Despicable Me Inspired Hotel Rooms Debut At Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

The Minions have arrived! Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort has just debuted the world’s very first (and only) Despicable Me-inspired hotel suites featuring missile beds and Minions, who rappel from the ceiling and surround guests with their unpredictable antics.

The two-room suites feature custom-designed missile beds with Minion-inspired bedding featuring Margo, Edith and Agnes. Interior colours include pale blue and laboratory red and the decor is completely different! Wonder how they did it? The video below shows the entire renovation from start to finish. The project took 5,000 hours of work, 600 yards of carpeting, 36 missile beds and loads of bananas and Minions to complete.

One of the bonus features includes a single entry door into the suite (the kids’ don’t have their own door that exits). If you have small ones you know how important this is!

Care to pay the Minions a visit? Universal Orlando is offering a discount of 30 percent for those who stay three nights or more with the “Stay More, Save More” promotion.  On-site hotel guests receive a package of exclusive benefits, including Early Park Admission and free Universal Express Unlimited ride access, which lets them skip the regular lines on most rides and attractions in Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Photo credit and source: Universal Orlando

Walt Disney World Travel Deals 2014

If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World for Spring 2014, take my advice and do not wait until the last minute! Booking in advance is your friend when visiting Disney World, especially if you are able to snag a great promotion, or change your dates and plan on visiting a little earlier!

Just last week, everyone’s favourite family vacation spot announced their “Families With Little Ones” vacation package and I love it because it caters to families of 5. Stay 3-nights and 2-days at Disney World and receive 2-day theme park tickets, Disney’s Quick-Service Dining Plan and 3 nights in a standard room at a Disney Value Resort hotel (excluding Disney’s Art of Animation Resort), for $999. Children under 3 are admitted free to Disney parks every day.

There is so many new attractions to visit at Disney World, especially Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland where you can dine in the incredible Be Our Guest Restaurant or visit the new Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid ride.

The “Families With Little Ones” vacation package is valid for stays most nights Jan. 5 through Feb. 12, 2014, check online at or call 407/939-7750 for availability. Must book by Dec. 31, 2013.

KicKee Pants’ Butterfly Babies Collection: Clothing For “Butterfly Disease”

KicKee Pants has just unveiled their brand new comfy line of apparel for babies and kids with the “Butterfly Disease,” Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB)in support of The Butterfly Fund. The Butterfly Babies Collection is specifically designed for these “Butterfly Children” as their skin is extremely delicate and fragile – similar to butterfly wings. EB is an inherited disease that affects the skin and other organs, and causes severe blistering of the skin. Babies and kids who have this disease usually wear their clothing inside out as the seams are too scratchy. All items in the Butterfly Babies Collection are made with the seams on the outside of the garments.

In addition to the super cute and oh so soft butterfly and dragonfly print designs, KicKee Pants will donate 80% of the profits made from Butterfly Babies, to the Butterfly Fund to help children living with EB.

Visiting Sainte-Marie Among The Hurons In Midland, Ontario

I’m no stranger to Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons, having visited years ago when I was just a little girl. A couple of months ago I thought it would be fun to inject a little bit of history into my children’s summer and introduce them to some fascinating sights in our province with my dear friend Desiree Fawn from and her daughter. First up – Sainte Marie Among the Hurons.

This historic site is a popular spot in Ontario and is visited annually by people from around the world. It was Ontario’s first European community and the 17th century fortress and headquarters for the French Jesuit mission to the Huron nation. In 1639 the Jesuits and local workers began to develop the land by building barracks, a church, workshops, residences, and a sheltered area for Native visitors. By 1648,  sixty-six Frenchmen lived in Sainte-Marie. Centuries later, the grounds now include  17 reconstructed buildings and structures that have been recreated on the original site.


Visiting Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons is like going back in time. Everyone is dressed up in historical outfits and costumes, adding a level of authenticity to the daily activities and reenactments. The waterway demonstration was very entertaining and eye-opening. It was amazing to see how the bridge opened and flooded out in order to help the travelers get through.

Story Hut

We listened to traditional native storytelling in the longhouse. The thick clouds of smoke from the fire, mixed with scent of sweetgrass added to the ambience. This was the most realistic experience of the day for me as I really felt as though I stepped into history in the longhouse.


We learned about  historic medicine and blacksmithing. The kids tried their hands at sculpting.


And they learned how to wash clothes the old fashioned way.


Although we spent most of our time outside, there is an award-winning interpretive museum filled with artifacts and information on the Sainte-Marie story.

We spent nearly 3 hours at Sainte-Marie Among The Hurons and it wasn’t nearly enough. You could easily spend 5-6 hours here as there is so much to do and see! Packing a lunch is a good idea if you plan on making this a day event, however there is a restaurant on site as well.

Disclosure: We were provided with complimentary passes to this attraction, however all thoughts and opinions are my own as always. 

Super Fun Bean Bags For A Child’s Room

I’ve seen plenty of bean bags for a child’s room, but these take the cake. Hoopla Room is a shop that I just recently learned about and they offer a fabulous collection of super cute decor items, storage and accessories for kids. Their bean bags are hilariously cute and unlike any that I’ve seen in the past.  The strawberry cone bean bag pictured above is my favourite! Adds a taste of summer to your room during these dark and cold autumn days!

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Made in Spain, this Wooufies Bean Bag is made to look like a bag of candy, right down to the seams. It measures 47″ x 26″ x 8″ and is filled with EPS beads.

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The sneaker bean bag adds a touch of sporty fun to any room. This would be a cute addition to a home office too!

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 12.23.45 PMMy girls are partial to the cupcake cream bean bag, not that I’m surprised. It’s right up their alley!


Review: New Samsung Chromebook Laptop

I’m going to start off with a full disclosure here – I am a self-proclaimed Apple snob. Every computer (except for our business unit), every phone, every tablet and every laptop in this house is made by Apple. I have never considered switching or purchasing a computer from another company, even if the price is at times 75% less than my preferred brand. When Staples Canada offered for me to test out the Samsung Chromebook, I was very interested to see how it would hold up during my travels and huge workload, especially considering the fact that my nose has been permanently stuck up in the air when it comes to any other brand.

large-5For the past few weeks, I’ve been giving this computer a real workout, taking it to Mexico, Florida and Las Vegas on work-related trips where speed and reliance are of the utmost necessity. The computer was ready to use straight out of the box. It’s extremely light at 2.43 lbs and is less than one inch thick. There is no wait time when you turn the computer one, with a press of a button, the machine boots up in about 8 seconds. That in itself is a huge perk as my Macbook Pro takes ten times that long to start up.

The programming took a little getting used to as the applications that I’m used to seeing at start up, are naturally quite different – dare I say, even more simplistic. Instead of the usual round of applications, Google has built-in their Search, Gmail, YouTube and Hangouts on the Desktop. It’s quite nifty, especially if those applications are ones that you use regularly. As for me, I use the first three multiple times a day, so it was nice to have the easy access. The Chromebook was great during flights as Gmail and Google Docs are available offline, so I was able to get additional work done while traveling.

large-1Overall, my favorite feature of the Samsung Chromebook is the speed and lack of crashes. I haven’t had one crash or screen freeze since I received this laptop in September, which is something that I can’t say with my MacBook Pro.

Has the Samsung Chromebook replaced my beloved MacBook? Not completely, however it is my preferred computer for writing in the evenings and I have found myself reaching for it over my MacBook during trips. I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised as Google is known for their stellar products.

large-7If you’re looking for an affordable laptop that performs beautifully, I highly recommend the Samsung Chromebook. It’s light, but mighty and for the price ($238) you really can’t beat it.

Disclosure: Staples Canada provided us with this computer for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own as always.

ivivva’s Activewear For Girls ~ lululemon for Kids

Ice skating, gymnastics and dance lessons have begun, which means you’ve most likely been shopping for activewear for your children. lululemon athletica is my favorite brand of activewear and a couple of years ago, they launched ivivva, a brand that is inspired and made for young girls. All of the same technical fabrics like Luon® or anti-stink Silverescent™ that you know and love are used to make these pieces. I’ve purchased a size 14 for myself (equivalent to a size 4 women’s) and found the quality to be in line with lululemon.

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My girls have become quite active this year with various activities and have repeatedly asked for matching tops and tanks like their mama. ivivva will be on my shopping list this holiday season and something tells me that both of my daughters will be thrilled!

Have you ever purchased ivivva for your girls?