Friday, May 29, 2015

10 FREE FAMILY ACTIVITIES


Photo credit - Stephanie Brown


Summer is fast approaching and with that comes spending time together as a family doing different activities. Those activities do not need to break the bank. They just need to bring the family together and create great memories that will last a lifetime. 

We are not a family who goes on lavish vacations any time of year and summer is no exception. I am going to share with you some budget friendly ideas to do with your family this summer that will not break the bank. 


Photo Credit - It's Just My Life


  1. Picnic Time - Time to pack up the picnic basket with some sandwiches and salads and head to a local park to explore or even your own backyard. Remember to bring a ball to kick around with the whole family. 
  2. Campfire - You don't have to be camping to enjoy a campfire under the stars roasting marshmallows and hot dogs over the open fire. 
  3. Fishing - Get up early and grab your poles and head out to go fishing. See who can catch the most fish that day. Remember to check to see if you need a fishing license for the area you are fishing in. 
  4. Scavenger Hunt - Who doesn't love a good scavenger hunt? Make one up for your family or better yet call some friends to join in the fun and see what team finds everything first. 
  5. Hike - Put on some good footwear and head out to the trails for some adventure on the trails. 
  6. Beach - Pack some snacks and head to the beach for the afternoon. If the water isn't warm enough to swim in yet you can still build some sandcastles on the beach and skip some rocks on the water. 
  7. Rain - If mother nature wants to rain down for the day don't let that stop you from kicking off your shoes and heading outside to sing in the rain. 
  8. Bike - Time to oil the chain and dust off the seat to that bike sitting in your garage. Time to explore you own city or town by bike. 
  9. Festivals - I know most communities have festivals going on during the spring and summer so why not look up what your community has to offer in the way of festivals that are usually free to attend. Remember to bring something to eat and drink for everyone in the family or splurge on a special treat while you are at the festival. 
  10. Geocaching - This is a great fun and free family activity that allows you explore the area you are in. You don''t need a gps you can go geocaching with your smartphone/iphone and an app. Check out this site for all the details on how to get started geocaching.  





Friday, May 29, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

BBQ Pork Chop (Video Included) | What's Cooking Wednesday?



It is BBQ season in full swing here and there is nothing that tastes better than food off the grill. I thought I would share with you today a very easy Pork Chop Rub recipe. 

BBQ Pork Chop Rub 

3 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Salt
3/4 tsp Brown Sugar
3/4 tsp Chili Powder
3/4 tsp Garlic Powder
3/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and then rub onto pork chops. It is nice to let the pork chops sit for atleast 30 minutes before putting them on the grill. There was more than enough rub for us to save it for the next time. 





Happy Cooking,                                            


*** It's just my life... was supplied meat and cookware from www.ShopeaseFoods.com. The recipes, video and photos are my own. The opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. ***

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Monday, May 25, 2015

Menu Planning Monday - May 25, 2015



I didn't meal plan last week and it was a disaster if you ask me. With everyone going every which way with weekly activities I need to menu plan every week so that I can keep on track and keep us eating healthy. 

The nice weather is here so that means many meals on the BBQ. Keeps the heat out of the house and tastes so good. 

Here is our menu for the week. 

Monday 
Tuesday 

Wednesday 
  • Mexican Night - Tacos, Spanish Rice, Nachos

Thursday 

Friday 

Saturday
  • BBQ - Grilled Veggies, Pork Chops


Sunday 
  •  BBQ - Hamburgers, Salad


What are you having for dinner this week??? 


Monday, May 25, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Monday, May 18, 2015

Maya the Bee Movie



“MAYA THE BEE MOVIE”

Featuring All-Star Voice Cast of Coco Jack Gillies, Academy Award® Nominee Jacki Weaver, Miriam Margolyes, Richard Roxburgh, Noah Taylor, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Justine Clarke.


Buzzes Onto Blu-Ray and DVD May 19, 2015!


Maya the Bee Movie



Already a great box office success in much of the world, “MAYA THE BEE MOVIE,” based on the well-known children’s novel and popular animated series in Europe, Australia and Asia, offers an immersive cinematic adventure into a spectacular macroscopic world. This highly anticipated animated feature brings to life an enchanting story of a little bee named Maya and her exciting adventure of self-discovery and fantastical fun. A must-have for fans of all ages, “MAYA THE BEE MOVIE” is an instant classic that delivers wholesome family entertainment— emphasizing the importance of friendship, freedom and courage. This internationally acclaimed film can also be seen in select theaters in Los Angeles and New York on May 1, 2015.

Directed by Alexs Stadermann (Bambi II) and produced by Studio 100 Media and Buzz Studios in association with Flying Bark Productions, “MAYA THE BEE MOVIE” features the acclaimed voice talent of Coco Jack Gillies, Academy Award® nominee Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook), Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter, Babe), Richard Roxburgh (Mission: Impossible II), Noah Taylor (Game of Thrones, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Kodi Smit-McPhee (ParaNorman, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Justine Clarke (Home and Away).

“MAYA THE BEE MOVIE” Synopsis

Maya is a little bee with a big heart. She dreams of an exciting life of freedom, fun and adventure – the world is simply far too interesting to stay inside a hive! Her funny attempts to fit in bring her into trouble with the Queen’s narrow-minded royal advisor, Buzzlina. With her best friend Willy, Maya buzzes out into the meadow on an exhilarating adventure of self-discovery.

While most bees believe that other insects should be feared, Maya can’t help but make friends with Flip the charismatic and eccentric grasshopper, Kurt the dung beetle and even Sting, a young hornet. But when the Queen’s royal jelly is stolen, it will take Maya and all of her bug buddies to figure out who did it and how to save the day!


My Rating: 3.75/5

cc






** Disclosure: Posted by It's just my life... I was provided promotional material by the manufacturer or a representing PR agency. Images, information and prize provided by PR agency. The opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. **

Monday, May 18, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Friday, May 15, 2015

Budget Friendly Glasses from GlassesShop.com



By now it is not a surprise that I wear glasses. I mean I have been wearing them since early childhood. I look at my glasses as a fashion accessory and I have collected many glasses over the years. When I was contacted about an opportunity to review some glasses from an online shop I jumped at the chance. Glassesshop.com has great quality frames for cheap glasses and they even make sunglasses with or without a prescription.




GlassesShop.com has a large variety of glasses to chose from so many that I really had a hard time narrowing down my choice. If you’re not sure how something will look on you, they have a built-in try-on feature that uses your webcam or a picture you have uploaded to show you what the glasses would look like on your face I used this feature when trying to decide on which glasses to pick for myself. I finally narrowed down my choice to a pair of polarized sunglasses and the ones I ended up getting.

I went a totally different style than any of my current prescription glasses. I chose the Lagrange Wayfarer in Brown/Clear for $39.95. My glasses arrived in a clear, plastic case and included a microfiber cleaning cloth. I was impressed with how well they fit me and I can't wait to get another pair of glasses because I have a growing list of frames I like from GlassesShop.com.



If you are in the market for some new glasses or just want to have them for fun be sure to check out GlassesShop.com and their campaign for your First Pair of Glasses Free which means all the new customers can have a pair of free glasses except shipping and handling fee. There are both optical glasses and sunglasses available at the same time. It's just my life... also has a special discount code for you to use to get 20% off - ANMX20 The website also runs other promos frequently, so be sure to check for more deals!




** Disclosure: Posted by It's just my life... I was provided promotional material by the manufacturer or a representing PR agency to facilitate this review. The opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. **

Friday, May 15, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 1

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Flare Classic or Fearless Beauty Box Video Unboxing



Last week I received the FLARE Beauty Boxes as part of being a #PGMom and I knew I just had to share it with all my readers at ItsJustMyLife because it definitely is a really good deal for all my Canadian readers. You can find them here at: FLARE Beauty Box and they can be delivered to your door for only $9 and that includes shipping. Take a look at my unboxing video at the end of the post.




Included in this FLARE Classic Beauty Box is:
  • COVERGIRL Clump Crusher Mascara by LashBlast in Very Black 13.1 mL FULL SIZE
  • OLAY Regenerist Wrinkle Revolution Complex 7 mL sample tubes x 2
  • COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lipstick in nude shade 3.5 g FULL SIZE
  • PANTENE Expert PRO-V Advanced+ Keratin Repair Split End Fuser 100 mL FULL SIZE
  • OLAY Ultra Moisture Body Wash 50 mL (travel size)
  • SPECIAL OFFER! Clairol Nice ’n Easy Coupon, up to a maximum of $16.00, expires June 30, 2015




Included in this FLARE Fearless Beauty Box is:
  • COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lipstick in Succulent Cherry 3.5 g FULL SIZE
  • OLAY Ultra Moisture Body Wash 50 mL (travel size)
  • COVERGIRL Full Lash Bloom Mascara by LashBlast in Very Black 13.1 mL FULL SIZE
  • HERBAL ESSENCES Rejuvenating Shampoo & Conditioner 100 mL each (travel size)
  • OLAY Fresh Effects Clear Skin Swirled Mattifier Sachets 0.5 mL x 2
  • SPECIAL OFFER! Vidal Sassoon Hair Colour Coupon, up to a maximum of $16.99, expires June 30, 2015

Video of unboxing the FLARE Beauty Boxes - 






Disclosure: As a PGMom, I receive products and special access to P&Gevents and opportunities. I have not been financially compensated in any other way. I am not obliged to give a positive review. Any opinion(s) expressed is my own, and is given freely. Any information acquired from P&G’s various social media formats has been authorized, and has been done so as to facilitate my post/review.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Monday, May 11, 2015

WIN A TIDE #TURBOTIME GIVEAWAY {CANADA} #PGMOM



Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Almost two years ago when we purchased our new home we decided to go with all new appliances and that included a new high-efficiency washing machine. I really how well it cleans my clothes. I was so happy with this purchase that I always recommend a high-efficiency washing machine to anyone I know looking to purchase a new washer.


Did you know many Canadians now own, or are planning to purchase, a high-efficiency washing machine? These machines have more computer sensors than the first spaceship sent to the moon – pretty cool right!? As these futuristic washers become the norm in homes across the country, consumers should consider using a detergent that’s specially formulated for HE washing machines.

This month, P&G Fabric Care is introducing a new industry standard in High Efficiency (HE) Detergents – Tide HE Turbo – to deliver the best clean from a HE washer. A first-of-its-kind, the HE-Turbo Seal is available on select Tide products, allowing shoppers to identify the detergents specifically designed for their HE washers.

HE Turbo products can save time and energy thanks to new proprietary quick-collapsing Smart Suds technology. With HE Turbo Smart Suds, your laundry rinses clean without sending HE washers into additional rinse cycles that can add up to 25 minutes to a wash and waste up to 10 gallons of water. Tide HE Turbo products can be used in all washers, but are specially designed to maximize the energy and water saving benefits of HE machines. What’s more, Tide HE Turbo promises six times the cleaning power in half the time compared to regular detergents used in a HE washer. Tide HE Turbo is available at Walmart stores in Canada.

To celebrate, ItsJustMyLife... is holding a giveaway for one lucky Canadian reader! 

Here’s what’s included in the bundle, valued at $62*: 

  • $50 Walmart gift card 
  • Tide HE Turbo -$11.99* 

*Pricing is at the discretion of the retailer.






P&G has only provided me with the product that I am using as the prizes for this contest. The contest is not otherwise endorsed, designed and/or administered by or associated with P&G.By entering the following contest you are accepting that, if you win, your contact information will be shared with a P&G PR and shipping agency for the purpose of mailing your prize. Please allow 4-6 weeks from the contest closure date to receive your prize.





Monday, May 11, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 5

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Chicken Soup For The Soul – Thanks To My Mom




Chicken Soup For The Soul: Thanks To My Mom

Mother's Day is quickly approaching and this year I am getting together with my family to celebrate Mother's Day with a bbq in the afternoon and lots of family time. After receiving a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks To My Mom I just knew that I had to share it with my readers to tell them about this heartwarming book that they can pick up and give to their mothers. The stories in the book made me laugh, cry, smile and encouraged me as a mother but most of all it made me feel appreciation for the ones that mothered you in life whether biological or not.

The stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks to my Mom, authored by Amy Newmark and Jo Dee Messina gives you 9 chapters of 101 stories of Gratitude, Love, and Lessons:
  • Great Role Models
  • Rising To The Challenge
  • Maternal Mischief
  • Love And Acceptance
  • The Best Cheerleaders
  • The Wisdom Of Mothers
  • Mom Was Right
  • My Mom The Teacher
  • The Other Moms In Our Lives
If you are still looking for a gift for your mom for Mother's Day this is definitely one to add to your list.








** Disclosure: Posted by It's just my life... I was provided promotional material by the manufacturer or a representing PR agency to facilitate this review. The opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. **




Thursday, May 07, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hand-picked Spring Snacking from The Healthy Shopper



**Disclosure: The product/s mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on ItsJustMyLife. The opinions expressed in this post are those of ItsJustMyLife and have not been influenced in any other way. **

Spring is more than just in the air here where I live. I love the seeing the green grass after a very long winter. This spring, The Healthy Shopper has handpicked a fun new snack with clean ingredients and touts the benefits of a creamy nut butter with a coconut twist. Experts at “Unjunking your Junk Food,” the health savvy duo of Andrea Donsky, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and Healthy Shopper co-founder Randy Boyer offer a couple of unique ideas for snacking this spring.

This season they’ve taken two conventional snack foods and swapped them for alternatives with all natural ingredients. The first option, Earth Balance P.B. Popps, is a delicious popcorn coated with oats and cuddled in a peanut butter cluster that make a yummy snack. These crunchy nuggets are Non-GMO, Vegan, Dairy and Gluten-Free and have 0g trans fats. “This unique snack option is a “must try,” said Boyer. Earth Balance P.B. Popps retail for $5.99.

P.B.Popps is a great snack to just pack in our bag for our car trips and activities. The peanut butter clusters mixed with popcorn were so yummy they didn't last long at our house at all.

They’ve also taken peanut butter, a traditional children’s favourite, and added a trendy coconut flavour. “If you’re crazy for coconut, this one part all-natural peanut butter and one part organic extra virgin coconut oil blend is a tasty treat,” said Donsky. Earth Balance Creamy Coconut and Peanut Spread is great on toast, in stir-fry dishes, smoothies and even as a warm dip for crisp apples or celery and retails for $6.99.

Both products are available at Loblaws.



Wednesday, May 06, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Friday, April 24, 2015

Little While Lies #StreamTeam



One thing I remember strongly from my childhood is not to lie. One little lie just leads to more lies and then you have to try to remember what the first lie is so you don't get caught in your little white lie. I know once I had my own children I tried my best to always tell the truth. Even the little white lies are something I tried to stay away from preferring to tell my children the truth and helping them deal with it no matter what it was.



Some little white lies can be harmless and definitely not life altering but when it comes to the Netflix original series Bloodline the deep dark family secret is something none of the family wants to be revealed and they are willing to do anything to keep it a secret forever.

The Rayburn House is a quaint family inn situated in an idyllic part of the Florida Keys. Right from the very first episode I was caught up in the Rayburn family and they past secrets and lies that come out when their oldest sibling, Danny,  returns to the keys.

Have you watched Bloodline on Netflix yet?

Are you looking for some titles to help start a conversation with your children when it comes to lying check out the following titles on Netflix this month.

For the little ones



  1. Super Why!: S1,E15: Humpty Dumpty and Other Fairytale Adventures: Pinocchio
  2. Curious George: S1, E19: Truth about George Burger
  3. Clifford the Big Red Dog: S1, E26: The Kibble Crook
  4. The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: S1, E9: The Pothole / Chuck’s Perfect Plans

For the older ones


  1. Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action!
  2. H2O: Just Add Water
  3. Mean Girls
  4. iCarly: S1, E12: iPromise not to Tell

 For the parents and teens




  1. Bloodline
  2. Just Go With It
  3. Liar, Liar
  4. Pretty Little Liars

This month Netflix treated me to the Mole Woman Survival Kit. If you haven't tuned into the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt a newer comedy series on Netflix check out my thoughts on the series here.  I am now about to take on the world Kimmie style! 




Happy Watching Friends,                                   




*** It's just my life... is a member of the Netflix Canada #StreamTeam. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to Netflix events and opportunities. Before I was part of the streamteam I subscribed to Netflix and will continue to do so after my affiliation with them. The opinions on this blog are my own. ***

Friday, April 24, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cheesy Ranch Chicken Thighs (Video Included) | What's Cooking Wednesday?



My brain was very scattered when it came to making dinner tonight so I needed something that didn't take a lot of thought but could be just as tasty for everyone in my family. Cheesy Ranch Chicken Thighs seemed to fit into that category and we were not disappointed with the out come they were delicious. 

Cheesy Ranch Chicken Thighs - Printable Version


4 chicken thighs (you can use b/s or bone in/skin on) 
1/4 cup mayonnaise 
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
1/2 package Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1/3 cup Bread Crumb 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly grease baking dish.
Mix together mayonnaise, shredded cheese, ranch dressing and garlic.
Place chicken thighs in a greased dish. Put mayonnaise mixture on top of the chicken and coat with bread crumbs. 
Place in oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes until cooked thoroughly. 





Happy Cooking,                                            


*** It's just my life... was supplied meat and cookware from www.ShopeaseFoods.com. The recipes, video and photos are my own. The opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. ***

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Monday, April 20, 2015

Menu Planning Monday - April 20, 2015


Our freezer of meat is now gone so we need to make our menu plan on what is on sale this week. I love shopping the sales every week so my meal plan will focus around what is on sale.




Monday - Pork Chops, Potatoes, Veggies

Tuesday - Chicken, rice, veggies

Wednesday - Garden Vegetable Soup

Thursday - Lasagne, Salad

Friday - Chicken Parmesan, Rice, Veggies

Saturday - Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies

Sunday - Homemade Mac & Cheese

Monday, April 20, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0