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Spring Party Tooth Sensitivity Tips

I have officially decided spring is upon us. I am also choosing to ignore the dire warnings for this week where I live of potential snowstorms and instead focus on the season that is just begging to fully arrive any moment…really, any moment now….how about now? Nope, not yet huh?

Alright, what we’ll do instead is plan ahead and daydream about the parties we’ll attend, and the treats we’ll have…and enjoy with some tips from my friends at ProNamel. I felt it important to go to the experts for us so we’re all set for maximum enjoyment.


I do, in fact, have sensitivity as a result of enamel loss and am a very long-time user of  Sensodyne and ProNamel. ‎At the bevvy of parties and fun gatherings a multitude of cocktails and assorted beverages make an appearance, from wine to hot apple cider and hot chocola te (still in season and lovely). What are ‘better’ choices and ‘less than ideal’ ones that might put a sour note on the event?

Beverages that are often served at parties like red wine, white wine, apple cider and hot chocolate are high in acidity and have the potential to cause long-term erosion and tooth wear. Other beverages that are high in acid include soft drinks, coffee and tonic water.

Interestingly enough, a recent survey conducted by GSK revealed that Canadians rank coffee and wine among their favourite beverages but the majority don’t realize that these beverages are acidic.

I try my darndest to eat a lot of fruits and veggies at  parties to offset a couple of treats. Are there any in particular I, and others like me, should avoid or gravitate towards in order to not eat too many of those craved sweets?

Fruits and vegetables like broccoli, cucumber, avocados, bananas which are many of our favourite foods are low in acid.

Fruit like blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, grapes, grapefruit, lemons, limes, pineapples, pomegranates, raspberries and strawberries are high in acidity.

But you don’t have to give up on your favourite appetizers. Canadians can still enjoy the foods they love without compromising the strength of their teeth. Utilizing proper oral hygiene techniques and using a toothpaste specifically designed to help protect against the effects of acid erosion can help to mitigate the harm done by acidic foods. Toothpastes such as ProNamel help strengthen and re-harden acid-weakened enamel making it healthy, stronger and better-protected so it’s more resistant to enamel loss and future Acid Wear, which could lead to sensitivity.

Chocolate? Cookies? Brittle candy? Cakes? Which are better ‘not so great’ choices?

Apart from the issue of introducing sugar to the teeth, the sweet items mentioned have other damaging effects.  Most of us are well aware of the benefits that cocoa provides.  However, chocolates may also contain caffeine which can exacerbate acid reflux for those suffering from the condition.  Therefore, for those people, eating chocolates in moderation would be the key to reducing acid challenges on the enamel.  Candies and cookies that are of hard consistency can introduce micro fractures in the enamel.   Furthermore, enamel that is already weakened by acid can fracture or simply chip away small portions at a time.  For this reason, hard foods such as brittle candies, nuts and hard candies should be avoided at all times.

I’ve heard that sometimes straws help with beverages, is that an option? Difficult with some drinks for sure, but perhaps with others it might work?

To help reduce the risk of enamel wear there are many things you can do. You can try reducing the amount of time that acids are in contact with the teeth. To minimize swirling, swishing or holding acidic drinks in your mouth, you can use a straw.

In addition to this, there are a few other tips to help protect against Acid Wear:

  • Make an appointment to see the dentist. They will be able to look at your teeth for early signs of Acid Wear and assess levels of risk likely from your diet and brushing habits.
  • Try not to brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking acid foods and beverages, and make sure you’re using a soft bristled brush. Ideally wait 30 minutes before brushing.
  • Encourage children and teenagers to brush twice a day with a toothpaste like ProNamel to encourage good brushing habits and prevent future acid challenges.

Enamel loss is caused by acids acting on the tooth’s surface. In fact, as few as four acidic exposures a day can put tooth enamel at risk of Acid Wear. Each time teeth are exposed to acidic food or drinks, the acids can weaken the enamel as it loses minerals, making it easier for the enamel to wear away.

If enough of the enamel wears away the dentin layer becomes exposed and the nerve in the center of the tooth becomes susceptible to stimuli, resulting in a short, sharp pain caused by certain triggers, such as hot and cold foods and beverages.

ProNamel toothpaste builds up a protective barrier and insulates the nerve (with twice daily brushing) so you can keep enjoying hot and cold beverages.

Visit www.pronamel.ca for more information on Acid Wear, its effects and its causes.

Thank you to my friends at ProNamel for these wonderful tips and tricks to maximize our return to gatherings in warmer temps…which are coming…the groundhog said so…right? 😉

Holiday Baking Fun with Becel

The holidays and baking go hand-in-hand and I know every year I try to come up with a fun new recipe to try out, I try to top myself and usually when I start doing my recipe searches I get intimidated and can’t get over the amazing creations others come up with.

Here’s where Becel’s ‘Anything Goes’ Cookie Dough recipe comes in. It’s a lovely basic dough and you can add all sorts of things to it without having to find a whole new recipe (but your cookie-eating friends likely won’t notice –wink wink).

Deciding what to bake each holiday season can cause stress, but with this recipe you can do a half-batch one style, and the other another. Definitely a way to get more out of your dough ;).

And, just in time for the holidays for the baker in your life, Becel is having a fantastic contest! Read on for the details!

I’m thinking of adding some of the leftover Halloween candy to make my dough and cookies more fun! How yummy does crushed up peanut butter cups sound? Or Reese’s Pieces? Mmmm!



2 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour

1 tsp.  baking soda

1/2 tsp.  salt

1 cup  Becel® Buttery Taste margarine

1 cup  firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 Naturegg Omega 3 eggs (where available – otherwise, please use your preferred brand)

1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375°F (190° C). Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl; set aside. Beat Becel® Buttery Taste margarine with sugars in large bowl using electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla until blended. Gradually add in flour mixture; beat just until blended. Add your choice of mix-ins (i.e. chocolate chip, dried fruit, seeds, toffee bits, etc.). Drop by tablespoonfuls on ungreased baking sheets, 2-inches (5 cm) apart. Bake 7 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool 2 minutes on wire rack; remove cookies from sheets and cool completely.

About the contest:

Get into the holiday spirit by #BakingWithBecel!

Share a photo of your Anything Goes Cookie Dough creation with Becel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest and be entered for your chance to win 1 of 4 baking prize packages valued at $625! See below for additional details, and be sure to visit becel.ca for the full rules and regulations, or click here.

Contest Entry Dates:

Monday, November 16 to Sunday, December 13

How to Enter:

Get creative! Add your favourite ingredients and/or mix-ins to the Becel Anything Goes Cookie Dough recipe (included below) and share a photo of your #BakingWithBecel creation alongside a tub of Becel Buttery Taste margarine in one of the following ways:

  • Instagram:  To enter via Instagram, log in to your public Instagram Account and post a photo of your cookie creation using the hashtags #BakingWithBecel and #Contest and an explanation of your suggested added ingredients to the Becel Anything Goes Cookie Dough Recipe
  • Twitter:  To enter via Twitter, log in to your public Twitter Account and tweet a photo of your cookie creation using the hashtags #BakingWithBecel and #Contest and an explanation of your suggested added ingredients to the Becel Anything Goes Cookie Dough Recipe
  • Facebook:  To enter via Facebook, log in to your Facebook Account and post a photo of your cookie creation to the Becel Facebook Page Wall using the hashtags #BakingWithBecel and #Contest and an explanation of your suggested added ingredients to the Becel Anything Goes Cookie Dough Recipe
  • Pinterest: To enter via Pinterest, log in to your public Pinterest Account and create a Pinterest board with the title #BakingWithBecel and pin your Photo to that board, including the hashtags #BakingWithBecel and #Contest , the date, and your added ingredients to the Becel Anything Goes Cookie Dough recipe in the Pin description

To enter, participants must post a photo of their baked-with-Becel creation alongside a Becel tub to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest using the hashtag #BakingWithBecel and tagging Becel’s pages where appropriate.


Each week, one winner will be drawn to win a #BakingWithBecel baking prize pack valued at $625.

Baking prize packs include a 5.5 quart stand mixer, baking sheet and set of measuring cups and spoons from Cuisinart Canada, four packages of HERSHEY’S CHIPITS Baking Chips and product coupons from Burnbrae Farms (outside Atlantic Canada) and Becel!

Prizing Eligibility:

To be eligible to enter the contest, an individual must be a resident of Canada (excluding Quebec) and have reached the legal age of majority in his/her province or territory of residence.

Happy Baking to all!
This post was sponsored by Becel, however, all opinions are my own 🙂

Get Your Family Game On with Hasbro


As my regular readers and friends know, in
our house, board games and games in general are always fun and special shared time.

So many memories of family time involve board games (Monopoly, Life, and Clue to name a few) and now with my husband and our friends we’ve built upon that with Taboo, Funny or Die and the classic and oh-so-fun Twister!

Going out is indeed great fun with friends, but staying in and playing some classic (and trying some new) board games is always a fun time.

How do the best games nights go? Well, as much as hubby and I enjoy actually playing against each other, having friends over definitely adds to the fun.

Our ingredients for a Great Games Night:
Invite some great friends (or of course, have the family over)
Plan some yummy snacks (see the book in the picture for tips)
Pick some great games
Let the fun begin!

Games where teams form are always fun, but so are board games, it all depends on the group at the time. A few favourite board games of ours are Clue, Minion Operation and of course Monopoly. And a new couple favourites for even more fun are Funny or Die and Taboo. Hubby and I admit, Taboo when we tried it out was immediately acquired.

The last long-weekend of the summer is upon us, and what better time to have your own games night than this.

Which games will you choose? What’s your favourite party snack? I’m thinking outdoor Twister followed by some Funny or Die and Taboo with ‘Itty Bitty BLT’s’ :).

Like, comment and share and you may just win a fantastic ‘Get Your Game On’ prize pack ;). ***Canada Only

What munchkin time means to me as a Non

I am ‘Aunty’ to many and actual Aunt to a few and it is a title I cherish.

Last year my darling wonderful niece and nephew (aka my BFF’s kids) moved to another province and as my BFF knows all too well, I was brokenhearted. I managed to say goodbye to Miss (and cried the entire way home after), but I couldn’t hold it together to say goodbye to Mister so I begged her to say goodbye for me (thank goodness he was 4 at the time so to him it wasn’t as big of a deal LOL).

I got to see all of them again a couple of weeks ago and I was beyond elated. So was Miss, and then Mister once he remembered me again.

We arrived late so didn’t get to see everyone until the morning, but it was all I could do to stay in bed and not run out and hug them all once morning came. To me it was like the feeling I got as a child on Christmas morning all over again. And when I did sneak out to surprise Miss and my BFF, it was beyond fantastic.

A full-week of my BFF and the kids, I was ready and enjoyed every single moment I assure you. Hugs every morning and lots of quality fun time with all, yup, it really was like Christmas for me (and I hope them too a bit). We went on day trips, we sat and snuggled. My BFF and I caught up and on our day to ourselves, it was like time had stood still and the nuttiness picked up right where we left off. This is the power of this friendship and my adoration for my niece and nephew.


My BFF and I: Reunited!

When you see that I have their pictures up at work and at home you can be assured I look at them often, these are things I cherish. I have them with my actual niece and nephews pictures too, the kids in my life matter to me, all of the munchkins in my life matter to me.

When I’m given a picture they’ve coloured (even some of my Sparks girls give me artwork) I save it and I do show it off. I think that surprises people, but for me, since I don’t get that everyday, I adore it.

This time I managed to hold myself together to say goodbye to my BFF and the kids (I know she’s proud of that) and after SEVERAL hugs and starting the countdown to next time, they left.

I miss them terribly, but I have the pictures and the memories…and there’s always Skype too ;).

Reclaiming my Bookworm Status

When I was a kid I was easy to spot, I always had my nose in a book. My parents, and my school librarian, were constantly trying to find me new books to read and I went through a few series as a kid. I have fond memories of the Madeline books, my beloved Nancy Drew’s (my dad got me hooked on those) and of course my mom’s old Trixie Belden’s. I also cherish to this day my mom’s copy of Scarlet Royal.

I graduated pretty quickly into sci-fi and was also a big fan of John Grisham and in middle school I was reading Tom Clancy too.

I never did get to read the classics in high school, and didn’t have time in University, but almost the moment I graduated I became a regular at the bookstore and was reading voraciously again. I finally got to read Jane Austen’s works (and love them) and my favourite, Jane Eyre.

I read all (I think) of Maeve Binchy’s books and even manged to acquire a signed copy of Whitethorn Woods, a precious thing to me for sure.IMG_20150315_201248_edit

My tastes have ranged over the years, and at the moment, fuelled by a trip this past fall back to my beloved London, I’m back to my love of history. I’ve been reading non-stop British monarchy pieces and I am simply loving them all.

I’m so happy to have returned to my former Bookworm-self…it’s all I can do to put the books down at night…and I can truly hardly wait to pick them up again as soon as possible so I can start the next one in the growing pile on my nightstand.

Are you an avid reader too? What is your favourite genre?

Nonmom attempts to survive the holidays…with a smile!

I have admitted and still admit it, I am way behind this year. In fact, ‘some’ of my Christmas cards are going in the mail shortly…it’s December 22nd incidentally. Yeah, having had a nasty cold/flu not once, not twice, but yes, three times in 2 months really did me in. I’ve been playing catch-up all fall. Note to self, do everything at the start of November next year….but I digress. 😉

In order to survive the holidays this year I have had to seriously prioritize. Easy? No way, but necessary. And really, it has made me realize what is essential to the holidays, so it’s got a sparkly side to it. Where did I get the idea to make a holiday survival list? From the cool people at www.ManCrates.com. Seriously, they have some neat stuff for the guys on your list…can we say ‘Bacon Crate’. 😉 They actually arrive in crates too, you need a crowbar! So cool and definitely on my list for the near future.

Surviving the Holiday Sweet Tooth: To get through the temptation (and it’s been hard this year) to nibble on every delectable treat I’m presented with I have had to ration myself. So far it’s worked too. And trust me, the cake pops my boss and his wife got me were beyond hard to not gobble up all at once. I really take a look at the treat and ask myself if it is something I can have access to all year, or just at the holidays. Then I look at how strong my willpower will be to only have one or two. A treat really has to be special in order to get to my lips let me tell you ;). And if that all fails, I go up to my closet, look at my gorgeous Duchess dresses and decide that I need those to keep fitting ;).

Surviving the Decor: The next part I need to get through is decorating. I’m normally quite the little Elf around my home. I genuinely love it. I think it would make Martha Stewart proud (of course I also own a tonne of her line of decorations so yeah, she’d definitely be proud). This I had to scale back and get realistic. With a new kitten (Princess Dory Grace arrived in late spring) who has never seen a Christmas tree before, let alone the decor for the holidays, I decided, I think rather wisely, to keep it simple. So, how does Minimartha (moi) handle this? I took my bins of decorations to my office of course and decorated there. Is it the same? No. But, since I’m at the office throughout the holidays I get to enjoy my silver and gold decorations (can we tell I’m also a massivve Rudolph fan?) every day :). Scaling back doesn’t have to mean sacrifice though. There is something about doing my tree in the multi-coloured lights with the ornaments I grew up with as a kid that makes me smile in a truly uniquely Christmas-esque way.

Surviving the Social Baking: My baking is next. I honestly didn’t do much of it the past couple of years, mostly to avoid temptation (I’m weak, I admit it), but this year since I’ve had to give up a lot, this is something special I want to do a little bit of. I’ve found a way to make this part of the holidays work too. I have the most amazing store with a delectable bakery in it around the corner from me. My strategy: bake one or two things that are just plain essential to the holidays and then ‘cheat’ and incorporate treats from there. I can even use their cookies and decorate them myself. I dare anyone to ask who made them up at a party ;).

Surviving the Stores: Normally, when I have a less nutty schedule, I do the bulk of my shopping online. This year that just didn’t happen. My strategy, that for my hubby and I works (I know having kids makes a difference), was going shopping together and pick stuff out for each other. We sacrificed the surprises of Christmas morning, but in return we got to spend some invaluable time together…which I’ll take as a win. We also went early in the morning (and I’ve been later at night too) to avoid the crowds. So far so good on that one. 😉 Also, I did sneak out and get a couple fun surprises for hubby.

Holiday survival for me has meant prioritizing and really trying to hone in on what’s important about the holidays: being with family. Mine may be a small on with myself, my darling hubby and our three furballs, but it’s still oh-so-special and I plan on smiling as brightly as Rudolph’s nose glows ;).

Merry Christmas!

My Monopoly, that’s right, make your own Monoply is here!

Have you ever wished you could re-name some of the spots on your Monopoly board? Well, now you can, and complete with your own fun pictures too.

This latest incarnation of the popular game (one of my personal favourites I assure you) allows you to add your own photos to the property spaces and cards. It adds a whole new level when you can own ‘Dad’s man cave’ or ‘Mom’s dream kitchen’. In our house properties could range from owning race car teams to cat food factories (the furballs like to be involved after all lol).

A game that is truly timeless, I alone have probably 5 different versions of it and play them all, it really is fun for families and groups.

What I love is that nothing about the game is sacrificed, but now the capability is really there to have a true ‘Family Board’. This would be perfect for weddings, birthdays and more. I am really excited about it and debate has been active in our home on what to make the properties for us.

That’s where you come in, and as my thank you to you, and Hasbro too of course, you can win your very own My Monopoly!

What do you need to do to win? Simply suggest either a fun idea for a property for me, or your best idea for your future board by commenting here or on the Facebook page. I will randomly draw a winner, open to Canada only. Contest starts now and ends midnight my time (EST) on September 18th.

Getting my #Running Groove Back

I admit it, since the half-marathon running just hasn’t been something I love. And that’s upsetting for me since I was really really enjoying this new activity in my life.

Since race day I’ve suffered from lead legs, hips out of alignment, the wrong muscles firing and the right ones not and feeling all twisty and ‘off’. It hasn’t been pleasant. I’ve been seeing my trainer/coach and we’ve been working through it but until last week, I just couldn’t find my ‘bounce’.

When I am running and enjoying it, I feel all light and, well, bouncy on my feet. I grin from ear to ear, wave and smile at my fellow runners and walkers and enjoy every moment.  I pace to my music and it’s my ‘me’ time. Something we all need.

I guess I’m a bit impatient too. I knew by doing what the doc was telling me things would get better but it seemed like one roadblock after another and to be blunt, the weather wasn’t helping my enthusiasm either.

Last week I started my new routine of stretching and pre-race exercises and when I went out for a run on Saturday with my friend (who is an Ironwoman incidentally, OMG, I totally ran with an Ironwoman!!!) it was the best I had felt in months! The bounce was back. Even without my playlist on that particular outing.

I was able to rekindle my love of this activity and it’s perfect timing too since, umm, this is race week. Yes, I signed up and debated not going, but am now determined and remotivated for the Run for Women 10K. I can do this. Will it be a PB day? If I’m lucky. Does that matter? Nope. I just wanna run!

What would you do if you could do anything?

What would you do if you could wake up tomorrow and do whatever you wanted for the rest of your life?

Seriously. A lot of people ‘say’ they’d spoil themselves, and I won’t fault any of them. It is the dream to be able to do what we want after all.

But what would you actually do to fill the days?

I would quite seriously do the following: Volunteer. I bet I’d smile every day too 🙂.

First, helping animals. As you know, I’m a big animal lover, my cats are my babies and one of the best parts of everyday is snuggling with them. They can’t speak for themselves when they need help and so many do, and they need love too. If I can make an animal’s life better in some way, I will.

Second, helping kids. I am a leader with Girl Guides of Canada with a stellar Sparks unit and I would keep that going plus I would add to that. Since I have a learned about Save the Children Canada I would probably go that way. I like their approach and their reach.

I would also look at giving back to our Armed Forces. My husband was in the reserves, we have a lot of friends who have and continue to serve, worldwide, and I would like to thank them by helping them more.

I think this would fill my time quite nicely. So again, what would you do? 🙂

A goal accomplished, and in the first month of the year too!

Yup, I accomplished one little goal of mine last week. I’m rather proud of it too.

Last week I snuck off to Las Vegas for a little break from everything. It backfired in that I was sick the entire trip, but I still pushed myself to achieve my goal of running the strip.

When we booked the trip a few months back I had no idea how hard winter was going to hit us this year, it’s been awful suffice to say, and I know lots have had it worse than us, but trust me, it still sucks. I’m also trying to train for my half-marathon that’s coming up (and making me nervous even as I type this) and being outside to do that is a problem this year. I’ve had to get a bit creative and have been using the elliptical and trying to get to classes too to keep up my muscle tone.

I set a goal for myself of running the strip while we were in Vegas in December and was literally counting down til the plane took off. I had my gear packed and ready, outfit planned (yes I’m far too girly on occasion) and my Garmin watch all charged up, we just had to land, eat and sleep and then I was going to rock it.

I woke up exhausted and feeling yucky. I tried to chill out and watched some tv and negotiated with myself to put the run off until the afternoon instead because hey, it would be warmer! Then I called my BFF and that was it, I made myself accountable to her and said ok, I’m going to do this.

I got my gear on, and headed out. My plan: Excalibur to TI and back.

There were a few obstacles, and I had to giggle at the start as my watch took so long to pick up the satellites in a clear sky, but I did it. I left Excalibur, went through NYNY (construction) and headed up. The problem with the strip is that there really isn’t a direct route, you have bridges and pedestrians to deal with, but I weaved, smiled and pushed on. On the way back, I went on the other side of the strip and it was a lot better actually (note to self for next time) and made my way to the Tropicana and across back to Excalibur.

I did it! It was awesome.

Was it my best time? No. Was it a fun time? You bet! Running on holidays: awesome! The best part, dinner totally justified that night…cause of course I then walked from Excalibur to Circus Circus a few hours later (with a slight detour into Caesar’s for an early birthday present to myself that I decided was a requirement).