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Category Archives: Newsletter

  1. Mamapicks Newsletter, January 2011

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this month. Check out the website for daily finds!

    Win 4 Tickets to Monster Jam!

    Peachybuy.com does it again by giving Mamapicks more tickets to give away!  Top trucks from the Monster Jam series will entertain fans with jumps, stunts and thrills. Congratulations to Jessica who won the family tickets to Disney on Ice last week.  Who will be this week’s winner?

    For those of you who don’t know, Peachy Buy is an amazing group buying deal site which is specially geared to moms. From savings on theatre tickets, admission to family attractions, camps, tutoring, baby and kid’s products, and more…the opportunities to save money on PeachyBuy.com are endless!

    Today, Peachy Buy is offering Mamapicks readers the chance to win 4 tickets to Monster Jam at the Rogers Centre for the Sunday January 23rd, 2pm show.  Here’s how you win:

    1.  Go to PeachyBuy.com and subscribe to their daily deal.

    2.  Become a fan on their Facebook fan page.

    3.  Tell me who you are going to take with you if you win.

    The 10th person to write to me will be the happy winner!

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    YUM…

    This makes for a great impromptu gift for a teacher, doctor, friend…when you quite suddenly feel the urge to show someone that you really appreciate them.

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    Fantasy Fair Family Pass

    Only 3 days left to take advantage of this deal on WagJag.  It is a $35 saving and makes for a great family outing.

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    Rating Movies with Kids in Mind

    My kids have gone to a couple of movies for toddlers (where have those gone?)…but they have never seen a real movie in full at the theatre.  I was thinking about Yogi Bear and Tangled for next weekend but need to be very careful.  My kids are easily frightened.  Disney on Ice was very scary for them.  The Boy still shakes when he sees Swiper on Dora and he is almost 5 yrs. old.

    I found this great website (www.kids-in-mind.com) that gives parents ample relevant info about current movies so that we all can determine if a movie is appropriate for OUR kids, not someone else’s.  The website does not  assign an inscrutable rating based on age but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY,VIOLENCE/GORE &PROFANITY, on a scale of 0 to 10, and they explain why a film rates high or low in a specific category. Also, instances of substance abuse are included in the review as well as a list of discussion topics that may elicit questions from children.

    Amazing!

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    PC $20 Coupon

    Click on the coupon and scroll down to read the instructions.  Basically, you must submit a receipt from Loblaws or an affiliated supermarket.  Very easy to get to $60 with Pampers and Tide on the list!  Expires Jan. 31st.

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    High ratings for IKEA highchair!

    Yes,  I too went for the deluxe Prima Papa with the first child.  It reclined and had cushions.  Cushions meant creases and the deluxe chair quickly turned into a state-of-the-art petri dish.  I am convinced that SARS may have actually originated in my Prima Papa that year.  Fast forward to Baby #3 and our awesome IKEA chair.  The Baby doesn’t seem uncomfortable and it’s so easy to clean!  It’s compact, comes with a tray and has that modern white look … LOVE IT!  Only $19.99 @ Ikea.

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    There are many more deals, coupons and products featured on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  2. Mamapicks Newsletter, November 2010

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this month. Check out the website for daily finds!

    A Great Product and a Great Giveaway!

    Whenever I want to spend real quality time with my children, we bake together.  There are so many teachable moments in baking and such great conversation, followed by lovely anticipation for that sweet treat at the end.  Baking is especially fun and relaxing when you  are well-organized and have everything prepared…sort of like Martha Stewart.  The reality is that we are often not prepared enough to have a stress free creative activity with our kids.  That is why Mamapicks is really excited about Crafty Cooking Kits that are new to the Canadian market.

    Read more about the Crafty Baking Kit Giveaway!

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    What To Do This Weekend (Nov. 13th & 14th)

    The Babytime Show is on this weekend.  If you are looking for baby gear, this is a great place to see everything.  If however, you are looking for family entertainment, last year there was hardly anything for kids to do (in the past there were lots of things!) and I was annoyed that we paid so much money to get in.  That being said, if you are looking for all of the up-and-coming baby products, it is great to see them all in one place!  Here is a coupon for the show.

    Buskertainment on Yonge St.  If the weather is as mild as it was all week, this could be fun!  New to Winter Magic this year, Buskertainment will run from November 12th through to December 19th.  Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 2pm, walk throughout Downtown Yonge and stumble upon buskers of all kinds.  From caricature artists, to mimes, to stilt walkers, to illusionists – anything you can think of will be there.

    The Bata Shoe Museum is launching their third annual ‘Warm the Sole’ Sock Drive  – bring a new pair of socks to donate and your admission is free! Bring your children aged 3 to 9 over to the Museum to paint a mini-clog, try on shoes, and go on shoe hunt in the galleries.

    Miss Spider is playing at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga.

    Check out more great weekend events on www.mamapicks.com

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    30% off at the Gap!

    Print your coupon here.

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    Eynat Don Photography & Mamapicks Exclusive

    Eynat Don is the incredible photographer of the above photos.  I met her this past Spring when she invited me over for tea and a shoot of myself and my newborn baby boy.  I was thrilled because I didn’t have any professional photos of my other kids when they were infants…and I was already well aware of how those precious few months of infancy go by in a blink.

    Eynat’s studio is in her home and she works wonders there,  capturing spontaneous moments that are intimate and so real – you can almost relive them.  Isn’t that what good photos are all about?  She made me feel comfortable and I fell in love instantly with her warm and quirky personality.  She was 9 months pregnant then and climbing chairs and tables…anything for a good shot.

    Read more…

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    Joe Fresh Coupons

    3 great coupons to print!

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    Best Resorts for Families!

    A great list put together by vacationstogo.com!

    In Jamaica, Franklyn D. Resort was made for families with young children. Guests are assigned a “vacation nanny” who will look after the kids. This service is complimentary from 9 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. and evening babysitting is available for a fee of $6 per hour.

    The Beaches resorts in Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos also are designed to please young guests. Little ones can meet favorite Sesame Street characters and older kids can join scavenger hunts, hang out at the soda bars, play Xbox games or enjoy karaoke nights at their own club. There’s also a nursery for tots up to 23 months old.

    Read the rest of the list…

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    There are many more deals, coupons and products featured on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  3. Mamapicks Newsletter, September 2010

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this month. Check out the website for daily finds!


    The Body Health Spa

    Hairless.  Can you imagine a summer without a razor or waxing appointment?  Sounds like complete freedom to me.  This mama has taken the plunge and started IPL hair removal.  As always, I ask friends, do some research and all this brought me to The Body Health Spa and Treatment Centre.  It is not a regular relaxation spa, it is a centre that offers a wide selection of non-surgical treatments for both men and woman of all ages.  These include special facials, cellulite treatments, body wraps….and of course, IPL hair removal.

    The spa is new, immaculate and relaxing with knowledgeable and friendly staff.  Upstairs you will see a teaching area – the fact that this spa trains staff from other spas made me feel really good 🙂   The technician  took the time to explain all of the details of the treatment to me with great patience.  The treatment itself was PAINLESS.  It is difficult for me to explain the sensation but there was definitely no pain involved (believe me, I was ready for pain and was even told by friends  to use skin numbing cream!).

    I can’t wait for my next session and to be hairless by next summer.  Prices are really reasonable and Mamapicks readers receive an additional 20% off!

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    What To Do This Weekend (Sept. 18th & 19th)

    Enjoy the 54th Annual Pioneer Village Festival on Saturday (10am-5pm).  Check here for activity schedule!

    Visit Pumpkinland at Whittamore’s Farm.  Enjoy the best fall time entertainment around as Farmer Frank shoots and catapults pumpkins to unbelievable lengths at the Pumpkin Cannon Show, which runs several times each weekend day.  Kids will love the two-storey Tree Fort and Slide, along with the NEW Farm Bouncer, Tractor Track, Spider Web Tire Climb and so much more…

    The Harvest Moon Festival will take place at the ROM.  This Asian festival celebrates the harvest moon and includes stories and crafts.  Click here for the event schedule.

    You know I am a sucker for art festivals…kids love them too. Queen West Art Crawl is taking place this weekend.  More than 500 artists will exhibit their work in locations along Queen Street West from Bathurst to Roncesvalles. Parks, galleries, cafes, retail and design shops and studios will be getting into the act with art exhibitions and activities.

    Check out more great weekend events on www.mamapicks.com

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    Nesting Blocks from Mastermind Toys

    Nesting Blocks are an absolute must-have!  Perfect for a one-year-old’s birthday…and will still be a hit when they are three.  Kids love building towers and this set in particular is beautiful.  Get there early on Saturday before they run out!  Click on the coupon to print your copy.

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    Old Navy 30% off coupon

    Use this coupon ON TOP of the existing 30% off sale that is currently on at Old Navy until Sept. 23rd.  Coupon can be used for one item.

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    Slow Cooking!

    Just in time for the new school year, your best investment will be a slow cooker.  I bought one 6 years ago and it sat in a box in the garage and thankfully, Sears wouldn’t take it back.  Last year, I opened the box and started slow cooking.  I must say that nothing feels better than throwing together a few ingredients in the morning and having a savoury dinner ready by the afternoon with no work in between.  Nothing.

    For a great recipe and slow cooking websites, read more…

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    Let’s shop like our American friends…

    My American friends don’t remember what it’s like to shop at a store.  They order everything online and return most of it too.  With free shipping and returns, I can see the convenience.  Now available in Canada for Gap, Old Navy & Banana Republic.

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    There are many more deals, coupons and products featured on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  4. Mamapicks Newsletter – Aug. 19th, 2010

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this month. Check out the website for daily finds!

    Incredible Picnic Blanket

    One of the best gifts I ever received with my first baby (The Boy), is still in use today and is so great for summer excursions.  It is the Tuffo Water Resistant Outdoor Blanket with case.  It is gorgeous, functional and comfortable.  Perfect size.  It even comes with us on the plane…to pad the airplane floor the kids sleep on.  For trips to the park and to the lake, we love our picnic blanket.  The only drawback is that you have to fold it a certain way for it to fit back in the case.
    Different patterns available at the Safety Superstore ($44.95).  Makes for the PERFECT shower/new baby gift.  Available through Amazon.com for those of you who frequent the US for $32.99.

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    What To Do This Weekend (Aug. 21st & 22nd)

    Friday to Sunday, visit the Shops at Don Mills presents another Festival in the Square, this time with Latin flair. Come and experience this free street party celebrating Ontario’s Latin cultures with live passionate musical performances on our main stage, salsa dance lessons, children’s activities, and delicious Latin food such as Colombian paella and the ever popular Mexican Tacos!  The great thing about this outdoor mall is that it is beautiful, you can pretend that you are in Los Angeles and there is a water fountain/splash area where kids can play!  Bring towels and extra clothes…and please don’t forget to visit Anthropologie, the greatest store in the universe.

    Join the walk or family carnival & BBQ with Labour of Love: Walk for Women & Babies on Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 9 a.m.  The Women & Babies Program at Sunnybrook is moving from Women’s College Hospital to its new, state-of-the-art home at Sunnybrook’s Bayview campus!  After the walk, go to the McLean House Park for a barbecue and family-themed carnival. If you can’t make it to the walk you may attend the carnival by making a donation on the day of the event. At the carnival kids can play games, dance, jump on bouncy castles, watch magicians, have their face painted, create crafts and much more!  The website says that there will also be a Barney concert.

    Two weekends left to enjoy free programming at heritage sites such as Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum, and Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre. Programming at the sites features music, drama, crafts for kids, heritage recipes to taste and other fun for the entire family.

    Check out more great weekend events on www.mamapicks.com

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    Cootie Catchers for a rainy day…

    Draw! Pilgrim is a great blog that I like to frequent!  Making and playing with this Cootie Catcher will keep them busy in these final days of summer…  Print the template here.  See instructions there.  Thank you to Draw! Pilgrim for sharing this downloadable treat!

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    Gymboree Friends & Family Sale

    Valid now through August 22nd.  Click to print your copy!  Sale is on everything…time to stock up for the new school year.

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    Making life a little less hairy…

    I first heard about Haircuts on Wheels shortly after having The Baby.  The Girl & The Boy needed haircuts and nothing seemed more daunting (and annoying) than getting them all in the car on time, waiting for the hair dresser (because let’s face it, we always have to wait), keeping one kid busy while the other is getting the haircut…and intermittently nursing an infant.

    I called Kimberly and set up an appointment (I also rescheduled a couple of times which didn’t phase her because she is a mom and knows what it’s all about).  She arrived on a sunny afternoon with a huge smile and it was like Mary Poppins landed in my house.  Read more…

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    Gogog’s Crazy Bones Series II

    Mamapicks feels a little silly that she didn’t know about Gogo’s Crazy Bones.   But now she does and everything is ok.  If your kids are crazy about them, you can pre-order series II and get $10 off a box of 30 flow packs at Indigo.ca.

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    There are many more deals, coupons and products featured on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  5. Mamapicks Newsletter – June 10th, 2010

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

    The Mamapicks Newsletter is BACK

    Thank you to all my loyal readers for your patience during my little hiatus.  The Baby is a plump and sweet 3-month-old.  Whoever said that adding a third child to the family is easier than adding the second?   And thus, the Mamapicks newsletter will now be a monthly feature.

    Stay up-to-date with Facebook updates by becoming a fan, and be sure to check the website daily for deals and other goodies!

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    What To Do This Weekend (Feb. 27th & 28th)

    Woofstock! Join thousands of dog lovers and their four-footed friends at the largest outdoor festival for dogs in all of North America.   Woofstock is a free admission non-stop party that takes place at the historic St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood.  Sat & Sun. 10am-6pm.   If you want to punish me, take me to this event and put me next to a drooling dog with quivering black gums.  I dislike all dogs….oh well.

    The Spellbinding Science of Perception @ The Science Centre
    This is one of a number of new summer programs at the museum.  This workshop will demonstrate how science is key to understanding what’s going on in a magic show.  Visitors will witness, learn and practice simple close-up magic, based on math and psychology principles.
    Sundays in July ( July 4, 11, 18, 25) in the Weston Family Innovation Centre, Level 6.  Three workshops daily at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and 3:00 pm.

    Strawberry Picking at Whittamore Farm will start this coming Saturday, June 12th.  They are plump and juicy!  They should last for 4 weeks and are $ 1.90 per pound.  You can bring your own containers or we will sell containers on the farm.  Always call our Crop Report at 905-294-3275 or visit the website’s Crack of Dawn Report before heading out to the farm.

    Jack & the Beanstalk is playing at Solar Stage Theatre (Yonge & Sheppard).  If the forecast still shows rain, a play might be a great choice.

    Check out more great weekend events on www.mamapicks.com

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    Teacher Gifts

    In December, I surveyed teachers about their favourite gifts.  The winners were gift certificates to malls and spas as well as personalized stationary.  Losers were soaps, candles and chocolates…

    Two personalized notepads from Honey Bunch are currently $23 for the pair and ship in 2 days.  Each pad contains 40 sheets.  Order this week and receive a furochic wrapping cloth for free.  Simply enter the code furochic at checkout.  What’s that?  It’s a cloth you use for wrapping gifts instead of paper.  Don’t worry, I didn’t know either!

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    Get organized for camp…

    Mamapicks loves Mabel’s Labels!  You can label everything from shoes to clothes with your child’s name.  Very important if your child is going to camp soon.  Enjoy 15% off your order with coupon code KIDS.

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    Lickety Sips

    While I was at Walmart buying 20 boxes of diapers last week, I came across these popsicle molds in the “patio dish” aisle.  There are a few great things about these…the lids close properly, it’s a great way to get vitamins into your kids by using real fruit juice, AND near the end when popsicles get all melty, your kid can simply use the straw to slurp the mess away.  Only $2.47 for a set of 4.  If you have any great home-made popsicle recipes, do tell and I will share them here.

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    Father’s Day Gift Idea

    This is a personalized hand-stamped golf marker set which could be perfect for the dad in your family.  It’s my daily Etsy find.  However, I have to admit that I don’t know what the hell a golf marker is.

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    There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  6. Mamapicks Newsletter – Feb. 24th, 2010

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

    DIY CD Case Project

    Loved this idea of using plastic CD cases to display a favourite photo.  Check out the Country Living website for more details on how to do this yourself.

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    What To Do This Weekend (Feb. 27th & 28th)

    Toons for Toddlers is a great family cinema experience for little ones (ages 2-5).  Enjoy reduced sound, better lighting and special features.  $5 pp.  This weekend, see In The Night Garden – Fun in the Garden.  For details about various times and locations, check the website.

    Saturday is opening day for the new Bat Cave a the ROM.  Bigger, better, scarier.  Families will be able to view more bats and highlights include an audio-visual show that explores cave formation, how bats use echolocation and more, and a spectacular dramatization of bats in flight during a nightly exodus for food.

    If your kids are into trains, there is a great opportunity to see the Model Railroad Show at the Model Railroad Club (in Liberty Village) on Sunday, Feb. 28th.

    Something to do at home?  Bake cookies with your kids…  always fun, quality time!

    Check out more great weekend events on www.mamapicks.com

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    New To This World

    Love this fine art print, personalized for a newborn.  Created by an Australian designer (Freya Art & Design)…found on Etsy, of course.

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    Free Weekly Meal Plans

    What’s for dinner?  Ugh.  It’s not about whether you love to cook…it’s about being organized.  I do like to cook but figuring out what to prepare every day and making sure that the ingredients are in the house overwhelms me sometimes. Not to mention that I prepare separate dinners for my husband (who is a carnivore) and my kids (who have the pickiest palates).

    I have been using Wovenfare’s free weekly meal plans for quite a while now and I love the great recipe ideas and the weekly grocery list.  I don’t normally use the whole plan, but pick and choose the recipes that appeal to us.  I am going to start publishing their dinner ideas right here on Mamapicks every Thursday.

    Here are this past week’s recipes:

    Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Cilantro Beef Meatballs with Sour Cream Sauce, Roasted Salmon with Butter, Dill and Garlic, German Style Pork Steak with Red Cabbage, Mediterranean Pizza, Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard.

    Bon Apetit!

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    Time to replace your pots & pans?

    My mom recently got it into my head after pointing out that some of my pans were scratched and that Teflon is hazardous.  I am not much of a “green” mama so I am no expert on this kind of stuff.  Sometimes I even question recycling because I do want the weather to get warmer, I really, truly do.  However, the thought of Teflon in my kids’ scrambled eggs freaked me out.  I was on the lookout for a new set and found this great deal on Sears.ca.  Save $400 on this Henckel’s 10-piece set of pots & pans.  Regularly priced at $599.   Available for $199 until Feb. 26th.

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    Best of 2009 Series: Tree House Beds

    I think I need to start a new category.  Things I want but can’t have.  These amazingly-amazing loft beds are from a Danish company called Kids Factory.  Their site is in Danish with no English options but I can tell you in very plain English that these tree-house beds are very expensive and that shipping would be a bitch.

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    There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  7. Mamapicks Newsletter – Feb. 17th, 2010

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

    fonts

    Turn your child’s handwriting into a font!

    The Boy is now writing.  He mostly writes lists of the names of the kids in his class.  He often makes a dotted outline of a letter for himself (just like on the worksheets at school) and then goes over the dots.  It’s quite charming.  I recently thought about capturing his handwriting style as it develops over the next few years and decided to look for a way to create a font for my computer called The Boy.  I found a website which generates personal fonts.  All you have to do is give your child (or anybody else you want to create a font for) the printable sheet to fill out the letters of the alphabet.  Then, you scan the sheet and the program generates the font for you.  This costs $9.95.  Click here to try it, it’s quite simple…and it’s a really nice way of saving your child’s handwriting, using it for various projects, and sharing it with them when they are older.

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    What To Do This Weekend (Feb. 20th & 21st)

    I am happy to report that a 90,000 sq. ft. INDOOR BIKE PARK recently opened in Markham!  There are designated areas for all skill levels.  You can bring your own bikes or rent equipment on site.  Doesn’t this sound like fun??  Check out the website for more information.  If you go, let me know what you think!

    The Wave Pool (Richmond Hill) is a fun outing!  Keep the family active and healthy.

    Woodbine Fantasy Fair at Woodbine Mall is a great indoor treat for the kids.  This is Ontario’s largest indoor amusement park and kids just love it.

    Check out more great weekend events on www.mamapicks.com

    Asian Girl

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    Free Movie Tickets

    This coming weekend, get 2 free Cineplex entertainment tickets with a $75 spend at Shoppers Drugmart.

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    Bath For Baby

    We are slowly bringing out the equipment for Baby #3 and I am reminded of my favourite products for newborns.  This bath with a stand that folds, can be easily transferred from one place to another and folds up nicely.  It removes the need for a spacious counter or kneeling over the big bath.  To drain the bath, my father-in-law bought a long and flexible plastic tube from Home Depot and attached it to the draining hole of the baby tub.  Something that never occurred to us!  I think we were quite prepared to lift and throw out the water daily…thank goodness for grandparents.  As far as I know, this model is only available at Dearborn Baby.

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    Tiny Love Toy Recall

    Last week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with Tiny Love, announced a voluntary recall of the the company’s wind chime toys. Consumers should stop using the recalled products immediately.  Please note that the image above is only one of a variety of toys recalled/ If the toys break apart, metal rods are exposed which pose a danger to infants and kids.  For more information, please see the Health Canada advisory.  To get a replacement toy, call Tiny Love at 1-888-791-8166.

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    Best of 2009 Series: Table Playhouses

    We celebrated our anniversary this weekend trying to enjoy brunch with the family.  Five adults, two kids.  No one sat for more than five minutes at a time as we all tried to mind my children and have a meal.  At one point, the kids were playing ever so quietly under the table and we all managed to have a conversation.  I thought to myself…wouldn’t it be nice if a family friendly restaurant designed tables that are like playhouses?  Parents sit and eat, kids play underneath.  While there is no such restaurant (anyone??), I did find someone who makes such playhouses!  Miss Pretty Pretty can create a playhouse to fit any size table.  Many playhouse themes available (such as the CupCakery, Royal Castle or Farm) and custom orders are always welcome.  Playhouses range $90 – $150 US.

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    There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  8. Mamapicks Newsletter – Feb. 10th, 2010

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

    Sippy Bowls

    After seeing these bowls at a friend’s house, I couldn’t help but fantasize about my kids eating their cereal and then sipping up all the milk.  I looked everywhere and couldn’t find them.  I am even on a waiting list at Cayne’s.  Today, by chance, I found them at Walmart (Thornhill location) for $2 a bowl!  Don’t look for them in the baby/kid section…look for them somewhere much more obvious…at the edge of the bedding aisle where tons of (Dora adorned) sippy cups, plates and cups lie waiting.

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    What To Do This Weekend (Feb. 13th & 14th)

    Ummm…this one sounds like the weekend winner for our family  – Toronto’s Kids-fest, Canada’s largest indoor inflatables show.  Located at the International Centre in Mississauga and open Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  The $8 admission (for ages 2+)  includes three stage shows.  In order to enjoy the inflatables, you must purchase a ride bracelet for an additional $15.  A little steep.  Click here for location and hours of operation.

    I am happy to report that a 90,000 sq. ft. INDOOR BIKE PARK recently opened in Markham!  There are designated areas for all skill levels.  You can bring your own bikes or rent equipment on site.  Doesn’t this sound like fun??  Check out the website for more information.  The place is open on Family Day.

    Little House on the Prairie is playing at the Canon Theatre until Feb. 28th.  This was my favourite show as a kid and I can still hear the end-of-show music in my head has the Ingles girls run down that green hill.  Thank goodness you can’t hear me now.

    Check out more great weekend events on www.mamapicks.com

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    chapters25

    25% off @ Chapters/Indigo/Coles

    Click on the coupon to print.  Valid until Feb. 14th.

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    Paper Lanterns

    These paper lanterns are surprisingly simple to make!  Even if you don’t celebrate Chinese New Year this weekend, I think they make for a fun project on a cold day.  All you need is paper (shiny is nice but not a must!) and fasteners.  Click here for detailed instructions.  This idea comes from a newsletter that I really love and receive weekly in my Inbox.  Kids Craft Weekly provides you with great ideas and simple projects that you can make at home with your kids..and it’s free.

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    Etsy Find:  Custom Stamps

    From an adorable Etsy shop called Craft Pudding (gotta love the name!), come these amazing custom stamps for girls and boys.  What kid wouldn’t love their own stamp?  You know those hard-to-shop-for 9-11 year olds?  This might be a great birthday gift for one of those…  Mention that you heard about it through Mamapicks in the ‘notes to seller’, and receive a free surprise little stamp along with your order.

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    Best of 2009 Series: Love This Shelf!

    This shelf caught my eye today.  It is called The Toy & Crayon Shelf and it’s made by a sleek Spanish furniture company called Nine To Nine.  The neat thing about the shelf is that it comes with ready made holes for those stuffed animal legs.  Isn’t it an adorable idea?  So…I was thinking…you can buy an IKEA Lack shelf for not-so-much and drill big holes in it.   And VOILA!  You’ve got yourself an awesome shelf for your nursery.   If any handy mama/papa takes this project on, be sure to send me a photo.

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    There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  9. Mamapicks Newsletter – Feb. 3rd, 2010

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

    Printable Birthday Invitations

    I know, invitations are something you might not want to invest in…but what about $10 for a package that includes as many as you need as well as a whole bunch of other stuff?    That’s the idea behind purchasing a printable birthday package from Happy Papers.  They do the art and you do the printing!  A birthday set includes invitations, circular labels, rectangular labels and tags.  A non-personalized birthday package costs only $5.  Receive the PDF file in your inbox and print as many as you like.

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    What To Do This Weekend (Feb. 6th & 7th)

    The City of Vaughan’s 21st annual Winterfest (Sunday, Feb. 7th, 10:30am-3pm, Vellore Village Community Centre) will feature the following family events:

    • Free Kidz Zone with rides and a really nice selection of activities (all day)
    • A special story telling concert by Robert Munsch on the outdoor (what??) Tim Horton’s stage @ 11am.
    • A tribute to Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus (1:30pm & 2:30pm)
    • Autograph signing session with Maple Leaf’s goalie, Jonas Gustavsson (2pm)
    • Meet & Greet Sesame Street characters (10:30, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm)

    Admission is free.  Click here for the Winterfest brochure and see more about the Kidz Zone offerings.

    Check out more great weekend events on www.mamapicks.com

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    Hyper Parents & Coddled Kids

    There is a CBC documentary that may be of interest to you coming up on Feb. 4th @ 9pm on CBC-TV.  Hyper Parents and Coddled Kids explores the parenting trend termed over-parenting and its impact on children.  I’ll be setting my PVR, which by the way, has changed my life almost as much as my children have.

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    Valentine’s Day Craft

    Martha has done it again.  Check out this cute DIY card for Valentine’s Day.  Click here for more information.

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    Two Great Family Shows Coming Up…

    I didn’t know anything about the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga until Chantal Kreviazuk performed there a few years back and we went to see her intimate show (it was amazing).  The Living Arts Centre is a place where community members of all ages come to delve in arts related courses, programs and entertainment.  It’s like a super-high-class community centre.

    The Living Arts Centre’s Wiggle Club, showcases great performances for kids.  There are two coming up in March that you may want to buy tickets for:

    • Robert Munsch (1pm & 4pm , March 17th)  Tickets are $20-$30.
    • Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny (March 28th, 3pm) Tickets are $15-$25

    Click here to find out more information about these and upcoming shows at this venue.  To buy tickets offline, call the box office @ 1-888-805-8888

    I think show tickets are an amazing birthday gift for a child and accompanying adult if you are looking for an original gift .  If your own child is celebrating a birthday in March and you want to do something unique, you can have the birthday as part of the above performances…  Call 905-306-6158 for more info on birthdays.

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    Best of 2009 Series: 31 Awesome Cake Ideas

    My husband and I always (well, we’ve only had kids for three years…) liked to create our children’s birthday cakes from scratch.  It’s a fun project to do together.  The Boy’s cakes have always been based on a story that he loves like The Very Hungry Caterpillar.    See the unbelievable ideas in this Parenting showcase of 31 cakes. I like the detailed explanations on the photos of the cakes that reveal their nifty tricks.  You’ll need to scroll down for those!

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    There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  10. Mamapicks Newsletter – Jan. 27th, 2010

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

    Special Promotion: Alphabet Prints

    These gorgeous alphabet prints by Penny People Designs are the type of find that I want to share and keep to myself all at the same time.  My son has one in his room and I can’t help but admire it every time I see it.  I love the concept, the colours and of course…I am 100% into anything personalized (in case you haven’t noticed). The prints come in two sizes and fit into an IKEA  Ribba frame which makes framing so simple.

    Lindsay, the talented Toronto-based designer of the prints, just sent me information about an amazing promotion.  For every 13×19 print that you buy, you will get one free.  That’s a $25 saving!  Shipping is $13, but will include as many prints as you like.  To take advantage of this promotion, go to the online store and only place in your cart, the amount of prints you would like to buy.  Upon checkout, enter the promotion “Buy1 Get 1 free” in the notes to seller, as well as information about how you would like to personalize your free print(s).  This promotion runs until Feb. 3rd, 2010.  Please note that everything on Etsy is in US funds.

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    What To Do This Weekend (Jan 30th & 31st)

    Wintercity Festival takes place this weekend and next.  Here are some highlights that are appropriate for kids:

    • The National Film Board of Canada is holding free hands-on animation workshops for Winterfest on Saturday and Sunday (12:30-3pm).  Little filmmakers will learn how to create an animated film using clay, paper and stop-motion techniques. Saturday mornings with a different theme each week! Admission is only $5 per child and the accompanying adult is free.  Register at 416-973-3012
    • Glacialis: The Ice Orchestra – Jesse Stewart creates and plays music on instruments designed and built out of ice!  Performances take place at Nathan Philips Square on Sunday, Jan. 31st at 5, 6, & 7:40pm.
    • Enjoy skating at the outdoor skating rink at Nathan Phillip’s Square.  Skate rentals and indoor change rooms are available.  All kids under 6 need a CSA approved helmet. Rink Hotline: 416-338-RINK (7465)
    • Winter Carnival takes place from at the square 4-8pm (Sunday) with traditional winter carnival games, circus acts and family entertainment.

    Thinking about registering your kids to camp this summer?  This Sunday (1-4pm), go to the OCA 2010 Summer Camp Fair – hosted by the Ontario Camps Association, Canada Camps for Parents magazine and The Toronto Star.  The fair takes place at Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel (Leslie & Hwy 7).  More than 30 camps will be on hand to talk to families about summer camp.

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    Moo!

    Those of you who know me, know that one of my favourite finds (ever!) are mini-cards by a printing company called Moo.  They are very sturdy little rectangular cards that you can print anything on.  I print photos of my kids…and Mamapicks business cards.  You can use 100 full colour photos, designs or text to make business cards, mom-calling-cards, or gift tags for only $19.99.  Mini cards can be kept in a sleek plastic mini-card holder which makes for a great gift.  Definitely more original than wallet photos!  Moo makes it easy to create with their friendly interface and great prices.  Get 10% off on your first order with this code until Jan. 31st: RKZCMU

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    Book of the Week (ish)

    There is No Such Place as Far Away is one of my all-time favourite books.  It is a beautiful and timeless keepsake for both adults and kids alike.  The author is Richard Bach, who wrote Love Story.  With beautiful water-colour illustrations throughout, this powerful story chronicles a spiritual journey through storms and mountains, to attend the birthday party of Rae Hansen, a five-year-old girl.  The message is that if you want to be with someone who is important to you, you are already there.  This book is a great gift for a child or adult who is moving away.  It really shows how there is no such place as far away when you are friends.

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    Play-Dough Recipe

    If you are home this weekend and are looking for another way to keep the little ones busy, make your own coloured play-dough!   Give your kids cookie-cutters, a garlic press, toothpicks and other utensils to keep them busy. Put the following ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.

    • two cups white flour
    • ½ cup salt
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
    • ¼ cup cream of tart
    • a drop of food colouring

    Once the mixture is smooth, let it cool and let them play.

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    Best of 2009 Series: The Best Double Stroller

    Two years ago, I was on a mission to find the perfect double stroller for my newborn and 18 month old.  In November, at the Babytimes Baby Show, I finally found it.  I gasped.  How dare they come up with the perfect stroller 2 years too late???

    Introducing the City Select for families on the grow.  Made by Baby Jogger, it is a multi-functional stroller that comes with a frame (like the Bugaboo) which allows parents to mix and match seats, bassinets and car seats in order to customize the stroller.  It easily converts from a single stroller to a double.  Simply snap on a second seat!

    This stroller just came out this month.  Here is a list of retailers that carry the Baby Jogger product line.

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    There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  11. Mamapicks Newsletter – January 20th, 2010

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

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    Great Wolf Lodge

    We recently spent a night with the kids at Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls.  It was our first time there and by far, the best Winter excursion we could have hoped for.  The water park is immense and there is so much to do at the resort for kids of all ages (arcade, playroom, wave pool, slides, etc.).  The staff and service was exceptional.

    The in-house restaurant was a bit bland for us adults but the fact that my 3.5-year- old (picky eater extraordinaire) and my 2-year-old were able to serve themselves at the kiddy buffet with plastic dishes and all the foods a toddler could ever hope for, was a dream.  We took a standard room but got to peak in the other options which offer cool stuff like an in-room cave/tent/log house with bunk beds.  At Great Wolf, they have really thought of everything that families may need.

    There is a 2-day sale on currently.  I found that the best deals are for those who are able to stay Thursday & Friday nights (approx. $150 per night in a standard room and $190 in a specialty room).  The sale ends on Friday at 10am and is valid for bookings from Feb. 1st  – March 11th.  Unfortunately, the sale does not apply to Family Day.  Use Promo Code: MULTIPLE.


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    What To Do This Weekend (Jan 23rd & 24th)

    Enjoy High Park’s Winter Fun Day at Colborne Lodge (Sunday, Jan. 24th, 11am-3pm).  Families can enjoy horse & wagon rides, making snowmen, pulling taffy, roasting marshmallows and more.  Bring your own cup and get free cider.  Activities will take place indoors and outdoors on the Colborne Lodge grounds.

    Want to do something indoors?  How about painting pottery?  Here are a few options: Mess For Fun (Finch & Dufferin), The Glaze Craze (Locations in Thornhill & Brampton), The Clay Room (Danforth & Broadview), Bisque It (Woodbridge), Artistic Way (near Eglinton & Bathurst).

    See Tim Horton’s FREE holiday skating schedule. They currently sponsor these free public skates in many locations all over Ontario.   Check here for locations and schedules.

    There are more ideas and events for the weekend on www.mamapicks.com

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    Costco City Passes

    I’ve decided to re-publish some goodies from 2009.  Even I wish that I remembered this one for our recent trip to California since the entrance to Disneyland is absolute financial suicide.  If your travel plans include a trip to a city in the U.S.A., a Costco city pass is a great money-saver.  Available online for places such as Southern California, New York, Chicago, Boston, and more.  A youth/adult city pass is good for 9-14 days depending on location and gets you in to many of the most popular attractions for less.

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    Etsy Find: Personalized Stickers

    Only $10 for a set of 30 stickers.  Cute, no?  What a great addition to a birthday gift.  There are lots of other silhouettes (for boys & girls) to choose from.  Check out Nella Designs.

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    Toy Recommendation + Sale!

    FantaColor Junior has become a favourite around here.  When kids turn 2, they seem to develop a real passion for sticking pegs into holes.   The FantaColor Junior Basic comes with 48 plastic pegs, a transparent board and 16 different pictures which encourage and help kids apply colour recognition.  I love this toy because it develops so many skills and offers an opportunity for focused, quiet play.  Currently, you will find it on sale for $20.99 (down from $29.99!) at Grand River Toys.  Which brings me to the next point – Grand River Toys is having a huge sale (30-50% off a great selection).  The sale has been extended until Jan. 24th so make your order ASAP.

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    Fairness for the Self Employed Act

    As of January 1, 2010 the Government of Canada has introduced the Fairness for the Self-Employed Act, legislation that would provide all Employment Insurance (EI) special benefits, including maternity, parental, sickness and compassionate care benefits, to self-employed workers.  Find more details here.

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    There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  12. Mamapicks Newsletter – January 13th, 2010

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

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    Displaying Your Kids’ Artwork

    I recently posted some ideas about organizing displaying your kids’ artwork…and just found another idea I want to share.  I think this one is great although it requires a bit more work and possible use of Photoshop.  However, if you do have a photo-printing option at home, you can choose to print out a contact sheet and frame that!  Find more information on the blog of Jen Grant Morris.


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    What To Do This Weekend (Jan 16th & 17th)

    Robert Munsch will be launching his new bookPut Me In a Book’ at Chapters Scarborough on Saturday. For more info, please call 416-335-4311

    Sounds horrible to me, but some of your boys might enjoy seeing the Monster Jam at the Rogers Centre.  Top trucks from the Monster Jam series will entertain fans with unbelievable jumps, and stunts. Expect the unexpected every time the trucks leave the starting line.  Pizza Pizza kids tickets are $15.  Earplugs for children are recommended.  Check Ticketmaster for show times.

    A heads-up since Playhouse Disney Live! On Tour is on stage next weekend (Jan. 23rd-24th).    Let your kids celebrate with their favourite Playhouse Disney pals in this brand new live show which features the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Mickey plans a spectacular music party for all his friends (including  The Little Einsteins, Rocket, Pooh, Tigger and Darby.  Handy Manny and his team of tools find the perfect party beat. Laugh, sing and play along…check here for  ticket information.

    There are more ideas and events for the weekend on www.mamapicks.com

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    Magazine Subscriptions for $1/Month

    Today’s Parent is a great magazine with tons of information about absolutely everything for Toronto parents.  You can get a subscription for this great price through Rogers’ magazine service if you are a Rogers cable, internet or phone customer.  Is there really any choice?  The $1 will be added to your monthly bill and you can cancel at any time.  Check here for more info and the magazine selection for this exclusive offer.  BTW, a subscription to this magazine makes for a great little gift for new parents!

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    15% off at Old Navy

    Valid until Feb. 1st, 2010. Click on the coupon to print your copy.

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    Want-It-Can’t-Have-It

    This is another thing to add to the category “things I want, but can’t have”.  I absolutely love it!  I saw this a little while ago as I was surfing through decor blogs and found it on  The Seventy Tree.

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    Mamapicks Reviews Pinkalicious, The Musical

    Pinkalicious, The Musical is currently playing in the Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts.  Accompanied by The Boy (3.5) and his girlfriend of the same age, we embarked on a first theatre experience on a Saturday morning.  I didn’t know that the book, Pinkalicious, written by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann, was so popular.  We entered the small and intimate theatre to find tons of excited kids (mostly girls) dressed in pink.  I was really pleased that the theatre was small and there were cute carpets on the floor right in front of the stage.  Parents can sit with their kids on the carpet or on the seats behind the carpet area.

    Read More…

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    There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

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    Posted in Newsletter.

  13. Mamapicks Newsletter – January 5th, 2010

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

    winterlicious

    Winterlicious!

    The only thing that can make Winter a little warmer is good food.  Winterlicious is taking place Jan. 29-Feb.11th and it’s time to book your reservations.  Check out this website for a list of restaurants AND menus so that you know exactly what to expect.  In past we’ve had great lunches at Oliver & Bonacini (Bayview Village) and Auberge Du Pommier (Yorkmills & Yonge) but were very disappointed with Centro (Yonge & Eglinton) because of their very skimpy Winterlicious portions.  If you have any recommendations, please let me know!


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    What To Do This Weekend (Jan 2nd & 3rd)

    I love that my kids have some friends who were born in the Winter months.  Four January birthday parties have shaved 8 hours off of our dreadful Winter weekends.  Hurray for winter babies!

    Visit the 52nd Annual Toronto International Boat Show.  There will be an indoor lake, free boat rides and a Kids Boating Zone… all indoors at the Direct Energy Centre.  Kids 16 and under are free.  Saturdays, 10am-7pm and Sundays 10am-6pm, Jan. 9th-17th.

    Visit Fantasy Fair at Woodbine Mall. We spent the day there last weekend and the kids had a great time at the indoor amusement park which is made to look like a Victorian village.  There is an antique style carousel, indoor ferris wheel, bumper boats and cars, express train and more.  There is also a soft play village with 3 levels and lots of slides. Open Sat. & Sun. 11am-7pm and someone just told me that if you come for the last hour, ride tickets are half price.

    Go to The Wave Pool (Richmond Hill) or any other indoor pool.  Keep the family active and healthy.  Send your husband.
    There are more ideas and events for the weekend on www.mamapicks.com

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    iPhone Apps for kids…and parents

    We have all had those moments…when our kids need an instant distraction so that we can get something done.  In an endless line-up at the grocery store or while trying to make an appointment with the doctor, I have been known to shove my iPhone in my toddler’s hands in order to avoid a meltdown (mine).  I have decided to invest ($2) in some iPhone apps that are appropriate for kids and found this website called Tantrum Apps.  Don’t you love the name?  On this site you will find a number of quiz and sound applications that are bound to save you!  I really liked the animal sounds app…

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    15% off at the Gap

    Valid until Feb. 1st, 2010.  Click on the coupon to print your copy.

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    Entertainment Book Promotion

    A reader e-mailed me about this great deal for the Toronto Entertainment Book.  $19.99 + Free Shipping (down from $35).  You can order and view the coupons on this website.  Purchase a second book for only $15 – maybe you have a friend who would want one too.

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    The Cheesecake Factory

    Following a recent visit to Los Angeles and four meals at The Cheesecake Factory, I decided that Canada is still missing one very important thing…this amazing restaurant.  If you are fans like me, you’ll be happy to get the (secret) recipe of their most popular dish, Chicken Madeira.  Check it out on www.mamapicks.com.

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    There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  14. Mamapicks Newsletter – Dec.30th, 2009

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

    Canada’s Wonderland Promotion!

    I know it’s hard to think about Wonderland when it’s so cold outside… but there is only one week left to take advantage of this great offer.  You can renew your passes for 2010 for $59.99 or buy new passes for $64.99.  This is about a  $25 saving per pass!  This deal is only available until Jan. 6th, 2010 and Wonderland also allows you to buy now and pay on March 1st, 2010 for no additional charge.  Next year, Planet Snoopy will open which will offer another 2 rides and a show suitable for little ones.


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    What To Do This Weekend (Jan 2nd & 3rd)

    Niagara Falls offers its 27th annual Winter Festival of Lights and the new Rink at the Brink (until Jan. 4th).  They say it’s sort of like the rink at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City but even more dramatic, since it offers breathtaking views of the Falls.  The light festival offers over 125 animated lighting displays and 3 million tree and ground lights which can be seen within the Niagara Parks Winter Wonderland, including the world-famous Enchantment of Disney® displays and the world’s largest illuminated Canadian-American Flag.  The Rink at the Brink offers paid admission recreational ice skating, skate, helmet and locker rentals.

    Solar Stage Theatre ( Yonge & Sheppard) presents Cinderella for ages 3-10 on Saturday.  The theatre is small and intimate and I liked how all the kids sat on pillows.  My own kids were unable to sit through a show (we went to see one a couple of months ago) but maybe yours are more into theatre…

    Visit the Ontario Science Centre for an OMNIMAX FilmThe Light Before Christmas is an animated tale where two kids are magically transported into a fantasy world complete with Santa and his full team of reindeer.  Other interesting options are The Human Body and Under The Sea.

    There are more ideas and events for the weekend on www.mamapicks.com

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    Kissable

    Nothing more scrumptious than a really good lip balm/gloss in December.  Soft, refreshing and kissable.  If the wind is howling and your hair gets stuck to your lips, you know you need to keep looking.  I was in Los Angeles last week and stocked up on anti-bacterial soap at Bath & Body Works.  Yes, I know we have this chain in Canada now but “3 for $10” sounds so much better than “5 for $20”.  I decided to try the Mint Lip Tint and Mint Lip Buffer and fell in love with both products.  Highly recommended!

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    Great Coupons!

    I was surprised to find that the Help! We’ve Got Kids website (the book is a great resource for Toronto parents) has about 60 printable coupons for places like Melon Head, Olly Shoes, The Shoe Company, and many indoor playgrounds that might come in handy this week.  Enjoy!

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    Chapters.Indigo

    This sale is valid Dec. 26th – Jan. 3rd and applies to regularly priced books.  Includes the kids’ selection too!

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    Happy New Year!

    These is a collage of my Facebook statuses from 2009.  If you want to make your own, go to this nifty little application!  Sort of fun to see what life has been all about.  I wish you all a healthy and happy 2010!

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    There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  15. Mamapicks Newsletter – Dec. 22nd, 2009

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

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    DIY Project: Organize Your Kids’ Art Table

    Three easy steps on:

    www.mamapicks.com

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    Family Skate

    Tim Hortons has released their FREE holiday skating schedule. They currently sponsor these free public skates in many locations all over Ontario.   Check here for locations and schedules.

    The Shops @ Donmills has a Winter Skating Oval which is  now open (free of charge) for your enjoyment. Bring your own skates, and feel free utilize the lockers behind the water feature to store your belongings and parcels.

    Hours of Operation*

    Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
    Saturdays 9:30 am to 6:00 pm**
    Sundays 11:00 am to 6:00 pm**

    * Weather permitting
    ** Figure Skating performances will take place on weekends in January & February from 12noon – 2pm (public skating will not be available during these show times)

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    The Mummy Tummy

    Finally, a good explanation about the terrible thing that happens to our tummies when we become moms.  This was an interesting read for me (and hopefully will be for you too!).  It gave me hope and justification for my flab.  I promised myself to get my body back after baby #3.  Hmmm…I’ll have to find a reasonably priced trainer who is an expert in the Tupler Technique…anyone??

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    Cool Hats For Kids

    I love buying funky hats fro my kids and also think they make great gifts.  I saw these today on Yonge St., just north of Eglinton in a little store that sells Tibetan crafts.  They are so colourful and fun!  Comfy fleece on the inside, not itchy wool.  Available in two sizes $22 for ages 2-4 and $25 for ages 5+.  Get 20% off this week and next.  I bought two of the colourful monkey hats which left The Girl absolutely PETRIFIED…but The Boy loves his!  Tibetan Arts is located at 2487 Yonge St. (416) 932-8684

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    $10 off Crazy Forts

    I’ve heard great reviews from friends about Crazy Forts.  Some recommend buying two boxes so that the kids can create bigger structures.  This week at Toys R Us (until Dec. 24th), buy it for $35.97 (reg. $44.99).  Since publishing this post, some Mamapicks readers have written in (thank you!) that the product is not so great and that the structures are difficult to put together and the rods don’t stay in the balls.  So, mixed reviews on this one!

    You will also receive a $5 gift card if you for a minimum spend of $19.99 on any Hasboro games and a $10 gift card on a minimum $50 spend on Hot Wheels, Playsets or Barbie Dolls this week.

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    Chocolate Yogurt Mousse Cups

    These mousse cups were tried and tested by Mamapicks this weekend.  Healthier because they are made with yogurt and no whipping cream.  We enjoyed it with sliced bananas and strawberries…YUM.  Easy to prepare except for the overnight draining of the yogurt which I just ignored.  This recipe is from Canadian Family.  If you have a winning recipe, please share!

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    There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  16. Mamapicks Newsletter – Dec. 9th, 2009

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

    Disney’s Sweet Offer

    If you are thinking of going to Disneyland or Disneyworld some time after January 1st, Disney is offering free one-day admission earned with a day of volunteer work.  Disney Corp. wants to inspire one-million people to give a day of service.   Starting January 1, 2010, you can sign up for eligible volunteer opportunities through the website (and yes, the fine print does say Canadians are eligible!).  Following completion of  your volunteer activity, you will receive vouchers  for your free admission to either theme park.    You must be 18 or older to sign up and you may register up to eight household members.  Children older than six may participate.  I think this is a beautiful thing to do with the family – give together and get together.

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    What To Do This Weekend (Dec. 12th & 13th)

    Go see a family flick.  The Princess and the Frog is opening this weekend.

    On Saturday & Sunday at 1:00pm, World of Circus (John & Leslie) is holding their Winter circus show.  We have been to this venue for a circus birthday party and it was amazing.  I think their show will be great too.

    Casa Loma’s Little Elves Workshops are all sold out for this coming weekend…I assume this means that they are good.  Limited spaces available for next weekend, so you may want to register online. Kids will enjoy building a mini gingerbread house to hang on the tree, hot chocolate and other goodies.  Santa Claus will be there too.  Workshops are 45 minutes long for ages 2-8.

    Spend an evening driving through Downsview Park’s new Holiday Trail of Lights. The trail features three kilometers of light displays, many of which are animated. $20 per car. Buy some hot chocolate and donuts and enjoy the lights!

    There are more ideas and events for the weekend on www.mamapicks.com

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    Book of the Week (ish)

    The Boy gets stuck on certain books…so much so that every year, our theme for his birthday cake is based on the “book of the year”…the one we had to read a zillion times over.  This year’s favourite was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  A simple and beautiful introduction to the magic of the metamorphosis from egg to caterpillar and butterfly.    The story also teaches counting to 5, the days of the week, and about different types of food.  The book is beautiful in it’s original version with gorgeous illustrations.  Then comes the pop-up version.  So vibrant that The Boy’s eyes nearly popped out of his head and so did mine.  Highly recommended but to be given to a child who is mature enough not to tear the book apart.

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    Toronto Restaurant Coupons

    Dine.TO is pleased to offer you special discounts at designated restaurants.  Some of them are really high-end.   These vouchers are offered while supplies last at a 25% discount for American Express® Cardmembers from August 15, 2009 to December 31, 2009.  Lots of great restaurants on the list and I must recommend Amaya for Indian food lovers.

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    umbra

    Umbra Factory Sale

    I was at Umbra’s concept store this past summer and just love their frames, albums and nifty home decor items.   Check out the Umbra site to see what you might find at the sale.  Admission is free, expect line ups and GREAT deals!

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    Stila Products For Under $25

    This…is for those of you who have a friend (i.e. someone who lives in Buffalo/Amherst that you know) and feel comfortable ordering stuff to their house.  Stila products are divine and let’s face it, nothing can make a girl happier than new eye shadow called Kitten.   These prices are amazing since Stila is not a cheap line of make-up by any means.

    stila

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    There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

    Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

    Have I talked about the Shops At Donmills enough yet? This weekend (July 25th + 26th), the Town Square transforms into a play zone with a bouncing castle and obstacle course. The wonderful water fountain has turned into a great splash area for kids and it’s so much fun! Bring towels and a change of clothes. Last weekend, I breathed at Anthropologie while my husband watched The Boy splash around (on a chair in the shade, mind you). A win-win! Family fun takes place 12pm-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Shops At Donmills has great family bathrooms located right next to the water fountain and Guest Services will happily warm up a baby bottle for you or provide an emergency diapering kit for $2.

    …and, come out on Saturday night for a movie on the lawn @ The Town Square. The Princess Bride is a great family movie to enjoy together. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. The movie begins at dusk. How fun!

    Posted in Newsletter.

  17. Mamapicks Newsletter – Dec. 1st, 2009

    This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

    42-17247687

    Chores!

    About a month ago, The Boy (3 yrs.) took all of our DVDs off the shelf and dumped them on the floor.  After playing and building with the DVD cases, he said to our cleaning lady “you can clean up now“.  UGH.  I was horrified.  It was time to make sure he didn’t grow up spoiled.  Chores…I needed to give him more chores.  A month later, he now knows to put his dishes in the sink, wipe after all spills he is responsible for, and takes his laundry to the laundry basket.  I can tell that this is giving him a great sense of independence.  Getting him to tidy up his toys is still a huge struggle, but we are getting there.   For tips on age-appropriate chores, try this website.  I  don’t agree that brushing teeth is a chore…just like eating breakfast and putting shoes on is not a chore…but the rest of the suggestions are quite good.

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    What To Do This Weekend (Dec. 5 & 6)

    It’s December!  I hate December.  I hate everything between November and March, actually…but I hope you enjoy it with these interesting family activities.

    The National Film Board of Canada holds hands-on animation workshops on Saturday mornings with a different theme each week! Admission is only $5 per child and the accompanying adult is free.  Register at 416-973-3012

    1.  For ages 3-5, Can’t Sit Still Workshop, Sat. 10:30-12:30.  Kids watch NFB animated movies and then participate in an animation workshop.

    2. For ages 6-13, Animate This!, Sat. 12-2:30pm.  Kids explore the history and technology of animation and make animated creations using professional tools.

    Spend an evening driving through Downsview Park’s new Holiday Trail of Lights.  The trail features three kilometers of light displays, many of which are animated.  $20 per car.  Buy some hot chocolate and donuts and enjoy the lights!

    Judy & David’s Chanukah Live Concert is playing next weekend at the City Playhouse in Thornhill.  Dec. 12-13 @ 10:30, 1:00, 3:30.  Call 905-882-SHOW for tickets.

    There are more ideas and events for the weekend on www.mamapicks.com

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    Toy Recommendation

    I love this art activity and think it makes for a great gift OR a fabulous piece to stash away for when you need to whip out something new to keep the kids busy for a while.  The best part is that no glue is required.  No scissors either.  The pictures come with a peel-off adhesive surface and the tissue paper comes in a multitude of beautiful colours, already cut into small squares.  As the box says, you really just peel, crunch and stick!  I recommend this activity for ages 3+.  The box says 2+ but it definitely wasn’t suitable for a two-year old.  This week at Toys R Us, you can find this item as well as others by Alex (great company!) for 20% off ($10.37 ea).  The promotion is on until Dec. 3rd.

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    Gap & Old Navy Coupons

    Click on each coupon to print.  Valid until Dec. 7th on regularly priced merchandise only.

    oldnavy15

    gap15

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    simplycolors

    Simply Colors: 10% off and Free Shipping!

    This amazing online Canadian store is all about personalizing clothing for kids.    They offer a great variety of styles, and sizes run from newborn to 8 years.  The quality is superb and the price is just right ($15-$25).  If you are looking for an unforgettable gift, you will easily find it at Simply ColorsJoin their Facebook Fan Page through their website, and receive 10% off your purchase.  Free shipping is available in Canada until Dec. 21st.  My kids received their gifts from Vancouver in this gorgeous gift box.  Browsing through the site will give you tons of ideas!

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    Free Printable Invitations

    This beautiful invitation was created by Erin from Sunny July (another wonderful Etsy find).  You can download the PDF  file which has printing instructions and print your invitations for free.

    invitation

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    There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

      Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

      Have I talked about the Shops At Donmills enough yet? This weekend (July 25th + 26th), the Town Square transforms into a play zone with a bouncing castle and obstacle course. The wonderful water fountain has turned into a great splash area for kids and it’s so much fun! Bring towels and a change of clothes. Last weekend, I breathed at Anthropologie while my husband watched The Boy splash around (on a chair in the shade, mind you). A win-win! Family fun takes place 12pm-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Shops At Donmills has great family bathrooms located right next to the water fountain and Guest Services will happily warm up a baby bottle for you or provide an emergency diapering kit for $2.

      …and, come out on Saturday night for a movie on the lawn @ The Town Square. The Princess Bride is a great family movie to enjoy together. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. The movie begins at dusk. How fun!

      Posted in Newsletter.

    • Mamapicks Newsletter – November 24th, 2009

      This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

      artwork

      Storing + Displaying Your Child’s Artwork

      To keep or not to keep?  That is the question.  I am sure that many of you have had the Recycling Box Moment…when your child finds his/her cherished pieces of work in the Blue Bin and you pretend that you have no idea how those papers got in there.  If you are like me, you keep way too many masterpieces.  Here are a few ideas for storing and displaying your child’s work:

      • Take digital photos and keep them in a folder on your computer.  No piles of paper, but you still have a nice record of your child’s work.
      • Keep 8×10 papers in a binder.  Your child will love browsing through their work.
      • Use a large magnetic board (like this one from IKEA).   Magnetic clothes pins can be useful too.
      • Display on a large cork board or group a few smaller ones on a designated art wall.  You can paint the board or cover it with wrapping paper to give it some umph.
      • Create a photo-book of your child’s work.  You can make one at the end of every school year to keep neatly in your child’s library.
      • Last but not least, as in the above photo from Ohdeedoh, you can use Ikea’s curtain wires ($9.99 with clips!) to create this amazing display which I just adore.

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      What To Do This Weekend (Nov. 27 & 28)

      Leave the monkeys at home and go to the One of A Kind Show and Sale.  Nov. 26th- Dec. 2nd.  I took my hubby to this show once and vowed  never to do it again.  A woman needs time to walk through the isles of artisans and unique products and absorb, contemplate and BUY without disruption.  Why punish both of you?

      Kidzfest takes place on Saturday, November 28the and Sunday, November 29th at Yonge-Dundas Square (11am-5pm).  This event features two days of winter fun for children aged two and up. The event includes face painting, crafts, live music and guest appearances by  Sponge Bob and Harry and His Bucket of Dinosaurs.   All of the events are free.

      Spend an evening driving through Downsview Park’s new Holiday Trail of Lights.  The trail features three kilometers of light displays, many of which are animated.  $20 per car.  My kids are so excited about Christmas lights and we are definitely heading over to check this out this weekend.

      For more great family events, go to  www.mamapicks.com

      oneofakind

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      Toy Recommendation + Coupon

      Once in a while, you run into a toy that is just awesome.  The Boy is 3.5 yrs. old and loves the Scribble & Write by LeapFrog.  This is a great learning toy which lets kids practice drawing simple shapes, pictures and upper/lower case letters by tracing a light on a small screen using a stylus.  I love it because it is helping him develop so many important skills and he uses it independently.  As well, it is portable and can be used in the car, restaurant and airplane…no excess noise and beeps!  The price is quite reasonable at $24.99 (Toys R Us & Indigo).  I found a number of manufacturer’s coupons which you may want to use if you are purchasing LeapFrog products.  These coupons are valid until December 31st and give you $4 off this particular item.

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      Stork Craft Crib Recall!

      This recall involves Stork Craft drop-side cribs with plastic hardware, including Stork Craft drop-side cribs that were sold with the Fisher-Price logo. This recall does not involve any cribs with metal rod drop-side hardware. The cribs were sold in various styles and finishes.   The recall includes cribs with manufacture and distribution dates between January 1993 and October 2009.  You can find the manufacture date and more product info printed on the assembly instruction sheet that is attached to the mattress support board.  Here is some more information from Health Canada.  Repair Kits are being provided so you do not need to return the crib.  For more information,  contact Stork Craft toll-free at 1-877-274-0277.

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      40% off Fall Collection at MEXX Kids!

      I find Mexx to be a bit on the expensive side…but am a huge fan of the colour palette and style in their kids’ lines.  The whole Fall collection is now 40% off!  Lots of great finds.  This promotion is on until everything from the Fall line is sold.  Go soon for best size selection!

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      Free Printable To-Do List

      This cute printable list (with lines girls, click above to see the PDF) is for the list you plan to give your husband…or kids…because it’s by order of the queen.  Courtesy of Heirloom Paperie.

      queen

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      There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

      Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

      Have I talked about the Shops At Donmills enough yet? This weekend (July 25th + 26th), the Town Square transforms into a play zone with a bouncing castle and obstacle course. The wonderful water fountain has turned into a great splash area for kids and it’s so much fun! Bring towels and a change of clothes. Last weekend, I breathed at Anthropologie while my husband watched The Boy splash around (on a chair in the shade, mind you). A win-win! Family fun takes place 12pm-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Shops At Donmills has great family bathrooms located right next to the water fountain and Guest Services will happily warm up a baby bottle for you or provide an emergency diapering kit for $2.

      …and, come out on Saturday night for a movie on the lawn @ The Town Square. The Princess Bride is a great family movie to enjoy together. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. The movie begins at dusk. How fun!

      Posted in Newsletter.

    • Mamapicks Newsletter – Nov. 17th, 2009

      This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

      berta

      Educational Toys For Less + Mamapicks Exclusive Discount!

      The Kids’ Treasure Box is one of those amazing finds I want to keep to myself and tell you about all at the same time.  These two lovely mompreneurs sell high quality educational toys for under $10.  Hard to believe, I know!  The Kids’ Treasure Box carries a great selection of workbooks, puzzles, toys and games that parents and teachers will love.  I just purchased a plastic tub of wooden primary lacing beads ($6) for The Girl and a number of puzzles for holiday gifts.  Great educational loot-bags are also available for $3-$5.  Call or e-mail for an appointment or visit their upcoming Open House in Richmond Hill (See map) on Nov. 29th, 7pm – 10pm.  For more information, please call 416-471-0060.  Mamapicks exclusive discount: receive a $10 gift of your choice on every $5o spend when you mention MAMAPICKS!

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      What To Do This Weekend (Nov. 21 & 22)

      Go to The Wave Pool (Richmond Hill) or any other indoor pool.  Keep the family active and healthy.

      See a show with the kids – Pinkalicious and Broccoli & Sonshine are great options.

      Go to Woodbine Fantasy Fair at Woodbine Mall.  This is Ontario’s largest indoor amusement park and kids just love it.

      Enjoy a visit with the usual suspects: ROM, AGO, Ontario Science Centre.

      Spend the day at Grandma & Grandpa’s house.

      Invite friends for breakfast and prepare an arts & crafts table for the kids to keep them busy.

      Can you tell that this is a not-so-exciting weekend in Toronto???

      CAP010

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      The Perfect Double Stroller!

      Two years ago, I was on a mission to find the perfect double stroller for my newborn and 18 month old.  Last week, at the Babytimes Baby Show, I finally found it.  I gasped.  How dare they come up with the perfect stroller 2 years too late???

      Introducing the City Select for families on the grow.  Made by Baby Jogger, it is a multi-functional stroller that comes with a frame (like the Bugaboo) which allows parents to mix and match seats, bassinets and car seats in order to customize the stroller.  It easily converts from a single stroller to a double.  Simply snap on a second seat!

      This stroller is coming out in the New Year and is definitely worth the wait (already available for pre-order online at a few US stores).  I’ve seen it in action and the thought of having 16 options in one stroller nearly made me cry in a good way.

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      Best Teacher Gifts!

      The holidays are a great time to show teachers (you know, those special people who take care of your kids for 8+ hours a day and teach them important things?) how much we appreciate their hard work.  Mamapicks asked thirty teachers about their favourite gifts and let me tell you, teachers are a consistent bunch!  Here are the winners:

      • Gift Certificates, namely Tim Hortons, Starbucks, Indigo, and Yorkdale Mall.
      • Personalized Stationary
      • Movie Passes

      Please resist buying candles, picture frames, mugs and chocolates….and oh ya, from my own teaching days, I NEVER ate anything baked by a kid.  The most important part of your gift is your card – a few personal words from a parent or child letting a teacher know that he/she make a difference fills the heart and recharges the batteries.

      teachergift

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      10% off Edible Arrangements!

      Yum!  No matter how many times people have seen these, they always seem to be a little bit in awe of edible fruit arrangements.  Order any product before Dec. 1st (for delivery between Nov. 20-Dec. 31) and receive 10% off.  Use promo code EBSP2009.

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      Thyme Maternity Sale

      If only I could find maternity pants that would stay put…  The woes.  Sale runs until Dec. 5th.  Check here for store locations.

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      There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

      Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

      Have I talked about the Shops At Donmills enough yet? This weekend (July 25th + 26th), the Town Square transforms into a play zone with a bouncing castle and obstacle course. The wonderful water fountain has turned into a great splash area for kids and it’s so much fun! Bring towels and a change of clothes. Last weekend, I breathed at Anthropologie while my husband watched The Boy splash around (on a chair in the shade, mind you). A win-win! Family fun takes place 12pm-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Shops At Donmills has great family bathrooms located right next to the water fountain and Guest Services will happily warm up a baby bottle for you or provide an emergency diapering kit for $2.

      …and, come out on Saturday night for a movie on the lawn @ The Town Square. The Princess Bride is a great family movie to enjoy together. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. The movie begins at dusk. How fun!

      Posted in Newsletter.

    • Mamapicks Newsletter – Nov. 10th, 2009

      This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

      A Giveaway!

      Help We’ve Got Kids is an amazingly useful resource book for families in the GTA.  It is filled with coupons and useful listings…45 categories of kid-related information at your fingertips.  From birthday party venues to health resources, and serious savings in the coupon section, this book is a permanent fixture in the Mamapicks  minivan.  Five books are being given away to Mamapicks readers! Visit the website and let me know which is the last category listed on the left hand side.  Also, go to the coupon section and print yourself one of the many useful coupons.  The first 5 readers to respond, win a book!

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      What To Do This Weekend

      Take part in the 105th Annual Santa Claus Parade on Sunday, Nov. 15th at 12:30pm.  Ours is the longest running parade in the world.  See the website for details about a free pre-parade breakfast and lots of entertainment for the kids at Yonge & Dundas Square.

      Visit the Bata Shoe Museum for their  Saturday Shananigans and Paint-A-Clog Sundays.  Admission to the museum is FREE every Saturday and Sunday this month with the donation of a brand new pair of socks to the Museum’s “Warm The Sole Sock Drive”.

      The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Roy Thomson Hall) presents Jack in the Beanstalk , a special Young People’s Concert based on Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, and features actors, puppets, and a 60-foot-tall beanstalk!  Young People’s Concerts are created especially for children ages 5-12.  Sat. Nov. 14th, 1:30 pm & 3:30 pm.

      For more fun weekend events, go to www.mamapicks.com.

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      30% off at the Gap, Old Navy & Banana Republic

      YAY!  Another awesome promotion.  Time to get the Warmest Jacket from the Gap.  Nov. 12-15th.  Click here to print your coupon.

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      Maclaren Stroller Recall

      Maclaren’s umbrella strollers have apparently resulted in the amputation of the fingertips of 12 children across the US.  Fingers were caught in the hinges when the strollers were opened or folded shut.  According to Kushies, the Maclaren distributor in Canada, the recall is a voluntary one in effect in the USA only.  However, they expect that the repair kits will be available to everyone.  If you would like a repair kit for your stroller, please call the Maclaren Recall Hotline: 1-877-688-2326.  Health Canada has confirmed that the stroller is safe for use when children are sitting in the stroller and it is in a locked open position.  It is the hinge mechanism that can pose danger as the stroller is being opened or folded.

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      greenlullaby

      Cardboard Furniture!

      I really like this drawing table and bench by Green Lullaby, made entirely out of corrugated cardboard.  The bench holds up to 120 Kg (!) and even has a storage compartment.  I guess I wouldn’t mind it if my kids coloured all over this kind of furniture.  Don’t worry, the surface is easily cleaned with a wet-wipe.  Ever wonder how you survived without wet-wipes before you had kids?

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      Free Mailing Labels

      Love these labels.  Anything aqua, anything postal.  Download the PDF file here to print out your sheet of labels.  These were designed by the talented Miss B @ Le Blahg.

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      There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

      Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

      Have I talked about the Shops At Donmills enough yet? This weekend (July 25th + 26th), the Town Square transforms into a play zone with a bouncing castle and obstacle course. The wonderful water fountain has turned into a great splash area for kids and it’s so much fun! Bring towels and a change of clothes. Last weekend, I breathed at Anthropologie while my husband watched The Boy splash around (on a chair in the shade, mind you). A win-win! Family fun takes place 12pm-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Shops At Donmills has great family bathrooms located right next to the water fountain and Guest Services will happily warm up a baby bottle for you or provide an emergency diapering kit for $2.

      …and, come out on Saturday night for a movie on the lawn @ The Town Square. The Princess Bride is a great family movie to enjoy together. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. The movie begins at dusk. How fun!

      Posted in Newsletter.

    • Mamapicks Newsletter – Nov. 03, 2009

      This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

      Mamapicks Exclusive Discount: You Are My Sunshine Prints

      I am madly in love with this print.  Partly because seeing yellow makes me feel happy on gray Fall days…and also because I want my girl to always know that she is my sunshine.  A beautiful addition to any girl’s room with the warmest message of love.  Created by the talented illustrator, Katie Lombardo.  Katie is offering this print to Mamapicks readers for a very special price of $15 + free shipping (prints are normally $20 + shipping).  Choose “reserved for Mamapicks readers” to order and if you are asked, mention the promo code Mamapicks in the notes to seller section.  You can order as many as you like!

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      What To Do This Weekend

      McNally Robinson is the big bookstore at The Shops on Donmills.  This Saturday (3pm), take your kids to an author book reading & signing (ages 5-8).  The featured author is Nan Forler who wrote the book Bird Child.  Bullying and the ability to rise above it are at the heart of this beautiful picture book.  Other than the meaningful topic that all kids can relate to, meeting an author is an inspiring experience all on its own.

      Visit the Children’s Trunk Show at the Distillery District on Friday (9:30-4:30) and Saturday (10am-3pm) for great shopping of unique products by mom-run businesses.  There will be childcare available for ages 1-5.  Other perks include complimentary massage and and a special nursing & baby-changing zone.  $7 admission.  I don’t think these shows should charge admission…but I might go anyway.

      Enjoy Family Sundays at McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleinburg).  Kids will draw inspiration from the Bartram exhibit and learn about landscape through activities.

      For more fun weekend events, go to www.mamapicks.com.

      Boys Playing in the Leaves

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      Raptors Family Fun Days Coupon

      Sundays are family fun days and this sounds like an amazing deal!  You can purchase a family package for as low as $39 which includes: 4 tickets, a meet & greet with the Raptor mascot, 4 pizza slices or hot dogs, 4 drinks, 2 popcorn, 2 Raptors foam fingers, 1 Raptors Game Day program, post-game free-throws on the court AND a GTA Family Attractions Pass including discounts at Medeival Times, the CN Tower, the Ontario Science Centre and Playdium.  Use coupon code TDMEAL.

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      The Tot Clock

      There is a street light across the street, shining its light directly into The Boy’s window.  No matter when he wakes up, he opens his blackout curtains and it looks like it’s morning.  I was looking for something other than me that would tell him at 4:30am that he should go back to sleep.  I came upon this tot clock which I think is brilliant.  The face of the clock has 4 colours which parents can set.  Yellow for wake time and dark blue for sleep time…and also red and green for time out or activity times.  On the expensive side at $49.95.  Nice to know such things exist!

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      10% off Mabel’s Labels

      Nothing is more useful than Mabel’s Labels for labeling everything from shoes to sippy cups.  Their packages make great gifts and they dispatch orders within 48 hours.  I would like them to add something to their product line…pacifier labels!  Anyone with me on that one?  I don’t want The Girl’s pacifier traveling into any other kid’s germ pit.  The coupon code for 10% off  is strol30.  Unknown expiration date.  Just like cheese sticks.

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      Looking For an Indoor Playground?

      We all are.  Now that the weather sucks.  This is a great website with a comprehensive directory of indoor playgrounds in the GTA.  You can help the directory grow by providing names of places that aren’t yet on the list and you can also add a rating.  User friendly with an on-hand map…this is a one-stop shop for deciding where to go for indoor fun!

      indoorplaygrounds

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      There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

      Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

      Have I talked about the Shops At Donmills enough yet? This weekend (July 25th + 26th), the Town Square transforms into a play zone with a bouncing castle and obstacle course. The wonderful water fountain has turned into a great splash area for kids and it’s so much fun! Bring towels and a change of clothes. Last weekend, I breathed at Anthropologie while my husband watched The Boy splash around (on a chair in the shade, mind you). A win-win! Family fun takes place 12pm-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Shops At Donmills has great family bathrooms located right next to the water fountain and Guest Services will happily warm up a baby bottle for you or provide an emergency diapering kit for $2.

      …and, come out on Saturday night for a movie on the lawn @ The Town Square. The Princess Bride is a great family movie to enjoy together. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. The movie begins at dusk. How fun!

      Posted in Newsletter.

    • Mamapicks Newsletter – Oct. 27th, 2009

      This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week. Check out the website for other daily finds.

      Mamapicks Exclusive: 20% Off Personalized CDs

      A good friend bought my kids one of these personalized CDs and they just love listening to it!  The songs are popular and catchy and kids love hearing their name.   The CDs now have a new feature – you can record a personal audio introduction that the child can listen to time and time again.  This is perfect for family and friends who are far away…  Receive 20% off your next order by entering code MAMAPICKS in the discount code box on the website.  Expires Nove. 20th.

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      What To Do This Halloween Weekend

      Visit the Fall Baby Show (Fri-Sun) at the Metro Convention Centre (North Building).  This is  a great event if you have babies, toddlers or are expecting.  See new products and shop great deals from top manufactures, retailers and artisans.   There will be pregnancy and parenting experts as well as entertainment and activities for the kids.  A Halloween party will be presented by Disney & Beechnut.  See the website for schedule of events, admission and vendor information.

      Enjoy Halloween and nature at Kortright Centre for Conservation (Vaughan) on Saturday (Oct. 31, 10am-4pm) with a magician, live critters, crafts and and lots of spooky surprises.  Bring the whole family and come dressed up.  Check here for visitor information.

      Boo @ The Toronto Zoo…on Saturday, Oct. 31st (10am – 4pm).    Enjoy the new hay maze, entertainment at the Halloween Harvest stage,  and tasty treats from Hershey’s.   Also, take part in the Costumes Parade at 12:00pm and 2:00pm.   Best of all, up to two kids in costume (12 and under) get in free when accompanied by an adult!

      For more fun weekend events, go to www.mamapicks.com.

      42-15584316

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      More Costume Ideas

      I ran into this adorable Tom Arma costume and thought it might be something rather simple to make if you have a white snowsuit for your baby.  I would also very much like to mention that I want to eat this baby’s face.  See more costume ideas here.

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      $10 Off @ Toys R Us

      This November, you can get $10 off when you spend a minimum of $50 at ToysRUs.ca with coupon code TPNOV10.   If you prefer to shop in-store, you can find the paper version of this coupon in the November issue of Today’s Parent Magazine.   It’s okay, you can rip off a waiting room magazine.  Page 64.  Valid until Nov. 31st but not valid on purchases of food and diapers.

      There are some great deals at Toys R Us this week for their 25th birthday.

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      42-15977255

      Planning Your Family’s Winter Vacation?

      If your family includes three children, you know how frustrating it is to find a resort that will accommodate five people in one room.  Having two rooms is very costly and not a good option if you have young children.  Best Family Beach Vacations has compiled a list of resorts that will accept up to three children with two adults in one room.  Check their suggestions and of course, double check with your travel agent if you find a resort that interests you.  While the list was accurate when published, changes may have occurred.  If you have two kids, make sure to squeeze another vacation in before the third comes along!

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      20% Off Sale Items @ Olly Shoes…

      Click and print the coupon for 20% off sale items @ the Yonge & Bayview location until November 1st.  If you need boots for your kids though, keep in mind that Cougars cost $59.99 at Olly’s and only $29.99 at Style Sense in Vaughan Mills.  Not that boots would be part of this sale…but just thought I’d mention.

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      There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

      Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

      Have I talked about the Shops At Donmills enough yet? This weekend (July 25th + 26th), the Town Square transforms into a play zone with a bouncing castle and obstacle course. The wonderful water fountain has turned into a great splash area for kids and it’s so much fun! Bring towels and a change of clothes. Last weekend, I breathed at Anthropologie while my husband watched The Boy splash around (on a chair in the shade, mind you). A win-win! Family fun takes place 12pm-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Shops At Donmills has great family bathrooms located right next to the water fountain and Guest Services will happily warm up a baby bottle for you or provide an emergency diapering kit for $2.

      …and, come out on Saturday night for a movie on the lawn @ The Town Square. The Princess Bride is a great family movie to enjoy together. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. The movie begins at dusk. How fun!

      Posted in Newsletter.

    • Mamapicks Newsletter – October 20th, 2009

      This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week.  Check out the website for other daily finds.

      15% Off Personalized Gift Labels

      Who has time for writing heartfelt cards?  All that white space overwhelms me.  Time to get some personalized gift labels for the holidays or any other occasion.  The label can say whatever you want.  15% off until Oct. 31st @ Honeybunch.  Sign up for their newsletter and receive a $5 coupon…which makes shipping almost free!

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      What To Do This Weekend (Oct. 24-25)

      Visit Canada’s Wonderland for the last two weekends of the season, and bring a friend who doesn’t have a pass  for just $14.99. Pass holders and their friends can still get in one last exciting ride on Behemoth, Psyclone, Vortex and so many more rides and attractions for this great low price.  Purchase visitor passes here.

      Visit Riverdale Farm (Cabbagetown) for some family Halloween fun on Saturday, Oct. 24th, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm. Enjoy the Boo Barn,  a pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving, and outdoor wood-fired oven treats.  Ages 3-10.

      Visit the Markham Scaryfest (Markham Museum, Markham Rd. & 16th Ave.) on Oct 23/24/25 from 6pm-9pm for a spooky night for children under 10.  Many of the homes in the historic village will be open for trick-or-treating.  Come in costumes!

      For more fun weekend events,  go to www.mamapicks.com.

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      Get Pampered!

      We have all heard of Summerlicious and Winterlicious for good deals at swanky restaurants.  Please welcome a new idea…Beautylicious…which will give you the opportunity to go to a Spa or Salon in the Yorkville area for much less.  Services are available for $25, $75, and $125 depending on the spa/salon and their Beautylicious packages (Oct. 28th – Nov. 7th).   Call now to book your appointment.  It’s time to get pampered!

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      Toronto Chocolate Fest

      Maybe you are a crazy chocolate lover too?  Chocolicious is taking place Oct. 19-25th.  Your passport takes you to different chocolate-related destinations around the city to enjoy some nice discounts on chocolates, desserts and more.   Now all they need to do is combine this with spalicious and babysitterlicious.  (I wrote this before I knew anything about Beautilicious, I swear).

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      Dinner Woes?

      Don’t know what to make for dinner tonight?  For just $10, you can feed your family without the fuss.  Come on, you deserve a break.  Offer valid at Loblaws, Fortinos, and Zehrs until October 22nd.

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      Pumpkins Don’t Have To Be Orange…

      Check out the cool painted pumpkins on Parents magazine.  They have some really neat ideas for those of you who have time and odd passion for the pumpkin thing.

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      There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

      Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

      Have I talked about the Shops At Donmills enough yet?  This weekend (July 25th + 26th), the Town Square transforms into a play zone with a bouncing castle and obstacle course.  The wonderful water fountain has turned into a great splash area for kids and it’s so much fun!  Bring towels and a change of clothes.  Last weekend, I breathed at Anthropologie while my husband watched The Boy splash around  (on a chair in the shade, mind you).  A win-win!  Family fun takes place 12pm-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Shops At Donmills has great family bathrooms located right next to the water fountain and Guest Services will happily warm up a baby bottle for you or provide an emergency diapering kit for $2.

      …and, come out on Saturday night for a movie on the lawn @ The Town Square.  The Princess Bride is a great family movie to enjoy together.  Bring blankets and lawn chairs.  The movie begins at dusk.  How fun!

      Posted in Newsletter.

    • Mamapicks Newsletter – October 13th, 2009

      This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week.  Check out the website for other daily finds.

      Sweet & Irresistible

      All the way from New Zealand, come these truly irresistible custom made names to complete your nursery.  Ten colours to choose from and a gorgeous retro font.  I am absolutely in love!

      Angie is a mom (and she is really nice).  Two years ago, after bringing her first baby home, her husband created one of these for the baby’s nursery and that’s how Fudge Designs began.

      Guess what?  Mamapicks readers receive 25% off their order! Please keep in mind that the website is in New Zealand dollars, NOT US dollars!  For example, a 4-letter name including shipping to Canada costs approximately $56 US after the Mamapicks discount (including shipping!).  What a great gift this would make.  Promo code:  MAMAPICKS, valid until October 31st.

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      What To Do This Weekend (Oct. 17-18)

      Visit the Mompreneur Event taking place in the Forest Hill Village (2nd Flr., What A Bagel, 421 Spadina Rd.) on Sunday, Oct. 18th, 10am – 3pm.  Participating vendors will display unique products & services.    The event will also raise money for donation to Princess Margaret Hospital.  Don’t miss this great shopping opportunity and a chance to support fellow mamas.

      Visit Green Acres Camp (Markham) for a FREE Pumpkin Picking Fun Day on Sunday, Oct. 18th, 11:00am- 2:30pm.

      Plan a Fall adventure with the help of an amazing website which outlines beautiful Fall routes in Ontario.

      For more fun weekend events,  go to www.mamapicks.com.

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      Parenting is Difficult

      Parenting.  It’s so fulfilling and challenging all at the same time.  When I speak to fellow moms, I realize that we are all dealing with parenting issues.  Sometimes we swim in a sea of self-doubt and all we need is a little guidance and some practical ideas for making our household a little more sane.  I know from my own experience, that getting advice from an outside professional source goes a long way in making important changes (unlike hearing it from your husband or mother-in-law).

      The Parenting Network offers real-life solutions and tools for parents through a variety of parenting courses in the GTA.  They understand that we all strive for improved family life, more confidence, and children who are cooperative and contributing.  They have been guiding parents for over 20 years (and Mamapicks didn’t know!).   Take a look at the interesting topics and convenient schedules & locations (sessions starts this week!).  Bring a friend and get 25% off your registration! There is still space in a variety of locations including Thornhill.


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      Book  of the Week(ish)

      Chrysanthemum has an unusual name but she thinks it’s perfect…until the first day of school.  She is teased about her name and even though her doting parents try to instill confidence in her, the next day of school is dreaded. This heartfelt story is one that every child will relate to.   It can spark many important conversations between you and your little one about teasing, bullying and what goes on at school when mom and dad are not around to defend.  Chrysanthemum is appropriate for ages 4-8.  It is a wonderful story about names, identity and self-confidence.  One of my very  favourites!  Soft-cover available at Indigo or Mastermind for $9.25.

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      Cool Ideas for Halloween Costumes

      I found this adorable costume on Etsy.  Maybe some of you are crafty mamas who can whip up a home-made costume.  See more costumes in the Holiday Goods section.

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      Giant Birdnest

      Sorry you can’t buy this…but wouldn’t it be amazing?  This is part of O*GE Interactive Gallery.  I don’t know who they are and what they do but I want the nest.

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      There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

      Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

      Have I talked about the Shops At Donmills enough yet?  This weekend (July 25th + 26th), the Town Square transforms into a play zone with a bouncing castle and obstacle course.  The wonderful water fountain has turned into a great splash area for kids and it’s so much fun!  Bring towels and a change of clothes.  Last weekend, I breathed at Anthropologie while my husband watched The Boy splash around  (on a chair in the shade, mind you).  A win-win!  Family fun takes place 12pm-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Shops At Donmills has great family bathrooms located right next to the water fountain and Guest Services will happily warm up a baby bottle for you or provide an emergency diapering kit for $2.

      …and, come out on Saturday night for a movie on the lawn @ The Town Square.  The Princess Bride is a great family movie to enjoy together.  Bring blankets and lawn chairs.  The movie begins at dusk.  How fun!

      Posted in Newsletter.

    • Mamapicks Newsletter – October 6th, 2009

      This is what has been happening over at mamapicks.com this week.  Check out the website for other daily finds.

      Exclusive Mamapicks Discount on Mittens From Honeybunch!

      Ever wake up one day in November only to realize that it’s really cold outside and your kids don’t have proper hats, mittens and boots?  We’ve all been there.  When you go to the store on that very cold day, you are not likely to find much variety left because all the other moms were more prepared.  Avoid the stress and get ready ahead of time!  That’s what I’ve committed to do this year.  I am all about mastering small commitments.  Currently on my list is this fabulous pair of mittens by CaliKids that have all the features I am looking for:

      • Waterproof on the outside, soft and warm on the inside
      • Clips sewn right into the cuff!
      • Easy fit with side zippers, velcro wrist straps and a good fit over sleeves

      Honeybunch (my favourite online shop), is offering Mamapicks readers a special discount of 15% off !  Promo Code: mamapicks.  Valid until Oct. 20th.    If you’d like to visit the beautiful store, Honeybunch Homestore for Kids is located at 3885 Bloor Street West in  Etobicoke.  This little store is so gorgeous,  I could spend hours browsing all of the unique stuff.  Since it’s a little far from where I live, I visit the online shop often to see what’s new and exciting!

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      What To Do This Weekend (Oct. 10-12)

      Thanksgiving Funfest @ The Shops on Donmills (Lawrence & Donmills) takes place on Saturday & Sunday from 12-4pm.  There will be family entertainment, bouncing castle and a giant obstacle course.

      Join Harbourfront Kids @ Harbourfront Centre for a 3-day festival for kids ages 5 to 12.  The main theme of the festival is RESPECT (people, animals, the environment) and workshops & activities are many and varied.  See the schedule of events.

      The fabulous Pinkalicious, The Musical! has shows running throughout the weekend as well as a on Thanksgiving Day!

      For more fun weekend events including many a pumpkin patch directory, go to www.mamapicks.com

      Boy Playing on Pumpkin

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      Free Story Time + Exclusive Discount @ KLIM

      One of the best kept secrets in Thornhill Woods (Hwy. 7 & Bathurst/Dufferin) is Klim School of Art.  The school runs many wonderful art classes for kids and adults alike, led by carefully hand-picked instructors.  Last year, I joined a class with a group of moms and the school opened a post-bedtime class especially for us!  It was so nice to get out once  a week to socialize and learn.  The atmosphere is warm and the space is bright and inspiring…perfect for dabbling and experienced artists.  New this Fall, are the following programs:

      Free Story Time for ages 2-5 takes place every Wednesday @ 1:30pm throughout the month of October.  Your child does not need to be enrolled in order to enjoy this free activity.  Come on over to hear exciting and interactive tales about mythical creatures, far away lands, and much more.

      Mom & Tots Class is a new  introductory art course for ages 2-3 yrs.  Children will learn basic art skills, create using a variety of media and age-appropriate tools,  play games, sing songs and have a great time.

      Mamapicks readers receive 10% off when registering for any program! The discount also applies to Klim’s great P.A. Day programs.  Offer valid until Friday, Oct. 9th.

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      Free Printable Thank-You Cards

      Susan Connor of SusyJack paper goods has posted this freebie recently and I thought you might like it.  It’s a beautiful Thank-You card that prints on 5×5 folding card format.  Download the PDF file here and print as many as you like.

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      cellphone

      Info About Cell Phone Radiation

      Does your baby love playing or devouring your cell phone?  I have to admit that there have been times (mostly in long line-ups) that I have voluntarily handed my cell phone to my daughter to avoid an eruption of toddler impatience.  I am not proud of such moments especially because I worry about radiation.  I came upon this informative website about cell phone radiation where you can look up your cell phone and learn how to reduce exposure.

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      Mastermind Deal: Straws & Connectors

      Sometimes I feel like someone is listening…  I just blogged about my love for Straws & Connectors last week and now the jumbo-super-size sets are on sale at Mastermind (two boxes for $30!).  Guess you know where I am heading…

      straws

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      There are many more deals, coupons and product features on mamapicks.com.

      Please forward this newsletter to your friends!

      Have I talked about the Shops At Donmills enough yet?  This weekend (July 25th + 26th), the Town Square transforms into a play zone with a bouncing castle and obstacle course.  The wonderful water fountain has turned into a great splash area for kids and it’s so much fun!  Bring towels and a change of clothes.  Last weekend, I breathed at Anthropologie while my husband watched The Boy splash around  (on a chair in the shade, mind you).  A win-win!  Family fun takes place 12pm-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Shops At Donmills has great family bathrooms located right next to the water fountain and Guest Services will happily warm up a baby bottle for you or provide an emergency diapering kit for $2.

      …and, come out on Saturday night for a movie on the lawn @ The Town Square.  The Princess Bride is a great family movie to enjoy together.  Bring blankets and lawn chairs.  The movie begins at dusk.  How fun!

      Posted in Newsletter.