Tag: Family

Fleur de Reine Provides Timeless Beauty | Exclusive Interview

Bringing unique products, brands and people to our worldwide audience is what we love doing best. We love to meet new and inspiring people who do so much more than just sell a product.

This is why we are delighted to introduce you all to Fleur de Reine who we were honored to have met at Square One’s Merry and Bright Holiday Market.

We had an opportunity to interview the owners of Fleur de Reine to get to know them and their product better. We like to go beyond the company website. 😉

Tell us a little bit about yourselves

Sonia – “I grew up in Australia and Canada, and now call Mississauga home. I love to spend my days surrounded by my large family (proud aunt alert!) and explore all Toronto has to offer. Love to travel and have always had a passion for art and flowers. I am a coffee addict by day and by night.” :p

Roopie – “I was born in Toronto and raised in Mississauga. Currently reside in beautiful Milton. I love to travel and have an appreciation for beautiful artisan created things. Fun fact: Chocolate is my kryptonite.” 🙂

Tell us a little bit about the company and how it inspired to be.

“We’ve always had a keen eye for style and beauty, and knew we wanted to start a company that encompasses both. It wasn’t until one late evening we were reminiscing Sonia’s wedding and reliving all the beautiful moments and décor. The flowers were extravagant and the colors were so bold, we thought to ourselves “wouldn’t it be nice if flowers could last longer than a week?” and so it was that late evening while sipping on some wine that the idea was born.”

What makes you unique?

“Roses are timeless that adorn the space they ‘re placed in, but Fleur de Reine added a modern element by our unique preservation process. Whether it’s a rose purchased for love, passion, new beginnings, celebrations, appreciation or friendship – thanks to the EternalBloom™, it lasts through the seasons. Imagine purchasing real roses that last a year. Fleur de Reine is revolutionizing the way we gift flowers.”

What do you hope your business will accomplish with each rose sold?

We hope the beauty and longevity of our roses will uplift your spirits and brighten your days. We also offer a variety of beautiful packaging options and personalization services. Our vision is to create the ultimate quintessential experiences and give our clients a piece of beauty to cherish in their homes for always. We have turned the timeless flower into just that – timeless.”

Lastly, anything new and exciting that you would like to announce to our readers?

“We are adding a new piece to our Glass House Collection for Valentine’s Day 2019! We are now offering shipping within North America.

We were also featured in Dolce Magazine & West of the City Magazine this year! Last but not least, we’re always popping up at different locations, so please stay tuned to our IG for upcoming details.”

#MelAndNikkiReview

There you have it, our exclusive interview with the owners of Fleur de Reine. We need to mention that these two ladies are classy, kind, professional and friendly. It was so great to meet them in person as we could see that this is not just a business but a passion of theirs and we love that!

Every rose and packaging was perfect in every way. I was so captivated by the roses that I purchased a glass ornament with a black rose for my sister-in-law for Christmas. It was absolutely breathtaking and I know my sister-in-law is going to love it.

Interesting fact is that the black roses are their best seller – would have never believed it!

We were truly impressed with the products, uniqueness, quality and above all the passion that goes into each rose. This is why we give Fleur de Reine 5+++ roses out of 5! We are also listing them on our “recommended list.”

This would make a perfect gift for any occasion. If you would like to order, click here. Or if you are in the Square One area, you can drop by the Merry and Bright Holiday Market before December 24, 2018 to purchase in person.

Make sure to follow Fleur de Reine on Instagram to see which locations they are in next.

A special thank you to Sonia and Roopie for the opportunity to interview them for this special feature.

Until next time… Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

The Best Ways for Parents to Earn Some Extra Money Online

As a parent, you’re probably always worrying about your money and whether or not you have enough of it. Raising a family is expensive and no one can deny that. However, there are ways to earn extra money on the side if you want to achieve a better financial balance and feel more financially comfortable each month. Here are the very best ways to earn money on the side online today.

Get Paid to Take Surveys

Taking surveys online is a good way to make money these days. Of course, you’re not going to get rich quick doing this but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time. It’s easy, painless and you’ll get some extra cash to spend on nice things at the end of the month. For most families, that’s all they need. Give it a try and see how much you can earn; you might just be surprised.

Do Tasks to Gather Reward Points

Another similar idea involves completing simple tasks and earning reward points for doing so. There are numerous sites that offer you the chance to do this. This MyPoints review will give you a basic idea of what it involves and why you might want to give it a try. It allows you to earn money for doing very little, and that can never be a bad thing, right? It’s worth trying and seeing if there are any tasks you want to earn money doing.

Sell Your Photos

If you’re a keen photographer and this is something you enjoy doing on the side, you should do what you can to monetise it. It’s a smart move because it gives you the chance to make money from something you enjoy. You can sell your photos to stock photo companies or you could sell them directly to customers if they’re good enough for that.

Do Remote Admin Work

Admin work is needed like never before and more and more of it is now being done remotely from home by people like you. You can decide when and how you work, so you can fit it around your life. It’s a great way of earning a little extra money. If you’ve worked in admin before, you should find it pretty easy to slot into this type of work.

Sell Your Unwanted Possessions

If you have a load of old possessions that you don’t particularly want anymore, why not do something with them? This is something that’s never been easier to do and it makes sense if all that stuff is just sitting in storage. Use eBay to find people who really want to buy the stuff that you consider to be unwanted junk.

These days, there are so many ways to make some extra money on the side as a parent. The digital economy is booming and there’s no reason why you can’t make some money on the side to make your family’s life more comfortable and flexible. So why not look into some of the ideas outlined above?

 

When Santa Was A Baby | Book Review

We all have stories of when we were babies and I am sure we are holding on to stories of our children that we will one day share with them. But what about the iconic Santa Claus?

What is his story and how was he as a baby? If you are wondering or if your little one is wondering then look no further.

We are delighted to introduce you all to When Santa Was A Baby. This humourous and fun loving children’s book is written by Linda Bailey and illustrated by Genevieve Godbout.

Synopsis

Santa’s parents think their little one is absolutely wonderful, even though he has a booming voice instead of a baby’s gurgle, loves to stand in front of the refrigerator, gives his birthday presents away, trains his hamsters to pull a matchbox sleigh…and has an unusual interest in chimneys. The adorably funny portrait of an oddball kid who fulfills his destiny – and two very proud parents.

#MelAndNikkiReview

A beautifully written and illustrated Christmas story that we are going to continue to love as the years go by. We simply loved When Santa Was A Baby. It offered a dash of humour and the magic of Christmas that we need in children’s books. It gave us a little taste of how Santa was as a baby and how proud his parents are of him no matter what he decided to do in life. But we have to say that he did pick a great profession as he brings so much joy to children around the world. 😉

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give When Santa Was A Baby 5+++ Reindeers out of 5! It is a great book and Nikki has been wanting to read it every night until the big day arrives. We truly enjoyed the book and even Nikki’s Auntie enjoyed reading it to her too. It is a great book for the whole family read together.

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*The book was provided in exchange for an honest review. Compensation was not provided and opinions expressed are solely of Momma Braga.

 

Touch & Learn Activity Desk Deluxe | Perfect For Christmas

Gearing up our children for the start of school can be scary for both parents and child. I know that is how we felt before our little Nikki started school this year. But with all our prepping and teaching leading up to the first day made the transition a bit easier for the both of us.

VTech also recognizes the importance of the first day of school. To help preschoolers for this important milestone, VTech has developed the Preschool Learning series of interactive toys. One of these toys in the series is the Touch & Learn Activity Desk Deluxe and we are delighted to share our thoughts on it for all of you!

The Touch & Learn Activity Desk Deluxe features an interactive desktop with activity cards that introduce letters, numbers, music, colors and much more. Extend playtime with additional activity packs that each focus on a specific curriculum (each sold separately). Flip up the desktop and create a masterpiece using the art station or chalkboard. For more fun, play with the toy telephone or listen to fun tunes on the music player. The possibilities are endless!


Touch & Learn Activity Desk Deluxe Features

There are so many wonderful features that we briefly touched on above but now let us break it down for you. 😉

Mode Switch

You have two modes to pick from which are the Activity Mode and Music Mode. Activity Mode is where all the features will be accessible. The Music Mode is where the activity page area will become deactivated so you can use the desktop for reading or listening to music.

Toy Telephone Mode Buttons

In the Toy Telephone Mode, you can learn numbers and even Call A Friend Mode. You can also press the Number Buttons to learn and explore numbers.

LED Display

The LED Display is where you can see games, pictures or animations.

Cartridge Slot

Each expansion pack (sold separately) comes with a cartridge. To play an expansion pack, insert the cartridge, then insert one of the pack’s activity cards.

Music Player Controls

Press the “Play” button to Play/Stop the music, and press the ‘forward’ or ‘back’ buttons to go to the previous or next song.

Volume Buttons

As parents we can really appreciate and love this feature which is the volume adjust button. There are five volume levels. Adjust it to the way that works for you and your family.

Activity Card Slot

Insert one of the activity cards into this SLOT to play.

Activity Page Mode Icons

Use your finger to touch any of the Mode Icons on the activity page to play.

Activity Page Area

Follow the game instructions and use your finger to touch the objects on the activity page to play.

Art Station

The Activity Desk is not only a learning centre but you can flip it up and it transforms to an art station. You can use the clip to hold a paper for some drawing or use the chalkboard surface to chalk a masterpiece.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We absolutely love the Touch & Learn Activity Desk DeluxeThis activity desk has so much to offer little ones and it is a great stepping stone into the next milestone of learning. There are so many fun activities and options available to provide hours of fun. Nikki’s favorite part is the ability to transform the activity desk to an art station. We find it brings out her artistic side but also encourages her to try and write out the letters that she is learning. Nikki also loves using the activity cards to learn. We are delighted that with the activity cards she has learned so much more. The learning that she does with the Touch & Learn Activity Desk Deluxe gives her that extra confidence that every child needs. Therefore, we give the Touch & Learn Activity Desk Deluxe 5+++ stars out of 5!

We love it so much that we have placed the Touch & Learn Activity Desk Deluxe on our recommended list! It offers diverse learning with an interactive touch which makes it so much more fun for any child. VTech has truly developed an amazing toy that encompasses all that a child and a parent would hope for. It allows a child to have fun, learn and be creative all in one. Couldn’t ask for anything better!

If you would like to purchase one for your little one (highly recommended) you can click here for the purple and pink and click here for the red and yellow option.

We are sure it will light up the hearts and minds of your little one.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

* This product was given in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are solely of Momma Braga.

Pregnancy- Dealing With The Difficulties

Whether it’s a surprise or a much-wanted gift, pregnancy certainly isn’t easy. From the physical symptoms to the hormonal mood swings, it can be one hell of a rollercoaster ride. If you’re finding that you’re suffering during your pregnancy, here are some of the difficulties you may be facing and what to do about them.

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Morning Sickness

It may be called morning sickness but that doesn’t mean it just happens in the morning. A lot of women suffer from nausea and sickness all day long during the first trimester, and for some unlucky women it lasts the whole pregnancy. It can be nothing less than debilitating, so if you’re suffering badly and there’s no remedy you can find that helps, you need to speak to your midwife or doctor. They may be able to prescribe something that eases the symptoms for you.

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Your Relationship

It’s often difficult for men and women to connect and communicate during pregnancy. You may feel like your relationship is suffering and you’re both under stress. You’ll likely both have different sets of priorities and it can be tough to understand one another. Set some time aside and spend a few hours trying to communicate with each other. You may want to seek the advice of a counsellor if you’re unable to settle things alone.

Your Mental Health

There are a lot of hormonal changes going on in a pregnant woman’s body. You may be finding that you’re feeling low or depressed. Many pregnant women don’t feel like they can talk about this for fear of being judged that they aren’t happy about the pregnancy. If you’re feeling this way, it may help you to visit a women’s health clinic and discuss your feelings. It could help you to make the right choices, depending on your situation.

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Unable to Work

Some women find that they are unable to work due to the severe symptoms of their pregnancies. It could be morning sickness, migraines, dizziness or any number of ailments that prevents them from working. If you’re unable to work during your pregnancy, you may be worried about your income. Talk to your midwife about support you may be entitled to. Mothers who are not working can sometimes claim grants and vouchers to help towards setting the home up for their new arrival and pregnancy vitamins to keep mother and baby healthy.

Talk to Other Mothers

There are a lot of pregnancies that aren’t straight forward. Whether it’s because of worries about the baby’s health, complications during birth or worry about loss, it’s always good to know you’re not alone. Hearing positive stories from women who have been through the same situation can give you the positivity you need to get through your pregnancy. If you don’t want to join groups and talk face to face, there are some fantastic online forums, like Mumsnet, where you can join in conversations, ask questions or just read through previous threads.

Good luck and stay healthy!

 

 

The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold | Book Review

I have heard many children question the belief in Santa Claus but what if Santa actually questioned the belief of your child?

Interesting concept, isn’t it?! It definitely was to me and our next book feature does just that!

I am delighted to present to all of you The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Cale Atkinson.

Synopsis

“I know this is going to come as a dreadful shock to all of you, but the truth is…I’ve stopped believing in Harold. I want to believe in Harold, I really do. But a lot of my friends don’t believe in him anymore. The handwriting on his Christmas list is suspiciously neat. And that Harold who sat on my knee at the mall the other day? Well, he looked AWFULLY different from last year’s Harold. Is Harold just a beloved story? A practical joke? A gift-stealing scheme? Who REALLY puts out the cookies and milk on Christmas Eve? This year, I’m going to find out once and for all. Sincerely, Santa.”

#MelAndNikkiReview

To say that we loved the book would be an understatement! What an amazing twist on “believing.” The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold is creative and very well written. From beginning to end the story was told beautifully with the illustrations bringing it to life. Nikki couldn’t help but giggle when Santa was questioning the “realness” of Harold and if he actually existed. Nikki exclaimed, “Santa is being so silly. Of course Harold is real. We are all real kids.” Great job Nikki! You sure are!

We loved how while Santa is questioning the existence of Harold, Harold is doing the same about Santa. How cute is that! We just adored it and we won’t spoil the end as we do recommend this book for your Christmas reading with your little ones.

Nikki loved the book so much that she took it to class with her which is always the big test for a children’s book. We are delighted to report that it was a hit in Nikki’s Kindergarten class and got the stamp of approval. It is truly the highest honor an author can get since it is hard to truly get a big classroom of four and five year old’s to enjoy a book.

Therefore for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold 5+++ stars out of 5! This is a new family favorite this holiday season.

If you would like to purchase this lovely book, click here. This would also make a great Christmas gift idea! We recommend this book for children four to eight but really it can be for anyone who wants a great Christmas story.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was given in exchange for an honest review.

Genuine Side Hustles You Can Start From Your Living Room

If you’re a stay at home mom, you may be looking at ways to start an online business from home so that you can continue to earn money and direct your creative talent and energy towards something without having to leave your kids.

Unfortunately with so many scams and non-legitimate business opportunities flooding the internet, it can be difficult, overwhelming and downright scary to try and find something that will actually help you achieve your goals of working from home and making money doing something you love that you can organize around your existing commitments.

In this post we’re going to share with you some genuine side hustle ideas that you can start from your life whilst your children are napping or after they go to bed, and that once they’re bigger you can even turn into a full-time online business if you want to.

Blogging:

Blogging is a great way to make extra money online by writing about things you love and are passionate about. You could start a blog on any subject you desire and blog as little or as much as your schedule allows – as long as you stay consistent with your posts and deliver value to your readers then it really doesn’t matter if you blog once per week or 5 times per week. It’s something you can do anytime of the day and completely on your own schedule, so it’s perfect if you only have an hour or two during the day when the kids are napping.

Freelancing:

If you have skills in a specific area such as writing or designing, then offering your services as a freelancer or consultant to businesses who could help with their marketing or branding, for example, could be a great way to earn some money at home on your own schedule. The great thing about freelancing is that you get to set your own hours which also allows you to create the kind of work/life balance you want whilst earning money at the same time.

Sell handmade products:

If you love to make DIY craft things such as bath products, candles, t-shirts, or even gift cards and bags then you could enable yourself to make some extra cash online by selling these on places like Etsy and eBay. Although you’ll probably have to buy the equipment and materials like vinylcuttingmachineguide.com best vinyl cutting machine to get started, you can pick these up very affordably and if you know how to market your products correctly, then you’ll make the money back pretty fast, anyway.

Affiliate marketing:

This is actually one of the best, quickest, and easiest ways to start earning money online, and although it works best if you have a blog, it’s not essential that you do. Affiliate marketing is basically where you make a commission for selling the products and services of others. This can be done through writing reviews, making video reviews, and then driving traffic to your affiliate link so that when they buy the product you’ll make a commission on it. This can take a bit of time to see a big income, but over time it builds up if you’re doing it consistently.

Haibu Lost in New York | Book Review

Stories are a great way to get an important message to children in a creative way. This is exactly what Haibu Lost in New York written by Blake Freeman with Tara Price does.

Synopsis

Everyone things Haibu is too little to do anything, but that’s not true. She can fish for food. She can protect her village from polar bears. Even when she gets lost far away in New York. Haibu believes she can find her way back home! All she needs to do is go to the circus and ask the polar bears for help. But instead she learns that the circus animals are trapped and in really big trouble. Can Haibu save them before it’s too late?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Haibu Lost in New York is a child friendly story that allows children to think on their own on some of our actions towards animals.

It raises awareness and starts the conversation for us as parents to have with our children. It is an important conversation to have in order to create a better world for everyone.

“They deserve to be different without accepting differences in others is, and will ultimately be, mankind’s downfall.”

Haibu Lost in New York tells a story that we all can learn from.

As a family who has donated to help the wildlife and by rescuing an abused cat from the shelter, our hearts were right in the book from beginning to end.

With a great and educational storyline with stunning illustrations. This novel would be great for young readers and this is why we give it 5 stars out of 5! We recommend this book for children seven years old and up.

Also make sure to visit www.haibu.love for fun activities, games, animals, merchandise, updates and more family fun!

About the Authors

Blake Freeman grew up in many Midwestern states but lived the majority of his life in Nashville, Tennessee. Since relocating to Los Angeles, he has been in the entertainment business for over 12 years as an actor, director, writer, and producer of film and television. The books he read as a child shaped his view of the world. With that in mind, he has always felt that wild animals need a voice, and therefore Haibu was created.

Tara Price was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and now lives in Los Angeles, California. She has experience in everything from sales and IT to acting and production. Tara is also the voice of Haibu; any time you hear Haibu speak on YouTube, television, or in her upcoming feature film, it’s Tara’s voice!

To purchase this lovely book, please click here.

Until next time… Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Unicorn Named Sparkle’s First Christmas | Book Review

A combination of Christmas and unicorns may sound like a dream come true for many children. In fact, it sounds extra magical to me.

We are delighted to introduce you all to A Unicorn Named Sparkle’s First Christmas written and illustrated by Amy Young.

Synopsis

What do you get a unicorn for Christmas? Lucy has an idea…or two…or three…Now what, do you get a girl who already has a unicorn?

#MelAndNikkiReview

A humourous story about a unicorn named Sparkle and her trusted friend Lucy. As they both prepare for Christmas, Lucy learns a very important message at the end as friendship is always the most important at the end of the day.

We liked the storyline as there were dashes of humor and we liked the message of friendship. It’s also not about a long list of presents either. 😉

The illustrations are fun, colorful and adorable. The story and illustrations compliment each other very well throughout the book. It was an easy and enjoyable read.

We recommend this book for young children between the ages of four to six.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give 5 unicorns out of 5! It’s a really cute Christmas book.

To purchase this lovely book, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas, Little Elliot | Book Review

Storytime this time of year is extra special when we get to read Christmas stories as we count down to the big day.

We are delighted to introduce, Merry Christmas, Little Elliot by Mike Curato. 

Synopsis

When chance blows a letter for Santa into Little Elliot and Mouse’s path, the two friends set out to discover what Christmas is all about – and make a new friend, too. A heartfelt celebration of the season of giving, perfect for sharing!

#MelAndNikkiReview

If you are looking for the perfect Christmas story then this is the one for you. We absolutely loved this book from start to finish! The illustrations are more beautiful with each page turn as it truly gives you the feel of Christmas. The story is heartwarming. The message of the true meaning of Christmas is captured beautifully and very simple for children to comprehend.

We loved this book so much that Nikki took it with her to class and her teacher read it to the whole class. We are happy to report that they all really enjoyed the book. It got the Kindergarten thumbs up which is the highest compliment you can get! 😉

We give Merry Christmas, Little Elliot 5+++ hearts out of 5! It truly warmed up all our hearts.


Meet the Author

Mike Curato is an illustrator who loves small treasures. He has illustrated many books for children and is the author and illustrator of Little Elliot, Big City, Little Elliot, Big Family, Little Elliot, Big Fun; and Little Elliot, Fall Friends. You can find him on any given day walking around the city, eating a cupcake (or thinking about it). You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Special Treat

The Merry Christmas, Little Elliot downloadable activity kit is sure to get you in the holiday spirit! Complete with mazes, coloring pages, and more, this kit is the perfect holiday treat. Click here to download it.

To purchase this lovely book, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

 

 

 

 

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