Toronto - MOMS & KIDS
June 15th, 2013
When we in grade 6, our only concern was the latest issue of Tiger Beat and wondering when we could pierce our ears.
Not Vancouverite Tate, an 11-year-old business woman who has turned her love of baking into a growing cupcake empire. After whipping up batches every weekend, Tate's mom, fashion and kids' photograph Amanda Skuse, told her that if she wanted to keep up production, she'd have to start selling them. Tate, channeling her inner Martha, does just that. Choose from chocolate, vanilla or red velvet with butter cream icing to match any theme ($20/dozen).
This kid takes the cupcake.
June 8th, 2013
Reading and understanding the ingredients in a beauty product usually requires a degree in chemistry.
So when we find a product that lists USDA certified organic ingredients like grapeseed oil, rosehip oil, and shea butter, we actually know and understand what is going on our skin. Canadian line Shoosha’s list of product ingredients reads like a hippie’s essential oil cabinet, without the smell of patchouli. The Replenish Baby Lotion ($24.99) includes anti-inflammatory oils with restorative properties and the Rejuvenate Stretch Mark Serum, which we will be using long after pregnancy, ($29.99) helps repair skin.
Made fresh and in small batches, Shoosha’s products are practically good enough to eat. And probably a lot tastier than formula. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
June 1st, 2013
We head to Tough City for a family-friendly vacation that brings new meaning to surf and turf.
Pacific Sands Beach Resort has outstanding oceanfront beach houses on Cox Bay with lots of room for the whole family to spread out: You in the massive view jacuzzi tub, the kids enjoying fresh baked goods and granola delivered on the doorstep from Red Can Gourmet www.redcangourmet.com ($9.50), and Dad catching some early morning waves (or is that you?). We played bingo and Twister, built forts and made kelp skipping ropes. Who needs satellite TV? www.pacificsands.com
Beyond surfing (lessons and rentals are offered at the new Surf Shop at Long Beach Lodge), we saw golfing, Frisbee, jogging, and even sand hockey on the beach. Don’t miss the short walk to the private Pettinger Point (pictured) belonging to Pacific Sands Beach Resort to search the tide pools, picnic amongst the wildflowers or watch the sunset. Rooms come with pint-sized rain slickers should the weather turn, and come summer, the Kids Camps are free. www.pacificsands.com
Perfect for early risers (like your little groms), weekend brunch at the Spotted Bear starts at 9 a.m. Chef/owner Vincent Fraissange spends the season working yachts on the Med, then returns to Tofino in the summer to dish up his brand of French inspired comfort food. Try a refreshing grapefruit soda in a mason jar, crispy pork belly and baked beans, or the outsize “Marie Antoinette” banana bread pudding French toast ($15). 101 Fourth St., Tofino, 250-725-2215, www.spottedbearbistro.com
When the door lifts at the Tacofino taco truck precisely at 11 a.m., there’s already a line up (in high summer, the lunch wait can be up to 45 minutes). The gooey grilled Gringa tacos were a huge hit with the kids (ok, and adults) and the icy mint and lime Freshie drinks ($4.50) pair perfectly with the tuna “ta-taco” garnished with seaweed ($6.50). 1184 Pacific Rim Highway, 250-726-8288, www.tacofino.com
Getting there: Make a reservation on www.bcferries.com
For more pictures of this Tofino trip, visit the Editors' Diary.
May 24th, 2013
Thanks to Chris Hadfield, the cachet of astronauts is through the roof.
And thanks to this awesome comforter set by Snurk Amsterdam ($95 at Simons), bedtime is synonymous with launch o’clock for lucky little ones. (Of course, astronauts may come and go but princesses are forever.)
We only have one criticism about these too-cute comforters: They only come in twin sizes. – Christine Laroche
In Simons stores Montrea/Edmonton and online at www.simons.ca
May 18th, 2013
Planning a family holiday with lots of day trips? Here are three packable items that allow you to be prepared, without the bulk.
Hershel’s new Packables range allows you to travel with a variety of bag options. Featuring a duffle, daypack, or tote that all fit into a small pouch, you can whip them out before a day of sightseeing, or at the airport when you’ve stocked up on wine from the duty free. From $9.99 at Herschel.
If you prefer packing your own meals on holiday, Lunchskins are the perfect companion. The reusable snack bags mean you can travel light, but with the equivalent of 20 tupperwares. They can hold fruit, sandwiches, or treats, and are easy to rinse out in a hotel room. From $8.49 at Rasberry Kids.
The nostalgic Claude Klassic K-Way is a reminder of when we were kids and proudly wore our parka tucked into a little bag around our waist. Featuring a variety of prints and a size range from 12 months to teens, this is an absolute must-have when you are out and about anywhere that might greet you with a downpour (Vancouver, ahem!) $54 at K-Way. http://k-way.ca
—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
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!
May 4th, 2013
Parents of boys know that there is a harsh inequality when it comes to baby clothes. Girls have a vast collection of separates, dresses, and accessories to choose from, while boys have to contend with basic onesies, jeans, and the odd sweater.
We think Winter Water Factory is trying to even things out. Its collection of organic printed baby clothes features a goldmine of boys’ items. The tools romper ($40) and construction onesie ($36.50, pictured) will certainly excite the heavy machinery fans in your family, and the high seas gown ($36) is perfect for any pirate-in-the-making.
May as well dress our girls in these too, in hopes they’ll take an early interest in power tools. That toddler bed isn't going to assemble itself. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
At Hip Baby, 2110 W. Fourth Ave., Vancouver, 604-736-8020 and online at www.hipbaby.com
April 27th, 2013
OK, so the ride may still have training wheels, but that's no reason why it can't make some noise.
There's a Dring Dring bike bell, created by Montreal artist Annie Legroulx, for every type of kid.
For the sportster, there's a soccer ball, for the budding DJ, a vinyl record, and for the animal lover, a turtle.
Now just mind your language when she tries to cut you off.
$24 at Walrus, 3408 Cambie St., 604-874-9770 or shop online at www.dringdring.ca
April 19th, 2013
When your little one asks if his apple juice is organic and his animal crackers fair trade, you know you've got a little green machine on your hands. Herewith, 5 eco-friendly products that the entire family can feel good about:
An obsession amongst the VitaminDaily.com moms, Mini Mioche sustainable clothing line is designed and made in Toronto and features pared down yet stylish basics - a mini version of what you would wear - in an array of sweet neutrals, never a cartoonish pattern in sight. Fabrics are coloured with eco dyes, packaging is minimal and fair wages are paid to all involved. We love that the clothing lasts and that the basic tees are unisex enough in style to be passed down to the next little boy or girl. From $25 at www.minimioche.com
Not only can your children sip water or fresh pressed juice from their phthalate free, lightweight, completely recyclable SIGG bottles, but now, just in time for Earth Day, they can also save one sq. meter of Panamanian rainforest with the purchase of each specially designed Sigg bottles for CUIPO, a social enterprise focused on rainforest conservation. Ditch the plastic for good and help diminish deforestation – all in one sip. From $17.99 at www.mysigg.com and at select Whole Foods Markets nationwide.
Expand your horizons beyond melamine or even bpa free plastic plates, with the smartly designed Brinware plates. Fashioned from durable tempered glass that does not break easily (even on a tile floor, trust us!), each piece also has a flexible food safe silicone cover that fits snugly around the bottom of each plate, offering extra cushioning from slippery hands, as well as a pop of kid friendly colour that allows the striking prints screened onto the back of each plate to emerge. Ideal for a toddler and up. At www.lussobaby.ca and ttps://www.crocodilebaby.com
Designed in Canada by a busy mom of 3, the SoYoung line of PVC and pthalate free cooler bags are cute enough for your kids but stylish enough for Mom or Dad. Heidi Klum and daughter Lou are fans. Pack their snacks in the insulated bag when you’re out and about, or use one to tote your own healthy, made-at-home lunch to the office. www.soyoung.ca
Fashioned from recycled newspaper, these colourful O’bon pencils last 2-3 times longer than traditional wooden pencils because the leads are better protected. They also manage to inspire awe for the wild in your child, with each pencil showcasing a different animal that corresponds to a particular colour. We love their bright hues. From $2.50 at www.lavishandlime.com
April 13th, 2013
Growing out of your winter maternity duds? Here are a few pieces that will keep you and your bump stylish and cool as the hot weather approaches.
The dress: If your biggest maternity investment is going to be a formal dresss, then we suggest this silk number from Seraphine. Available in a maxi ($359) or mini ($299) version, the kimono sleeves and jewel tone blues are perfect for summer parties or weddings. At Seraphine, www.seraphinematernity.com
The jeans: Go white this summer, since it will mostly likely be the last time you’ll be able to don white pants without having them covered in spit up, food, and crayons marks. These ones are from Loved by Heidi Klum. $59.98 from Motherhood Maternity, www.motherhoodcanada.ca
The tank: Be practical and buy this plain white tank from Au Fait Mama. The comfy bamboo fabric works perfectly underneath blouses (to keep the belly oils from staining your good clothes) or on its own when it’s broiling. Best part? This is actually a nursing tank, so you’ll be able to use it when baby is born, too. $68 from Au Fait Mama. www.aufaitmama.myshopify.com
The tee: This grey tee from H&M features a pretty floral print, and at $14.95, we won’t feel bad wearing for a few months and then passing it on to our next expecting friend. Mama Top, at H&M. Maternity collection available in 30 stores across Canada. www.hm.com
The cardigan: The Ruth Cardigan from Isabella Oliver comes in ochre (shown) or turquoise and cool enough to wear when we are done making babies. Just don’t tell anyone it is maternity clothes. Ruth Crop Maternity Cardigan, $145 at Isabella Oliver, www.isabellaoliver.com
—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg