3 Must Have Gifts To Get Your Kids Right Now!!!

By: Grace Cross, Editor of The Baby Spot

Twitter

Originally Posted Here

As I walked with my four year old down a busy city street in the sweltering heat, I stopped momentarily to grab my key out of my purse so I was prepared to unlock a building door. As I reached for the front glass door, an elderly gentleman beat me to it, opened the door for both myself and my daughter.

“Thank you!” I said with a smile. I hear my daughter’s tiny voice echo her thank yous.

“You’re welcome.” He said smiling back and headed out the door and down the busy street. I love to open the door for people and I am grateful when anyone takes time out of their day to open the door for me. I don’t expect anything said to me when I open the door for someone, if it puts a smile on your face to have the door opened for you then that is great. If I don’t get a thank you, no worries, I wanted to open it for you and that is that. In retrospect, I am grateful when someone does a nice little deed for me. It reminds me that the strangers around us are too, three dimensional who think, feel and are going through things in their life whether it be good or bad.

I like people.

But then I looked down at my daughter. I have spoken to waiters and people in service who are shocked at how today’s youth does not use manners. How many children interrupt or swear at their parents when a service individual has briefly taken their parent’s attention to do their job. Basic manners are not mandatory and definitely not mandated by any law in any country that I am aware of. However, it makes all of our lives a little easier.

As human beings, we are a social creature, but little ‘isms’ and human nuances can get on everyone’s nerves. I get it. I’ve been there. Someone not yielding to the right on an escalator for the quicker walkers to walk passed you is social suicide in some cities. Loud talkers in some countries are considered the norm, whereas in my city and in others, it’s considered extremely rude for everyone to have to hear your conversation. In an age where we are blessed to live with different people, cultures and ideas, we can get on each other’s nerves. We can misunderstand and misinterpret each other. There are literally some cultures who shake their heads from side to side meaning ‘no’ and other cultures that shake their head from side to side meaning ‘yes!’ The confusion and naivetés of one another can cause conflict and therefore can make the world a bit of a more challenging place to live in.

So before the keyboard warriors come out and tell us how I and everyone else can do it better, stop! I have three gifts that you can buy your children or even buy yourself that with a simple investment, will make your life easier. With a very unprofessional and uncertified rating system, I will give you a cost break down and an approximate amount of time for every gift to be properly consumed.

The best part of this is, I don’t even have to provide backlinks to any of these gifts because they’re right in front of you. So, put your credit cards down.

Thankfulness

Beyond the screams of a child in a toy store of the sighs of a preteen because Mom or Dad did not let them buy “this cool app, look, it’s only $3.99” is thankfulness. We can’t blame our children. They come from an instantaneous gratification society, a society that gives them information at their fingertips. I am not advocating for this to be taken away, oh no, I think technology is great for the most part. But when we live in a society where we have advertisements telling us we want something, then your children may see a little snippet on the news, of a Syrian family narrowly avoiding death, of a shooting nearby or something that humanizes them that makes them think “well, this did not happen to me, this does not happen here.” The feelings of life start to flood in, but are immediately interrupted from that text of a friend, a new advertisement or another distraction. Before we ask our children to “Be helpers” as Fred Rogers from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood so eloquently put it, we need to remind our children in an age where it seems everyone gets everything right away, to be thankful.

The best way to teach your children, in my humble opinion is to lead by example. No one wants every outing, every experience to be some lesson or lecture. But when a parent shows thankfulness in front of their children, “I am thankful I got home twenty minutes early today and I was not caught in traffic.” “Just got back from the doctors kids, I am thankful for that clean bill of health.” A child starts to hear that behavior and mimic it. Being thankful for a gift, to live in a safe area, to have a loving family is a wonderful seed to plant. A child must be thankful for what the opportunities they have before they can provide opportunities for others.

To add, saying “Thank you” to others, like people who hold the door for your family, serve you in restaurants or in retail settings, deserves a thank you from you and your children if they were kind and attentive.

The greatest thing about thankfulness is you can start when they are infants. Yes, a parent even speaking to their child is soothing. You can introduce this at any age and I promise, it will help shape your children and also keep you in check in a world that can sometimes seem cruel.

Final Cost: 0

Time: About 5 to 10 seconds for each thankful thought.

1 Minute relaying thoughts to others.

Understanding

Understanding can be a tricky one. I am in no means asking you to teach your children to let every bully walk over them “maybe he or she has a hard life and that is why they punch you in the face every day after school, dear.” Or “this person is trying to get me fired from work but maybe they need to feed their family more than I need to feed mine.” That is not the understanding I am advocating for. Protect yourself!

The understanding I am asking for is for your children to function with others who do not think like them. We have this new opportunity where the whole word is connected, a whole world that has opinions, many of them different from their own. I have traveled a bit over the course of my life and created this global parenting magazine on two premises, celebrating the similarities and embracing the differences of parenting practices worldwide. The whole “we are all the same” movement is nice and all and as a people we do share some amazing similarities in both genetics and thought processes, but it is silly and almost ignorant to ignore the vast differences from culture, people and society. Those differences, though foreign to some, are interesting, beautiful and quite frankly, I prefer it. I prefer my thought processes to be challenged and questioned. It either teaches me something new or helps me reform my original opinion to be stronger. As long as the learning process is healthy, I am all for it.

We must teach our children understanding. People have different needs. We have some children who recognize certain religious practices during the day. In retrospect, we have children who require certain understanding. There are children who are religious, not religious, have different ways of thinking or perception like children with autism. The point is, we think differently and we perceive the world differently. We need to understand each other and learn about different types of people.

So what does that mean? Perhaps enrolling your children in a language class, to have a second language under their belt. It’s a new opportunity for your children to learn about a new culture and make new friends speaking their second language. It could be volunteering at a homeless shelter, so your children can interact with people who live differently than themselves. It could also mean having your children meet other children outside of their regular circles, volunteering at a reading program or if extra time is tight, reading about a new country, culture or religion every night for ten minutes. You don’t have to have your degree or be an expert in a subject to get a sense of understanding.

My mom for a short period of my childhood would grab one of her encyclopedia’s, (yes, the book ones not the ones online) and read us a little snippet of a country, culture or place while we ate breakfast before school. Maybe this is corny but it’s true, I enjoyed it! It must have stuck in my head throughout the years, because even though I may not remember anything she read to us, it planted the seed to learn more about everything, to understand to the best of my ability.

I think understanding comes with educating your children. Whether they are destined for a doctorate in medicine or changing the world with Tool and Dye, education breeds understanding. A combination of books and street smarts is a beautiful thing.

Cost=0

Time= ongoing dedication

Empathy

Do you have that child who wants to adopt every stray animal they find? Do you have a child who does not bully others even if everyone else is doing it? You have raised the empathetic child, one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet. A child who many would say is beyond their years, I would humbly say is right where they are supposed to be. To get their peers to think and to inspire adults to remember.

If your child is none of those things, don’t worry! Empathy can be demonstrated and you can ‘wake up’ your child to think in a different way.

For those parents whose child is not empathetic, with most children, you can lead with example. With children with mental health challenges, leading with example, as you well know, may not work.

But you have to live empathy if there is any hope for your children to be empathetic. Showing empathy for other people’s pain is a gift your child will never know how important it is to have. Empathetic people are the seeds that grow ideas into beautiful plants. When one person, combined with understanding, empathizes with another, it helps build bridges with humanity and not make the gap between human being to human being, even bigger.

How you can express empathy is key. You won’t yell at that waitress who took an extra five minutes to fill up your cup because you can see she is waiting on at least ten other tables and you know this task is next to impossible. So you show and exhibit patience. Yelling never helps anyone anyway. You will donate your clothes to those new immigrants to your country because you know they have never felt a winter like yours and you want them to bundle up and stay warm and cozy as they get to know this new land. You use kind words to others, you hear peoples pain and you respond instead of ignoring. You are alive and you act like it.

Cost: 0

Time: a full time investment at first, but then it comes naturally.

