Category: Motherhood

TinkerActive Series Brings Fun To Learning

“TinkerActive is the hands on learning that kids love. You learn all the important skills through activities that allow children to excel and grow.” – Momma Braga

About TinkerActive

With TinkerActive Workbooks, learning leaps off the page and into the real world! Each workbook covers essential math and science concepts while encouraging your child to tinker, make and engineer. All books are aligned to Common Core State Standards.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We reviewed a few books from the TinkerActive Series which were: Math Workbook Kindergarten, English Language Arts Workbook Kindergarten, and Science Workbook Kindergarten. Since Nikki is five years old, these books were great workbooks for her to try out. The one that Nikki was drawn to first was the Math one since it is her favorite subject.

It was no surprise to see Nikki emerge into the learning with glee as all three books offered different worksheets and fun exercises. Of course I can not forget the stickers and hands-on projects that was enjoyed by us all. We love how at the end of each workbook, you get a badge. Felt like a big accomplishment to get that badge so Nikki often asked if she could work on some more worksheets.

We combined these workbooks into our daily learning with our online learning through school. We felt that Nikki was grasping and learning more with the combination of both. It also truly helped me keep her entertained at home and best part is that she was learning. We haven’t completed all the workbooks yet but we are getting there! 🙂

As a parent I also loved the fact that at the end of the workbooks have the answers on the back! It came in handy a couple of times as clearly I am a little rusty on Kindergarten work. 😉

Therefore, for the TinkerActive Series we give it 5 stars out of 5! It is an unique way of learning and we love how children can learn real world skills through the exercises and hands-on projects. Each page is colorful and engaging. We couldn’t have asked for a better learning tool while we tackle online learning too.

If you would like to learn more about these series as it is available from Kindergarten to Grade 2, please click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this series was provided by MacMillan Children’s Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

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You Be Mommy

You Be Mommy is absolutely adorable and one that many moms will resonate with. I know I certainly did and I have been reading it every single night to my daughter.”
– Momma Braga

Synopsis

Mommy’s too tired to be Mommy tonight. Can you be Mommy and hold me tight?

In this clever, rhyming picture book, a mother tells her child that she’s simply too tired to be Mommy tonight and asks her daughter to take over for her.

#MelAndNikkiReview

You Be Mommy is the story that I have been waiting for! Being a mother is the hardest job that I have ever done and I do get exhausted with my many responsibilities. Therefore, it is nice to have a break and ask someone else to be mommy. This story is relatable and full of heart with a dash of humor that will have your child giggling.

This has been one of our favorite stories to read this week as we gear up for Mother’s Day. I even asked Nikki if she would like to trade places with me for a night and she was quick with her response and said “NO!” I guess she sees how exhausted I am and is smart enough to say no thanks to my request. Just like the mommy in the book, I will be mommy again. 😉

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give You Be Mommy 10 stars out of 5! We give our highest rating as illustrates motherhood perfectly and it shows the amazing work that we do day in and day out. I also love the concept of getting the children to be mommy for a night. 😉 I am currently working on an arrangement with my five-year-old but so far she isn’t budging. This book will make a perfect gift for mom and for reading time with your little ones.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this adorable book, click here.

About the Author

Karla Clark writes fiction for adults and children. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Chicago Writers Association. Karla lives in Rockford, Illinois, with her husband and adult autistic son. When she’s not writing, Karla creates decoupage paper collages that she sells at art shows. To learn more about Karla, click here.

About the Illustrator

Zoe Persico is an author and illustrator for picture books and a freelance designer for animation. From adventurous road trips to a night playing games or watching storms roll by, she finds inspiration in everyday joys. You can find her work at zoepersico.com.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

Go to Sleep (I Miss You)

Go to Sleep (I Miss You) will resonate with any mom who knows the highs and lows of motherhood. The best part of this book is the comic style and comedy throughout. A must read for moms!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Lucy Knisley is one of the great memoirists of the graphic novel format. Following the completion of her pregnancy memoir Kid Gloves  (and the birth of her baby), Lucy embarked on a new project: documenting new motherhood in short, spontaneous little cartoons, which she posted on her Instagram, and which quickly gained her a huge cult following among other moms.

The best of those wildly popular little cartoons are collected in this adorable gift book, Go to Sleep (I Miss You), a perfect read for expecting parents, new parents, and anyone who loves funny, relatable comics storytelling.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Go to Sleep (I Miss You) had me laughing out loud and relating to many of the comics inside. It is a perfect representation of the realities of motherhood for many and I just adored it!

I would imagine my journal would look similar to this one. Too bad I didn’t think of writing down my thoughts during that time. It would be interesting to see what exactly my sleep deprived mind would write. This is why I appreciate this book even more as this mom expressed her thoughts and feelings through comics. Bravo! I would definitely recommend for moms to give this a read if you want to have a good chuckle along the way. 😉

There were many that I enjoyed within the book but I think my ultimate favorite is this one below as I still wonder the exact same thought to this day! I am a mom of one and wonder how moms of many others manage to keep it all together.

Amazing what moms can do! So if you are looking for a great book to give mom this Mother’s Day and if she loves humor then this is the book for her! We give it 5 stars out of 5 for it’s creativity, humor and reality of motherhood.

If you would like to purchase this super cool book for mom, click here.

About the Author

Lucy Knisley is a bestselling author and artist of graphic novels and children’s books. She lives in Chicago, where she spends a lot of time drawing and writing her stories from the enormous toy pile that used to be her office. She previously published the New York Times bestseller Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride, and Kid Gloves with First Second. To learn more about Lucy, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

 

Tips To Help With A Newborn Baby

A newborn baby is something that can be quite challenging and likely be the most challenging thing you do in your life. As well as it being difficult, though, it presents a new chapter in your life where you are likely to have never experienced love quite like what you feel for your own child. During this time, it can be helpful to have some advice, so here are some tips to help with a newborn baby.

Image Source

Always Keep Your Hands Clean

Your baby is a lot different to a child and extremely different to an adult when it comes to their ability to fight out germs and illnesses. With a low immune system it means that they’re more susceptible to being ill, and therefore, it’s essential you’re always keeping your hands clean when handling a newborn. In the same respect, it’s essential you keep away anyone that might be ill because that can be easily passed on when it’s something like the common cold or flu. Family and friends will certainly understand, and most will also be aware that coming into contact with a newborn when you’re ill is always advised against anyway. As a parent, it’s good to make sure you keep your hands clean at all times whenever you’re handling your baby, whether it’s changing a nappy or feeding them.

Support The Baby’s Neck & Head

As a baby’s body is still growing, it’s important to support them in the right way in their early years. This means you want to provide them with as much support on the neck and head as you can. If you’ve ever held a baby before, you’ll always get told to support the head and neck. It’s important to do this because without that support, it could be harming the baby’s body in a number of ways. It can be nerve-racking as a new parent when holding your baby, but it’s definitely something you’ll become quickly used to when it comes to handling your own baby. It might seem terrifying at first, but you’ll learn how to hold it better when you’re with them 24/7!

Spend Plenty Of Time Bonding

These early times in a baby’s life are important because they’ve spent the better part of nine months or less in your body, and now they’re outside of it. Therefore, all their crying is likely due to being in this new environment where the temperature is different, and they’re not being fed as consistently as usual. Take this time to really bond with your child and get in all that skin to skin contact that they’ll be after.

You can take a look online to answer any questions that you might have on caring for your baby when they’re sick, like tips to help your congested baby breathe, and there’s also lots of information on best practices for bonding with your child.

Stock Up On Diapers & Essentials

With a newborn baby, it usually is the case that you’ll need to change their nappy on average ten times a day. And although that might seem impossible, it’s definitely accurate. Therefore, it’s a good idea to really stock up on diapers and essentials before you have your baby. Over that pregnancy period, try and get as many diapers as possible for those stages where they’ll go from newborn to toddler and until they learn to go pee themselves. Essentials like bibs are good to have because you’re going to likely go through a lot of them with all the mess they’ll make. Whether that’s through burping, feeding, or being sick. It’s better for it to go on a bib than on your clothes!

Always Place Babies On Their Back For Sleeping

One of the dangers that comes with babies is when they go to sleep. It’s essential that whenever you lay your baby down to sleep, you put them on their back. This is because it helps reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) that can occur in newborns. You also want to make sure that you avoid putting blankets on your baby until after a twelve month period. This is only because it’s more likely to cause suffocation if the blanket ends up on their face. This is the same for pillows so take caution.

 

Hopefully, these tips will help you with dealing with a newborn for the first time. Take your time, and don’t panic. It’s a new experience and one you’ll learn more about as you go.

 

*Disclosure: The link below is an affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 

Surviving The Holidays (Hell-i-Daze)

“Surviving the Holidays (HELL-i-Daze) is refreshing, real and a hilarious read that moms will appreciate” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

The Holidays. They follow us year round, and sometimes these cherished days can be wonderful, but let’s face it — sometimes they are just brutal! Whether it’s New Year’s or Valentine’s, Fourth of July or even birthdays, we all gotta donwhat we gotta do to survive them all!

Miss OMG walks us through the year and lightens the load with her hysterical anecdotes that are sure leaving you laughing out loud!

In this book, she celebrates the humor of life’s year-round celebrations from pointing out the madness of the holidays, to crappy gift-giving, Miss OMG shares her thoughts on surviving the holidays that will leave you laughing and turning the pages to discover what crazy story she shares next. Surviving the Holidays (HELL-i-DAZE) is a work that continues its author’s witty social commentary streak. This book is for people who like to poke fun at life’s weirdness, and those who don’t take themselves too seriously. While this book is especially perfect for moms who like to swear and drink, Miss OMG writes her books with those in mind who only have a short moments to read and are always on the go! Her hope is that you can squeeze in a quick read, put the book down with a chuckle, and look forward to picking it right back up the first second you can!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Surviving the Holidays (HELL-i- DAZE) literally had me laughing out loud from beginning to end. It is very relatable to us hard working moms who always go beyond for everyone. The daily diary format was a neat touch and helped us follow Miss OMG’s year as she goes through all the wonderful holidays throughout the year. Never noticed how many there are – geez!

I absolutely loved this book and recommend it to moms everywhere. Not only is it relatable but absolutely hilarious. My favorite part is the letter that Santa left to Miss OMG (I think my neighbors heard me laughing at that part). I also loved the quotes shared at the beginning of each month they are all great quotes to inspire or to make you chuckle.

“Every time I make plans to eat better, I hear my stomach laughing.” – Author Unknown

If you want some laughing therapy especially after a long rough mothering day, then this is an awesome book for you. It is currently available on Amazon and can be purchased here.

“The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad? Alice: I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” – Lewis Carroll

A special thank you to Miss OMG for sending us this great book that provided me with chuckles and a reminder that we need to laugh more.

About the Author

Olivia Michele “Miss OMG” Giacomini has been a published writer for decades for magazines and newspapers worldwide. In more recent years, she has begun sharing her witticisms in her Miss OMG books. Many liken her to the late great humorist, Erma Bombeck (but with a potty mouth), with a similar comedic flair & zany zingers about life’s mundane dailiness. She admits she mostly appeals to moms of all ages who like to drink and curse, but her male fans also enjoy reading her work…while sitting on the toilet. Miss OMG’s goal is to brighten people’s day with her quick-witted and often sarcastic stories based loosely on her life.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

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

 

How To Keep Your Mind Sharp After Having A Baby

Image by Thanasis Papazacharias from Pixabay 

Did you know that baby brain is a real thing? Don’t feel stupid because you’re not as sharp as you were before, don’t think that it’s your fault because you’re so tired, because it’s not. It has been scientifically proven that pregnancy reduces grey matter in specific parts of a woman’s brain, in order to help you bond with your baby and prepare for the demands of motherhood.

According to research, scans of 25 first-time mums showed that these structural brain changes lasted for at least two years after giving birth, so while there’s not much you can do to prevent this, if you do want to keep your mind active and try and help yourself then these are the best things you can do to keep you sharp.

