Tag: Creative

I See Me Books Warms Our Hearts With A Christmas Story

There is no denying that Christmas is my favorite time of the year! To me it’s the spirit of Christmas that I enjoy the most as to me it’s the most caring time of the year. Therefore, when we got the opportunity to review a new book by I See Me Books on Christmas – I was thrilled!

Nikki got her “Very Own Christmas” from I See Me Books and she was as excited as me (in all honesty I must have been a tad more excited then she was).

This past weekend we sat down to read the story. When we opened the book, Nikki’s photo was there with her full complete name (first, middle and last) with her date of birth. It was a super sweet personalized touch!

The story is about the Santa quest to decorate the tree with a name to string across it for all the world to see. But it’s not just any name! It’s a name of child whose Christmas spirit is always shining through. The book then takes us on an adventure through Santaland where each character says a letter (from the child’s name) and using a positive descriptive word for the child. As we went through each letter and each page, my heart warmed up.

At the end of the story, Santa announces Nikki’s name and says that you can feel her Christmas spirit which warms up his heart to hear it. This last page had my eyes watering as that is exactly how I feel about my daughter. She is my Christmas spirit and now I have a book that I could read to her to let her know exactly that!

For this #MelandNikkiReview we give “My Very Own Christmas” 5+++ jingle bells out of 5. We also have included this on our recommended list which will be out soon!

The book is personalized to truly make the child feel special and unique. The words used are positive and empowering which we love! We just loved everything that this book had to offer us such as the beautiful illustrations, the customized and inspiring story, and for making us ALL feel special when Nikki is named as the child with Christmas spirit. This book even though was about her very own Christmas Story, I felt like it was mine too. We will definitely be reading this book leading up to Christmas and I look forward to it!

As many of my readers have learnt through my blog that giving and charity is something that I hold dear to my heart. This is why I am delighted to inform you all of a special partnership that started on November 1st with I See Me Books the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, and every purchase will benefit the national non-profit.

I See Me Books has also launched “Letters of Love” campaign. Anyone on this page can write an uplifting letter to a child with cancer and make a lasting gift of kindness. Near the end of December they will deliver the letters to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, where they will be given to the children. For every 50 letters they receive, they will donate a copy of My Very Own Christmas to a child supported for the non-profit. If you would like to donate to this cause directly you can do so through the page. The goal is to reach $10,000 and I know it can be done.

If you would like to purchase your own book, please click here.

Make sure to follow I See Me Book on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

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.

 

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A Little Leafy Is “Punny” And Amazing!

Laughter is said to be the best type of medicine and who doesn’t like a good laugh?! I know that I love laughing and definitely like to make the people around me laugh.

This is why when I met Stef from A Little Leafy at the Baby Show in Toronto this year, I fell in love with her business! So what happens when Momma Braga likes a company, we write about it of course!

We had the sincere pleasure to interview the creator and business owner, Stef who gives us the inside scoop on everything, A Little Leafy.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

“My name is Stef and growing up I was the kid who spent her days drawing and wanting to make everyone laugh. That creative passion is what drove me to be accepted into an arts program which lead to graduating as a Graphic Designer. My motto is “a little can do a lot,” not only because I am quite little in size, but also because I believe a little chuckle can go a long way in brightening someone’s day – and that is why I do what I do!”

Tell me a little bit about, A Little Leafy and the products you sell.

“A Little Leafy is where you can find “punnies” that have come to life. The majority of my illustrations include a pun or cheesy joke, accompanied by a smirking comical character! My illustrations are available on a wide range of ever expanding products! Some fan favourites are Mugs, Cards, Prints and my all new Stickers!”

What inspired you to create your business?

“Two years ago, right before I opened my shop, I was severely injured, I slipped a disc in my back and had to leave my job. I was instructed to stay laying down in my room as my back recovered, and this led to my illustrating some punny comics to cheer myself up and release my creativity. I’ve combined my love for a good laugh with my art and so began A Little Leafy!”

What do you hope your customers get from purchasing your products?

“My biggest goal is to spread smiles, and I love that I am able to make someone laugh through one of my punny creations. It really is the littlest things sometimes that can make a bad day into a good one (nudging back to my shop motto), and whether I get a smile, chuckle or slapping your knees laughter – I’m honoured to be part of that reason!”

Where would you like to see your business in five years?

“I hope that my punnies will spread laughter from home to home, and grow to reach new people! I absolutely love being a small business owner and being able to use my art to make others smile, so if I can continue to do so and extend the amount of people my company can reach – I would be ecstatic! I love doing this, and my shop is not just what I do, it is me!”

If someone is interested in purchasing products from you, where should they go? Do you do custom orders?

“I currently have an online shop linked on my website where you can purchase my products! For my local friends I also have a shop nook inside Arts Market on 846 College Street in Toronto – and in addition to that I am always popping up at a local market and love meeting my customers! Custom orders are always welcome, I love personalizing my designs to fit my customer’s needs!”

You are a young and inspiring woman, what advice can you give to a young person who may want to pursue their own business?

“My advice would be to go for it, no matter what. I have had to deal with many people, and I still do to this day, that will want to give you their opinion. In most cases unfortunately it’s negative, because the truth is most people don’t like taking risks. If you never try, you’ll never know and worse than that – you’ll regret never trying. Just keep powering through, keep being positive and keep doing you, because those same people will come to you at the end and instead of saying you can’t, they’ll be asking how!”

What would you say has been the biggest help in you pursuing your dreams?

“The biggest help for me is definitely my family. They not only encourage me, my family also stays up late keeping my inventory organized. I bounce my ideas off of them and not only do they help me physically putting up and taking down show set-ups – but they are also by my side helping me sell! A Little Leafy would not be where it is today without my little sister, Tori. She helps me literally almost every single day, with anything I need. She’s been my biggest supporter from the beginning and I’m truly grateful to have been blessed with an amazing sister. In all fairness I DID ask Santa for her when I was 3…”

Lastly, is there anything you would like to add for our readers?

“I would love to say thank you! Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about me, thank you for smiling at my punnies and thank you for supporting my dream! It truly means the world to me!”

Thank you Stef for giving us the opportunity to interview you and your amazing business!

It is hard not to giggle or smile when you see a creation by A Little Leafy! I loved it so much that I had purchased a mug and a bib from them with some really punny creations on it. I have also included them in my gift giving this year.

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 Recommended List.

If you are looking to see the products available you can check out her Etsy shop, or her location at 846 College Street in Toronto. But A Little Leafy also shows up at local events and some that she will be at this November are the following:

Saturday November 4 from 9am to 1:30 pm at The Vaughan Market Place, 1 Villa Royale Ave., Woodbridge, ON.

November 17, 18 and 10 at the Seasons Christmas Show at the International Convention Centre.

Make sure to pass by and say that you read about her on Momma Braga! 😉 Make sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Can’t wait to get my products for my loved ones for Christmas!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga


The Condo Kids: Project Haunted Condo

The Condo Kids are back and just in time for Halloween!

I was very excited to see the next book release for the Condo Kids as I loved the first one, The Condo Kids: Adventures with Bob the Barbary Sheep. I was curious to see what kind of adventure the condo kids were going to go through in this next book.

The Condo Kids: Project Haunted Condo has all the amazing condo kids that we fell in love with in the first book and this time their adventure involves finding a ghost. Noah, Michael and their friends embark on a spooky adventure to try and solve the mystery that has become the talk of their building. There have been reports of disappearing food, vanishing wigs and mysterious white flashes which could only mean one thing – right?! You will need to read the book to see if the Condo Kids solve this mystery or if they get outsmarted.

We give this book five ghosts out of five. The book literally had me giggling out loud. The imagination the Condo Kids is amazing and is reflected in the adventures that they have. I truly love the storyline and how much fun these children have living in a high rise! It truly is such a delight to read from beginning to end. Oh! At the end you get a little taste for the next upcoming Condo Kids adventure – can’t wait! Another great job Jackie Burns!

 

I recommend to check out The Condo Kids especially if you have children in the 6-9 age group and they don’t need to be living in a condo to appreciate the story. Not only is this book entertaining for children to read but when you purchase this book, 10% of book profits go directly to support Earth Rangers. Earth Rangers is the kids’ conservation organization, dedicated to educating children and their families about biodiversity, inspiring them to adopt sustainable behaviors and empowering them to become directly involved in protecting animals and their habitats. Talk about wins all around!

Please feel free to visit Amazon or The Condo Kids website to purchase the book directly.

Looking forward to the next book in this series! You can follow The Condo Kids on social media to keep up-to-date on what’s going on (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest).

Until next time…..Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga
#MelandNikkiReview

4 Halloween DIY Party Games

Written By: Karen Silva
Twitter

Okay my mombies gather your little monsters and let’s make your Halloween party a big hit. I will share with you some fun Halloween games you can have at your party, that’s also super easy to do.

Remember to use your best judgment on which tasks your child can help you with.

Strike Those Ghosts!

What you will need: A ball, six clear or White plastic cups and a black marker

  • First create your ghost faces on your cups, remembering to have the opening of the cup face down on the table.
  • Once you have completed that you can place them in a corner, stacking them to create a triangle shape.
  • Decide where you want the starting line to be.
  • Then each person can take a turn to roll or throw the ball to get strike out the ghosts.

Feeding the Monsters

What you will need: Large box, scissors, paint and balls

  • With a large box you will create three monster heads, so there are three different eating levels.
  • With scissors cut the mouth holes and make sure it is large enough for a ball to be thrown in.
  • Then together paint your monsters and add some details. Then once dried, decide where you want your starting line to be and have people take turns throwing a ball into any of the monster’s mouths.

*Fun Tip: You can use glow in the dark paint and put a black light on during the game. You can also add some creative features such as teeth to make the monsters look more realistic.*

What do you feel?

What you will need: Empty tissue boxes, Black paint, foods that would resemble body parts and a blind fold

  • First paint your boxes with the black paint and set aside to dry.
  • Once that’s done fill your empty tissue boxes with your food ideas. You can label each box with the “item” that you want it to be, for example “eye balls”.
  • Once your guests are ready to play have them put on a blind fold and stick one hand in the boxes to feel the objects. Some examples you can use is:
    • Noodles with tomato sauce as mushed brains
    • Grapes as eye balls
    • Jell-O as guts

*If you wish not to use food you can add Halloween items and have them guess what they are, for example, you can put fake spiders in a box.*

Witch Ring Toss

What you will need: Black construction paper, tape, paint, card board and rings

  • First cut your Black construction paper into a Triangle shape.
  • Then fold the corners together, closing the Triangle shape and creating a cone shape.
  • Then with another Black construction paper cut out a circle to complete the witch hat look.
  • Together decorate the witch hats with paint.
  • Once you have taped the two pieces together and set aside to dry. Once completed tape or glue each of them onto the cardboard leaving some space between each of them.
  • Then create your starter line where your guests can each take turns in throwing the rings trying to get it around each witch hat.

Whether you decided to do one of these or all of them, your guests will have a great time at your Halloween party. Remember that sometimes not keeping score can create a more fun, laid back atmosphere and will help you avoid the “competition” conflicts that may arise.

Until next time… Happy Haunting!

 

5 Halloween Munchies Recipes

Written By: Karen Silva
Twitter

We all know that every good Halloween party or get together, needs some munchies to keep your little monsters full and satisfied. I will share with you some “not so scary” Halloween munchies, that are easy to make and yummy to your tummy.

Remember to use your best judgment as to which tasks you can have your child help you with.

Ghost Popsicle’s

What you will need: Bananas, White chocolate wafers, Chocolate chips and Popsicle sticks

  • First unpeel your bananas and cut them in half.
  • Melt your wafers until your white chocolate is liquid (I did mine in the microwave for 40 seconds).
  • Then dip half of your Popsicle stick into the chocolate and stick it into the end of the banana.
  • Once completed, gently dip the whole banana into the melted chocolate and add three chocolate chips (two for eyes and one for a surprised spooky mouth).
  • Then set all the done ones onto a tray over wax paper and put it in the freezer for about an hour.

Veggie Treat

What you will need: A large tray, veggie dip, baby carrots, broccoli and cucumber

  • First lay out your baby carrots in to a circle shape and use the broccoli as your stem of your veggie pumpkin creation.
  • Remove the baby carrots from the areas in which you would like to have the eyes and nose and place a small container with veggie dip in those places.
  • Finally remove the baby carrots to create your mouth and add some sliced cucumbers in that area.

Monster sandwiches

What you will need: Toast bread, cold cuts, mayo, cheese, circle shape cookie cutter and green olives with opening

  • First with your cookie cutter, cut out circle shapes on your toast bread slices.
  • Once completed, assemble your sandwiches using your mayo first, then cold cuts.
  • Before you add your cheese, use a knife to design your cheese slices to look like sharp teeth.
  • Once you have added that and put another circle piece of toast bread you are ready to add your eyes. That’s right you guessed it! Use the olives as your monsters eyeballs.
  • To keep them in place you can add a tooth pick to each one, just make sure your guests can see the tooth picks so that they can pick them out before taking a bite.

Sweet and sticky pumpkins!

What you will need: Rice crispy Squares, Rolo chocolate and green cookie icing

  • Feel free to make your own Rice Crispy Squares from scratch. Or you can just buy a box of Rice Crispy Squares, add two drops of Orange food coloring on each, pop them in the microwave for 8 seconds and then shape them into a pumpkin.
  • Once you have that done stick one Rolo chocolate on the top as your pumpkin stem.
  • Now you can stop right there or you can use the green icing to create some more detail on the pumpkin like leaves.

Eye love cupcakes!

What you will need: Your favorite cupcake recipe, white buttercream icing, red icing, black icing and lifesaver candy

  • First make and bake your favorite cupcake recipe and then set them aside to cool down.
  • Now comes the fun part… decorating!
  • Spread your white buttercream icing on all of your cupcakes.
  • Then place one life saver in the middle of each cupcake.
  • Using your black icing fill in the hole in the middle of the life saver to complete the look of your eye.
  • Finally add your final detail using the red icing and drawing out some veins.

I hope I didn’t make you drool too much! All of these ideas are super easy to make and it doesn’t take too much time to make.

Until next time mombies!

 

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.

5 Halloween DIY Decoration Ideas

By: Karen Silva
Twitter

My niece and I are super excited that fall is finally here and Halloween is the cherry on top of the cake for us! Now that she is three she has a lot more opinions on what she wants to be this year and boy let me tell you how she surprised me with her suggestions. Some of her costume ideas were a zombie, cat and a witch. Not your typical little girl asking to dress up like a princess.

Now shopping for a costume this year with her will probably go without a hitch. So I decided to roll up my selves and focus on Halloween art projects to do with her instead.

Here are my top five Halloween art activities that you can do with your children.

*Please use your best judgment on which tasks your child can help you with for each activity, as you may have to do some of the tasks that involve using sharp objects alone.

BOO!

What you will need: White balloons, Black markers, White mesh sheet, string, tape, and scissors.

  • First blow up your balloons (as many as your heart desires).
  • Then together with your child draw on your ghost faces.
  • Once completed drape over your White mesh sheet over you balloon and with your finger roughly estimate where you should cut a small hole at the top of the sheet (make sure you don’t pop the balloon).
  • Then in the small hole on top tape one end of the string and the other end, use it to tie it up somewhere.
  • To add a nightly effect to your ghosts you can add a small glow stick into your balloon before blowing it up.

Haunted House

What you will need: Brown recycled boxes, black marker, Ruler, scissors and tape

  • Using your ruler draw out wood stake shapes out of your recycled boxes.
  • Then with the black marker draw on some lines and fake “nails” to make it look like its pieces of wood.
  • Once you have a couple made, tape them to your windows to make it look like a haunted house.
  • You can also use the recycled box to make “Keep out” signs or other creative Halloween themed signs.
  • Once you have decorated the outside of your home, be sure to add some cob webs and throw in some fake spiders for a creepy look.

Halloween treat bowl

What you will need: A plastic serving bowl, Halloween stickers, fake spiders and a hot glue gun

  • Let your child go crazy and decorate the whole bowl with Halloween stickers. I found a box with over 250 Halloween stickers at my local dollar store (we did not use them all).
  • Once completed ask your child where they would like the fake spikers to be placed as you hot glue them down.
  • Then fill your bowl with Halloween candy and either treat yourselves leading up to the day or use it as your serving bowl for your trick or treaters.
  • Another idea is to glue a bunch of fake googly eyes all over your bowl.

 

Oh my monsters!

What you will need: Construction paper, scissors, tape and markers

  • Cut all your construction paper into different shapes (circles, triangles, ovals, squares, etc).
  • Then have your child be creative with how they want their monster faces to look using markers.
  • Once completed tape them around the house or on your doors and windows for all to see.

*You can also make the faces using other colored construction paper and then gluing them down to add more detail*

Fake Hands

What you will need: Clear latex gloves, fake red blood, Pudding, Jell-O or candy

  • First make your pudding or Jell-O recipe and fill up your latex gloves (This will give your hand a very squishy and creepy feeling). Remember not to fill it up all the way to the top because you need to tie it so the liquid doesn’t spill out.
  • Then using a string or laundry clip hang the gloves in your fridge until the pudding and Jell-O harden.
  • Once completed dip or splatter some fake blood on your fake hands and set aside to dry. Once it is dried, place them around your yard or even around your house as a Halloween decoration.
  • You can also fill your latex gloves with candy instead and place them around the yard, splattering some fake blood over it. If your little monsters are a little scared of the look of fake blood then just skip that step all together.

I hope this inspired you and your children to be creative this year and create some of your own Halloween decorations instead of buying them. They add a personal touch and create great memories.

Until next time my fellow mombies!

About the Author

Karen graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Karen is a loving Godmother/Auntie to one. Combined with her ECE background and passion for DIY projects and baking, she has recently joined Momma Braga and has become an expert writer for the blog. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can bring families together through her creative ideas.