Tag: Creative

Hair Love | Book Review

“Sometimes, love looks like braids, puffs, and twists.”

Synopsis

Zuri’s hair lets her be her. It coils and kinks to perfectly match a princess tiara or a superhero cape. But an extra-special day calls for an extra-special style!

Comb in hand, Daddy steps in to help Zuri find the perfect fit. With heartwarming text and radiant illustrations, Hair Love celebrates the curls that are uniquely yours, the bond between dads and daughters, and the joy that fills you up when you get to express yourself freely.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Perfect book for Father’s Day as Hair Love highlights the relationship between father and daughter. A children’s book full of love as a father gives his daughter the most unique hair style for a very special occasion. This book will have your heart melting as you see their adorable bond.

We just adored it from beginning to end and I have to admit that I wish my hair was that awesome! Books that reflect dads mean so much to us as we don’t see many of them out there and dads are very important people in a family. I think having dad work on his daughter’s hair is so special and sweet. We will be reading this book on Father’s Day to Nikki’s dad so that he has more confidence in his ability to do Nikki’s hair. 😉

This children’s book is a debut from former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry and the illustrations were done by New York Times bestselling Illustrator Vashti Harrison. They make a great duo in Hair Love. The story flowed beautifully and the illustrations are a perfect addition to this children’s book. We are sure this book will appeal to many children and dads as I know we loved it.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 kinks out of 5! We recommend this book for children ages four to eight or anyone who loves a good dad and daughter book. 🙂

If you would like to purchase a copy, please click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

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The Family Game of Wacky Vision | Googly Eyes

Googly Eyes is the hilarious family game that challenges your vision and leaves you googling for more! Put on the zany, vision-altering google eye glasses and start to draw while your team tries to guess what you’re drawing. Is that an igloo or a turtle? A birthday cake or a fortress? Players take turns drawing and guessing, so everyone gets a change to wear the glasses. The glasses come with three sets of lenses that range from mild changes to mind-blowing fun, so no one can see (or draw) straight-your vision will bounce off of the lenses.

Googly Eyes is a fun twist on classic drawing games that lets players of different ages and skill levels compete on equal terms, since the goggles make it fun and challenging for everyone. Unlike any other drawing game you don’t need to be an artist, and the rules are simple. Just roll the die and move-the space you land on tells you which color lenses to use (easy, medium, or hard). Then pick a card, set the timer, and start drawing. If your team guesses correctly you get to roll and move again; if not, then you stay where you are on the board. The first team to reach Finish wins.

This game is great for 4 to 16 players and for ages 7 and up.

Game Contents

  • Colorful Board Game
  • Spiffy Tablet
  • Timer
  • 162 Challenge Cards
  • 1 Die
  • 1 Pair of Glasses
  • 3 Changeable Lens: Easy, Medium and Difficult

How to Play

#MelAndNikkiReview

Googly Eyes had us all laughing out loud from beginning to end. This game is truly fair for everyone at any skill level. Usually I am not bad at drawing but having to use the glasses was very challenging but so much fun! Every time my husband and I would use the glasses it had Nikki giggly the whole time. That is what family game night is all about! Spending time together and laughing the night away.

Googly Eyes did exactly that and we loved it! It really exercised our minds and challenged us in a way that most games don’t even come close to. We got to conquer them together which made it so much more fun.

Therefore for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Googly Eyes 5 stars out of 5! It would make a great addition to Family Game Night and remember to stretch out your face muscles as you will be using them a lot during this game. 😉

Nikki rocking the glasses look 😉 

If you would like to purchase this game for family game night, click here. You will all be laughing the night away! 😉

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This game was provided in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed are our own.

Where’s Waldo? Exciting Expeditions

Where’s Waldo? Now in travel-size and just in time for summer vacation! – Momma Braga

Synopsis

On the road again? Planning a vacation? Be sure to pack this compact compendium full of things to spot, story games to play, and puzzles to create, featuring the elusive Waldo and his wily friends. Want a creative challenge to boot? Check out the writing prompts for making up your own stories, plus bonus journal pages inviting you to record your own travel escapades and a creative story game with twenty-four cards. Move over, Waldo – there’s more than one intrepid traveler in town!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Always loved Waldo and trying to find him in all his travel adventures. Now we can take him with us on our own summer adventures and we can write them all down. Love how this book is travel-size and it is full of puzzles, searches and prompts for writing about your own adventures.

