Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Why I am a list maker.

20160328_121234_HDRYes, I am a list maker.

If you have read my previous posts, you have probably noticed that I included lists in those as well.  I am not sure how or why this came about but I think I have always been that way.  I do come by it a bit honestly,  my Dad is a list maker as well.

My list making has become much more prominent in my life in the last few years and here are some of the reasons possibly why:

  1.  Blame it on “Mommy Brain”, I don’t seem to retain as much as before.
  2.  Blame it on age, not getting any younger here.
  3. Between work, parenting, blogging and plain old life, it is too full up there to remember everything.
  4. It keeps things neat and tidy.  Instead of 100 sticky notes everywhere, I keep a few topic specific lists.
  5. Maybe it is the satisfaction of being able to cross off things as they are completed.

I have learned the hard way too many times, that if I don’t have it on the list, I probably will forget it.  And realistically, who has the time to keep going back to the store to remember to get the things you originally forgot?  I want to make one trip and call it done!

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I always have several lists going at once:

  1.  Groceries – as I run out of things, I add them to the list.  If I don’t go shopping for a few days, I am pretty sure I won’t remember that I need vanilla or something I don’t use on a daily basis that I have just used the last of that day.
  2. Daily chores – I think this one is more for the satisfaction of crossing things off, but also keeps me motivated to get things done
  3. Miscellaneous – exactly as it sounds, a list of things that I need to remember that don’t fall into the other two categories and that I don’t want to forget about.  An example, a reminder of an upcoming birthday that I need to buy a gift for.
  4. Blogging – this is a new one as of late, but I am constantly writing down ideas for new posts, and my to do’s.

Are you a list maker?  What are your tips and tricks to keep things in check?  I’d love to hear your recommendations!

And my lists always have to be on paper.  I am sure there is an app out there that I could  use to make all my lists so I always have them with me.  Maybe I will add that to my list of things to research.  🙂

 

Thanks,

 

 

Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Lil’ Labels review and partnership

You know how it seems like your clothes dryer always eats at least one sock every load? I sometimes think it is like that with my son and his sweaters. I will dress him for school in one of his sweatshirts/sweaters/hoodies and a week or so later, I realize it never came home. For the longest time, I just made the assumption that he wore it the last time to his Dad’s and it is just there. I believed this until one day I went to his school and they had all the “lost and found” items laid out on a table. Low and behold, I came home with 2 sweaters, a sweatshirt and a hoodie that had gone missing. It was there and then that I knew all of this could be avoided if I put labels in his clothes.

That is why I am so happy to be now partnering with Lil’ Labels .  Their labels are so convenient and easy to use.  Just peel and stick, no ironing needed which is great, because I hate ironing.  You can personalize them as you wish and you are ready to go.  And they last wash after wash.

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In addition to their clothing labels, they also have a line of bottle labels which also are great for lunch boxes and their containers.  These labels are self laminating, so you just personalize them as needed and seal.  Like the clothing labels they stay put wash after wash.  These will be particularly handy for kids going to camp this summer to keep all their water bottles and snack containers identified from all the other campers.  These labels are also dishwasher and microwave safe.

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With the summer season just around the corner, it’s time to get stocked up and ready for the kids going to camp or their sport activities. To visit their website for more information or  to order, click on the Lil’ Labels logo below.

If you would be interested in partnering with Lil’ Labels, email me at aboyandhismom@gmail.com and I would be happy to send you more information.

Thanks,

 

 

 

**** Please note that although these products were provided to me, all comments, and opinions are mine.

Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Losing a loved one near the holidays

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When most people think of Easter, they think of cute little bunnies, yummy chocolate eggs, pretty pastel colors and warmth that spring will bring us and of course, there is the religious, historical aspect as well.  To me, I think of those, but I also remember a very sad and hard time in my family`s life.

Once, we were a happy family of 5, my parents, my brother, and myself and my twin sister.  We were born 3 minutes apart and my Mom always said, I got tired of sharing the space and I kicked her out of the womb first so I could have a few minutes in there myself.  She was born with  hydrocephalus and had to have a shunt put in very early.  Her short life was filled with many doctors appointments and health issues, but it never seemed to dampen her spirits.  Being so young, I sadly don’t have a lot of memories of us all together, but the ones I do have are happy and full of love.

Then Easter weekend, just days before our 8th birthday she fell ill and was taken to the hospital.  At the time, I remember thinking she was going to be back soon and everything would go back to normal.  However, things would be never normal again.  I don’t think I will ever forget the looks on my parents faces when they came home from the hospital and told us she was gone.  At that age, it’s definitely very difficult for a child to understand the magnitude of what has actually happened.

For the years following and even into my adult life, Easter was always something we didn’t celebrate.  In fact, we didn’t talk about Easter as holiday much at all.  We just tried to get through it the best we could.  Some years it was easier when Easter and my birthday fell close together but in cases like this year, Easter and my birthday are almost 3 weeks apart.  So it’s almost like having to deal with it twice.

When my son was born, I knew that I could no longer avoid Easter weekend and enjoyment that comes along with it for children.  I explained to my family my thoughts and wishes on the subject and they were more than happy to oblige.  We all agreed that he could not be “punished” (that isn’t the right word, but don’t know how else to word it) for our previous heartache and misfortune.

Each year, we do the Easter egg hunt, the Easter bunny makes a visit and my son enjoys Easter like most other children.  I know that is what she would have wanted and it’s definitely what I wanted.

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Not a day goes by that I don’t miss and think about her and at this time of year, I do even more.  This is definitely a hard post to write but I hope others that have lost love ones near a holiday know that they aren’t alone and I understand.  We will never forgot the ones we lost but know they would want us to enjoy the holidays regardless.

Grade 2 Photo

Thanks,

C.

Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

March is National Nutrition Month

As a Mom, I am always on the look out for new and healthy items that my son will enjoy.  He tends to be a bit picky when it comes to food, so when I can find things that he likes and they are nutritious, it’s a bonus.

As part of National Nutrition Month,  I was asked to give my review on some new and healthy items.  They were:

  1. Earth’s Best  Organic Crunchin’ Grahams & Organic Sunny Days Snack Bars
  2. AlternaVites Kids Vitamins
  3. Kangovou dishwares

My son and I were excited to try each of these products when they arrived and we were definitely not disappointed.

Earth’s Best Organic Sunny Days Snack Bars & Organic Crunchin’ Grahams

My son loves his snacks, so finding some that are made with organic, wholesome ingredients that are delicious is key.  The  Organic Crunchin’ Grahams were the first thing that we tried.  They are made with organic whole grain wheat flour, no trans fat and an excellent source of Calcium, Iron and Zinc.  The biscuits are small which would be great for toddlers with little hands wanting to feed themselves.  And let’s talk about delicious, my son and I didn’t want to stop eating them they were so good.  Definitely a thumbs up!!

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The Organic Sunny Days Snack bars were equally delicious.  They are trans fat free and and excellent source of calcium, zinc and iron. We tried the Apple flavor and my son’s exact words were “It tastes like apple pie in a bar.”   The bars are somewhat smaller than a regular cereal bar but the again the perfect size for little hands.

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The snack bars and grahams are both part of their Sesame street line up and although they are geared more towards the toddler age, my son still thoroughly enjoyed them.  Truth be told, I have been sneaking them into my lunches as well.

You can find more out about Earth’s Best and their product line on their website, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts.

AlternaVites Kids Vitamins

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Remember having pixie stix as a kid?  All the sugary sweet goodness?  Well imagine a healthy, vitamin filled version….that is AlternaVites Kids.  They are available in a multi-vitamin, or single-ingredient versions (Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Calcium).  These are great for kids that don’t like the regular chalky, chewable vitamins.  All products are sugar-free, gluten-free and contain no wheat, egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish or shellfish, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, or preservatives.  They also contain no GMO ingredients. I loved all the great flavors they have.  My son’s favorite was the Raspberry Cotton Candy multivitamin.  He liked it so much, he wanted more.  I had to remind him they were vitamins and not candy.  It’s a win-win with these; the kids get their vitamins and they like it like candy.

You can find out more about AlternaVites Kids and their product lineup on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

Kangovou dishwares

I have to admit, before I became a Mom, I didn’t really think too much about kind of container I put my snacks or lunch in.  But as soon as I knew I was pregnant with my son, I started hearing all about BPA’s and PVC’s etc and was shocked at my ignorance all these years.  With Kangovou, there is no worries about the containers you are putting your child’s food in.  All of their products are BPA free, PVC free, Lead free, Melamine free, Phthalate free.

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We received the snack bowl and I am loving it.  It is the perfect size for fruit or crackers when packing a lunch.  I love how snug the lid fits.  Nothing worse than opening up your lunch to find the lid has come off and half your lunch has spilled over your bag.  I have a feeling that I will be stealing this for my own use rather than my son.  Or, I will be having to order some more of these so we can both use them.

You can find out more about Kangovou and their product lineup on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

**** Please note that although these products were provided to me, all comments, opinions and pictures are mine.

Thanks,

C.

 

Uncategorized

Think Happy, Be Happy Link Party

 

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“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” -Mandy Hale

Hello friends! This link party was created as a way to create some inspiration and happiness as we begin our week. It can be hard to find the happiness in our day to day, and I believe it truly does help to take a second to find the positive. Please take a second to visit all of my wonderful co-hosts who will be sharing this link party as well!

How do I find happiness?  I try to remember each and every day that life is too short and you have to always make the best out of what you you are given.  My life is definitely not on the path the I had envisioned for myself or my son so  I take the moments that we have together and make the best of them.   Sometimes it can be just the little things like a cuddle on the couch and a movie, or sometimes it can be a bit of adventure, like a weekend getaway.  No time is too big and no time is too small, you take the time that you have and enjoy every single second of it.

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RULES OF THE PARTY: Leave a link to your actual post and not your homepage. A link back to your host, is greatly appreciated. Feel free to grab our link party button to add to your post. Please link up only your happiness related posts. Don’t link up and run, please visit other bloggers. Make new friends or say hello to old friends. Please follow your hosts and guest hosts in some way. Have fun with your posts! I truly hope it helps with starting your week off on a positive note!


http://www.linkytools.com/thumbnail_linky_include.aspx?id=268036

Travel

March Break madness at the Chelsea Hotel.

Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.
Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.

In conjunction with our Medieval Times trip, I  decided to make a mini vacation out of our weekend and spend the night at the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto. I had often heard about the corkscrew water slide that they had on site and knew that my son would be all over it!

We arrived at the hotel around 4pm, and unfortunately I think everyone else that was staying there that night had too. The lineup for parking was quite long and we sat for a while only to find out that the garage was full. Luckily, I pulled out my phone and google maps was able to direct me to a parking lot just up the street. Having to walk to the hotel with our luggage was not ideal but ended up costing us quite a bit less than parking directly at the hotel, so I can’t really complain at all about it. 🙂

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Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.

I hadn’t really thought about it being the first Saturday of the March Break and the fact that the hotel does have 1590 rooms, so needless to say it was really quite busy. My first thought was “OH NO”, but they had that hotel going like a well oil machine. Check-in was very smooth and everyone was extremely friendly to deal with.

Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.
Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.

Each tower of the hotel has it own set of elevators, so it did help with the congestion of arriving travelers. Upon our arrival and the first hour or so, there was quite a long wait for the elevators but with a full hotel on March Break, it was to be expected. However, the rest of the time we were there, every moved very quickly.

They gave us a very detailed itinerary of events that the hotel was hosting for the March Break. Lucky for us, the events were being held on the weekends as well. Due to the crowds, we had to register for a time slot to use the pool facilities, which I have to say was a brilliant idea. I had envisioned a pool filled to the brim with families or us not able to use the pool due to it being filled to capacity. We were able to get the time slots that we wanted for the pool very easily. My son couldn’t wait to go on the water slide. It is a 2 storey triple corkscrew adventure. My son convinced me to go on it and I have to admit it was a blast. I even went on a few more times afterwards. For a large portion of the ride down, you are in complete darkness. I think for the first hour that we were there, my son went down the water slide almost 20 times.

Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.
Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.

We had a Chelsea Room with a king size bed.  I knew if I got a room with 2 beds, my son would want to snuggle in with me, so why not go for the big bed so I actually got some room when I slept. 🙂 The room was your standard hotel type of room, very clean and the tidy. Everything was in good condition and made me feel very comfortable.

Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.
Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.

If I had any complaint , there was a lot of “city noise” in the evening but nothing that the hotel is able to do anything about. It is just indicative of where the hotel is located.  And it doesn’t help that I am the lightest sleeper on the planet.  I could go on and on about our stay but I think I can easily summarize our stay in saying that we will definitely go there again and considering how busy of a weekend it was at the hotel, it was very well managed and a pleasure to be there.

You can check out more details on the hotel on their website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account.

Although the photos were provided to me by the hotel, I was not compensated for this review and these comments are strictly my opinions.

Travel

Medieval Times review and contest

Royal guests, you are about to take a journey back to the age of valor and chivalry. You will join his majesty with all the pageantry in the ancient  realm for an unforgettable experience of a tournament of knights.  Welcome to Medieval Times!

Recently, we were invited to visit Medieval Times Toronto Castle for an afternoon of knights, princesses and all the pageantry that comes with it.

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If you have never been before, I highly suggest that you make a reservation.  It is a perfect outing for any family.

From the moment you arrive, it is like you have been transported back in time.

Before the show begins you are welcomed into the give shop where there is a wide range of souvenirs and medieval fare.  There are plastic and wooden swords and shields for the kids to actual swords for the avid adult collector.  My son was thrilled to add a stuffed dragon to his collection from previous visits.

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As the show is about to begin, the team rivalry starts with the “cheering” competition to see which color group gets to be seated first.

Once everyone is seated, the wenches begins to serve the dinner. It is a wonderful feast of soup, chicken, potatoes, corn on the cob, garlic bread and a tart for dessert.  (There is a vegetarian option available as well.)  I remember the first time, I wasn’t quite sure how eating medieval style would work (no utensils) but it ended up being no issue at all.  Packing some extra napkins in my purse, did help.  My son can be a bit of a picky eater and he loved the meal.

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While enjoying the feast, the tournament began.  The arena is split into color sections:  green, blue, yellow, red, red & yellow, back & white.  We were a part of the red and yellow team.

The show was non-stop action and excitement.  I was definitely startled a few times at the intensity of the battle when the swords collided and sparked.

The skills of the knights and their horses was amazing to watch.  We enjoyed ourselves so much that I couldn’t believe how fast the time passed.

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When the competition was over, the red was the winner and the Queen of the tournament was chosen from the audience.

It was definitely an afternoon to remember and we thank Medieval Times for the opportunity.   A special thanks to our wench, Caitlyn.  She was amazing from the minute we arrived until the end of the show!!

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Now it is time for you to get the opportunity as well.

Medieval Times Toronto Castle has given one lucky reader the opportunity to win 2 tickets to see a show at the Toronto Castle.  You can enter to win below.  Tickets must be used for an available show in March or April 2016.  Contest closes on Tuesday, March 15th at midnight EST.

You can get more information on Medieval Times on their website, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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**** Please note that although these tickets were provided to me, all comments, opinions and pictures are mine.
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Contests at AllCanadaContests.com

Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

My favorite age so far!

Don’t get me wrong, I have loved everything about my son growing up so far but I have to admit this has been the best age so far.  He’s that perfect combo of “he’s still my baby” and “he’s a baby anymore”.

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What I love about him being this age:

1.Right now girls are still “icky” and Mommy is his one and only girl.  I know this won’t last too much longer, so I will take it while I can.

2.Hugs and kisses from Mommy are still ok, most of the time. Cuddles at bedtime are a must.  There have already been a few instances where I got the “Mommy, not here!”

3.His still considers his stuffies his best friends. They must be in bed with him every night.

4.Movies and TV don’t always have to be cartoons.  I am sorry, but it will be a cold day in h*&% before I watch another episode of “Caillou” or “In the Night Garden”.

5.We both sing along to the top 40 on the radio. I swear he knows the lyrics to every song out there.

6.We can play board and card games together. And most of the times, I don’t have to pretend to let him beat me.  He does it all on his own.

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7.Now that he is reading chapter books, I feel like we are reading real stories, not just “watch Spot run”.   That continuation of a story gives us something to look forward to each night when we read.  That “what happens next”?

8.Jeans and tshirts are perfectly acceptable and rarely cares what I choose for him to wear.  Although he seems to be growing out of them faster than I can keep up.

9. He still wants me to play Lego with him every single day.

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10.We have full on conversations about everyday events, and topics at a higher level.  Don’t get me wrong, we don’t talk politics or about the crime in the world but he’s smart enough to talk to me about more than just juvenile topics.

I can’t wait to see what the next years bring us, as I am sure they will be great.

What was your favorite age with your child?

Thanks,
C.