Roaming Reindeer – a new Christmas tradition (and giveaway!!!)

Have you ever looked at all of those elaborate elf pictures on your friends Facebook feeds and considered trying something for yourself? Are you anything like me who thinks that having a Christmas tradition might be fun but know that you would NEVER remember to actually move and set up one?

I was introduced to a very cool new tradition that I am really looking forward to trying this year with Q. It is called “Roaming Reindeer” and includes a book and 2 little plush reindeer to go along with with it.

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Roaming Reindeer is a story about two of Santa’s reindeer, Gus and Sam, who see that Santa is overwhelmed with the naughty and nice lists for Christmas. They decide to help Santa by visiting girls and boys. Sam is saddened and runs away whenever he sees someone being naughty. Gus and Sam decide to work together, side by side, to visit each home. Whenever Sam runs away, he should report to Santa, while Gus sticks around to keep watch. When they run out of time to visit all of the rest of the children, the two reindeer decide to enlist their friends in pairs of two to help. They create a system for Reindeer 1 disappear to report to Santa about behavior, while Reindeer 2 sticks around. All of the reindeer leave on Christmas Eve to help Santa deliver the gifts.

I love this idea because there is no complicated system involved in making real for kids. The reindeer can hang out wherever they want to, and only need to go anywhere if they need to report back to Santa. There is no need to worry about forgetting to do things, and I know that my little guy will love getting to know his reindeer. He loves books that come with toys that help him relate to the story, and having a backstory will make it even more real for him. I can’t wait to introduce them in a few days.

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If you would like to get a Roaming Reindeer set for your family this year, you are in luck! I have one set to giveaway to one lucky reader, just in time for the start of the Christmas season. All you need to do is leave a comment letting me know what your favourite Christmas tradition is. Once you’ve done that, follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form to let me know you’ve done it. There will also be some ways to earn extra entries! This giveaway is open to readers in both Canada and the US. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you can’t wait to win, and want to get your own right away, I have a special code for you. Using the code ROAM2014 will get you $5.00 off the set until November 27th. You can get the book on Amazon.com and at the Roaming Reindeer website.

I can’t wait to here how your reindeer enjoy Christmas at your house. If you have them come to visit this year, please let me know how your family enjoys having them!

Dedication – (almost) Wordless Wednesday

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Competitive sports are tough, even on little bodies. After having the top of his foot torn up twice a week for the past 2 weeks from climbing the rope during gynmastics practice, his coach taped it up for him today. Despite the pain in his foot, he never gave up and never stopped. That is dedication.

5 reasons why exercise is terrible for you

Have you ever wondered why people love to exercise so much? It looks brutal, people always grimacing in pain and limping around, barely able to lift their arms or walk up a flight of stairs. Pfft. Why would you want to do that to yourself? No sane person would. So I thought long and hard about it and have come up with some reasons why exercise is bad for you.

– Exercise makes you sweaty. Sweat is gross, all drippy and stinky and collecting in places you don’t want it to, like inside your bra, under your arms and on the butt of your shorts. It makes your skin slippery and makes it harder for someone to grab you, for your iPod armband to actually stay on your arm, or your makeup to stay in place. We wouldn’t want that now, would we?

– You need to buy new shoes. Whether it is aerobics, running or dance, they will all require you to buy special coverings for your feet. Barefoot running and swimming are probably the two exceptions to the rule, but they open a whole new can of worms when you go there.

– You will need to start drinking more water, which means that you will need to pee more and nobody wants that. It means that you will have to start scouting bathrooms in public places, and *gasp* using them. You might also get the urge to carry a giant-sized water bottle around with you during the day so you stay well “hydrated”. How would that possibly fit in your bag, unless you carry a giant LV bag already? And what if you needed to buy one just for that? The horror!

-You might get the urge to actually join a gym, not just “join a gym”. You will come to realize that there are more places in your gym than just the juice bar and coffee shop, one where people do these things called weights and cardio. It’s probably not the place for sensitive or easily offended ears because people curse, they belch and fart (gross as that is) and there is lots of noise from clanging weights and machine cables. You might even be forced to talk to and interact with new people and heaven forbid you make a new friend.

– You will get muscles and your clothes won’t fit right. Say bye-bye to blouses with buttons, fitted arms, anything labelled “small” or fitted. You will need to buy a new coat because your old one won’t fit over your shoulders and tank tops and vests will become your new best friends. If you are really “lucky” you might have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Gah. More shopping.

– You will get stronger. This means that you will be able to open your own jars, move furniture, and carry heavy bags of groceries and cat litter all on your own. You might not need to ask for help! That blows the damsel in distress thing out of the water doesn’t it?

So there you have it. A few reasons why exercise is horrid and should not, under any circumstances be undertaken by anyone. And if you do? Be prepared to deal with some of the side effects mentioned above, such as more and stronger muscles, better hydration, new friends and changed body shape. Don’t say I didn’t warn you though.

102nd Grey Cup Festival is coming to Vancouver (and giveaway!)

Are you a football fan in Vancouver? Will you be checking out the big game next weekend? If you didn’t manage to get tickets,  fear not! Thete are still a ton of awesome activities leading up to the game through the Grey Cup Festival. Here are a list of some of the top free family-friendly activities that you can check out:

Nissan Family Zone – Jack Poole Plaza, Nov 27-29, 11am-7pm (FREE)
Details:
● Nissan Family Zone will feature family friendly entertainment daily on the Canadian Direct
Insurance Stage, including performers in the attached.
● Bring the kids down to the CN Safety Zone to pick up great football tips and learn about railway safety. Football BC will be running football fun all weekend long – you might even luck out and toss the pigskin with CFL alumni.
● Canadian Forces present a fun and interactive obstacle course for kids to get active!

TELUS Street Festival – Canada Place Way, Nov 27-29, 11am-9pm (FREE)
Details:
● A festival tradition that offers fun for the entire family and it’s FREE.
● Live radio station broadcasts, food trucks and other interactive exhibitors (face painting, photo booths and even a giant jenga!) will keep you busy as you soak in the Grey Cup Festival atmosphere.
● Experience 15 concerts over three days right in the heart of it all at the free PlayNow.com Main Stage, featuring local up-and-coming Vancouver artists like Delhi 2 Dublin, The Matinee, BESTiE, Dominique Fricot and more. (Complete concert line up – new line up for each day, click on days at the top of the link for more. Lots of previous Peak Performance artists here)

Save-On-Foods Grey Cup Festival Parade – Saturday, Nov 29 10am-12pm (FREE) Start: 10:00am at Smithe & Hornby // Finish: 12:00pm at Dunsmuir & Granville
Winding through the streets of downtown Vancouver, the parade will be a celebration of Canadian football, spirit, and the coveted Grey Cup will make an appearance! It promises to be an event filled with floats, marching bands, smiles, and fun. Get ready to ROAR on the Shore starting at 10am!

Now, here is the best part. Want your chance to experience the parade and festival in style? Of course you do, so you will want to enter this contest. Check out this prize pack:
– Family Set of Official Grey Cup Festival Apparel ($250 value)
– 4 VIP spots to the Grey Cup Parade (including breakfast) ($400 value)
– 2 VIP Red Truck Lager Tailgate Concert Series passes (for the grown ups) ($300 value)
– Once in a lifetime opportunity for a child aged 6-14 to be in the one of the VIP Vehicles in the Save-on-Foods Grey Cup Festival Parade!

Child must be between 6-14 and much be available in Downtown Vancouver on Saturday November 29, from 9:30-12:30. Exact details will be provided to the winner.

Total Value: $950

Just enter using the Rafflecopter form below and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happiness is…

Happiness is many things. Sometimes, when it feels like there isn’t much coming you way, it’s time to look to the small things. When you do, it feels like there is a lot to be happy about:

– the giant grilled cheese sandwich I had from a local bakehouse while for lunch with my mom and a good friend
– the amazing caramel apple cider I had from the above mentioned bakehouse made from local apple cider and homemade caramel (to die for)
– seeing the giant smile on Q’s face when I picked him up from school and one of his classmates came over and asked him to repeat his awesome joke for his mom (he had written a joke for the end of the day and had gotten huge laughs from everyone including his teacher)
– Q informing me that he had gotten not one but two Arrows tickets (a positive citation from his teacher) from school today for great behaviour for the lunch monitors and for having done all his work and having an empty “mailbox”
– learning that Q got 100% on this week’s spelling pre-test and gets to do the “advanced” list this week
– my cozy warm sweater dress that although it is too big and needs a belt to cinch it up a bit, is amazingly comfy and leaves me wanting to buy all the sweater dresses ever
– Christmas music, Mary Lambert and Disney songs on the iPod in my car
– the clear, sunny, bright and cold fall days we have been having
– my new Scentsy owl warmer and how it makes my whole house smell like lovely warm vanilla
– an unexpected tweet that might lead to something neat
– hearing a weird crinkling noise and looking over just in time to see a small cat go darting by with a big bag of treats in her mouth that she was attempting to steal and break in to (wouldn’t be the first time, I’ve just never caught her in the act before)
– being so caught up in the book that I am reading to Q that I stayed to read ahead for almost an hour beside him while he snored away peacefully
– having so many choices for a new series to watch on Netflix and finally deciding to watch Friday Night Lights
– warm fuzzy socks and sweats
– a cup of tea and a pumpkin pie Danish (from the bakehouse mentioned earlier) to wrap up the day, and the knowledge that I have a chocolate almond bread pudding in the fridge for tomorrow
– getting to snuggle up into bed already warm and cozy next to my love
– a good book on my Kobo to read myself to sleep (and hopefully not hit myself in the face) with
– the knowledge that I am loved

What made you happy today?