A Mini 24 Hour Vacation – With Baby In Tow!

  • Guest blog post by Mommy Connections Alumni, Megan K

Not all of us can take a week to head south during the winter, be it finances or time. To help get through the long slog of February we book a one-night getaway to Niagara-on-the-Lake. We have done so for the last few years since returning to Canada after living abroad. We have come to love the joy of not making the bed for a change, sipping tea in a beautiful setting, lounging poolside (yes, inside but better than nothing, right), and just taking a break from the normal routine. It’s amazing how revitalized you can feel with a 24 hour stint away! 

So here’s a little recap of our very mini-vacation…

We love to start the day early and with an 11 month old we don’t really have a choice in the matter- we embrace it. We packed our bag with a change of clothes, a bathing suit each and a few nibbles for the room. Last year I was 7.5 months pregnant on the same trip so you can imagine there were a few differences. With playpen, ‘baby doll,’ shake-shake-shake bunny,’ and ‘STG’ (Sophie the Giraffe of course) we loaded the car and hit the highway. We love the short drive and close proximity to home of NOTL, so just an hour or so later we arrive at our destination: The Prince of Wales Hotel

We arrived early. 11am or so, but it was a little to early for early check-in so we made our way to a pizza place I had sussed our online: Pieza Pizzeria- a cute, little house converted into a restaurant. Now I know the dining options in NOTL are endless but this place was great! Reasonably priced, just off the main strip, and a few minutes walk to our hotel. 

Following a delicious shared lunch of homemade meatballs to start and a ridiculously delicious pizza we received news that our room was ready. 

The Prince of Wales hotel has some serious history, the most beautiful tea room, extravagant hallways, ambience that takes you back 100 years (Not bad for a 24 hour trip). Our room featured a king size four poster bed with step to reach the top, fireplace, and many little low lying trinkets and wires for a very active baby to explore.  

After a quick baby-proofing we headed out to grab a few bites for our picnic dinner and a few beverages to enjoy post-babe sleep time. Mark then headed down for his pre-arranged massage at the Secret Garden Spa. I hung out with the babe and we got very familiar with our new home for the next day, crawling under the bed, standing at the unlit fireplace that had to stay off for the whole visit (the babes little hands would not have resisted that) and then got suited up into our pool attire.  We met daddy in the pool and had a great time splashing around the saltwater and rinsing off in the warm shower.

Now it was time for mommy to head off for her massage treatment!  I had decided to take the second booking seeing as I thought the babe would nap during the first, so just that little bit of extra ‘me’ time, but did I get that wrong. She was very awake while Mark was away and of course slept while daddy went to grab a Starbucks while I was in treatment. 

We dined in our room on a charcuterie board of goodies we had put together, had a nice cold beverage and played until bedtime (for one-of the three of us). We enjoyed some time together thinking back to how much our lives had altered over the past year. We couldn’t imagine another life and are so lucky to have our beautiful baby girl with us, even on a romantic 24 hour getaway. 

With one more swim we started our day. The breakfast the next morning was exceptional- pancakes stacked higher than I have seen before.  Bacon, eggs, toast, oatmeal, fresh baked and piping hot cinnamon sugar muffins, juices and tea- I couldn’t have eaten one more bite upon departure. Just the perfect send off to a beautiful time with my two favourite people. 

Side Note: My booking platform of choice (if possible) is Travelzoo. This night away included a bottle of wine and morning breakfast (our breakfast alone was $75) all for $199. This deal has come up for the last few years with few black out dates- here’s hoping this great deal continues to appear year after year. 

The Best Summer Camps In West Toronto – 2019 Edition!

Did you survive the “Hunger Games” (aka Toronto Parks & Recreation registration)?! If you found yourself hitting refresh for 2 hours, and still you only ended up on waiting lists, fear not! We have you covered with 3 local Summer Camps guaranteed to please any aged camper!

1. Nike Sports Camps Canada (Formerly Lytton Sports Camp)

NIKE Sports Camps at James Gardens combines fun based learning and instruction in tennis from a team of certified tennis professionals. Nestled along the Humber River in Etobicoke, Nike Sports Camp at James Gardens is perfect for soccer, nature walks, discovery learning and of course playing tennis on three hard court surfaces and two mini court areas for kids who are learning the game. The atmosphere at Nike Sports Camps is perfect for all skill levels and provides a safe and supportive environment for game-based learning for students aged 4-14.  Participants will leave with improved confidence, friendships and awesome Nike Camp Shirts and Prizes! Join Nike Sports Camps for some SERIOUS FUN this summer!

Age: 4-14 years

Location: James Gardens, 235 Edenbridge Drive

Cost: Full Weeks: $385.00 (HST included) for Full Days, $255 (HST included) for half days. Before and after care available.  Visit the camp page to register: https://www.sportscampscanada.com/tennis/nike/summer/

2.  CJ’s Skatepark

CJ’s Skatepark camp & programs are some of the best in Canada, and they provide campers with a brand new world-class air conditioned facility located on the border of Mississauga and Etobicoke! They offer a variety of skateboarding and scooter riding programs for all skill levels and ages. From introductory programs geared to gradually introducing people to their very first experience on a board through to advanced skateboarding programs. In addition to skateboarding, campers will enjoy organized games, make your own tie-dye shirt, movies, arts and crafts, and more.  The best part?  All snacks and refreshments are included – no need to pack a lunch!

COST: $299 / week, half day programs also available

Age: 5-16 years

Location: CJ’s Skatepark 560 Hensall Circle, Mississauga, ON L5A 1Y1 905-272-6888

3.  Pedalheads Bike Camps

Set your child on the path to a lifelong love of riding with Pedalheads! You’ll be amazed at how quickly your child picks up the skills to be safe and competent on their bike. From training wheels to trails, Pedalheads provides safe, fun and challenging bike camps for children aged 4-12.  Since 1995 they have taught over 200,000 children to ride, using their own Pedalheads® teaching method, combined with small classes and exceptional instructors. They teach beginners right up to competent riders the skills they need to succeed on the trails and the streets.

Age: 4-12 years

Locations: Toronto – Bloor West: James Culnan Catholic School, 605 Willard Avenue and Sait James Separate School,

Etobicoke: Humber Valley United Church, 76 Anglesey Blvd

Etobicoke: St. Gregory Elementary, 126 Rathburn Road

Cost:  Full Day $439, Half Day $249.  Before and after care available.

Win Tickets To The 2019 Spring Baby Show + An Exclusive Baby Show Discount Code

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

The Baby Show is Toronto’s premium pregnancy and early parenting event for expectant moms, new parents and families with babies. It takes place Saturday, April 6, 2019, 9am to 6pm and Sunday, April 7, 2019 – 10am to 5pm at the Enercare Centre, Hall B, Exhibition Place (100 Princes’ Blvd, Toronto)

Tickets are $15 online – but you can save $3 with our exclusive Baby Show promo code MC2019 (Kids 12 and under are free.)

Better yet, enter to win a set of 2 tickets here.  Contest closes April 2, 2019.  Winner will be contacted via email.

With over 250 brands, national and local exhibitors, The Baby Show highlights include:

Toddler Fun

Watch your little ones’ faces light up as they get face to face with one of their favourite characters! Attend three very special meet & greets throughout the show weekend with Peppa Pig +& George, Ranger Rob & Stomper and PJ Masks!

Saturday

PJ Masks 9:30am – 12:30pm

Ranger Rob & Stomper 1pm – 4pm

Peppa Pig + George 2pm – 5pm

Sunday

PJ Masks 10am – 1pm

Ranger Rob & Stomper 1:30pm – 4:30pm

Peppa Pig + George 2pm – 5pm

Photo opportunities, colouring sheets, hugs and so many smiles!

Medix College Tranquility Spa

Designed for both prenatal and postnatal massage, Medix College wants to give you some relief! Did you know that massage can help you sleep better and can also reduce fluid retention and swelling? Stop by and receive a complimentary massage!

Babies R Us Seminar Stage

Plan your visit and hear local and national parenting experts speak on a variety of topics ranging from what parents need to know about breastfeeding to starting solids. All speakers are also available for question and answer periods after their talks. Visit our website for a complete schedule. 

Health & Wellness Mat

Take part in an Access Ballroom dance class! Learn about infant massage, how yoga can help you during birth and how to help your pelvic floor and more from top experts.

Safety 1st Product & Safety Stage

This stage offers an introduction to cloth diapering, sleep solutions, car seat safety as well as babyproofing your home seminars!

Pampers Swaddlers Baby Change Station

A safe and clean area to change baby, moms and dads will have the opportunity to learn all about the NEW Pampers Swaddlers Collection and more! Parents will leave the show with a special sample bag filled with Pampers goodies to try at at home!

The Pampers Photography Studio

From expecting mother and fathers to doting grandparents, attendees can have their photo taken and leave The Baby Show with a special memento of their time!

Etsy Junior Area

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

Sleep Clinic

Free sleep consultations from the sleep experts at KinderSleep! Consultants will be ready to help you with your sleep concerns and answer all of your questions.

Munchkin Milkmakers Lactation Lounge

Visit with a lactation consultant and try out a new lactation cookie. Every cookie is delicious, nutritious and packed with ingredients traditionally used to support breast milk supply.

3D Ultrasounds

Visit the Tiny Hearts booth for your very own 3D Ultrasound, performed on site, all weekend!

Speaker Series Highlights:  

Ann Douglas:  Happy Parents Happy Kids

Dr. Jack Newman:  What your health provider should know about breastfeeding!

Allison Martineau:  Feeding Your Baby: Introducing Solids 

Margaret Wallis-Duffy:  New Mom’s Holistic Health Toolbox

Dr. Sarah Mickeler:  Practical Tips for an Easier Birth & Better Pregnancy

Dr. Harvey Karp:  Happy Babies

Kid Friendly March Break Activities in Toronto 2019

Are you looking for some fun activities to do with your child in Toronto this March Break?  Here are some of my favourite Kid Friendly March Break Activities in Toronto in 2019!

1.  SpringFest TO

SpringFest TO (formerly known as Wizard World) offers Toronto families an indoor fun park with the latest in children’s entertainment, games and activities.

With over 25 mechanical and inflatable rides, food vendors, a little tots area for kids under 5, arts and crafts, and 4 daily Children’s Shows.  The best part is the all-inclusive pass, which allows your little ones to go on as many rides and inflatables as they’d like.

Now in it’s 17th year, the event runs March 10-17 at the Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place.  Get your tickets here.

2. PAW Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue” 
It’s the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race between Adventure Bay’s Mayor Goodway and Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger, but Mayor Goodway is nowhere to be found. PAW Patrol to the rescue! Using their unique skills and teamwork, the pups show that “no job is too big, no pup is too small,” and share lessons for all ages about citizenship, social skills and problem-solving as they make several heroic rescues on their race to the finish line.

The show takes place at The Sony Centre in Toronto March 15-17, and we’re giving away 4 tickets for you and your family to see the show!  Enter here.

For more info about the live stage show and how to get tickets, you can visit https://www.pawpatrollive.com/city/toronto-on-rtr/. If you want tickets now, use the discount code “ALLIED” to receive 25% off!

 

3.  Toronto Comicon

Toronto Comicon is offering fans of all ages three days of discovery and adventure in a newly expanded Family Zone at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from March 15-17, 2019. Now bigger and better than ever with over 10,000 sq. ft. of nonstop programming and its own dedicated event stage, the Family Zone invites guests of all ages to explore comics, sci-fi, cosplay, anime and gaming in an interactive environment dedicated to fandom.

Learn about the seafaring life in Pirate School; enjoy the full Hogwarts treatment with a Sorting Hat Ceremony and Quidditch Matches organized by Quidditch Canada; get up close and personal with the world’s newly discovered dinosaur, Zuul Presented by the ROM; build your very own Lightsabers and much more.

Single Day Child and Youth Passes and All Access Family Passes, valid for two adults and up to four children, are available now at comicontoronto.com/tickets.4.  Explore the ROM this March Break!

4.  Explore the ROM this March Break!

Learn what it’s like to be part of a research expedition at Field Camp ROM. Explore field techniques, specialized tools and technologies, and camp life with ROM scientists.  Enjoy ROM Storytime,  engage in some friendly competition at the ROM GameZone, and learn about the joys of camping with program partner Parks Canada.  For more information, visit www.rom.on.ca.

 

 

5.  Kids Break Events At Indigo

Wondering what to do with your older kids this March Break? Our friends at Indigo, Chapters and Coles have some amazing free programs happening daily – check them out here (and be sure to check your local store to make sure they are participating) 
 
MONDAY MARCH 11 AT 11AM – CRAFT WITH KLUTZ | AGES 4+
 
TUESDAY MARCH 12 AT 11AM – COLLECTORS CLUB | AGES 6+
 
WEDNESDAY MARCH 13 AT 11AM – BUILD WITH LEGO® | AGES 5+
 
THURSDAY MARCH 14 AT 11AM – ARTS & CRAFTS | AGES 5+
 
FRIDAY MARCH 15 AT 11AM – PRESCHOOL PALS | AGES 3+

Pregnant this winter? This one’s for you.

Winter = dry skin at the best of times, but it can feel 10x worse during pregnancy. Which is why we’re thrilled to partner with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter formula to bring you mamas-to-be some much-needed relief.

Developed specifically for pregnant women, this lightweight non-greasy lotion helps improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of stretch marks – but don’t take our word for it. Palmer’s generously sent samples to one of our moms-to-be for testing. Here’s what she had to say about it:

When I was offered the chance to review Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Stretch Mark Range, I was curious about the legendary stretch mark cream. Any research I had done online on preventing stretch marks had almost always recommended Palmer’s as the go-to for pregnant moms.  Also, being a busy working mom with an -ahem- spirited toddler, I barely had time to wash my hair, much less remember to buy and religiously apply any kind of cream.  

I was generously sent the Palmer’s Tummy Butter, Massage Cream and Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks to review.

The first thing I noticed when I opened up my package of Palmer’s Tummy Butter is the heavenly smell. It’s a rich cocoa scent, that isn’t too cloying like some scented lotions. It’s also incredibly thick. I found that I had to really dig my finger in to get a good amount to rub in. But once I did, my skin felt amazingly soft and hydrated, even until the next morning.  

The massage cream and massage lotion are easier to apply, and again, left my skin feeling soft and slightly scented.

With the dry winter air, I’ve taken to applying the tummy butter on my stomach, elbows and other areas that feel extremely dry and itchy, and the massage lotion to my arms, legs and feet. It’s the perfect antidote against dry, scaly skin and time will tell if it does prevent any stretch marks.  Either way, it’s helped my skin stay moisturized this winter, when sadly it’s normally neglected.

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.

Win Tickets To The Baby Show + An Exclusive Baby Show Discount Code

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

The Baby Show is Toronto’s premium pregnancy and early parenting event for expectant moms, new parents and families with babies. It takes place Saturday, Oct 13, 2018, 9am to 6pm and Sunday, Oct 14, 2018 – 10am to 5pm at the Enercare Centre, Hall B, Exhibition Place (100 Princes’ Blvd, Toronto)

Tickets are $15 online – but you can save $3 with our exclusive Baby Show promo code MC2018 (Kids 12 and under are free.)

Better yet, enter to win a set of 2 tickets here.  Contest closes Oct 11, 2018.  Winner will be contacted via email.

With over 250 brands, national and local exhibitors, The Baby Show highlights include:

Toddler Fun

Watch your little ones’ faces light up as they get face to face with one of their favourite characters! Attend three very special meet & greets throughout the show weekend with Peppa Pig + George, Cheer Bear and PJ Masks!

Saturday

PJ Masks 9:30am – 12:30pm

Cheer Bear 1pm – 4pm

Peppa Pig + George 2pm – 5pm

Sunday

PJ Masks 10am – 1pm

Cheer Bear 1:30pm – 4:30pm

Peppa Pig + George 2pm – 5pm

Photo opportunities, colouring sheets, hugs and so many smiles!

Massage Area

New and expectant moms can experience a free massage to help alleviate ailments related to pregnancy and caring for baby.

Seminar Stage

Plan your visit and hear local and national parenting experts speak on a variety of topics ranging from what parents need to know about breastfeeding to morning sickness in pregnancy. All speakers are also available for question and answer periods after their talks. Visit our website for a complete schedule.

RBC Insurance 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 prepare for birth from top experts.

Safety 1st Product & Safety Stage

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

Kanga Care Cloth Diaper Workshops

Join Kanga Care in their booth for cloth diaper workshops every hour, on the hour!

Etsy Junior Area

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

Safety 1st Sleep Clinic

Free sleep consultations from the sleep experts at KinderSleep! Consultants will be ready to help you with your sleep concerns and answer all of your questions. 

3D Ultrasounds

Visit the Tiny Hearts booth for your very own 3D Ultrasound, performed on site, all weekend!

Speaker Series Highlights: TBC

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis:  Important Information About Vaccines

Lianne Phillipson:  First Foods

Margaret Wallis-Duffy:  The Millennial Mom’s Survival Toolkit

Dr. Sarah Mickeler:  Practical Tips for an Easier Birth & Better Pregnancy

St. John Ambulance:  First Aid Essentials in the First Year of Life

Ashley Chapman:  Pelvic Health Basics For Birth

Lindsay Westcott:  Post Partum Anxiety

Ann Douglas:  Toddler Trivia

Canada Day BBQ or Picnic Treats From Farm Boy!

Guest Blog Post From Mommy Connections Alumni, Kirsti Stubbs

You know when you find a place to eat that you and your kids both love? As a mom to two young kiddos that means it is clean and convenient (bathrooms, etc) but it’s also healthy, reasonably priced and there is something for everyone’s moody/picky taste!

Well imagine that convenience PLUS you can also buy your grocery essentials! That is Farm Boy friends. When the store opened earlier this year in Alderwood, a neighbourhood in Etobicoke,  my little ones and I were immediately in love. It’s now our go to for quick meals before soccer practice, a place to run to when we are out of something, or a weekly grocery shop on weekends. The kids love Mikey the monkey swinging in the produce aisle and the interactive food stations, epic hot buffet, and their baked goods.

The store (which is an Ontario-based company!) carries gourmet brands, locally made products and an amazing selection of their own Farm Boy brand. We visited recently to try some of their newest products and they were all delicious, so we had to share with you what made it into our cart in hopes of inspiring you to create your own Canada Day BBQ or picnic!

As an appy, the new summer sizzling Grill’m Dips are delicious – they come in foil trays which you put on the grill until they warm up all melty and delicious. They come in Buffalo Cauliflower, Asiago Artichoke and Bacon Corn Jalapeno which we enjoyed. Some fresh veggies or fresh baguette and pita poppers are perfect sides.

For the main we picked up a Farm Boy Harvest Kale Salad and their in-house vegan salad dressing in Apple Cider Goji Berry to pair with Artisan Sausages in variety of pork flavours like Bratwurst, Hot Italian, The Great Canadian and Curry. Their sausages are made fresh, with mouth-watering ingredients and none of the bad stuff like MSG or fillers. They are also 100% gluten free ingredients!

We finished off the meal with a cake and ice cream. Their Loaf Cake is made in the bakery from scratch, using their Chef’s original recipes and high-quality ingredients like freshly roasted walnuts, farm fresh eggs, bananas and grated carrots. They come in a variety of flavours – Banana Chocolate Chip, Carrot, Lemon Thyme, Cranberry Orange and Maple Walnut which we tried and LOVED!

Farm Boy Gelato is rich and creamy, made in small batches using 100% Canadian homogenized milk – flavours like salted peanut and toffee cappuccino are stashed in our freezer at all times. The kids ask for “Farm Boy Sandwiches” as if it’s a healthy lunch however they are most definitely referring to their ice cream sandwiches – they come in chocolate fudge or chocolate chip and both are a perfect blend of chewy cookies and fresh soft ice cream!

Enjoy your Canada Day feast!

Product Review: January Baby UV Swimsuit

Swimsuit season. This term always elicits a panicked response in me, as my mind goes to the thought of swimsuit shopping.   After a long winter the idea of stripping down to try on bathing suits under the store’s neon lights, carrying some winter weight, and having no tan to speak of is not on my list of favourite things to do. But this year, my first as a new mom, the term swimsuit season has managed to produce a panicked response again, but for different reasons. Instead of the aesthetic, superficial ones I am very honed in on sun safety for my baby’s fresh skin.

As a meteorologist and Television host on The Weather Network, I am a self-confessed weather nerd and not only do I always look at the forecast, but as we hit spring, I start to notice the UV index. I don’t need to give you a lecture about it, you know the drill, UV rays are dangerous and the main cause of skin cancer. Just know this, in the summer months the UV (Ultra Violet) index forecast trends on being in the ‘high’ range, and unprotected skin (and this of course varies based on skin type) can burn in approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

So while I can buy a just for fashion, not practical, uncomfortable bikini for myself I am going sensible for my baby. Then I was given a full body UPF50 swimsuit by January Baby. I checked to see if it met all my requirements. Does it have a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50?   Does it have a zipper? No buttons please. Does it have long sleeves? Will it cover her little legs all the way to her ankle? Yes it does.

This brand January Baby checks off those boxes, and from a design perspective I love their colour block swimsuits. They look chic, but not too busy. I also love that these suits are full length in the sleeves and legs, and this is one of the biggest differences I see between this brand and other swimsuits out there.   The longer length adds that extra coverage. Oh, also, their suits are UPF 50, which means it allows only 1/50 of the sun’s rays to penetrate the fabric, and is the highest rating available.

My little one simply has to wear this swimsuit and she will be protected, mother win! Now that swimsuit season is all taken care of for my baby, we have to find one for mommy’s post baby, in between sizes, body. Wish me luck!

 ~ Written By Nicole Karkic

Nicole is a self confessed weather nerd.  She’s a meteorologist and on-air host on the national morning show on The Weather Network.  Besides the 2:30 am alarm clock she loves her job, and keeping Canadians up to date on the weather.  She is a new mom to one little girl Marlowe and hopes to give her a little sister or brother soon.   She lives in the west end of Toronto, and calls High Park her happy place.

A Message from Mommy Connections new CEO (that’s me!)

If you’re on the main Mommy Connections email list, you’ve likely seen the big news (which has been brewing for months, and I’m so excited to finally shout it out):

I am the new owner of Mommy Connections Inc.!

Many of you may be saying, “Wait a minute, I thought you already WERE Mommy Connections?!”

The truth is, Mommy Connections is WAY bigger than just my West Toronto program.  In fact, there is a team of almost 30 directors across Canada. We have Mommy Connections chapters from coast to coast, lead by a team of passionate and caring directors who are all leaders in their community.  

The company was founded in Edmonton by Carol McBee almost 9 years ago. I was one of the first ones to join the team when I started the West Toronto chapter. Throughout the years I have participated in many aspects of growing the corporate business, including licensing, program planning and brand partnerships. When Carol announced that her family was relocating to Texas, I approached her about buying the national business, so that I could carry on the wonderful momentum that she has created.

Carol McBee (left) and Karen Davey (right)

I want to thank all of you for letting me snuggle your babies and share in your parenting journeys for the past 8 years. I’m so proud of the vibrant and supportive community we have created, and I truly hope that you have found your village through Mommy Connections.

It’s for that reason that I plan to also continue on as the director of the West Toronto chapter. My own family has grown up alongside this community, and I am not ready to let you all go! Throughout the years there has been a sisterhood through those sleepless nights, challenges breastfeeding, and sheer joy of watching our tiny creations achieve those early milestones. You all are as much a part of my family, as my own husband and son.  

Speaking of my (real life!) family, I want to thank them for being such a source of inspiration, support and strength as I take this big leap into the next chapter of my career. I know that leading Mommy Connections is my calling, but it has meant that my family has had to make many sacrifices along the way. I hope that my journey through entrepreneurship teaches my son the importance of following your dreams, and that if you truly believe in something, you are unstoppable.

To an exciting new chapter,

Karen Davey

(Incoming) President & CEO