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Nine Holiday Gift Ideas for Every Family Member

beauty, GEAR, toys By November 29, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Like most parents, you probably know exactly what to buy for one or two family members this holiday season. But what about the grandparents? The new baby down the street? The pool boy? (Just making sure you’re paying attention). Here are UrbanMommies’ ‘generational picks’ to get you through the busy shopping season. And you can get them all online, so you can spend less time looking for a parking spot and more time basting the turkey.

For Babies

Holt Renfrew has partnered with Missoni to offer these plush bear and elephant toys for babies, crafted out of their iconic prints in support of OrphanAid Africa. It’s definitely one baby item you won’t have to hide when company comes. $50;

For Toddlers

The Educo Gourmet Chef’s Kitchen is a wooden option to inspire little ones to earn their Michelin stars. The realistic knobs make clicking sounds and kids can check on what is ‘baking’ through the oven window. Be warned: it’s a top seller you’ll want to order early. $140;

For Preschoolers

The new Hexbug Warriors Battle Stadium with Battling Robots is a huge hit in my house. It comes with an arena, is available in different designs and colours (all the better to entertain kids for hours) and is reasonably priced. It makes the perfect stocking stuffer. $20; Hexbug

For Tweens

The new Sifteo cubes are the coolest thing to hit tech since the internet. These motion-activated blocks with full-colour touch-sensitive LCD screens communicate wirelessly and respond to the proximity of players’ gestures during gameplay. (Channeling Big Bang Theory right now). Unlike many other games, kids have to use physical and mental intelligence while playing. $130;

For Teenagers

The word ‘Teenager’ as almost synonomous with ‘Social’. There’s no better gift than technology they can use to keep in touch with friends, family, and (ahem) – Facebook. With BBM messaging, a fantastic QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth connectivity and a 5MP camera with flash, the Curve 9360 from Wind Mobile is ‘the bomb’ for teens. (And it comes with GPS in case you ‘misplace’ your teen. Just sayin’.) $0 on WINDtab on a $40 plan or $49 on WINDtab on a $25 plan.

For Moms

I let the cat out of the bag. I actually told my husband that car detailing would be a better gift than diamonds. Whoops. So you should get mom that (for her stocking, of course). But for the real gift? Something fun. Like a Coach Legacy bag. Or a trip to New Orleans. Or hot sports gear. Not that we find moms easy to shop for or anything. $348, (Provide links to other articles on UrbanMommies for each option).

For Dads

Finally, it exists! I may have to keep it for myself though. Sony has come out with the Cybershot 18.2MP with 20x Optical Zoom featuring wireless technology that allows you to share photos instantly on Facebook, email and Twitter. The only catch? You’ll have to tell him your Facebook password and you’ll no longer be able to hide those messages from exes. $449;

For Grandparents

The ubiquitous photo mug and bottle of scotch are passé. At our house, we get creative and use With endless options and fun ideas, the dreaded grandparent gift can be acquired with a click . We sent a digital image to one seller that was converted into a watercolour jpeg and purchased another ‘gig’ from an artist who drew the kids in ‘children’s storybook’ format. Add a funky Ikea frame and voila – a gift to cherish that won’t break the bank. $5

For the Mailman/Pool Boy/Gardener

And you thought we were joking. Ditch the gift cards. This may sound odd, but who wouldn’t want a gorgeous festive Dish Soap? Method changes its designs based on the season, and the holiday designs are stylish and chic (not to mention eco-friendly). We wouldn’t want their hands to get chapped as they do the holiday dishes.. Method

Discalimer: Post sponsored by Wind mobile. As always, opinions 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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How to Avoid Wireless Billing Surprises so There is Money Left Over for your Child's RESP

GEAR, tech By September 4, 2012 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

I’ve been ‘around for a while’ when it comes to mobile phones. I had the original Motorola brick. – With the snazzy leather cover. (Note: it was never clipped to my belt). And I have been (mostly) loyal to one company for 15 years. So I’m reticent to try new things and ‘switch’. But I also have a panic attack whenever my cell phone bill arrives.

There are several factors that can lead to a budgeting downfall when it comes to wireless bills. Hoping that my husband – and mother – doesn’t read this, I can outline a few of my personal exploits over the past year.

Like when traveling on the Disney Fantasy and not realizing I was paying heavy roaming fees when we sailed into the Bahamas. Oops.

Like getting a $400 bill for water damage on a phone after a mild paddleboard accident.

Like being clever and putting a US text, voice and data package on my phone that cost me $100 while in the meantime owning a US cell phone with another number, which confuses people to no end and has me double-fisting as I travel.

Why do we have mobile phones? Peace of mind. Convenience. Staying connected.  Social media. Tracking our kids via GPS on the ski hill. (Maybe that’s just me). Unfortunately, this year’s ‘peace of mind’ goal turned into financial stress. And I still haven’t tucked money away into the kids’ RESPs.

September and ‘Back to School’ bring about a New Year’s-like opportunity for new beginnings, and at the top of my list is dealing with my budget: fewer shoe purchases, planning more meals and less expensive phone bills.

I’ve always had a Wind rocket stick, which at $29/month is a huge bargain. I can work on my laptop in the car while waiting for school pickups or watching the kids run around the park. I also have a Wind account for my assistant. With unlimited minutes, text and data for $40/month, it was a good choice for the business. Why I didn’t make the leap myself had to do with the amount of travel I do, flexibility and consistency. Many concerns were to do with roaming and here’s what I have since found out.


AWAY roaming coverage is $0.20/min to make a call from anywhere in Canada or the US to anywhere in Canada or the US.  (i.e. No long distance charges within North America), but if you are not in a larger city and ‘Wind’ is not displayed on your phone, you will pay $0.20/min. Network coverage expands all the time and at the moment is strong in: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, the GTA, Hamilton, Ottawa, Kitchener/Waterloo and Guelph.


European voice roaming is only $0.20 per minute.  Hello, Paris. When I compared data prices, they were similar to what I pay now, but with Wind I wouldn’t have to add on a $15+ travel pack and estimate how much data and texting I would use.  The downside? Easy access. I could possibly still rack up a huge bill thinking it was inexpensive…moi?

United States:

I’ve been going to the US often. Here’s the deal with Wind: for a $5 per month package you pay rates of $0.10/min talk, $0.50/text and $0.50/MB for data. Texts and voice calls are cheaper than my current carrier and there are still unlimited incoming texts.

I’m starting to look at Wind kind of like the new darling of the cell phone world. With no contract, it’s a great value for the urbanites out there. So it is now time to head to the bank and top up the RESP’s (and receive the $400 per child gift from the Canadian Government) that will help to send the kids to University.

The latest smartphones from $0 on plans with no term contracts.

Being a part of a global company across 18 countries means WIND Mobile has over 200 million customers to listen to and learn from. That helps WIND Mobile provide you with the products and services you deserve, like unlimited plans that really are unlimited.

When you join WIND Mobile you can get unlimited data, text, and local talk for only $29 a month. Plus all plans include caller ID. Visit us at

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by WIND Mobile via Glam Media Canada.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of WIND Mobile.


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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