Picnic In the Park – Lethbridge Summer 2019

Mommy Connections Picnic In The Park – Saturday July 27th at Nicholas Sheran Park

Summer is here and we’re excited to celebrate – Mommy Connections style!

Join us for a FREE community Picnic In The Park at Nicholas Sheran Park on Saturday, July 27th 11am-1pm

We will be hosting these events across the country as a way for all of our amazing families to come back and reconnect with old friends you met through our programs. It’s also a chance for those of you who may not have experienced Mommy Connections, to come and see what we’re all about! There will be toy testing, giveaways, and some freebies too!

This FREE event is open to everyone, so feel free to bring a friend or two along! Kids of all ages are welcome, including those still in bellies 😉

The only catch is that you – and your guests – need to RSVP so that we have enough fun and freebies to go around.  Please head on over to our event registration page HERE and select the appropriate number of adults and children and click “add to cart”.

About Our Sponsors:

Two Guys and a Pizza Place

We are absolutely thrilled to have partnered with Two Guys and a Pizza Place for this community event. They’ll be delivering complimentary slices of their delicious pizza for the first 100 guests to RSVP.

Two Guys and a Pizza Place prides themselves on 17 years of providing great pizza with exceptional service to the Lethbridge and area community. Using quality ingredients, which are made in-house or brought in locally as much as possible, you are guaranteed to have a perfectly delicious pizza every time. Their pizzas start with a crust made on the foundation of a 19th century Italian recipe, the pizza sauce is made in-house daily using a recipe that is inspired by 3 regions with a deep love for pizza (Italy, New York, and California), and they only use meats that are MSG and by-product FREE, assuring you will always get top-quality grade with mouth-watering flavor! Two Guys and a Pizza Place also offers Gluten Sensitive and Vegan options so that no one has to miss out!

Fisher-Price

Fisher-Price helps families enjoy the moment, and have more fun.  From baby gear that makes new-parent life easier to super-fun toys that help entertain and teach kids as they grow from infants to curious toddlers to imaginative preschoolers, they’ve been making childhood more joyful for almost 90 years.

You’ll be able to try out some of their most popular products at our picnic.  Our guests will also have the chance to win this amazing Fisher-Price On-the-Go Baby Dome, the perfect summer picnic accessory!

Baby Gourmet

Baby Gourmet is Canada’s leading brand of delicious organic meals and snacks that babies love and parents can feel great about. Baby Gourmet prides themselves on providing nutritious and great tasting feeding options for babies and toddlers. Since their humble beginnings, they have worked hard to continuously bring new and exciting innovations, often first-to-market, and will do so for years to come!

Our picnic guests can sample their latest product innovation, the new Pear Berry Purple Carrot purée; made with 100% organic ingredients. Plus, enter to win an amazing Baby Gourmet prize pack full of their nutritious and absolutely delicious baby food!

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, July 27 @ 11am for a great morning of outdoor fun at Nicholas Sheran Park!

Organizing the Playroom – One Small Victory at a Time!

I have been on a mission in my house, an organizing mission! My theory is that every single thing in a house should have it’s own “home”, a place where it belongs and everyone knows where it goes. And, having an organized home does so much good for the people living in the house, if you tend to live with stuff everywhere this could be affecting everyone, including children. Having a clear and organized house can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve relationships, boost productivity, sleep better, and more! (if you want to read more about this, you can HERE HERE and HERE)

Recently, about 6 weeks ago, I organized our entire main floor, and I can already see the differences in everyone, the kids clean up after themselves almost every time they bring stuff out to play with, and my husband and I find it so much easier to keep the house clean. My adventure organizing our main floor led me to find these beauties (clear storage bins)

They are the perfect size for almost anything, from craft supplies to games, small dolls and figurines, they are the perfect way to keep it all sorted and organized…and kids can just pull out one bin to play with at a time!

       

I found these gems at our local Dollarama Store and they come in different sizes and shapes to fit all your organizing needs!

 

Onto my playroom organization: I had my kids clean up ALL of their toys into two large bins before bed.

Then, after they went to bed, I sorted through it all and organized it into the following groups: animals, miscellaneous dolls, small figurines, Magformers, wood blocks, Shopkins (these things can be horrendous to keep tidied, they are just so small!), L.O.L. Dolls & accessories, Barbie accessories, doctor kit pieces, and larger-doll clothing and accessories.

    

Once I got through it all (LOTS was recycled or added to our donation bin), I stacked them in the shelf, stood back with my glass of wine, and cheers’d myself!

Have you recently organized or reorganized? Send us a message with any tips or tricks you might have, we would love to share them too!

Favourite Five: Lethbridge Fall Trade Shows & Markets

With the end of summer coming we know that means leaves will be changing, temperatures will begin to fall, children and teachers will be headed back to school, and we all have to switch back to regular life. But fall also seems to bring thoughts of shopping, maybe for a new fall wardrobe or accessories, some new house décor (pumpkins and snowmen are on their way!), or maybe you are already thinking about Christmas/Hanukkah gifts, and whatever your shopping needs are, Lethbridge has some amazing local markets that are sure to fulfill the shopping needs you might have! Mommy Connections Lethbridge has a run down of our Favourite Five Lethbridge Fall Trade Shows & Markets to help you plan your shopping dates to the best trade shows Lethbridge has to offer!

City & Baby Trade Show – September 29

The Lethbridge City & Baby Trade Show is the #1 baby event in Southern Alberta! Events run twice a year, in the spring and in the fall, featuring 50+ locally owned businesses carefully selected to provide an extraordinary shopping experience. You will be able to shop clothing, accessories, home decor, as well as health & beauty; and find information on support services, fitness options and more! To help make your shopping experience amazing there is handcrafted coffee, stroller parking, an area to feed and change baby as well as food trucks. Find us at Heritage Hall at Exhibition Park.

Coaldale Handmade Market – November 24

At the Coaldale Handmade Market we are proud to support the local handmade community. We offer a completely handmade market from various local small businesses from Coaldale and the surrounding area. We also love the chance to give back to Coaldale through our early entry ticket sales. This coming November 24th 2018 will be our 4th market and hopefully the best one yet! We have a new location, with some new vendors offering beautiful handmade products. At our Christmas market our goal is for this to be more than “just another market” and more of an experience. Our hearts go into every decoration, the music & the overall feel of the space. It’s the perfect time to start your Christmas shopping, get in the Christmas spirit and support the local makers.

“I host this market not only to show off local talent, but to raise money for the community through our ticket sales. I love being able to give back to the small town I love so much.” – Julie Overweg

Domesticated Divas – November 2

The Domesticated Divas really like to focus on supporting local, so they make sure all of their advertising is through local businesses as well as all of the vendors are local to Lethbridge and area. The organizers take pride in that there is always a charity component for a local charity organization, bring your loose change to donate at the show entrance. The show runs on a Friday,3pm to 9pm to cater to all types of lifestyles and allow time for all to come enjoy some amazing local shopping, but if you can get there early enough you will be treated to a FREE swag bag (the first 100 shoppers will receive these). Don’t expect to see duplicates at this show as they work hard to ensure vendor tables all sell different products and vendors who may be similar to each other will be spaced out nicely so that the shopping experience is kept fun and exciting. Whether you are shopping for yourself, your family, or gifts for others, this show will have something for you!

 

Hawk + Harvest Market – September 22

Hawk + Harvest is a coming together of creatives and community! Each event is kept truly local by remaining a maker-only market with no pyramid sales, and by featuring musicians from Lethbridge and surrounding area. We are a good-vibe night market designed to highlight and celebrate all things rad in Southern Alberta! Each market has a Charity Raffle table where local artists donate goods that are raffled off with 100% of those ticket sales going to the designated cause or charity chosen for that market. There’s lots to celebrate, so join us, shop local, indulge in a few cold beverages, and have a great time!

 

Lethbridge Handmade Market – October 13

The Lethbridge Handmade Market is an independent marketplace created by artisans for artisans held in Lethbridge, AB. It’s purpose is to promote local art and culture and build the community through showcasing handmade goods. The market has been  connecting local makers from Lethbridge, southern Alberta, and across Canada since late 2016! Each market showcases a unique collection of over 100 handmade makers, and is growing each market! Lethbridge Handmade Market is more than just shopping, we also have workshops for both adults and kids all day long, live art, a kids station, and live electronic music! The market runs on average every two months, the next dates for 2018 are October 13 and December 8th. Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on the next events!

 

 

 

 

 

Mommy Connections Picnic In the Park – Saturday, Aug 18 – 11am-2pm – Gyro Park

Join Mommy Connections Lethbridge and the Lethbridge Public Library for a FREE community Picnic In The Park at Gyro Park on Saturday August 18th at 11am. We will be hosting these events across the country as a way for all of our amazing families to come back and reconnect with old friends you met through our programs. It’s also a chance for those of you who may not have experienced Mommy Connections, to come and see what we’re all about! This event is open to everyone, so feel free to bring a friend or two along! Kids of all ages are welcome, including those still in bellies 😉

We’re thrilled to have partnered with Panago Pizza for this event. They’ll be delivering complimentary slices of their delicious pizza for the first 150 guests to RSVP. Across the board Panago uses quality ingredients you can feel good about feeding your family including 100% Canadian wheat and cheese, pork and chicken raised without the use of antibiotics, organic Italian tomato sauce and zero artificial colours or flavours ever. Truly #qualityworthsharing – and a great go-to for busy weeknights and park parties alike!

In addition to lunch we will have a tot spot with the Lethbridge Public Library, Hulahooping demos, and Lethbridge Princess Parties will be visiting the park to meet all the special little ones (and their moms & dads too)!

The only catch is that you – and your guests – need to RSVP so we have enough food and freebies to go around. You can do so HERE

We look forward to seeing you on Aug 18 for some great outdoor fun at Gyro Park!

Favourite 5 Lethbridge: Postnatal Fitness Classes

Getting active again after baby is a whole new world: your body is different, you now have a baby (or babies) to accompany you, you aren’t quite sure what will work for you now, and this can all end up being a little intimidating for a new mom! Well fear not, Mommy Connections Lethbridge has put together our Favourite 5 for postnatal fitness classes right here in Lethbridge! Make sure to see your doctor for your 6 week post-partum checkup before beginning any physical activity, they will let you know if you are safe to begin getting active, and we strongly recommend you visit a physiotherapist to have your core and pelvic floor assessed before getting into any workout classes. Fit Pysiotherapy is absolutely amazing, welcoming, and will definitely make you feel comfortable for your checkup, they are also experts within the field and you can rest-assured you will be well taken care of!

Now on to the fitness classes

As I truly believe all of these fitness classes are equally amazing in their own ways, I will list them in alphabetic order:

Blue Tree Fitness: Stroller Fit

Stroller Fit is a stroller friendly, boot camp style work out consisting of a variety of different levels of intensities and options to suit everyone’s needs. The class is made up of a mixture of cardio and body weight strength training. For all classes we are outside in the fresh air – being in nature increases serotonin levels, which increases feelings of well-being and lowers depression (including postpartum depression) and the sun exposure increases vitamin D levels which will help to boost your immune system. The fresh air is not only better for you but also for baby, there is more oxygen in the fresh air outdoors than indoors and it is a widely accepted truth that fresh air helps people sleep (and thus, babies nap better!).
There is something so right about bringing your child(ren) to come and work out alongside you, it builds healthy habits from the start for them by seeing their role model getting active.
Blue Tree Fitness instructor, Shenny Grimard, is certified in pre and postnatal fitness, she has been instructing these classes for 6 years, and she loves working on helping moms get back into shape, feel good about themselves and helping moms meet new moms in and around our city!

 

Core Elements: Mom and Baby Yoga

Postnatal yoga provides gentle postpartum recuperation, a supportive and encouraging, non-judgmental environment and a chance to practice yoga with your baby. The class provides you with an opportunity to continue or start practicing yoga poses, breath work and relaxation techniques with the benefit of meeting other moms and their children. This soothing environment incorporates baby massage and yoga which promotes healthy sleep habits, increases muscle mobility, improves respiratory and circulatory function, and introduces babies to safe touch. For moms, yoga can help relieve sore shoulders, chest and back muscles from feeding (both breast and bottle), safely increase abdominal strength, create postural awareness and build endurance. At the end of each class and throughout our sessions we want moms to feel rested, focused and stronger, and ready to face whatever motherhood throws at them.

 

Fitness With Mel: Mommy & Baby FitCamp

This class is not just a walk in the park!  Mommy & Baby FitCamp is an outdoor, baby-friendly, full body workout using your stroller and the outside environment. Each class includes intervals of cardio drills, functional strength training and short power walks/jogs followed by postnatal-specific core work and flexibility specific to your role as a Mom. Taught by Mel, a certified fitness instructor and personal trainer with specialty training in pre and postnatal fitness, this class is a great workout for ANY fitness level. Mommy and Baby FitCamp gives you a chance to connect with other new Mom’s while getting your body moving in a supportive, empowering and fun environment.

Kinetic Indoor Cycle & Fitness

Kinetic offers both indoor (September-May) and outdoor (June-August) mom and baby classes. They understand that exercise is a key component to a mother’s mental, physical and emotional wellness. The Baby Mama program seeks to build a place for moms to interact with one another and make connections that last beyond the studio. Kinetic Baby Mama classes are diverse and no two classes are alike. Class formats include boot camp, HIIT, Barre, weight training, functional training (kettlebells, stability balls, resistance bands, etc.), bodyweight conditioning, TRX, stroller fitness, partner work, personal challenges, and more! Kinetic also offers, to Pre and Postnatal mothers, Diastsis Recti core programs, at-home personal training programs, Time 4 Me 3-4 week challenge groups to help moms lose weight, understand macro nutrient balancing and be held accountable to cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training in-house or at home, and they have a Facebook page “Kinetic Baby Mamas” for moms to post needs and interact with one another outside of class time. Chantelle Erickson is the program leader for the Baby Mama program, she is educated in Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) and offers free checks to moms who are participating in her program. She also has specializations in pregnancy and infant loss, symphysis pubis dysfunction and pelvic floor health.

The best part of being a Kinetic Baby Mama is that when your baby reaches one years old you can transition to other classes Kinetic has to offer…over 60 classes per week! You can purchase an exclusive Baby Mama membership in four week increments or purchase a Kinetic class pass that can be used to attend any Kinetic class.

Live Better Health & Fitness: Oh Baby!

Strong Mom’s raise strong children, and our Oh Baby! class is all about building strong Moms from the inside out! The coaches at Live Better are here to support and motivate you during your journey as a Mom, and help you develop the strength, endurance and confidence required to keep up with your little one.
Oh Baby! is a 45-minute class that allows Mom to get a great workout AND attend to baby’s needs at any time. Each class provides a full-body workout: cardio, muscular endurance, strength, postnatal specific core work/breathing and flexibility. We utilize a variety of equipment including your own or baby’s body weight, kettle bells, dumbbells, medicine balls, rowers and bikes. Benefit from increased energy and mood, improved posture, less aches and pains and a stronger core. This is a fantastic opportunity to be a great role model for your baby and to connect with other Moms in your community!
Women should be at least 4-weeks postpartum (6+ weeks for caesareans) and cleared for physical activity by their doctors. All fitness levels are welcome. This class is designed for pre-mobile babies, however older babies/toddlers may be accommodated on an individual basis and at an additional cost (contact our coaches to find out more). Classes are capped at 6 mamas.

Amazing Breastmilk Facts

Looking back at 2017 and thinking about what I want to bring to 2018 made me stop and enjoy the memory of our fall Bump Bash from October. I was surrounded by glowing mommies-to-be who were having a fun evening doing some private shopping, learning about some local products and services, getting beautiful pictures taken, enjoying treats, and connecting all night! It was truly an enjoyable evening and I am so excited to get started on our 2018 event!

We were lucky to have Medela as part of our October Bump Bash and I learned some amazing breastmilk-facts from Medela that I would like to share with you:

  • Breastmilk is a living substance that changes to meet the growing needs and development of the child.
  • Colostrum (the milk you make in the first weeks) is different from mature milk. Colostrum is jam-packed with ingredients, containing double the amount of protein than your later milk. These proteins protect your baby against diseases from the very beginning.
  • Breastmilk contains live cells, like stem cells. These stem cells can be directed to become other body cell types such as bone, fat, liver and brain cells and may act as a type of “internal repair system”. Isn’t that amazing?

Step-By-Step Guide to Successful Party Planning

This year we were so fortunate to partner with Panago Pizza for our final 2 events of the year and working with them showed me how easy it can be to guarantee success for any party needing to be planned, so I thought I would share my guide with you all so that 2018 will be filled with amazing parties and with as much ease as possible for you!

Step 1: Pick a date. This step is simple enough but remember: you can’t please everyone so pick a date that works for your family and anyone you feel is most important to be at the event/party

Step 2: Pick an activity. Having a fun and interactive activity to do at any party or event will help ensure it ends up being entertaining and unforgettable. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Color Me Mine Lethbridge, they have been more than accommodating and they have endless ceramic pieces to choose from that are great for any age range!

Step 3: Pick your menu. Almost any event or party should have food/treats & refreshments available, you don’t want people walking away starving, full tummies lead to happy invitees! The good news is this: Panago Pizza has you covered from food to refreshments, they are your one stop shop for all your party food needs! They have delicious organic juices, their dough is made fresh in store daily, they use no artificial colours or flavours, and they honestly have something for everyone. They offer a variety of vegan options (they have two recipe vegan pizzas or you can create your own) and gluten smart options available (which I was told was delicious by one family at our Halloween event).

Step 4: Pick your theme and decor. Have fun with this part and don’t overthink it, you do not need expensive flashing lights or walls draped with endless decor. Table top decor pieces in your theme of choice, table covers (these alone can change the look of any space to your theme choice), cups, napkins, and plates in line with your theme also work as part of the decor until they are used, and anything fun you are able to use (wall or ceiling hangings, music, etc) but these are most definitely not a necessity, the decorating part is all for fun, so as soon as you stop having fun with it, stop where you are at, and if you feel like revisiting it later, do so then!

Step 5: Have fun at the party! You are the host so your energy will help set the tone for everyone else, if you’re having fun it is more likely that your guests will relax and end up having more fun too!!

 

Monster Mash Halloween Party!

 

We have great news for families this Halloween! We’ve partnered with Panago Pizza to celebrate Halloween
in a spooktacular way. Come join us for some Halloween Party fun at Color Me Mine so your little monsters can paint their very own Monster Bank, play some ghoulish games, and have lots of family fun, make sure to bring a monster appetite for some quality pizza from Panago.

Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017

Time: 10:00am-12:00pm (pizza will arrive at 11am)

What: Your little monster will get to paint their very own Monster Money Muncher (Monster Bank), create a Playful Pumpkin craft, enjoy delicious Panago Pizza, and play some fun Halloween games!

Cost: $45 per

Baby-Safe-No-Mess Painting!

As soon as your baby has control of their hands and fingers you can start doing this craft with them. Not only does it make a sweet keepsake, but you can also use this for cards and crafts of all kinds! Is grandma or grandpa’s birthday coming up? Perfect, let your baby design their birthday card, any grandparent would be thrilled to get a homemade card from their grandchild! This craft is simple and quick to put together and super easy for your little one to do.

Baby-Safe-No-Mess Painting:

Material Needed:

  • Paper
  • Zipper-seal sandwich bag
  • Paints

Step 1: Get your paint colours picked out. I recommend using colours that will blend nicely, unless you are going for mustard brown, you want to pick complimenting colors (some examples: green-blue-teal, pink-purple-rose, red-blue, yellow-red-blue, yellow-green, yellow-pink, teal-blue-silver)

Step 2: Size and cut paper to fit inside your plastic zipper-seal sandwich bag.

Step 3: Squeeze globs onto the paper inside the plastic bag, the size of globs I used were more than enough to have the paper covered in the paint, I probably could have used even a little less than I did. Once your globs are on the paper, seal the bag ***Make sure the zipper-seal bag is sealed tightly – this is imperative for your little one to remain clean during the “painting” process! Also, try to seal it with little to no extra air in the bag, you want it nice and flat.

Step 4: Let your child go nuts with it, the babies I have done this with have smacked and smeared the bags along the floor, crumpled it up, sat on it, and played with it like an accordion – anything works, just NOT in the mouth. ***keep a close eye as these bags are not entirely baby proof and the zipper seal *could* come undone, I have also had a pin sized hole in one of the bags and it just takes a tiny bit of paint to make a mega-mess. If you don’t want your little one to be playing too roughly with the bag you could also use tape to secure it to the floor/table/highchair tray and then they can just smack, smear, and finger draw the paint around.

The paper inside the bag will be pretty soaked by the end of painting time so the next step is my secret trick to help preserve their amazing art-work just as they made it.

Step 5: FREEZE IT! Don’t open the bag, take it straight to the freezer and make sure you have it laying flat on something and allow it to freeze overnight.

Step 6: In the morning you can pull the frozen painting out and now carefully remove the plastic bag (you may have to cut the bag as the paper may be a little hard to get out of the bag otherwise) and place in a safe and flat spot ON TOP of wax paper. The painting will now thaw and start to dry.

Step 7: Marvel at the amazing piece of art YOUR baby created!! Hang it for all to see, frame it to keep for decades, put it in their baby book, whatever you do with it – enjoy it!

These are great to use in cards for loved ones, depending on how much paint was used you may be able to even cut the painting into a shape to glue onto the front of a card. If it looks like it may flake (overly saturated paintings may flake apart), you could cut the shape out of the center of another piece of paper and lay that sheet over as a frame. You could also use these with self-laminating sheets to make bookmarks, coasters, key-chains, fridge magnets, and so much more, the list is endless!

Brica Fold’n Go Travel Bassinet – A Mom’s Review

I love the Brica Fold‘n Go Travel Bassinet and so does my baby! We went on a family vacation and the first point we agreed that was great was how small it folded up and how easy it was for my husband to carry along with our luggage. It also took up hardly any room in the back of the truck, leaving more room for me to pack a few more dresses and shoes (definitely a win!). When we got to our hotel I was so excited to get the bassinet unfolded and set up for our little guy to have a nap in, I was very impressed with how easy it was to unfold and set up, and he got his nap in right away, which made us all happier. He seems to sleep well in it, and I slept better knowing that he was so safe in it and that he was getting a good amount of much needed baby sleep! Anyone who has traveled with a baby knows that it can be stressful, you have no idea how your baby will do with the change of scenery and routine and anything you can do to help them be as comfortable as possible is worth every penny. At the end of our vacation my husband was the one to pack it back up and he tells me it was very simple and quick, that made him happy because somehow I ended up with more to pack up then we left the house with, funny how that happens!

I would recommend the Brica Fold‘n Go Travel Bassinet to anyone with a baby, it is worth the money and made our vacation that much enjoyable with stress-free set up, take down, and a safe sleeping environment for our precious little boy!!

You can get the Brica Fold’n Go Travel Bassinet at Toys R Us