Our First School Year Takeaways

Hard to believe that our first school year arrived so quickly and just as quick, it is done. It is hard not to get emotional as we reflect on our daughter’s first school year. I remember dropping her off at the first day of school and her politely asking me to leave while I held onto the lump in my throat. Then releasing all the tears as I entered my car alone and wondered the whole day on how she was doing. To the last day of school where everyone excitedly said good-bye as they get to experience their first official summer holidays.

It has been such a journey and we all grew so much in the time that we call “school year.” There are a few takeaways that I want to share that may help other new parents as they embark on school life for the first time.

High and Low Points

A life lesson that we all know is that there are high and low points in life. This same lesson can be applied to Junior Kindergarten. There will be days that your child will be happy and there will be other days that your child is not happy. This is absolutely normal as the child needs to adjust to school life and some days might be better than others. The most important thing to do with your child is to talk about all the points of the day.

Every day after school, I would ask Nikki how her school day went and I would try to prepare myself in advance of what the responses might be. Some days there were some crying and other days there were smiles. At the end of the day, we both learned together on how to cope with the feelings of the day and how to better express them especially on the bad days.

Germs

They do exist and EVERYWHERE in the classroom! We were told by many other parents that kids get sick often at school, we were just hopeful that it wouldn’t happen to us. Well, that dream bubble broke very quickly in the school year as we battled cold after cold the first four months of the school year. At first we thought there must be something wrong with our child for being sick so often. However, our family doctor reassured us that this is common especially in the first couple of years of school. There are even points throughout the school year that it spikes (After Thanksgiving, Christmas Break and March Break were the most common times). A child’s immune system is being exposed to the world around them and it will take some to adjust.

We felt relieved that it wasn’t just us and we all started to take our vitamins to make sure we all stayed strong while fighting any cold that tried to bring us down. *When your child is sick, many times so do the parents. Don’t forget to take care of yourselves!

Kids Can Be Cruel

We all know that kids are not the nicest of beings and unfortunately we learned that very early on in Nikki’s school life. We had to deal with a child who called our daughter “fat” and it was a shocking experience for us to deal with. We learned a great deal from this experience and we were able to provide tips to help other parents who may encounter themselves in a similar situation.

Kids will be kids is no longer an acceptable term in our home. We feel it is important to stop the cycle instead of encouraging the phrase of “it’s part of being a kid.” Our biggest take away from this experience was to make sure that my child loves herself. If we truly love ourselves, our self-image will always stay true.

Label EVERYTHING

The Lost and Found is a popular area in the school and I understand why. Many kids have the same bags, lunch containers, and even clothes. Therefore, many times the items are taken by accident by another student or the items are lost. This is why we highly recommend to label everything that your child brings to school, including their shoes. We use Mabel’s Labels as they are durable and they have the perfect label for each item you need them for! It was a life saver for us as none of our items were lost or misplaced. That saved us a lot of money by the end of the year. Thank you Mabel’s Labels! 🙂

Be Involved

It is very important to be involved with your child’s educational learning. In Nikki’s class they brought home a communication book every night, this is where we can write notes to the teachers and they would also write notes for us if necessary. We loved this as it got us to be more involved in the classroom by having this form of communication between the teachers.

We do encourage to participate in fundraisers at the school and attend events that are open to parents to join. We did the chocolate fundraiser and it was a great learning experience for our daughter to undertake. It brought out her fundraising skills out and she was one of the top fundraisers in the school (special thank you to our family and friends for buying chocolates in support!). We also attended the Fun Fair that they had at the school which was great to see and interact with our students and parents. It really made us feel like part of the school community.

Any form of involvement that you can do with your child at school will benefit everyone. We know that we truly enjoyed being engaged and involved. I took it one step further and volunteered on their first school field trip and boy was that an experience that I will never forget (article coming soon on this!).

Create A Yearbook

I remember having yearbooks when I was older in school and loved having people sign my yearbooks. I never thought of having my teachers sign it and I wonder what they would have written about me.