These three gifts are not only a must have for the family, but if you use them as a combo, you can get results far greater than buying into just one. With all three gifts, you give yourself a huge discount in time management!

The media is always talking about role models and who will be the role model for your child? You see celebrities protesting that they just sing songs or act in movies and never asked to be your child’s role model. You know what? They’re right. You never asked them to. You don’t need to because you are their role model. It may not seem like that when they run off with their friends without saying goodbye or are rude sometimes. But they are listening. They are observing. You are the answer to your children getting these three gifts. With a onetime investment on behalf of your children, you can really change their life. I am not promising perfection. But what I am promising is you and your family making a difference, no matter how small, in your community and your world. All cliché aside, stop buying into what people tell you that you need to buy your family and invest in these three gifts for life.

Bijoux Marie Puce Making Teething Accessories Unique and Cool

One item I find that usually is forgotten when we are first expecting is teething accessories. Usually we don’t always see this as a gift idea as when we think of newborns, we are not thinking of that wonderful teething stage (one of the hardest stages of raising children). However, teething accessories are very important and there are some really adorable options available!

Recently I have been introduced to Bijoux Marie Puce who creates colorful jewellery, teething accessories and offers gift ideas. Bijoux Marie Puce is located in Montreal, Canada and the owner is Marie-France and she is a mompreneur who has two daughters.  Marie-France has a passion for creating unique products and this can be seen in each piece that she makes.

The product that we got to see was the Silicone Teething Toy and I had to see the owl one in person. It arrived in a nicely wrapped package and it a hand written personal thank you note (love this personal touch!). The material used to make the teething toy is: food grade silicone, nylon cord, and plastic clasp. Items made at Bijoux Marie Puce is hand made and you can tell that it is made with lots of love.

Now you can’t have a #MelandNikkiReview without honesty and when I first opened the package to see the teething accessory, I was really surprised. It is much bigger than I was expecting but in a good way. Usually when you go to these big brands, the teething accessories are so tiny and don’t last long due to poor quality. However, the teething accessory by Bijoux Marie Puce is an amazing size and high quality.

The teething accessory is easy to hold, clean and very appealing to the little ones. It would make a perfect gift for a baby shower or even as a welcoming gift to a new baby. I am sure that the little one will thank you when they are older and the parents will be grateful to have this accessory to help their little one cope with the difficult teething stage.

For this #MelandNikkiReview, we give Bijoux Marie Puce 5 hoots out of 5 for the quality, uniqueness and pricing ($25 CAD for the owl teething toy). Of course I can not forget how absolutely adorable it is! Wish I had one of these when my daughter was teething but now I know where to go if a future child is in the works. 🙂

You must check out Bijoux Marie Puce on Etsy where you can see all that she has to offer such as necklaces, earrings, bracelets, hair accessories, rings, magnets, bookmarks, keychains, scrunchies, teething toys, teething necklaces and children necklaces.

Make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see more of the beautiful creations.

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.

Ever After Entertainment Adds Disney Magic!

“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” – Walt Disney

The best part about watching Disney movies is the magic that it brings through every story and character that they create. This magic can also be seen come to life when you visit the amusement parks all over the world. This is why many say that it’s an experience of a lifetime…

Just imagine being able to have this magic part of your special occasions such as your child’s birthday?!

Ever After Entertainment in Toronto is doing exactly that! They offer that magic and authenticity to your front door with princesses, fairy tale, superheroes and star war characters.

I had the honor of partnering up with Ever After Entertainment to see what they were all about and to get the first hand experience to share with all my loyal readers and fans.

This past weekend we celebrated my daughter, Nikki’s third birthday and we invited Princess Belle to join our festivities in which Ever After Entertainment made it happen for us. We were fortunate to have Belle available as we know that a Princess’ schedule can get hectic.

Princess Belle called before her arrival to let me know that she was almost at our home (I have to admit that I was extremely excited with the phone call). I got the 6 children (3 girls and 3 boys) ready to greet Princess Belle in our living room.

Princess Belle gracefully entered and all the children were in shock to see that Belle was really there. My daughter was so excited that she couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear and said, “Princess Belle came to my party!” All the kids quickly gathered around to see what was in store for them. Belle started off with a get to know each other where she asked each one their name, age and who their favorite princess or superhero is. Each child disclosed with great delight all the information that Belle had requested (it was really cute to see!). Of course Nikki was excited to let Belle know that she was her favorite!

The next part was the enchanting singing performance and it was truly spectacular! Many of my guests couldn’t believe how beautiful Belle sung and some thought it was a recording as it was that good!

Special story time was the next activity where Princess Belle shares her story with all the party guests and it was captivating even for all the adults that were in attendance.

Then it was some interactive fun with dance freeze. It really got the children up and dancing. They all had a real blast and of course prizes were awarded at the end. But the magic didn’t end there as all the party guests got to either get a makeover or magical tattoos for those who wanted one. All our party guests wanted a magical makeover and they even got some Pixie Dust too! It was so great!

We then took the party outside for the signing of Happy Birthday which Nikki loved! Nikki even shouted out, “Come Belle. Come with me outside!” We all sang Happy Birthday and then the most special moment happened when Nikki was crowned and made into an honorary princess. I have to admit my eyes were teary as I saw my little princess filled with such joy with her very own tiara and certificate.

Then everyone had a chance to take a picture with Princess Belle before she had to return to her Princess duties. We even had a few adults at the party sneak in some photos and selfies before she left. Of course Momma Braga had to take a picture too as she has been my favorite princess since 1991 (the original release year of Beauty and the Beast).

“We believe in making dreams come true by inspiring the imagination of children, both young and young at heart.” – Ever After Entertainment

 

We all said good-bye to Princess Belle and every guest talked about how great the experience was. From the youngest at 3 to the youngest at heart at 65, it was enjoyed by all.

So what can I possibly say about this experience and what score does it get on the #MelandNikkiReview?

It was a superb and magical experience and we rate it a 5+++ stars out of 5! Highest rating to date on the #MelandNikkiReview and has made it onto the #MommaBragaRecommended list.

Ever After Entertainment provided us with superior service from start to finish. They offered us Disney magic that one would only think could come true in dreams. Princess Belle made my daughter the happiest girl in the world and as a parent that is the only thing I could ever ask for. The pure joy and entertainment she received tickled my heart pink! Not to mention the joy she provided to the older guests who were big fans of hers. She not only made the birthday girl’s wish come true but to many others too (like myself). The princess party program was perfect and kept the children highly entertained! If you have been to a kid’s party, you do notice that it can be a little hectic. But for that one hour it was organized and filled with admiration.

Ever After Entertainment offered so much more than a character to celebrate a special occasion. They offered an opportunity for the adults to feel like a kid again and to the children, that dreams can come true if you believe.

If you are looking for entertainment for your child’s party or even for special event like a bridal shower, look no further as Ever After Entertainment is the top choice. They offer different types of parties that you will need to check out such as the Princess PartyFairytale Party, Superhero Party, and Star Warrior Party. There are so many options and no matter which one you pick, it will not disappoint! Make sure to book in advance and you can check out their pricing here. You will need to tell me how you enjoyed your party as I would love to hear about it! I am already thinking about which one I want next year for Nikki’s birthday and maybe for my own. 😉

Special thank you to Stefanie and Princess Belle from Ever After Entertainment for allowing us to imagine, “Far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise.” – Belle

Make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+ to see all the dreams they are fulfilling.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga


 

Malasada World Will Rock Your Taste Buds

Growing up in a Portuguese household it was a special treat when my mom would make us malasadas to eat. For those who may not know, a malasada is a Portuguese confection, made of egg-sized balls of yeast dough that are deep-fried in oil and coated with granulated sugar. It really is delicious and it is well known to be a delight that was created from the Azores and Madeira.

Therefore, when I heard about a place called Malasada World, I was extremely excited! How could I have not known that there was a place that specialized in malasadas and where exactly was this place???

