Tag: Love

The Pink Umbrella | Book Review

“Everything is better with Pink.” – Nikki, Age 5

Synopsis

Adele loves many things: her café callee The Polka-Dot Apron, her customers, flowers and sunshine on a beautiful day. There are very few things that dampen Adele’s spirit, but the worst is a rainy day. Everyone in her village knows Adele doesn’t like the rain. When it rains, she just wants to stay in bed rolled up in her quilt.

One day, after closing time in the café, Adele discovers something pretty and pink left under the coatrack. Is it a gift for her? The next week it happens again! Adele is sure someone must be leaving surprises for her. But who and why?

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Pink Umbrella is a beautiful story from beginning to end. You are instantly captivated by the character, Adele, and you can’t help but fall in love with this story of love.

The mystery gifts allowed Adele to enjoy the one thing she didn’t like the most; rain. During her new appreciation for it, you can say that love bloomed. We don’t want to spoil it completely for future readers but it is the sweetest story.

The Pink Umbrella tickled our hearts pink with love and this is why we give it 10 hearts out of 5! A beautiful story with the most beautiful illustrations. We recommend this book to young readers and it is a perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day festivities.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this beautiful book, click here.

About the Author

Amélie Callot works as a writer, illustrator and midwife in France. She has written and illustrated several books for children in French. The Pink Umbrella is her first book translated into English.

About the Illustrator

Geneviève Godbout studied traditional animation in Montreal and at the prestigious Gobelins school in Paris. She has illustrated a number of children’s books including When Santa Was a Baby, Kindergarten Luck and Joseph Fipps, and has created illustrations for The Walt Disney Company, as well as art and prints for clothing designers. She lives and works in Montreal.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

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Bring Your Inner Glow Out This Holiday Season

A million twinkling lights greet you as you enter the Toronto Congress Centre this holiday season as they host Glow Toronto. Noted as a must see event for the whole family this holiday season, we got to experience it first hand and we are excited to share our thoughts, feelings and tips.

“Experience a family-friendly indoor Wonderland as you celebrate the magic of Christmas and help the elves uncover Santa’s lost presents! Enjoy interactive light gardens, illuminated structures, delicious food, festive drinks and daily live entertainment all under the twinkle of a million lights.” – Glow Toronto

Nikki with her Auntie Amanda.

Christmas Light Gardens

Walk through the light gardens and take that perfect photo that you are looking for this holiday season. You have so many scenes that you can pick from and you can’t go wrong with what you chose. Everything is absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. The time and effort that was put in does not go unnoticed. Bravo to all who were involved in putting it all together.

Even I got into the picture taking and posed with my daughter Nikki.

There are so many different types of lights to see in the gardens such as the hanging lights which is ideal to take a selfie. There are also the hanging picture frames which we took advantage of too.

Nikki with her Auntie Amanda at the hanging picture frames.

My favourite was the LED Swings as it truly brought out the kid in me and I loved every minute of it! We also can’t forget the Light Tunnel which lets you walk through a tunnel of lights. This tunnel is not dark and you can always see the light as you go through. 😉

Tip: Take your time going through each section as there is so much to see. With a little one it might be difficult so we recommend to go at their pace and let them enjoy all that Glow Toronto has to offer. Then either go back to see anything that you had missed or come back as a date night. 😉 We went back as we told Nikki that there was more magic to see. It worked!

Scavenger Hunt: Santa’s Lost Presents

You have been recruited (if you wish) to help save Christmas in this seek-and-find activity.

The mission is to help find all the missing presents. To play, all you need to do is get a play card which is provided when you enter. In the play card you see who has a missing present. Now it is your job to search through the gardens to see where they could be. When you do find one, Santa’s special helpers will be there to stamp the present you find.

Find all the missing presents and not only do you save Christmas but you get a special prize as well.

This was very fun for us and at one point I wasn’t sure who was more excited; the kids or the parents. Either way it is fun for the whole family.

Tip: Have fun! Seeing the glow in your child’s eyes when they have found them all, is all worth it!

Kid Friendly Activities

There is plenty for the kiddies to do at Glow Toronto and it will surely exhaust the most energetic of kids. I know that for a fact as Nikki was completely exhausted by the time she went home (best sleep ever!).

Here is what they offer for the children:

Playpark

You can climb, slide and create your own adventure in the Magic Castle Playground! It’s indoors so no jackets are required but you do require shoes so please keep them on. 😉

Bouncy Farm

Bounce your way right up to the North Pole on the Bouncy Reindeer. Nikki had a blast with the reindeers and it truly helped shake the energy off.

LED Hopscotch & Swings

Swoop, jump and tap to magically change the colours of the LED swings and hopscotch. It is fun for all ages including us parents!

Glen the Glow-comotive

All aboard! You can enjoy a short ride on the trackless train, Glen the Glow-comotive.

I know that many parents that were at the event thought the train ride was through the whole garden. However, it does not and it is only done in a small section of the venue with a mini garden in-between. This ride is perfect for children ages 12 and under with the company of an adult.

We enjoyed the mini ride. 🙂

Santa

What is a Christmas event without the big man?! You can take a holiday photo and whisper your Christmas wish to Santa at Christmas Glow.

You can even write your Santa letters at the event and put it in the mailbox. We didn’t want to pass on that opportunity so Nikki wrote her letter and mailed it off.

Tip: All photos with Santa are by donation and 100% of proceeds support local charities. To learn more about Santa at Glow Toronto, click here.

Glow Vendor Market & Food

The Glow Vendor Market is a great place to find unique gifts for that special someone or even for yourself! The best part of the market is that it features local shops from the community and they are one-of-a-kind handcrafted items that are available.

To learn more about what vendors you can see, click here.

There are a few food vendors available at the event if you are feeling hungry. There are also bars throughout the venue where you can enjoy a holiday drink while walking through the gardens. You can even purchase a Glow cup (for $9) and of course it glows!

Live Entertainment

Every night you can look forward to local artists and performers playing all your Christmas favourites live on stage. It adds to the magic as you walk through the gardens and enjoy all the festivities.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We all had an amazing time at Glow Toronto and we know that you are your family will enjoy it too! It is an event that I have never been to before and the fact that it is indoors is a huge bonus for us. We didn’t have to rush through and we got to enjoy all the activities without worrying about bad weather.

Nikki, my sister-in-law and I, enjoying the tunnel of lights.

Glow Toronto is fun for everyone and it brings that Christmas magic that you hope to feel during the holidays. It truly brought out our inner glow and we are even more excited as we countdown to Christmas. It was captivating, breathtaking and full of magic. Moments that we can look back on and say we were there to experience the glow. It was time well spent where we laughed, had fun and created wonderful memories. This is what the holiday season is all about. It reminded me to embrace the joy that the holiday season can bring and enjoy it with those that you love.

A special thank you to Glow Toronto for having us there and to my sister-in-law for all the photos she took. We had so many and it was hard to only pick a few to share. Just imagine all the photos you can take too?! 😉

Make sure to buy your tickets in advance before they all sell out fast. Click here to start. If you are looking for one great event this holiday season to do, then this would be the one. This event is being held from November 28, 2019 to January 4, 2020.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*We were invited to attend this event in exchange for an honest review. We were not compensated to write this post and we do not make commission of ticket sales.

The Mama Coach: Making Motherhood Easier

Motherhood is no walk in the park and any new mom past or present can agree to that. There is so much to learn and do that sometimes you feel that your village may not even be enough.

Well, we have just discovered an amazing place that offers that support that many new moms may need and that is The Mama Coach in Toronto.

The Mama Coach is a team of Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners who are committed to making motherhood easier. Their programs are based on science, empathy, and support. It is that extra village that every new mom should have by her side.

We got to interview Yvonne who leads the Mama Coach in Toronto to get more info on this prestigious organization.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Yvonne Chan and I am the owner of The Mama Coach in Toronto. I am a prenatal educator, sleep consultant, lactation counselor, HSF certified CPR instructor, a Registered Nurse and a mom of two happy little ones!

I love staying active by playing in various sports, traveling the world with my family, and raising my kids to be kind and happy people.

Tell me a little about the Mama Coach. Why did you start it?

I love teaching, helping others, and have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Becoming a Mama Coach gives me a unique opportunity that allows me to do something I am really passionate about: helping new moms be the best they can be while leveraging my nursing degree and experience as a mom. Additionally, being a business owner allows me the flexibility to optimize my work and family life.

There are so many reasons I wanted to bring The Mama Coach to Toronto. The thing that excites me the most about being a Mama Coach is being part of a group that is the best of the best in the field. I found my values and way of thinking aligned very accurately with the philosophy of the Founder of The Mama Coach, Carrie Bruno. The Mama Coach is a nationwide group of Registered Nurses who work independently with families to provide support through education. Our mission is to make motherhood easier!

Could you provide a quick breakdown of some of the services you offer?

We offer sleep consultation packages, lactation support packages, prenatal classes, and CPR workshops and certification classes. All services are done in the privacy of your home! We come to you!

More than sleep packages include:

  • 1.5 hours of in-home visit by a Registered Nurse with a complete head to toe assessment on baby to make sure there is no underlying medical issue that is affecting sleep or feeds. All visits also include feeding assessment (breast feeding, bottle feeling, or solid foods feeding).
  • Customized sleep plan.
  • Unlimited support from a Registered Nurse for two weeks from the day the sleep plan is implemented. You will have an RN available daily to answer any questions and to provide guidance via email and 4 scheduled phone calls throughout the two weeks.
  • The Mama Coach eBook for sleep.
  • Add on services: Bedtime support (3 hours in person support at bedtime), a half-night support (in person support from bedtime to midnight), full night support (bedtime to 7 am).

Lactation and feeding support packages include:

  • 1 in home visit and 1 week of unlimited email support.
  • The Mama Coach eBook on feeding

Infant and Child CPR and Choking workshops include:

  • 60 to 80 minutes in-home CPR and Choking workshop.
  • The Mama Coach eBook on Infant and Child CPR and safety.

Prenatal classes include:

  • 3 hours in-home session.
  • Email support until birth.
  • The Mama Coach prenatal guide.
  • Add-on: Total Support Package (1 postpartum in-home visit and 1 in-home visit at 5 weeks, 8 phone calls and 8 weeks of email support after birth).

Everyone says that some babies are just bad sleepers. Is that a myth? How can a parent really know that there might be a sleeping problem?

I believe that is a myth because sleep is a learned skill. We can’t just lay our babies down and expect them to know what to do. Parents can “teach” babies how to sleep with our gentle programs and guide them in learning a healthy life skill.

We believe that a baby’s sleep patterns are not a problem unless it’s a problem for you. We have a no judgement zone at The Mama Coach.

We love how your services are tailored to each specific child as we all know each child is different. Are there any general tips you can offer to parents who are struggling to get their child to sleep through the night?

The Mama Coach 5 Sleep Tips eBook has some general tips to parents who are struggling to get their child to sleep.

  • Sleep environment: Melatonin plays a key role in keeping our babies asleep and a dark sleep environment leads to more production of this amazing hormone.
  • Awake times:
    1. Birth to 10 weeks (45 – 60 mins)
    2. 11 weeks to 3.5 months (2 – 2.5 hrs) – 4 to 5 naps
    3. 5 to 5 months (2 – 2.5 hrs) – 4 naps
    4. 5 to 7 months (2.5 – 3 hrs) – 3 naps
    5. 8 to 13 months (3 – 4 hrs) – 2 naps
    6. 14 months to 3 years (4 – 5 hrs) – 1 nap
  • The golden ticket always lies with bedtime. Night sleep and day sleep are governed by different parts of your babies’ brain. Create a consistent bedtime routine.
  • Eliminating sleep props for night wake-ups: infants and children rouse on average four to six times per night, with brief awakenings at the end of each sleep cycle. Teaching babies to fall back to sleep on their own without a sleep prop they will be able to fall right into their next stage of sleep.
  • Milestones and regressions: Developmental milestones can interfere with sleep. We recommend lots of skill practice during non-sleep times.

Send me an email at yvonne@themamamcoach.ca to get your FREE copy of The Mama Coach 5 sleep tips eBook!

Since you have started The Mama Coach what has been your most memorable success story?

I find everyone of my client’s success story to be unique and memorable. The story that stands out the most to me is with a second time mom who contacted me for help with her five-month old baby. This mom has a three-year-old and a five-month old. Mom used one of the many sleep plans that were available on the internet with her first baby and that baby slept and fed beautifully. She tried to implement the same strategies with her second baby to get this baby to feed and sleep but this baby just wasn’t having it. Baby had reflux (feeds would take 40+ minutes plus 20 minutes keeping baby upright). Baby was waking up frequently at night for feeds, and was hard to settle during the day. Mom was feeling anxious and a bit deflated that her strategy for the 1st wasn’t working for the 2nd.

I built a customized plan for this family, gave the baby a head to toe nursing assessment, assessed a feed, showed and educated mom on improving the latch and positioning of the baby during feeds to improve reflux during my in-home visit. Once we improved feeds, we worked on sleep and by the 3rd night of starting the plan, baby was feeding and sleeping well. We made some tweaks along the way but by the end of our two weeks together, this baby was taking three solid naps, dropped the night feeds on her own and everybody got the sleep they so well deserved. By the end of our time together – mom felt confident, rested, and happy!

This success story demonstrates that every baby is different. We look at the whole picture to come up with an individualized plan that works for you and your baby! The start and finish line (goal) are set but the journey will be different for everyone. I know where we are starting, I know where we are going to finish but I don’t know what is going to happen in-between. We don’t use a cookie cutter method. We are nurses and use our assessment skills throughout the process.

What we tell parents is not a secret. Anyone can read books, find plans on the internet, etc. What I give parents is support all the way through and I give Moms in-person feeding support which they won’t be able to get from a book.

I am so thankful for all the opportunities to be part of so many families success story.

Where would you like to see The Mama Coach in the next five years?

I would like to see The Mama Coach be the go-to-choice for making motherhood easier and baby sleep throughout Toronto and the GTA!

If someone is interested in utilizing your services, how can they go about accessing them?

They can book their initial free phone call online.

Additionally, all our services are available virtually on a video HIPAA-compliant Telehealth platform.

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with some great insight on The Mama Coach. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thank you, Momma Braga, for this opportunity to share information about The Mama Coach. Finding sleep for our babies can be so challenging. I believe in finding a solution that works for the entire family. If you are ready to make change for better sleep, let’s set up a time to chat! Please go to this link to book a time that works for you. The sooner we get started, the sooner we can get your sweet baby sleeping and feeding great!

Thinking back to five years ago when I had my daughter, Nikki, I could have truly benefited from these services. Unfortunately, I did not know about them and this is why it is important that I share these amazing resources with my wonderful readers.

When I had the opportunity to interview The Mama Coach, I knew I had to jump on it! A place that offers sleep tips is a superb place to me as a happy baby is definitely a happy mommy!

We hope we will feature more on The Mama Coach and if you have any questions, feel free to comment below or send us an email at mommabraga@gmail.com as we would love to hear from you. You can stay anonymous too! 😊

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-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.

Robot in Love | Book Review

Everyone deserves to find love and to be happy even if you happen to be a robot. This is exactly the concept behind the children’s book, Robot in Love written and illustrated by T.L. McBeth.

Synopsis

When a shiny, beautiful stranger catches Robot’s eye, he knows she’s the one. He thinks about her all the time. He even makes her a present. But will he be able to keep his circuits from overheating and work up the courage to talk to her?

#MelAndNikkiReview

We are in love with Robot in Love. The story is absolutely adorable and intriguing! It had us giggling along as we read the story and those are our favorite kind. The illustrations are as adorable as the story. We love the message that love is in the eye of the beholder. As Robot falls in love with a toaster and it is natural that this would happen since they both love toast. 😉

“Mommy the robot loves a toaster! That is SO funny!” – Nikki, Age 4

At the end of the day, it did not matter who the robot fell in love with but that he did. He also had the courage to express how he felt which is important for us to teach our children. Therefore, by the end of the book, I got to explain how important it us to express how we are feeling so that people around us can understand. Nikki loved that concept as she is slowly learning that she needs to express her feelings through words and this book gives us that adorable insight.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Robot in Love 5 toasts out of 5! We recommend this book for ages four to eight and it is a perfect read for bedtime.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this would be a perfect book for a child. 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.

 

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

 

7 Great Ways to Raise and Empower Your Daughter

Having a daughter is a great gift, but also a great responsibility. We live in a world that is changing, hopefully for the best, especially when it comes to the position of women in the society, their empowerment and their voice. So it is, now more important than ever that we raise generation upon generation of young women who will know there is no limit what they can do in life and who will feel empowered from day one. But it all depends on the parents and what we install in their minds from the very beginning. So here are some great tips on raising a little powerhouse of a lady.

Let her be heard

It is important that you always ask her about her opinion on the matter at hand. Just telling someone what to do over and over again creates a pattern that is hard to break later on. So, by letting her know you are interested in what she has to say you are teaching her that her opinion and ideas matter and thus encouraging her to put them forward. This will have a great impact on the way she interacts with others as she will be able to form her own opinions and won’t be afraid to share them with the world.

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Encourage her to learn

Education is a huge part of female empowerment. Being able to attend the schools she wants or to choose her own profession it is something truly amazing. And to think it was not an option just a few years ago, and is still not in some countries in the world. Luckily there are a lot of organizations working on changing this, and there are more and more girl’s scholarships available to help set this change in motion. So help your daughter understand, however cliché it might sound, knowledge is power, and education is an integral part of that.

Expose her to the right role models

Having someone to look up to is important as we grow up. And for a young girl having strong female role models can be life changing. It is important that they exist both in the family and outside of it. Of course, you are the biggest one she has, so it is important to not only teach your daughter certain principles but for you as a parent to live them as well. Next come the role models from the world of literature, politics and, yes, pop culture. There are some great women throughout history that can serve as fantastic role models, from Jane Goodall to Lisa Randall and Aung San Suu Kyi, all of whom show how strong and powerful women can be and how they can influence the changes in the world we live in.

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Help her withstand the pressures of our society

Even the best upbringing cannot help your daughter and save her from the cruel reality that comes from entering the society. From kindergarten to university she will have to hold her own. We all know how cruel kids can be and how at times it is difficult to stand up to peer pressure. It is up to us, as parents, to help our child cope, and not let them suffer in silence. Because not everyone will accept an empowered female, and there will be times that she will have to stand for what she believes in, even when it seems impossible. That is the lesson we are supposed to be teaching them.

Take the time to discuss different notions

Be there to answer her questions, from the very start. Whether they are about life, the world we live in or people who surround us. It is important that she gets that information from you as much as possible. That way you know what she hears is the truth. Letting her google it or hear it from the wrong people could have a negative effect on her point of view, and even her self- esteem. You can take a few minutes out of each day and simply tell her to ask you whatever she wants. It can be a great learning and bonding experience at the same time.

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Teach her to be critical about the media

What media places out there can have a strong effect on young girls, and they can be quite taken with it. Thinking that they need to look, act or think in a certain way. This can have a negative effect on the way they perceive the world and what is expected of them to be. So it is important to start having this conversation as early as possible and to keep having it until they grow up. Teach them about the distorted images that the media can sometimes show, pointed towards the right media outlets, and help them see themselves as individuals and not part of the collective thought that is being pushed at them.

Don’t limit their imagination

This might be the most important piece of advice. Your daughter needs to have a vivid imagination because that is where all great ideas come from. So if she wants to be a truck driver at three years of age support it as much as you would support her wanting to be a doctor at eighteen. Don’t limit her choices and ideas; let her express herself that way she can show you and the world who she really is without the fear of not being accepted.

So now you have your guidelines, and don’t forget you might be raising the future president or astronaut.

About the Author

Claire Adams is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.