Life Just Got A Whole Lot More EZPZ Caring

Last year I was introduced to the products by EZPZ and then had the opportunity to introduce them to all of you. In case you have forgotten (which is hard as they are super amazing!), their mats are an all-in-one placement + plate/bowl that captures kids’ messes. It suctions directly to the table, making it nearly impossible for tiny hands to tip over. It is especially designed for infants and toddlers (9 months+); however, I have to admit that I have used it too. 😉

This product has been one of my ultimate favorites and just to clarify they are the original!

So how could something that I love so much get any better? Partner up with the Care Bears™ of course!

If you grew up in the 80s like myself you definitely remember the lovable Care Bears™ who showed us how to have fun, be caring and kind. The Care Bears™ had his or her own trait and that was reflected on their tummy such as the sun for Sunshine Bear. I watched it often and had a few of the Care Bears™ in my collection of toys growing up. So imagine how excited I was to hear about a Care Bears™ Collection coming to EZPZ!!!

We received the Care Bears™ Mat In Share Bear™ (Purple) and the Care Bears™ Bowl In Funshine Bear™ (Marigold). There are a couple more colors available and each one has a meaning.

Share Bear is a nurturing and generous bear who considers everyone her friend. Carefree and loving, Share is happiest when she’s giving or baking!

Nothing makes Funshine Bear happier than hanging with friends or going on adventures. He makes the most of his days with fearlessness and sunny optimism. Funshine’s belly badge reflects this spirit – a smiling, blazing yellow sun!

Their meaning was absolutely beautiful and very fitting to the EZPZ brand. I would say this is a caring perfect partnership.

Now it was time to test out the new special editions.

Nikki was as excited as I was when she saw the Care Bears™ Collection and asked if she can use it for dinner. Of course our answer was YES! So that night we prepared dinner and at the table her Care Bears™ Mat In Share Bear™ was ready with her meal neatly in the spaces on the mat which look like a Care Bear. This design makes eating that much more fun!

Nikki and I give the Care Bears™ Collection 5+++ “care bear count down” out of 5. The benefits are all the same as the Happy Mat; easy to use, clean and store. It is 100% silicone; dishwasher safe; BPA free; PVC free; Phthalate free; hypo-allergenic; and does not harbor bacteria. We highly recommend this product to any family and this would make an excellent gift for any child and parent who would love a mess free dinner!

To purchase one, please click here. If you are located in Canada, please visit Hip Mommies who is one of the amazing distributors to purchase one.

Make sure to follow ezpz on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube for helpful feeding tips from Ms. Dawn Winkelman, Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for EZPZ. There is also great other fun shares and great giveaways!

Until next time…..Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

Advertisements

Portuguese Potato Salad With Tuna

A few weeks ago I was chatting with one of my uncles about my blog and the feature of recipes. We went through a different list of some of our favorite dishes and then he asked if I shared the Portuguese Potato Salad with Tuna recipe…I haven’t! So thank you Uncle John for inspiring this share!

Growing up this was a dish that my mom often made and it was so yummy but I think families will appreciate how quick and easy it is to make.

Portuguese Potato Salad With Tuna

INGREDIENTS

  • Water
  • Potatoes
  • Salt
  • Garlic Powder or a Clove of Garlic
  • Tuna
  • Olive Oil
  • Optional: Eggs, Onion and Chickpeas

DIRECTIONS

  • Peel the potatoes, chop them into pieces and wash them in water.
  • Fill a pot with water and add the chopped potatoes.
  • In the pot add some salt and a dash of garlic powder or a clove of garlic (This is a great added taste). You can also use this time to boil eggs if you would like to add this to the dish.
  • Boil the potatoes until they get soft to eat. You may want to taste them during the process to see if you need to add some more salt for taste.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, drain the water.
  • Open up a can of tuna and drain out the oil. Break up the tuna to place over the potatoes.
  • Take your plate and add the desired potatoes that you would like to eat, then add the tuna that you would like on top.
  • Drizzle olive oil over the food and mix it all together.
  • Optional: Chop up some onions to add on top and slice up some boiled eggs. You can even add chickpeas to the dish and it will be just as great and filling!


