Did you know there are Mermaid fitness classes in Toronto?

Aqua Mermaid Toronto – Review by resident Mommy Blogger – Shannon Fisher, And Now I’m A Mom

I’ve said many-a-time, to many-a-people, that if I could perform my day to day tasks while being in water, I would. And I meant it. So when I was offered the opportunity to try out a mermaid fitness class with Aqua Mermaid, there was absolutely no hesitation before saying yes, and then quietly humming the Little Mermaid song to myself. I was vaguely familiar with the concept of mermaid fitness, but I couldn’t have told you anything real about it, and I didn’t know something like this was possible here in Toronto, especially for newbies like me. I was super excited about fulfilling my lifelong dream of becoming a mermaid. 

I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of class size or structure, but when I packed my bathing suit and towel and headed out, it turns out I also didn’t know how much traffic I should have predicted. Refreshing my google maps every 5 seconds while my husband took as many side roads as possible, I started to panic that I was going to be late, and I wouldn’t get to wear my tail. I awkwardly changed into my bathing suit in the front seat of our SUV, and waved at a guy who couldn’t stop staring at me while I was changing into my top. Angry at myself for not leaving earlier, I called the number for AquaMermaid and asked how bad it would be if I arrived just at class start time, instead of the recommended 15 minutes early. I was happily reassured that it wasn’t an issue at all, and I breathed a sigh a relief knowing that I hadn’t messed everything up. (But this doesn’t mean you should also show up late- that 15minutes would be key with a larger class!)

We pulled up with two minutes to spare, and I rushed through the change-room, whipped off my clothes and headed out to the pool deck, expecting to see a full class of women waiting for me in their tails. Instead, there was simply the instructor, and two gentlemen happily chatting away holding onto what looked like flippers, but would unroll to reveal the tail. I was originally taken aback by the small size of the class, but it didn’t take long for me to appreciate the ability of the instructor to be able to keep the class personalized to our wishes and capabilities. I also loved the fact that is was men, and not just women who wanted to be mermaid for a day. One mentioned it was his goal to be like Zoolander, and he instantly got my respect. 

I got the fin on, and boy, was I excited! I stuck the fin in the water as I sat on the edge of the pool, and eagerly smiled at my husband as he snapped away with the camera, my daughter playing with a small floatie in her car-seat nearby. We then had to take the fins off again to learn some of the basic moves before adding the extra difficulty of essentially, having only one giant leg. Brianna, the instructor, made her fin-less dolphin kicking look graceful and flawless as she used her entire body to glide through the water, and when I tried, felt- and looked- more like a dolphin who had somehow made it’s way onto land and didn’t know what the hell to do. Luckily for me, there were only a couple of manoeuvres like this, because I sucked at them all and I just wanted my tail on. I got my wish and the three of us shimmied back into the long, glorious tails- mine pink, of course. Repeating those same initial manoeuvres but with the tail made a world of difference, and getting to glide so swiftly like that under water is something I have never experienced before, and I loved it. I felt like I just wanted to swim under water forever and never come up for air. If I had regular access to a pool, you better believe I’d be buying a tail. (You can actually own your own mermaid tail!) We were casually taught a few basic moves, like using our arms to propel us (which turns out to be a major arm workout), and swimming with our tail both face up, and face down, before moving onto some enjoyable (and instagram-worthy) tricks, like handstands and fin-high-fives. 

Everything was pretty relaxed, and the instructor just followed our lead to allow us to learn skills we wanted to, have fun, and have pictures taken all the way throughout. I felt like I was super unskilled, but afterwards in talking with Brianna I learned that many of the trial classes don’t attempt some of the stuff we did, or even venture out into the deep end- which we did almost right away. In my attempt to do a dive off the side into the water, I thought I would never even make it pulling myself out of the water, and flinging my body beached-whale-style up over the side. I made it though, it was amazing, and I’m sure it was super graceful. We ended our class with a group-choreographed synchronized routine that was completely random, but also awesome.  Once the class was done, I chatted with Brianna a bit to find out more about the classes they offer, and what they’re like. There are drop-in classes, for people like me who are new and looking for something cool to try, and there’s also packages for weekly classes, which are geared more towards the fitness aspect. AquaMermaid has been around since early 2015, combining the love of water, exercise, and all around fabulousness. The founder, Marielle Chartier Henault has done an incredible job of bringing forward this wonderful and unique option for a workout choice, and AquaMermaid is now offering classes not just in Toronto, but Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Edmonton, Chicago Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale and Phoenix. Classes are offered for kids and adults of any gender, and just about any age- as long as you can swim independently. But if you’re looking for a new way to spend some time on a Saturday, or are trying to add some flavour into your workout routines, I highly suggest giving these classes a try, no matter what your age or gender- as long as you can swim, you’re good.  Worst case scenario? You get some cool photos wearing a mermaid tail at the end of it, because let’s face it- if it’s not on Instagram, did it even happen? 

For more information and to sign up for classes, go to www.aquamermaid.com 

Lulujo Turkish Towels.. Where Have You Been All My Life?

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to try out Lulujo’s Turkish Towels, as I had never used a Turkish style towel before, and had no idea what to expect.

Well, these luxuriously large and lightweight Lulujo Turkish Towels are now my favourite towels to use after my shower! I haven’t had the opportunity to use them at the pool, the lake or the beach yet, but I already know they are going to be awesome to take on outings as well. Bring on summer!!

Here are just a few reasons I find them to be much nicer to use than our regular terry cloth bath or beach towels:

They are 100% cotton, super absorbant, and generously sized.. yet still feel so light and airy. They look like they wouldn’t be able to hold much water, but they really do. They even manage to dry my thick mane of hair (which is not an easy feat in itself), and I admit I was doubtful about at first.

imageThe thin material feels very soft on your face, and can get right in to the small spots.. like your eye corners and ear creases. I would be very comfortable using these towels on a new baby, and I’m sure they could even be used as a swaddle or a light blanket if you’re travelling and in a pinch ( Lulujo has amazing cotton muslin swaddlers, and bamboo muslin swaddlers, and I would highly recommend you check out those beauties.. Don’t have a baby? Then try one on yourself.. They double as a nice and fashionable scarf 😉 Seriously though, they are so soft you’ll wish you were a baby that needed to be wrapped!).

These Lulujo Turkish Towels do a great job drying/polishing up my glasses after my shower, unlike terry cloth towels which leave them all streaky and just not nice to look through. Normally I have to separately dry my glasses with spray cleaner and an eyeglass polish cloth, but with these Lukujo Turkish Towels I can just dry them with the hem of my lovely ‘towel wrap dress’ when I need to get ready quickly. They kind of remind me of an oversized version of a favourite tea towel.. You know, the one that dries copious amounts of glassware, leaving them all sparkling like it’s nobody’s business 😉

I find these towels hold much more securely, and stay on better than my other bath towels do. They also don’t feel heavy on my head, or like they would slip off while I’m running around getting ready in a hurry.

They take up far less space in my washing machine, my linen closet, and in a bag if you were to travel with one. Living in a condo makes me really appreciate anything that saves on space and that makes things more efficient(Approximately 8 Lulujo Turkish Towels would take up the same amount of space as 1 of my regular terry cloth beach towels. Hello!!).

imageI think they would be amazing towels to take along on trips. They can be folded or rolled very compactly, and they don’t get all heavy and awkward like a soaked beach towel does. They dry very quickly, even if they need to be hung up folded over into two layers thick to save space (I’m thinking cottage deck rail or fence by the pool, with a bunch of bodies splashing around that need drying). I would also be willing to wager that it would be much easier for children to reuse the same towel repeatedly throughout the day. These Lulujo Turkish Towels are more likely to dry out in the time between dips in the water, while most other towels remain too damp to use for much longer.

They are easy to fold, hold and to manage the material.. I think they could easily be used for splinting, to close a diastasis after childbirth. Bonus!

Well, I think I could probably go on for far too long imagining uses for these versatile, efficient (and oh yeah, they look good too!), luxuriously large cotton towels.. Come to think of it, I bet they would tie nicely as a sarong or a cape or something else wonderful 😉

imageBottom line? I’m getting a few more of these beautiful Lulujo Turkish Towels so my family can use them as well.. I don’t want to share the two I have. One for me, and one my hair 😉

Oh, and Lulujo is a company founded by a Canadian mother. LOVE!!!

Wonderwear Cloth Diaper Service – A Super Alternative To Disposable Diapers!

** Sign up with Promo Code: mommyconnectMTO to save 30% OFF starter packages!

Want to cloth diaper your baby, but can’t wrap your head around the idea of actually washing the dirty diaper laundry yourself? Have you considered a cloth diaper service?

Introducing: Wonderwear Modern Cloth Diaper Service – Delivering unlimited cloth diapers weekly to homes in the GTA & surrounding areas!!

Here are a few tidbits of information on this little masked Superhero in the squeaky clean cloth diaper and freshly pressed cape.. Ok, you’re not really going to have a Superbaby swooshing up to your door with your delivery, but wouldn’t that be adorable?

  • Super easy –  Essentially, a cloth diaper service is as easy as disposables.  When you change your baby, you just throw the dirty diaper in the odor and wet proof diaper bag they provide you, and then leave it on your doorstep once a week for pick up.  When they pick up, they will leave you hospital level sanitized diapers in a clean diaper bag. You just take out the clean diapers, and then place the new diaper bag in your diaper pail to collect the next week of dirty diapers.
  • Cheaper than disposables – At only $19.95 per week for unlimited diapers, Wonderwear cloth diaper service is cheaper than a bag of disposables.  Over the 2.5 years that your baby is most likely going to be in diapers, you will save a minimum of $800 using this service.
  • A much healthier alternative for your baby.  Wonderwear has a state of the art, hospital approved laundering process which uses no harmful chemicals (no bleach or chorine).  Extremely high temperature washes (you can’t get water anywhere near this hot with home washers) ensure all bacteria is removed from the diapers.  They also PH balance the diapers to that of baby’s sensitive skin. Bada-bing, bada-boom, the diapers are cleaned like they’re new again, AND without the use of harmful chemicals!
  • More diaper sizes than disposables – Wonderwear has an amazing 10 different diaper sizes to ensure an excellent fit as your baby grows! Great fit means less leaks and more comfort for your baby. They also have thicker nighttime diapers in multiple sizes!
  • Better for the environment – A cloth diaper service reduces deforestation and the landfill concerns associated with disposables. Every child wearing disposable diapers will contribute 1-2 tonnes of waste to landfill in just the few years they need to wear them. And even though it is thought that they will take just a short 500 years to decompose, landfill doesn’t even allow for the right composting conditions for them to break down properly. 

twitter-profile-imageOk, I’m jumping down from my soap box now, but seriously there really are a lot of good reasons to consider a cloth diaper service vs. going the disposable route. Oh, and here’s one more reason for you! Wonderwear is a local business run by two families. They service the GTA and surrounding areas, with laundering facilities in both Concord and Oakville. Supporting a local small business AND the super cute super hero in a diaper and a cape?? How can you not love it ^_^

Check out their website at www.wonderwear.ca 


Much Love For The LATCH – A Munchkin Latch Bottle Review

munchkin_09-nursing4_1461_pickI’m a big fan of the Munchkin brand.  I love their colourful products and durability, not to mention price too!  When my son was born 4 years ago, I stocked up on quite a few Munchkin products including the formula dispenser, bottle brushes and an array of bath toys! Now that my daughter has arrived I find myself collecting more Munchkin products in my cart when shopping my local baby store.  

When Catherine at Mommy Connections Midtown Toronto asked me to review the Munchkin Latch Bottle, I was more than willing!  We have been supplementing with formula since she was born three months ago and I am still trying to find the perfect bottle for her.  She spits up quite frequently after feeds and is quite gassy. 

When I first received the Latch bottle I was quite intrigued by its appearance.  The packaging was quite easy to manage and it wasn’t outrageous.  Usually I find bottles over-packaged with so much to discard.  The information on the box was sufficient and big enough to read.  I particularly liked how the French translation wasn’t left to the bottom of the box.  When I went online to get more information on the bottle, the website was so organized and modern.  Love the Munchkin brand for this!

43544_1When I removed the bottle from the packaging, it was great to see that there were only a few parts.  We currently use a bottle brand that requires a lot of pulling apart and putting together of the valve, and little nooks and crannies to clean, which leaves cleaning and preparing bottles time-consuming and bothersome.

The size of the nipple on the Latch bottle is perfect and the accordion style is great which means it stretches like a breast allowing for my little one to latch correctly.   At first glance of the valve, I was concerned that spillage would occur when preparing the bottle, but it was flawless.  No spillage whatsoever.  So genius to have the valve at the bottom of the bottle! 

When I presented the bottle to my little one she latched on immediately.  She’s fidgety too when she eats, she’s nosey and always looking around, so the accordion feature on the nipple really allowed for her to keep with the feed without interruption.  Once she was done her feed, I found she was less gassy than usual and her spit up was minimal.   Of course, cleaning was a cinch! 

munchkin_10-baby_1620All in all, I had a great experience feeding my daughter with this bottle and would definitely recommend this bottle to a new mom.  I also will be purchasing more Latch bottles by Munchkin for my little one.  I give it a BUY!  

Leslie & Reggie (Mom & Baby participants)   



To learn more, visit www.latchbottles.com

Save 20% off LATCH Bottles today at Babies R Us!