Browsing Category

books

25 Series to Read If You Love The Hunger Games

books, GEAR By April 24, 2013 No Comments

I have a confession: I would rather curl up with a Young Adult novel than read more age appropriate books (i.e. books targeted for adults.)  It’s true!  Reading about others’ mortgage woes, loss of jobs or infidelity just gets me down.  I would much rather read about adventure, possible unrequited love or a first kiss.  And having spoken to quite a few of my fellow “mommies” I know that I am not alone.  There is a reason why The Hunger Games series remains on the NY Times Bestselling books list week after week; despite our ages, we are all still connected to our adolescent angst.

Luckily, while searching Pinterest for back-to-school ideas, I came across a list of 25 fantastic series to read if you loved The Hunger Games.

25 Series To Read If You LOVE The Hunger Games

 

Actually, I already have read a few of these titles prior to seeing this list and have loved them.  What do you think?  Are you as addicted to YA SciFi & Fantasy as I am?  Have you read any of the books on this list?  If so, please let us know what you thought of them.

Happy Reading!

Share:

Explaining Breast Cancer To Your Children

books, FAM, GEAR, health By January 2, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

Breast Cancer. The unthinkable has happened.  You want to scream, cry and prey that the doctor was wrong.  But before the shock, sadness and anger has even a chance to register, your mind has already gone somewhere else: what are you going to tell your children?

Let’s face it, we don’t want to hurt or upset our loved ones.  Breaking the news about a breast cancer diagnosis may be more difficult than actually hearing the news from your doctor. You may feel concerned about upsetting your family and friends and worried about how they will react. Even worse, you may be afraid that you won’t be able to answer their questions.

Before approaching the topic with your family, it’s important to remember that you are in control of the conversation.  This means that you can decide how much information you may wish to share. The content and the tone of the conversation are entirely up to you and may be shaped depending on whether you are talking to a younger or older child or both at the same time.

Talking to A Young Child

As the parent (or grandparent) of a young child (ages 3 to 9) you might feel that the best thing is to shield the child from the facts. Truthfully?  You may be causing more harm than protecting your little person.  Even very young children can sense when family members seem stressed or anxious, or when usual routines are disrupted. They will notice changes in your appearance and your energy level, and they will know that you are spending time at the hospital. In two words: THEY KNOW that something is wrong.  If you were in their shoes, wouldn’t you want to know what’s going on?  Wouldn’t you want the person (or persons) you trust the most to explain the changes that may occur in your life?

Although young children do not need detailed information, they do need honesty and reassurance from you as well as from their other caregivers. Without any direct explanation from you, children may imagine a situation that is actually much worse than what will really occur. Being honest with your child builds a sense of trust that will be helpful in facing not only this situation, but also other challenges that life inevitably brings.

  • Plan out the conversation in advance. Decide what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. This will give you a framework for the conversation. Involve your partner or another adult the children trust if you think their presence will be helpful.
  • Use direct, simple language to define what cancer is, where it is in your body, and how it will be treated. Experts agree that naming the illness is important — “cancer” should not be a forbidden word. Even very young children can grasp simple explanations of what cells are and how they sometimes don’t “follow the rules” and grow as they should. You might also explain that the doctor has to remove all or part of your breast where the cancer is, and then use special strong medicines make sure the cancer is all gone from your body. A doll or stuffed animal could be a useful visual aid.
  • Make sure children know that the cancer isn’t their fault and they cannot “catch” it. Young children may worry that the situation is their fault or that they did something to cause the cancer. Also, children tend to associate sickness with catching colds or sharing germs. Be sure to explain that no one can catch cancer from someone else.
  • Tell children how treatment for cancer will affect you. Prepare them for the physical side effects of treatment, such as losing a breast, hair loss due to chemotherapy, or feeling sick or tired at times. You might explain that the medicines for cancer are powerful, and that side effects show that the medicines are hard at work inside your body. Tell children that you might feel sad, angry, or tired, but that these feelings are not their fault and are normal. Always alert them when you will need to be away from home: in the hospital or at the doctor’s office.
  • Reassure children that their needs will be met. Experts agree that young children need reassurance and consistent routines in times of crisis. Let your children know that you may not always be available to take them to school and special activities, play with them, or prepare their meals. Hugging, lifting, and bathing them may be off-limits for a while, too. Tell them about the trusted friends, relatives, or other care providers who will be helping out until you feel strong again.
  • Keep usual limits in place. When there is an air of uncertainty around the house, it can be tempting to let children have more treats, watch more TV, play more computer games, or buy more toys. However, maintaining the same sense of structure you always have is likely to reassure your children more than giving them special privileges or treats. Keep their usual routines as consistent as possible.
  • Invite children to ask questions and learn more. Let children know that you will answer any questions they may have. If your children are old enough, you might consider bringing them to one of your doctor’s appointments or allowing a visit during treatment. This can help to take away some of the mystery surrounding cancer and its treatment.
  • Let children know you will still make time for them. Carve out a special time in the day just for them. Simple activities like reading a book or watching a movie can help them know that you are still there for them, even when you’re tired or not feeling well.
  • Set a positive, optimistic tone without making promises.  Even if you are sad or frightened, try to project a positive tone during your conversations with young children. Children may feel overwhelmed if you seem overly anxious or emotional. Make sure they know that your doctors and nurses are doing all they can for you and that most people with breast cancer do get better. Reassure them without making definite promises about the future.
  • Let teachers, school counselors, coaches, and other caregivers know what is going on. Other trusted adults who spend time with your child need to know about the diagnosis. Changes at home often cause changes in children’s behavior in other settings. These adults can help you know how your child is doing, and they can become a source of additional care and support.

Talking To An Older Child

Older children can be just as vulnerable and scared as smaller children but they may not show it.  In fact, their reaction may be more intense because older children are likely to be more aware of the seriousness of the disease than younger children.  While much of the advice for talking to young children also applies to children in middle school and high school (ages 10 to 18), older children actually have additional needs. Most importantly, be sure to talk with your older child and not at her.  She needs to feel that she is part of the conversation.

  • Be truthful about your diagnosis and course of treatment.  Shielding children from the hard facts can harm their sense of trust in you. Even though you do not want to worry them, you need to let them know what is happening to you.
  • Schedule regular family meetings or other discussion times. Older children can be involved in talks about how family activities and responsibilities might change while you are undergoing treatment. You may need to ask them to handle more household tasks than they normally do. A family meeting gives everyone a chance to have a voice in the changes that are taking place.
  • Anticipate children’s questions about the future. Older children are likely to have heard that people can die of cancer. It is natural for them to be afraid that you could die and to wonder what will happen to them. Make sure your children know that most people with breast cancer do get better and live long, healthy lives. Reassure them that, no matter what happens, their needs will be met by the adults in their lives.
  • Anticipate children’s questions about their own health. Your children may fear that, since you have cancer, they may get it too. This is an especially common fear among teenaged daughters of mothers with breast cancer. Even if breast cancer does not seem to run in your family, breast cancer still happens to 1 in 8 women in the United States during the course of their lifetimes. Therefore, it’s a good idea to bring up the issue at your daughter’s next doctor’s appointment. Talk to the doctor together about some steps your daughter can take now — such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking or using alcohol — to help lower the risk of developing breast cancer later in life.
  • Give children permission to keep up with school and social activities. Even though older children and teens can take on more responsibility at home, they are still children. Let them know that they should continue focusing on their schoolwork, other activities, and time with friends. Children need to maintain that sense of normalcy, but they might only do so if you let them know it’s what you want.
  • Realize that older children may express feelings that seem inappropriate, such as embarrassment or anger. Preteens and teens may express emotions that seem unkind or even completely out of line. They may be embarrassed by changes in your appearance, such as hair loss or weight loss and avoid going out with you or bringing friends home. They may be angry about the ways that your illness limits them and their activities. Although their reactions may upset you, remember that teens are at a time in their lives when they value appearances and their growing sense of independence. If you’re able to show acceptance of your own appearance, you can set a healthy example for your child.
  • Connect them with books and other resources. Talking about cancer can be hard, even in families where communication is strong. You may want to look for books or other publications written especially for young people who have parents with cancer. Your child also may find it helpful to confide in an adult outside the immediate family, such as another relative, close friend, or even a professional counselor. Reach out to relatives and friends and ask them if they can be available.

Great books about how to discuss cancer with your children

  1. What Is Cancer Anyway?: Explaining Cancer to Children of All Ages
  2. The Hope Tree: Kids Talk About Breast Cancer 
  3. Because . . . Someone I Love Has Cancer Kids’ Activity Book
  4. Our Mom Has Cancer
Share:

Top 12 Summer Reads for Kids Under 6

books, GEAR By May 25, 2012 Tags: , , No Comments

Top 12 Summer Reads for Kids Under 6

On those lazy days at the beach, what better way do you have to connect with your children than through learning fun.  When you’re not writing letters in the sand and counting incoming waves, lay down under an umbrella and jump into one of these stories.  Here are our picks for the under-six set.  (Just don’t get so involved you forget to reapply the sunscreen).

1.  Here Comes Hortense, by Heather Hartt-Sussman

2.  Boo: The Life of the World’s Cutest Dog, by J.H. Lee

3.  E- Mergency! by Tom Lichtenheld and Ezra Fields-Meyer

4.  Rokko by Paola Opal

5. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems

6.  The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum

7.  Mother Goose, ed. Iona Opie

8.  Alice in Wonderland, (Disney Edition)

9.  Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak

10.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

11.  We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

12. Corduroy, by Don Freeman

Available at Chapters/Indigo.

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.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

Cook, by Deborah Anzinger

books, GEAR By October 19, 2011 Tags: , , No Comments

I used to make muffins every couple of days.  Somehow, I just stopped.  When I was sent this new cookbook, I was inspired – was is the great 1950’s graphics on the cover or the yummy recipes?  Not sure.  2 pans of muffins and 3 dozen ‘Wartime’ cookies later, I was hooked.  There are awesome food recipes too – not just baking.  Anzinger has also provided tips and tricks for keeping a busy family organized and stuffing as much health into quick meals as possible.  She even teaches how to enlist other family members to help with the prep.  I’ve always wanted a sous chef.  And a pool boy.  But I digress.
www.chapters.indigo.ca

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.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

Our (Unsponsored) Back to School Picks

apps, books, GEAR, tech By August 29, 2011 Tags: , , , , 4 Comments

Now that it’s almost September we will succumb to the inevitible.  Admitting the summer is over is hard, but we have thick fall fashion mags to thumb and wool sweaters to cuddle in.  So here are our back to school picks – both practical and not very.

Kids:
1.  The Labels.  We like the funky designs from Emily Press.
2.  The Playdate cards from Minted.
3.  The Cool graphic T. from  Mini Mioche.
4.  The Fab Hat.  ChillMonkeys is the place.
5.  The Recycled Newspaper Pencils from Lavish and Lime.
6.  The Funky Backpack from Raspberry Kids.
7. The ID Bracelet from Vital IDs.
8. The Personalized Retro Lunchbox from Name your Design.
9.  The Reflective Vest from Ikea.
10.  The Custom Binder from Zazzle.

Moms:
1.  The Car Organizer from Leaps and Bounds.
2. The Mad Men collection from Banana Republic.
3.  The Home Meal Delivery Service from Luscious Living.
4. The planner – chalkboard, calendar, white board.  Whatever floats your boat (or your family at least).  We like the printables from Mommy Tracked.
5.  Reusable fridge stickies for artwork.
6.  The Emergency Contact Form.  And while you’re at it – check the kiddo’s passport expiry dates, make sure immunizations are up-to-date, and think seriously about investing in Nexus cards if you travel.
7. The cereal dispenser from the Container Store.
8. The Mophie Juice Pack Boost for when your texting lasts longer than your battery.
9.  The Missoni Collection from Target – we really like the rubber boots and the bike.  Available Sept. 13th
10.  The box of Greeting cards for the whole year from Crane.

– JA

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.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

The Best Kids Cookbooks

books, eat, GEAR, LIVE By July 17, 2011 Tags: , , , , No Comments

Kids love to create, and so by extension they love to cook. Cooking is both science and magic, producing edible wonders. Cooking for kids should be age-appropriate and easy to do. Here are some of the best kid’s cookbooks for sharing fun time in the kitchen with your brood. All of these cookbooks can be found on Amazon.ca.

Best All-Purpose Cookbooks

The Everything Kid’s Cookbook: From Mac’n Cheese to Double Chocolate Chip Cookies-All You Need to Have Some Finger Lickin’ Fun, by Sandra K. Nissenberg. This cookbook is packed with easy recipes of every kind, from snack and appetizers to main courses and desserts, as well as fun activities like puzzles, cooking tips, and even trivia. The language is very simple and direct, and is ideal for younger children. The recipes are generally healthy and low-fat, with nutrition facts and calorie counts for each one.

Share:

Top Children’s Summer Book Picks

books, GEAR By May 10, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

What better time than summer to clean out the bookshelves and get ready to work on some education through the dry spell.  Here are our top picks for little ones:

Press Here, by Herve Tullet

We read this with the kids and were commanded to not turn another page while they ran to the potty.  Interactive, exciting, and educational, ‘Press Here’ helps kids review colours, counting and actions in a super-fun way.  The kids are asked to press, rub, and shake the book to ‘move’ the dots.  What a way to develop a love of reading!

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.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

Louis Vuitton City Guides

books, Canada, GEAR, International, ROAM, USA By January 24, 2011 Tags: , , , , No Comments

Every fall, luxury brand Louis Vuitton publishes gorgeous and super-helpful guides for some of the greatest cities in the world.  We tried the European editions (surprise surprise), and were able to discover off-the-beaten track lounges in Paris and family-friendly, hip gems in Rome.  Note to self: they also look great on your bookshelf, and they’re nice and light to pack.

Image Courtesy: www.luxuo.com

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.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:
100 Classics You Need To Read In Your Lifetime

100 Classics You Need To Read In Your Lifetime

books, GEAR By December 9, 2009 Tags: , , 3 Comments

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 classics you need to read in your lifetime. How do your reading habits stack up?  Note… when you’re travelling is a great time to crack open one of these tomes and start ticking off these 100 classics.  Feel free to comment on this article and add some of your own selections.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Graham
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma-Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

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.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

Yellow Red Blue, by SAMi

books, GEAR By November 12, 2009 Tags: , , , No Comments

Yellow Red Blue by SAMiA Baby Flip a FaceBy SAMi

A blue hat becomes a red hat and yellow hair becomes red hair in this soft, foam-filled book that will stimulate the minds and imaginations of babies and encourage them to grab on and flip the pages!

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.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share: