September 26th, 2013
Does a fear of chain restaurants with cartoon mascots and screeching tour busses keep you anchored at home? Travelling with kids need not be as cheesy as a croque monsieur.
With tonnes of tips (from food to fashion) for the discerning traveller, newly launched site, Kodomo (child in Japanese) will help you plan and book a sojourn with little ones that's as stylish as you are. So whether the kids are your own, beloved nieces/nephews or younger siblings from your dad's third marriage, there is hope for enlightened family travel.
City guides include London, Rio, New York and Morocco with plenty more to come. Look out for Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto, all written by Vitamin Daily girls.
No fanny pack, no problem. —Athena Tsavliris and Maria Talalrico
August 22nd, 2013
Only in New York City do you see a skateboarding vicar, Spiderman, and a guy on a ten foot bicycle in one morning.
Humans of New York (HONY) is an amazing portal into the weird and wonderful people that make this city so darn great. On his wildly popular blog, street photographer, Brandon Stanton captures the love, the loneliness, the colour and crazy with accompanying quotes that are sad, hilarious and full of heart.
Forget chicken soup – this is spicy hot gumbo for the soul. —Athena Tsavliris
August 17th, 2013
I sometimes torture myself by wondering how I would have parented in the era of my own childhood, complete with a Little House on the Prairies lack of iPads and WiFi. Shudder. Lucky for all of modern parents, we have the interwebs to answer our late night questions on fevers, to quell the 3 p.m. “what’s for dinner” panic, and to provide us with post-bedtime shopping sessions. As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to raising a family, it doesn’t just take a village, it takes access to the whole world. Here are just a few of the sites that I turn to on the regular.
She may have become famous for the dinner diary she’s been keeping since 1998 but Jenny Rosenstrach gives her Dinner, A Love Story readers so much more than that. Funny, warm and helpful, I love stopping by for dinner inspiration or just a good laugh. www.dinneralovestory.com
I ended up making every bit of baby food my kids consumed (I know, I know but it’s way easier than it sounds) but I was super nervous about it to begin with. Wholesome Baby Food was my constant source of recipes, storage tips, and most importantly, introduction schedules. http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com
When I’m stumped for a birthday party (or any kid party) idea, I always check out what Jann Scott is doing on her fantastic site, Family Bites. An event planner turned writer, Jann has amazing ideas that are cute but never cutesy. Can’t wait for the book she’s working on with Julie Van Rosendaal. http://mixingbowlkids.typepad.com
Why do kids always get sick on Fridays at 5:15, just as your pediatrician’s office is closing for the weekend? A click on has more than once saved me from an unnecessary trip to the ER. Is there anything Dr. Sears doesn’t know? www.askdrsears.com
I love knowing that everything I find on Raspberry Kids has been vetted for safety, eco-friendliness and all-around cuteness by the brilliant Sue Sinclair. Pick up clothes, books, toys, body care and their amazing litterless-lunch range. www.raspberrykids.com
Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) I just need a half hour to MacGyver dinner and for buying me that time I’m constantly thankful for Netflix Canada. Their new partnership with Scholastic Media means even more great kids’ content (The Mouse and The Motorcyle, baby!). All without commercials, thank you very much. http://movies.netflix.com/WiHome
Why does reading about a badly behaved child make me feel better about my own? I don’t know, but it just does. If you aren’t reading and following The Honest Toddler, you’re missing out on the internet’s gift to parents. http://thehonesttoddler.com
May 11th, 2013
We secretly think there's only one thing moms want for Mother's Day - more hours in the day. And we would definitely spend part of that time reading these stellar Canadian parenting blogs.
With a tagline like “Not potty trained. Not trying” the Honest Toddler makes our kids look like angels. This Canadian toddler’s reflections on life makes us want to both laugh and cry. “Funny how after 10 p.m. asking for a sip of water is on the same level as attempted murder.” Indeed.
Sweet Potato Chronicles is a blog about family food, created by a pair of ex-FASHION magazine staffers, Ceri Marsh and Laura Keogh. Expect healthy recipes that are designed for modern families (read: quick and uncomplicated), information about food trends, and lots of cookbook giveaways.
Mama. Papa. Bubba: It’s a love/hate (OK, envy) thing with “Mama” Jen Kossowan because she seems to have a talent for preparing extraordinarily healthy, fun food and activities for her “bubba” Gracen. We still can't figure out how she manages to get that much kale into her daughter, but we're hooked on the great crafts and recipes.
Regressive Parenting describes itself as a blog about “Detachment parenting in an attachment age” and is one of the most honest parenting sites we’ve found to date. Penned by two mothers who share a love of wine, they remind us about the realities of having kids and dole out real advice like “Stay away from the Babycenter.com message boards.” Sadly, the blog is not updated regularly but you’ll find some gems on Twitter @RegressiveMama: Have you met kids? They are not for everyone.
The Thirties Grind: Melissa Carr is best known for her Absurd Vancouver Properties of the Week, but as a mom, she also covers a lot of parenting issues. Expect some debate in the comments section as she tackles issues like childhood allergies or childcare, and her The REAL Real Housewives of Vancouver profiles local women that bear little resemblance to the ones in the show (and have a lot less plastic surgery).
Reasons Mommy Drinks is recently back from a book writing hiatus (expect a launch this fall.) An exploration of the reasons why parents resort to alcohol, this blog not only provides hilarious articles lamenting things like the thousands of dollars we spend on baby carrying devices (carriers, strollers, and car seats) but also provides recipes for cocktails to get us through each day. And we smile at the reminders that all parents make mistakes: “The Park: she forgot to pack your hat, which according to The Unspoken Rules of Parenting is the equivalent of leaving you outside naked in a snowstorm."
Happy Mother's Day from the VitaminDaily.com team!
December 7th, 2012
We love the idea of having our kids make Christmas presents, but not everyone wants gifts covered in glue, glitter, and scribbles.
How about letting them design motifs and patterns on professionally-made notebooks, T-shirts and greeting cards? Vancouver company Kibooco has launched a holiday pop-up shop that allows just that (look for the full book creation site in the new year).
Choose your item, and then use the icons and mouse to decorate. The software is ridiculously easy to use - so easy that this parent couldn’t figure it out because she over thought everything. Of course the 3-year-old easily managed to design a pretty cool notebook covered in ice cream cones and excavators. Lots of excavators.
The best part? There’s no opportunity to spill glitter or eat glue. Just don’t let them wreck your computer. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Order your artwork before December 10 and get delivery before Christmas. Notebooks start at $16, t-shirts start at $32, www.kibooco.com
July 31st, 2012
We may not be in London to watch the Summer Olympics in person, but we're still going for the gold in team spirit.
Downtown Calgary has Olympics-addicts covered: from July 27 through August 12, join fellow cheerleaders at the Stephen Avenue Celebration spot for volleyball, swimming and high-drama competition.
Must-haves for outdoor viewing:
Snacks and drinks from nearby food trucks.
Go Team Canada! —Kait Kucy
Screen located on 300 W block of Stephen Avenue between 2nd St. SW and 3rd St. SW, Calgary, 403-215-1570.
July 10th, 2012
Downtown’s Devonian Gardens have finally re-opened after nearly three years of renovations and the welcome respite from downtown's hustle and bustle was worth the wait.
The spectacular indoor garden space is home to an abundance of beautiful plants only found in Calgary due to the indoor nature of the garden. The perfect place for a lunch break or a cheap date, entry to the garden is free for all. Encouraged as a community spot to relax and enjoy all year round, the re-opening marks the full completion of The CORE shopping centre.
Rumour has it that a well-loved local restauranteur will be opening up a new dining spot in the gardens, raising the bar above the typical food court fare nearby. —Kait Kucy
Devonian Gardens, 324 Eighth Ave. SW., Calgary, 403-268-3830, to book a private event visit www.calgary.ca/parks/devonian
June 22nd, 2011
We started off obsessed with Sassy and then grew up into Jane. But when irreverent editor, Jane Pratt, put away her red pen and razor-sharp wit, we had to be content with magazines that taught us how to toe the femininity line.
XOJane is Pratt’s new web magazine “where women go when they are being selfish, and where their selfishness is applauded.” With great advice on how to Do this Don’t, much needed makeunders and terrific tips for us techy types, we know where to go when we’re feeling more clever than Cosmo.
Now that’s sassy stuff. —JN
June 17th, 2011
Not everyone is a fan of games at a baby shower, but we need to keep the mom-to-be entertained while we drink all her champagne.
1. Match the celebrity and their baby. Print out lists of celebrities and their baby’s (ridiculous) names, ask the players to match each child with their parent. The one with the most correct matches wins. Do you know who Bear Blu, Moon Unit, and Princess Tiaamii’s parents are? The fun begins….
2. Decorate onesies while mom-to-be opens gifts. Unwrapping presents can take a long time, so provide a few sets of plain onesies and let the guests personalize an outfit for the baby. Non-toxic fabric paints and printed fabrics (for appliqués) make for some very memorable onesies.
3. Baby bingo. A great opportunity to hand out some fun little prizes, you could make your own bingo cards, or go the easy route and order these cute ones from Etsy. We love nail polishes or antique tea cups and saucers as prizes, and if many of the guests aren’t parents yet, baby making kits (sexy panties) are fun too.
March 10th, 2011
There’s no shortage of websites and blogs that peep into people’s purses, homes, beauty routines and of course, closets.
But perhaps the most personal of them all - save an underwear drawer blog that we’re sure exists somewhere - is FridgeWatcher.com.
Be warned, there are no pretty pictures of stacked Louboutins, hanging Pradas or collections of Chanel lipsticks, but what you will find is plenty of groceries, impeccably organized shelves and even a few messy drawers in refrigerators from around the world.
The best part of the site however, are the captions below the amateur photographs that detail what’s in the fridge, what are some of that owner’s staples, and what kind of crap we really eat.
And naturally, most of the European fridges put us to shame. —MG