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!

If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo, she is an amazing woman who is the queen of tidying. She is also the woman who had given me increased headspace to survive the day to day of being a mom.  As Wikipedia explains:  Kondo’s method of organizing is known as the KonMari method, and consists of gathering together all of one’s belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that “spark joy” and choosing a place for everything from then on.

I first discovered her through my husband. I noticed he was head down in his Kobo head every night and I was curious to know what book he was into (note: we are both avid readers and like to share a good book). I was confused/shocked/impressed when he showed me the title The Art of Tidying Up and explained it was a ‘how to’ book. This was very different than our usual fiction genre.

He was so excited to put the lessons into action – I went along the ride and got so much out of it.  It’s a whole process of organizing your life and tells you which order you need to start. For me, it was my biggest problem area – clothes, purses, shoes and jackets. As women, clothes can be our best friend (skinny jeans that fit!) and worst enemy (why aren’t the spanks getting rid of my lumps and bumps in this skirt!).

My closet was typical – I owned real estate in almost every closet in the house. My formal dresses hung along with my son’s 17 Habs jerseys (hubby is a fan), my jackets in basement storage by the boxes of diapers and the shoes – sigh the shoes.  This category makes me sad because I was so thankful when my feet didn’t grow after pregnancy (a fact that I was terrified about) but they were just forever changed – something about their shape or width or the bones – I have no idea. But it means that my favourite and most comfortable heels, boots, wedges or sandals never fit the same. Yet I held on to them, like art – to be adored from a distance, but never to be touched. Collecting dust, but looking beautiful. Sigh (again).

Okay, back to tidying! We sent the kids off to the grandparents’ house and started the process. Here’s how it went down:

Step 1: pull items from every corner of the hours and place them in one room. This was a feat on its own. It’s very terrifying to see your closets empty and all clothes and shoes piled up to the ceiling. Yikes!


Step 2:  touch each item and see if it sparks joy for you. No talking, no rationalizing, no negotiating. This was HARD. I kept breaking this rule telling myself, “what if I lost the baby weight”, “I love this sweater even though it’s pilled”, “This dress is so pretty, even though it fits funny”, “if I throw everything out, I won’t have any clothes: .  Marie’s advice here is to focus on what we want to keep versus what we aren’t keeping. So 4 hours later I had 7 garbage bags of items that didn’t spark any joy in my life.

Step 3: Put all of your ‘joyful’ items back in the closet with the KonMari method. This whole process was already great, but then we got to put the very plentiful pile of clothes back in the closet – pants and shirts in this very specific vertical way where you can physically see all of your clothing options laid out. It even applied to socks! She explains that the socks shouldn’t be folded over on one another but rather laid flat. It took some getting used to, but it actually does make a difference.

So It’s been about 3 months since we started our Mary Kondo ways – we’ve since  done our paperwork and then will move onto books next  – I was a bit skeptical at first, but I LOVE it. My closet is no longer ‘barfing’ clothes all over the place, our bedroom has been SO much cleaner and I can pick my outfits for work or play in 60 seconds flat. Seriously. No more trying on 100 outfits – everything in my closet is a fav outfit and it fits!

The largest benefit has been clearing my mind of the extra clutter of what to wear or the shame of throwing piles of clothes onto a closet (or shove them under the bed before a playdate)  and always trying to clean up after myself. It allowed me to have mindfulness around meal planning and just keeping the children alive and happy – what a novel idea!

Written by Karen Bhangoo

Karen is a busy mom of two kids, trying to not just survive each day with them, but thrive by living in the moment and finding the positive. Professionally, she’s a communication or marketing pro working for over a decade in public relations, sports sponsorship and internal communications. She is happily married, appreciates a good grammar joke, and adores Oprah.

 

 

Written by: Lana Hawkins

Living rooms are hubs of domestic life where families spend quite a lot of time together. Most parents are worried about the dangers that wait outside, but know that there are many risks that also lurk right under your nose.

A typical living room is littered with objects and furniture that can injure the little ones. Therefore, to help your baby stay out of the harm’s way, you need to baby-proof the space. You are going to have to engage in some redecorating and rearranging.

So, take this chance to boost the safety, but also rethink the design and décor of the room.

From a baby’s standpoint

Things may seem fine from where you are standing. However, to assess the situation properly, you need to get down on your knees. This kind of perspective allows you to uncover problems and safety pitfalls that your child comes in contact with as it waddles around.

These include pointed corners and edges, pieces that stick out, electrical outlets, appliances, fireplaces, and footholds that could allow the baby to reach unsafe heights. Before embarking on a shopping spree adventure, see if you can shift the existing layout of the space or take the design edge off.

Find an angle

Namely, you need to focus on sharp angles and edges around the room. A coffee table is one of the most notorious pieces of furniture, so see if you can replace it. I would go for an ottoman: it is soft and curvy, meaning it is a baby-proof option that can also fill the role of a coffee table.

Likewise, keep a close eye on couches and side tables that could also feature sharp corners. Soften up anything that seems threatening with padding. You should be able to deal with those pointy corners and edges for good. Also, remember to keep floors free of small objects.

Piece by piece

Furthermore, inspect all your furniture and check whether it is prone to falling over. Your little fellow will always find joy in pulling and pushing on objects. The good news is that instead of investing in new pieces, it is possible to use furniture anchors for stability.

And when you do go spending, you might want to look for easy-to-wipe materials like linen and vinyl. It might be hard to make a fashion statement and obtain functional furniture at the same time. However, some manufacturers of comfortable lounge suites in Sydney prove that one can get the best of both worlds.

 

The bottom line

While frequent falls are unavoidable, you can prevent them from causing any injuries. To mitigate the impact, identify floor areas of the living room you can soften. A nice rug is a good way to anchor your style and also cushion falls against a hard floor surface.

If you choose the right size and material, it can serve as a play mat as well. For extra safety, use rag pads to keep the rug firmly in place. Finally, bear in mind that you can re-purpose materials lying around your home, such as old towels, and use them as DIY softeners.

Turn a new leaf

It would be wise to streamline your décor and do away with excess clutter. You can stick to decorations that appeal to your sense of style, but they need to stay out of your baby’s way (and hopefully do not draw its attention). Avoid objects like heavy vases on tables. Be careful with hardwood and metal pieces.

Anything that is within easy reach of the baby must be found a new place. It is also highly recommended to store away decorations that contain tiny pieces and consequently pose a choking hazard. I would encourage you to embrace the sublime elegance of minimalist interior design and witness you space in new refreshing light.

On the safe side

A baby who is learning to walk and constantly tumbling over calls for extra vigilance and effort. So, how about you give your space a nice spruce-up while also improving the safety of your child? Hope for the best, but assume the worst: baby falling and knocking its head against hard surfaces and sharp corners.

Ideally, you should your take on baby-proofing endeavors before the new arrival. Begin the project from the ground up. Get down on all fours, and comb through the area. Turn your living room in a safe haven and gain the much-needed peace of mind.

Written by: Samantha Porter

A newborn is a blissful occasion, bringing more love and joy into a family than you could ever imagine. Though it’s also a major life change. Even if you’ve already had children, a baby means you’ll need to be prepared before the blessed event occurs. Considering just how much the essentials for newborns can cost, it’s important to know what you’ll need before your baby shower. Relatives and friends might mean well, but without a clear idea of what your baby will need, you could end up with piles of pajamas, but without a place for the baby to sleep. When you’re putting together your registry for your baby shower — no matter if it’s your first or your fifth — it couldn’t hurt to have a checklist to serve as a reminder of those essential items your baby will need during that first important year of his or her life.

For example, just about everyone knows about the big-ticket items such as the infant car seat, the crib and the stroller. What your baby shower guests may not be thinking about, however, are the smaller but no less important items such as washcloths, swaddling blankets, or mattress covers and crib sheets. Everyone will want to buy your baby toys, but having a good supply of diapers and baby wipes on hand and ready to go the moment the baby comes home can be much more useful — giving the new parents some much-needed peace of mind during the first few weeks when their lives are thrown upside down. Knowing what you’ll need to keep your newborn clean, comfortable and well-fed is a big job, but it’s one that is well worth doing in the time before your baby shower.

A baby is a reason to celebrate, but it’s also a reason to plan well. No new parent wants to add being unprepared to the long list of reasons he or she will be losing sleep in the coming months. Having a list of essential items ahead of time will help parents steer their baby shower guests and well-wishers in the right directions. The following checklist can help you prepare for your baby shower with the most critical items a newborn needs, so make sure you look it over before putting together your registry.

Author bio: Samantha Porter is Event Coordinator and Sales Consultant for Aqua Reception Hall. Porter graduated from Florida International University with a hospitality degree and loves working in the industry. 

Firstly, I am a label fanatic – I still remember the birthday years ago when the top of my list was an Avery Label maker (I know – I am lame!)I have been meaning to order some labels for my baby boy for some time now.  I had labels ready to go so early with my first child – she had shoe labels, sippy cup labels, jacket labels and more in both her actual name (Madelyn) and then later (by request!) under her nickname, Mady.

You know how it goes… the second born is suddenly a 1 year old with outings and drop off’s of his own and now all of his stuff has to be labelled too!

I have tried several different label companies and as a mom-business owner, I love to try all different Canadian companies, especially when they are MOM owned!  I recently stumbled upon a new Canadian label company that is also mom owned!  Elora Label was the brainchild of a mom, Nancy, from the town of Elora, Ontario.  When her daughter began Kindergarten, she purchased her first set of labels.  One day, her daughter got off the bus and Garry the bus driver handed Nancy her daughters sweater, which they thought was lost – the labels worked!  Working with a Professional Graphic Artist, Nancy came up with unique designs, trendy colours and playful icons.

As per usual (and like most moms!) I was trying to knock a few things off of my to do list before kick off on Superbowl Sunday in record speed.  Ordering labels was the last thing on my list and let me tell you – it took all of about 5 minutes to hop on the www.eloralabel.com website and place the order. My labels arrived a week later!

photo 1

Ordering is super easy!  The number one thing I love about this site is that it isn’t mandatory to create an account.  I feel like these days I have a password to open the fridge and it causes me to barely remember my own birthdate with so many alphanumeric codes swimming around in my head!

Step 1 – Choose a package (School Sets, Shoe Sets, Senior Sets, Bag Tags, Allergy Alert Sets and more

Step 2 – Choose Your Colour Combo (there are 6 lovely options – not too many to make things complex!)

Step 3 – Choose an Icon

Step 4 – Enter your Child’s name

Step 5 – Place the Order.

 

SO SIMPLE!

 

Now that I have an elementary school student under my roof, it has become ever so apparent how rampant (and scary!) childhood allergies are.  I really love the Allergy Alert sets.  We fortunately don’t have any known allergies in our household, but for those children who suffer some severe allergies – the Alert sets were super smart.  There are even senior sets, which I thought was a great idea as well.

For the month of February – an extra set of themed labels was included as a bonus.  One of them is now adorning his favourite cup!

photo 5

 

These are the adorable shoe labels:

photo 2

 

The tag stickies can be added to the tags in clothing and can be washed and dried as usual.

photo 3

 

The slim stickies are great for lunch kits, water bottles, back packs and more!

photo 4

 

We even got little ‘dog tags’ for Carter, which has been added to the diaper bag.

If you love these labels – tell us below what baby name you wish you could have used for your chance to win your very own standard set of labels valued at $34.95!  Winner will be chosen at random on Friday March 7!  I really wanted to use Emmalea, Ashley and Bentley, but alas, I am not sure if any more babies are in the cards for us – we will see! I can’t wait to hear your names!

 

~Carol

Mommy Connections President

Guest Post by:

findababysitter-logo

balloon-animalsKids love balloons, but amazingly enough adults are also fascinated with them.  Hiring a professional to create balloon animals for your kid’s party can be pretty expensive.  Why not learn how to make balloon animals yourself?  There are basic animals that are easy enough for beginners as well as more advanced designs that may take some practice.  If you are not sure that you can handle a whole party of making balloon animals you may want to create some balloon decorations or sculptures to dress up the party instead.  Take a look at these 15 blog entries and follow the instructions for creating your own balloon animals and decorations.

Beginners

Even if you’ve never twisted a single balloon animal you can learn how. Make a dog, a sword and a flower in only minutes after watching some of these videos posted on these five blogs.  Some instructions are given by video and others by pictures and printed directions.  Take a look and see what you can learn.

Advanced

Once you’ve mastered the basic balloon animals you may want to learn some of the more complicated shapes.  Just think if you become proficient at balloon twisting you could start your own business or help out at school events.  Check out these five blog post with more advanced balloon twisting.

Balloon Sculptures

Balloons equal fun and there’s nothing like having a bunch of balloons around to make a party more festive.  Hiring a professional balloon sculptor to come and create something for your event could cost several hundred dollars or more.  Instead of shelling out a ton of money you can make it yourself by following the directions given on these five blog articles.

Glow Baby is dedicated to providing unique and user-friendly scheduling tools for today’s busy parents. Glow Baby products are all about helping parents save time and reduce the stress of the day to day. Glow Baby Journals, Calendars and Lists help parents keep track of daily activities such as; feeding, sleeping, diapering, bathing, first foods by type, meal planning, family activities, general to do lists for daily tasks, groceries etc. All Glow Baby products are designed with both function and fashion in mind.

Mommy Connections is giving away a prize pack worth

over $60 full of amazing Glow Baby products!

Prize pack includes:

  1. My Story – A Book Of Memories
  2. The Organized Family Menu Planner
  3. Weekly Grid Pad

How to Enter:

A winner will be selected at random.

Contest Closes November 30, 2012.

The winner will be announced as a blog post comment as well as on twitter and facebook by 10am December 1, 2012.

Don’t forget, friends and fans of Mommy Connections also get 20% off any Glow Baby order by entering promo code MC20 at checkout!

 

From the time your child is born until the day she moves out of your house, storage space in her bedroom is likely to always be at a high premium. From the wide array of infant paraphernalia to the precious items collected by a teenager throughout her adolescent years, there will never be a time when your child doesn’t have a wealth of items that need a designated space. With these 10 tips, you can be on your way to an organized child’s room in less time than you may think.

 

Toy Racks

Personalized Metal Buckets

Storage Beds

Wooden Crates

Hanging Baskets

Storage Ottomans and Benches

Hat Boxes

Peg Walls

Photo Boxes

Display It!

While some of these ideas will be outgrown as your child gets older, others can grow up with her. Sometimes, applying a fresh coat of paint or dressing up with a bit of fabric to match an updated décor is enough to make old items seem new again, so it’s wise to think twice before tossing all of the storage systems she’s had in place since childhood.

Guest Blog Posted by: Housekeeping.org

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