Category: Reviews

A Family Assistant In An App

Ever feel that life just gets so busy with work, kids and life?! What if you had a personal assistant to keep you organized, productive, and connected. Sounds like a dream come true?

Let me introduce you to Picniic, an app that acts as your personal assistant. It keeps families organized, productive, and connected by bringing all your activities, tasks, and data together in one shared place.

Keeping myself organized is something that I love to do and when I heard about this app I was thrilled. We have been using the app for a few weeks now and we love it!

There are so many features on it to really help keep things more structured and organized. So what kind of features does this one app offer?

  • Shared  family calendar
  • Assign to-dos, lists, and chores
  • Family news feed
  • Store your own custom recipes
  • Search online recipes
  • Meal planner
  • Real-time family locator
  • Custom ‘places’ for family check-ins
  • Encrypted family info locker
  • Birthdays and anniversaries
  • Upload and share your family photos
  • Powerful calendar importing and subscriptions
  • Subscribe to your family calendar at work
  • Easily import info from other organizers

Our family used many of the features above and it was easy to use and extremely helpful in keeping us organized. Picniic provides all the tools parents need to manage everyday family life in one central location that can be accessed and updated by anyone in the family.

As a special promotion to Momma Braga readers, you can download the app for a 30-day free trial to all the Premium features of Picniic.

Platforms that you can download on are:

Here are some simple instructions on how to sign up:

  1. Log on to https://picniic.com/signin/

  2. Create an account using PROMO CODE: BLCAMB

  3. Enjoy effortless family management with Picniic

Make sure to follow Picniic on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Blog, and Facebook to see what they are up to next. 🙂

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 
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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.

Kidloland Brings Learning Fun To Children With Their Adorable App

When we have to commute long distances or waiting at the doctor’s office, we always reach for the tablet to entertain our daughter. Usually her go to app is YouTube kids where she watches other kids play with toys or she watches one of her favorite shows. Even though she is entertained, she isn’t learning much besides what toy she would like next.

Therefore, when I was approached by KidloLand to review their app, I just had to check it out. We were provided with a three month subscription in exchange for a #MelandNikkiReview.

We downloaded the app on my Android phone and my daughter has since been using it for two weeks now as we really wanted to see everything that it had to offer.

KidloLand is an app for toddler and kids under the age of five. On this app there are several different features that help kids learn ABCs, animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes, seasons, occupations, weather and more with the help of 1000+ interactive nursery rhymes, songs, stories and educational activities.

There is definitely A LOT  to explore and learn for your little one. Nikki’s favorites has been coloring time as she loves coloring the butterflies and then seeing them fly away (super cute to hear her say, “Fly Butterfly”). Nikki has also loved Chomping Monsters Adventure which is an interactive game full of learning. She really loves this one and giggles every time she gets something right which is so nice to see. There are a few more that she enjoys such as the nursery rhymes, and other games and activities.

This app is great as it allows kids to play games and not even know that they are learning as they play. The activities that are offered on this app help develop a child’s pre-math skills, sequencing skills, picture and number comprehension, problem solving skills, build memory and develop their imagination and creativity. So much and all on an app!

We give KidloLand 4.5 stars out of 5 as it offers a lot of opportunities for fun and learning. It is child friendly and safe which I am sure many parents are going to love the best. The games and activities do require to be downloaded first in order to be used without access to WiFi. We recommend to do this in order to avoid using up phone data and also know that the downloads do take up space so do keep that in mind. Overall, it is a great app that your child will love to play. My daughter constantly asks to play with the app now and is learning in leaps which gets the approval rating from Momma Braga.

If you would like to give the app a try you can download it for a free trial:

If you love it as much as we do, you can then become a paid subscriber.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

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

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