Monday, February 28, 2011

My JuJuBe PackaBe is Here!

Hello pretty diaper bag!  I have decided I have a bit of a problem.  Now I know how women who love purses feel and that was never me until I was actually required to carry a diaper bag and I am not sure where this obsession is going to lead me.  Perhaps it will lead to an expensive purse habit once my babies aren't babies anymore but let's not look ahead too far.  There are many more baby wipes and diapers in my immediate future so I won't worry about that yet.

Back to the topic!  My bag arrived from BabySteals today and I love it.  I love how stylish it is but most of all, I like the almost indestructible exterior for our upcoming airplane trip to Florida.  I also love that I can wear it as a backpack.  I took a ton of photos to share since I like to know what a bag looks like and it's always hard to find good photos online beyond the front, back and possibly an overhead look if you're lucky.  I hope you find this helpful if you are thinking of buying a JuJuBe PackaBe.  My overall first impression is excellent and I look forward to using it on our trip and beyond that of course.  I'll be packing it full of things soon and will be able to give an even better informal review after it's been put through some extensive use.

Just a tip for seeing the photos up close.  Click on the photo once to open in a new window and again to zoom in even further.

Connor got his hands on the bag this morning and it became a train yard.
The front of the bag.  You can see both insulated side pockets for sippy cups or bottles.
The backpack part of the bag.  These straps can be detached and attached at the sides like most bags and carried over the shoulder as well.
There is a large pocket at the back with this change pad inside.  The change pad has handy creases in it that make it easy to fold back up again.
The view from above.  The inside part you can't see has two more black mesh pockets like you see in the photo above.
The front of the bag again where you can see two large pockets.  They both are held closed with strong magnets rather than zippers so you can get in and out quickly.  Good for everything but loose change. :-)
Top pocket when opened up.  There's room to put photos of two cute babies up there.  One of my first projects for this bag!
Inside the top pocket.
Inside the bottom pocket.
The pretty bling on the two main zippers.
My baby girl already loves pretty purses (and I wanted to show you how big the diaper bag is.)
To conclude, the bag is very solidly made and should withstand a lot of use.  It's actually quite heavy just on its own but I'm a tough girl so I'm sure I can handle it.  :-)  When it pops up on Babysteals, it's certainly the right price too so I appreciate that as well.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Top 50 Baby!!

Yep, that's me in the Top 50 on Top Mommy Blogs!  In the spirit of the evening with the Oscars and is my very short acceptance speech in honour of this humbling award.

First and foremost, I would like to thank my children.  Without them, this award would not be possible as I would not be a mommy and therefore not qualify for such an esteemed award of this magnitude.  Second, I would like to thank all the other mommies out there for their ongoing support.  I would also like to thank my husband for accepting my slight obsession with my mommy blog.  Finally, I'd like to thank my brother, Curt, for encouraging my competitive spirit in this venture.

Lastly, it might not be appropriate at the Oscars to ask for more votes after winning such an award but I am going to do just that!  Why stop at Top 50?!  Let's go for Top 25!  Now, this will require a lot of commitment and hard work but I think we can do it.  It may require voting on multiple devices, sneaking some clicks in on your work computer or possibly taking advantage of that extra IP address on your cell phone.  However, I have a dream...

I guess that music means I'm running out of time...thank you everyone!!!  Oh, and thanks to my Mom..oh, and my Dad..and....

Regina Baby Expo Ticket Giveaway! (Ends March 20th)

This giveaway is for the Regina and Area Moms out there!

The Regina Baby Expo is a huge event for families.  It will feature plenty of local and national products and services for expecting parents and parents with young children up to preschool age.  There will be lots of great shopping, informative seminars, a children's play zone, a family rest lounge (that you will need after everything else) along with the concessions of course.  You can find a whole schedule of events on the Baby Expo Website.

If you like giveaways (who doesn't?!), there are also tons of door prizes up for grabs.  Some of the businesses sponsoring door prizes include Perfect Image Photography who recently took my childrens' photos for the Cutest Baby Contest, Hello Baby, Bath Goddess, and The Sling Sisters.  Once again, there are many more listed on the website so you can head on over there and check them all out.

Likely my son's favourite of the day will be Mickey Mouse especially after our trip to Disney World!  Either Mickey or the entertainment with Senkow Sing-a-Long.  That is, if we can get him off the bouncers long enough...I think I'm ready for the family rest lounge just thinking about it.  Personally, I am looking forward to seeing lots of great new baby products and meeting some new people.   There may be some shopping involved...odds are very good.

I also wanted to mention that half of all admission proceeds go toward the Hospital of Regina Foundation in support of the Rawlco Centre for Mother Baby Care.

Here are the details for the show this year:

Date and Location:
Sunday, April 3, 2011
11am to 4pm
Conexus Arts Centre, 200A Lakeshore Drive Regina, SK.

Admission $7 at the door
Kids 12 and under are FREE!
$5 advance tickets are available starting March 1 at Hello Baby and Henry's Baby Boutique

Now to the giveaway!
The Regina Baby Expo is going to give away two pairs of tickets to the show.  As usual, I will number entries and use to select the winners.  Each entry must be made in a separate comment below.  Please leave an e-mail address so I may contact the winners!  (Remember that you can always create a new e-mail address for online entries such as this.)

Required Entry:
1.  Go to the Regina Baby Expo website and list one of the 2011 Exhibitors in the comments. (You must pick a different one than the comments before you so we don't all name the same exhibitor.)

Bonus Entries:
2.  "Like" the Regina Baby Expo Facebook Page.
3.  Follow A Sophisticated Mommy via Google Friend Connect (in the right side bar).
4.  "Like" A Sophisticated Mommy on Facebook.
5.  Share this giveaway with your friends on Facebook and let me know in the comments as well.

Contest will run until March 20th, 2011 and is open to Canadian residents only.  Good luck!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What a "Pinterest"ing Concept!

Thanks to Amanda, a fellow mommy blogger ( and friend, I have yet another thing to keep me busy online.  I am hoping it actually saves me time but it likely won't.  You are wondering what I'm talking about so I'll get to the "Pinterest"ing part of this post.  Amanda introduced me to  It's basically like an online bookmarking site which isn't totally a new concept except this one lets you categorize, label, and even keep track of prices of things you like online.  It doesn't have to be just items you'd like to buy although I'm sure that's what a lot of people use it for.  You could make note of a home decorating idea, a favourite photograph, a cute craft, or a dream travel destination.

I took a screen capture to show you what it looks like.

This is a screenshot of one board.  You can also view all boards at once or choose other preferences.
You can "Pin" items by adding the tab into your web browser so it's easy to click whenever you find something you like.  It basically takes all the images on a pages and allows you to "Pin" the ones you want to keep in your Pinterest account.  You can categorize everything as you put them onto your virtual bulletin boards, referred to simply as "Boards".  I just started with all of this and my boards so far are Baby Girl, Baby Products, Books Worth Reading, For the Home, etc.  I'm really looking forward to using it on a regular basis and seeing what sort of collection I come up with.  I just know there are so many times when I find something I would like to save or "Pin" for future reference and then it takes me forever to find it again or I just don't find it again.  This will hopefully solve that problem!

The thing with for now is that they seem to have limited space which means they are slowly adding people on an invitation basis.  You can also request an invite but it takes about a week to go through unless you have someone you know already using it and willing to give you one of their five invites.  Now, I just signed up and still have my invites so if you'd like to try this out, the first few people to ask me for invites will get them.  I just need an e-mail address to invite can find me through my e-mail on my blog or via Facebook quite easily.  :-)

With new sites like, I always wonder how they plan on making money or how they are making it already.  Hopefully, we don't see a whole bunch of annoying ads pop up someday.  So far, it has a nice clean look and it's free.  Let's hope it miraculously stays that way.

Oh, and I totally forgot the best feature.  You can add your friends and follow their pins.  They show up as a gorgeous collage of goodies on your main page so you can check out all the cool stuff your friends found online too.  You can find friends through a Facebook or Twitter account.  Feel free to find me through my Twitter account.  I hope you all found this as "Pinterest"ing as me!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tushie Huggers and Some Advice for Parents!

First and foremost, we'll start with the advice.  We put off attaching the dresser in Connor's room to the wall and just sort of forgot about it and it's never been a problem...until today!  Connor often spends time hanging out in his room and doesn't get into too much trouble.  He usually flips through books and "reads" them.  However, I took almost all his books out after he began to destroy them.  Since that occurred, he's been starting to get into other things including his dresser which I should have taken as a warning sign but didn't.  Fast forward to this morning when Jeremy heard a bang and opened the door to discover the dresser completed tipped over, contents on top of it all over the floor, and Connor standing in the corner on the opposite wall.  We *think* he was climbing up on it or at least pulling on it.  We are not sure how he eluded the dresser as it fell down but our guess is it threw him off of it.  Regardless of what happened, please use our experience as a reminder to attach your toddler's furniture to the wall if you haven't done so already. 

On a happier note, I noticed Agoo Tushie Huggers on today and thought I could show any interested mommies what they look like on my little girl.  I bought some from Mother of a Sale before Christmas but bought the size 12-24 month size so they are a little big.  I've noticed Agoo products on quite a few daily deal sites and believe there are still some products available in the Mother of a Sale archives as well (which happens to be Canadian so it ships more quickly).

The Agoo Tushie Huggers are super cute and the material is nice and stretchy but in a good way.  It has stretch but bounces back too.   They weren't too difficult to get on.  It was basically just like putting regular pants on.  I guess it's kind of an easy way to do the skirt/leg warmers look without having to put three separate items on your little one.  These bottoms definitely won't stay on for diaper changes although I don't keep BabyLegs on for diaper changes either.   Aleena's wearing them for the first time today so I can't speak to their longevity but so far, I like them and they look pretty adorable especially with the matching top.

ETA:  Just checked Mother of a Discount and they don't have the Tushie Huggers anymore but they have lots of other Agoo clothing.  I would expect to see the Tushie Huggers on other daily deal sites in the future though.  Mother of a Discount still has the yoyo10 discount code that you can use until today for 10% off everything including the Oh Katy pocket diapers (just in case you decide to buy something).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cool Stuff I Got in the Mail

I have received lots of fun things in the mail this week!  I love getting parcels in the mail box especially when they are full of adorable baby things.  The first photo is Aleena in her new Babylegs from Something Sassy tutus and more big flash giveaway last week.  You are probably asking the same thing I was.  What is a flash giveaway?!  Apparently it's when a shop does several giveaways back to back.  In this case, we were required to answer trivia questions in order to win the prizes.  The question I answered correctly was about the most recent product they have introduced which I knew was birthday packages.  It helps when I blog about her business every once and a while!  If you aren't a fan of Something Sassy's page, you should really become one because she loves to do giveaways (and she has plenty of adorable baby things).

The other adorable items I received were my new Gro Bags from MamasReTreat.  It happens to be one of my new favourite daily deal websites and it's Canadian.  I love that I receive things just a few short days after ordering and it's also nice to know I am supporting a Canadian company.  Last week, they had Gro Bags for 50% off and I couldn't resist since I know I'd be buying more anyway.  Aleena sleeps really well in sleepsacks. These ones are the next size up since I want them for summer and they look rather huge but I'm sure she'll grow into them.

The dotted one is also a traveling sleepsack.  It has a velcro tab at the back where you can put a harness through when on the road.  I am not sure if we'll make use of this. It was kind of an unexpected surprise but it'll work as a regular sleepsack too! 

The sleepsack with the mouse on it is my favourite kind because it has the buttons at the shoulders and under the one arm.  It's so easy to get this type on and off.  That's all I've got for tonight as I am seriously under the weather.  Seems like there's a whole lot of sickness going around lately.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Baby Gourmet Giveaway Winner is...

Congrats to Stephanie Tomlinson!

Once again, thanks to everyone for entering the contest!  I know a lot of you have tried Baby Gourmet now that you know it's out there.  It should be easy to find at your local Wal Mart store and it retails for a similar price to other organic baby foods.  I am going to stock up again myself for our trip to Florida next month.  I think the packages will be perfect for traveling and for toting around Disney World.  You can actually buy your own Sample Box from the Baby Gourmet website if you'd like.  

I just wanted to thank everyone for your ongoing support and for all the votes on Top Mommy blogs today!   Keep up the voting!  My goal is to reach the Top 50 and I was at #82 last time I checked.

There will be many more giveaways coming up in the next few weeks.  I am looking forward to sharing more wonderful businesses!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Family Day!

Our Family Day started off with a very quick wake up!  We had a photo session scheduled for the kids as they are participating in Regina's Cutest Baby Photo Contest through Perfect Image Photography.

It's a good thing that they are naturally cute because there was no time for prettying up beyond a diaper change and getting dressed.  We woke up at 9:10 am and managed to get the kids ready and at the photographer's house by 10:00 am sharp (we may have been a couple minutes late but I didn't check).  I will post a couple of the photos that were taken once they're available.  Let's just say that they've got way more photos of Aleena to choose from.  It took a while for her to warm up to the camera but once she did, she was posing like a super model.  Toddlers are just too busy for photo sessions but I think we managed to get at least a few decent photos.

After the photos were done, we decided to go for brunch since it was Family Day after all.  That, and we rarely go to restaurants anymore!  It went pretty well except that I was so busy feeding Aleena that I didn't have time to choose something to order from the menu.  I ended up choosing the first thing I saw on the menu since it seemed to have a variety of items.  Let's just say that Jeremy said I ordered the "Trucker's Breakfast".  Actually, it was called the Big Country Breakfast (and for good reason) was almost enough breakfast to feed a country after all.  I received a plate with three extra large pancakes topped with three huge slabs of ham.  On the side, there was a huge pile of scrambled eggs, two sausages, and two pieces of bacon.   I was a bit embarrassed when it arrived but I managed to eat some and leave a lot.

Once we got home, everyone had a nice nap except for me.  I read more fascinating information about the Curriculum Design Process (insert a bit of sarcasm here but not too much as it's not that bad). 

Back to the photo contest, there will be one photo per child posted on Perfect Image Photography's Facebook page next month and the most "likes" will win money towards prints or other prizes.  Here's a link to their Facebook page so you can like them and get ready to vote for my babies!  (I suppose you could vote for other babies too..I'm sure they will all be cute!)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Buttermilk Apple Cake (Healthy!)

I've mentioned before that Food and Whine is one of my favourite food blogs.  I often check for ideas before I go grocery shopping to help me with meal planning for the week.  This apple cake is one of my favourite recipes from the blog so I wanted to share it with everyone.  I am also feeling a bit under the weather and thought that apples have a reputation for good health so maybe a few slices of this cake will help me.  The first piece made me feel better at least!  It's also relatively healthy and packed full of moist apples which I love.  The cinnamon sugar middle layer doesn't hurt the overall taste either.

Here's the recipe:

Buttermilk Apple Cake

1/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk*
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups finely chopped apples (leave skin on for more fibre)

Brown sugar centre:
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
  • In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until combined.  
  • Beat in buttermilk. 
  • In another bowl, combine flours, flax, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. 
  • Add to buttermilk mixture and stir well. 
  • Add apples and mix until combined.  
  • Spread half the batter into a greased bundt pan. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle onto batter. Top with remaining batter. 
  • Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan.
*Instead of buttermilk, you can use regular milk and add about 1 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Trudy's Notes:  I used my KitchenAid mixer for this recipe and was just careful to only use the lowest stir setting when I added the apples.  I baked it for 40 minutes and that was perfect.  It really depends on your oven but any longer would have been too long in mine.

I had to take a photo of the cake before I cut a slice because I was amazed that it actually came out in one whole piece.  Here it is!

Since we're on the topic of delicious food, don't forget to enter the giveaway for a Sample Box of Baby Gourmet.  It's also worth checking out Baby Gourmet if you have toddlers as the food comes in convenient packaging and toddlers love it too (and it's healthy!).

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Whole Lot of Cuteness in the Closet!

As the topic states, there really is a whole lot of cuteness going on in Aleena's closet.  Since there's been lots of talk about tutus and pettiskirts lately for baby girl's first birthdays, I chose to write about them first.  I bought a couple pettiskirts last year.  A brown/blue one from Babysteals and a pink one from Kidsteals.  They are both made by Katelyn & Co.  The regular price is not something I would likely spend but I was happy to buy them for half price in anticipation of future photo ops and Aleena's first birthday.  With the big day approaching quickly (less than two months to go), I thought I'd pull them out of the closet.  As mentioned, I discovered some other cute things in there too but I'll share those on another day. For now, here is Aleena in her brown/blue Katelyn & Co. pettiskirt.

Don't miss out on entering the current giveaway of a sample box of Baby Gourmet organic baby food. I've had lots of positive reviews about others' experiences with it as well. I believe some of you said it was around $1.50 at Walmart for each pouch. A bit pricier than other baby food but close to the cost of other organic baby food. Click on the Baby Gourmet box below to be directed to the Review/Giveaway post!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Baby Gourmet Review and Giveaway

I initially said that this giveaway was for the babies but I've had to reconsider.  My toddler absolutely loved "drinking" from the Baby Gourmet pouch and I have to admit that I've taste tested my fair share in the past week as well.  There are many things that I love about this baby food but the aspect I appreciate the most is the food actually tastes good.  I can personally attest to this after sampling a little bit of each kind myself (I have to check for temperature after all).  In fact, I seriously considered eating the Old Fashioned Apple Crisp flavour with some ice cream.

In addition to being baby food that actually tastes like real, delicious food, the Baby Gourmet products come in BPA free packaging, are organic and there are no extras added such as sugar, salt, or fillers.  The texture appears similar to homemade baby food which I enjoy making and serving as well but there's not always time to prepare baby food myself.  These packages are also great for trips out.  You can just throw a couple in the diaper bag and you've got a healthy snack available.  After Connor's reaction to it, I plan on using them for toddler snacks too.  He loved the taste and thought it was just as fun as drinking out of a juice box.  Of course, I didn't mind either since I know it's healthy!

A little more about Baby Gourmet for those of your unfamiliar.  Baby Gourmet is a new organic baby food company based out of Edmonton.  Their products just recently became available in Walmarts stores.  You can use the Store Locator on their website to find Baby Gourmet near you.

For this review, we received an All Stage Sample box in the mail about a week ago and we have tried almost all nine flavours.  There are three flavours for each stage.  Stage 1 is for 6 + Months and includes simple purees, Stage 2 is for 7 + months and features more flavours combinations and Stage 3 is for 8 + months and it introduces more texture.  Since Aleena just turned 10 months, we were able to try all of the flavours and not worry about allergies since she's tried all the fruits/veggies before with the exception of pumpkin and garden greens.   
The All Stage Sampler Box that we reviewed included the following:
  • 1 pouch of Stage 1 Orchard Apple, Carrot & Prune
  • 1 pouch of Stage 1 Juicy Pear & Garden Greens
  • 1 pouch of Stage 1 Harvest Pear, Pumpkin & Banana
  • 1 pouch of Stage 2 Baby’s Sweet Potato Pie
  • 1 pouch of Stage 2 Apple Sweet Potato Berry Swirl
  • 1 pouch of Stage 2 Roasted Squash & Fruit Medley
  • 1 pouch of Stage 3 Vanilla Banana berry Risotto
  • 1 pouch of Stage 3 Tropical Banana Bliss
  • 1 pouch of Stage 3 Old Fashioned Apple Crisp
Here's a couple more photos of the kids trying everything out.  We had lots of fun taking some photos this morning.  The Tropical Bliss Banana was a huge hit!  Aleena was desperate to eat it and she had just finished having milk so she wasn't exactly starving at the time.  Connor seemed curious so I squeezed out some for Aleena in a bowl and let him finish the rest of the pouch.  This is a direct quote from Connor: "Mmmm..that's good!".   The first photo was taken last week.  I wanted to show the texture and how it appears a lot like homemade baby food.

Baby Gourmet food is truly 'real' food and similar to the homemade versions I've made before.
Aleena trying to grab the pouch after having a taste.
This photo speaks for itself!  :-)
Connor loved it too.
The Giveaway:
Baby Gourmet is going to give one of my readers the same All Stage Sample pack that I received.

As always, I will number entries and use to select the winner.   Please make separate comments for each entry and use the blog comments for all entries, even the Facebook ones.  

