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Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

Chocolate Garden Cups

EAT, lunches By April 1, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Chocolate Garden CupsThese Chocolate Garden Cups offer the perfect combination of crunchy and smooth, and they are packed with nutrients. Just make sure you have the face wipes handy!!
Serves: 2

Adorable and fun to make with the family, these Chocolate Garden cups are perfect for kids parties or an after school snack. Topped with yummy organic Choco Chimps cereal, the deliciously simple, eggless chocolate pudding is light, easy to make, and not too sweet.

Chocolate Garden Cups Ingredients

Easy Chocolate Milk Pudding
1 ¾ cup chocolate milk, room temperature
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tbsp. corn starch
1 tbsp. maple syrup or sweeten to taste

Garden Cups
1/2 cup Choco Chimps Cereal
crushed Sprig of mint

Directions 1. Combine cocoa powder and corn starch in a small pot. 2. Gradually stir in milk and whisk until smooth. Stir in maple syrup. 3. Stirring constantly, bring to slow boil. Whisk for 1 minute until pudding thickens. 4. Remove from heat and pour into small mason jars or jam jars, leaving space for topping. 5. Chill for 1 hour until cooled and thickened. 6. Top with crushed Choco Chimps Cereal and garnish with sprig of mint and popsicle stick.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Envirokidz Giveaway

Contests By April 1, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 50 Comments

UrbanMommies EnviroKidz GiveawayOur favourite time of the year is coming up – Earth Day is on April 22! As you know, EnviroKidz is all about making learning about animals and the planet FUN and delicious for kids. In that spirit, we have a couple yummy things to share with you:

1. Celebrate-the-Earth Party Recipes including yummy Chocolate Garden Cups. Super cute and easy to make!

2. GIVEAWAY ALERT! In celebration of the planet, we’d like to offer you an @EnviroKidz Celebrate-the-Earth Party Kit, valued at $100!

The kit comes with the following inclusions so you can throw an awesome party:

· 10 free product vouchers, valued at $50 – all for mom or to share with party guests!
· Party Treats
– All the EnviroKidz products needed to create the yummy party recipes above
– EnviroKidz snack bars for the party or for goodie bags
– Download-and-print party invites
– Party Banner
– Party swag including animal stickers from our 1% for the Planet nonprofit partners such as The Australian Koala Foundation and Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

· Activity books full of fun, educational games and quizzes featuring your favourite EnviroKidz Animals. Koalas, Chimps and Pandas, oh my!

Winner eligibility: Contest is open to Canadian and US residents only. US or Canadian shipping address must be provided. Deadline: April 9, 2015. Good Luck!

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Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Tulip Focus On Typography And Simplicty

books, GEAR By March 28, 2015 Tags: , 3 Comments

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis cursus dignissim purus, sit amet egestas enim. Mauris mollis lacinia massa eu imperdiet. Praesent quam urna, facilisis nec facilisis sit amet, facilisis ut enim. Aliquam nisi leo, imperdiet sed rhoncus non, tristique vel tortor. Nullam placerat blandit massa, a pellentesque tortor lacinia non. Pellentesque dignissim fringilla lectus, ut vestibulum tellus pellentesque ac.

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Family Travel: Kids Activities in Las Vegas

ROAM, USA By March 19, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Family Activities Las VegasFor many families, Las Vegas is an inexpensive and easy destination for travel, but are there enough kids activities in Las Vegas? I believe that kids can learn and have fun in any destination as long as parents are attentive to their needs and do a bit of homework. While smoky casinos and shooting ranges may be off the activity lists, there are loads of kids activities in Las Vegas that are thrilling for the whole family.

Here are a few Sin City activities that I’ve experienced that make me itch for a family trip!

Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Vegas1. Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay features tropical fish, sharks and turtles.
Bellagio Fountains with Kids2. The fountains with lights and music at Bellagio (you may want to watch Oceans 11 first!) Image: Flickr via Tim Parkinson
Gondola rides at Venetian3. A gondola ride at the Venetian is way less expensive than a trip to Italy.
M and M World Vegas4. M&M’s World encompasses four floors – just make sure you set candy limits!

Duelling Pianos Times Square5. Duelling Pianos at the bar at Times Square at New York, New York if a favourite of mine and any little budding musician is sure to love it.


Mob Museum Vegas6. The Mob Museum is a gorgeous building filled with gangster lore.


New York New York  Roller Coaster7. The Big Apple Coaster at New York New York, and hop over to the arcade while you are there. Photo credit: Roig61 on Flickr

8. Big Shot at the Stratosphere
North Las Vegas outlet mall9. North Premium Outlet Mall – With loads of kids stores from Strasburg Kids to Juicy Couture, I never miss the outlet mall.
Shark Pool Golden Nugget10. Live shark tank pool and slide at the Golden Nugget
Tournament of Kings Vegas11. Tournament of Kings, Excalibur
Circus acts for Kids Circus Circus12. Circus shows at Circus Circus – free shows begin daily at 11am and run every half hour
CSI Experience MGM Grand13. CSI: The Experience at MGM Grand
14. We were sent a great infographic with a few more great ideas and wanted to share that too. Enjoy your vacation!!

The Top Family Friendly Destinations in Las Vegas Infographic

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Being Healthy in Tahiti

EAT, family meals, fitness, GEAR By March 17, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , 14 Comments

Being Healthy in TahitiI’m really not a ‘perfect’ parent. I try, but sometimes after I’ve helped with the homework, prepared the ski bags, trimmed their nails and nagged about manners, I realize that the day’s proper nutrition didn’t quite happen. I used to be the mom who was obsessed with steaming homemade baby food and baking healthy snacks, but my youngest is an especially picky candy monster and sometime I simply don’t have the energy to battle about broccoli.

With a desire to pursue constant tree-climbing, his lack of energy and proper nutrition have become an issue. I don’t want him to be sleepy in school, and with a huge March Break trip looming, I decided my goal was to make nutritional changes so that the whole family would be healthy in Tahiti. Sometimes a mom needs a bit of help, though.

I decided to start both boys on IronKids gummies in order to boost their vitamin and nutrient intake. Slowly the soccer kicks got harder and the smiles got brighter. And then we embarked on a huge trip to Tahiti and the benefits of a healthier lifestyle in my little one were seen everywhere I turned.

There was the high dive off the catamaran inJump off Catamaran Bora Bora Bora Bora.

And then the reeling in of a Ramora fish.
Bora Bora Fish Catching

And being able to sustain a dance party on the deck of the boat in heavy surf.
Dance Party on Deck

I noticed such a change in them both that I vowed to start the vitamin program myself. I need to be healthier in order to keep up with the monkeys – and given that Adult Essentials Gummies Multivitamin won the 2015 Canadian Living Best New Product Award in the Health category, as voted on by Canadian consumers, they were a great place to start!

Adult Essentials GummiesAdult Essentials and Iron Kids gummies are formulated with the unique nutritional needs of men and women in mind and they are also gluten, dairy and nut free.

So the next time we hit a catamaran in the South Pacific? I’m jumping off the top deck too!!

Flash Giveaway alert!! Please fill out this Rafflecopter form for a chance to win one bottle of the Adult Essentials Multivitamin. Canada Only, excl. Quebec. Ends Mar. 20, 2015.

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This is a sponsored post from Ir on Kids Gummies and Adult Essentials Vitamins. All opinions (and results!!) are our own.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Children's Safe Drinking Water: An Interview with Jason Priestley

charity, FAM By February 25, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Clean Water Interview Jason PriestleyHow important is water? Very. A lemonade stand to raise funds for water wells is fabulous, but there are still 1800 kids who die EVERY DAY due to the lack of clean water in their communities. A billion people around the world don’t have access to safe water. Even with access to medications, people often take their pills with toxic water – it’s the only option.

A  lack of education means that some wells are dug only feet away from the spots where latrines are situated, causing even more harmful bacteria.

P&G Clean Water - Jason Priestley 1UrbanMommies had the opportunity to conduct an interview with Jason Priestley – actor, director and activist who travelled to the Dominican Republic and is working to promote the Children’s Safe Drinking Water program (CSDW). Since the program launched, it has succeeded in donating over 20 million days of clean drinking water to those in need, and we hope to reach our goal of 25 million days of clean drinking water by March 31, 2015.

It doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference. Just 10 cents provides one P&G water purification packet that creates 10 liters of clean water. The packets are stirred into 10 litres of water and after ten minutes, the water can be strained through cloth (even a t-shirt works) and is safe to drink.

Just $1 gives a child clean water for 50 days.
$7.50 gives a child clean water for a year.
$30 gives a family clean water for a year.

Procter & Gamble and Walmart have partnered in a simple program to provide water to people in need. Every P&G product sold at Walmart Canada will provide 1 day of clean drinking water for a family. And these are the products you are buying anyway like Tide, Gillette, Bounce, Pantene and Tampax.

Here’s our exclusive interview with talented and kind Dad, Jason Priestley.

P&G Clean Water - Jason Priestley 3UM: There are so many charities and people in need – why water?

JP: I am a dad. 1600 children die every day. Its shocking to us who live in Canada where there in such an abundance of drinking water. This is a simple program that makes huge difference in people’s lives.

UM: I read your piece on your trip to the Dominican. When I travelled to Liberia with Right to Play I saw the need for clean water and also health education. How does Children’s Safe Drinking Water choose where to help? What about education?

JP: Kids can’t go to school half the time because they’re sick. There’s not enough education. We need to do something to break that cycle – water is one of the basic building blocks of society. Clean water makes people healthy and strong so they can get to school.

UM: You have 2 children – how to you teach them to be socially conscious?

JP: That’s one of the big challenges we all face. It’s difficult but I try to look at everything as a potential teachable moment. Scarcity and the importance of water is all around us – in California too. Water is a precious commodity. We talk a lot about the importance of helping others, not just giving people money but the tools they need to improve their lives. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Water is a tool. It restores people’s health and also their dignity, improving their lives and the strength of the community.

UM: How can Canadians help?

JP: This is such a simple program. Go to a Walmart store or walmart.ca and buy the household products you use every day. P & G takes care of donating. It’s a 1 for 1 swap. 1 product = 1 day of drinking water for a family.

So far they’ve given 21 Million days of safe drinking water to families in developing countries.

UM: How do they determine where to distribute the water purification packets?

JP: They work with not for profit agencies across the globe to determine need. Unsafe drinking water kills more kids every year than HIV, aids and malaria combined.

UM: I know I went through many life changes after visiting Liberia. What was your big take-away, as a dad, after travelling to the Dominican?

JP: I loved the children. Children are the same everywhere you go: happy, joyous, playful and beautiful. There kids playing in the dirt with a ball and stick are no different than my children. I felt the need to help them. They are innocent, joyous and pure and they deserve better. We can see what the future hold for these kids even when they can’t.

A billion people don’t have access to safe water. 1600 kids die every day.

You can learn more at Walmart.ca/cleanwater

Disclosure: I am a P&G Mom and was give then chance to interview Jason Priestley. I was not compensated for this article and all opinions are my own.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Alcatel Pop 7 Tablet Review and Giveaway

Contests By February 25, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , 76 Comments

Alcatel Onetouch Pop 7 GiveawayALCATEL ONETOUCH makes a fab tablet and we are honoured to be giving one away to our readers! The POP 7 runs on Android and I thought hit would make a perfect ‘educational tablet’ for the boys. The only issue was that the screen was so clear and processor so fast, that videos and gaming were much more enjoyable for them than on their current devices! (We’re giving one away below and also an Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2S Smartphone over here!)

Alcatel Onetouch Pop 7 Canada GiveawayBecause POP 7 is run on a 1.3GHz Quad-Core Processor, it doesn’t lag.

Super-thin and super-lightweight, at only 8.9 mm thickness and just 285 grams.

Alcatel Onetouch Pop 7It was so slender and lightweight that I kept forgetting it was in my purse.

Of course there are unlimited ways that you can customize the look and feel of the pages on this tablet to suit your personal style, and the android app store offered plenty of ‘educational’ games….. along with some of Mommy’s favourites.

The camera and video capabilities were fabulous, and the kids actually did research and created videos to support their units in school. This one’s a keeper! You can enter to win one of these babies as well as an Alcatel Onetouch Idol 2S smartphone with the rafflecopter form below. Canada only excel Quebec. Ends 3/13/15. Good luck!

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Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Alcatel Idol 2 S Smartphone Giveaway!

Contests By February 25, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , 85 Comments

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2sTall and thin. Sleek and Sexy. No I’m not talking about any shade of grey. This is the new Alcatel Onetouch Idol 2s smartphone. HD sound, 4G speed. Video stabilization. One finger zoom. Wifi display – from the small screen to your big screen.

Alcatel OneTouch 2SAfter being a longtime Blackberry user (ahem), I bought two phones – an Apple and a Samsung android. Though I liked them both, the Samsung just didn’t have the oomph of my iPhone, so it was regulated to be a ‘travel phone’. I buy SIM cards in every country and slide them into this one. It’s not a perfect system, and when border security pulls you over and sees that you own 12 SIM cards and two phones they tend to get suspicious and search your car. After a few years and tons of trips with my android, I wanted to try something new.

Alcatel OneTouch GiveawayEnter the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 2s. Alcatel is new to Canada, and we are reviewing two new gadgets as well as running a giveaway for each one! You can enter to win the Pop 7 tablet over here.

Larger and slimmer (7.5-millimetre) than the alternative, the edges of the screen feature an edge-to-edge design and the rounded corners allow the phone to fit nicely into your hand.

It runs off the Android Jelly Bean 4.3 system and setup was painless.

One of my favourite features of the operating system is the fun widgets that can be added to the devices along with the apps.

Zoom into images with just one finger, shake to switch songs while listening to music and turn over the phone to mute incoming calls or snooze your alarm. Keep reading for your chance to win an Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2S phone… AND a tablet!!

Fill out the rafflecopter form below. Canada only, excl Quebec. Ends 3/13/15. Good luck!

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Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Marvel Universe Live in Canada Giveaway!

Contests By February 13, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Marvel Universe Live CanadaAre your Spidey senses tingling? Canadian Marvel fans are in for a huge treat. Marvel Universe LIVE!  is touring across 8 cities in Canada this summer and tickets are on sale now! Featuring the most Marvel characters ever assembled in one production, this action-packed arena spectacular will put fans right in the middle of one of the most electrifying battles between good and evil ever conceived.

Marvel Universe Live is coming to the following Canadian cities:

VICTORIA                Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre: June 11 – 14/2015

VANCOUVER         Pacific Coliseum: June 18 – 21/2015

SASKATOON          SaskTel Centre: July 16 – 19/2015

WINNIPEG              MTS Centre: July 23 – 26/2015

OTTAWA                 Canadian Tire Centre: July 31 – August 2/2015

HAMILTON             FirstOntario Centre: August 6 – 9/2015

TORONTO               Air Canada Centre: August 13 – 16/2015

MONTREAL           Bell Centre: August 20 – 23/2015

Marvel Universe LIVE! will captivate audiences with an authentic and original story that brings more than 25 Marvel characters together on one epic quest.  The story is framed around the battle over the Cosmic Cube, the source of ultimate power and one of the most feared and coveted treasures in the Marvel Universe, that has been shattered into pieces by the Mighty Thor in order to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. With the pieces scattered across the globe, Thor’s villainous brother Loki devises a scheme to clone its powers, inciting a threat that could not only decimate Earth but also obliterate the Universe.

To defeat Loki, Marvel’s biggest Super Heroes must band together, including The Avengers – Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor along with Spider-Man and Wolverine, must trek across the globe to retrieve the Cosmic Cube fragments and unite them. As the Super Heroes track the Cube, they will encounter some of their biggest adversaries including Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Red Skull, Madame Hydra, Aldrich Killian, Electro and more, in the quest for the very same fragments. These foes have no problem teaming up if it gets them closer to their ultimate goal of world domination.

So if you’re into aerial stunts, pyrotechnics and the awe-inspiring world of Super Heroes, you really should grab your tickets now. Tickets and Canadian tour dates for Marvel Universe LIVE! are available at  www.marveluniverselive.ca.

We’re fans of super powers over here at UrbanMommies, and we are giving away a family pack (4) of tickets to one of the shows! Canada Only, ends February 24, 2015.


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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions and super powers are our own.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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12 Last Minute Valentines Gifts to Find Online

GEAR, style By February 2, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Last Minute Online GiftsYou might be a tad more organized than we are, but in case you’re more of a late shopper…. here are some last minute Valentines gifts that will actually enhance people’s lives. Online personal training, music lessons, language instruction… The lucky recipients of your gifts will be brilliant while being able to be hermits! (But then again, staying home can be pretty romantic…)

Online Yoga Classes: $8-$10/month – Downward dog on your tablet in the living room.
Fiverr: $5 per gig – You could spend hours looking at the weird and wonderful things people will do for just $5.
Rosetta Stone Online Language Course: 6 months $169 – Because the elementary school french is getting a tad rusty.
Ancestry.ca Geneology Subscription: $9.99 – $24.99/month – Doing a family tree has been on your list for ages.
Online music and art lessons at Artistworks: $20 – $30/month – Philharmonic here I come!
PicMonkey Royale Subscription: $4.99/month or $33/year – Easy photo editing, plus you can add mustaches and text to images.
AnimalJam by National Geographic Kids: $5.99/month – A fab educational game for kids.
Online Personal Fitness Training: $11.50 – $29.99/week – Because then you have an excuse to say ‘Sorry I can’t. I’m seeing my personal trainer today.’
NextIssue Magazine Subscriptions: $9.99/month – Hundreds of magazine issues to read on your tablet or phone.
Amazon Prime: $99.99/year – Free shipping, books and movies.
Rogers Shomi: $8.99/month – the new video and TV streaming service from Rogers
Club Penguin: $5.00 – $7.95/month – Club Penguin is an ever-changing world where the possibilities to create, socialize, and play are literally endless.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Like a Girl – Flash Giveaway

Contests By January 30, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , 23 Comments

Like A GirlThis Super Bowl Sunday, watch out for the debut of a 60 second version of the influential #LikeAGirl video. With more than 100 million people watching the Super Bowl, Always wants to ask girls, women, boys and men across the country and around the world to help redefine the meaning of #LikeAGirl. Join the movement! Tune in on Sunday and join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #LikeAGirl & tag @Always to take a stand and show young girls everywhere that we can make “like a girl” mean amazing things!

Watch the #LikeAGirl ad here: http://youtu.be/yIxA3o84syY

Always Like a GirlTo celebrate the occasion, UrbanMommies is doing a special #LikeAGirl giveaway!

The prize pack is valued at $40 and includes a #LikeAGirl T-shirt and Always Infinity product. Canada only, excl. Quebec, ends 02/08/15. Good Luck!

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Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Procter & Gamble. #PGMom

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Living Simply

beauty, GEAR By January 27, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Living Simply in 2015I don’t like new year’s resolutions because they usually amount to more pressure and disappointment. I try to look at life as progress – are every few years getting better than the last? Are we happy? Over the past two months I’ve been focusing on living simply, eliminating stress and organizing life. Along with drinking lemon water, buying a juicer, there are 10 things the family has undertaken to ensure we are living simply with as little stress as possible.

Mabels Scan and Store Labels

1. Unsubscribe from as many email lists as possible. Keep the ones that you covet, but recognize that your time – even that 5 second glance to your phone when it dings – is worth gold. To help with this, our newsletter is now monthly and packed with only the most popular of our daily articles.

2. Do a closet overhaul. (It doesn’t have to be a What Not to Wear episode where you feel guilty and depressed.) Put anything that doesn’t quite fit in a suitcase labelled with the size and date. We love Mabel’s Labels new Scan and Store barcode labels with an app so you know what’s in the box and where you put it! Check for stained items, holes, pills and shoes beyond repair. Invest in new, thin felt hangers (Homesense is a great place for these) and take metal hangers back to the drycleaner.

Statement Necklace Organization3. Place all of your jewelry on the bed. Separate any broken pieces that need repair, and start a collection of unwanted or broken costume pieces for a little girl in your life. When I was a little girl, a friend’s grandmother did this for me and I was thrilled by my treasures. Polish the silver and clean gold, pearls and gems with a soft cloth. I hung chunky necklaces on scarf hangars and places bangles in shoeboxes.

4. Pull out your makeup and toss anything that is too old. Wash brushes with Dawn and water and dry flat on a cloth. 97.9 % of us, according to a 2003 study on the use of cosmetics, are guilty of  using make-up after the expiration date, with mascara being the most frequently mentioned product. Products with a higher water content have a shorter lifespan after opening due to the ability for bacteria and microbes to breed in moisture. Curious about expiration dates? Here’s a cheat sheet:

Cover Girl and Olay Makeup

Expiration Dates for Makeup:

Mascara (regular or waterproof), liquid, pencil or gel eyeliners: 4 to 6 months
Cream, Liquid or Stick Foundations or Concealers: 6 months to 1 year
Powder-based products (including mineral makeup): 2-3 years
Lipsticks, Lip Gloss, & Lip Pencils: 2-3 years

Skincare:

Cleansers: 1 year
Toners: 6 months to 1 year
BHA or AHA Exfoliants: 1 year
Facial or Body Moisturizers and Serums: 6 months to 1 year
Lip Balms: 1 year

Foreign Currency Travel Packs5. Eliminate undue travel stress. Note passport expiry dates in your calendar and apply for a Nexus/Global Entry pass to skip long airport security lines. Keep travel chargers and ziplocks sorted with different currencies from past trips in your go-to suitcase, and have a few key seasonal clothing items at the ready in case you take a trip to a different climate. Check balances on hotel points cards and ensure you are using them to your advantage.

6. Be ready for sick days. Check first aid kits for expiration dates on medicines. Have homemade chicken soup in the freezer. We use the homemade chicken stock recipe from Kitchen Stewardship, which provides incredible healing benefits, including boosting the immune system, aiding digestion, increasing efficiency of protein use and providing easily digestible minerals, including calcium. You also get none of the ‘fake’ foods and preservatives when you make it yourself. Get rid of the dust. Give your kids an extendible Swiffer duster once a week and give them a quarter if they can cover it with dust from the tops of frames and chandeliers.

Closet Overhaul7.  Grab all of your gift cards and see if some can be amalgamated. If you have a stack of cards you will never use, use Cardswap.ca to exchange them for cards you will use.

8. Are your computer and mobile phone systems working well? I hadn’t backed up files, and my phone and computer contacts were duplicated or not being saved properly. Not being able to find a number for a mom during a playdate or losing precious photos to power surges can be devastating or just stressful. Calling Geek Squad or heading to the nearest Apple or Microsoft store could sort out all of your tech woes. Oh, and write your printer toner numbers in your wallet along with your license plate number. (Or am I the only one who always forgets these?) You can also photograph it all, along with membership cards and parking passes and store the photos in a special account in the cloud.

9. Evaluate the entertainment options. Our family is a bit over the top. We have a huge cable package, a Netflix subscription, Next Issue, and regularly make purchases on iTunes and Google Play. I sat down with the family and we discussed our needs. There isn’t enough time in the week to watch, play and read everything. We decided what is most important (English football and Netflix) and eliminated a few unnecessary distractions from there. It can be worth a call to your providers to check the options. Rogers has now introduced Shomi, and Amazon Prime can cut down on entertainment costs. For film buffs in the US, Fandango is your best friend.

Personal Bags10. Do you and your kids do a weekly activity? We were always searching for shin guards, cleats and ski helmets, so we now have a system. Monogrammed bags for each activity (ours are from Land’s End) are packed and in the mudroom. We take them to the activity and then right to the laundry room afterwards. When the clothes are clean and dry they go right back into the bag and to their permanent home. Ditto for library book bags.

We’d love to hear your tips and tricks for living simply! Write them below and we will choose our favourite at random for a special gift card!

10 Ways to Simplify Life

Disclosure: This article is not sponsored. UrbanMommies does receive samples to test from time to time, and some Proctor and Gamble and Mabel’s Labels items are shown here, however all creative and selections are my own.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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