Our Vist To Santa’s Snowy Valley + $100 Oshawa Centre Gift Card Givaway!

This past weekend we were invited by the amazing people at the Oshawa Centre to be one of the first people to visit Santa and experience their brand new snowy valley!

Before leaving the house both kids were soooo excited!

Until Mike reminded them that there was a naughty list….


Once we arrived we were amazed! To say the new set is beautiful, is an understatement!

The kids we’re treated to some free cookie decorating, which Frankie loved!

While he was decorating his cookie Frankie couldn’t keep his eyes off Santa’s elves. “Are those the real elves, mom?”  “I think they are because look at their shoes!!”

After he worked up the courage to ask, he was so happy to learn that they were the real deal! He was even lucky enough to get a picture with one of the kind elves!

The Toronto zoo was on hand to teach the little ones about Polar Bears and other animals that brave the cold weather. They are also helping to spread the word about climate change and how it affects our animal friends.

Emilia was having a ball waiting in line to see Santa.

That is until Jolly Old St. Nick actually arrived….

She promptly lost her mind and was quickly escorted by Mike away from poor Santa!

meeting santa

At least one of my children kept their cool….

Santa was so great!

As an extra sweet treat every child 3 and up that visits Santa gets a treat from Purdy’s and a free plush mini polar bear! (while supplies last!)

There is so much Fun going on at the Oshawa Centre!

You can visit Santa every day from 11 am – 7 pm (6 pm on Sunday)

While you’re there don’t forget to Enter for a chance to win a $1000 family getaway to Great Wolf Lodge and a $500 Oshawa Centre shopping spree!

I’m also so happy to say that Santa will be having 2 Silent Santa mornings where children with autism and other special needs can visit Santa in a calm and friendly atmosphere.

Find the details for this special event and all of the other Christmas fun going on here: https://www.oshawacentre.com/promotions-events/events/new-santas-snowy-valley/

After our visit with Santa we stopped by the new Holiday Nook! We enjoyed some hot chocolate and the kids we’re mesmerized by Home Alone playing on the t.v. It was definitely a struggle to get them to leave, can you blame them?

How gorgeous does it look? I didn’t want to leave either!

You can take a load off from all of that hectic holiday shopping, while having your presents gift wrapped, on a comfy couch with hot chocolate in hand! Talk about a dream come true!

To learn more about the Oshawa Centre and all of the exciting things happening there, Including their coming expansion!

Visit their website:https://www.oshawacentre.com/

I want to thank the great team at the Oshawa Centre for a fun morning and a great way to kick off our holiday season!

If you live in the area and are planning on taking your little ones to see the big guy in red, you’ll love all the fun taking place there!

Now the fun part!

The Oshawa Centre has teamed up with me for an amazing giveaway! One Lucky reader will have the chance to win a $100 mall gift card!

Head over to my Facebook page  to find out how to enter!

Good Luck!

xo Fran




Apple Cinnamon Cake

While we were coming down to the last of the apples we picked from the orchard, I was running out of recipes to use.

With only a couple left in the fruit bowl, and no sweet treat for my afternoon snack I decided some recipe testing was in order!

Apples and cinnamon, could there be a better pairing?  

This recipe is simple and delicious. It’s a perfect treat to go with your warm cup of coffee or tea on these chilly fall days. 

 apple cinnamon cake 
Apple Cinnamon Cake

  • 1/3 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 2/3 Cup white sugar
  • 1/2 Cup butter (room temp)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Cups flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 2 apples peeled and chopped

Pre heat oven to 350, grease a 9×5 loaf pan

  1. In a small bowl mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside 
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together butter using a mixer. Beat until smooth
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla.
  4. In a seperate bowl combine flour and baking powder. Then add to your butter mixture.
  5. Add milk, mix until smooth.
  6. Pour half of the batter into your prepared pan.
  7. Top with half of your chopped apples, then sprinkle half your brown sugar mixture on top.
  8. Pour the remaining batter on top and repeat your apple and sugar layers.  cinnamon apple cake 
  9. Lightly press the apple pieces into the batter.
  10. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.  cinnamon applecake 

It was so delicious, especially still warm from the oven!

