Saturday, April 30, 2011

Style Kid: Review and Giveaway!

My two year old just started saying "I love shopping" last week.  I was in shock, but for some reason, everyone seems to think that she learned that phrase from me!
I'm always on the look out for cool, unique, interesting, functional, practical, eco-friendly, safe products for my toddler, so when I was asked to review a product of my choosing from, I was really excited. The only problem was which item I would choose! is a super cool, super fun retailer for all things baby and kid. Shopping online for some of the greatest baby and kid items could not be easier! They carry many well-known and trusted brand names and everything from baby carriers to toys, accessories, and kids' room decor!

I had a very difficult time deciding which item to review.  The Zoo Packs from Skip*Hop caught  my eye, as I was looking for a backpack for Little One. I needed something sturdy, well-made, durable, big enough to carry the things she needs while out and about, yet small enough to not tip her over!  Little One is a tiny toddler, so finding a bag small enough for her to carry is a challenge.
 I chose the Penguin Zoo Pack by Skip*Hop for her. Actually, she chose it! I wanted to get her the owl, but she kept saying "Pingu! Pingu!" while she sat on my lap, checking out with me!

I think it is safe to say that we made the right decision. Little One absolutely LOVES her backpack and refuses to take it off. She even slept with it last night! 

It's roomy enough to carry her books, sippy cup, snacks, and other items, but small enough that she can carry it with ease. She's so tiny, that almost every other kid bag makes her topple over!  We are both very pleased with the backpack and would definitely recommend it to friends and family.

-BPA-Free, Phthalate-free, PVC Free
-Roomy main compartment
-Insulated pouch for snacks
-Adjustable mesh bottle pocket
-Padded, adjustable comfy straps
-Write-on nametag inside
-Easy to clean lining
-10" width x 4" depth x 11.5" height

She looks like such a big girl in this pic :( She put her rain boots, hat and backpack on, and  headed for the door. She told me, "I shopping, Mama! See you!" She looks like she's almost ready for school in this photo!

If you are a new parent, a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or even if you just have a special little one in your life, I highly recommend checking out! I spent hours scouring their website, as I have a zillion baby showers to attend in the next few months! I know babies are born all year round, but for some reason, Spring seems to be Baby Shower Season!

GOOD NEWS!!! is giving one of my readers a $50 gift certificate for their store!

To enter, you must go over to and check out their site, come back here and leave me a comment telling me which item(s) you would choose if you won the gift certificate! 
(1 entry)

Additional entries:
 * Follow StyleKid and chancesmommy (me!) on Twitter. Say hi to StyleKid and let them know I sent  you and/or Tweet the giveaway using the following or similar:

"I want to #WIN a $50 @stylekid GC on @chancesmommy's blog! "  
(5 entries)

* "Like" StyleKid on Facebook and tell them that I sent you! Show 'em some luv!  
(1 entry)

* "Like" Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on Facebook.  
(1 entry)

* Follow Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on GFC. 
(1 entry)

* Follow Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on Networked Blogs.  
(1 entry)

* Grab my blog button and send me the link so I know where you posted it.
(1 entry)

Make sure to leave me your e-mail address so I can contact you if you are the winner. Also, please leave a SEPARATE comment for EACH entry.

Giveaway open to Canadian residents. Ends May 13, 2011 (Fri).
Disclosure - I was given the Skip*Hop Penguin Zoo Pack from to facilitate this review. The thoughts and opinions on this blog are my own.

Friday, April 29, 2011


The winner for our Simply on Board giveaway has been chosen via
Congratulations to 
Janelle said... 6
I left a comment on your facebook page about why I'd like to win! Janelle K xj****** at hotmail dot com
 Please check your inbox this week! I'll be e-mailing  you re: your prize from Simply on Board!

Thank you to everyone who entered. Not a winner? Don't fret! We've got more giveaways for you!

StyleKid $50 gift certificate - Ends May 13, 2011
RONA $50 gift certificate - Ends May 15, 2011

Who Knew That It Could Feel So Good brush one's teeth?

Brushing, flossing, rinsing, and daily oral care is something we do to prevent tooth decay, and maintain a healthy smile. Did you know 72% of Canadians think that an unattractive smile or poor oral hygiene equal a barrier to professional success? 5% of people say that they have experienced discrimination because of their smile.

"National Oral Health Month this April, Crest and Oral-B reveal the 2011 Crest and Oral-B Great Canadian Smile Survey with new insights on how Canadians perceive oral care, smile attractiveness and what it means to have a healthy smile".  I realize I am  just under the wire here, since today is the last day of April, but I wanted to share this with you.  Did you even know that April is National Oral Health Month? 

In the 2011 Crest and Oral-B Great Canadian Smile Survey, survey respondents were asked what the most important factor was in determining the attractiveness of others.  33% said that the smile was the most important. A close second were eyes at 30% and physical fitness ranked third with 18%.

When asked what my biggest oral health concern, I worry about gum disease and fighting gingivitis. I don't know why, but it's just something I'm really paranoid about. I diligently brush my toddler's teeth, especially since she  now has a full set of teeth! Though we brush in the morning and before bed, I know we should be brushing and flossing after meals as well. This is something I'm going to work on.
I was given a customized oral care package from Crest and Oral-B for sharing what my biggest oral health concern was.
I was given Crest Pro-Health toothpaste, Crest Pro-Health mouthwash, and an Oral B Professional Care Electric Toothbrush.

I have to say that I never knew brushing my teeth could feel so good. The soft bristles are gentle on teeth and gums and the pressure sensor stops pulsations when you are brushing too hard. It removes 2x more plaque than a manual toothbrush. My teeth and mouth feel as clean as if just left the dentist's office.

What’s your top oral health concern? Are you worried about gum disease and/or treating gingivitis? Do you want to whiten up your smile? Or, is fighting plaque and tarter build-up your main concern?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BMO Eco Smart Mortgage

Mortgage.  Everyone's favourite word, right? 

As a kid, the word 'mortgage' once was a word I thought was only used by people my parents' age.  It was a 'grown up' word.  I find it interesting that when we were younger, our biggest worry was what we were going to wear to the NKOTB concert (just in case Jordan Knight should happen to spot us in a crowded stadium and fall in love with us).  Now, my peers and I are thinking about mortgage rates and other fun stuff related to home ownership.

Another thing I noticed was that more and more of my peers are also thinking "green". Whether it be because we are more environmentally conscious than we once were or because now we have families of our own and being green helps not only the environment, but also our bank accounts, more and more of us are looking for eco-friendly solutions.  This is especially true of our choices when it comes to our homes.  I know for us, Hubby and I have installed all brand new windows and properly insulated our old farm house.  We have passive solar energy from our greenhouse and we've replaced most of our large appliances to make sure they are Energy Star approved. We also replaced our water system to make sure it is Energy Star approved.

I was excited to discover that BMO wants to encourage and reward Canadian homeowners who are looking to reduce energy consumption and offer them a special mortgage rate!  Canadians who meet BMO's energy efficiency criteria can be offered the BMO Eco Smart Mortgage -- a new mortgage product with market leading five-year fixed rate of 3.89 per cent.

Homeowners can simply download the appropriate checklist (for house or condo) from the BMO website.The check-list includes things such as: High-efficiency heating and cooling systems, Solar, tank-less or ENERGY STAR qualified hot water system and ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors and major appliances. After going through the checklist, if the homeowner feels their home meets all the criteria and qualifies, they can contact BMO branch to speak with a mortgage specialist. An appraiser will be sent by BMO to confirm whether or not the house qualifies.

To qualify, 6 out of 7 items must be met. We almost qualified. Not all of our appliances are Energy Star approved (we have three old chest freezers in the basement that store our meet and produce from our farm and one of the freezers isn't Energy Star approved ). Our greenhouse is attached to our kitchen and it isn't insulated according to the guidelines set on the checklist.

Though Hubby and I are environmentally conscious, our house is indeed old and does need some improvement to be even more energy efficient.

For the checklists and more information on BMO Eco Smart Mortgage, click here.

WAIT! There's more!

WIN a $50 RONA gift card! One lucky winner will win a $50 gift card (you know, so you can use it to buy items from RONA to make your house even "greener")!

All you have to do is tell me in a comment here what your future plans are to make your home more energy efficient.

Giveaway open to Canadian residents only. Ends on May 15, 2011.

Disclosure – I am participating in the BMO Eco Smart Mortgage program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of BMO - Bank of Montreal.  I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You Know You Need 'Em!

Tired of losing Baby's favourite toy or sippy cup when out for a stroll?  Tired of Baby tossing Sophie the Giraffe overboard and dropping her on dirty shopping mall floors?  Simply on Board has the perfect solution for this everyday dilemma. The Simply on Board Toy Straps!

They're 100% cotton, washable, adjustable, and keep items where they ought to be. Oh! I almost forgot to mention that Simply on Board is Canadian too!

Looking for a set of Simply on Board toy straps?  There's a Canadian list of retailers is listed at, in the top right corner. U.S. friends, you can find the straps on!

Here's some good news.  Simply on Board is giving away a set of straps (yes, that's TWO straps in a package) to one of you lucky readers! We will be giving away a set of straps to one lucky person who responds! At 20 people, we'll be giving away 2 sets. At 30 people, we'll be giving away 3 sets! You get the idea! LOTS of chances to win this amazing prize!

How to Win:
Go to Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on Facebook. Leave me a comment there, telling me why you would like to win a set of Simply on Board straps! (Let me know in a comment here that you entered on my Facebook page) Please leave your e-mail address so you can be contacted if you win!

"Like" Simply on Board on Facebook and tell them I sent you :)

**Open to Canadian and U.S. residents.  Giveaway ends at 12AM EDT on April 30th, 2011.**

Friday, April 8, 2011

Life is a Special Occasion

"Life is a special occasion"

That's the new mantra I have to keep chanting.  Oftentimes, we forget about the everyday things.  It's normal.  Life gets busy, we get distracted...and we forget to cherish each and every moment we have with our loved ones.

For over a hundred years, Hallmark has helped families and friends show their love and appreciation for each other for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other special occasions.  Now, Hallmark is reminding us that life is a special occasion too. Yes, Hallmark wants us to remember to "Press Pause" and appreciate life's everyday moments as well.

As a member of Hallmark's Press Pause Panel, I received for review:
- Recordable Conversation Book
A sweet way to create memories! Each page has one or two open-ended questions for your child to answer. Your child's answers can then be recorded at the touch of a button. It's a very thoughtful way to make memories last. What a great keepsake to play back time after time! Little One and I are going to record her voice and answers for her grandma. Perfect, since Mother's Day is just around the corner!
Sells for $29.95

- Totally Ticklish Duck
Last Easter, Little One was only a year old. This year, she's still not old enough to understand what Easter is really about, but more aware of what Easter egg hunting is. Okay, she's more aware of what chocolate is (thanks, Grampy!). I really don't want her to eat any chocolate Easter eggs or chocolate bunnies. I intended on giving her a book or puzzle instead. However, my Hallmark Press Pause Panel Member package arrived today, and this adorable Ticklish Duck was in the box! I wanted to give it to Little One at Easter, but she saw it and immediately swiped it from the box! She is in love with the fuzzy singing duck and very quickly learned how to tickle him to make him laugh even more!
Sells for $29.95 ($14.95 with the purchase of 3 cards)

- Easter Webcam Greeting Card
The card comes to life on your computer! You have to go to the Hallmark website and click on to view it.
Sells for $5.99

- Watson the Raccoon & Interactive Story Book
Watson, the adorable raccoon is a stuffed friend that every kid will love. My toddler LOVES story time. She LOVES being read to. I have to say that the reaction she had from reading the story book with Watson was incredibly adorable. She was surprised that Watson talked while I read! When the book is read aloud, Watson reacts to certain sounds and phrases. Watson and the Case of the Sneaky Stealer interactive storybook is FREE with the purchase of Watson the Raccoon (stuffed animal).
Watson the Raccoon with book sells for $29.95.

- Memory Keeping Recordable Frame
I'm all about picture frames, photo albums, scrapbooks, and anything that will help me preserve all the memories I have of my beautiful family and friends. I'm all about leaving something special for posterity and capturing memories. The Memory Keeping Recordable Frame is ideal for this. The elegant solid wood frame has recordable technology that can capture your voice as you tell the story being the photo in the frame. What a perfect gift for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or "just because"!
Sells for $29.95
- Feminine Grand Bag
The perfect wrapping for the perfect gift. It's all about presentation, and this bag is really trendy, pretty, feminine, and the handles are made of durable fabric. A very pretty gift bag for Mother's Day presents!
*hint! hint!*
Sells for $4.99

What wonderful ideas for Easter, Birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Graduation, weddings, and more!  These are just a few ideas to share your love and appreciation with those you care for.  Head on over to Hallmark for more ideas!


*Disclaimer:  I received the above products for review purposes as part of the Hallmark Press Pause Panel. All the opinions and thoughts expressed on my blog are my own.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Power of Moms

As a kid, I often wondered  how my Mom did it all. She went to work, she took care of the house and of our family. She did all of this and seemed to never sleep!

The question I still have is..."How do moms do it all?"

I've only got one child, and I'm finding it hard to keep up with everything. With teaching, raising a toddler, having ESL students live with us, helping my husband on the farm, doing freelance writing on the side, and being active in community groups/boards, I'm finding it hard to do it all.

Over the course of the past few years, I've learned a lot from my experience blogging.  I've learned that there are a lot of inspiring women out there who run households, own businesses, raise children, blog, and still manage to do everything else in between! Some of the moms I admire in the blogosphere are moms who seem to have things under control most of the time.  I certainly do not fall under this category, so I'm always in awe of moms who do!

Joanne at JetBaby is a mom of two very handsome boys and she owns and operates the ever popular and super cool children's clothing store that caters to fashionable tykes! Check out JetBaby. You'll be blown away!

The Laundry Tarts have made their name known in many households across the nation with their enviro-friendly, all-natural and totally delectable laundry detergent.

Melissa at Wean Green is making moms all over the world excited about making their own baby food...and storing baby food and snacks in her adorable, BPA-free Wean Cubes!

Kia at Today I Ate A Rainbow is making kids healthy, one fruit and veggie at a time! Her healthy eating tools for kids are a favourite in our household. Little One loves putting the magnets on her chart each time she eats a fruit or veggie. Our little munchkin loves "eating rainbows"!

 Erica, one of my fellow BornFree Canada Mom Panel Members has started up her own store and sells only the best items for moms, tots, and families! How this woman balances it all is beyond my comprehension! Find her at and at her shop.

Another Canadian mom who understands the power of moms out there is Victoria from Simply on Board. The amazing mom of three has recently launched her amazing product -  adjustable100% cotton toy straps!
You can buy your Simply on Board straps at Canadian retailers listed on the Simply on Board website. If you live in the U.S., you can get your straps on!

Simply on Board is also hosting a contest to find the NEXT Simply on Board Baby, who will be featured on their packaging!  Maybe the next Simply on Board Baby will be  yours!! Contest Details here: :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Moment Some Of You Have Been Waiting For!

Lucky # 53 is the winner of our wonderful KIOKKO Baby Couture giveaway!

cherdon said... 53
Follow you via Google Friend Connect username is cherdon