And there you have it, Portuguese Potato Salad with Tuna! Give it a try and let me know what you think of it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

Aqua-Tots Morning Weekday Classes Make It Extraordinary

Recently I shared an article about our experience with swim lessons and Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. After a great interest from many of my loyal readers, we have decided to bring more information on this great swimming school and more information on swimming in general.

Today’s piece is an introduction to their weekday morning classes which run Mondays through Thursdays every week from 9am to 12:30 pm (with the exception of Fridays). These weekday morning swim lessons are great for maternity leave moms and dads, and other caregivers who take care of babies through the mornings as well as busy preschoolers.

Here are some highlights of the morning swim lessons available at Aqua-Tots which make mornings extraordinary.

Level 1 and Level 2

  • Stage appropriate swim lessons starting at 4 months of age.
  • Baby swim lessons are divided into 2 parent and tot classes: Level 1 Tadpoles (4 months to 12 months) and Level 2 Minnows (13 months to 30 months).
  • Level 1 focuses on water adjustment and level 2 on creating boundaries in and around water for tots – both classes have an emphasis on water safety skills and build comfort in the water for babies but also help in instilling confidence in the caregivers and their ability to practice proper holds and other techniques that build a sense of security.
  • These classes are a great opportunity to bond with your baby.
  • It’s also a wonderful chance to meet and chat with other caregivers: there is complimentary coffee and a play area which can turn a swim lesson into a full morning experience.
  • We also have change tables and encourage moms to come with strollers and car seats and “park” their items where ever is most convenient for them inside the facility.
  • We understand that nap times and schedules change frequently in those early years, that’s why switching to a different morning class time is easy, and hassle free.

Level 3

  • In addition to the Level 1 and Level 2 classes that mainly take place throughout the weekday mornings, we also offer Level 3 – Leapfrogs classes on weekday mornings (2.5 and up) – This beginner class provides the foundation that helps children achieve comfort with basic swim skills.
  • It’s ideal for moms, dads and caregivers taking care of preschoolers looking for a weekday morning activities that promotes mental and physical stimulation.
  • This Level is the first time where young children go in the water independently with no caregiver, and have a chance to establish a trusting bond with a water safety instructor while a caregiver watches from the viewing gallery. This way you avoid the heat of the pool area but still get to watch your child’s progress during swim lessons.
  • For families with multiples, our flexibility weekday morning schedule allows for second -time parents to go in the water with their babies into a Level 1 or Level 2 class while their eldest preschooler goes in the water for a Level 3 class simultaneously. It’s a great way for the whole family to stay active and learn new skills.
  • We also have everything a parent or guardian of a young child would need for a morning swim lesson – swim diapers, cloth diapers, swim suits, goggles, and swim caps and a variety of snacks on sale for after swim class.

“We believe it’s more than just a swim lesson, it’s a morning experience.”

If you are interested in these swim lessons, give Aqua-Tots Swim Schools a call at 905-848-2782. Also make sure to follow them on Facebook to see what’s new.

Stay tuned for the next piece which is on turning tears into cheers!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

–          Momma Braga

A Mother’s Perspective: Plagiocephaly (Flat Head Syndrome)

A little while ago we introduced you to Mimos Pillow Canada and how it helps prevent and correct Plagiocephaly (Flat Head Syndrome). I need to first thank everyone for your amazing support on that piece as it was read by thousands – thank you!

I feel it is so important to bring awareness and information to light on a few parenting topics that sometimes gets missed under the radar. This is why I was honored to have the opportunity to interview a mom and the Canadian distributor of Mimos Pillows, Jessica.

In this interview we discuss her personal experience with her son who had Plagiocephaly and some helpful advice to other parents. We also take a deep look into her business, Mimos Pillows Canada.

Tell me a little bit about your family.

“My husband and I have two adorable sons. Ethan is now 4 ½ years old and just started Junior Kindergarten and loves it and Oliver is 15 months old and chases Ethan around wherever he goes. We also have a golden doodle named Jackson.

What signs or symptoms did you see in your son that alerted you to something not being right?

“When my first son Ethan was eight weeks old, my sister and her family had come to visit and meet him. We brought them up to our cottage for a few days and I remember the exact moment I looks at Ethan’s head, looked at my sister and said, “do you notice that one side of his head is flat?” It made me instantly panic as I remember when he was born my midwives said to me, “wow, he has a perfectly round head.” When I noticed his flat spot I had never heard of this happening to babies before so I was paranoid and instantly hit up google finding that it was actually quite common and that I needed to do something about it sooner than later.”

What were the steps that you and your family do to help your son’s Plagiocephaly (flat head)?

“The first thing I did was make an appointment with our paediatrician and she recommended that I find a Health Professional (either a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath) that specialized in paediatric cranial sacral therapy and treating torticollis and would provide me with some stretches to do with him. I made an appointment and started taking Ethan in 3 times per week. Torticollis is when a baby has tight neck muscles on one side, making the baby always position their head the same way. This can be caused by them being used to that same position in the womb.

After noticing Ethan’s plagiocephaly I continued looking on the internet to see if there was anything else I could do beside the cranial sacral therapy and physiotherapy to help his chances of rounding his head out and avoiding helmet therapy. I came across Mommy forums in the UK discussing this “miracle pillow” called Mimos. I was lucky to find someone in Oakville selling one second hand that she had ordered from Europe so I bought it right away and began to use it WHENEVER my son was on his back such as the crib, swing, stroller, play mat, etc.

It totally worked!

After having my second son Oliver, his little head was also perfectly round and I was determined to not go through the stress of having to correct plagiocephaly again. Instead began using the Mimos Pillow from day 1 and was so amazed when his round little head stayed round. What a relief!

When Oliver was about eight months old and still had a round head. On a whim, I emailed the head office of Mimos in Barcelona, asking if they had a Canadian Distributor and they replied that they didn’t. So after explaining my experience with Mimos and my background, I was told by the company that in the 25 countries that they sell from around the world were distributors who were parents who also fell in love with the product. From there the contract was signed and I become the Canadian National distributor.”

If you could tell a younger self some parenting advice, what would it be?

“Parenting requires an immense amount of patience, and just when you think you have gotten yourself out of one difficult phase, another begins. Yoga and deep breathing has personally helped me with this. Also my mom’s favourite saying about parenting runs frequently through my head, “this too shall pass.”

I would also say that parenting is also the most amazing thing and watching a child discover themselves, the world and love is truly magical. There is also nothing else quite like two sons laughing with each other. ☺”

What would you like other parents to know about flat head syndrome and about Mimos pillows?

“A lot of parents don’t know that Mimos can be used preventatively which is key. Starting from day one in the newborn phase is the best way to avoid flat head syndrome altogether and avoid the associated stress. Mimos should be on every expecting mom’s baby registry.

Infants’ skulls are softest the younger they are so using Mimos especially between 0 to 4 months is so important. As the fontanels (soft spots) in the head close, the skull is less malleable.

Some babies are born with cranial asymmetries due to birth trauma or their position in the womb so finding a health professional that specializes in this immediately combined with Mimos is the best course of treatment for that.

When using Mimos for corrective purposes, we always recommend pairing the use of Mimos with treatment from a health professional. Mimos is part of the treatment plan and obviously cannot cure any underlying issue such as torticollis.

I have talked to so many moms who did not know of flat head syndrome and who did not know of Mimos and went through the stress as I did. I hope to share my personal story with expecting moms all over Canada to avoid them the stress of having a child with plagiocephaly.”

Anything else you would like to add for our readers.

“Mimos is now a Class 1 Medical Device in Canada and is the ONLY infant pillow on the market that is medical grade. Mimos has been studied in clinical trials to prove its effectiveness. Mimos has been rigorously tested in international laboratories for breathability, anti-suffocation and the risk of CO2 rebreathing.

Mimos is made in Spain and was invented by a man and his wife after undergoing helmet therapy with their son which was a horrible experience. Helmet therapy is when a baby has to wear a helmet for 23 hours a day for around three months.

My goal is to spread awareness about baby flat head syndrome and lower the statistics of babies who have it. A Canadian study in 2013 concluded that 46.6% of babies now develop this. This is mainly due to infants always being on their back to sleep (as recommended for SIDS prevention) and spending a lot of time on their backs in infant swings, playmats, etc. Premature babies who spend time in NICU’s also really benefit from using Mimos as they are constantly lying on their backs.

People often ask me about sizes, will their babies need more that 1 size, etc. Usually if your little one starts from day 1, size small may be the only size they need. Size medium is for older babies (4-5 months old) with a larger head circumference that are using Mimos correctively.

I had many parents come up to our booth at the Toronto Baby Show and say, “Oh! I got one of these at Toys’R’Us.” Mimos pillows are only available online (and safety superstore in Oakville)  and they are not available anywhere else thus far.

Awareness is key so thank you for writing this to help spread awareness.”

A heartfelt thank you to Jessica from Mimos Pillows for opening up and for allowing us into her family story. We hope the information provided here will bring more awareness and prevent babies from getting Plagiocephaly.

Please remember that the Mimos Pillows are only available online and the ones at other retailers are not the same. This is why for Momma Braga readers, there is a special promotion available to you. Enter code MommaBraga under ‘discount’ for $10 OFF on your purchase (click here). You definitely don’t want to miss out on this chance to buy a Mimos Pillow for your little one.

In the meantime, check out Mimos Pillow Canada on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

I See Me Books Warms Our Hearts With A Christmas Story

There is no denying that Christmas is my favorite time of the year! To me it’s the spirit of Christmas that I enjoy the most as to me it’s the most caring time of the year. Therefore, when we got the opportunity to review a new book by I See Me Books on Christmas – I was thrilled!

Nikki got her “Very Own Christmas” from I See Me Books and she was as excited as me (in all honesty I must have been a tad more excited then she was).

This past weekend we sat down to read the story. When we opened the book, Nikki’s photo was there with her full complete name (first, middle and last) with her date of birth. It was a super sweet personalized touch!

The story is about the Santa quest to decorate the tree with a name to string across it for all the world to see. But it’s not just any name! It’s a name of child whose Christmas spirit is always shining through. The book then takes us on an adventure through Santaland where each character says a letter (from the child’s name) and using a positive descriptive word for the child. As we went through each letter and each page, my heart warmed up.

At the end of the story, Santa announces Nikki’s name and says that you can feel her Christmas spirit which warms up his heart to hear it. This last page had my eyes watering as that is exactly how I feel about my daughter. She is my Christmas spirit and now I have a book that I could read to her to let her know exactly that!

For this #MelandNikkiReview we give “My Very Own Christmas” 5+++ jingle bells out of 5. We also have included this on our recommended list which will be out soon!

The book is personalized to truly make the child feel special and unique. The words used are positive and empowering which we love! We just loved everything that this book had to offer us such as the beautiful illustrations, the customized and inspiring story, and for making us ALL feel special when Nikki is named as the child with Christmas spirit. This book even though was about her very own Christmas Story, I felt like it was mine too. We will definitely be reading this book leading up to Christmas and I look forward to it!

As many of my readers have learnt through my blog that giving and charity is something that I hold dear to my heart. This is why I am delighted to inform you all of a special partnership that started on November 1st with I See Me Books the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, and every purchase will benefit the national non-profit.

I See Me Books has also launched “Letters of Love” campaign. Anyone on this page can write an uplifting letter to a child with cancer and make a lasting gift of kindness. Near the end of December they will deliver the letters to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, where they will be given to the children. For every 50 letters they receive, they will donate a copy of My Very Own Christmas to a child supported for the non-profit. If you would like to donate to this cause directly you can do so through the page. The goal is to reach $10,000 and I know it can be done.

If you would like to purchase your own book, please click here.

Make sure to follow I See Me Book on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

* Please note that the product was given in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed in this review are of Momma Braga and were not influenced by the company.

 

A Little Leafy Is “Punny” And Amazing!

Laughter is said to be the best type of medicine and who doesn’t like a good laugh?! I know that I love laughing and definitely like to make the people around me laugh.

This is why when I met Stef from A Little Leafy at the Baby Show in Toronto this year, I fell in love with her business! So what happens when Momma Braga likes a company, we write about it of course!

We had the sincere pleasure to interview the creator and business owner, Stef who gives us the inside scoop on everything, A Little Leafy.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

“My name is Stef and growing up I was the kid who spent her days drawing and wanting to make everyone laugh. That creative passion is what drove me to be accepted into an arts program which lead to graduating as a Graphic Designer. My motto is “a little can do a lot,” not only because I am quite little in size, but also because I believe a little chuckle can go a long way in brightening someone’s day – and that is why I do what I do!”

Tell me a little bit about, A Little Leafy and the products you sell.

“A Little Leafy is where you can find “punnies” that have come to life. The majority of my illustrations include a pun or cheesy joke, accompanied by a smirking comical character! My illustrations are available on a wide range of ever expanding products! Some fan favourites are Mugs, Cards, Prints and my all new Stickers!”

What inspired you to create your business?

“Two years ago, right before I opened my shop, I was severely injured, I slipped a disc in my back and had to leave my job. I was instructed to stay laying down in my room as my back recovered, and this led to my illustrating some punny comics to cheer myself up and release my creativity. I’ve combined my love for a good laugh with my art and so began A Little Leafy!”

What do you hope your customers get from purchasing your products?

“My biggest goal is to spread smiles, and I love that I am able to make someone laugh through one of my punny creations. It really is the littlest things sometimes that can make a bad day into a good one (nudging back to my shop motto), and whether I get a smile, chuckle or slapping your knees laughter – I’m honoured to be part of that reason!”

Where would you like to see your business in five years?

“I hope that my punnies will spread laughter from home to home, and grow to reach new people! I absolutely love being a small business owner and being able to use my art to make others smile, so if I can continue to do so and extend the amount of people my company can reach – I would be ecstatic! I love doing this, and my shop is not just what I do, it is me!”

If someone is interested in purchasing products from you, where should they go? Do you do custom orders?

“I currently have an online shop linked on my website where you can purchase my products! For my local friends I also have a shop nook inside Arts Market on 846 College Street in Toronto – and in addition to that I am always popping up at a local market and love meeting my customers! Custom orders are always welcome, I love personalizing my designs to fit my customer’s needs!”

You are a young and inspiring woman, what advice can you give to a young person who may want to pursue their own business?

“My advice would be to go for it, no matter what. I have had to deal with many people, and I still do to this day, that will want to give you their opinion. In most cases unfortunately it’s negative, because the truth is most people don’t like taking risks. If you never try, you’ll never know and worse than that – you’ll regret never trying. Just keep powering through, keep being positive and keep doing you, because those same people will come to you at the end and instead of saying you can’t, they’ll be asking how!”

What would you say has been the biggest help in you pursuing your dreams?

“The biggest help for me is definitely my family. They not only encourage me, my family also stays up late keeping my inventory organized. I bounce my ideas off of them and not only do they help me physically putting up and taking down show set-ups – but they are also by my side helping me sell! A Little Leafy would not be where it is today without my little sister, Tori. She helps me literally almost every single day, with anything I need. She’s been my biggest supporter from the beginning and I’m truly grateful to have been blessed with an amazing sister. In all fairness I DID ask Santa for her when I was 3…”

Lastly, is there anything you would like to add for our readers?

“I would love to say thank you! Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about me, thank you for smiling at my punnies and thank you for supporting my dream! It truly means the world to me!”

Thank you Stef for giving us the opportunity to interview you and your amazing business!

It is hard not to giggle or smile when you see a creation by A Little Leafy! I loved it so much that I had purchased a mug and a bib from them with some really punny creations on it. I have also included them in my gift giving this year.

What stands out with A Little Leafy is something that you can’t really buy and that is passion. When you meet Stef or when you deal with her company, you can’t help but notice the heart she puts behind everything she creates. She honestly LOVES (I think more than I do of my blog – didn’t think that was possible) what she does and it is reflected in her creations and in her interactions with her customers. That in itself is what makes A Little Leafy part of Momma Braga’s Recommended List.

If you are looking to see the products available you can check out her Etsy shop, or her location at 846 College Street in Toronto. But A Little Leafy also shows up at local events and some that she will be at this November are the following:

Saturday November 4 from 9am to 1:30 pm at The Vaughan Market Place, 1 Villa Royale Ave., Woodbridge, ON.

November 17, 18 and 10 at the Seasons Christmas Show at the International Convention Centre.

Make sure to pass by and say that you read about her on Momma Braga! 😉 Make sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Can’t wait to get my products for my loved ones for Christmas!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga


Cold and Flu Season is Here! Get These Doctor Approved Home Remedies

Written By: Chris Labbate

There is this funny thing that happens around fall and the flu season. Sometimes even if your family gets sick, some of the so called grown-ups can start to behave a little less civilized and through well, through tantrums when ill. We put together this article and Infographic to get them on their feet fast with some Doctor approved home remedies.

If you are a wife and a mother, you can certainly relate. Being home and having to take care of one your kids or husband suffering from a cold or flu isn’t easy.

If they all happen to come down with it at the same time (lucky you) they are all, going to be craving for an equal amount of your attention and care. Calls of, “Mom” can be heard around the house, let alone all the medicines to make them feel better.

But is over the counter drugs the best way to go? What is the best way to comfort your family and get them the care and attention they deserve? Have we forgotten how to heal ourselves naturally?

10 Powerful Doctor Approved Flu Remedies To Help Loved Ones

 

Try these Doctor Approved Home Remedies for Flu and don’t let the situation take a toll on you.

Trust me, all they need is a little compassion, understanding, and warmth from you coupled with a few of these natural remedies and they will be feeling great in no time! All of these methods have been handpicked and Doctor approved so you can feel like your own natural MD.

Transform their feelings into a good mood fast with a few of these home based remedies and you can feel safe about using any of them because they are both natural and well sourced from Doctors approving their healing benefits.

You can also try having some light-hearted talk with your hubby when he is enjoying a bowl of freshly prepared hot chicken soup. It’s these times which your family will remember you the most! Help him relax and share in his feelings while giving his feet a warm massage.

Children certainly feel more vulnerable and irritable, when sick, and demand even more attention than others. Lift up their spirits by treating them with a board game as it is a great way to get them to sit up and run some vapour steam in the room to run out that cold.

The hardest part during all this is to watch your kids feeling low and dull. We know how you feel! Just try and spend a little time with them, try a short or funny short story to them to bring back their giggles!

Sometimes if the Flu is bad it confines your loved ones inside their room. Taking a break from the stale atmosphere greatly improves their mood. If you are successful at getting them out of bed and up and moving, this is a perfect time to clean up the Kleenex, tidy up a little and invite in some fresh air with an open window.

If it’s a nice sunny day out, suggest them to come out and get some air as well in the bright sunshine (vitamin D) and take in some nature sights. Sunlight alleviates the infections and unblocks the respiratory tracts and nature always improves mood.

Grabbing them a cup of their favourite herbal tea with a cinnamon stick in it would be a comforting surprise. The tasty tea has healing properties and is enjoyable by anyone suffering from a sore throat or cold.

Help your sweetie wrap up in a warm blanket and ensure they stay hydrated. While there are tons of remedies and over the counter medications available, nothing can replace water. Take care to keep them hydrated enough with water and or other favourite fluids.

Above all, remember love is the best medicine! So, love them more when they are sick and need it the most and when it’s your turn enjoy the same kind of pampering.