There are many moments that change our life forever such as the birth of a child, a wedding, anniversary or even moving into a new home. These are just some of life’s moments and wouldn’t it be grand to have a custom night sky to remember your special night?
The night sky isn’t the same all year round as it changes and you see different constellations. This change is due to the motion of the Earth in its orbit around the sun. The Earth shifts approximately one degree per day, making each night sky different from the night before. Therefore, your special night would be unique to you and your life moment.
We recently discovered, Modern Map Art who customizes these special moments and we are thrilled to introduce them to all of you.
How It Works
Modern Map Art uses an incredible detailed star database with hundreds of thousands of stars, and find what the sky looked like at an exact time and place in history (or future). Then, you would simple select your style and order. Your print will then arrive in a matter of a few business days (depending on where you live).
We give our Modern Map Art, 5+++ constellations out of 5 for being out of this world! It offers a unique way to remember one of our most memorable life events, our daughter’s birth. Now we have a custom piece of the exact date, time and location of where she was born and we love it!
The process to order was simple and easy. We love how customized it is as we got to pick from their colors, fonts and styles. This really gave us the feeling of being unique with the choices we were able to make. Now we have a piece that we can proudly display and it will always be beautiful art as it was one of the best moments of our lives.
We highly recommend Modern Map Art to anyone who wants to remember life’s greatest moments in the most unique and beautiful way. A perfect gift for anyone in your life.
Before we whisk you away into “Once Upon A Time,” let us remind everyone what Ever After Entertainment does.
They provide an experience like no other as they bring magic to a celebration. Whether it is a princess, a fairytale character, superhero, or star wars character, they bring it to your front door to make the believers believe that dreams come true.
“We believe in making dreams come true by inspiring the imagination of children, both young and young at heart.” – Ever After Entertainment
Now it is time for our exclusive scoop with Stefanie who encompasses all qualities that one would admire in a princess. She is kind, intelligent, and a strong woman and you will see that from our interview.
Once Upon A Time…
When and what inspired you to start Ever After Entertainment?
I started Ever After Entertainment right after I finished an intensive two year musical theatre conservatory in New York City, called Circle in the Square Theatre School. I adored musical theatre and performing, so when I heard that some of my classmates worked for similar companies in the states, I was immediately inspired to start something of my own. I have always loved anything to do with Disney Princesses! I grew up on all the movies, so performing as a classic princess seemed like the perfect fit!
What was the first year like?
The first years was super tough – for the first six months, the phones were quiet. I didn’t really know where to start and I was relying on “old school methods” of marketing to get my name out in the community, and that just was not working for me. As soon as I started to figure out what type of advertising worked, business began to pick up, and it picked up fast! It was definitely an exciting time when the phones started ringing, but I quickly realized that no one was going to knock on my door and ask me to come to their party. When we were just starting out, I had to go out and do free events to market Ever After Entertainment. Anything from school events, city fairs and free birthday parties – if there was someone who wanted a princess, I was there!
Who has been your most popular character request?
Elsa…Elsa and Elsa! As soon as Frozen came out, “Elsa” or the “Ice Queen” was the most requested character. We had to hire 5 performers in 1 month just to keep up! Now as the Frozen craze has died down a little, some of the more classically loved princesses are becoming more popular. My personal favourites are Beauty and The Little Mermaid – both are requested regularly.
Why is providing a magical experience important to you?
I’ve been a huge Disney Princess fan since I was three years old and I discovered The Little Mermaid. I would eat, sleep and breath everything Ariel! I know that if I had the opportunity to have Ariel attend my birthday party as a child, that would have made my year! Knowing that we can make a child’s dreams come true by bringing their hero to life, means so much to me. These princess characters teach children lessons about family, friends, passion and love, and we are so lucky that we get to bring those lessons and magic to people’s families and homes.
How do you find the perfect person to play the part?
All of Ever After Entertainment’s princess performers are professionally trained actors and singers. We want our performers to not only look like the princesses they are portraying, but they also must embody their personality and be able to sing all their signature songs. Our cast is filled with a diverse group of wonderfully talented ladies from all over the GTA – but they all must have a love for children, and of course, a love for princesses!
Where would you like to see Ever After Entertainment in the next five years?
I would love to see Ever After Entertainment grow across Ontario. Ideally we would love to have performers in all different regions across Southern Ontario, so that we can provide a magical birthday experience to children and their families all over the GTA.
Who is your favourite Princess to play?
It’s so hard to choose! I think if I had to pick one, it would be Ariel. I mean, what girl doesn’t want to be a mermaid?! I just love Ariel’s songs, and story – and it’s so much fun to be a red head. Like I said earlier, The Little Mermaid was my most beloved movie growing up, so she is of course my favourite princess to portray!
This is how Ever After Entertainment got it’s “Once Upon A Time” and some more inside scoops of this impeccable company. Special thank you to Stefanie for giving us the opportunity to interview her as it was a true honor.
We at Momma Braga can’t say it enough that Ever After Entertainment is truly the very best! Once you book with them you can rest assure that your celebration will be that much better! They truly pride themselves of staying authentic and professional from beginning to end. It is a magical experience for all and you won’t regret having them there.
Hello my fellow momma and papa bears, it has been a while. I was pretty busy taking in my whole pregnancy and then the birth of my beautiful baby girl. Now I’m back and ready to share some great ideas with you.
These activities were inspired by my three month old baby as I wanted to do something special for Father’s Day. These art activities are super easy to do and does not require a lot of material. It can also be done for any day of the year as you don’t need a special occasion to have some creative fun. Please note that some of these you may need an assistant to help you or you may want to do them when your baby is asleep.
Leave A Little Sparkle
This is one of my favourites! Especially how I LOVE glitter!
Material Needed: A picture frame, paint brush, glitter, glue and Printer.
First, with a paint brush add glue onto the bottom of your babies feet (it is easier if you do one at a time).
Then place their foot onto the glass of the picture frame to make the footprint.
Once you have done that, sprinkle the glitter on top and dust off the access.
Once you have cleaned the glue off of your baby’s foot, repeat the same steps to the other foot.
Then on a computer, create a sign that says “Leave a little sparkle everywhere you go” (I found this quote on Google).
Cut and insert that sign in the picture frame. You can leave the glitter foot print design on the outside or you can flip it in, so that no glitter can be taken off.
Material Needed: A camera, scrapbook, scrapbook paper and glue.
First dress your little one in cute outfits of your choice and do a mini photo shoot with them (IF they are up for it… I did mine after a feed).
Also make sure to take some family selfies, as that is always great to have in a scrapbook.
Once you have them printed out you can make a photo college on some scrapbook paper (I found mine at my local Michael’s Craft store).
Once completed to your liking, you can put your scrapbook together.
Songs With Props
Material Needed: Computer, printer, Popsicle sticks and glue or tape.
My baby girl loves the Five Little Monkey’s song so I choose to do this one.
First I printed five different pictures of cartoon monkeys and a picture of a bed.
Once I have printed them and cut them out, I glued them onto Popsicle sticks.
Then when I sang the song to her I would use these props.
For a more personal idea you can do the “Family Finger song”, for your props just print out a picture of you, dad, baby and anyone else. This way when you are singing “Daddy finger, daddy finger where are you?” Hold up their dad’s picture and continue the song.
I hope these three ideas inspire you to create some memories in a unique way with your little one. If you choose to do any of these or know of some other great ideas I would love to see them, so please tag me on Twitter.
Honey Nut Cheerios has launched their third year of Bring Back the Bees! If you haven’t heard the buzz about the bees then you have come to the right place!
Bees have been around for millions of years but in the last few years, their population has been on a dramatic decline. Did you know that bees are a crucial part of our agriculture? It is called pollination. In fact, one third of our global food supply is pollinated by bees. They keep our plants and crops alive. So it is very important to help the bees to thrive.
“Bees love to live in urban settings where there are short flight paths and a variety of different plants and flowers to sample just as much as they love the country.”
This year in honor of the #BringBackTheBees Campaign, Honey Nut Cheerios has partnered up with Canadian author, Paulette Bourgeois and illustrator Josee Bisallion. They have created an engaging new children’s book to encourage Canadian kids to do their part to help, Bella and Jack Bring Back The Bees!
We got a chance to review this book and we are so glad that we did!
Bella and Jack Bring Back The Bees tells the story of two kids who learn about the threats to our bee populations and are inspired to do their part to help bring back the bees.
The beauty of this book is the ability it has to teach children the importance of bees and how we need to help them. I know that as we read the book my three old was very concerned about bees and said, “We need to help Momma!”
Since we got our Wildflower seeds, I showed her how we were going to use them to help the bees. Now my three year old is very excited that she can do something to help her buzzing friends. As soon as Spring gets to our backyard, we will plant them in our garden.
We give Bella and Jack Bring Back The Bees, 5 BUZZZZZ out of 5! The great news is that Honey Nut Cheerios is giving away 100,000 free copies of the book nationally, through Indigo, Coles and Chapters and online. Just visit Bring The Bees website to see how you can get your own copy of this adorable book.
“Bees have good colour vision. That’s why flowers are so showy. They especially like blue, purple, violet, white and yellow.”
How You Can Help
Honey Nut Cheerios is making it easy to help by providing wildflower seeds across the country to help preserve and grow the natural habitat bees need for survival.
Over the past two years, the Bring Back the Bees campaign has helped Canadians plant more than 600 million wildflowers across the country, and this year they’re hoping to plant another 300 million seeds.
So how can you get wildflower seeds? You just order them online for your free packages of wildflower seeds and they are sent to you ready to be planted in the spring weather. It is that simple to help out the amazing bees!
We can’t wait to plant ours and do our part to help the bees and our agriculture. Make sure to order your seeds and remember that its FREE! Once you get your seeds and plant them, feel free to take a picture and tag @MommaBraga , @CheeriosCA and #BringBackTheBees as we would love to see your photos!
Easter egg hunts are fun to do and one that we enjoy doing in our home. With my daughter being three, her understanding of the Easter Egg hunt is impeccable especially if it involves finding chocolate. This makes the preparation for the Easter Egg Hunt easier but with a new addition to the family I had to think of a way to involve her as I would hate for anyone to feel left out (my newborn niece won’t notice but I will). 😉
My sister is the much more creative one and she has always come up with ways to make holidays and occasions fun for my daughter so this time I wanted to do something special for her daughter this Easter season.
I thought long and hard about how I can incorporate a newborn friendly Easter Egg Hunt and after a trip to my local dollar store…I came up with a simple way and it was going to include the parents!
I am calling this activity, “Eggspiring Easter Hunt.” So how does it work? Let me give you my simple instructions for some Easter fun for all.
Eggspiring Easter Hunt
This Easter Egg Hunt will involve the parents to do the hunt on behalf of their newborn but of course they can carry their baby with them as they search. There will be decorated eggs hidden in the areas that you have picked for the hunt. As each egg is found, there will be an inspirational quote attached to each one. These messages can be kept to inspire the baby as they grow. These can be used as good wishes for the baby.
Purchase Easter eggs that are either already decorated or that you need to decorate yourself. We purchased our ready decorated Easter eggs from our local dollar store.
Come up with some inspirational quotes to add to each egg. We used some classic Disney inspiring quotes as they mean a lot to our family.
We added the quotes to a bunny shape template. Once the quote is added you can cut out the bunny and if you have an older child, they can color it for the baby. If you would like a printable template, click here.
Attach the bunny with the inspirational quote to each egg. We used a pipe cleaner that we attached to the string already on our eggs.
Then on Easter, hide them when the parents are not looking. 😉
Then start the Easter Hunt magic. Watch as each message is read out loud and see the parents enjoy the inspiring wishes for their newborn.
With these steps above, you will have included one of the youngest members of your family and even though they may not know exactly what is happening. They will appreciate the thought as they grow with the inspiring messages around them. But this too will make the parents of the newborn glow with love. I know this is how my sister will feel.
We can’t wait to try this activity out this Easter and spend some great family time together. That is the one thing that I love the best about the different occasions we celebrate as we get to spend time with those that we love and care for.
If you are celebrating Easter, I would love to hear from you on how you are celebrating in the comments below.
We truly love our books at our home as it is the most peaceful time for all of us. We especially love books done by local authors as those are extra special for us. This is why we were delighted to receive, My Mamma Wants To Eat Me Up, written by Faiza Venzant and illustrated by Patrick Girouard.
Of course as soon as we received this special book (before it hit the bookshelves) we had to read it right away. But before I go into the review of the book, I want to provide our readers with a deeper look at to how important this book is to the author, Faiza.
Faiza is a mother of two children. There is two year old, Qayam and almost one-year old, Malik. Qayam was born in November of 2015. During the first couple of months together, they spent it indoors since winter was in full force outdoors and spent their time with books and songs. Qayam loved music which inspired Faiza to create a song that she sang with him several times a day.
“Oh geez! Just my luck! I love you too much to eat you up. From the top to the bottom, from the left to the right, gonna love you all day and all through the night.”
When Qayam was about five months old, Faiza had the idea to expand the song into a story from his point of view and this is how My Mamma Wants to Eat Me Up! was born.
Now the story does not end there. In February 2017, Faiza gave birth to Malik who was born 13 weeks early and they spent 11 weeks together in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital. This was a terrifying, isolating and a difficult time for Faiza as she watched her son fight, thrive and cling to life. The only thing that she could do in the early weeks was hold and sing to him. Faiza would sing her song to him as she did with his brother and this brought her so much comfort and healing. The song was a powerful way to spend those crucial weeks together and it established their bond together. As he got stronger so did their bond.
When Malik was released from the hospital, it motivated Faiza to self-publish her book and she made sure to include a biracial child in the illustrations to reflect the diversity within her own family.
That is how it all began and we just love it as it’s inspiring for all of us as parents. We love hearing about the story behind the story and we have to say thank you to Faiza for sharing it with us!
So how did this book do on the #MelAndNikkiReview? I sat down with Nikki to get her thoughts on the book and what she rated it. You don’t want to miss hearing it below. 😉
As you heard from Nikki, she gives the book 10 stars out of 5! Of course you can not get a better rating then that! The book is easy to read and it was very easy to get into character as a parent. The illustrations are also very beautifully drawn and they are bright and appealing to the little ones. You may find yourself loving the book so much that you start telling your child “I want to eat you up!” Then your child might be like mine and say “That’s just like the book!” 😉
We highly recommend this book for children newborn to toddlers as they will all love it and parents will have fun reading it too.
This book is now available for purchasing (click here) and it would make a great addition to your little ones library. Make sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram too.
We love books in our home and we get very excited to read new releases or even books that have not yet hit the book shelves yet.
This is why we were thrilled to get a new children’s picture book, Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32, written by award winning author B.C.R. Fegan and illustrated by Lenny Wen. This book is available this month (March 2018).
Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 takes young readers on a journey through the magical Hotel of Hoo, a mysterious place with some very unusual occupants. As readers explore the strange hotel, they are invited to experience everything it has to offer with just one warning… don’t ever look behind door 32.
Behind each of the doors in the Hotel of Hoo, leading up to Door 32, readers meet and greet a bevy of characters who have taken up residence at the hotel, from ghosts cooking roasts, to paintbrush-wielding elves, tea-drinking monsters, miniature giants, and more.
This imaginative picture book aims to take children beyond the first ten cardinal numbers, and introduces them to the patterns of counting in a fun and accessible way. With rooms to explore and unique objects to count, children will enjoy lingering on each page as they make their way closer to the forbidden door.
We just loved the book with each page turn. I am a big fan of rhyming books as it makes reading so much more fun for me as a parent and the illustrations are very captivating throughout. This book is recommended for children ages three to eight and it will be one of our favorites for story time.
For this #MelandNikkiReview we give it “32 Doors out of 5” as we love the rhyming, story, characters and the fun learning incorporated in the book. The book was so much fun to read and I know you will enjoy it too!
As a special treat, Nikki did a video of her thoughts as a three year old on “Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32.”
You can purchase this lovely book on Amazon and I know it would make a great addition to your child’s story time. Make sure to follow this great author on Twitter too!
Have you ever wonder what crafts or activities that you can do with your child? Have you looked for a craft subscription option to help you?
There is a solution and an affordable one. Let me first introduce you to Kyla.
Kyla is a mom of six wonderful children in Saskatchewan, Canada. Five of her children were all under the age of five and it was a bit of a challenge as she needed to find ways to keep her older children engaged in activities. Kyla thought that a craft subscription would be a perfect solution to help her. However, after a lengthy research she found very few affordable options were available in Canada. Therefore, she began prepping little crafts in snack bags to give to her children and they LOVED them! This is where the idea of “Myfunvelope” bloomed. Kyla wanted to offer the opportunity for other moms to access an affordable monthly craft subscription and this is exactly what she did.