This is why when I heard about this idea from my sister’s friend, I just had to incorporate it in our lives. We bought the classic, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss and made it into Nikki’s official yearbook. Every year we will be asking Nikki’s teachers to write in it and this way she can look back and see what her teachers wrote about her. It will be interesting to see what each teacher sees in Nikki and it will be a keepsake for life.

We are truly grateful for the remarkable teachers Nikki had this year as they were very supportive of Nikki and of us as parents. This is why we decided to write a very detailed letter to the principal of the school to show our thanks to each teacher that impacted Nikki’s school year. Written compliments are rare in today’s world as we are all so busy. However, I wanted to make sure that the teachers knew how special they are and how thankful we are that they taught our child this school year. Nikki’s teachers appreciated this gesture by us and one was almost in tears as she was humbly touched by our words.

How Much They Grow

It truly is amazing to see how much your child grows especially in the first year of school. Nikki learned in leaps and we are truly grateful to her teachers who helped her grow as a person and as a student.

On the first day of school, Nikki had the baby face that still made me feel that she was my baby (pictured below).

On the last day of school, she was blooming into a young lady who had a magical first school year (picture below). The change in her appearance, demeanor and knowledge was tremendous that this was the biggest takeaway from the whole year. It is amazing how one school year changes everything.

Now here I am a parent who has fully embarked in school life and it has been a journey. I know there will be other challenges, triumphs and milestones ahead but for now I am going to bask in Junior Kindergarten glory as Nikki passed! There are more smiles, joys and tears to come as I know I have had my fair share of all this first year.

I want to thank my husband, my family and all my friends for all their loving support of Nikki and me as we all go on this crazy journey called parenthood.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

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Keep The House Tidier By Making A Garden Play Area

Okay, you’ve gotten sick of looking around your house and seeing how untidy it is. The children’s toys are everywhere, you can’t take one step without hitting a racing car or princess doll with your foot. You’ve probably already designated one particular room where the kids can play but still it’s not enough. Maybe you don’t have such a room and the living room is always looking like a bomb site. It’s time to make an area for the kids where they can play and not make you so worried over the mess they create. The garden comes to the rescue in many situations and this time is no different. We so often don’t think of the garden as useful space in our home. We tend to just keep it tidy and maybe sit outside every once in a while. All that space and nobody’s is really using it. It could be where there kids have their own play area, keeping the inside of the house tidier.

Start digging away

First thing’s first, you need to dig away the soil. You don’t need to make the entire garden into a play area, so select one corner or half. From then on you need to buy some soil bags or rather, just some large garden bags. These are made from strong synthetic fibers allowing them to bear a lot of weight. All the grass, leaves and soil should be placed inside these. Alternatively, if you have a large amount of earth to move you can use a skip bin. These can be hired in many different sizes. The truck will drive up to your house to drop it off and also pick it up when you’re finished with it. This is a very practical option as you might need to buy multiple bags as the job gets broader and tougher. So instead an open top container like a skip comes in handy.

Flatten and compact

The soil should then be flattened by either using a rake if it’s not that bad or a soil flattener. You can use your feet and hands to press the soil down evenly but this isn’t as consistent as the former option. These aren’t like tar flatteners which require a powered motor, soil flatterners are pushed by hand. Lawn rollers are also useful in this regard as they operate in much the same manner. Compactors are the last option as some soils are very tough, dense and perhaps have a lot of stones making the soil and lawn flatteners skip over the area.

Border and cover

Next you need to create a border around the area, which can be easily done using cylindrical wooden logs. These can be picked up in any garden and home improvement store. Fit them around the area by first digging into the soil as much as you need to. Keep the logs up at around waist height of the children. You can then cover the area with rubber chips and make the area safe to play on.

The garden is the most versatile part of our homes yet we never think of using what we have. A garden play area for the kids will keep the inside of your house tidier and give them somewhere to have fun.

