children, Family, Life, Parenting

Difference between a first and second pregnancy

As my second pregnancy comes to an end, I had some time (read: sleepless nights) to reflect back about my current pregnancy and my first one.  I realized that there’s a lot of differences actually.  Here’s some of the major ones that came to mind for me:kyle pregnancy

  1. During my 1st pregnancy, my husband came along with me to ALL of my Doctor appointments.  For this pregnancy the count is 0. Continue reading “Difference between a first and second pregnancy”
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Events, Life, Parenting

My one year blogiversary!

One year ago I came up with a crazy idea to start my blog.  I can’t believe it’s already been a year and I can’t believe people are actually reading my blog.  At the time, I didn’t even know what a blog was; but I had so many stories to share and write about my life as a parent. When I first started, I was hoping that at least a handful of my friends would read my blog and that I would get a few followers (20 to be exact).  But here’s what has unfolded since my idea came to fruition.

children, Family, Life, Parenting

My favourite things for newborn babies

I may not be Oprah (okay, I’m nowhere near like Oprah), but I have my own list of favourite things.  Specifically, for newborn babies.  With the holiday season upon us, and the birth of our second child around the corner, it got me in the mood for some shopping! Okay, I’m always in the mood for shopping, but more so now…

Here’s a list of my favourite items (along with some input from my other mommy friends) that I think every parent of a newborn should have:

1. Velcro swaddle.  Kyle was a great sleeper and I attribute this to the fact that we swaddled him consistently.  In fact, we kept swaddling him until he was 6 months old!  A bit longer than most people would like to admit to, but hey, it worked (for all of us). Another one recommended by my friend is the Miracle Blanket.

Continue reading “My favourite things for newborn babies”

children, Family, Life, Parenting

Awesome work benefits for parents

Prior to my current gig as a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), I worked for a large, multi-national corporation.  While the pay was decent, the benefits were better.  Specifically, they had some great benefits to assist parents. You know, the work-life balance thing.  Beyond the standard paternity / maternity leave and top-up, and work-life-balance workshops, my work offered a flexible spending account.  We each had $1,500 a year that we could use for any of the following:

  • Contribute a portion to your RRSP
  • Use for professional services such as getting a Will made
  • Use for gym membership or for products that will help you stay fit (shoes, workout equipment, Garmen watch, etc…)
  • Use towards other services that will help with your work-life balance such as babysitter, snow plowing or grass mowing services. Continue reading “Awesome work benefits for parents”
Family, Holidays, Parenting, Reviews & Giveaways

Holiday Entertaining Made Easy. Pickle Barrel Catering Review

If you’re anything like me, you love entertaining.  Ever since we bought our house almost seven years ago we’ve found many excuse to have people over.  House warming party, birthday parties, holidays, engagement parties, BBQs on warm summer days, mommy-group play dates, meet the baby, hosting guests from out-of-town, girls night in, clothes swap, super bowl parties and every other excuse I could find.  We’ve probably hosted 50 + events at our place and we’re not stopping anytime soon.

However, if you’re also like me, you’re not into cooking.  I know so many people who love to cook and bake as a way to relax.  But for me, I cook to stay alive and to feed my family something other than cereal, cream-cheese bagels, and Kraft-Dinner.  In fact, I only started cooking about four years ago.  So while I’ve hosted several parties, I did what any decent business would do, I outsourced the part that I wasn’t good – FOOD.DSC_0559

With the holiday season upon us, toddler in tow, my very pregnant self and lack of experience (or desire) for cooking large meals, I once again decided to outsource what I feel is the most important part of entertaining.  I got a chance to try out the amazing holiday feast offered by Pickle Barrel Catering while I had my family over for a pre-holiday, holiday dinner.  This simple, yet delicious and traditional meal is perfect for holiday entertaining. It comes with easy reheating instructions and there’s plenty to offer for  vegetarians.

Here’s what you can expect to receive (http://picklebarrelcatering.com/featured-menu/complete-turkey-holiday-dinner.html):

A whole turkey roasted, pre-carved and decorated or ready to be carved and enjoyed; accompanied by stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. This ready made meal for your holiday celebration also includes butternut squash soup, mixed greens salad and your choice of herb roasted mini potatoes, maple mashed sweet potatoes, or garlic mashed potatoes, choice of green beans with caramelized onions and almonds or roasted root vegetables, and a crumble top apple pie and an assorted fresh fruit platter for dessert!DSC_0566

For $25.99 per person, this meal is definitely affordable, especially considering how much food you get.  If you were to eat out, you would never receive so much “bang for your buck”.  Even after feeding six people, we had enough left-overs for a week and if there’s one thing I love more than a turkey dinner its having left-overs the next day.

Rose Reisman, who helped create the menus for Pickle Barrel has some great tips for easy entertaining on her blog: http://www.artoflivingwell.ca/blog/easy-entertaining-tips/  I also had a chance to speak to her and here’s a few of my favourite tips:

  1. Inquire of potential allergies and have an option of chicken, fish and vegetarian dishes
  2. Ask for help from your guests or hire help if you think you’ll need it.
  3. Set the table ahead of your guests’ arrival
  4. To involve the kids with the meal, make something special for them (i.e. cheese pizza’s instead of pizza with various toppings) and let them play pretend that they’re servers or cooks.
  5. Hire a babysitter to keep the kids occupied (arts, reading, playing) in a separate room while you’re entertaining your friends
  6. Let the kids in on the fun.  They may stay up later than usual, but they’ll probably behave themselves knowing that they’re included in the celebration.

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The holiday feast is available to order now through December 31st.  The Pickle Barrel even delivers on Christmas Day!  You can place your order online here: http://picklebarrelcatering.com/holiday-entertaining-menus.html or by phone at 416.493.4333

So any of you moms or parents out there who want a traditional holiday meal but don’t have all day to prepare it, this is a GREAT alternative.

children, Family, Life, Parenting

Confessions of a stay at home mom (SAHM)

I always imagined that being a stay at home mom would allow me to do some of the things that I didn’t get to do while I was in the workforce. I pictured myself visiting different neighbourhoods throughout Toronto, walking around, discovering new stores and enjoying the fresh air or a nice cup of coffee.  That was all fine and dandy, until reality sank in.  I had Kyle and hardly had time to get to know my own neighborhood let alone visit other ones in Toronto.  Well, here’s a couple of other things I didn’t really expect to experience either, but I’m laying it all out so there’s no confusion about the realities of a stay at home mom (mine anyways).SAHM3

  • I wear the same clothes two days in a row if I know I wont be seeing the same people both days (my husband and son are exempt from this rule)
  • I know the theme songs to 10 kid shows (and it’s not because I remember them from my childhood)
  • I spend more time in the washroom than I really need too
  • I let my 2-year-old get away with more than he should because I don’t want to have a bad day
  • Many of my child’s activities include shopping
  • I can’t DIY anything 😦
  • I look forward to my phone blinking as it’s my way to communicate with the outside world
  • I enter several online contests as a way to “contribute financially” to my family
  • The iPad is my son’s best friend
  • My favorite book to read is “magazines”
  • My cleaning schedule depends on when we’re expecting guests
  • I know kids love repetition but if I have to read the same book more than 10 nights straight I start to shake (and quickly hide that book)
  • I don’t always make my son’s food from scratch
  • I don’t buy organic
  • I never wear sweatpants because I don’t want to fall into the stereotype
  • I don’t always compost because the garbage is more accessible
  • After 2 years as a SAHM, my cooking hasn’t improved
  • Obtaining my MBA was a cinch compared to being a SAHMSAHM2
  • Even thought I can’t always describe in detail what I do all day long, I promise you I’m busy and exhausted by the time I put my son to bed
  • I still prefer being a stay at home mom over working outside the home

SAHM

If you’re a stay at home mom, what are some of the things that surprised you the most that you weren’t expecting to feel or experience?