Friday, April 20, 2018

The Babytime Show Presents "Take Three – Tips from Three Busy Moms" {Guest Post}

Take Three – Tips from Three Busy Moms
Three popular moms share their top tips on how you can tackle three parent-related topics

There’s an old saying: If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. These super successful, career balancing, busy moms are all at different stages of parenthood, have expertise in different areas, and have tips from which all parents can benefit. From feelings of being overwhelmed and calendar combustion to nursery décor and meal prep, these three moms have strategies to help the busiest of parents create more calm in their lives.

Want to delve deeper into each topic? Join them from April 27-April 29 at the Babytime Show, where they will have a full presentation on their selected topic.

Lisa Canning, mom of six (soon to be seven) children under the age of 8, is an interior design expert, life-balance coach, and an advocate for good mental health. Want to know how this busy mom of soon-to-be-seven stays sane in a house full of children and is still able to run a successful business? Here are Lisa’s top tips to live a balanced life:
  1. Motherhood can be an overwhelming gig at times, especially when you throw in juggling the demands of work, household chores, trying to stay healthy, and going on an occasional date night! My best tip for juggling everything is to really think about your priorities. What comes first for you: your marriage/kids, work, health, personal time, etc.? Write a list and order everything based on what is most important to you. Then ensure your calendar actually reflects these priorities.
  2. Another way to tackle your calendar and avoid becoming overwhelmed is to have some hard boundaries to ensure your priorities stay in the right order. For example, if you want to make sure your family takes precedence over your work, ensure you have a hard stop time for when you do work, which means you schedule appointments around this hard stop time, you put your phone away at this hard stop time, etc. Setting boundaries with your time is a great way to ensure your top priorities remain your top priorities.
  3. Schedule time for yourself like you would any other priority in your life; even if it is just 30-minutes of quiet reading, schedule it and stick to it like you would a child's soccer practice, or a conference call for work. As moms, we GIVE, GIVE, GIVE! So we have to ensure we refill our tanks regularly. 
Jaclyn Colville is mother to one 6-month-old darling little girl, an interior stylist, and a frequent TV guest. Décor and design can be completely overwhelming to some, yet when that bundle of joy arrives, most parents want to have the perfect space for them to curl up in. Here are her top tips for smart design in an infant or toddler room:
  1. Design with longevity in mind, meaning do not design for the right now stage. Design thinking about the next 5 (or more) years to save money and your time. For example, while you might want to have a chair in your child’s room for breastfeeding, make sure it’s a sturdy one that your little one will be able to curl up in to read stories with you when they’re a toddler. Investing in a convertible crib is a great idea – it means that one purchase now will grow with your child to become a toddler bed, and a full size bed later. 
  2. Choose a calm, neutral colour, but it does not have to be a traditional baby colour. Think calm grey or soft taupe for a nursery. You can use accent pieces to add in soft or vibrant pinks or blues (or any colour!) to update the space as your child grows. Going with a neutral colour allows years of growth before you have to re-paint. 
  3. Make the room welcoming! While you’re going to spend lots of time in there, this is your child’s sanctuary, a space to call their own. Don’t have precious heirlooms in there – or at least keep them out of reach! Be sure the contents are durable, safe, and fun. No sharp corners, lots of places for storage, nothing fussy. You want your child’s space to be a place they love, and where they feel your love surrounding them. 
Taylor Kaye is a popular host on CHUM FM, a red carpet reporter, host of Meal-Prep-Mondays, and mom of three girls. Meal prep and making lunches is a constant complaint with moms new and seasoned! Frazzled about the dinnertime madness? Not sure how to mix up the lunch bag? This mom has got it down to a science and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are her top meal and meal preparation tips:
  1. Make family meals a priority. Meal-time is a great time to connect with each other, share stories from everyone’s day, make plans, solve issues, and cement the bond of family. Meal prep time can serve the same purpose – giving you time to work together to create a meal you’ll all enjoy. 
  2. Choose foods that are versatile. As a family of five, we don’t always like the same things, or like it the same way. When I choose foods, I’ll pick products that can be served different ways. For example, if I make a lunch platter of different meats and veggies, I’ll include pitas, buns, and crackers and allow everyone to assemble their plates and “sandwiches” so everyone gets what they like, how they like it. Another versatile option: granola bars. They can be eaten whole, crumbled on yogurt, or broken up into a cereal and fruit bowl. 
  3. Teach your kids to cook. Give the kids specific jobs to help, like grating cheese, mixing ingredients, laying out crackers - things that they can do with minimal supervision. A word of caution here: they may not do it exactly the way you would, but this is about teaching them and getting help, even when it feels like it would be easier to do it all yourself! If you invest a bit of time every meal in teaching them, before you know it, they’ll be efficient helpers well on their way to being cooks. And when they can make their own meals, you’ve done a great job of growing independent adults. 

To hear more tips from these super busy moms, come to their presentations at The Babytime Show, from Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April 29,at The International Centre, Hall 1. Visit for full show details, presentation times and to see all the show has to offer. Bonus! Use the special discount code APRIL27 to save $3 off admission when you purchase tickets online.

A Giveaway

Want to attend the show for free? I have two pairs of tickets to award to two lucky readers. Each winner will receive one pair of tickets to attend the show, plus a sample package from either Hold the Carbs or Gourmet Baby. Entries are via the widget below and will be accepted until 11:59pm ET, April 25. Open to Canadian residents only. Best of luck!


Disclosure: I have not received compensation for this post. I just want to share this opportunity with my readers.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Disney's "A Wrinkle In Time" {review}

I discovered Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time in the fifth grade. I was enthralled, and I devoured the full series. Naturally, when I heard Disney was coming out with a movie, I was thrilled. I've been waiting anxiously to see this, and perhaps I went in with too high expectations. I am sad to say that this movie underwhelmed.

First the positive. I thought all the actors did a great job, and the movie is great visually. The depiction of the planet Uriel is simply gorgeous, and Mrs. Whatsits's alternate form, although nothing like the literary version, is stunning. Excellent CGI, wonderful, vibrant colours. The story follows the basic arc of the novel, and, in presenting strong and diverse female characters, it certainly is timely and will appeal to a modern audience. Actually, one rather gratuitous incident underlines the film's desire to be timely. When Mrs. Which first appears, she is a giant, towering over the landscape. (In the book she never fully materialises.) Charles Wallace tells her she is "the wrong size," meaning she made a mistake. Mrs. Which replies, "Is there really such a thing as a wrong size?" Fair enough, and I totally agree, but this line feels out of place, and is a bit of a throw away, while also screaming, "It's 2018!"

If you haven't read and loved the book, I suspect you'll love this movie version more than I did.

Where the movie failed for me was in those places where it diverged from or glossed over the original story. Not that I expected it to include everything or present each character as they were described, of course. It didn't kill me that Mrs. Whatsit shows up as a gorgeous young woman in a billowy white gown instead of as an old tramp dressed in odd layers of mismatched clothes. And it's of no consequence that Meg's mother is a gorgeous black woman instead of a beautiful red-head with the palest of complexions. The contrast of beautiful mother and supposedly plain daughter is there. Meg's twin brothers are left out completely, which is ok for this story, as they play almost no role here, but I missed them. And I have no idea why Charles Wallace had to be adopted, unless it was to add another layer of diversity to an already diverse film.

Mostly, I found the story here glossed over the science that was such a big part of the novel. The opening scene has the Murry parents presenting at a scientific meeting, and dad gives a brief overview of their concept of "wrinkling" time to allow travel over great distances in the blink of an eye. (He is mocked, btw, whereas in the book he was a respected scientist working with a team of government experts.) Presumably this is meant to set up the science so it can then be set aside. I was drawn into the book, and got excited about math and science as a young girl when I read L'Engle's descriptions of her five dimensions. The concept of squaring a cube to represent the fourth dimension and then squaring that for the fifth was so compelling for me. In the book, Mrs. Which accidentally brings the group to a two-dimensional planet, and the description of what that feels like for three-dimensional Meg is visceral.

There are many more examples of where the movie ignores or re-writes the original story, including leaving out a huge chunk with Aunt Beast that is critical to Meg's character development, and turning her father into a fairly weak and sad individual. But I'll stop there. The 2018 version presents a story focused on the power of love and family and believing in yourself. Diversity is a huge value. It is visually beautiful, and the story will speak to its modern audience. But if you loved the original book, be prepared. Much of what made that story so compelling and mind-bending did not make it to the big screen.

Disclosure: I received complimentary access to view this film with my family for purposes of this review. No financial compensation was received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own or those of my family.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Disney's Lady and the Tramp {giveaway}

One of the sweetest and most iconic love scenes in movie history. And it's in an animated feature. Who could forget this romantic spaghetti dinner moment between Lady and her Tramp? Their accidental kiss, followed by him rolling the last meatball over to her just warms my heart. I've long been a fan of this movie. It has romance, laughs, action, tension, and, of course, adorable dogs. If only the cats weren't so mean ...

Walt Disney Motion Pictures has just re-released this classic animated favourite as part of their Signature Collection. The set comes with BluRay, DVD, and Digital versions of the movie, so you can play it on any of your devices. Along with classic bonus material, you'll find three all-new extras: "Stories from Walt's Office," W"alt & His Dogs," and "How To Make A Meatball and Other Fun Facts About Lady and the Tramp." That last one features "Oh My Disney" star Alexys Gabrielle and teen chef Amber Kelley. The set also includes a sing-along version of the movie, which I love! There are great songs in this one, including Peggy Lee's "He's A Tramp," and, perhaps my favourite, "The Siamese Cat Song."

Have you got your copy yet? This is a great title to share with your kids or grandkids. A true classic!

Buy Yours

A Giveaway

One lucky RMB reader will receive their own copy of Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" to enjoy with their family. Entries are via the widget below and will be accepted until 11:59pm ET, March 18. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. Best of luck!


Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this BluRay. No financial compensation has been received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own, or those of my family. This post contains an affiliate link, and should you make a purchase via that link, I will receive a small commission from


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