Tag: Valentine’s Day

My Love Is All Around

My Love Is All Around is the perfect children’s story that beautifully depicts the love between a parent and child.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Mommy and Baby Bear discover all the love that is around them. They find love in the butterflies fluttering above their heads, the rabbit family bouncing and laughing together, and in the deer cuddled close to sleep.

But most of all, Mommy and Baby Bear find love in the games they play and the special times they have just being together.

#MelAndNikkiReview

My Love Is All Around tugged at my heartstrings as it truly depicted the love between a parent and a child. As you take the bear journey with this Mommy and Baby Bear, you can see how love is all around us. It is a great reminder that sometimes we need to stop and look at our surroundings.

“Love is important and I am so happy that I have you to love.” – Nikki, Age 6

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book10 hearts out of 5! The illustrations are breathtaking and the story tugs at all your heart strings. A beautiful tribute to the love parents have for their children and a great story to share with your little ones on Valentine’s Day (or any day of the year)!

This beautiful book is great for children ages three to seven. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

About the Author

Danielle McLean is a children’s book editor who lives in southeast London. She dreams of living in a house full of wiggly piglets and fluffy white kittens. When she’s not writing and editing children’s books, she’ll be found in a ballet class pursuing her other childhood fantasy.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*Please note that this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own and we do not make commission off of book sales.

3 Valentine’s Day At-Home Party Ideas for Kids

For some, Valentine’s Day was strictly an adult holiday. The parents went out for dinner, leaving the kids at home with a babysitter. Maybe you had a card exchange at school, but not much beyond that.

For others, Valentine’s Day was another special occasion that now floods the holiday with special memories. 

Life is too short; why not do both?

Have your romantic evening, but throw a party for the kids, too. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a memorable occasion.

1. Decorate Cookies

I know, I know—not particularly original, but kids love decorating heart cookies. And eating them. And (sigh) making huge messes.

If the thought of baking makes you shudder, and no judgment here, you can drop a load of cash at Etsy or online bakeries for the real deal, but remember we said you didn’t have to spend a fortune, right?

Many local grocery stores have undecorated heart cookies, but if not you can always go with Pillsbury and their cut-out and ready-to-bake cookies at Target and other locations. A wonderful option to simplify.

If you want to make your own, you’ll save money and they’ll probably taste better. Growing up, you probably had the big soft cookies made with butter or margarine or the crisp cookies made with Crisco. If you want the best of both, make crisp cookies with butter frosting so you get the taste of butter. 

Yes, you can get fancier with fondant or royal icing, but these are kids. The cookies are not going to be that pretty, anyway. You might as well have an icing that actually tastes good.

If you do decide to make your own, make the cookies ahead of time and stick them in the freezer baked and ready to go. If you try to do everything on the same day, you will be too tired to enjoy an evening out with your partner.

Make the frosting ahead of time too. Pick the food colorings you want and have it ready to go in pastry bags or plastic baggies with tiny holes cut in the corner. Trust me, you don’t want the kids’ help when it involves food coloring.

Cover your children in aprons or garbage bags with holes cut out for their arms and heads.

Then take a lot of pictures as they decorate! These are precious memories in the making. 

2. Disney-fy Your Valentines’ Day Party

Of course, Disney has a recipe for Heart-Shaped Pizza with Mickey Mouse Pepperoni. And why not?

Have the kids help with the assembly part and make this festive meal while you watch your favorite Disney flic—or one that you think is particularly appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Lady and the Tramp? Tangled? Frozen 2? What is your go-to romance when it comes to Disney? 

OR pick one that emphasizes love, friendship, and family—like Lilo and Stitch.

Play a Disney-centric game like charades based on Disney movies, name that Disney tune, or set up a Zoom meeting with family/friends and play Disney Scavenger Hunt! You can use this online resource or make your own list of items based on the age of the children playing.

Finally, an inexpensive gift to give your children that they’ll go crazy for are these Mickey Mouse ears at Presley Couture. They’ve got every style you can possibly imagine, with a nod to your child’s favorite characters. 

We mean it. OODLES of ears that are well-made and exceptionally priced. If you end up going to the Magic Kingdom, you can take them with you and already be all Mickey-ed out before you get into the park.

3. Ding-Dong Without Ditching

Have the children make each other cards, leave them on the porch for their siblings, ring the bell, and run away.  A time-honored tradition. Even you can participate with a cute card and stickers or candy for your kids. 

Then, box up some of those cookie masterpieces you made and choose a deserving neighbor. In the end, giving makes the best memories.

No matter what you choose to do, you can start new Valentine’s Day traditions with your children to help them practice showing their love to others.

The Pink Umbrella | Book Review

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

Synopsis

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

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

About the Illustrator

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Puppy Love and Just in Time For Valentine’s Day

“Puppy Love is the perfect story for Valentine’s Day as it will have you gushing with adorable love.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

ALPHAPRINTS: PUPPY LOVE by Roger Priddy: Filled with cute rhymes and adorable Alphaprint characters from fluffy bears to little lovebirds, this is an enjoyable book to share together with the one you love on Valentine’s Day.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Puppy Love is absolutely delightful and adorable!

We love the rhyming in the story as it makes it so fun to read. We also love the texture on each page as it encourages your little one to feel the animal faces. It is absolutely perfect for little ones.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Puppy Love 5 hearts out of 5! This book is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift and full of love. We just love this book for all the adorable animals and all the love that it showcases.

If you would like to purchase a copy for your little one, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Loved To Bits | Book Review

At one point or another, we may have had a special toy or even blanket that we help onto a little tight growing up. It’s natural and absolutely adorable. This is the concept behind an adorable children’s book called Loved To Bits written by Teresa Heapy and illustrated by Katie Cleminson.

Synopsis

My teddy’s special.

Stripy Ted.

We make adventures around my bed.

But he’s no longer at his best…

So will I love him more…or less?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Loved To Bits takes us on the adventures of a boy and his teddy bear. It also takes us through the emotion of love. I have to admit that this book tugged at my heart strings and I had to fight back tears towards the end as it was such a beautiful read. Of course with all the adventures, there is wear and tear on teddy where he lost a few pieces of himself along the way. However, that did not stop the boy to love him even more (cue the waterworks!).

Such a powerful story about love and one that many people can relate to. We truly loved this book from beginning to end and we know it will continue to be read for years to come. The illustrations are just as captivating as the storyline and it really brought the story to life for us.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Loved To Bits 5 “Bits” out of 5! We recommend this book for ages two to six and it is a perfect story for Valentine’s Day.

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

Robot in Love | Book Review

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

Synopsis

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

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

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this would be a perfect book for a child. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

 

 

 

Love | Book Review

Love comes in many different forms and their meaning is unique to each individual. That is the beauty about love as there are so many ways to express it.

Lovea children’s book expresses love in the simplest form to have children understand all its glory.

Synopsis

Love is the melody that follows us through each and every day of our lives. Whether it’s the sound of our lives. Whether it’s the sound of our parents’ voices lulling us to sleep, the joyful laughter of an uncle’s latest tall tale, or the warm embrace of a loved one telling us everything will be okay, it’s a feeling that takes countless forms and ultimately connects us all.

In this stirring celebration of love, Newbery Medal – winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways to experience this universal bond. With heartfelt illustrations and a soothing, lyrical text, this  tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We loved the book Love! A beautiful children’s story that takes us on a heart journey. It beams with feelings and allows us to see the many different forms that love can be expressed in. Love can be as simple loving the surrounding that you are in. This book was articulately written and the illustrations are captivating. Within each illustration an expression of love is showcased such as providing food to someone homeless. The diversity illustrated in the book is also heartwarming to see as love is diverse.

We also love the added touch on the back where you can write your child’s name where it says: “This Love Belongs To.” Our daughter is practicing writing her name so we got her to write her name out as it made her feel extra special.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Love 5 hearts out of 5! We also recommend the book for children ages four to eight. An amazing read that reflects the love that is in a child’s daily life. Also a great reminder for all that we are surrounded by love every single day.

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

“I LOVE love!” – Nikki, Age 4

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

My Heart | Book Review

Books around love are easy to spot, especially this time of year with Valentine’s Day approaching. However, a perfect children’s book that empowers young readers to listen to the heart within are hard to come by.

We are delighted to introduce our readers to a book that does just that, My Heart written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken.

Synopsis

My heart is a window.

My heart is a slide.

My heart can be closed…

or opened up wide.

From the moments of great joy and exuberance to necessary times of quiet contemplation, your heart is your guide.

#MelAndNikkiReview

My Heart has captivated our hearts in the best way possible. The book is breathtaking with the illustrations and the story is told with such elegance.  We love the simplicity of the story and the impactful message that it carries. My Heart is all about caring for your own heart and living with kindness and empathy. A very important lesson that not only children need to learn but a reminder for us adults as well. I think that is what I love the best about this book as it is a lesson that I learned at a very young age. Now to be able to translate it into a book form that my 4-year-old daughter can understand tickles my heart pink. 🙂

We truly have loved reading this book and it is one that we have been reading on a daily basis since it has arrived in our home. At the end of the book, Nikki never fails to tell me exactly what she thinks of it.

“Mommy this book was so beautiful about our hearts. We need to take good care of it and make sure we use it right.” – Nikki, Age 4

A heartfelt book all about one’s heart would make a great Valentine’s Gift or any other time of the year for a little one. We highly recommend this book to everyone (Ages 4 and up). I think there is an important reminder and lesson in this book for all of us no matter our age. With lyrical text and breathtaking art by award-winning author-illustrator Corinna Luyken, My Heart empowers all readers to listen to the voice within in this ode to love and self-acceptance. This is why we give My Heart 6 hearts out of 5! 

“tiny can grow and broken can mend and a heart that is closed can still open again.” – Corinna Luyken

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

 

My Little Lovebug and Love Notes Make The Perfect Gift

I See Me has become one of our favorites for personalized books as they always go beyond with the extra little touches to make someone feel special. This is why we were very excited to hear about a new release and just in time for Valentine’s Day! 😉

My Little Lovebug is a photo-personalized storybook featuring your loved ones’ photos and names. Every page is beautifully illustrated with a cute and cheeky saying, with illustrated text by Jeanine Murch.

We were fortunate to receive the hardcopy version of the book along with the adorable love notes.

We couldn’t wait to add this book to our reading line up and that same night that we received the book, we were reading it. Each page was beautifully designed with different animal characters with our faces (I have to admit that I look adorable as a lady bug and I need to add that my husband looks handsome as a bumble bee!). 😉

The word play in the book is brilliant! They use words relating to the character on each page into a positive and empowering word for the child. We just loved that! The creativity is remarkable as I don’t know how they come up with it all.

The book was very engaging and we enjoyed it from the beginning to end. The love notes that came with the book are illustrated as beautifully as the book and are great keepsakes. I will be sneaking them in my daughter’s bag when she isn’t looking as a way to remind her how much she is loved by all of us.

So for this #MelandNikkiReview I decided to change things up a little bit as I love to provide unique reviews specialized to each product or book we do (it’s the Momma Braga style). Since my daughter is now three years old and she has a wealth of vocabulary now, I asked her what she thought of it and what would she rate it.

Momma Braga: “Nikki did you like the book, Our Little Lovebug Nikki?”
Nikki: “I love the book so much Momma!”
Momma Braga: “What did you love the best about it?”
Nikki: “I love all the animals. They are so nice. I love our faces in them. It was funny!”
Momma Braga: “Do you remember what the book was about?”
Nikki: “Oh yes Momma! Everyone loves Nikki!”
Momma Braga: “Oh yes we do! How many ladybugs out of 5 would you give the book?”
Nikki: “Ten Momma.”

I would have to agree with Nikki on her quick recap of why Our Little LoveBug is so great. It has all the uniqueness magic that I See Me brings to stories and it brings so much love. It beautifully captures what we feel for our children in the most adorable way possible. We highly recommend this book to any parent who wants to tell their Little Lovebug in an unique way on how much they mean to them during storytime. As Nikki mentioned we give this book 10 ladybugs out of 5! 😉

To purchase the gift set which includes the book with the love notes, click here. To purchase the book on its own, click here. To purchase the love notes only, click here.

Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube to see all the latest from I See Me!

If you want to get the latest scope on email promos, discounts and updates, make sure to check it out here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Valentine’s Day

I have never been a Valentine’s Day type of person as I never felt that I needed a designated day to tell the ones I love that I appreciated them. I always felt it was important to tell my loved ones how much they mean to me as much as I can. Of course in reality, we do forget to tell people how much they mean to us on a daily basis but I know that we do try our very best.

So here we are at another Valentine’s Day and this year we celebrated it together as a family. We didn’t put pressure to buy each other anything but my husband did surprise me with some chocolates and a nice top. However, when my husband gave me the gifts he stated that it wasn’t a Valentine’s Day gift but a thank you gift for all that I do with our daughter. This was such a special gesture and his words meant more to me than any gift could give me. Don’t get me wrong as I truly did enjoy my chocolates! But his words of appreciation and the love behind it, truly made my day. Of course, our daughter Nikki got some chocolates from daddy and I got her a stuffed giraffe in which she picked herself (Side note: Never ask your toddler to pick out a toy themselves. They WILL pick the biggest one they see).12705276_892312824199847_2191392255874550053_n As a way to treat my family today, we got lunch at our favourite place to eat, Saucy Kytchen.  The rest of the day we just spent together as a family and really this is the only thing I could ever ask for. Why not spend the day with the two people that I love the most?! So really today didn’t feel out of the ordinary (even though we don’t get gifts for one another all the time) but it felt nice just to be with one another. We do remember to say, I Love You, every single day. We know how much we do for one another and appreciate all the little things even if we don’t say it all the time.

In our home, Valentine’s Day is just an excuse for us to get Nikki some little items that make her smile from ear to ear. Seeing her smile lights up our day and life. Just seeing her grow is the best gift we could ever ask for and as she continues to grow we will show her how every day is a day to say “I Love You”.

So whether you love it or hate it, just remember to try and love the people around you. Even if you forget to let them know every day, use today as your friendly reminder. Today can be the day to just say, “I appreciate all and everything that you do.” I can guarantee that it will surely make their day.

My family and I will continue to love and appreciate one another, no matter what day it is 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day my friends!

– Momma Braga