Where is Waldo? But where is Nikki?

This book inspired us to do our own searching game as Nikki decided to hide herself and the book in some of her toys which we featured in the photo above. Can you find the book and Nikki? 😉 Waldo always brings lots of fun when we are looking for him and this book offers so much more activities for a child to do. If a long travel time is required to your summer vacation plans this year then this book would be great for the trip as it would keep your child entertained.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Where’s Waldo? Exciting Expeditions 5 Waldos out of 5! A classic character in travel-size fun full of activities and dare we say learning (shhhh!). This book is recommended for children ages five to nine and it is perfect for your summer vacation plans!

There she is!

If you would like to purchase your very own copy, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

* This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are our own.

Maisy’s Series | Book Reviews

Maisy is a beloved mouse that has many adventures and you can follow along in many of her books. We got a chance to review three from the series and are excited to share them with all our readers in our #MelAndNikkiReview!

Synopsis

Maisy’s Farm

Maisy and her friends are headed to the farm! Join her as she drives a tractor through the fields, gathers eggs from the henhouse, and milks a cow. But the farmyard fun doesn’t stop there: a pop-up play scene at the back of the book has press-out pieces of Maisy, Cyril, and their new farm animal friends, along with a red barn awaiting hours of play as little ones imagine life on the farm.

Maisy’s at Home: A First Words Book

Wondering what toys Maisy likes to play with at home? Just look for the tab that shows a puzzle piece and turn straight to the page. Who are Maisy’s favorite pets? Find the tab with a fish on it and discover some animals both expected and surprising. From Maisy’s living room (look out for the cactus!) to her bathroom, whether she’s eating or making music or dressing up, the names and pictures of things in Maisy’s house will be delightfully familiar to little readers.

Maisy’s Day Out: A First Words Book

What kinds of things does Maisy see when she goes outside? Turn the tab with a soccer ball on it to find the park, with swings and a skateboard. The tab with a chicken on it takes you to Maisy’s favorite farm, with a horse, a sheep, and more. There’s so much to explore on the beach and in the sea, on sunny days and rainy ones, on trains and in fire engines and all sorts of things that go. Naming everyday things is always more fun with Maisy leading the way!

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Maisy series is always an adorable read and a learning opportunity for your little ones. These three mentioned above are no exception as each story offers a child the chance to learn while on the latest Maisy journey.

The hard books are amazing for little ones to hold and they do not get bent or ruined (always a bonus in my books). The illustrations are adorable and the stories are just as great. We especially love the feature of the tabs – so amazing!

Therefore, we are rating the series 5 stars out of 5!

Any of these books would make a great addition to your little one’s library and reading line-up. If you would like to purchase any of the books mentioned above, please click on the links below.

Maisy’s Farm

Maisy’s at Home: A First Words Book

Maisy’s Day Out: A First Words Book

About the Author

Lucy Cousins is the creator of the beloved Maisy series. She is also the author-illustrator of the widely acclaimed Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales, a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year, as well as I’m the Best, Hooray for Fish!, Hooray for Birds!, and a picture book series about Little Fish.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

*These books were provided in exchange for an honest review.

My Easter Basket | Book Review

For many an Easter tradition is egg hunting and it truly is a fun activity. Imagine all that excitement in a children’s books?!

We are delighted to introduce My Easter Basket, written by Roger Priddy and illustrated by Jennie Bradley.

Synopsis

My Easter Basket is an illustrated board book basket, with colorful, foiled Easter egg tabs and search-and-find scenes of busy animals on an Easter egg hunt.

#MelAndNikkiReview

My Easter Basket brings Easter fun in a book format and we love it! Nikki loved searching for the Easter eggs right along with the animals in the story. She has even promised that she will help her little cousin on Easter to find the eggs in the book at Easter time. Family bonding over a book is just perfect for this special holiday.

We absolutely love the cute basket-shape format which makes it easy for a child to carry the book around with them to enjoy. It is a colorful story of spotting all the eggs that the Easter Bunny has hidden on his rounds. It also provides learning about color, counting and matching through play. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 6 Eggs out of 5! 

We know this would be an egg-errific book for a child for Easter and the best part is that it is sugar free. 😉 It is recommended for children between the ages of 0 to two years of age; however, a 4-year-old can appreciate it too as our daughter did. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

“Finding Easter eggs in a book is so much fun Momma! I was very good at finding them all too.” – Nikki, Age 4

About the Author

Roger Priddy’s passion for educating children through fun, informative and engaging books has led him to create some of publishing’s most enduring and successful non-fiction early learning books. Roger lives in London and has three children, who have been the inspiration behind many of his best publishing ideas.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Stencil Revolution | Product Review

Growing up I loved to draw, trace and just being creative. It is amazing how doing something creative would bring me peace and relaxation.

This is why I am excited to introduce you all to Stencil Revolution. They offer a huge variety of reusable stencils for artists and crafters for all types. You’ll find over 750+ different stencils with up to eight different size options to chose from. From large wall stencils to a variety of different mandala stencil designs, they’ve got it all!

We got to try out three of designs recently and we had a lot of fun trying them!

Canada Flag Stencil

Since we live in Canada, Stencil Revolution was very kind in sending us the Canada Flag stencil which Nikki loved! It is an easy to follow stencil and turns out great once you have completed it.

World Map Stencil

The world map was another stencil that we got to try out and it is always great to have the world at your fingertips. This stencil was a little hard for us to do as some parts were very tiny but it was accurate and a detailed stencil.

Unicorn Head Stencil

It appears that Stencil Revolution knows us very well as they included the unicorn head stencil which had Nikki screaming for joy. It was simple to use and of course it has been used many times with the same glee each time by my 4-year-old.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Overall, we enjoyed each stencil and it added to our creative craft time. We love the material used to create the stencils. According to their website, they use a 12 mil Mylar which is the toughest, safest consumer-grade stencil material available. It’s incredibly durable (tear proof) yet flexible enough to bend around surfaces if needed. It is resistant to most solvents and can even be washed with paint thinner! The material is also food safe and can be used for cookie stencils and baking. Now as parent, I can appreciate all that!

We also love the fact that Stencil Revolution is a small family owned company based out of Florida, USA. They manufacture and ship all of their craft stencils. We appreciate this family’s passion to do what they love to do each and every single day.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Stencil Revolution 5 Unicorns out of 5! The quality, durability, professionalism, and variety of designs is what stood out the most for us. I also have to admit on how easy it is to use gets this momma’s full approval.

If you would like to purchase or just check out the amazing options available, click here. *Warning: give yourself plenty of time to check it all out as their are so many great options to get lost in. 😉

Also make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to see all that they have to offer.

“With Stencil Revolution, your creative projects will reach a whole new level!” – Momma Braga

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

*Please note that the products were provided in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed are solely of Momma Braga and no compensation was provided for this piece.

 

Bad Kitty Kitten Trouble | Book Review

Who doesn’t love funny cats? I know I sure do!

The New York Times bestselling series, Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel is back with a new book titled, Kitten Trouble.

Synopsis

“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.”

#MelAndNikkiReview

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.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

Christmas Magic In A Letter | The Belief In Santa

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. 

Nikki and her adorable cousins John Lucas and Connor at our last playdate.

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). 😉

Mailing a letter to Santa is serious business 😉

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.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

Tough Cookie | Book Review

‘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!

Synopsis

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?

#MelAndNikkiReview

The classic tale of the Gingerbread Man takes a humorous new twist in Tough Cookie: A Christmas StoryAs 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.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Super Mighty Makers | DIY Kindness Cloud Craft

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.

Series Synopsis

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)
  • Marker
  • Frame
  • Glitter
  • Glue Stick

Craft Steps
  1. 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…”
  2. 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.
  3. Flip the cloud over so the written side is facing down. Place glue on the top of the written side of each coloured strip.
  4. 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!
  5. Once the cloud and rainbow strips are glued together secure the craft to the inside of the frame.
  6. 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).

8-month old Adriana is the recipient of the Kindness Cloud.

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.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga