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.

Do YOU KNOW About DIONO?!

I love when I get deliveries! I’m like a child at Christmas, waiting for Santa to deliver the goods! So imagine how happy I was to receive the Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat to my doorstep. I was in car seat heaven.

Upon opening the box, the very first thing I noticed was a “fun fact” sheet which told me weight capacities at each stage, safety features, comfort features and convenience features. Some of the points listed under each feature were as follows:

Weight Capacities

  • Rear-facing: 5 – 45lbs in a 5-point harness
  • Forward-facing: 22 – 65lbs in a 5-point harness
  • Booster mode: 50-120lbs
  • Height:Up to 57″

Safety Features:

  • Fully integrated steel frame and reinforced sides
  • Rear-facing tether capability
  • Safe Stop energy absorbing harness
  • SuperLATCH:super-strong UAS connectors that make for a super-secure and super-easy installation every time

Comfort Features:

  • Infant body support cushions
  • 5 shoulder and 3 buckle positions for custom fit
  • Expandable sides and longer
  • 12 height positions for adjustable head support

Convenience Features:

  • Fits 3 across in a mid-size vehicle
  • Folds flat for travel and storage
  • 10 year product life

On Diono’s website, I loved the various selection of colours to choose from.

When we were on our car seat journey with our baby girls (the oldest being 3 and the baby 5 months) and upon further research and review, one of the leading car seats to purchase was a Diono. The general overall consensus was that it was a GREAT car set, but was extremely heavy and quite large which didn’t fit with most vehicles. So truth be told, just based on those reviews alone, we went with another brand. However, I always found myself drawn to the brand and have several mommy friends who “absolutely love” their Diono car seat! So of course I had to revisit this, especially since the Summer 2016 arrival of our little squish.

I got hubby to do everything as I trust him more than myself to put anything together, especially when it comes to our girls. There were only a few pieces that had to be attached to the main body of the seat so, overall, very easy. The seat was all ready and set to come with me to my Holiday Tot Christmas Party!

Before packing up to head to my class, hubby showed me how easy it was to carry the seat by holding the red strap which tied around the seat. I did notice that the seat itself was a bit weighty but nothing like how heavy the reviews were saying it was. I was able to carry it in one hand essentially. Once I arrived, I set the seat up and snapped pics of the parents and toddlers trying the Radian out.

One by one, I watched and took pics of each mom and tot who decided to check out this gorgeous seat. I asked a few about it and some said they were looking at the seat but didn’t make a final decision where others said that they own a Diono and absolutely love it. Some of the moms pointed out that they own more than one and knew that Diono was just about the only car seat out there narrow enough to put three across the backseat of a motor vehicle to hold multiple children.

The moms found placing their toddler in the seat pretty simple and found buckling up very easy, once the tots quit squirming, of course. The side cushions were amazing and the moms found the back support, though rather tall to be surprisingly comfortable for their child.

The kids seemed to love the Radian RXT as well. I caught one of the girls playing with the buckles, trying to clip and unclip them. It was too cute.

Overall, It was determined that Diono is definitely a good sturdy well-structured car seat that will win anyone over who tries it.  For our 5 month old, I will definitely be using the Diono Radian RXT and I’m really excited to see how baby girl enjoys it once she is out of her bucket seat.

 

WIN A SPEEDY SLEEP PACKAGE FROM WEESLEEP DURHAM!

Holly Jefferd is  licensed sleep consultant with WeeSleep and services Durham Region. Holly provide parents with a customized plan to help their infants and toddlers become independent and amazing little sleepers. Helping them become the best sleepers they can be is all done in a positive, gentle and loving way. I help parents feel confident in the plan. I can help with non-sleepers, short naps, early wakings, multiple wakings, twins or any other sleep issue you may have.

The “Speedy Sleep” package is perfect for those who need sleep and need sleep FAST!

Are you pressed for time, exhausted, overwhelmed, and on a budget? Want a plan that is easy to follow, and one that you can commit and stick to without a full support package? If this sounds like what you need, you can be sleeping within 10 days!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

 

WIN 1 OF 3 MOM AND BABY OR TRAVELLING TOT SESSIONS!

Mommy Connections Durham introduces you to programs and services available within your community. Our classes provide a unique learning opportunity as well as a fun way to bond with your child and other moms in a social environment.

Each week’s 90 minute class offers a topic that is important to a new mom as well as something for moms to do with babies. This allows for a unique bonding opportunity with your little one while still fulfilling your need to obtain information and be social with other moms experiencing the same challenges, fears and excitement.

Each week’s class features a discussion lead by local experts, on topics relevant to your child’s developmental stage, as well as a demonstration of popular programs available to you within your community. Plus, all Mommy Connections Durham participants receive a swag bag full of samples, discounts & promotions from some of our National and LOCAL sponsors!

Classes we offer: Mommy To Be, Mom & Baby 1 (0 – 7 Months), Mom & Baby 2 (8 – 15 Months), Travelling Tots (16months – 3.5 years)

MOM TO BE: Leading experts prepare and inform the pre-natal mom for pregnancy, delivery and beyond

MOM & BABY Level I & II: Engaging new moms and babies through an interactive and educational weekly program

TRAVELLING TOTS: An interactive and engaging field-trip based weekly program, for both parents and toddlers to play, learn and develop

We also host Infant and Child CPR and First Aid Classes as well as various workshops throughout the year.

We Provide Educational and Social Connections for the Modern Family Before Baby and Beyond!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE CONTEST! GOOD LUCK!!

WIN 1 OF 2 CREAMY AND DELICIOUS CHEESECAKES!

Let Food At Ease – Personal Chef and Catering do all the work for you by providing gourmet meals. Together with Chef (and Owner), Karl Watson, you’ll plan a menu. Then sit back relax and enjoy the culinary experience which he brings to you.

Having gone to George Brown for Baking and Liaison College for French Cuisine, Chef Karl Watson knows his way around the kitchen and knows how to satisfy your palette.  Growing up, Karl discovered his love for cooking and would often assist his mother in the kitchen. After working in two very reputable restaurants in the GTA, he decided to take his culinary skills and love of cooking to the next level.

From small to large gatherings and events, Chef Karl will tantalize your taste buds with his knack for flavours and mesmerize you with his visual presentations. Watch on with your guests as he creates meals made to order, taking you on a culinary journey right in your own home.

Click HERE to enter the contest! Good Luck!

WIN 6 COMPLIMENTARY SPINAL EXAMS (FOR MOM AND/OR BABY)!

Chiropractic care plays such an important role in the support of both mom and baby throughout pregnancy and postnatally.
Dr. Michelle Frazier wants to offer 6 lucky mommies complimentary spinal examinations to use on yourself and/or baby!  Although your health should never have a price tag on it, each prize is a $100 value!!
For more information as to how Chiropractic can serve you please visit Dr. Michelle’s website  or her Facebook page .
“I cannot wait to meet you all and join you on your pregnancy and/or childrearing journey”.
ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

WIN 4 FITMOM+ BABY CLASSES!! (Courtesy of Fitmom Durham)

As the proud owner of FITMOM Durham, Jennifer helps women achieve their personal wellness goals and promotes healthy birth experiences for new and expecting moms. With over 15 years in the health & wellness field she brings extensive experience in group facilitation and public speaking, and is skilled in providing enhanced learning and fitness experiences for her clients.

In 2006 she also added the designation of Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator to her list of credentials. She has been teaching prenatal Lamaze classes for nine years to families across Durham Region. Her background in Adult Education, Group Facilitation and Public Speaking ensures that your group or private series is fun and informative. She is well known for her sense of humour and past participants often say that attending her classes was the highlight of their week! Jennifer is also a DONA trained Doula and feels privileged to provide labour support to the families she works with. Jennifer is also a Program Director for the Canadian Institute of Childbirth Educators. Currently it is the only Independent Canadian Program that trains future Lamaze Educators.

She regularly attends workshops and courses to ensure her knowledge regarding fitness and healthy birth practices for the childbearing mother, is current. In her free time, Jennifer, gives back to her community as an active volunteer with the Durham Family YMCA.

Most importantly, she is also known as Mom to two busy, growing boys Ben (10) & Jakob (6).

The FITMOM+ Baby Class is the most popular FITMOM indoor class! Shape and sculpt your body using your baby to provide added weight resistance. Each class is a full body workout designed to improve your core strength, burn fat and build muscle. You can expect to see longer, leaner arms, toned and shapely legs and smaller waistlines. Exercise without the guilt, meet other moms in your community and have FUN!

Please bring a structured carrier or wrap to this class.  Your baby will love snuggling with you while you wear him in your baby carrier and you will love the extra resistance that wearing your baby provides!

This class is suitable for mom’s +babies 6weeks+

(We welcome crawlers, walkers and tots)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY CONTEST!

It Was An X3 Clean Halloween!!

Who doesn’t love to dress up in costume for Halloween? Especially when you’re a toddler?! Carving pumpkins and making Halloween crafts can be awfully fun…and messy at the same time.

While one is busy having so much fun, who really wants to run to the bathroom every 5 minutes to wash their hands? Well, thanks to the X3 Clean Hand Sanitizer by Farleyco, the tots get that super clean finish which is (by the way) fragrance and alcohol-free!

At first glance, I was thinking, “Here we go again. Another hand sanitizer on the market” and to be honest, because of the many alcohol-based hand sanitizers on the market, I really wasn’t expecting much. But I was pleasantly surprised when I got my hands on the X3 and the kids loved it! I loved the sleek look of it. it wasn’t bulky and it was compact enough that it could fit nicely in your pocket. The kids felt a kind of independence because they were able to use it as it was great for tiny hands.

14894660_10154765522246055_1988115365_oA bonus feature that you can’t find on other sanitizers is the easy open/close spray top. This secures it so there won’t be any unexpected squirts. Just turn it open to use and turn it back to close the nozzle. Super easy to explain to the toddlers and easy enough for them to understand and do it themselves.

The X3 Clean is fragrance and residue free, non-stinging and completely safe for the kiddies to use which is wonderful since harmful germs frequently fly between toddlers in their busy, sleepless lives, it’s good to know that the germs are being killed in just one or two sprays. You can get 200+ sprays in every 8ml bottle so it should definitely last awhile.14895582_10154765390781055_170821786_o

Another unique feature to the X3 is that it does not have the typical lotion pump. Instead it has a spray nozzle which again adds to its ability to go anywhere with you. Another reason why I wasn’t a fan of hand sanitizers is because they are typically drying because of the alcohol content. But with the X3 Clean Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer, the dryness isn’t an issue and its non-existent.

14895687_10154765522681055_170283879_oBecause the sanitizer is triclosan free,one doesn’t have to worry about all the cancer-causing attributes triclosan has. It was a definite hit with the kids and it’s something I will definitely place in my toddler’s backpack when she goes off to preschool14876287_10154765391136055_942048700_o

 

REVIEW: Modern Eternity Is As Modern As It Gets!

Modern Eternity is a Canadian brand with a simple desire to create modern, comfortable wardrobe essentials. Born out of an obsession with creating the perfect coat, in one of the world’s coldest climates, the maternity wear line was born, and their 3-in-1 maternity coat and 4-way stretch maternity denims became hugely popular.

“Inspired by women who bring life into our world, we produce uncomplicated garments with the emphasis on fit, feel and style. Modern Eternity is a way of thinking, it’s about moving forward with change and not looking back. Here at Modern Eternity, it’s about putting passion and love into creating something that you, the wearer will not only look great in, but will give you the power to express your own eternal light.”

I was asked to review their newest style jacket, the “Lexi” – 3-in-1 fur trimmed hood maternity puffer , which retails for $180jacket6.00 Cdn.

Seeing how I had given birth 4-months ago, I could not wait for this goody to arrive. Of course, with the weather getting cooler and after raiding my closet for winter wear, I had already given up hope on finding a jacket that would actually fit my body and allow me to zip it up without looking like a stuffed sausage.  I was also wondering how I was going to handle my daily walks while wearing my baby girl with winter rolling around.

I was like a child at Christmas when the delivery arrived which apparently was very light. I ripped open the packaging and was
pleasantly surprised by the colour of the jacket. Calling it  “Dark Grey” as they do on their website doesn’t do this beautiful chevron-quilted piece any justice. It had a nice shimmer to it and looked almost pearl-like.

The jacket was soft to the touch and felt very light, living up to the company’s self-proclamation of “lightweight outerwear”. This didn’t seem to be an issue as I am generally warmer than normal anyway. I also assume the lighter material was inspired by the fact that it can get awfully warm rather quickly when babywearing so putting on this jacket was refreshing, a welcomed break from my past (and present) winter coats.

Instructions did not accompany the jacket but it wasn’t needed as at least one of the tags attached  to the sleeve of the coat served as a visual aid on how to wear it 3 different ways: during pregnancy, while wearing baby and without baby. Easy enough. Unfortunately, I missed the first look as my daughter is almost 5 months old. However, the other two looks I was right on time for.

jacket4It was time for our walk which would be a shortened one as it was rather cool out, but still great walking weather. Per usual, my daughter was lightly dressed in her long sleeved shirt and pants with socks and wearing a pink sweater with a hood. I put her in my carrier and then put on my Lexi. I was worried about the sizing, but it fit perfectly over both of us. I was easily able to zip up the jacket without any fear of pinching my daughter. The middle panel which was against my daughter as I wore her facing me was a different material than the rest of the jacket. It was a softer type of lining creating that comfort for her head as the jacket zipped up around her. Impressive. A little lower in the middle panel was almost like a pocket where both my hands could cradle her tiny bum but still be protected from the cold. For babies on the shorter side, the paneling can be zipped up then peeled down like a banana to so that jacket8baby isn’t swallowed by the jacket.

The faux-fur-lined hood on the jacket is there to block out the elements, and adds a nice touch to the overall look of the jacket, but it was my least favourite feature. I’m just not a fan of fur-lined hoods for so many reasons not relevant to this review, but the good news is the fur (not the hood) can be detached by snaps, not a zipper like you’d find on so many other jackets. I loved it!

jacket1As we walked, my daughter became drowsy as she often does when she is being rocked and is nice and cozy. I felt great as well. We’ve been together in the jacket for about 30 minutes now and still felt comfy, light and airy, and just warm enough even in the brisk, cool wind. I like that I had the option of the “pocket” under her bum or the pockets at the side of the jacket to warm my hands. I love my pockets and was a bit disappointed when I didn’t find inner pockets which is where I would keep my cellphone or keys. I certainly wouldn’t trust the pockets on the outside of the jacket as they were not protected by snaps or zippers. They were open pockets.

Once we arrived home, I removed the jacket and took my now sleeping jacket3daughter out of the carrier. Then with just the easy removal of the middle panel by simply unzipping it, I was able to achieve the 3rd look, the “baby-free” look. It was stylish, it was chic, it was great and loved the way it fit my curvy body.

Overall, the Lexi by Modern Eternity is a super,sleek, comfy, stylish and modern winter jacket that converts from pregnancy to baby- free with just the addition and/or removal of the middle panel. The simplified picture on the tag is all the instruction one would need to achieve all 3 looks. The cost seems a bit high at first until the versatility comes into play, which then makes it a steal considering all the features. More importantly, my daughter was still well protected from the cold and we were both warm and cozy without being overheated which is hard in itself to achieve, but this jacket, as lightweight as it is, accomplished just that.

jacket9

 

 

WIN TICKETS TO THE BABY SHOW TORONTO!!

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

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 MC2016, buy yours here.

Enter for your chance to win a pair of tickets to The Baby Show, Oct 1st and 2nd at the Enercare Centre, Hall D.

Contest closes Sept 26, 2016.  Winner will be contacted via email.

Enter our contest HERE!

Dates:

Saturday, Oct 1, 2016 – 9am to 6pm

Sunday, Oct 2, 2016 – 10am to 5pm

Location:

Enercare Centre, Hall D

Exhibition Place

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

Ticket Price:

$15 online and at the door (cash only).  Kids 12 and under are free.  Save $3 with the discount code MC2016.

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.

The Healthy Moms Toronto Zone

A dedicated area on the show floor for select exhibitors with a focus on health and wellness and natural/organic/eco-friendly products and services specifically for moms and babies.

Seminar Stage 

Plan your visit and hear local and national parenting experts speak on a variety of topics ranging from exercise during pregnancy 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.

FREE Sleep Consultation

The Good Night Sleep Site team will be on hand to help you with your sleep concerns and answer your questions.

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, learn about infant CPR and so much more!

Car Seat Checks and Installations

Nuna Canada will be providing car seat installations throughout the day Saturday, October 1st at the Enercare Centre.

Etsy Junior Area

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

DK Rest Area and Reading Nook is 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

Dara Bergeron – Pregnancy Exercise Through the Trimesters

Ann Douglas – The Truth About Parenthood

Margaret Wallis-Duffy – Infant Massage

Meet Milestone Montessori!

Through a slight blend of technology mixed in to traditional play-based learning, Milestone’s ultimate goal is to be alongside your child to reach their milestones and continue to provide support for them to reach higher limits and their maximum potentials in the very near future.milestone

Milestone Montessori strives to provide a safe and enriching environment for your child to nourish and develop their innate skills while learning new ones, to reach their maximum potential. Teachings are based around virtues such as compassion, respect for self and others, honesty, empathy and responsibility. Your child will have the freedom to explore and discover endless possibilities, foster inclusion and relationships to become successful members of society starting at an early age.

milestone

All of the teachers are Montessori trained, our Early Childhood Educators are registered with the College of ECE. Qualified staff members take great pride in providing the necessary assistance to you alongside your child to ensure that they reach their many milestones in the present and the future.

At Milestone Montessori the goal is simple – to provide the necessary tools and environment for your child to recognize their potentials, and to support your child and you as they reach their very own milestones.

Mommy Connections Durham is thrilled to announce that beginning this Fall our programs will now be held at this wonderful facility!

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