Category: Parents

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.

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.

 

 

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.

When Should You Be Thinking About Retirement?

(Image Source)

 

For a lot of people, thinking about something like retirement will always feel a little silly. Even after working for a couple of decades, it will still feel as though you have plenty of time to think about your escape from work. Of course, though, there is more to retirement than simply finishing your job. You have to prepare your life for this event, and the earlier you get started, the better. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the key areas which you’ll need to consider when you’re thinking about the future.

Your Pension

Being out of work means that you’ll need to have some sort of funding for your retirement. In a lot of cases, people will save a pension for this, and this makes it far easier to have a comfortable life. To build something like this, though, you will need to be saving for at least 40 years. For those who want to retire at 65, they will need to begin the process of saving for a pension as early as 25 years old. A lot of normal jobs will cover this for you, but it’s worth thinking about, as a lot of people find themselves having to work for far longer than they expected when they make a bad move in this area.

Your Home

Along with having money to live on, you will also need to think about your living situation for the future. If you’ve manage to buy your own home, you should have everything you need to cover you, even if you end up selling the place to move somewhere else. Along with this, companies like https://yukana.org.au/ are worth talking to as you reach your later years. You can often plan ahead with a retirement home, booking yourself in to move once your age makes it appropriate. Living in a place like this will usually make your pension go a lot further.

Your Health

It’s a real shame, but a lot of people find themselves unfit to enjoy retirement once the day to leave work finally arrives. Health issues can make living at home into a pain, and there are few ways to make this better once your body has started to deteriorate. The exercise and time you put into fitness in later life can help to balance this out. Those who have spent most of their time nice and fit will have a much better chance of feeling good as they get older, though it isn’t always easy to connect your future body with the one you have today. You will always have the same bones, muscles, and other organs, and this makes it crucial that you look after them.

 

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of thinking about retirement before the time comes. A lot of people struggle with this, finding it hard to know when they should be starting work on this part of their life. In reality, though, this should start as early as possible, even if you have to put a lot of work into it in the process.

 

The 6IXMAN Difference For The Modern Day Man

We have always been intrigued to bring unique brands and people to our readers as it helps us reach our diverse readers. We pride ourselves on that and this is why we are delighted to introduce you all to 6IXMAN.

6IXMAN is a start-up in the field of cosmetics, focused on men’s grooming products. This includes beard care, hair care, skin care, and shaving. Their aim is to create products which they use themselves meaning that they want their products to be safe, natural, biodegradable, as well as high performance.

What exactly defines a “6IXMAN”? According to their website, it is a classically modern man. Regardless of what he is doing, he always looks good. In a world of social media where you are under constant scrutiny, the pressure is on to look your best even when you are not at your best. The 6IXMAN tackles the challenges of a modern lifestyle with the knowledge that even when he is pushed to the limit, he will make it look easy. A well-groomed man creates a lasting impression of control, strength, and poise. The 6IXMAN marries old world charm with new world pragmatism to become a tour de force. Each 6IXMAN defines their brand and his uniqueness adds to their own.

We got a chance to interview one of the owners, Danny, to get an inside scoop or a behind the scene look at 6IXMAN.

Tell me a little bit about yourselves (the owners behind 6IXMAN).

6IXMAN is made up of three co-founders all with different outlooks on life and experiences, but together we merge our separate visions to form a new, unique and fresh approach. We stem from professional backgrounds in strategic marketing, digital design and business relations – with entrepreneurial backgrounds we’ve formed a solid partnership which has grown 6IXMAN to what it is today, a successful self funded premium grooming brand.

When did you see the need to start your brand in representing the modern-day man? How did it all start?

The frustration that develops when you cannot just find a great product at a fair price, that’s what started 6IXMAN. How absurd is it that you need to know so much about chemicals, their purposes and effects to know whether you are getting a good product or not?

We saw a lack of clean and premium products that are easy for the average consumer to buy so we decided to make our own. Easier said than done, we made some serious sacrifices to bring forth what you see today and that included taking serious financial risks to make sure we achieved our goals. While it’s safe to say we have achieved our goals with what we have on offer today, there is still much more work to be done.

We love how your catalogue features diverse men and that the products are made in Canada. How can a modern-day man purchase your products?

Thank you! 6IXMAN is any Man and so diversity was a key trait we wanted to make certain was represented by our line.

A modern-day consumer can purchase products in any modern way available today, but of course for the classically modern there are still hundreds of brick and mortar locations that carry our line and we encourage you to support them.

Our entire line can be found on our website or on Amazon where we offer same day shipping and next day delivery for those with access to amazon prime. If you want to find a retailer close to you, just click here.

What do you hope to accomplish through your brand?

There would be too many things to list here with the appropriate amount of detail; however, there is one thing that can be said. 6IXMAN aims to help consumers feel great again about their purchase, appearance and overall grooming experience. We ultimately want to enable people to get out there, look your best, feel your best and be your best.

What advice would you give to our readers who would like to start using your products? Is there a regime that they should follow?

That completely depends on your needs and grooming routine; however, if you are sporting any type of facial hair then we certainly have a regime that we recommend our consumers to follow.

For facial hair, we have a 3-step grooming process that includes:

  1. Cleansing your facial hair of bacteria and debris to create a healthy growth environment.
  2. Nourishing your skin at the base of your facial hair to strengthen roots and eliminate irritation such as itchiness and dry skin.
  3. Soften and shape your facial hair so that it remains neatly seated on your face.

Thank you so much Danny for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?

We also want to make certain that people know 6IXMAN is not strictly a beard care grooming company, in fact we offer many fantastic hair styling and face care products as well with shaving products on our radar for the near future.

