Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014 - Making a difference and cleaning things up #StreamTeam



Last week we watched Addicted to Plastic as a family and it brought to our attention not only the production of plastic but more importantly the environmental effects of plastic on our great earth.

My youngest daughter kept telling us to turn it off because she thought it was gross to see all that plastic floating around in the water. We used this documentary as a teaching tool for her and to raise her awareness of the world around us. I have to tell you she showed me though. She went to our fridge to get some sweet tea and the first words out of her mouth is "Mom why is our sweet tea in a plastic pitcher?" - definitely a good question so I have been on the hunt at our local thrift stores for a glass pitcher to make our sweet tea in but have had no luck at all until today when I was out shopping for a few things at Walmart I came across this glass jar like thing with a spout on it of course the spout was plastic GRRRR! But the jug is glass. I am going to keep my eyes out for one with a different kind of spout though but for now I have made strides in changing our plastic in our home.


When we moved into this house I also got rid of all our plastic containers and switched to glass because even though the containers say BPA free I didn't feel right in using them. So the plastic went bye bye and we now only use glass for all our leftovers.




As a society we have drowned ourselves in plastic - seriously do you realize everything that plastic is in?? Even my bed sheets and let's not jump on the Tupperware band wagon. I do remember when Tupperware was HUGE and I will admit I still have some but I have decided to gradually get rid of mine so that we can convert everything to glass. I do think it is impossible to be glass only because even a trip to the grocery store brings plastic into my home but I can make a conscious effort to make sure we limit the plastic that comes into our house.

If you have Netflix check out the Addicted to Plastic documentary on this month and if you don't have Netflix why not head over to my giveaway where you have a chance to win Netflix free for 6 months.

Addicted to Plastic is not the only Earth titles that can get conversation stirring with your older children. Check out my list below:
The Blue Planet: A Natural History of the Oceans
Moving Art: Oceans
A Sea Change
Chasing Ice
Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?
Addicted to Plastic
David Attenborough: Wildlife Specials
The Hole Story

Netflix didn't forget about the little ones either check out some great titles for Earth Month below:
Curious George: Mulch Ado About Nothing / Gets a Trophy
Go Diego Go: Rescue of Red-Eyed Tree Frogs
Bubble Guppies: Boy Meets Squirrel
Dinosaur Train: Stargazing on the Night Train / Get Into Nature
Sesame Street: The Camouflage Challenge
Wild Animal Baby Explorers: Beaks and Bills / The Mighty Oak Tree

Do you participate in Earth Day? Please share with me in you comments on what you do for Earth Day?




*** 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. The opinions on this blog are my own. ***

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 by Annie Brown · 0

Monday, April 21, 2014

Menu Plan Monday ~ April 21/14



The week of adjustment for our family as my husband is on a different shift this week. 

Here is our menu for the week. 

Monday (Easter Monday)
  • Tacos 
Tuesday (Run Club)
  • Chicken, Rice, Veggies

Wednesday 
  • Pork Chops, Potatoes, Veggies

Thursday 
  • Cabbage Rolls, Salad

Friday 
  • BBQ Chicken, Roasted Veggies, Roasted Potatoes

Saturday
  • Lasagne, Salad


Sunday 
  •  Chicken Casserole, Salad


What are you having for dinner this week??? 

I have linked this post up at Orgjunkie.com

Monday, April 21, 2014 by Annie Brown · 0

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cowgirls 'N Angels 2 Dakota's Summer



"It's not about blood, it's about heart as to what you do."

I have the privilege of being an adoptive parent to an amazing girl. We affectionately refer to her as Little Red because of her strawberry blonde hair. Dakota's Summer is a movie about love and forgiveness. It shows a families unconditional love for everyone that is in their life. I am a true believer that every thing happens for a reason and this movie just shows it. 

This is a terrific movie for the whole family to watch. 



On Blu-Ray and DVD April 15, 2014!

Synopsis: 
Oscar® Winner Keith Carradine* (Cowboys & Aliens) stars alongside a young, popular cast that includes Haley Ramm (X-Men: The Last Stand), Jade Pettyjohn (American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars), and Emily Bett Rickards (Arrow) in this inspiring second chapter of the beloved Cowgirls ’N Angels story! After she receives unexpected news about herself, a 17-year-old girl (Ramm) experiences an exciting, yet challenging life in and out of the rodeo circuit in this wonderful coming- of-age story. Filled with heart, horses and high-reaching adventure, Cowgirls ’N Angels 2: Dakota’s Summer is an uplifting reminder that with courage, friendship and passion, anything is possible.

Special Features:
  • Behind The Scenes of Dakota’s Summer

My Rating: 4.5/5







** 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. **

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Annie Brown · 0

Monday, April 14, 2014

Menu Plan Monday ~ April 14/14



Celebrating a birthday this week so dinner on Monday is totally the birthday girls choice! This week my husband is on day shift so my menu plan reflects that.

Here is our menu for the week. 

Monday (Birthday Girl)
  • Tacos with an awesome Ice Cream Birthday Cake


Tuesday (Run Club)
  • Ham, Potatoes, Peas

Wednesday (Homeschool Cooking Class)
  • Chicken, Potatoes, Carrots

Thursday (Relay for Life Mtg, Treatment)

Friday (Good Friday)
  • BBQ Chicken, Potatoes, Veggies, Salad


Saturday
  • Chicken Tortellini Soup


Sunday (Easter Dinner at my Parents)
  •  Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, baked beans, desserts cooked by me! 


What are you having for dinner this week??? 

I have linked this post up at Orgjunkie.com

Monday, April 14, 2014 by Annie Brown · 0

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Father being inducted into the Wall of Champions



What child does not look up at their parents and think of them as a hero at one time or another. My father is one of the most important and respected people in my life. The impact he has had on not just my life and the life of our family but on every life he has touched over the years. The example he has set as a human being being the first to step up and help others and never judging a book by it's cover. He gave my brother and I important values that have helped me in my life.

Photo Credit - Jeff Chan
My fathers unwavering love and strength is the pillar that keeps our family strong in times of struggles. My dad listens diligently and is understanding when we come to him with problems in our life. He helps us to stay on track and always gives good advice. He is cool and collected in all situations. Family is very important to my father and he always makes time for family. My father along with my mother open their home to any family passing through the city they live in no matter if it is a short term stay or a long term stay - family is family and you are there for family no matter what my dad always says.

My dad was always my biggest supporter no matter what I did in life. Whether I was playing baseball, doing a project or working my dad was always supporting me. He was definitely was not the loudest one cheering at my games or when it came to any accolades I did get he was there and the smile on his face said it all. I always valued myself as a person and a lot of that came from my father encouraging us to do our best but at the same time as long as you do your best and try your hardest they you should not be disappointed with the out come because you did all you could do.

I think back to September 2000 when I had to have surgery to remove the cancer in my body. My father was one of the first people in my recovery room after my husband and he walked in with my mother and my children. I know I didn't look good I could see it on the faces of my mother and children but there was my father looking at me telling me everything was going to be okay and I just needed to rest up and get my energy back. Truth be told I looked like I was knocking on deaths door. But my dad was there the pillar of strength for every one else.

There comes a day when you realize that you are not the only one that looks up to this amazing individual. You realize that he has impacted many other lives by his love of life and love of people. His loyalty to his family and friends shines through in every thing he does. Today is one of those days for not just me but my family also.

Today my father will be inducted into the prestigious Western University -  Wall of Champions. My father became part of the Western University Football team in 1991 after his love of the game brought him to his dream job. He loves everything football and I remember as a young child moving to London, Ontario and my dad taking us to our first football game at Western and I fondly remember spending every Saturday in the stands at JW Little Stadium and then years later TD Waterhouse. Western Football became a fixture in our families life and house even before my father started working for them.

It has been 5 years since my father has officially retired from Western Football but as all the other coaches know my dad is still a fixture at the University spending many hours in the football offices and helping with many projects. Thank you Western University for honouring the man I have always known was a Champion with this award. I am truly blessed to call him my father!

The inductees to the Wall of Champions this year at Western University are:

Players:
Larry Bird MA'76, 1969-70; 2002 inducted into Saskatchewan Roughriders Plaza of Honour; 1969 College Dream Team All Star

Derek Krete BA'97, 1993-97 started at linebacker; all Canadian 1994 and 1996; 1996 awarded President's Trophy as top defensive player in the country; member of 1994 Vanier Cup team; won OUA Yates Cup in 1994 and 1995; also won the Claude Brown Trophy as Western's Male Athlete of the Year in 1997

Reg Ort BA'52 MD'57, 1948-1951; starred in three sports at Western - football, wrestling and hockey; awarded Claude Brown Trophy as Western's Male Athlete of the Year in 1952; won the Howard Ferguson Award for achievement in athletics, academics and community spirit; inducted into the "W" Club Hall of Fame 1984 (awarded posthumously)

Builder/Player:
Joe Breen 1929-1934; first Head Coach of Mustang Football team; began coaching in 1929 and his best season was 1931 when he lead the Mustangs to a 6-5 record and Western's first Yates Cup; Member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and Canada's Football Hall of Fame (awarded posthumously)

Gary Jubenville - video coordinator and team manager from 1991-2009; personally managed and implemented the change from standard video to digital computer video and was directly responsible for the administration of our Champions Club events

Team:
1994 Team - undefeated Vanier Cup Champions; 1994 defeated Saskatchewan 50-40 in overtime to capture the Vanier Cup. The team was captained by Jude St John and featured seven All-Canadians; Stewart Beak, PJ Gleason, Sean Reade, Derek Krete, Mark Lawson, Tim Hughes and David Burnie



Congratulations Dad!                  

Friday, April 11, 2014 by Annie Brown · 0

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New episodes of #TurboFAST #StreamTeam {#Review & #Giveaway}


I am so excited to share with my It's just my life ... readers that I am now part of the Netflix #StreamTeam. It is not secret how much I love my movies and that as a family our number one source of screen entertainment is Netflix since we don't have cable in our house. We use Netflix regularly in our house even for homeschooling.


With Netflix comes some original shows that are only available on Netflix and Turbo FAST is one of them. We love to cuddle up in the morning watching our favourite shows on Netflix completely commercial free and this past weekend was no exception as my young girlie was sick we curled up with some new episodes of Turbo FAST that just came out on April 4, 2014.


Turbo FAST is enjoyable for the whole family to watch. I know my daughter is almost 10 and she loves watching it and seeing what Turbo and his posse are up to next. The characters are easy to relate to and I am sure you could find one to easily relate to just like we do in our house. I know my daughter totally relates to the fiesty Burn where I have a soft spot for White Shadow and his loyalty to others.

~ WIN ~

One of It's just my life... readers will win a 6 month Netflix Canada Subscription and Turbo FAST swag. 

Open to Canadian Residents (excluding Quebec) who are the age of majority only.
Valid entries only.
Contest ends April 27th.






*** 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. The opinions on this blog are my own. ***

Wednesday, April 09, 2014 by Annie Brown · 0

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty {#Giveaway}



Ben Stiller is perfect as Walter Mitty. Ben Stiller's performance was so engaging, a nice break from his usual slapstick roles. If you want to see him capturing the emotions of a man that has a hard time expressing himself, you will love this movie.

The visuals in this film were particularly fantastic. Every scene was perfectly captured and just beautiful. The soundtrack was just equally as good. the movie is funny thought provoking, touching at times and startling at others. It's entertaining throughout the whole movie.


On Blu-Ray and DVD April 15, 2014!



Synopsis:
With sweeping cinematography and stellar performances THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, tells the story of a timid magazine photo manager who lives life vicariously through daydreams and when a negative goes missing must embark on an incredible true-life adventure. With stand-out performances from Ben Stiller (Night At The Museum, Meet The Parents) Golden Globe** and six-time Emmy Award*** nominated actress Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live, Bridesmaids, How To Train Your Dragon), Adam Scott (Step Brothers) and Shirley MacLaine (Wild Oats), the THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY Blu-rayTM and DVD is loaded with more than an hour of behind-the-scenes special features, including deleted, extended and alternative scenes, featurettes that dive into filming in Iceland and Walter Mitty history, a gallery of exclusive reference photography, and music video "Stay Alive" by José González, and more.

SPECIAL FEATURES Blu-rayTM
Deleted Scenes:
Morning Routine
Young Odessa Fantasy
Jester Fantasy
Manfree Fantasy
Impound Lot
Extended Scenes:
The History of Walter Mitty
The Look of Life
That’s A Shark
The Music of Walter Mitty
Icelandic Adventure
Nordic Casting
Titles of Walter Mitty
Sights and Sounds of Production
Skateboarding Through Iceland
Ted-Walter Flight
Gallery: Reference Photography
Music Video “Stay Alive” by José González
Theatrical Trailer


SPECIAL FEATURES DVD
Behind The Scenes:
The Look of Life
The Music of Walter Mitty
Sights and Sounds of Production
Skateboarding Through Iceland
Gallery: Reference Photograph


9 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT ICELAND

In The Secret Life of Walter Mitty a timid magazine photo manager (Ben Stiller), who lives life vicariously through daydreams, must embark on an incredible real-life adventure when a priceless negative goes missing. One of the places that this adventure takes Mitty is the beautiful Nordic country of Iceland. In honor of the film’s Blu-ray and DVD release on April 15th never heard.

1. Icelandic language has been relatively unchanged for the last 1000 years. 
Modern inhabitants of Iceland speak a language almost identical to that spoken by the country’s original Viking settlers in the 9th
2. There are 130 volcanic mountains in the roughly 40,000 square miles that make up Iceland.
18 of them have erupted in the last 1000 years, and the largest one covers nearly 8% of the country’s surface.
3. Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital city.
Iceland is so far north of the equator that the country experiences nearly continuous daylight during the summer months of June and July.
4. Surveys have shown that nearly 80% of Icelanders believe in the existence of elves. 
The elves are thought to have magical powers, and special “elf negotiators” are sometimes brought in when construction is to take place in an area believed to be inhabited by the creatures.
5. Icelanders love movies.
They watch more films, per capita, than the people of any other country in the world.
6. Iceland is one of the most energy-efficient countries in the world.
70% of the energy used by Icelanders is produced by the country’s natural geothermal and hydroelectric resources. , we’re bringing you nine facts about the country that you may have and 10th
7. Iceland’s main industry is fishing.
In fact, the usually peaceful nation entered into a series of confrontations with the United Kingdom in the 1950’s and 1970’s when the British refused to acknowledge an “exclusive fishery zone” that Iceland had instituted in the waters off its coast.
8. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe.
Roughly 322,000 people call the island nation home. 
9. One of Iceland’s traditional foods is called hakarl. 
It’s a dish of rotting and fermented shark meat.

See the natural splendor of Iceland for yourself when The Secret Life of Walter Mitty comes to Blu-ray and DVD April 15th !


My Rating: 4.5/5







** 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. **

Tuesday, April 08, 2014 by Annie Brown · 0

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring Cash Giveaway! $300 USD #CleanSweepGiveaway Worldwide


Welcome to the Clean Sweep Cash Giveaway
Organized by: DownshiftingPRO


Winter is finally winding down and its time to do some Spring Cleaning and Sweeping.  We are feeling very energized and want to motivate you.  DownshiftingPRO and a group of Canadian Bloggers want to help you celebrate
SPRING.

We have come together to give away

$300 USD

Cash via Paypal
Enter below
Remember: You can’t Win if You don’t Enter






Contest Rules: To enter, just use the Giveaway Tools form above.  In order to win, you must have a Paypal account (no other form of payment will be issued).  If it doesn’t load after a minute or so, refresh your browser.  Contest is void where prohibited.  Only one IP address per household is eligible to win. This giveaway is open to World Wide to Paypal account holders, aged 13 and older.  Giveaway ends April 30, 2014 at 11:59pm ET.  Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize otherwise a new winner will be chosen.  No exceptions to this rule. .  Good luck!

Friday, April 04, 2014 by Annie Brown · 0

Monday, March 31, 2014

Menu Planning Monday - March 31, 2014



This week my husband is on afternoons. We are homeschoolers and because of that we can have dinner for lunch all week. I love that we can do this. Here is our menu for the week. 

Monday - Chicken Stew

Tuesday - Souvlaki, Rice, Veggies

Wednesday - Chicken Burgers, Potato Salad, Veggies

Thursday - Pasta Night, Salad

Friday - Homemade Pizzas, Salad

Saturday - Pork Loin, Potatoes, Veggies

Sunday - Meatballs, Rice, Veggies

What are you having for dinner this week??? 

I have linked this post up at Orgjunkie.com

Monday, March 31, 2014 by Annie Brown · 0

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hockey Mom Survival Kit ARV $40 #PGMom #HockeyMomCA {#Giveaway}



I am not a hockey mom but I am a skate mom. Being a skate mom is a thrill and I find the discipline my daughter has when she is giving her all to her new sport just contagious. She always puts her best foot forward whether it is run club or skating.

Sports in general are a great part of a child's life, it teaches them discipline, team work, not to mention in our case she is receiving instruction from someone other than myself. As a homeschool mom is is important for my daughter to learn from other people than just myself.



On March 17th, P&G launched The House that Mom Built, a website where Canadians can celebrate minor league Hockey Moms, showing the carpool queen, the tournament manager, the official cheerleader and after-game snack maker how important they are by virtually raising their name in the rafters.

As a cheerleader, coach and mom she takes on many roles – even equipment manager – so Tide, Downy, Febreze, Bounty and Puffs are here to help. To help out all athlete moms, P&G created the ultimate tip sheet to take you from the change room to the laundry room at home and help make caring for your athlete a little easier:
  • Skates are expensive. To save blades from rusting wipe them down after each and every skate but be careful, they’re sharp. Try using Bounty Duratowels which are tough enough to wipe them off. For efficiency, keep a roll in hockey bags. 
  • The lingering smell of hockey equipment in the car is only made worse when the heat is turned on high in the winter. To get rid of car odour, try Febreze Car Vent Clip Air Freshener for 30 days of fresh scent. 
  • Runny nose after being in the cold arena? Coffee spill in the car? You’ll never have to search for a tissue with Puffs Car Cup – tissues specifically designed to fit in the cup holder of your vehicle.
  • Jerseys and socks soak up the sweat, snacks, beverages, and worst of all, the odour that comes with being an athlete. To keep their uniform looking bright and smelling fresh, throw them in the washing machine with detergent, specially designed for sportswear. Don’t forget to sprinkle in a little love and lasting scent with Downy Unstopables for freshness that releases as kids move!
  • Wet equipment left in a hockey bag after a game or practice is a breeding ground for odour-causing bacteria. To prevent odour, air out all equipment after every practice and game on a drying rack. After taking the equipment out of the bag, try spraying all equipment (even soles inside the skates) with Febreze Fabric Refresher Extra Strength for long lasting freshness. For a safety net, keep the to-go version in your purse for a burst of freshness anytime.

~ WIN ~

One of It's just my life... readers will win a P&G Hockey Mom Survival Kit! This giveaway is valued at $40* and will include:

Tide plus Febreze Freshness Sport HE 2.04L Active Fresh Scent - $12.97*
Febreze Fabric Refresher Extra Strength Original Scent 85 mL To Go - $2.49*
Febreze Fabric Refresher Extra Strength Original Scent 500 mL - $6.39*
Febreze Car Vent Clip Air Freshener Linen & Sky 2mL – $3.97*
Bounty DuraTowels White Paper Towels 2 King Rolls 49 Sheets – $3.47*
Downy Unstopables 375g – $7.97**
Puffs Car Cup 32 ply Tissue

*Pricing at the discretion of the retailer.
** Scent & packaging may vary.



TWITTER PARTY ALERT!!!




Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom. 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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 by Annie Brown · 0

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What does a day of unschooling my daughter look like?



I have been asked this question more times then I can count. Every day is different as she chooses different ways to learn and different topics for the day. Sometimes our topics come from latest news events other times it comes from things she has been thinking about. The whole point of unschooling is so that she can lead in the direction she would like to go. I will say a lot of the time it leads to google! I am not sure what homeschoolers did before the creation of google but I know for us it is such a huge resource for our learning.

unschooling, homeschool cart
Pictured above is our homeschooling cart loaded with learning material. 

I guess I am evading the question a little but trust me I will get back to it. For us on any given day it can consist of work, play, volunteering, sports, journaling, cooking, riding our bikes, watching a movie, listening to music, painting, creating, visiting our friends, going to the library, talking, hiking on the trails, grocery shopping so basically anything we want to do that day. We look at life as life long learning so we learn all the time.

I don't want you to think that my daughter has free range on everything. We live in a world where we have limits on what we can do and as a family we have things that need to be done on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. We work together as a family to get everything done. I believe that as not only children but as humans we have a natural sense of curiosity to explore the world around us. We learn from everything we do in life. We choose to embrace that style of learning in our house. Just truly living our life every day allows us to learn new things everyday.

Did we always homeschool this way?

This is easy to answer NO we didn't not always homeschool this way. I used to have a room dedicated to homeschooling where we would follow our daily schedule day in an day out. All this lead to for both of us was meltdowns and heads knocking together so to speak. It wasn't until I decided to embrace the world around us and allowed my daughter to take more of a lead in her educational pursuits did it all change. My house is now a happy place to come into. Don't get me wrong the Math books are still there and she often goes to them during the week to do the work in them. I am just not like it is 9am time for Math. I have always said if I wanted to homeschool that way I would have sent her to school to be on that strict schedule.

Do we every wonder if we are homeschooling the right way?

With homeschooling I don't feel there is a right or wrong way. The beauty of homeschooling is that you can customize it to your child. You do what best suits their style of learning. I am human and because of that doubt does get into my head from time to time. Over the years of homeschooling I have gotten some amazing supportive women in my life that I can bounce anything off of and they will give me ideas and give me that support I need to keep going. Not sure what I would do without Sara or Jasmine sending these lovely ladies lots of love most definitely!

So basically whether you want to call it homeschooling or unschooling our days are filled with learning while we live our life. For that reason we do school 365 days a year - life is about learning every day!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by Annie Brown · 0

Monday, March 24, 2014

Menu Planning Monday - March 24, 2014



This week my husband is on afternoons. We are homeschoolers and because of that we can have dinner for lunch all week. I love that we can do this. Here is our menu for the week. 

Monday - Tacos

Tuesday - Chicken, Rice, Veggies

Wednesday - Pork Chops, Potatoes, Veggies

Thursday - Pasta Night, Salad

Friday - Chicken Burgers, Salad

Saturday - Pizzas, Salad

Sunday - Ham, scalloped potatoes, veggies

What are you having for dinner this week??? 

I have linked this post up at Orgjunkie.com

Monday, March 24, 2014 by Annie Brown · 0