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The Truth About Travelling with Kids

Here are the details: we took our 4 year old son (Ollie) and our 15 month old daughter (Jaime) to Europe for two weeks. We flew from Toronto to Paris to Stockholm, stayed for a week and then flew from Stockholm to Paris, to Bordeaux. Yes, there are hundreds of posts out there about “the truth” about traveling with kids, so I’ll do my best to not be repetitive and really just lay out the facts. If you want the cole’s notes, read right below, if you want the long version, keep reading. Don’t expect anything. Give up on following any kind of routine. Even the crappy moments have silver lining. Don’t Expect Anything Prior to leaving I had all these silly expectations about how I would keep my children on Canadian time, we could go out for late dinners, not be on the bedtime clock, blah, blah. You just can’t have any expectations about what it will be like, not one. There were moments when I thought what are we doing? Traveling around Europe with …

Small and big choices

Bed time routine is starting and your child needs a bath, they’re oozing dirt out of their little fingernails and you can smell the summer dust all over them. You’re having a super, hard time getting them to get into the bath. You’ve tried your whole arsenal of tricks and nothing is working, so now what? We like to call this, “the small and big choices”. Getting into the bath is a small choice, choosing to sleep at grandma’s house (big choice), picking pj’s (small choice), picking skating over swimming for Fall (big choice). Each choice, big or small has a result. Learning about “choices and results” is a very important step some of us sometimes leap past.  The other night Ollie wanted to sleep at his grandmother’s house (she had given the ok, the ball was left in our court). We passed the choice onto the O-man, and told him that’s an example of a big choice he got to make. Essentially the little choices we make easily, without whining, complaining, crying, swearing (oh yes, the O-man …

How to Host a TMNT birthday party!

So my little man turned 4 (well actually not till the 19th but that’s just a small technicality). He’s currently quite confused about how old he really is, either way he wanted a Teenage Mutant Ninja Party this year and thus I had to get a little bit more acquainted with the four green guys. I was pretty aware of the basics but didn’t know about some of the details. If you’re looking for more information on our birthday parties please visit our Birthday Page!The most ironic thing is that he hasn’t even watched the show, he just knows them from observations.  The first craft we did to get the ball rolling was his turtle shell. Check out our instagram post for details on how to make it. Ollie wore the shell the entire day that we made it, went “ninja-ing” around all day, and then on the actual day of his party, he had zero interested in wearing his shell, go figure. Next we planned an obstacle course and a scavenger hunt (both TMNT related). For the obstacle …

Own your sh*t

You make a parenting booboo, now what? You know you screwed up, but how do you fix it? Here’s a perfect example of this: 5 weeks after my daughter was born, I ventured out to run some errands with both kids in tow and ended up in the dollar store. My son who was almost 3 at the time wanted every plastic, colourful thing he could get his hands on and after a million no’s he asked me for a police set, I was half asleep and didn’t even look at the package and what it contained. The next thing is, we’re walking down the street and my son is holding a black gun shooting it at strangers. Ok, so I screwed up. Now what? I had said he could get the package. If that wasn’t bad enough, we then also bought him some water guns. We weren’t letting him watch violent television shows so, why not let him be a little kid, let him play cowboys and indians, cops and robbers or whatever other good guy …

The Ins and Outs of Family Finances

By Julia Davidson Julia is a CPA, CA with a background in corporate finance, accounting and financial restructuring. She is also the co-founder of Murray & Bee, a parent to parent marketplace for used baby and kid gear, which was created because she and her partner wanted to buy high quality baby product at lower prices and encourage sustainable lifestyles. As guest blogger, Julia has agreed to answer your budget related questions. Please email her at julia@murrayandbee.com.  The Ins and Outs of Family Finances When my son hit the three month mark and the adrenaline I was operating under wore off, we started to have some resemblance of a routine and I had a small amount of time to myself again. This was the first time I had a chance to reflect on life as a mom and the changes that had occurred. As much as I loved it, I started to look back somewhat longingly towards my time as a DINK. It was something I never appreciated at the time but as a Double …

Sleepover Party!

