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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lily on the Fly

Lily On The Fly is an excellent meal planning system for busy families who eat take out or dine out more often than they would like due to time constraints and day to day hustle bustle.

The Lily on the Fly system comes with cards that help you plan your weekly menu, grocery shop for the necessary items and cook healthier alternatives to dining out for your family.

The Hearty Meals for Hungry Families starter kit includes one 7-slot magnetic card holder, and a 36 card pack including hearty family favorites such as Giving Thanks Turkey dinner; Cheesy Potato Soup, Pork Chops Oh Baby and Crabby Pasta Salad.

The 7-slot magnetic card holder is an excellent way to stay organized, to plan your weekly menu and to allow all family members to stay in the loop with regards to meal time.

The cards are a convenient size to slip into your purse to bring with you grocery shopping in order to ensure that you remember to buy all of the necessary ingredients for your week's meals.

The cards are also well laid out and colour coded (meals, side dishes, treats) to help make your planning as quicky and simple as possible. All of the ingredients are organized into one of seven general grocery store areas to make shopping fast.

All in all, Lily on the Fly is a wonderful idea for busy families who have a difficult time planning, shopping and cooking meals.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Teach My Toddler

Teach My™ Toddler was created by (Canadian) mom, Christy Cook. When she was looking for items to help her toddler with the alphabet, numbers, colours and shapes she had a hard time finding things, especially pieces that worked together.

Teach My™ Toddler was created.

In a portable tote lies everything you need to help your toddler learn basic numbers, letters, colours and shapes. Each of the four sections comes with
  • a fully coordinated puzzle
  • board book
  • teaching chart
  • and flash cards
We've been using our Teach My™ Toddler kit with my 2 1/2 year old for about 2 weeks, for the recommended 20 minutes a day and we are more than impressed. Before, using the Teach My™ Toddler kit our toddler could identify about 50% of the alphabet and he is now pretty close to 100%. The other day we started using the letters in the puzzle to spell words, like cat, dog and other simple ones. He loves doing the puzzles and reading the books and you can tell the sense of pride and accomplishment he feels when he is playing.

Other than the clear learning advantages
Teach My™ Toddler has helped make our toddler feel special. Since we have a new baby in the house, it's easy sometimes to forget that your toddler needs as much attention as the new baby. The 20 minutes a day have become a special time for him with Mommy or Daddy and he asks to play with his Teach My™ Toddler kit. In fact, in the morning it is the first toy he grabs and he insists that we play 'school' and he becomes the teacher -- the imaginative play aspect is a bonus!

I really like the fact that it's an all-in-one solution and that everything colour coordinates, as well I love seeing my little one's eyes light up when he goes "to work with his briefcase!"

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Breaking the Good Mom Myth by Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer is one incredible lady! She has a talent for writing a book that hits home with Moms! I felt so refreshed after reading this book. I walked away feeling good about myself, as a woman and as a mother. I also learned many great new parenting techniques and visions for the future.

Breaking the Good Mom Myth is a book all about letting go. It's about letting go of our expectations of ourselves as mothers as well as societal expectations and embracing who we are as a parent and moving forward.

Alyson Schafer is a great motivator. She encourages Moms to take care of themselves and to have confidence. She encourages Moms to worry less about what other people think and to focus more on their long term parenting goals.

This book was very motivating to me as a mother. I felt encouraged like I never have before. After reading this book, I can walk away with a new confidence about my parenting skills and choices. Schafer reminded me that we are all individuals and we all have our differences. Becoming a Mom does not change that.

The 8 myths that Schafer discusses in the book are the following:
Self Care is Selfish
My Children Are a Reflection of Me
My Marriage Can Wait
Good Mothers are All-Caring and All-Protecting
Good Mothers are in Control
Good Mothers Manage Sibling Conflict
Only the Best Education for My Child
Good Mothers Make Life Fun and Entertaining

In the book, Schafer offers many helpful and practical suggestions for dealing with your marriage after children as well as for many common parenting challenges.

I highly recommend this book to new and "old" Moms!

For more book reviews, please go to Amanda's Book Nook on our York Region Baby website!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Smart Choices

I was lucky enough to receive a Mom's First Day Kit from Smart Choices. The Mom's First Day Kit is packed with everything you need that provides comfort during those first days after childbirth and when nursing, and it's all contained in a handy canvas tote!

Included in the kit are
  • Hipster style Single-Use panty
  • femé Pad® (which provides cooling relief from vaginal irritations or inflamed hemorrhoids that may be caused by pregnancy or childbirth)
  • Single-Use Nursing Pads
  • SmartChoices breast soother (which provides warming therapy for blocked milk ducts, mastitis, or weaning and cooling therapy for engorgement)
  • Lanolin Plus
Mom's First Day Kit from Smart Choices really does have everything that a new mom needs in the first few days after birth and onwards. The nursing pads are amazingly thin as well as absorbent and the Lanolin Plus is perfect for a new nursing mother. This is by far on my Top 10 Favourite products that I've been able to test. The price of $50 for the entire kit is outstanding and would make a great shower gift for an expectant mom. The quality of the products from Smart Choices is really exceptional and made my first few weeks with my new baby all the better, as I had everything I needed to help with pain and discomfort, as well as nursing.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Book Review: The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill

The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill
Review by Tricia Flindall

This book is written by Fiona Neill, who writes a column in the London Times newspaper called "Slummy Mummy". Her column was so popular that she turned some of the material into a novel. Her book centres on Lucy, a mother of three boys. She is married to Tom (Husband with a Short Fuse) and gave up a successful journalism career working for Newsnight, to bring up her children. They lead a fairly middle-class existence.

Fiona Neill really captures what it's like for a mother who is just going through the daily routine of making meals, school runs, school meetings and trying to keep up with all of the cleaning. Lucy begins to get bored with things and starts looking for something, or someone (Sexy Domesticated Dad), to liven up the domesticity.

I found this book a little bit hard to get into at first, however, once you read through the first couple of chapters you are hooked. The main character Lucy is a little bit wacky but very likable. The book focuses very much on adult relationships. It is interesting to read about the dynamics between her and her single/non-married friends (as we've all been there as the relationships change once someone gets married and has kids). It also details Lucy's relationship with her husband, other parents from her children's school and her relationship with her own parents and mother-in-law. While you often find yourself relating to these relationships, the story line can be a bit far-fetched at times yet entertaining all the same.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sew Cute: Personalized Baby Clothes & Unqiue Gifts

Review 1: My 2 1/2 year old daughter absolutely ADORES her personalized long sleeved shirt from Sew Cute! She wore it non-stop for the first weekend that she got it, showing it off to everyone she saw.

I am very impressed with the quality of the clothing. It is durable, soft and washes really well. The embroidery compliments the material perfectly and is top quality.
Sew Cutewear would definitely make a perfect, personalized gift for that new little one in your life. I highly recommend it!
Review 2: When I choose my daughter's name I knew that she wouldn't be able to get her name on items like pencils or pens or other items. I am so happy that I have found Sew Cute. It's a great Canadian-based mom-owned company that makes personalized clothing and accessories for babies and kids!

I love the monogrammed pink hat , with her initial "M" on it that will fit her from now, about 8 weeks old until she is one. It is great for both the winter, as well as Spring and Fall and it washes really well.

The matching long sleeve t-shirt we purchased for her matched the hat and I really love the colour of the shirt - nice and bright!

Her big brother is so proud to wear his shirt with the words "Big Brother" on it! A really good idea for a present for a new sibling. I would suggest getting the next size up in these as they fit small.

And finally Maeve's pink personalized hooded towel, is perfect for bath time and in the summer will be useful at the beach as well.

I am really excited to have found Sew Cute and will keep them top of mind for all the upcoming baby showers and as my kids grow! It really makes them feel special to have a shirt or hat made especially for them. As well, what a great idea to keep the personalized gear for babies so when they are a little older they can use for dress-up with dolls and to keep as a very special keepsake.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Baby Nika

I can't tell you how much we love our Baby Nika blanket. It goes everywhere we go -- and everywhere we go people comment on how cute the cow print chenille blanket is.

This "Made in Canada" blanket is handcrafted with care and attention and will be with our baby from infancy onwards as she loves to cuddle with it.

The prints availa
ble are so hip and cute, from the cow print to giraffe and cheetah! It's a totally different take on the baby blanket and the chenille will keep baby warm and cuddly in this cold winter.

Best of all -- it washes really well and I've been able to get the stains out that come with having a newborn.

Baby Nika doesn't just make fabulous blankets. They also make the coats as well as The C
an-Go-Roo™ bunting bag for strollers which is designed for infants to preschoolers and fits variety of strollers including: Bugaboo, Maclaren, Peg-Perego and many others.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Custom Made for Kids: The First Adventures of Incredible You

By simply answering a few questions on the website Custom Made for Kids you can create a totally personalized and absolutely magical story for your child.

The first (we hope of many!) story called The First Adventures of Incredible You is a story that your child will have you read over and over again (and you actually you won't mind!)

The First Adventures of Incredible You takes your child on an adventure that visits local places and people that are special in your life. The illustrations are as bright and cheery as the verses! When reading to our toddler his face lights up at the mention of playing at his favourite park or visiting the Central Park Zoo (which reminds us of our New York City trip this spring).

When reading the story, it feels as if I have written this story for my child and really, that's how I knew that The First Adventures of Incredible You is incredible!

Here are some other reasons to love The First Adventures of Incredible You:
  • They ship to Canada (and very quickly!) if you want to get it here for Christmas you'll have to choose expedited delivery.
  • You can go on a virtual tour of the book.
  • In the drop downs, the have Canadian choices! (ie, The Toronto Zoo etc)
  • The book is good for children whether they are biological or adopted, any race or Nationality from traditional & non-traditional family structures
  • York Region Baby readers receive a 10% off discount until December 31, 2007. Please enter "yrbaby10" when checking out.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Piddle Pad: Waterproof Seat Liner

This summer when my toddler was 2 1/4 we started toilet training him and we used the Piddle Pad a waterproof seat liner, available at My Precious Kid. for when we were out and about. I am usually really laid back and easy going, but I found being out in the stroller or car stressful during the early toilet training days.

We used the inexpensive ($6.99) Piddle Pad in our car seat and stroller to avoid accidents while out and about. It came in handy a few times and made our lives so much easier and the stress of being the car for a long drive with an-almost-trained toddler dissipate. The fabric is that goes against baby or toddler is soft and quilted so in the summer, it keeps them cool and the winter it keeps them warm.

My Precious Kid is an online store that is dedicated to helping parents keep their children safe. On top of selling the latest products for babies and kids they also produce professional family safety ID products. They educate parents how to keep children safer.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Spa Baby: European style baby tubs

When I first heard of European bath tubs for babies, my oldest was too big for one, but I was intrigued.

Spa Baby tubs created by a Canadian mom is a European style of bathtub that allows babies to let them sit in a natural upright position with warm water to their shoulders.

And what happens is the tub calms the baby by providing an environment much like the one where they spent their very first nine months.

We first used our Spa Baby tub when our little one was 17 days old and were amazed by the results. We had given her baths in the traditonal tub with lots of tears from her and stress on our part.

When we tried the Spa Baby tub for the first time, it was a little akward because we weren't used to bathing her while sitting up -- but now it's second nature and at nearly 5 weeks she is loving bath time, as are we!

I love the fact that the tub comes with a guarantee that your baby will not cry in this tub. If your baby doesn't love this tub, you can return it for a full refund.

Spa Baby bath tubs are available for purchase online, with free shipping in Canada until December 31, 2007 and are also available at Babies R' Us in Vaughan Mills and Newmarket.

* As always, Never leave your baby alone in the tub. Competent adult supervision is required at all times.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Prissy Poofs--an awesome holiday gift for a child with an imagination!

Prissy Poofs are well made dress up costumes for babies and children. They are made with top quality and creativity in mind.

Prissy Poofs is a creative product that is perfect for the imaginative child. Any child who enjoys dressing up will love all of their products! What a creative gift for a birthday or the holidays.

Parents who enjoy creative photography with their little ones will also enjoy these adorable outfits! They make breathtaking and heart melting photographic keepsakes and will bring smiles and giggles to all.

My daughter loves her Santa poof and I cannot wait to get her holiday photos done! Dress up has never been so much fun!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pippalily: A stylish way to get your hand back

I've had my Pippalily sling since the summer, but wanted to wait and post about it until after my second baby arrived.

And since her arrival a few weeks ago I've been wearing her around the house in my Pippalily sling. Having an active toddler and a newborn is challenging to say the least and trying to take care of the needs of my toddler, while keeping my newborn close to me is important.

There are a number of reasons why I really love my Pippalily sling -- including the fact that unlike the other pouch sling I own my Pippalily sling is very stylish and funky. I have the Sea Green Coriander in Cotton (pictured here). The 2 times I have been out of the house while wearing admiring moms have stopped and asked where they can get their own Pippalily sling!

There are lots of colours to choose from, including a fabulous camouflage one as well as Satin Brocade in various patterns and colours.

Pippalily's slings are handmade in Canada with the utmost attention to detail and style and sizing yourself for the sling to purchase is easy! You just order the size you are in a t-shirt (if you are in between sizes order the next size up)

And if you are new to the whole idea of babywearing they have amazing instructional videos on how to wear your baby in different positions. It's makes it easy to see how to wear your little one!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sugar and Spice Hairbows and Accessories

Sugar and Spice Bows have a large variety of adorable, girly hair accessories to offer. Their designs are colourful, fun and unique.

Their hair clip is made for even the finest of baby hair and it does indeed work! Made with good quality materials, these clips are very durable. At very reasonable prices, these hair clips are a definite must for every young girl.

Not many hair accessories will stay in my daughter's hair, but the grippy clippy did! It stayed in until I took it out. I am so excited to have found a product that will work with my daughter's hair.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Febe Bebe:Makers of Fine Droolers & Bibs

Ok, I'll admit it. I am jealous of the talent of Sarah Howard. A few years ago I was introduced to her artwork and I knew that I could never (ever) dream of painting anything like what she could! Before York Region Baby in early 2006, my friend and I had started an online store that only sold items made by Canadian moms. We sold her amazing paintings to a number of very happy customers. And oer the past few months I've been eyeing her site as our nursery is being finished for our new little girl, who is set to arrive any day.

What's even more amazing is that on top of her very successful art business, she has 3 small children and has just started another business!

Before starting Mump & Grump Studios, Sarah made these very sophisticated bibs and droolers for a small store in her hometown and decided to start up again after her third child (who the company is named after) came along and was, shall we say very drooly.

Sarah started Febe Bebe as a Canadian answer to the stylish, functional bib that has been lacking in our market. Like all things fashionable the bibs and fabrics are always changing to keep up with the latest styles.

Sarah says "I had been through the cutesy teddy bear stuff, and was looking for something that would stand out! It was also important to have something that would be soft on my baby's skin, and was made with non-toxic materials."

The craft-momship is truly amazing and makes a fabulous new baby gift and what's even better is that the bibs are 100% vinyl free and are individually handmade in Canada.