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Category Archives: Useful Info

  1. Canada: Tiny Love Toy Recall

    Yesterday, 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.


    Posted in Useful Info.

  2. Chinese New Year Craft

    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.

    Posted in Holiday Goods, Ideas, Useful Info.

  3. Two Great Shows for Families in March

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    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.

    Posted in Activities & Events, Gifts, Useful Info.

  4. Hyper Parents & Coddled Kids

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    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.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  5. 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.

    Posted in Ideas, Recipes, Useful Info.

  6. Graco Stroller Recall

    This recall involves Graco-brand Passage, Alano, and Spree strollers.  To learn more about this product recall, see the Health Canada website.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  7. Costco City Passes

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    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.

    Posted in Activities & Events, Deals, Ideas, Travel, Useful Info.

  8. 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.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  9. Mamapicks Review: Pinkalicious, The Musical

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    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.

    The set was beautiful and vibrant.  The actors themselves moved the parts between scenes but in a way that did not distract the audience at all.  The actors were enthusiastic and full of energy, trying to involve the audience at times.  The songs were catchy and fun.  The storyline is very simple – Pinkalicious loves pink and loves cupcakes with pink icing even more.  Her parents’ struggle with her preference for treats over vegetables is an underlying theme.  Pinkalicious eats too many pink cupcakes and turns pink!  At first this is fun, but soon enough, it is a predicament that Pinkalicious and her concerned family try to resolve.

    I thought that the play was very cute and the audience seemed taken.  The length of the show is 1 hour which is suitable for young kids.  However, I would not take a child under the age of three to this show as I think it’s too complex, loud and long for two-year olds.  Furthermore, I wouldn’t recommend going to see the play with 3-4 year olds who are not familiar with the story.  Kids who know and love the story, will enjoy the play and have an easier time taking in the plot, the set, the music and whole theatre experience.  Last but not least, Pinkalicious is as girly as it sounds and there were very few boys in the audience.

    At the end of the show, the characters all came out to greet the audience and sign autographs outside of the theatre, which was a really nice touch!  Enjoy the opportunity to see Pinkalicious until March.  If you are looking for an amazing birthday party idea, check out the Pinkalicious birthday packages too!

    Posted in Activities & Events, Useful Info.

  10. Winterlicious 2011!

    Toronto.com has the list of restaurants, including menus and locations….so you can just sit down and reserve, reserve, reserve.  I find that the Winterlicious deals are great for lunches but a little skimpy for dinners.  Winterlicious runs Jan. 28th – Feb. 10th.  You can start making reservations on Jan. 11th if you have an AMEX, or wait till the 13th if you don’t.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  11. 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…

    Posted in Cool Products, Useful Info.

  12. A Year of Lex

    This video clip might make you want to have another baby just so you can do this too.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  13. Westjet Seat Sale to Vegas!

    To make sure that my husband doesn’t leave me after baby #3 arrives, I want to send him to Vegas.  He really deserves a break.  Look at the deal I found!  Flight + 3-nights at  New York-New York for $450 CA (all in).  Westjet is having a seat sale so if Vegas is on your mind, book by Dec. 31st (for travel by Feb. 10th) to take advantage of the great prices!

    Posted in Deals, sale, Useful Info.

  14. DIY Project: Organize your kids’ art table!

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    1)  This DIY project comes from my brilliant friend (Ms. Barak).  The “Lazy Susan” is from IKEA ($9.99). 2)  I gathered some sippy cups with missing lids.  However, I would recommend using cups with a flatter bottom so that more surface area comes in contact with the wood.  I used crazy glue to adhere the cups but you can also use velcro or screws. 3)  Done!  Rather than a big messy box of crayons, markers and pencils, we now have an organized and practical apparatus 😉

    Posted in Ideas, Useful Info.

  15. Marshmallow Snowman

    A cute little activity to do with the kids during the break!  This one is from Canadian Family (Originally excerpted from Kids in the Holiday Kitchen by Jessica Strand and Tammy Massman-Johnson.  The instructions are quite simple, enjoy!

    Posted in Ideas, Useful Info.

  16. The Mummy Tummy

    Side profile of a pregnant woman

    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??

    Posted in Useful Info.

  17. 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.

    Posted in Activities & Events, Deals, Useful Info.

  18. Chores!

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    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.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  19. Storing and Displaying Your Child’s Artwork

    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.

    Posted in Decor, Ideas, Useful Info.

  20. Another Thornhill Mompreneur Event!

    sigal

    Taking place on Sunday, Nov. 29th, 11am-6pm and featuring some of my local favourites:  Create-a-Dream children’s bedding, Beauty-N-Nature’s line of organic make-up, The Kids’ Treasure Box and much more.  This is a great opportunity to buy gifts for the season.  See map for location.  Call 416-887-8132 for more information.

    Posted in Activities & Events, This Weekend, Useful Info.

  21. 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.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  22. Help We’ve Got Kids!

    helpkids

    Thanks to all of you who participated in this great giveaway.  Our winners are Elena, Helen, Jen, Ilana and Tired Mom.  Congratulations and stay tuned for the next Mamapicks giveaway.  Those of you who would like to purchase this fabulous resource, please see the Help!…We’ve Got Kids website for retailer and ordering information.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  23. Another Great Giveaway!

    helpkids

    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!

    Posted in Contests & Giveaways, Useful Info.

  24. Maclaren Recall and Canadian Consumers (Updated)

    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.

    Posted in Useful Info.

  25. Resort Vacations for Families of 5…

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    If your family has 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 in another vacation before the third comes along!

    Posted in Useful Info.