Tag: Parent Blog

Blue’s Clues & You! Learning Toys Are Woof-errific

“Beloved Blue’s Clues & You is embracing toy time with these woof-errific items that will have your children learning and having fun for hours.” – Momma Braga

Blue’s Clues & You

Blue’s Clues & You follows Blue as she invites viewers to join her and Josh on a clue-led adventure and solve a puzzle on each episode. With each signature paw print, Blue identifies clues in her animated world that propel the story and inspire the audience to interact with John and Blue to figure out Blue’s Clues.

This popular preschool show is great to learn problem-solving and gets viewers engaged and interacting.

It is hard not to fall in love with Blue’s Clues & You! There are some amazing toys featuring this beloved character and we want to introduce you to some that will be popular this holiday season (or anytime of the year for the Blue’s Clues fan in your life). 😉

Tickety Tock Play & Learn Clock

Make time for learning and explore daily routines with the Blue’s Clues & You! Tickety Tock Play & Learn Clock. Press Blue to listen to her friendly barks and watch Tickety Tock wiggle her bells and light up.

Tickety Tock will play music including a song sung by Josh, the host of Blue’s Clues & You! Tickety Tock introduces numbers 1-12, says phrases and asks questions to encourage toddlers and preschoolers to learn and discover. Move the hour hand to explore daily routines including brushing teeth, snack time, bedtime and more. Explore numbers, music and daily routines by sliding the mode switch for a variety of activities. The Blue’s Clues & You! Tickety Tock Play & Learn Clock is a pretend clock that introduces toddlers and preschoolers to time concepts and makes a great gift for Blue’s Clues & You fans.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Tickety Tock Play & Learn Clock is absolutely awesome and can really help children learn the concept of time. We love how we can make this toy part of our daily routines. I have to admit that it helped keep me on track of our activities too! We love the teaching aspect of this toy as it teaches about daily routines, counting and number recognition.

The learning is done through three different modes and depending what your child would like to play with, you can pick the one that fits for the day. Our favourite was the music as it provided interactive activities. The toy itself is captivating to a little one and it is nice and big to make it easier for a child to grasp it. This is one clock that can not be missed in a room – it’s adorable!

We give it, 10 tocks out of 5! “I love learning about time and I love finding out what Blue does at different times. My favourite time is when Blue goes and plays outside at 11 in the morning.” – Nikki, Age 6

The Tickety Tock Play & Learn Clock is recommended for children ages two and up. If you would like to purchase your own amazing Tickety Tock & Learn Clock, click here.

Blue’s Clues & You! Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook

Learn what’s new with Blue and Josh! The Blue’s Clues & You! Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook looks like Josh’s Handy Dandy Notebook from the show. Learn through pretend play with 14 light-up app icons that introduce toddlers and preschoolers to colours, counting, shapes, weather, health and hygiene.

Learn through pretend play with the Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook, just like the one in the show Blue’s Clues & You! 11 light-up app icons introduce toddlers and preschoolers to colours, counting, shapes, weather, health and hygiene. This Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook features phone, music and mail apps for pretend play with Blue, Josh and Mailbox. Press the button with the picture of Blue to listen to a variety of her fun barks. This Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook makes the perfect gift for toddlers and preschoolers who watch the show Blue’s Clues & You!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook is a great way to truly feel like you are part of Blue’s Clues & You! The notebook looks just like the one from the show and if your child is a fan they will absolutely love it! This toy provides great interactive games that encourage imagination, listening skills, movement and early childhood foundations, such as shapes, colours, weather words, numbers and more.

There is so much that you can do on this handy dandy notebook, it truly earns it’s name of handy. 😉 You can chat with Josh and Blue, check email with Mailbox and play music. You can also explore 11 light-up app icons to explore colours, counting, shapes, weather, health and hygiene. Did I mention you can also play games?! My favourite is the exercise game with Magenta – it really got me to shake my tail! 😉

We give it, 10 hands out of 5! “My favourite app is the ABC because I like sounding out the letters of the alphabet and picking a word that starts with that letter.” – Nikki, Age 6

The Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook is recommended for children ages two and up. If you would like to purchase your own amazing Handy Dandy Notebook, click here.

Blue’s Clues & You! Learning Watch

Bring Blue wherever you go with the Blue’s Clues & You! Blue Learning Watch. Bring time concepts to life with an entertaining wristwatch that features Josh’s voice and familiar barks from Blue! Explore daily routines with Blue and Magenta by choosing a time to discover what they want to do.

It’s time to learn all about time with Blue, Magenta and Josh by exploring daily routines and things they want to do at different times of the day. Four interactive learning games introduce counting, shapes and problem solving with Tickety Tock, Slipper Soap, Shovel and Pail. Explore time concepts and build early habits with an alarm clock and timer. Includes seven digital watch faces and a protective lid featuring Blue’s adorable face. This digital wristwatch featuring Blue makes the perfect birthday gift or holiday present for toddlers and preschoolers.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Learning Watch is a great learning tool on the go. It includes four learning games, seven watch faces, alarm clock and timer. Along with all these great features, a child can learn counting, daily routines, shapes and telling time. All great skills to learn!

We love the Learning Watch as it allows kids to take it with them as it’s comfortable to wear on their wrist. We loved picking the watch faces and our favourite is Magenta. It is hard to pick my favourite game as I enjoyed each one. Nikki on the other hand does have a favourite game which is “Spot the Difference.” She loved being able to find the differences in the pictures and I have to admit that she was fairly quick to spot them all. It is overall a great addition to a child’s playtime as it offers fun, learning and of course Blue and friends!

We give it, 10 barks out of 5! “I love playing the games! It is so much fun and it’s easy to take with me everywhere!” – Nikki, Age 6

The Learning Watch is recommended for children ages three and up. If you would like to purchase your own amazing Learning Watch, click here.

We absolutely adore all three of these toys and they truly are great for little ones, especially for Blue’s Clues fans! We love how LeapFrog developed them with education on mind to ensure every child is getting the most out of playtime.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

*These products were provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Tips To Help With A Newborn Baby

A newborn baby is something that can be quite challenging and likely be the most challenging thing you do in your life. As well as it being difficult, though, it presents a new chapter in your life where you are likely to have never experienced love quite like what you feel for your own child. During this time, it can be helpful to have some advice, so here are some tips to help with a newborn baby.

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Always Keep Your Hands Clean

Your baby is a lot different to a child and extremely different to an adult when it comes to their ability to fight out germs and illnesses. With a low immune system it means that they’re more susceptible to being ill, and therefore, it’s essential you’re always keeping your hands clean when handling a newborn. In the same respect, it’s essential you keep away anyone that might be ill because that can be easily passed on when it’s something like the common cold or flu. Family and friends will certainly understand, and most will also be aware that coming into contact with a newborn when you’re ill is always advised against anyway. As a parent, it’s good to make sure you keep your hands clean at all times whenever you’re handling your baby, whether it’s changing a nappy or feeding them.

Support The Baby’s Neck & Head

As a baby’s body is still growing, it’s important to support them in the right way in their early years. This means you want to provide them with as much support on the neck and head as you can. If you’ve ever held a baby before, you’ll always get told to support the head and neck. It’s important to do this because without that support, it could be harming the baby’s body in a number of ways. It can be nerve-racking as a new parent when holding your baby, but it’s definitely something you’ll become quickly used to when it comes to handling your own baby. It might seem terrifying at first, but you’ll learn how to hold it better when you’re with them 24/7!

Spend Plenty Of Time Bonding

These early times in a baby’s life are important because they’ve spent the better part of nine months or less in your body, and now they’re outside of it. Therefore, all their crying is likely due to being in this new environment where the temperature is different, and they’re not being fed as consistently as usual. Take this time to really bond with your child and get in all that skin to skin contact that they’ll be after.

You can take a look online to answer any questions that you might have on caring for your baby when they’re sick, like tips to help your congested baby breathe, and there’s also lots of information on best practices for bonding with your child.