Myfunvelope is for children ages three to nine. Every month your child will receive a funvelope in the mailbox. They will discover and have fun with four unique craft projects that follow a fun monthly theme. They will also receive a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activity for hands-on building that is fun and sometimes hilarious! Markers and scissors are also provided with your package and the cost of this no tie-ins subscription is $18 on a month-to-month basis. All children can enjoy the activities every month as the themes are never holiday related to make it inclusive for all.
We got to try this month’s Myfunvelope and I have to say it was a great one! It is superhero month and my daughter loves superheroes!
The first thing that our daughter noticed was the cape and mask which was the first to go on (and stayed on for hours after)! Then we got to try the fun activities throughout the weeks.
There was the Pop-Up Superhero Activity, Superhero Straw Shooter, Superhero Magnet, Cape and Mask and the STEM activity was creating a flying superhero to measure distance. That one was really fun!
What we loved about the craft package was that it had everything that we needed to do all the activities. It saved us a lot of time and running around in getting any of the little things needed to make craft success.
For this #MelandNikkiReview, we give “Myfunvelope” 5 super powers out of 5! If you would like to try this subscription it is super easy to start! All you need to do is sign up and let the crafting begin! Don’t forget to follow Myfunvelope on Facebook and Instagram for some great crafting ideas!
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.
We had the pleasure of attending the Swim with Santa event which was done by Aqua-Tots Swim School in Mississauga.
This was a member-exclusive event which was an all-ages and complimentary with the annual membership to the school. It is one of many great perks of registering at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools.
The event was on Saturday, December 2nd from 2pm to 4pm and we were excited to go, especially Nikki who just adores going to swim school.
We arrived a little early which gave us some time to settle. We couldn’t help notice how beautiful and festive the swim school was decorated. They did not miss a single detail, from the candy cane shaped balloons at the front entrance to the festive décor at each activity section.
Our first stop was to drop off our non-perishable food donations for the Mississauga Food Bank which Aqua-Tots Swim School was collecting. Nikki happily placed our donation in the box and we were ready to see what to do next!
Nikki of course sat right at the arts and crafts station as it was her opportunity to get creative before Santa arrived. Nikki made a snowman ornament, coloured an Ollie with Santa page, and made a snowman mask. She had a blast!
Santa soon arrived and Nikki was in disbelief that he made it all the way to her swim school. Nikki was awfully shy so she opted out to take a photo with Santa. However, the pool was open for the family swim and Nikki was very excited to swim with her daddy (my husband , Mike).
It was so wonderful to see them both go into the swimming pool and Nikki showing her daddy all the skills that she has learned during swim class. They had such a wonderful time swimming together and Santa even made an appearance on deck to say hello to all the children with their families (please note that Santa did not go in the swimming pool, hehe). Even though I was only a spectator, I couldn’t help feel the joyous spirit with the Christmas music playing in the background and watching all the families having so much fun. There was a holiday story corner where you can hear your favourite holiday story, a festive photo booth with props to capture your moment at the event and there was also a relay game where you need to help Santa deliver his gifts. All of these activities combined made it such an amazing event.
Not only did this event encompass all the fun from the holidays but it captured the spirit! Aqua-Tots Swim Schools showed the true spirit of the season by collecting non-perishable food items for the Mississauga Food Bank and they were also selling Ollie ornaments (Ollie is their official Otter mascot and the ornaments were created by one of the staff members – talk about talent!) which proceeds from the sale was benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters Charity. The true spirit of the season is giving and that is exactly what Aqua-Tots Swim Schools was doing on this fine Saturday afternoon.
Above all, we had an amazing time at this very special event. We enjoyed every piece of it and the best take away for us was doing it together as a family. As we left the event, my husband turned to me and said that this was the best afternoon! He got to spend some real quality time with Nikki and this is everything that he ever wanted. Hearing that made my day as it was so nice to see them bond as my husband works different shifts and sometimes long hours so quality time is hard to do. This event gave that opportunity and it was just so much fun!
Remember that if you are looking to enroll your child in a swimming school, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools would be a great choice as they offer these types of events that really bring the community together.
Also make sure to follow them on Facebook to see what’s new.