Star Wars Books for Star Wars Day! {Plus Free #StarWars Printables and a Giveaway}

Every year when Star Wars Day rolls around again, hubby and the girls like to spend the weekend watching a callow boy, still wet-behind-the-ears, save the galaxy with the help of a fast-talking mercenary, feisty princess, and furry eight-foot-tall alien.

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This year, DK Books is celebrating May the 4th with some new Star Wars books and a Star Wars Activity Kit full of fun for all the little padawans. I’ve got two Jedis in training, so I love that I can print out doubles of all the colouring pages – cause the Force help me if I’ve only got one Ewok colouring page!

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Gluten-Free Crackled Chocolate and Pecan Cookies #compromisefree

My family’s been eating paleo and gluten-free for about four years now. We all felt better after switching to whole, unprocessed foods and removing gluten and most refined sugar from our diets, but I remember hubby’s health in particular improved after only a few weeks gluten-free. That’s when we realized that he had had a gluten intolerance all along. Since swearing off gluten, he’s been able to stop taking his daily medications for sinus congestion and acid reflux, and he just feels healthier and more clear-headed.

Anyone with food allergies or sensitivities knows it can be hard to find alternate products and ingredients that taste right, and that it’s easy to fall into a rut when it comes to meal planning. Heck, that’s one of the biggest reasons why I share my recipes here on the blog. Because I want you to know that eating gluten-free or making allergy-friendly meals doesn’t have to mean flavour-free!

When going gluten-free, lots of people say that baked goods are what they miss the most. Can gluten-free alternatives measure up? Well, check out the President’s Choice Bake Shop. Err… I mean Fake Shop!

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MiaMily Hipster Baby Carrier – Carry little ones with ease, style, and safety!

David and I recently decided to go to Costco on a Sunday morning right at opening. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we thought it was a brilliant idea to get out and do our shopping ahead of the crowds. We’d get to park close to the entrance, avoid the shopping cart jams around the food sample stations, and the check out lines would be a breeze.

Wrong.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Costco Parking

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The Importance of Fostering Financial Literacy Among At Risk Youth #CapitalOneEnactus

How old were you when you got your first credit card? I was 19. If you’re expecting a warning story though, this isn’t it. I never maxed out my credit card. I didn’t make credit purchases that I couldn’t really afford. You see, I was fortunate enough to learn financial restraint and literacy at home and in a consumer education course at school. I know this isn’t the case for everyone though, and that’s why financial literacy is a vital life skill for every young person in Canada. Unfortunately, not all young people have the same opportunities to learn these skills. What then?

Some of you may know that in my other life I’m a social worker. Well, for seven years I worked with homeless and at risk youth in downtown Vancouver. Many young people came to our shelter with zero financial or employability skills, and those needs were tremendous obstacles in their journey to self-sufficiency. How do you get a job when you have no idea how to create a resume, fill out a job application, or dress for a job interview? Even if you do end up getting that job, how do you get ahead without knowing how to budget your paycheck to last for two weeks, how to pay bills, how to save for a rainy day, or how to use credit wisely?

The Count on Me Program helps disadvantaged youth learn financial literacy and employability skills.

The Count on Me Program helps disadvantaged youth learn financial literacy and employability skills.

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Photo Pie Photography Backdrop Review

I have been specializing in newborn photography for several years, working primarily with fabrics and props, but not many actual backdrops. Now that I’m also offering glamour and makeover sessions, I thought this would be the perfect time to try a new backdrop. That’s why I was really excited about the chance to try a Photo Pie backdrop. This PrismaCloth 9’x16′ Shabby Chic backdrop to be specific.

Photo Pie Shabby Chic backdrop

Image courtesy of Photo Pie Backdrops

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Sissy’s Birth Story: Failed Induction and Unplanned C-Section

Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series of birth stories submitted by readers and fellow bloggers, featuring a diverse range of women and their birth experiences. All birth stories and all birth experiences matter. Today’s story was submitted by Sissy. Her delivery started out as a planned midwife-assisted natural birth, progressed to an induction, then ended up in a c-section – what is often known as the cascade of interventions. If you would like to share your own birth story, please visit this post to learn how. ~Olivia


My story starts on Thursday before my baby girl was born. It was eleven o’clock at night and I started to feel something. My belly was acting weird and my due date had passed us by the Sunday before so I had been waiting. After telling my boyfriend, Patrick, he should not go to work the next day I tried getting some sleep but was too nervous. I walked around a bit, made some food and tried to relax. My water broke at 3 am Friday and I called the midwife who was not concerned. She said to come into the office in the morning and we did. It was confirmed that I was leaking amniotic fluid. What was nagging at me was that the contractions I had felt earlier stopped completely when my water broke.

We were told to go home, relax and call the midwife on call later that afternoon unless something changed before then. So we called around six and told her I still wasn’t having contractions and she told us to come into the hospital at 9 pm and she’d induce labor. Now, here I started being a bit disappointed and scared. I read that induced labor is much harder on mom and baby so I was hoping to avoid that. Also on my list of things to not do were an epidural, a c-section and those baby monitors they strap to your stomach. Alas, my water had broken and I needed to be induced so here came the wired monitors. Oh well.

And the inducing worked. Oh boy was I in pain. I was so glad that my boyfriend was there holding my hand the whole time. He also helped me get to the bathroom and take showers. Honestly, I thought the showers were the best for dealing with the pain.

hot shower

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The #MomsWeek Sampler Event is Back! RSVP for Free Samples and Flash Giveaways May 2-6

Every afternoon, I check the mail on the way back from picking up the kids from school. Now that I get my bills sent to me electronically, most days it’s just flyers. Grrr. Occasionally I get a reminder postcard from the dentist. Meh. Once a month, Tee gets her Chickadee Magazine with her name on it, and that’s a red letter day! But for me, one of the best mail days is when I find free samples in there. I love getting samples in the mail, they’re like little presents! That’s why I’m really excited to share this sampling event with you, hosted by a group of your favourite bloggers and Sampler!

All next week is Mom’s Week, featuring brands and products that focus on pampering mom and her family. Starting on Monday, May 2, you’ll have the chance to share and claim thousands of free product samples via Facebook!

How It Works

Sampler allows you to send free product samples to your friends which means you’ll be oh so popular! But if you want samples too (and I know you do!), buddy up with a friend and make them solemnly promise to send a sample back to you! You can share with other friends to get them involved in discovering and sharing new and awesome products for mom too!

When you register for the Mom’s Week event, you will receive the event calendar that tells you exactly what day and time each brand will be releasing their samples. You need this calendar to make sure you don’t miss out, so go ahead and RSVP now.

Mom's Week RSVP

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Slow Cooker Thai Red Curry Beef Recipe

We’ve got just under a week left in our Whole30 challenge, and I’m tired. Generally, I find the first couple of weeks tend to go by pretty quickly. I’m motivated, I have a bunch of recipes I’m excited to try, and I’m eager to see the changes that a Whole30 brings. Then by around week 3, the extra work starts to catch up with me, boredom sets in, and I find myself dragging my feet more on more on meal planning and prep. When that ennui hits, I need to try something a little bit different to keep things interesting. 

Thai Red Curry Beef is wonderfully flavourful and so easy to make in the slow cooker!

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