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Category Archives: Useful Info

  1. Dear-Born Baby Outlet Store

    Based on your experience with Dear-Born Baby, you will find this really exciting or really not exciting.  You choose.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  2. Donating Halloween Candy

    I know what you are doing now.  You are going for another Kit-Kat and feeling guilty about it…  All that junk food in small packages is going to our rumps after the kids go to bed.  No one needs that much candy…and there are people out there in our community and beyond who really do need a treat.  This week, donate some of your Halloween candy while it’s still fresh.  It’s a great way to stop eating it.  Your kids can learn a valuable lesson.  So many great reasons to donate.

    Always call ahead to make sure that donations are welcome.  Here are some ideas:

    Meals on Wheels

    Canadian Food for Children

    Ronald McDonald House

    Nursing/Veterans Homes

    Posted in Useful Info.

  3. Huge Fisher Price Recall

    You thought you were having a bad day???  Fisher Price is recalling:

    7 million tricycles.

    2.9 million toys.

    1 million high-chairs.

    120,000 ramp & car toys.

    Click on each of the above to see images in the Health Canada website.  Good night!

    Posted in Useful Info.

  4. 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!

    Posted in Exclusive Discounts, Useful Info.

  5. 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 inbetween.  Nothing.

    For tonight’s dinner, I defrosted a package of boneless chicken breast and put it along with the following in the cooker:

    1 jar apricot jam
    1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup chicken broth

    Set on low for 4-5  hours….and voila, tender chicken in a beautiful tangy sauce.  Add rice and you are done.  One tip – when done cooking, always take off the lid of the slow-cooker so that the food doesn’t dry out.

    Here are two websites/blogs that have lots of great recipes!


    Posted in Useful Info.

  6. Online Shopping is Here!

    Posted in Useful Info.

  7. Keep it or toss it?

    Meal planning can be overwhelming at times.  Just when I felt so proud of myself for whipping up a great family dinner this past Friday in 30 minutes, I remembered that I had bought fresh fish filets that I meant to use.  How long can fresh Telapia be kept in the fridge, I wondered?  What’s worse? Throwing away the $12 I had spent or poisoning my husband?  I threw out the fish, but not before discovering this website:!  Enter any food item or beverage and it will tell you how to store it and for how long.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  8. Pottery Barn Bed Recalled

    This is the Madeline bed…and a kid’s head can possibly get caught between the bed post and the decorative molding.  Read more info here.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  9. Dinner Conversation Starters

    Sometimes, in the middle of the night, it bothers me that we don’t have the sit-down family dinners that I envisioned.  Let’s face it, it’s not easy to eat with three kids who are 4 and under.  I have to remember that conversing is overly ambitious at the moment but we do have lovely one-word exchanges (i.e.  “water!”, “sit”, “don’t”, “here”, “more!”, “done”).  Some of you may have older kids and want to spice up your dinner with some thought provoking questions that are not overly philosophical.  I came upon these dinner starters the other day and really liked them.  Courtesy of a great blog called HowDoesShe.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  10. August 12th: Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day

    Buy a Blizzard Treat on August 12th, and all proceeds will benefit your local Children’s Miracle Network hospital.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  11. Wonderland Evening Pass

    From Monday August 9 to Sunday August 15, enjoy Starlight admission to Canada’s Wonderland for just $24.99. Starlight tickets are valid from 5:00-10:00 PM – plenty of time to pack in a whole night’s worth of rides, games and food for those without a season pass or with out-of-town guests!   Brilliant.

    Posted in Deals, Useful Info.

  12. Dealing with a sweet tooth…

    Mamapicks has a sweet tooth and so does The Boy.  Until he was 3 years old, we were able to keep candy away.  He simply wasn’t exposed to it and was quite satisfied with cookies and crackers for treats.  I don’t even remember if it was a doctor, an old aunt or a friend who helped him discover lolly pops.  Oh ya, it was the hair dresser at Melon Head.

    Anyway, the short of it is that candy has become an issue in our household and I need to find the right balance.  I enjoyed this short article from Baby Center and you might too if you are dealing with a similar situation.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  13. How much sleep have you lost??

    According to an article that a friend sent me, parents of new babies lose 6 months of sleep in two years.  I certainly feel that way…however, I am not sure if the stats derived by this British survey are reliable.  That being said, the article did make me feel good and it legitimized some crazy things I have done recently (like put diesel in my car by mistake).  Read the article here.  And please, don’t write to me about confounding variables, this site is meant to be fun 😉

    Posted in Useful Info.

  14. Making Life Just 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.  With stool in hand, she set everything up in our family room and all was calm, easy, convenient.

    Her magic bag included a cover for my floor, a DVD player for the kids with a great selection of DVDs that they each chose from,  Organic hair products (!) and an awesome dust buster.  My kids, who are not easy when it comes to new experiences and people, were so comfortable and it was the best haircut experience we have ever had.

    Haircuts on Wheels is a brilliant concept just as it is, but Kimberly also cuts kids’ hair in schools and daycares to save parents even more time.  She also arranges school fundraisers and a portion goes back to the schools.  So come September, if you are on the PTA, remember this great fund-raising option.  Last but not least, Kimberly has been nominated for Savvy Mom’s Mompreneur of the Year Award and your vote can help support her!

    Posted in Useful Info.

  15. Thank You Mexx


    …for waiting till after my third pregnancy to come out with what will likely be a really lovely line of maternity clothes.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  16. Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas

    fathersdayYikes!  Father’s Day is on Sunday.  If you are still looking for something special and inexpensive to make with your kids, here are some ideas:


    Posted in Gifts, Ideas, Useful Info.

  17. Kickstart your summer workout!

    Do any of you have that one friend who’s stomach is so flat, you can use it as a cutting board?  You know…the one who just had a baby and is all ready for bikini season?  Don’t resent her.  Be inspired.  Summer hasn’t officially begun and with hard work and self-discipline, we can all feel better about ourselves.

    Mamapicks is signing up for a two-week bootcamp and thought you might be interested as well!  Spots are filling up quickly.  Here is the info:

    Location: Newport Square Park in Thornhill (close to Bathurst & Hwy 7).

    Cost: Each 2-week session is $100, which includes six 1-hr morning classes (6:30 am or 9:30am).   In addition, you will receive a one-on-one consultation & fitness test prior to the start of the camp, free of charge.  If you bring a friend, the cost is only $75 for all of the above.

    The start date for the first session is June 7th 2010.  Sessions will continue throughout the summer so if you can’t start now, you can register for subsequent sessions.

    It’s going to be fun, challenging, and exciting!   There’ll be lots of sweat…and a lot of laughter.  Call Yael Young for more information: 416-797-2670.

    Posted in Activities & Events, Useful Info.

  18. Camp Eden Open House and Exclusive Promotion

    Camp Eden is thrilled to invite you to their 10th annual open house!  Thursday June 3rd,2010 between 6-8pm.  In celebration of their 10th anniversary, Camp Eden is happy to announce two additional programs. The Moms and Tots Program offers a warm and nurturing environment for Mom, Dad or caregiver to spend with an 18m-3yr old, and our E-sports Program will accommodate those little athletes who just can’t get enough of sports. Located conveniently in Thornhill, at (The Toronto Waldorf School) 9100 Bathurst st., campers will enjoy a majestic property with a forest, pond, river and amazing indoor facilities.

    Mamapicks readers who register, will receive their choice of free bussing or lunches for a 2-week session!  Just say Mamapicks.

    Posted in Deals, Useful Info.

  19. Free to play…

    The following is an excerpt from a blog called Playborhood by a dad named Mike Lanza.  His blog is all about nurturing outdoor play in our neighbourhoods and providing our children with this important opportunity that many of us  had while growing up.   I find his blog informative and inspirational and I hope you will too.  Mike Lanza’s goal (below), will tell you what it’s all about.

    My Goal

    I want my kids to play outside with other neighborhood kids every day.
    I want them to create their own games and rules.
    I want them to play big, complex games with large groups of kids, and simpler games one-on-one with a best friend.
    I want them to decide for themselves what to play, where, and with whom.
    I want them to settle their own disputes with their friends.
    I want them to create their own private clubs with secret rules.
    I want them to make lasting physical artifacts that show the world that this is their place.
    I want them to laugh and run and think.
    Every day.

    That’s what I had.  It’s my standard for a good childhood.  It’s my goal for my kids.

    Mamapicks says AMEN.

    Posted in Ideas, Useful Info.

  20. Children’s Tylenol & Motrin Recalled

    Read the Globe & Mail article for more info.  Details, including NDC numbers, are available by telephone at 1-888-222-6036 or on the web at

    Posted in Useful Info.

  21. Cruise with KIDS?

    One of our best vacations ever was a cruise vacation…but that was before we had kids.  I sometimes wonder if and when it would be appropriate to take the kids on a cruise vacation.   The travel company who we booked our cruise with was incredible and I often recommend them to friends.  VacationsToGo has great prices and the service is immaculate.  They have compiled information on all of the programs and services available for kids (ages 2-17) by each cruise line.  What a great resource!

    Holland America
    MSC Cruises
    Royal Caribbean

    Posted in Travel, Useful Info.

  22. Honda Odyssey Recall

    The Honda recall that you may have recently heard about, affects 24,680 Odyssey minivans and 4,137 Element sport utility vehicles from the 2007-08 model year in Canada.  The recall follows complaints that brake pedals begin to feel “soft” or have to be pushed lower and lower over time before the vehicle would stop.  The problem is very gradual and Honda claims that this is due to air leaking into part of the anti-lock braking system over a period of months or even years.  So…nothing sudden to worry about, however you may want to contact your nearest dealership for more info.  I sorta wish that the recall would include auto detailing.  My Odyssey is a direct extension of our family room and kitchen.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  23. Toy Recommendation

    Once in a while, you buy a toy and it actually peaks your children’s interest for more than 1 day.  This one (Pipe Builders) has been occupying both The Boy & The Girl for over two  months!  Who would have thought?   They are always busy building letters, numbers, shapes and structures. I purchased the large tub of plastic pipe builders at an amazing American store called Lakeshore Learning (they supply educational toys, learning materials and craft supplies to schools, museums, playgrounds and regular families).  If by chance you are in the US, you must visit!  Some of Lakeshore’s products (Pipe Builders included), are available here in Canada through Wintergreen Learning Materials.  The set includes 240 plastic pieces and is well worth the purchase!

    Posted in Gifts, Ideas, Useful Info.

  24. If you were a piece of IKEA furniture…

    …what would your name be?  A little silliness to perk up your Thursday.  Try it!

    Posted in Useful Info.

  25. 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 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!

    Posted in Recipes, Useful Info.