Mommydo Review: The Honest Company at well.ca and GIVEAWAY

by , on
Nov 22, 2015

I’m very choosy about what I use on the kids, especially since Alma. But, sometimes wading through all the choices can be daunting.

I have to admit I clapped my hands and squealed the first time I came across The Honest Company. I greedily read everything about how it started, their mission and what they offered Moms like me, who are looking for new, progressive options their families.

I love planet friendly, human friendly, CUTE products with sharp design.

Sadly, shipping them to Canada was expensive. Sigh.

When I caught wind that The Honest Company was coming to Well.ca, I clapped and squealed all over again. I let Well.ca know how excited I was and they sent me a few things to try to give my own Honest opinion AND a $30 gift card to give away to one lucky reader so you can try them too!IMG_8403

First up, Honest Diapers

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These diapers have CUTE covered in spades. We tested the cherry/chevron combo.

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I love that they are unscented, fit well (nice and tight around the legs), and don’t gape at the back. Alma has become a “diaper digger”, sticking her hand back there and pulling out whatever (yuck). These stay nice and snug at times when she’s not wearing a onesie or her tights slip down a bit. They hold wetness well and don’t droop unless she’s seriously soaked them – by which time I should have changed her already so my bad, not the diapers.

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Unlike diapers that pass the test on infants then fail once baby starts to go, go, go, Honest Co. diapers held up, no problem. They are great for a toddler on the move. No matter what kooky moves she’s doing.

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The next product I tried is Honest Conditioning Detangler in Sweet Orange Vanilla Scent.

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Our little one has some serious issues when it comes to matted hair so I was very excited to give this one a go.

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First, I need to say this product smells divine. It’s light, fresh and sweet, not too heavy and definitely not “perfume-y”. It was refreshing as I tend to automatically select unscented products for no real reason other than I don’t like overpowering fragrance. We don’t have allergies or scent sensitivities in our home.

Second, it really works well. The spray provides great coverage so you don’t have to load it on. I have flat, straight, fine (knotty) hair and it easily tamed my tangles without weighing down my hair or making it look greasy. It made tamed Alma’s tangles too – which is the real miracle.

Alma Cute HairThe last product I tried was Honest Company Organic Lip Balm Trio 

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This one was just for me, and thank goodness because I really don’t want to share. These balms use essential oils to condition and soothe lips rather than petroleum-based formulas that seal the lips off.

There are 3 ‘flavours’ in the pack – Lavender Mint, Sweet Orange Vanilla and Purely Simple.

When it comes to lip balm, these are absolutely my favourite I’ve tried. I have one at my desk, one in my purse and one in my diaper bag. I describe them as Velvet For Your Lips. They are so silky and smooth. My lips have been soft and supple without the feeling that as soon as it’s worn off, I need to put it on again. I don’t usually get all worked up about lip balm, but I was waving these around work and singing their praises for days. And, with 3 for only $10.99, they’re a great little pick me up.

I have to say I had high hopes for The Honest Company products and these did not disappoint. I’m not sure what I’m most excited to try next – something else for Alma, or something else for me. I’m fairly certain whichever I pick, it will also find its way onto my most loved list pretty quickly.

WELL.CA HONEST COMPANY REVIEW

Do you want to try some Honest Company products too? Enter now and you could win a $30 well.ca gift card code sponsored by Well.ca!

ENTER NOW

With free shipping starting at just $29, the winner will be all set to go! Contest starts Sunday November 22 at 12AM and closes November 29 at 11:59 PM. Good Luck! See full rule and regs here. 

 

Giveaway Rules and Regulations

by , on
Nov 20, 2015

By entering a giveaway hosted by Mommydo, you agree to understand and follow the Giveaway Rules & Regulations

These rules and regulations apply to all open Giveaways hosted by Mommydo unless stated otherwise. By entering any giveaway on Mommydo, you are giving your consent to be contacted by email should be a winner.

To Enter:

  • No purchase is necessary in order to enter any giveaway that is directly hosted by Mommydo.
  • To enter each giveaway, simply fill in the Giveaway Tools form via the link in the post OR follow the specific giveaway rules/requirements.

Eligibility:

  • All Giveaways hosted by Mommydo are open to Canadian Residents, unless otherwise stated. Some giveaways are restricted to outside of Quebec, so please read each individual Giveaway carefully.
  • Giveaways are subject to all Federal, Provincial, and Municipal laws and regulations. Giveaways are void where prohibited by law.
  • You must be 18+ (or the age of majority in your place of residence) in order to enter a giveaway hosted by Mommydo, unless otherwise stated.

General Rules:

  • Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received during the contest period.
  • Giveaways may end and/or be cancelled without notice.
  • Mommydo assumes no responsibility for any technical difficulties that may affect the entries in this giveaway or the communication/reception of emails between the winner and Mommydo. In other words, if your entry isn’t received properly due to technical difficulties, Mommydo will not be held responsible AND if you do not receive the email announcing that you are the winner (because it landed in spam or an email server had other technical difficulties), Mommydo will not be held responsible for the loss of communication.
  • By entering giveaways on Mommydo, you are doing so at your own risk. Mommydo nor the giveaway sponsor assumes any responsibility for the shipping, safe arrival, quality, taxes or duty fees for prizes. Prizes are shipped by the PR agency or directly from the company with a few exceptions. Mommydo is NOT responsible for prize fulfillment in any circumstances.  Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prizes based on availability.
  • All giveaways directly hosted by Mommydo are not endorsed, associated, nor sponsored by Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social media platform. We hereby release Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social media platform of any liability.
  • One entry per household/IP allowed, and any abuse of this condition will void all entries from household/IP in question.
  • If this giveaway is offered on other sites, you may enter as many of them as you like, but you may only win once!

Prizes:

  • Please wait 4-6 weeks prior to contacting us with regards to unreceived prizes unless it is a time sensitive prize. We’d love to hear from you when you receive your package and we’d also love to hear from you if you don’t so that we can help you out if we can, but we don’t take any responsibility for it as we aren’t the people doing the shipments!
  • The Prize for each giveaway will be listed on the giveaway form, including an approximate dollar value.
  • No cash or other prize substitution permitted except at Sponsor’s discretion. The prize is nontransferable.

Winner Selection:

  • Winners will be randomly selected using GiveawayTools.com and will be notified via email within 14 days of the giveaway end date.
  • Winners will have 72 hours from the time the email was sent (unless otherwise specified in the giveaway itself) to fill in a giveaway winner form including answering a skill testing question and providing their full name, mailing address, phone number (required for shipping purposes only) and email address. If no response has been received (note – Mommydo will not be held responsible for faulty email or any technical difficulties related to the sending/receiving of an email) by this time the winner will be disqualified and a new winner will be randomly selected OR the giveaway may end with no winner. Potential or disqualified winners have no recourse towards Mommydo or anyone involved in the Giveaway.

 

 

Williams Syndrome Wednesday: Advice for new members of the Special Needs Moms Club

by , on
Nov 13, 2015

It’s not earth shattering. In fact, it’s probably the same advice you got when you first started dating years ago. And, I wish someone had given it me.

Here it is:

Hang on to your friends. 

Hang on tight.

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Here’s why:

There’s going to be a time when they surround you.

They’ll be there for you. They won’t know what to say and will probably say things that they regret or things that make you cringe. They will probably stick their feet in their mouths (Will she ever be normal?). Yikes. But that’s just because they don’t know what to say. How could they? This is all new to them too. They’re learning along with you. If you keep them close, they’ll get better at finding the right language.

There is going to be time when they give you space.

There’s a steep learning curve when faced with a diagnosis. There are appointments, specialists, there is research to do, feelings to feel, a lot of processing time. You’re gonna need to muddle your way through it. You’re going to get really busy. They’ll check in and see how you’re doing. They’ll cry with you and celebrate with you, but you’re heading down a road that can’t fully follow you down. Send postcards. Fly over to their road when you can.

There’s going to be a time when you realize your path is never going to be the same as their path.

This is going to make you feel lots of things. Jealous. Angry. Resentful. It might make you feel bad that you feel all these FEELINGS and none of them are good. It is going to makes your paths feel even further apart. Take a few minutes to look around and find the things that are the same on your path and reach out. (I know, you’re thinking “why should I reach out, I’m the one going through the hard time.”) Reach about because it’s boot season and you need a new pair. Reach out because your favourite coffee is back for the season and you have to have one. Reach out because when you do, you remember that your life has many paths, and your child is just one of them. You’re still in there.

There’s going to be a time when all those early intervention appointments that kept you busy come to an end.

All those therapists you saw all the time and chatted with and had standing ‘dates’ with will move on to other clients and you’ll move on to a new schedule and you’ll realize you didn’t need to see your friends when you had people that really ‘got’ where you were in your life. Your regular therapists and various nurses were living the smallest details of your reality with you and you didn’t have to mention your new haircut. They noticed. But all of a sudden they are gone and 2 years have passed and where does time go? Meet a friend after your haircut. Plan a lunch after speech therapy. Call a friend on the drive to PT.

There is going to be a time when you finally catch a friend at a good time and they are going to say something like “Well I don’t want to complain, let’s talk about something else.”

You’re going to realize that your friends don’t want to unburden to you… you who have so much on your plate. They don’t want to talk about how busy they are, knowing you’re doing twice as much. They don’t want to talk about how tired they are, knowing “my kid doesn’t sleep” means your child actually doesn’t sleep, till like 5 am every day. They don’t want to celebrate their life with you either. They don’t want to talk about their travel plans or their kids’ successes because they know those things aren’t your reality right now. You’re going to realize they feel bad for you. Your life is kind of a downer, with all the appointments and all the uncertainty and the unknown. Let them know you do want to know what’s going on, that you want to hear what’s bringing them down and that you are excited for their lives, their kids (even though there may be days it’s hard to hear it.)

There’s going to be a time when look at the calendar and you realize you can’t remember the last time you ____________.

There’s going to be a time when you realize that, in addition to being tired and worried and so incredibly busy taking care of your special needs child, you are lonely. Having a special needs child is lonely work. And it doesn’t end. So friends who are “giving you space” during this tough time will be waiting a very long time to return. Like, forever. So don’t let that happen. Hang on to your friends. Be gentle when they stuff a foot in their mouths, and then the other shortly after. Don’t begrudge them forever for being happy, or make them feel less than for having an easier time that you. Let them know you could really use a friend. Ask if they can meet near you. Or accommodate a weird schedule. Or keep inviting you to things, even though you often have to say no. There will be days you can say “yes!” So say yes. Then go. Have fun. Make more plans. Hang on. Encourage them to hang on too.

Hang on tight.

 

5 Faves Friday: Kitchen Gadget Edition

by , on
Nov 6, 2015

5favesfriday_kitchen gadget5 Faves Friday Kitchen Gadgets KitchenAid, OXO, JosephJoseph, Chef'n and dreamfarm

We’re heading into holiday season! Which means a LOT of time in the kitchen. I truly love all the baking and cooking, but it’s so much more enjoyable with the right tools.

Four of five of these are my go-to fav’s at home  – so much so that a few are starting to show some wear.

If you’re looking for the right gadgets to get set for the holidays, these might be just what the head chef ordered.

  1. If you make meat, go into your gadget drawer. Throw out your meat thermometer. Get one of these. It’s the OXO Good Grips Chef’s Digital Leave-In Meat Thermometer. Love the OXO tools but this one is my fav. It really is awesome.
  2. It’s embarrassing to admit that I have a bit of a measuring cup/spoon problem. I have a number of sets. These ones are my go-to. They are the Chef’n® SleekStor™ 8-Piece Collapsible Measuring Cups and Spoons Set. The spoons are particularly awesome. And I love how the cups collapse to take up less space in my messy, messy kitchen drawer. You can order them in Canada from Bed, Bath and Beyond.
  3. This one is an icon. The KitchenAid Stand Mixer. If you bake and don’t have one, you should put it on your wish list. I know, it’s pricey. But it really is the gold standard. I can’t imagine making it through holiday baking, birthday parties, fundraiser cupcakes, waffle mornings and life in general without mine.
  4. I love these tools that sit up on their own and keep the goopy end off the counter. They are from JosephJoseph but I get mine at IQliving. I have a few and would love the rest of the set. I love the grips, I love how easy they are to care for and I love that they have one for every task. Excellent stocking stuffer.
  5. This last one is the product I haven’t tried but is def on my Wishlist. These Dreamfarm Clongs look awesome. This brand out of Australia has all kinds of neat stuff. I picked these because I use tongs A LOT and these look comfy to hold, seem to be the right length for tons of different kinds of dishes and they are also make to keep the goop off the counter. I hope to find them somewhere soon. Can’t wait to try them.

Williams Syndrome Wednesday: 140 Characters CAN Change the World

by , on
Oct 21, 2015

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I recently wrote about the NYT best-selling novel that I stopped reading because the author had used the r-word (retarded) in the book, published this year. I had a big long rant on my own little blog and when I published the post felt very pleased with myself.

After a few days I realized I was still mad. It’s like when someone says something that you disagree with and instead of speaking up, you walk away and think about all the things you wish you had said out loud.

So I decided to tweet the author and let her know that I was affected by her choice of words and send her the post. My tweet didn’t ask much: I really loved Who Do You Love…until I hit the R-word. Please reconsider using it in future. I attached the blog post and figured that would be that. At least I went right to the source and let her know how I felt.

To my surprise, not only did she tweet back, she tweeted out the passage in the book (which takes place in 1993) and asked her twitter followers if they felt she had done anything wrong.

They responded in droves. Almost all felt like I was too sensitive… That I was asking that history be re-written… That the word wasn’t an insult then… One person posted on my blog saying “The bandwagons people jump on as a result of their offspring.”

My response to her was simple. The word IS an insult (and it was then too). I’m not the only one who thinks so – sending her to R-word.org and that she could be true to her character without that word, siting John Green’s apology for using the r-word in Paper Towns.

After the trolls went on for a while, other people who agreed with me started to join the conversation. Siblings, friends and other parents of individuals with intellectual disabilities jumped in with their take on why a writer in 2015 shouldn’t use the word – even in the context of 1993. They cited experiences, blog posts and videos they had created to help End the Word. It was very inspiring. That one little tweet could rally such a thoughtful and heartfelt response made me glad I spoke up despite all the mean tweets that were scrolling by.

And then Jennifer Weiner tweeted this:

Jennifer Weiner ‏@jenniferweiner  Oct 11@mommydoCA Which makes sense. I can rewrite in a way that shows that girls are privileged, insensitive, clueless and mean without “r word.”

She could re-write to remove the word.

She could be true to character and rewrite to remove the word.

I cried. That one little tweet could rally the whole community and a best selling author.

This all started with an open letter to Jennifer Weiner. I’d like to amend it to this:

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you. Thank you for responding, thank you for listening and thank you for understanding that the words we all choose can make a difference. When people use the r-word, it reinforces the stereotype that kids like mine won’t amount to much. It tells a teacher there’s no point in trying to teach her things – they must be beyond her grasp, and it tells a future potential employer that there’s no way she could do the job. It tells my son his sister isn’t worth much to the world and it tells her she doesn’t matter. 

Thank you for making her, and every individual with an intellectual disability matter – to you, to your readers. 

It’s just a couple of words to you, but to me, it’s a brighter future for my kid. It’s everything.

Oh, and now I can’t wait to finish the book. So thanks for that, too.

I’ve always known you can’t change the world by keeping quiet. But I’ve learned you don’t necessarily need a megaphone to do it. Sometimes 140 characters, a little passion and a little help from other people who believe in the same world that you do is enough.

5 Faves Friday: Craft Beer Edition

by , on
Oct 16, 2015

5 faves friday Craft Beer

Fresh off the Blissdom craft beer tour bus, I give you 5 faves friday with the golden nectar of the gods. Three of these are local to Collingwood and delicious. The other two are close to home and are regulars both when we head out for a taste and in our fridge.

5 fav's friday Craft Beer Tour

  1. Rooster Tail Pale Ale from Northwinds Brewhouse, Collingwood. Not only is the beer delicious, the french fries at the brew pub are also top notch.
  2. Downhill Pale Ale from Collingwood Brewery is one tasty brew. The cans are also super cute and the staff at the brewery are delightful.
  3. Wheat from Sidelaunch Brewing Company is a staple at our house. The brewery is clean and very modern. Worth a stop if you’re rolling up to Blue Mountain.
  4. Maris American Pale Ale from Left Field Brewery. This is our local brewery and the staff and beer on tap are both amazing. Our family stops by for a taste and a visit every few weekends and we keep this one in our fridge too. Stop by and say hello!
  5. KLB Raspberry Wheat Beer from from Amsterdam Brewery Co. This is one of my all time favourite beer. Mmm. It’s what summer was meant to taste like.

A Day to Remember What You’ll Never Forget

by , on
Oct 15, 2015

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

  
I remember our first loss like yesterday. Not one to keep quiet about things most people don’t like to talk about, I wrote this post the day the learned we’d lost Sweet Olive after IVF #2. 

If you share this experience, I hope you haven’t had to suffer in silence, and I am so very sorry for your loss.

5 fav’s friday: falling

by , on
Oct 9, 2015

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5 fav's friday falling

Fall is here! Finally. Fall is definitely my season. Sweaters. Boots. Comfort food. The best!

Here are a few of my favourite fall things – some I have, some I’m lusting over.

  1. This one I have and absolutely love. It’s the Safari Jacket from Joe Fresh. I get TONS of compliments…so many that I’m considered buying the other colour.
  2. This one is a two product combo. Fall is pulled pork season out our house. Our Cuisinart Slow Cooker gets a great workout in the fall – often with this amazing Pulled Pork Starter from Williams Sonoma. I will admit, it’s a bit pricey, but def cheaper than takeout and easy-peasy when you have company coming.
  3. Anything with foxes. I don’t have either of these things, but if you’re reading this and want to buy me a gift or get all crafty for me, this foxy J.Crew sweater and this What Does the Fox Say coffee sleeve are filling my heart with joy.
  4. I love me some El Naturalista and these boots have me drooling big-time. I haven’t seen them in a store yet, but if I do, I can’t say I’ll be able to resist them.
  5. I’m a good Canadian and Roots bags get me every time. This Roots Venetian Village Tribe bag in Blackberry is my favourite one this season.

That’s it for my fav’s this week. Next week I’ll be posting from Blissdom! Eeek, I’m so excited.

Williams Syndrome Wednesday: To the best-selling author who robbed me of the ending

by , on
Oct 8, 2015

mommydo.comI used to be a big time reader, but these days, I’m often too busy to laze around devouring books like I used to.

I have work and family responsibilities including caring and advocating for my daughter who happens to have an intellectual disability. Getting to sit down and read an entire book is a luxury I can rarely afford.

Lucky for me, I was recently sent on a business trip. On a plane. Away from home. No inflight movie for me. I was thrilled to be able to dive into your the latest book (I’m a huge fan). I had no idea what it was about. I grabbed it and off I went.

It turns out I was hooked from page 1. The woman who had grown up with a heart condition? The parallel story of a mixed-race guy who growing up in the eighties? The emotional basketcase mom who carries the scars of raising a child with a medical condition that kept the mom on high alert from a touchy birth through numerous scares? So good. I really felt for her in particular. You captured what that feels like so honestly, and beautifully. I was moved to tears. Imagine my good fortune, I thought, in choosing a book that made me feel ‘seen’, understood and not alone. I was struck by the truth that was flowing off the page.

And then, not much further along, I was stuck again. And not in a good way.

In the midst of a conversation between the main female character and a friend in their teens, the one girl drops the R-word and the other girl responds with the same word. It was like a sneak attack in what felt like a ‘safe place’. Retarded. It pains me to type it out. Such an ugly word.

I was caught by surprise (just as I am when I hear the word in casual conversation). It came out of nowhere. It wasn’t like the book was full of language the pushes societal bounds. Twice you chose to write “the n-word” rather than spelling that one out. Why was the R-word so easy?

In a bizarre coincidence, as I closed the book, angry that you didn’t take the time to find another word, a beautiful little boy who happened to have down syndrome came bounding down the aisle past my seat.

That little guy deserved better, favourite writer lady. My daughter deserved better. I deserved better. There are more than a million words in the English language. Choosing to use the R-word is not just lazy on your part, it’s also irresponsible. Millions of people read your books. When you use the word, it tells all of them it’s ok to say it, read it, print it. It’s clear you don’t think “the n-word” is ok. How is this different? I know, it’s just a word, you have artistic license blah, blah, blah. But the thing is, it’s not just a word. Not to individuals with intellectual disabilities and parents and family members like me who advocate tirelessly for inclusion and acceptance. It represents prejudice, discrimination and its continued use makes an entire group of people seem “less than” in society.

I expected more than that from you – a writer. A mom. And now I don’t know what happens because I couldn’t bring myself to finish the book. If you happen to see this letter, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Oh, and I’d like my money back.

5 fav’s friday: clinging to summer

by , on
Sep 13, 2015

5favefriday_colour5favsfriday_clingingtosummerWhen I started writing this it was a balmy 31˚C so I was ready to rock summer a little longer. Then it got stuck in draft mode. I’m still gonna throw it out there despite the fact that it is already down 15˚C, I am wearing a turtleneck and went to get a tea to help drive off the damp chill I can’t seem to shake.

There’s something about the sweet summer days after Labour Day that make you want to hold onto that summer feeling just a little bit longer. Here are some of my favourites to help make best use of the final fleeting summer sun.

  1. Sip a little more summer with a Hendricks Gin and tonic with cucumber.
  2. Show a little skin a little longer in these amazing C’est Moi tanks. I get mine at Girl Friday.
  3. These Dish Jogger jeans make a little rolled up cuff and flats a no-brainer. Another Girl Friday score.
  4. I can’t eat regular ice cream but I do love a frozen pop. These Zoku Space Pops featuring rockets and astronauts look *out of this world* (yes, I know, terrible pun). My Zoku pop maker (which didn’t have fun shapes) just met an unfortunate end, so I’m in the market for a new one.
  5. Lastly, while I can’t eat regular ice cream, I can make my own. I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker and as many organic ingredients as I can (haven’t found organic lactose free milk and cream in Canada yet) to churn and freeze my own mint chocolate chip ice cream adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. It looks like Cusinart now has a newer, fancier model but I have the white one which works just fine. Hopefully will get one more batch in before the warm days are gone for good.

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