October 2012

Christmas Card Time! :)

Pssst.... there's a giveaway at the bottom of this post!

Last year I used Shutterfly to make a family Christmas card. I LOVED it!

It's no secret that I'm a fan of photography and that year we had our family photos done by a friend of ours, so I had some nice ones that I wanted to use :)
I loved choosing my favourite design and making it our own!

This year they have a ton of new Christmas Cards designs and I love so many of them!
I've shared a few of my favourites in this post.

I was able to choose one and have almost finished customizing it for our family.
(I only wish we had had family photos done this year- I am not in very many photos!)

If you're interested, definitely check out their Special Offers page-
you can find a handful of promotions on there!

And here's the best news-
Shutterfly is going to give one of you $50 off of your order of Christmas cards this year!

Just fill out the form below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

Tutorial Tuesday: Germ Bugs!

Want to motivate your kids to clean properly?

You might like to try Germ Bugs :)

I'm posting about these over at HowDoesShe today.

Leisha & Dan (Engagement Photos)

Leisha, Dan & I met at a local park a few weeks ago to take some engagement photos.
Here are a few favourites from our session:

Thanks for a fun session, you two! I look forward to your wedding in December :)

October Sharing Time 2012

Welcome to Sharing Time! I can't wait to see what you link up! :)

Here's what's been going on at Raising Memories this week:

I made a vlog tutorial on how to make a pumpkin roll

I shared some Creative Ways to Decorate a Pumpkin

and we discussed Katrina's imaginary friends.


Ask your questions about Planning for Disney World- it's your chance to ask an expert!

(Come ask your questions in the comments!)

You only have a couple of days left to enter the Awesome Paper Coterie Giveaway! (if not, go do it!)

8 Creative Ways to Decorate a Pumpkin

I have been looking around the web at some creative ideas for ways to decorate pumpkins and I love what I'm seeing- there are so many creative people with great ideas! Here are some of my favourites that I've found:

Thursday Thoughts: Imaginary Friends, Bullying, and Pingo

Katrina has imaginary siblings.
...and cousins.

It started with a sister named Flower, and now there's a brother named Keek, and a cousin named Rainbow.

Generally, these come up when we are talking about something we don't have or can't do (that Katrina wishes we could or thinks is interesting). She will then tell us a story about how Rainbow DOES have that thing or HAS done that thing.

Ken tried to explain to her that these stories are not true because the people are not real. She then started telling us stories about Emma (who is a real person in her class at church). But the stories are just as false ;)

We still hear about Keek and Rainbow fairly often, and I don't mind too much- it's totally amusing! :)

So, I was pretty happy when we received a copy of Pingo and the Playground Bully (published by Shadow Mountain) and found out that it involves a bunch of imaginary friends! :) I had to share this with you- I think you'd like it!

I love this cute story! It's very fun for both my 3 year old and my 6 year old. The 3 year old loves the imaginary friends, and I love that my 6 year old gets to find out about things like bullying that she might face at school, and see positive ways to deal with it. And I think the pictures are fabulous and the story is really cute :)

Here's a peek into the story:

Who has the best imaginary friend? Is it Gary, who protects the galaxy with Sparky the robot? Is it Tiffany, who helps save the day with Awesome Girl? Or Dustin, who can hide Mr. Bob in his pocket? During recess, Chad and his imaginary pet, Pingo, are invited to participate in the contest to see which imaginary friend is the strongest or the smartest or the sneakiest. But when Jeremy, the schoolyard bully, and his imaginary friend, Grunt, barge into the contest, demanding to be included, no one expects what happens next—or how Pingo saves the day.

Fighting the Germs! #HealthyFamilies

We have had a week of sickness at our house! These little girls keep going from sick to almost better, and back to sick again! Thankfully, Talia was able to be well enough on Saturday to be a flower girl for our cousin's wedding (she was pretty cute! :) But today was day 2 of no school, and Katrina threw up this morning!

We are really focusing on washing hands and trying not to spread germs right now!

I recently heard about the Lysol Germ Detectives Program that's going on in some schools to help kids learn about how germs can spread from hand to hand :)

You can visit this link and scroll down to the bottom of the page to download a cute, printable handwashing guide for your kids, to use in your home!

I've got a post coming up next week about something fun you can do with your kids when teaching them how to properly do their chores. When I heard of Germ Detectives, I it totally reminded me of the post that's coming up, so, watch for the "Germ Bugs" post! :)

Disclosure: I am part of the Lysol® Healthy Families Ambassador Program by Mom Central. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

October 2012 Sharing Time

Welcome to Sharing Time! I can't wait to see what you link up! :)

Here's what's been going on at Raising Memories this week:

We Decorated our Door for Fall

You got a Free Kinder Egg!

I got answers to my questions about Disney World

(Come ask your questions in the comments!)

You entered the Awesome Paper Coterie Giveaway! (if not, go do it!)

I shared some Creative Pumpkin Uses

..and Talia taught me a lesson

6 Creative Ways to Use a Pumpkin!

The internet is amazing- and I'm continually amazed by the ideas that are shared through blogs and other outlets online. Here are a few creative ways to use a pumpkin that I found that I think are great! I wanted to share them with you:

Pumpkin Party Cooler

Painted Pumpkin Vase

Lollipop Pumpkin

Carousel Pumpkins

Pumpkin Snowmen

Pumpkin Candles

Have you seen or tried any other fun/creative uses for pumpkins?
(tell me about them in the comments!)

1000 Follower Celebration (Paper Coterie)

It's time for another Celebratory giveaway! :)

Today I'm excited to have Paper Coterie offering you a giveaway to help me celebrate getting 1000 GFC followers of Raising Memories Blog! :)

So, Paper Coterie is such a cool company! They've got all kinds of neat products that you can create on their website, and customize with photos and text. Honestly, I'd like to try one of each! They're designs are absolutely adorable, too.

From calendars to greeting cards, to photo books, to journals, planners, memory boxes, etc. Seriously, get to their website & have a look around- you won't be sorry you did!

Also, you can find some adorable, free printables on their website!
They've got a couple of Hallowe'en Printables up there right now.


The Review

Paper Coterie let me order something so that I could share my experience with you. I ordered a journal, to be used as a Family Home Evening Log. (We have a family night each week, and we always start by reviewing our week and planning the week ahead of us. I have wanted a special book to record the things that go on in our family, and to keep track of who does what during Family Home Evening each week.)

It was totally easy & straightforward to design, easy to order, and here's how it arrived:
(In a box, wrapped A LOT in bubble wrap, and then inside of a very cute 'envelope box'. Seriously, I love it when companies use cute, fun wrapping for their products.)

Inside of the box was a cute little note, welcoming me to the circle of friends at Paper Coterie, and a little gift- a cute necklace!

In the photos below, you can see the front, back, and side of my book (which I'm very happy with!)

I took a few shots of the interior of the book as well, so you could see what it's like. I love that it has a ribbon bookmark, to keep track of our place, too. :)

In the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to share any cons along with the pros. So, here's my only con: while Paper Coterie does ship to Canada, their shipping to Canada is, sadly, often too expensive for me to justify.


The Giveaway

One of you will win a gift code for any item on the site, with free shipping to the U.S. (if you live in Canada, you will have to pay shipping).
(this excludes gift cards and canvases)

Oh, and here's some great news!
If you're a first time customer at Paper Coterie, you can get a free journal!
Just enter the code welcomejournal at checkout! (standard shipping applies)

To enter the giveaway, just fill out the rafflecopter form below:

Disney World Trip Planning F.A.Q.

Jenny Thrasher is one of my blog's sponsors and she is a Travel Planner specializing in Disney Destinations!

I asked Jenny if she could answer some of my questions about planning Disney vacations (specifically Disney World), and she gave me some great answers. We've turned them into a post for everyone to read. I hope you find them helpful!

If you have any questions about Disney Vacations, please leave them in the comments!
I'd love to have another post like this with answers from Jenny, to your questions!

Mousetales Travel

1. Is there an ideal (less busy or better weather) time of year to visit Disney parks?

My opinion is that there isn't an 'ideal' time to visit Disney World. Each season brings it's own pros and cons. Crowds will be lightest when school is in session, but the park hours might be shorter. Winter vacation might be the busiest time of year, but it also comes with extra decorations, parades, shows, fireworks and Extra Magic Hours! Many of my clients with young children don't mind shorter park hours because their little ones go to bed early. While families with older children prefer to visit during traditional vacation seasons, making the most of their days with extended park hours.

2. Do you think there is an ideal age range for kids visiting Disney parks?

This is one of the things I love most about Disney, it is a magical place for people of all ages and abilities. While babies aren't going to remember visiting Disney World, you can create wonderful memories of taking them! How cute are babies with Mickey Mouse? Young children aren't big enough to ride all attractions, but the look on their face when they meet their favorite story character is priceless! Tweens & teens might be 'too old' for characters, but they'll love the thrill rides ... and water parks!

3. What are some things that are a “must do while at Disney”?

Character encounters, parades and fireworks are tops on my list! I LOVE them! This is where the kid in me really comes out!

However, there are so many things to do at Disney World!
~Festival of Lion King - amazing live show at Animal Kingdom park. A wonderfully entertaining rest in an air-conditioned theater!
~Good Morning Show at Magic Kingdom! - A treat for early risers for sure! Make sure to arrive at Magic Kingdom by 8:30am, be cheerful and with any luck, you could be Family of the Day!
~Harmony Barber Shop at Magic Kingdom - While anyone can get a haircut here, they specialize in 1st Haircuts!
~Agent P's World Showcase Adventure at Epcot! - Secret Agent interactive experience is fun for the entire family!
~Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and/or The Pirates League - Totally immerse them in their imagination!
~DiVine at Animal Kingdom - Totally fascinating! Easy to miss if she's not moving though!
~Jedi Training Academy at Hollywood Studios - 30 minute live show where young Padawan's learn to use the Force!
...my list goes ON & ON!

4. Do you have any suggestions for families who want to do Disney but are overwhelmed by the price?

First of all, I recommend using a Travel Planner and planning as far in advance as possible! Mouse Tales Travel offers a free payment plan, this option is very popular with my clients! As a Travel Agent, I watch daily for promotions that will save my clients money. If one comes available, I apply it for my clients automatically.
You can also keep the cost down during your vacation by taking snacks and bottled water with you.

5. What is one thing every family should know before they set out on their trip to Disney?

Know your family! Know how much you can do and when to take a break. Head back to your hotel and enjoy the fabulous pool and a nap, then head back to the park refreshed and ready to make more memories!

I would love the opportunity to share in your Disney travel planning!
My services as a Disney Travel Planner are FREE to you and include resort reservations, dining reservations, special event planning, personal itinerary and more!
I watch daily for promotions and specials that will help stretch your vacation dollar and apply them immediately!

In addition to Disney World, I also plan Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, Aulani Resort & Spa, and now also Beaches and Sandals All-Inclusive Resorts!
Contact me for your next vacation quote: jenny.thrasher@mousetalestravel.com

If you have any questions about Disney Vacations, please leave them in the comments!
If we get enough of them, we'll have Jenny back for another F.A.Q. post :)

I'm a Kinder Mom! (Go, Get a Free Egg!)

This year I'll be posting every other month for Kinder Canada. I'm pretty excited to be a "Kinder Mom"- how fun is that? We love Kinder Eggs around here- chocolate plus surprise, plus toys? Who wouldn't :) So, I'll be sharing fun and exciting news from Kinder with you :)

This month I get to bring you news that KINDER® Canada will be giving away 10,000 delicious Kinder® Surprise® Eggs exclusively on Facebook to celebrate the launch of the brand-new 2013 Toy Collection!

Starting yesterday, you have a chance to grab a coupon for a free Kinder Egg by visiting their facebook page. You will have to be quick!

The new 2013 collection is centered around four core pillars: Adventure, Exploration, Artistic Development and Active Lifestyle. We got some in the mail this morning and so far I think my favourite are the "softy tummies"- my nephew opened one with a cute little fuzzy lion inside :) Katrina was excited to play with the one I opened- a little race car :)

I am so excited to show Talia the eggs that we have waiting for her, when she gets home from school this afternoon! :) (The girls are always asking me to buy Kinder Eggs when they see them in stores, so they're going to love this "Kinder Mom Gig" ;)

I hope you'll enjoy hearing about what's going on with Kinder, too!
(now, go get your free egg before it's too late!)

Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Tutorial Tuesday: Fall Tree Door

We've been having fun with leaves lately.
I'm sharing over at HowDoesShe today.

Monday Moments: You're More Beautiful Than You Know

Talia & I were having a little cuddle before bed a couple of nights ago. This is a snippet of our conversation:

Me, to Talia:  Your skin is SO smooth & soft

Talia, to me:  So is yours.  (strokes my face)

Me: Except for when I get zits

Talia: Oh, we can avoid those easily.  Your face is more beautiful than you know.


(Oh man, I should've been the one teaching that to her!)


I recently had the opportunity to try out a new photobook company called GroupBook.

I have tried a lot of different photobook companies, so I have a pretty good idea of what's available out there. GroupBook has a good set up for being able to choose from a lot of different layouts, but most importantly (for me), you can customize the layouts you choose- I love that! Photos can be resized, repositioned, tilted differently, etc. You can also add or remove text boxes and adjust their sizes, font choices, colours, sizes, etc.

You can find Tips & Tricks at their blog and connect with others at their facebook page.

You can share your books online with others (for free) and let them view, copy, or collaborate on the creation of them. You can also share your books as "view only".

I had a great experience creating my book, and when I had a question, it was easy to contact them and get a quick answer. After ordering, it didn't take long to receive the book. It arrived in a padded envelope, and looks like this:

I was a little surprised when I opened it up to find that the pages to the book were stapled together & not attached to the binding! I contacted them and quickly found out that, while this is not normal, they do use a cover that does not require stitching so the pages sometimes come loose if books are josteled around a lot during shipping.

It was easy to bend the cover backwards (as shown below) and slide the pages back inside. When you let the book close again, the pages are firmly in place again. This is not my personal preference for a book binding, but I guess it could be a useful feature if you've got kids who might tug on the book- it could prevent tearing when pulled on, and makes them easy to fix.

ETA: I just found out that GroupBook is making a change in their binding- "while we use the same covers, we are now going to be binding them in there so they don't come out" (this is from a comment from groupbook to this post, which you can read below)

If you're interested in giving Groupbook a try, you can use the coupon code TOMOSON30 - Good for 30% off any Photo Product, up to $100. Valid only once per customer. Expires November 30th, 2012.

Do you make photo books?
What are your favourite features in a photo book?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Chocolatey Crescents- Easy Bookclub Treat! :)

I'm part of a book club that meets monthly. We rotate hosting, and everyone tries to bring a snack or treat each month. I always think it'd be nice to try a fabulous new recipe from my Pinterest, but let's be honest, the majority of the time, the thought occurs to me about half way through the day that I need a treat for bookclub, and I have no clue what I'm going to make and may or may not have a car to go & buy ingredients. (I know I am not alone on this)

So, to this month's bookclub I brought something freshly baked & chocolatey that involved one purchase, and very little time. :)

These are a new product, so watch for them!

The first time I made them was for a surprise after school snack- they were a hit ;)

I've seen some delicious variations on these, too, that I'll have to try in the future- people are adding marshmallows, scor bits, and other delicious morsels to make these an awesome indulgence! :)

Disclosure – I am participating in the Life Made Delicious Ambassador Program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of General Mills. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Thursday Thoughts: Life Rocks!

I've been reading John Bytheway's new book, "Life Rocks! How Firm Is Your Foundation?", published by Deseret Book. It's a cute, pocket-sized book aimed at teenagers (but, as with all of John's work, it's great for adults, too!).

Life Rock #3 is about standards, and one of my favourite parts is when he talks about the "If Everybody" test. He talks about asking yourself, if everybody believed the thing(s) you do, would the world be a better place? Just think about some of your beliefs or standards. Sometimes the standards that youth (and everyone else) are given in our religion seem difficult, but (for example) if you ask yourself, "What if everyone lived the law of Chastity?", you can see pretty easily why that rule/standard is important, and you can see the good consequences that come from living that way.

I found this video with John explaining a little bit about this book.
If you're interested in the book, you'd probably like to take a look!

Pumpkin-y Recipe Love :)

I love Fall food! :)
Soups, stews, and the cinnamon-y, pumpkin-y baked goods!

Here are two of my favourites (the first is one that I make every single year, and the second is one that I just discovered last week. I'm linking to pictorials for each of them, so you can make them if you'd like!)

Pumpkin Roll
Oh, how I love this recipe and make it several times every Fall! I posted a tutorial on how to make it over at HowDoesShe.

And by the way, this year I madea video tutorial of how to make the pumpkin roll that I'll be posting soon, so watch for that!

Cinnamon Roll Pumpkin Vanilla Sheet Cake
Um, LOVE! I just tried this recipe from Picky Palate and was thrilled to have found another great recipe to use my left over canned pumpkin for! (I always have extra from the pumpkin roll & need more ideas for it!)

So, I just searched the Life Made Delicious website for "pumpkin" and found a long list of recipes :)

I'm still looking for other pumpkin recipe winners- do you know of any that you've tried and love??

Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

The Lorax Movie Party

When The Lorax movie came out, we went right out & bought it- we saw it in theatres & thought it was great! :)

As soon as we could, we invited some friends over for a Lorax watching party! :)

I loved this idea for Truffula tree cupcakes!
(please note: If you try to make these, save the cotton candy until RIGHT BEFORE you serve them. I thought I had waited long enough, but it still shrivelled up before they were in my guests' hands!)

And I picked up some "Barbaloot Bears" and "Humming Fish" treats :)

We combined this idea with a printable I found online (but can't find anymore- my pin is broken now!) to make these cute Lorax straws :)
(I decided to punch a hole in the mustaches to put them on the straws- that was the best method of attachment I tried)

It was a fun night!

Have any of you tried making any Lorax-inspired treats?
Share them in the comments, if you have! :)
It was so fun searching online for ideas.

Monday Moments (On A Plane)

Here are some quotes from my girls that I wrote down during some of our flights on our trip to Texas last month :)

Trina: (before take off the first time) "I can't believe I'm on a real errplane!"

Talia: (looking out of the window) "Oh, Mom, it's sooo pretty!"

Trina: (randomly, during the 2nd flight, looking out the window) "Mom, we're off the earth! We're off the earth! I can't believe we're off the earth!"

Trina: (after taking off one time) "I like airplanes- airplanes are like beautiful."

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