Sue Phillips (an expert in fragrance and scent) and learn a bit about why I’m so attracted to the smell of vanilla. It’s because it’s my “scent family.” Smell is an emotional sense.  The smell of baby powder brings us back to the days we cuddled our newborns (I still love the smell of baby powder). We went through different scents (each of the above tester strips were dunked in a certain fragrance and we sniffed and smelled). While I found the florals to be overwhelming (others LOVED them) I preferred the citrus, spices, and fruity scents.


Scent Family

WOODY: Many woody scents tend to be spicy (cedar wood, sandalwood and amber). They remind you of the great outdoors.

Downy Infusion: Lavender Serinity and Sage Jasmine

Downy Unstopables: Shimmer Lush

FRESH: This family includes citrus notes such as lemon and grapefruit because they are simple, elegant and clean.

Downy Infusion: Sage Jasmine and Citrus Spice

Down Unstopables: Fresh, Spring

FLORAL: Most popular family. It conjures up feelings of romance.

Downy Infusion: Honey Flower, Orchid Allure, Cashmere Glow

Downy Unstopables: Fresh, Shimmer, Lush, Glow

ORIENTAL: Sensual and exotic, this family includes spices like vanilla and chocolate.

Downy Infusion: Orchid Allure, Spice Blossom, Cashmere Glow

Downy Unstopables: Lush, Glow


I have been using Downy Infusions and Downy Unstopables in my laundry for weeks and every time I take a fresh towel or slip under the sheets my scent family connects to my memories and emotions. The Citrus Spice scent is infused throughout the fabrics giving off a fresh and clean fragrance. Not overwhelming. Delicate. Happy.

I do believe that certain smells can make you happy – just as rotten smells can make you unhappy (hello kids’ gym bag!). Long-lasting fragrance can welcome you into sleep at night and start your day off with a positive emotion. Scents can be sophisticated or simple. And they become part of who we are in our every day lives. Vanilla? Yes, that’s the scent of my lotion and it’s the fragrance of my childhood.

When you mix Downy Infusions™ fabric softener with Downy Unstopables™ scent beads, you’ll get a vibrant, fresh scent you’re sure to love. Downy Infusions™ provide softness and an elegant layered scent experience. Add Downy Unstopables™ for freshness that lasts up to 12 weeks. Mix & Match your own signature scent here: http://www.downy.com/en-CA/products/downy-fortune-smeller.jspx

Downy logo



Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Procter & Gamble via Glam Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Procter & Gamble.

Nella Bella London Bag

Functional and fashionable the Nella Bella London Bag is the ultimate in multi-tasking bags. This trendy 2-in-1 can switch from full size handbag to evening clutch. If you want to treat yourself to something in the new year…this is it!

Nella Bella London

You might remember my review of Nella Bella: A Great Canadian Bag. Between us, friends, these bags are solid, multi-functional, and simply beautiful.

Nella Bella is a Canadian brand of handbags and fashion accessories that utilizes state of the art vegan fabrics to create beautiful, trend setting, high quality collections that accentuate an individual’s sense of style.

The Nella Bella London bag is a must-see for women. The London can be worn in 11 different ways making it the one bag you really need. From everyday life, to travel, to that special evening out…this bag can bring it.

nella bella london the multi-tasking bag

I only wish I had had this bag when I traveled to Spain over the summer. I would have certainly used the full sized handbag while we were en route. The travel pouch would have been perfect when we went to the outdoor markets. The small handbag would have been handy for when we went downtown. And the evening clutch would have been the best accessory for our night’s out on the town.

Even for daily life the London would be perfect. Personally, the all-in-one messenger style would be the perfect solution to my diaper bag Vs. mom’s purse dilemma. I need to carry a bag big enough to hold all the kid gear yet I still starve for a bag to call my own. The all-in-one messenger would allow for the larger bag to the diaper bag while the attached smaller bag would be mine (all MINE *insert evil laugh here!). Moreover, no more switching wallet and car keys from diaper bag to evening bag when I go out – I could simply detach the smaller bag from the all-in-one and I’d be party ready in minutes!

I say…the London would certainly make life easier!

Doesn’t that burgundy bag above look divine? For someone, like me, who is afraid of colour (yes, practically everything in my closet is black) the burgundy is the pop of colour I need to show some character in my accessories. (The London also comes in a rainbow of colours like emerald, camel, red, champagne, and more).

Tarek Al-Azbat (the Creative Director behind Nella Bella) did women a favour in designing the Nella Bella London Bag.  He created a bag which accommodates our multi-tasking lives…from worker to mom to woman…this 2-in-1 bag fits our needs in every way.

What type of bag do you usually carry?