Malasada World is located at 33 Ainslie St N in Cambridge (formerly known as Galt City). They are located in a perfect spot, downtown.

So this meant that Momma Braga had to take a road trip! I couldn’t try this place on my own so I had to bring my entourage (my family) with me.

We planned a Saturday outing to Cambridge which is about a 45 minute drive from where we live. We found a parking lot just a few minutes North from where Malasada World is located and it is free for the first two hours (not bad considering that when you park in downtown Toronto, it is never free). Even though we had a gloomy and rainy day, we were still all excited to try a malasada.

We arrived and were greeted by the friendly staff and we got to meet Steve, the face that runs Malasada World!

Steve outside of Malasada World.
Photo Credit: http://www.bassem.ca

My impression of Steve surpassed my expectations as he is a nice and humble person to meet. He has a great sense of humor and if you are at his shop and you don’t want your family to know, he will keep your secret! 😉 He is also the one at the back working really hard to delight your taste buds. You can say that he made a great first impression on all of us.

Now it was time for the true test…the taste test. Was the malasada going to pass the Momma Braga taste test? Will Malasada World make it on the #MelandNikkiReview?

Yes! Yes it did!

Since I have been known for my candid honesty on my blog, I have to say that the traditional malasada that I tried was much better than any other malasada that I have ever had before (sorry mom!). It was fluffy, light and had just the right amount of sugar. It was perfection! I don’t say that often but I can in this case. Everyone in my group loved it as much as I did and my group is one of the hardest critics to please, so bravo Malasada World!

So how did Malasada World begin and who exactly is Steve? I got the inside scoop to share with all of you!

Tell me a little about yourself.

“I am a first generation Portuguese Canadian, born in Cambridge Ontario. I am a 43 year old father of two wonderful young women. My family is from Santa Maria in the Azores, Portugal. I am a classic trained Chef with just over 20 years of experience in different segments of the food and hospitality business. Food and hospitality industry runs in the family.”

Photo Credit: http://www.bassem.ca

What inspired you to call your shop, Malasada World?

“I was thinking of a name that would really help make the brand/concept stand out and speak for itself. I narrowed it down to three names. Luso Donuts and Tia Maria’s Malasadas were the others. I even did a little survey on Facebook to see what my friends would pick. In the end, we picked Malasada World! It was the one that made the most sense after much thought.”

When did you start your business?

“I started the vision for this business concept many years ago! About 11 years ago, I told one of my colleagues it would be nice to just make donuts for the rest of my career. That was Chef Andrew Dymond at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The first time I made them for sale was about five years ago in Prince Edward County at a friend’s farm called, Vicki’s Veggies. Our shop in Cambridge has just recently celebrated its one year anniversary! We opened on Portugal Day in 2016.”

Tell me a little bit about what you serve.

“At the shop we offer everything the MALASADA has to offer! Different varieties including the Traditional Style I grew up with. We also make the Hawaiian style that are enjoyed today in bakeries all over Hawaii. We have developed our very own version of the Malasada with different toppings and refer to these as our “Signature Style.” Our most popular is called the DoughNATA. It is a hybrid of the famous Portuguese custard tart called a “Pastel de Nata” and our Malasada. It’s kind of both put together (minus the puff pastry)!

I have also taken the Malasada dough and developed a line of Baked Malasada Buns and Loaves. This Malasada bread is showcased and used in our daily sandwich menu. We are MALASADA WORLD!”

What do you hope your business accomplishes?

“I want Malasada World to be recognized for being the BEST Portuguese inspired fast casual specialty donut shop! I also hope to achieve international success with a location in Sao Miguel in the future.”

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

“I hope to grow the business and have additional locations in and around Southern Ontario. I am currently looking for the right investors to team up with.”

Anything new on the horizon for Malasada World that we can officially announce on Momma Braga?

“We are currently working on the business plan for a mobile unit for Malasada World. Either a food truck or trailer. We would then be able to serve our customers at private parties and corporate events!”

How important was it for you to bring a piece of your culture to share with the world?