We love what the 6IXMAN brand is doing in the grooming scene for men and we know they will continue to grow. They don’t impose a certain image onto their customers on how they “have” to look like but instead they embrace everyone’s differences to make them who they are. What an inspirational way to be!

My husband has two of their products which is the Fresh Face Cleanser and Face Moisturizer and he loves them. I think the simplicity of using them in his daily grooming routine makes it a slam dunk in his books.

If you are interested in learning more about all the different products, they have available you can visit their website, or follow them on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. We know that we are following! 😉

There is nothing wrong with a man wanting to look his best. 6IXMAN is just making it easier.

Thank you again Danny for your time and for changing the grooming world for men!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Empowering Stay-At-Home Moms Through Job Coaching

Looking for employment is a difficult task to do and, in many cases, it becomes a full-time job in itself. There are many services that are out there that can assist; however, many lack specialized programs for stay-at-home moms in particular.

It’s a group that many forget and luckily one Toronto woman has not forgotten about empowering stay-at-home moms to enter or re-enter the workforce.

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you all to Stephanie from SAHM Coaching who I recently met at a mom market. I had the opportunity to sit down with Stephanie to get the inside scope on SAHM Coaching in this exclusive interview.

Tell me a little bit about yourself

I was born and raised in Toronto and love this city. I have a wonderful husband, who supports me unconditionally and two beautiful children, ages 9 and 11. I try to stay active. I’m doing a 10 KM race this May, I love working out and play baseball. I’ve been playing fast-pitch softball since I was 6 years old. I went to Ryerson University where I completed my degree in Human Resources and went on to get my professional designation from the Human Resources Professionals Associations as a Certified HR Leader. My HR career started in the telecom industry. Then I went on to work for a retail company and I’ve spent the last 14 years in the not for profit sector. I love the field of HR; I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. What I love about it is that I get to work with people. When you do that, you rarely get the same problem twice. Circumstances change and it forces you to really understand the subtle differences of each situation. Working side by side with my clients and helping them find the optimal solution is very satisfying.

What type of services do you offer?

SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) Coaching offers job search assistance exclusively to women who want to go back to work after being at home. This group includes women at various life stages. Some of my clients have been at home for a number of years, while others are coming to the end of their maternity leave and want to change jobs. I help them get their heads back into the game with someone who “gets it.” Working with me, women get tailored, one-on-one, insights and HR expertise into things like:

  • What kind of work can/should I do?
  • How do I search for work; make use of the best resources; etc.
  • How to build/refresh a resume (or cover letter) that gets noticed.
  • How to talk about your time off/gap in your resume in a way that employers will understand.
  • How to prepare for and answer questions during an interview.

What is your goal of the services that you provide and can you give us one success story that you can share?

What I’m offering women is a safe place for them to share their concerns, ask questions and get answers quickly. All with the goal of building their confidence and getting rid of the self-doubt, so they can be successful overcoming whatever obstacle it is that they are facing.

Yes, I’d like to tell you about Katie (not her real name). Katie was struggling with her job search. She previously had run her own business (since it gave her more time with her kids) but she and her partner had a falling out. She decided after running her own business for several years, that she was done. Instead she wanted to find a job where she could work Monday to Friday and not have all the demands of being a business owner. Her kids were older and it was a good time to make the transition. When Katie and I connected she told me she was struggling because she wasn’t having much success with her applications. She wanted to work with me on her resume and cover letter. Her resume needed a complete overhaul, so we redesigned it from scratch. During our session we also talked about how to structure her cover letter. That session was on a Wednesday, the following Thursday I followed up with Katie and she told me she applied for a job and they scheduled her for a phone interview. The company told her they were very impressed with her cover letter!

What made you decide to offer these services?

Because they don’t currently exist; at least not in the way I offer them. Sure, you can go to a Service Canada employment centre, and they will give you a general resume or interview information. Or you can go online and find a TON of info, but then what? Everyone is busy, I don’t think your readers have the time to go through it all. I’ve got 20+ years of recruitment experience and I can give women a direct line to the answers they are looking for. Plus, it’s so important for me to work side by side with my clients. It’s so much more effective. I’m not just telling them what to do, I’m also telling them WHY they need to do it. Why when you write a cover letter you format it a certain way. Why you use specific words in a resume. Why when you answer questions using this format it will resonate with employers. It’s only because I’ve been there, that I can offer this type of service.

If someone is interested in your services, how much and how can they get enrolled?

The first thing is to schedule a FREE consultation call. You can do this via my website, email me, or message me via my Facebook page. During the call I ask what they feel they need the most help with and what it is that each woman wants to accomplish. I also share more info about myself and will answer any question that they may have. In most, but not all cases, I ask to see a copy of their resume. After the call, I prepare a written recommendation outlining how we’d work together. In it I include the number of sessions required. Sessions are 45 minutes. You can purchase sessions individually for $60 each or (to save money) you can buy a package of 4 sessions for $200.

Thank you so much Stephanie for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Sure, since you asked! Any time you are in transition or making a change, it’s bound to feel icky and uncomfortable. I want your readers to know that going back to work after stepping away is possible, you CAN do it, and with SAHM Coaching you don’t have to do it alone.

An inspiring way to end an interview! With the right coaching, inspiration and motivation, it is possible to enter or re-enter the workforce. I am so honoured to have had this opportunity to inform all of you of a service that is available, especially if it can help you succeed.

I use to be in the Employment industry many years ago (feels like a lifetime ago) and I helped many people find work. I know that with the extra support that my clients got, it helped them get their foot back in the door. Every little bit helps.

If you are interested in learning more about SAHM Coaching, make sure to contact her directly as she has a wealth of information and knowledge to offer.

Thank you again Stephanie for your time and empowering women every day!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga