Monday, January 31, 2011

Goal: 1000 Miles in 2011 (January)

Earlier this month, I set a goal to run 1000 miles this year.  It's a very challenging goal but I believe it's attainable if I can run 4 times a week consistently.   I had a fairly successful first month working towards this goal although I am below the average required number of miles.  I normally run more when it's warmer outside though and when I am getting close to an actual race date.   Admittedly, I haven't registered for the half marathon that I had planned on entering.  I haven't been avoiding it.  I just have so many things to do that it hasn't hit the top of the priority list yet!

The chart shows my progress for the month using my Nike + with my IPod.  It's a little off with the calibration and I need to re-set it.  It works well at the speed I calibrated it at but doesn't compensate correctly when I speed up which I have done over the past month!  I am going to fix it this week so hopefully it reflects the speed more accurately.  I am explaining this so you don't think I'm cheating when I say that I ran 75 miles this month. I decided to give myself an extra 0.1 miles per run or so to make up for the difference between the treadmill distance and the Nike + information.

I plan on doing this update every month and I'll add to the grand total and hopefully end up with 1000 miles by the end of the year.

Month 1 - 75 Miles

What I need to do in February:
  • Register for half marathon in April
  • Run 4 times a week for a total of at least 75 miles
  • Start a training program for the half marathon 
Challenges I anticipate:
  • A toddler
  • A baby
  • My Master's Class
  • A temperamental treadmill
In reality, running is a great stress relief for me.  I'm looking forward to spring so I can get outside again and do my longer runs outdoors on Sundays.   Next update will be a month from now! 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fuzzy Nogginz Giveaway

I am very excited to tell you about Fuzzy Nogginz.  I know the boy mommies are going to be very happy to see a large selection of adorable hats just for their little men.  In fact, the shop originated for that very reason.  Tanya, the talent behind these crocheted items, first began crocheting when she had a hard time finding cute hats for her son.

She decided to try crocheting one for him and received so many compliments that she thought she'd try selling them and was clearly successful.  My personal favourite of the boys' hats is the newsboy hat but all the animal hats would likely be my toddler's favourite.  When you look at her Facebook page or website, you'll see all sorts of fun animal hats including a giraffe, rabbit, bear, cat, mouse, and many more!  It's refreshing to see so many options for the boys.

Butterfly Hat
Of course, there are still lots of choices for the girl mommies too with all sorts of flower hats and other items such as crocheted dresses.  Tanya will also make adult-sized hats and neck warmers as pictured in the photo below. 

Fuzzy Nogginz is happy to customize orders with various colours and design options.  She is willing to try new things so please contact Tanya if you are interested in having something made and she will be happy to work with you to make exactly what you'd like.  Because all of her items are custom-made, her prices vary depending on the amount of time and material required to complete a job.  She'd be happy to provide a quote if you let her know what it is you're interested in ordering.

The Giveaway:
Fuzzy Nogginz is going to give one lucky winner a customized hat of their choice. 

How to Enter:
I will be numbering entries and using to pick s winner as usual.  Please leave separate comments for the blog entries.

You can receive up to five entries:
1.   Comment on this post and tell us which item is your favourite from the Fuzzy Nogginz website.  (Most items are also included in a photo album on the Fuzzy Nogginz Facebook page.)
2.   Follow A Sophisticated Mommy via Google Friend Connect.
3.   Share this giveaway and let me know in the comments. (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Website).  
4.  "Like" Fuzzy Nogginz on Facebook and "like" or comment on the giveaway post.
5.  "Like" A Sophisticated Mommy on Facebook and "like" or comment on the giveaway post.

The contest will be open until Friday, February 4th at Noon SK Time.

Open to Canada & US.

Mouse Ears Hat
Giraffe Hat
Adult-Sized Matching Hat and Neck Warmer
Adorable Baby Sweater

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Cute Little Rufflebutt

So I've been resisting many things on Daily Deal Websites lately.  It's been extremely hard especially with all the tempting items I've seen.   I think the most difficult to resist was Stonz booties as they've been popping up everywhere lately.

I hope I don't regret not buying them for next winter but I promised Jeremy that I wouldn't buy any more shoes in larger sizes.  I see where he's coming from but it's Stonz!  They are so expensive otherwise and weren't on sale at all earlier in the season.  Someone please talk me off this ledge as I still really, really want some for Aleena.

Before you are overly impressed with my will power, I absolutely could not resist the recent sale on Rufflebutts Crawlers which came free of charge with their new long-sleeved shirts (also half price).  I got a couple sets including this blue one which fits perfectly and looks adorable.  I love them and Rufflebutts is really onto something with putting the embellishments on a baby's bottom since that's what we usually see when they are crawling around all the time.

I also wanted to mention how incredibly impressed I was with their customer service.  I e-mailed to change my order and received a response via phone call.  Then, because I had ordered two different sizes, they e-mailed me again to make sure that I had chosen the right sizes in my order.  Pretty exceptional customer service if you ask me!


The Something Sassy tutus and more Giveaway Winners are...

Congrats to Tammy Elliot-Reich for winning the hat!

Congrats to Tamara Huckle for winning a pair of adorable baby leg warmers!

Thanks again to everyone that entered the contest and for ensuring we made our goal for the extra giveaway prize.  If you want to order from Something Sassy tutus and more, you can visit their online store or communicate with them via their Facebook fan page and they'll be happy to help.    Something Sassy also has lots of fun giveaways and contests on their Facebook fan page so make sure to check it out on a regular basis.

Another thing I love about Something Sassy is that they they are always coming up with something new.  The latest are their Birthday Packages which you can check out on their website for all the fun details.  Of course, they also make amazingly adorable and unique tutus which would also be perfect for a party!

As always, I would love to feature more unique businesses (especially ones run by mommies) so let me know if you or someone you know might want to volunteer some goodies for a future contest.  I'm very excited about the giveaways coming up!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sibling Love :-)

You know when you're kind of having a rough week with the kids?  I can't even explain why except that maybe I'm a bit stressed with my class but I've been lacking patience with my toddler this week.  I feel bad because I don't think he's doing anything wrong except for being a typical two year old.

It's also hard being cooped up in the winter so we don't get out as much as I'd like.  If I'm being honest, I could get out more but the whole process of going out and then trying to keep up with my toddler in foreign environments is even more stressful than this mild version of cabin fever.

With that little rant out of the way, the kiddos have been interacting a lot more now especially since Aleena is more confident sitting on her own.  Here's some photos of them tonight.  I hope they love each other this much when they're teenagers.  A mother can always hope.

I will announce the winner of the Something Sassy baby/toddler hat giveaway tomorrow afternoon. Entries will be accepted until Noon SK time. Click on the picture of my cute baby below for more details.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Yummy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I haven't made cookies for a while but I couldn't resist trying these ones out after Brenda posted the recipe on my Facebook page.  Thanks Brenda..I think.  They are absolutely delicious little morsels of goodness.  I can even pretend that they are healthy with all the oats and whole wheat flour.   Once again, I used my handy KitchenAid mixer to make them and it worked beautifully.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mix dry ingredients:
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. each baking powder and soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. Old Fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
  • Cream 1/2 c. butter, 1/4 c. each brown and white sugars. 
  • Beat in 1 large egg, 1/4 c. maple syrup, 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Add dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Add chocolate chips and nuts as desired.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 10 minutes for small cookies (I use one of those cookie ball makers that is like an ice cream scoop-- the smallest size).

Trudy's Notes:  I didn't change anything except I baked mine for about 12 minutes since they were a bit larger than Brenda's from the sounds of it.  I also added about 3/4 cup of chocolate chips.  

Cookie Dough...I might have tried some and it might have tasted really good.
Cookies ready to bake!
Yummy cookies ready to eat.

Remember to enter the Something Sassy tutus and more giveaway before it's too late!  Click on the image below for more details!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Something Sassy Tutus and More Review & Giveaway!

Something Sassy Tutus and More shares my love for giveaways so they are generously sponsoring another one!   You likely remember Something Sassy for their cute tutus and tutu dresses that were featured in a previous giveaway last fall.

This time around, they are featuring some cute new hats they have available and they even sent one for Aleena to model for you!  Before I get into the review, please note that delivery didn't go smoothly because the button that was originally attached was broken upon its arrival.  Fortunately, I was a Brownie when I was younger so I put my sewing badge to good use.  We found another button to sew on and that is the one you will see in our photos.

Back to the hat, it sort of has a vintage feel to it with the lace detail.  I love how the flower was made with layered pieces of material and the top of the hat is sewn together to create sort of a rippled effect.  It'll be perfect for the summer months as the material is a nice light cotton.  It's also comfy on a little ones head as it's made of an elastic material so it doesn't fit too tightly.

Their website says it fits 6 months to 3 years and that sounds pretty accurate to me.  It fits Aleena well right now and I can see lots of room for the hat to grow along with her.  I think the best thing about the hat is how unique it is.  It's nice to see something a little bit different!

The Giveaway:

One lucky winner will receive their choice of the two hats posted here.

As an extra incentive, Something Sassy will also give away a pair of leg warmers if they receive an additional 25 Facebook "likes" during this giveaway.  They're at 415 fans right now so we're going for 440!  I will do another draw for these so hopefully we'll have two winners.

As usual, I will be numbering entries and using to select the winners.  There are five ways to enter this giveaway.

How to enter:
1.   Comment on this post and tell us which hat you would prefer if you win!
2.  "Like" Something Sassy on Facebook and "like" the post about the giveaway.
3.  "Like" A Sophisticated Mommy on Facebook and "like" the post about the giveaway.
4.   Share this giveway and let me know in the comments. (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Forum)
5.   Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect and let me know this in the blog comments.

The contest will be open until Friday, January 28th at Noon SK Time.

Open to Canada & US.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

She Passed!

Okay, I am pretty sure that everyone passed but I am still proud of my little Starfish.  I have been taking Aleena to swimming lessons since November.  We go every Sunday and I am going to kind of miss our weekly lesson.  Aleena LOVES kicking and floating around in the pool.  She is so comfortable in the water that she often tries to roll over and gets a face full of water.

I have to admit that there is also a part of me that's kind of relieved that it's over.  Getting both of us through the change room is a bit of a pain especially since I am carrying a 20 pound baby in a car seat.  I saw a photo of a new product at a local baby store a couple days ago and had to laugh because it was a contraption that I thought I could invent.  I keep trying to come up with my million dollar idea that I can pitch to the Dragon's Den but I have yet to come up with anything!

Here's a photo of the invention that I was going to make.  Why am I not surprised that someone else already thought of it?  It's too bad I didn't discover it earlier although it's a bit on the pricey side.  In case you are interested, this particular product is from a company called gogo Kidz.

I should get back to my readings for my class but I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.  I really enjoyed the warm weather here today!  It's around 0 degrees celcius which is a welcome change after the -40 degree weather we had just a couple days ago.   Finally, I have another adorable giveaway coming up very soon so check back soon for that!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The lia sophia Jewellery giveaway winner is...

Congrats to Helen Svoboda! You have won an amazing $150 worth of lia sophia Jewellery.

Thanks so much to everyone that entered the contest.  It was a lot of fun reading all the comments as I numbered the entries.  Thanks for all the entertaining comments as well as nice compliments about my blog.  I wish I could give the prize away to everyone...maybe when I win the lottery!

With that said, there are lots of fantastic promotions available on lia sophia Jewellery so don't hesitate to contact Christina to learn more.  If you are interested in buying anything from the current catalogue or would like a future catalogue as it becomes available, feel free to contact her using the contact information provided below.

