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Author Archive: I Tell Stories

Samantha lives in Stittsville with her husband, Jon, and their daughter, Mary. Samantha works full-time for the federal government and also enjoys writing part-time, including as a writer for Ottawa Parenting Times Magazine. Feel free to check out her website – samanthaball.ca and follow her on Twitter @I_Tell_Stories

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Jack & Lily Review and Giveaway #KidsGiftGuide ~ CAN/US 07/12

| June 11, 2015 | 48 Comments
Jack & Lily Review and Giveaway #KidsGiftGuide ~ CAN/US 07/12

Jack & Lily was born in British Columbia, Canada in 2005. Brenda Buell, a Mom, saw the market was “lacking unique styling, quality and value” in “footwear for little feet” so she took it into her own hands, and started the brand which now has customers all over the world. Today I will be providing […]

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Playdates: Just Call Them What They Are…

| March 25, 2015 | 3 Comments
Playdates: Just Call Them What They Are…

…“Fight Club”[1] This week, after an early volleyball game, my team and I went to a local pub to hang out and extend the festivities. We hit upon an interesting topic. Playdates. It was actually a very interesting topic to be having late into a weeknight considering only about fifty percent of the table were […]

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Montebello 2.0

| March 18, 2015 | 12 Comments
Montebello 2.0

Many of you know that last year we started what will be a tradition for our family – going to Montebello for Family Day weekend with Mary’s cousins. This year, we had a bit of a hiccup since Jon wasn’t feeling well, but overall, the trip was again a complete success. We did a few […]

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Wordless Wednesday: “More Tea?”

| February 11, 2015 | 9 Comments
Wordless Wednesday: “More Tea?”

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Family Day Sundays

| February 10, 2015 | 10 Comments
Family Day Sundays

I’ve been looking forward to our 2nd Annual Family Day Getaway to Montebello for months now. I couldn’t stop thinking about how nice it would be to have some quality family time. But then I thought to myself. Why is Family Day once a year? Yes, we all try to do special things with our […]

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Our “Alternative” Christmas

| January 12, 2015 | 13 Comments
Our “Alternative” Christmas

In the fall, I learned that my brother- and sister-in-law were planning to meet up with her side of the family in Barbados for Christmas. Her family is all in England, making time together harder to come by. Since Christmas is one of my favourite holidays, and Mary, now 3, was for the first time […]

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Body Shop Gift Sets Review and Giveaway! CAN 01/05

| December 15, 2014 | 95 Comments
Body Shop Gift Sets Review and Giveaway! CAN 01/05

I was very happy to have been given the opportunity to participate in this Holiday Gift Guide Review. I remember the Body Shop products as far back as the early to mid-90s, when the Body Shop t-shirts, promoting activism and condemning animal testing, were popular with all the kids. The Body Shop has built its […]

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Wordless Wednesday: Joy

| December 10, 2014 | 9 Comments
Wordless Wednesday: Joy

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Deep Relief Ice Cold Spray #Review and #Giveaway ~ CAN 11/23

| November 6, 2014 | 43 Comments
Deep Relief Ice Cold Spray #Review and #Giveaway ~ CAN 11/23

As a regular (recreational) volleyball player, I was excited to get my hands on some Deep Relief products to help me with my aches and pains. In particular, my upper back and shoulders have been giving me lots of trouble lately (regularly picking up my almost 40 pound toddler probably doesn’t help). This review focuses […]

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Review: Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular

| September 11, 2014 | 4 Comments
Review: Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular

“Spectacular” is the right word to describe this unforgettable experience. Mary and I were joined for this fun night out by her friend Liam and his mother, as well as friends and brothers, Emile and Antoine, and their parents. Though the kids ranged in age from almost 3 to almost 6 years old, they all […]

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Mary’s First Sleepover!

| September 8, 2014 | 6 Comments
Mary’s First Sleepover!

On August 15, 2014, two of my good friends got married, and Mary slept over at Nanny and Grampy’s for the first time. At almost three years old, I am not sure if this is late or early, but she had a blast. And so did we! This was also the first time that my […]

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Wordless Wednesday: New Friends

| September 3, 2014 | 5 Comments
Wordless Wednesday: New Friends

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Peanut Butter Press Children Books Review and Giveaway ~ CAN 08/11

| July 10, 2014 | 44 Comments
Peanut Butter Press Children Books Review and Giveaway ~ CAN 08/11

Peanut Butter Press is a Manitoba-based publisher of children’s books and I am pleased to have the chance to write these four reviews. The books provided to me for this review are just a sample of the variety offered through Peanut Butter Press. Please take a moment to check out their website to see all of […]

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Family and Friendship

| June 20, 2014 | 6 Comments
Family and Friendship

The older I get, the more I notice my relationships with my family members morphing into something different. Maybe others have noticed this with parents and siblings. For example, a trend I see frequently among friends is a change in bitter sibling rivalry in childhood to friendship and mutual respect as siblings in adulthood. One […]

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Review: Over $50 in KISS and Broadway Nails Products and #Giveaway ~ CAN 07/14

| June 19, 2014 | 42 Comments
Review: Over $50 in KISS and Broadway Nails Products and #Giveaway ~ CAN 07/14

I was very excited to get my package for this review. As a reformed lifelong nail-biter, who spent much of her life hiding her hands, it is only recently that I have become interested in doing anything special with my nails. One thing that I should tell you before you read any further…I’ve never tried […]

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My Path to Perth

| June 11, 2014 | 10 Comments
My Path to Perth

As many of you know, a few months ago I committed to running the Perth Kilt Run on June 21st. And I am not here to say I decided to quit. I am still on track! I’ve built up to a good 5k now, and will work on the last few kilometers over the next […]

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BOOM! So this is 30…

| May 12, 2014 | 6 Comments
BOOM! So this is 30…

I don’t know about you, but when April 21st rolls around, I rarely get the birthday song in my head. I get the familiar sound of John Lennon’s, “”Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” ringing in my ears, I am sure you’re familiar with the lyrics, “Another year over…And a new one just begun”. I am […]

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Wordless Wednesday: Lifelong Friends

| May 7, 2014 | 4 Comments
Wordless Wednesday: Lifelong Friends

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Tegu Magnetic Wooden Blocks Review and Giveaway ~ Ottawa Area 05/12

| April 17, 2014 | 32 Comments
Tegu Magnetic Wooden Blocks Review and Giveaway ~ Ottawa Area 05/12

The first thing you notice about these “kids” blocks is that the packaging is really well executed. Rather than a tall and narrow Jenga-like box where it’s difficult to get the blocks in and out (at least for me), this sturdy box opens more like a briefcase and a clear thick plastic cover showcases the […]

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Making Use of Wasted Time

| April 9, 2014 | 19 Comments
Making Use of Wasted Time

I think most mothers (and fathers!) would love to find an extra few hours in the day. And we all collectively groan when the time comes to “spring forward” and we “lose” an hour. But I recently realized that I was losing two hours a day of potentially productive time. I am not talking about […]

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Kids and Structured Activities — How Much is TOO Much?

| March 13, 2014 | 8 Comments
Kids and Structured Activities — How Much is TOO Much?

My daughter Mary participates in more activities than I do. Over her lifespan, she’s completed multiple sessions of Monkey Rock, swimming and gymnastics. She has also benefited from semi-regular attendance of library programs and Brinkeetos. While I was on maternity leave, we both looked forward to weekly playgroup. And I am probably even forgetting a […]

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Reversing the Birth Process…The Mary Way

| February 26, 2014 | 6 Comments
Reversing the Birth Process…The Mary Way

At 2 years old, Mary has become a creative and imaginative thinker. This is a great thing, but it sometimes leads us down unexpected paths. My daughter has the habit of yanking up my shirt and blowing raspberries on my belly. It’s usually my husband who eggs her on to do this while he laughs, […]

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Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic (REVIEW)

| February 26, 2014 | 13 Comments
Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic (REVIEW)

I think that “magic” is the perfect word to describe this show. Having never been to anything like this as a child, I had no expectations, and was blown away by what I saw. The anticipatory buzz was already in the air at the Canadian Tire Centre before anyone took their seats. At 6pm when […]

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Family Day at Montebello!

| February 12, 2014 | 11 Comments
Family Day at Montebello!

I am very excited to say that I am going on a vacation! And by vacation, I mean one day and one night at Le Chateau Montebello in Quebec, but I’ll take it. My husband is not much of a traveler. The only trip we’ve ever taken together was a few days on a road […]

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