dream water

Looking for good sleep, Mama? Here’s where it is.

health, LIVE, nourish, rest, self By July 27, 2016 No Comments

You know that warm, tingly feeling you get when you’re sitting on the couch watching tv in super soft flannel pjs and you’re just starting to get tired? When you yawn and stretch before padding upstairs in fluffy slippers and you slide into bed and slip immediately into a deep sleep? Well, it’s usually not me feeling those feels. It’s usually someone I’m watching on tv as my sleep deprived brain whispers, “that person is about to have the best sleep of their life.”

But things have changed.

Summer Backyard Bbq Grill Party Scene

Grill Like a Boss

Dads, EAT, eat, family meals, LIVE By July 27, 2016 No Comments

I have vibrant BBQ and grill memories. When my husband and I returned to Hamburg, Germany where I lived as a teenage exchange student, my host family became so excited that Canadians were coming that they went and purchased a BBQ and assembled it in front of us! On another occasion in Martha’s Vineyard, a beautiful charcoal BBQ evening resulted in breaking an original rifle last fired on the Mason-Dixon line (I was at the home of a Dixon). Whoops. My first experience barbequing by myself was on the roof of my Annex condo in Toronto, when I lit it closed and just about annihilated my lashes and eyebrows upon later opening the lid.

Indulgent Key Lime Cheesecake

Indulgent Key Lime Cheesecake Parfait

EAT, snacks By July 27, 2016 No Comments

This post brought to you by Fibre 1. The content and opinions expressed below are that of UrbanMommies.

Summer should be laissez-faire, easy and fun. Unfortunately, work, kids and life still must go on so finding ease where we can is crucial. My kids have been yelling at me daily for enrolling them in summer school (I told them it was ‘education camp’ but they saw through the ruse quickly). We have had visitors, raced in weekend sailing regattas, gardened, camped and canned blueberries. Canadian summers seem so very short when there is so much to enjoy! The ‘easy’ and ‘fun’ bits need to be strengthened when there are so many activities going on. My motto, despite the packed calendar, has been to make snacks as easy as possible. As well, desserts need to be delicious and easy to prepare for when friends drop by for an impromptu BBQ. 

Life Lessons

10 Life Lessons from my Dog

grow, Humour, LIVE, nourish By July 26, 2016 No Comments

I did not want to get up this morning. My hand shot out from under the sheets to slap my alarm with lightning fast reflexes while the rest of me grumbled and groaned, pleading with the universe for just five more minutes. I wrestled with the snooze button a few more times before I finally dragged myself out of the bed. As soon as my feet hit the floor, my dog hopped up, literally wiggling with joy, and ran to the door; ready to start her day. She ran outside and stood for a moment, breathing in the cool, crisp air. I watched her bounce through the grass, eager to do her business then come back inside. She trotted in and ran right to me, pushing her body into mine so I would scratch her behind her ear–her favourite spot. Putting breakfast into her bowl, she gulped it down, not leaving a single crumb, not worried about calories.

Suddenly I realized–she is happy all the time. She doesn’t mope if she doesn’t get her way, she doesn’t pout or whine. She isn’t constantly looking for more, she is content the way she is. It hit me: maybe dogs also figure out life seven times faster than we do.

central park playgrounds

NYC’s 5 Best Central Park Playgrounds

FAM, kids, LIVE, play, ROAM, Travel, USA By July 26, 2016 No Comments

Nearly everyone who comes to New York City makes a point of visiting Central Park. It is, quite literally, the heart of Manhattan, and any guide to NYC will direct you to explore this green oasis, which is so full of wonders, it can make you feel like a kid again.

But for those of us with actual children in tow, sometimes you just need the relative sanity of a fenced in playpark, where you can sip a coffee while the youngsters burn off some energy. For us, some of the greatest gems sprinkled throughout Central Park are the 21 different playgrounds—all 100% free, open from dawn to dusk, many of which have been renovated by the Central Park Conservancy over the last few years. As a resident of Manhattan since my children were two and three years-old, I’ve done some serious investigation of at least two-thirds of those parks and have whittled down my favourites to these five Central Park playgrounds.

VEX robotic arm

No Summer Vexation Here

GEAR, tech, toys By July 19, 2016 No Comments

The summer boredom had set in, and the kids were driving me batty. “Can we have screens? Mama, can you take us to X,Y, or Z? Can I do something dangerous?” And then the Vex arrived. Hexbugs have always been a hit in our house, and now the company has innovated for older kids (and parents!). Exclusively from HEXBUG comes the VEX Robotic Arm – a completely functional construction kit inspired by real industrial robot arms.

Netflix StarWars

Star Wars on Netflix – More Options than EVER

EAT, LIVE, play, snacks By July 18, 2016 No Comments

Attention padawan learners and Rey fans everywhere! Fancy seeing more Star Wars on Netflix? Members in Canada are now able to stream Star Wars: The Force Awakens along with the last days of the Galactic Republic with the entire Clone Wars series and feature film. Because it is summer vacation, after all, and there are many, many lessons in Star Wars. (You may want to watch it a few times…).

cry it out

Cry It Out, Baby: How Sleep Training Saved My Sanity

baby, grow, nourish, rest, Unpopular Mom By July 15, 2016 No Comments

It’s true. On the surface, I do look very much like your typical crunchy-granola attachment parent. I breastfeed, make my own baby food, buy organic, wear the babies, redirect rather than punish (or try, at least), and even do a little bed sharing. Letting my baby cry it out would be the last thing a mom like me would do.

You might assume I’d be one of those moms who pops up in your Facebook newsfeed, all sanctimommy in my choice of shares, doling out judgment and unsolicited advice—but you’d be wrong. You won’t find me mom-shaming anywhere. My philosophy is ‘we’re all in this together.’ And try as I might, living with my headstrong 3 ½ year old daughter leads to considerably more yelling and empty threats than I ever thought would be in my mommy wheelhouse.

backyard camping trip

How to Create a Backyard Camping Trip

GEAR, home By July 15, 2016 Tags: , , No Comments

Camping with the kids can be a beautiful experience; sleeping close to your babies under the velvet sky and bright moon, wrapped in the warm summer air. Or, it can be a tough night out in the rough embrace of the wild. You never know how a child will handle a new situation until they’ve experienced it, so planning a camping trip with children without a test run could equal disaster. That’s where a backyard camping trip comes into play.

A backyard campout will give you all the joys of camping—including sleeping in a tent and roasting marshmallows over a campfire—all within a few steps of home in case one of your littles doesn’t quite feel the whole “sleeping under the stars” thing.  

IVF story

This IVF Story Might Have Never Happened.

baby, baby, FAM, nourish, pregnancy, self By July 14, 2016 No Comments

So you’re thinking about starting a family. And you’re trying to start a family. And trying. And trying. And you’re at the point where, if one more person tells you to “relax” so “it will just happen”, you might lose your S@#* completely.

You’re thinking about seeing a doctor, or you’ve seen one, or three. The idea of IVF has come up. Or maybe it’s come up for your sister, or your best friend. You have questions, but you have no one to ask. You’re scared it won’t work, you can’t afford it, that it’s going ‘too far’. You hate needles. You’ve begun to wonder if there’s a deeper, cosmic reason you can’t have a baby. There are countless reasons why it’s impossible to even try. And then you suddenly start to feel like you’re just done with it all.

Emotional Intelligence

7 Tips for Raising Kids with High Emotional Intelligence

FAM, Featured, health, kids, nourish, Parenting, self By July 14, 2016 2 Comments

How do you react to stressful situations? I will be the first to admit that my anxiety is clearly linked to my inability to effectively manage my emotions during stress. I am famous for catastrophizing and overreacting. Growing up, I was always known as the one who would freak out all the time. Today, I know that I just needed to develop my emotional intelligence. It doesn’t come naturally and it’s something I will continue to work on throughout my life, but if I can give my children these tools much earlier on in life, I hope that they won’t have to freak out as much as I did.

Disney Planes

Disney Planes Lifts off on Netflix

grow, LIVE, nourish By July 8, 2016 No Comments

We had a ‘family movie night’ today. It’s really an excuse to eat while watching a film, snuggle together on the sofa and glance at each other over jokes and sad bits. Some of the closest moments I have exchanged with the kids were during these fun nights, and as we flicked through the offerings today – Disney Planes on Netflix was a unanimous YES!!

Planes centres on Dusty the crop duster, who dreams of flying in a race around the world. But in order to qualify, he has to overcome his fear of heights.