My Morning Pick Me Up Comes From The Ocean!

My morning Pick Me Up comes from the ocean! + Giveaway below

*Sponsored Post. All stories and opinions are my own. 

I am a coffee girl, have been for years and will be for years to come. Every morning my coffee maker grinds the coffee beans and brews a fresh pot of steamy goodness. For many years it was the first thing to cross my lips in the morning, until I started making an effort to cut back on coffee and start drinking more water. When I had a goal to drink more water, I started my day with a large glass of water right before my coffee. Helping with the dehydrating effect of the coffee and giving my body a little more of what it really needed after a long night. (more…)

It’s A Date, Our First Night Out In Ages!

*this date was sponsored by Lotus Vietnamese Restaurant. All opinions and wording are our own.

This past weekend my husband, Doug, and I managed to go out for a date. Other than work related night's out, I can not remember the last time the two of us actually went out without the children. In the past we have always relied on family to babysit, but our oldest is perfectly capable to babysit now, so we decided it was time to have an evening together, out of the house, and away from the kiddos!

(more…)

My #80lbJourney – 8 Week Challenge in review!

My #80lbJourney - 8 Week Challenge in review!

My #80lbJourney: 8 week challenge in review

Okay, I really need to get back to weekly blogging about my journey. Not only does it keep me accountable, I hope it also helps keep others inspired and on track.

It has been over a month since the last post, and I am truly sorry it has been this long. Many things have happened and I will recap for you with results, accomplishments and barriers. As you all know, this is a long term journey for me. There is no quick fix or magic solution. It is a learning experience and lifestyle change. If you have been following along, you will know that I joined an 8 week challenge with Deb of Journey to Wellness. During the 8 weeks, I received all the tools I needed to start fueling my body instead of just eating, exercising challenges to keep me motivated to stay active, and a support system that included Deb and a private Facebook group of other women to share with and support. My results in pounds and inches are noticeable, I lost 18 lbs and 22 inches, but what I found the most rewarding about this program was the way I felt during the entire process and the knowledge I carry with me now about how to listen to my body and work FOR it, instead of against it. Trust me, there were ups and downs, and when any of us had downs, the Facebook group was amazing. By sharing our experiences, goals and achievements, we were able to support and encourage each other on the rough days, the days we fell off the high of achievement, and felt defeated. We celebrated every little hurdle, and I truly enjoyed meeting all these ladies virtually. Deb checked in personally each week and provided feedback based on what I sent her. My meals and my thoughts for the week. She is a wealth of knowledge and understands first hand what it takes to be happy and healthy while also running a household with children. THANK YOU Deb for being an inspiration to us, and for sharing your training and knowledge with us, so we can continue to be healthy in the future. My only wish with this program was that I was in the Halifax area and would have been able to join in some of the classes Deb offers in Fall River. If you are looking for a fitness program, check out her page here. Here's what Paula had to say in our Facebook group, about how she felt after 8 week challenge we completed: "Deborah Hann,  Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, from the bottom of my heart thank-you for taking me under your wing.  For teaching me how to nourish myself,  for teaching me the difference between eating and nourishing,  for showing me that, even with my beat up old body, I CAN EXERCISE!!!  For making me believe and understand that I am beautiful, for helping me understand my value.  Thank you for helping me realize the mental strength that healthy living gives me.  Yes I lost lbs and inches!!!  I'm so happy for that, but I am so very happy and grateful for all of the things I have gained from this wonderful, life changing program. Deborah, you are an amazing teacher and a wonderful loving person.  I am so thankful for having you in my life.  All that I have learned from you will continue to be my everyday way of living.  (Yay!!!  No more binge eating!!!) To all of you wonderful, bootilicious, powerhouse women; Keep on keeping on!!!  I love you all so much, you have enriched my life and made this past 10 weeks, inspiring, funny, encouraging......xoxoxoxo"  

FOLLOW UP: What's happened since the 8 week challenge?

Since the challenge ended I have struggled with keeping on track. I gained and lost a couple pounds here and there, but still linger around the same weight. I have not remained consistent with exercise, and that is where I need to focus these days. This month I have set a goal to eat as best I can with parties, visiting, and some family meals planned. I know it is possible to stay on track, and my realistic goal for December is to maintain my weight.

Moving forward...

In January I will be getting back on track and working with a friend locally to stay on my journey to better choices and healthier ways. I look forward to sharing what I am doing and encourage you to share what you are doing as well. In January, I will also be launching a Facebook group for those who want to follow along and join me in the journey. I continue to receive positive feedback from my readers through emails expressing how I am inspiring them to make changes. It is an amazing feeling knowing that just by putting my journey out there, it might help just one other person decide to make positive changes. So keep going, no matter how many times you take backward steps, you can always keep moving ahead. One step at a time, one bite at a time, one push up, or carrot....whatever it is that challenges you, keep pushing forward!

Check out my other #80lbJourney Posts here:

Wild Lights at the Magnetic Hill Zoo 

Wild Lights at the Magnetic Hill Zoo

wildlights

Our family have been Magnetic Hill Zoo patrons for years. We have had season passes several years, attended birthday parties and zoo camps and always try to fit in at least one Spring Sunday opening each year. Now, we have a new yearly event to attend. I was looking forward to seeing and experiencing the Wild Lights display, but really had no idea just how well it was done.

(more…)

Best Buy Baby Samplers Club

Best Buy Baby Samplers Club

Join The BABY Sampler Club

FOR THE CHANCE TO GET GREAT BABY PRODUCTS FOR FREE Best Buy carries a huge selection of great baby and maternity products and we want to share them with you. Yeah Baby! Parents-to-be or parents with a baby under age two are eligible. If you’re selected, you will test and keep baby products for FREE in exchange for writing a review.Sign up now for this fun and unique opportunity. Click Here to sign up for a chance to receive and review baby products.

Sign up today for free baby stuff

If you're a mom- or dad-to-be, or already a parent with a toddler under the age of 2, Best Buy Canada wants to hear from you. Sign up and you could join this exclusive community of Canadian parents selected to try out and review some cool baby gear.

FREEBIE ALERT: 28 Day Free Trial – Workout at home for FREE!

If you have been following along the past few weeks with my 80lb Journey, you will have heard me talking about Airtime Fitness. I have gone into the studio now for 6 workouts over the past few weeks and I am hooked. It is not just the workouts that make me feel amazing, it's the people! Rob and the other trainers at Airtime are so encouraging and keep you motivated. Being almost 100lbs overweight, I was extremely intimidated to go to a gym, but I did, and I am glad I did. Again, having amazing staff to be encouraging and offering me alternatives to some of the exercises (no need to get hurt trying to do it all), makes me want to keep going back. Fortunately I have a gap of 10 years between my children, so my 13 yr old can babysit, and it allows me to venture out of the house to work out. Something I need to do more often, get out and do something for me. That being said, over the past few years it would have been much harder for me to get out of the house to work out, and this is where Airtime has done something different. You can workout in the comfort of your home, with the kids by your side or having a nap. Different workouts daily, access to the videos 24/7 and past workouts to check out as well. You can do a 28 day trial for FREE with Airtime. Online you get the benefit of having a motivating trainer show you the exercises for each workout, do a warm up with you and then motivate & entertain you throughout the entire 20-30 minute workout. That's what is so great about Rob and his team. They are energetic and funny. The time flies by as you push yourself to complete the workout. Before you know it, it's done and you feel so much better for having made that commitment to yourself. I have done a few of the on demand workouts now, having my older son away this week. You need minimal equipment and enough room to move around a little. Here is a clip of what you might see in the on demand workouts. Rob and Matias (first time co-hosting) having fun! This kind of banter will keep you amused as you work out each day. Sign Up, give it a try, you have absolutely nothing to lose! Get your 28 Day Free Trial NOW! ~~~~~~~

Read Other Posts About My #80lbJourney

Disclosure: I received a free membership in exchange for sharing the service with my readers. The experience and opinions are my own. I was not asked to review, but feel the need to share something I am loving!

Summer TV Round-up & GIVEAWAY from Shout! Kids

Summer TV Round-up featuring My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, Transformers

SummerDVD RoundUp We have been watching this set of DVDs for about 2 weeks now and my 3 1/2 year old loves them. He knows how to put them in the computer and get the shows he wants on the screen. I would have to say that so far the favourite is Littlest Pet Shop: Making Friends. He has watched at least part of it each day. When he is playing lego, or another toy, he usually has a show running. This summer TV round up is perfect for 3-9 or even older! The recurring theme in this set of DVDs is the importance of Friendship. Who doesn't want their kids to know how important friends are? Check out the details below, and ENTER TO WIN your own Summer TV Round-Up Set!   EquestriaDVD LittlestPetshopDVD PoniesDVD RescueDVD

CONTEST OPEN TO CANADA (excluding Quebec) & the United States. (18 yrs and older)

Sponsored by: Shout! Kids & Hasbo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DVDs from Shout! Kids and Hasbro Studios

Four DVDs from the My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop and Transformers Rescue Bots lines are being released this summer as the perfect way for kids to unwind with characters from their favorite shows after days of fun in the sun. Ponies

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Friends and Famil

You don’t necessarily have to be related to be family! That’s one of the lessons in My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Friends And Family, coming to DVD on June 7, 2016 in the U.S. and Canada from Shout! Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. Twilight Sparkle returns with Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Spike to celebrate the magic of friendship and family! Come watch as Apple Bloom, Maud Pie, Big Mac and others demonstrate that best friends can certainly be family. And family can certainly be best friends! Episodes Include:
  • One Bad Apple
  • Maud Pie
  • Brotherhooves Social
  • Hearthbreakers
  • The Gift of the Maud Pie
LittlestPetshop

Littlest Pet Shop: Making Friends

Celebrate friendship with your best pet pals!  On June 14, 2016, buddy up with Blythe and her pet pals with Littlest Pet Shop: Making Friends on DVD from Shout! Kids, in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. If there’s anything Blythe has learned while working at the pet shop, it’s how to make friends. And now, she and her very best friends — Zoe the spaniel, Vinnie the gecko, Sunil the mongoose, Pepper the skunk, Russell the hedgehog, Minka the monkey and Penny the panda — are going to teach you all there is to know about making new friends! It might even mean learning a few brand-new lessons themselves! Episodes Include:
  • Sleeper Room Enough Why Can’t We Be Friends? It’s The Pet Fest! Part 1 (Featuring Heidi Klum)
  • It’s The Pet Fest! Part 2 (Featuring Heidi Klum)
   Rescue

Transformers Rescue Bots: Heroes of Tech

The Rescue Bots are ready for tech-filled adventures! Transformers Rescue Bots: Heroes of Tech will be released on DVD on June 21, 2016 from Shout! Kids, in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. Featuring five exciting episodes that the whole family can enjoy. Chase, Heatwave, Blades and Boulder return for five brand-new adventures with their Griffin Rock friends, the Burns family! This time, they learn the valuable lesson that new technology can definitely be awesome. But it can also be… dangerous! Episodes Include:
  • One For The Ages
  • Space Bots
  • The Island Of Misfit Tech
  • Too Many Kades Of Justice
  • I Have Heard The Robots Singing
  Equestria

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Soarin’ Over Equestria

What could be more fun than Soarin’ Over Equestria? Rainbow Dash would say nothing! Now she and her fans are in luck because My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic:  Soarin’ Over Equestria is coming to DVD on August 2 in the U.S. and Canada from Shout! Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. The sky’s the limit with these five high-flying adventures, featuring all of your favorite winged Ponies! Join Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, the Wonderbolts and, of course, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Spike, as they show you Equestria the way it was meant to be seen… from above! Episodes Include:
  • Griffon The Brush-Off
  • Hurricane Fluttershy
  • Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3
  • On Your Marks
  • Newbie Dash
  *We received a complimentary copy of this DVD set for the purposes of review.

Art After Dark – so much fun!

Art After Dark - so much fun!

ArtTitle

 

So I was at playgroup with my 3 year old a month ago, and one of the mom's comes over and says she heard I was the "coupon lady" (my more commonly known persona!). She told me she is an artist and offered me a couple tickets to a group painting event called Art After Dark.

I was intrigued, and not sure who to invite with me. I studied Fine Arts and Communications in college, so have painted before, but not in about 20 years. The idea of a guided painting seemed the perfect way to get back into painting. A few friends of mine have attended in the past, and loved it. So I asked Judy, my deal finder over on the Moncton Coupon Lady site. She laughed and said she couldn't draw a stick figure, but agreed to join me and try it out. We picked an event and a week later we were sitting at a table at Lotus restaurant in Moncton, with paint brushes in hand.

This is the painting we were setting out to recreate. Poppies by artist Heather LeBlanc

poppies

You can start out by snapping a pic of the original artwork on your phone, so you can see the details for reference. Once seated, you will meet the hostess and the artist, then you will be guided step by step towards creating your masterpiece. Throughout the evening the host/hostess will ask some fun trivia questions and you may just win yourself a drink!

During the evening there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions, chat with your friends and take your time completing the various stages involved in the art piece. The atmosphere at both events I attended was relaxed, enjoyable, and most important, it was fun!

Poppies01

This week, my husband and I painted works inspired by this painting by Heather.

beach

I highly recommend this for a date night. My husband joined me, our first date in over a year, and it was a lovely experience. He really felt he would not be able to do much, but as you can see below, he did an amazing job. He has never painted before (other than craft with our kids and finger painting), so tackling an acrylic painting on canvas was a bit of a stretch. I think he did amazing, and our son, 13, likes dad's painting best 🙂

Doug's Artwork (left), in process (middle), my final painting (right).

datenight02 13509093_1042781155811655_5501927111518654176_n

Heather will guide you through creating  your very own unique painting. You will be guided from blank canvas through to the final details of your own original artwork. Events last approximately two and a half hours and at the end of the night you will take home your masterpiece to show off to all your family and friends. There is a special place in every home, just for you to display your work, now you just need to join Art After Dark to start your gallery wall!

After attending two events I can't express how much I have enjoyed these evenings out. All in all a fun and very unique experience.

Here are more details and some pics of other paintings done here in NB.

grouppics

If you are looking for something different to do, try Art After Dark! It's the perfect date night, girls’ night out, birthday outing or a fun evening out with friends!

Art After Dark is a social painting experience held at local restaurants and hot spots across NB. All venues are licensed and have food options if you choose to eat before, or after. As you read above, it is perfect for a date night. Arrive early and have your meal, and maybe a drink.

They provide you with everything you need including easel, canvas, paint, and apron. You will create a 16"X20" acrylic painting on canvas. No painting experience needed to attend and produce your own unique piece of art. You may be surprised how much talent you have waiting to burst forth!

If you need a team building activity, or are hosting a bachelorette party, why not try Art After Dark? Private Events available upon request.

Kids events are starting June 27th. Paint Bash will be a unique experience for children 10 and up. Subject of the artwork and venue will be youth friendly. More info coming very soon about these events. Follow Art After Dark NB on Facebook to see what events are happening!

10859_42

Check out Heather's interview on Buzzlocal.tv

 

Transformers: Rescue Bots Adventures in Time and Space

Having 2 boys in my home, one a tween, soon to be teen, and a preschooler, it is hard to find things they both enjoy to do. One thing my oldest will do with his little brother is sit to watch a show with him. When we received the Transformers: Rescue Bots - Adventures in Times and Space, they sat down to watch together. While Lorne is older than the typical audience for this series, he certainly enjoys it as a show to watch with his little brother. autobots If you are looking for a cute series for the younger kids, but will also hold the attention of older children, who likely know and love the Transformers franchise, then Transformers: Rescue Bots is sure to please both ages.
Transformers: Rescue Bots – Adventures in Time and Space Griffin Rock’s Autobot first responders — Chase, Heatwave, Blades and Boulder — are back for five more action-packed adventures! Only this time, they’re proving that they’ll stop at nothing to protect their Earth friends, even if it means traveling through all of time and space! Executive produced by Jeff Kline (TRANSFORMERS PRIME), TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS features the vocal talents of LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Lacey Chabert (Party of Five), Steve Blum (TRANSFORMERS PRIME), Maurice LaMarche (Emmy® Award winner for Futurama) and the legendary Peter Cullen who voices OPTIMUS PRIME when he makes cameo appearances in the series. Episodes Include:
  • It’s A Bot Time
  • Unfinished Business
  • Switcheroo
  • Time After Time
  • The Last Of Morocco
Enter to win your own copy of Transformers: Rescue Bots - Adventures in Time and Space DRAWING March 25th, 2016 a Rafflecopter giveaway   ☆We received a free copy of this DVD for review purposes.