Stock Up On Diapers & Essentials

With a newborn baby, it usually is the case that you’ll need to change their nappy on average ten times a day. And although that might seem impossible, it’s definitely accurate. Therefore, it’s a good idea to really stock up on diapers and essentials before you have your baby. Over that pregnancy period, try and get as many diapers as possible for those stages where they’ll go from newborn to toddler and until they learn to go pee themselves. Essentials like bibs are good to have because you’re going to likely go through a lot of them with all the mess they’ll make. Whether that’s through burping, feeding, or being sick. It’s better for it to go on a bib than on your clothes!

Always Place Babies On Their Back For Sleeping

One of the dangers that comes with babies is when they go to sleep. It’s essential that whenever you lay your baby down to sleep, you put them on their back. This is because it helps reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) that can occur in newborns. You also want to make sure that you avoid putting blankets on your baby until after a twelve month period. This is only because it’s more likely to cause suffocation if the blanket ends up on their face. This is the same for pillows so take caution.

 

Hopefully, these tips will help you with dealing with a newborn for the first time. Take your time, and don’t panic. It’s a new experience and one you’ll learn more about as you go.

 

*Disclosure: The link below is an affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 

How to Give Your Cat a Bath In Five Easy Steps

“How to Give Your Cat a Bath In Five Easy Steps is a delightful and hilarious story that all cat lovers will get a giggle out of.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Step one: fill the bath
Step two: put the cat in the bath
Step three: put shampoo on the cat
Step four: rinse the cat
Step five: dry the cat

Seems simple, right? One problem: the cat has no intention of doing ANY of these things! Watch as the steps keep changing, the cat keeps escaping, the girl keeps eating cookies and the mess keeps escalating. Soon it’s not just the cat who needs a bath — it’s the whole house!

#MelAndNikkiReview

How to Give Your Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps made us giggle out loud. We are cat lovers and we know how much they just “love” baths so we were intrigued on how this clever girl could accomplish such a task. After following all five steps and a few more added, it was quickly learned that the best way to give a cat a bath is to actually let them to do it themselves. 😉

This story is fun, creative and illustrations are delightful. There is great detail in the illustrations and make sure to follow the cat’s path to see where he could be hiding. That was Nikki’s favourite part of the story was to see where he could be hiding.

“Mr. Flea is so funny momma! He does not like baths!” – Nikki, Age 5

We also really like this book as it allows us to work on Nikki’s reading skills. There are a lot of familiar words used that Nikki was able to pick up on which made us love this book even more. We can’t wait until she reads this book all on her own to us. We will just keep practicing. 🙂

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 meows out of 5! It was a purrfect story for our reading lineup and it can be for you and your little one too. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here. This is a great time to brush on some reading while we spend quality family time together. 😉

About the Author

Nicola Winstanley has always believed in the power of stories to bring comfort. She is the author of  The Pirate’s Bed, A Bedtime Yarn and  Cinnamon Baby, which won an honor prize for the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award and was shortlisted for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Nicola lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with her family, one dog and one cat.

About the Illustrator

John Martz is an illustrator, cartoonist and designer. He is the author and illustrator of Evie and the Truth About Witches, Burt’s Way Home and A Cat Named Time and Other Stories, which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award. John is the art director for Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, and he lives in Toronto with his wife and one dog. No cats.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt

“The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt has puff, puff, chug, chug into our hearts and just in time for Easter!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Easter’s here! The Little Engine is on the hunt for eggs, and the clown has written a serie of riddles for her to follow. Will the Little Engine crack the code? She’ll have to work together with her friends and, most importantly, believe in herself!

“Happy Easter,” toots the Little Engine.
“What a great day it is,” says the toy clown.
“Are you ready to have some fun?”
The toy clown has a surprise for his friends.
“It is time for an Easter egg hunt!” he says.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt is delightful and sure to please your young reader. This story is part of the Penguin Young Readers Level 2 which we loved as Nikki got to practice her reading skills with this story. The levels determines which reader it is best suited for and a description is provided at the back to help guide parents. This is the first time we have read a book from the Penguin Young Readers and we absolutely love it! Makes me want to check out many more.

With this particular story we got to follow the amazing and classic character, The Little Engine as she is on an egg hunt with her friends. We love the clues that are given as they search as it gives the reader a chance to guess themselves. I have to say that Nikki was much better with the riddles than I was (I am definitely a little rusty). The illustrations are vibrant and they provide great clues to help the young reader read. We know with much more practice, Nikki will be reading me this story before I go to bed. 😉

We give The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt 5 eggs out of 5! It offers simple text, clever riddles, and adorable illustrations which is perfect for emerging readers. It also provides eggspiring ideas for your own Easter hunt at home. I think this year I will provide riddles for Nikki’s egg hunt so that she can practice reading and have fun at the same time. 🙂

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here as it is great for children ages five to eight.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

The Tooth Fairy VS The Easter Bunny

“The Tooth Fairy VS The Easter Bunny is the perfect story to treat your little ones this Easter season!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Blue is a Tooth Fairy, and he’s ready for his next mission! All he has to do is collect a lost tooth, leave a coin in exchange, and return to the Tooth Fairy Command Center. Easy! But when he gets to the house, he realizes it may not be so simple. That’s because it’s the night before Easter! The Easter Bunny is there to do his job and he makes it clear that he works alone. Can Blue convince the rude rabbit to let him stay, or will he have to hop out in a hurry?

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Tooth Fairy VS The Easter Bunny takes us to an epic battle between Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. A fun, creative story with illustrations to match is what you can expect from this great children’s book. It even offers that dash of humor that will have you and your little ones giggling. The battle is fierce and you wonder who will come out the winner. At the end, everyone is the winner as new friendships are formed. What better way to truly win a battle, but to rise with friends by your side.

We definitely loved this story and as a parent I have to say that I love the detail that the tooth fairy has left a coin under the pillow. It sure is much more manageable then the twenty dollars that some tooth fairies have been leaving behind. 😉 Also loved the letter with photo that Blue and the Easter Bunny left behind for Veda and her brother – perfect detail to complete the story.

“I love how the Tooth Fairy saved Easter and it was a happy ending for everyone.” – Nikki, Age 5

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 10 Easter eggs out of 5! It brought creativity to the magical world of tooth fairies and bunnies that will have you reading it over and over again. It certainly got us “eggcited” for Easter as we celebrate as we social distance this year. But this book sure did bring us some great joy!

This book is perfect for Easter as it will offer the giggles you need after eating all those Easter treats! If you would like to purchase a copy, 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.

Jasmine Green Rescues Series

“Jasmine Green Rescues is a new chapter-book series that will capture the animal lover’s hearts and just anyone who loves great stories.” – Momma Braga

Jasmine Green Rescues Series Synopsis

Meet Jasmine Green, an aspiring veterinarian who adores animals, in a heartwarming new chapter-book series.

Jasmine Green loves animals. Her mother is a veterinarian. Her father is a farmer. And her brother and sister are…well, they’re mostly annoying. But being in the Green family means seeing and taking care of animals all the time. In the first two books of the series, author Helen Peters and illustrator Ellie Snowdon introduce clever, caring Jasmine and some lovabale animals while capturing the beauty and bustle of a family farm. Reminiscent of James Herriot’s and Dick King-Smith’s classic stories, yet thoroughly modern, the Jasmine Green series is perfect for animal-loving readers.

“A Piglet Called Truffle” Synopsis

While helping her mom on a house call, Jasmine visits a new litter of piglets and discovers a forgotten runt hidden underneath its brothers and sisters. Poor little piglet. It’s so tiny that it can’t even drink! Its owner refuses to rescue it. So it’s up to Jasmine to save the pig…secretly. What will happen if someone finds out?

“A Duckling Called Button” Synopsis

While walking in the woods, Jasmine and her best friend, Tom, find a nest of orphaned duck eggs. The eggs need lots of care. Hatching them is hard work. Can Jasmine keep the eggs warm and safe? With a little love and luck, the Green family farm will have a fluffy duckling friend for life.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Jasmine Green Rescues has found a soft spot in my heart! These first two books in this new series, Jasmin Green Rescues, is absolutely wonderful. Both books had a great storyline and full of love for animals. Such sweet stories and I really love Jasmine Green which you can’t help but love. By the end of both books, I wanted a Duck named Button and a Pig named Truffle! 😉

To me personally the book gave us the message on the importance of rescuing animals especially those in trouble and adopting animals from the shelter. That message is so important as adopting should always be the first place to find your furever friend. Reading the books reminded me of the love we had for our late cat, Lily who we adopted and loved so much. I know when we are ready for a new one, we will be taking the adoption route.

If you are looking for a sweet series for your young readers to be immersed with, then I would recommend this one. I loved the extra touches added to the books such as the Q&A on the back with the main character Jasmine and it also gives you a sneak peak at the next upcoming books in the series. It makes me excited to see the next books in the series and I know they will be just as great especially since I loved the first two.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this series 5 stars out of 5! A must read for all young readers aged seven to nine.

To purchase a copy of A Piglet Called Truffle, click here.

To purchase a copy of A Duckling Called Button, click here.

About the Author

Helen Peters is the author of numerous books for young readers that feature heroic girls on farms saving the day. She grew up on an old-fashioned farm in England, surrounded by family, animals, and mud. Helen Peters lives in London.

About the Illustrator

Ellie Snowdon is a children’s author-illustrator from a tiny village in South Wales. She has a master’s in children’s book illustration from Cambridge School of Art. Ellie Snowdon lives in Cambridge, England.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

Emily Windsnap and the Tides of Time

Emily Windsnap and the Tides of Time is another amazing Emily Windsnap adventure awaits for young readers in this latest Liz Kessler book!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

When Emily makes a wish on a magic stone, she gets a glimpse of what the future holds – and it’s a disaster! She tries to make things right, but each trip through time takes Emily to a future where things turn out badly for either the humans of Brightport or the merpeople of Shiprock. Plastic pollutes the ocean, garbage overflows the landfills, and the two towns are no longer getting along.

Emily realizes she can’t save her hometown and the ocean alone, but with help from her best friends, Shona and Mandy, she’ll have to find a way to get humans and merpeople to work together. Will Emily be able to create a better future for everyone, including herself? This new adventure gives readers a glimpse at what Emily and her friends could be like as grown-ups, with a fresh stort that explores how uniting communities can make a future that’s bright for everyone.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Emily Windsnap and the Tides of Time has everything you can expect from the author, Liz Kessler.

Adventure awaits as Emily wishes and travels to the future to save the day. Loved how the story flows and the vivid descriptions of the futures are amazing.

My favorite takeaway from this book is the importance of recycling and keeping our oceans clean. Great message to pass onto tweens in this latest Emily Windsnap story.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 wishes out of 5! It brings all our favorites together: adventure, love, magic, heroine and a great message. A must read for sure!

This novel is great for young readers from 8 to 12. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

About the Author

Liz Kessler is the author of the best-selling Emily Windsnap series, the Philippa Fisher series, the novels North of Nowhere and A Year Without Autumn, and a series of early readers about Poppy the Pirate Dog. She lives in Cornwall, England.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Morning Sunshine!

“Morning, Sunshine! A beautiful story using haiku’s to describe nature that surrounds us as the sun rises to start a new day. A must read story with your little ones.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

As we all wake up, the outside world bustles with life! Discover new facts about familiar creatures – from fluttering moths and scurrying beetles to shy foxes and humming bees – as they go about their morning activities. In the city, the countryside, and the suburbs. Nature can be found everywhere!

A series of haiku takes readers on a close-up, observational look at the amazing abundance of nature right outside our homes. Each stanza focuses on an aspect of the natural world or a creature going about their daily activities as the sun begins to rise. Alongside the haiku, informative text goes into depth about each subject – from how much honey a bee can make to the size of a hummingbird’s egg. Instructions to help kids create their own haiku poems, a unique form of poetry from Japan, as well as a glossary add value for a STEM and Core Curriculum book that can be enjoyed both in the classroom and at home.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Morning, Sunshine! made our reading time so much brighter. We truly enjoyed reading and learning as we went through the book. The book is fun to read especially with the Haiku format.

What is Haiku?

“Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry with seventeen syllables or beats, usually in three lines. The first line has five syllables, the second seven, and the third five. One way to find how many syllables a word has is to clap them out.”

We felt that the haikus used made the book that more special and we love how the author included instructions in the back on how to create your own. So I took it to the test and created my own Haiku and since I work in the construction industry, I thought I should create one of the field.

That was my fun attempt and now we will take what we have learned and apply it to our daily adventures to see what else we can come up with. Once you get the hang of it, it truly is simple to do. All you need to do is watch the world around and be inspired to write what you see following the pattern above with the syllables.

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On one side of the page there is the Haiku and then on the other side you have an amazing description of the creature. I think the most interesting piece for me was learning about moths, it was absolutely fascinating to learn that they have markings that warn potential predators to stay away. Nikki’s favorite was learning about snails and how their mucus helps protect them from sharp objects they might slide over. It was just an amazing story to read and the book also provides a glossary in the back – very helpful!

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 sunshines out of 5! This book offers so much learning for children and parents. We loved reading it so much and the illustrations are absolutely perfect. If you would like to purchase a copy of Morning, Sunshine! Click here. Great children’s book for children ages four to eight as it offers so much learning opportunities.

About the Author

Keely Parrack came from the United Kingdom to the United States for fun twenty years ago, and liked it so much she’s still here doing what she loves best: writing poetry, picture books, and young adult novels and motivating kids to love reading and to be confident creative writers. Her work has been published in The Christian Science Monitor, The Contra Costa Times, Patch, Spider magazine, and Mothering.com, and her short story (written under the pen name Keely James) “Listening to the Leaves” appears in the anthology Simple Pleasures of Friendship: Celebrating the Ones We Love. She has been a science and language arts specialist and teacher at an elementary school in inner-city Nottingham, UK, a children’s center director in San Francisco, and the coregional advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, San Francisco North and East Bay. Parrack now fills her time working for her local indie bookstore, tutoring kids in creative writing, and designing haiku cards for her friends and family. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, son, and a very demanding cat.

About the Illustrator

John Bajet is currently a designer on the Cartoon Network Show Tom & Jerry; art director at Renegade Animation; and the illustrator for Baby Shark, Planting Seeds of Kindness, If We Can Do What Animals Do, and Bigger than Baseball.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

How to be Social While Social Distancing

“Social distancing or physical distancing is a set of infection control actions intended to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease. The objective of social distancing is to reduce the probability of contact between persons carrying an infection and others who are not infected, so as to minimize disease transmission, morbidity and ultimately, mortality.” – Wikipedia

With the current pandemic that the world is currently facing, we have been instructed to practice social distancing and with great reason. As we see numbers rise in positive cases all over the world, we can’t help but fear for the safety of our loved ones and of ourselves. We have been doing social distancing for over a week now and we will continue to do so until we are told it is safe to interact once again.

Social Distancing

Social distancing isn’t too hard for me to do personally as I don’t mind being in the comfort of my own home but as a parent of a social five-year-old, I know the difficult time will arrive depending on how long we need to stay indoors. This got me thinking on how people interact socially. Prior to this pandemic, I would notice people constantly using their technology devices and not interact with people right in front of them. Now here we are in a state of emergency and people are craving the need to interact in person. Irony at its finest if you ask me.

It also got me thinking why not use this technology that we seem to not be able to live without while we are with people and use it to interact while keeping our distances. Seems simple, doesn’t it?! We implemented a few things in our home to keep social in hopes it will inspire others to do the same while we all observe “social distancing.”

Social Media

The good old social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. These mediums are working well so far and it’s a great way to stay connected with all your family and friends. We have been sharing light stories and posts as a way to bring a smile to people’s faces during these difficult and uncertain times.

Another way to use social media is to use private messaging on Facebook to create group chats. I am part of one right now where we share pictures within our group of our kids, food or just anything positive. It is a great way to remember that there is a world of people out there loving you even if they are not in the same room as you. I have also been private messaging some close friends who are really down with everything going around as I want to make sure they know they are not alone and that they are very loved. You would be surprised on the positive impact that this can have on someone with anxiety and depression. Every little bit of compassion we can reflect onto others does help as I know it has helped one of my good friends.

Phone Calls/Text Messaging

We have been finding ourselves calling and text messaging more to check in with our loved ones. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t call my parents to see how they are doing. When I first got married my husband would ask, “Why do you call your parents every day?” My answer was always the same and it still applies to this day more than ever. “My parents are aging with each passing day and their health status can change from one moment to the next. I always want to make sure that I make that phone call so I can rest easy knowing that they are ok.”

I think it is important to check-in at least once a week or every few days just to make sure that the most vulnerable are doing well. It doesn’t cost us to check-in and it’s the kindness that we all need to be surrounded with. If you don’t like calling people then you can always send a text message especially if the recipient knows how to use text messaging. 😉

Video Talk

There are many apps that allow you to talk over video which is our favorite thing to do. Nikki loves to see people over video as it gives her that social interaction that she has been missing. We are not with them physically but we can see them which is so comforting for everyone. I have encouraged these videos with our close family members who have been calling us. When I see Nikki talking to her cousins or a friend through Facebook Messenger, her face lights up with so much happiness and I am truly thankful for all this technology that is at our fingertips.

We are able to interact with all our loved ones in ways that couldn’t be done many years ago and we should be thankful that we can. My sister even mentioned that we could have a girls night at home by video calling each other in a quiet room in the house. I thought this was a great idea and now it is just a matter of time of actually doing it. This is a great alternative from going out.

That is what we are doing to stay social in a social distancing time. You can stay social and connected by using technology. We don’t need to physically be together to know that we care about one another. Remember that we are doing this to protect ourselves from this pandemic. It may seem like an inconvenience and yes this will impact the economy but it will save lives. So let us stay calm, show compassion, be kind and we will get through this together.

To protect yourself from the Corvid-19 virus, there are steps that you can do and if we all do them we will be on the right path.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Momma Braga’s Roll-Up Lasagna Recipe

Pinterest is such a wonderful medium that offers such great ideas and it seems that I found some extra time on my hands so I ended up looking at some recipes. I came across one that took the lasagna and literally rolled it up!

So I decided why not take my lasagna recipe and try their idea out! The end result was absolutely delicious!

Lasagna

INGREDIENTS

  • Ground Chicken (or Ground Turkey or Ground Beef)
  • 1 Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Lasagna Pasta
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Paprika
  • 4 Tablespoons of red wine
  • Parsley Flakes

DIRECTIONS

  • Marinate your meat (which ever one you prefer to do. We used ground turkey this time.) prior to cooking.
    • Wash meat well.
    • Place meat in a bowl and add the following ingredients; salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, 4 teaspoons of red wine (the wine added is what sets this recipe apart from many). Measurements for the ingredients are based on what you normally use in your meat marinating.
  • Cut the onions up into small pieces.
  • Once the onions are cut, place them in a pan with some olive oil. On low heat cook the onion and tomato until the onions are a golden color. Then add your meat.
  • With ground meat you will need to keep breaking it apart and stirring it to ensure it gets cooked. Once the meat is cooked remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon to ensure that the olive oil is drained.
  • Place the ground meat in a bowl and mix some tomato sauce.
  • In another pot, fill it with water and add a drizzle of olive oil with a dash of salt and the add your lasagna pasta. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and fill it with cold water to cool down the pasta.
  • Then the roll-up begins! Start with some tomato sauce and spread to cover the bottom of the lasagna tray.
  • Take one of the lasagna noodles (make sure it is dry) and place it in the tray. Add some tomato sauce, then add your ground meat and then some cheese.

  • Then carefully roll it up slowly and place it at the far end of the tray in order to do more lasagna roll-ups. Continue until you have made enough roll-ups that you need.

  • Once it is all rolled up, use some tomato sauce to cover the top of the noodles and then add some cheese (yes please!)

  • Bake in preheated oven for approx. 45 minutes (or until the cheese is melted to your liking). Remove from oven, and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving and you can add some parsley flakes.

And there you have it, Momma Braga’s roll-up lasagna! Give it a try and let me know what you think of it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga