Disney On Ice Presents Frozen

It's that time of the year again!  We're getting SO excited for this winter season's Disney On Ice presents Frozen!!

We can wait to relive the magic of the city of Arendelle and its beloved characters, sisters Anna and Elsa, snowman Olaf and more!  "Let it Goooooo..." is on repeat in our house and belted out daily by Zoe, so I'm definitely looking forward to bringing her to the show on opening night.

The show will feature all of your children's favourite characters from Frozen and will be hosted by none other than Mickey and Minnie Mouse!

Scroll down for more details on the show and where you can purchase your tickets!

Show Information:

Where: Pacific Coliseum at the PNE
100 North Renfrew Street, Vancouver, BC

When: November 25 – 29, 2015
Wednesday, November 25 7:00 PM
Thursday, November 26 7:00 PM
Friday, November 27 3:30 PM & 7:00 PM
Saturday, November 28 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:00 PM
Sunday, November 29 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:00 PM

Tickets: Ticket price levels range from $25 – $95 (Rinkside)*
Tickets are now available for purchase online at TicketLeader.ca, charge by phone at 604-252-3700 or visit the PNE Box Office.
 *Pricing levels may vary between weekday & weekend performance 


Getting Framed with Spectacle Shoppe

It’s literally been years since I’ve replaced my eye glass frames and those who know me have probably never seen me with them on.  Truthfully, I tend to hide behind them, usually late at night and usually very close to bedtime.

So, imagine my excitement when SpectacleShoppe contacted me!  New frames?  Check. A positive shopping experience?  Check!

I met with Morgan, licensed optical technician and soon-to-be principal of Spectacle Shoppe, and she greeted me with a warm smile and we clicked instantly.  Not only is she a mother of two young children (check out her son modelling in the window of the shop!), but she is also living with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  Hearing this made me put my own life in perspective and seeing Morgan have such a positive attitude about her job and life in general definitely struck a chord.

We got down to business and I gave Morgan free reign at choosing the frames that she thought would most suit me.  I tried on a number of different shapes and sizes, but I know I wanted to go towards a bigger, trendier frame.  Thankfully, Morgan knew exactly which frames worked for the shape of my face and which ones fit properly on the bridge of my nose.  I’m not sure about you, but I had no idea the bridge of my nose affected the fit of my frames!

The benefit of shopping at Spectacle Shoppe?  You don’t have to settle on a frame while you’re in the store!  They offer a unique shopping experience where you can take two of your preferred frames and bring them home to decide for yourself – with no added pressure.  Once you’ve chosen your frame, Morgan will set up an appointment with you to bring both frames into Spectacle Shop and complete your order.

 I had a chance to interview Morgan and get her thoughts on how she manages her time, why Spectacle Shoppe’s unique shopping experience is so important to her, and her recommendation on when a child should have their initial vision screening:

Q.  Congrats on being on your way to becoming principal of Spectacle Shop!  What/who inspired you to become an entrepreneur and how do you balance your time?

A.  It's been a challenge and an awesome but sometimes scary adventure. I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and with that my health has always been one of my greatest fears, but after two very big life events (first the lost of my brother and second the birth of my children), I knew that I wanted to follow that voice inside my heart. It’s this voice that challenges my fears. 

I serve my clients, and especially moms, with genuine passion for helping them find eyewear that gives them that extra boost of confidence.  As a mom of two young children with busy mornings (which is very often), my eyewear is the only thing I put on so I want my glasses to make me glow.  I know this perspective makes me unique, and I’m proud to own it and share it with my clients so that they always feel like they are leaving our store with something extra special.

As far as balance, I think it’s always a struggle being a mom and an entrepreneur. I recently decided to change my work schedule and be in the store from Monday to Friday for a more stable and predictable work week.  I’m really hoping that having weekends off will provide with more time to reconnect with my family. My kids and my husband are my biggest source of inspiration and they truly keep me re-energized. 

Q.  We really enjoyed our fitting session with you and the fact that we didn't have to settle on a frame in the store.  Tell us how Spectacle Shoppe came up with this unique shopping experience and how you feel it benefits your clients.
A.  I want our clients to have the eyewear that fits their lifestyle and wardrobe with ease.   We noticed that even if you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, most people find that the photos on our website rarely do justice to the fine detailing that makes our frames special. We pride ourselves on carrying the most up-to-date styles from a number of the best eyewear manufacturers in the world and when our customers start to experiment in our store with all of the different options, they really begin to see how each piece becomes an accessory instead of just eyewear. 

We also noticed that our regular clients sometimes have a hard time narrowing their choices down to one pair and, because we respect that eyewear is a personal piece as well as an investment piece, we decided to offer something special and stress-free for clients in the selection process. Voila! We’ve been providing our regular clients this service for a number of years now. 

Q.  At what age do you recommend that kids have their first eye exam? 
A.  A common misunderstanding is that children need to be able to read or talk to have their eyes examined.  However, a child should have their first eye exam when they're 6 months old, with follow-up exams at 3 years old and 5 years old (before starting school), followed by regular annual exams to ensure that potential eye disorders don’t go undetected. These eye exams are so important because kids, unlike adults, don't know when they have challenges to their vision. 

Looking for more information about glasses and children?  Spectacle Shoppe has published three articles on their blog to help you and your child enjoy their glasses/sunglasses:

Connect with Spectacle on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit them in store at 5683 West Boulevard in Vancouver!

Disclosure:  The views expressed in this review are my own and do not represent the opinions or views of  Spectacle Shoppe.  We received complimentary frames from Spectacle Shoppe in order to conduct this review.

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The Golden Ninja - Costume SuperCentre Review

With summer coming to an end and the back-to-school madness just around the corner (or happening right now, depending on where you live), it’s hard to comprehend that Halloween is just over two months away.  That’s right, Halloween!!

Lucky for us, we got a head start thanks to Costume SuperCentre.  I told Jadon that he could choose a costume and he was dead set on getting a ninja costume.  After he narrowed down his top three choices, he ended up choosing the golden ninja costume (if you’re all familiar with my obsession with gold, you can bet that this costume was ‘SwankMama approved’!).

My favourite feature of the costume was the fact that it stretched.  Not only was it comfortable for my newly minted golden ninja to show off his crazy ninja moves, but it also stretched over his shoes which gave Jadon the full effect of the Golden Ninja.  Because that’s exactly the look he was going for, if you know what I mean!


Creating Birthday Invitiations with Shutterfly

Before I decided on a theme for Jadon’s birthday party, I ended up creating birthday invitations via Shutterfly for him to hand out to his classmates.  I had already decided on the colour scheme and knew I wanted to do something with a vintage feel, and Shutterfly’s ‘One Awesome Ticket Birthday Invitation’ happened to be the perfect match!

Using Shutterfly to create the invitation was a breeze.  All I had to do was input the party details (date, time, venue and RSVP information) and Shutterfly automatically populated it into the invite! 
I also like to personalize my invites with a current photo of the birthday boy and a little note to the attendees about what to expect at the party:

The guest loved receiving the invites and their parents were equally impressed with them!  Mission accomplished!


Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites + 'Make It Yours' Photo Contest Winners

The first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Kraft Peanut Butter is probably that peanut butter and jelly sandwich from your childhood, right?  Well, we recently discovered that Kraft Peanut Butter could be used in a variety of fun recipes that are kid-friendly and only require a few ingredients (perfect for the mom on-the-go!).
Last month, I had a blast creating a Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites recipe with Jadon’s help.  Using Kraft Extra Creamy Peanut Butter and a few core ingredients, we added a couple of our own ingredients that made our ‘Meatball’ Peanut Butter Snack Bites a unique and fun snack.  The kids loved it and Jadon couldn’t wait to make it again a few day later!

Need inspiration for your own Peanut Butter Snack Bite recipe?  Head over to Kraft Canada for a collection of easy recipes that the entire family will enjoy.  Our favourite has to be the Confetti Peanut Butter Snack Bites!  I mean, you can’t go wrong with a recipe that has mini marshmallows in it!

Confetti Peanut Butter Snack Bites
·         ½ cup of Kraft Smooth Peanut Butter
·         ¼ cup honey
·         1 cup large flake rolled oats
·         ¾ cup crushed crisp rice cereal
·         ½ cup Jet Puffed Fruit Flavoured Mini Marshmallows (cut in half)

Make It!

·         Mix peanut butter and honey in medium bowl until blended. Stir in remaining ingredients
·         Refrigerate 30 minutes
·         Roll into 20 (1-inch) balls, using about 2 Tbsp. for each
Follow the hashtag #MyKPBsnackbite to join the conversation on Twitter and to see more Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites recipes visit www.sticktogether.ca.

Make It Yours Photo Contest Winners

Congratulations to the four winners of the ‘Make It Yours’ Photo Contest: Maria Medeiros, Debbie Flynn, Rebecca Hart and Shanaz Allia. Be sure to visit sheblogs Canada to see the Make It Yours photo contest entries and see more great recipes.