Category: Great Companies

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.

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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.

Fleur de Reine Provides Timeless Beauty | Exclusive Interview

Bringing unique products, brands and people to our worldwide audience is what we love doing best. We love to meet new and inspiring people who do so much more than just sell a product.

This is why we are delighted to introduce you all to Fleur de Reine who we were honored to have met at Square One’s Merry and Bright Holiday Market.

We had an opportunity to interview the owners of Fleur de Reine to get to know them and their product better. We like to go beyond the company website. 😉

Tell us a little bit about yourselves

Sonia – “I grew up in Australia and Canada, and now call Mississauga home. I love to spend my days surrounded by my large family (proud aunt alert!) and explore all Toronto has to offer. Love to travel and have always had a passion for art and flowers. I am a coffee addict by day and by night.” :p

Roopie – “I was born in Toronto and raised in Mississauga. Currently reside in beautiful Milton. I love to travel and have an appreciation for beautiful artisan created things. Fun fact: Chocolate is my kryptonite.” 🙂

Tell us a little bit about the company and how it inspired to be.

“We’ve always had a keen eye for style and beauty, and knew we wanted to start a company that encompasses both. It wasn’t until one late evening we were reminiscing Sonia’s wedding and reliving all the beautiful moments and décor. The flowers were extravagant and the colors were so bold, we thought to ourselves “wouldn’t it be nice if flowers could last longer than a week?” and so it was that late evening while sipping on some wine that the idea was born.”

What makes you unique?

“Roses are timeless that adorn the space they ‘re placed in, but Fleur de Reine added a modern element by our unique preservation process. Whether it’s a rose purchased for love, passion, new beginnings, celebrations, appreciation or friendship – thanks to the EternalBloom™, it lasts through the seasons. Imagine purchasing real roses that last a year. Fleur de Reine is revolutionizing the way we gift flowers.”

What do you hope your business will accomplish with each rose sold?

We hope the beauty and longevity of our roses will uplift your spirits and brighten your days. We also offer a variety of beautiful packaging options and personalization services. Our vision is to create the ultimate quintessential experiences and give our clients a piece of beauty to cherish in their homes for always. We have turned the timeless flower into just that – timeless.”

Lastly, anything new and exciting that you would like to announce to our readers?

“We are adding a new piece to our Glass House Collection for Valentine’s Day 2019! We are now offering shipping within North America.

We were also featured in Dolce Magazine & West of the City Magazine this year! Last but not least, we’re always popping up at different locations, so please stay tuned to our IG for upcoming details.”

#MelAndNikkiReview

There you have it, our exclusive interview with the owners of Fleur de Reine. We need to mention that these two ladies are classy, kind, professional and friendly. It was so great to meet them in person as we could see that this is not just a business but a passion of theirs and we love that!

Every rose and packaging was perfect in every way. I was so captivated by the roses that I purchased a glass ornament with a black rose for my sister-in-law for Christmas. It was absolutely breathtaking and I know my sister-in-law is going to love it.

Interesting fact is that the black roses are their best seller – would have never believed it!

We were truly impressed with the products, uniqueness, quality and above all the passion that goes into each rose. This is why we give Fleur de Reine 5+++ roses out of 5! We are also listing them on our “recommended list.”

This would make a perfect gift for any occasion. If you would like to order, click here. Or if you are in the Square One area, you can drop by the Merry and Bright Holiday Market before December 24, 2018 to purchase in person.

Make sure to follow Fleur de Reine on Instagram to see which locations they are in next.

A special thank you to Sonia and Roopie for the opportunity to interview them for this special feature.

Until next time… Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

The Tutu Experience | Petit Tutu Boutique

Tutus is the fashion must with our daughter as she adores them. This is why for her birthday this year we had to find the perfect one for her Wonder Woman theme and for her four year old photo. Every year we take pictures of Nikki to celebrate her big day and we give a photo to our close family and friends. We love doing this as it allows us to see how much she has grown over a year.

So the search was on for the best Wonder Woman costume that we could find. After tirelessly searching through Google, we came across the ONE that we have been waiting for!

We came across Petit Tutu Boutique on Etsy and they had the perfect outfit for our Wonder Woman themed photoshoot and birthday party.


The reviews looked good and the photos of the quality of work that was completed looked amazing. There were so many other designs and themes that were adorable too but we had to focus on Wonder Woman.

We first sent an email to the owner, Nancy, as we were on a tight deadline and we wanted to make sure they delivered to Canada. Nancy got back to us promptly and informed us that Canadian shipments are done but that the deadline might not be met due to the distance. We understood this completely and we didn’t mind at all as we had some time until Nikki’s birthday but we wouldn’t be able to take the photos the day that we scheduled. No big deal since we do the photos ourselves. 🙂

We promptly ordered the complete outfit which includes the tutu, the top, wristbands and headband. We also received the Wonder Woman Shoe Embellishment which was super cool! Within a week we received our order and to me it looked even better than the photos that I saw online. Both Nikki and I feel in love with it instantly. Now when we order from small shops and the items are handmade we take a deeper interest in them.

We wanted to find our a little bit more about Petit Tutu Boutique so we got the inside scope from the owner, Nancy on her business.

Exclusive Mini Interview

When did you start your business, Petit Tutu Boutique?

I opened up shop in 2007 on eBay and then made the switch over to Etsy in 2011. It’s been wonderful!

What inspired you to start your business?

I am a stay-at-home mom and I would make costumes for my children. From there it took a life of its own and people started making costume requests for their children. It was a really nice way to start off and bring in some extra money to our household.

What type of products do you offer?

I make Birthday outfits and costumes, mostly for little girls but I have done some for boys as well. You can check out the collection that is available on my Etsy page.

How can people order your beautiful designs?

My shop is only available on Etsy right now and if there are any questions, anyone can email me directly on the site.

#MelAndNikkiReview on Petit Tutu Boutique

We received exceptional service and quality. It made my Super Nikki’s day as she adored the outfit and insisted on wearing it almost everyday before her big day. It made her fourth birthday extra special and she matched Wonder Woman who made an appearance on her special day. Nikki’s birthday has now passed and she still wears her costume proudly. It gets tons of compliments which makes Nikki feel extra special. We give Petit Tutu Boutique 5+++ stars out of 5! Important tip for residents in the USA, if you have a rush order request, you can select the option for “Rush My Order” at an additional cost to your order.

The quality and professionalism was great from start to finish. We are already thinking of what tutu we want next. 😉 Make sure to follow them on Facebook too!

Special thank you to Nancy of Petit Tutu Boutique for making a little girl’s wish to be Wonder Woman come true and in style!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

Bringing Simplicity Back Into Playtime

Smart Simple Toys – PlaSmart Inc

When did toys become so complicated and where did the imagination of play go? I have asked myself this on numerous occasions (more so on birthdays and Christmas) when I see my daughter open all her gifts of toys. With each unwrapping, the toys look more sophisticated and more high-tech. Then I reminisce on the days where I played with the most simple to use toys and they were my very favorite.

Those toys allowed me to imagine, inspire and learn on my own. It was such a simple time. This is why when I was introduced to PlaSmart Inc last year, I was intrigued to what they were offering.

PlaSmart Inc is a global toy distributor specializing in smart, simple, toys and games. PlaSmart began its journey to worldwide success with the introduction of The Original PlasmaCar in 2003 and today its products can be found in more than sixty countries on five continents.

PlaSmart’s innovative and quality products have won numerous and prestigious toy awards. The company focuses on toys that develop motor and dexterity skills, balance, creative and imaginative play, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills and, of course, entertainment.

So what did we try at Momma Braga? We actually won the PlaSmart’s Smart Mat in a Twitter chat last year and we were super excited. Not only because we never win anything but that we were looking for a mat for our daughter’s playtime.

When the Smart Mat arrived and we unwrapped it, our first thought was wow! We have seen many playmats and in all honesty they don’t give you the quality that you need for a young child’s rough play at times. However, the quality of the Smart Mat was really great. You can tell that it is durable and it was a great size mat too!

We opened it up and placed it on the ground and my daughter was so excited to have a place to sit and play on. We couldn’t help but fall in love with the design of the mat which is called Happyville. Not only can you play using the design as your background but you can use the Smart Mat for so many purposes. There is never a limit to a child’s imagination which makes it so fun!

We have had the Smart Mat for almost six months already and it has been amazing for us. It is durable, very easy to clean and easy to store. It is also suitable for kids of all ages! We truly love it and it still looks as great as when we first got it.

So what does PlaSmart’s Smart Mat rate on the Momma Braga meter?

We give it 5+++ Smarts out of 5 for the durability, size, quality and the easy clean up. It truly is one of the best mats I have seen and I have seen many. Smart Mat is very colorful and very appealing to the eye. This is one mat that I don’t think I could ever part with and if you are looking for a great mat to invest for your little one, then don’t look any further than PlaSmart Inc. 

PlaSmart Inc is bringing simplicity and the fun of imagination back into playtime and I commend them for it! Make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest to see the latest to inspire young minds.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

Handmade Growth Chart Is A Cherished Treasure To Last A Lifetime

Happy New Year to all my amazing readers and fans from all over the world! I wish everyone a prosperous and great New Year filled with lots of love and happiness.

I am excited to start off 2018 with a #MelandNikkiReview on a product that we love and think that your family would love too!

Back in October, I wrote about a kidpreneur who is making a difference through his business, The Nice Bench Co.

As a quick refresher, The Nice Bench Co. is a kids’ furniture + accessories brand dedicated to supporting non-profit organizations who help lead the fight against pediatric cancer which is a cause very close to their heart and home.

I completely fell in love with this business for what they are doing to help others but also fell in love with the fact that the founder is Owen and he is nine years of age making a difference. Did I mention that he makes the products?! I was impressed to say the least!

Now I am one that practices what I preach and had to order a product myself to see it first hand.

We have always wanted a growth chart to document our daughter’s height each year but have never seen anything that we felt would be kept. Until we saw them featured on Owen’s business site.

It was simple to order online and we got to choose the background colour and the scale and numbering colour. Before we knew it, our growth chart arrived. It was neatly wrapped and well protected.

Once we unwrapped the growth chart, we were automatically impressed with the craftsmanship and the fact that a kidpreneur had created it.

The growth chart in Nikki’s room before we hung it up.

We were excited to hang it up on our wall (please note that the growth chart does not come with screws or any type of hanging material. You will need to do this on your own). We thought about the best place to put up the growth chart and we decided that the inside of Nikki’s closet was the best place. This way it can be a place that Nikki can always go to see her progression and it would never get in the way of her “style” as she grows with her room design. 😉 I had my handy dad who came over to hang the growth chart using two nails to the wall. It was very simple to do.

We decided that Christmas Day would be our annual measurement day to see how much she has grown each and every year. Of course, you can measure your child at any time as there is no specified guideline on when to do it. I know most families like to measure on the milestone birthday but we just couldn’t wait another nine months to check.

Christmas Day arrived and we excitedly told Nikki it was time to check how tall she was. Nikki was just as excited as we were to see how tall she was. She stood tall in front of the growth chart and we measured. Nikki then looked behind to see what the result was and said, “Oh! I’m tall momma!”

Now we wait until Christmas Day again to see how much a year has grown. We just love being able to document her growth on such a beautiful art piece in our home.

We give the growth chart from The Nice Bench Co. 5+++ Gold Stars out of 5. The ease of ordering, the beautiful options available, the craftsmanship and the care are all reasons why we love it. It even got Grandpa Braga’s stamp of approval which is really difficult as he has high standards for anything made out of wood (carpenter by trade). So this is how you know it is great! 😉

If you are looking for a great way to document your child’s growth with a keepsake to last forever, then we highly recommend the growth chart at The Nice Bench Co.  Make sure to check out the other great products that they have available too as everything is of great quality.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

* Please note that this is not a paid or sponsored post.

Momma Braga’s 7 Bests of 2017

For the last two and a half years, I have had the opportunity to work with companies and brands through my blog which I am truly grateful for. I have met some amazing people who I can call friends and have seen some really neat products.

Therefore, for the very first time I have compiled a list of “Momma Braga’s 7 Bests” and you may find that some of these products can be great gift ideas too!

Each company listed below is fairly different from one another but one thing that they have in common is the love of families in everything that they do. They all have superb customer service and they have all been previously added to the Momma Braga Recommended List. I am just finally writing an official one out. 😉

*Please note that this is list is in no particular order and this is not a sponsored or paid article by anyone listed.

Mimos Pillow Canada

Mimos Pillow offers parents a safe pillow option for baby which also helps prevent and correct flat head syndrome. Now a Class 1 Medical Device in Canada, their mission at Mimos Pillow Canada is to lower the astounding 47% of babies that develop cranial deformities (flat-head syndrome). The Mimos Pillow has undergone clinical trials for effectiveness and is international laboratory tested for breathability (TUV).

The Mimos baby flat head Pillow both prevents and corrects positional skull deformities. This is why we love this product! It is doing an amazing thing for babies all over the world and helping parents sleep with peace at mind knowing their baby has a safe pillow to use.

Remember that you can use promo code: MOMMABRAGA at checkout to get $10 OFF your purchase of a Mimos Pillow. Babies will thank you and their parents too! 🙂

EZPZ

The original all-in-one placement + plate. EZPZ provides a stress free meal time experience with their mats. The mats suctions directly to the table, making it nearly impossible for tiny hands to tip over. It is designed for infants and toddlers (9+ months) with a variety of different colors and styles available. We also can not forget the Care Bears collection that was recently launched (possibly my favorite of them all!). EZPZ also has the play collection where arts and crafts can be super fun with them.

The happy mat promotes self-feeding and it helps children develop their fine motor skills. It also helps children with special needs such as autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and low vision. Their products are tested by feeding specialists and therapists which makes it comforting to know that it works with families in mind.

EZPZ also has launched ONO which is a pet line which is super cute! Hoping to feature this on Momma Braga soon. Now your furry family members will have a bowl that involves less mess!

I have always been a fan of EZPZ since day one and will continue to be one as their products are amazing and they have an amazing company philosophy in helping families.

These products would make great gift ideas and you can purchase them directly online on EZPZ’s website and if you live in Canada, you can purchase them from the Canadian distributor, Hip Mommies.

I See Me!

I See Me! provides the highest quality, most personalized children’s books. Their mission is to increase self esteem in children through personalized books that celebrate the uniqueness of each child. The goal is to show each child how absolutely unique and special he or she is, to teach the child how to spell his or her name, and to build vocabulary skills. However, I See Me! does a lot more than that and I am not sure if they even know it…they give family moments and memories to share together!

Being able to read a personalized story about your child to your child is a wonderful experience. The face your child makes to hear that they are the star of the story is priceless. With each page turn is a memory you are making with your child and it can be enjoyed again and again. There is something special about a book and it becomes magical when every detail in the book in around your child. It becomes a keepsake for a lifetime.

This would make a unique gift for a child that they will treasure forever. We can’t get enough of their beautiful stories and we have become fans of all that they do. I have already started looking to see which books I will be getting for my soon-to-arrive niece.

If you would like to see what they have available and how you can order a copy for a special child or even adult, feel free to check their website.

The Nice Bench Co

The Nice Bench Co. is a kids’ furniture + accessories brand dedicated to supporting non-profit organizations who help lead the fight against pediatric cancer – a cause very close to heart and home.

The founder of the Nice Bench Co is Kidpreneur, Owen who is only nine years old. He definitely has impressed Momma Braga with his amazing skills and heart. We recently ordered a growth chart from him and it was superb. There should be no surprise that they made it onto the list as their story inspires hope, strength, and love.

This would make an excellent gift idea and not only would you be supporting a kidpreneur follow his dream but you would also be helping families in need.

We just love all that they do and I am sure this is only the start to Owen’s successful business venture. To purchase a great product from The Nice Bench Co, make sure to visit their website.

A Little Leafy

A Little Leafy is a small local shop who is doing big things in the world and that is smiles. With a creative passion, business owner, Stef, turns her art into “punny” designs. These designs can be on mugs, pillows, shirts, cards, etc. You can’t help but smile when you see what she has created.

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

To see what “punnies” are available to purchase, please visit the Etsy shop online and you won’t be disappointed.

Ever After Entertainment

Ever After Entertainment is the premier choice for character entertainment in the Greater Toronto Area. Their characters bring the same magic and authenticity to your front door that you would find in theme parks around the world. They believe in making dreams come true by inspiring the imagination of children, both young and young at heart.

They truly are amazing as we have used them this year for my daughter’s third birthday. The service was superb from start to finish. Ever After Entertainment offered so much more than a character to celebrate a special occasion. They offered an opportunity for the adults to feel like a kid again and to the children, that dreams can come true if you believe.

If you are looking for entertainment for your child’s party or even for special event like a bridal shower, look no further as Ever After Entertainment is the top choice. They offer different types of parties that you will need to check out such as the Princess PartyFairytale Party, Superhero Party, and Star Warrior Party. There are so many options and no matter which one you pick, it will not disappoint! Make sure to book in advance and you can check out their pricing here. It truly is a magical experience!

Aqua-Tots Swim Schools

The school was originally founded in Arizona in 1991 and has grown considerably over the years to have a strong North American and international presence thanks to its carefully crafted swimming program for children. Aqua-Tots Swim Schools Mississauga is the first Aqua-Tots location in Canada and has had its doors open to the Toronto West and Mississauga communities since January 2017.

With a focus on safety, a heated pool, a facility designed for families, and on-going progress reports across eight swim levels, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools introduces babies and children of all ages to safe swimming and water practices. Open six days a week, with flexible morning and afternoon lesson times, the swim schools offers a range of classes.

Here is why we love them:

  • Great programs that are tailored to toddlers and children to help them gain the skills needed to swim.
  • Flexible schedules available for families which is so great for working families.
  • Clean and safe environment. They are extremely clean and have safety in mind. As a parent, it is important to learn about your swim schools safety procedure.
  • Caring instructors and staff members who make you feel like part of the family.
  • It’s fun! Your child learns and has fun at the same time.

You can give the gift of swimming lessons to a child this holiday season and Aqua-Tots Swim Schools would be the perfect place to get them. To learn more about how to purchase a certificate, feel free to contact the Mississauga location at 905-848-2782.

There you have it! Momma Braga’s seven bests of 2017 and they all hold a very special place in our hearts. It was a hard list to compile but they all reach the Momma Braga standard with superb service and family at heart.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to extend a big thank you to all the companies that have worked with Momma Braga this year as it was a true honor to work with all of you and promote your brands to my amazing readers from all over the world. I am hoping that next year, I can bring a lot more to everyone and hoping to compile a even bigger list of bests! 😉

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga


 

Life Just Got A Whole Lot More EZPZ Caring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time…..Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

Kidpreneur Making A Difference Through The Nice Bench

It always amazes me to see young people wanting to make a difference in the world and it is empowering to see them make an impact. This rings true to Owen who is already making a difference in his community and his inspiration came from his own family.

Imagine being a parent and told that your child has Leukemia. Sounds like a horrible nightmare, doesn’t it?! The Armstrong family had this happen to them when their nine year old son, Caden, was diagnosed with Leukemia. This family battled and stayed strong together. Now their other son, Owen makes benches and uses the proceeds to help other families travel to get treatment for their child.

We got a chance to chat with Owen and his mother Kirstin who gave us a deeper look at The Nice Bench Co. So grab your tissues and enjoy this inspiring story!

1. How did it all start? How was the idea developed?

“The inspiration for the benches came when Owen built and painted a bench for his little sister, Anikka. His grandparents and auntie loved Anikka’s new bench so much, that Owen was fueled to make more. He built twelve with scrap wood on Christmas Day! Those first bench prototypes were a little rough-looking, but the idea was born.”

2. What type of products does your company do?

“I get some help from a local high school student, named Ryan. He helps me build my nice benches. I have created three lines for these benches, “curious”, “wild” and “happy” – all words my mom uses to describe me! The “curious” line is basically anything I feel like doing, right now I’m really still in to stripes. The “wild” is roughed-up so it looks like it’s been out in the wild (rustic charm) and the “happy” line is solid paint in one of the milk paint colours I have chosen. There’s a big colour palette to choose from.” – Owen

“The step stools are painted using non-toxic, biodegradable, zero VOC milk paint and sealed with 100% natural hemp oil which often comes to us by way of donation from a Canadian company, Homestead House.

Curious
Wild
Happy

 

Owen has expanded his collection to include custom name plates and growth charts, and his step stools are now morphing into actual three-seater benches. We have some custom orders, with custom sizes for these that we are creating. Very exciting.

Every month, we try something new. Last month, in honour of childhood cancer awareness, we created a solid gold bench – the #gogold bench. This month we are featuring some artists work on the benches and later we will be doing something with Halloween inspired colour treatment.

BRIKA

Owen has some exclusive projects on the go for BRIKA (an online platform showcasing and selling heirloom quality artisan craft) and another: a screen-printed “THRIVE” bench for the ever-inspiring MAX LOVE PROJECT (a non-profit that aims to maximize quality of life and reduce serious health risks for all childhood cancer survivors with fierce foods and whole-body wellness).”

THRIVE

3. With the proceeds from the sales, how does it help families with children who are getting cancer care treatments?

“For every product sold, Owen collects $5-$10 ($5 from the sale of name plates and growth charts, and $10 from every bench) and purchases gas gift cards for childhood cancer families traveling long distances to Sick Kids Hospital for chemotherapy treatment.

One quarter of families of children being treated for cancer lose 40% of their total household income. Over 50% of mothers reported relinquishing their employment to provide care for their child. (Source: Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center)

Loss of income is huge, then add up all the extra hidden costs of medicine, childcare, meals on the road. Takes a toll on the family. Owen is hoping to offset that in the little way he can – by paying for the families to get their child to treatment.”

4. Can you describe what your family went through when your child was diagnosed and getting treatment?

“There are no words. Utter shock. A surreal, out-of-body experience. Our eldest boy, Caden was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of nine. What? Kids don’t get cancer.

It is so cliché to say that our world was turned up-side-down but it truly was. Pure chaos. We had just moved three hours north of the city and were set up to live on an island for the summer when we found out we had to turn around and relocate to be near Sick Kids, in Toronto. We had nowhere to go. A family of five. Thankfully, friends and family (our community/life-support) helped us out in ways that go way above and beyond. An expecting couple gave us their home for the summer, we had meals delivered, activities set up for our other two children, the list goes on-and-on. Incredible. We are beyond thankful for their help, it brings tears to my eyes.

Watching Caden endure years of treatment, lumbar punctures, complications, IVs…gutted me. This nightmare has shaved years off my life. I’m sure of it. Despite it all, I was determined to remain positive and happy and strong for Caden. I think he was doing the same for me. He remained stoic, fierce and next-level brave through it all.”

5. Is there any advice that you can provide to other parents who are going through what you have gone through?

“I attached zero negativity to the cancer. I only wanted glowing, positive energy around him. It’s tough, especially in the middle of the night when all is quiet, but I wouldn’t let myself spiral into that abyss of darkness and let my mind go “there.” Mind over matter.

Mind Over Medicine by M.D. Lissa Rankin is all about the power of thought. This book really helped me in the very early days of diagnosis. It gave me back a tiny bit of control. I could adopt a positive mind-set and teach Caden to use visualization techniques. Every night he would send out his “patrol guys” and they would make sure his body was rid of any cancerous cell that may still be looming.

We got through it. We just celebrated Caden’s End of Treatment with that very community that supported us through it all.”

6. How can someone purchase your products?

“Products can be purchased directly from Owen’s website, https://thenicebenchco.com. Owen will also be featuring products to sell at the upcoming Seasons Christmas Show from November 17-19 at the Toronto International Centre. Stop in to meet the young kidpreneur!”

Such an inspiring and strong family! We are truly touched by what Owen is doing and admire his drive as a kidpreneur. We know that Owen has a very bright future in anything that he does and the assistance that he is providing to families is heartfelt. I am sure the families that are getting the help appreciate the heart of gold from this family. Keep up the great work Owen and know that what you are doing is so much more than a nice bench. You are giving hope to families by helping them travel to get the treatment they need for their child. I know in my heart that this means the world to them. Special thank you to Owen and his mom Kirstin for taking the time to have us interview them as we are honoured to have had this opportunity!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga