Tag: Vacation

Naptime Just Got More Comfortable with OC Daisy Napbags

As a stay-at-home mom, naptime is one of my favourite times of the day as it is the only chance I get to finish things around the home or have some “me time.” When naptime approaches Nikki requests her pillow and “blanky” that she needs to have with her. This usually has me running to get what she needs as I need to seize the naptime opportunity. In my household it can be a whole production to get Nikki to sleep.

So when I was introduced to the OC Daisy Napbag, I was extremely excited to try it out! The Napbag is a double-sided fabric sleeping bag with an attached pillow and carry case.

OC Daisy was formed in 2007 in Orange County, California by Karen, a veteran mom of four and Lisa, a veteran mom of two (Bff’s and neighbors) with a mission to create super high-quality, durable, and unique products for families. Both of these amazing super moms worked tirelessly to ensure that an affordable and great product as the Napbag was available to all.

So how did they come up with the idea? Lisa stated, “It all began when a friend of mine asked me to make her daughter a custom sleeping bag that she could take to preschool. The school required her to bring a pillow and blanket if she stayed for naptime. As a seamstress I was able to design a sleeping bag with an attached pillow. I even took it to our local embroidery shop to have her name personalized on it. The sleeping bad was a hit at the preschool and soon all of the other moms wanted one for their kids. Karen, who I was teaching to sew at the time, saw what I was sewing and really liked the idea. Conversation began and that is when we began a partnership and created OC Daisy.”

After years of trial and error they have come up with the perfect Napbag with many neat features such as the attached carry bag, a variety of designs to choose from, crawl-in blanket sleeping bag style and a pocket to carry a special item your child loves. So now it is ready for the world!

So now it was time for us to try it out but first my daughter Nikki had to pick one and she picked the Candy Print Napbag. We had her name embroidered which we thought was such a great personal touch!

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We have been using the Napbag for about four weeks now and we simply love it! It is extremely comfortable, cozy, and easy to use. Not to mention that it is easy to transport and store. In addition, cleaning is super easy (you just remove the pillow and pop it in the washing machine). It is also very convenient to have around and it can be used for naptime, sleepovers, vacations, and even for naptime at preschool. Sounds great, doesn’t it?!

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Well, OC Daisy gets even better! As many of my readers noticed that I love companies that help the community. I was thrilled to see that OC Daisy partners with charities, preschools and other organizations to raise funds for issues related to women and children. To learn more about who they partner with, click here. I think it is amazing that not only do they provide great quality products for families but they also give back. Thank YOU OC Daisy!

Nikki and I give the Napbag 5 ZZZZZ’s out of 5. We highly recommend this product to any family and this would make a great gift idea to any child! We have even taken the Napbag on our latest mini vacation and Nikki feels comfort when she takes it with her. Now I wonder if they will be making a Momma Napbag?! 😉

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To purchase a gorgeous Napbag, please click here. Please note that the pricing is in US dollars but can be purchased from anywhere in the world.

Photo Credit: OC Daisy Napbag
Photo Credit: OC Daisy Napbag

Make sure to follow OC Daisy Napbag on social media (FacebookTwitter and Instagram) as I am expecting much more from them!

Until next time…..Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga
#MelandNikkiReview
#napbag

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4 Tips on Visiting Legoland with a Toddler

Legoland Discovery Centre Toronto is located in Vaughan, Ontario. They first opened their doors in 2013 so it is fairly new. I have always been intrigued to see what Legoland was all about and thought this would be great for us to do on one of our family’s staycation days this summer.

So that is exactly what we did and after feeling a little overwhelmed with our trip to Legoland, I thought it would be great to put a few tips together for other families with toddlers who may want to visit.

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  1. Purchase Tickets in Advance

It is highly recommended to purchase your tickets in advance as the website states that it is the only way to guarantee entry. There are two types of tickets, Online Saver Ticket ($15.40 CDN each person) and Flexi Ticket ($24 CDN each person). With the online saver ticket you need to select the date and time of your arrival and the Flexi ticket does not restrict you to a particular day and time. There is also the option of the Annual Pass which I would recommend if you are planning to visit often. Children 2 years old and under are free.

With a toddler it can be difficult to select a definite time and therefore we went with the Flexi Ticket as it offered us the flexibility that we needed.

  1. The Layout

Not sure why I was expecting anything in particular with regards to the layout of the centre but I did and felt overwhelmed with it. When you first arrive you need to check in and then you have the option to take a photo that you can later purchase as a keepsake.

You then enter Legoland and you first start off in a room where you are greeted by a staff member. There are some displays in this first room and then the first line-up to the very first ride begins. After this ride, you will see the photo booth where you can purchase your photos (you may also get a picture from the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride).

The neat part after the photo booth is Miniland which was my favourite as it was a mini version of Toronto’s landmarks made by Lego. After travelling through Miniland, you have arrived at EVERYTHING!

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Everything else is all in one big room which was the overwhelming part for us and of course for our toddler who didn’t know where to go first.

Therefore be prepared for this type of layout as it may save you from being disappointed.

  1. Check the Map before Arriving

The website provides a map and overview of all of their activities/attractions. I recommend to check it out first to see what they have to offer. It can also help guide you when you get there as not all activities are available for toddlers as there are height requirements. Here are some attractions with restrictions to be mindful of: Kingdom Quest Laser Ride child must have the ability to walk unassisted and children over 130cm may ride without an adult. Melin’s Apprentice child must be at least 90cm and must be accompanied by an adult. Children over 120cm may ride without an adult. Lego Fire Academy & the Lego Construction Site child must be between 90cm and 140cm to enter. All children must also wear socks in this attraction.

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Photo Credit: Legoland
  1. A must visit, Duplo Village

Duplo Village takes up a tiny section of Legoland and is the area that seems to really cater to toddlers from 1 to 5 years of age. The blocks are big to build with and there is a slide in this area that they can go down.

This area would be a recommended spot for toddlers as it will be fun for them.

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These are my four top tips on visiting Legoland with toddlers. Overall, our daughter did have fun but to say that we would go again, not likely. Maybe when our daughter is over 90cm tall she may enjoy it more as there will be a lot more that she can do.

In the meantime, we will enjoy other activities that will be more accessible for her age and height. Legoland might be great for older children and children who love lego. It just wasn’t good for us at this time but maybe it will be one day.

Until next time…..Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

3 Big Baby Steps to Taking a Vacation Break from your Babies

By Michele Giacomini

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You love your kids. No one would ever dispute that. You work hard to provide for them and care for them, and there’s pretty much nothing you wouldn’t do for your sweet cherubs. You’re a Power Parent, pure and simple. You do it all, you do it well and you do it 24/7/ But let’s face it, being a parent can be exhausting!

Many parents find it hard to take a break from taking care of their children (We’re talking full-on vacation here!). Whether it be the cost, the time, or the unsurity of leaving your babies behind, the arguments for taking a vacation sans kiddos are countless. BUT YOU SHOULD!

Much like weekend break from the work week, parenting is a tough job that moms and dads alike need to put on a temporary hold occasionally, so they can continue to care for their children with gusto. So if a traditional vacation is not in your near future, why not try for a mini-vacay!

Here are some pointers for parents needing to press the pause button on parenting.

Try some of these solutions to some of the top excuses, and you’ll find yourself taking a relaxing break before you know it.

Baby Step 1 Tip – Funding a Flop

Pinching those pennies pays off. While it would be nice to make an escape for a week or two, the reality is, it can be expensive to be gone so long. Here’s a great compromise, Casinos!

Now I know what you are thinking, but I am NOT advocating that you go hit the tables to help fund your next vacation getaway. What I am sharing is that one doting mom I know signed up at her local Indian Casino to be a “member.” When she shared this with me I was surprised, because she’s not a gambler. She explained that she gets great overnight deals that include drastically reduced accommodations, discounts for the restaurants, and full access to the pool and fitness center. She says it’s like her own “mini resort getaway” right down the road.

For about $100 US she sometimes gets a one or two night stay, and dinner out. Most importantly, her pocketbook hasn’t been hit too hard, and she looks forward to going home to her kids, refreshed and renewed.

You can also check with other larger hotel chains that allow you to sign up for deal notifications.

Another parent friend shared her “recycling” tip. She saves recycling money in a jar, and when the jar fills up, it’s BREAK TIME. Her kids know it too, and they look forward to her overnight escape as they generally get to go to their grandma’s house for a proper spoiling. WIN-WIN!

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Baby Step 2 Tip – Not Enough Time in the Day

Less is more. If time is an issue, plan to carve out what you can. If that means instituting Date Night or Date Day once a month, do what you need to in order to make that happen! We all know that dates don’t have to be extravagant and expensive in order to be incredible! So pack a Sunset picnic, or grab some bikes and hit the trails, or maybe go take a scenic hike. The down time will be well worth the effort. Plus, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be ready for weekend getaways in no time!

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Baby Step 3 Tip – Nobody does it Better

Nobody’s perfect, and that’s okay. We know that when it comes to parenting, you do it best. But your babies need a break from you too, so call in The B Team. Hey! If the professional sports teams can do it, you can too!

Who could be your B Team Players? Trusted adults, of course! Try trusted relatives or trusted friends. Some mom groups set up weekend swaps, so that they can watch each other’s children while couples and single parents alike can get a well-deserved break (and some of those breaks end up being “staycations”).

Regardless if you take a two day break, a one day break or just half a day, the benefits of the recharge not only benefit you and your partner, but they benefit your children too. Remember, baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. Cuz when mama’s happy, everyone’s happy.

 

Michele “Miss OMG” Giacomini is a Lifestyles Writer and the author of Looking for B.O.B. (Brightsides of Bull$#!+). She writes about everything chocolate, wine, food, travel and shoes…for everything else, she just makes fun of it. You may follow her on her blog at DayTripperMag.com or Twitter: @DayTripperMag1

OMG #2

 

 

Eight Travel Tips for Tots (and the Parents that Drag them Places)

*Special Guest Post by O. Michele Giacomini

It’s that time of year when parents stress out over planning and packing for a vacation, for which they will attempt to bundle up the entire house, including their kiddos, to take on their awesome adventure. Much of that stress comes from worrying about what to do with the kids WHILE travelling. But there’s no need to worry. Follow my tips and you can be sure to have a pleasant and memorable journey of joy!

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Before we begin with fun tips, let me share a little logistics tip that has served me very well over the many, many years of travelling with my children:

Book flights, train travel, etc. during your child’s natural nap time times. If your children sleep through the night well, then truly consider booking an overnighter redeye flight, or train travel. You may be a little grumpy the next day from lack of a good night’s sleep, but your child won’t be, so that makes everything better. Remember, a cranky kid makes a cranky family.

IT’S ALL FUN & GAMES…

Tip #1 Safety in Numbers Sit near other families in airports and train stations. I recommend camping out in a corner space where you can corral the kids so they can play until their heart’s delight. If you’re next to some other families, you might even make a new friend or two in the process!  (BONUS TIP: Pack a lightweight tablecloth to spread on the ground to play on, and bring a small pack of baby wipes—they really come in handy for all sorts of uses)!

Tip #2 Video Games

While I am not a proponent of these handheld devices on a regular basis, they are great for children while travelling. Keep those devices muted, and everyone around will think you have the best behaved children in the universe! I recommend the old devices. The only drawback is, you might find yourself fighting over these games with your child if you long to play Donkey Kong. Remember to be a good sharer!

Tip #3 Carry-on Chaps

One carry-on that your family brings should be dedicated to travel games, books, crayons, notebooks to draw in, and be sure to throw some stickers. Please remember to pack snacks, lots and lots and lots of snacks! (You will thank me for this).

Tip # 4 Smart Phones or Tablets

Download a lot of your child’s favorite books. Many local libraries allow you to download up to two weeks, FREE!  I know one parent who takes photos during story time each night of their children reading favorite books, (for a week before they travel). She uses these photos as “extra stories” on hand that she doesn’t have to pack. Her child simply re-tells the story from the picture, (which is a great learning skill, by-the-way). It’s fun and a lot lighter on the load!

Tip #5 Travelling is in The Cards

My favorite tip is to bring along a deck of cards. It’s small and lightweight, plus you can do so much with them! You can make up games: math games, sorting games, etc. You can also build houses out of cards. Kids love this stuff! If you learn a magic trick or two with those cards, you are sure to be a hit with your child and probably a whole lot of other people!

Tip #6 Yoga! Yoga!

Take photos or make flash cards for fun and kid-friendly yoga poses. They are another great way to get the body moving, stretching and a fun boredom buster (especially if you join in too). Who cares about doing these in public? Chances are you’ll never meet any of these people watching you again…so yoga like nobody’s watching!

Tip #7 Mother May I?

Airport terminals and train stations make for a great places to create a little fun. The classic game of Mother May I, and others like it, gives your child a chance to get some wiggles and giggles out before departure or during those long dreaded layovers.

Tip #8 Take Your Children for a Walk

This works really well if you have two grown-ups travelling with your child(ren), because one person can stay behind with everyone’s travel gear, while the other walks the terminal with the kiddo(s). My husband and I always played Tag Team, so the second one of us got back, the other would take the children for another round.  (Now that our children are grown, we continue to do it, just to sneak in that extra exercise)!

One variation of this is one parent can stay behind with the child and play, while the other parent takes a stroll alone…parents need a break too, so they don’t become grumpy travellers!

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Using these suggested travel tips should have you relaxing and enjoying your family vacation from take-off to return.

Bon voyage, baby!

OMG #2

Michele “Miss OMG” Giacomini is a Lifestyles Writer and the author of Looking for B.O.B. (Brightsides of Bull$#!+). She writes about everything chocolate, wine, food, travel and shoes…for everything else, she just makes fun of it. You may follow her on her blog at OMGmissOMG.blogspot.com or Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/OMGMissOMG/