This Christmas,Mastermind Toys has made my gift-giving experience easy and simple. Both online and off, they have provided me with outstanding service and special perks that have me visiting a little more often than I had planned ;) Every-time I think I am done with holiday shopping for my kiddos I find another cool toy to add to the list- 2 more weeks and counting and hopefully I can actually say I am DONE (I hope).
 
Canadian owned and operated Mastermind Toys is usually my one stop shop for toys and fun for kids of all ages! I really love that their selection is both educational and different than 'big box' stores- gives it more of a unique boutique feel. PLUS they gift wrap for FREE and in my opinion, have the BEST staff around!! How amazing is that? 

They have been selling toys for more than 30 years in the greater Toronto area and have recently expanded to 32 stores across Canada and still growing - now that is a trusted toy store right?

I was fortunate to try out two of the HOTTEST toys of the season with my kids and I am thrilled to let you know what they thought of them and how much mommy enjoyed playing with them too. The first one (left) is from Hype Hydro Sound Water Dancing Speakers and the other Hexbug Circuit Boards RC Skateboard Skate Park Set. When I got this package I couldn't wait for the kids to get home to start playing!! Almost 5 hours later, and two happy kids and a crazy enthusiastic mom and these toys were ready to be evaluated.
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Hexbug Circuit Boards RC Skateboard Skate Park Set
Right out of the box, this package was ready to ROCK! Comes with batteries, and simple assembly and is perfect for your little wannabe skateboard pro! The kids had fun with this and rated it a 'cool' toy because it was different than a remote control car and the boards are collectible too. I really love that more than one child can play with the interchangeable ramps by simply purchasing a add on skateboard. Before I knew it the kids had their tiny fingers going fast and jumping ramps while trying to master tricks. Mamma on the other hand still has no clue how to control this device lol - guess that is why it's meant for tiny hands. ($59.95)
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Hydro Rhythm Dancing Water Speakers - Online Only
This is my most favorite toy of the season! I managed to crack open the box before the kids came home, just because I was so curious to see what all the 'magic' was all about. Of coarse, I plugged into my iphone and voila, magic really did happen-- boy did I miss my lava lamp days, but lava lamps never danced to the rhythm of MY MUSIC!!! Happy place at last ;) When the kids returned home, they both joined me for a dance party in the family room and two weeks later, we are still jamming out to our favorite tunes! Well worth the money, and totally on the top of my Christmas gift giving list! ($19.99)
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Disclosure: I was given the above merchandise for review purposes, all opinions on this blog are my own. No compensation has been negotiated in exchange. Mastermind Toys is responsible for the distribution of the winners prize once chosen.

Enter below for your chance to WIN a $100 gift card to Mastermind Toys!
(open to residents of Canada - 18yrs +)
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BURRRR! These past couple of days here in Canada have proven some really cold weather for adults and children alike. I for one, can attest to the conception that sometimes parents can be over bearing, but in conditions like these you can never be too careful when it comes to your child's warmth. 

Since my little ones were born, my only secret to warm happiness has been layering! I layer everything that I possibly can because in my opinion, you can always take off but if you don't have enough to put on then your body is destined to be frozen. Little mommy tip from a mamma of 2 not so happy winter campers ;) Since our little ones cannot express just how cold they are, Disney Baby has put together five tips for keeping your little one warm, all winter long to help prepare your baby for the wintry weather ahead.

TIP #1: Appropriate attire
While it may seem like a good idea to turn your little one into a snow-suited marshmallow, be careful not to overdo it – you don’t want baby to overheat! A good rule of thumb is to dress children less than a year old in the same number of layers you’re wearing, plus one more. 

Tip #2: Easy on, easy off

Opting for a cozy jumpsuit, like this fleecy Winnie the Pooh number, makes layering an easy task. Simply slip these one piece wonders over baby’s outfit as you’re leaving the house. With built-in booties and mittens, a snuggly suit will ensure your little one is ready to face even the chilliest of days.

Tip #3: Collect cute caps
Heat escapes through the top of the body, so always make sure your little one’s head is covered. For warmth and style, try these adorable Princess and Pooh cap, mitt and bootie sets – they’re perfect for tiny noggins!

TIP #4: Take brrr-eaks
Babies need fresh air, even in winter, and it’s perfectly fine to take your little one outside when it’s chilly. But it’s important not to keep baby out in the cold too long. Look out for fussiness or other signs of discomfort and if you see them, head inside for a cuddle!

TIP #5: Create a cozy crib
Your baby can get chilly, even inside, and many moms worry about keeping little ones warm while they’re asleep. Step one is to create a snug environment. Try using a flannel fitted sheet in your crib and a cozy footed sleeper to keep your little one toasty from tip to toe. For really tiny tots, swaddling is a great option – just make sure you don’t use too many layers!

Disclosure: I am a Disney Baby Mom Ambassador and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group; however all opinions on this blog expressed are as always entirely my own.

Enter to #WIN a Disney Baby Prize Pack! 

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So much freshness, so good for you too! 
When Summer Fresh sent me this package, I couldn't wait to dig in! I am not a huge fan of 'healthy' snacks because of my addiction to bad foods, but these conveniently packed little single-serve sizes and flavors changed my mind. Let's face it, healthy doesn't always mean convenient right? BUT with these awesome packages of goodness, the hassle of preparation has been lifted for parents who are on the go but still want a healthy alternative to snacking.

The SummerFresh Hummus mini dippers also come in three flavours: Original, Roasted Garlic and Roasted Red Pepper - YUM! My kids just love them for school snacks too - just don't tell them it's healthy ;)

The newest addition and possibly the best invention ever are the Summer Fresh Snack’n Go products - also available in Original, Roasted Garlic and Roasted Red Pepper and get this - they come with CRACKERS TOO!! How's that for saving time and adding nutrition to your kids lunches?

I have no doubt you will fall in love with these flavors and new packages and I know that they are now remaining as a staple in our home as well.

Visit them here:

Microsite: www.summerfresh.com/snacks 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/summerfreshisfresh 
Twitter: www.twitter.com/summerfresh

GREAT NEWS! Enter for your chance to WIN the prize pack below and taste Summer Fresh Snacks for yourself!
 Open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec.

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Disclosure: I have recieved a Summer Fresh pack of items in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions, as always on this blog are my own. Summer Fresh reserves the right to distribute their products to the winner of this contest.
 
 
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I have always had really long lashes, but over the years they have lost their fullness, and this is the thing that has bothered me most over the past few years - guess all that clumping on waterproof mascara in my teen years and then yanking out lashes when removing it did a number on my lashes. No matter which mascara I would try, I would always achieve the length (with multiple applications) but never the fullness I really wanted. 

I remember being a bridesmaid for my sisters wedding and having falsies applied professionally because I wanted that beautiful dark-lash look, only to pull them off half way through the night because they were so heavy. I'm sure most women could relate to a similar story or attest to the fact that sometimes beauty is hard to achieve when you are running out the door with your kids in the morning.
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I have the secret....
Want glamour and long, beautiful lashes, without the hassle of falsies? I was recently introduced to Younique's 3D Fiberlash and I am in LOVE! This duo set mascara and fiberlash set has made beautiful lashes simply easy and quick to achieve. I'm not gonna lie, the first time I applied was not the easiest, but now that I have the hang of it, application takes seconds.

What I recommend is to make sure that both wants are open when starting the process. Apply a thin coat of the gel applicator over the entire lash, while quickly applying the fibers immediately after. Once fibers adhere to the lash (don't worry they will look clumpy) go over them with the gel once more. If there is any residual clumping make sure to use an eyelash brush.

For me, one application following this process is enough to achieve the look I love, but feel free to experiment and re-apply as needed. Just remember to follow the same process. I just wish that the wands were made in 2 separate identifiable colours to make application a little easier for people like me who often confuse the two....but that's just me lol.

Wear these everyday, or for a fun night on the town.

Simply beautiful. 

Visit the website at: www.3dmascara.ca, 
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

GREAT NEWS! One lucky lil-sugar reader will WIN a 3D Fiberlash set!!
Enter below - Contest open to CAN residents only.
 
 
Having a baby involves a whole truckload of things, from playpens to rocking chairs and cribs, but the hardest job in my books is bringing that baby out into the world WITHOUT all the luxuries of home. Packing a diaper bag can often be stressful and searching for that most needed element when on the go can be stressful. So, why not learn to pack the perfect diaper bag, and keep your sanity too?

Below are some amazing tips for diaper bag must haves from Disney Baby. This list will save you a lot of time (and sanity) while you enjoy the time you spend with your little one. 

Diapers, diapers and more diapers
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to keep plenty of diapers on hand. Bring one for every hour you’ll be out, plus one more – you don’t want to get caught without! 

Don’t be without wipes 
Keep some wipes in a plastic bag, or get a set in handy travel size. These are great for keeping baby clean post changing and are useful for wiping down sticky fingers and faces, dirty surfaces and changing pads as well.  

Diaper Rash Cream
Pick up a small tube and keep it ready at hand. You never know when diaper rash could develop, and you don’t want your baby to be uncomfortable when you’re nowhere near home!

Pack a changing pad
Many diaper bags, including this Mickey Mouse one, come with changing pads inside. Changing pads make dealing with diapers a clean and comfortable experience, especially when there isn’t a changing table available. 

Extra clothing
No matter how prepared you are, accidents can happen. When you’re on the move with a baby, any number of things could necessitate a wardrobe change. Disney Baby has plenty of adorable Layette sets, available at all major retail locations – check out these super cute body suits for inspiration! They will fit neatly in your bag, so your baby can stay stylish, even on the run. 

Bring a selection of snacks
If your baby is bottle feeding, keep some milk ready at hand. These Mickey bottles are a great option. If your baby is older, take some snacks in a reusable container and fill a learner cup with water or juice. Most importantly: don’t forget to throw in a snack for yourself, so you and baby can have a treat together.

Carry creature comforts
Pack some pacifiers to help keep your baby calm. Blankets, like these Peek-a-Boo Pooh ones, are also great to have on hand. Use them as burp cloths, for mopping up messes or just to keep your little one cozy and warm. 

Tons of toys
Keep baby occupied while you’re out and about withboard books, rattles and other toys. Baby will have fun and you’ll be able to get your errands done.

Disney Baby has a great selection of diaper bags to choose from, featuring all of your favourite characters: Mickey and Minnie, Winnie the Pooh – even Tinkerbell. You can also get special Huggies® diapers that feature adorable Disney designs!


GREAT NEWS! Enter for your chance to win a Disney Prize Pack below!! 
Open to Canada only. 
Ends midnight September 30th, 2014.
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Package Includes: 
  • A Mickey Mouse SoftPal night light
  • A set of Mickey Mouse orthodontic bottles
  • A Mickey Mouse learner cup (for ages 6+)
  • A set of Mickey Mouse natural shape orthodontic pacifiers
Disclosure: I am a Disney Baby Mom Ambassador and as such, I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. All opinions expressed on this blog are, as always entirely my own.
 
 
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Oh I remember taking my firstborn home for the very first time, and thinking that he was the cutest little face that I ever saw....I remember it all too clearly. 

What I also remember, is the time when I had to bathe him for the very first time- alone.
Most babies like water, right? It can't be that hard, right? 
WRONG! 

My little one, hated the sound, touch and feel of all things water and boy was I scared to give such a little, slippery baby a bath let alone do it by myself! Thankfully, I got though it and so did my little man, but it took me some time to get used to bath time and to create the perfect ritual. I wish I had these tips to keep me grounded when he was born!

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Learning to bathe your baby can be a little scary – there’s a lot to juggle and of course you want to keep your little one safe. But as long you’re properly prepared, bath time can be a great bonding experience and a whole lot of fun!Disney Baby has some great tips on how to protect and pamper your little one in the tub, and some adorable products to help you to do it! From towels and toys to cleansers and creams,Disney Baby has you covered. 

Tip #1: Start small
Your baby is little, so his bathtub should be too! When you start bathing a baby, it’s easier to do it in the sink, or using a small plastic tub. That way, you won’t have to kneel or lean awkwardly over the side of a big bath while keeping your baby upright. Some baby tubs, like this adorable Winnie the Pooh one, feature built-in toys, ensuring that bath time is fun for everyone!

Tip #2: Get some tub toys
For older babies, the bath can be a great place to learn and explore. Once your little one has graduated to a big tub, introduce them to some squirt toys, fun floaties or sponges. Disney Baby has a great selection of these, featuring characters likeNemo and Friends. Toys can keep your baby distracted and happy, helping make bath time a breeze.

Tip #3: Ditch the daily dips
Babies don’t need to bathe everyday – in fact, daily baths can dry out or damage your little one’s skin. It only takes two or three baths a week to ensure that baby stays squeaky-clean, as long as you stay vigilant about keeping face, hands and diaper area clean between washes. These Finding Nemo washcloths are the perfect way to keep baby fresh between bath times.

Tip #4: Lock in that moisture
If your baby does have dry skin, rub on a little moisturizing lotion, cream or oil post bath. There are plenty of products out there that both you and your baby can use!

Tip #5: Keep baby warm
Wet babies can become easily chilled, so throughout bath time it’s important to keep your little one warm. Ensure that bath water is around 37 degrees and that the air in the bathroom is comfortably warm as well. After the bath, wrap baby up in a soft, clean towel and give him a little snuggle! A Winnie the Pooh Bathtime Wrap keeps baby feeling cozy and looking cute.

One Canadian reader will win a Mickey Mouse clothing set along with a hydration bottle and clip-on rattle- sooo adorable!
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Disclosure: I am a Disney Baby Mom Ambassador and as such, I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. All opinions expressed on this blog are, as always entirely my own.
 
 
What could be better than safe, non-toxic cleaning products for your family with a trusted, reliable name brand behind it? NOTHING!

As a parent, we all want the best for our children and the environment they live in. That's why I love these new products from Effeclean. What's better is that they have partnered with one of my most favorite and trusted brands - Today's Parent Magazine to combine function with reliability. 

I am completely satisfied with the products in terms of cleaning my home - my counters are spotless and my tv/computer and even my reading glasses have never shined so bright! I just love that all these products do not have an overly distinct smell, much like leading brands do - must be the 'real' ingredients they use to create that spotless shine ;)
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Today’s Parent eco responsible Tablet & laptop screen cleaner 
Specifically designed for use on the most advanced intuitive touch screens. Using breakthrough chemistry our formula separates the molecular bonds that dirt, dust and air-born contaminants use to adhere to the screen surface. Smudges and finger prints are safely removed leaving a clean streak-free screen with an anti-static barrier that will help repel dust. This product is completely VOC free and safe to use on any tablet and laptop devices. Completely safe to use around kids and pets and will not void the warranty on any device.

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Today’s Parent eco responsible All Purpose Cleaner
A versatile, multipurpose, non-toxic cleaner that clean most of the hard surfaces that are water washable for the house, office and industry. This product is highly effective in removing the toughest grease and stuck-on debris leaving the area clean. This product is safe, easy to use straight from the bottle. Provide great results without any harmful VOC’s or toxic film residue. Safe to use granite and counter tops, stoves, appliances and ovens.

To purchase these products, here is a list of retailers: http://effeclean.com/tpa/

GREAT NEWS! GET YOUR HOME SPARKLING WITH THIS AWESOME GIVEAWAY!! 
Enter for your chance to WIN this Prize Pack! 
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I have to tell you about this lightweight, long-lasting, non-pore blocking line of cosmetics that match your natural skin tone and create a healthy overall appearance. I love when I can share beauty products with my readers that actually work and are great for your skin too! Mia Mariu really has a great line that I know you will love! 


Perfecting Finish Mineral Primer
If you are going to purchase any of the Mia Mariu products this is the one that I highly recommend! This product goes on smooth, and concealed obvious pores without over drying or creating a 'masked' effect like some primers do. I really love that you can use it as a moisturizer too! This is my ultimate favorite product from the line thus far!

 Perfecting Finish Mineral Cream Concealer

This concealer is light and the coverage is great. I used it on my dark circles and to cover up a tattoo on my finger and it worked wonderfully. I really like the full coverage without the bulk.

Perfecting Finish Mineral Foundation 
I am a huge liquid foundation user, so I decided to test the mineral loose powder for the purpose of this review and I have to say it is perfect for my summer sun-kissed skin. I hate when foundation looks like it is actually covering your 'glow' instead of complementing it. The foundation has a really shear coverage with a shine-like layer that covers and highlights giving your skin a refreshing pick me up! 

Mía Mariu’s high performance products are formulated with the most natural ingredients available helping you achieve vibrant beauty and health inside and out.  Each unique product fuses nature and technology by combining the highest quality botanicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and peptides.  The result? healthy products that provide a perfect balance that reflects itself through youthful, healthy, beautiful, glowing skin and renewed energy and vitality, at an exceptional value.  Mía offers natural skin care, professional makeup artist quality mineral cosmetics and brushes, fine fragrances and nutritional supplements to Reveal Your Unique Shade of Beauty!
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Luckily One Lil-Sugar Reader Will Win The 3 Products Listed Above!!! Enter For Your Chance To WIN Below: 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
 
 
One of my most favorite things to do with the kiddos are scavenger hunts. We usually go to a nearby forest and hide goodies for them while they scurry around trying to find clues and booty. They just love the excitement and so do we! This is why I am SUPER excited to tell you about a new challenge going on in Toronto starting July 1! ,

ESKA is asking people who are in Toronto to keep their eyes opened for 10 hidden #eskaquest tiles they’ve placed around the city - cool right?  Every tile you find will complete a fun challenge through the #eskaquest mobile app for the chance to win 1 of 10 iPad minis!! This is seriously an awesome scavenger hunt if you ask me ;)

Use your smartphone for some outdoor fun for once! The #eskaquest mobile app is free to download and there’s no purchase required to participate in the quest. #Eskaquest runs through July 31. Download on eskaquest.com and on the Apple and Android app stores. 

There are two ways to play EskaQuest: Solo and Clues. Solo participants can compete throughout July by viewing the map at eskaquest.com, which shows the area where tiles are hidden. In the Clues competition, clues about the locations will be revealed throughout July on ESKA Water’s social media feeds:

Facebook
Twitter 
Instagram

Here's another way to join in! WIN a gift pack that will have you fully stocked for your #eskaquest adventure with lil-sugar.ca! The gift pack is valued at $125 and it includes a super-cool cooler backpack, sunscreen, water, snacks and more goodies to get your summer started!

For your chance to win, fill out the rafflecopter entry below. Open to Ontario residents only!

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Disclosure: I was provided a gift pack in exchange for this blog post. As always all opinions on this blog are my own. 
 
 
Ont thing I have learnt through the years is that aging is inevitable. I too will age, just as my ancestors did before me, and at first thought this is sad, but when you see the beautiful faces of your mother, aunts or grandmothers you will see that inevitable is good - if you are blessed with good genes of course ;)

Does it come down to good genes?

I thought it did, until I realized that environmental factors, stress and quality of life all fall under the category that is....me.

After having my 2 boys, I have struggled to achieve that 'youthful' glow that illuminates from within, the kind I had in my early 20's. I know, this too happens with age of course, but what is worse is that we live in a society that is smeared with Botox, plastic surgery and photoshop-- how can a 30 something female ever feel beautiful in her own skin?

I think I found the secret to my existing youth in Elizabeth Arden's Prevage skin care line.

This stuff REALLY does work!

It has been about 1 month since I started using this line religiously and I have to say, I am totally loving the results. My skin appears softer, dead skin is almost at zero and I love the way I look wearing minimal to no make up at all. SINCE WHEN COULD I EVER LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT MAKE UP?? 

Now I can!! 

I highly recommend this entire skin care line because unlike other creams, eye care, and exfoliation, a little really does go a long way! Personally, I love an investment that lasts a long time, makes maintenance easier and is more cost efficient too. I hardly ever rave about products, but these are my most favorite essentials to date. 

When I want to look my best, and feel like a beautiful aging woman, I use Prevage!

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PREVAGE® Anti-aging Moisture Lotion SPF 30

The world is full of skin-damaging assaults and free radicals, unleashed by the sun and the environment. Put up your guard and help protect your skin with PREVAGE® Anti-aging Moisture Lotion SPF 30. The first ever moisturizer with both high level SPF protection and revolutionary Idebenone, proven as the most powerful and effective antioxidant* on the market today.
Now skin has the ultimate in correction, prevention and protection.


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PREVAGE® Anti-aging + Intensive Repair Eye Serum

This luxurious, corrective eye serum with a powerful combination of Idebenone, a highly effective environmental protectant, and targeted eyecare technology helps counteract the appearance of visible aging signs all around the eye area. Quickly see an impact with smoother looking lids, fewer visible deep lines and a brighter look. With continued use, it helps support skin’s natural collagen matrix for a firmer look as it significantly reduces the appearance of crepy lids, crow’s feet and dark circles. Eyes look more lifted, radiant and younger than ever.


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PREVAGE® Anti-aging Treatment Boosting CleanserPREVAGE®

Anti-aging Skincare helps protect and correct skin’s appearance from environmental threats, a leading cause of visible aging signs, for younger-looking, more beautiful skin.
This multi-action moisture-rich cleanser quickly dissolves impurities, makeup and surface pollution as it refines skin’s appearance with gentle bamboo microbeads and enzymatic exfoliators. Clears the way for maximum treatment benefits, leaving skin feeling cleansed, comfortable and healthy looking. Specially formulated to optimize the benefits of PREVAGE® Anti-aging Serums. Gentle enough for sensitive skin.


Here's your chance to defy aging with a chance to WIN a skin care set from PREVAGE! 
Open to Residences of Canada

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