The New York Times bestselling series, Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel is back with a new book titled, Kitten Trouble.
“There’s terrible news from the neighborhood next to Kitty’s! A conflict there is growing worse and worse. It started as an argument and has now turned into a full-fledged fight. Worst of all: The cat shelter has been destroyed!
Kitty’s family decides it’s time to do something to help. Their idea: foster as many displaced kittens as possible. Kitty won’t mind, right? Well…not exactly. Kitty does seem to mind. She minds A LOT.”
A hilarious book filled with heart is what can be expected from Kitten Trouble. Kitty learns important lessons in the book about sharing, caring and forgiving. All lessons that us as readers can learn from too. We don’t want to spoil the book for others; therefore, we won’t disclose too much. 😉
We loved the flow of the book, illustrations, and the facts about cats in the book (fantastic touch!). There are even a touch of French words in the book but don’t worry as a glossary is included. 😉
We give Bad Kitty Kitten Trouble, 5 meows out of 5! We recommend this book for children ages seven to ten. This book will be available on December 31, 2018.
If you would like to purchase your own copy, click here.
The Christmas season is upon us and it is my favorite time of year. It seems that there is a little extra magic in the air as the spirit of giving surrounds us.
My heart is always extra full this time of year as I try to make each year more magical then the next for my daughter. Part of the Christmas magic is the belief in Santa Claus. A jolly man who makes a list of who has been naughty and nice. Then travels all over the world to deliver toys to the nice kids on the list.
The excitement to write to Santa and to receive a letter back helps keep the belief alive and one that we have done yearly with our daughter, Nikki.
In previous years we have sent our “Santa Letter” to a free service offered by Canada Post. Their special elves help Santa answer all the letters in time for your little ones (*there is a deadline date to watch out for). The first two years the letters back where cute and a personalized touch was added which made the letters extra special.
However, last year the letter was standard and no personalized touch was added. There was nothing special about it and what should I really expect from a free service, right?! So why not to do it myself?!
One night as we were hosting a family playdate with my cousin and her boys. We both talked about how disappointed we were in the letters from Santa. I was relieved that I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.
So I pitched the idea that we should do the Santa letters for one another and my cousin Chantelle loved the idea!
Christmas Magic In A Letter
We now get to share some Christmas magic between family by doing Santa Letters to one another. The best part for us will be to see our children’s faces when they get a very personalized letter from Santa.
This is how we are doing it this year.
Writing “Dear Santa” Letter
Our child writes their letter to Santa (depending on their writing ability, it may be the parent writing most of it). In our case, I write Nikki’s letter but she adds her artistic flare to her letter.
Mailing Letter to “Santa”
Child mails the letter out to “Santa” (if they are young they will not notice the address so this wasn’t an issue for either one of us right now). 😉
Highlights For Santa Reply Letter
Send some points (max of 3) of your child to the family member writing the Santa letter that you would like highlighted. For example, I wanted to make sure it was noted that Nikki started her first year of school; becoming more independent and her good manners.
Handwriting the Reply Letter
Once the “Dear Santa Letter” is received, the family member can now hand write the letter in response with the highlighted points and reference to any artistic touch done on the letter.
Mail the Santa Reply Letter
Family member mails the Santa response letter and add any other little touches that they may want to add (my cousin thought of adding an “Elf Report” indicating if they made it to the nice or naughty list – so cute!).
Open the Magic of Christmas
Child receives their magical and very personalized letter. The belief continues with much love.
We just started the process and we can’t wait to see our children react to their very special letters. A little extra that we are doing is keeping the “Dear Santa” from our children in little boxes. This way when they are older we can give them their letters so they can see what they said and did in their belief of Christmas magic. I think that is my favorite part of all this.
I am really excited to keep the belief going and doing this exchange between family. A more personalized, heart and love in our quest for that little extra spirit this holiday season.
How do you carry on the Christmas spirit in your family? Would love to hear from all of you in the comment section below.
‘Tis the season for Christmas books! It is our favorite time of year and we will be introducing some great new books that you will all adore.
Our first book up for review is Tough Cookie: A Christmas Story which is written and illustrated by Edward Hemingway. This book would make a delicious part of your reading line-up!
Once upon a time, while Fox was visiting the Land of Holiday Treats, a little cookie, still warm from the oven, burst out the bakery door looking sweet and delicious.
But as it turns out, Cookie is not as fast as he thinks, and when Fox finally catches him, they’re both in for a big surprise: Cookie does NOT taste delicious – and he’s certainly not fit to be eaten. What’s an unsavory cookie to do?
The classic tale of the Gingerbread Man takes a humorous new twist in Tough Cookie: A Christmas Story. As we read the adorable storyline, we couldn’t help but giggle along the way. We loved the friendship that was built between Fox and the Gingerbread man. Their quest to find out what Gingerbread Man was meant to do was heartwarming.
We especially loved the recipes in the back of the book – amazing touch! This book will be in our reading line-up all the way to Christmas as it is so much fun to read. By the second time that the book was read to Nikki, she had parts of the story memorized which was awesome. That was the key sign that the book must be great if she had her favorite parts memorized. 😉
Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 5+++ Gingerbreads out of 5! For its creative and humorous storyline, illustrations and the recipes in the back.
This will make the perfect holiday gift this season! To purchase your very own, click here.
A new series is launching on Saturday November 3rd at 10:30 AM on tvoKids called Super Mighty Makers!
A TV series around kindness, crafting and a lot of fun is what we can look forward to with the Super Mighty Makers.
The Super Mighty Makers (SMMs) are a team of in-the-field kids with special powers to help a friend real Craft Kids with a problem that can be solved with kindness, through crafting.
In each episode, one of our four SMMs gets the craft alert from Bondini – uber crafter and blimp pilot – that sets off the MAKER MISSION! Together in the CareCraft blimp, Bondini and the SMM learn all about the Craft Kid – who they want to help, what that person needs help with, and figure out the perfect craft to make for the situation! Then, they “sparkle up” the Craft Kid and get cracking on the coolest craft ever. When the one-of-a-kind creation has been completed, Bondini and the SMM “sparkle down” their friend and watch on as he or she gives the craft to the special recipient.
Another act of kindness. Another MAKER MISSION completed!
Join The Mighty Maker Movement
The SMMs are out to spread the message of crafting for kindness across the nation, making the world a better place one craft at a time!
So we at Momma Braga had to take part as we love kindness and crafts! The SMMs gave us all the tools that we needed to make a very special craft, a Kindness Cloud.
We are delighted to share with all of our amazing readers on how to make this very simple and thoughtful craft to be given to a special family member or friend.
DIY Kindness Cloud Craft
What You’ll Need
1 Cloud (pre-cut)
6 Strips of construction paper (pre-cut)
Pick a family or friend you want to spread kindness to and think about the things you love about them. Write their name in the cloud followed by “__________ is amazing because he/she is…”
Write a word on each piece of coloured construction paper that describes your friend (i.e. giving, funny, kind, etc.). Be sure to leave room at the top of each piece for glue.
Flip the cloud over so the written side is facing down. Place glue on the top of the written side of each coloured strip.
Please the coloured strips on the cloud with the written side facing down and place the colours in order from left to right. Let the glue dry for five minutes and then flip your card over to reveal your beautiful craft!
Once the cloud and rainbow strips are glued together secure the craft to the inside of the frame.
Once your craft is finished, give it to your family or friend and remember to spread kindness wherever you go! Make sure to upload a picture to social media using the #MightyMakerMovement tag and show us how your spreading kindness in your community!
Nikki picked her baby cousin Adriana as she loves her dearly and thought what a great keepsake for her little cousin. Nikki told me that you are never too young to learn and teach kindness (heart melting at the moment).
The craft is so creative and adorable to do! We had a blast making it together and gets us excited to tune in to the Super Mighty Makers on tvoKids on November 3rd and onward. We would love to see your kindness cloud craft or any other craft that you come up with! Just make sure to tag us @mommabraga.
A bow can be more than just a bow as it is used as an accessory piece to our assemble. Accessorizing is a skill for many and for me, not so much.
This is why I appreciate and value those who are extra creative and accessorize to a beautiful new level.
One person in particular is my sister, Karen. She has always been the most creative one and one that can really put a great assemble together with style. This is why it is no surprise that she has created some beautiful accessory pieces for her baby girl to wear.
It is with great pleasure that we introduce you all to Karen’s new adventure as the creator and founder of Lil Babe Accessories.
We got the inside and exclusive scoop for all of you in this interview with Karen.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Karen and many of you may remember me as the DIY expert on Momma Braga. I love doing creative crafts, food and accessories. I especially love special holidays and must say that Halloween is my favorite.
I am also a mom to a beautiful baby girl and am so grateful to be her mom.
How did Lil Babe Accessories came to be? How did you come up with the idea?
Since I can remember I have always loved baby accessories, especially for little girls. So naturally when I had a baby girl, I handmade most of her headbands. From there, Lil Babe Accessories was born and I decided to share my creations with the world.
Why “Lil Babe Accessories”?
“Lil Babe” is just one of the many nicknames I gave my daughter. Lil is short for little and “accessories” because I wanted to expand my collection instead of just selling headbands.
What do you offer and how can people purchase from you?
At the present time, I offer a variety of different style headbands and bows for ages 0 to 5 years of age. You can find and purchase these products off of my Etsy shop.
What do you have upcoming? Anything we can announce first to our readers? 😉
Yes! I will be making and selling baby boy accessories very soon! I want to cater to both genders. Also…I am now introducing pre-orders, these are exclusive items that are offered to my followers and will not be sold on my Etsy page.
What do you hope each accessory and bow accomplishes?
I aim for a design that will compliment any outfit but most importantly feel comfortable! I also love to make show pieces that are created for special occasions.
Anything else you would like to add?
I have always loved shopping small and online myself. Being a mom and now owning my own small shop, it is amazing to see and hear all the support from the community around me. It’s one thing to hear it from family and friends but hearing compliments from strangers on your hard work – is amazing! The best part is that these strangers than quickly become friends. I am truly thankful for that!
There you have the inside scoop on Lil Babe Accessories and we love them!
We have personally used the bows and handbands created by Lil Babe Accessories and they are the first to stay on Nikki’s hair. We also love how they are unique bows and Nikki loves when she is asked where she got her bow. It gives her the chance to say it was handmade just for her. 😉
We highly recommend Lil Babe Accessories for your little one or even for someone else’s little one as it would make a bow-errific present!
Make sure to follow Lil Babe Accessories on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as you will want to see the new creations that are made.
We want like to say thank you to Karen for taking the time to let us in on her new adventure and wishing her much success!
I love potatoes! It is one of my favorite side dishes but never in my wildest dreams would I think that potatoes would need potato pants!
Well, they certainly do if you are in the new children’s book, Potato Pants!written and illustrated by Laurie Keller. Laurie Keller is the acclaimed author-illustrator of several bestselling picture books, including Do Unto Otters, Arnie, the Doughnut, The Scrambled States of America, and Open Wide: Tooth School Inside, among numerous others.
Potato Pants! is a book that details potato’s single minded pursuit to get a pair of potato pants. However, his plan is quickly diverted by an Eggplant, who he misjudges at the start to be a big, old bully, only to realize it was a big misunderstanding by the end. Beyond being hysterical, this book also taps into those universal feelings of childhood anxiety and is a cautionary tale of what happens when you make a judgment before you have all the information. Just check out this hilarious trailer on Potato Pants!
We couldn’t help but giggle out loud throughout the book as Potato tries to find ways to get potato pants. It is also a great book with an important message about anxiety, friendship and forgiveness. This is why for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 potatoes out of 5! If you want an entertaining picture book then this is the book for you and your child. The illustrations compliment the story perfectly and it truly is the silliest picture book you’ll ever read. We simply adored it!
Tutus is the fashion must with our daughter as she adores them. This is why for her birthday this year we had to find the perfect one for her Wonder Woman theme and for her four year old photo. Every year we take pictures of Nikki to celebrate her big day and we give a photo to our close family and friends. We love doing this as it allows us to see how much she has grown over a year.
So the search was on for the best Wonder Woman costume that we could find. After tirelessly searching through Google, we came across the ONE that we have been waiting for!
We came across Petit Tutu Boutiqueon Etsy and they had the perfect outfit for our Wonder Woman themed photoshoot and birthday party.
The reviews looked good and the photos of the quality of work that was completed looked amazing. There were so many other designs and themes that were adorable too but we had to focus on Wonder Woman.
We first sent an email to the owner, Nancy, as we were on a tight deadline and we wanted to make sure they delivered to Canada. Nancy got back to us promptly and informed us that Canadian shipments are done but that the deadline might not be met due to the distance. We understood this completely and we didn’t mind at all as we had some time until Nikki’s birthday but we wouldn’t be able to take the photos the day that we scheduled. No big deal since we do the photos ourselves. 🙂
We promptly ordered the complete outfit which includes the tutu, the top, wristbands and headband. We also received the Wonder Woman Shoe Embellishment which was super cool! Within a week we received our order and to me it looked even better than the photos that I saw online. Both Nikki and I feel in love with it instantly. Now when we order from small shops and the items are handmade we take a deeper interest in them.
We wanted to find our a little bit more about Petit Tutu Boutique so we got the inside scope from the owner, Nancy on her business.
Exclusive Mini Interview
When did you start your business, Petit Tutu Boutique?
I opened up shop in 2007 on eBay and then made the switch over to Etsy in 2011. It’s been wonderful!
What inspired you to start your business?
I am a stay-at-home mom and I would make costumes for my children. From there it took a life of its own and people started making costume requests for their children. It was a really nice way to start off and bring in some extra money to our household.
What type of products do you offer?
I make Birthday outfits and costumes, mostly for little girls but I have done some for boys as well. You can check out the collection that is available on my Etsy page.
How can people order your beautiful designs?
My shop is only available on Etsy right now and if there are any questions, anyone can email me directly on the site.
#MelAndNikkiReview on Petit Tutu Boutique
We received exceptional service and quality. It made my Super Nikki’s day as she adored the outfit and insisted on wearing it almost everyday before her big day. It made her fourth birthday extra special and she matched Wonder Woman who made an appearance on her special day. Nikki’s birthday has now passed and she still wears her costume proudly. It gets tons of compliments which makes Nikki feel extra special. We give Petit Tutu Boutique 5+++ stars out of 5! Important tip for residents in the USA, if you have a rush order request, you can select the option for “Rush My Order” at an additional cost to your order.
The quality and professionalism was great from start to finish. We are already thinking of what tutu we want next. 😉 Make sure to follow them on Facebook too!
Special thank you to Nancy of Petit Tutu Boutique for making a little girl’s wish to be Wonder Woman come true and in style!
We love doing arts and crafts in our home especially lately as our daughter prepares herself for Kindergarten. This is why we were very excited to try the DIY Glitter Jar in honor of the new children’s show, Esme & Roy that will be premiering on Treehouse this month.
Esme & Roy use calm-down glitter jars to help the littlest residents in Monsterdale work through their emotions and avoid monster meltdowns (we as parents are very familiar with these types of meltdowns). Now watching the glitter swirl to the bottom of the jar gives kids time to calm down and regain control of their emotions.
So we got to create our very own with our daughter, Nikki.
You will need the following material for this craft:
Pour clear glue into the jar until it fills up to about 1/4.
Slowly pour hot water until the liquid reaches 3/4 of the jar.
Add as much glitter as you would like and stir using the stir stick.
Add more hot water to bring the water level to just below the top of the jar.
Add 1-2 drops of food colouring and stir using the stir stick.
Twist on the lid and give your jar a shake! Be sure to sing the Glitter Jar Song (below) as you watch the glitter swirl and fall!
“When the glitter starts to fall like snow –
take a deep breath, nice and slow –
watch as it settles all around –
and feel your body calming down.”
Those are the easy steps to follow to create your very own Glitter Jar! We had a blast doing this together and of course Nikki’s favourite part was stirring it all together. It was a really fun craft to do and really got us excited to watch Esme & Roy when they premiere on Treehouse on August 18th!
Esme & Roy Synopsis
This new children’s show follows a young girl named Esme and her best monster friend, Roy, on their adventures as the best monster babysitters in Monsterdale. The series invites children into a colourful world where even the littlest monsters can overcome big challenges together.
Esme & Roy offers easy-to-adopt strategies that can help even very young children regulate their emotions. Tactics include: taking slow belly breaths, which provide a pause for children to be reflective; self-talk that uses positive statements to remind kids of their strength and capability; giving oneself a soothing hug; and using a “glitter jar” to calm the body and mind, shaking a sparkly snow globe-like jar and taking deep breaths while watching the glitter swirl and slowly fall.
This sounds like a great children’s show with positive messaging and we just love that! We can’t wait to watch it and have our daughter learn from it too. We hope you will tune in on August 18th and if you would like to try this craft, make sure to tag us @mommabraga and use #EsmeandRoy when you share. We can’t wait to see your Glitter Jars!
Playing games are loads of fun especially when you play as a family. We were recently introduced to two games by Goliath Games and one of them just hit the Game market!
Both of these games had us laughing out loud through our Family Game Night and it was great as we haven’t laughed that much and hard in a very long time!
Can Granny’s even be greedy? Well this one surely is!
Greedy Granny is a mischievously fun game that is perfect for the whole family. Your mission is to swipe a treat of each type from Granny’s tray as carefully and as quietly as you can. One wrong move will wake her up and send her teeth flying!
How to Play
The youngest player goes first by spinning the treat wheel.
If the spinner lands on green, the player attempts to sneak a treat away from Granny.
Pay attention to the number on the spinner section as this tells the player how many times you must press the button on the side of Granny’s chair.
If the spinner lands on purple, the player must put a treat back (if they have one) and press the button the number of times indicated on the spinner.
If the player lands on a circle with a line through it, then you miss a turn.
If a player lands on the symbols of the two people, then the player may take a treat from the other player who has a treat
The first player to collect one of each type of treat and keep Granny snoozing wins!
For 2 to 4 players. Ages 5 and Up
1 Granny in an Armchair (2 pieces, easy assembly required)
1 Set of Granny’s Teeth
1 Treat Wheel
Greedy Granny truly had us laughing out loud from start to finish. Nikki and I would be on the edge of our seat wondering which one of us would make Granny loose her teeth. Lucky for me I was the one who always got Granny to fly, LOL! This in turn made my daughter laugh with delight and say, “You did it again Momma! This Granny is Greedy!” It was SO much fun! We give Greedy Granny 5+++ sweet tooth out of 5! It provided us with highly engaging entertainment with learning, laughter and family time.
Ready for some out-of-this-world fun?! Pop Rocket will surely have you seeing stars in this exciting game by Goliath Games. Pull the string on the Rocket to start the countdown, and roll the die. Keep an eye on that Rocket because it can BLAST OFF at any moment! Watch the stars explode into the sky and be the first one to collect enough stars to fill your constellation to win!
How to Play
The player who can jump the highest goes first. To start the game, that player should gently pull the fuse on the side of the rocket fully, and throw the die.
The die has a few landings. There is the star-catcher picture which means you can place a new star-catcher into play anywhere on the table. It can’t be moved without throwing the die again. When all your star-catchers are in the game, skip a turn. There is the picture with more than one star-catcher in it and this means you can change the position of one of your own star-catchers already played or move it on a pile or move it to the top of the pile if it was covered. If none of your star-catchers have already been played, skip your turn. The last picture is of a star on the die which means you steal a star from another player and add it to your star holder.
The game plays clockwise. When the timer ends (approx. 60 seconds), the rocket will open and release the stars!
Players win the small stars that land in the star-catchers of their own color.
With the collected stars, players would add them to their own constellation. If you are lucky enough to catch the BIG star, you can choose 2 extra stars of your choosing.
The first player to complete his or her constellation wins! *It is possible for several players to win at the same time.
For 2 to 4 players. Ages 4 and Up
1 Big Star
40 small stars
12 Star-Catchers (4 colored sets of 3 star-catchers)
Pop Rocket had us jumping from our seats! The anticipation of it popping had both my daughter and I giggling throughout the game. Even though the pop happens in about 60 seconds, but it seems to take much longer as we are anticipating the pop. But that was the fun! Pop Rocketwas a blast and we give it 5+++ Rocket Stars out of 5! This game offered us the fun, entertainment and laughs that we enjoy as a family.
There you have it! Two more amazing games by Goliath Games that will have your family smiling and laughing all the way through. These are the best moments and experiences to share together. That time spent together and interacting with one another is such a priceless gift. We truly love these opportunities as it brings us such joy and fun.
If you would like to add Greedy Granny to your family game night, click here to see where you can purchase your very own. If you would like to add Pop Rocket to your family game night, click here to see where you can purchase your very own.
LeapFrog is a favorite in our household as we enjoy the interactive, innovative and educational toys that they offer. For more than 20 years, LeapFrog has helped children expand their knowledge and imagination through award-winning products that combine state-of-the-art educational expertise led by the LeapFrog Learning Team, innovative technology, and engaging play – turning playtime into quality time that helps children leap ahead.
This is why we were extra excited to get one of the latest and hottest toys from LeapFrog, Learning Friends 100 Words Book™. This interactive toy is a touch and learn word fun in a book type format. So what does it do?
Touch and Learn
Discover abundance of things like animal noises, colors, food, clothes and body. These words are learned through pressing the pictures on each page. The beauty is that the words that were chosen are toddler friendly and appropriate by learning experts.
Three Play Modes
There are three play modes available on the Learning Friends 100 Words Book which are: Play words, exciting sound effects and fun facts. No matter which play mode you are in, it is a guarantee fun learning experience.
12 Learning Categories
There are 100 different words in the book and each page is designed beautifully and with many colors to engage the child in learning. The categories vary and some are foods, clothes, colors and more.
With a simple slide on the language switch, your child can learn about colors, objects and animals in both English and French – c’est magnifique!
One can only except a learning piece to LeapFrog and they have done it so well with the Learning Friends 100 Words Book. The skills that your child can learn from this product are: First Words and Phrases; Colors; Animals; English; Geometry; Food and Nutrition; Opposites; and Human Body. There is just so many great things to learn in one little book.
Learning Friends 100 Words Book™ by LeapFrog has made it onto our most recommended list for children 18 months to 48 months. It is a great toy to help a child learn in a fun and colorful way. We love the ability to press each image on the page and have the child hear the word to associate it with the image. We have to admit that even though my daughter is almost four years of age, she really enjoyed the book and was very proud that she knew all the words. Now she is even more excited to use the book to teach her baby cousin who is five months old to give her a head start. 😉
Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it, 5+++ Leaps out of 5. It’s an amazing learning tool and it makes learning so much more fun. Also I need to mention to all the parents that this toy comes with a volume button so you can control how loud you would like it to be. As parents we truly appreciate and value that little extra function. Believe me this toy will not annoy you. 😉
If you would like to purchase this product please click here to see the closest location to you.
A special thank you to LeapFrog Canada for the opportunity to review this great product for our amazing readers and followers.
Until next time…Happy Parenting!
– Momma Braga
*Please note that the product was given in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own and no monetary benefits were exchanged.