How to Enter:
1. "Like" Baby Gourmet on Facebook.  Wall comments aren't required but I'd appreciate it if you let them know I sent you. :-)
2. "Like" A Sophisticated Mommy on Facebook.
3.  Follow A Sophisticated Mommy via Google Friend Connect.
4.  Follow A Sophisticated Mommy on Twitter.
5.  Share this giveaway and let me know how.  (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Blog)

This contest will be open until Tuesday, February 22nd at noon SK Time.  I will select and announce a winner that afternoon.

Open to Canadian residents only.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Government Approved

Passport applications are a lot of work!   I have spent the last couple days filling out applications and finding all the official documentation required.  It's been very time consuming especially since I had to do another for myself as well since my passport was in my maiden name.  Actually, the passport applications weren't even the worst part.

The trip to Costco to get the kids' photos was quite the event however.  Our first attempt involved an uncooperative toddler who wouldn't look at the camera.  We gave up on him for the meantime and looked to our well behaved infant.  Cue the humongous blow out and no change of clothes in sight!  Good thing it was Costco...I bought a Carter's outfit and managed to survive the mess and distress in the bathroom.   So did Aleena and then she fell fast asleep.  Still no photos!!

We decided to do our shopping first and Connor cheered up thanks to banana and nutella samples.  We bought a Thomas the Train book as bribery and tried again.  This time, it was mission accomplished although there is a look of panic in his eyes as we pretended we were taking the book to get a sticker out for him and he was afraid he wasn't getting it back.

Then, it was Aleena's turn.  We woke her up since we didn't want to relive the whole situation on another day.  One photo and we got it!  She was a star...a sleepy one but perfect for a passport photo.  Of course, I have to share them now!  Baby passport photos are sooo cute!

Am I getting the book back?!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Going to En Vogue!

I always love spa gift certificates and it's the perfect Valentine's Day gift for a mommy of two young children.  I am looking forward to some quiet time...and even better if I'm being pampered too!  The picture on the right is actually a thick booklet of spa treatments...hmmm..what to pick?!

As for me, I bought my wonderful hubby some tickets to Spirit of the West.  Hope someone is available to babysit on May 7th because we're leaving the kids at home! 

The Baby Chunky Cheeks Giveaway Winner is...

 Julie G!

Thanks to everyone that entered the contest.  If you want to order something from Baby Chunky Cheeks, you can visit the Baby Chunky Cheek's Etsy Shop.  If you're quick, you can still take advantage of the Valentine's Day coupon code for 10% off all orders: 'vday10'.

Remember that they have lots of adorable items for babies in addition to the headbands and onesies featured in this giveaway.  You can also find cute summer outfits, adorable crocheted hats, baby toys, receiving blankets, and much more.  The best way to stay up to date with new products, sales and special promotions is by becoming a fan of their Facebook page.

Also, you can look for Valentine's Day deals in my post about the big day!  Just click on the heart below to be directed to that post. 

Lastly, please vote for A Sophisticated Mommy on Top Mommy Blogs especially if you haven't voted in a while.  It's easy to vote.  You simply have to click on the banner below or the banner that's in the right side bar.

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Giveaway Linky Madness

I promised a few people that I would post some of my favourite places to find giveaways.  In reality, I haven't entered that many giveaways but I do enter a few especially when I "link up" my own giveaways on other blogs.  These are some of my favourite places to post my own giveaways because they result in traffic to my site which is always a good thing!  I am going to start off with the ones that cater to Canadians and then I'll list a few more.  Keep in mind that some of the giveaways are only for US residents so make sure to check before you enter.  Good giveaway links will ask blogs to specify this when posting.

Without further ado, here's the links.  Have fun entering and good luck!  One more thing, each of these links is usually updated on a weekly basis so if you click through to an old link, you'll easily find the new one under Giveaways or Giveaway Linky in that blog's tabs.  I will likely add a giveaway linky on my blog eventually but I haven't got around to it yet.  Stay tuned though!

Giveaways open to Canadians:
Follow Me, I'm Canadian
Canadian Giveaways
Canadian Moms

Canadian blogs that indicate if giveaways are open to Canada or US:
Maple Leaf Mommy (Massive list of links!)
Mommy Moment 

Canada and/or US:  (Be sure to check if the contest is open to Canada before you enter.)
My Secret Home
Fun Being Frugal
Giveaways for Mom

In case that doesn't keep you busy enough, this website is where all these blogs post their giveaway links.

Post Your Giveaway Linky

By the way, if you have a Facebook page or blog and would like to gain more followers, you can also find something called "Blog Hops" or things like Facebook Fridays to help you increase your numbers.   Some sites work better than others but the best for Facebook networking is Mom vs. the Boys Facebook Friday.

Another tip for Canadian Etsy Shops or small stores is to join up with a site like Follow Me, I'm Canadian.  You can become a member for free and meet lots of other Canadian mommies with home businesses.  They also have lots of opportunities for networking and promoting your shops.

I'm tired so that's all I've got for now but I wanted to share since there's been a lot of interest in finding giveaways lately!  I am certainly not an expert but I have learned a bit about the mommy blogging world in the past few months and I am happy to share.

With all this talk of giveaways, make sure you've entered my latest giveaway too!  Baby Chunky Cheeks is going to give one lucky winner a customized headband and hand-dyed onesie.  The contest is open until Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

2 Months until Aleena Hits the Big 1!

Yep, it's true.  My baby girl is 10 months old today.  I am not even sure how that's possible since it sometimes feels like she was just born.  It's hard to believe her first birthday is only a couple months away.

Here's some info!

Weight: 20 lbs 5 ozs
Teeth: 4 top teeth and two bottom teeth
Mobility: Still scooching around on her heading and rolling everywhere.  She gets up on all fours and tries crawling sometimes but hasn't gotten anywhere yet. 
Foods: Loves almost everything except for meats
Words: Mama (that's it so far)
Other: She loves her brother and they giggle at each other all the time.  She loves singing and music and playing with everything she shouldn't be playing with (e.g. electrical cords).  She used to sleep really well and isn't too bad but nights of 12 hours straight are a distant memory.

For her birthday, I already have the invitations ready to go!  I just need to get them in the mail but I'll wait a couple more weeks for that since it's still a bit early.  I'll post a photo of the adorable invitations after they've been sent out.  I ordered them through Tinyprints after winning a coupon code through a blog giveaway.  It's my only big win to date although I haven't entered many lately so I guess that doesn't help.

Here's a couple pictures of my ten month old baby girl today.

The little man is also celebrating a birthday of sorts today.  2 Years 5 Months already!
Look what Aleena found!

Valentine's Day is almost here which means my current giveaway is almost over!  Just a couple more days to enter for a Baby Chunky Cheeks customized headband and onesie.  Click on the photo below to enter!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Have You Seen This Book?

As usual, I seem to have way too many things going on and not a lot is getting done.  I won't even attempt to list everything but it's almost like I have a knack for finding something new just to procrastinate at everything else.  For example, starting my Facebook page to sell the kids' clothes.  I have to admit that I love doing it though.   It was fun to design the logo and accompanying images for on hold and sold items.  I enjoy going through the boxed up clothes and taking photos as it brings back memories.

It's been kind of nice to get the whole clothing situation under control because it's ridiculous how much clothing a two year old can have.   Just when I think I might be coming near the end of the boxes, I find more in his bedroom closet or dresser drawers.  I still have quite a bit left to add but it's working out okay to add things gradually.  In case you missed the post about Darling Dudz, here's a link to it on Facebook.  I have added quite a few items so feel free to check things out, say hello, and even make requests as I seem to have almost everything (in the right sizes of course).

Meanwhile, I have a book review due for my Masters class that is gnawing at me.  Yes, it's really bothering me so 'gnawing' is an apt description in this case.  After several hours of searching for a 'non-edited' book as the assignment requires not to mention numerous e-mails to my professor asking for assistance, I finally discover that the book can be 'series edited'.  That would have been nice to know and would have opened up all sorts of possibilities much, much earlier.

So, I chose a book and it happened to be available in the U or R library.  Perfect.  Or is it?  I went to the library after class on Tuesday night only to discover it's missing so they have to search for it.  I don't really understand how they expect to find a book that hasn't been signed out in over a year.  Clearly it's not an Oprah Book Club pick.  They took my name and phone number and I haven't heard back from them.  Big shocker there.  Now, I debate whether I should buy the book off Amazon or choose another book and go through the whole painful process again.  I think that Amazon is looking pretty good right about now.

I won't even mention my running right's not going well.  I am just too tired to do anything and my Nike + receiver is still missing.  It's a great little tool until you lose half of it and render it useless.  I know that's a really bad excuse so I should still get myself on the treadmill and plan on doing that momentarily.  I feel like my Masters rhetoric is taking over in this post so please excuse the academic language.  I guess that attending a Master's class once a week is rubbing off on me..probably a good thing after speaking toddlerease for the past several months.

Last but not least, this lovely blog keeps me busy but at least I can do as little or as much as I want with it.  I have loved keeping up my blog and doing all these fun giveaways and posts about the best baby/toddler things out there so I hope you enjoy it too.  I am also excited for all the reviews and giveaways coming up in the next couple of months.  I've had some wonderful businesses offer to share their products with me and I am looking forward to writing about them.  It's really hard to keep it a secret!

Just a friendly and hopefully not annoying reminder to continue voting on Top Mommy Blogs.  I've been as high as #75 so it would be nice to climb up a bit higher but I need a few more votes and regular voters to get there. Thanks in advance!  Also, please check out and 'follow' some of the other Mom blogs I have listed as my favourite blogs in the right column of the page.  They share some fantastic ideas and viewpoints and it's always nice to hear about what other moms are up to.

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Remember to enter the giveaway for the Baby Chunky Cheeks headband and onesie.  It is open to Canadian and US residents until Valentine's Day.  Click on the photo for more details.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Baby Chunky Cheeks Giveaway!

Welcome to my very first blog giveaway post!  Oh, wait a WAS my very first giveaway and got the proverbial giveaway ball rolling.   A huge thanks to Jenna for helping me out in getting all of this started last fall.  As I mentioned way back when, Jenna and her Mom started an Etsy shop called Baby Chunky Cheeks and, like my blog, they have grown a lot since then!

In addition to the receiving blankets featured in the previous giveaway, they have plenty more items in their shop including cute summer dresses, colourful hand-dyed outfits, adorable crocheted hats, baby toys, pretty headbands, and much more.

I think it's fair to say that I am on of their biggest fans and have bought a few outfits and blankets myself.  I'll post a couple photos of Aleena at the bottom of this post with these items!   The quality is excellent and I love being able to customize outfits for my baby girl by choosing from the materials available.  If you check out their Facebook page or Etsy site, you can view all the different patterns and materials to choose from.  You should also know that they create these outfits and items incredibly fast!  I ordered several customized handmade outfits and they were ready in a very short amount of time.

As mentioned, Baby Chunky Cheeks has lots of lovely headbands for little girls including silk and tie dyed rosettes, silk flowers, and many others.  There are also numerous bands to choose from and these can all be customized with the colours and embellishments of your choice. 

The Giveaway:
One lucky winner will receive a customized Baby Chunky Cheeks headband of their choice (either silk or tie dye rosette, or a silk flower one) as well as a hand-dyed onesie (3-12 months available in various colour combinations).

Coupon Code:  As a bonus, Baby Chunky Cheeks is offering my blog readers 10% off all Etsy orders from now through Valentine's Day using the code 'vday10'. 

How to Enter:
As always, I will be numbering entries and using to select the winner.  Please make sure you are either following publicly via Google Friend Connect or leave an e-mail address so I can contact you.  Please leave a comment for each entry below.

There are five ways to enter:
1.   Comment on this post and tell us which headband is your favourite on the Baby Chunky Cheeks Etsy Site.
2.   Follow A Sophisticated Mommy via GFC.
3.  "Like" Baby Chunky Cheeks on Facebook and "like" the giveaway post.
4.  "Like" A Sophisticated Mommy on Facebook and "like" the giveaway post.
5.   Share this giveaway and let me know in the comments.  (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Blog)

The contest is open until Monday, February 14th (aka Valentine's Day) at Noon SK Time.  I will announce a winner later that day!

This contest is open to Canada & the US.

A couple of Aleena's outfits from Baby Chunky Cheeks:

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