Glimpse

Monday, September 1, 2014

Scholastic Monday ~ Good Morning Canada!

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](http://glimpse-reviews.blogspot.com/p/terms-of-use.html).

It's always exciting for me when I discover a new, talented Canadian author, or when I add some Canadian books to our bookshelf! I love to support our own authors & illustrators that have been born and raised Canadian! One of the more popular kids titles is "Goodnight, Canada." Anyone heard of it? :) Well, the author of that fabulous title has recently released another one which is appropriately called: "Good Morning, Canada!" Good Morning, Canada by Andrea Lynn Beck is a fun little book that send out good morning wishes to Canadians from one coast to the other. It's a sweet little story that is especially fun to read in the morning...snuggled on the couch, still in our jammies!

Good Morning, Canada focuses on the scenes and changing seasons across our country. The pair of moose at sunrise, the gaggle of Canadian geese and checking the sap buckets at a maple syrup farm - all of there sights and sounds are a part of Canada, and this book shares them all and reminds that as each new day dawns, we need to be grateful and thankful for our beautiful country and the great variety and uniqueness of the sights and sounds of Canada. The rhyming text makes the book feel extra 'cheery' and it's always easier to read a lyrical, rhyming text such as the one that this book offers.

We really enjoyed the imagery and illustrations in Good Morning, Canada. I think that the book simply and beautifully captures the essence of our country. To make the book extra fun (especially for slightly older children) each spread includes a dog, stuffed teddy bear and a Canadian flag for your young readers to find. The book is a great combination of fun, fact and activity!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Who're you going to choose? CRAYOLA!!

There's a reason why Crayola brand products are often specified on school supply lists. And it's probably the same reason our family prefers Crayola to other brands of art supplies - quality. As a mom and a teacher, I've had experience with a few other brands. We always come back to Crayola as our favourite.

So when we were offered the chance to try some of Crayola's stand-by's for back to school, of course we accepted!! Included in our package were the new ultra-clean washable markers, crayons and coloured pencils (regular and erasable).

Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Markers
So I thought Crayola's markers were already excellent! But they've improved the washablility! (is that a word?!) New ultra-clean washable markers are still brilliantly coloured but they wash off most painted walls, most common classroom desk surfaces and clothing! Of course, my kids had to try out this claim right away! :) Happily for us all, these markers truly are brilliantly washable! Or our white kitchen table would have been brilliantly coloured! Other colour experiences on our table have required extensive scrubbing (elbow grease) and the use of some sort of abrasive cleaner (which usually takes of a bit of the painted surface too). Not Crayola's ultra-clean washable markers! When they got on our table, supposedly by accident, the marks just wiped right off. Of course, the features of the Crayola marker that we've come to know are still there; a tip that allows you to make various line widths, a reservoir and nib system that helps the ink flow smoothly, and did you know? a new marker that's been left without it's cap can be revitalized by allowing it to rest horizontally overnight! Brilliant!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Clothing that Equals Comfort! ~ GIVEAWAY!

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](http://glimpse-reviews.blogspot.com/p/terms-of-use.html).

I can't even count the number of times that my kids have complained about tags in their clothing and asked me to cut them off. Hey...they even bother me! I definitely am a fan of the more recent trend of tag-free clothing! Tagless clothing is not the only thing that makes clothes extra comfortable though...there are definitely other factors to consider too when we are considering the comfort of our clothing. As I think about what my favorite pieces of clothing are, as well as which pairs of pants and shirts I see my kids wearing over and over and over again it comes down to a few things that I've realized make an outfit extra comfortable. Soft fabric is very important...a little stretch in the fabric goes a long way as well when it comes to comfort! Flat seams are nice as well! That said, they are not something that have been a huge deal for us, but what it does do is tell me that the clothing has truly been made with extra care and the quality of the clothing is higher than most.

Pineapple Pete is a great little Canadian shop that sells clothing that has all the above features (tag free, flat seams and ultra soft fabric!) We received an adorable little pair of Toddler bamboo fleece pants for our (VERY!) active toddler. These pants scream "COMFORT!" Just looking at them makes me want to get a pair for myself! The Toddler bamboo fleece pants are made from super soft bamboo fleece. They have just enough stretch to make an active child happy, and yet hold their shape well too. The inside of the pants is amazingly soft, and they will make a perfect pant for the cooler fall weather that is just around the corner. The Bamboo Pant comes in several colors and in several sizes (from 2T to XS (age 5-6) ). What a great pair of pants to send your kids to school with this fall. They are simple, stylish and oh-so-comfy!

Bug-Free Outdoor Fun! ~ GIVEAWAY!

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](http://glimpse-reviews.blogspot.com/p/terms-of-use.html).

