Calling all “Glama Gals”!

There is this cute hidden gem in the heart of Ajax, tucked away near Old Pickering Village that most parents have been keeping under wraps. Well this Mommy did some sleuthing and discovered what so many other parents before me have bragged about. This spa is like no other in Durham. Yes, I said spa.  This spa is not for adults (jealous) but more geared toward girls from toddler to tween.  Glama Gal Kids Spa is where your kids go to get pampered in all sense of the word.

Currently, Glama Gals Spa has 7 locations across Ontario with more to come. Each franchise owner is part of the Glam Family and shares in the same goals and visions for this brand – Be Confident! Be Positive! Be YOU! Recognizing that kids experience societal pressures from peers, television, and social media, Glama Gals cultivates an accepting culture whereby girls are empowered and celebrated for who they are. Glama Gals achieves this goal by offering themed spa services that are all about affirming a child’s positive spirit. With themed services such as the, “BE Unique Party Package” or the, “BE You Spa Day”, every child’s  individuality is celebrated.

Glama Gals hosts free monthly workshops where kids learn effective strategies to assist with bullying, self-esteem, and maintaining friendships. The Glama Gals have also partnered with the local Girl Guide and brownie unit, coaching kids towards achieving their feel good badge

I was lucky enough to have been invited to experience all that Glama Gal Kids Spa offered while I was trying to plan the most amazing 5th birthday party for my daughter, Karmyn. After speaking with Dishni, the Owner and Manager of the Ajax location and checking out the spot, I just knew this was what my little diva would want for her and her friends. It was a surprise I had a hard time keeping from her, that’s for sure!

The day finally came and when Karmyn and her guests walked through the door, they were so excited and so were us moms who were given the opportunity to witness the party, but not partake sadly. It was all about our minis.

First, the birthday girl and her friends gathered in the dining room where they dined on some Belgian waffles with syrup and their choice of either pink sprinkles, chocolate sauce or whipped cream as a topping. They sipped on pink “Champagne” (lemonade) out of these large goblets that completed the whole Glama feel.  We sang “Happy Birthday” to Karmyn and one by one, the staff went around the room and asked each of her friends (including her 2 year old little sister) what the one thing was that we loved about Karmyn.  What an amazing question to pose! I along with the other moms were already in love with the place just after only 15 minutes.

After “lunch”, the girls headed downstairs to where all the magic happened.  There was this beautiful sitting area where

the staff showed the girls all the different lotions available to them and each got to sniff before being told they would get to make and take home their very own bottle of glitter lotion!  There was Tutti Fruity, Birthday Cake and Cotton Candy to name a few.  Cotton Candy seemed be the sweet-smelling favourite among our tiny humans.

Then it was time to get “Glama’d”.  The staff took the girls into their spa salon where it was beautifully decorated and mimicked exactly what we would look for in a salon or spa. There were swivel chairs and mirrors, a nail bar and leather couches,oh my!

As the girls sat and got pampered with a pedicure, they were then served like Royalty with mini champagne glasses filled with French Vanilla ice cream with pink glitter sparkles on top. Delish. It was a bit much for the girls to finish on their own but it was nothing us mommies couldn’t help them with of course!

After their toes were done, it was on to the manicures. The girls got to choose their colours and off they went for further pampering. Some chose one, two and some chose three colours on their nails after having them filed and receiving their individualized hand massages.

It was time for face masks as each girl received a mini facial with cucumbers over their eyes. Oh boy such awesome treatment. For those that wanted to, subtle makeup was applied and off Karmyn went with her friends for her Tutu Ceremony (a celebration of the bday girl and everyone wears a tutu, a crown and receives a wand). The staff member read out some positive affirmations from a book she was holding and the girls repeated them after her. Some of the girls were adorned with glitter after the ceremony and some opted out of that part.

After two fun-filled hours, it was time to wrap up the party.  Each girl received a small gift bag and was led to an area where they could choose a few accessories and trinkets to go home with.

The girls all had smiles on their faces which made my day!

We will definitely be coming back a this was truly a remarkable experience where little girls, aged 5 and up can be empowered and encouraged and can lift each other up.  This is truly the meaning Glama Gal Kids Spa . The transformation starts from within and the rest is just ice cream with glitter sprinkles.

Tervis is the original customizable, double-wall insulated drinkware that keeps hot drinks hot, cold drinks cold and is backed by a

lifetime guarantee.

As I read though the website, I found some statements of how Tervis separates itself from the rest. The features listed are:

Keeps Cold Drinks Cold.

Think of all the extra ice you’ll save for delicious frozen margaritas!

Keeps Hot Drinks Hot

Hotter than other cups. Take a cautionary sip before you start swigging.

Reduces Condensation

Gives you the freedom to host parties without coaster anxiety.

Lifetime Guaräntee

Tervis drinkware is made for a lifetime of total sipping satisfaction.

Dishwasher Safe

No matter who (or what) does the washing in your home, Tervis drinkware is safe in the suds

Personalized Designs

An Environmentally Safe Product

All products are BPA-free

I was lucky enough to be asked by one of Canada’s top Baby stores, buy buy Baby to review this awesome company and two items on their Tervis product line; My First Tervis™ Sippy Cup and 10oz. Wavy Tumbler.

Because I do have a 13-month old and a 3.5year old,,this was a no-brainer for me to accept.

What I noticed right away was their huge selection of tumblers and sippy’s. Patterned, solid coloured, Disney inspired,

superhero and sports- themed, tumblers for adults, the assortment went on and on. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them and most importantly, to see how my kids would love (or hate) it. 

I chose a “Sofia The First” 10oz tumbler for my toddler and a very cute pink floral elephant for my baby for her first sippy. Summer was here and with the temperatures to prove it.

So I decided to challenge Tervis

regarding their “keeps cold things cold” statement. I filled both the sippy and the tumbler with cold water and added ice cubes to them just to put it to the real test. As the kids and I went about our day, I noticed the ice was still there, in tact. Fast forward 3 hours and not only were the ice cubes still there, but they hadn’t lost there shape! Needless to say, I was pretty impressed and super jealous that I had not chosen an adult tumbler for myself to take home.

The website doesn’t state this (that I could easily find anyway), but I am almost certain they are damage-proof. My 13-month old dropped her sippy religiously after every drink, for fun! But I am happy to report it withstood the ultimate test, the baby test, and came out on top!

My toddler absolutely loves her tumbler! She was so wise as to point out to me that it was Sofia The First on it as I had only picked it out for her because it was pretty. I love that they are splatter-proof, but mainly, I love their design and how independent it makes her feel that she can drink from a “big-girl” cup. The easy slide lid is so convenient and simple for my tot to use and when its closed, and falls over, absolutely nothing happens! The water stays in! I am speaking from experience here.

So overall, Tervis seems to be the leading brand in our household, and I have never seen these sold anywhere else but at buybuy Baby. The Tumbler retails for approximately $24.99 and the sippy for about $14.99 which, to be honest, sounds a bit steep. However, for all the features, including a LIFETIME guarantee of its quality,,it is definitely worth it!

 

 

 

I love when I get deliveries! I’m like a child at Christmas, waiting for Santa to deliver the goods! So imagine how happy I was to receive the Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat to my doorstep. I was in car seat heaven.

Upon opening the box, the very first thing I noticed was a “fun fact” sheet which told me weight capacities at each stage, safety features, comfort features and convenience features. Some of the points listed under each feature were as follows:

Weight Capacities

Safety Features:

Comfort Features:

Convenience Features:

On Diono’s website, I loved the various selection of colours to choose from.

When we were on our car seat journey with our baby girls (the oldest being 3 and the baby 5 months) and upon further research and review, one of the leading car seats to purchase was a Diono. The general overall consensus was that it was a GREAT car set, but was extremely heavy and quite large which didn’t fit with most vehicles. So truth be told, just based on those reviews alone, we went with another brand. However, I always found myself drawn to the brand and have several mommy friends who “absolutely love” their Diono car seat! So of course I had to revisit this, especially since the Summer 2016 arrival of our little squish.

I got hubby to do everything as I trust him more than myself to put anything together, especially when it comes to our girls. There were only a few pieces that had to be attached to the main body of the seat so, overall, very easy. The seat was all ready and set to come with me to my Holiday Tot Christmas Party!

Before packing up to head to my class, hubby showed me how easy it was to carry the seat by holding the red strap which tied around the seat. I did notice that the seat itself was a bit weighty but nothing like how heavy the reviews were saying it was. I was able to carry it in one hand essentially. Once I arrived, I set the seat up and snapped pics of the parents and toddlers trying the Radian out.

One by one, I watched and took pics of each mom and tot who decided to check out this gorgeous seat. I asked a few about it and some said they were looking at the seat but didn’t make a final decision where others said that they own a Diono and absolutely love it. Some of the moms pointed out that they own more than one and knew that Diono was just about the only car seat out there narrow enough to put three across the backseat of a motor vehicle to hold multiple children.

The moms found placing their toddler in the seat pretty simple and found buckling up very easy, once the tots quit squirming, of course. The side cushions were amazing and the moms found the back support, though rather tall to be surprisingly comfortable for their child.

The kids seemed to love the Radian RXT as well. I caught one of the girls playing with the buckles, trying to clip and unclip them. It was too cute.

Overall, It was determined that Diono is definitely a good sturdy well-structured car seat that will win anyone over who tries it.  For our 5 month old, I will definitely be using the Diono Radian RXT and I’m really excited to see how baby girl enjoys it once she is out of her bucket seat.

 

Who doesn’t love to dress up in costume for Halloween? Especially when you’re a toddler?! Carving pumpkins and making Halloween crafts can be awfully fun…and messy at the same time.

While one is busy having so much fun, who really wants to run to the bathroom every 5 minutes to wash their hands? Well, thanks to the X3 Clean Hand Sanitizer by Farleyco, the tots get that super clean finish which is (by the way) fragrance and alcohol-free!

At first glance, I was thinking, “Here we go again. Another hand sanitizer on the market” and to be honest, because of the many alcohol-based hand sanitizers on the market, I really wasn’t expecting much. But I was pleasantly surprised when I got my hands on the X3 and the kids loved it! I loved the sleek look of it. it wasn’t bulky and it was compact enough that it could fit nicely in your pocket. The kids felt a kind of independence because they were able to use it as it was great for tiny hands.

14894660_10154765522246055_1988115365_oA bonus feature that you can’t find on other sanitizers is the easy open/close spray top. This secures it so there won’t be any unexpected squirts. Just turn it open to use and turn it back to close the nozzle. Super easy to explain to the toddlers and easy enough for them to understand and do it themselves.

The X3 Clean is fragrance and residue free, non-stinging and completely safe for the kiddies to use which is wonderful since harmful germs frequently fly between toddlers in their busy, sleepless lives, it’s good to know that the germs are being killed in just one or two sprays. You can get 200+ sprays in every 8ml bottle so it should definitely last awhile.14895582_10154765390781055_170821786_o

Another unique feature to the X3 is that it does not have the typical lotion pump. Instead it has a spray nozzle which again adds to its ability to go anywhere with you. Another reason why I wasn’t a fan of hand sanitizers is because they are typically drying because of the alcohol content. But with the X3 Clean Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer, the dryness isn’t an issue and its non-existent.

14895687_10154765522681055_170283879_oBecause the sanitizer is triclosan free,one doesn’t have to worry about all the cancer-causing attributes triclosan has. It was a definite hit with the kids and it’s something I will definitely place in my toddler’s backpack when she goes off to preschool14876287_10154765391136055_942048700_o

 

Modern Eternity is a Canadian brand with a simple desire to create modern, comfortable wardrobe essentials. Born out of an obsession with creating the perfect coat, in one of the world’s coldest climates, the maternity wear line was born, and their 3-in-1 maternity coat and 4-way stretch maternity denims became hugely popular.

“Inspired by women who bring life into our world, we produce uncomplicated garments with the emphasis on fit, feel and style. Modern Eternity is a way of thinking, it’s about moving forward with change and not looking back. Here at Modern Eternity, it’s about putting passion and love into creating something that you, the wearer will not only look great in, but will give you the power to express your own eternal light.”

I was asked to review their newest style jacket, the “Lexi” – 3-in-1 fur trimmed hood maternity puffer , which retails for $180jacket6.00 Cdn.

Seeing how I had given birth 4-months ago, I could not wait for this goody to arrive. Of course, with the weather getting cooler and after raiding my closet for winter wear, I had already given up hope on finding a jacket that would actually fit my body and allow me to zip it up without looking like a stuffed sausage.  I was also wondering how I was going to handle my daily walks while wearing my baby girl with winter rolling around.

I was like a child at Christmas when the delivery arrived which apparently was very light. I ripped open the packaging and was
pleasantly surprised by the colour of the jacket. Calling it  “Dark Grey” as they do on their website doesn’t do this beautiful chevron-quilted piece any justice. It had a nice shimmer to it and looked almost pearl-like.

The jacket was soft to the touch and felt very light, living up to the company’s self-proclamation of “lightweight outerwear”. This didn’t seem to be an issue as I am generally warmer than normal anyway. I also assume the lighter material was inspired by the fact that it can get awfully warm rather quickly when babywearing so putting on this jacket was refreshing, a welcomed break from my past (and present) winter coats.

Instructions did not accompany the jacket but it wasn’t needed as at least one of the tags attached  to the sleeve of the coat served as a visual aid on how to wear it 3 different ways: during pregnancy, while wearing baby and without baby. Easy enough. Unfortunately, I missed the first look as my daughter is almost 5 months old. However, the other two looks I was right on time for.

jacket4It was time for our walk which would be a shortened one as it was rather cool out, but still great walking weather. Per usual, my daughter was lightly dressed in her long sleeved shirt and pants with socks and wearing a pink sweater with a hood. I put her in my carrier and then put on my Lexi. I was worried about the sizing, but it fit perfectly over both of us. I was easily able to zip up the jacket without any fear of pinching my daughter. The middle panel which was against my daughter as I wore her facing me was a different material than the rest of the jacket. It was a softer type of lining creating that comfort for her head as the jacket zipped up around her. Impressive. A little lower in the middle panel was almost like a pocket where both my hands could cradle her tiny bum but still be protected from the cold. For babies on the shorter side, the paneling can be zipped up then peeled down like a banana to so that jacket8baby isn’t swallowed by the jacket.

The faux-fur-lined hood on the jacket is there to block out the elements, and adds a nice touch to the overall look of the jacket, but it was my least favourite feature. I’m just not a fan of fur-lined hoods for so many reasons not relevant to this review, but the good news is the fur (not the hood) can be detached by snaps, not a zipper like you’d find on so many other jackets. I loved it!

jacket1As we walked, my daughter became drowsy as she often does when she is being rocked and is nice and cozy. I felt great as well. We’ve been together in the jacket for about 30 minutes now and still felt comfy, light and airy, and just warm enough even in the brisk, cool wind. I like that I had the option of the “pocket” under her bum or the pockets at the side of the jacket to warm my hands. I love my pockets and was a bit disappointed when I didn’t find inner pockets which is where I would keep my cellphone or keys. I certainly wouldn’t trust the pockets on the outside of the jacket as they were not protected by snaps or zippers. They were open pockets.

Once we arrived home, I removed the jacket and took my now sleeping jacket3daughter out of the carrier. Then with just the easy removal of the middle panel by simply unzipping it, I was able to achieve the 3rd look, the “baby-free” look. It was stylish, it was chic, it was great and loved the way it fit my curvy body.

Overall, the Lexi by Modern Eternity is a super,sleek, comfy, stylish and modern winter jacket that converts from pregnancy to baby- free with just the addition and/or removal of the middle panel. The simplified picture on the tag is all the instruction one would need to achieve all 3 looks. The cost seems a bit high at first until the versatility comes into play, which then makes it a steal considering all the features. More importantly, my daughter was still well protected from the cold and we were both warm and cozy without being overheated which is hard in itself to achieve, but this jacket, as lightweight as it is, accomplished just that.

jacket9

 

 

Garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, sage, basil—you’ll be amazed by what your baby will eat! Here are 125 healthy, delicious, kitchen-tested, and pediatric dietician-approved baby food recipes that will nurture your child’s adventurous palate and guarantee smiles from everyone at the dinner table.

Growing Up Gourmet is a total guide to your baby and toddler’s diet. Jennifer Carlson built her business, Baby Gourmet, into one of the top-selling organic baby food brands in North America—and she’ll show you how to make nutritious, delicious, home-cooked meals that will complement your child’s development schedule and make everyone else in the family happy too. Her mouth-watering recipes reduce picky eating and introduce your baby to the wide world of textures and tastes, from veggies such as kale and fennel, to grains such as amaranth and spelt, to herbs and spices such as turmeric and ginger that will help you avoid added sugar, salt, colourings, and preservatives.

As a busy mother of two, Jen understands that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by feeding struggles and the sheer mass of parenting information, not to mention the challenges of finding time to make wholesome, flavorful meals from scratch. In this essential guide, she clearly lays out everything you need to know about feeding your baby: when to wean; how to get the right nutrients at every stage; how to deal with finicky eating habits; which foods will treat gas, colic, constipation, low iron, or poor sleep; and how to adapt your special dietary considerations for your child. As daunting as it may seem, there are shortcuts and techniques to make it all manageable, whether you’re cooking for a single little one or a family of five and counting.

When I was first offered a copy of this book to review, I jumped at the chance! We had been feeding my daughter Baby Gourmet food pouches since she was able to start solids at 6 months. We right away loved the fresh, simple and wholesome ingredients it contained but more importantly, the sugar content was amazingly low.  She happily ate every variety we tried for her and we know her palette was developed through the different flavours Baby Gourmet offered.  She is now 2 years old so has obviously moved on from those pouches, but I still recommend the line to new or expectant mommies I meet through my business.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I picked up the book and the first thing I noticed was how vibrant the cover was. It was colorful with photos of foods and children and the name of the book was positioned in the middle.  nice and clean-looking.  Upon opening the book, I noticed the Table of Contents was easily laid out, beginning with “Introduction To Solids”, with the different stages leading up to “Feeding the Whole Family”.  For those whom are not sure what ages these stages begin or end, they are outlined in brackets beside each heading.  Excellent.gourmet2

I jumped right away to “Feeding the Whole Family” as my daughter is 2yrs old and is beyond the books definition of the “Toddler Stage”, not to mention I was curious what feeding the whole family entailed. After looking at a few of the recipes, I LOVED the way each recipe laid out one meal, two ways.  One for parents and one for children so in the end the entire family is eating the same meal!  Genius!  No need for two separate dinners.  It can be spiced up a bit for the parents and a little dialed down for the child.

Before you even get immersed in the wonderful selection of recipes, Jennifer lists some ingredients found later on in her recipes and tells you how to buy and store it, then tells you how to use each ingredient.  All of the ingredients are laid out in the same fashion, making it very user-friendly. She also includes a seasonality chart so the reader knows ahead of time what vegetable or fruit is in season and what isn’t.

It was visually pleasing to see that the recipes were split up with photos of Jennifer’s kitchen during cooking or photos with her family in the vegetable garden.  It’s refreshing on the eyes
instead of just looking at pages and pages of recipes.

gourmet 1My favourite part of “Growing Up Gourmet” , hands down, was the legend that accompanied each and every recipe, advising the reader whether or not the recipe contained dairy or wheat as well as if it was a meal that can be frozen for later.  It was great that Jennifer considered all aspects of children’s health.  Vegetarian children, lactose intolerant children, children who are wheat-intolerant and there are some recipes that offered substitutions for healthier alternatives.

My only “Con” to this book is that there is no clear heading for desserts!  I LOVE my desserts and so does my family.   I found myself scrolling through the pages for a granola bar recipe or a spiced apples recipe or even a tasty smoothie recipe.  If those could have been grouped together, that would have been delightful.

Overall, the “Growing Up Gourmet” 125-page recipe book has variety and alot to offer the family who want to change things up at mealtime but are not quite sure how.  There are so many things a parent s can do to make mealtime more enjoyable, more fun and tasty and this book will definitely take you there.  I was shocked with all the different ways to cook something and make it a little different each time with bold flavours and colours.

My daughter and husband will absolutely love this, not that I was boring in the kitchen to begin with of course!

Interested in receiving your very own copy of Jennifer Carlson’s “Growing Up Gourmet”? Well, you can.  Mommy Connections Durham and the publisher, Simon and Schuster Canada have teamed up for this awesome giveaway.  All you have to do is read this review and enter for your chance to win!  Tell your friends as well and YOU will receive 10 extra entries just for spreading the word!

Easy as pie right? (No pun intended).

Click HERE to enter. Good Luck!!

*this contest ends at 11:59pm on June 21 and the winner will be announced via social media as well as via email.

 

 

 

 

I was given the opportunity to review the Toilet Wand from our friends at Clorox Canada and I jumped at the chance.  I had never been happier to clean my toilet!  Once the package arrived in the mail, I tore it open and easily assembled the wand complete with 6 disposable disinfecting cleaning heads.  It’s fairly easy to assemble as the starter kit includes three parts to it:

There motto on the box is “Click, Clean and Toss” and I was happy to say that it’s a very accurate statement!

The back of the box gives you an easy-to-follow breakdown of what to expect with this neat little gadget.  As soon as the cleaning head came into contact with water, it immediately foamed up with a blue hue and created the “cleaning bubbles” visual you’d expect. The octagonal shape and swivel action of the cleaning heads allows one to easily get into the crevices of the toilet bowl. Although it is a disinfectant, the scent wasn’t too overpowering as most cleaners can be.  For those, however with sensitive noses, I would probably ask your spouse to do the job instead as it can get to you a bit.

It took no time at all, and I mean less than 5 minutes, to thoroughly clean my toilet.  I was quite happy with the results.  The bowl was sparkly clean, but it peaked my curiosity on whether it could be used for just one toilet at a time or if the cleaning action can be spread for all three of my toilets in one sitting. It seemed to be powerful enough that I was willing to challenge it. So I did just that! I ventured upstairs to my 2-year-old daughter’s bathroom and decided to put this Toilet Wand to the test.review 2  Again, as soon as the cleaning head came into contact with the water, the blue foam was apparent, however not as foamy as it’s first use.  I was able to again thoroughly clean the toilet bowl with minimal elbow work as I left it all to the wand.  I was quite impressed.  However, it was pretty evident that it wasn’t going to survive the task of cleaning my toilet in the master bedroom. To dispose of the cleaning head, there is a blue button at the top of the wand that one would simply slide forward, releasing the head into the garbage. Easy assembly,review 1 easy clean-up.

Overall, I would say this really is the easiest and most effective tool to use in the bathroom! Our toilets were left smelling clean and disinfected without having to scrub the toilet as you would with most other cleaners using a regular toilet brush. If the toilet is not heavily soiled, then it can have up to two effective uses.  Although I think the intent is to dispose of the cleaning head after just one use which may end up pretty costly in the long run, depending on how many toilets one has to clean and how often they need to be cleaned. The storage caddy is white, sleek and clean-looking so it  can nicely be placed next to any toilet in the bathroom and fit right in. My only issue would be that if I were to try to clean another toilet in my home, the transport of the wand without it dripping on the floors and carpet would be a bit tricky as the caddy is where the remaining cleaning heads are stored so I wouldn’t be able to put the wet wand in there.  I guess the easy answer (and again, the costly answer) would be to have one Disinfecting Toilet Wand per bathroom.

 

review 4

**THIS REVIEW AND CONTEST WAS WRITTEN BY AMANDA MERCIER FOR HER BLOG “ACCORDING TO AMANDA”

For more awesome reviews and experiences, please follow Amanda on Facebook and Twitter.


To Jump or not to Jump? That is the Question.

Spoiler Alert! My Answer: JUMP!

Sky Zone is the world’s first indoor trampoline park and they have locations in Canada, the US, Mexico and Australia. It is not ‘just’ trampolines! The Whitby location offers 3 trampoline areas, a SkySlam court (for the basketball lovers), SkyRobics fitness classes, Dodgeball,birthday parties, camps and the Foam Zone filled with 10,000 foam cubes to fling yourself into.

I am very excited to share our experience with you about Sky Zone’s Toddler Time. My 2 and 4-year-old LOVED it and I am sure they will be asking to go again soon! Toddler Time is an activity for Sky Zone’s littlest jumpers, open to children under 6 years of age.  It offers full access to an entire trampoline section as well as the foam pit without the dangerous, high energy of the big kids.

Keep reading for your chance to win
an exciting giveaway with Sky Zone!

 

Sky Zone Pros:

Review/blog post completed by Brianne N., mother of two.

With the Munchkin Extender Extra Wide and Tall Gate, you can keep your little one safe from potential hazards around the house without sacrificing the beauty of your walls. With an additional 6″ of height, this versatile steel gate is taller and wider than standard-size gates. The extra-tall design makes this a great addition for households with larger pets. An innovative, tilting spring mechanism reduces the amount of pressure applied to the walls when the gate opens or closes. The gate also features an easy-to-use locking mechanism that provides safety for little ones and peace of mind for you. Expecting company? Quick-release fittings allow you to take the gate down and put it back up easily. The door can be set to open either one way only or both ways for extra versatility.Gate4

As the Mom of two young girls this chance to review a baby gate was perfect timing for us. My girls are 4 and 1 and always on the move. My youngest daughter just started walking and we were in need of a gate at the bottom of our basement stairs to keep her from climbing while the kids were playing. I was excited to install and review the new Brica Baby Gate for Mommy Connections Durham.

Gate6The Brica Baby Gate comes quite organized in its packaging with all the pieces required for its installation and an instruction booklet. On the instruction book it provides an online video you can view to assist in the installation. We took out all the pieces and laid them out and looked through the instruction manual. From there we completed the gate installation step by step. From start to finish this gate took us just under two hours to install. We love the one touch gate opening as it makes it so easy to open and close and provides the safety we needed for our little ones. The look of the gate is quite modern so it fits in with our home décor.

We liked that during the gate installation there were minimal tools needed, only a drill and a screwdriver, and it Gate3included a mini wrench and allen key to assist in installation. The gate itself is quite sturdy and the instructions provide options to install your gate safely with or without wall studs. We had an uneven wall mount where the gate was to hinge and the gate provides screw out ends to adjust for a perfect fit to your space, which was a great help for anyone with uneven walls. We also liked the swing or non swing feature where you can adjust a piece of the hardware included to allow your gate to swing both ways or just one. This is a great safety option, for example, if you do not want it to swing over stairs.

Gate1We were disappointed that the instruction manual contained no written instructions just pictures listed under each of its 14 steps. This was probably our biggest challenge with this gate. We viewed the video as well but found some parts of the video explained the installation in different steps then the instruction manual did. We decided to use the instruction manual and do our best to make sense of the picture guidelines. It would have been much quicker if written instructions were included because each step we had to talk and discuss what we were seeing in the visual instructions and ensure we were understanding it correctly before completing each step. Once we got going it was quite straightforward.

We recommend the Brica Baby Gate for anyone looking for a sturdy, safe and modern gate for use at the top or bottom of stairs or doorway in your home.

Gate2

This gate is available at Babies R Us for $59.99. It is exclusive to Babies R Us and just launched in late April.

Durham Region families can jump for joy at Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Whitby, located at 240 South Blair Street, Unit 2. The brand new 34,500 square foot facility features a massive Open Jump court, two Ultimate Dodgeball courts, Sky Slam basketball, a Foam Zone and a toddler jump area, reserved especially for the littlest jumpers! Plus Sky Zone offers SkyRobics, an innovative fitness class that burns up to 1,000 calories in one hourBBE_Instagram_Images.
People of all ages and abilities can defy gravity on the all-trampoline walled courts that are designed for optimal airtime. The Open Jump experience is for individuals and groups who want to zip across the court, take a gigantic leap vertically, or bounce off the walls, literally. The wildly popular Ultimate Dodgeball adds an exciting twist to the childhood game and the SkySlam courts gives everyone the opportunity to slam dunk like an NBA basketball star. Freestyle flyers can also practice their moves as they soar into the Foam Zone, a giant pit filled with 10,000 foam cubes.Slam Dunk (7)
My family and I received a lovely invitation this past weekend to check out all that Skyzone Whitby had to offer! I jumped at the chance and quickly accepted. I mean, who am I to turn down an offer like that? Sunday morning came and we were off to what I was sure was going to be a few hours of endless fun for my hubby, Karl, my 22-month-old, Karmyn and my sis, Claudia. Bring it on!
Once we arrived, were were greeted by Nicole, Sky Zone Whitby’s Events Manager. Rigĥt away we felt “at home”, so to speak as Nicole greeted us in such a welcoming way. It was very refreshing. She brought us to a computer booth setup by the entrance where we were asked to complete Liability Waivers. If you have a child (under age 16) then a parent or guardian must complete the waiver on their behalf. It was pretty straight forward and very necessary in case of any accidents. Once that was completed, we were asked to go the the customer service desk to receive our Sky Socks, specialty socks needed to jump in “The Zone” as I call it. I love that they had various sizes sure to fit everyone including my baby girl. ATT_1439168761141_20150802_113649There were also lockers on hand to keep our valuables in a safe place until we were ready to leave. My sister took the liberty of using one and quickly pointed out that once the locker is closed, it remains so for an hour despite her having a key. We found that feature to be a little frustrating and was an issue for me, a mother of a toddler who would need access to her diaper bag at all times as lets face it, she’s a toddler. So with that, Karl had to run back to the car with the diaper bag as it would be easier to access should we need it.
Once that was all settled and we were dressed to the nines with our fancy bright orange Sky Socks, we met up with Andrew, a lovely young man who laid out all the rules of the facility, being sure to point out the poster of numbered rules in case we couldn’t retain all of what he was saying. It was brief and to the point. Anticipation crept in ATT_1439168940392_20150802_102850as we were guided past their party rooms and sitting area, complete with leather couches and a television for those that want to lounge as they wait for their Sky Jumpers to finish. That was the end of the line for Nicole and just the beginning for us as she led us up the stairs to where all the magic happens!
Karl right away, gravitated to the Zone with the basketball nets. There were 4 lanes of trampoline each leading to differing heights of basketball nets. The point, obviously is to dunk the ball, if you dare, into the net of your choice. Karl didn’t do too badly actually, but I remember mumbling to myself that he shouldn’t quit his day job just yet. ATT_1439168889127_20150802_103638
Karmyn was a little bag of excitement and couldn’t wait to hit the Toddler Zone, where there were about 6 trampolines. They were the same size as the adult trampolines, but fewer of them. What I loved was that toddlers were given a separate area to jump to avoid being trampled by the bigger folk and the area was completed with foam blocks with drawn-on animal faces as props for the kids to play with. Karmyn being a toddler and super-glued to mommy’s hip did not want to jump on the trampolines without me. As I was leading  her onto one of the them, I was told I was not able to go with her. I immediately disagreed and pointed out that not all toddlers are as independent as others and that she needed me with her, especially because this was all new to her. Without a fight, I was allowed to get onto the trampoline with her and lightly jump so she could follow suit. Let’s just saying Karmyn was never much of a jumper! The staff, which mainly consisted of highschool kids, were smitten by all her cuteness and offered up some animal noises to go with the foam blocks to coax her into calmness. And what would you know, it worked! ATT_1439168889900_20150802_103118After that, we decided to go cheer Daddy on at the nets. Claudia was off somewhere having a great time jumping and bouncing off the walls which were also 100% trampoline.
It was off to the the new foam pit for kids 16 years old and under where they could literally get lost in a sea of foam blocks after jumping off a trampoline diving board. Similar to the basketball nets, there are 4 lanes of trampoline. This time though they all lead to a giant pool of foam blocks. I wanted in on that action, but was told the adult foam pit was under construction. Defeated. Karmyn however, in all her jumping expertise decided to get a head start on me ATT_1439168888819_20150802_103904and dove head first into the pit. If it weren’t for her whimpering cries, I would have never found her. Wow, that pit is deep. Awesome! Must.Try.Adult.Foam.Pit on my next visit for sure!
Karmyn and I took our turn at the basketball nets and I was able to get some “me time” in on the trampolines for a solid 10 minutes before Karmyn realized I was having fun without her. I literally bounced off the walls with excitement as I was having so much fun! I was dripping like never before in those 10 minutes than I ever have working out for a longer period of time. What an amazing workout without even knowing you’re working out. The socks were a20150802_110254mazing and kind of makes you stick the the flooring when walking around and creates a non-slip feel when jumping. I kind of felt like Spiderwoman for a bit there. It was great! We jumped for a total of an hour before calling it a day. Besides, with Sky Zone’s timed stickers you have to wear on your shirt (which is given to you once you choose your jump time and pay upon entry to the facility), I don’t think it would be easy for someone to sneak in more jump time.
On the way out, We washed our hands in the bathroom which was very clean and well-kept and took notice of the snack bar and arcade games found in the seating area by the lockers. I also noticed a neat little glass display of memorabilia for one’s visit to Sky Zone Whitby. There were cups, hats and other items available for purchase. My sister Claudia noticed that fitness classes would soon be offered! How intriguing and fun!
Nicole ATT_1439168760840_20150802_114459pointed out that the classes have not yet begun but are sure to be a hit. There is also “Sky Jam” where those can jump from 9pm-11pm, including pop and pizza. What a great “after hours” event where this would be a hit among myself and my mommy friends who need a break after the babies go down for the night.
Sky Zone is also the perfect venue for memorable group outings, including birthday parties, corporate team building events, school trips, and summer camps. For more information or to reserve a jump time, which is highly recommended, visit www.skyzone.com/whitbyBBE_Instagram_Images4
Overall, we all had a great time. Other than a few small bumps of not being able to jump with my daughter and not being able to jump in the foam pit, it was an amazing experience. Karmyn’s 2nd birthday is coming up and we’re thinking of having it at Sky Zone. The rates may be a bit high for some, but this also includes an hour jump time for every party guest and the birthday girl of course as well as an hour in one of the 4 or so party rooms available.
The staff is friendly and Nicole was very informative and answered our many questions with ease. I can’t wait for our next visit!ATT_1439168810277_20150802_104253
To celebrate almost reaching 1000 “Likes” on our Mommy Connections Durham Facebook page, Sky Zone Whitby and I have teamed up to give away a pass for a family of 4 to enjoy a 60-minute jump session at Sky Zone, located at 240 South Blair Street, Unit 2!
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Stay tuned and look out for more details on our Facebook Page on how you can win!

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