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Reviews, promotions and giveaways

Some blog posts are more fun to write than others, and I had WAY too much fun collaborating with Beloved and all three boys on this one. And then I had TWICE as much fun creating the visuals.

Blog post title graphic: One dozen reasons why kinder eggs are better than chicken eggs

(A dozen! Get it? Cuz they’re eggs? I slay me. Just wait, it gets better!)

Let’s do this countdown style. One dozen reasons why Kinder Surprise eggs are better than chicken eggs:

12. Because the white inside a Kinder Surprise egg is not slimy.


11. Because people are delighted when you surprise them with the gift of a Kinder egg.
(Not so much with the chicken egg.)

10. Because chicken eggs don’t have toys inside!
Here’s a look at some of the new toys in the classic eggs for 2015! (There’s 50 new toys in each of the classic and pink eggs!)



9. Because you can keep a Kinder Surprise egg stashed in your glove compartment or work desk drawer or other hidey hole and they won’t spoil.


8. Because a Kinder Surprise egg makes a much more compelling bribe reward than a chicken egg.


7. Because Kinder eggs don’t come from a chicken’s, um, chicken parts.


5. Because it’s easier to share a freshly unwrapped Kinder Surprise egg with your brothers than a freshly cracked raw chicken egg.


4. Because Kinder Surprise toys are more fun to play with than yolks. Seriously, it’s no yolk!

Did someone say yolk, I mean joke?

Riddle: What do you do if your Kinder Surprise egg is upside down?

Where were we? Right – countdown! Top three reasons why Kinder eggs are better than chicken eggs:

3. Because you don’t have to cook a Kinder Surprise egg before you eat it.


2. Because you don’t have to spend five minutes trying to pick out slippery and evasive bits of shell when you unwrap a Kinder Surprise egg.

And the number one reason why Kinder Surprise eggs are better than chicken eggs? BECAUSE THEY’RE CHOCOLATE!!

What’s that? You want more jokes? Of course I have more jokes!

Riddle: Where do Kinder eggs from from? Eggplants, of course

Joke: Why should you never tease a kinder blogger? Because they can't take a yolk.

Craving a Kinder Surprise egg of your own? Who could blame you! If you aren’t already, follow Kinder Canada on Facebook, because they’ll be celebrating Games and Puzzle Week from January 26 to 30 with prizes and giveaways!

DISCLOSURE: This post was not endorsed by chickens. Also, I’m a #KinderMom who is part of the KINDER® Canada influencer team. As part of my affiliation with KINDER® Canada, I am provided with special perks and products. All thoughts, opinions and horrific exquisite puns are my own.


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The other day when I was talking about Rubbermaid’s Easy Find Lids containers and the unexpected benefits of learning to cook from real ingredients, one of the things I mentioned was leftovers. When the food tastes better, the leftovers taste better too. Somehow I’m thinking this should be less of a surprise to me than it is.

You know what’s another really great use for leftovers? School lunches!

Sometime in the last year or two, I have managed to burden Beloved with the whole school lunch thing. I am not a creative lunch maker. Left to me, the kids would get this for lunch almost every day: an apple (whole), a sandwich of sorts, and a muffin or cookie or other bakery treat. Maybe a yogurt every now and then to mix things up. I’d give myself a B for nutrition, maybe a C+ for variety, but a big fat F for creativity.

Beloved is the good lunch parent. While he doesn’t craft hermit crabs out of croissants or Pokemon bento boxes (he doesn’t have a Pinterest account, after all) he will take the time to cut up an apple and sprinkle it with cinnamon, or make veggie matchsticks with dip. The bar is not high, I know, but he still puts my efforts to shame. Let’s just say he’s far more patient and creative than me, and the boys are only stuck with boring sandwiches on the days that I’m packing lunches.

The Rubbermaid folks have been thinking beyond the sandwich, too. Have you seen the LunchBlox? They’re perfect for both little kid and big person lunches. (Now that the leftovers are yummy, even the big people pack lunches for themselves!) The LunchBlox containers are perfect because they come in a variety of sizes that fit nicely together. The containers snap together for easy stacking, and the lids have a strong seal that prevents leaks but that opens easily for wee fingers. They’re also freezer, microwave and – happy sigh – dishwasher safe.

Sandwiches are boring, and these LunchBlox containers are a great way to pack kid-friendly food. You could pack a salad in one (post for another day – my kids actually love salad now! When did that happen?) and croutons in another and dressing in a third – and still have room to spare. The containers snap to each other or to the Blue Ice cooling pack to make for easy stacking and packing. I really do love these things! (Ahem, well, I love them on Beloved’s behalf. *blush*)

I actually find myself thinking of meal plans that will make for good lunch leftovers now. Some emerging favourites are pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon (because bacon!), taco fixings layered into a dip with leftover taco shells for scooping, and home made pizza.

The next frontier is getting the kids to pack their own lunches. We’re getting there – slowly. While I’m glad to see that they’re taking after Beloved and thinking beyond the sandwich, I’m not sure that an entree-sized container of goldfish with a side of grapes, some cheese cubes and four sweet and sour pickles is exactly an ideal lunch. Then again, it’s probably healthier than a baloney on white bread sandwich!

Who makes the school lunches in your family? Got an easy favourite that the kids love that I could steal and, um, suggest to Beloved? ;)

Disclosure: I am part of the Rubbermaid Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are always my own.


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One of my leitmotifs for this year has been learning how to cook. I continue to be surprised at my capacity to cook healthy and tasty food for my family – real food from scratch ingredients, instead of assembled meals from prepared foods. This has had all sorts of benefits. There’s the ones I expected, like the fact that I know what’s in the food and I can control the ingredients and I can cut out huge amounts of additives and preservatives. And the fact that food is actually tastier, and the kids are more willing to eat it without argument. That much I could see coming.

But there are other benefits, too. One is that even foods that I used to cook as part of the regular rotation now taste better. Chili seasoned with adobo peppers and onions and chili powder tastes so incredibly much better than chili seasoned with one of those flavour packs of sodium and dehydrated spices. Who knew?
Another unexpected benefit is that (and this is really big) I actually like leftovers now. If you know me, you know how truly shocking this is. Me, eating leftovers. Go figure!

Which brings me to the point of this rambly post. The nice folks at Rubbermaid were looking for bloggers to talk about their food storage boxes with Easy Find Lids (TM), and I was all over that. I love these things and waved my hand in the air to be selected for this campaign.

I know, I know, the bloggy peeps are sure that I’ve finally lost it. (It being my mind, not the lids to my plastic containers.) Maybe, but with our busy life I am all about the short-cuts, the streamlining, and the simplifying. If my sanity is so tenuous that it rests in the balance between a teetering pile of tupperware that crashes out of the cupboard every time I open the door versus a neat pile of of carefully organized Easy Find containers and lids snapped together into a solid little tower, I’m okay with that.

I really do prefer the Rubbermaid containers to all others, which is why I was fine with the idea of blogging about them. We’ve bought other brands through the years, and they’re the ones that crack after running them through the dishwasher a few times or leak strawberry yogurt all over the inside of a lunch bag. (And when you forget to empty the lunches on a Friday of a long weekend and discover that congealed mass of ick on a Monday evening? In the summer? Not pretty. Take my word for it.)

This is a not-staged, legitimate photo of the cupboard where we store plastic food containers. On the top shelf, growing collection of Rubbermaid containers with Easy Find Lids, and some semi-disposable Rubbermaid sandwich containers that have proved to be incredibly durable. Overflowing the basket that is supposed to contain them on the lower shelf is my rag-tag assortment of bits and pieces of non-Rubbermaid food storage devices I’ve tried through the years. I’m afraid to dig in the pile because it will take me forever to sort and restack the lot of them.

photo of cupboard showing storage containers

If I wasn’t such an inveterate packrat and container collector, I’d have pitched the lot of the precariously piled mismatched containers ages ago.

So, TL;DR: Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids (TM) snap together and attach to bottoms of containers. No teetering piles of mismatched pieces! They have graduated sizes so you only need to use a container as big as you need. No need to take up extra room in the fridge or cupboard. Multiple sizes of containers can share one lid size. And they’re microwave, fridge, and – be still my heart – dishwasher safe. Because ain’t nobody got time for handwashing anything!

You know I’m not going to hawk every product that comes through my inbox, but I have no trouble rambling about the ones I really like, and this one definitely qualifies. :)

Disclosure: I am part of the Rubbermaid Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are always my own.


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We love advent calendars. We have so many of them! The boys always get a Lego advent calendar to share, and they take turns opening each day’s treat. We usually get each boy one of those inexpensive cardboard advent calendars with the chocolate that always seems to taste vaguely of soap. And we have a little wooden tree that sits on a set of 24 wee boxes, and each day you open up one of the boxes to reveal a decoration to hang on the wee knobs on the tree. I have a hard time resisting new advent calendars, and would love one day to do the kind of fun “activity per day” advent calendars Andrea describes in this blog post.

I’m super excited about a new advent calendar we’ll have for this year. No more soap-flavoured chocolates! This year, we’re getting a KINDER advent calendar. Sorry boys, you’re going to have to add Mom to your sharing rotation!

And hooray, one of YOU will also be getting a KINDER advent calendar, if you win this fun Kinder Canada giveaway!

The prize pack includes:

  • One KINDER® Advent Calendar
  • One KINDER® Hollow Santa with SURPRISE®
  • One KINDER® SURPRISE® 100g Christmas egg
  • One KINDER® SURPRISE® MAXI 150g egg

Awesome, right? You want to win this one! Here’s the fine print:

  1. This is a giveaway for a KINDER gift basket, which includes an advent calendar, a hollow Santa with surprise, a KINDER Surprise Christmas egg, and a KINDER Surprise maxi egg. (Yum!) The approximate prize value is $32.
  2. To enter the giveaway, two steps are required. Please use the widget below and (a) visit the KINDER Facebook page and (b) leave a comment on this blog post telling me which holiday traditions you anticipate each year .
  3. ONE winner will be chosen at random from all entrants.
  4. This giveaway is open only to residents of Canada, excluding residents of Quebec. (sorry!)
  5. This giveaway will run until 11:59 pm EST on Saturday November 22, 2014.
  6. The contest winner will be required to provide a full name and complete mailing address to be shared with KINDER® for shipping purposes.
  7. While you may enter as many of the KINDER® contests as you like, you can only win once.

Now, let’s see if I can get this newfangled blog giveaway widget thing to work. (You kids and your modern contest widgets, I tell you. Back in my day, we used an Excel spreadsheet and counting on our fingers and toes to run a blog giveaway, and we liked it!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway of a KINDER prize pack

And now, speaking of sweet, how cute is this? Have you heard of “unboxing” videos? I was a little sketchy on the idea, but the boys certainly knew what I was talking about when I mentioned them. Here’s Simon, my little wanna-be YouTuber, in his UnBoxing debut!

He’s a natural, isn’t he? That was our first and only take. Way to take one for the team, Simon! :)

Edited to add: if you really REALLY want to win that KINDER prize pack (and who could blame you?) the amazing Alex has a list of all the participating blogs in this giveaway in her post so you can do a little link hopping for extra entries. You can enter on as many blogs as you like, but you can only win once.


DISCLOSURE: I’m a #KinderMom/Maman/Dad who is part of the KINDER® Canada influencer team. As part of my affiliation with KINDER® Canada, I am provided with special perks and products. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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One of my favourite places to browse pretty things is Ottawa’s annual Signatures Show. We rarely skip a year, and some years I go twice – once with my mom and once with Beloved. It’s a great source of Christmas gifts and I almost always find a few treasures, but it’s also fun just to admire the amazing artisanship. It’s also a great way to BUY LOCAL and support Canadian artists.

This year, the 32nd Annual Signatures Show runs at the Ottawa Convention Centre from November 11 – 16. Here’s the official info:

The Signatures Show is a juried artisan show featuring a collection of over 175 of Canada’s finest artists, artisans and designers. Nowhere else will you find such vast array of unique handmade Canadian works under one roof. For 6 days only, artisans will gather from across the country to show and sell their creations to customers in Ottawa. Each artisan creates their own specialty boutique, collectively offering a unique, urban shopping experience where you can buy fabulous jewelry, trendy fashions, visual art, functional home décor, natural body care products and gourmet treats.

Here’s a wee taste of just a few of the pretty things featured at this year’s show:

Would you love to go? Me too! The folks at the Signature Show were kind enough to give me a set of tickets for writing this post. Isn’t that swell? And they gave me not one, but TWO sets of tickets to share with the bloggy peeps. Hooray for sharesies!!

Want to win a set of tickets to visit the 2014 Signatures Show at the Ottawa Convention Centre? Here’s the fine print:

  1. This is a giveaway for pair of (that’s TWO) tickets to the 32nd annual Signatures Show, which runs November 11 to 16, 2014.
  2. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post (not on Facebook, must appear on danigirl.ca/blog) telling me the best hand-made gift you ever gave or received.
  3. TWO winners will be chosen at random from all comments posted. Each winner will receive TWO tickets.
  4. This giveaway is open only to residents of Canada, excluding residents of Quebec. (sorry!)
  5. This giveaway will run until 11:59 pm EST on Saturday November 8, 2014.
  6. If you win, you must be willing to share your name and contact information with the Signatures Show. Winners will pick up their tickets at the “will call” window.

Thank you to the Signatures Show for providing tickets to give away and a set for me too. Good luck!

Edited to add: Winners have already been contacted. Thanks to everyone who played along! If you didn’t win but you still want to go, click here for a PDF of a coupon for $2 off admission.


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I remember getting Kinder eggs from my grandparents when I was a kid, just about the same time they first became available in Canada in the early 1980s. (Did you know the brand is 40 years old?) I was fascinated by the exotic milky white insides of the chocolate eggs, aside from loving the wee surprise inside. Though I’m not a huge fan of chocolate, the kids know when they have a Kinder egg they always have to save a bite of that light/milk chocolate combo for me. They’ve always been one of my favourite treats to give and to get.

That’s why I am happy to tell you that for the next year I’ll be working with Kinder Canada – I’m a Kinder Mom! The boys are, of course, absolutely delighted with the news.

I’m pretty happy about it too. Although I’ve bought a lot (seriously, a LOT!) of Kinder Surprise treats through the years, I had no idea about some of the fun things they’ve been up to. For instance, just last month they set an official Guiness World Record in Toronto for the most people unwrapping chocolate at the same time. And starting this month, you’ll find a whole new set of Kinder Surprise toys: there are eight different Transformers toys and ten Disney Fairies toys available in specially marked Kinder Surprise eggs, for a limited time only. Let me know if you see them in Ottawa – we’ve been hunting high and low for them!

The folks at Kinder Canada are all about the family fun, which seemed like another wonderful reason to partner with them on this year’s campaign. Feeling like a little online fun? Try the Kinder Smile booth app on the Kinder Canada Facebook page. You can take photos using your smartphone or webcam, or upload existing photos, and turn them into a #kindersmiles photobooth strip, like the one above! (I’m pretty sure some cities have actual Kinder Photo Booth locations where you can do this in real life, but I don’t think there is one here in Ottawa.)

For a little more tactile fun, Kinder has partnered with Curiosity Box and they’re offering a limited edition Kinder SmileBox including crafts, activity ideas and more. I got a sample pack to play with and we are having a LOT of fun with the photo booth props. Just ask Kerry’s family! ;)

So, TL;DR: smiles, chocolate, family activities, chocolate, silly photo fun, chocolate, happy boys (and Beloved!) and chocolate. You can see why I didn’t hesitate to join the Kinder Canada family, right? :) More Kinder fun, and maybe even some treats to share, coming up soon – stay tuned!

DISCLOSURE: I’m a #KinderMom/Maman/Dad who is part of the KINDER® Canada influencer team. As part of my affiliation with KINDER® Canada, I am provided with special perks and products. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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Chef Michael Smith’s new Family Meals cookbook: a review and giveaway!

8 August 2014 Feed me, Seymour!

So I may have mentioned (cough cough) that I’ve become something of a fangirl of Chef Michael Smith lately. But please believe me when I tell you that even if I weren’t already predisposed to great affection for the towering chef from PEI, I would still rate his new Family Meals cookbook as the best [...]

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Mastermind Toys is now open in Barrhaven and you could win a gift card!

8 July 2014 Reviews, promotions and giveaways

I‘m taking a break from All-PEI-All-The-Time blogging to share a terrific little bit of news that hits a little closer to home. Did you hear that my very favourite toy store, Mastermind Toys, has opened a Barrhaven location? You might remember last year I blogged about it when they opened their first store in Ottawa, [...]

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Ingredient of the week: cabbage – and a Food Revolution Day giveaway!

30 April 2014 Feed me, Seymour!

When I was a kid, my dad did a fair bit of overnight traveling for work. I always knew my dad was on an out of town road trip when I smelled the unmistakeable odour of cabbage being boiled for dinner. My mom and granny loved it; my dad couldn’t stand even the smell of [...]

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Family Fun Giveaway: Family pass to Kidsfest Ottawa!

17 March 2014 Ottawa Family Fun

Have you heard about Kidsfest Ottawa? What’s Kidsfest? At Kidsfest Ottawa families will enjoy quality, family-fun entertainment including stage shows, interactive animal exhibits and opportunities to meet popular children’s characters, explore over 70 exhibitor booths providing a unique platform for parents to purchase products and services for their families, and have access to fun and [...]

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