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Shopkins Party!

To be honest, I had never heard of shopkins until recently (I have a 4 year old boy, ask me anything about superheroes and ninja turtles – I’ve got all the answers). Now that I’m a veteran in the world of shopkins I think it’s safe to say if I was a little girl today I would be all over this craze. At first I didn’t quite get it, now that I’ve thrown a shopkins birthday, I most certainly understand the obsession with these little, adorable toys. If you’re throwing a shopkins birthday, here are three helpful tips. All you need is pink and purple decorations, then visit Party City or your local dollar store to add some shopkins bling. Making necklaces/bracelets are the perfect craft, use big wooden beads if you’re hosting a party for wee little hands as they’re easier to manipulate. If you want to throw in a baking activity and don’t want the mess, you could buy chocolate chip cookies, get some candy googly eyes and make kooky cookie! We made ours …

5 Tips to Pack a Litterless Lunch

Written by: Emma Rohmann from Green at Home How to Pack a Waste-Free Lunch By now, hopefully you’re in the groove of packing lunches for the kiddos. Did you head into the first week of school with dread about what to pack, how to pack it, and whether they would actually eat it? It can be tempting to stick with pre-packaged, single-serving size items, thinking that it saves you time and thinking. But all this waste won’t get recycled, and doesn’t send a very positive message to the kids about the importance of reducing waste. To help you move away from the plastic sandwich bags and single-serve packaged items, here are a few ways to pack a waste-free lunch with ease. Don’t use Pinterest. I might be biased because I don’t use Pinterest for anything, but specifically for packed lunches I think it’s enough to make anybody want to throw in the towel before even getting started. Unless you really get kicks from making your kids’ lunch a serious work of art, don’t search for …

Black and White Party

I’m finding it very hard to believe that my big brother is 40 years old. I mean that seems so old, I still think of him as this kid with scraped knees and braces, chasing me around but he’s a grown up, a real grown man. So we celebrated his birthday in style this year, it was a pretty big year for him and so a big party was the only way to go. We did a black and white theme, which is so easy for guests because who doesn’t own a piece of clothing that isn’t either black or white. Everyone looked so great and the sweet table was pretty easy to create as I only had to incorporate two colours (or shades if you want to be technical). Here are some pics from this weekend festivities. 

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 …