Don't Drop the Soother! #DrBrowns #healthywipes

Confession: when I had my first baby, I was definitely that mom who would quickly look to see if anyone saw the soother fall from the carseat or stroller. A quick wipe from my hand, and back to the babe.

Now, I completely realize that wiping with my hand is not sanitary in the slightest, but to be totally honest...I had no idea how else I was supposed to clean the soother and get it back to him quickly to avoid meltdown city.

Dr. Brown's has the perfect solution, and one that I keep in the car for just such emergencies as....


After walking big brother to school and getting back to the car, sweet baby Graeme spit out his soother and before I could catch it...right down on the dirt, gravel and weeds on the side of the road by the rear wheel of my car. Gross. And of course I didn't pack a spare soother!

Then I remembered that I had Dr. Brown's Pacifier and Bottle Wipes in the car, neatly stowed in my Thirty-One Pack and Pull Caddy that is in the middle seat between the boys.


With just a quick wipe, I was able to safely clean Graeme's pacifier and give it back to him so he could go back to dreamland and I could go grab a coffee. Sanity restored!

A few features about these convenient Healthy Wipes that you should note:
  • scent free
  • free of alcohol, SLS, parabens and formaldehydes
  • made with plant based Xylitol
I'm so glad that I had them in the car, and keep an extra pack in our diaper caddy just in case there is a spit up issue in the middle of the night and I need to wipe down a mess in his nursery. With the Dr. Brown's Pacifier and Bottle Wipes, it gives great peace of mind to know they give a natural clean to things that go in your baby's mouth.

Where do we keep them now, and how do we use them?
  • Diaper bag to clean bottle nipples if you forget the cap
  • Diaper caddy for midnight messes
  • Front of car console for cleaning the tops of drink lids (they're great for adults, too!)
  • Backseat organizer for dropped soothers and teethers
If you're a new mom, or new again mom, I highly recommend stashing a pack of the Pacifier and Bottle Wipes in your purse or car. You just never know when they will come in handy!

Disclaimer: I was provided these Healthy Wipes, along with the Tooth & Gum and Nose & Face (great for in between baths, and cleaning all of the rolls and folds!) wipes, for the purposes of this review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

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How To Enjoy Fireworks With Your Family



Every summer children and parents look forward to one thing, celebrating the summer holidays with fireworks. The timing is perfect; it coincides with many Canada Day celebrations, which is when 37% of Canadians (via Web Perspectives “Celebration of Light” online survey) attend various firework displays across the country.

Image Source: Wikipedia

What do we love about going to the fireworks?

Well, it is a great family friendly event to attend. Often, you will find additional activities for children such as bouncy castles, petting zoos and carnival games. Of course, there is always delicious food, but there really is nothing better about a summer fireworks celebration than sitting out under the stars with your family on a big blanket to oooh and ahhh over the colours and sparkle. Actually, 52% of those surveyed think firework displays are a great event to enjoy with friends and family, and plenty of food and drinks!

As noted by those who stated they attended fireworks regularly 56% claimed it was for the fireworks display, 23% loved the outdoor atmosphere, 16% looked forward to having the community gathering together, and a meek 5% admitted it was all about the glow sticks and cotton candy. 

From picnic blankets to extra activities, a fireworks display is a great way to kick off summer.

Here are some tips for celebrating fireworks with your family safely:

·                     Always use caution when near fireworks. These are explosives, after all, so leave ignition to the professionals!

·                     Since fireworks are a night activity, bring an extra bag of long sleeved shirts, jackets and pants for your children. Better yet, have them get dressed into their pajamas before the fireworks display starts!

·                     Sparklers can get very hot, so be sure to only give them to older children and wrap a damp paper towel around the handle to prevent burns.

Vancouver’s Celebration of Lights is one of the country’s most notable fireworks celebrations, and it includes something for everyone. Families can delight in free activities at Sunset Beach in an outdoor atmosphere; this atmosphere is one of the biggest reasons for attending a fireworks display as noted by 16% of those that took the online survey. Plus there are face painters, roaming mascots and lots more on site to entertain both those young and old.

The Vancouver Celebration of Lights is also a fantastic event for a date night out, which survey participants agreed wholeheartedly about with a whopping 47% positive result! From taking part in the entertainment at Sunset Beach to indulging in the VIP experience at The Keg Lounge, the Celebration of Lights is a non-stop date night event sure to impress.

If you are headed to an open community fireworks celebration this summer with family and friends, and have the opportunity to take along a cooler of refreshments, consider taking along a pitcher of strawberry lemonade and fun summer snacks such as chocolate dipped pretzels, marshmallow crispy squares, orange wedges, strawberries and freezies for the kids. Better yet, if you are able to have open flame, pack all of the necessary ingredients for s’mores!

Another popular treat to bring to our local fireworks celebration are cupcakes, and more often than not they can be easily themed for the occasion. Simply pick up a cake mix from the grocery store, but frost with homemade butter cream icing; using a simple combination of confectioners’ sugar and butter (3:1 ratio). Then, top with whatever decorations you like including coloured sprinkles, chocolate candies, flags, paper umbrellas. There are so many fun elements that you can use to decorate your cupcakes, and all readily available at your local party store. 

Join the 47% of Canadians that took part in this online survey who think that firework displays are a great celebration that anyone can enjoy; including those who agree it makes for a romantic night out, and will be attending a fireworks celebration this summer!

Disclaimer: All opinions and views expressed are my own. The data within this article is based upon a Web Perspectives “Celebration of Lights Survey” completed by 808 panelists.

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New Year New Me...Sweaty Bands!

What does a runner do when their bangs are growing out {badly needing a cut} and getting stuck to their forehead with sweat during these hot nights of running?

They get Sweaty Bands!

I cannot gush about how much I love these amazing headbands for women who run. First and foremost, they stay in place. Like seriously...no joking about this at all. They actually stay where you put them before going out and getting all sweaty.With help from the moisture wicking velvet underside, these babies stay in place!



They come in all of these trendy, funky and cool patterns. I LOVE how chic they are, and yes, looking good while I'm running is important {I even match my socks to the colour of my top...}. Florals, animal prints, prints with bling, stripes and polka dots. Literally every pattern you could want, and solids too! Thick, thin...whatever you need, you will find a Sweaty Band for it!

You can even create a custom Sweaty Bands headband with your logo, team or other insignia to set you apart from the pack!

Where can you find Sweaty Bands? Tonnes of yoga studios and boutiques across the USA and even department stores like Nordstrom {with shipping to Canada! Holla!} Use their interactive map to find the location nearest you!

*Disclaimer: I received a pair of Sweaty Bands, the #1 headband for runners, for the purposes of this review and post. All views and opinions expressed are my own.
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New Year New Home...with Tupperware


Do your cupboards overfloweth with a bounty of baking supplies?

Sugar
Honey
Baking crumbs
Flour
Oats
Salt
Baking Soda
Baking Powder

The list goes on and on for me; I think I literally have every ingredient out there {even molasses!} and did you know that all of that packaging is exposed to pesticide sprays in the back of the grocery store? It's true! When I met with Tupperware Consultant Leslie Owen, she educated me on packaging and pest control practices at the grocery store.
Before
Part of what I love about the Modular Mates is that you can get all of your supplies out of their packaging and into an airtight container, which not only preserves their shelf life, but also keeps out nasty creepy crawly bugs that could find their way into your home {especially in the warmer months when they seem to just appear out of nowhere!} and gets rid of the packaging that has been sprayed with pest control measures in the back of the grocery store stock room.

After
I also love that they are stackable, which makes them natural space savers. While we have alot of cupboard space, they're narrow and were custom built so the shelves are a little difficult to move around. The Tupperware Modular Mates neatly store all of my ingredients, and I can see everything at one glance, which saves me time in my busy schedule.


After
Modular Mates are available in three colours {black, blue and red}, and come in a variety of sizes. The large  square perfectly fit my flour, and I love the small oval for my brown sugar. Storage for brown sugar is something that always drives me bonkers. I find that it always hardens and becomes one big lump of sugar, which means I have to get a new bag and lose money in the process. The Modular Mates solve that issue with the airtight seal; fresh sugar, all the time!

Get your cupboards in shape for the new year with a set of Modular Mates from Tupperware!


*Disclaimer: This post in the New Year New Home series was sponsored by Leslie Owen, Independant Tupperware Consultant. I was provided the Modular Mates to review, and was compensated in return for advertising her wonderful brand. 


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BlogHer Sponsor Love

If you haven't checked them out just yet, be sure that you do!! They made my trip to BlogHer12 possible, and I am so incredibly thankful for them!

 

 Kristine Cook Designs is located in London, Ontario and is simply one inspired fashion designer! She created two dresses and one fabulous jacket for me to wear at BlogHer12 and I got so many compliments on them...I was even stopped by a young woman on our walk over to Bar Americain who complimented me on my peplum dress!



Michele from Mary Kay provided all of my makeup, skincare and beauty tips for my journey to BlogHer. I am so thankful, because I'm typically too on the go to spend much time on myself but these amazing products, and her gentle guidance and encouragement, allowed me to see what confidence I have in myself. Be it a smokey eye for my peplum dress, a fresh dewey look for my brunch with GMC or the bold red lips for a retro look - Michele helped me create them all!




Without EKSIT Strategies assistance and guidance, my BlogHer dreams would have remained just that...dreams. They helped make them a reality, and helped to guide me in making some decisions about my business and my blog. As true business strategists, they helped me to see the value in my knowledge, the worth in myself and encouraged me to take myself seriously as both an artist and a blogger.

TPH Canada...my printing savior

So last thursday, late in the evening, I sat up on the couch and gasped.

I forgot my email address and twitter handle on my BlogHer media cards.

Who does that?!

Certainly not someone who claims to be overly organized, have her ducks in a row and be so on top of everything that it's not funny.

But only...it did happen. And yes, I did freak out

Cover Art...before
After crying for a little while, and my sweet husband trying to reassure me that no matter the cost, we would get the proper cards printed, I went off to email TPH Canada and see about replacement cards and what that cost would be.

I woke up the next morning the the sweetest and most reassuring email from Cynthia - saying not to worry, that it happens, just to get them the artwork and they would have the card printed asap.
Cover art...after

Their kindness {oh queue the water works again!! That's how much I love them!} and reassurance is exactly why I love working with them. They are incredible, and I will be working with them for an extremely long time.

Thank you, TPH! You deserve a medal!

Getting Guest Ready with Kleenex Hand Towels

Have guests coming?

I have had a constant flow of guests over the last month between my son's brithday party, hosting my mom's wedding luncheon and now straight onto my bff's baby shower next month!

How do I get ready?

I get crafty!

This is an easy peasy, step-by-step craft that literally everyone can do (and better yet, the kiddos can help with!)

 Step 1: gather your materials
- wire coat hanger
- embellishments (or leave plain and make it even easier on yourself!)

Step 2: bend hanger into a rectangle


 Step 3: bend hanger to create a shelf

Step 4: embellish!! I chose to get shabby-chic with my bad self and whip up a little burlap bow to glue onto the front, off centred

 Step 5: fill it with Kleenex Hand Towels, books, magazines and more!

 
Just a simple little touch to make your guests smile!

Join the 14 million people who have already joined the Clean Hands campaign by using Kleenex Hand Towels, and click here for savings and more!

I was selected for participation in this campaign as a member of Clever Girls Collective.

Let Their Confidence Shine

Setting your kiddos up for success at school {and at home} is something that is oh so important for our toddler to learn. From doing crafts with Mama and discovering our artsy side, to playing ball with Daddy and using up some physical energy...whatever the case, it always is reinforced with high-fives and lots of love.

One thing that we've learned, is to stay consistent and positive with him. We started Owen (now 2years old, but really this is so important at every age!) at The Little Gym in January, and we have learned oh-so-much.

First and foremost, lots of praise can go a very long way. We are always praising Owen with lots of clapping, high-fives (or five-fives as he calls them) and great big hugs. We definitely have found that when he gets a high-five, he's more inclined to exhibit that positive, confident and healthy habit over and over again!



Secondly, thanking them for exhibiting that positive behavior. The teachers at The Little Gym always encourage us to thank our little ones for coming back to the red mat...and boy oh boy, does it ever work!! Owen seems to run to me for a great big hug and I always thank him for coming back to the big red mat, and he gives me the biggest smiles! Now, 6 months into the program, he rarely strays.


Also, encouraging them to be who they are and embracing them when they might not be cooperating is something that is really important in building their confidence. Recently, Owen's had some issues with the big beam....it's high, intimidating and climbing those stairs can be a tricky thing. But...with gentle encouragement, and not pushing him until he's comfortable....he's right up there with the bigger kiddo's now, and totally dominating it!


How will this all translate to pre-school? Well...he knows limits and is respectful of other peoples limits. He knows that when he's not comfortable with something, to ask for help, and is confident in seeking a grown up to get that assistance. He knows to keep trying new things, even if they're scary...which means interacting with new kiddos, saying new words, and meeting new teachers along  the way.

Knowing that he's confident, and that we instilled that confidence in him with gentle encouragement, lots of positive praise, and modelling that positive behaviour is kind of like a little pat on the back for a parenting job well done!

As a member of Clever Girls Collective, I was selected to participate in the Healthy Habits program sponsored by Kimberly-Clark and Colgate-Palmolive. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own. #healthyhabits #cgc