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

Britax Stroller Recall

Please note this safety recall on Britax strollers. Britax B-Agile and BOB Motion Strollers used as a travel system with a car seat carrier attached. For model numbers, click here.

This recall involves all Britax B-Agile and BOB Motion strollers that have Click & Go receiver mounts that attach the car seat carrier to the stroller frame. All models are folding, single or double occupant strollers and all colours are included. Consumers can continue to use their stroller or car seat independently without the car seat attached to the stroller.

The model number can be found on the inside of the stroller’s metal frame near the right rear wheel for single strollers and in the front middle underside of the frame on double strollers.

A damaged Click & Go receiver mount may cause a car seat to fall unexpectedly when using the stroller as a travel system.  This recall does not affect the safety performance of the stroller or car seat when they are used independently from one another.

As of February 16, 2017, the company has received 118 reports of consumer incidents in Canada with 1 report of injury, a bump to the head.  In the United States, the company has received 1,219 reports of consumer incidents and 32 reports of car seats unexpectedly disconnecting from the strollers and falling to the ground, resulting in 25 reports of injuries, including scratches, bruises, cuts, and bumps to the head.

What you should do

Consumers should immediately stop using their Click & Go receivers and contact Britax for further instructions about disposing the receivers and remedy options. Consumers can continue to use their stroller or car seat independently without the car seat attached to the stroller.Remedy kits can be requested by visiting the firm’s website or by contacting Britax Customer Service Department at the dedicated recall line: 844-227-0300 from 8:30 a.m.to 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday.  If you live outside of the US or Canada, you should e-mail Britax.

Costume Drive with Just Imagine

Every child looks forward to Halloween! It’s a chance to escape and be someone else for a night, having tons of fun with friends and family, and of course, getting access to some tasty candy! But half the fun is in the costume, but for some families, there are other financial priorities that come before playing dress up. For some it can be a struggle just to pay the household bills and put food on the table, which doesn’t leave much left for make believe.

Thankfully, costume shop extraordinaire, Just Imagine, has created a costume drive for people to donate costumes so that all children can be a part of this fun celebration. Simply swing by the shop, donate a costume (or pick out one brand new) and add it to the collection! Children in need will be able to cruise for their favourite action figure, toy or tv character, while Lower Mainland families can purge the years of costumes collecting dust in the basement.

No child deserves to be excluded from celebrations, and Just Imagine hopes to give each chance to have a night of fun and silliness. So donate to the costume drive and be sure to check out Just Imagine’s amazing selection of costumes and other fun so that you and your family are ready for Halloween!

Mums Tums and Babies… oh my!

mums-tums-poster-8x10Looking for the best in the latest products and services for you and your baby or little ones? If you live in British Columbia, or better yet the Fraser Valley, you are in for a treat at the premiere event for hopeful, expectant and new parents and families – the Mums, Tums & Babies Show!

Pregnant couples, new parents, and those who are needing a little extra for the kids who are growing up – there are stresses, needs for new products that are safe and friendly, services and goods, including some advice – this event has everything for you! Explore the world of baby and toddler – from food to gear, like top trending brands that have some awesome deals and discounts for you. Come down to this low-pressure, family-friendly event: you won’t regret it.

There is lots to see and do for your little ones in the Family Fun Zone with My Gym Langley and their bouncy castle and tumbling station. Twist Parties with balloon twisting and have your photo taken with the princesses. There are Sportball and other sport instruction for kids and will test their skills and have fun.

Don’t worry, for those expecting, or wanting to grow their family there will be a ton of presentations from tips on how to get your baby sleeping well to help with birthing! Tony from The Average Father will do a special presentation just for dads!

Canada’s country music sweetheart, Jessie Farrell will entertain your kids with her catchy whimsical songs featured on the Kids’ CBC television series, Scout & The Gumboot Kids.

Enter to win the major grand prize – a nursery from Ikea Coquitlam. Over $10,000 in prizes provided by our exhibitors. The first 100 mommies each day will receive a Lucky Mummy Bag! (Be sure to take a look inside as their are a ton of vouchers and even some goodies from the local vendors).

Visit www.mumstumsbabies.ca to purchase your tickets!
$10.00 online
$12.00 at Door (Cash Only)
$15.00 weekend pass
Children under 12 *FREE*

Date: October 1 & 2, 2016
Time: 10:00am to 5:00pm – Saturday, 11:00am to 4:00pm – Sunday
Location: Tradex – Trade & Exhibition Centre, 1190 Cornell St., Abbotsford
Contact: Debbie Fenrick or Judi Rosebrugh: (844) 933-1366 or 604-200-0905

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Back to School Shopping Woes

With September fast approaching, kids and parents alike are feeling the back-to-school blues. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Sears Canada indicated that sixty-six percent of Canadian parents felt financially strained at back to school time. There are tons of items to buy, including pens, pencils, clothes and gear that is required for active and engaged kids.

It’s no secret that kids want to dress to impress when they head in for their first day back in class but it turns out this is a real stress point for parents. Not only do 50% of parents find it tough to keep up with the latest fashion trends for their kids, nearly half believe those clothes come with a hefty price tag and almost two-thirds find them hard to afford. And that puts added stress on what is already a stressful time of year, both for kids and children alike.

With all the items parents have to purchase for the school year – clothes, stationary, supplies – it’s no wonder that it’s a financially tolling time. The average Canadian parent spends $121.00 or more on a single back-to-school outfit which, for nearly one in five parents, results in a bill of $400.00 or more to buy everything they need – for each child!

Luckily Sears Canada is here to help! They’ve custom picked stylish, affordable back-to-school outfits for $65 and under – top-to-toe.

Parents shouldn’t have to compromise to cut costs. For great looks they’ll love at prices you want, check out Sears.ca/BackToSchool.

Christmas Market

It’s time for the 6th annual Vancouver Christmas Market, returning to Vancouver starting Saturday, November 21st until Christmas Eve. This year’s market includes more than 15 new vendors offering everything from ugly vintage Christmas sweaters to handcrafted olive wood kitchenware to German-style donairs to elk burgers. There’s a little bit of everything for every member of the family.

We also have many fun family activities, including the Star Seeker Scavenger Hunt, gingerbread decorating, taking pictures with mascots Holly and Jolly, and Vancouver’s only Christmas Carousel, which will put the whole family in the spirit for holiday fun.

Of course, the Christmas Market is also a great chance to snatch up some homemade and unique gifts for all the people on your holiday shopping list. So why not make it an experience with the entire family and make memories in the process? So head down to Hamilton street and make the most of this chance to snack, shop and have tons of family fun.

Back to School Shopping!

Children are buzzing with the thought of heading back to school – excited to see old friends and show off their new look. As the anticipation builds, and before you head over to the mall, mother of four and stylist, Christine Dovey, would like to share a few tips to make back to school shopping fun for all and budget friendly.

Go with versatility. Regardless of your child’s personal style, every wardrobe should include staple items that can be worn multiple ways. While shopping, invest in timeless pieces such as a well-fit pair of jeans. Once the base of your child’s outfit has been cemented, you can jazz things up with some fun, less expensive, accessories.

Shop where there’s variety. The mall is your one-stop-shop for back to school shopping. Not only is shopping at the mall convenient, but it is full of style inspiration for you and your child. Shop the sales and compare retailers to get the best value for your money. Visit cfshops.ca to find out what stores are available at Pacific Centre and Richmond Centre to plan your trip and make your back to school shopping day an exciting experience.

See what you already have. Before heading out to shop, scan through your child’s closet to see what they already own. Many items, especially versatile staples, can be incorporated into a new wardrobe keeping things budget friendly yet still fresh. Not everything worn during week one of the school year needs to be hot off the rack.

Finally, if there is one true rule to back to school shopping, it is to let your child be themselves. Your child is the best judge of his or her own personal style – embrace what is new and exciting!

Christine Dovey is a published stylist, decorator, and artist whose signature aesthetic can best be described as a blushy cocktail of delicate pretty mixed with a dash of modern edge. When she’s not immersed in writing her blog, creating design plans, or covered in paint, Christine spends her days in Oakville, Ontario with her husband Ian and children Natasha, Scarlett, Malcolm, and Jasper.B

Back to School Shopping!

imageWe know getting ready for school can be exciting, overwhelming or downright terrifying – so we’ve enlisted Shopping Editor and mom of two, Liv Judd Soye, to share her ABC’s of back-to-school shopping that will make getting dressed in the morning a breeze.

ATTITUDE, ACCESSORIES & AFFORDABLILTY
Let your kids pick clothes that speak to who they are as individuals. Giving them ownership over their style makes getting dressed more fun and seriously cuts down on morning tantrums.

There’s no better way to spice up an outfit than with accessories. From socks to hats to headbands, accessories are an easy way to add personality (or change personality!) without breaking the bank.

BASICS, BALANCE
Be sure to stock up on lots of basic essentials – long sleeved T’s, leggings and hoodies will be worn over and over. Never skimp on quality, instead, find a brand you trust to provide quality craftsmanship that you know will last.

Strike a balance between solid basics and matching sets to maximize the number of outfits you and your child can mix and match and turn getting dressed into a fun morning game.

COMFORT, CLASSIC & CARTER’S | OSHKOSH
Back-to-school clothes should be comfortable and durable so your kid can focus on being a kid: running around, exploring the world and learning their ABC’s. Jeggings are great pieces to mix and match and offer flexibility for wiggly little bodies on the move.

There’s a reason something becomes classic – that perfect pair of OshKosh overalls, for example, will never go out of style. A preppy stripe or khaki pants will always look fashionably chic. And while your child might out grown their clothes before we get to “Z,” quality classics are the best hand-me-downs.

Function Over Fussy – Story of Peekaboo Beans

When Traci became a new mom, although everything was new and exciting, she questioned the functionality of her daughter’s clothing. As they prepared for daily adventures, she wondered why her daughter’s clothes, although cute, didn’t seem to accommodate the curious way the girl moved, explored, and fundamentally played.

Traci then considered how the clothes functioned for her – a growing, raring-to-go, child. Was she comfortable? Could she move and play the way her mind and body wanted to? As she grew, Traci watched her daughter wrestle with buttons, snaps and zippers as she independently tried to get her clothes on and off. Surely clothing shouldn’t prevent her from feeling a sense of independence or pride.

Musing with the difficulties she saw in her daughter’s clothing, Traci envisioned a brand of clothing where the fabric was soft, high quality, and durable. She pictured removable labels and flatlock stitching to take away itches and irritation, an a-line shape that made room for Buddah bellies, and styles that adapted to those unpredictable growth spurts and of course, pre-shrunk fabrics.

The wish list for perfect children’s clothing grew and ideas flourished. Why not take the laces out of hoodies to remove hazards on the playground? Add chin guards for zippers so they don’t pinch those precious faces and thumb holes to keep sleeves from bunching up? All of these considerations of children and attention to detail soon meant that Peekaboo Beans was born.

Today, the company thrives making the best children’s clothing that will last, be comfortable and inspire your little beans to play!

Traci Costa founded Peekaboo Beans, Playwear For Kids On the Grow, in 2006. Traci is on the Board of Directors of Playground Builders, was a Top 40 under 40 recipient in 2010, and has worked with the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and the Women Enterprise Network, as a mentor and committee member. She is the winner of the 2015 Ethel Tibbits Women of Distinction Business Award.

Understanding Toys by Age Group

Guest post by Joanna at Granville Island Toy Company

When babies make their entrance into the world, they aren’t able to do much for the first 3 months. At this stage, vision is blurry so bright bold patterns are best as well as black and white images. As the baby grows, toys that stimulate other senses are good such as squeaking or crinkling noise toys, toys that have texture, and toys that are soft and cuddly. Toys that can help relieve teething pain, such as teethers are great too!

As babies near their first birthday, it’s all about cause and effect. At this stage toddlers begin to make use of their newly acquired motor skills. In this instance, toys like stacking rings, nesting boxes, push or pull toys that make noise or have pieces that pop up and move are great. Four or five piece puzzles can help those little motor skills develop too.

There’s no such thing as the “terrible two’s” in our book. We like to call it the “independent twos” as these older toddlers like to imitate the actions of the grown-ups around them. Props for make-believe play such as toy telephones, tea-party sets and dolls that make-real life sounds are great. Self-propelled ride-on toys make a nice introduction at this stage as well.

By the time a child reaches 4 to 5 years of age, their learning ability increases dramatically. This is a great time to introduce interactive educational toys that teach math, verbal and social skills. Once a child turns 6 or 7 years old, it’s a lot easier to see what their own interests are. Some kids love doing science experiments (with a parent’s help), building things (lego) while others love arts and crafts.

At 8 years and older, many kids develop adult-like interests, abilities and hobbies and may even display a passion by becoming a collector. These are great years to help kids build a sense of mastery and competence. Kids also like working on longer projects, some of which may take days to complete. It’s also a great time to introduce board games that the whole family can get involved in playing.

For tons of amazing toy options, check out the Granville Island Toy Company. Don’t miss the grand opening, Saturday May 23rd, 2015 from 12 – 6pm at their new Marpole location (8710 Granville Street). There will be prizes, face painting, a gift with purchase, pinwheel discounts, and more!