I’m so glad to have finally used up all of those apples! 

Not to mention I added a new recipe to rotation.

xo, Fran 

Fall Family Photos!

We usually send out a photo Christmas card each year! Usually the card would only feature the kids.

The last time we had an actual family photo done Frankie was just over a year old.

Since we’re no longer a family of 3 it was definitely time to get some new photos taken! 

We’ve worked with Stacey who owns SLR photography for the last few years. She is absolutely amazing with the kids and always manages to capture amazing shots! 

If you are in Toronto or the GTA you need to check her out! http://www.slrphotography.ca

There were so many amazing pictures to choose from, I still haven’t made up my mind which one will be used for our card but I wanted to share them with you!  

I love how Frankie and Emilia are in their own little world in this one. Just chatting and holding hands like the bffs they are.


 In these ones you can definitely see that Emilia is all Mike and Frankie takes after his Momma!


So in love with these two crazy kids!

I wanted us to match but, not be too matchy….. I think the outfits turned out pretty good! 

( I really planned everything around Emilia’s dress. It was so cute and we had it for so long until it finally fit!)

Thanks again to Stacey for doing such an amazing job!

Hopefully it won’t be another 3 years before I decide to get in front of the camera!

xo, Fran 


Treat yo self Momma ! Sweet Mum Box review.

I think, no wait…. I KNOW as moms we usually put ourselves last!

Making sure everyone else’s food is plated and cut up, drinks are filled and there are no other complaints before sitting down to my lukewarm meal is a daily occurrence.

We go without showers and leave the house looking like a mess for the morning school run, while our children look like they just stepped out of the latest fashion magazine.

My “spare time” is usually spent catching up on laundry, making the next day’s school lunch or helping with homework. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom. I love my children, but sometimes a lady has to do something special for herself! 

I like many women, would rather shop for my kids than for myself. (Kids clothes are just so much cuter!) Unless I’m in desperate need of something for myself, you’ll find me in the children’s department. After that you’ll find Mike shaking his head behind me in the mall asking me why Emilia needs the same pair of leggings in 5 different colours…….

I……(well really Mike) decided I should do something for myself. So I signed up for a monthly makeup subscription. I can honestly say I really enjoy getting a special treat just for myself in the mail each month. 

I was really happy with it and then I came across Sweet mum box !

Sweet Mum Box creates monthly gift boxes filled with Canadian goodies for both mum and her little one. 

Every box includes:

  • A handful of surprises just for mom
  • A keepsake print 
  • A magazine 
  • A special gift to share with a precious little one 
  • Bonus items they know the whole family will love

I was lucky enough to receive a September box to review. I was amazed at how many amazing things were in the box!  

happy mum box subscription box 

My box included: 

  • An adorable print
  • Foam cleanser
  • Iced tea mix
  • Bamboo wipes
  • A bag of flaxseed
  • A scarf
  • Natural bug bite roll on
  • A sleep solution magazine 
  • A pamphlet containing a craft idea, recipe and ispiring mom story.

All from Canadian companies and all delivered right to my front door!

All boxes are $35 plus shipping. They also have other subscription options including a yearly option. I think that they are definitely a great value. Not only are they filled (and I mean filled!!) with unique and quality products, by subscribing to Sweet Mum Box you’re also being introduced to fantastic brands that you may never have heard of.

The creators: Nicole and Jenna definitely had an amazing idea!

Sweet Mum Box is a great gift for any new (or not so new!) mommas! 

Or you know what? 

You! Ya! You!! 

Get one for yourself and Treat yo self momma!! You deserve it! 

To find out more about these amazing boxes visit: http://www.sweetmumbox.com

You can also keep up with their latest news and box updates on their instagram https://www.instagram.com/sweetmumbox/

Excuse me while I drink this delicious iced tea, while wearing my new scarf, trying to decide where to put this cute print! 

xo, Fran 

(I was given this box at no charge to myself for the purpose of review. As always these opinions are my own and true.)