One comment that I've heard often from our kids this summer has been this "I just LOVE summer, except for the mosquitoes!!" And I have to agree! Summer is my favorite month of the year...and I truly enjoy every aspect of it, except for some of the bugs. Either way, summer is definitely still our favorite season and have found ways to enjoy it despite the mosquitoes, wasps (we seem to have an abundance of them around here this year...) and other bugs!

One of our kids' most recent ways to enjoy the great outdoors in a bug-free zone is to hang out and play in the Youth InstaClip Screen House from Coleman. This screen house is the perfect spot to go read a book, have a snack, enjoy a picnic, etc. The possibilities are numerous and this nice sized 6 ft. x 5 ft. screen house is a great little spot for our children to get away from the bugs while enjoying the beautiful summer weather. The screen house has a 5 ft. centre height so that kids and youth can easily stand and move around in it. It would be too small for most adults to stand up and walk around, but I've been known to sneak into the screen house myself and spend some time sitting and enjoying the bug-free zone in there with my children! ;)

We were very impressed with how quick and easy it was to set up our Coleman Youth InstaClip Screen House. The Insta-Clip techology really makes for an easy assembly and it took us less than 10 minutes to set up the screen house. The screen house has some other great features as well. A few of these include:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Making Math Fun!

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](http://glimpse-reviews.blogspot.com/p/terms-of-use.html).

Math...it was always my least favorite subject when I was in school! Math was just not my strong point, and lets just say that I would've rather been studying history or reading a novel than crunching numbers. Math takes a lot of brain power to master and understand, and with the limited time that the teachers have to get all the kids in their class learning and understanding math concepts, some of the students will fall between the cracks. Here's the comical part of it all...now that I have my own children, we've decided to homeschool so you know what that means...yep, I am the one who has to now TEACH all these same math concepts and skills to our children! There's nothing quite like teaching a skill to make you finally learn it well...and possibly even learn to love it! ;)

DK Canada is a company that I wish would've been around when I was "that" kid in school who really, really disliked math and just needed some extra motivation and resources to help me realize that I could do it and math could be fun! DK Canada never fails to give Canadian families the resources they need (Canadian-based resources too!) to help their kids along in a huge variety of subjects that they will be covering in school. One of the more major ones, of course, is math. DK Canada has all sorts of great and very helpful, math books and resources for both parents and children. We received a few math workbooks for our younger girls to try out and both of the books were received into our home with excitement and anticipation.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Just Add a little Fruit Spread...

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](http://glimpse-reviews.blogspot.com/p/terms-of-use.html).

Summer holidays are a great time...relaxing at times, yet busy in other ways! Instead of doing all the regular school day preparation and activities, you probably have found yourself packing up picnics, going to the park, gardening, and spending every spare minute outside in the beautiful summer weather! That all keeps us pretty busy around here during the summer, but in a week or two we will be saying goodbye to the long days spent in the backyard and will be entering into the busy-ness that comes with the coming school year. One thing that really is important (yet might often get pushed to the side due to not having enough time, etc.) is preparing healthy school lunches for our children. There are all types of things that can stand in the way of having the time to plan and prepare healthy meals...but, in our opinion, it is something that is VERY important and we as parents need to find a way to make those healthy lunches and meals for our kids...even when we are on the go.

One discovery that we've made over the past year or two is that sometimes it's the little things that matter the most! Maybe you don't always have time to make your own homemade bread, but lets at least make sure that what is on the bread is something that is healthy and nutritious! Crofter's Organic is a perfect example of something to top that slice of bread with. Kids will love it (so will parents! *wink*) and it offers families a lower sugar, healthier option that is simply delicious. Crofters has a great variety of spreads to choose from as well - something to satisfy everyone - even the picky eaters!

If you're already feeling 'stuck in a rut' when it comes to school lunch ideas, you'll want to check out the following:

Crofter’s Top 10 Meals and Snack Ideas for Back-to-School:

1. Pair Crofter’s Organic Fruit spread with organic almond butter for a lower-sugar take on the traditional PB&J.
2. Switch out peanut butter with organic cream cheese for a delicious sandwich safe for those with nut allergies.
3. Replace sugar with Crofter’s Jam when making muffins for a lower-sugar breakfast and lunchtime snack.
4. Add a dollop of Crofter’s Strawberry Just Fruit spread instead of high-sugar syrups on waffles or pancakes.
5. Make a “bento box” of sliced cheeses, sausage, crackers and a side of jam for a quick afternoon snack.
6. Mix a teaspoon of Crofter’s Organic fruit spread into plain greek yogurt.
7. Mix cream cheese and jam and spread on graham crackers.
8. Try a turkey sandwich with Crofter’s Organic pomegranate spread!
9. Spread Crofter’s Morello Cherry Premium spread on ham and roll it up for a low-carb snack!
10. Mix Crofter’s Organic Seville Orange with cream cheese and use as dip for cut-up fruits.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Squoosh...the Ultimate Snack! ~ GIVEAWAY!

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](http://glimpse-reviews.blogspot.com/p/terms-of-use.html).

Sometimes life just gets busy. Whether that business comes at a time when you've got toddlers and babies in your home, or whether it comes at a time when you're trying to pack lunches and get your children to school on time...the truth still stands...sometimes life just gets busy. For us, life just got a little bit busier this past month when we welcomed another little baby into our family. Time slips by at an alarming rate these days...and at times I've found it hard to have healthy and convenient snacks and food items on hand for my four other children who are apparently hungry pretty much all the time!

So, when it comes to snacks, packing lunches or even just the desire to have healthy AND convenient items in our pantry, I often turn to Baby Gourmet who has created a snack line for toddlers and beyond. Squoosh is an organic snack that will give your child one full serving of fruits and vegetables in every pouch. In other words - they are EXACTLY what moms-on-the-go or kids-on-the-go need! Squoosh is super convenient - simply twist of the cap and enjoy! It is also super healthy as it is packed full of fruit and veggie goodness. All of the Squoosh flavors have no added sugar or salt, are kosher, and are nut-free and gluten-free.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Protect your school stuff!! ~ GIVEAWAY!

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](http://glimpse-reviews.blogspot.com/p/terms-of-use.html).
 
It's important to protect your belongings. At school, in your locker, or at home (from your younger siblings), at the pool/gym... Dudley has been a school standard since 1922. They've got experience protecting your stuff!!

Included in their product range are:
  • combination locks (in a variety of styles and colours)
  • locker accessories (such as shelves, mats, mirrors, hooks)
  • bike and sport locks (key or combinations)
  • backpacks (including lunch bags!)

Two new products have recently joined their line-up:
  • The Load 'n Lock Pencil Box
  • The Fully Loaded Lunch (to match the Fully Loaded Backpack)

Andrea and I (Julie) received one of each of these to try out with our kids as we prepare to get back to a learning and school routine! The Load N Lock Pencil Pod is offered in blue, pink, metallic, silver, green and purple and retails for $14.99. The Fully Loaded Lunch can stand up straight, or flat on its back, and it retails for $14.99.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Inspiring, Educational & FUN! ~ GIVEAWAY!

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](http://glimpse-reviews.blogspot.com/p/terms-of-use.html).

I've always loved animals - ever since I was a child they were a 'bright spot' in my day. My favorite animal (besides me pet cats ;) ) was always the giant panda. I was fascinated by them, and just loved those adorable black & white cuddly-looking bears. Yes, there's always been a soft spot in my heart for animals, and especially for animals that are hurt, need a home, or are endangered. I do believe that it is our responsibility to take care of the animals that share the earth with us, and this is something that I want to pass onto our children. Of course, there will always be death and people who "break the rules" so to speak, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be doing our part to care for animals and keep them from extinction. We definitely want to be a family that is aware of things such as endangered animals and as a family that does what they can to protect and care for the animals that God has given to us!

Anouk's Ark is a Canadian company that wholeheartedly promotes this thought! In fact, it is their goal to inspire people to save endangered species. There are many ways to create awareness about endangered species, but most of these ways do not appeal to children. However, Anouk's Ark has created several top-notch, Canadian-made products that not only inspire children & adults but that also have the added aspects of both fun and education!

Learn to Read, Read to Learn!

**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full [Terms of use](http://glimpse-reviews.blogspot.com/p/terms-of-use.html).

I LOVE to read! I'll admit...I have much less time for reading these days as a mom of 5 children, but the fact still remains - that when I DO have the time, I really enjoy reading. One of my goals as a parent is to pass on my love for reading to our children. I truly believe that nothing can stop someone who loves to read. Reading is one of the best ways to learn and it opens up a whole new world for children (and adults!) I could go on and on about the benefits of being an avid reader who truly enjoys cracking open book after book, but I will stop for now. :) Instead, I'll share with you one company that has been fabulous for our family and for developing a love for reading in my eldest child (a boy :) ).

Now that our oldest child has begun to truly LOVE to read, there's nothing that's stopping him. I'll often find him on the couch reading book after book and reader after reader. DK's Amazing Animal Journeys was a great reader fro him to add to his collection. It is full of full color photography, attention-grabbing illustrations and age appropriate stories and language. Of course, one of my favorite aspects of a reader such as this one is that not only is the child reading, but they are also learning new information. Even I found this book fascinating!

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