2012 was a big year at Kidsumers. I want to highlight some of my most exciting trips, favourite products and some recipes that I’m most proud of from 2012.
In May I joined 30 other bloggers in Pensacola, Florida for Brandcation. We bonded during beach olympics and ziplining, visited some of the local hot spots, shared some of our favourite brands and really had a fantastic time together. It was the experience of a lifetime!
Niagara Falls isn’t too far away from home for us, but it’s always a fun place to visit. We took the three younger kids and headed there for a few days and had some great adventures! The Whirlpool Jet Boats were thrilling, and we were also pretty excited to go behind the falls. Clifton Hill is buzzing with activity and is always lots of fun too.
In the summer, Kellen and I headed to the West Coast to visit Southern California. We had a week packed full of fun with visits to Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Legoland and Sea World. We stayed in Los Angeles and in Carlsbad where we enjoyed the beach and some amazing views.
My daughter was a little heartbroken about not getting to go on the California trip, so I worked to arrange a Florida trip so she could go back to Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando. We stayed at a beautiful house through Global Resort Homes and had another incredible stay in Florida.
We finished off the year with a fantastic trip back to Disney World to celebrate the Grand Opening of the New Fantasyland. We stayed at the Art of Animation Resort and more fun than I can ever express to you. It was the perfect close to our year!
Aside from all of our great travels in 2012, I also had the opportunity to attend NAIAS with Ford Canada, where I learned about how cars are made and so much more about Ford. I visited the KFC Headquarters in Kentucky to see first hand how their chicken is made fresh each day; and I went to several one day press events for brands like Ford Canada, Mom Central Canada, The Toronto Zoo and P&G. It’s been a great year of learning!
I test out a lot of products throughout the year, and I’m usually happy with the things I try… mainly because I don’t accept products that I don’t believe I would like! There are some products that I review and I find myself wondering how I ever managed without them; or I am surprised to learn I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. Here are some of my favourites from 2012…
The PlanetBox. This handy lunch kit is not only unique, but it is so practical too. I want to get one for all of my kids, and I have had so many people ask where we got it that I’m sure others are lining up to get them too!
My husband wanted me to do a test drive of the Ford F-150. I had never driven a truck before in my life, and I didn’t think it was something that would interest me, but I made the request to humour him. Was I ever wrong! I loved this truck. Not only did it fit the three kids in the back with no problem, it was comfortable to drive and I didn’t feel like it was too big.
I don’t have the time to read that I would like, so I often turn down book reviews, but when I was offered “Pure“, I thought it sounded interesting and agreed to read it. This is an awesome read. I have already read the second book in the trilogy (soon to be released) and I am anxiously awaiting the last book!
My husband had never owned slippers when I got him some Glerups to try. He’s had them on his feet every day since then, and they’re standing up to the wear and tear just fine. I know where I will be getting his next pair of slippers!
The Children’s Place has been my favourite place to buy children’s clothing for a very long time, so having the chance to work with them this year has been a real pleasure. They make quality clothes that the kids love.
Like a lot of women, I hate shopping for swimsuits almost as much as I hate wearing them. I needed one for Brandcation and spent hours trying on different suits, only to feel frustrated at how they looked. I ended up purchasing one that I felt was the least offensive, but I was not happy about it. A couple of days later a Aerin Rose Swimsuit showed up for me to review, and it really made my day! I have been far more confident to be in a bathing suit since I got that one.
Imaginext has so many great toys. Since trying some of their toys as a Fisher Price Mom, it has become my number one gift purchase!
I didn’t realize how much I would love taking pictures under water with my Fujifilm Camera. It is freeze proof too, so it is going to be perfect for this winter weather!
The Tom Tom GPS has proven to be reliable and very useful for all of our travels. I don’t go anywhere without it.
The KitchenAid Mixer has been used almost daily since we got it. I had no idea what a handy tool this is until I had one, and now the list of attachments I want is getting longer by the day.
My Samsung Galaxy SIII is never far away. I can’t believe all of the features on this phone, and it takes great pictures too.
There were a lot of great products we reviewed this year, and my kids would probably put together a favourites list that includes Hot Wheels Wall Tracks, the LeapPad2 Explorer, Barbie Campers and Skechers running shoes.
I have been making an effort to share more recipes on Kidsumers, and here are some that I particularly enjoyed in 2012.
BBQ Pork Ribs (top left). I love ribs, and so does my family so this was an easy sell in my house.
One of my favourite summer recipes is the potato and egg salad. It’s maybe not the best for the waist line, but does it ever taste good!
A super simple recipe for the summer months is the Cucumber and Tomato Salad. I love throwing this one together when we’re short on time or just want a light summer salad.
These Cheesy Stuffed Mushroom Caps were my husband’s creation, and I think he did a really great job!
The Fruit Tart was also one of my husband’s creations. He is the baker in the family most of the time, and he likes to make them look and taste good.
I prefer cooking to baking, but occasionally I can get one right, and these cookies are definitely one of my successes.
I love a rich beef stew, and this recipe was perfect. Of course, I almost always enjoy beef stew made with red wine.
So that is my year in review for Kidsumers! I hope you will keep coming back to see what I have in store for 2013! Happy New Year!