Recently we hosted a very cute “sleepover party” – which was just the theme – the kids certainly did not sleep over! We had an ice cream bar, popcorn bar, pizza making station and pillow case decorating! We also got to watch a movie on our projector, while enjoying our popcorn. The kids loved it and it’s definitely an easy party to recreate in your own home. The popcorn bar was super simple to make. I purchased the red and white bags from the dollar store. The white container with the popcorn and smaller candy bins were purchased from Ikea. The little shakers and the chalkboard labels another great find from the dollar store. Finally, the popcorn sign was a purchase from Michaels, it was on sale and then I used chalkboard paint and voila! No party is complete without a pink lemonade stand. I purchased the glass container from William Sonoma but I’ve also seen them in a smaller version available at Kitchen Stuff Plus. The pizza bar took a little bit of prepping as I had to make …

A Tea Party!

My little girl turned one last Wednesday and this past Sunday we celebrated her birthday with a little Tea Party. Every detail of the party was a great DIY project. That meant lots of time management on my end to get it done, practice definitely makes perfect with these types of events. The background for the sweet table (minus the fabrics and scrapbook paper) was all made out of dollar store supplies. The burlap banner is a new item I came across recently at the dollar store and have used it for several different craft projects. The dollies come in a pack of 100 and well, you can never have too many of those! The flowers on the bottom bunting another fabulous dollar store find! The boxes that the tiered stands are on and the easel with the canvas board, also purchases from the amazing dollar store.  A great way to add some style to a cake is to add flowers, note though, lots of flowers are not edible and not even safe to put …

Mermaid Birthday Party!

This past weekend we hosted a mermaid themed birthday party for a little girl and thought we would share some of our ideas with you, in case you want to host your very own mermaid party! If you’re looking for more information on our birthday parties please visit our Birthday Page! We did a craft and some baking. The baking part was really easy, first the kids made cupcakes. They coloured icing blue and then made mermaid tails out of fondant (they also coloured the fondant either purple or green for their tails). The craft was easy but had just a few more steps, see below for detailed instructions. The craft materials were all purchased from the good ol’ dollar store, except the acetate for the window (which was purchased from a craft store). Materials: 2 blue paper plates Markers Star sequins yarn Under the Sea Foam Shapes Wooden Clothespin Sand Fake green plant Aluminum Foil Clear Acetate (or cellophane) Hot Glue Directions: Cut out a hole in one plate and then paint the outside …

Rosette Cakes

I have been seeing a ton of these Rosette Cakes online lately and wanted to give it a go. I was delighted with how easy they are to make, it’s all about having the right icing tip, it really is. I’ve come to learn that as long as you have the right tools baking is quite simple. I used a Wilton tip #2D or you can use #1M, either one works. I baked a 3 layer cake and used a buttercream icing to mask the cake first. For the pink rosette cake, I did the top first and then worked my way down the sides, some people may suggest starting the other way, I think whatever you’re comfortable with. For the purple rosette cake I actually only used one icing bag and one bowl for mixing. It seemed like a daunting cake to make at first with 3 different colours of icing, but using one bag and one bowl made it super easy. I started by adding a very small amount of icing gel to …

DIY Easter Craft!

We hosted a bunny hop this past Sunday and it was so much fun! The kids loved the Easter Egg Hunt the best, surprise, surprise! The craft and cookie decorating were definitely enjoyed too. The kids made these adorable little dioramas. For time purposes we painted the boxes blue beforehand and then the kids got to decorate it however they wanted. This is a great little craft to do with various ages and a perfect little hostessing gift if you’re going somewhere for Easter dinner this weekend. Almost all of the materials were purchased from the dollar store. All you need is: Brown Box Blue paint Glue Cotton Balls Small little yellow ducks/sparkly eggs Pipe Cleaners Easter Grass