“It was very important for me to somehow include my cultural background and family food experiences into my business model. I think that Portuguese cuisine in general is under represented and is not as familiar as other cuisine’s of the world to the general public. Portuguese cuisine is wonderful and I would like to showcase it more.”

Photo of Steve’s dad and mom who is expecting Steve. You can tell the family’s love of Malasadas!

Thank you so much Steve for the inside scoop and for allowing Momma Braga the opportunity to feature you!

For this #MelandNikkiReview we give Malasada World, a 5+ DoghNATAs out of 5! This is the first review over 5 and it is much deserved. Malasada World has made it on the #MommaBragaApproved and #Recommended lists. If you are looking for a taste of culture done at its finest then Malasada World is for you! Make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and please note their posts may cause you to drool.

A Momma Braga tip is to order your malasadas in advance especially if you are travelling from afar as they do sell out fast! To avoid disappointment, feel free to call them at 519.267.7177 or email them at malasadaworld@gmail.com. Walk-ins are always welcomed but you will need to arrive early to taste some malasada goodness!

Once again thank you Malasada World and Cambridge for having us and I will be back!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this is not a paid or sponsored post. Momma Braga did not receive any form of compensation in exchange for this review and all opinions in this post are my own honest opinions.

 

Welcome To The Threenager Stage

Today (August 1st) is a special day in our household as we celebrate our daughter, Nikki’s third birthday. It’s all about celebrating her and how special she is to us. It is also a great day to celebrate us as parents as we have had another year of parenting.

This past year we have seen our daughter bloom into her own personality and see her language skills explode with delight. It is amazing how much one can grow in a year and we have loved every minute of it. I think our favorite part of her growing up has been her ability to communicate with us and I do love her why and what questions on absolutely everything that we encounter on a daily basis. Why do I enjoy it? It makes things exciting and better yet, it gets me to question what, why and where myself. It almost brings the child in me to embrace curiosity again. Of course, it has also been the year of the terrible twos and one filled with changes such as our big move from our condo space to a home of our own.

There have been a lot of ups and downs through year two but we wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Now we are entering year three and I have been told to be prepared for the “Threenager” stage.

So what is the Threenager stage? The Threenager is that age when your three-year-old continually acts like they are going on 13. They have an attitude for miles, a stubborn streak, and want what they want and when they want it. It really does sounds like a teenager but in mini form.

I feel that I have seen sprinkles of some these traits already and am curious as to what else would be in store for us this year. All we can do as parents is help guide her along the way and embrace the parenting journey with our ball of energy that we call, Nikki.

To our daughter Nikki, Happy 3rd Birthday! We wish you the sweetest birthday filled with lots of love to make you feel as special as you are to all of us. You light up everyone’s heart with your contagious smile and your kind nature. We love your spunky personality and independence which will help you grow into a strong person. Always believe in yourself even if you feel it is impossible. And know that momma and dada will always be here and support you in all your endeavours.

Looking forward in seeing what year three will bring us all and see how much more my daughter will blossom.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Momma Braga’s Mini Pizza Recipe

This recipe is one of my favorites and super easy to do especially for your family. I remember my mom making this for us to eat when we went away to our trailer many years ago. Get ready to learn how to make mini pizzas and enjoy them at your next family dinner.

INGREDIENTS

– English Muffins (6 pk)
– Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
– Tomato Sauce
– Toppings (e.g. pepperoni, green peppers, mushroom, etc.)

DIRECTIONS

– Cut the English muffins in half (the 6 muffins will then become 12).
– Spread tomato sauce on each muffin using a spoon.
– Drizzle mozzarella cheese on each muffin and use as much cheese as you desire.
– Add your favorite toppings (the ones mention above are my favorite but I use turkey pepperoni instead).
– Once each muffin has it’s ingredients place them on a baking sheet and place them in the oven at 400.
– Time may vary but usually 30 minutes later you have yourself some mini pizzas to eat.
– Let them cool down before consuming.


There you have an easy and fast mini pizza recipe to try out and feel free to share if you try it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

When Is It The Right Time To Announce A Pregnancy?

We have all heard of the three month mark to announce a pregnancy to all and it has been the norm in most families. But is it really the norm? If so, what is the reason behind this norm?

I started to ask myself these questions when this topic came up in one of my discussions with one of my best friends, Grace. We started talking about why each one of us held onto our pregnancy announcement until the three month mark. Both of our reasons where very similar such as it was the norm, this was a comfortable time for us to share and another reason was the fear of miscarrying.

This was one of the main reasons that I did not disclose my pregnancy to my family and friends until I reached the three month mark as I feared that I would endure the pain from my first miscarriage. I did share the news with my immediate family who were sworn to not tell a single soul (sounds silly but they were great sports about it). I only shared my birth announcement on social media which shocked a few people on my friend list as they did not know I was even pregnant. I did all this with the fear of miscarrying.

I get it when people withhold the information until they feel that it is a safe time to tell people and I support their decision. I also support those who are so excited about the news and want to share with everyone that they love earlier than the three month mark. I always tell my friends that it is YOUR news to share and do it when the time is right for YOU.

Here are some thoughts that came to mind as I wrote this piece. If everyone shared the news before the three month mark and a woman miscarried wouldn’t that mean there would be more support for her? Maybe the women who miscarried wouldn’t feel ashamed due to the loving support that she could get from family and friends? Maybe this would be a great start to combat the issue and stigma around miscarriages. I am not saying to put your baby news on the 6 o’clock news but it is perfectly ok to share it with people that you want to share it with.

Whatever you decide to do, just know that by sharing before the three month mark doesn’t mean that there is anything to be ashamed of if you do miscarry.

So when is it the best time to announce your pregnancy? I say it is when you feel comfortable in sharing it. So what will I do if I expect another child? Not sure yet but I know that if I share the news it is because I am comfortable in sharing and the reason to withhold it won’t be due to fear.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

The doTERRA Difference

Founded in 2008, doTERRA was built on the mission of sharing therapeutic-grade essential oils with the world. Having seen for themselves the incredible benefits that can be had from using these precious resources, a group of health-care and business professionals set out to make this mission a reality. They formed a company and named it doTERRA, a Latin derivative meaning “Gift of the Earth.”

doTERRA offers essential oils that are gentle and carefully distilled from plants that have been patiently harvested at the perfect moment by experienced growers from around the world for ideal extract composition and efficacy.

Each doTERRA essential oil is also carefully and thoroughly tested using the strict CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® quality protocol. Experienced essential oil users will immediately recognize the superior quality standard for naturally safe, purely effective therapeutic-grade doTERRA essential oils.

While there is a science to the distillation of essential oils, it is also an art. Distillers not only rely on years of experience, they also employ modern technologies and techniques.

Momma Braga Experience

I received a few samples to try and I truly enjoyed the Lavender essential oil as it helped calm my stress. I applied a drop to my pillow and had a great night sleep. I have done this a few times and each time it worked beautifully. I have not had the opportunity to try the other samples that I received but just the Lavender alone made it worthy to write about it!

I love how it is natural and none of their products are tested on animals. The products are also family-friendly which is awesome in my book.

I was delighted to be introduced to doTERRA from Jen Warrington who is a doTERRA Wellness Advocate.

If you are interested in seeing what they have to offer then you should check them out as they have some neat products to try.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

* Please note that Momma Braga did not receive any compensation for this blog post and personal experience is my own.

5 Tips For A Trip To The Zoo

By: Karen Silva
Twitter

The zoo is one of my favorite places to go! It’s an amazing feeling to see all the wild animals in person and not to mention that the zoo if full of interesting facts about these animals too. When I found out that my sister wanted to take my niece to the Toronto Zoo, I just had to tag along. However, I knew that going with a two and half year old you just can’t pick up and go, so we had to make sure we were well prepared for the trip.

Here are my top five MUST haves that you should bring with you when going to the zoo. However, if you have never been to the Toronto zoo I suggest you check out their website first.

Stroller or Wagon

We all know that the Toronto Zoo is full of all sorts of creatures, which means there is a lot of walking involved, so make sure you bring a stroller or wagon for your little one. They can get restless and tired throughout your visit and having one of these with you will not only make their visit more comfortable but will work great if they want to take a nap. It will also help you carry items you decide to bring or buy while you are there. Also be sure to check out the zoo train, in my opinion it is worth every penny and is great for younger children. It goes around the whole zoo leaving you at designated areas where you can see other animals. In case, you do go on a very hot day, this ride is very refreshing.

Food/Snacks and Water

The great thing about the Toronto Zoo is that they allow you to bring your own food and drinks as they have great picnic areas that you can eat at. Now it may seem easier to just bring a cooler with ice with you; however the reality is you won’t want to lug that around with you, and you have to remember that the zoo is a big place and requires a lot of walking. Bring simple things like sandwiches, snacks and water bottles. If you want to keep things cool keep a cooler in your car and make the trip back if you wanted or bring ice packs in a large lunch bag. Some great snacks for your little ones that’s easy to pack is Gold fish crackers, grapes, bananas, etc. There are also some great places at the Zoo that you can stop in to purchase food and drinks too.

Protective Gear

As we all know the sun can be quite dangerous when being over exposed, so it is important to put on the sunscreen before heading out and pack some to re-apply after lunch. Even on cloudy days the sun is still doing its job and often times the sun may peek out later that afternoon, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Also make sure that you are all wearing comfortable clothing such as running shoes, light colored and light material clothing; as well as a hat and sunglasses. Dressing appropriately will make your whole experience more enjoyable. Trust me, I made the mistake once wearing flip flops to the zoo because it was so hot but in the end my feet were killing me from all the walking because my feet weren’t properly supported.

Capturing the moment

You want to remember this day so make sure that you take lots of pictures, not just of the animals but of you and your family. As a family you can write a list of the animals you want to see and/or take pictures of and make it a goal to check off each one. Also be sure to check the zoo’s gift shop, they have great things in there that you can purchase as a souvenir.

 

Smooth Good-bye Transition

Sometimes kids are so exhausted with the whole experience and spending hours at the zoo that leaving shouldn’t be a problem. However, we do have to keep in mind that some children may not want to leave and will pout, kick and scream to stay. In case this happens, I will share with you some smooth transition ideas that will help you all go from the zoo to your cars without fighting tears.

If you are planning on visiting and purchasing something from the gift shop, be sure to save that for the very end. It will give your child something to look forward to and will keep them distracted with a new item all the way to the car. If you’re on a budget make sure to bring along one of your child’s favorite toys; however leave it in the car. It could be used as motivation to go back to the car. At the end of the day you know your child best so you can use the best tricks that you know will work for you in that situation.

I believe that the Toronto Zoo is a great trip to take with your children. It is not only very informative but an amazing experience for children to see these animals in person as appose to seeing them on the T.V.

 

About the Author

Karen Braga graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Karen is a loving Godmother/Auntie to one. Combined with her ECE background and passion for DIY projects and baking, she has recently become an expert writer for mom blogger, Momma Braga. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can bring families together through her creative ideas.

Hey, Boy Reminds Us Of The Love Of A Pet

In this latest #MelandNikkiReview we read “Hey, Boy” which was written by Benjamin Strouse and illustrated by Jennifer Phelan.

This story is about how a boy finds a dog and they bond right away. The boy takes the dog home, dreaming of all the adventures they will have and the games they will play. But when the boy gets hurt, he and his new best friend are separated. Even thought they are not together, they never stop dreaming of the adventures. They do reunite and their friendship did not fade.

Hey, Boy is a reminder that true friends always find their way home to each other.

Nikki and I give this book 5 barks out of 5 as it’s such a simple book with such a beautiful message on how one’s love for their pet lasts a lifetime. We loved this book as we know how special a love can be with a furry family member as we use to have one in our lives. We know how important these bonds and friendships are. This book articulated that so beautifully through words and illustrations.

We recommend this book for 2 to 8 as it is a great read with such a great message.

To purchase this book, please click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga