children, Family, Holidays, Parenting, Reviews & Giveaways

Imagine celebrating the holidays every month! Now you can, with the Baby Trunk {Review}

Opening Happiness Every Month is Baby Trunk’s tag line; and this perfectly describes their unique service.

Imagine receiving a package every month with 4 or 5 products from the best brands for your little one.  Each package is customized based on your child’s age (newborn to 3 years) and gender so they can be utilized immediately.  And who doesn’t love receiving packages in the mail.  I know I do, especially those that are surprises.  That’s how I felt when I received my first Baby Trunk package in late October.  I tore it open and found 5 items in the box that fell under the theme of “The Little Monster Box”.

The items include “Boo Bunny!” book, a race car (by Green Toys), a (organic) Giraffe Lovie Blanket, a Toy & Surface cleaner and packages of Organic Baby Food.  Total retail price of the five products is approximately $50.

Not only are these products organic and environmentally friendly, but they have all been selected and approved by mom’s, not endorsed by the companies that they are purchased from.  So you know you are receiving quality, useful products for your family.

With so many of our family and friends expecting their first (and some their second) baby, this makes for a unique and special gift idea.  I know I would love to receive it 😉 (hint, hint, wink, wink). I’ve already purchased one for a friend of mine.

Here’s how it works:

1. Go on Baby Trunk’s website (www.babytrunk.ca) and register

2. Choose a plan…. (added bonus, shipping is free!!!)

$35 / month

$105 / 3 months

$175 / 6 months (1 month is free)

$350 / 12 months (2 months are free)

3. Look forward to your Trunk delivery (or have a close family or friend anticipate the arrival of their amazing gift).

In order to receive the next Trunk in time for the holidays sign-up before December 12th, 2012.

Happy Holidays & Happy shopping 🙂

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children, Family, Parenting, Reviews & Giveaways

Delicious and sustainable Mexican food for the whole family. Chipotle review & Giveaway

About five years ago when I was in New York city for work, a colleague of mine suggested that we go to an amazing Mexican restaurant near our office.  Not knowing the area we were in too well, I took him up on his offer.

I have never heard of Chipotle (www.chipotle.com) before, but I was excited to try it out the moment I set foot in the door.  All of the ingredients looked fresh and the aromas were amazing.  I loved that I could order a burrito in a bowl. I have to say, it was one of my favourite restaurants to eat at in New York.  Yes, I just said that, but it’s true.  It was love at first taste.  I was sooooo excited when they finally opened their doors in Toronto and I could take my family there.  To this day it’s one of our favourite restaurants when we want a special “treat”.

Here’s some awesome facts about Chipotle (as if you needed additional persuasion to go and eat there):

  • It’s committed to serving natural and (unprocessed) organic meat
  • Food is freshly prepared in front of the customers in an open kitchen
  • They serve dairy products that are rBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) free.

There are four Chipotle restaurants in Toronto so make it a Chipotle night or lunch with your family.  And to help you achieve that, Babylish Advice and Mayahood Blog are giving away FOUR Burrito bucks.  Each Burrito Buck is equivalent to one free meal good for a Burrito, Burrito bowl, Salad or order of Tacos.

To enter this contest, you need to do one of the followings.  The more you do, the more entries you will receive in the draw.  Kindly leave me a message at the end of this post to let me know which of the following activities you have completed.

1. Like Mayahood on Facebook

2. Like Babylish Advice on Facebook

3. Follow Mayahood blog on WordPress.  Click on the “follow” button and enter your e-mail address to receive my latest blog posts directly to your mailbox as soon as I publish them.

4. Sign up for Babylish Advice’s newsletter found on www.babylishadvice.com

5. Share this giveaway on your Facebook page.  Copy and Paste the following sentences on your personal timeline: Great giveaway from Chipotle Mexican Restaurant.  Enter here for your chance to win 4 free meals for your family to enjoy: http://wp.me/p248bN-os.

6. Let me know (by leaving me a message at the bottom of this post) what you would get from Chipotle if you won this giveaway.

7. Follow Mayahood Blog on Twitter (@fitzpatrickmaya).

Contest deadline is Thursday, December 6th.  Open to all residents in the GTA.  Good-luck!

children, Family, Life, Parenting

Preparing our toddler to become an older brother

While Kyle isn’t great at socializing with kids his own age, he does love playing with older kids.  He also adores babies; and mostly, he’s very gentle with them.  This is a good thing, since we’re expecting our second child in two months.  From the moment we found out I was pregnant, we told our son Kyle about it.  At the time, he wasn’t talking much, so we weren’t worried about him spilling the beans.

More recently, we have stepped up our discussions of the impending birth of our second child and read to him daily one of our “I’m a big brother now” books.  Kyle will tell you that his baby brother is in “mommy’s tummy” and occasionally, he gives his future brother “gifts” under my shirt including his beloved pacifiers.  When I tell him that his brother is kicking he responds by kicking my tummy in retaliation. Clearly, he doesn’t yet understand what that means, but it’s completely hilarious to watch.

When we talk about being a big brother, Kyle gets excited about all of the things that he will get to teach him, including: hopping, touch-down, kicking, home-run, ABC’s, puzzles and hockey.  However, when we talk about helping mommy and dada push the stroller, Kyle immediately responds with a “no baby, Kyle’s stroller” and gets in his stroller even if we’re not going anywhere.  Same goes for his chairs and even though we haven’t gone there yet, I’m sure it will be the same reaction regarding his toys!

I know that issues with sharing is a phase, but I wonder if there’s anything we can do now, before the baby is here to help alleviate some of the stress that Kyle might have with sharing his things and his time with us with his new baby brother.

What advice can you give us to talk to Kyle about now or do now?  What was some of the best advice you received when preparing for the birth of your second (or third) child?

Adventures / Thrills, Events, Family, Life, Parenting, Travel

‘Before 40’ bucket list

With my 32nd birthday (today) and our second child’s birth looming around the corner, it got me thinking about my “bucket-list”.  Not too long ago, I had fulfilled many items on my list.  I went back-packing through Europe for four months, I skydived 10 times in places such as Switzerland, Israel and New Zealand (3 tandem jumps and 7 solo jumps), I bungee jumped, white water rafted and scuba dived in British Columbia, I parasailed in the Philippines, saw the Pyramids in Egypt, ran five half-marathons, obtained my MBA and married the love of my life.

Of course, all of that was pre-baby and even pre-wedding.  That’s not to say that becoming a family has slowed me down, but it just changed my priorities (for the best I think).  So now, as I think about my future, it’s time that I re-visit my bucket-list and update it to reflect both my current and future life-style.  While I will probably not be able to complete most of the items before I’m 40 (i.e. the travel ones), I hope that I can complete most of them in the next eight years.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far, in no particular order:

  1. Complete a full marathon.  Preferably the NY marathon
  2. See a live taping of the Ellen Show in California
  3. Have a third child
  4. Take art lessons and create a piece that’s nice enough to hang in our house
  5. Take photography lessons and use something other than the “auto” button on my awesome Nikon SLR camera
  6. Swim in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
  7. Go on a safari tour in South Africa
  8. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
  9. Walk the Great Wall of China
  10. Travel all over India
  11. Watch baby turtles hatch in their natural habitat
  12. Watch an olympic sport in-person
  13. Actively volunteer for a charity that’s important to my family
  14. Become mortgage free
  15. Learn something new like: wine making, sewing, cooking Indian food or a new language
  16. Get back my pre-baby body (after I have our last child)
  17. Have 1.000 followers on my blog
  18. See a live taping of SNL
  19. Learn to bake
  20. Go to Disneyland

What about you?  Do you have a bucket-list?  What else would you add to my list or what is unique to yours?  I would love to hear!!  Suggestions are always welcome 🙂

Or let me know if you’re able to help me out with any of my bucket list items!

children, Family, Parenting, Reviews & Giveaways

Add some FUN to your kid’s bath with LUSH!

My best-friend first introduced me to LUSH cosmetics when I was pregnant with Kyle.  She bought me a soap (Therapy) to try and said that she liked it because of the natural, made with chemical free components and said it would be very soothing.  With its awesome smell and great feel against my skin, I was instantly hooked.

More recently, I got to try out their new and exciting product specifically made for kids (or anyone that’s young at heart really).  Their FUN product (http://www.lush.ca/Fun/fun,en_CA,sc.html) is a multi-purpose moldable soap that combines soap, shampoo, bubble bath, and malleable toy into a single roll.  While Kyle loves his bath time, an important component are the toys he plays with during that time. Every once in a while, to keep things ‘exciting’ for Kyle, we like to switch what he plays with.  I couldn’t wait for him to try out the new FUN soap from LUSH.

FUN ($6.95 each) comes in FIVE fantastic colours, all which have their own unique scent!

FUN is preservative-free and comes in a biodegradable cellophane wrapper. In fact, you don’t have to worry about your kids accidentally eating it as they are all made with a base of corn flour, talc and glycerine.

Not only is this product fun and “green”, but it also supports a good cause.  2.5% of sales from every bar of FUN is contributed to the FUNd, a LUSH initiative which supports charities in Fukushima, Japan that create safe places for children to play outside.

So what are you waiting for… get some now and add more FUN to your bath!

FUN makes a great stocking stuffer, birthday gift and is great for hostesses and families, too!

children, Family, Life, Parenting, Travel

Babymoon in Jamaica + Toddler

Going on a babymoon seems to be the latest trend these days.  During my first pregnancy, it never even crossed our minds.  We were doing a complete renovation on our house, and since Kyle was to be born in September, we spent most of the summer at the cottage.  That made it feel like enough of a vacation for us.

But this time around, I’m due at the end of January.  Which makes it seem like it will be a VERY long winter.  And since we don’t have as much on the go as we did two years ago, I mentioned the idea of a babymoon to my husband.

We found a great deal for a resort in Montego Bay Jamaica (via Selloffvacations.com). And since my husband and I couldn’t part ways with Kyle for a week, we decided that he should join us.  I guess it was a way for our family of 3 to enjoy some quality time together before we became a family of 4.  The resort, Sunset Beach, is family friendly and we upgraded to a beach cabana room with an exit directly to the beach.  It couldn’t have been more perfect.

Of course, a babymoon with a toddler isn’t as glamorous as a romantic vacation for two.  Here’s some pro’s and con’s based on our experience.

Con’s

  • You can’t just go to any Caribbean island when you’re pregnant.  Locations are pretty important according to my Doctor.  Dominican shares its borders with Haiti which has a bad bug that apparently flows throughly between the two borders.  Mexico is worrisome because of the drinking water and Cuba was out of the question because of its relations with USA (i.e. we couldn’t get airlifted to the US in case of an emergency).  So we pretty much narrowed it down to Jamaica (Aruba, St. Marten, etc… were much more expensive).
  • You can’t really take advantage of the all-you-can-drink part of the all-inclusive when you’re pregnant.  That’s not to say that it’s the only reason I go on an all-inclusive, but it’s nice to have a cold beer while lying on the beach or a nice red wine with dinner at night.  Neither of which I was able to enjoy this time around.
  • Most excursions are out of the question because I was pregnant or because Kyle was too young.
  • Your only downtime is when your toddler naps; not when you’re tired.

Pro’s

  • You’re on vacation at a beautiful all-inclusive resort in Jamaica where the sun shines all day, even if the weather channel is calling for rain.
  • The food is amazing and you don’t have to worry about cooking for 7 days.  Same goes for cleaning.
  • You get to spend some quality time with your family with no interruptions from the every-day life events, including cell-phones and work related matters.
  • You’re getting some much-needed vitamin D to keep you going through the cold winter back home.
  • Did I mention you’re in Jamaica??

Other: ensure you have appropriate travel insurance that will cover you in case of premature labour or any other labour related emergency.  Also ensure it covers the cost of an air ambulance as they can cost up to $100,000 if you do require one.

What about you?  Would you or have you gone on a babymoon?  What was your experience?  Would you recommend it to others?  Did you travel solo (i.e. your partner only) or did you take the kids along as well?