Category: parenting

Parenting Can Be Tough, Learn How to Make It Easier


I love my children with all of my heart, the day I became a Mother was one of the best moments in my life. What I wasn’t quite ready for was how hard parenting can be at times. I struggle with wondering if I am making the right decisions, am I building their confidence up while encouraging them to be independent? As if this wasn’t enough, let’s talk about the daily struggles, the name calling, the remote stealing and the general “he is looking at me – I don’t want him looking at me!” that you need to manage on top of just life.

Parenting is tough! As the Mom of two boys, I have had to learn quick what little boys like, how they play with each other and how they learn. They still shock me with the impromptu wrestling matches that make me cringe, the slide tackles while they play soccer that make my heart stop and the sucker punches thrown in (mostly) fun. 95% of the time they are laughing until one of them has decided they have had enough and that is when all craziness breaks out.

Here are some tools I have learned along the way to make the parenting journey we are on just a tad bit easier.

Understand your child’s emotions from their level. While fighting over the remote or a video game can seem like something silly to us, this is something that is important to them in that moment, there are a lot of underlying emotions going on. Trying to understand and talk our children through the emotions is just as important as the solution. Ask the questions about why they feel this way, why it’s important and let them know you understand them.

Set the rules before they play. This is a huge one in our home, before the kids can play on their video games we have rules on how they will share turns and the consequences for not sharing. The same goes for outdoor play. That way neither of them can act shocked or surprised when they break the rules and they have to deal with the consequences (usually video games go off or they need to chose a new sport outside).

Be a role model. Our kids watch us every second of the day, how we react to stress, something we don’t like, when we are sad, happy and everything in between. They also tend to copy our behaviours, even the undesirable ones. I can think of one perfect example, when our youngest was a toddler and we would go driving, I would occasionally yell at other drivers who cut me off, didn’t use signals, ran red lines and so on. It didn’t occur to me that he would pick up this behaviour until he was the one yelling at the other drivers first! Talk about a moment of horror for me.  I quickly learned that I couldn’t be yelling at other drivers with him in the car as he was mirroring my actions.

Use television shows to reach your child. Cartoons have this way of reaching out to kids in a way that sometimes words can’t. Some great options are:

Parenting Can Be Tough Make it Easier with Netflix

Learn all about Sibling Rivalry (a huge one in our home!) in episode one in  season one of The Hive: Babee’s Room. In this episode, Buzzabee and Rubee compete over who Babee (their new sibling) gets to room with. Mom and dad must explain to Buzzabee and Rubee that Babee needs to grow up before she can share a room.

Parenting Can Be Tough Make it Easier with Netflix

Responsibility (a huge topic I think in every home) can be seen in Episode One, Season One of Veggies Tales: Puppies & Guppies/Sorry We’re Closed Today. In this episode, Larry and Laura Carrot want to adopt puppies, but quickly learn it takes responsibility in order to watch over and care for a pet of their own.

Parenting Can Be Tough Make it Easier with Netflix

What about the important topic of peer pressure as your child grows? Fuller House has you covered in episode six, season one: The Legend of El Explosivo. After getting grounded for sneaking off to Bobby Popko’s house, Jackson realizes he needs to stand up for what he knows is right and not give in to please his friend.

Parenting can be tough, no one doubts it – just remember that you are doing your best and we all have moments where we feel like we fail. Always remember – your child loves you no matter what! Keep up the great job parents!

Disclosure: I am a Netflix #StreamTeam Member and receive perks with this affiliation. All opinions expressed are my own.

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But Mom, Five More Minutes Please!! #5MoreMinutes


Bed time. You would think that this would be the easiest part of the day for parents, right? Wrong!

I have put every tactic into place from a variety of parenting books but still I can’t get my children to go to bed when I ask them to. I have tried quiet time, bath time followed by reading time, lavender on their pillows and sitting quietly with them in their rooms.

But still I hear:

“Mom, I am thirsty. I can’t sleep without water because my throat hurts.”

“Mommy sweetie pie, you know you are the prettiest lady in the whole wide world.” Okay, I have to be honest I do cave when he calls me his sweetie pie because it is so darn cute!.

“Mom, I am hungry.” (But you ate three bowls of pasta??)

“I never watched my favourite show, how am I supposed to go to bed? I never get to watch tv or do anything fun!”

Five more minutes please!

Now tell me I am not alone here? From the graphic above, clearly as parents we are not alone! Children will do anything and everything they can to play the power card over their parents and get that extra five minutes.

So what do we do as parents?

Instead of dealing with tears and frustration, Netflix understands the spot parents are in and has launched (with DreamWorks Animation) five-minute shows. Yes – you heard that right, five-minute complete shows for your child!

Five More Minutes Please

The five more minutes series is based on the new DreamWorks hit on Netflix, DinoTrux. The best part it leaves everyone happy: your child still feels that they had a choice in the matter (they were able to watch a show and stay up a little bit later) and you as the parent eased them into bed with no tears. A win win!

What is the best five more minute excuse you have heard from your child?

Disclosure: I am a #StreamTeam member and receive perks with this affiliation. All opinions expressed are my own.

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How We Pamper Our Fur Baby at PetSmart

How We Pamper Our Toopy with Petsmart

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias

It has been said that man’s best friend is his dog. For us, this statement could not be any more true.

How We Pamper Our Toopy

We first brought home, Toopy a bichon shih tzu, when our eldest was two years old. We had moved into our first townhouse and we were finding it hard to fall pregnant again. We wanted a friend not only for our son but us too! I still remember the first night we brought Toopy home – she was so tiny and would literally hang onto our ankles as she was too scared to be on her own. I spent the first three nights laying downstairs with her sleeping on my head to help soothe her and stop her crying.

How We Pamper Our Toopy with Petsmart

Almost eight years later and I can’t imagine a day without our Toopy  (who has been affectionately nicknamed Miss Toopelina). Toopy has quite the personality (some days I am surprised she wasn’t born a cat as she loves to sit on the top part of the couches and don’t even mention walks, she hates them!).

She has also become the best of friends with both of our boys. She is so much more than a pet, she acts as though they are her own children with how protective she is. When our youngest was a baby, she would sit under his chair making sure no one was getting too close to him or upsetting him, so cute right?!.

How We Pamper Our Toopy at Petsmart

This may come as no surprise to other pet owners,  but we love to spoil our Toopy. The best place to do this? PetSmart. It is honestly like dog paradise.

How We Pamper Our Toopy at PetSmart

Toopy knows exactly where we are the minute we drive in the PetSmart parking lot and she can start sniffing around. From the parking lot to the front door, Toopy’s senses are alive as she smells other animals, sees them coming in and all the neat toys at the front.

PetSmart has everything we have ever needed for Toopy, from toys to beds to food to grooming. It is our all in one store for shopping and the bonus is that Toopy can come in and help ‘pick’ her toys. On our last visit, Toopy even made a friend with a rescue dog that was the same breed as her! I was able to talk with the owner about their similar skin conditions. Both of our dogs had developed skin irritations later in life which has involved rounds of steroids injections, fungal as well as antibiotics and ointments. It was pretty awesome to be able to talk to another pet parent about our concerns and to know that we were not alone.

How We Pamper Our Fur Baby at PetSmart

Toopy left PetSmart with a brand new bed (because of her skin condition her bed needs to be changed almost monthly) and two new toys. The boys convinced me that these were the two best toys for her because in the store she came running when they squeaked!

How We Pamper Our Toopy at PetSmart

And clearly, Toopy couldn’t wait to get them in her new bed – she didn’t even wait for me to take the tags of her bed before she claimed it as her own!

How We Pamper Our Toopy at PetSmart

We love to spoil and pamper our Toopy because honestly she deserves it. She is always the most nurturing member in our home, senses our moods and always tries to make us feel better. None of us could even begin to imagine life without her.

Where do you take your fur baby to spoil them and purchase items for their everyday needs?

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Declutter Your Home and Earn Money with VarageSale

Have you made purchases that you almost immediately regret? Like the twentieth sleeper for your child that they will never wear? Maybe that deep fryer that seemed like a good purchase at the time but you never actually deep fry anything (I still don’t know why we bought it!)?

I know as a family we have done this too many times. These purchases always seem like a must have in the moment but then they sit in a closet, garage or basement for months and years. Garage sales and classified ads make me nervous (nor do I have the time to commit myself to this), and I am too uncomfortable to post or sell in the Mom groups on Facebook.

Declutter and Earn Money with VarageSale

VarageSale is an online community where you can safely buy or sell items and connect with locals in your community. VarageSale was founded in 2012 and currently has communities in 42 states in the US, Canada and world-wide. They are continuing to expand in Canada and have just recently included a community in Hamilton. VarageSale is completely free to use (win-win!) as well as having a mobile app for iOS, Android and Kindle. This is perfect for so many of us who do the majority of our work on our smart phones – I live and work on my phone so for me, an app like this saves time and increases efficiency. How to Declutter Your Home with VarageSale VarageSale offers:

  • local community groups, with a new group in Hamilton
  • easy labelling that lets users know if an item is for sale, pending or sold
  • recommend sellers and follow their feeds to see what they are currently selling
  • easy search options with multiple categories to explore
  • a safe environment to sell items within your own community

How to Declutter Your Home and Earn Money with VarageSale

Setting up an account is simple and free, you can set up your account on VarageSale. Once you have a live account, you can start uploading photos and items to sell, search other users and browse through your notifications.

This is the perfect way for busy families to safely sell unused items in their community while earning extra money that can go back into their family budget or for extra curricular activities (for us – soccer!). Which I know so many of us would appreciate the extra boost in their bank account.

Still on the fence? Watch this quick video:

How do you declutter your home? Have you set up a VarageSale account?

Make sure you follow VarageSale online on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Bring Back Family Movie Night with Netflix #StreamTeam


Now that school has started it seems like we have jumped right back into the crazy schedules – soccer practices, swimming, parent council, school meetings, homework and so much more. It is enough to drive any person bonkers trying to keep up with it all. In all of this, it is so important to remember family time. We never want this to be overlooked and always make time once a week for quality family time. Our favourite way to spend this time? Family movie night!

So how do you rock family movie night? Here is how:

Let your child get in on the fun by choosing the show to watch on Netflix. Our boys love to be the official movie pickers (is that even a term?) for our family movie night. The children have their own special sections to log in to on Netflix so that we can find movies geared towards them. Some top family favourites are: Night at the Museum, Shark Tale and Meet the Robinsons.

Bring Back Family Movie Night with Netflix

Popcorn time! Get the popcorn out and ready to go – it is the perfect partner to a family movie night. If you want to go full-out you can create a popcorn bar full of goodies for your child to top off their popcorn with.

Bring Back Family Movie Night with Netflix

Let your child be a movie critic. What child doesn’t like to be a little bit of a critic and tell you exactly what they think (and when I mean exactly, no holding back there!). Let your child use these skills and elaborate on the movie, maybe talk about an invention, what they think happened after the movie finished or maybe even an important historical figure in the movie. These are important skills for children to learn.

Bring Back Family Movie Night with Netflix

Most importantly have fun with your child. Enjoy those precious moments and let their personalities shine.

How do you like to spend family time?

Disclosure: I am a Netflix #StreamTeam member and receive perks with this affiliation. All opinions expressed are my own.

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