 

The Baggage Of Mom Life

Being a mom carries a lot of baggage, and you don’t have to have a big family to realise that. Being a mom is no doubt one of the best feelings in the world. To know that a little human loves you as much as you love them, and that love is most likely going to be unconditional for life, is just a feeling that can’t be matched. But sometimes it can get to the point where you feel like you’ve got so much baggage that you’re carrying around with you, and life can just get a little stressful with it all weighing you down. So what is a mom to do when so much baggage keeps piling up, but the family needs to keep on running as it has always done. Well, it’s where articles like this come in to help you out. We’ve got some excellent tips that should help you reduce your mommy baggage, leading to a more stress free lifestyle. So if this is something you’re desperate for, keep on reading, and we’ll show you how to do just that!

Have A Good Clear Out

So the first bit of baggage that we think everyone needs to get rid of, is baggage around the home. If there’s one thing that seems to pile up over the years of having kids, it’s clutter around the home. Even if you can’t see the clutter, you know it’s there, and you know how much space it’s taking up. Some of you will have so many things collected, that trips back and forth to shops or dumping sites is just going to be too much, especially if there’s furniture involved. But skip bin hire is almost nearly always too expensive. But there is some cheaper bin hire available if you take the time to look around. You’ll most likely only need to hire it for a day or two as well!

Keep Your Circle Small

So when you become a mom, your circle is going to get a little smaller to begin with. It’s like everyone disappears out of your life, unless they’re going through the same parenting process as you. But soon it begins to grow again, and it can begin to grow much quicker than you might have expected, especially as you get in with all of the moms at school or nursery. But this creates so much extra baggage and stress, and moms can actually be really catty towards each other. So we do recommend that you keep your circle smaller than you might have it at the minute, and keep people who you know are truly there for you, close to you. It’s all well and good wanting a lot of friends, but are the people in your life truly your friends?

A More Organised Lifestyle

So finally, you really need to keep your life organised. Most of the time you’ll feel a lot of baggage is involved, simply because your mind is always all over the place with the things you’ve got to do. So try and take the time to relax, simplify your life, and watch it get easier!

Leap Ahead with Leap Frog Epic™ Academy

Summer is upon us and it means that school is out! However, it doesn’t mean that the learning has to end as we know how important continuous learning is for children. There is a great option available for kids and it comes in the technology form that children love to explore.

We are delighted to introduce our readers to LeapFrog Epic™ Academy Edition which is LeapFrog’s most advanced Android-based tablet. It is packed with content including an extended three-month free trial of LeapFrog Academy™. This tablet is perfect for children ages three to nine years old. Get your growing child excited about everything from problem solving to learning to read.

Details

Pre-loaded with LeapFrog Academy™ app

This interactive learning program for three to six years of age guides children on a variety of fun Learning Adventures they can play anywhere.

Grows with your child

LeapFrog Epic™ is safe right out of the box and parents can control when to add more features such as Android™ apps as their child is ready.

Packed with Learning Content

Already includes $175 worth of learning content and access to the LeapFrog® App Center that explore a range of subjects and skills such as math, science, reading, creativity, problem solving and critical thinking

Customizable Home Screen

Kids can get excited about a virtual world they create. Watch night fall, see the weather change, discover fun surprised and add stickers, animations and more.

Popular Android™ apps

Offers popular Android™ apps like Fruit Ninja Academy that are built exclusively for LeapFrog® to eliminate in-app purchases so they are kid-safe as soon as they are downloaded.

LeapSearch™ kid-friendly web browser

LeapSearch™ provides access only to approved, kid-appropriate content. Parents can add sites and reduce restrictions using the parental controls as their child is ready. 

Just for Me™ Learning

Exclusive to LeapFrog®, Just for Me™ learning technology personalizes select games to challenge kids as they grow.

Durable Design

Built for the way kids play, with a shatter-safe LCD screen and protective bumper for everyday bumps.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We absolutely love this tablet and Nikki has loved it so much that it hasn’t left her side since we received it.

Our reviews are authentic and real; therefore, we spent a good two weeks to get to know the tablet and see how it truly can benefit our readers. We are delighted to share our top six reasons why we love the Leap Frog Epic™ Academy.

