Tag: Inspiring

A Is For Awesome!

March has been designated as Women’s History Month and it is a great month to highlight great achievements.

In our reading lineup this month is A is for Awesome! 23 Iconic Women Who Changed The Worldwritten by Eva Chen and illustrated by Derek Desierto.

Synopsis

Why stick with plain old A, B, C when you can have Amelia (Earhart), Malala, Tina (Turner), Ruth (Bader Ginsburg), all the way to Extraordinary You – and the Zillions of adventures you will go on?

#MelAndNikkiReview

A is for Awesome! 23 Iconic Women Who Changed The World is a fun and inspiring read for young children. It was a great way to do letter recognition and learn about an inspiring woman from the past or present. The quotes were awesome and one letter that stood out the most for my 4-year-old was B (Beyoncé).

“Mom! This is the Single Ladies Song!” – Nikki, Age 4

It is amazing what children obtain! We loved the fact that we can go through each letter and then later explain the importance of each woman in a way that a young child could understand. Books that can offer conversation pieces after the fact is one of our favorite parts of reading time.

Of course we can not forget the bright and vibrant illustrations in the book as it truly made the book eye catching. It is absolutely perfect for this age group.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give A is for Awesome! 23 Iconic Women Who Changed The World 5 “Sheroes” out of 5! We recommend this book for ages one to three.

“We read books to find out who we are..What we ourselves are and may become.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

About the Author

Eva Chen, the author of Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes and A Is For Awesome, is a first-generation Chinese-American who grew up in New York City. She blames her deviation from pre-med at Johns Hopkins University on a love of fashion and beauty instilled in her by her mother, whose perfect bob and lipstick made a permanent imprint on her impressionable young mind. Previously the editor in chief of Lucky, Eva has also written for ELLE, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Vogue Chine, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. She is currently the head of fashion partnerships at Instagram, where she is guilty of the occasional duck-face selfie. Eva lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

 About the Illustrator

Derek Desierto is a Vancouver-based illustrator, designer, and overall nice guy from a nice family. His animation work has been recognized by the Ottawa International Animation Festival, the National Cartoonist Society, and 9 Story Media Group. Currently, he is living the dream as a freelance artist for animated TV shows and picture books. His ultimate goal in life is to meet Oprah and become one of her Favorite Things.

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

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

Bearnard’s Book | Book Review

Wouldn’t it be grande to have a story written about you? But what would it be about? For Bernard the Bear, he found himself in this exact situation.

We are delighted to introduce you all to, Bearnard’s Bookwritten by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Misa Saburi.

Synopsis

When Bearnard gets an invitation to be in a book, it’s a dream come true! But as he reads up on what starring in a book might actually entail, he wonders if he’s not quite the right bear for the part. With the help of his friend Gertie, Bearnard discovers that to shine in his story, he just needs to be himself.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Bearnard’s Book is absolutely adorable and one with a very important message; be yourself. You can’t help but feel bad for Bearnard as he worries that his story isn’t as exciting as he thinks a story should be. Bernard goes through exploring to see what story he could do and by the end he realizes that the best story is just to be himself.

We loved reading this book as it was full of charm and all about self-acceptance. The story even brought the conversation about what kind of story would we write about Nikki and the ideas were flowing through the gates. Nikki got really excited and starting telling me all the types of stories that could be written about herself. It was amazing to see that Bernard’s Book brought out the excitement about Nikki writing a story about her energetic self. This book is truly a wonderful read and we recommend it for children ages four to eight.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Bearnard’s Book 5 Bears out of 5!

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

Loved To Bits | Book Review

At one point or another, we may have had a special toy or even blanket that we help onto a little tight growing up. It’s natural and absolutely adorable. This is the concept behind an adorable children’s book called Loved To Bits written by Teresa Heapy and illustrated by Katie Cleminson.

Synopsis

My teddy’s special.

Stripy Ted.

We make adventures around my bed.

But he’s no longer at his best…

So will I love him more…or less?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Loved To Bits takes us on the adventures of a boy and his teddy bear. It also takes us through the emotion of love. I have to admit that this book tugged at my heart strings and I had to fight back tears towards the end as it was such a beautiful read. Of course with all the adventures, there is wear and tear on teddy where he lost a few pieces of himself along the way. However, that did not stop the boy to love him even more (cue the waterworks!).

Such a powerful story about love and one that many people can relate to. We truly loved this book from beginning to end and we know it will continue to be read for years to come. The illustrations are just as captivating as the storyline and it really brought the story to life for us.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Loved To Bits 5 “Bits” out of 5! We recommend this book for ages two to six and it is a perfect story for Valentine’s Day.

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

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

Love | Book Review

Love comes in many different forms and their meaning is unique to each individual. That is the beauty about love as there are so many ways to express it.

Lovea children’s book expresses love in the simplest form to have children understand all its glory.

Synopsis

Love is the melody that follows us through each and every day of our lives. Whether it’s the sound of our lives. Whether it’s the sound of our parents’ voices lulling us to sleep, the joyful laughter of an uncle’s latest tall tale, or the warm embrace of a loved one telling us everything will be okay, it’s a feeling that takes countless forms and ultimately connects us all.

In this stirring celebration of love, Newbery Medal – winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways to experience this universal bond. With heartfelt illustrations and a soothing, lyrical text, this  tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We loved the book Love! A beautiful children’s story that takes us on a heart journey. It beams with feelings and allows us to see the many different forms that love can be expressed in. Love can be as simple loving the surrounding that you are in. This book was articulately written and the illustrations are captivating. Within each illustration an expression of love is showcased such as providing food to someone homeless. The diversity illustrated in the book is also heartwarming to see as love is diverse.

We also love the added touch on the back where you can write your child’s name where it says: “This Love Belongs To.” Our daughter is practicing writing her name so we got her to write her name out as it made her feel extra special.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Love 5 hearts out of 5! We also recommend the book for children ages four to eight. An amazing read that reflects the love that is in a child’s daily life. Also a great reminder for all that we are surrounded by love every single day.

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

“I LOVE love!” – Nikki, Age 4

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

My Heart | Book Review

Books around love are easy to spot, especially this time of year with Valentine’s Day approaching. However, a perfect children’s book that empowers young readers to listen to the heart within are hard to come by.

We are delighted to introduce our readers to a book that does just that, My Heart written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken.

Synopsis

My heart is a window.

My heart is a slide.

My heart can be closed…

or opened up wide.

From the moments of great joy and exuberance to necessary times of quiet contemplation, your heart is your guide.

#MelAndNikkiReview

My Heart has captivated our hearts in the best way possible. The book is breathtaking with the illustrations and the story is told with such elegance.  We love the simplicity of the story and the impactful message that it carries. My Heart is all about caring for your own heart and living with kindness and empathy. A very important lesson that not only children need to learn but a reminder for us adults as well. I think that is what I love the best about this book as it is a lesson that I learned at a very young age. Now to be able to translate it into a book form that my 4-year-old daughter can understand tickles my heart pink. 🙂

We truly have loved reading this book and it is one that we have been reading on a daily basis since it has arrived in our home. At the end of the book, Nikki never fails to tell me exactly what she thinks of it.

“Mommy this book was so beautiful about our hearts. We need to take good care of it and make sure we use it right.” – Nikki, Age 4

A heartfelt book all about one’s heart would make a great Valentine’s Gift or any other time of the year for a little one. We highly recommend this book to everyone (Ages 4 and up). I think there is an important reminder and lesson in this book for all of us no matter our age. With lyrical text and breathtaking art by award-winning author-illustrator Corinna Luyken, My Heart empowers all readers to listen to the voice within in this ode to love and self-acceptance. This is why we give My Heart 6 hearts out of 5! 

“tiny can grow and broken can mend and a heart that is closed can still open again.” – Corinna Luyken

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

 

Eleanor Wyatt Princess and Pirate | Book Review

Empowering little girls to be who they want to be is a message that we love in our household. Especially since we are raising a little girl of our own. We believe that it is best for children to know that they can be whatever they want to be. This is why we are in LOVE with this book that we will be introducing all of you to.

Eleanor Wyatt Princess and Pirate, written by Rachael MacFarlane and illustrated by Spencer Laudiero the book you will want in your reading line-up!

Synopsis

“Her name is Eleanor Wyatt, and some days she’s a princess, some days she’s a pirate. Eleanor’s parents have taught her she can be anything she wants to be, from a ninja to a cowgirl to a fairy with wings. She can even star in her own book! Join Eleanor and her friends as they romp through tea parties and sword fights to discover the best treasure of all – being yourself!”

#MelAndNikkiReview

To say that we loved the book, would be an underestimate of the year! Eleanor Wyatt Princess and Pirate is a must read for every child as it is empowering. The message is loud and clear – you can be anything! Nikki loved it and felt that she could relate. One day she is fighting crime as a Superhero or she is playing princess with her toys. Either way she is herself and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Our favorite is that “there’s no right or wrong way to play.” YES! YES! YES! We love that message as there is no room for “gender” type play as we can be anything.

Overall the story flowed easily and the illustrations are captivating with the colors and characters. This is why for this review we give this book 5+++ stars out of 5! It is an empowering story that instills great confidence in being who you want to be and that is why this book is on our most recommended list!

“Let your inner light shine, and be who you are. Let your friends do the same, and you’ll shine like a star!”

This wonderful book will be available on November 6, 2018. If you would like to purchase your own copy, 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

Three Adorable Baby Art Activities

Written By: Karen Silva
Twitter

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.

Picture Perfect

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.

Until next time… Keep it crafty!

– Momma Bear Silva

Honey Nut Cheerios Launches Their Third Year Of Bring Back The Bees

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!

For more information on this great campaign and all things bees please visit,  https://bringbackthebees.ca/.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

 

The Reality Of Motherhood With A Dash of Humor

When we are new parents we tend to read every book that has been recommended to us. I know that I read my fair share of sunshine and rainbows before I had my daughter. Then once I became a mom, I got the harsh reality of true motherhood. Therefore, when I was approached by author Jillian M. Parsons with an introduction to her upcoming book I was just thrilled!

I had the opportunity to read an advanced copy before it hit the book shelves and I was honored to have been picked to read it!

Say No to Placenta Pics And Other Hilarious, Unsolicited Advice for Pregnant Women by Jillian M. Parsons with Allison Baerken should be on every new moms and their BFFs reading list.

The book is about how two best friends make it through a Pregnancy, with all its gut-busting hilarity and gross bits.

“Maternity isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and natural glows. It’s also elastic waistbands, hot flashes, and throbbing breasts! Prepare yourself for a nine-month roller coaster ride of emotions – for both the pregnant woman and her best friend.”

Synopsis

“Say No to Placenta Pics is the ultimate girlfriend’s uncensored, tell-all guide to the down and dirty of pregnancy for all badass moms-to-be (and their non-pregnant friends watching from the sidelines) who desperately need a joke over the next nine months. Together, BFFs Allison (pregnant) and Jillian (decidedly not) ride the learning curves from first trimester to after birth, rejecting standard pregnancy fluff in self-help books, exploring the issues about mother-to-be-hood no one else seems to have the guts to:

  • The anti-sex appeal of maternity negligees
  • Surviving the high school experience of online mommy groups
  • Resisting the urge to overshare on Facebook
  • Executing the right angles on a maternity photo shoot
  • Listening to yet another birth story from a stranger

Tongue-in-check, and fearlessly relatable, Say No to Placenta Pics is the realest girl talk between two women who mock and celebrate the wonder of pregnancy, every step of the way.”

Momma Braga Review

I absolutely LOVED this book! I loved it so much that I was able to provide a short review that can be viewed on their website, Amazon and Chapters Indigo.

Say No to Placenta Pics, offers readers unique voices of a mom and non-mom who talk about on pregnancy and the aftermath. They touch on every topic that you can imagine and they leave no stone unturned when they give you the good, the bad and the very ugly. For that alone, I applaud them as they are being real and offering different perspectives that we can all learn from. They are relevant and up-to-date with their topics as they talk about Facebook and Mom Bloggers. I have to admit that the Mom Blogger section was my favorite one. Now I do need to warn you that you that if you are a mom blogger you will need to read it with an open mind and with a sense of humor to get it! 😉

There is so much more I can write about, Say No to Placenta Pics, but I can’t spoil it for all of you! What I can say is that this book should be on everyone’s reading list and many of you will be able to relate to a lot of it. We give this book 5 sunshine and rainbows out of 5 and this is on our most recommended list!

Lastly, I will sum up my review with my quote:

“A refreshing read on the reality of pregnancy and the aftermath, which is articulated beautifully with a dash of uncensored humor. You can’t help but laugh out loud as there are so many relatable points in the book. It clearly brings up topics that most of us moms want to say but feel the need to sugar coat; the bad and ugly. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a sense of humor and wants the honest truth on embarking on the journey of motherhood and for the childless friends around them.”

Say No to Placenta Pics will be released on April 17th so make sure to reserve your copy (Amazon and Chapters Indigo) as you don’t want to miss it! This book will be BIG!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga