Toddler Adventures at Crock a Doodle

Crock a Doodle Whitby sparkleshinylove



I know it may sound crazy to bring a group of toddlers to a place where beautiful pottery pieces are painted, but as it turns out it was a great spot to spend a morning!

Just before the holidays I mentioned that while I was vacationing at the Westin Trillium House, Blue Mountain, in the village there was a fun-looking pottery studio that I was hoping my son would want to check out. It turned out he wasn’t in the mood that day (but suddenly was on the way home, about an hour into our trip home!), but luckily there was a Crock a Doodle location in our hometown!

I rounded up 9 of his friends who happened to be around on a Friday morning, and we headed into the studio to do some paining!

The kids walked to the back of the studio and hung up their jackets, and found a seat at one of the many paining stations.

At Crock a Doodle, you don’t need a reservation – you can just pop in to paint! Because there were so many of us, I called in advance to let them know what time we would all arrive to check things out.



Crock a Doodle Whitby sparkleshinylove



Crock a Doodle Whitby sparkleshinylove



Since it was close to Easter, we decided to all do an egg painting activity, and the lovely ladies at Crock a Doodle arranged to read an Easter-themed story to the kids as well! We pre-arranged this part as well as the studio was doing something similar for Valentine’s Day.

The kids started off with a cute Clifford story about Easter eggs (perfect theming!), and once the story was over it was time to paint.






Normally a person could choose a piece of pottery on the wall that they would like to paint, and they could find the price of each item listed on the bottom of the piece. In this case the kids knew they were painting eggs, so at this point they just needed to choose their paint colors.

The kids were shown how to clean their paintbrushes so they could choose another color to paint with, and then they were given free creative control!



Crock a Doodle Whitby sparkleshinylove






Crock a Doodle Whitby sparkleshinylove



Once the eggs were complete, us parents were given the opportunity to write our childs name on the egg so it could be identified later, and then it was whisked off to be professionally glazed and kiln-fired.



Crock a Doodle Whitby sparkleshinylove



After all this hard work, the kids were treated with a cookie which was a big hit. The kids all did a great job! A few days later we received the call that we could pick up our finished egg. Our son was so happy to have his egg back! It looked great, and it’s a really cute keepsake.









Crock a Doodle Whitby is located at 30 Broadleaf Ave, but you can check out their website here to see where the closest location is to you!

The Whitby location was bright, clean, and the staff were very patient with our children. That says a lot considering how many toddlers were there! You can find the Crock a Doodle Whitby Facebook page here! Check out their page to see all of the great activities they have coming up!


Mandy Furnis



Getting Morning Ready in Minutes with Almay

Almay Products sparkleshinylove



If you read the blog often then you know last week I attended the Almay Good Beautiful Morning Event, and I left with some great tips and tricks on getting out the door fast, while taking a bit of time for myself.

I am one of those girls who can’t leave the house without mascara, so makeup is normally something I take the time to do before I leave the house.

Having a toddler running around really limits how straight that eyeliner is going on, or if I opt to add lipstick to my routine or not!

I decided to try out some Almay makeup essentials to see if they could cut down on my getting ready time in the morning. I decided to time myself as well to see how long it took me to be make-up ready with these Almay products. Normally I think on average it takes me 20 minutes to do my makeup in the morning.



Almay Products 2



Almay Products


A few of these products are multitaskers, so they were definitely made to be a time-saver!

My favourite product had to be the Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging makeup. It has three skin tone-adjusting shades, and it adjusts to the natural tones of your skin! It starts out a grey tone, but once blended it transforms to your skin tone. Impressive, right? It helps protect your skin from the sun with broad spectrum SPF 20, which is amazing because it reduces the step of applying SPF (if you were doing it at all).


Almay Smart Shade Anti Aging Before Photo


Almay Smart Shade Anti Aging After Photo



The Almay intense i-shadow smoky-i kit
Has three easy steps for the perfect smoky eye. My kit was for hazel eyes, and I have to admit I wouldn’t normally use the colors in the kit! I normally I stick to browns and beiges, so it was a big change for me, but also a good one. No thought had to go into which colors to choose – the colors were already chosen, and their application was outlined. Super easy!

These eyeshadow kits are available in 4 easy-to-use shade collections for brown, blue, hazel and green eyes.



The Almay one coat thickening mascara had a very thick and firm bristled brush, and it did live up to it’s claim of only needing one coat. I apply so many coats of mascara normally that it’s a little insane, so only needing one coat seemed really strange to me. Ok, maybe I did two coats (force of habit), but that was all I needed for a thicker lash look.

The Almay eyeliner had a really smooth line that I didn’t notice smudging during my day. It has a built-in sharpener as well to ensure the liner doesn’t dull.



The most surprising of this makeup was the Almay smart shade butter kiss lipstick. I hardly ever wear lipstick – I am totally a lip gloss girl. I really liked this lipstick because it felt like a lipgloss!

It moisturized my lips and went on very smooth. Great colors too!



I timed my makeup application start to finish, and in all it took me 12 minutes. Not bad considering it was my first time using all of these products! I was ready to head out for a crazy Saturday of a soccer practice for my son, then a long play date and lunch, and that night I added a bit more mascara and lipstick for a dinner out with my hubby.


Almay After Photo 2



I found all of these Almay products to be very easy to apply, and I really couldn’t get enough of the Almay smart shade anti-aging skin tone matching makeup! Loved this product!

For more information on Almay products, visit them at


Mandy Furnis



AdventureMania Inflatables Free Bouncy Castle Rental Giveaway!

AdventureMania Inflatables



With each passing year I get a little stressed out about my son’s birthday party. Should I have a big bash? What can I do that is different and fun?

Pinterest idea’s aside, sometimes you need something with a wow factor to set your party apart from the rest.

AdventureMania Inflatables is located in Milton, Ontario, and they basically have everything you need to elevate your party.

What sets them apart from other rental companies? They sanitize each and every one of their products after use. I am pretty sure this rarely happens in the rental business, so this is impressive to me. They also guarantee to beat any written quote from competitors.

They have jumping castles that would work great with a character-themed party such as Monster High, Disney Princesses, Mickey Mouse, and Frozen to name a few.



Module Combo 7 - Frozen (2)



They also have obstacle courses, slides, games, and even a paddle boat ride that could be set up in your backyard. There are some pretty amazing items in their catalogue!






I really love this idea of a bouncy castle that doubles as a theatre to watch movies. I have never seen anything like this before.



movie screen bouncer (2)



My son would complete freak out (in a good way) if I rented this train for one of his birthday parties. How amazing is this?



Trackless Train Canadian Express (3)

AdventureMania Inflatables also has options for cotton candy, sno cones and popcorn. How cute is this little pink cotton candy machine? I don’t need this for a party, I just need it to be in my life everyday. It would look really cute in my walk-in closet.

Cotton Candy Machine with Cart 4 (2)

Now for the exciting part – an awesome giveaway!

AdventureMania Inflatables is giving one sparkleshinylove reader the chance to win a free Bouncy Castle Rental!

The winner will receive a certificate entitling them to a free Bouncy Castle Rental from AdventureMania Inflatables. The winner may choose a Bouncy Castle priced at $189 or lower, and the prize includes delivery within the GTA (delivery amounting to $200 or less).

The contest is open to residents of Canada, and there is only one entry per person. To enter you must visit the AdventureMania Inflatables Facebook page in the Rafflecopter widget below (and Like their page if you feel so inclined to stay up to date on new products and offers), and after visiting their site click back on the Rafflecopter pop-up that says “I visited their site”, and that’s it – you are entered!

Good luck to everyone who enters!

The winner will be announced on Thursday, March 5th, 2015 on the blog.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mandy Furnis



Review of Batiste Dry Shampoo Original For Chick Advisor!


Batiste Dry Shampoo Review sparkleshinylove blog



I am a lover of dry shampoo. Anything that minimizes the time it takes to wash my hair, or avoid the process all together becomes one of my coveted beauty products.

I have tried quite a dry shampoos in my time, and have spent countless dollar’s on different brands, formulas, and expectations!

I am a new member of Chick Advisor’s Product Review Club, and they sent me a bottle of this Batiste Dry Shampoo Original and asked me to share my thoughts on the product.



Batiste Chick Advisor Product Review


Hands-down this is the best dry shampoo I have ever tried. It’s even unseated my previous Marc Anthony favourite – Marc Anthony 2nd Day Clear Dry Shampoo.

First of all, the sheer power of the spray that comes out of this can is almost alarming, but in a good way! It will actually blow your hair into the air better than a wind machine in a Beyonce video.

The Original Clean & Classic scent was strong at first, but faded in a few minutes. I actually liked the scent.

The reason I would consider this dry shampoo to be better than my previous favourite was that the day I tried it I had just got home from work with my second-day hair. That morning I had used my Marc Anthony dry shampoo, and my hair felt like it just needed to be washed or put away into a pony tail. I still needed to go out that night, but when I got home this bottle of Batiste Dry Shampoo was waiting for me. I gave my head a few sprays, and I completely changed my mind about the pony tail. My hair looked super refreshed and I was ready to go out! It actually made me want to throw out that old bottle of dry shampoo in place of this one.



Batiste Dry Shampoo review sparkleshinylove


Because the nozzle is so powerful I would recommend keeping the bottle quite a distance from your hair. I didn’t have any white residue from the dry shampoo, but that may be because I did keep it the recommended 30 cm away from my head when spraying.

This dry shampoo is my absolute favourite right now! It retails for around $8.99 a bottle, so it doesn’t break the bank either.

To see more Chick Advisor review’s on this product, visit their page here to see what everyone else thought of Batiste Dry Shampoo Original.

It’s got an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 on Chick Advisor, so I think everyone else who tried it loved it as well!


Mandy Furnis