MomChat 2018

Join us in August and November for our MomChat parties!

Let’s Chat  Back To School and the Holidays

Each MomChat week will run for 5 days.  The first day will be a Facebook party and the last day will be a Twitter party and each of the 5 days we will feature two of the MomChat sponsors on our social media pages. All sponsors will also be featured at the beginning of the week in our newsletter. Click here to learn how to become a sponsor.

Our fans and followers have 2 ways to win a prize from our sponsors; by answering one of our Facebook or Twitter party questions on the first and last day of the week!

If you haven’t been to a facebook or twitter party before, it’s easy! Just be online during the 1 hour party and answer each question as they are posted. If you are on twitter, remember to include the hashtag #MomChat18  so we can choose a winner from the responses.  We will choose each winner live during the party!

See you in August for the MomChat 2018 party!

Age 0+

VTech Pull & Sing Puppy

VTech is known for educational and interactive toys and the Pull & Sing Puppy ($16.99) is sure to be a winner with many kids. My guy is already mesmerized by the puppy’s flashing nose and reaches for the colourful buttons. He still needs help pushing the buttons, and he doesn’t understand what the puppy is saying to him but it’s been fun to see his reaction as he observes me moving the puppy around and making it speak.

The Pull & Sing Puppy is designed for ages 6 – 36 months so it’s a toy with longevity. If you’re interested in picking one up you can find them on Amazon and at Toys R Us and London Drugs.

Oyaco Gro Friends Breathable Toys

A perfect cuddly companion for baby with soft, velour graspable hands and made of a breathable, hypoallergenic fabric to make snuggle time even more snuggly. Choose from Ernie Elephant, Raff Giraffe, Henry Hippo or Boppy Bunny.

SRP: $24.95

Oyaco’s Bumbo Playtop Safari

Convert any smooth surface to a safari play time with the playtop Safari Suction Tray.

The Tray easily suctions to the Bumbo trays, highchair trays and tabletops for endless entertainment. With its included bead maze, mirrored book, elephant toy and spinning ball, it’s a good thing there’s a snack and cup holder to keep refreshments close at hand.

SRP: $34.95

Oyaco Ollie the Owl

Ollie is a unique and adorable sleep aid with built in CrySensor technology, helping baby (and Mum and Dad!) to get quality ZZZ’s every night. The latest must have baby sleep essential, Ollie will grow up with little ones and become their trusty sleeping companion, whether on the move, at home or staying with their grandparents.

SRP: $59.95

Bumbo Suction Toys

Designed for playtime and teething, these suction cup toys attach to any smooth surface. The bead maze, rotating body and rattle beads help baby develop motor skills and stay entertained.

SRP: $19.95

stuck on you Personalized Wooden Name Blocks

These Alphabet Blocks from Stuck on You are the perfect gift to help your little one learn the letters to their name!

Measuring 3.5cm x 3.5cm, these blocks are the perfect size for your child to hold in their hand and line up or stack as they like. Made from eco-friendly paint and MDF free, sustainably grown birch wood, making this a safe choice for your child. These blocks are a great quality, lightweight wood that doesn’t chip, perfect for your little one to play with! Choose from a blue blocks with grey felt bag or pink blocks with pink felt bag.

SRP: $19.95 Available at stuckonyou.ca

Age 1

playmobil 1.2.3 Night Train with Track

Set off on the Night Train with Track for a starry railroad adventure. All railway cars can be linked together, with seating for up to three figures (including the conductor) while the movable wheels allow for realistic play around the track. Set includes three figures, three railroad cars, railroad tracks and other  accessories.
Price: $34.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us, Mastermind Toys, Indigo, and Hudson’s Bay Company | Age: 18+ months

playmobil 123 Christmas on the farm Advent Calendar

Looks like Santa has arrived with lots of gifts!

The 1.2.3 Advent Calendar “Christmas on the Farm” contains twenty-four surprise items for each day leading up to Christmas. Once all the pieces are revealed, discover a winter wonderland filled with lots of farm animals. Includes backdrop, four figures, sleigh, reindeer, farm fence, chickens, cow, pig, dog, and other accessories. Recommended for ages 18 months and up.

Price: $24.99 | Age: 18+ months

VTech Baby Amaze Pretend and Discover Kitty

The Baby AmazeTM Pretend & Discover KittyTM by VTech® is the purr-fect baby doll for your little one. This soft, plush doll is dressed up as a kitty and introduces nurturing concepts and role-play as your child pretends to take care of her. Press the star-shaped button on the kitty’s tummy to learn the days of the week, count from one to five, hear facts about kittens and listen to sing-along songs. Press the light-up heart button to hear sweet phrases about feelings, silly sound effects and short tunes. Whether it’s time to play or time for a catnap, your little one will love cuddling with this adorable kitty.

Age recommendation: 12+ months
MSRP: $19.99 Canadian
Available at Toys “R” Us and London Drugs

Age 2

Review: Baby Amaze Sleep and Soothe Lullaby Doll

Have a fun day or night with the Baby Amaze Sleep & Soothe Lullaby Doll by VTech. Press the day button to hear sweet phrases, nursery rhymes and sing-along songs. Press the night button and rock the baby doll to sleep while listening to nature sounds and lullabies. The soft and huggable baby doll encourages nurturing role play and interaction. The baby doll comes with a pacifier that triggers baby sounds and a blanket that’s perfect for drifting off to dreamland. Good night, sleep tight!

Age recommendation: 2+ years
MSRP: $24.99
Available at Toys “R” Us

Age 3

Funrise Petunia Manor Treehouse (Large Playset)

Use your imagination to transform into the world of Amazia with the Petunia treehouse Playset! This Deluxe play set features three levels and double-sided play! Activate lights and sounds from the show at the top of the manor by placing Luna on the platform. Take her down the working slide and spin her down the pole! There’s also an umbrella that pops open, and a room just for dancing where you can twirl Luna around. Plus, there’s a secret trap door with a ladder that drops down! Includes 3.5” Luna figure and an exclusive Kitty Bat figure you can fly around the attic.
Price: $59.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us Canada | Age: 3+ years

Funrise Amazia Garden Playset (Small Playset)

Luna Petunia, Luna Petunia, how does your garden grow? Amazia is full of incredible and beautiful places, but no place is as pretty as Luna’s garden. This playset includes an exclusive 3.5” garden themed Luna figure, colorful
plants, the magical fun mirror cave and more. Press a button to see the flower magically grow or walk Luna and her friends down the crystal-studded path!
Price: $19.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us Canada| Age: 3+ years

Funrise Fabulosa Café Playset (Small Playset)

It’s time for lunch at the Fabulosa Café, and Luna’s ready to serve you the  finest dishes in the world! Put food into the launcher and send it flying across the café, just like in Amazia. This playset includes an exclusive 3.5” Chef Luna figure, a table, chairs, cabinet, oven, flying food machine and more.
Price: $19.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us Canada | Age: 3+ years

Funrise Beanie Plush Assortment

Everyone’s here and ready for exciting adventures together in Amazia! This 4-pack high-quality set includes adorably beanie plush figures of Luna Petunia, Bibi Bubbles, Karoo and Sammy Stretch! With all of her friends by her side, Luna’s ready for anything.
Price: $10.99 each | Availability: Toys “R” Us Canada | Age: 3+ years

 

Funrise Luna Petunia 14” Talking Doll

This 14” Luna doll is articulated for play and features her signature, brightly colored outfit and even has hair you can brush and style. And when you push on her magical necklace, you’ll activate sounds from Amazia and some of Luna’s signature phrases from the show! Just stop, breathe, and believe!
Price: $34.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us Canada| Age: 3+ years

Funrise Luna & Friends Collectible Figures (5 Pack)

Everyone’s here and ready for exciting adventures together in Amazia! This 5-pack set includes adorably sculpted and articulated 3.5” figures of Luna Petunia, Bibi Bubbles, Karoo, Sammy Stretch and the exclusive Fellino, the Acrocat! With all of her friends by her side, Luna’s ready for anything.
Price: $14.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us Canada | Age: 3+ years

 

ÎLO307 Worry Eaters

With the Worry Eaters plush toy, children can confide in their cuddly friend with their deepest worries and fears. The design incorporates a zipper at the mouth, allowing a child to insert slips of paper bearing words that describe their worries or concerns. The Worry Eater will then gobble up the child’s fears (with the help of their parents, of course). Worry Eaters come in various sizes and several characters.
Price: Small – $18.99 Large – $27.99 | Availability: Specialty toy stores and select bookstores across Canada | Age: 3+ years

 

playmobil Jewel Thief Police Operation Advent Calendar

The sly thief was able to burgle the jeweler’s shop and now aims for the content of the safe (which can also be used as a coin bank). Will the policeman on his motorcycle arrive at the scene in time so that he can stop the burglar?

Price: $31.99 | Age: 3+ years

 

 

stuck on you Puzzles

Personalized Christmas Puzzle

Our high quality wooden jigsaw puzzle makes the perfect Christmas gift for someone special. With several exquisite designs to choose from, you’ll find something to suit every personality. You can personalize the puzzle to add an extra thoughtful touch to this festive gift, and watch as children spend hours putting it together and tipping it out to start over again.

Personalized Name Puzzles

Stuck on You® Wooden Puzzles are a beautifully crafted personalized gift and an educational toy for kids. Our wooden name puzzles collection includes a variety of wooden puzzles made by our dedicated team. Made from the finest materials Stuck on You® Wooden Name Puzzles are MDF and lead free and are available in pastels or bright primary colours. Combining fun and education, Wooden Name Puzzles are a tactile toy that help kids with letter and number recognition.  Contact the friendly team at Stuck on You® for further information on our Wooden Name Puzzles and Personalized Gifts. Stuck on You® the coolest wooden puzzles and personalized gifts.

Personalized Jigsaw Puzzle

Stop puzzling over the perfect personalized gift. Our high quality wooden jigsaw puzzles have arrived. Our Design Team has created 10 exquisite designs, with something to suit every personality. personalize the puzzle with the name of a special person, and they’ll spend hours putting it together and tipping it over to start again. These beautiful wooden puzzles look fabulous in any playroom or nursery, and will become a timeless keepsake for years to come. Made from high quality laser cut plywood, the Large Jigsaw Puzzle has 24 pieces and measures 390mm x 260mm.

 

SRP: $25-45 Available at stuckonyou.ca

Age 4

VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX2

Play games, take pictures, and get active with the new Kidizoom Smartwatch DX2 recommended for ages 4+ and up. Does your kid love putting fun filters on their pictures? With the Silly Me app on the Smartwatch DX2, they can do just that and customize their watch’s background!

playmobil Advent Calendars

Santa’s Workshop

Become Santa’s little helper with the PLAYMOBIL Santa’s Workshop Advent Calendar. The calendar contains 24 surprise toy items, all designed to decorate Santa’s workshop. Included within the surprises are a Santa figure, elves figures, a reindeer with sleigh, gifts and toys!

Price: $31.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us, Mastermind Toys, Indigo Stores and Hudson’s Bay Company | Age: 4+ years

 

 

NHL Rivalry on the pond

Race across the frozen pond for a shot on goal! The NHL® Advent Calendar – Rivalry on the Pond contains twenty-four surprise items for each day leading up to Christmas. Once all the pieces are revealed, set up the players on the ice and let the match begin!

Price: $39.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us, Mastermind Toys, Indigo Stores and Hudson’s Bay Company | Age: 4+ years

 

Age 5

Funrise Tonka Tinys Rescue Response Station Playset

Take your Tonka Tinys on an epic adventure through the Rescue Response Station Playset! This ultimate playset features 3 levels of Tonka Tinys fun. Launch your vehicles over the flames, through the cinder block wall, and down the main gravity ramp! Store up to 8 Tinys vehicles on level one. The Rescue Response Station Playset includes 3 exclusive Tinys vehicles and is compatible with every vehicle in the line. All Tonka Tinys playsets can be connected to expand your Tonka Tinys world!
Price: $39.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us and Walmart Canada | Age: 5+ years

playmobil Drago’s Ship

Battle the dragon-riders’ fiercest enemy yet. The floating ship of Drago is coming and it has all the necessary evil tools to fight and trap dragons. The on-board cage with lock is used to contain captured dragon prisoners, while the functioning  crossbows defend against any incoming fire. Set includes Drago, spears, torch and other accessories.

Price: $59.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us, Mastermind Toys, Indigo Stores and Hudson’s Bay Company | Age: 5+ years

playmobil NHL™ Locker Room Play Box

Get ready for tonight’s big game with the PLAYMOBIL NHL Locker Room Play Box. Change into your jersey in the locker room and choose your lucky stick for the night. With the help of your coach’s game plan and pep talk – put on your helmet and protection and get in the rink.
Price: $29.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us, Mastermind Toys, Indigo, and Hudson’s Bay Company Age: 5+ years

ÎLO307  Observation Puzzle – Enchanted Forest

This 100-piece puzzle by Djeco is a fun way for children to develop their fine motor skills, problem solving skills and cognitive skills. Children put the puzzle together and then must find the items shown around the border shown in
the image. The Enchanted Forest Observation Puzzle is the perfect after-school activity!
Price: $19.99 | Availability: Speciality toy stores and select bookstores across Canada | Age: 5+ years

 

playmobil Royal Ice Skating Trip Advent Calendar

Royal family enjoys a sunny winters day in the snowy château park by ice skating on the lake. Forest animals are watching their activities. Behind one of the 24 doors is a bracelet hiding.

Price: $31.99 | Age: 5+ years

stuck on you Story Book With Colouring Kit

This Story Book with Colouring Kit from Stuck on You is the perfect activity for your little one! Choose from three story options, all with boy and girl options. Your child will receive a colouring kit along with a beautifully written Story book that follows a story written by children, for children. The colouring kit includes a set of pencils and a set of markers that our team individually personalized with your child’s name as well as your chosen icon!

SRP: $29.95 Available at stuckonyou.ca

Age 6

MGA Entertainment L.O.L. Surprise Tots – Series 2

L.O.L. Surprise Tots offer 7 layers of surprise! Each layer reveals a hint of which L.O.L. doll is underneath. Feed or bathe your tot for an additional water surprise.
Price Range: $13.99-$16.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us, Indigo, Mastermind Toys, Walmart, Loblaw, HBC, Red Apple, Showcase, Northwest and other major Canadian retailers | Age: 6+ years

 

MGA Entertainment L.O.L. Surprise Lil Sisters – Series 2

L.O.L. Surprise Lil Sisters offer 5 layers of surprise! Each layer reveals a hint of which L.O.L. Lil Sisters doll you’ll get. Bathe your baby for an additional water surprise.
Price Range: $8.99 – $10.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us, Indigo, Mastermind Toys, Walmart, Loblaw, HBC, Red Apple, Showcase, Northwest and other major Canadian retailers | Age: 6 + years

 

MGA Entertainment L.O.L. Surprise Charm Fizz

LOL Surprise Fizz offers 3 layers of surprise! Drop the fizz in water to reveal which accessory you got!
Price Range: $4.99 – $9.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us, Indigo, Mastermind Toys, Walmart, Loblaw, HBC, Red Apple,
Showcase, Northwest and other major Canadian retailers | Age: 6 + years

MGA Entertainment Awesome Little Green Men Starter Pack – Series 1

Over 100 new recruits to collect and trade! Each Starter Pack comes with 4 figures (1 blind), 4 dog tags, 1 chain and a collector’s poster.
Price: $17.99 – $19.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us, Indigo Stores and other major Canadian Retailers | Age: 6+ years

MGA Entertainment Awesome Little Green Men Deluxe Battle Pack – Series 1

The perfect way to start your battle with men from both infantries! Each pack comes with 8 figures (2 blind), 8 dog tags, 2 chains, and a collector’s poster.
Price: $34.99 – $39.99| Availability: Toys “R” Us, Indigo Stores and other major Canadian Retailers | Age: 6+ years

MGA Entertainment Awesome Little Green Men Blind Box – Series 1

Collect them all! Each blind box comes with 1 figure, 1 dog tag on a chain and a collector’s poster.
Price: $4.99 – $5.95 | Availability: Toys “R” Us, Indigo, and other major Canadian retailers. Recommended Age: 6+

playmobil Ghostbusters™ Ecto-1

Speed through the city in the iconic PLAYMOBIL Ghostbusters™ Ecto-1! With original sounds and functioning lights, this vehicle is set for ghostbusting action. Playset also includes Ghostbusters characters in their official uniforms with detachable proton packs and lasers and many other accessories.
Price: $59.99 | Availability: Toys “R” Us, Mastermind Toys, Indigo Stores and Hudson’s Bay Company | Age: 6+ years

Age 7

ÎLO307 Felt Brushes / Nymphéa

Djeco’s 7-piece Felt Brushes help children use their imagination in a fun and creative way. Add the details and the colours step-by-step and watch the 4 delightful little pictures appear. You’ll be so proud of the end result!
Price: $28.99 | Availability: Specialty toy stores and select bookstores across Canada | Age: 7+ years

 

stuck on you Budding Artist Kit

Budding artists will love using their own Stuck on You® Personalized Sketchbook to create masterpieces. Each page is personalized with your child’s name and includes a space for a date so that you can document your child’s artistic progress. Our fun designs can provide inspiration to little artists and the A4 size is great for using in the car or when out and about.

This pack includes 12 colored pencils along with 11 water soluble, non toxic markers. Every item is personalized with a full name so our Budding Artist Kit is also great for school. The dual tip makers are perfect for different uses as your child builds on their colouring and artistic skills.

When you use our product builder, you can choose from one of our original designs and enter your child’s name. You can also choose and icon to be printed on the pencils and markers. You will be able to see a preview of the finished product before placing your order securely online.

SRP: $34.95 Available at stuckonyou.ca

Age 8

Sphero Ultimate Lightning McQueen

Disney•Pixar’s Ultimate Lightning McQueen is the top of the line racer. With animated eyes, an animatronic mouth, and emotive suspension, experience Lightning like never before. Connect to the app and see him respond to your driving commands, or sharpen your pit crew skills in Pit Stop Panic.
Price: $375 | Availability: Best Buy Canada | Age: 8+ years

Sphero Spider-Man

Join forces with this voice interactive Spider-Man and enter the Marvel Universe like never before. Embark on missions against notorious villains and watch your unique journey evolve. Spidey’s Wi-Fi capabilities allow for new missions, villains, and other automatic updates. When not fighting bad guys, strike up some snarky banter with your
friendly neighborhood hero.
Price: $199 | Availability: Best Buy Canada | Age: 8+ years

Sphero Mini

Sphero Mini packs tons of fun into a tiny, app-enabled robotic ball. Drive using the Sphero Mini app, or with your facial expressions in the wild new Face Drive feature. Use Mini as a controller to play different games, or program your robot with the Sphero Edu app. With almost an hour of play time, Sphero Mini is the next big thing.
Price: $69 | Availability: Best Buy Canada | Age: 8+ years

 

Snow’s falling. Hot chocolate’s calling. Better yet, the whole world is feeling the magic! This is the season that little Beans can enjoy in a big way. From leggings to layers, all mixing and matching, the colours are cozy and the prints are catchy! There are beautiful bows and even some sparkly details (snowflakes aren’t the only ones that glisten!) Oh, and the pockets – they’re perfect for warming up little fingers or hiding a candy or two! With the Winter 2017 collection, the fun never has to end!

My favourite piece from the girls collection is definitely the “Show Stopping Leggings” – they have a fun metallic print at the bottom and they are just $36.  The colour blocking leggings are also a hit in my house.  If you have a little girl who doesn’t like to wear jeans – these are the only leggings to buy.  The cheap leggings that can be found at most kids clothing stores are thin, get holes in the knees easily and just aren’t warm enough for winter.  Some of them are so skimpy they can even be a bit see-through, which makes sommersaults and hanging upside down a problem, which is a BIG PROBLEM! These leggings are really cute without being ‘baby-ish’ – they are perfect for that older little girl who might be feeling like she is outgrowing Peekaboo Beans.  They look great with ballet flats or boots and are perfect for the holiday season.  I have said it before, but if you are new to Peekaboo Beans, just buy one small piece – like a pair of leggings.  You will instantly see the incredible quality and value.show-stopping-leggins-in-a-fun-metallic-print-just-36
For those of you going on a warm winter holiday (lucky ducky!) and are in need of some adorable new tee’s, the boy tee shirts are funky and cool.  They are also a nice thick fabric, so for little boys that get hot and sweaty during their playtime, they work perfectly for layering on a cold day.  Thick material for comfort and warmth and perfect under a hoody or long sleeved sweater.  They are only $38 and if you have 2 boys, even better.  With Peekaboo Beans, you can ALWAYS hand these pieces down because they maintain their colour, shape, size and quality.
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Number one on my list for Winter 2016 PB purchases is definitely the new Mudslide pant.  They are trendy looking without your little guy being stuck in a skinny jean!  I love the colour blocked knees.  This pant is $56 and is rumoured to already be selling out due to huge popularity! The design at Peekaboo Beans nailed it when it when creating these great pants for the little man in your life.

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For those of you with baby beans, they have some adorable little pants and tops.  My favourite still, by far, is the Bean Playsuite.  Perfect for those late night holiday parties where you need to get the baby out of those adorable ‘fancy clothes’ that are SO uncomfortable (I know – they are for the photos!) and into some jammies.  The Playsuit is both comfortable and adorable.  The perfect combination when you are out and about celebrating the season! Get your own for $38!

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To start filling up your own cart, visit their website at www.peekaboobeans.com.  If you are in love with the entire brand and company, think about selling it and not only spreading the bean love to all of your friends and family, but also making an additional income for your family!

 

 

 

If you have a 4 year old birthday coming up or are starting to work on your Christmas list, check out Playmobil’s Treasure Island!

Uncover a secret pirate hideout at the PLAYMOBIL Pirate Treasure Island. Ward off any unwanted visitors with the functioning cannon, hidden trapdoor, and rock fall booby-trap. Hidden buttons on the rock archway can trigger either the rock fall to rain down stones on unsuspecting ships or the trapdoor to send intruders down into the cave cell. Stash all the pirate treasure in the secret cave behind the waterfall to prevent its robbery.

This set includes three pirate figures, rowboat, rocky island with adjustable landscape, hidden cell, booby-traps, hut, functioning cannon, campfire, swords, map, treasure chest with treasure, and lots of other accessories.img_4436

My son is 3.5 and just starting to really enjoy imaginative Playmobil play.  He has been able to play with cars and larger toys on his own for a while, but I have really noticed how much he is starting to really enjoy his various Playmobil sets over the last few months.  The age recommendation for this set is 2+ years.  I would say at least 3 years as there are MANY very small pieces.  You can see in the photo below that there is a second set – this is the Playmobil Wildlife Adventure Treehouse, which we also reviewed over the summer.  The two work really well together and make for some really fun play.  Many of the small pieces included in the sets work well with both themes, which is great!

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Most major retailers and many independent retailers carry the Treasure Island set for $73.99 CAD.

For more information, visit www.playmobil.ca

 

 

Warmest Thoughts and Best Wishes for a Wonderful Holiday and a very Happy New Year from the Mommy Connections family to yours!

Our Directors come from a variety of background including high level corporate positions, education, nursing, PR, marketing and beyond.  We love the diversity of talent in our amazing Dream Team!

Carol

Kori

Amanda

Catherine

Heather

Jennie

Karen

Sheryl

mel

Katherine

 

Want to become a part of this amazing team?

We’re expanding and we are looking for enthusiastic, energetic and well-connected moms to run our programs across Canada!

See our licensing page for more info!

The moms and tots in our West Toronto program had a wonderful time exploring the magic of Playmobil!

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Each child was able to unwrap a package of toys and we spread them all out over the floor for them to create new scenes using their imaginations. The toy airplane and fire truck were this group’s favourites.  IMG_3133

The animals were the perfect size for little hands to play with.  Both the moms and the tots loved the surprise of opening a mystery toy set.  We turned it into a friendly game where anyone finding a matching set with another child won a door prize.

There was lot’s of reminiscing amongst the moms, discussing their fond memories of playing with Playmobil as a child.


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In Caledon, our first annual Halloween Party was held at the infamous Downey’s Family Farm!

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With the purchase of a ticket, families were able to enjoy the farm’s Pumpkinfest activities before venturing into the barn-like party room above the market, for an exclusive Mommy Connections Halloween Party.  The room was filled with kids of all ages ranging from 6 weeks to 6 years, boys and girls, moms and dads, dressed up in their Halloween Costumes. Joy and excitement filled the room.

The Playmobil toys were set up on a table in the corner of the room, to allow the kids the opportunity to play with them whenever they wish. For a short two hours there was so much to do at the party, a true Wonderland for the kids. There was face painting, pumpkin decorating, a music entertainer, dancing and colouring.

1956839_715999215153826_1125180840320815145_oWith so many activities competing for their attention, whenever our eyes glanced over to the Playmobil table, there were always a few little creative minds at work. Their imaginations ran wild, inventing characters and stories behind each of the toys. Each child played with the toys in their own way. The older boys (approx. 5 years) loved playing with the Fire Station, driving the car through the levels, and landing the airplane with its pilot “Michel Angelo” on the roof. The little ones (approx. 2 years) made noises when they picked up each of the animals; “oink oink said the pig”, and the super super little ones (8 months) hung on tightly when they were able to grab one that fell off the table, enjoying the shape of what they held and eyeing the beautiful colours.

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As expected with any party (with cupcakes too of course), there was a bit of over excitement. This could have inevitably resulted in a meltdown, but it was soon avoided by walking to the Playmobil table and the child would slowly calm down.  Attention directed at the miniature creatures and shifting the emotions from frustration to play.

 

At the end of the party, one mom got packed up to get ready to leave, and couldn’t find her daughter right away. Her eyes naturally drifted towards the Playmobil table, and there she was sitting quietly playing with the farm animals.  She turned to us and said “I guess I know what Santa is getting us for Christmas”.

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Playmobil toys are truly a toy for all ages, boy or girl. It is a safe and durable toy that will last a few years as your child grows though the various stages of development.  A gift that is sure to be under many Christmas trees this Holiday season.

 

Thank You Playmobil

 

Every year as the holidays approach you promise yourself you won’t indulge at the family dinner and end up in a turkey coma after the meal, but then the table is set with all your favorites – mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, and Grandma’s apple pie . . . how can you possibly avoid over doing it?

The key is moderation – don’t give up on your favorites, simply load up on the healthy options and then enjoy a small piece of that yummy pie at the end.   Keep a few of these tips in mind and you can still eat well and enjoy a Happy Holiday without the turkey coma ending.

Christmas dinner

5 Tips to Enjoy a Healthy Holiday Dinner

1. Make it Active

Turkeys take hours to cook up nice and juicy, so why not start a new family holiday tradition and invite all the guests out for a nature walk before the meal.  Play a friendly game of tag at the park or go to a close by trail and get some exercise, fresh air and burn a few calories before settling in for a yummy meal.

2. Appetizers to Avoid

Make yourself a deal that unless is grows from the ground, you will steer clear!  Don’t fill up on cheese and crackers or that creamy dip when you know a festive dinner is coming!  Limit the nibbling you do before the main meal and fill your plate with fresh fruit and vegetables to keep you away from the pastry wrapped fat filled appetizers. If you are not sure there will be fresh vegetables offered, you volunteer to bring some!

3. Drinks in Moderation

At a family gathering, it can be so easy to have a few extra drinks without even realizing it.  These empty, sugary calories can also fill you up.  Try alternating a glass of your favorite chardonnay with a glass of water or water down your juice in a tall glass with lots of ice.

4. The Main Meal

The turkey is actually a very healthy part of the meal – full of protein and B vitamins – but beware of the skin and gravy. That is where you will add on the saturated fat that will induce that coma feeling!  Fill up your plate with vegetables and salad and enjoy just a taste of Mom’s famous stuffing and mashed potatoes.

5. Dessert With Caution

Who can resist hot apple pie made from apples you picked at the orchard or homemade holiday cookies? By eating appetizers and a main meal that was mostly made up of fruits, vegetables and lean protein, you should have lots of ‘room’ left over for dessert.  But don’t blow it all here.  Enjoy a slice, but keep portion size in mind and if you can, avoid the heavy extra’s like whip cream and cheese on top.

The idea is to enjoy your Holiday Dinner with family and friends and still feel great as you say good night.  Wishing you and yours the healthiest of Holidays!

BIO: Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs on many websites about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active.  To read more articles and see her favorite healthy recipes that she is sure even your kids will love, visit her websites www.iron-kids.com  &  www.adultessentials.com  or visit her on Twitter @KidsGummyMum or Facebook at IronKids.Health and Adult Essentials.

I always try and include my 5 year old Madelyn in choosing creative teacher, hostess and neighbour gifts.  Last year, we made 9 loaves of bread, we have also made Merry Kissmas chapstick favours, Reinbeer and Mistletoes polish favours.

 

One more that we plan to make is gift wrapping packages with the note  “Since November you’ve been shopping, barely sleeping, hardly stopping. Now it’s late, you’re in a scrape, out of paper or out of tape. Hope this wrap helps save the day! Have a Happy Holiday!” This makes a great little gift when you are going to Christmas parties and dinners throughout December!

Wrapping Gift Idea

 

 

This year, my Mom received a  family recipe from a friend and we decided to try it.  Here is the recipe:

 

Nuts & Bolts

1 box cheerios
1 box crispix
2 bags of pretzels
1 container of mixed nuts (we bought container of Kirkland brand from Costco)
1  pound butter
1 tbsp Lawry’s or Hy’s seasoning salt 
1 tbsp old hickory smoke salt (you can find this at Walmart in the states and maybe at a BBQ store like BBQ Country, or just improvise!)
1 tsp margoram
1 tsp summer savory
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne

photo 1

Preheat oven to 225F.  Mix cereals, pretzels and nuts together in a large roaster (I used my large turkey roaster) The roaster will be almost full.  Slice the butter thinly and place over the mixture.  Put uncovered into the oven for about 10-15 minutes until the butter melts.  Meanwhile, mix the spices together in a small bowl.  When the butter has melted, remove the roaster from the oven and mix thoroughly.  Add the spice mixture and mix well.  Continue to bake at 225 for 4 hours, stirring every hour.  Keep it in the fridge or freeze until you are ready to give it out (or enjoy it yourself!)

I bought 4 Christmas tins from the dollar store and this recipe filled all 4 with one small bowl left over for the family to enjoy.

photo 2

 

“I’ve reached the point where I don’t want to take my child into a store. It doesn’t matter if we’re in a toy store, the grocery store, or the gas station – my kid finds something he “must” have. He usually starts out with a gentle plea, moves up to an annoying whine, and eventually works himself up to frantic begging and pleading. I HAVE to get my holiday shopping done! Help!”

Think about it:

Give the shopping list of the day:

Accept their wishes:

Santa’s list:

Play pretend:

Teaching, too:

(Excerpted with permission by NTC/Contemporary Publishing Group Inc. from Perfect Parenting,

The Dictionary of 1,000 Parenting Tips by Elizabeth Pantley, copyright 1999)

 

Message from the President of Mommy Connections

As I sit here pondering 2012, I am feeling a bit misty eyed at what we have accomplished since our first programs ran out of a church basement in South Edmonton in January 2010. Our team has grown to include 25 dynamic women covering Canada coast to coast under the leadership of Regional Directors, Claire Weisse & Karen Davey and venturing South of the border under the guidance of our USA Regional Director, Kelsey Reynolds, based out of California.

We were honored to be included in the highly coveted Canadian Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award as a finalist earlier this year and we are also in the running for the Alberta Chambers Business of Distinction Awards and the Mompreneur Award of Excellence in 2013. If you have had a positive experience with our company, please take the time to vote for us in the Mompreneur Award – you can vote daily until Jan 31! We would really appreciate your support.

Our team continues to grow with the addition of new Directors, as well as many babies and new pregnancies over the last year! It is so rewarding to watch our amazing Dream Team continue to balance their families and their entrepreneurial goals for Mommy Connections. They are amazing, inspiring women who continue to make Mommy Connections better every day!

A special thank you goes to our support team; Cat Lee with Rouge Design House (our Graphic Designer) Gabrielle Fitzgerald with 12 Strong (our website manager extraordinaire) and our Executive Assistant, Tannis Coady with MamaBiz Virtual Administrative Consulting. I definitely couldn’t run the company without their dedication, guidance and expertise.

I am looking forward to another rewarding year of connecting moms, babies and families to each other and their communities. All the best for a fabulous holiday season and an even better 2013!

Sincerely,

Carol McBee

Mommy Connections President & Founder

 

Click here to see Carol’s Personal Christmas Wishes to You!

Check out our Christmas Movie with the “Dream Team”

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