Category: Reviews

Fresh City Is Providing A Healthier Way To Do Groceries

“Fresh City makes it simple to eat a healthy and seasonal diet. Working with some of Ontario’s best farmers and makers to deliver fresh produce and healthy local + organic groceries right to your door.”

They are a city farm and are proud to work with some of Ontario’s finest growers. From sourcing from organic farms, to packing in reusable bags, to delivering with electric bikes, their operations respect both people and planet. They are a Certified B-Corp and have been featured in several documentaries for their pioneering work in farming the city.

Located at Downsview Park, they organically grow on two acres and in a greenhouse. It’s where they run farm tours and events as well as many of their workshops.  The 3,000-square foot greenhouse is fully self-contained and off-grid, the greenhouse boasts rainwater capture and irrigation system and uses solar energy to power the fans.

Fresh City has created a Member Farmer Program as a way to connect urban farmers to land, facilities, and a supportive learning community. Today the program supports over 20 farmers as they pursue self-sufficiency and farming business dreams. Fresh City farmers grow vegetable, herbs, and flowers for them to sell.

Sounds like an amazing operation, doesn’t it?! Well, it just got better with the recent launch of the baby/toddler category.

I had the opportunity to recently try their services and products to see how it would work for my amazing community of readers.

Firstly an account would need to be set up on their website where you would put in all your information and then you can begin to follow the instructions to order your groceries online.

There are many things that can be ordered and I just didn’t know what I wanted to try first but I did manage to put a good list of things from a variety of the different categories but especially from the baby/toddler category.  My order was inputted with a simple click of the mouse and my delivery was scheduled for the following week on a Wednesday. It was very simple!

The delivery date arrived and I was excited to receive the package. It arrived promptly on the Wednesday and was neatly packed in a great reusable bag which can be returned or you may leave it at your door for the next order delivery date. I would call this environmentally friendly!

The baby and toddler products that I received were some fruit snacks, Hugga Bear Chocolate chip cookies, pasta with different shapes (dino and farm ones which are super cute!) and we also got the sensitive unscented baby wipes. We also got ourselves some neat things too.


The products all looked so great and they are high quality food. The fruits we got are fresh and taste great! Everything that we got we have loved.

Therefore, for this #MelandNikkiReview we give Fresh City 5 Kiwis out of 5 for the quality of food, prompt delivery, simple to use service, environmentally friendly and offering healthy options for families in the Greater Toronto Area. It’s a mouth full of great qualities but all worth mentioning. It’s a service that is great for families who want healthy options and it is convenient at its finest.

There is more with Fresh City that you will need to check out such as the prepared meal, recipe kits and so much more.

As a special offer to Momma Braga readers you can receive $20 off your order as a first time customer by using promo code: FRESHREADER. What a great offer – thank you Fresh City!

Make sure to follow Fresh City on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as I am sure there will be so much more to come from them.

Special thank you to Kim from Fresh City for giving Momma Braga the opportunity to review their great service and keep up the great work!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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Quash Your Cravings With Quiznos Limited Gyros Sub

For over 35 years, Quiznos has taken pride in bringing big flavour with quality ingredients. As pioneers of the toasted sub, they have been serving with butcher-quality meats and all natural cheeses.

So what has this tasty establishment decided to quash our taste buds with?

They have gone back in time to discover Gyrocleese, faux Greek god and inventor of the ever popular Gyro!

To celebrate, Quiznos is making history with the introduction of two new modern gyro options. They are the Gyros Whole Wheat Wrap and the Gyro Sub Sandwich which is available for a limited time (end of December).

So are they really that great?

We had the honour to be invited as an official taste tester for this special limited time menu item and of course we said YES!

It was time to check out Quiznos for the very first time and take a bite out of the Gyro Sub.

The Gyro Sub is layered with scrumptious seasoned beef and lamb into a traditional toasted sub (of your choice) and its beautifully topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and creamy tzatziki sauce.

Talk about Greek “hero” perfection! (Excuse me…my mouth is watering again!)

I visited the location closest  to my home and ordered our family dinner. When I arrived home it was time for the ultimate taste test. I unwrapped my neatly wrapped sub and I have to say that I love that they cut the 9 inch sub in half.

I took a bite and my taste buds got all the great flavours a Gyro has to offer and enjoyed every single bite!

Now it was time to evaluate on the #MelandNikkiReview and we give it a 5 Greek Gods out of 5. The Gyro Sub offers an abundance of flavour, freshness and high-quality ingredients. The real difference is that their core recipe is around toasting the subs. By toasting the subs, it brings out more flavour and makes it mouth-watering good! “It’s all about the oven.”

This is why we recommend to quash your craving this holiday season with Quiznos Gyros Sub or Wrap before they are gone from the menu (end of December). You don’t want to miss it! It is a great family meal idea too!

Also make sure to follow Quiznos Canada on Facebook for some mouth-watering posts and don’t forget to visit a location near you!

A special thank you to Quiznos Canada for the gift card so that I can try this fabulous new sandwich!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga


 

“How To Cake It” Makes A Delicious Read

Yolanda Gampp is a self-taught cake artist who started out baking novelty cakes in her mother’s kitchen and is now one of the forces behind How To Cake It, a hugely successful, Webby Award-winning YouTube channel and online community of over six million cake enthusiasts from around the world.

Yolanda and her work have been featured on the Today Show, and in Buzzfeed, Daily Mail, and Cosmopolitan, while Yolanda has served as a guest judge on popular Food Network shows such as Cake Wars and Sugar Showdown.

Inspired by her father, who worked as a baker, Yolanda graduated from chef’s school and discovered that her true passion was working with sweets. Yolanda lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband (Mr. Cake) and young son.

We at Momma Braga had the pleasure of reading, How to Cake It by Yolanda Gampp and it was a delicious read to say the least. The book reflects on Yolanda’s own experience going from a beginner baker to a cake artist. It is designed to grow your skills whether you are just starting out or perfecting your cake skills.

In this beautiful book you will get detailed recipes, tips, designs and so much more. We love the way the book is divided into different sections. You begin at the “Bake It” section and “Yo’s Recipe Box”, where Yolanda lays out the foundation by sharing the recipes for the cakes that you will need to carry out her magnificent designs. Then there is “Yo Knows” where she shares her tips, tricks, and fundamental skills for success in caking. After the real fun begins when the art begins in “Cake It.”

What I love is that in this section it is broken down a bit further depending on the level you are comfortable with. Beginners can start with, “Caking Your First Steps,” then as you progress you can do “Cake It Up A Notch” and finish off with “Cake It To The Limit.” There are just so many amazing skills that you can learn through this great book. I only touched the icing on the cake. 😉

So how easy are the recipes in the book? I put it to the test and I am a perfect example as I am not great at following recipes. I was so nervous about trying it out that I had to call in for some back up which was my sister who loves to bake. We set up a date for our cake day and of course my three year old daughter was excited to join in the fun too.

Since I am a chocolate lover it was only natural to pick, Yo’s Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe. After reading the recipe, it appeared to be much simpler than I was anticipating. I got all the ingredients listed and was ready to start!

We went through each step to make the batter for our Ultimate Chocolate Cake. I have to note that the instructions were very simple and easy to follow especially for me as I don’t follow recipes well but this one made sense to me.

We got our batter into a pan and placed into the pre-heated oven. We waited patiently and it was smelling great. Before we knew it, it was all ready. We removed it from the oven and waited for it to cool down before we did our taste test.

Now it was the moment that I was waiting for since we started putting the ingredients together – eating it! We cut a piece and of course we made sure to have our glass of milk ready to wash it down with. We took a bite and it was delicious! I couldn’t believe that I actually baked something from scratch and it tasted amazing. We couldn’t help but notice how moist it was (even on the next day) and the chocolate taste was perfection. We now had dessert to offer to our weekend guests and it was loved by all.

This #MelandNikkiReview was really fun to do as we got to try a yummy recipe. For this review we give, How to Cake It, 5 Yo’s out of 5. Yolanda beautifully articulates recipes, trick and tips in this must have cake book.

This Cake book is not just a book full of recipes, it is an opportunity to create memories with your family. It is a book that can be opened up in your kitchen and followed at your finger tips. It can be passed on to your children and then their children. They hold those memories that are made with each page turn especially if you accidentally let batter hit the pages. Those are all precious moments that can not be obtained through an online recipe but one that is forever shared in a book. This book is definitely one that can be used for a lifetime and just think of all the wonderful cakes that can be shared at the dinner table with all your loved ones.

To get your copy of How to Cake It, you can click here. Make sure to follow Yolanda on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see what other remarkable creations she does.

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

Jorie And The Gold Key An Adventuresome Enchantment

A.H. Richardson transported us to a magically place in Jorie And The Magic Stones and she doesn’t disappoint in her second book in the series titled, Jorie And The Gold Key.

The synopsis states: “Foll0w the brave, light-hearted Jorie and Rufus as they spend a second summer of adventure in the magical land of Cabrynthius under the Tarn. Their challenge: use the Gold Key to reclaim the magical stones stolen by the evil Lord Fodomalk. Meet Master Nigel, a snooty boy who accompanies them. And re-meet all the mystical creatures of the realm – from the Great Wizard Grootmonya to the prisoners of Shyloxia. You met them in Jorie and the Magic Stones; now revisit them in this new tale of adventuresome enchantment.”

Jorie and the Gold Key by A. H. Richardson is another amazing fantasy packed with adventure and imagination. In this book it takes us off into a rich world where friendship, loyalty and trust are key.

I always love books that teaches and provides us with messages. In Jorie and the Gold Keys, it teaches friendship. This book articulates beautifully on how to get along and learn to trust others as Nigel learns to work alongside Jorie and Rufus. I simply loved how friendships formed in the book when no one believed that it could.

For this #MelandNikkiReview, we give it 5 Gold Keys out of five for it’s intriguing characters with hearts of gold, vivid descriptions, and unique story line. The chapters are easy to read and flows beautifully. It is full of action and lessons that we can all learn from. We would recommend this fantasy novel to anyone over the age of nine.  This is the second book of the series as there is one more book in this series. So far it is a great series!

Make sure to see like Jorie and the Gold Key Facebook page and if you would like to purchase this intriguing novel, click here.

Special thank you to A.H. Richardson for signing my copy as it was so sweet!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

 

 

 

* Please note that the product was given in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed in this review are of Momma Braga and were not influenced by the company.

Learning Swim Skills Through Aqua-Tots Swim School

Every year we hear about children falling into pools or waters and drowning and it’s always tragic to hear. This is why we felt it was important to have our daughter learn to swim. Of course we will combine the swim lessons with water safety and what to do in case of an emergency.

Therefore, my sister-in-law was on the case to help me find a swim school that would be a great fit for our family and provide the program that would teach the skills that my daughter needed to know. After a lengthy research she found the 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.

Aqua-Tots Swim School had a great history and structure and we loved their mission statement: “With more than 80 swim schools worldwide, Aqua-Tots was founded on the principle of equipping children with life-long water safety skills. Aqua-Tots Swim Schools is committed to helping children of all ages develop these life-saving skills through an engaging curriculum that is especially designed to complement each child’s life stage.”

Photo Credit: Aqua-Tots Simming School Mississauga

This is exactly the type of school that we were looking for and therefore, Nikki was registered in the Beginner program which is Level 3, LeapFrogs.

Aqua-Tots Swim Schools, teaches babies as young as 4 months old and children of all ages how to be safe in and around water and develop a love for swimming. Each of the eight levels has a focus that’s specific to the age and ability of the child. For example, the Level 1, Tadpoles class is for guardians and infants and focuses on water adjustment. Additionally, attention is on safety and breath control.

Level 2, Minnows, on the other hand, is still a guardian and toddler program, in which toddlers learn about the importance of boundaries in and around water with an ongoing focus on safety. Each new level develops at a comfortable pace for the child. Advanced levels, such as seven and eight have little ones working on the butterfly stroke and building endurance after they have mastered the other main strokes.

Photo Credit: Aqua-Tots Swimming School Mississauga

Our first swim lesson was scheduled on a Sunday afternoon and we made it a family affair. I have to be honest as that is the only way I know how to be but I was very nervous for many reasons. One reason was on how Nikki was going to react going with the instructor to the swimming pool without me and the second reason was on her safety. I think it is natural for us parents to feel like that especially with something new.

The time came and it was time for Nikki to start her class. The instructor called her name and took her hand and her progress sheet (I like to call it her report card) and off they went. To my surprise Nikki didn’t even turn back to say good-bye and I can feel the tears welt up in my eyes. I sat down to watch the class in session and she was a real pro looking like she was in her element. I couldn’t help feel really emotional and proud at the same time. The first swim class was a wrap and Nikki fell in love with swimming!

We started our swim classes in July and are still continuing once a week. We have changed the format of her swim classes from group to semi-private classes and even the day of the week that we wanted to have it on. So we love the flexibility that they have been able to offer for families. Nikki has improved her confidence in the water and has really picked up on the skills quickly. But we know with time, she will be swimming to her hearts content soon.

For this #MelandNikkiReview, we give Aqua-Tots Swim School 5 LeapFrogs out of 5. 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.

If you are looking for a swim class for your child then we suggest looking at Aqua-Tots Swim School. Enrolment is on-going, season-neutral and takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Visit Aqua-Tot’s website to read about the different levels of swimming lessons https://www.aqua-tots.com/swim-lessons/swim-levels/. If you are in the Mississauga area you can call the Aqua-Tots Swim School at 905-848-2782 which is located at 1970 Dundas Street East, Unit 6. Also make sure to follow them on Facebook to see what’s new. For Aqua-Tots main office, follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Special thank you to Natalia from Aqua-Tots Swimming School Mississauga for taking the time to contribute some background information to this article and to the staff at Aqua-Tots for making swimming so much fun for my daughter.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this not a paid or sponsored post. This article is an honest review of services that we have used and are currently using.

 

Baby Tripster Has Made Travelling With Baby Much Better

We have been very excited for this new and innovative product to hit the scene and we got to be the first to try it!


Baby Tripster is the world’s first leak-proof baby food travel kit made for any kind of travel. You can take your baby’s favorite soft food from home anywhere you go. It is made from BPA-free plastic, dishwasher safe, eco-friendly and reusable. The attached lid will never be lost or dropped on the ground as it’s attached to the container. It has a separate compartment to securely hold the spoon/fork which is convenient and ready to use.

We put the Baby Tripster through the Momma Braga test. Nikki’s favorite snack is chocolate pudding and it can get messy to transport when we are not home so we put it in the Baby Tripster. After a trip in my purse, we took it out and there was no leaks! It wasn’t messy and everything stayed where it needed to. Nikki opened the Baby Tripster and was excited with her spoon ready to use. She truly enjoyed her pudding without any mess.

For this #MelandNikkiReview we give the Baby Tripster 5 stars out of 5. It is convenient, compact, safe and easy to use. This product will be a great addition to any family’s travel plans whether it is on a getaway or to a park. The beauty of this product is that it doesn’t need to be only for babies as you can put some snacks for your children too. We are thrilled to have been given this opportunity to be the first to try a new product and we can’t wait until other parents try it for themselves as soon as they launch. Get ready world! 😉

Make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to get updates on when they are launching. But make sure to subscribe in order to buy one when it’s ready!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga