Feeding the family…

Your alarm goes off and it’s time to start another day…but not just an ordinary day. Because let’s get real, that doesn’t happen when you’re a mom and you have kids to take care of!

Your day constantly revolves around the little people who follow you around calling you “Mamma” from morning to night. Oh boy, has life changed since becoming a mom! Things that weren’t important to us before are all we seem to think about these days. There isn’t anything that we wouldn’t do for our kids…their health and happiness is our top priority.

Marcus’ first taste of beef as a baby.

From the moment they’re born, we only want the best for them and that includes what we give them to eat. Really, think about it, how many of you were like me and never thought you’d be a breastfeeding Mamma and totally surprised yourself? How many of you started to grocery shop differently once it was time to start your little one on solid foods? I found myself buying more organic foods, making sure everything was local, making my own baby food from scratch (you know what’s going into it and its much more cost–effective.) All of a sudden, I knew what superfoods and iron-enriched foods were and why they were so good and important for the growth and brain development of these tiny humans. I found myself in the kitchen a lot more and researching all the food I was preparing for them.

One thing I learned was that 6 months of age is a critical time for infants to get iron-rich foods since iron-reserves are low. One of the best ways for baby to boost iron levels is to eat beef. I’ve battled with low-iron my whole life I wanted to make sure my kids were getting enough of it and from a great source. To quote Health Canada: “Iron is a critical nutrient in brain development. Deficiencies during infancy and childhood may have serious and irreversible effects.” Wow! Health Canada recommends that meats should be introduced as one of baby’s first foods at 6 months of age.

I still remember standing in the kitchen with my Baby Bullet preparing meals for my kids and then blending my creations for them…yes meat too! I actually started with beef, which I would purée with my breastmilk, and the kids would devour! From that we gradually moved on to more chunky textures, and then to finger foods. Still to this day, with my kids being 6 years old (Samantha), 4 years old (Liliana) and 2 years old (Marcus), they are always asking me to make their faves, which usually consist of things like lasagna, burgers, thin grilled steaks, kabobs, stir-fry, etc.

Samantha enjoying a burger while Liliana digs into her lasagna.

Just last night I made another one of the kids’ faves. Can you guess what it was? I’ll give you a hint…it’s healthy, tastes great, is good for them, is made with beef and topped with some fresh locally grown veggies. Wanna know? Watch the video below and see for yourself…

TACOS! Tacos are one of our family’s favourite meals, which we try to get it in weekly if not bi-weekly because it’s a great way to incorporate beef, which is a great a source of iron, as well as veggies, dairy and grains! What a great way to check all the boxes in one very popular meal.

So what are you cooking up for dinner? Don’t know? How about Oven Roast Beef with Simple Sauce or Tuscan Beef Kabobs with Quinoa & Roasted Cauliflower, CLICK HERE to check out the recipes.

Disclosure: This post is in partnership with ThinkBeef.caAs always the opinions expressed are my own.


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Calling all mermaids

March break is coming to an end and it has been a jam packed week filled with fun, fun and more fun! Today was no exception and our visit to Glama Gal Tween Spa Vaughan was the icing on the cake. It’s one of our favourite places to visit and we’ve been going since Samantha was just 23 months old. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you’ve probably heard me talk about what a fantastic place it is. Samantha still recalls her visit there with me when she was barely 2 years old and just days before Liliana was born. If you ask her she will tell you how we went to celebrate Mother’s Day just the two of us, she will tell you what we did and even what she wore that day…I’m not even exaggerating!

So last week when I was planning different things to do during the March Break of course a visit to Glama Gal came up and lucky for us they have a special package they are promoting that the girls have been dying to check out. I’m talking about their Mermaid package! What little girl or in my case what Mamma doesn’t want to be all glammed up and pampered like a mermaid, they had me at glitter haha.

The whole week the girls could not wait for Thursday to come just so they could go to the spa with their friends. From the minute we arrived the service was outstanding. They greeted all the children, learned their names right away as they took their coats, they asked the parents if there are any allergies that they should be made aware of. Being a Mamma of child who has a life threatening allergy you don’t know how happy that makes me. The fact that their establishment goes the extra mile and takes these precautions to ensure the safety of everyone who walks through their doors is something that gives me great peace of mind.

From there the girls (and Marcus who is also a big fan as you can see from his photo haha) laughed and soaked in every minute of their mermaid services. They got to mix their own ocean sparkle spa bubbles, picked out their polish for their ocean blue fizzy manicure, relaxed with a tropical citrus hand and arm massage as they sipped on tasty deep blue sea potion and nibbled on goldfish crackers. While in between they got some magical mermaid eye glitter and some shine on their lips. On the way out the girls made sure to hit up the gift area to pick up some fancy lip balm and get their special starfish glitter wish.

Everyone had an amazing time, including us Mammas. If you’re looking for something fun to do with your little ones…girls and boys (yup, they offer services for boys as well) then you definitely need to go and check it out. The Mermaid package is on till May and if you want to get in on the action be sure to ask about their Mom and Me Experience Mermaid package.

I won’t lie, I’m kinda jealous the girls got sparkles today and I didn’t haha!

For more information on Glama Gal Tween Spa be sure to visit them online,
“LIKE” them on facebook and “FOLLOW” them on instagram and twitter.

Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Glama Gal Tween Spa. As always the opinions expressed are my own.

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Infant Top 10 List

Guest Blog Written By: Barbara Ann Solomon of Barbara Ann Style Blog

I started this post probably three days before I went into labour, which was 2 weeks before my due date. I was excited to share some of my favourite items, and why I thought #babyNegin would love them. There were a zillion things that they say you need vs. what works best for you, and this can be somewhat difficult to navigate. For Trevor and I, we tried to keep things simple and ensure we invested in things that would compliment our lifestyle.

New Rides

1. Our new ride: Trevor and I had been driving a 10 year old coupe upon getting pregnant and one of the first things that EVERYONE told us, was that it was time for a new car. There would be no way, we could get a baby in and out of our current ride and it was time to look for a bigger option. After months of research (mostly on Trevor’s part) we agreed that we wanted an SUV, packed with all the safety features but not comprising on style and luxury.

We test drove a number of makes and models but kept coming back to the first we had seen, the new 2017 Mazda CX5. Some of the features we loved about this SUV were the rear-facing camera, 4-wheel drive, lane departure warnings, Skyactiv Technology and the Smart City break support. We found our perfect CX5 at the Westowne Mazda dealership, located in Etobicoke, with the help of Doug Warsh and Niki Figliano.

2. Baby Negin’s new ride: When shopping for strollers, options seemed endless with so many varieties in the market place. We knew we needed something compact and lightweight, that was ideal for long walks with Taco. We started browsing and testing out each stroller and we loved how easily the ValcoBaby strollers handled.

We picked the Snap Ultra Tailormade in denim, weighing just 8.2kg, this lightweight stroller is ideal for easy traveling. Suitable for infants with a full reclining seat through to 45 lbs, the stroller includes a beautiful boot cover and collapsible hood. It also has adapters available to pair with our Maxi Cosi car seat.

Coat: Club Monaco, Sweater: Club Monaco, Leggings: Noppies from Carry Maternity,  Boots: Uggs, Diaper bag: Skip Hop (on sale)

3. Shopping Cart Hammock: One thing that confused me, while getting ready for Sterling, was how I was going to be able to go grocery shopping. Typically a task I love to do, I couldn’t figure out how to push both a shopping cart as well as a stroller. I was then introduced to the Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock, a one-of-a kind hammock that provides a safe and cozy seat that hangs elevated inside the basket portion of most standard shopping carts. It’s ideal for babies who are not quite ready to sit up yet and allows plenty of room for groceries. I also love that I can place my car seat on top of the sling and secure it to the shopping cart, for those quick trips to the store.

4. Baby Carrier: When we moved into our stacked town home, I knew that our stairs would be an issue once we started our family. Not wanting to leave an infant alone, I’d need to find an easy solution to keep my little one close while allowing me to move around our home. Once getting pregnant and bringing home Taco, the requirement for something that would be effortless became urgent.

I stumbled upon Solly Baby on Instagram (where I find and fall in love with a lot of brands these days) and was taken back by the beautifully designed fabrics of these infant wraps. Made in the US, the wraps are made from certified Lenzing modal, which is lightweight, buttery soft and a sustainable fabric sourced from the pulp of Austrian beechwood trees and dyed with environmentally friendly dyes.

I simply love that I can keep Sterling close and still go about my daily activities, and he seems to love it too.

Innovative Essentials

5. Smart Pump: Breastfeeding is something I become very passionate about leading into my final stages of pregnancy. In late November, I was a guest on the AM640’s The Parenting Show with Pina Crispo, which airs Sunday nights at 7pm and discussed the topic of breastfeeding (listen here), with host Pina of Chic Mamma, lactation specialist Katie Wickham, and the hilarious momma, Meredith of That’s Inappropriate.

Together, they prepared me, while scaring the shit out of me, for everything I’d need to know regarding nurturing my newborn. I walked away from the show, knowing that the most important things was to feed my baby, regardless of method. Whether it be through formula, breastfeeding, pumping or any combination of these options, I felt confident knowing that there is no right or wrong way to feed your baby.

Socks: Comrad

Being a busy mom, with the hopes of jumping back into the swing of a blogger lifestyle, I knew I’d need to use a pump to help share the responsibilities and ensure that there was always a supply of milk available for my growing son. The new Sonata Double Electric Breast Pump by Medela, is quiet, responsive and smart connecting to the MyMedela app which tracks your baby’s growth, pumping sessions and personalized content regarding lactation information, to help you reach your breast milk feeding goals.

6. Portable Baby Lounger: Being an entrepreneur means that even though you may have just given birth, it doesn’t mean the projects stop. I am fortunate, as Sterling is a napper, who will fall asleep basically anywhere, as long as he feels secure.

Enter the lightweight and beautiful Dockatot, a multi-functional lounging, playing, chilling, resting and snuggling dock you can take anywhere. Sterling sleeps like a champ in this 100% cotton, cozy and breathable nest available in two sizes, (Deluxe for 0 – 8 months and Grand 9 – 36 months), as its snug fit resembles the womb and makes him feel safe.

7. Easy Swaddle: Sterling, as mentioned is a great sleeper and we are fortunate because of that. We strongly believe in swaddling and creating cozy womb like environments, which has been proven to have therapeutic and developmental benefits. We tried a few different methods of swaddling and found that the most effective and easiest is with the help of The Ollie World Swaddle.

What we loved most about The Ollie was the design, the Velcro kept Sterling feeling secure in the moisture-wicking material and the opening at the bottom made over night diaper changes easy without the need to un-swaddle. Swaddling for us, has allowed Sterling to sleep safely and self-sooth throughout the night getting hours of quality sleep at a time.

8. The Cleaner Pacifier: I tend to fall in love with beautifully designed things, and hope that they product matches the level of design. With The Pop Pacifierby Doddle and Co, recently seen on Shark Tank, we’ve found that magic spot where function meets fashion. Recommended for babies 0 – 6 months (but suitable for older babies), this 100% silicone pacifier is designed so that the nipple pops back into its built-in protective bubble every time it falls, allowing for fewer trips to the sink to wash it.

Ring: Bluboho

Beauty and Brains:

9. Baby furniture that doesn’t look like baby furniture: Our living space, in our new home, was designed to be very open, with clean lines, bright and light colours (see our kitchen reveal and living room reveal). Trevor and I spent a lot of time curating the collection of furniture and decor to match both of our styles and allow for optimum entertaining.

With a baby on the way, we didn’t want to throw away everything we had done to create this aesthetic, and began the hunt for well designed baby items. We came across the ingenious Tripp Trapp highchair by Stokke, a Norwegian brand who’s focus is on creating products that encourage child development and to strengthen the bonds between parents and children in those crucial early weeks, months and years. Created in 1972, this chair is designed to grow from infancy (with the infant attachment) into adulthood by having adjustable seat and foot plates.

Shirt: Ripe Maternity from Carry Maternity, Pants: Noppies from Carry Maternity, Slippers: Walmart, Frames: Kam Dhillon from Clearly, Mug: Anthropolgie, Bowl: 1815 by Royal Doulton, Table: Universal Furniture

10. Rock-a-bye-baby: For the past few weeks, we have been very lucky. We did our research and found the perfect bassinet that allows Sterling to sleep well throughout the night, waking only when he has a wet diaper or requires a feeding. We knew we would want something that rocked, but was simple in design, and didn’t really find the need for technology to be involved (if he was a fussy baby we may have rethought our strategy).

We purchased the Canadian made Monte Design Ninna Nanna bassinet, which has a removable bed nestled into a solid birch rocker base and we loved everything about the stunning piece of furniture. When Sterling wakes up, he rocks himself back to sleep quickly, and the height is perfect for easy feedings throughout the night without having to leave my bed.

Blanket: Little Unicorn

I received products compliments of and/or in collaboration with Westowne Mazda, ValcoBaby, Binxy Baby, Solly Baby, Medela, Ollie World and Doctatot.

For more from Barbara Ann Style Blog be sure to visit her online,
“LIKE” her on Facebook and “FOLLOW” her on Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest.

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Because Kids Can’t Wait

Guest Blog Written By: Kim Moran, CEO of Children’s Mental Health Ontario.

Jan. 31, Bell Let’s Talk, is an important day for all of us impacted by mental health. It will be a busy day with many people sharing their experiences in public forums. But there is one voice we are not likely to hear above all others – it’s the voice of Ontario’s children.

That is why I’m asking all of you to raise your voice for children’s mental health, so that kids won’t be forgotten on this day.

My Story

As a mom to a child with mental illness, I know how hard it can be. It’s hard to watch our children experience mental illness; and it’s hard to get the right treatment when we need it. When a child suffers from mental illness, the entire family is impacted.

For my family, my daughter’s situation was extreme – at age 11, she became suicidal. Our family was in crisis trying to get the help she needed. We held on tight, trying to get by while we languished on wait lists for publicly funded children’s mental health services. At the same time, I was working and trying to keep my family on track. Within a few short months our daughter tried to die by suicide – it was heartbreaking. We were finally able to get help from highly trained children’s mental health professionals at a publicly funded community agency. But, we shouldn’t have had to wait. No child or youth should have to wait.

My family is fortunate. We still have our struggles, but we have effective coping strategies.

Now, as CEO of Children’s Mental Health Ontario, I speak with so many parents whose children have struggled with mental health. These parents are just like you and me. Thank goodness the vast majority of kids never get as ill as our daughter did.

Sharing and Connecting

One thing I have learned over the years is that when parents share experiences, we are empowered. Not only do we realize we are not alone, but we share advice and ideas.

For me, some of the best advice I received when my own family was struggling was around the importance of spending meaningful time together. It may sound obvious, but it was something that we needed to prioritize. With that in mind, in my family, dinner became almost a sacred ritual.

With busy schedules it is often challenging, but we do our best to make this an important connection time to share our thoughts and feelings. Sometimes we laugh a lot, sometimes we work out problems, sometimes it’s about scheduling, and sometimes it’s about…nothing. But stopping to make time together is so important.

What does your family do to maintain mental wellness and keep your close connections?

Let’s Talk About Anxiety

Anxiety is the most common childhood mental illness. If you have experienced it at any degree, you may be asking: How do you know when it is a problem, especially for a child or teen?  When is time for some form of treatment?

If anxiety seriously interferes with a child’s ability to do everyday tasks, such as attending school or hanging out with friends, or they are struggling to concentrate, focus on school work or sleep at night, they may need additional support. Behaviors vary across ages, but signs of a problem may include:

  • When the feeling of anxiety is persistent – not just in a period of time of big change
  • When the intensity of the child’s responses is outside the norm
  • Younger children may have difficulties sleeping, or may be prone to bedwetting, crying, tantrums, protesting separations and not settling after a short period
  • Older children may have stomach aches, withdrawal, difficulties sleeping, frequent questioning, need for reassurance from caregivers. They may also avoid attending school
  • Teens may show signs of withdrawal from family, friends or activities, spend more time on the computer, alter their sleep patterns, refuse to attend school and/or use drugs or alcohol

Dr. Marjory Phillips, Director of the Integra Program at Child Development Institute, an accredited publicly funded children’s mental health agency in Toronto, has these tips to use to support your child at home:

  • Listen to your child or youth’s worries and reflect the feeling before trying to problem-solve or give advice
  • Take their concerns seriously while at the same time expressing confidence in his/her strengths
  • Recognize that your child’s anxiety may pose challenges to the whole family
  • Be open to listening to your child or youth (ask and hear versus talk and tell)
  • Express empathy by staying calm and reflect back the child’s thoughts and feelings
  • Figure out strengths – when are things better, what helps, who helps, when is it best to talk, etc.
  • Resist asking too many “why” questions

If you feel your child or youth’s feelings of anxiety extend beyond the norm and are seriously interfering with the child’s ability to do the tasks of everyday life, consult your family doctor and visit to find a children’s mental health centre near you.

A Crisis in Ontario

Children’s mental healthcare in Ontario is in crisis:

  • Suicide is the leading cause of death among Canadians age 15 to 34;
  • Families are waiting up to 18 months for treatment;
  • For many, publicly funded child and youth mental health services are not available in their community;
  • Many never get the help they need.

There are currently insufficient resources to intervene in the early stages of a mental health issue (which is proven to garner the most effective results), and too often, intervention occurs only when children are suicidal and/or reach a crisis.

There are solutions. The Ontario government can fix this by increasing funding to community mental health programs to ensure that no child or young person waits longer than 30 days for mental health treatment, and that they can access treatments in their communities when they need it.

You can help. One easy way to help is to click here to send Premier Kathleen Wynne a message and let her know that our #kidscantwait for mental healthcare.


For more information on Children’s Mental Health Ontario be sure to visit them online,
“LIKE” them on Facebook & “FOLLOW” them on Twitter.

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Just one of those days…

Yesterday I came across a post written by Bethany Jacobs titled “To The Mom Hiding In The Bathroom Right Now” on (click on the title to give it a read before continuing on) and let me tell you, it couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

Yesterday was a hard day! One of those days that I just felt like I couldn’t hold it together and was going bat shit crazy trying to do it all…be a mom, wife, take care of my 3 little ones, trying to take care of myself, run a business, host a radio show, teach, do my voice work, etc.

Wanna know what I mean? Well, let’s take a look at what my day was like…

I woke up bright and early to get the kids all ready (help get them dressed, washed up, do their hair, make breakfast, prepare lunches, brush teeth, etc) so I could drop the girls off at school while Marcus came along for the ride.

Ran back home to grab some snacks for the little guy, filled up my water bottle and headed to kickboxing. Almost at kickboxing when I realized, ahhhhh fack I forgot my water at home.

Workout done (barely survived the ass kicking) and it was now time to bring Marcus to gymnastics.

Brought Marcus to his class which was like another workout since it’s parent and tot and God forbid this kid follows the teacher’s instructions so I’m running after him the whole time. So much fun let me tell ya!

Left gymnastics and headed to the grocery store. Ready to park and was like ohhhhhh you know what would be great? A purse! Too bad I left it at Marcus’ class, okkkkkk back we go.

Awesome, I got my purse but now Marcus feel asleep in the car…ok screw the grocery store and just go home.

Got home and laid him down gently so he wouldn’t wake up and I could attempt to take a quick shower…alright shower done…WOO HOO, that was pretty sweet!

Marcus woke up, I gave him some food…there’s something about how it’s important to feed these little humans haha.

Oh look it’s time to pick up the kids early from school for their doctor’s appointment. Where the fack did the day go?

Got to the doctor’s office where the kids found the need to scream at the top of their lungs in the room while we wait for our turn. As we waited I couldn’t help but think to myself “thank God this room has a door so they can’t escape”. The doctor came in, checked them out and ordered some blood work so I packed them all up and we went to the lab. Oh sorry, those piercing screams you hear? That’s just my daughter losing her shit…oh she stopped for a minute…yup just enough time to turn to me and look me in the eyes to tell me that she’s hates me and that I’m a bad mom (because after all it’s my fault she needed blood work). At that point I was like, that’s cute, are we facking done yet? Let’s go! Oh wait we can’t leave, we still need to pick up some meds at the pharmacy…great another stop…ok done!

Piled everyone back in the car and off to the party store we went cuz it’s Marcus’ birthday on Sunday and I haven’t done shit. Side note…did I mention it was raining all day? Ya, sucks when you’re with kids getting them in and out of the car…NUMEROUS TIMES! So we got to the store and I was happy that the shopping carts had seat belts and I was able strap Marcus down. This kid is a shit show and I had zero strength or energy left to run after him so woo hoo for shopping carts with seat belts.

Party store done but only got 2 out of the million things I need. Ahhhh crap the food thing again…it was dinner time now and we still had to head to the mall for halloween costumes. I had a plan, hit up the food court first, then halloween costumes and then get the fack out. Sushi dinner and they all eat like champs…it was going well! I was in a groove as I pushed the double stroller with Lily and Marcus in it and with Sam by my side. We got to the store, picked out the costumes, paid and it’s was about half hour past bedtime, not too bad. At this point my husband popped into my head (who by the way hadn’t done anything wrong) and I kind wished I could practice my jabs and upper cuts on him just cuz he was home alone and I wasn’t haha.

Finally we got home! It was still raining so I hurried and got the kids out of the car and into the house. Wait girls, you need your meds before bed. Sam here you go, great! Go get ready for bed. Lily your turn…oh you don’t want to take this puffer? Oh and now you’re crying and screaming. Why are you crying and screaming? Just breath…pretty easy right?! Oh you don’t give a shit. Ok well you need to take your meds so let’s try…oh now you’re crying bad and screaming bloody murder and wait what’s that? BARF! BARF everywhere! Wonderful! Clothes came off and I cleaned up as the husband carried her up to the bathtub.

As I tucked Lily in I was in tears because I felt like a horrible mom who made her kid throw up. I bet the other moms wouldn’t have made their kid throw up. Lily hugged and kissed me as she said “I love you Mamma and tomorrow I won’t cry and will take my medicine” so naturally that made me cry even more cuz I love the little shit so much.

FullSizeRender 6So 2 down, 1 to go…it was just me and my little man, you know the one from my insta stories who refuses to go to sleep. I had to once again put my pile of work on hold because it was obvious that it wasn’t going to happen.

Reading Bethany’s post yesterday was timely. I’m a hot mess, I’m a shit show who can barely hold it together, I try to do the best that I can and sometimes I can barely get a grip on life while other times I manage a bit better. As crazy hard as it can be I wouldn’t trade it in for the world! I love my little shits and of all the titles I hold, the title of “MAMMA” is by far the best one I have.

I love you Samantha, Liliana and Marcus xoxo

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It’s time to shop…ERIN MILLS TOWN CENTRE style!

Another morning of rummaging through my drawers, frantically whipping through my closet just to realize that it’s time for this Mamma to go shopping! YES! FOR MYSELF! Not for the kids, not for the husband, JUST FOR ME!

How many of you are like me and although you may have gone shopping recently it was probably for everyone else in your household but not for yourself? Right? After having kids everything has been about them and it’s just recently that I’ve been finding my old self again. The one that actually used to do things for herself which included shopping and having an updated wardrobe…not one that consists of out dated clothing that were purchased pre-kids (yes that’s 6 years ago) and just don’t seem to fit right anymore.

I’m a plain and simple kinda Mamma; give me jeans or leggings, a tee or tank and add some Converse Chucks and I’m rockin’! I love that look and maybe it’s because it’s easy but I’m also looking to build off of that and start incorporating new pieces for some new looks. Shopping for me and putting together outfits is not something I’m good at. I either come home disappointed and with nothing to show for my countless hours of wandering the mall or I come home with stuff that is totally wrong for me and that I should have never bought in the first place.

I have finally come to the conclusion that I need shopping help. I need a pro by my side to talk some sense into me when I pick up the wrong thing or when I pass by something that I should be picking up.  So I called up my friend Suzanne from Your Shop Girl and asked her to come along with me and help me out. It’s all about taking the first step right? LOL! I’m half way there…admitting you have a problem is half the battle they say 😉 .

Leading up to our shopping trip I had some homework to do; find a mall to hit up that has stores that I like as well as filling out a shopping questionnaire from Your Shop Girl. Done and done…that part was pretty easy. I picked Erin Mills Town Centre as I hadn’t been in a while and was wanting to go check it out again especially after all the great changes and updates that they’ve been working on.

Once arriving we got to work. Suzanne sat down with me and before starting on our shopping adventure we got comfy on a sofa at Hudson’s Bay (these furniture departments are awesome for impromptu meeting spots haha!) and based on my answers in my questionnaire and my body type she was able to guide me on what to look for and what I should be avoiding when shopping for clothes. It was now time to hit up the stores on my list like Husdon’s Bay, GAP, H&M, Roots and a few more. By the way, H&M just renovated their Erin Mills Town Center store, and it’s fab! Also in the midst of shopping I made sure to check out the new food court which by the way is beautiful. It’s a great big open space with a wall of windows and tons of variety which is key for Mammas like us. I won’t lie, I kinda felt guilty for not bringing the kids with me…but just for a second though, haha! Also being the breastfeeding Mamma that I am, I was totally impressed with the area they have designated for nursing mothers; it’s warm and welcoming.

IMG_5133Now back to the shopping…yes I get easily distracted by beautiful shiny objects like their brand new food court but also by the other kinds of beautiful and shiny like the stuff you’ll find in the Pandora store (also located in Erin Mills Town Center) and I’ll explain in a bit. I picked up a few great pieces; an awesome off the shoulder gray sweater from Hudson’s Bay, a fab long black vest as a great layering piece from Sears, and a super cute drapey eyelet tank from GAP, along with a few other pieces. It was now time to accessorize and I’m sure you can see how Pandora fits in to this part of my shopping trip. A Mamma needs to accessorize right 😉 ! There I was able to find a great necklace and bracelet to go with my new looks. I was able to take the tips and advice that Suzanne gave me and actually put them to use. Yeahhhhh! Finally some new great pieces to add to my closet and I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to be going home with bags filled with stuff I actually liked, looked great in and felt comfortable wearing!

IMG_5143The shopping didn’t end there though because although I finally got to do some shopping for myself, I also picked up a few things for the kids and the husband. For the kids; some summer basics at The Children’s Place and Old Navy and for the husband I got some of his fave essentials from The Body Shop. C’mon what Mamma can hit up a mall without shopping for the rest of the family! It’s ok though because I was in my happy place shopping away, with my tea in hand (yup they also have a David’s tea)! Oh and did I mention that Erin Mills Town Centre also has a Walmart which meant that I was also able to cross off some items on my grocery list. You don’t know how happy I was because now I wouldn’t have to stop at the grocery store on the way home…yeah to one stop shopping!

Now my question to you is, do you need your own Mamma shopping day at Erin Mills Town Centre? Probably….right? Well lucky for you I’m giving away a $100 Erin Mills Town Centre gift card and if you want a chance to WIN, well this is your chance!


1. Leave a comment on this blog post with how you would spend your $100 Erin Mills Town Centre gift card and be sure to include your Instagram name.

2. CLICK HERE to follow @Chic_Mamma on instagram.

3. CLICK HERE to follow @ErinMillsTownCentre on instagram.

IMG_5148*contest closes on tuesday, june 20th at 11:59pm*

And don’t forget to check out check out the Erin Mills Town Centre site for a list of their great free family friendly events they have going on periodically.

Good Luck everyone and who know’s I may just bump into you on my next shopping trip there 😉 .

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Erin Mills Town Centre but the opinions expressed are my own.

For more information on Erin Mills Town Centre be sure to visit them online,
“LIKE” them on facebook and “FOLLOW” them on instagram and twitter!


Wet Nights, Dry Nights…GoodNites®!

That moment when you potty train your child and the angels come down from heaven singing “ALLELUIA” but wait what do you mean that doesn’t always mean dry nights?

If you have older children you know exactly what I’m talking about and ifyou’re a parent who’s not at that stage yet you’re going to want to stick with me here.

Many parents when they start potty training their children automatically assume that it also means dry and accident free nights but I’m hear to tell that, that’s not always the case.
Recently on my radio show (The Parenting Show on Talk Radio AM640) we had child/family therapist and author Michele Kambolis join us as a guest for Better Sleep Month (May) and we talked about potty training, nighttime wetting and dry nights aka GoodNites®. I had no idea that being potty trained didn’t automatically mean dry nights. You see, I was pretty lucky with my oldest (Samantha) because it was never an issue with her. The minute she was potty trained also meant dry nights for her, I never had to worry about nighttime wetting.

goodnitesYou see, while all children and parents experience and eventually overcome potty training, some children also experience nighttime wetting at some point in their childhood. For some, nighttime wetting occurs later on in their childhood, while others may experience this earlier on and in some cases right after they’ve completed potty training, which makes it difficult for a parent to identify. If you want to get technical the proper medical condition is called Nocturnal Enuresis and it impacts more than 15% of 4 to 12 year old’s. It’s the involuntary loss of urine while sleeping after the age at which bladder control usually occurs. What causes this you ask? Well it’s primarily driven by development delays in bladder function so eventually it is outgrown.

With that said, my daughter Liliana (now 4 years old) was potty trained at 3 years old, however unlike her big sister her nights are not so dry and so we depend on products like Pull-Ups® to help us manage nighttime wetting at these early stages. During our show, Michele Kambolis stressed how important it is to identify nighttime wetting early on and ensure kids are using products designed to support nighttime wetting. By putting them in a bedwetting product like GoodNites® Bedtime Pants, we’re sending the message that nighttime wetting is a completely different stage from potty training (which they have already achieved), and it’s not their fault. The Bedtime Pants also offer increased nighttime capacity intake to ensure they are comfortable and dry all night long. Waking up dry may have positive effects on our little one’s self-esteem while easing the stress.

One of the early signs of nighttime wetting is when young children are dry during the day, but wake up most nights with wet bed sheets and PJ’s. It’s a common misconception that bedwetting for younger children is simply a continuation of potty training, leading kids and parents to wonder if they missed a step in their potty training process. While we as parents celebrate the milestone of successfully potty training our little ones, nighttime dryness is a completely different process and something that cannot be trained, it must be outgrown. Don’t stress thought because it’s very normal and a common part of growing up.


  • 1 out of 6 children are affected by nighttime wetting
  • Nighttime wetting is more common in boys
  • Nighttime wetting is hereditary…there is a 77% chance that a child will wet the bed if both parents did as a child
  • Nighttime wetting goes away in time. Just as children develop fine motor skills and language skills at different rates, they develop bladder control on their one schedules, as well


After chatting with Michele I am now equipped with the knowledge, tips and advice I need to tackle nighttime wetting. We’ll be approaching things a little differently with having a “non-reaction” reaction which you can hear all about in the podcast and I’ll also be looking into taking the next step with using products like the new extra-small GoodNites® Bedtime Pant which are specifically designed for younger children transitioning from potty training to increase comfort.

Click here to listen to the full podcast with Michele Kambolis where we discuss all this and more in detail and get yourself ready for drier GoodNites® so everyone can start to sleep better!

Also don’t forget to tune into The Parenting Show on Talk Radio AM640 or listen live at every Sunday at 7pm EST for more on topics like this one.

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by GoodNites® but the opinions expressed are my own.

For more information on GoodNites® be sure to visit them online,
“LIKE” them on facebook and “FOLLOW” them on instagram and twitter!

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The Parenting Show is HERE!

From a young age I always knew that I wanted to work in radio and when I was 16, I made it happened! Over the years I worked at a number of radio stations (on-air and behind the scenes in promotions and marketing) and for a while I was out of the industry. 3 months ago, that all changed. I was given an opportunity that I just couldn’t say no to and so I returned to my old stomping ground at Corus Radio Toronto as the host of the NEW and much needed show on Talk Radio AM640…The Parenting Show (thanks to executive producer Sandra Carusi).

We all know that being a parent isn’t easy…it’s scary, it’s exciting, it’s overwhelming, it’s crazy but it’s definitely not easy! As the saying goes “it takes a village to raise a child” and The Parenting Show is exactly that village that they speak about. It’s your hub for all things parenting covering topics and issues for parents and parents-to-be, from getting geared up for parenthood, dealing with newborns, toddlers, tweens, teens to getting them ready for adulthood. Whatever stage you find yourself at, we’ve got you covered. It’s our way to give you the inside look on what parenting is all about with real life experiences, stories and guests. It for parents like US and I’m sure you’ll love it!

So give it a listen and be sure to join us every Sunday at 7pm EST (right before Inside Jokes with Sandra Carusi) on Talk Radio AM640 for a parenting show like no other you’ve heard before! We’ll laugh, we’ll cry and we’ll get real!

For more info on The Parenting Show visit us online,
“LIKE” us on facebook and listen to past shows on ourTor podcast.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Walt Disney World

Guest Blog Written By: Clara Power of Clara Power TPI

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Travelling to Walt Disney World is such a wonderful and exciting experience!  There is so much to see and do there and such a wonderful way to create long lasting memories with your family.  As a travel agent that focuses on All Things Disney, I have many clients who come to me completely confused and overwhelmed with the whole planning process – and I don’t blame them – IT’S COMPLICATED. Here are a few FAQ that can help make the whole planning process a whole lot easier!

1. When is the best time of year to go in terms of: A) getting the best deal B) not having the worst crowds?

This is such a big question that every client asks and I always answer the same way – the least busy times to go is outside of any school or national holiday. Christmas, New Years, March Break, Easter, July & August etc. are peak times, so if you are looking for times that are not as busy, plan to visit outside of those times. The best rates are usually outside of the peak times as well.

2. How many days should I plan to spend at the park?

What many people don’t know is the Disney World in Orlando Florida consists of 4 separate theme parks: Magic KingdomHollywood StudiosEpcot and Animal Kingdom. I believe all first time visitors should visit all 4 parks at least once, as they all have so much to offer. If time permits, I also encourage clients to visit Magic Kingdom twice, since it is such a large park and there is so much to see and do there. If time is limited and only 1 park is possible, definitely Magic Kingdom. 


3. What time of day should I get there? Is morning better before the crowds or will I be missing out if I am not there for the evening parade/fireworks?

The earlier the better! If you can get to the theme park as soon as it opens, you will have the opportunity to go on many of the busiest attractions before the lines become too long. It’s also one of my favourite times to be there, as you can see the park without the throngs of people. I recommend you get to the park right at rope drop time and get some of the most phenomenal pictures as there will be no one blocking your view. When traveling with young children, I encourage my clients to head back to their resort after lunch for a rest or some pool time and then return to one of the parks in the evening that is having fireworks or parades. This way you get refreshed and ready to take it all in again. As the children get older, spending the full day at the park ensures that you don’t miss any of the action.


4. Can I use these passes at other theme parks or do I have to purchase each park separately?

Disney offers a ‘More you stay, the less you pay’  Disney has a number of different theme park tickets ranging from 1 day to 10+ days, and with each additional day purchased, the per-day price does decrease. You can either purchase a base ticket which allows you to visit 1 park per day or a park hopper ticket that allows you to visit as many parks per day as you wish. The Waterpark add on also allows visits to the 2 Disney waterparks – Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.

5. How do Fast Passes work? Is there a charge?

Fast Passes are FREE and they are so worth using. When staying onsite these can be booked 60 days in advance and those staying off property they can booked 30 days in advance. All guests are entitled to 3 Fast Pass selections per day and they allow you to by-pass the queue for the ride or attraction you have selected. Once you have used your 3 Fast Passes, you can retrieve additional Fast Passes while in the Disney Park using the Disney App. Definitely a great time saver.


6. Is it worth it to stay on site? What are the benefits?  

Without question! Staying on site offers so many benefits including extra magic hours, complimentary transportation throughout WDW, magic bands, early Fast Pass reservations etc. Staying onsite ensures that you get the full Disney experience and you never have to leave the magic! For more details on this, ready my post about the all the benefits of staying at a Disney Resort Hotel.

7. Are there any secrets that I should know about to book ahead (like the Bippity Bobbity Boutique or meals with the characters for example). 

Best piece of advice is to book early! For the best prices and the best options, booking early is always the way to go. Dining Reservations open 180 days prior, and some of the hottest and most popular restaurants book up very early. Does your daughter want to have breakfast in Cinderella’s Castle with some of her favourite princesses? This is one of the most difficult reservations to secure if not booked at the 180-day mark. Other popular restaurants include Be Our Guest and Chef Mickey which are also some of my personal favourites. When booking a resort stay, Disney only requires a $200USD deposit with final payment due 30 days before arrival. If the price drops from the day you booked until final payment day, the booking can be adjusted making booking early a win-win situation.


8. Can I bring my own food and drinks to the park? 

Guests are permitted to bring food items such as snacks or foods that do not require heating into Disney theme parks. Inform a Security Cast Member of any food items when you enter the park. Foldable, soft sider coolers are also permitted, but be sure that any items package are in plastic not glass containers, as those will be confiscated. If bringing food, it’s beneficial to have a stroller to carry it in, but remember wagons are not permitted either.


9. A family of 4: 2 kids 2 adults, with airfare and a healthy amount of park time, what’s the average budget you recommend (CAD or USD).

When staying at a Disney property, the prices can vary significantly depending on the time of year and the type of Disney accommodations selected. I have sent clients to a Value Resort for 7 days including the meal plan and a 5 days base ticket for as low at $2800 USD. When staying at a Deluxe property, prices will increase depending on the resort, type of room, view (theme park views are most expensive) and there are special room categories including club level or overwater bungalows. Flights to Orlando can also vary and from Toronto – anywhere under $500 per person round-trip is good. With extra planning and good advice, Disney can be affordable for everyone.


10. Are there any big ‘don’ts’ for going to Disney? What should you avoid, what are expectations that are most often disappointing?

What I always like to remind my clients is that going to Walt Disney World is a vacation – you are supposed to enjoy it! Planning is key, but over-scheduling is not going to benefit anyone. Plan based on your children and what they can or can’t handle. If they are easily stimulated, plan lots of down time as a meltdown isn’t going to make a memorable experience.

Include your children in the planning process. Get them excited about what’s to come so they can be mentally prepared and if possible try to enjoy a resort day with no parks to rest your feet. Use the services of a professional who can help navigate and make sure you get the most value for your dollar by planning special VIP tours, specialty dining and unique experiences.

For those who are interested in visiting, right now Disney is having a great promotion –  get a FREE dining plan. Click below for more info.

For more from Clara Power TPI be sure to check her out online
“LIKE” her on facebook and “FOLLOW” her on her blog, instagram, and twitter!

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Let me start by saying that I love my kids more than life itself. They are my life, my world, my everything! Now what I’m about to say may come as a shock to maybe 1 or 2 of you but to the majority, I’m probably preaching to the choir. People may judge…well fuck who am I kidding, of course they will because it’s the norm these days but it’s a good thing that I don’t give a shit because I’m gonna say it anyways.


I need a day, just 1 day, a fuckin day to myself, for ME, with no one around! No kids, no husband, NO ONE! As Mammas we carry these kids around for 40 weeks which is 10 months not 9 (who ever came up with the 9 month shit was probably a man), deliver them either vaginally or via c-section and let’s be honest here…neither tickle or are a walk in the park, then the minute they are born, we are with them pretty much 24/7. Our lives change gears, it’s now all about them not us, it’s about making sacrifices and doing what we need to do to make sure they are happy and most of all healthy. We go through breastfeeding or trying to and again painful as fuck in the beginning and draining like no man could ever imagine.  We worry about them every waking hour and even when we sleep.  At night, the slightest change in their breath (which we an hear from down the hall and 3 rooms away) has us jumping out of bed and running to their side to make sure they are ok. We pick them up when they fall, kiss their boo boo’s and do our best to raise them with a good head on their shoulders. When they are sick we want them to feel better and it kills us inside knowing that sometimes shit is beyond our control and there isn’t much we can do besides hold their hands and give them tons of hugs, kisses and let them know that Mamma is right there with them. It’s a pretty hard job being a Mamma, it’s a selfless job! It’s a job that doesn’t come with pay, vacation days or sick days! Sick days? What the fuck are sick days?! Sick days don’t exist for us. We do however get rewarded in many other ways…through hugs and kisses and the I love you’s that are said in their little voices and of course seeing their faces light up and smiles that appear when we are the first thing that they see in the morning.

13937933_1374543322574275_7371059919110213550_oNow with all of that said I’m tried, I’m exhausted and I’m not saying I don’t wanna be a Mamma anymore. I’m just saying I need a day off. A day where I can go pee by myself without my entourage, a day where I can make and eat the meals I make (warm) without little people pulling at my legs or fighting in the background. A day where I can go without getting pee’d on, shit on, barfed on or have their snot and dirty mouths rubbed all over me. A day where I can sleep in, take a shower without rushing, pick up that book I bought months ago that I haven’t been able to crack open yet…a day where I don’t have to run and hide in the bathroom just so I can have 3 minutes of peace and quiet (which by the way doesn’t work cuz the little shits always find you).

The pressures and day to day shit that we Mammas feel is pretty insane and men (well with the exception of the few who are home raising their kids) have NO FUCKIN’ CLUE what it’s like. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home Mamma, work from home Mamma (like me), or career Mamma, everything falls on us. The kids get sick at daycare or school we’re the first ones there. Doctor appointments…it’s us, extra curricular activities…yup, us too. We’re usually the ones preparing meals too and although it may not be anything fancy it’s food and it’s warm and they’re fed. My house is a mess. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going and worst of all, us Mammas are made to feel guilty (gotta love the Mamma guilt) for wanting some solo time.

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