Tag: MelandNikkiReview

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.

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Great Children’s Books for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving around the corner in the United States, we have two great children’s books that will add to the festivities.

Be Thankful, Pout-Pout Fish

Gobble! Gobble! It’s Thanksgiving under the sea, and Mr. Fish has much to be grateful for. Toddlers will love swimming along with the pout-pout fish as he turns little pouts into big smiles in this original board book.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Be Thankful, Pout-Pout Fish is a great book for toddlers and a great introduction to Thanksgiving. The illustrations are vibrant and perfect for the wondering eyes of a toddler. You can’t help but feel grateful while reading along as it touches upon all the great points of the occasion. The rhyming helps to keep the litte ones engaged and it makes it much more fun to read too!

This would make a great addition to your family gathering. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 pout-pout out of 5!

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

Bad Kitty Does NOT Like Thanksgiving

Kitty does not like Thanksgiving. Kitty LOVES Thanksgiving. Specifically, Kitty loves turkey…and will do anything to get her paws on it. So, Kitty comes up with a plan but in perfect cantankerous cat fashion, can’t quite pull it off and ends up with the turkey (and all the fixins’) on her head. No, Kitty does not like Thanksgiving.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Oh Bad Kitty! We just love the books in the Bad Kitty series and this one is no exception. This book was a great hit in our home and we even read the book to some of Nikki’s cousins who enjoyed it from beginning to end. The storyline is so intriguing for little ones as they anticipate what is going to happen next as Bad Kitty always seems to get into a bit of trouble.

We love the important message that the book highlights which is that if you want something too much, it is best to wait for it. Good things comes to those who wait as they say. Bad Kitty learned the hard way and lost it all at the end. I guess that is what Bad Kitty gets. The bits of humor within the story is so great too.

There is an added extra with this story as it comes with stickers! It sure had the kids eyes light up when they each got a sticker at the end.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 turkeys out of 5!

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*These books were provided in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions expressed are our own.

The Lost Christmas | Book Review

“A Christmas confection from the brilliant creator of the Lost House and The Lost Picnic!”

Synopsis

It’s time to decorate the tree for Christmas — but Grandad can’t find any of his ornaments! The hunt for the missing decorations takes the children up and down in Grandad’s bric-a-brac-filled house and out into a winter wonderland. And when every ornament is on the tree at last, Grandad has a wonderful holiday surprise in store.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Lost Christmas is a tricky seek-and-find book that embraces the beginning of the Christmas season – decorating! This book is great to get the family all geared up the festivities with the first step to start it all. 🙂

We enjoyed the storyline as decorating is one of our favorite parts of Christmas and we can relate to misplacing some décor as we go along. 😉 The story is just sweet and we love how it shows the bond between grandchild and grandparent. The illustrations are vibrant as neon colors are used to bring the story to life. However, we did find it difficult to find the items on the pages. If you have some great seek-and-find little ones, then this is a great book for them.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReciew, we give it 4 ornaments out of 5! We enjoyed it and the seek-and-find concept was neat. Even though we couldn’t find many of the items. I guess we need to practice some more. 😉 There is an added surprise at the end and it is to seek out one more ornament back in the book. Therefore, make sure to go all the way to the end!

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

About the Author

B.B. Cronin, an illustrator originally from Dublin, Ireland, is the author of The Lost House, which received a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators, and The Lost Picnic. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and on the covers of Penguin Classics, among many other publications. He was honored by a one-person show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin in 1998. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, with the illustrator Juliette Borda and their two children. He divides his time between his kitchen, living room, and his stuido. To learn more about the author, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

 

There’s an Elf in Your Book Brings Witt and Fun

“There’s an Elf in Your Book is witty, fun and asks the biggest question on all our minds…Did we make it on the nice list?” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Ho, ho ho! There’s an elf in this Christmas picture book by bestselling children’s author, YouTube star, and musician Tom Fletcher!

Do you have what it takes to make Santa’s Nice List? An elf is here to test you in Tom Fletcher’s newest participatory read-aloud. Don’t let the elf trick you into being naughty! Just follow his instructions to sing Christmas carol, clap, burp…Hey, wait a second! Children will be delighted to participate in this satisfying holiday tale.

#MelAndNikkiReview

There’s an Elf in Your Book had us all participating in story time with this witty tale. Nikki was very excited when she saw it and needed to have it read to her right away. Since I wasn’t available at that very moment, the task was left for daddy dearest to read. 🙂 They both really loved reading it together and even my husband had a great time (that is the best compliment ever!). It became a family favorite instantly as my family was bragging all about it. Therefore, I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to read it too as I needed to join in the fun.

I have to admit that my family was right and their praises of the book were true. It was witty, fun and interactive! Since Nikki was an expert by the time I read it with her, she tried tricking me along with the mischievous elf. However, never fear as Momma Braga passed the test and I did in fact make it to the Nice List. 😉 It is a wonderful and uplifting story for little ones. We loved the story, illustrations and even the tricky elf.

You will have a blast reading this book with your child and just in time to get everyone in the Christmas spirit! Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 elves out of 5! It had us jingling with laughter.

This book is recommended for children ages three to seven and if you would like to purchase your own copy, click here. You won’t regret it! 😉

About the Author

Tom Fletcher loves Christmas! He’s a successful children’s author for various age groups, a YouTube star, a proud daddy, and a McFly band member. He has also collaborated with Greg Abbott on There’s a Monster in Your Book and There’s a Dragon in Your Book, which Kirkus Reviews called “an energetic and laugh-filled read-aloud.” Tom lives in England with his wife, author Giovanna Fletcher, and their three sons.

About the Illustrator

Greg Abbott is an illustrator and designer who lives in West Sussex, England. In addition to children’s books, he has created art prints, apparel, toys, greeting cards, and other merchandise.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

The Crayons’ Christmas | Book Review

A brand new Crayons’ book from the #1 New York Times best-selling duo Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers, just in time for the holidays.

Synopsis

‘Tis the season for all of us to write our holiday wish lists. But everyone – even the crayons – know the best presents are the ones that you give. In this unique book, readers get to see how Duncan, the crayons, and their families celebrate the holidays. With real, folded letters from the Crayons that you can pull from their envelopes and read, games, punch-out ornaments, a poster, and a pop-up tree, this book is the perfect gift for fans of The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Crayons’ Christmas brings Christmas joy with many amazing surprises for young readers. It was one of Nikki’s ultimate favorite parts of the book! Every time we turned the page she would excitedly say, “Wow! Another surprise! I wonder what the crayons are sending this time?!” By having these surprises, it truly brought an interactive component to the story and we absolutely loved it. To us, it was like keeping the story fun going even after the story was done.

Not only does The Crayons’ Christmas bring the interaction out for your little ones but it brings that lovable humor that you can expect from The Crayons’ Series. It had me giggling all the way. 😉 Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give The Crayons’ Christmas 10 crayons out of 5! It brings humor, fun and the Christmas spirit all in one beautifully illustrated children’s book.

“This book is full of Christmas fun!” – Nikki, Age 5

If you would like to purchase your own copy and in time for Christmas, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

Peppa Pig and The Christmas Play

“Peppa Pig and the Christmas Play will show you the power of a promise in the most adorable way.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

It’s holiday time, and Peppa Pig and her friends are busy getting ready for the Christmas play. Everyone has a part to play – elves, snowflakes, the tree, the shining star, even the Christmas nurse! Peppa is happy to be the Christmas fairy, but what she really wants is for Santa to come to the show. He said he would when she saw him at grocery store.

With the play about to begin, there’s no sign of the special guest, but Madame Gazelle says the show must go on. Will Peppa take the stage? Will Santa keep his promise?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Peppa Pig and the Christmas Play brings our favorite characters from Peppa Pig for some holiday cheer and fun. We loved the addition of the jolly man himself, Santa! Best of all they learn the power of a promise and that is truly magical!

“Santa never lets anyone down.” – Nikki, Age 5

If you have a Peppa Pig enthusiast in your home, then this is the perfect book for them. You also get a bonus with this book as it includes a coloring poster inside the jacket. So the holiday fun continues with Peppa!

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 reindeers out of 5!

If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

Maisy’s Christmas Party | Book Review

You’ve got mail! When Maisy invites her friends to a holiday party, she receives several pull-out gifts that she’s happy to share with fans.

Synopsis

The holidays are coming, and Maisy’s friends are thrilled to receive invitations to her party. It will be fun to play games, tell stories, sing carols, and eat treats! Dotty, Eddie, Cyril, Tallulah, and Charley all send thank-you notes to Maisy, each with a little something she might enjoy. And Maisy has something to give to her readers as well! Kids will be excited to reach into the envelope pockets to find:

  • An ornament
  • A simple gingerbread recipe
  • A book of jokes
  • A.small advent calendar
  • A puzzle
  • And a Christmas card from Maisy!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Maisy’s Christmas Party is absolutely adorable and the perfect addition to a little one this Christmas.

“I love opening the envelopes in the book and see all the surprises.” – Nikki, Age 5

Nikki loved seeing the surprises in each envelope and to be honest, so did I. It reminded me how the littlr things like writing a letter can add to the Christmas spirit. Maisy also gives all the readers a special surprise at the end too! Therefore, make sure to write the child’s name at the end to make it extra special when you are reading it. 😉

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Maisy’s Christmas Party 10 Gingerbreads out of 5! It won’t disappoint your little one and remember to enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones.

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

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

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt | Christmas Activity Book

“A perfect activity book for Christmas!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Inspired by the animated special based on a beloved classic, this treasure trove of activities, fun facts, and more than a hundred stickers is the perfect gift for a magical time of year.

There’s so much to make, do, and discover in the countdown to Christmas! Whether kids like staying indoors to make crafts or stepping outside to explore, they’ll find plenty of ideas in this gem of a book. Would you like to create a wreath, design your own cards, pr make a special cake for the birds? How about learning some seasonal jokes, looking for winter creatures, or completing a Christmas tree calendar with stickers? With easy-to-follow instructions, charming illustrations, and plenty of holiday spirit, this hands-on guide to making the most of the season will children entertained and inspired.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: Christmas Activity Book is the perfect activity book for the holiday season. It truly does have many wonderful activities to keep your little one entertained. We have tried some of them already but are saving most of them to do during Christmas with our family. Nikki loves the option of coloring your own stickers and it made her feel extra special to say that she colored it on her own.

To pick a favorite activity for me would be very difficult as I love Christmas and all the activities are perfect and easy! The activity book comes with a Christmas Tree Calendar and we will be posting it on our door so that each day Nikki can put a sticker on the tree as our countdown. Such a simple and easy idea to do with a beautiful impact for the child. Oh did we mention there is a golden treat recipe too?! There is just so much fun to be had with this Christmas Activity Book.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 stars out of 5! Christmas fun awaits in this book and as a parent you will have fun too!

This would make a perfect gift for a child between the ages of three and seven. If you would like to purchase one, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for LeapFrog

Who says that ice cream is only for summer?! It definitely doesn’t need to be and that same rule can apply at playtime with the amazing toy by LeapFrog, Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart.

The must have toy of Nikki’s dreams has finally made its way into our home and she couldn’t be happier. We got a chance to review the Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart and we are excited to share our findings with all of you! 😉

Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart Introduction

Learning is sweet when pretending to run your own ice cream cart. Create imaginative and tasty-looking ice cream combinations using delicious ice cream flavors and toppings. This toy is a great way to exercise important memory and sequencing skills.

Some Features

Off/Low/High Volume Control Switch

Slide the Off/Low/High Volume Switch to turn the toy on and select the volume. This is the best feature to have on any child’s toy as a parent. After a long day at work, it can be such a relief for the opportunity to have the option of quiet playtime.

Magic Scooper

Place the Magic Scooper on the top of an Ice Cream Scoop or Topping to easily pick them up. To release the Ice Cream Scoop or Topping, press the button on the side of the Magic Scooper. The scooper will recognize the colors and flavors – that is why it is called a “Magic Scooper.” 😉

Order/Activity Cards

For guided play, insert one of the six double-sided Order/Activity Cards into the Card Reader. Follow the order card instructions to build treats for six animal customers ranging from easy to hard challenges.

Wheels

Push the card around to hear songs and music. This feature is great for role-play fun as you can pretend to run your own ice cream cart.

Syrup Pump

Slide to choose from three flavors, then press down on the pump to hear numbers as you count along.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart by LeapFrog is Nikki’s absolute favorite toy. It is also a great hit when she has playdates at home as everyone wants to play with it. We loved it so much that we had to go buy one for our 1.5 year old goddaughter who also loves playing with it too.

As with all the amazing toys from LeapFrog, we love the learning aspect of the toy as it makes it fun to learn. We love the concept of the ice cream truck and it does provide hours of playtime fun. I have ordered a few ice creams from “Nikki’s Ice Cream Cart” and the best part is that you gain no extra calories from it. 😉

You can really have fun with the Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart as a family too. However, I do need to mention that I rarely get a turn to be the ice cream cart owner as Nikki insists that it is always her turn. This means she really loves this toy and we think your little one will too. It is recommended for children ages two to five years old and it would make a perfect gift.

“This is my favorite toy in the whole entire world and I love screaming ICE CREAM!” – Nikki, Age 5

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 screams out of 5! It is fun, portable, and a whole lot of learning!

To purchase your very own as it would definitely be a great gift idea, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

 

Red Rover Curiosity on Mars

“Red Rover is a gorgeously illustrated tale that explores the vast, inhospitable landscape of Mars and the adventures of the little rover that calls the planet its home.”

Synopsis

Mars has a visitor.

It likes to roam…

observe…

measure…

and collect.

It explores the red landscape – crossing plains, climbing hills, and tracing the bottoms of craters – in search of water and life.

It is not the first to visit Mars.

It will not be the last.

But it might be…the most curious.

Join Curiosity on its journey across the red planet in this innovative and dynamic non-fiction picture book by Richard Ho, illustrated by Sibert Honor winner Katherine Roy.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Red Rover is truly a captivating story that can spark your own curiosity in Mars. Though not human, the titular rover (reminiscent of WALL-E) captures readers’ hearts with its diligence and playful curiosity—while asking a topical question that has enraptured even those outside the scientific community: Who will we send to Mars next?

This children’s book serves as an accessible entry point into discussions about technology and space, the story evokes an atmosphere both foreign and yet intimate. You can’t help but fall in love with it all. We also love the detail that the author put into the story as you can find information on past Curosity that has visited the planet prior to the latest one. You also get to learn about a new one that is anticipated to land in 2021 – cool right?!

You even get some interesting facts about Mars too and your little curious reader will love to learn them all! I know we sure did!

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 rovers out of 5!

To purchase your own copy, click here.

About the Author

Richard Ho is a children’s book author who was once, himself, a child. He is a former journalist and current editor at BrainPOP, an educational website that offers Common Core – aligned animated video content for K-12 audiences. Red Rover is his first book for young readers.

About the Illustrator

Katherine Roy is the award-winning author and illustrator of Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands and How to Be an Elephant: Growings Up in the African Wild. She loves science, history, and big adventures, and is endlessly fascinated by the way things live. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, she currently lives with her husband and young son in Oregon.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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