Browsing Category



Local and Low-Budget Summer Activities

FAM, kids By July 2, 2020 2 Comments

Summer is just beginning (though it totally feels exactly like the last three months, minus the home-schooling). While parents likely had a pre-pandemic line-up of activities ready to go to keep kids busy, not only are camps cancelled, but pricey day-camps and caregivers can squeeze an already tight budget. International and Canada-US travel is likely a no-go. Some provinces are still locked down, some require quarantine for 14 days when you get there, and others simply don’t want your ‘foreign’ license plate traipsing around their roads. Here’s the Canadian Government site on COVID, so you know where your province stands. And here are a few ideas for sticking closer to home, getting out in nature and saving some precious cash.

Blue and Gunmetal Springfree Trampoline

How Play Changes Perspective

FAM, health By April 29, 2020 No Comments

Perspective as parents can be tough, and even harder for kids to gain. We continually tell our kids things can always get worse. This is some ethereal notion that makes the little ones roll their eyes and tell us we are overreacting and doing a guilt trip on them because they can’t possibly send their broccoli to the kids in another country. Once I wished that the next generation could experience something so immense, it would give us all appreciation and curb feelings of entitlement. I should be careful what I wish for.


The Baby and Toddler Teething Chart You Need

baby By April 17, 2020 Tags: , , 5 Comments

If you’re like us, you are super-attentive to the little ones, but when it comes to writing stuff down in the baby book?  But wait!  There are chicken pot pies to make, and socks to launder! You might even be trying to catch up on your baby book with extra time on your hands during this pandemic. Your child’s smile is something that can be so great to document and it’s easy to do with a baby and toddler teething chart.

Maternity Clothes in Canada

Maternity Clothes in Canada

FAM, pregnancy By April 7, 2020 Tags: , , , , , , , , 30 Comments

Remember when maternity fashion was an oxymoron?  When insipid little rosebuds on a mu-mu were au courant? Canadian designers are among the top in the world, and as our reputation grows as a world-class travel destination, our shopping options do as well – even for maternity clothes. I remember when I was trying to conceive and kept going to the States to buy out of season Pea in the Pod items on sale in hopes that they’d fit if I conceived right away!! NO MORE. Shop local. Shop Canadian. We are featuring stores that carry maternity clothes in Canada and the ones below are Canadian-based stores dedicated to the belly.  We’ve also got a section on nursing bras and nursing wear.  Let us know if you have any additions!

Virtual Castle Tours

Self-Isolation Boredom Busters, Round Three

FAM, self By April 6, 2020 1 Comment

What day is it? How long have we been inside? As the days and weeks roll along with many families self-isolating, I give you boredom busters: round three. Thankfully, more and more institutions and artists are putting out insanely good content and educational opportunities. There’s never been a better time to grow! Who knows what might spark a new idea, a new tradition for the family, or a passion for something the kids didn’t know about before. My heartfelt thanks goes out to the educators and friends who keep sharing ideas for me to pass along!

Living As if it's the Great Depression

Living As if it’s the Great Depression

FAM, health By March 23, 2020 1 Comment

I grew up in Nova Scotia, and even though my parents were early baby boomers, born in 1945, they lived like it was 1930. My grandparents and great aunt had suffered and found no reason to change their frugal behaviour once the economy had turned around. As a little girl, I was baffled that my grandmother used each tea bag twice, and now I am so very glad for all of the lessons I was given. Frugality is also the same type of behaviour that reduces greenhouse gasses – reducing, reusing and recycling – so I have been doing a few of these things for years. Now, not knowing if the sugar supply could dry up or toilet paper is a past luxury, I’m wracking my brain to remember how my grandmother lived. Every day was about saving and making a little go a long way.

17 Things You can Do to Help Others Through the Covid-19 Pandemic

17 Things You can Do to Help Others Through the Covid-19 Pandemic

FAM, health By March 17, 2020 1 Comment

Every day, the news seems worse and worse. I know it will soon get better, though, and hopefully we can all thrive from lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Caremongering” is a new term that is now being thrown around and it makes my heart soar. Above all, working as a community and helping others could be the silver lining. Here are 17 things you can do to help others through the Covid-19 pandemic. (Washing hands and staying at home is assumed).

guide your family through self-quarantine.

How Not to Go Bananas During Self-Quarantine

FAM, health By March 13, 2020 3 Comments

It’s hard to write about or think of anything else besides Covid-19 right now. News flows in hourly, and at the moment, my family will have to self-quarantine for 14 days on return from Miami. The thought of this actually makes my heart soar. Time is a gift. Togetherness is an even bigger one. But avoiding the pitfalls of endless gaming in a dark basement will be imperative. Here is my plan to come out of Coronavirus avoidance with deeper connections and enhanced knowledge.  This is my two cents on how to guide your family through self-quarantine.

Home Lead Testing Kits

Home Lead Testing Kits

FAM, health By February 22, 2020 Tags: , , No Comments

Recent recalls of toys containing excessive amounts of lead have resulted in an increase in the promotion and use of home lead testing kits. Health Canada’s Product Safety Laboratory has evaluated a number of home lead test kits available on the Canadian marketplace and found that the results they give are not fully reliable. Test results vary considerably from one brand of test kit to another and are also affected by the type of product or material being tested.

Unreliable Lead Testing Kits

Lead is a soft, heavy metal which is poisonous when absorbed into the body. It is a naturally occurring element that is found in trace amounts everywhere in the human environment. Lead is especially toxic to young children, and can cause serious learning and behavioural problems even at very low exposure levels. Regulations under Health Canada’s Hazardous Products Act restrict the amount of lead which can be used in children’s products, such as toys and children’s jewellery.

Since the test kits indicate the presence of lead by a colour change, the results may be affected by pigments present in the tested product. Also, the test kit may not detect lead in a product which has a protective or decorative coating. The test results are hard to interpret since a positive reading does not necessarily mean that there is enough lead in the product to create an exposure risk. The kits have a limited shelf life, and performance can be affected by the age of the kits.

Because of these concerns, Health Canada does not recommend the use of home lead test kits by consumers.

What You Can Do to Protect Children From Lead

If you suspect a toy, children’s jewellery item, or other product may contain lead, immediately remove it from the reach of children.

  • If the product is low cost, it can be thrown away in normal household waste.
  • If the product is not a low-cost item, contact the manufacturer or retailer regarding your lead content concerns.
  • Remove from children’s reach any product which has paint peeling off any of its surfaces. Children may eat peeling paint containing lead.
  • If you believe your child has swallowed an object containing lead, seek immediate medical attention. There is a serious risk of severe or fatal lead poisoning if an object containing high amounts of lead remains in the body.
  • If your child has sucked or chewed regularly on a product which you think may contain lead, ask your doctor to test your child’s blood for lead.
  • Check Health Canada’s website regularly for up-to-date product recall information. You can also check company Web sites for information on products they have recalled.