Raising Memories

Monday, January 26, 2015

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament Giveaway

For Christmas this year we surprised the girls with a trip to Medieval Times in Toronto. We were really excited to take them because we had been there for our first anniversary (10 years ago!!) and we knew that the girls were at a good age to really enjoy it!

They knew what Medieval Times was, so we were able to reveal this gift to them with a few visual clues:

These are pictures of them reading their clues Christmas morning.  In that last photo, Katrina put her head down and let out a thrilled squeal! haha :)  We got the reaction we were hoping for!

Here we are just outside the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament castle in Toronto and the girls are very excited!

As soon as we walked into the castle, we found that we would be treated like royalty!  Ken and I were greeted as "my lord" and "my lady" and the girls were always called Princess. :)  We entered and were all given crowns that represented the colours of the Knight we would be cheering for during the show.

Next we had the opportunity to pose for a photo with the falconer (it was delivered to us at our table during the show).

After posing for the photo, we entered a large waiting room inside the castle which was AMAZING. Here's a photo I took of the ceiling- the d├ęcor was fabulous!  The room soon filled with people wearing crowns of various colours.  We all enjoyed exploring!  You can look through windows to see and meet the horses and we even met the host! (you can see Ken & the girls posing with him in front of one of the horses' stalls in the photo above, beside the photo of Katrina getting her crown).

Right in the middle of the room is a bar where you can order drinks.  Around the sides of the room are souvenir shops where you can buy toys, figurines, costumes, and even real swords.  After some time spent in this room exploring the shops and surroundings, the host of the show appeared above us (see the photo below, in the bottom right) and began announcing which colours could enter the arena.

While waiting for our turn to enter, we grabbed these photos.  Talia had recently earned some money and chose to buy herself this glowing fencing sword. We found a photo opp. for Katrina, too ;)

This is the view across the arena when we found our seats and a couple of shots of us, excitedly waiting for the show to start! :)  (In the photo across the arena, you can see some of the servers (everyone who works there dresses the part- it's so fun!).

At our seats we found a program and a cheering banner for each of us.  Our food was served on these dishes (with no cutlery).  They are serious about having you experience the authentic experience and get dirty when you eat! ;)  We had to make a special request for hand wipes so that I could take photos during the show for this blog post or else I wouldn't have dared to touch my camera! ;)

The show was just fabulous.  The horses were amazing and so were the knights and other actors!

Here are a couple of photos of the knights entering the arena as the show began.  We were all seated in areas with the other guests who had the same colour crowns so that we were with our cheering sections.

Soon we would see the King and there would be a tournament!  We were all encouraged to cheer for our Knight (ours was the red & yellow knight and when he won part of the tournament, he would throw flowers into the audience!).

There was also a dancing horse while we ate the main part of our meal and then the jousting began!

As the knights took turns fighting each other, they would often end up off of their horses, fighting on foot which is when things got really exciting!  Talia was cheering at the top of her lungs!

I was having fun trying to catch some good action shots with my camera.  This is one of my favourites (as well as the one at the top of the post where you can see sparks flying!).

This photo shows where the King and Princess sat during the tournament:

Here's a shot of our knight after a proud victory:

Here's Katrina cheering with both of our banners!

And the winner of the tournament was the red & yellow knight!  We were very proud :)

After the show, the girls were excited to be able to meet the princess and the king and stand with each of them for a photo:

What a fun family experience!  We had such a great time!  This is a great Family activity and since Family Day is coming up in February and March Break is just around the corner after that, this is a great time to enter to win a set of 4 tickets for your family to go to Medieval Times at the Toronto castle!  (If you don't want to wait to see if you won, you can head right to their website & purchase tickets- click here to see some of their special offers!)

To enter for your chance to win 4 tickets , just fill out this form!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was provided tickets for review & giveaway purposes. I was not compensated financially for this review. As always, all opinions shared are my own!

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

January 2015 Sharing Time - Week 4

Welcome to January's Sharing Time Linky!

Before we get to the party, here's a quick recap of the week:

This has been a busy week on the blog- I've posted every day!

I started the week with a funny story about something Katrina did one night (read about it here)

... and a recipe for one of my favourite dips is here (including a Mexican version from my husband).

I wrote about my Laundry Struggles (I have found one solution which I shared in that post, but continue to be frustrated by some stains that I just can't get out!)

I shared some Winter photography on Wednesday.  I just loved getting out and photographing nature on such a beautiful winter day!

Yesterday I shared my review of the Dyson DC62 Animal.

Lastly if you're thinking about Valentine's Day,
you might like to check out this Collection of 25 Free Valentine Printables!

Now, on to the link party- I can't wait to see what you share! :)

Please join the Raising Memories Sharing Time & add a link to your latest and greatest blog posts
about activities to do with your children or fun projects that you have done!
If you're participating, please share the button on your blog & "hop over" to at least one other blog post that's been linked up- let's support each other!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Dyson Digital Slim DC62 Animal Cordless Vacuum

Christmas came early for me this year when this box arrived at my doorstep! I had been very excited to try out the Dyson DC62 Animal and now that I've been using it for over a month I'm ready to tell you all about it!  It really is fabulous and I will tell you why!

I am seriously excited about this vacuum!  Not only do I love using it (it is light and easy for me to carry around so I don't hurt my hands when I use it, it doesn't have a cord.. and it's purple!) .. not only that, but I have never seen Ken vacuum so often!  He is good about helping around the house anyway, but I would say that this vacuum has us both excited to clean the floor whenever the opportunity arises! (It's an opportunity now, guys... that's what a good vacuum can do for you! ;)

My sister was asking me about the vacuum because she had been looking into a Dyson Animal as well. She ended up picking one up and we were talking about how we are amazed that it doesn't run out of battery (it can run for 26 minutes, but I have never needed to use it for that long)! That battery is working hard (it's a powerful vacuum!) but I have not once had it stop working while using it- I can do my whole house with it no problem.


The vacuum comes packaged in parts and each part is wrapped well in plastic, and kept from banging into other pieces with the arrangement of the cardboard inside the box.

You can see the pieces that it comes with in the photo below.  I was most excited about how light the whole thing is!  (It's 2.1 kg or 4.6 lb!)

The Dyson DC62 Animal is powered by a V6 motor which was engineered specifically for this machine.  It has 1.5x more power than the previous motor.  I am so impressed that such a small, battery powered machine can suck just as well as (and actually better than) a much larger, heavier, bulkier machine (that I was previously using)!  There is also a button on the machine to put it into "Boost Mode" which increases the suction for up to 6 minutes when you need extra suction.  Boost mode is Ken's favourite feature. :)


 Assembly is as easy as 2 clicks!  Just attach the wand to the body on one end and the motorhead on the other!  The motorhead has carbon fibre antistatic bristles that reduce the build-up of static charge which helps capture fine dust on hard floors.  It also has nylon bristles which trap ground-in dirt from carpets.  I love that I can go right from carpet to hard floor without making any changes!  I am also continually amazed by how much dust the motorhead manages to pick up every time I vacuum!

Alternatively, you can attach one of the tools (mini motorized tool, crevice tool, or the combination accessory tool) right to the body without the wand.

I should mention that when using it with the wand, it is AMAZING at getting underneath of furniture! I just couldn't do that with my previous vacuum and now I can get WAY under things- it's great!

In the photo below, you can see that the silver part at the top of the canister kind of shows you where it has 15 cyclones that work in parallel across two tiers to create high forces that help capture fine dust and send it straight to the bin!  I guess that, combined with the motorhead's carbon fibre and nylon bristles, is what leads to all of the dirt and dust collected each time I vacuum.  Seriously, even when I vacuum a fairly small area, I'm amazed by what it picks up!

Emptying the Canister

The photos below also show you how easy it is to empty the bin that collects everything you vacuum up.  You just hold it over a garbage and press a button to release the dirt!  I love that there is no need to buy replacement bags or filters!

Cleaning the Filter

The filter is ridiculously easy to clean.  You just pull it out, rinse it in cold water, let it air dry, and replace it!  (There's even an image of a tap on the filter to remind you what to do with it ;)

Docking Station

Because this vacuum is cordless and runs on a battery, it needs to plug-in when it's not in use.  I was so happy to see that it comes with its own docking station!  You just attach the docking station to the wall and it's very simple to dock there, where it charges until you need it again.

I love the docking station because I always know where to find the vacuum.  I love that the crevice tool and the combination accessory tool have their own little storage place, too!  The only thing that doesn't have a place to "belong" is the mini motorized tool.

Motorhead Comes Apart!

We live in a household of hair.  With three females who all have long hair, we end up with a lot of hair wound around the brush bar!  The fact that this part comes apart is one of our favourite features! All you need is a coin and a pair of scissors and it's so easy to get rid of all of that hair!

We are truly loving this machine and so happy to have it!  I had heard great things about Dyson and their innovative technology but hadn't ever felt that I had the budget for one.  After using this one, Ken remarked to me the other day that now that he has used one, he would definitely pay more for a vacuum like this.  It really does make a difference!

So, what do you think? 
What's your favourite feature of the Dyson DC62 Animal?

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received product to facilitate this review. All opinions shared are my own.

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