Brain Train

Use apps to train your brain like Fit Brains or Lumosity, which aim to improve your mental performance. They train you like you would train your body in that the games get harder as you improve, and the app keeps track of your progress and makes recommendations on how to challenge yourself and alter your training routine. If you find these a little taxing to start, then just try crossword puzzles or playing things like scrabble to get you using your brain and enjoying yourself too. If you find that a little tough at first, then luckily there is a cheeky little tool called unscramble which can help you.

Read, Read and Read Some More

Reading is one of the best and most relaxing ways to keep your brain active. Research shows that the more we read, the more our vocabulary, cognitive abilities, and our base of general knowledge increase. Make a shortlist of books you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t had the chance. There will be plenty of time while you nurse or feed a newborn! If you don’t love to read or find yourself too tired, then listen to audiobooks.

Stay In The Know

Many people get wrapped up in a little bubble of this new world of you and your baby, which is easy to do and also lovely too. But if you want to keep your mind active, then try staying connected with the rest of the outside world, make sure you read the news, listen to the radio or just have it on the TV in the background.

Hang Out With Adults

Make sure that you are talking with adults too instead of spending all your time with your baby – which again is very easy to do. While there will be plenty of new mums to hang around with too, often the conversation will be about the babies, this is great but also try to mix it up a bit and see other people so you can just be yourself. Date nights with your partner are essential too.

Economize Your Brain Use

Don’t waste brain energy on things you don’t need to; for example, remembering where you’ve put your keys needn’t be an issue. Do things like keeping your keys in the same place every day so that you don’t have to waste your time thinking about them and can save your brain energy for more important things.

One and Done: Our Family is Complete

A family is defined as a set of parents living with their children. The definition of family is the group of people who share common ancestors. Those are the definitions you can see in the dictionary but family is really up to personal interpretation.

To me a family is people who love each other unconditionally. It does not matter who makes up your family or how many are in it. At the end of the day, the love that is shared is what should matter most.

Our Family Beginning

Every story has a “Once Upon A Time” and our family story is no different. It all started when a young lady fell in love with a handsome and sweet young man. They dated for seven years before getting married and it was a rollercoaster of a journey but they did it together. To them an ideal family would be to have two children as it only seemed fitting since everyone in the family were only having two children.

Our wedding day.

Unfortunately, not all families are made quickly or as planned. This is just how life goes. Thinking the struggle was over when they found out they were expecting; however, it was short lived when a miscarriage had occurred. There hopes and dreams of having a family seemed just that…a dream.

A few years after, a pleasant surprise had happen with another positive pregnancy test. But this time, nine months later through a difficult pregnancy, our family grew by one with the energetic little one that we call Nikki.

Family Life

The adjustment into parenthood is never easy and it took (still is) a lot of tinkering along the way. As we grew with our daughter we started to see that one was plenty for us and our family felt complete. It didn’t always feel that way as we were always questioned as to why not add one more child. At one point we took that to heart and felt maybe we should consider adding one more. We seemed to have allowed that pressure to consume us once again and it was affecting my health. However, I quickly realized that it wasn’t worth all the extra stress and anxiety I was feeling. Of course with any life changing decisions we discuss it as a team as it takes a village to raise a child.

Our family of three.

Only Child Syndrome

“Only child syndrome is the myth that only children are lonely, selfish, spoiled, impatient and maladjusted.”

We have heard that and more when raising our daughter. This was a big part of our discussions as we reviewed what would be best for our family. When looking at the definition and seeing my daughter, I couldn’t see it. We don’t see any of those characteristics in Nikki.

Lonely

Luckily, Nikki isn’t locked in a tower like poor Rapunzel was for many years of her life. 😉 We expose Nikki to everything that life and people have to offer. We set up play dates and have her interact with people all throughout her life. She has many great friendships that she has built already in her five years of life and we nourish her to continue to build these friendships and build new ones. She is also surrounded by so many loving family members that we as adults help her maintain.

On the other side, we also personally know many people who have siblings who don’t even communicate or connect with. Therefore, having a sibling does not mean you have someone with you for life as they may not want to be part of your life. A sibling does not mean a life-long friend.

Nikki with her cousin Connor as they embrace each other’s company.
Selfish

When you ask anyone that knows Nikki really well, knows that she is not selfish. Of course there can be moments that she may not want to share a favorite toy and that is absolutely normal as she is only five! However, she is very generous and shares with others.

Spoiled

This word in itself stings when I hear, read, or see it! I recall a couple of years back, a family member mentioning to someone I know that Nikki was a spoiled little girl. Of course as a momma bear I was going to call out on that person. But I stepped back and looked at their own family dynamics and knew they were just forecasting their own parenting style onto me. Nikki is very loved and we provide for her the best that we can. We feed her, cloth her and provide her shelter. There are many things that she asks for and she does not get as we can not afford to give her everything that she wants. With age she has learned that we need to be grateful for what we do have and know that we can’t get everything we want. She is our only child so it is natural that it would be easier for us to provide for her a few extras. In the process, we make sure she knows how lucky she is that this can be done. Throughout the year, we do donations to others in order to teach her how important it is to give back. Many times she goes through some of her really good toys and gives it to others who don’t have any. We even give away clothes that no longer fit to a family who is in need. Therefore, please don’t call a child spoiled as it is so hurtful to all.

Impatient

I am not sure what child is patient with a sibling or not? Nikki can be patient and impatient as it all depends what she is excited for. I know many adults who are impatient as well and they have tons of siblings. Therefore, we knew not to worry and with age Nikki is getting much better in waiting. 😉

Maladjusted

Nikki thrives in social settings and is sociable with all. Not to mention her amazing empathy towards others. It is something that even her teachers have noted in her report cards and we couldn’t be prouder. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another and it is one that can be hard for children to exhibit. I have been often asked if Nikki has any older siblings as she is so loving and caring towards others. Everyone is always shocked to hear that Nikki is an only child. I am never shocked as that is how we raised her.

Nikki with her best friend Madison. One of the many friendships she has built.

Momma Braga Closing Thoughts

We support the decisions that families make for themselves. Everyone does and chooses what is best for them. My request to everyone as we end the year, is to be more accepting and loving to one another. Let us respect others and just give a listening ear when needed. Remember that whether someone decides to have no children or ten children, we shouldn’t judge or condemn them. The definition of “family” truly depends on how you see your family looking and not what others think it should look like.

After discussing it all and seeing how life is at this point for us…I turned to my husband and said “I am one and done.” He of course agreed and we couldn’t be happier with our family of three.

Thank you to all my amazing readers for all your love and support. This year we have had 30,000 readers and we are truly thankful!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

‘Tis Always The Swim Season

Swimming is more than splashing with your friends on a hot summer day. Children can reap many rewards from taking swimming lessons year-round.

But don’t just take just our word on it. We went to the experts themselves at Aqua-Tots to see the overall benefits of swimming all year-round.

So, let’s jump in!

Many of us know the importance of swimming year-round; however, there are also many who do not. Give us your insight on:
The Development Benefits

Swimming involves a lot of visible physical components, but in addition to that it also involves a great deal of cognitive focus. For example, when swimming freestyle, you must coordinate your arms and legs to move simultaneously. When our students enter Level 10, we start to teach them breath control and “side breathing” which is an incremental area of focus layered onto the movement of limbs. Its multitasking at its finest!

The Physical Benefits

Swimming is great exercise for all ages. In fact, it uses multiple muscles in the body at the same time. It also helps to build strong muscles and endurance; skills which are transferable to other sports. Unlike other sports though, learning to swim year-round is a life skill that will help children stay safe in and around water over a lifetime!

Overall Benefits

In addition to moving your muscles, swimming, also gives your brain a workout with all of the multitasking you do with your body which in turn serves as a total mood booster. Achieving new skills, overcoming anxieties, and becoming independent in the water are all major confidence boosters! It also helps children stay active year-round, and supports key social developments for kiddos like listening, taking turns, verbal communication…all taking place in an environment where positive friendships can grow!

Swimming is a life skill that should be practiced all year long. It is one of the best skills to equip your child with this summer.

What tips can you give parents who may feel overwhelmed in adding an extracurricular activity during the school year?

Swimming is an individual sport, which allows children to progress at their own pace and provides a stress-free environment. Here at Aqua-Tots, there is no pressure to commit to specific days, as you might with other team sports. If outside commitments arise, Aqua-Tots has a flexible make-up policy to accommodate busy schedules, vacation time, and other extracurricular events.

Unlike other sports, swimming is a lifelong safety skill and therefore, it is critical for all individuals to feel confident and independent in the water. You never know when you might find yourself in or around water – even throughout winter (e.g. public pools, ice and open water during vacations). Finding a way to incorporate swimming into your schedule will not only help your child with the developmental and physical benefits of swimming, it will also give you piece of mind knowing your child will be that much safer when exposed to water.

Is there a specific time that works best for families when they have children in school? From your experience is there a time of the day that works best such as right after school or later in the day?

We know life with kids get busy, which is why being open weekdays and weekends allows families to have the flexibility to take swim lessons the day(s) that best suit individual family needs. Weekday morning lessons are ideal for new Moms with babies or toddlers because the serene and warm environment lends itself sets (remove sets) to bonding with little ones as well as connecting with other Moms.

Some caregivers find it’s a great activity for school age-children to do during the weekday evenings so they can go home and have a nice, restful sleep! Other families are just too busy during the weekdays and prefer to come in for lessons on either Saturday or Sunday. Regardless of your child’s age or swimming ability, our schedule is designed to offer all eight levels many times throughout the week, to ensure we are able to run classes for a four-month-old and a 12-year-old on the same day.

Aside from the swimming benefits aspect, can you tell us a bit about the community benefits? Tell us about the importance of creating a supportive community through your school.

We are all about family and community at Aqua-Tots. We pride ourselves in greeting your family every time you walk in the door. We also love getting involved in different community groups. You’ll always see us at different festivals and events in the Greater Toronto Area, such as Children’s Festivals and the annual Santa Claus Parade.

We also have several special events which we host free of charge for all members to celebrate milestones throughout the year. The Easter Bunny and Santa make an annual guest appearance at our schools…and the smiles on the kids faces are a priceless reward!

Lastly, registering your children in swimming lessons fosters positive, supportive relationships. We love seeing friendships form within our classes. A lot of parents become friends through their children’s lessons which is so fun to see. Stop on by, and be prepared to make some awesome new friends.

Anything else you would like to add to our amazing readers?

If you love your experience at Aqua-Tots you can always benefit from spreading the word! Refer a friend to our weekday morning classes and receive a $25 referral credit when your friends or family members sign up!

 

There you have it! ‘Tis always the swim season! Children can benefit greatly from year-round swim lessons from a safety and development standpoint. Incorporating swim lessons into your routine is an invaluable asset to your child’s mental and physical well-being.

Build, refine and stay sharp all year-round with Aqua-Tots. Make sure to check them out at the Mississauga or Burlington locations to get started.

Until next time…Just keep swimming! 😉

-Momma Braga

 

This article is a paid partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. Views and opinions expressed here belong to Momma Braga.

 

Bring the Spa To Your Next Kids Party With Cassaria

Kid parties can be a handful and lots of work for the host especially when you are looking for ways to keep the kids entertained. After awhile you feel like you have done it all and by the end of the day you are all exhausted. But what if there is an option for an activity that is relaxing that all the kids will love? Seems like a hard concept to grasp since kids love action!

But we were introduced to a neat idea that does exactly that! We are delighted to introduce you all to Cassaria Mobile Spa who specializes in kids mobile spa parties. Luckily for us, my sister won this in a contest that she entered!

So how did this work for us you are asking? Simple, we arranged a date with the owner, Sasha who is absolutely the most pleasant person to deal with and we booked a date that worked. The next part is where I came into play and it’s my strongest asset, plan the get together. We e-invited Nikki’s closest friends and their moms. We made it into a Moms and their Minis Day. We all deserve some girl time to eat, chat and have a great time. 😉

Spa Party Day

Once our list was confirmed and everyone replied with a yes! We kept the party simple with some pizza, snacks and toys that the young ladies can play with before and after the spa treatment.

As each child awaited eagerly for their turn, you couldn’t help but notice that each one enjoyed the spa treatment. It truly looked like the young ladies were at the spa and it looked SO good! At one point all of us moms looked at one another and wondered how to get in on that action (lol!). But we wanted it to be their day so we watched in awe.

One of Nikki’s friends, Madison, enjoying her spa treatment.

Another one of Nikki’s friends, Julia, enjoying her turn.After each child got their very beautiful nails done, they showed one another and giggled with delight. It was the sweetest thing to see the pure joy that they had. I truly believe this idea was a great hit and success for all of us. Even Nikki couldn’t help but show off her nails to anyone who wanted to take a look.

Nikki showing off her light pink nails and loving it!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Cassaria Mobile Spa truly brought an element to a kids party that I haven’t seen before and that is calmness. All the young ladies at our party were truly excited to get their nails done and waited so patiently for their turn. They all enjoyed it so much and I know that all us moms watching were wishing that we were them. The service that was provided was amazing from beginning to end. The Mom Boss, Sasha was impeccable and you know that she is skilled at providing spa services as she knew exactly what to do. She was amazing with all the young ladies at our party. They all loved her and she is so down to earth that it made the experience so much more enjoyable.

Now we were very lucky as Mom Boss, Sasha, brought her lovely assistant to help which is her daughter Cassandra. She was the absolute sweetest and we were thrilled to have her join some of our activities.

From left to right: Cassandra of Cassaria, Julia, Nikki and Madison having some colouring fun!

We not only got the manicures for the young ladies but each one got a goody bag and a cupcake that were made by Cristina’s Tortina Shop, all courtesy of Cassaria Mobile Spa. It was an overall amazing experience that was had by all.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Cassaria Mobile Spa 10 fingers out of 5 (Nikki says 100 out of 5)! The professionalism, kindness and overall great service surpassed all of our expectations. It also made us see that you don’t need a special occasion to have a spa party and it is great to have one.

Us moms got to spend some time chatting and having a great time while our minis had the time of their lives with some relaxation in the process. It was a win-win for everyone and we are truly thankful to Sasha and Cassandra of Cassaria Mobile Spa for everything! Saying that we loved it is an understatement!

If you would like to book Cassaria Mobile Spa for your next party, which we highly recommend, reach out to them on Facebook or Instagram. Please note that their service areas are Brampton, Mississauga, Georgetown, Acton and Barrie.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this is not a sponsored or paid post. All opinions expressed are our own and were not influenced by the company featured in the article.

 

7 Reasons Why I Love Girl’s Night

The day I became a mom, I knew that I would do everything and anything to be the best mom that I could be for her. From that day on, I spent many sleepless nights and days to make sure that she was very well taken care of. However, in the first three years, I was neglecting myself. During the transition into motherhood, I forgot about me as a person.

I thought that my job was to be with my child 24-7 and I shouldn’t think about having “me time.” I thought this would have been selfish (#momguilt) of me to even think that I deserved some time away as I should only focus on caring for my child. But soon I realized that I wasn’t good to anyone when I was feeling defeated and drained. I really needed some time away to re-focus and be me.

After a chat with a long-time friend who also expressed the same struggles, we thought we should launch our Girl’s Night. After convincing each other that we really did deserve it (amazing how strong mom guilt is), we were setting up our first girl’s night. Our girl’s nights are sometimes every other month or sometimes a little longer as it depends on life’s schedule; however, we always try not to delay it too much as we know how important this time is for our sanity.

That is exactly what we have been doing and we have even included more of our friends when they are able to come hang out for a bit. The Girl’s Night is one of my favorite events and I always look forward to it.

It is so important to care for yourself and much more as a mom. This is why I felt it would be great to share seven reasons why I love Girl’s Night and how it has made me a better person.

Relaxing

Just a couple of hours away from the home with your girlfriends is a relaxing experience and many times it is much needed. It gives you time to regroup and focus. Keep in mind that girl’s night doesn’t mean anything grand or expensive. A simple outing for a coffee is great idea as long as its an environment you can feel relaxed in. Just think that you don’t need to hide from little ones to enjoy some time to yourself! It is also great not to worry about having to assist anyone with their meals or even asking if anyone needs to use the washroom. 😉

You can even do other activities such as yoga or hitting the gym. The possibilities are limitless when you are planning a get together with your besties. 🙂  We have opted to do dinner as we have started a bucket list of restaurants that we want to try out! 🙂

*We may even launch a restaurant review section if our readers are up for it! Send us an email at mommabraga@gmail.com and let us know which ones we should try in the Toronto and Mississauga area.

One of my favorite meals so far on girls night from The Rec Room at Square One.

Be Yourself (True Self)

This may not apply to everyone but it does for me. On Girl’s Night I can just be me. I don’t need to worry about the language that I use (I work in the construction field and therefore, I have picked up on a few fowl words). 😉 You can speak freely with no filter and you don’t have to worry about being judged. It feels great to let loose and be yourself as it makes the evening much more enjoyable.

We tend to forget the people we are after we become parents and that person should never be forgotten as it makes who we are.

You can even be a little silly and try out Snapchat without your child getting in the middle. 😉 Here is my sister and I.

Laughter

Now you can’t have a girl’s night and not have laughter. That is my favorite part as we get to talk about everything and anything. We always have a great laugh as there are no limits on what we can say since there are no listening ears of little ones. We also get to share stories from our past and present that always bring a few more laughs that were unexpected.

Did you know how much laughter is good for your soul? It truly is and it helps with any stress that you are feeling. I honestly love to laugh and love to make those around me laugh (even if it is making a foul out of myself). 😉

Support

Now even though your child isn’t with you on a girl’s night, it doesn’t mean you can’t use this time to talk about them. We don’t eliminate talking about our children during our girls night as sometimes we need that listening ear. Having that support in-person is so amazing and bouncing ideas off one another on any parent struggle is so helpful. We use the time to vent, support and just be there for one another.

Parenting is not easy and it is great to get the support outside the home. Mind you, girl’s night is not around child talk but we know that if we need to we can talk to one another about it. Our girl talks cover an array of topics that are important to us and we know we will be supported.

My bestie, Tanya, and I at The Rec Room at Square One on one of our girls nights. Photo Credit: My sister Karen.

Self-Care

As moms we need to find the time to take care of ourselves. Girl’s night helps me with self-care as it helps me find my way back to my inner rock star that I am and allows me to let go of high expectations. The hardest part was to let go of mom guilt that many of us are encompassed with. I knew that having time for myself did not make me a bad mom and it was important for my self-care.

When we feel great about ourselves, we will be better people and moms at the end of the day. I didn’t realize how important my own self-care was until it took a toll on me. Now I am not last on the list of caring but at the same spot as my husband and daughter. We all come first and it has been much better for us all.

Reconnecting With Friends

Relationships are important to nourish as we take care of our relationships with our children and spouse. Our friendships are also important and we need to reconnect with them too.

Girl’s night is the opportunity to connect, laugh and grow friendships. Everyone needs a friend to talk, cry and laugh with and a night out is a reminder that they do exist! The best part is that you know they are true friends when you have been apart for months and as soon as you are together, you continue exactly where you left off at. That is the power of friendship! Even if it is just one friend, that is all that is needed. I always say quality over quantity.

Renewal of Appreciation

Spouse and child(ren) will have a renewal of appreciation for all that you do when you return. You will also feel the same way. It may only be a few hours away but that is just enough to freshen the mind and make the everyday whining okay again. That time away can make mom feel happy and that in turn will have everyone else feel happy. Who doesn’t like mom being happy?!

The appreciation when you return feels great as I am always greeted with lots of hugs and kisses from both my child and husband. It makes me feel great to know I was missed even if it was just for a short period of time. It is also great for children to see that it is ok for mom to be someone besides mom and that they have friends too. When I get ready to go out, my daughter always tells me how beautiful I look and that she hopes that I have a great time with my best friend. It always makes me feel great to hear it! We all love to feel appreciated in life.

My family.

Above all, girl’s night might only be once in awhile, but every mom deserves a girl’s night out whether they go for dinner or to see a play. It is a great reminder on how much fun being an adult really is.

Hope you are taking good care of yourselves moms and know that you are amazing in everything that you do! Let us throw away the mom guilt and remember to take care of mom as we deserve it.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga