Nintendo Switch #fivefavesfriday

by , on
Mar 3, 2017

mommydo.ca || Nintendo Switch Mario Edition Five Faves Friday

Nintendo Switch is here!

Today is the day! It’s Launch Day for the Nintendo Switch. My son and I had the chance to test out the Switch here in Toronto. And I have to say, we were both smitten. I am not a gamer by any stretch as was evident earlier today when I stood in line to nab a console for our family. It was def a case of one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other. But I’m quite certain this is the next great family console. And here’s why.

Valentine’s Day Edition 2017 #5favesfriday

by , on
Feb 10, 2017

mommydo.com | Valentine's Day Edition #5favesfriday

A day where we celebrate love? I do have a soft spot for Vanlentine’s Day. Growing up my dad ALWAYS bought my sister and I at least one red rose and a box of Turtles. It wasn’t big or fancy or anything, but that Valentine’s Day tradition still warms by heart around this time of year.

Do you exchange gifts?

We don’t really give big gifts here for Valentine’s Day. We’re not anti-v-day or anything. But our anniversary is just around the corner, and my b-day just passed. But I still love to check out what I might like, you, know, if we WERE going to get gifts. This year I got my husband a coffee mug and a few other little sweeties. He’ll probably bring me some flowers. But if I was going to make a wish list, here are five things that caught my eye this year.

Five Faves Friday Valentine’s Day Edition

mommydo.com | Valentine's Day List #5favesfriday

Ok, here’s the list.

  1. The first one is the new drool-worthy Fuji X-A3 camera. For starters, it comes in PINK, so there’s that. I haven’t gotten to try one yet, but it lists and impressive number of features including the ability to change lenses – has wi-fi photo transfer and killer display. I can’t wait to get my hands on one to test it out. If you have one, do tell every juicy detail.
  2. Popcorn is one of my favourite foods. And now that Natrel makes Lactose-Free butter, I’ve renewed my popcorn passion in a big way. The girls at work have been talking up this Lekue popcorn popper. It folds flat and pops corn in the microwave without needing to add oil or anything. Yum.
  3. My friend Lindsay from the Penny Paper Co. makes these adorable enamel pins. She has a lovely Valentine’s Day collection (and they’re on sale right now). We bought pins for the kids’ teachers at Christmas and they were a big hit.
  4.  Have you ever owned duck boots? These remind me of when I was a kid and my sister spent all her time at the barn. I never had a pair of my own but I saw these Sperry boots and realized how much I’ve always wanted a pair of my own. In fact, I may or may not have ordered a pair of these as a Valentine’s day gift for myself.
  5. Every year, Indigo makes reading socks around Christmas time. The ones I have already are so warm and fuzzy inside. This is the first time I’ve seen PINK ones for V-day and I have to say, I’m pretty smitten.

So that’s my 5 Faves list for Valentine’s Day 2017. What’s on your list this year? Have you picked out a gift for yourself? I’d love to hear about it.

This post is solely my opinion and the topic, items and links have, in no way, been sponsored, endorsed or affiliated.

5 Faves Friday – Winter Style Edition

by , on
Feb 19, 2016
Five faves friday mommydo

five faves friday - winter style edition

five faves friday winter style products

 

Winter has finally landed in Toronto so it’s time to grab your favourite winter garb and enjoy the season.

  1. There’s nothing better than a turtleneck sweater for chilly Sunday afternoons. This one, from Eileen Fisher is on my wish list. With the new retail location opening soon, it might be in my closet in no time.
  2. These amazing fleecy hats are made just around the corner from my home and are available in baby, toddler and adults sizes. You can find MiniEm on Etsy.
  3. This Lululemon jacket has been on my wish list since last year. I’ve been saving up my nickels and I’m hoping maybe this is the winter this jacket comes home. I might have to take up running again to justify the purchase, but it would be worth it.
  4. Oh Sorel, my cold Canadian heart (and feet) are pining for these kicks. I love the slip-on style, colour and height. I’m pretty sure I can’t justify ANOTHER pair of Sorel’s, but…
  5. These boots are also cute, but focus on the boot cuffs. I know these are old news, but I still love how boot cuffs look, feel, keep the tops of your calves warm and create the optical illusion that I could fit those this socks in my tall boots and therefore must have very skinny calves. These are another Etsy find. I’m digging the oatmeal colour and the cable knit.

That’s it for another 5 Faves Friday. See you next week.

Five Tips: Buying gifts for littles with exceptional needs

by , on
Dec 7, 2015
mommydo.com | 5 tips for buying gifts for toddlers with special needs from a Mom of a child with Williams Syndrome

It’s that time of year. Make your list. Check it twice.

Except, when one of the kids on your list has a developmental disability or other special needs, what do you get?

It’s our 3rd Christmas with Allie, and each one has been a bit of a struggle. I don’t really know what she’d like. Certainly no one else knows what she’d like. Shopping for kids with exceptionalities isn’t easy. Every child comes with a unique set of likes and watch outs – many of which the parents have never articulated. The age guides on the box are no help. And tired special needs parents often don’t really know what to tell you.

This year, I set out to make sure that I found Alma something great. I also set out to help guide friends and family shopping for Alma or for other kids that aren’t typical, to gifts the kids will love and the parents will appreciate.

Here are my 5 tips, in no particular order:

1: While no one wants therapy for Christmas, ask if there’s something the child is working on and see if you can find a toy that makes learning or using that skill fun. Alma has just started taking some independent steps, so toys that get her up and moving would be a great motivator. This Skip Hop Explore More Push Owl looks like a fab choice. It seems sturdy, she’d love the owl and it looks like a smooth push so she won’t get discouraged as she’s building this skill.

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2: Ask about “Watch Outs”. As an example, Allie is very “mouthie” so everything goes in. This means she’s really only safe with toys that are listed for children under 3 or have no small parts.

Giving us toys that she’ll grow into just means more to store – and stare at with disappointment that she’s not there yet. The perfect toy is one that she can use now, but can also grow with her – even if toys with small parts are never safe for her.

Alma loves animals. She makes the little sounds…she waves them around. So this toy, the Melissa and Doug Animal Rescue would be a great choice.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.46.38 PMShe can play with the little animals and make vroom-vroom sounds with the car now, and eventually use it as a shape sorter.

She would also enjoy this Janod wood hedgehog. Though the numbers are still a little beyond her grasp, she would love the bright colours and having pieces to bang together.

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Other toys in this category would include blocks, a baby doll with no small accessories but outfits to change or other toys that will eventually lead to imaginative play.

3. Find out what the child likes, then figure out how to deliver in a way he or she can enjoy it. Alma’s absolute favourites are pulling things in and out of other things, listening to music and helping with chores. I had to sit down and think pretty hard about that. Not because these things aren’t abundantly clear, but because I always find myself saying “Well she likes X but…” so I inadvertently steer them away from things she’d love instead of towards them. Let the parents know you’ve heard what the child enjoys and you’ll find a way to give them something they’ll love (now) and will safely enjoy. When I allowed myself the same leeway, I found lots of things to add to Allie’s list.

Like this awesome Melissa and Doug Pretty Purse Fill and Spill. She would get hours of entertainment from it. We could take it to appointments to give her something to do and it’s cute to boot.

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Then there’s the Melissa and Doug Let’s Play House kit. Not only does it have things that she can take in and out, but it will also give her realistic tools for when she’s mimicking chores.

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She already has a number of musical toys so I couldn’t find one to add to her list, but she sure would appreciate someone else doing the legwork and finding something new.

4. Try and come up with something that would engage a sibling too. Allie and her brother are 3 years apart, but the gap keeps widening. I love it when she has a toy or an activity that works well for her, but her brother can enjoy too. Once they get going, they have a lot of fun together, but it’s hard to find toys that keep them both busy safely. And let’s face it, speech, gross motor skills, fine motor skills and social skills all develop faster when you’re modelling someone else. And lucky for kids with siblings, they have the best role model right in their own home.

I came across these Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Sets and was instantly intrigued. These blocks appear to be safe size-wise and would definitely capture both their attentions. Plus, it’s another toy we can take on the go. Bonus!

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.53.13 PMThis KidKraft Mega Ramp Racing Set would also score high marks with both of them. It looks stable, which is idea for little miss – her balance isn’t great so toys with a larger base give her more confidence to explore. And there’s a racing ramp, which can help satisfy her brother’s competitive nature. Is this a toy I would choose for him? No, he’s likely mostly outgrown it. But if it’s there, and she’s playing with it, I also know he wouldn’t be able to resist joining in the fun.

5. Ask what else they need. This seems like a no-brainer, but I never seem to take stock of all the little things that would make a big difference for me, and benefit Allie in the process.

Like hair clips… because she throws them out of the stroller when we’re walking along. Something like this would be amazing.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 12.20.59 AMShe also needs leggings. Since she’s still mostly knee walking, her tights, leggings and pants sometimes only survive 3 wears before she’s snagged holes in the knees. Love the geometric pattern on these Babylegs.

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Then there’s the lunch bag that I’ve been meaning to get for a month. And if you think this is a ho-hum gift to give, you haven’t seen this soon-to-be-released Skip Hop Zoo Lunchies unicorn.

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She also could use some new cream, and this Matter Company Substance Baby creme is my favourite baby cream but it’s kind of fancy so I rarely splurge.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.51.52 PMWhen I sat down to really think about what Alma could use for her own good, but still be safe, that she’d really love and that maybe her brother would love too, I realized there are lots of great gifts out there if I ask the right questions and have a good think. This means there are lots of great gift ideas for any child on your list who’s needs aren’t necessarily met by reading the ages on the box.

And, when you give one, don’t watch the child, watch the parent. Because you, taking the time to ask questions, to understand their exceptional child better and find a gift the kid will love, is the greatest gift you can give them.

well-dot-ca

All the gifts featured here are available at well.ca and, with the handy Wishlist feature, I was able to compile an easy way for friends and family to find exactly what I think she’ll like or give them the inspiration they need to find something new.

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.

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.

5 fav’s friday: falling

by , on
Oct 9, 2015

5favefriday_colour

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.

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.

Back-to-School Hannas Haul

by , on
Aug 17, 2015

I do love this time of year. It’s so ripe with potential. New school year. New beginnings. New clothes…

This year I was totally wooed by Hanna Andersson. I try not to order from the States – duty, exchange etc, but I didn’t see any point in spending less here on clothes that don’t stand up to everything my kids put them through.

So I bit the bullet and splurged. In my defense, I did load my cart then wait and wait for a good sale to come along. And, i got an extra discount when I signed up to receive sale notifications by email. Win-win.

Ordering to Canada was easy-peasy and it came fast – only a few days after I got my shipping notification. And, when it arrived I read there is a Canadian address for returns which would have made it super easy to send things back…if I hadn’t instantly fallen head over heels.

So here’s the Hanna Haul for her: She only needed a few things for preschool – she grows so slowly that she wears through things faster than she outgrows them. Especially in the knees since she still ‘walks’ on them rather than her feet when she abandons her walker. The Hanna tights have so far lasted longer than any others we’ve tried.

Hanna Andersson Haul for Her

There is one more cute hoodie that came later. The one I wanted originally is sold out in her size. Sigh.

The little dress with the stripes is adorable.

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Hanna Haul for Him: The boy grows slowly and is in between two sizes so these should last well for him.

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Long sleeve shirts were his most urgent need, followed by some comfy pants. I very much like the pull up pants which can be hard to find in stylish cuts.

As he was being 5, there are no photos of him in his clothes, but his sis was happy to help.

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The hoodie is thick, warm, extremely soft and has a nice cut (obviously 4 sizes too big for this one).

All in all, I’m totally thrilled with everything that arrived.

You’ll find all the loveliness at hannaandersson.com

I am still pining for the quilted jacket that was sold out in her size so if you’re reading this Hanna Andersson – size 90 please.

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A little “Day Off” shopping trip to Girl Friday

by , on
Apr 10, 2015

Do you have a shop you consider “your store”? For me, it’s Girl Friday here in Toronto.

I have a few days off and wanted to grab a new pair of jeans so I popped in today. I’ve been on the hunt for flattering “not skinny” jeans. But, having recently read a few articles that call my boot cut low-rise jeans “The new Mom Jeans” and not in a good way, I needed help to ensure I didn’t fall into buying the hottest jeans from the early 2000’s somewhere.

Enter Girl Friday. First – there is no possible way to leave with a bag full of clothes that are made for a woman 10 (or 20) years younger than you. The timeless cuts and style are great for just about anyone. There is also no possible way to leave looking like a fuddy duddy. Or a tom-boy with no taste. And, because they also do personal styling, when they hand you things to try, they fit – your body, your style, your taste, your budget…I could gush for days. As someone with a total inability to shop for chic clothes, I am so thrilled to have a store that keeps me looking great.

Anyhoo, despite just needing a pair of jeans, I once again managed to leave with a few smart looks that I’m so excited to debut when I’m back to work next week.

Here’s my #girlfridayhaul. Next time you need a little shop, pop by.

girlfridayhaul_blog

This post was in no way sponsored by Girl Friday, and the opinions here are strictly my own. I just love these guys and wanted to spread some around.

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