Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Benefits of Fitness During & After Cancer


Whether it is a family member, friend, neighbour or even a colleague, we have all unfortunately been affected by cancer in some way. I am a true believer in the power of exercise and the following post, written by Melanie Bowen, is a perfect example of how physical treatments can help one deal with and possibly overcome the burden of such a horrible diagnosis.
Regaining Fitness During Cancer Recovery

Cancer recovery is a long road that can be exhausting for many patients.  Even when treatment is behind you, you may feel as if you will never feel normal again.  Regaining your overall fitness after cancer treatment is not an easy task, but it can be done with some determination and knowledge.  Exercising can even boost your mood and help you feel better while recovering.  It is important to discuss exercise with your doctor and take it slow until you know your level of fitness ability.

Exercising During Aggressive Cancer Treatment

While it is important to engage in some form of physical activity while undergoing cancer treatment, the intensity of aggressive forms of treatment makes it necessary to stick with light exercises.  Light exercises generally do not cause a change in breathing pattern and do not result in sweat.

Breathing exercises are a great way to increase circulation, reduce fatigue and improve lung function during cancer treatment.  Breathing exercises are especially effective for those with pleural mesothelioma or any other lung-related cancer.  Breathing exercises have even been linked to a reduced risk of depression in recovering cancer patients.

Fitness During Cancer Recovery

Patients who are done with the treatment process may be able to handle moderately intense exercises that require a bit more effort.  People who are ready to regain their strength after going through the intense cancer treatment process can engage in moderate exercises in order to get this energy back.  Moderate exercises do cause deeper breathing, but a person who is engaging in moderate exercises does not feel out of breath.  A light sweat may form after about ten minutes of physical activity

According to, swimming as little as 20 minutes a day three times per week can provide health benefits to cancer survivors.  Water aerobic exercises provide a cushion for the body that makes these exercises easier to complete than activities done on land.  In addition, this is considered as a low-impact exercise because exercising in water makes you feel about 90 percent lighter. As a result, water aerobics are a great exercise for cancer patients who may have joint complications. Also, water aerobics offer resistance that enables a patient to build up strength during recovery.

Taking Fitness One Step Further

Patients who have successfully established a moderate fitness routine can talk to their doctors about increasing the intensity and participating in advanced exercises.  Advanced exercises are used to build upon strength and stamina established while engaging in moderate exercises.  People who engage in advanced exercises breathe deeply and sweat after only a few minutes.

Running is a popular exercise that cancer survivors can engage in when they have built up stamina and strength.  Patients are encouraged to wait until the later stages of recovery before trying running as an exercise.  Running can fight fatigue and build endurance.  One of the biggest benefits of running is that it requires no special equipment, and runners are able to gauge their own abilities and create a workout based on these abilities.  Patients can easily vary the length and intensity of a running session.

Starting a fitness routine during cancer recovery seems like a daunting task, but gradually building up endurance and strength while recovering from cancer treatment provides valuable benefits.  Patients can regain energy and improve their overall health by engaging in physical activity that is catered to their fitness ability.  It is important to consult a physician before starting a fitness regimen during cancer treatment and recovery.


     Melanie is currently a Master's student with a passion that stems from her grandmother's cancer diagnosis. She often highlights the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness.  To read more from Melanie, visit her blog for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In her spare time, you can find Melanie trying new vegan recipes, on her yoga mat, or spending time with her family.

Monday, June 3, 2013

General Mills *Fibre 1 Almond & Cluster Delight* Cereal Review


    As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and with my recent lifestyle change of exercising and eating healthier, I decided to sign up for my chance to take the Fibre 1 Almond & Cluster Delight Cereal Challenge. Not to mention, I have major stomach problems, and my surgeon had told me it is essential that my fibre intake be drastically increased. However, it has proven difficult for me to find many foods I truly enjoy that are high in fibre.
    When my box of cereal arrived in the afternoon, I did not want to wait until the next morning to try it, so both my little guy (2.5 years old) and I chowed down on a bowl--VERY quickly! I can honestly say it was really tasty and I don't know who enjoyed it more, me or my son, which is surprising for a toddler to enjoy a 'healthier' cereal :) Needless to say, this just proves that the flavour is superb, without needing added sugar! 
The cereal consists of whole grain flakes and almond-filled clusters. I've always been a sucker for almonds, and these clusters are like a little treat! I even enjoyed another bowl that evening (yes, I AM one of those people who sometimes enjoys a bowl of cereal for dinner!)

Here are some facts about the Almond & Clusters cereal:
  • 1 cup amounts to 40% of your daily fibre intake (10g)
  • 1 serving (1 cup) consists of your daily-recommended iron intake (great for us anemic individuals)
  • 25% of your calcium value with milk 
  • packed full of other essential vitamins and minerals
According to, the benefits of eating fibre are through the roof:

"Combats constipation
  • The most undisputed advantage of insoluble fibre is its ability to soften and expand stool volume, speeding up fecal transit and elimination.
  • Commercial preparations such as agar (Agarol) and psyllium (Metamucil) are effective stool bulkers.
Improves control
  • Soluble fibre from legumes, barley, oats, some fruit and vegetables can help regulate blood sugar swings and by lowering serum cholesterol, protect against heart disease.
  • Excess blood fats are possibly reduced by soluble fibres such as pectin, bean and oat gums, and the types in legumes (lentils, chickpeas, navy, pinto or kidney beans).
Heart health
  • May improve by diets rich in fibre, through its cholesterol lowering effects.
Possible protection against cancer
  • In the bowel, bacteria converts fibre into short chain fatty acids, which provide energy for the body and may help protect against cancer."

    Really, what is there NOT to like about this cereal? I have tried the Fibre 1 bars in the past, but I prefer this cereal over those any day. Furthermore, I have eaten other "clean" cereals in the past, but have found without added sugar to my bowl, they do not have the great flavour. Well, that defeats the purpose of 'healthy' now, doesn't it?
  Again, within this "challenge," I was to eat the cereal for a total of one week every morning for breakfast. I was anxious to experience the results and see if it did in fact help with my intestinal issues. Well, I can tell you by the second afternoon, I was already noticing a difference, and by the end of the week...wait, the box didn't even last the entire week because I ate it all by Day Four! I can honestly say it had done wonders for my digestive tract though!

    Overall, I do recommend anyone and everyone to try a bowl of this tasty goodness! As parents, we know how difficult it is to remember that WE  need to are get our nutrients on a daily basis. Between feeding our little ones, driving them to sports or other activities, completing the normal household chores and getting the kids ready for bed, I admit I have even skipped meals simply because I was "too busy with other things." So, with the Fibre 1 cereal, I take those few minutes every morning to sit with my kids before school and enjoy a bowl, knowing at least I am getting a well-balanced breakfast. If your kiddos enjoy it like mine do, that's an even greater bonus!

Any negatives? Although this cereal is not yet available in your local grocery store, I can only guess that it may have a higher price point than your average cereal. However, that is only a small 'price' to pay for better health.

So, now is the really exciting part for all of you! Get your calendars out because from June 3rd through 25th (while supplies last), fans will have the chance to snag one of two coupons redeemable on either July 16th or July 23rd, 2013.  To keep yourself informed of these upcoming events, head over and become a fan of the Life Made Delicious Facebook page here. This is also a great page to find out more about eating healthier and is a great resource for quick and family-friendly meals!

* Disclosure – I am participating in the Fibre 1 Almond & Cluster Delight Cereal blogger campaign by Mom Central Canada on behalf of General Mills. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Kraft Celebration Tour -- Childhood Memories

                                         CHILDHOOD MOMENTS TO LAST A LIFETIME
Childhood memories are some of the most precious moments that are etched in our minds. Whether parents, grandparents or close friends, they have all played a vital role in creating these events.
   Thankfully for me, when I look back to when I was a child, I can do nothing but smile. 'Today's Special,' 'Under the Umbrella Tree' and 'Polkadot Door' were my television favourites. I was brought up by two loving parents and I had one older sister; over time, a small Jack Russell Terrier was brought into the mix as well. We lived in a newly built house in Dundas, Ontario (outside Hamilton) and that is where I lived until moving out at 20. Dundas was a smaller, quiet town of about 15,000 people at the time. You knew a lot of people, but it wasn't small enough that everyone knew each others business.
   What I loved most about that new survey I lived in was that many young families with children resided there too; especially one close family across the street. That is where I met my best friend, Stacey, when I was only 2 years old. To this day, we are still friends--which is very rare these days! Vivid memories of our friendship that really stand out are: taking dancing lessons for the majority of our youth, making friendship bracelets and trying to sell them to other kids in the neighbourhood (I must have been a business woman from a young age!), 'Skip-Its' (how many of you remember those dangerous toys?!) and finally, walking our 'babies' in strollers up and down our street. We often still laugh at that last memory because we were about 12 years old and still walking our dolls, trying to keep it a secret because we thought we were "too old to still be doing so."
   There was also so much room to roam and explore around our neighbourhood. This was before any and all open fields were turned into rows of new houses like any area today. We could climb trees to see who got the highest, hunt frogs and run for miles in the wilderness of the Dundas Valley Conservation area 5 minutes from our homes. In the winter, the Conservation Area became the hot spot for tobogganing--the hill there was MASSIVE, however, was always such a pain to climb back up after sledding to the bottom! Lol.
   In Dundas, sports were popular in the evenings for many families. I was very active and on average I engaged in about 4 different sports a year (baseball, basketball, and both dancing and swimming lessons). For a few summers, soccer was also added in there as well. I was so lucky because my Dad coached my teams for the majority of my athletic years, until I became a teenager and found everything "boring" (aka. boys became my interest.) Typical teen I guess you could say! Hehe.
    A childhood represents pure innocence, where the world is one large playground to explore. Now that I have grown up and become a parent myself, my goal is to help in creating everlasting memories for my children too.
   Our family has recently moved to Port Dover, Ontario (beach town) and I hope for my little ones that they may be surrounded by happiness, great friends, and good health that will shape the adults they will become.

   So what motivated me to reminisce on my past memories as a child? Well, I am introducing this year's Kraft Celebration Tour!  If you are unfamiliar with this contest, both Kraft Canada and TSN have partnered to recognize the passion and community spirit that brings people together and promotes healthy, active lifestyles from all of Canada.  Since 2009, the Kraft Celebration Tour has helped hundreds of thousands of Canadians in 40 deserving communities with a total of $1 million toward projects such as skateboard parks, youth centres, renovating sports field or boxing facilities to name a few.
Does your town or city need a much needed upgrade? Well here's your chance to nominate your area by submitting a short essay, along with 5 photos to explain why YOUR community should be a part of the Kraft Celebration Tour and deserve $25,000 to put towards these upgrades. Hurry though, because you only have until JUNE 7TH, 2013 to submit your entry through or Become involved and up to date via social media on the Kraft Celebration Tour Fan Page or on Twitter by using #KCT or #tourneedecelebrationkraft. Judges will select 20 finalists by June 30th, and then it's in Canada's hands from then on!

Good Luck & HAVE FUN! xx


Disclosure – I am participating in the Kraft Celebration Tour Blogger Campaign. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Robyn's Scentsy Review - Independent Consultant

    I am fairly new to the whole "Scentsy World" and this was my first time trying their products! I always loved the idea of a safe, wick-less alternative to scented candles for adding a nice aroma to my home--mainly because of the house fire in our last home! I swore I would never have another candle present since that was the reason our place went up in flames. Plus, candles are just unsafe around small children, plain and simple.
    Recently, I had been thinking how expensive plug-in fresheners cost and how they not only last a short time, but do very little in freshening up a large space. This is when I turned to Scentsy and spoke to consultant, Robyn Gibson, to discuss my options. She was so helpful and caring to say the least. With such a personal approach, she was able to select a warmer and scents that appealed to me perfectly. Her excellent customer service skills really did shine when I received consistent emails informing me of the status of my order--not something you see too often these days with businesses! A job well done, Robyn! I highly recommend her to everyone reading!

    After making my decision, my goodies arrived a few days later and I couldn't have been more excited! Included in my order was: one warmer, 3 scented bars (Perfectly Pomegranate, Camu Camu, Lime & Kiwi Cantaloupe ) and Robyn even threw in a full-sized tube of Layers hand cream for me! Within 10 minutes, I had set up my warmer with 2 cubes of 'Camu Camu' melting in my living room (this is probably my favourite scent out of the 3 I received, it has a really fresh, summer fruity smell.) I even had a neighbour stop by the other nite who said, "Wow, your place smells amazing! What is that?!"

    Many people may wonder how long the wax cubes last while in the warmer. Well, I would say 2 cubes last about 21-24 hours total. I left my Scentsy warmer on for about 7 hours a day, but you can leave it on for as little or long as you want; think of it like a lamp! Plus, it will NEVER get too hot that it becomes worrisome.

    Overall, my experience with Scentsy was wonderful. From the positive customer service, to a timely delivery, to the actual scented experience, I am more than satisfied.
    Again, I highly recommend speaking to Robyn Gibson about how you can begin enjoying Scentsy--I absolutely guarantee you will not be disappointed!

To get in contact with Robyn, visit: or you may like her facebook page here to view offers, specials and other products!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


      I recently had the privilege of reviewing products from the company, Perfect Threads. If you are unaware of the business, they are an online consignment store that sell both infant & children's clothing, from newborn up to size 14.
What I personally love about the idea of an online consignment store is:
1) CONVENIENCE--you do not even need to leave the comfort of your home--my kind of shopping! ;)
2) SAVINGS--as many of you parents know, clothing is one of the largest expenses while raising children, and why pay full price when you do not need to!
When I was initially contacted by Perfect Threads, I quickly jumped on the website and was pleasantly surprised. Not only was the website very easy to navigate, but the selection of clothing was above par! What I admired MOST was to see that proceeds from donated clothing goes straight to charities listed on the site--what a "feel good" moment! Nothing warms my heart more than to see a business assist in helping out the lives of others that are less fortunate.
     Perfect Threads' main mission is to initiate and aid parents in making that first step to "clean out and de-clutter the kids closets!" What music to my ears! If you have been following my blog for awhile, you will know how ORGANIZATION and de-cluttering are essential parts of my life. I had recently spent an entire Saturday clearing my two children's dressers and closets of winter clothing, and swapping with their spring & summer items. Therefore, I was left with over 3 bags of pants and shirts that were either too small or I knew my son would outgrow by this time next year--so Perfect Threads was introduced to me at the absolute perfect moment! On their website, you can choose either to send in and SELL your gently used items, which are then applied as a 'credit' to your account for future purchases OR have the option to have your items considered "donations" and all proceeds from the sales go straight to charity--I chose the latter :) One concern I had though was "would this cost me a large chunk of money to ship my children's used items to their head office?" Well, as I searched online, I was pleased and impressed to see that clothing can be shipped for FREE! How it works is, a large bag is sent to your home--you fill the bag(s)--click "pick up my bags" on the website and UPS is there within little time to take your items. Talk about efficiency!
     So I ordered my items late Thursday evening and they arrived by Tuesday morning. Needless to say, I was eager to see each item in full view. (The attached photo shows the items I purchased for my son). Side Note: since Perfect Threads does not accept returns or exchanges, I highly recommend viewing each item you plan on buying in full view by zooming in to inspect!
   I cannot complain at all about the quality of the clothing--both pairs of shorts and the button-up short sleeve shirt were in mint condition to the point I questioned if they were ever even used!
I also cannot speak negatively in regards to the company's customer service. I had a few questions before ordering and received a response within less than an hour with all the answers. Not to mention, the speedy delivery service was fantastic!
    To be honest, the only negative I can point out is that although I did not have a problem, a 'return policy' would be beneficial to anyone that may run into issues with the clothing, and not list items as final sale. As I previously said, to avoid disappointment, just make sure to look over the items online thoroughly :)

Here are a few questions I asked Perfect Threads:

 1. What do you believe sets you above other 'like' companies?

 A: Unlike other companies that sell gently-used kids clothing on-line, we are a social enterprise and are focused on supporting a social, as well as business agenda:

a.       We take the risk out of buying gently-used clothing with our 100% satisfaction policy.  If any customer is not happy with any item they have purchased, they simply have to let us know and we will make it right
b.      Donations to charity are integral to our business model, not an afterthought.  Our patrons can use their payouts to right-size their kids clothes, or, they can donate that money or their clothes to charity.  Any monetary donations above $20 are eligible for a tax receipt.
c.       We ensure that no article of kids clothing goes unused and are not needlessly discarded into landfills.  We fully support recycling and re-use of kids clothes.

 2. Do you accept items/donations for all seasons, or are there times that a certain season is accepted?

 A: All items are accepted during all seasons.

 3. Will you ever consider buying/selling junior sizes?

 A: We currently accept and sell sizes Newborn to Size 14.  Whether we move into Junior sizes will be determined by market demand.  If the market demands it, we will supply it.  Currently the market seems to focused on smaller children’s sizes.

 4. Do you currently have any sales you would like readers to know about?

 A: We will be having our Summer promotion in June  where our newsletter subscribers will be receiving great discounts.  Only newsletter subscriber will get these great deals and anyone can become a subscriber by entering their  e-mail address in the Newsletter Signup box at the bottom of our web page.

 If you have children or grandchildren, I do highly suggest visiting Perfect Threads website and browsing their inventory. Great quality, great prices & convenience--how can you say no to that?!

Also, you can *like* on Facebook here.

Friday, April 26, 2013


What an exciting prize we have up for grabs! Right now, you have the chance to win a PERSONALIZED LOCKET WITH 3 CHARMS of your choice from Lucy's Lockets!  Choose from a silver, gold or rose gold locket. With Mother's Day fast approaching, this would make an amazing gift to show your Mom just how special she is - OR how about showing off who is important in YOUR life as a Mommy. What about a Teacher gift or showing off you are a SURVIVOR??? The sky's the limit with these beautiful jewelry pieces!

 To enter the contest, please follow ALL instructions below:

1. You must LIKE Lucy's Lockets on Facebook ---->
2. You must be a fan of A Mum 'n the Oven on Facebook
3. SHARE the contest post on A Mum 'n the Ovens Facebook Page (make sure your facebook settings are to share publicly or we cannot see any shares!)
4. Leave your name and email address in the comments and WHAT TYPE OF LOCKET YOU WOULD CHOOSE below this post :)
5. Earn additional entries by referring your friends/family to both Lucy's Lockets & A Mum n the Oven's pages. Your friends MUST write who sent them on  Mum's page so we can keep track :)