Disclosure: #spon. And yes, the burgundy bag will absolutely give my black wardrobe the pop of colour it so deserives. As always, the opinions in this post are my own. 

Nokia Lumia 1020

I am a huge fan of the Nokia Lumia family. Truly, the Nokia Lumia 920 changed my life (I’ll tell you about that below). Being such a 920 devotee, I was reluctant to try anything new…yet the pro camera of the Nokia Lumia 1020 captivated me…ever fall in love with a phone? ;-)

Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020 Specs

  • Display size: 4.5 ”
  • Touch screen technology: Super sensitive touch
  • Primary camera sensor size: 41 MP, PureView
  • Processor name: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4
  • Processor type: Dual-core 1.5 GHz

I love that the Nokia Lumia family of smartphones are based on the Windows platform. You might remember my post on  Windows Phone and Windows Tiles  where I went over how EASY this platform is to use and customize as you need. It’s a simple drag, place, and drop method to get all the apps you need (and love) in the places on the main screen which work best for you. Up front and centre on my phone is the Kid’s Corner (read my: How to Use Kid’s Corner post) whereby this one app locks my phone and allows my toddler to only play in this one corner. It’s great because it keeps him off my emails, twitter, internet, contacts, and pictures (ever had your toddler text your boss?). In the Kid’s Corner are all the games and videos I have chosen for him to play. It is a great feature.

So I mentioned how my Nokia Lumia 920 changed my life. It did. While I was writing my book “Boredom Busters“,  I used the 920 to take pictures of all the activities, I used the photo editing to make collages, saved them to Skydrive (the cloud), and then emailed them to my editor. I used the social media and email apps to stay connected. I used the calendar and One Note to stay organized. I used the Kid’s Corner to keep my toddler busy while I was writing. I used the phone for conference calls. Without the multi-functional features of this phone I would not have been able to write my book as I did. It kept work and life going!

The Nokia Lumia 1020 has all the same great features which I depend upon. But what makes this generation of Nokia different is the Nokia Pro Camera.

Nokia Pro Camera on the Nokia Lumia 1020 lets you shoot in super high resolution, which means you can zoom in close to your shot after you’ve taken it. Then rotate, reframe, crop and share new images as many times as you want.

Just look at the detail and clarity of these pictures taken on the Nokia Lumia 1020…

Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020

If Nokia ever started an ambassador program – I would be the first won in line to sign up. I cannot say enough good about the quality of the Nokia Lumia family.

What are your must-have phone features?

Disclosure: #spon. And I shamelessly recommend and truly love the Nokia Lumia. As always, the opinions on this post are my own. 

smarTrike Is A Smart Bike!

Have you seen a smarTrike? This is a fab grows-with-your-baby tricycle. From stroller for baby then to a safe push tricycle and then to a tricycle for solo rides. The smarTrike is a smart bike!

smarTrike Features

  • Seat Belt
  • Full Metal Construction
  • Safety Bar
  • Washable Seat Cover
  • Tipping Bucket
  • Fashion Printed Bag (for diapers, wallet, keys)
  • Non Slip Pedals
  • Rubber Wheels
  • Telescopic Handle (adjustable and removable for parent steering)
  • Foot Rest
  • UV Canopy (detachable and great for sun protection)

When I was looking for a tricycle for my toddler these were my needs: a trike that did not lean back too much (little legs have to comfortably reach the pedals), solid construction, and a bucket (to hold my keys).  When I look at the features on the smarTrike I realize they were must-have items left off my list. I love that it has a safety bar (to keep kids safe). I appreciate the seat belt (especially when you consider it can be used for babies). I adore that they thought of the “stuff” you take on an outing and supply a an easily accessible bag. And best of all, the handle for parent steering (genius!).

Bonus points for producing kid gear which grows with your child. I love a 4-in-1 like this because you can use it over seasons and through years. It’s like a gift which keeps on giving!

When I think back to when I had my first daughter – I spent afternoons upon afternoons, crouching down and pushing her around the block on her beloved plastic tricycle (ouch my back). The tricycle she wanted to take to the park but I knew she couldn’t pedal all the way there on her own and I just didn’t have it in me to push and steer all the way there. The tricycle which lasted just one season before it had to go to the recycling bin. It was not a good investment.

The smarTrike?! Good investment (and really not that much of an investment – it’s competitively priced). Metal construction and rubber wheels prove this trike will last more than a season. And the versatility of it allows for you to use it in different child stages (and hello?! pass it on to your 2nd child!).

A smarTrike would make a great holiday gift. Or baby shower gift. Or birthday gift! It’s functional and fashionable. It encourages families to get outside and do some physical activity. It connects families in an activity together. And activities together make up childhoods ;-)

Disclosure: #spon. And I truly think the idea of a push handle trike is genius. As always, the opinions on this post are my own.