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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.

Fall Mushroom Soup

Fall Mushroom Soup

EAT, family meals By September 26, 2021 1 Comment

Nothing embodies the earthy flavours of autumn more that mushrooms. The Japanese word ‘umame’ means a taste sensation produced by glutamates. It’s sometimes considered a 5th basic taste along with bitter, sweet, salty and sour. And mushrooms dish this out in spades.


Allergy-Friendly School Snacks

EAT, lunches By September 7, 2021 80 Comments

This morning I made the school lunches and then opened my son’s backpack only to find a note stating that in addition to nuts, there was a severe allergy in his class that prevents me from packing any food containing cooked or un-cooked eggs. No meatballs, pancake bites, egg-containing breads or pizza dough. I can totally handle the restrictions but I feel so very sorry for all families that must deal with scary allergies. It’s a tough world we live in, and I can’t imagine the level of anxiety the child and parents feel trusting other parents to pack egg-free lunches in order to be safe in the classroom.

seperation anxiety

Dealing with Separation Anxiety when Kids Return to School

grow, LIVE By September 6, 2021 No Comments

Dealing with separation anxiety when kids return to school can be heartbreaking.  Whether kindergarten or university, many parents struggle with tears and phone calls during this time of change.  It takes strength and trust in the teachers to leave your child in a state of duress.  Here are a few ideas of what may help to mitigate the anxiety for both of you.

Drake Hotel Toronto

The Drake Hotel Toronto

Canada, ROAM By August 21, 2021 No Comments

Not sure where to start.  I’m not really as cool as I like to think I am.  And the Drake is a bit out of my league on the funkiness scale.  With a photobooth in the lobby, a balloon chandelier, and 1970’s touches in the studio (‘crash pad’) rooms, this place was.. the bomb.  On a cool scale?  I felt 200%.  The bathroom is incorporated into the room, kind of at the end of your bed.  The staff have nose rings and tight plaid pants like the hip golfers in the PGA Tour.

In the neighbourhood of Queen West I found shopping like none other. Vintage shops, personalized cufflinks, bespoke men’s suits, organic t-shirts and  vintage dresses.  What more could a girl want?

The room reminded me of my dorm at Queen’s University, but with a minibar and a ton of kitch. Back at my alma mater, I was more Laura Ashley and Ralph Lauren than funk. And now I had good wine, great linens, a space-age coffeemaker and spiritual sculpture gardens outside the windows in the hall.

The General Store downstairs offered lots of mementos and the bar are was on-trend.  My Toronto colleagues made the trek to meet me there and we had a great feed of nachos and wine.  I was able to zip downtown on the streetcar in less than 15 minutes.

Since I visited last, they have added a modern wing. Same style. Same cool factor.

I just wish I were there during the Toronto International Film Festival – TIFF.  Because if I were uber cool, this is where I’d hang.


Pool Safety for Kids and Summer Fun

FAM, health, kids By July 7, 2021 Tags: , , , , No Comments

Summer fun happens in the pool. For all the fun that happens there, pool safety for kids is really important. Keeping safety in mind is the best way to avoid joining the scary statistics around drowning. The dangers of pools and swimming shouldn’t be overlooked. We’ve compiled some handy tips so you can enjoy the summer fun.

Hand Rolled Meatballs

Hand-Rolled Meatballs with Ruby Red Sauce

EAT, family meals By May 4, 2021 No Comments

When you are cooking with kids, there is such a huge feeling of accomplishment when they learn how to do things from scratch. Even better? When they can get super-dirty doing it! Rolling meatballs by hand is one of life’s greatest thrills. There is so much control over what happens too – tiny, huge. Bake them. Fry them in a pan. A touch of Worcestershire, a dash of spice. Teaching kids to cook creatively are lessons that will last them a lifetime. Meatballs and the creation of a homemade ruby red sauce are great places to begin.

Kid-Made Orecchiette

Kid-Made Orecchiette with Alfredo Sauce

EAT, family meals By May 4, 2021 No Comments

This is the perfect intro to making pasta with your kids. Known as ‘little ear’ pasta, orecchiette looks like cute little cups. Or pig’s ears. It’s mind-boggling to watch children’s faces as you turn a heap of flour on the counter into handmade pasta without the use of a machine! It’s also such a rush to make a water-filled well out of the flour and carefully incorporate the sides without letting the water escape. Making orecchiette and Alfredo sauce with kids is both satisfying and delicious.


What to Expect at Mass Covid Vaccination Centres in Toronto

FAM, health By March 17, 2021 7 Comments

I had the honour of accompanying my father-in-law on the first day vaccinations opened at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. We booked him in the day the system went live, and I couldn’t find anything anywhere on the internet about what to expect at Toronto’s mass-vaccination spots so decided to write some tips so you can plan the visit. Where to park? Should I bring a book? Can he walk the distance? Before I go through it, I must say that the experience was sterile, super-friendly, and very efficient. There were far fewer people being vaccinated than I expected, but on the first day I suspect they were testing the systems and protocols.

30 Family Dinner Discussion Topics (Pandemic Version)

30 Family Dinner Discussion Topics (Pandemic Version)

grow, LIVE By March 15, 2021 No Comments

One of our most popular posts is about how to connect more with kids. I came up with 36 topics to chat about around the dinner table, and this seems to have filled  a big need with readers. Our family could certainly use a few more – especially during a pandemic when we’ve been together for a BILLION YEARS. Ok, 12 months. But that is an awfully long time, even if you all love each other a bunch. Here are 50 family dinner discussion topics (pandemic version), which happen to be a bit deeper than the first batch. Covid. World ending. People dying. Go figure!