Tag: Parents

LeapStart 3D Awards The Gift of Reading

“LeapStart 3D is a tool that awards little ones with the gift of reading and we love it!” – Momma Braga

LeapStart® 3D is a complete learning system that magically brings books to life with audio and then enhances the learning with corresponding 3D-like animations.

There is so much to learn with this amazing tool and of course our good friends at LeapFrog are the ones bringing it to us.

Let’s leap right on in and give you some of our highlights and where it lands on the #MelAndNikkiReview.

It’s All In The Details

The fine details is what sets products apart and LeapFrog did not miss a beat with this one.

Activities Galore

It features touch-and-talk games, creative challenges, problem-solving puzzles, math mazes and more for children between the ages of two and seven. There is more than 30 activities in every book – amazing! Talk about keeping the little ones entertained and learning all at the same time.

Animation

This detail is super adorable and just enhances the learning experience. The 3D-like animations helps kids better understand the learning concepts. It is also a great way to engage the child as the animations are a great addition.

Multiple Book Levels

You have the option of selecting books that fit to your child’s level and what areas you would like them to learn. We absolutely love this option and there are more than 25 different activity books that you can pick from. You can progress from preschool to first grade. *Please note that you do need to connect the system to your computer in order to download the books onto the learning system.

Abundance of Learning

You can expect lots of learning and fun to be had with the LeapStart® 3D. Each book seamlessly blends fun with skills from problem solving to learning to read that are important to a child’s development for a comprehensive introduction to key concepts.

“With LeapStart 3D, children engage with real books packed with activities to build key skills from counting and problem solving to phonics and vocabulary. LeapStart 3D adds a new dimension to learning as children can visualize the meaning of words and learn about shapes and geometry concepts with 3D-like animations.” – Carolyn James, PhD, LeapFrog Literacy Expert

#MelAndNikkiReview

LeapStart® 3D has been an amazing tool in our household as we have been working with it for about a full month. We have seen the growth in Nikki’s reading skills and her love for reading has doubled since we started LeapStart® 3D. We always think that products provide a skill to us; however, we are saying that LeapStart is awarding us with such an amazing skill. To see your child with pure joy in their eyes when they recognize a word and read it out loud…it is priceless and so awarding to hear!

Nikki loves using the pen to go over the words to learn each one. This helped her learn and grasp the sounds of each letter. Then she was able to put all the sounds together to read the words. We still have a lot more practicing to do but she is able to do more now than she ever has before. We feel that we got the best Christmas present ever and that is the gift of reading. We love all the different book options available and with all of Nikki’s favorite characters too! She doesn’t know it yet but for Christmas there are a few more books for her to read under the tree. 😉

LeapFrog truly put in a lot of time and planning to execute LeapStart 3D as it does award children and parents with an amazing tool. It is reassuring to know as a parent that there are products so great that can offer us a helping hand in the development of our children. This is why we give the LeapStart® 3D 10 stars out of 5! It is fun, compact, operates on battery power and has loads of learning at the fingertips of your child. It is also very safe to use. We love the use of technology but it is done in a simple way. It isn’t over powering and does not take away from the basics of learning. We highly recommend it! It would make the perfect gift this holiday season or any other time of the year.

Thank you LeapFrog for making this momma feel so much better about her daughter’s learning progress! If you would like to purchase one, click here. We truly do love it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

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5 Creepy But Family-Friendly Spots You Can Visit When Traveling In Asia

Traveling is an excellent way to lose stress. Most of the time, people enjoy traveling to other countries because they get to experience a lot of new things. Aside from the sights and sounds, people often get to experience a new culture. The food is also a good reason why most people travel to different countries.

To make vacations even better, it’s a good idea to bring your family along. As a family, you can do a lot of things together. One unique way to spruce up a family vacation is by going to a family-friendly location with a haunted or creepy past. One particular part of the world has an abundance of such places. Enter the vast Asian continent.

Asia is full of countries that have their fair share of awesome places to visit. Japan, the Philippines, China, and other Asian countries will be featured in this list. Don’t worry about the curses and creatures that’ll hurt you on your family vacation. Rest assured that every location mentioned here is an official tourist spot, and is perfectly safe to visit.

We do, however, encourage tourists to follow their tour guides. It’s also best that tourists should refrain from being unruly in certain places. There are also rules and regulations that tourists should follow when visiting a country. Without further ado, here are some of the scariest yet, family-friendly spots you can visit while you’re in Asia.

Aokigahara Forest, Minamitsuru District – Japan

Aokigahara Forest is also known as “The Suicide Forest.” The forest is well known to both foreigners and locals. Many people often enter the forest to commit suicide. The Suicide Forest is real. Most of the time, certain areas of the forest are usually littered with the belongings owned by the people who die there.

Tour guides often advise tourists to stay close to each other as there are also ghosts that are rumored to haunt the forest. Creepiness aside, the forest is a sanctuary for endemic flora and fauna. The forest also leads to two lava caves, Narusawa Ice Cave and Fugaku Wind Cave, which makes Aokigahara Forest a good starting point to visit Mount Fuji.

Old Diplomat Hotel, Baguio City – Philippines 

One of the most haunted places in the world is located in the famous summer capital of the Philippines. The Old Diplomat Hotel in Baguio City is home to apparitions ranging from headless priests, white ladies, and Japanese soldiers. The hotel is a known tourist spot and is open to the public. Again, follow your tour guide’s rules and stay close to your group.

Aside from the Old Diplomat Hotel, Baguio City has lots of shops that are worth visiting. The city is also home to the Philippine Military Academy. Most tours also include a visit to the famed academy. If you and your family are lucky, you can witness PMA Cadets doing their fancy drills.

Hanging Coffins, Sagada – Philippines

Approximately 150 kilometers north from Baguio is Sagada. In the Philippines, Sagada is one of the most romantic towns that you can visit. Due to nature, the views, quiet restaurants, and the warm locals, Sagada is a go-to place on your list.

Not everything is romantic with Sagada, though. Somewhere in the sleepy town, lies Echo valley. In this valley, indigenous Igorot tribes still practice their unique way of burying their dead. Upon nearing the place, you can immediately see coffins hanging from the limestone cliff walls. These pine coffins are suspended using primitive wires and ropes.

This unique tradition is not lost among the Igorot tribes. Although Christianity and strict government laws regulate this practice, certain members of the Igorot tribe can and are still buried this way.

Morgan House, West Bengal – India

Since India was a former colony of the British, it’s not uncommon to see British architecture in most buildings in India. There are even old structures that were built during this period. One of these buildings is the Morgan House, located in Kalimpong, West Bengal.

The Morgan House is a mansion built by George Morgan in the early 1930s. George Morgan was an English jute baron. In the past, the estate was used as a summer getaway for the baron and his family. Since his death, ownership of the house has passed on several times, due to Mr. Morgan dying without leaving an heir.

Morgan House is now owned by the WBTDCL or the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Limited. The house is now a famous hotel for tourists. A lot of people consider Morgan House to be haunted. Those who brave staying in the hotel often report seeing the wife of Mr. Morgan. If you want to know more, you can visit mysteriousheartland.com. From there, you can also take a look at other haunted locations to visit.

The Forbidden City, Beijing – China

Beijing is home to one of the seven wonders of the world. When you visit Beijing, be sure to visit the Great Wall of China. When you arrive, you’ll be thrilled with the activities that are readily available for tourists. However, Beijing is also where the Forbidden City is located.

The Forbidden City is laced with a dark history, which is why a lot of people consider it to be haunted. Due to the countless executions done by the Ming Dynasty, most people often see apparitions of the departed roaming the streets.

Although the palace complex is off-limits to the public, one can still hear the horrors that roam the insides of the building. They say that on particularly dark nights, you can listen for the faint cries of a woman who died inside.

Takeaway

The places mentioned above are perfect tourist spots that you can visit in Asia. Although these places are creepy and haunted, you can still safely visit them to know and experience the past behind these places.

 

Celebrating the Season with Santa and Aqua-Tots Swim Schools

The spirit of the holiday season came alive with a splash this past weekend at Aqua-Tots Swim School in Burlington. The Swim with Santa Event is one of the many perks offered with your membership at Aqua-Tots and we love it!

The event brings families together as they embrace fun-filled activities such as crafts, holiday story corner, photos with Santa and of course the famous Swim with Santa.

Holiday Crafts

The holiday season is a great time to embrace and share our crafting skills. This was one of Nikki’s favourite activities as she had so many different craft options to do. Her favourite was making tree ornaments which she opted to bring all home with her to place on our tree.

Nikki also made a festive bracelet that she wore proudly at the Swim with Santa Event. It was hard to get Nikki to a different section as lots of fun was had at the craft table.

Holiday Story Corner

Another favourite activity for Nikki was the holiday story corner. She absolutely loved all the holiday stories and loved to interact with the story teller. Ask a question and Nikki will be the first to respond.

Who doesn’t love a good holiday story, right?!

Photo Credit: Aqua-Tots Swim School Burlington

Photos with Santa

Santa came by to say hello to all the amazing swimmers prior to stepping into the pool. Everyone had a chance to sit on Santa’s lap to take a photo and tell him what they would like for Christmas or share a Christmas wish.

We loved the set up of Santa’s photo area and there was even a box by his side for any Santa letters. Nikki really loved the set up and wanted a photo of herself in Santa’s spot. I guess she wanted to be Santa for a bit while he was getting ready for his swim.

Swim with Santa

Santa came by the pool area and dipped his feet to interact with all the excited children around him. This part is the highlight of the event as everyone is always excited to see Santa in a different type of element such as the swimming pool.

This part is one of my favourite parts too as you see families swim together. Everyone always has so much fun and you see how proud the children are to show their parents the amazing swimming skills they have learned.

Overall, we always have a great time at all the special events that are hosted by Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. We love this perk as it provides an opportunity to get together as a family and as a community. It truly embodies the spirit of the season and it continues on throughout the year.

If you are looking for the perfect Christmas gift this year, think about the gift of swimming. Gift certificates are available. Just give them a call to get set up. Remember that these events are available to you for free with your membership.

Build, refine and stay sharp all year-round with Aqua-Tots. Make sure to check them out at the Mississauga or Burlington locations to get started.

Until next time…Just keep swimming! 😉

Momma Braga

 

This article is a paid partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. Views and opinions expressed here belong to Momma Braga.

 

 

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.

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.

A Bundle Of Duties Before The Bundle Of Joy: Preparing Your Home For A Baby

Pexels – CC0 Licence

As if you don’t have enough to do already! Of all the work that comes along in preparing yourself for the impending birth of your child, you’ve also got to look at the environment that your baby is going to inhabit. Put simply, your home is the most important environment, not just to nurture and raise your child, but also to ensure that you have everything in place so after you come home from the hospital, you can hit the ground running. But as with every parent that goes on the journey of having a child, they seldom feel prepared. So, let’s give you a couple of hints to ensure that the home is prepared in every single way.

Give Your Home A Safety Exam

As much of a shock to the system as having a baby is, we have to remember that when our child gets going and learns how to crawl, opens cabinets, and gets into all manner of mayhem, that will be a bigger shock to the system! It’s important to give your home a safety exam, not just so the baby is safe but also you need to fix those little house duties that you’ve not been able to get round to because of numerous trips to the hospital. That way you will ensure that the home is safe for the baby, but also, an appliance won’t give up on you when you need it the most! There is nothing worse than in the middle of the night when you are trying to sterilize a bottle with some boiling water, but the electricity has gone off everywhere, and not only do you not have light, but the kettle doesn’t work, and there’s a screaming baby to boot!

Have a look at your property and take yourself out of the equation for a second. Perhaps you lived in this property for a while, so while you think it’s safe, what is it like for a baby where a dangling switch or open plughole seems like a really exciting prospect? There are things that you need to do, such as locking medication and cleaning products away into secure cabinets, but also when you are looking at the property, and attempt to ascertain its safety, you shouldn’t underestimate the potential for disaster. When you live in a property that is, at best, temperamental, that one little watermark on the wall may harbor a bigger problem. If this is the case, it’s important to get in contact with a plumber, like on mrrooter.ca/mississauga to deal with the issue as soon as possible. Making sure that your home is safe will be easier to achieve before the baby comes along. You may think you’ve got plenty of time, but babies become mobile overnight, almost literally! You don’t want to be full of regrets.

Rearrange Your Space

Another thing you need to do right now because you have the time and the luxury is to arrange the space, not just so the baby paraphernalia has a place to live, but you may also want to turn the space into something more practical. The kitchen is a great example. Look at the counter, and see what can be stored. If you are someone that doesn’t like a lot of mess, finding a cabinet for all the baby stuff is a good idea. This means you’re going to have to rearrange the space and perhaps look at where older things might go. This may be part of the nesting phase, where you are compelled to clean the property and rearrange everything in preparation for your baby’s arrival. But it’s common sense to make everything easily accessible. You’ve got to prepare for the fact that you won’t be sleeping much, which makes the littlest of tasks an almighty chore. You don’t want to be rooting around for things in the fridge when there are so many expired jars in the way! Everything has to be accessible.

Planning For Late Nights, Early Mornings, And No Sleep

When you hear so much about the lack of sleep, this may very well be your biggest fear. As you start to get closer to the due date, your sleep may actually tail off, and when people tell you that you need to get as much rest as possible, this may seem more than impossible. And this means that when you are making the home ready for you and the baby, you have got to think about making life easier overall. When you lack sleep, your decision-making can prove troublesome. But this means you’ve got to learn the cliche of “sleeping when the baby sleeps.” But, when you can’t sleep because you’re concerned about the baby (which is very normal), you need a lot of home comforts around. If you decide to breastfeed, you need quick access to all the home comforts. This means you may very well be relying on Netflix in the middle of the night, but also, you will learn the art of making coffee with one hand! One of the greatest tools you can use is an insulated mug. Drinking a simple cup of coffee may take in excess of 45 minutes on certain days so having a nice mug of coffee is one of life’s little home comforts. It is those little things that will keep you going, especially during stressful times.

Keeping On Top Of House Duties

They say that during the first couple of weeks of a baby’s life that all cleaning goes out of the window! And while you may have plenty of visitors, and you want to make the home as presentable as possible it may very well be impossible to even put the vacuum around! But keeping on top of house duties is something that can be done, just as long as you plan better. You may find that doing the dishes is impossible, and while there’s no shame in leaving the sink to pile up, there is also no shame in asking visitors to help out because you haven’t had the chance! When you are are are sleep deprived, and you would like to tidy the house, you’ve got to work smart instead of hard. A handheld vacuum will work wonders because it’s a quick method of lifting up bits of lint and dirt. That way, you can keep the house vaguely presentable. But remember, even if you are house proud, people will understand that you have a baby to look after, so things can fall by the wayside. But there are little hacks you can take advantage of. The biggest one is getting a bouncy seat or a carrier, and doing a little bit of housework with them strapped in. All the motion could put the baby to sleep, so it’s win-win!

And also, while you might not think that you’re able to prepare for keeping the house clean, you can certainly minimize the overall duties by looking at your household tasks and see what you can do in the run-up to the baby being born! A great example is the cooking! Because eating a meal is a 30-minute task, and one you have to do standing up, you’ve got to think how difficult it would be to even cook a meal in the run-up to dinner time! Batch cooking is a lifesaver. A couple of months before the baby is born, start to compile meals that can be cooked, portioned up, and put in the freezer. There are some recipes on purewow.com/food to give you some inspiration. It’s also worth stocking the cupboards with perishables, so even if you have a spare 50 minutes to rustle up something, at the very least, you can have a tin of soup, or something quick. Eating quick is the name of the game, but you also need to eat healthily. Batch cooking is the best way to prepare meals that have a wider variety of vitamins and minerals. It will be crucial when the baby comes along, and you need that little bit of extra goodness in your diet. Because, after all, we can very easily rely on takeout and other unhealthy foodstuffs to see us through a tough time. This is an incredibly bad habit to get into because it may take a long time to get out.

You may wonder how you even have time to do all of this! But you will soon realize the benefit of hindsight if you don’t get underway. Preparing your home for the baby isn’t just about a nurturing environment (and padlocking everything), but it’s about making sure that you are able to thrive. You want the place to be a loving home, and you will start to get things underway, and you may even realize that you aren’t as prepared as you think. This is why now is the perfect opportunity to get the home up to speed. A baby is a wonderful thing, and it will change your life, as well as how you view yourself, but you also want to enjoy those precious few weeks. If you end up stressing about things around the house, rather than enjoying time with your little one, it will feel like a waste.

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.