Michelle Pockey Leadership Award Accepting Applications!

Are you a female leader? Then listen up!

The Michelle Pockey Leadership Award has been created to recognize Michelle Pockey, an exceptional female leader in our community. As a prominent lawyer and community activist, Michelle dedicated herself to making a positive difference in the world – from energy, mining, environmental, and Indigenous legal issues, to increasing the economic success and impact of women. With her vision, she co-founded the Professional Women’s Network in 1997, and the Professional Aboriginal Women’s Network in 2016. She worked tirelessly for 20 years advocating to advance women in business, law, Indigenous and non-traditional sectors. She was an inspiration for others every day of her life until her passing from cancer in June 2016.

The Michelle Pockey Leadership Award will give first priority to an Indigenous woman, a single mother, or a woman facing economic hardship. Second priority will be given to a woman pursuing law, justice, Indigenous, or environmental studies. The award is intended to support her tuition, housing, or childcare in the pursuit of post-secondary education, which will advance her leadership and long-term career prospects.

You can also support the award through donations, so take part today!

For more information and to download the application form, click HERE 

Cool Finds for Travel!

Going away anytime soon? We have the best items for you and your families for your next getaway.

Britax Parkway Booster Seat
Safety is always top priority when it comes to little ones, and Britax’s Parkway Booster is the cream of the crop. It’s super comfortable, but designed to compress in an accident to lower the centre of gravity, ensuring your child is safe and comfy. It’s also super simple to install with just a few clicks.
www.snugglebugz.ca | $200

Pillow Fight Factory Play Date Card
Made right in Vancouver, these fun cards are like a business card for kids! Let them play grown-up by handing out their very own information card, complete with cute designs and illustrations. Kids can connect, email, and get in touch with one another the old-fashioned way! Plus, all card orders come with a mini 3×3 inch tooth fairy pillow with a perfect pouch for lost teeth.
www.pillowfightfactory.com | $40

Consonant Skincare Travel Kit
There’s nothing worse than travelling without your favourite products, stuck with the poor-quality mini bottles doled out at hotels. Thankfully, Consonant Skincare has this handy kit chock full with their bestselling and award-winning goodies: face wash, hand cream, face cream, body lotion and lip conditioner. Pick from one of three scents (or scent free!) to make the most of carry-on baggage with all the necessities tucked in an organic cotton bag.
www.consonantskincare.com | $75

Summer Infant 3Dtote Convenience Stroller
This stroller is great for on-the-go, with more room for you and baby’s things than you could ever imagine! There’s a huge basket for carrying shopping and other items, and it comes with cup holder, which is super convenient. There’s also safety brakes on wheels and it’s super easy to setup and take down, with a handy carrying strap, which is great for travel.
www.summerinfant.com | $130

Summer Infant Pop ‘n Play
Travelling with baby? Then you have to have this ingenious portable baby playpen, complete with a handy overhead cover that acts like an umbrella to protect your child from the sun in outdoor play. It’s nice and big, but folds up small, making it a perfect companion for travel, road trips, and days at the beach.
www.toysrus.ca | $150

The Power of a Hug with Huggies

Huggies1Every mother remembers the first time she held her newborn. The smell of them, their warmth and just how exquisite it felt. Instinctively, cuddling our children comes naturally to us, what you may not know is just how important those first cuddles are to your baby’s future. Medical studies show cuddles benefit babies in many vital ways beyond simply developing a stronger bond between baby and parent. Some of these benefits include stabilizing heart rate, improving sleep and fostering healthy brain development. So, what happens when a baby doesn’t get this critical action?

Tiny diapers for premie babies

Tiny diapers for premie babies

Sometimes, due to circumstances beyond control, new babies are unable to get the full advantages that touch, like hugging and rocking provide. Recognising the need, Huggies has partnered with the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres on their Huggies No Baby Unhugged Program. This initiative is providing special training to volunteer ‘huggers’ across Canada who will sit with (and cuddle!) newborns and babies in the paediatric intensive care and neonatal units of hospitals. We had the unique opportunity to visit Victoria General Hospital and see the program in action!

Often these huggers are offering respite to parents who are already living in extremely stressful situations. We had a change to meet Cindy, a first-time mom who’s adorable 10-month-old son Gabe has been in hospital since birth. It is paramount to Cindy that Gabe be touched in a loving, gentle way as he has already experienced more uncomfortable touching than any baby should endure. Cindy spends every day at the hospital with Gabe concentrating exclusively on his care and these huggers give Cindy an opportunity to pay attention to the other aspects of her life – take a shower, run errands, or simply go for a walk to clear her head, knowing
Gabe is receiving a loving touch while she is away.
The gift of a hug holds more power than one might imagine, visit NoBabyUnhugged.ca for more information on this initiative and how you can get involved.

Screen Education at the Vancouver Baby and Family Fair

In today’s world, children as young as two are using digital technology and could be exposed to risk, says Outsmarting Your Kids Online acclaimed and bestselling Canadian book author Amber Mac, who is coming to Vancouver for the Vancouver Baby & Family Fair happening October 29 and 30 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Described as the ultimate handbook for parents, the book, which is co-authored by Internet security expert Michael Bazzell who spent 18 years as a government computer crime investigator, covers topics ranging from understanding social media concerns and tomorrow’s technology trends to reporting digital bullies or even sexual predators. Critics have labelled the resource as an “easy and empowering read” for those parents and guardians looking to find dozens of free resources that simplify and automate in-depth searching of their children’s social network activity.

“We are so excited to have Amber at our show and talking about such an important issue that is often overwhelming for parents who don’t even know where to begin when it comes to monitoring their children’s social networking habits,” says Fair producer, Virginia Ritchie.

Don’t miss the fair and all the fun, with other activities, events, and more!

Vancouver Baby & Family Fair
Saturday October 29 and Sunday October 30
Where:Vancouver Convention Centre East Facility Hall A
Tickets:Only available at door & cash only: Day Pass: Adult $12;
Senior/Student Day Pass $10. Children under 12: FREE

For more information about the upcoming fair and Amber’s seminars visit: http://www.baby-fair.com/amber-mac

Get Halloween Sewing!

Halloween is a great time to DIY and putting together a stand-out costume doesn’t have to require years and years of garment-making expertise! With a little creativity and a few key tips, it’s easy for anyone to craft a creative costume.
Here are 5 tips for beginner sewers who want to make a notable Halloween costume:

  1. Choose ‘no-fray’ fabrics
    When you work with fabrics that don’t fray, costumes are as easy as cut-and-go. Look for felt, vinyl, pleather, and flannelette. Once cut, the raw edges won’t unravel, so the finish will look pro even if your skills are not (yet!).
  1. Find existing pieces
    Instead of sewing an entire costume, use clothes you already own as a base (or hit your local thrift shop) and build the costume on top of that. Having less to put together will save you time for extra trick-or-treating.
  1. Use a sewing machine that’s easy to work with
    Look for a sewing machine with features that are suitable for beginners. The Brother NQ900 sewing machine has speed control, an automatic needle threader, and an easy-to-load bobbin. A machine that’s easy to work with eliminates frustrations, so you can spend more time crafting your costume.
  1. Find creative ways to customize
    “Glue gun” is not a four-letter word when it comes to a homemade Halloween costume. Anything goes! Add studs, appliques (the Brother NQ900 has a sideways-sewing feature to make this super easy), or trim to your piece. Many sewing machines have the ability to embroider different fonts, so adding words or monograms to your costume is also within reach.
  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself
    Halloween is about having fun, and a DIY’d costume is a bragging right! So get creative, and don’t worry about little mistakes that only you will notice.

– Denise Wild

TV personality, sewing, DIY expert

New Breast Milk Donation Locations

Doctors often encourage new mothers to breastfeed their babies, since it has been clinically proven that a mother’s milk is the best nutrition for little ones to develop and grow healthy immune systems. But for some new parents and vulnerable babies, access to quality, safe, and healthy milk is not only a challenge but a necessity. The BC Women’s Milk Bank, through BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, takes in donations of breast milk, pasteurizes it, then feeds babies who are in the neonatal intensive care unit who are at high risk of developing infections and others diseases. Healthy donor milk is just one effort to help their tiny bodies fight off disease. “With a helping hand from donated breast milk and even more milk depots opening, babies will have a better chance to thrive,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “We have long known the benefits of human milk for vulnerable babies, so now we’re making it even easier to donate milk to help babies in need.” Previously, it has been a challenge to access these donation centres, meaning milk supply had decreased to a dangerous and all time low. Thankfully, five new donation locations have opened up across the Lower Mainland, giving potential donors better access to drop off their milk while giving more at risk babies access to the quality nutrition they need.


Oyaco Celebrates a Birthday!

OYACO, one of Canada’s larger distributors of infant, toddler and maternity products, is turning 15 on Mother’s Day this year! One of the first companies to introduce baby sleeping bags to Canadian parents in 2001, OYACO has continued to bring innovative, creative and truly helpful products to the Canadian marketplace.

OYACO was founded in 2001 by Narda Simpson, President of Oyaco Products. Narda, who continues to run the company today, is an inspiration to Mompreneur’s everywhere. Building a company from an idea drawn up at their kitchen table into a national success story is something many entrepreneurs will do only in their wildest dreams.

“Oyaco is my first baby,” Simpson says. “I wasn’t a mom when I started the company. A friend of mine was making sleeping bags for babies, and I bought one from her to give to one of my friends as a baby gift.” Simpson’s friend was very impressed with the usefulness of the sleeping bag, and word spread to other friends, who were eager to have them for their babies. “Before too long, we found ourselves sewing baby sleeping bags after work in the evening and selling them privately,” she says.

Simpson’s success was fast and furious. With a keen business sense and a natural instinct for knowing what the consumer wants, Simpson started sourcing the product from international manufacturers and distributors to bring to the Canadian market. With the success of the Grobag sales, Simpson’s business started to be recognized by other baby product manufacturers who wanted to enter the Canadian market, and Simpson soon found herself sourcing and importing products from around the world.

“We really strive to make parenting easier,” Simpson says. “We want to take the frustration factor out of parenting by giving parents the tools they need to enjoy these precious moments in their young family’s life. Our products must be practical, otherwise we won’t carry them. This has really been an awesome journey.”

WestCoast Families Congratulates Oyaco on their success!

“Boobs” Anthology Launch Party!

It’s no secret that our Assistant Editor, Kelly S. Thompson, loves to write. When she isn’t busy whipping up editorial for WestCoast Families, she is hard at work on essays, stories and other creative projects. Her work has paid off with her newest essay appearing in Caitlin Press’s Boobs: Women explore what it means to have breasts, edited by the amazing Ruth Daniell, an award-winning poet and writer who also has an essay in the collection. Don’t be put off by the title, as this collection of essays is touching and funny, with reflections from women on their femininity, strength, and children. You will read stories of breastfeeding, tales of loss after mastectomies, and resiliency through illness, all issues that women across the world can relate to. Caitlin Press is based in BC and proudly publishes books by British Columbians, and with famous contributors like Nancy Lee and Lorna Crozier, this is a must read. Edited by Ruth Daniell, a fellow graduate of UBC’s Creative Writing MFA program, Boobs is a book destined for many a bookshelf. You can buy a copy at your local bookseller and get more information on the Caitlin Press website!

You’re invited to the launch of Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts at the Heartwood Community Cafe at 317 East Broadway, Vancouver. Join the editor, Ruth Daniell, and many contributors for multiple readings of true stories and poetry. Books will be available for sale and signing.

The event is graciously hosted by Heartwood Community Cafe, so you can enjoy the readings with a side of delicious local and fair trade dishes that are vegan and gluten-free. Given that space is limited, please RSVP here for free admission. RSVPs will be honoured until 6:45pm, to which the event will then be first-come, first-serve!

3 Things Parents Must Know About Discipline

by Dr. Vanessa Lapointe, R. Psych., Author of Discipline without Damage, www.drvanessalapointe.com

There are few things that provoke as much of a reaction as the question, “How should we discipline our children?” In the face of such strong opinions, it can be difficult to know what to pay heed to and what to ignore. Answers can be found in the science of child development. Contrary to many popularized opinions, the more we discover, the more apparent it becomes that the success of our disciplinary efforts should be gauged not on the child’s behaviour, but rather, on our own. Why?

1. WE create room for development: Development is a process that needs to be respected. A child’s ability to be mindful of boundaries is going to look really different at 3, 9, 14, and 28 years of age. This is not because they are being difficult, but because their brains are growing.

2. WE promote growth through connection: Our young are born dependent on us. The relationship we have with them is integral to their healthy development. When that relationship is defined by nurturing care provided by an in-charge “big person”, the child’s brain is more likely to be settled. This promotes development and buffers children from emotional/behavioural challenges.

3. WE grow brains capable of self-regulation: “Neurons that fire together wire together.” Each time your child gets upset and you respond in a manner that helps your child calm, you are helping grow them a brain that is better at being calm. This means a better-adjusted, less reactive child down the road.

So the next time your child is misbehaving, take a deep breath. Know that development is happening right before your very eyes, and champion that process by empathizing with your child while holding necessary boundaries safely in place. You’ve got this.

Financial Freedom with TD Your Story, Your Future

by Jodi Iverson

A couple of years after my husband and I were married I went to program my VCR (yes, I realize this dates me) and discovered I couldn’t. I was panicked! How was I going to ensure I didn’t miss an episode of Grey’s Anatomy?! I had forgotten how because this had become “his job.” It is common in relationships for each partner to take on individual responsibilities. Typically each partner gravitates to the tasks that are better suited to their skill set, so we lose skills we may have been confident about in the past. In our relationship my husband heads up both technology and our finances, so when I read the startling statistic that 9 in 10 women will be left with sole responsibility for their finances at some point in their lives, I was reminded that my financial wellbeing was certainly a larger crisis than my less than savvy tech skills, so I had better get back on my financial game ASAP.

Fortunately I had the opportunity to get in touch with my inner Gail Vaz-Oxlade at a new seminar, Your Story, Your Future, presented by TD Wealth specifically for women. We started with a short video outlining the often overlooked economic power women possess. Did you know women influence $1.3 trillion of Canadian investable assets? We also start 4 out of 5 new businesses in Canada, yet Only 48% of us work with a financial advisor, as opposed to 61% of our male counterparts. Why is this? TD identifies this as a problem and has worked hard to ensure we are getting the advice we need in the way that speaks to the majority of us via a more holistic approach including education, options, and the time needed to identify and reach our goals.
TD Your Story, Your Future Infographic copy

Your story, Your Future is not a sales pitch, it’s not a boring, in-bank technical financial planning lecture. It’s an opportunity to explore your specific goals and dreams and take the financial steps necessary to achieve them. The best part is you don’t have to do it alone! Invite your pals for drinks & appies with a side of independence. TD Wealth will send an advisor to the comfort of your home to lead the seminar- think girls’ night out meets empowerment and freedom.

Booking a seminar now will help you & your social circle change up the conversations we as women are having about personal finance. Our group ended the evening with a renewed passion for the financial future and the steps to take us there.

Contact Investment advisors for more info or to book your own seminar.

Jillian Bryan
T 604.482.2466
E jillian.bryan@td.com

Tracey Lundell
T 604.482.2495
E tracey.lundell@td.com