Monday, December 30, 2013

The Big Ice Storm of 2013

One of the perks of working at a University is that I always get the days between Christmas and New Years off.  This year I had many plans for those days - spend time with family, visit with friends who don't live in Toronto, get a hair cut and pay some attention to my blog.

And then, December 21 came, and the ice storm with it. Our landlady came to our door at 10:30 p.m. to ask us to move our car - and we are so glad we did. The next morning we woke to no power AND a huge tree branch in our parking spot.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Netflix Snailed It! Turbo FAST begins streaming Dec. 24th (#TurboFAST #Review & #Giveaway)

As a huge fan of cartoons and of Netflix, I was excited and happy to learn that DreamWorks' Turbo FAST starts streaming on Dec. 24th.

The first-ever Netflix original series for kids, Turbo FAST is a high-octane ensemble comedy that amps everything up to the extreme as Turbo and his adrenaline-fueled crew go on daring new adventures, race on the coolest tracks, and take on the craziest challengers.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Songs from a Journey with a Parrot - Book & CD Review

One of my favourite things about growing up and having my child grow up in Toronto is the automatic exposure to a variety of different cultures different than our own...so when we were asked if we would like to review songs from Brazil and Portugal from The Secret Mountain we jumped at the chance.


Songs from a Journey with a Parrot is a collection of lullabies and nursery rhymes from Brazil and Portugal that invites children on an authentic musical journey exploring the strong cultural ties that bind the two countries.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Cuddly Brobo and his Shine Force light up the night (#Review & #Giveaway)

It finally happened. My 22 month old figured out how to work something before I did.

Let me introduce you to Brobo - a huggable night-light Robot.

Brobo and his "Shine Force" plush toys are perfect for helping moms and dads with putting kids to bed. The Brobo line of huggable night lights comes in 5 different options. They were developed by Canadians Jeff Lai and Kim Blair.

We were recently sent Dog, and my daughter is in love. While she enjoys cuddling Dog, her favourite thing to do is activate his Shine Force that has three settings: a bright mode for adventures, a dim mode for sleepy-time, and auto-off after 5 minutes, for when your child falls asleep.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler a total package #PGmom

Unofficial P&Gdad Chris reviews the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler.

Before I begin, I have a rather embarrassing confession to make. Up until very recently – pretty much RIGHT before I wrote this – I had never used a razor blade to shave.

I am a 31-year-old man.

It took me until my late teens to consistently grow something resembling facial hair. Once that became a relatively dependable occurrence, I used an electric shaver, and kept using it. Shaving cream, aftershave, multiple blade razors – these items were as foreign to me as they would be to a caveman.

So when Sarah mentioned she was receiving a Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler, I thought this would be an ideal time to finally shave like a grown-ass man.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Downy Infusions and Downy Unstopables - Find your magnifi-scent! (#PGmom #Review & #Giveaway)

I have a confession to make. I have always hated laundry...and then I became a Mom now I hate laundry even more! The sorting, the washing, the drying...it all seems so tedious and with a toddler, never ending.

The only thing I LIKE about laundry is smelling it...and that's because of Downy.


Recently I found out I'm a Shiny Pop Star because I like to mix Downy Infusions Honey Flower with Downy Unstopables Shimmer.

Want to find out your magnifi-scent?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Febreze Sleep Serenity (#PGmom #Review & #Giveaway) #mysleepserenity

Sleep has never been more precious to me since becoming a Mom. 

A few months ago Chris started a new job where our whole house is up even earlier every weekday morning, and every minute bundled in bed sheets before the alarm goes off and our cat starts meowing has become even more precious.

Febreze Sleep Serenity transforms any bedroom into a peaceful environment (now, if only it would make our cat quiet).

New FLINTSTONES Gummies Plus Immunity Support (#Giveaway)

Nutrition and immunity have always been essential to kids’ overall health and wellness. Providing your kids with balanced snacks and meals, and keeping up their immune function can be a challenge. This can be especially true in the fall when the changing temperature signals the start of flu season.   

A new survey commissioned by Bayer Healthcare Consumer Care shows that –
  • 67 per cent of Canadian moms with kids 10 and under say healthy meals for their kids are often compromised because of busy and hectic schedules; 
  • 55 per cent of moms agreed their kids are getting enough vitamin A, while only 41 per cent said their kids are getting enough zinc. Both of these help to maintain healthy immune function;
  • Almost two thirds of moms agreed that they have added other ingredients to vegetables to make them taste better.
For more information, please view the PDF booklet.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Create new traditions with 25 Days of Christmas from Simply Fun Families

When Hannah got home from daycare today she declared: "I like Santa." I'm not sure why this happened today (perhaps a Christmas-themed craft?) as I've slowly been decorating our home all week.

Last year we moved on November 30th. We didn't have a Christmas tree, I purchased AND wrapped Hannah's presents in front of her (the joy of mat leave) and a strung one lonely set of lights in our dining room window.

Now that she's nearing two I wanted to make this year a bigger, better, and definitely more organized occasion.

Enter Simply Fun Families' 25 Days of Christmas.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Skwooshi is mess-free, creative fun!

Skwooshi is a LOT of fun. 

It is a mess-free, odour-free, wheat-and gluten-free, creative dough. From Irwin Toy, Skwooshi comes in 10 fun colours and individual packs as well as larger sets for maximum creativity. It never dries out and you can mould it in to shapes quite easily. 

Monday, November 04, 2013

The Hot Toy of 2013 - Playskool's #BigHugsElmo (Review & Giveaway)

I was 14 years old when I discovered Tickle Me Elmo in a toy store in August 1996. You squeezed him and he let out his signature giggle. Elmo’s laugh is so contagious, I just knew he would make me feel better on crummy days. I begged my Mom to buy him for me for Christmas. “What does a girl entering high school need with a Sesame Street toy?” she retorted.

Fall came, and the colder the weather got, the more popular Tickle Me Elmo became.  There were stampedes of people whenever a retail store got a shipment. It became pretty clear that no matter how badly I wanted Tickle Me Elmo, he was not going to be under the tree. Christmas Eve came and along with it, the tradition of our parents allowing us to open our “biggie” (aka most expensive) present. My box was roughly the shape of the one Tickle Me Elmo came in. It couldn’t be him….could it?

Unbeknownst to me, my Mom had returned to the toy store that day in August. My very own Tickle Me Elmo had been hiding in our hall closet all those months I openly pined (and whined) for him, my Mom holding her breath that he would stay silent in the box, preserving the surprise. 



Ladies and gentleman, Big Hugs Elmo is the hot toy of 2013, and I’m so happy (and a little relived) that my daughter already has him before the holiday rush.

$185 Cash Giveaway

Who doesn't need a little extra cash for the upcoming holiday season?

Tales of a Ranting Ginger and This Lil Piglet are our giveaway hosts and together with a group of amazing Canadian bloggers will help one lucky winner win $185 CASH. This giveaway is worldwide, the only stipulation is that the winner must have a PayPal account.  



The giveaway starts on November 4th and closes on November 18th. Please read the terms and conditions within the giveaway entry form.


Good luck!



© 2013 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Fun with Grain Farmers of Ontario at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair #RAWF13

Yesterday Hannah experienced her first Royal Agricultural Winter Fair at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto. As a child, I loved attending the fair - it really does bring the farm to city kids and teaches them why farms are important. Seeing the animals and winning crops, hearing and SMELLING the animals, you really do feel like you are visiting a farm for the day.

Our first stop was the Grain Farmers of Ontario's main booth. Hannah enjoyed playing in the faux corn fields, using the touch screen (which taught about different parts of Ontario), playing online games and seeing all the products made by wheat, corn and soy bean! (Did you know we have grain to thank for Crayola Crayons, Coca-Cola and Crest?)

Saturday, November 02, 2013

A Spotted Halloween with Pottery Barn Kids

Hannah had a very successful second Halloween. Although she missed being a part of the daycare parade because she was sick, she was still able to trick or treat and look super adorable while doing so. (She also got quite the candy haul, has perfected saying the world "chocolate" and got to see some pretty impressive outdoor Halloween decorations.)

This year Hannah dressed as a Cheetah from Pottery Barn Kids. They offer a slew of classic costumes from animals to Dr. Seuss.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Playing with Fisher-Price's Newest Little People Friends #FPLittlePeople


At our house, it’s not a strange sight to see a giraffe riding a school bus. Or a penguin living with a pig on a farm. Or a gorilla driving the zoo train. I love how realistic Fisher-Price Little People toys are while leaving lots of room for big imaginations.

Just after she turned a year old, I started a “game” with Hannah. She brought me one of the farm animals from her Fisher-Price Little People Animal Sounds Farm, and I started to sing “Old MacDonald”, galloping the animals around while making the noise said animal made. She would bring me each and every animal (even the farmer!) and I would sing that animal’s verse. Eventually she started to sing the words and make the animal noises with me. And then, last week, she sat at the barn all by herself - singing the song without me. I was so proud but also a little sad. Thankfully she let me join in.


Recently Fisher-Price introduced five new Little People Friends - Eddie, Mia, Sofie, Tessa and Koby.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pink Tartan Washable Collection for Tide Pods (#PGmom #Giveaway)

Over the weekend tomato soup landed on my favourite sweater. Tomato sauce from pepperoni pizza landed on my skinny jeans. And somehow, noticeable green crayon ended up on the shin of my faded jeans.

I am a self-professed klutz, especially when it comes to food. My clothes shook with fear in my closet before I had a baby, and now that my daughter has grown into a curious, independent toddler all the stains above were actually her fault (and not mine...although I am still to blame on most occasions).


Kimberley Newport-Mimran of Pink Tartan recently released her Washable Collection (to relieved sighs of Moms and generally messy people everywhere). Here are a few of her style secrets:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Amoré Almond + Dairy Beverage Review

Amoré Almond + Dairy Beverage combines the goodness of dairy with the creamy, nutty taste of real roasted almonds. It is a healthy everyday pleasure to boost your daily milk intake. It is an excellent source of calcium, protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and riboflavin. In fact, Amoré contains 50 per cent more calcium per serving than milk!


Chris loves drinking it in the morning as an alternative to straight milk. I enjoy putting it in my coffee for an extra flavour boast. The Vanilla flavour tastes like a healthy vanilla milkshake!

Amoré  can be used anywhere you would use milk - on cereal, to cook with - always adding extra flavour.

Would you like a sip? Check out the Where to Buy tab on Amore's Facebook page to find a store near you.

Disclosure: I received Amoré Almond + Dairy Beverage for the purpose of this review. As always, all opinions on this blog are my own.

© 2013 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Five ways to maximize your AIR MILES rewards this Halloween


Halloween is definitely one of my favourite holidays. When I was little I thought it would be the best birthday to have – not only did you get birthday presents, but bonus Halloween candy too!

I’m a big fan of bonuses - which is why I love my American Express AIR MILES Card. I’ve been an avid collector of AIR MILES reward miles since before I was even approved for a credit card. I was so excited to get my hands on an Amex AIR MILES Card – AIR MILES reward miles AND Amex Front Of The Line? What an awesome combo! Just this summer alone I got exclusive access to the Jay Z and Justin Timberlake, NKOTB and Backstreet Boys concerts in Toronto – and let’s not forget Sesame Street Live this coming holiday season, which I’m more excited to see than all the aforementioned live events. I was able to purchase tickets to all these events before they went on sale to the public, and breathe easy that I’d be attending when everyone else was hitting “refresh” on their Internet browser.


I love racking up AIR MILES reward miles – and my Amex Card is easily the fastest way. I earn reward miles twice by using my Amex AIR MILES Card and my AIR MILES Collector Card at participating Sponsors. Some rewards I’ve redeemed for include magazine subscriptions and tickets to the Metro Toronto Zoo. My Mom has collected so many AIR MILES reward miles that she has redeemed for a digital camera and flights across Canada.

Here are five ways to maximize your reward miles this Halloween:


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Mother's Dream #DreamShare

My dream for my daughter is simple - I want her to lead a happy and healthy life. I want her to know she is loved. And I want her to be able to live her dreams - whatever they may be.

What's your dream for your child(ren)? Share your dream and check out others at World Visions' website - http://www.sharemydream.org/ and follow the hashtag #DreamShare.



© 2013 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Halloween Pet Safety Tips from Iams #PGmom


Hannah adores a Halloween picture book simply titled "Spooky". I know she adores it because she kisses it. OK, full disclosure, she only kisses the "cat" photo - one that could pass as our cat Booyah when he was a kitten. 


Booyah is a black cat. You might think Halloween is his night - after all, millions of Halloween decorations showcase his likeness. With a reputation for bad luck, he and fellow black cats have become one of the many symbols for Halloween. (I would like to say here and now that I don't agree with said reputation.)

Regardless of black cat Halloween popularity, after holidays that involve fireworks, I can safely say October 31st is one of Booyah's least favourite nights. All the noise and all the people = no fun for Booyah.

Here are some helpful pet tips from Iams to keep your pets of every fur colour safe this Halloween:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pampers and Walmart Prenatal Packs (#PGmom #Giveaway)

Back in August, Walmart Canada and P&G began sponsoring a series of prenatal programs in hospitals and community centres countrywide by providing soon-to-be parents with special gift bags with Pampers product. The reusable Walmart gift bags include a package of Pampers Swaddlers, the number one choice of Canadian parents for newborns, a sample of Pampers wipes and an educational pamphlet. This program will reach 55,000 new moms from coast to coast, providing helpful tips on everything from how to secure a car seat to birth plans.

When I was expecting, Chris and I went to a prenatal class at the hospital where Hannah was born. It was really great for us to be around other first-time parents since we are the first in our group of friends to have a child. It was also nice getting a sneak peak at where Hannah would spend her first days after she was born.

About two weeks before her due date, I packed my hospital bag...choosing her first pjs and outfits was difficult. We were told we were having a girl, but just in case I packed a few "gender neutral" outfits too. And of course, I had Pampers Swaddlers in my bag!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Back to Basics with Chef Michael Smith (#PGmom #Review and #Giveaway)

In our house, Chris is in charge of cooking and I am in charge of cleaning. With his Italian background, we eat a lot of pasta. So, it's no surprise that when I asked him which of Chef Michael Smith's classic recipes with a twist he wanted to try that we ended up with a pasta dish - the Speedy Tomato Pasta to be exact.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Loblaw stores host The Mommy of All Baby Events Oct. 10-24 #PGmom

Since I was very little, I disliked grocery shopping (OK there was that one year I was 3 and my Mom found at store with kids carts I got to push around, that I didn't mind). But in my 20s two things happened - I moved out and was FORCED to buy my own food and Loblaw introduced Joe Fresh in to most of their stores, so going for groceries also meant expanding my wardrobe. Now that I'm a parent, one-stop shopping has become even more important. I love that I can purchase clothes, baby items, toys, books, housewares, and oh yeah, FOOD, (notably the President's Choice brand) all in once place! (The Real Canadian Superstore we frequent also has a medical clinic, photography studio and the Beer Store too!)







Loblaw stores are making shopping even more convenient for parents. From October 10 –24, 2013, Loblaw stores will offer fabulous promotions and events from cooking classes, dietitian demos, special sales and fun contests. Check out your local Loblaw store to find out more, or go to themommyofallbabyevents.ca (launching Oct. 10th)! (Also available at Dominion stores in Newfoundland & Labrador only.)

Friday, October 04, 2013

A Daughter's Hug, A Monster's Hug #BigHugsElmo Giveaway

I was never a hugger until Hannah was born and I became a mother. My favourite times of the day now revolve around her hugs – that awesome first, sleepy hug in the morning, extra cuddly because she’s still waking up. The second is the daycare pick-up hug – the excited, gripping, so happy to see you hug (which is often accompanied with a slobbery kiss and comes after the “MOMMY!” yell from across the daycare’s playground).


But, my favourite hug of all is Hannah’s surprise hug. These come at random times, in random forms and often catch me off guard. Sometimes she grips my leg while I’m washing dishes. Other times she climbs on top of me while we are watching TV on the couch. And then there’s her reciprocal patting on the back hug – which she has been doing for almost a year now!

Sometimes I think she senses I need a hug, other times she needs comfort.

She loves giving hugs ALMOST as much as she loves Elmo.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The ROYALE Inspire Us Collection (#Giveaway)

Confession: I am sometimes very lame and choose boxes of facial tissue by what room they would look best in and how they match said room's colour scheme. This year's ROYALE Inspire Us Collection include boxes that would look pretty in any room.

The ROYALE Inspire Us Collection includes facial tissue boxes with stunning photography submitted by Canadians, including one post-secondary student, as part of the ROYALE Inspire Us Photo Challenge. More than 9,100 Canadians entered the contest and the top photos were chosen by members of the Moment with ROYALE community through an online vote. Not only are the winning photos now featured on millions of facial tissue boxes across Canada, but each winner also received a $1,500 cash prize.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Daycare Essentials at Walmart Canada

Now that it’s October 1st, “Back-to-School” is officially over. Or is it? Walmart Canada is the first choice destination for parents of school-aged children, but it’s also a great place for parents of kids in daycare.


Every week of the year, in sun and snow, teary parents drop off their infants, toddlers and preschoolers at daycare for the first time.

Hannah started daycare last December, a few weeks before my mat leave was over. Leaving her there the first time was the hardest thing I had to do. I barely got to the car before I burst into tears. And although Walmart couldn’t prepare me emotionally, with their awesome one-stop shopping I was able to purchase all the essentials she required - for under $100.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Behind the scenes with Bounty #PGmom

Before you read the next sentence, you have to promise to continue reading this post. It never occurred to me that paper towel, toilet paper or facial tissue would be made the same way as paper (sadly, my only saving grace is the fact that facial tissue doesn't have the word paper in it.)

Thankfully, I was able to participate in a P&Gmom Bounty webinar with Gregg Weaver, P&G research and development engineer for Bounty. He taught me a lot about how they make the Quicker Picker Upper!

Like all other P&G products, Bounty does a LOT of research with consumers to find out what they want in a paper towel.

Being klutzy (and having a toddler), I clean a lot of spills. And therefore I go through a lot of Bounty (remember my post about how dishcloths carry gross germs?) The worst thing in the world is when you are trying to wipe something up, and it drips all the way to the garbage can...creating even more mess. Enter Bounty's Trap & Lock technology. Watch the video featuring Gregg below:


video

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Piggy Paint safe and "pretty" for my daughter's little piggies

"Open." "Me." "Pretty."

These are the words my daughter says when she a) sees a bottle of Piggy Paint, b) extends her foot for a pedicure and c) the morning after when she checks out her toes.

Since the day she was born, I was waiting to paint her super cute, teeny tiny toenails. She had eyed my polishes for awhile, so I was happy to find out about Piggy Paint so she too could enjoy having coloured nails (and boy is there a rainbow of Piggy Paint selection on Nail Polish Canada.)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

All Fisher-Price Imaginext toys half-price at Babies "R" Us on Sept. 13, 2013

I can't wait for Hannah to be old enough to play with action figures. Turns out, I won't have to wait much longer!

Fisher-Price has a line for "Pre-Coolers" those aged 3-6 called Imaginext. (Personally, I want Sponge Bob's bikini bottom...and OK, the Monsters University line looks really fun too - what kid wouldn't want their own Scare Factory?)



Fisher-Price and Babies “R” Us are introducing Fisher-Price Fridays. Every Friday in September, Fisher-Price will offer half-price Friday deals for one day only.
And this Friday - Sept. 13 -  ALL Fisher-Price Imaginext toys in stores and online at babiesrus.ca/fp (site will be active as of 9/13/2013) will be half-price.

Will you be purchasing something for the "pre-cooler" in your life?

Disclosure: I was given a Babies R Us gift card as compensation for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

© 2013 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Canning season made easy with Mabel's Labels Wash Away Labels

It's canning season and Mabel's Labels has the perfect product for you! 

Wash Away Labels are dissolvable and perfect for potluck dishes, bottles for daycare, frozen foods, containers of leftovers and of course canning jars! When no longer needed, simply pop in the dishwasher or under running water to rinse off. Organizing your canning jars has never been this easy!

Happy Canning!

Disclosure: I am a Mabel's Labels affiliate.

© 2013 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Do you have an idea for the $1,000,000 Aviva Community Fund?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Aviva Community Fund. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you have an idea that would benefit your community? Has your park’s playground seen better days? Does your school library need new resources? Do stray animals in your neighbourhood need help?

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If you have an idea,  Aviva Community Fund may have the funding. For the fifth year in a row, Aviva is committing to changing the little things that make a big difference in your community.

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Starting on September 23, 2013 you can submit your idea for positive change and have a chance at sharing in the $1,000,000 Aviva Community Fund.

If you don’t have an idea, but would like to support a cause or your community, you can promote and vote for your favourite! This is important as finalists are chosen based on the number of votes. Also, getting an insurance broker to support an idea increases the chances of winning.

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For the latest updates in this year’s campaign, Like Aviva Community Fund on Facebook and Follow @avivacf on Twitter. And remember to submit your idea before November 25, 2013!

Aviva Insurance is an industry-leading property and casualty insurance group, providing home, automobile, leisure and lifestyle, and business insurance as well as premier claims service to people like you across Canada. Through the Aviva Community Fund, they have given over $3.5 million to Canadian communities to date.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Playtex Mommyville's Diaper Diaries (Giveaway)

People have a lot of advice for you once you become pregnant. Then even more people have advice for you after you give birth and are pushing a stroller or hauling baby in their bucket car seat. But none of this advice ever deals with diaper changes.
Thankfully, during the week of Sept. 23, the Playtex Mommyville Facebook page will be dedicated to Diaper Diaries, where fans can share their stories with others, creating a fun and informative dialogue all about the challenges of motherhood. Here’s my story:

When she was very little (but very, very cute), I dreaded changing Hannah in public. She usually cried the entire time and one out of five times she’d urinate while I was changing her. On to her clothes. On to the change table. On to anything the urine could travel to. Thank goodness for packing multiple outfits and for always carrying antibacterial wipes.
I can recall one particular messy and smelly situation that sums up the first six months of Hannah’s diaper changing life quite well.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lil' Strikers teaches more than just soccer skills

Lil' Strikers is more than just soccer lessons - the classes teach kids 18 months to 9 years coordination, listening skills and most importantly (to me) balance through fun games and activities with their parent/caregiver and/or peers. If you're looking for an activity for your kids this year when they are back in school, this could definitely be it.


You know how when you were younger your mom yelled at you, "One day I hope you have a kid just like you!" when you did something wrong or said something that upset her? My Mom never said that to me about my absolute worst fear - that Hannah will be as klutzy as I was am. (Although I do also fear all the times my Mom used that line in regards to my behaviour.)

When I was two, I walked into a wall. When I was 24, I found a letter from my paediatrician about the incident which stated I have a balance problem and injuries resulting from my lack of balance would plague me my entire life (or that's what she wrote in layman's terms). I don't know where that doctor is now, but she was correct. And maybe if Lil' Strikers had existed when I was little my parents would never had to go through that ordeal (or have a whole photo album of me looking like a raccoon).

This past weekend Chris, Hannah and I were able to attend an open house at the Lil' Strikers GTA at their Soccerworld (on Cherry Street) location. There was a clown who did face painting and balloon animals, a colouring station, obstacle courses and of course, the biggest pull, the chance to try out a class.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Disney Baby encourages creative, fun play

One of my favourite things to do with Hannah is play. Her personality shines through when she is pretending to talk into a phone (really a credit card), not colouring in the lines of her colouring book or attempting to sing Ring-A-Round the Rosie.

She really likes music. She likes to sing. She likes to dance. And she LOVES to play instruments.

We recently introduced her to the Baby Einstein: Discovering Music Activity Table and she’s a big fan. As soon as it came through the door, she was pressing the keys of the keyboard and was impatient as Chris and I got it out of the box and put the legs on (I guess a few minutes to a toddler for their dream toy feels like forever.)

She loves switching the toy from English, to French, to Spanish. There are various “areas” of the toy but her favourite remains the keyboard. (I like this area best too, it plays one of the melodies from her Baby Neptune Ocean Adventure Gym – a toy I HAD to purchase before she was even born.) The way the keys light up keep her attention and she loves hearing the different sounds.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Daycares are like dating - Trust your gut

I went back to work in January. Hannah started at her third daycare this week.

With the unfortunate news of the toddler who died at a home daycare with 27(!) kids in the GTA, a lot of parents are questioning how other parents could have left their children in the sketchy situation being described by media outlets.

I'm not here to judge anyone - a toddler has lost her life, parents have lost their daughter.

Growing up, my Mom had a gold star next to her name at my elementary school after making a stink about multiple things on multiple occasions. She was nice until she had a reason not to be. I am my Mother's Daughter.

As anyone who knows me in real life will attest to, I wear my heart on my sleeve - or more accurately my anger on my face (and in my voice, over the phone).

Hannah is the most precious gift I have ever been given, and she is the one thing in this world I am most passionate about. I'm a protective Mama Bear who growls if anyone tries to mess with my cub.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ronald McDonald House Charities: Helping Canadian Families For More Than 30 Years

As soon as I knew I was pregnant, I started worrying. Becoming a parent is one of the most amazing experiences – but I never imagined in a million years how emotional I would be when it came to my daughter.

I remember my first “alone” outing with Hannah – we had to get her blood tested because she was showing signs of jaundice. Chris had to get to work and was unable to stay. I hate needles (and blood) but I knew I had to be strong for my days old daughter. I don’t know how I would deal with my daughter being REALLY sick.

Thankfully we live in the same city that houses The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). And I am so grateful that Hannah is healthy.

Unfortunately, not every family is as lucky as ours and not every family has healthy children or lives close to a children’s hospital.

Thankfully there is Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).

Monday, July 29, 2013

Syracuse Family Getaway Giveaway!

Welcome to the Syracuse Family Getaway Giveaway!

Win Syrasuse Family Getaway

This Giveaway is made possible by the Syracuse Tourism Organization!
HOSTED BY: OTTAWA MOMMY CLUB

GETAWAY PACKAGE:

  • 1 room with 2 double beds for 2 nights at Double Tree Hotel by Hilton for a family of four with buffet breakfast for four each morning based on availability. Valid through 4/30/14
  • 4 Tickets (2 adult & 2 children) to the Pole Position Raceway in DestinyUSA
  • 4 tickets (2 adult & 2 children) to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo
  • 4 tickets ( 2 adult & 2 children) to the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST)
  • 4 tickets ( 2 adult& 2 children) to Wonderworks in DestinyUSA
  • $100 Gift Certificate to spend at DestinyUSA Mall

A Trip to The Buffalo Zoo (#BuffaloForReal)


Our family LOVES zoos. Hannah likes checking out the animals, I like watching Hannah watch the animals and Chris likes to photograph the animals.

Even though I’ve been to Buffalo many times in my life, I had never visited the Buffalo Zoo. Located off the 198 highway in Delaware Park, the Buffalo Zoo is a great place for Torontonians to take kids (and partners) when they’ve had enough of the malls.


The day we went, we made sure to check out the baby polar bears first. They were very active and playful and a pleasure to watch.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Playtex Twist ‘n Click Snacker Cup protects snacks, avoids mess

As a mom of a toddler who is becoming more and more independent, I look for products that will help me help her…avoid mess. It’s amazing how much time we spend cleaning – her, her high chair, her clothes…and of course our floors.

Have you ever swam in a sea of Goldfish crackers? Our cat has.

But he no longer needs to fear being rained on by cheddary goodness – now Hannah has a Playtex Twist ‘n Click Snacker Cup.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mark your calendars for delicious Taste of Buffalo (#BuffaloForReal)

Imagine a street full of delightful foods, deserts and drinks (wine slush anyone?). Such is the Taste of Buffalo - one of America's largest food festivals. We were lucky enough to be there the weekend it was held this summer. The countdown is already on for 2014 - only 352 more days!

Chris and I headed to the Taste of Buffalo before we went to the Buffalo Bisons game.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Blue Jays Baseball in Buffalo Fits Like A Glove (#BuffaloForReal)

Recently we spent the weekend in Buffalo, New York and Chris and I took in a Buffalo Bisons baseball game. Coca-Cola Field is easy to get to (located in downtown Buffalo right by the highway) and family friendly - next time we'll bring Hannah. The food was affordable, the seats were comfortable and the mascots were entertaining. The highlight of my night was the Mascot Race! It's not every day you see Celery, Bleu Cheese, Chicken Wing and an Atomic Wing battle it out.

As the biggest baseball fan I know, I thought Chris may be better suited to write this post. His take is below.

There’s nothing quite like minor league baseball. It’s as pure a form of the game as you can get nowadays; the feelings of nostalgia and simpler times waft through the park.

That atmosphere was certainly present at my first ever Buffalo Bisons game, in more ways than one.