For anyone (anywhere in Canada) that is interested in hosting a show or would like some information sent to you about this amazing business opportunity, please contact Christina directly via her website (, e-mail ( or phone (403) 889-4521.  Please let her know that I referred you even if it's a few weeks or months from now. 

Also, I would love to feature more small (or big), unique businesses (especially ones run by mommies) so let me know if you or someone you know might want to volunteer some goodies for a future contest.

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Couple More Etsy Giveaways

Here are some more fun Etsy giveaways on a couple mommy blogs that I follow.  Feel free to check out their blogs and enter their contests!   Make sure you click through to their sites to leave your comments (entries).

As for the current giveaway on my blog, I'll be announcing the winner of the lia sophia Jewellery giveaway tomorrow once I get all the entries numbered and a winner chosen. 

Tara from Boutique Karma is offering a Coffee sleeve or a Mug hugger of the winner's choice and a coupon code of 10% off any order to all my blog readers!

Coupon code
During checkout, enter this coupon code to get 10% off: plume
Giveaway – How to enter
   1. Become a follower of my blog an leave a comment below to let me know.
   2. Go to Boutique Karma and leave a comment on this post saying which item is your favourite.

*For an additional entry, like Boutique Karma on Facebook.  Don't forget to leave a comment on this post when it's done!

Good luck! I will pick a winner Monday, January 24, through

Anytime Sacks Giveaway:

You can win a snack and sandwich sack of your choice from the listed on their Etsy shop. It can be a matching set or different fabrics.

To enter, just leave a comment mentioning one of your favorite things to pack in lunches. Make sure I have your email address so I can contact you if you win.

You can receive bonus entries by doing any of the following (just make sure to leave a separate comment to tell me each bonus entry you do):
This contest will close Thursday January 27 2011 at midnight PST.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking with Photoshop

I meant to post these masterpieces a long time ago and kept forgetting.  I mentioned in a previous post that I signed up for Smilebox for the year where I intend to organize photos and create some large prints for photo albums.  I am going to buy them through Costco or something like that rather than spend all that money on ink cartridges.  Smilebox basically provides a large selection of pre-made pages that you can just add your photos into.   It's quick and convenient which is a very good thing for me right now.   Another fun feature of Smilebox is that it can create digital slideshows that you can share with friends and family.  Here's the one I created using our Christmas Photos.

Before I knew about this convenient service, I created the pages I posted here using Adobe Photoshop with the help of some free online scrapbooking elements.  It was very time consuming but I am proud of the finished products!   Honestly, I am very happy to use an actual digital scrapbooking program now but I can see how creating pages yourself is a fun way to express creativity.  There is also a certain level of accomplisment you feel when constructing the pages youself too.  However, in reality, I just don't have the time to do it.  Ironically, it probably looks like I just threw these together in a few minutes but it actually took about two days to create all three pages.  Everything was done manually...well, as manual as you can get with a computer anyway.  Enjoy!

For anyone that has been procrastinating and hasn't entered the lia sophia Jewellery giveaway yet, here's a link to the post.  The contest will end tomorrow night and then I'll announce the lucky winner on Saturday.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Reality Bites

I am convinced I had it easy with my first Master's class.  Now, I have been hit with the harsh reality of it all.  There's the impossible to find journal articles, elusive textbooks, a dreaded academic book review and enough doctorate-level vocabulary to make my head whirl.

Okay..I suppose I should clarify a bit of that.  First, the journal articles weren't THAT hard to find but there's lots of them and it has taken a bit of work.  It seemed like a really unnecessary scavenger hunt since the professor had obviously chosen the articles and had access to them all at one point.  They are also 20-30 pages long each so our printer had to work overtime to finish off all those print jobs!

I posted a photo of my wonderful organization.  I printed out all our required readings and labelled the topics for each week to save myself some time.  Don't be overly impressed, I have yet to print any optional readings.  I am not sure if a mommy of two young ones is an optional reading kind of gal but I AM an overacheiver so we shall see.

Second, the textbook is only elusive because I didn't buy it advance.  However, I made a valiant effort to get it on Saturday when I drove to the opposite end of the city through snowbanks and skating rinks only to discover the university book store is NOT open on weekends.  It is only open on weekdays from 8:30-4:30 pm.  Not exactly ideal hours for a mommy of two wee ones.  Unless they want me towing my two babes through their hallowed halls, they might want to consider extending those hours for us older part-timers.   As a result, I ordered it through for twenty dollars less and will just have to make do without my text for another week of class.  Life will go on.

Third, the academic book review...yes, I am dreading it as I have never written one before.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  My first task is to choose an academic book to review...

Lastly, the vocabulary making my head whirl...I have decided to focus on the main points and listen very carefully during class.  Thankfully, there is no final exam so that might just save me.  I also have a glimmer of hope that the more I read, the easier it will get and maybe I'll learn a few new words along the way.  Of course, it doesn't make it easier to concentrate with a nine month old playing with my feet.  I distracted her with a shoe...close enough.

Last but not least, I am posting a couple photos of the ridiculous amount of snow in our backyard.  Will it ever stop?!  It's only January and there's likely a lot more to come and we are running out of places to put it.

If you'd like to enter an amazing giveaway for $150 worth of lia sophia Jewellery, please click on the image below to find out all about it.  The contest is open until Friday, January 21st at Midnight SK Time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Double Duty and Design: My Envirosax are here!!

The winner of my Envirosax giveaway wrote about receiving her prize today. Check out her new Envirosax shopping bags on her blog. Very snazzy!

Double Duty and Design: My Envirosax are here!!: "I recently entered a giveaway at a fellow "April Mommy"'s blog, A Sophisticated Mommy. It was for these super fun, eco-friendly shopping bags, by Envirosax.  And I won! I never win anything!" 

You can click through to her blog for photos!  Thanks for sharing Candice..they look awesome.

If any other giveaway winners would like to blog about your winnings (or just post a photo of your prize on my Facebook Fan Page), I'd love to see them!

For your chance to win another amazing giveaway, check out the current one for $150 worth of lia sophia Jewellery. I hope the winner shares their loot when they get it because I'm sure it's going to be gorgeous!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Baby's Favourite Things! (Add your blog link!)

I've written a few posts about my favourite things for my baby.  This one is going to be a bit different.  I am going to write about toys and items that she plays with the longest and seems to enjoy the most.  Of course, the most fun toys for her right now seem to be electronics like remote controls, electrical cords and television boxes.  Of course, those aren't exactly appropriate "toys" for a 9 month old.  In fact, she's already gotten her first big bump to the head on the TV stand. Unforunately, I realize there are many more bumps and bruises to come but we'll try to prevent those if possible.  In the meantime, she can play with the following baby-friendly items.

She loves the Gloworm because it has teething toys attached to it.  I love it because I like the happy glowing face and pretty music it makes.  I'm sure she'll grow to enjoy these aspects of the toy someday.
She has spent many hours in the Jumperoo!
She enjoys chewing on her Lamaze toys.
Another of the Lamaze toys that she likes.
We have lots of pictures of her with this chicken book my Mom bought for her which means she must like it.  It has scrunchy parts, ribbons and fun pages to flip.  All made of cloth, of course.
I got her this Zoobie 'Hada the Hippo' for Christmas.  She likes grabbing it and chewing on it.  I think a trend is starting to develop.  Her older brother received a larger Zoobie for Christmas (a Black Bear) and has been using it as his pillow ever since.
This bowl was seriously too much fun.  
It's not part of the regular toy repertoire which is probably what made it so exciting.

Aleena LOVES mommy's slippers.  It doesn't matter if they are on my feet or not.  They are tons of fun.
I'll save more toys for another post but I'd love to hear what your baby's favourite toys are.  Feel free to be creative!  You can add a link to your own blog here. 

Don't forget to enter my current giveaway for $150 worth of lia sophia Jewellery. Click on the image below for details.

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