Parenting/Life

Tully – preview and a giveaway

No one can deny that being a Mom isn’t easy.  We’ve all had our moments of complete exhaustion where all we wanted to do was throw our hands up in the air and admit defeat.  Rarely do you see a real portrayal of the ups and downs of being a Mom until Tully.

Tully, is the  new comedy from Academy Award®-nominated director Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air”) and Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (“Juno”). Marlo (Academy Award® winner Charlize Theron), a mother of three including a newborn, is gifted a night nanny by her brother (Mark Duplass).   Hesitant to the extravagance at first, Marlo comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising, and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully (Mackenzie Davis).

Universal Pictures is releasing Tully on May 4th, perfect timing with Mother’s Day just around the corner.  Why not grab a few of your best Mom friends and head to your local theater and see Tully?  A great Mom’s Night Out.    Want to win passes for you and a friend?  I have 5 ROE (run of engagement passes) passes to TULLY. Each pass is valid for 2 tickets to screenings of TULLY at any Cineplex location that it is playing.

Head over to my Instagram to enter to win!  Contest ends May 3rd at noon EST, so hurry over to enter!

Parenting/Life

Take Three – Tips from Three Busy Moms

Today, I am pleased to have Trish Bethell as a guest writer with tips from 3 of the speakers (and Moms) that will be speaking at the upcoming BabyTime Show in Toronto from April 27-April 29th.

Three popular moms share their top tips on how you can tackle three parent-related topics

There’s an old saying: If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. These super successful, career balancing, busy moms are all at different stages of parenthood, have expertise in different areas, and have tips all parents can benefit from. From feelings of being overwhelmed and calendar combustion to nursery décor and meal prep, these three moms have strategies to help the busiest of parents create more calm in their lives.

Want to delve deeper into each topic? Join them from April 27-April 29 at the BabyTime Show (www.babytimeshows.ca) where they will have a full presentation on their selected topic.

Lisa Canning, mom of six (soon to be seven) children under the age of 8, is an interior design expert, life-balance coach, and an advocate for good mental health. Want to know how this busy mom of soon to be seven stays sane in a house full of children and is still able to run a successful business? Here are Lisa’s top tips to live a balanced life:

  1. Motherhood can be an overwhelming gig at times, especially when you throw in juggling the demands of work, household chores, trying to stay healthy and go on an occasional date night! My best tip for juggling everything is to really think about your priorities. What comes first for you: your marriage/kids, work, health, personal time, etc.? Write a list and order everything based on what is most important to you. Then ensure your calendar actually reflects these priorities.
  2. Another way to tackle your calendar and avoid becoming overwhelmed is to have some hard boundaries to ensure your priorities stay in the right order. For example, if you want to make sure your family takes precedence over your work, ensure you have a hard stop time for when you do work, which means you schedule appointments around this hard stop time, you put your phone away at this hard stop time, etc. Setting boundaries with your time is a great way to ensure your top priorities remain your top priorities.
  3. Schedule time for yourself like you would any other priority in your life; even if it is just 30-minutes of quiet reading, schedule it and stick to it like you would a child’s soccer practice, or a conference call for work. As moms, we GIVE, GIVE, GIVE! So we have to ensure we refill our tanks regularly.

Jaclyn Colville is mother to one 6-month-old darling little girl, an interior stylist, and a frequent TV guest. Décor and design can be completely overwhelming to some, yet when that bundle of joy arrives, most parents want to have the perfect space for them to curl up in. Here are her top tips for smart design in an infant or toddler room:

  1. Design with longevity in mind, meaning do not design for the right now stage. Design thinking about the next 5 (or more) years to save money and your time. For example, while you might want to have a chair in your child’s room for breastfeeding, make sure it’s a sturdy one that your little one will be able to curl up in to read stories with you when they’re a toddler. Investing in a convertible crib is a great idea – it means that one purchase now will grow with your child to become a toddler bed, and a full size bed later.
  2. Choose a calm, neutral colour, but it does not have to a traditional baby colour. Think calm grey or soft taupe for a nursery. You can use accent pieces to add in soft or vibrant pinks or blues (or any colour!) to update the space as your child grow. Going with a calm colour allows years of growth before you have to re-paint.
  3. Make the room welcoming! While you’re going to spend lots of time in there, this is your child’s sanctuary, a space to call their own. Don’t have precious heirlooms in there – or at least keep them out of reach! Be sure the contents are durable, safe, and fun. No sharp corners, lots of places for storage, nothing fussy. You want your child’s space to be a place they love, and where they feel your love surrounding them.

Taylor Kaye is a popular host on CHUM FM, a red carpet reporter, host of Meal-Prep-Mondays, and mom of three girls. Meal prep and making lunches is a constant complaint with moms new and seasoned! Frazzled about the dinnertime madness? Not sure how to mix up the lunch bag? This mom has got it down to a science and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are her top meal and meal preparation tips:

  1. Make family meals a priority. Meal-time is a great time to connect with each other, share stories from everyone’s day, make plans, solve issues, and cement the bond of family. Meal prep time can serve the same purpose – giving you time to work together to create a meal you’ll all enjoy.
  2. Choose foods that are versatile. As a family of five, we don’t always like the same things, or like it the same way. When I choose foods, I’ll pick products that can be served different ways. For example, if I make a lunch platter of different meats and veggies, I’ll include pitas, buns, and crackers and allow everyone to assemble their plates and “sandwiches” so everyone gets what they like, how they like it. Another versatile option: granola bars. They can be eaten whole, crumbled on yogurt, or broken up into a cereal and fruit bowl.
  3. Teach your kids to cook. Give the kids specific jobs to help, like grating cheese, mixing ingredients, laying out crackers – things that they can do with minimal supervision. A word of caution here: they may not do it exactly the way you would, but this is about teaching them and getting help, even when it feels like it would be easier to do it all yourself! If you invest a bit of time every meal to teaching them, before you know it, they’ll be efficient helpers well on their way to being cooks. And when they can make their own meals, you’ve done a great job of make independent adults.

To hear more tips from these super busy moms, come to their presentations at The Babytime Show, from Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April at The International Centre, Hall 1. Visit www.babytimeshows.ca  for full show details, presentation times and see all the show has to offer.

We also have a giveaway for a basket of amazing body care products from Makessence, who will also be one of the Vendors at The BabyTime Show.  This contest is open to Canadian residents only and ends Friday, April 27th at noon.

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Parenting/Life

Summer Ready with BuyBuy Baby – and a Giveaway

Oh the weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful……and it’s mid-April!  Mother Nature has definitely played a number on our spring this year.  Maybe we will skip spring this year and head right into summer?  That wouldn’t be so bad, would it?  Regardless if we get spring or go right into summer, all I know is that I just want to be rid of the winter weather and be able to get outdoors and enjoy warm sunny weather.

Maybe going and doing a little summer shopping will get Mother Nature back into the spring/summer mood?  I’ve already been able to get myself a few things for the upcoming warm weather but getting a bit impatient waiting to wear/use them.  I recently made a trip to BuyBuy Baby in Whitby and they have got everything out to get the kids ready for spending long days outside in the sunshine.

I remember my son playing for hours with anything water related, his water table, bubbles  and water guns.  Even still he loves water toys.  BuyBuy Baby has a huge assortment for all ages.

summer water table

summer pools

If you child is anything like mine and has pretty much grown out of everything that fit them last year, your going to new bathing suits, rash guards, hats.  There are so many cute styles and options.  I wish there had been more like these when my guy was smaller.

And don’t forget to protect their eyes with sunglasses and stock up on your sunscreen.  If you have any leftover from last year, check for an expiration date.  It often needs to be replaced year after year.  The last thing you want is them getting a sunburn.

summer sunglasses

summer sunscreen

And if by any chance they don’t have what you are looking for in store, but know that you happened to see it online prior to your visit or it just happens to be out of stock, be sure to check with a BuyBuy Baby associate and they can get the item ordered for you and delivered directly to your home so you don’t have to make another trip back to the store.  This is definitely something I appreciate.  I understand that stores sell out of things, and you can`t always guarantee they will be in stock,  but having the convenience of having those items ordered for me and sent to my home is really a time saver for me.

To make your shopping time even easier, BuyBuy Baby has quite a line of toys and outdoor play items designed for older children like my son, that you may not be able to find in store but are available online and again with the help of a store associate, they can be ordered while you are in store and shipped directly to your home.  It’s like one stop shopping for your kids.

How would you like to start your summer shopping off at BuyBuy Baby with a $100 gift card?  Wouldn’t that help rid the winter weather blues?  Be sure to enter below!  Contest is open to residents of Canada and ends Thursday, April 26th at midnight EST.

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Parenting/Life

46 Things About Life

This year I hit that pivotal point in my 40’s.. Turning 46 I can no longer say I am in my early 40’s, I am now pushing that 50 mark.  I wouldn’t say I am even remotely wise for my years but I have learned a lot of things along the way.  A lot of these will be cliches but here is what I know to be true. (These are in no particular order, just how they came to me and some are more serious than others.)

  1. If you can’t love yourself, you’re no good to anyone else.  Love yourself first and then share that love.
  2. Always trust your gut instinct, it will almost never steer you wrong.
  3. A real friend will be there when you need them no matter what.  Not when it is convenient for them.
  4. Friendships may come and go, but those worth having will stick around.
  5. The road map of your life will go through many, many unforeseen revisions.  You can’t rely on one single path.
  6. I am a firm believer that when your time is up, it is up.  I am not sure if there is some divine plan for us or what, but you can’t change it.
  7. Do not let the bad things define you.
  8. Only you can decide what is best for you, no one else.
  9. Your tastes and preferences will look vastly different when you look back 20 years, 10 years, even 5 years.
  10. Make a bucket list.  Even if you don’t achieve them all, it gives you something to work for.
  11. As much as I still struggle with getting to the gym,  I have learned to respect how much exercise does a body good in so many ways.
  12. Be the friend you want all your friends to be to you.
  13. No matter how good of a liar you think you are, someone will always get hurt in the end.  Be honest.
  14. If I catch you lying to me, I will probably never trust you again.  I may forgive, but I will never forget.
  15. Never, ever go to bed angry.  You never know what the morning could bring.
  16. Even the smallest gesture of love/friendship can make a person’s day.
  17. Always recognize when you need to say “I’m sorry”.  You may not have meant to do it, but acknowledge your were wrong.
  18. You need to accept that sometimes “Sorry” will not be enough.
  19. Some people will deserve a second chance and some won’t.  And some will end up not deserving that second chance.
  20. I can never have too many hugs.
  21. I knew I always wanted to be a Mom.  It’s is everything and nothing I thought I would be like.  All in a good way.
  22. The love I have for my child is stronger than any love I have ever known or will ever know.
  23. I may not be the perfect Mom, but I will always try to  be the best that I can be.
  24. I have probably learned more about life in the past 10 years with my son than I did in all the years prior to his birth.
  25. Try to find the positive in most situations.  I may not always find it but at least I tried.
  26. You only get one life. Make the best of the one you are given.
  27. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.  Be Kind.  Always.  – My favorite quote ever.
  28. Even at my age, it is always okay to act like a kid again in appropriate situations.
  29. Every once in a while, you will need a day to reset yourself.  For me, that means staying in my pjs, binge watching Netflix and laying on the couch all day.
  30. Try new things. Step out of your comfort zone every once in a while.  You might just surprise yourself.
  31. Everyone is different but everyone is the same. Embrace your differences, enjoy your similarities.
  32. Burpees are a pure form of torture. They may be good for you, but I don’t know a single person who actually likes them.
  33. Coffee is the nectar of the Gods.  Although I was into my 20’s before I discovered it’s goodness.
  34. Take lots and lots of pictures.  You can’t relive those special moments but pictures can help.
  35. But on the contrary of that, be sure to enjoy the moments and not just focus on getting that perfect picture.  Once they have past, you can’t get them back.
  36. I have a great respect for people who grow things.  I don’t have a green thumb at all and wish I did.
  37. As much as I am a planner, sometime throwing the plans out the window and just rolling with it makes for a much better adventure.
  38. Unplug from the world for a day/couple of days when you can.  It’s very liberating.  I need to do it more often.
  39. Never underestimate the power of a good book.  Reading can be a great way to escape the madness in the world sometimes.
  40. Everyone has their own religion/beliefs. I won’t force my beliefs on to you, do not impose yours on me.
  41. I probably will never, ever understand Minecraft. (As much as my son tries to teach me.)
  42. I’ve tried to adopt the mantra “Never Miss a Monday”. Not only for my fitness goals but other things.  It just sets the week up for success.
  43. I still can not figure out how socks constantly go missing from my dryer.  And somehow laundry piles mysteriously regenerate.
  44. Try and catch a sunrise every once in a while (on purpose).  It can be the perfect way to start a day.
  45. Please and thank you are always appreciated.
  46. Laugh hard, laugh long, laugh often.

I have to say coming up with 46 things was much harder than I had anticipated.  Enjoy!