About Heather Watson

I am a wife, a mother, a baker, an independent woman and quite the social butterfly. I've been in the Insurance Industry for 9 years and have worked as an independent claims adjuster for the past 3. Becoming a mother has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined and I love it so much, I joined Mommy Connections as a Program Director so that I can join my two loves: taking care of my daughter and meeting new people.

5 Creative Ideas for a Family Vacation

Over one in four Americans don’t take a vacation during summer, according to research. That’s such a sad finding because going on vacations have proven benefits to both the young and old.

Family vacations promote bonding and quality time, lessen stress levels especially among children (yes, kids get stressed too!), and boost the physical and mental health of the whole family.

No matter how tight your schedule is, or even if it seems like it’s going to affect your household budget, there are a lot of reasons to pursue that family holiday you’ve been dreaming about. The thing is that going on a family vacation doesn’t have to be expensive. Additionally, planning for one doesn’t have to be stressful and overwhelming.

Here are five creative ideas for a fun and memorable family vacation:

Take your family to the sea… or the river

The beach is no doubt a popular destination for family getaways. Why not? The calming sound of the waves, the beautiful, fascinating view of the sea, and the relaxing feel of the sand on your skin – they all bring us joy, peace, and all other positive feelings. Plus, kids love to swim. Also, there are just so many things to do on the beach apart from swimming. They can run, play volleyball (and other sports), build a sandcastle, read a book under the sun, and enjoy a refreshing drink. With over 12,000 miles of coastline, you will surely find a beach to explore nearby. Otherwise (or if you feel like trying a different water adventure), head to the river. You can take your family into a rafting adventure, fishing, or boat sailing.

Consider staycation

Short on funds? Planning your vacation close to home is the best way to address the money issues. You can stay at a family-friendly hotel for a weekend where you can have a great time in the pool area with your kids and have a relaxing spa afterward. Then after a day of fun-filled activity, savor some good food and watch Netflix together. Alternately, you can do a city tour or a road trip or check out a new local spot that you haven’t visited yet. Just fuel your engine with enough gasoline and let the road be your guide.

Go as far as you can

If you have the time and resources to travel somewhere far, then go ahead! It’s going to be fun for sure. It can be a different state or another country. Gather the whole family and talk about your travel goals so you can decide which destination to go. International trips can be expensive. You can save on the cost by booking ahead. Do your research in advance so you can look for hotels or accommodations that have cheap rates but outstanding service. You can also find good deals from online travel sites if you plan ahead. You can have your travel plans arranged by your chosen airline.

Have a family camping

For most people, camping is a family tradition. Enjoying the outdoors away from home is a great way for families to bond and get in touch with nature. There hundreds of state parks and campgrounds in the country so there’s no reason why you should not try camping. Surely, you and your kids will love all sorts of outdoor adventures, such as hiking, trekking, fishing, nature walking, and so much more. However, for the safety and comfort of your whole family, choose comfortable footwear that will be great for camping activities. Additionally, create a list of the things you need to bring, including first-aid kits, snacks, and food, water, blankets, clothes, etc.

Visit a farm

Farms are wonderful spots to visit if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Farm visits are also very appealing to children. It gives them a chance to explore nature and enjoy things like feeding the animals, riding a horse, harvesting fruits and crops, and taking a relaxing nature walk. Kids love interacting with animals. And in farms, they get to see so many animals, such as chickens, ducks, cows, goats, sheep, dogs, and so much more. Farm holidays let you explore the stunning countryside, away from the loud distractions and noisy crowds. Many farms offer accommodations for guests where you don’t just enjoy a good night sleep but also satisfy your palate with tasty meals prepared using fresh organic produce.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning a vacation with your fam bam! It doesn’t have to be that long or that grand. Even a day or two are enough to escape from your hectic lives and spend quality time with each other. Hopefully, these ideas have inspired you to take that much-needed family holiday. Enjoy!

*Our featured Mommy Blogger is Mariam Simmons, a blogger at Alpineswiss.com

10 Creative Party Ideas for Your Baby’s 1st Birthday

Whether you’re a first-time mom or not, celebrating milestone birthdays is certainly in your bucket list. The first birthday, most especially, deserves an extra celebration.

Pulling up a fun and memorable first birthday party is easy. But with so much information out there, you must be feeling overwhelmed right now. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! Here are 10 creative party ideas for your baby’s 1st birthday to make it an amazingly beautiful and unforgettable one.

It’s all about decorations.

A successful milestone birthday party starts with eye-popping decorations. The great thing is, you can throw a beautiful celebration without spending on expensive décor and party accessories. But there are a few items that you shouldn’t do without, such as balloons and air dancers. These dancing inflatables are so fun to watch and children of all ages will love them. They also make a fun backdrop for your guests. Moreover, in order to make the area more beautiful you can add home accessories and make your guests feel comfortable. You can also DIY some decors like the party banners, favor bags, and party hats.

Funny Activities

Don’t make your party boring by skipping the fun games and activities. Take note that your guests are mainly children and you should entertain them. Go for activities that encourage moving around as kids are naturally energetic. Some entertaining games to try to include bubble wrap race, scavenger hunt, musical chairs, passing the parcel, and balloon pop.

Put up a chalkboard sign.

As your child hits his or her first year, it’s time to celebrate their milestones and accomplishments, from their first words to their favorite hobbies, food, and activities. All you need is a simple chalkboard panel and colorful chalks to write them down. If you or someone in the family has awesome calligraphy skills, you will end up with such a beautiful sign that will make your guests smile.

Don’t forget your photo collage. Isn’t it sweet to look back to those 12 happy, sad, beautiful, intense, and amazingly crazy months? Print your favorite Instagram photos of your child (from their first month to their 12th). There are many ways to set up your baby’s photo collage. You can cut out a huge “1” figure from cardboard and paste your baby’s photos on it. Or, instead of the traditional banners, you can hang the photos as a replacement. Hang it with Christmas lights for that whimsical effect.

Babies love balloons.

Balloons are timeless classics when it comes to parties and celebrations. And they are especially entertaining for kids. You can use balloons for decorating your venue as well as in games or activities. Instead of ordering premade balloons from your local party supplies dealer, buy a balloon kit to cut down on the cost.

Make it “wild”.

Wild One is a popular birthday theme not only because it looks so cute but also because it’s relatively easy to pull up. You can decorate your venue with wood pallets and accessories and some plants. For the food, serve them on wooden trays. Don’t forget the tent. It makes a lovely prop for your little one’s pictorial.

Make treats part of the decor.

Your party food doesn’t have to be just, well, food. It can also complement your beautiful decor. For example, who doesn’t find mini donuts tucked on a board cute, or skewered on colorful straws? How about worm jellies as toppers for chocolate mousse served in tiny tin cans or shot glasses? It takes a little creativity and effort to put together an Instagrammable table of delicious treats but it’s worth it! Don’t forget to have some snacks for toddlers attending your little one’s party, such as cereals and biscuits, placed in paper cups. They will cost you next to nothing and make a fun and beautiful addition to your party table.

Set up a photo booth.

Your guests would certainly love it. All you need is a small space, a nice colorful backdrop and a few props for the booth. You don’t always have to buy these supplies. For instance, you can turn a basket into an adorable hot air balloon.

Make it whimsical.

Are you holding your little one’s party outdoors? Make it camera-friendly and keep your guests in awe with a whimsical theme. Sometimes, all you need is a dreamy, whimsical dessert table with beautiful floral and butterfly decorations, warm lights, and balloons in pastel colors. Whimsical parties also make a great choice if you’re looking to celebrate in your backyard.

Make your loot bags.

Children’s parties are incomplete without loot bags. Instead of buying ready-made ones from the store, step up the game by making your own. It’s fun and the least expensive. Plus, you can be sure the bags contain kid-friendly items and not just too many candies or toys. Some great picks for your loot bags are name labels, binoculars, glow-in-the-dark stars, or some homemade healthy cookies.

Preparing for your baby’s first birthday party can feel overwhelming. But with these creative ideas, you can be sure you will end up with a beautiful and unforgettable party.

*Our featured Mommy Blogger is Megan Jones, blogger at Grizzly Tarps

Calling all “Glama Gals”!

There is this cute hidden gem in the heart of Ajax, tucked away near Old Pickering Village that most parents have been keeping under wraps. Well this Mommy did some sleuthing and discovered what so many other parents before me have bragged about. This spa is like no other in Durham. Yes, I said spa.  This spa is not for adults (jealous) but more geared toward girls from toddler to tween.  Glama Gal Kids Spa is where your kids go to get pampered in all sense of the word.

Currently, Glama Gals Spa has 7 locations across Ontario with more to come. Each franchise owner is part of the Glam Family and shares in the same goals and visions for this brand – Be Confident! Be Positive! Be YOU! Recognizing that kids experience societal pressures from peers, television, and social media, Glama Gals cultivates an accepting culture whereby girls are empowered and celebrated for who they are. Glama Gals achieves this goal by offering themed spa services that are all about affirming a child’s positive spirit. With themed services such as the, “BE Unique Party Package” or the, “BE You Spa Day”, every child’s  individuality is celebrated.

Glama Gals hosts free monthly workshops where kids learn effective strategies to assist with bullying, self-esteem, and maintaining friendships. The Glama Gals have also partnered with the local Girl Guide and brownie unit, coaching kids towards achieving their feel good badge

I was lucky enough to have been invited to experience all that Glama Gal Kids Spa offered while I was trying to plan the most amazing 5th birthday party for my daughter, Karmyn. After speaking with Dishni, the Owner and Manager of the Ajax location and checking out the spot, I just knew this was what my little diva would want for her and her friends. It was a surprise I had a hard time keeping from her, that’s for sure!

The day finally came and when Karmyn and her guests walked through the door, they were so excited and so were us moms who were given the opportunity to witness the party, but not partake sadly. It was all about our minis.

First, the birthday girl and her friends gathered in the dining room where they dined on some Belgian waffles with syrup and their choice of either pink sprinkles, chocolate sauce or whipped cream as a topping. They sipped on pink “Champagne” (lemonade) out of these large goblets that completed the whole Glama feel.  We sang “Happy Birthday” to Karmyn and one by one, the staff went around the room and asked each of her friends (including her 2 year old little sister) what the one thing was that we loved about Karmyn.  What an amazing question to pose! I along with the other moms were already in love with the place just after only 15 minutes.

After “lunch”, the girls headed downstairs to where all the magic happened.  There was this beautiful sitting area where

the staff showed the girls all the different lotions available to them and each got to sniff before being told they would get to make and take home their very own bottle of glitter lotion!  There was Tutti Fruity, Birthday Cake and Cotton Candy to name a few.  Cotton Candy seemed be the sweet-smelling favourite among our tiny humans.

Then it was time to get “Glama’d”.  The staff took the girls into their spa salon where it was beautifully decorated and mimicked exactly what we would look for in a salon or spa. There were swivel chairs and mirrors, a nail bar and leather couches,oh my!

As the girls sat and got pampered with a pedicure, they were then served like Royalty with mini champagne glasses filled with French Vanilla ice cream with pink glitter sparkles on top. Delish. It was a bit much for the girls to finish on their own but it was nothing us mommies couldn’t help them with of course!

After their toes were done, it was on to the manicures. The girls got to choose their colours and off they went for further pampering. Some chose one, two and some chose three colours on their nails after having them filed and receiving their individualized hand massages.

It was time for face masks as each girl received a mini facial with cucumbers over their eyes. Oh boy such awesome treatment. For those that wanted to, subtle makeup was applied and off Karmyn went with her friends for her Tutu Ceremony (a celebration of the bday girl and everyone wears a tutu, a crown and receives a wand). The staff member read out some positive affirmations from a book she was holding and the girls repeated them after her. Some of the girls were adorned with glitter after the ceremony and some opted out of that part.

After two fun-filled hours, it was time to wrap up the party.  Each girl received a small gift bag and was led to an area where they could choose a few accessories and trinkets to go home with.

The girls all had smiles on their faces which made my day!

We will definitely be coming back a this was truly a remarkable experience where little girls, aged 5 and up can be empowered and encouraged and can lift each other up.  This is truly the meaning Glama Gal Kids Spa . The transformation starts from within and the rest is just ice cream with glitter sprinkles.

Looking To Move And Wondering If You Should Buy First Or Sell First?

Your family is growing and you need a home that can grow with you. So, as you start thinking about your impending move, you’re left with the lingering question “should I buy first or sell first?”

“While there is no ‘right’ answer, it’s important to know the potential pros and cons of both options,” says RECO Registrar Joseph Richer. “Regardless of whether you buy first or sell first, it’s a good idea to have a contingency plan in case your closing dates don’t align, leaving you with two homes, or no home,  for a period of time.”

Speaking with your registered real estate professional before starting the buying or selling process can help you decide which route is better suited to your family’s needs.

Buy first

Buying first can make the house hunting experience more enjoyable. Without a closing date looming on your existing home, you’ll have time to wait until the right home comes up for sale. It can also be less stressful knowing that if your offer is unsuccessful, you can wait for the next opportunity to come up.

The downside to buying first is if you are unable to sell your home fast enough, you will find yourself owning two homes at once. The result could mean paying two mortgages at the same time, not to mention all the other costs of home ownership. Additionally, you may have trouble securing a mortgage for the new home.

As a buyer with an existing home to sell, you can protect yourself by making your offer conditional on the sale of your current home. That means if you’re unable to sell within a specified period of time, you’re able to back out of the transaction. However, it’s worth pointing out that this condition will likely make your offer less attractive to the seller, especially if you’re buying in an area with a hot market.

Sell first

The biggest benefit of selling first, aside from removing the risk of owning two homes at once, is you’ll know how much money the sale brought in, which will help determine how much you can afford to pay for the next place.

As helpful as that is to know, the challenge is that you’ll find yourself in a race against the clock, with your closing date looming and potentially no home to move into when you move out of your current one. If you’re not careful, you may end up rushing the buying process and settling for a home that isn’t ideal for you, or paying more than you planned because you feel pressured.

Have a contingency plan

Regardless of which route you choose, it’s a smart idea to have a back-up plan in place in case you are left with two homes, or no home, for a period of time.

If the sale of your home closes first, you might consider a short-term rental or moving in with family or friends. This could be better than settling for a less-than-ideal home because you are rushed.

If the purchase of your new home closes first, you might need something called “bridge financing” to cover the down payment and other closing costs until the sale of your current home closes.

“No matter which option you choose, it’s important to remember that a registered real estate professional is knowledgeable about market conditions and will offer advice and solutions to guide you through the process,” says Richer. “They will be able to discuss various scenarios to make sure you have realistic expectations about what may happen and help you come up with a plan that works for you and your growing family.”

 

There’s a lot of information out there about market trends and how to get the best price, but you also need to know about your rights and responsibilities as a home buyer or seller.  The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) can help you with that.

When it comes to real estate transactions, the more you know, the better you’re protected. Visit RECO’s website to learn more.

Check out some more helpful articles including 4 must-do tips before you start the home buying process, as well as the 5 questions you should ask before selecting a real estate representative.

Moksha Yoga Brooklin: A Hidden Gem

So give it to me straight. What do you know about yoga? Do you know about yoga? Do you practice yoga? Have you ever? Would you ever?

I ask because it is interesting to see the various answers and opinions you come across. Some still have pre-conceived notions that yoga is for people who “don’t really workout” or are looking for a “low-impact-type exercise”. Well, let me tell you, after being one of those pessimists and actually trying out a class hot yoga at that, I am here to say I was way off and yoga is actually a TOTAL body workout that you can feel just as you would lifting weights at the gym.

We’ve had the pleasure of running our 8-week Whitby/Brooklin Fall Mom and Baby and Mini Movers programs out of Moksha Yoga Brooklin and although I haven’t yet tried a class, let me tell you about this hidden gem if you don’t already know.

This studio is located just at the entrance to beautiful Brooklin and can be found on the upper level of some great entertainment spots.

There are 12 teachers which make up Moksha Brooklin and I love that it is a mix of both males and females.

One thing that really caught our eye for wanting to host our programs are their values which are based on Seven Philosophical Pillars:

  1. Be Healthy
  2. Be Accessible
  3. Live Green
  4. Community Support
  5. Reach out
  6. Live to Learn
  7. Be Peace.

You can read more on these pillars and their meaning as well as watch videos explaining further HERE

You can definitely see they have great selection of class offerings that can suit one’s needs and comfort level. Classes range from Hot Yoga to “Yoganastics” to Prenatal yoga and run as early as 6:30am to as late as 8:15pm. One of their classes is the “Karma” class which is a reduced-fee class where all proceeds are donated to a local non-profit organization. This all ties back to the fourth pillar of giving back.

We had the pleasure of having Tara lead our Moms and babies in a very calming yet effective yoga class and it did not disappoint. Our moms were very happy with how Tara took her time with them and understood that these were new moms with babies where some may have been out of their comfort zones. There was definitely chatter to come back for more.

Their studio is spacious and inviting and the mood for practice is definitely set.

If you are looking for a yoga studio to practice at or if you are new to the world of yoga, Moksha Yoga Brooklin is where you want to be. I’m pretty certain, once you yoga, you’ll always yoga.

HAVE NO FEAR! TERVIS DRINKWARE IS HERE!

Tervis is the original customizable, double-wall insulated drinkware that keeps hot drinks hot, cold drinks cold and is backed by a

lifetime guarantee.

As I read though the website, I found some statements of how Tervis separates itself from the rest. The features listed are:

Keeps Cold Drinks Cold.

Think of all the extra ice you’ll save for delicious frozen margaritas!

Keeps Hot Drinks Hot

Hotter than other cups. Take a cautionary sip before you start swigging.

Reduces Condensation

Gives you the freedom to host parties without coaster anxiety.

Lifetime Guaräntee

Tervis drinkware is made for a lifetime of total sipping satisfaction.

Dishwasher Safe

No matter who (or what) does the washing in your home, Tervis drinkware is safe in the suds

Personalized Designs

An Environmentally Safe Product

All products are BPA-free

I was lucky enough to be asked by one of Canada’s top Baby stores, buy buy Baby to review this awesome company and two items on their Tervis product line; My First Tervis™ Sippy Cup and 10oz. Wavy Tumbler.

Because I do have a 13-month old and a 3.5year old,,this was a no-brainer for me to accept.

What I noticed right away was their huge selection of tumblers and sippy’s. Patterned, solid coloured, Disney inspired,

superhero and sports- themed, tumblers for adults, the assortment went on and on. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them and most importantly, to see how my kids would love (or hate) it. 

I chose a “Sofia The First” 10oz tumbler for my toddler and a very cute pink floral elephant for my baby for her first sippy. Summer was here and with the temperatures to prove it.

So I decided to challenge Tervis

regarding their “keeps cold things cold” statement. I filled both the sippy and the tumbler with cold water and added ice cubes to them just to put it to the real test. As the kids and I went about our day, I noticed the ice was still there, in tact. Fast forward 3 hours and not only were the ice cubes still there, but they hadn’t lost there shape! Needless to say, I was pretty impressed and super jealous that I had not chosen an adult tumbler for myself to take home.

The website doesn’t state this (that I could easily find anyway), but I am almost certain they are damage-proof. My 13-month old dropped her sippy religiously after every drink, for fun! But I am happy to report it withstood the ultimate test, the baby test, and came out on top!

My toddler absolutely loves her tumbler! She was so wise as to point out to me that it was Sofia The First on it as I had only picked it out for her because it was pretty. I love that they are splatter-proof, but mainly, I love their design and how independent it makes her feel that she can drink from a “big-girl” cup. The easy slide lid is so convenient and simple for my tot to use and when its closed, and falls over, absolutely nothing happens! The water stays in! I am speaking from experience here.

So overall, Tervis seems to be the leading brand in our household, and I have never seen these sold anywhere else but at buybuy Baby. The Tumbler retails for approximately $24.99 and the sippy for about $14.99 which, to be honest, sounds a bit steep. However, for all the features, including a LIFETIME guarantee of its quality,,it is definitely worth it!

 

 

 

Kid-Friendly Essential Oils For Everyday Ailments

Written by: (guest mommy blogger) Ash Stevens

So, it seems every mom and their dog is using essential oils. Unfortunately, many are also making money off of them. Thanks to all their marketing and self-promotion, essential oils seem like another triangle-scheme that’s bound to lose it’s money-making steam.

But guess what? Scientific studies are showing that quality essential oils are legit. Whether it’s peppermint’s use in treating IBS, or it’s frankincense’s ability to kill cancer cells — study findings support the use of essential oils in evidence-based care.

If you’re ready to use kid-friendly essential oils that have support from science, then this is the post for you! Read on to see how oils can be used to legitimately aid everyday ailments.

Aches And Pains

Pain and muscle aches seem like more of a topic for weight lifters and arthritis sufferers, but kids need this consideration too. Pain has many consequences like cost and time, for starters. Most importantly, it costs our children and families quality of life. Instead of struggling through our days, we should get help from our herbal allies.

  • Copaiba: Until recently, I had never heard of this oil. Once I began researching it, I immediately realized that copaiba essential oil is a staple. It’s used to ease achy joints and sore muscles, and mothers across the web swear by it for teething. If that’s not enticing enough, this essential oil has a magical reputation with respiratory issues like cough and congestion. Even better, copaiba is considered safe for diffusion and topical application for children of all ages (after performing a skin patch test and then applying the oil using proper dilution, of course).
  • Rosemary: This prized culinary herb helps aches as much as digestion. As a natural analgesic, rosemary relieves pain and enhances circulation (and thereby promoting healing). Even better, it has a reputation for soothing both muscle aches and headaches. Aromatherapy expert Robert Tisserand considers rosemary safe for topical use in children age six and over (at a ration of one drop of EO for every one teaspoon of carrier oil). For children under the age of six, you can try black pepper for pain relief. Thanks to it’s properties as an analgesic, decongestant, digestive aid, and circulation enhancer, it’s able to relieve pains of many kinds.

Tummy Troubles

We all have the joy of experiencing the diet and schedule that fits our body type. Nothing reminds you more of this than the exploring bellies of children. Whether your little one is struggling with gas or digestion, there are oils that science proposes may help.

  • Peppermint: This herb has had a long history with digestion. Today, studies show peppermint is a powerful remedy for IBS. Enteric-coated peppermint essential oil capsules have proven to be most effective in lab studies, though I have always found great relief in rubbing peppermint and carrier oil onto my belly. However, there are concerns about using peppermint on young children. the European Medicines Agency recommends avoiding the use of oils containing menthol, camphor, and cineol (ie. peppermint, eucalyptus, and mint) in children under age of 2. If your little one is under the age of five or has sensitivities, then spearmint or black pepper may be a better choice.
  • Catnip: Back in the day, catnip tea was given to children to promote sleep, calm nerves, and help digestion. This carminative herb was so gentle and so helpful with little bellies, it was used along with fennel to treat colicky babies. Essential oil expert Robert Tisserand considers catnip safe for diffusion and topical use in infants and young children. If you want to apply it topically to a young child, it’s advised to dilute it in a carrier oil (one drop of EO for every 4 teaspoons of carrier oil). After diluting it, it can then be applied to the troubled area or rubbed into the soles of the feet.

Cold And Flu

Thanks to having an immune system that’s fresh in development, our little ones are bound to come down with a cold, flu, or stomach flu (no, it’s not the same thing as the flu). When our kids come down with a viral or bacterial infection, we generally jump to treat the symptoms we see like fever or cramping. However, we forget that these symptoms are a result of an overabundance of foreign microscopics. With that in mind, I’ll cover oils which are known to enhance immunity and fight off microbes.

  • Lemon: There’s a pretty good chance you already use this oil to make homemade cleaners. So, it should come as no surprise that the disinfectant properties of lemon can benefit the body as much as kitchen counters. Lemon has been studied on viruses, bacteria, morning sickness, and even cancer, so the potential of lemon oil is huge. We get even more help against cold and flu because lemon essential oil detoxifies and boosts the immune system by improving the drainage of the lymphatic system. Tisserand considers this oil safe for diffusion and topical application in young children, but citrus oils can cause photosensitive skin reactions so this requires caution. If you’re going to apply it topically, this oil may be best kept to the soles of the feet (and, as always, properly diluted). For extra sickie-fighting power, consider pairing lemon with tea tree oil. It’s a very powerful infection fighter, and Tisserand considers it safe for topical application and diffusion for all ages.
  • Helichrysum: This essential oil may come from a simple shrubby flower, but it packs some powerful health properties. Thanks to its antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying properties, it may help speed up viral infections and reduce their symptoms. Another HUGE bonus is the amazing skin benefits of helichrysum with scars, wounds, and… Stretchmarks! It’s a pricey oil, but I personally have never regretted buying it. If you want to get helichrysum, you should know that it’s compounds and properties can vary. To see what variety best fits your needs, read this post on Helichrysum from Aromahead Institute.

Wounds

Cuts, scrapes, burns, and gashes will put a damper on any kids day. This is where essential oils shine like the sun. With antibacterial essential oils to ward of infection, and anti-inflammatory oils to reduce pain and swelling, we can save our children all sorts of pain. There are actually some oils so helpful for healing, they can reduce scarring. If there’s one area that’s worthy of budgeting for essential oils, this may be it.

  • Frankincense: This oil has a long reputation with spirituality that goes far back through history. Today, it’s recognized that frankincense has powers that go above beyond mere scent. For starters, it’s a natural disinfectant (kills germs) and an anti-inflammatory (reduces pain and swelling). Moreover, frankincense boosts cell repair, thus promoting the healing of wounds — and with minimal scarring.
  • Lavender: If you’re only going to buy one essential oil, then lavender is it. From healing skin and fighting infections, to reducing insomnia and anxiety — lavender oil has SO MANY uses. As a natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, it fights off infection and swelling. As a natural source of powerful antioxidants, it promotes healing and maintains health. It’s benefits have been studied on anxiety, postpartum depression, insomnia, viruses, and more. If that’s not intriguing enough, it’s incredibly mild and gentle and often suits even sensitive baby skin. It’s bound to be a family staple (and it’s sure to become a family favorite).

Do you use essential oils at home? What are your favorite ways to use them? Be sure to share below!

Win Tickets To The Baby Show – April 1 & 2, 2017 At The Enercare Centre!

Would you like to win tickets to The Baby Show, Toronto’s premium pregnancy and early parenting event?

You can spend the day getting pampered, learning from experts, and shopping everything pregnancy, baby and toddler from top local and national brands! Be sure to stop by our Mommy Connections booth and say hello!

Mommy Connections fans can save $3 off the $15 ticket price with the online promo code MC2017, buy tickets to The Baby Show here.

Enter for your chance to win a pair of tickets to The Baby Show, April 1st and 2nd at the Enercare Centre, Hall D. Contest closes March 27, 2017. Winner will be contacted via email.

Enter our contest HERE

Show Details:

Dates:

Saturday, April 1, 2017 – 9am to 6pm

Sunday, April 2, 2017 – 10am to 5pm

Location:

Enercare Centre, Hall D

Exhibition Place

100 Princes’ Blvd., Toronto, ON, M6K 3C3

Ticket Price:

$15 online (Save $3 with the promo code MC2017) and at the door (cash only). Kids 12 and under are free.

With over 130 national and local exhibitors, The Baby Show highlights include:

Massage Area

New and expectant moms can experience a free massage from Sutherland-Chan Massage School to help alleviate ailments related to pregnancy and caring for baby.

Learn how to be a green parent!

Exhibitors with a focus on health and wellness and natural/organic/eco-friendly products and services specifically for moms and babies will be recognized by “The Baby Show Green” decal in their exhibit space.

Seminar Stage 

Plan your visit and hear local and national parenting experts speak on a variety of topics ranging from immunization, pregnancy and birth-related worries to nutrition for parents and baby. All speakers are also available for a question and answer period after their talks. Visit our website for a show schedule.

Health & Wellness Mat

Take part in a prenatal yoga class and you could walk away with one of 20 yoga mats from Gaiam! Learn about infant massage, enjoy a fitness demo and how to recognize, treat and support post partum depression.

Safety 1st Product & Safety Stage

This stage offers an introduction to cloth diapering, car seat safety and babyproofing your home seminars as well as first aid for the first year!

Etsy Junior Area

A dedicated area on the show floor for select exhibitors showcasing handmade, local products from brands found on Etsy.

FREE Sleep Consultation

The KinderSleep team will be on hand to help you with your sleep concerns and answer your questions.

Rest Area and Reading Nook

A spacious area designed to encourage literacy and give you a perfect place to take a break. Sit down on a comfy chair and read up on pregnancy and parenting or read your little one a fun and colourful board book.

Speaker Series Highlights:

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis – Immunization

Taya Griffin – How to get off to the best breastfeeding start

Lianne Phillipson – Starting solids with your baby

Ann Douglas – Top ten pregnancy & birth-related worries

Margaret Wallis-Duffy – Baby massage & millenial mom toolbox

Dr. Sarah Mikeler – Ideal fetal positions for an easier birth

Association of Ontario Midwives – Overview of midwifery care

St. John Amublance – First aid essentials in the first year and beyond

SEE YOU AT KIDAPALOOZA 2017!

The 2nd Annual Kidapalooza Family Festival will take place INDOORS at the Markham Fair Grounds on Family Day Weekend, February 18th – 20th, 2017. For the 2017 event, Kidapalooza has expanded and will feature ​over 45,000 square feet of activity stations, play zones, interactive inflatables, a performance stage, dance parties, and vendors – this three day long celebration of the imagination will have families creating, exploring and playing together. Kidapalooza is committed to providing a hands-on, creative experience for families from all across the Greater Toronto Area.

 

As Fresh As It Gets!

In March 2015 Organic Fruits and Veggies Food Cooperative was created to help families have better access to affordable organic fruits and veggies in Durham Region.
Our purpose is not to accumulate profit, but to provide members with affordable organic produce. All produce is 100% certified organic, we emphasis locally grown seasonal produce – often with items you just won’t find in the grocery store. We buy from different organic farmers in bulk at wholesale prices and share with our members, so that we all get the best price possible.
Enjoy the convenience of arriving home from work with your organic fruits and veggies box waiting for you. We love making organic fruit and veggies affordable for our members

We order food from local farms and suppliers at wholesale prices which are shared with our members. We place the order for food, pack and deliver member’s orders to their door weekly, bi-weekly or occasionally.

We offer our members a variety of box sizes packed full or fresh local organic produce and subscription options that are flexible.

Organic Fruits and Veggies supports local farmers. Over 60% of the produce in our boxes during Ontario’s growing season is local to Ontario, so our produce is always fresh while keeping Ontario’s economy strong.

We are excited to be celebrating our 1st year of helping families in Durham Region have access to affordable organic produce and we look forward to many more years of serving our community.