  1. It provides hours of educational fun and all their learning apps and games are educator-approved.
  2. It is kid friendly and safe. As a parent, I want to make sure that what she is playing and viewing is appropriate for her age. Also am relieved to know that items can not be purchased online without a parent’s review.
  3. It is durable! I can’t tell you how many times items are dropped especially tablets. We love how LeapFrog has us in mind and has already equipped the tablet with a safe protective case – thank you!
  4. Travel friendly. We love how we can take the tablet wherever we go and many of the games do not need Wi-Fi. These comes in handy for long car rides especially in the summer. Entertainment and Learning on the go is what we say! 😉
  5. Battery life is phenomenal as it lasts 7+ hours! This doesn’t mean they should be on the tablet for that long but it is comforting to know that you don’t need to keep charging the tablet a few hours later.
  6. Easy set up! I don’t know about most parents but I do like easy set-ups. Ones that don’t take too long to do especially when your child is eagerly waiting to use it! 🙂

This will be our favorite technology piece to use this summer as it will keep Nikki’s mind active while school is out. It will keep the skills that she has learned in the first year of school growing with a simple touch of a screen. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give the Leap Frog Epic™ Academy 10 Leaps out of 5! We do recommend it! An added bonus is that LeapFrog offers the LeapFrog Academy FREE for three months. The Academy offers a step-by-step learning program that automatically responds to each child. A must try if you are purchasing this amazing tablet!

explore – play – imagine – create

If you would like to purchase one for a child in your life, click here for the Green and click here for the Pink.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that the product was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Carson Crosses Canada | Book Review

“Pack your bags as we travel alongside Carson through Canada. It is a grand adventure with an even grand surprise for Carson at the end.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Feisty Annie Magruder and her dog, Carson, live in British Columbia, Canada, and they’re setting out to visit her sister, Elsie, in Newfoundland. In their little rattlebang car, packed with Carson’s favorite toy, Squeaky Chicken, and plenty of baloney sandwiches, Annie and Carson hit the road! They travel province by province, taking in each unique landscape and experiencing something special to that particular part of this vast, grand country. For example, they marvel at the beauty of the big, open sky — and grasshoppers! — in Saskatchewan and discover the gorgeous red earth and delicious lobster rolls in PEI, before finally being greeted by Elsie — and a surprise for Carson!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Carson Crosses Canada is a great children’s book and the perfect book to get into the spirit of Canada Day! We loved this book and going alongside Carson through Canada! Also loved the beginning and the end of the book where it maps out all of Annie’s and Carson’s route stops – great educational piece!

The story is fun and little ones will enjoy it from beginning to end. The illustrations were vibrant and a perfect addition to this grand adventure! We would recommend this book for children ages four to eight.

Carson is a lovable dog who brings a humorous side to many of their stops and we loved that as it made so much more fun to read. Who doesn’t like a funny dog?! Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 Chiens (dogs in French) out of 5! 

“I love this book. Canada is so beautiful and I love being Canadian mom!” – Nikki, Age 4

To purchase this great book and just in time to celebrate Canada Day, click here.

About the Author

Linda Bailey is an award-winning, bestselling author who has written more than thirty books for children, including If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur, When Santa Was a Baby, Seven Dead Pirates and the Stanley series. She has won the Blue Spruce Award, the California Young Reader Medal and the Georgia Storybook Award, among others. Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, she now lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia. And yes, she has driven across Canada!

About the Illustrator

Kass Reich works as an artist and educator and has spent the majority of the last decade travelling around the world. She earned a degree in Art Education from Concordia University and was an early childhood educator in Beijing, which inspired her to start making picture books for very young readers. She now lives and works in Toronto, Ontario

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Fun Things To Do With Your Kids On A Budget

https://www.pexels.com/photo/silhouette-of-person-standing-near-camping-tent-2398220/

When the summer holidays roll around, chances are you’re going to feel the strain on the purse strings when it comes to trying to keep the kids entertained. We all know how it goes, left unoccupied they’ll constantly be telling you they’re bored, or sit wasting the summer away on their phone or computer screens. However, there are plenty of things to do that are fun for both parent and child, giving you the chance to make fun memories without breaking the bank. As the saying goes, ‘the best things in life are free’, and when you’re watching the pennies, this can be especially true. With the following activities, you will spend more time together and as a parent, you will be glimpsing into that wonderful world of childhood.

The Library 

As strange as it might sound, one thing you might not have considered is taking a trip to the local library, where the kids pick out some books for the week. This may seem like an old fashioned concept, but there are still massive adventures to be had in the thousands of stories in your local library. Unfortunately, many libraries are starting to close down but you can still find them dotted around and they’re so worth a visit. Whether they read themselves or you read to them, the local trip to the library can turn into a trip everyone begins to look forward to. Reading with your kids when you get home can transport you into fairytale worlds of kingdoms and castles, or faraway lands with magical creatures. Each week can become a hunt to find a story as good as the one they have just read. Over time, hopefully, they’ll develop the love of reading which will inspire their creativity and develop their imagination. Libraries also have free activities such as homework help for teenagers, and storytime sessions and even art classes for kids, which will not only keep them entertained but perhaps they’ll make a friend or two. Although it may not be everyone’s first idea of fun, once you delve into the experience the fun to be had will make you smile.

Rainy Days 

It’s tempting for the children to turn to their iPads or computers when the weather isn’t great, so why not introduce them to the world of crafting by starting a new craft project. This will keep them busy and productive without resorting to wasting time on social media and on video games. Plan the craft first, get all the things you need in advance; paper, card, glitter, sequins and high quality glue guns, to stick everything down will give them the potential to make all kinds of pictures and art crafts. You can make personalized gifts for fathers day or for a birthday which the kids will love to create and give, or pen holders and decorations for things like July 4th. There are so many ideas, but if you are struggling then Pinterest is a great place to find great projects and may even give you other ideas on things to do such as baking. You can find cheap craft supplies on eBay for kids, big packs of pipe cleaners, coloured paper and glitter doesn’t cost much and they are bound to be excited waiting for them to be delivered. Baking is a good learning experience, and kids love to eat things they have made themselves. You can have lots of fun decorating little fairy cakes you make, or a full-size cake if you are more ambitious. Another idea for a rainy day is a movie night, all gathered together on the sofa watching a great Disney film will probably have you all singing along. Those home baked cakes could come in handy here or a bag of popcorn to give it that movie night feel.

The Great Outdoors 

The park is always a great choice when you need something inexpensive to do, with lots of fresh air and a chance to run around is always a favorite with kids. Pack a picnic and with sandwiches and any homemade cakes you may have baked together. There is often ice cream on sale in the park, and with a homemade picnic what could be nicer. Make a game of seeing how many birds or trees you can spot, and then ask the children if they can name them and guess their age. Feeding the ducks is a favorite too, and with the sun reflecting off the water on a sunny day, everyone can appreciate the beauty in nature, make sure you don’t forget to take a camera to capture the moment. Family bike rides are a good way to get the whole family exercising, and if you plan your route you can ride safely with plenty of incredible views while the weather is nice. Again you could take a picnic and plenty of water and choose a nice spot to take a rest. Fit a child seat on the back of your bike if you have young children who can’t cycle or will tire easily, they will love the ride and the fresh air will still tire them out. Discovering your local farm could be something different to do, the children get to see the animals up close and that is always a special treat, and it’s also  a chance for you to teach them more about them. Anyone for camping? Always an adventure and what a treat on a clear night looking up at a sky full of stars. Pointing out constellations and looking for shooting stars, or stories around the campfire. Camping is something all families could do and have lots of fun. The beauty with this one is it can be just for one night or as long as you want, and it costs much less than a standard hotel style holiday.

Having fun with the kids can be educational and fun. It builds memories for years to come which everyone can enjoy. Getting them off their technical gadgets and into the world of crafting or outdoors may inspire something they love all their lives. It could even set them on a career path for the future if they find something they enjoy early in life, though you can be sure any path they pick will be a good choice, as you have done quality activities with them when they were young.

 

Fundraising Made Easy Through Mabel’s Labels

Not many of my readers or fans know that before becoming a blogger, I was a fundraiser. Never did I think I had the skills to be a fundraiser but it came naturally to me. What helps me in my fundraising adventures is remembering what I am raising money for. It could be for a charity, school or community group. That love and passion that I have for that organization or group is what motivates me to fundraise my heart out.

I know that fundraising isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and some people are uncomfortable with it which I understand fully. At one point or another though we may come across the “fundraising” path especially with our children’s schools or community groups that they join. To make things a lot easier for people who don’t really like asking for money, we found a great option to raising money and that is called Mabel’s Labels.

Mabel’s Labels offers a great fundraising program where people can purchase their products through your fundraising campaign and the organization or school gets the commission. It is so simple to use and that awkward ask doesn’t have to be one with this program.

About Mabel’s Labels

In case you have not heard about Mabel’s Labels, let’s give you the 411 on this great company.

It all began in 2003, when four busy moms noticed a huge gap in the market for durable kids’ labels. Frustrated by their children’s things getting lost, mixed up and leaving home never to return, Julie Cole, Julie Ellis, Cynthia Esp and Tricia Mumby knew they could do better than the scribbles on masking tape that were being passed off as labels. From there, the idea for the product was born: the very best personalized waterproof name labels and tags that were equally cute and durable.

Today, Mabel’s Labels is the best-known brand of durable labels for families, and their growing line of products features baby bottle labels, allergy and medical alert products, sports labels, household labels and seasonal items. They’re extremely durable, they’re laundry, dishwasher and microwave safe – and they’re 100% guaranteed.

Talk about an amazing product!

Mabel’s Labels fundraising program is completely online; therefore, there is no need to collect forms, fund, or distribute products.

Mabel’s Labels provides all of their fundraisers with digital and hardcopy promotional materials at no cost. They also have specific promotional materials for everything from school to dance, to camp and daycare! If there are any sales happening at Mabel’s Labels you will be notified and you can promote them to bring more sales to your campaign.

Fundraising Details

Simply email Mabel’s Labels at fundraising@mabelslabels.com or call them at 1-866-306-2235 to get started.

When you are fundraising with Mabel’s you’re eligible to earn 20% commission on all orders that are placed in support of your organization. Payment is issued monthly as long as you’ve earned $50+ in commission. Any funds less than $50 roll over to the next month.

It is recommended you host your fundraiser for at least three months, but many times organizations will choose an ongoing campaign. This is the best option if you don’t want to worry about restarting it year after year.

Mabel’s Labels offers a login for the person who is running the fundraiser. This login will allow the captain track the orders and see when they are close to earning a commission cheque.

How To Fundraise

How does someone support your fundraise through Mabel’s Labels? They simply visit campaigns.mabels.com and search for the school, organization or charity name. Then click and order. It is that simple!

Why Fundraise with Mabel’s Labels
  1. No sales pressure and no set end date. Just sign up and make 20% commission on all sales!
  2. No distribution or sorting! Supporters order online and we send their labels directly to them.
  3. Quick online ordering for your supporters, plus FREE shipping.
  4. Free digital and hard copy flyers to help promote your campaign.

Win with Mabel’s Labels

Mabel’s Labels fundraising program is an easy and practical way to raise funds for your school, daycare, team, camp or organization while ensuring kids’ belongings stay out of the lost and found. Did we mention that there are no costs or fees to you as a fundraiser?! There is even an option where your school or organization logo can be used on the labels. All you need to do is email it to them when setting up the fundraiser.

It is a big win for everyone including us parents! We have been using Mabel’s Labels for a year now and we love them! It has truly been a life saver in Nikki’s first year in school. If we were to rate our experiences with Mabel’s Labels we would have to say 10 stars out of 5! We love the different type of labels available such as baby, birthday, daycare, travel, school, home, camp, kids’ activities and kids’ safety. They thought of it all and we love them all!

All we can say is sign-up for the Mabel’s Fundraising Program and start raising money! 🙂

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This post is not a sponsored article.

 

 

The Not-So Great Outdoors | Book Review

“What’s so great about the great outdoors? It’s not like there’s anything out there! No buildings, no electricity, no playgrounds. But could there be something…even better?”

Synopsis

A reluctant camper discovers that the (not-so) great outdoors can be just as exciting as screens and skyscrapers in this playful picture book celebration of the pleasures of unplugging and embracing nature.

What’s so great about the “great outdoors”? A grumpy urban kid begrudgingly accompanies her family on a summer camping trip, missing all the sublime sights right under her nose as she longs for lights and stimulation of the city. But as she explores forests, lakes and mountains, and encounters bears, beavers and caribou, she slowly comes to realize that the simpler things are just as sparkly, that the sky is its own majestic light show, and the symphony is all around.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Not-So Great Outdoors is the perfect summer book to get children motivated to enjoy the outdoors. Absolutely adored the concept of the story and the illustrations are beautifully done throughout. It was a nice journey to see how one person’s view of the outdoors can change if they are directly in it without any “modern” distraction. Such a positive message and one that all the kids should read (and adults too). 😉

We loved this book so much that for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 bears out of 5! The story flowed nicely and we love how it showcased how beautiful the outdoors really can be. We recommend this book for children ages three to seven.

“I hope this summer we do a lot more outdoor things mom! The girl in the book had lots of fun and I want to too.” – Nikki, Age 4

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

About the Author

Up-and-coming illustrator Madeline Kloepper, a graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, brings wise-beyond-her-years illustrations fill of sweetness and curiosity to her debut picture book. Madeline grew up in the lower mainland of British Columbia amidst a sea of humans and spent a few years in Vancouver; she has since migrated northward to Prince George. Her work is influenced by childhood, nostalgia and the relationships we forge with nature, no doubt inspired by her love of exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for a honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Mealtimes Without The Mess With Tidy Tot Canada

Mealtimes with little ones can get messy at times (ok I will admit all the time). We have all seen the mess that is left on the table, floor and even on the child themselves. However, what if I told you that it doesn’t need to be like that anymore?!

We at Momma Braga are very excited to introduce you all to Tidy Tot Canada! They have a solution that can help with mealtime mess and that is the coverall bibs.

What is so awesome about this product is that they have coverall bibs for the different stages of your weaning journey. From early weaning to toddler feeding and on-the-go.

Stage One Weaning – Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit

This stage is for children up to two years of age. All you need to do is attach the bib to the tray for no more gaps between your baby and highchair and to keep food well within baby’s reach. This is the only kit to be certified 100% food safe.

Benefits
  • Fully waterproof long sleeved bib attaches to tray for no more gaps!
  • Protects baby, floor and highchair from food mess and spills.
  • Tidy Tot Tray is just wider than babies arm span preventing food being dropped to the floor.
  • Easy to clean. Machine washable.
  • Comes in wipe clean travel pouch for easy storage.
  • BPA free, Phthalate free and food safe.
  • Compatible with highchairs and booster seats.

Stage Two Feeding – Tidy Tot Long Length Coverall Bib

When you no longer regularly need the full protection by the Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit, the next stage is the Tidy Tot Long Length Coverall. This is ideal for toddlers up to three years old. This bib is one of the longest coverall bibs on the market giving full protection from food and messy play.

Benefits
  • Large crumb catcher pocket to catch dropped food with side fastening poppers to make for easy cleaning – just open the poppers and scoop out the mess.
  • Water-resistant, lightweight and durable.
  • Comes with travel purse.
  • 360-degree protection from mess with long sleeves and full cover fastening at the back.
  • Easy clean, machine washable.
  • Fun unisex print that appeals to inquisitive toddlers.

Tidy Tot Disposable Coverall Bib- On the Go Mealtimes

This is great for families on-the-go and it is great for children up to two years of age.

Benefits
  • Long sleeves and unique patent pending design keeps little ones clean from head to toe when eating out.
  • Essential for travel, holidays and meals out.
  • Resealable strip at the bottom of the bib sticks to table or highchair – no more gaps!
  • Waterproof.
  • Made from recyclable materials.
  • Resealable Twin Pack for easy storage – two bibs per pack.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We at Momma Braga are very lucky as we have amazing testers to try out products that we receive and in this review we got my goddaughter, Adriana who is one years old. We got Adriana to try the Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit by Tidy Tot Canada.

Adriana’s mom tried it out and completely fell in love with Tidy Tot. “This is SO amazing! We love it!” stated Adriana’s mom after the first use. Best part is that Adriana didn’t mind it at all and the mess truly stayed contained which made clean up faster and easier.

Adriana’s mom also mentioned to us that the Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit is especially great when rice or spaghetti is served for dinner. “It gets REALLY messy! But the Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit made it so much better”, she stated. We call this a parent win!

Adriana enjoying the little bit that is left from her rice dinner and look at how clean everything looks!

We love how Tidy Tot is making life easier for parents especially during mealtimes! Now these great coverall bibs are not just great for mealtimes but also great for creative play. The coverall bib fully protects their clothing from paints and spills whilst the tray provides a secure, self-contained (and wipe clean!) surface, and keeping any mess well away from the floor. So time to get creative with your little one! 😉

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Tidy Tot Canada 10 stars out of 5! We love it and it has received thumbs up from our tester, Adriana which is the highest compliment you could possibly get. 😉 There are so many great benefits for your little one to use Tidy Tots and of course the benefits for parents is the peace of mind of a safe product that makes mealtimes less messier.

If you would like to purchase one of the Tidy Tot Canada products, please click here. You will love it too!

Special thank you to Adriana and her mom for testing out this product for us as we really appreciate their honest feedback.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*The Tidy Tot Bib & Tray Kit in Dove Grey was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Little Senses Series

“The Little Senses series, inspired by creator Samantha Cotterill’s own life, illuminates the experience of children on the autism spectrum as they navigate life’s everyday overwhelming moments with the goal of destigmatizing and normalizing their behaviors.”

Synopsis

This Beach Is Loud!

Going to the beach is exciting. But it can also be busy. And loud. Sand can feel hot or itchy or sticky…and it gets everywhere! In This Beach Is Loud!, a sensitive boy gets overwhelmed by all the sights, sounds, and sensations at the beach. Luckily, this kiddo’s dad has a trick up his sleeve to help his son face these unexpected obstacles.

Combining accessible storytelling and playful design, This Beach Is Loud! gently offers practical advice for coping with new experiences to sensitive children on and off the autism spectrum.

Nope. Never. Not for Me!

Children are often picky eaters, but for kids on the autism spectrum or with sensory issues, trying new foods can be especially challenging. In Nope! Never! Not for Me! a young child refuses to try a bite of broccoli — that is, until her mom guides her through a careful exploration of the new food. First she looks, then she sniffs, then touches, and finally takes one tiny bite. What do you know? Broccoli isn’t so overwhelming after all!

With simple, reassuring text and bold illustrations in a limited palette, Nope! Never! Not For Me! espouses a patient approach to picky eating and empowers kids to explore new experiences without stress or pressure.

#MelAndNikkiReview

What an amazing series! We loved both books as they both flowed beautifully and the illustrations compliment the story. Nikki really enjoyed both stories and after I finish reading, she tries to read this series herself. That is usually the sign that she really likes the books.

Love how both books took an everyday situation and showed a positive solution. I think we can all learn from it for every child. However, I do appreciate the fact that this series is tailored to children on the autism spectrum and love the goal of the series – destigmatizing and normalizing behaviors.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give the series 10 broccolis out of 5! 😉 We recommend the series to children ages three to seven. Also please note that this book is great for all children and not only for children on the autism spectrum. This series is a great way to have children understand how overwhelming some moments could be for some. No harm in learning to be inclusive and understanding. 🙂

To purchase This Beach Is Loud! click here. To purchase Nope. Never. Not for Me! click here.

About the Author

Samantha Cotterill is an illustrator and textile designer. She works and resides with her family in Upstate New York. This series is very near and dear to Samantha’s heart: She herself is on the autism spectrum, and is very close to others on the spectrum as well.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*These books were provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.