Monday, August 30, 2010

Something Near and Dear to Our Hearts

Ever since Little One's birth, Mount Sinai Hospital and Sick Kids Hospital have had a special place in our hearts. Without the two hospitals (and our local hospitals on the Island and in Sudbury), Little One probably would not be where she is today...

Here with us today.

Thanks to the medical team and staff at both hospitals, Little One is doing great and after spending the first 70 days of her life in the NICU, she is at home and in our arms.

I recently heard about another Island mom whose infant son was also in the NICU (but at Sick Kids). During her pregnancy, a blood test showed that her son had *Trisomy 13. He only lived a few days.

Reading the family's story just sent me into a crying fest. I remember all too well what it was like to live in fear that something would happen to the baby was I was carrying inside me. I remember the worry, anxiety and fear I felt every single day that I was in the NICU. I maintained a positive outlook on things, but those feelings and concerns were real. I totally sympathized with the mother who lost her son too soon. Melissa Dawn Roy is a wonderful, strong, spirited mother and has continued to do what she can for those who helped her son in his first and last moments with her.

Through Project Sweet Peas, Melissa has been working on numerous projects in honour of her son, Bennett. The most recent fundraiser is a benefit concert in Bennett's honour. The most touching this is that 100% of proceeds go towards the NICU at Sick Kids and helping families with babies in the NICU.

Please come and show your support. It's for a good cause.

For concert information or other ways you can show your support, click on the following links:


SUNDAY, SEPT 5th at Gordon's Park (18777 Hwy 6), Tehkummah, Manitoulin Island! We will have lots of great entertainment for young and old alike, & fun things for the kiddies to do!

ALL PROCEEDS go to helping families with babies in the SICK KIDS HOSPITAL NICU in Toronto, Ontario.

*Trisomy 13 syndrome is a disorder of human chromosomes which occurs in approximately 1 in 10,000 live born infants. Trisomy 13 is due to the presence of an extra #13 chromosome. Possible complications: Heart defects, brain defects, cleft lip, cleft palate. The most severe are visual abnormalities, omphalocele, Proboscis and holoprosencephaly.(Source:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

SHEARS To The New You!

I recently posted on my other blog about the little quandary I was in. I hate to say that I have been in a rut. A hairstyle rut.

Living in the country, there aren't the pressures I once had to keep up with all the latest styles or to maintain a fashionable hairdo all the time. It's not the same as when I lived in the city. Life is more laid back here, and one cares if you have your hair in a ponytail all the time. I've also been preoccupied with work, the toddler, the husband, the household, the farm, and everything in between. I know it's no reason to take five minutes out of my day to splash on some make up or get to the salon for a fresh cut. No excuses.

I try not to succumb to the material or outer beauty, but let's face it...It does feel absolutely fantastic when you do nice things for yourself. Every woman needs to pamper herself. When you look good, you feel good. Right? Plus, who am I kidding? There's still that part of me that LOVES make up (especially lip glosses and eye shadow!), purses/handbags, shoes, and clothes! I've tried to quell these lusts since I married a farmer and now live in a small rural community.

Well, I went and did the unthinkable. I'm normally a boring person when it comes to my hair. "Just a trim, please" and nothing too fancy. Well, I did two things I normally wouldn't ever do.

1. I went to a new hairdresser. My regular hairdresser just had a baby, and is taking some time off. Otherwise, I'd have gone to her.

2. I asked the new hairdresser to give me something completely different and out of character. Chop it all off!

SHEARS To The New You is a new salon in Manitowaning. Roomy, bright, and welcoming...It's a great place to just sit back and get that new hairstyle or get those highlights done!

Ashley Case, the owner and hairdresser is cheerful, friendly, professional, and really knows what she's doing! I left the salon feeling like a million bucks! Thanks, Ashley!New salon on the Island !
With Ag & Matrix products to help transform the new you.
Call Ashley Case for an appointment at

Check out the SHEARS To The New You fan page on Facebook too!

Monday, August 23, 2010

BornFree Pacifier Review

One of the perks of being a BornFree Canada Mom Panel Member is that not only do I get to write for a wonderful company, but Little One gets to enjoy some of the perks too. This is perfect for us, because my child seems to have discriminating taste when it comes to soothers and sippy cups. She loves her BornFree training cups, drinking cup and straw cup!I never thought I'd use a soother on Little One, but because she was a preemie, she didn't really develop a strong sucking reflex. The doctors and nurses in the NICU suggested we try her on a soother.

I cried. I didn't want her to ever use a soother. I thought it would interfere with any attempt at breastfeeding her. I thought she'd prefer the rubber nipple and just want to drink from a bottle and not from her Mama.

I was wrong. In our case, the pacifier actually helped with the breastfeeding. Little One soon developed her sucking reflex and became a champion nurser!

She still uses her soother, but only for naps and bed time. I'm okay with that. She's starting to learn that she can survive without her soother and she's pretty good about only taking it for naps and bed time.

Not only does BornFree carry bottles and sippy cups, but they also have pacifiers and teethers! BornFree has Clear Button pacifiers, Clear pacifiers, and CoolFlow pacifiers. Little One uses the Twin pack CoolFlow pacifier. It's an "orthodontic silicone pacifier with a rounded cherry shaped nipple. Made from materials that are 100% free of BPA, Phthalates and PVC, the BornFree® pacifier features a breathable shield with extra large air holes to reduce moisture around the mouth and raised soft edges to protect sensitive skin. Twin pack. Supplied with a hygienic snap-on cap.
Available Stages
Stage 1: 0-6m
Stage 2: 6m+"

Little One seems to like the soothers. I really like that there are extra large air holes! I also like that the pacifiers are easy to clean and are 100% BPA-free/Phathalates-free/PVC-free. Oh, and one more exciting feature is the hygienic snap on cap. I like that I can just snap the cap on the pacifier and throw it in the snack bag or diaper bag (or even in my purse)! What a great idea! Little One also likes the cap! She has been putting it on her soother and taking it off. Too cute!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

BuddyBandz and THERMOS Winners!!!

Thank you to everyone who entered our recent contests. The winner of the BuddyBandz contest is
bigdisneyfan said...

My son's friend has a nut alergy, this would be great for him.
warnaar-2 at yahoo dot ca

The winner of our THERMOS contest is
clschaan said...

following you on gfc

bigdisneyfan, we will be sending your e-mail address to BuddyBandz so they can give you your gift certificate.

clschaan, please contact us with your mailing address so we can get your prize shipped to you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Simply on Board - Review and Giveaway!

Simply on Board, where have you been all my life?!?! Okay, all my life as a Mom!

I hate to admit it, but I'm the kind of Mom that gets grossed out if something falls on the floor and Little One tries to put it in her mouth. This seems to be a regular occurrence though. If her soother or sippy cup falls on the ground, I don't give it back to her.My husband is a farm boy and will tell you that "a handful of dirt a day keeps the doctor away". He is a firm believer in the "30 second rule". Me? Not so much. If you think about it, when you're in the mall or in a store, how many hundreds of people have walked those same floors you have? How many pairs of dirty shoes have walked on those floors? People step in all kinds of gross, germ-filled places. For this same reason, I hate it when people don't take their shoes off when they enter a house. Gross!

With Little One being in the "throwing" stage now, my new best friend is the Simply on Board strap! What a great way to keep all of baby's favourites from ending up on the floor! Simply on Board sent me a set of straps to try out. I've tethered Little One's Sophie the giraffe and her sippy cup to her stroller.The Simply on Board straps come in solid and polka dot fabric. They have Velcro, so it's easy to attach and detach. They come in a double pack (one solid strap and one polka dot strap), and in a variety of colours (pink, black, blue and green).

These make fabulous gifts for a baby shower. I'd say it's a Mommy Must-Have!

Simply on Board
is giving one of my readers a set of Simply on Board straps! How awesome is that?

To Win:
MANDATORY - "Like" Simply on Board on Facebook! Leave me a message in my comments section to let me know that you have done this.

Additional entries:
(Please use separate comments per additional entry)

- Follow me @chancesmommy on Twitter and Tweet this contest.
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (on my sidebar).
- "Like" Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on Facebook.
- Grab my button (html code on my sidebar) and post it on your blog. Please send me the link to where you posted it, so I can find you :)

Good luck, everyone! Contest open to Canadian and U.S. residents only. Contest ends September 3rd, 2010.

The winner (chosen via is...
Michelle Proulx said...

hey I "like" the simply on board would be so much easier with one or 2 of those around especially when I am driving and Gabrielle decides to drop her cup on the floor and then 2 seconds later want it gets very frustrating not to meantion that ist is distracting!!I think that this is a great idea!!!

Michelle, please contact me with your mailing info so we can get your prize shipped to you. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Friday, August 13, 2010

THERMOS - Review and Giveaway!

I remember my Mom packing my Dad's lunches in his Thermos lunch box when I was a kid. He had this retro looking orange lunch box with a Thermos that Mom put either coffee in or soup for lunch. Either way, the image of Dad taking his lunches to work has always stuck in my head.

That was back in the late 70's - early 80's.

Dad's lunchbox looked something like this:
As kids, my brother and I used to tote our lunch boxes to school for lunch. I had a metal Holly Hobbie lunch box and Thermos. I also had a Strawberry Shortcake one.Middle Bro had two lunch boxes as well. Thunder Cats and Transformers.

I find it quite amazing that decades later, we're still using Thermos products! I mean, that is a true testament to the Thermos quality. Though I love the vintage lunch box sets, the new Thermos products are fabulous!

Thermos makes everything from coolers, insulated grocery bags, food jars, hydration bottles to lunch kits!

Thermos sent me this awesome Urban Elements™ Upright Lunch Kit to review.Features:
  • Iso-Tec™ superior insulation keeps food fresh
  • Heat-sealed, leak-proof PEVA lining
  • Multiple storage pockets
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Durable, easy-care fabric
I love that this lunch kit has a liner that is PVC-free. It's also the perfect size for packing healthy lunches. What better way to have a garbage-less lunch? Store all food in containers and beverages in hydration bottles. No garbage! It's also a great way to teach your kids to practice green living.

The liner is great. It really does keep food and drinks cooler for longer! When we go out, I always pack food and drinks for Little One. This is perfect!Thermos also sent me a Vacuum Insulated Food Jar to test.
  • TherMax® double wall vacuum insulation for maximum temperature retention, hot or cold.
  • Retains cold temperatures for 9 hours, hot - for 7 hours.
  • Unbreakable stainless steel interior and exterior.
  • Cool to the touch with hot liquids, sweatproof with cold.
  • Compact and insulated stainless steel serving bowl.
  • Full-size telescoping stainless steel spoon.
It retains cold temperatures for 9 HOURS!!! It retains hot temperatures for 7 HOURS! Unbelievable!!! That's what I thought...until I actually tried it out! It's true! Thermos is true to their word! Yes, what nut would actually test how long a food jar would keep cold food cold and hot food hot? Me!

Now, here's a funny story. My friend was at our house when I was testing the products. Without reading the instructions for the telescoping spoon first, we dismantled the whole thing! When we couldn't put it back together, we went on a rant about how impractical that spoon was. Along comes Hubby, seeing our distress and quickly demonstrates how to operate the telescoping spoon.

Thermos, it was a user error and nothing to do with you. Clearly, reading instructions beforehand is a good idea!

Hubby laughed because there was a sticker on the spoon that very clearly reads: slide to use spoon (or something to that effect).

Of course, Thermos didn't want to leave Little One out and sent her something special too!A Princess Lunch Kit with FUNtainer Food Jar and FUNtainer Bottle! The FUNtainer Food Jar and bottle are perfect for kids, because:
  • TherMax® double wall vacuum insulation for maximum temperature retention, hot or cold
  • Kid-proof design: unbreakable stainless steel interior and exterior withstands daily wear and tear
  • Extra wide mouth is easy to fill, serve from and clean
  • Cool to the touch with hot foods
  • Fun designs appeal to kids!
  • Sweat-proof design won’t leave water rings
  • Non-slip, scratch-resistant base
Love it! Not only do FUNtainers keep hot food/beverages hot and cold food/beverages cold, but they are totally kid resistant!

The good folks at Thermos wanted to give one lucky reader something too! A Hannah Montana Thermos Lunch Kit with FUNtainer food jar and FUNtainer bottle!

If you have a special little girl in your house (or if you know a special little girl), enter to win this amazing prize!

To enter:
(Mandatory) Follow @ThermosBrand on Twitter! Leave me a message here and let me know that you've done this.

Additional entries:
For each entry, please leave a separate comment.
- Follow me @chancesmommy on Twitter and Tweet this contest.
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (on my sidebar).
- "Like" Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on Facebook.
- Grab my button (html code on my sidebar) and post it on your blog. Please send me the link to where you posted it, so I can find you :)

Good luck everyone! Contest ends August 21, 2010. Canadian and U.S. residents only.

I received these products from Thermos to review on my blog. The opinions and thoughts on this blog are my own.

For Sensitive Tushies!

Years from now, my blog may no longer exist, but one thing is for sure...

Little One is going to be totally unimpressed with her Mama if she happens to stumble upon this post!

Little One has very sensitive skin. She's always had sensitive skin. This might be TMI, but when she poops a lot or when she is teething, she seems to break out in a diaper rash. Her diaper rashes are not pretty. They're really red and painful looking. So painful that she cries SCREAMS when I try to clean her. **Surprisingly, that facial expression in the photo above is not of Little One screaming. That's actually her scrunchy/HAPPY face!!!**

Thankfully, MomCentral sent us a kit with A+D products to try! In the kit there is one tube of A+D Diaper Rash Ointment and one tube of A+D Diaper Rash Cream.
The A+D Diaper Rash Ointment helps prevent diaper rash from occurring by creating a barrier between baby's skin and diaper moisture. It can be used at every diaper change to prevent diaper rash. A+D Diaper Rash Ointment is dermatologist tested and the formula is paraben-free.

The A+D Diaper Rash Cream can treat diaper rashes, should your child suffer from them. Aside from the zinc oxide, which many diaper rash creams include, A+D is also enriched with aloe vera and vitamins A and D. The aloe vera hydrates and the vitamins A and D moisturize. Again, this product is dermatologist tested and paraben-free.

I have been using the ointment to prevent Little One from getting diaper rash. So far, so good! She did have some redness a few days ago from a combination of A) lots of poopy diapers in one day, B) teething (although some claim that there is no correlation between teething and diaper rashes, I beg to differ!), and C) the heat! With the hot temperature, Little One seems to break out more. The A+D cream worked wonders. The redness disappeared the very next day.

Some helpful info from A+D:
- Change wet and soiled diapers promptly.
- Thoroughly cleanse diaper area, including creases and folds.
- Carefully blot your baby with a washcloth. Avoid rubbing, as it may irritate baby's delicate skin.
- Apply a generous layer of A+D Diaper Rash Ointment on baby's bottom, genital area, and folds of thighs at every diaper changing (to prevent diaper rash).
- Give a liberal coating of A+D Diaper Rash Cream to entire diaper area at every diaper change (if treating diaper rash).

I received an A+D Diaper Rash Protection and Treatment Kit from Mom Central to test/try out. The opinions and thoughts on my blog are my own.

Melanie Bailey Creations - Contest Winner!

The number 12 was chosen via
Kady L. said...

Follow you on Twitter as AMomsWord

Kady is the winner of a beautiful piece of wall art from Melanie Bailey Creations. Kady, please e-mail me or FB me with your mailing/shipping address so we can get your prize to you.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Auberge Inn Winner!

We are happy to announce that Temara Brown is the winner of the Auberge Inn contest/giveaway! You were randomly chosen via Random.Org. Congrats! Please contact us to claim your prize!

Friday, August 6, 2010

THERMOS - Tried, Tested, and True

I remember being in elementary school and bringing my lunch to school. Mom would sometimes pack a sandwich, fruit, and a drink for us. Other times, we'd get a HOT meal. We looked forward to a hot soup (oh, okay...and sometimes Chef Boyardee's ravioli or spaghetti).

As a kid, I was always surprised that Mom could keep our hot lunches hot! It was all due to the magic of THERMOS.

Almost two decades later (Gah! That makes me feel so old!), THERMOS is now keeping my tiny tot's hot lunches hot. THERMOS also keeps Hubby's coffee hot.

THERMOS has come up with tons of new products that range from Dual Compartment Lunch Kits with microwavable containers to Vacuum Insulated Food Jars. The FUNtainers for kids are sure to make any kid happy!

I'll be writing a review of some new THERMOS products very soon. In the meantime, make sure you join the THERMOS Twitter Party!

Message from the folks at THERMOS: The Twitter Party will be taking place on Tuesday, August 10 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST). You and your readers are invited to join @ThermosBrand for a back-to-school discussion with leading product-safety and food-safety experts. You can participate by using the #ThermosBTS hashtag and will also be automatically entered to win some new lunch kits and FUNtainer products.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Buddy Bandz: Because Prevention is Key! (Giveaway)

When I was a kid, I didn't know anyone with food allergies. It was common for moms to pack us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for our lunches. Words like "lactose intolerance", "gluten allergy", and "Celiac disease" weren't in our vocabulary. Food allergies (or allergies in general) weren't really things we spoke about or knew about.

In the past few years, we've found ourselves to be no longer strangers to food allergies. One of our nieces is allergic to gluten, my sister-in-law is allergic to shellfish, I have a sensitivity to green apples (well, not the apple, but the peel/skin), my brother is allergic to mushrooms and soft cheeses, a few friends are lactose intolerant, and some have nut allergies.

Food allergies can be very serious. The thought of loved ones going into Anaphylaxis is scary. This is why prevention is key.

This is where BuddyBandz come in.
"BuddyBandz products are a proactive approach to keeping your food allergic child safe by giving a clear message. We use simple universal food allergy symbols which are recognized by everyone, no matter their language or age."

What better way to let others know about a child's food allergy? The bands are adjustable and come in "No shellfish", "No dairy", "No Peanut", and "No egg" symbols. Perfect for making people aware when at parties, family BBQs, school, camp, field trips, and other social outings where your food allergic child can be exposed to a life threatening situation.

To read more about BuddyBandz, check out their website here.

Not only do BuddyBandz have food allergy bracelets, but they also have t-shirts that carry the symbol for your "dairy-free", "shellfish-free", "peanut-free", and "egg-free" kids.


BuddyBandz may be purchased through the BuddyBandz website. What a perfect, practical, and possibly lifesaving gift!


BuddyBandz is giving one lucky reader a gift certificate to be used toward any purchase of BuddyBandz products (to be redeemed online).

All you have to do is let me know if you have a child with food allergies. Tell me what he or she is allergic to.

For additional entries:
* "Like" BuddyBandz on Facebook.
* "Like" Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on Facebook.
* Follow us on Google Friend Connect.
* Follow us on Twitter @chancesmommy and Tweet the contest.

Contest ends August 20, 2010. A winner will be chosen at random via Random.Org.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Say It Phree

Looking for a unique way to express yourself? Say It Phree has tees to suit the biggest zombie, old school vampire, and phree-thinking fans.

"Expressing the spirit of our times, popular and esoteric, through wearable art created by artists from around the world." (from the Say It Phree website)

The t-shirts are available in various designs, colours and styles. The art work on the tees is pretty wild. Definitely not the tees your Great-Grandma would get you! ;) I think we've all received t-shirts that read: "My Grandma went to Florida and all she got me was this shirt". Say it Phree is perfect for those who love the real, classic, old school vamps, weres, and zombies.

I have a friend who would LOVE a Robot Uprising shirt. He was talking about the Matrix and the Animatrix the other day. This t-shirt reminded me of some of the things we mentioned about those movies.
Say It Phree has given me this youth-inspired girly cap tee.
Isn't that hilarious? WWLLD = What Would Lava Lamp Do? Ummm...hilarious because lava lamps don't really do anything.

You can buy your Say It Phree shirt on their website. Also find Say It Phree on Twitter and on Facebook.

Keepin' Cool at the Auberge Inn...Plus, a Contest/Giveaway!

The sleepy little town of Providence Bay turns into the place to be on the Island in the summer. Stretches upon stretches of white sand beach and turquoise water make Prov a favourite spot for tourists and locals alike.

Prov is also home of the Auberge Inn. Just steps from the longest sandy beach on the island, you can find this beautiful, welcoming "auberge". The Auberge Inn is a newly opened hostel. It's an ideal place to relax, meet new people, and just have a great time.Based on the European style hostel for travelers, the Auberge Inn has a shared room with bunk beds and a private room with a double bed. The gorgeous adult bunk beds are made from local Manitoulin Island cedar. The shared room also has cedar lockers for each guest to safely stow away their belongings.
There are two shared bathrooms, and guests have the use of common areas (kitchen, living room, and sun deck). For those eco-conscious travelers, the Auberge Inn is a great spot to stay. Why? Well, they're eco-friendly, they practice composting, they use environmentally friendly cleaning products (sometimes they make their own), they use LED lights, and the auberge is Bullfrog powered (Green energy). For their house, they use Bullfrog powered energy to reduce the ecological footprint and because it's part of the principles of ecotourism!

Guests also have access to free Wi-Fi! The Auberge Inn also has kayak, canoe, and bicycle rentals.

The hosts of the Auberge Inn also have their own specialty coffee and signature trail mix. Both are available for purchase at the Auberge Inn. The trail mix is delicious and nutritious. I know, because I've tried some! Perfect for hikers needing an energy boost during hikes up the Cup and Saucer Trails.With eco-tourism being popular and travelers being more eco-conscious, the Auberge Inn will make sure travelers have a comfortable stay and have a great experience on beautiful Manitoulin Island!

The Auberge Inn is giving away a super prize to one lucky reader!

for the contest: a $50 voucher good towards the rental of kayaks, a canoe, or bicycles as well as one 8 oz Bag of CAfe de l'Auberge (roasted in Northern Ontario at Old Rock- their own brand) and is fair trade and organic, as well as 1 bag of Auberge Inn Trail Mix.


To win:

Answer the following question: "Where does the name Auberge Inn come from? What does it mean?"

Psssst! The answer can be found on the Auberge Inn website!

For additional entries:

"Like" Auberge Inn on Facebook!
"Like" Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island on Facebook!
Follow Random Thoughts and Musings on the Island on Google Friend Connect!
Follow us on Twitter @chancesmommy.

Bonne chance! Contest ends August 12th.

We've Got 10 Winners!!! Are You One of Them?

The 10 winners of the underWAY/Smart for Life contest are:

Meal Planning Mama
Temara Brown

Winners, please contact me at cg(underscore)lee121875(at)hotmail(dot)com with your e-mail and mailing addresses so MomCentral can send you your amazing prize pack! LOTS of goodies in there for you!