Hailey Eisen: Our Happy Place

Dec
04
2014

Best Gifts for Kids: Give Experiences, not "Stuff"

Take The Clutter Out Of Christmas And Hanukkah

Looking at my living room, I don't know where I could possibly put another toy. My daughters' stuff has taken over our house to the extent that I don't even want to buy any Hanukkah gifts this year. And I love Hanukkah and I love buying presents. Last year I was all about making a big deal out of Hanukkah, but this year? This year I feel like a bit of a Grinch.

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Nov
19
2014

3 Ways To Save For Your Child's Post-Secondary Education

Because Kids Are Expensive...And So Is Post-Secondary Education!

3 Ways To Save For Your Child's Post-Secondary Education

Kids are expensive.

That’s the understatement of the century.

From diapers and food, to gadgets and toys, to childcare and extracurriculars, to education—the list goes on as your bank account dwindles. Before having kids, things were much simpler. We could predict our expenses and budget accordingly. These days, there are unexpected expenses around every corner—not to mention we’re really bad at saying "No" when our kids ask for stuff. All of this adds up to an expensive life and some stress around finances.

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Nov
10
2014

Why Ross Petty's Cinderella Is A Holiday Must-See

Sidesplitting Silliness And Characters You Won't Soon Forget

Why Ross Petty's Cinderella Is A Holiday Must-See

How often do you come across a theatre production that has musical performances and a storyline geared toward kids, comedy that's written especially for adults, and quality talent the likes of which you'd find on Broadway? The answer: just once a year at Ross Petty' Productions' annual holiday pantomime. This year's show is Cinderella, The Gags to Riches Family Musical!

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Oct
27
2014

If I Won The Lottery Tomorrow . . .

How Would Your Life Be Different With Unlimited Resources?

If I won the lottery tomorrow, after doling out a number of substantial donations to the causes that matter most to me, and sharing the wealth with family and friends, I would . . .

Hire a chef! Someone whose only responsibility would be to feed my family healthy, well balanced, organic, non-GMO, made from scratch food that tastes delicious and everyone would eat, without a fuss. I’d never have to think about meal prep again. Said chef would also be a sommelier who could pour me a perfectly paired glass of wine with every meal—obviously.

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Oct
20
2014

Help! I'm Addicted To Bad News

How To Ditch The Fear & Take Back Your Newsfeed

I'm in need of a bad news intervention. I read Facebook and Google News like an addict in need of a fix. I can't help myself. I click on headlines that promise a hefty dose of fear and I read what follows insatiably. If only I can stay informed and on top of all the bad news, I’ll be able to rest easy. WRONG!  

Filling yourself up with bad news is like filling yourself up with sugar. The more you eat it, the more your body craves it, and the worse you feel as a result. Frankly, all this fear is giving me a stomach ache.

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Oct
08
2014

Parenting advice. There's a lot of it out there—speakers and authors telling you what to do, other moms offering up often unsolicited advice, message boards where everyone is free to weigh in, and even your own mother, or mother-in-law, or step-mother, or grandmother, with well-meaning advice . . .

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Sep
29
2014

Want To Raise Independent Kids? Get Them To Help With This

Smart Tips, Plus An Easy Hummus Recipe To Get You Started

Want To Raise Independent Kids? Get Them To Help With This

Independence is a big issue around here. My daughter is 4.5 going on 15 and she's starting to exercise her right to independence. From putting together her own outfits and balking at any input I offer, to instructing me to walk ahead of her on the sidewalk so she can do her own thing without me watching—she's trying to figure out how much she's capable of doing on her own.

"It's okay, it's okay Mommy," she'll say. "I can do it by myself. You don't have to help me."

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Sep
17
2014

Why Live Music Is So Important For Your Kids

The Family That Rocks Out Together Stays Together

I don't know about you, but I find music to be the best cure for almost everything around here. Kids have a case of the grumps? Turn on the Mini Pop Kids and rock out! Stuck in the car as a family for what seems like an eternity? Pop Sonshine & Broccoli into the CD player and sing like no one is listening! Feeling exhausted but having trouble winding down?

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Sep
09
2014

5 Simple Ways To Engage Your Child In Play-Based Learning

Curriculum-Based Advice & Activities from the Experts at Wee Watch

5 Simple Ways To Engage Your Child In Play-Based Learning

Have you ever stopped to watch your kids just play? It never ceases to amaze me how vivid their little imaginations can be when left to their own devices. Just this afternoon my four-year-old had all of her dolls lined up outside our powder room giving them “manicures” by rubbing soapy water on their hands and faces. At the same time, her 16-month-old sister was snatching up the dolls, plunking them into her toy high chair, and feeding them lunch.

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Sep
08
2014

Why You And Your Kids Should Visit A Farm

Connecting Kids With Animals And Agriculture Means Guaranteed Fall Fun!

Aug
21
2014

Top 6 Reasons To Do Your Cross-Border Shopping In Rochester

Back-to-School Shopping: A Kid-Friendly City With So Much More Than Just Great Stores

Top 6 Reasons To Do Your Cross-Border Shopping In Rochester

I couldn’t be a prouder Canadian—but I LOVE shopping in the USA. With so much selection and such amazing prices it's hard to resist heading across the border. Even though Canada has many of my American favourites, including Target, they're just not the same. Plus, there are a few stores exclusive to the US that I’ve become quite loyal to since having kids.

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Aug
18
2014

How Mommy's Going To Get Her Groove Back

BlissDom Canada Will Kick-Start My Official 'Back to Work' Plan

Currently, I’m up to my eyeballs in Mommy Camp. I’m trying out the role of get-into-the-sandbox-and-wading-pool-with-my-kids, leave-my-iPhone-in-my-purse, PLAY-at-home mommy. And despite what I previously imagined, I’m actually having a lot of fun. But, every time I sit down at my computer to work…even if just for five minutes…this happens:

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Jul
28
2014

Top 5 Ways To Make The Most Of Mommy Camp

Channeling My Inner Counsellor Circa 1999

Back in the day, I used to be an awesome camp counsellor. I had boundless energy and a cabin full of 8- and 9-year-olds didn't scare me. I dreamed up awesome games to keep them entertained, brushed their knotted hair after swim, held their hands if they were unsure about a new activity, and rubbed their backs and told them bedtime stories. I took on the role of 'mommy for the summer' and I loved it. Back then I was just 18.

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Jul
22
2014

How Can I Be a Free-Range Mom When I'm Afraid To Let Go?

Reflecting On A Tragic Accident That Took The Life Of a Child In Our Neighbourhood

Last week as I stood waiting for the bus to bring my 4-year-old daughter home from camp, a terrible accident was taking place in my neighbourhood. I heard the sirens wail and felt in my gut that something was wrong. Reports indicate that a 6-year-old girl was walking across the street as an oncoming van was making a right turn. No charges have been laid, but the investigation is on going.

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Jul
02
2014

Give Your Child A Dose Of Arts And Culture In Ontario

Visit The Stratford Festival For Awesome, Family-Friendly Theatre!

In late June, I had the opportunity to take my 4-year-old to her very first musical! I love musical theatre and was so excited to see what my daughter's reaction would be to all the bright lights, singing, and dancing. I wanted to find a theatre experience that wouldn't be overwhelming for her. I had thought about taking her to see The Wizard of Oz when it was in Toronto, but I worried it would be too scary.

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Jun
26
2014

How Dance Class Gave My Little Girl A Big Self-Esteem Boost

And Why I'm So Grateful For Groove School Of Dance

tiny dancer

I could not have been prouder watching my little ballerina perform in her end-of-year dance recital earlier this month. Seriously, there’s nothing cuter than a tiny girl on a big stage.

She had been waiting for this day to arrive since the moment she got off stage last year, having completed her first ever performance.

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May
30
2014

Can A 4-Year-Old Really Be A "Mean Girl"?

How My Daughter's Experiences In The Schoolyard Are Bringing Back Not-So-Fond Memories For Me

mean girl

I can vividly recall a moment in my childhood when I was subjected to "relational aggression," though I'm certain it didn't have such a fancy name back then.

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May
13
2014

4 Ways To Teach Your Child Generosity

Plus, A Yummy Carrot Cake Bar Recipe

How I'm Teaching My Daughter The Importance of Generosity

There's no better feeling than that of giving to others—I've always felt that way. I love shopping for presents, I happily give things away whenever I can, and I'm always on the lookout for unique gifts that will bring a smile to someone's face. I'm the first to pass on clothes that no longer fit, or baby gear we're no longer using. I love to share with relatives and friends; it makes me feel really good.

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