Kids Birthday Party Easy DIY Decorations plus a GIVEAWAY

Kids Birthday Party Easy DIY Decorations - Kids Birthday Party's are so much fun! Here are some awesome ways to make them easier on yourself, DIY Party Decorations and locations to go for parties.

 

I love an awesome kids birthday party!  They are always so much fun and so different.  Some have parties at home, some are basic kids birthday parties like we had growing up, some are totally Pinterest-inspired and make me envy the mama’s creativity and energy to pull off something so amazing.  Other birthday parties are held at a hall, or an all-in-one center where there are friendly associates to help guide the kids though amazing activities.

SnapologyMy son has the misfortune (or rather I do I suppose) to have a birthday the week before Christmas.  I will probably be looking for a center to hold his kids birthday party every year, otherwise I risk my house being over run by 10 three-year-olds and my Christmas tree and ornaments are seriously put at risk.  Finding the right center can be challenging, do you look for a hall and bring everything yourself for the party?  Or pay extra to go to a location where they do it all.  I have never had it outside the house as my kids are still young.  But, I have heard it’s not a big price difference between the two.  Personally, I would rather go somewhere where they do it all and I don’t have to worry about a thing.  Especially so close to Christmas.

How to make parties easier

Snapology Next year we will be looking into a kids birthday party franchise to host our party (to save my Christmas stuff!).  One place I wish was closer was Snapology.  This place looks so cool.  I am a big advocate for STEM, especially for my daughter. Snapology She is so clever, she loves science, space, and wants to be a doctor or a cat vet when she grows up. My son too is very technical and loves to learn about how stuff works. Having an educational birthday party would be a great way to encourage their love of learning.  My son had a Paw Patrol party for his second birthday party, that could easily be accommodated with their wide array of themes.  If one opened where I live then he could have a superhero birthday party next year there or maybe a Star Wars party so he could make light sabers.

Make sure you enter in the giveaway below to win a LEGO® brick set of the Snapology Mascot Sebastian Gator to be mailed to your home.  It is recommended for ages 6+, but with most Lego, with parent supervision your child may be ready to play with it earlier.

 

Kids Birthday Party Easy DIY Decorations - Kids Birthday Party's are so much fun! Here are some awesome ways to make them easier on yourself, DIY Party Decorations and locations to go for parties.

DIY Kids Birthday Party Decorations

For those who have a kids birthday party at home, or who like to bring decorations with them to their birthday party location, here are some super easy ways to make DIY decorations for the party in three easy steps:

  1. One of the key ways that you can add a bit of magic into these DIY Birthday Party Decorations is to make them with a free computer site, I use Canva.  It makes it super easy to find graphics online, then add them into Canva to make your decorations.
  2. Next you want to get some pretty paper, card stock, scrapbook paper, even construction paper.  Make sure the pretty paper is bigger than the sign, an inch border on big signs, it could be a cm on smaller signs like for the food table or decorations.
  3. Now time for the magic, hit up your local craft section at the dollar store and buy decorative gems.  Make sure they are the sticky kind, it can be diamond-type, colourful crystals, pearls, whatever goes with your theme.

Invitations

Kids Birthday Party Easy DIY Decorations - Kids Birthday Party's are so much fun! Here are some awesome ways to make them easier on yourself, DIY Party Decorations and locations to go for parties.

These are easy to make on your computer and can save you a lot of money.  Instead of buying them, or paying for a personalized etsy one, make it yourself!

Signs for the door to welcome your guests

Kids Birthday Party Easy DIY Decorations - Kids Birthday Party's are so much fun! Here are some awesome ways to make them easier on yourself, DIY Party Decorations and locations to go for parties.

This is one of my favourite touches for a party.  Perfect to put at the door, whether to your house or of the party room at your venue.  It tells people they are in the right location, welcomes them to your party, and sets the stage for the theme.  Check out how the bling and decorative paper take it up a notch and make it more magical.

Signs to decorate the room

Kids Birthday Party Easy DIY Decorations - Kids Birthday Party's are so much fun! Here are some awesome ways to make them easier on yourself, DIY Party Decorations and locations to go for parties.

Adding extra signs around the room are super cute and fun touches.  The kids love seeing their favourite characters around the wall and the parents get a kick out of them.  It is so easy to pick favourite taglines or quotes to incorporate different parts of the party area into the party.

Banner to decorate the wall

Kids Birthday Party Easy DIY Decorations - Kids Birthday Party's are so much fun! Here are some awesome ways to make them easier on yourself, DIY Party Decorations and locations to go for parties.

I love how easy it is to make banners for a party.  For a one-year-old party it is so cute to post a picture of them each month to see how they have grown.  To make it easy, you could even just stick to the traditional triangles.

Optional: Signs for the food table, labels for water bottles.

See how easy it is to make signs for your own party!  Don’t buy designer templates on etsy, or spend tons of money at a party store, save your money for more important things, there are no shortage of expenses around a child’s birthday and there are much better things to spend it on then decorations!

 

I love celebrating Birthday’s!!  Check out some of my other posts on ways to celebrate birthday’s below:

Birthday CelebrationsNever Too Old For A Nerf WarChai Cupcakes with Vanilla

Giveaway

Snapology

The giveaway is for a LEGO® brick set of the Snapology Mascot Sebastian Gator to be mailed to your home.  It is recommended for ages 6+.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you love Lego?  Make sure you have some awesome tools for the kids to play with on the go!

DIY Lego Travel Case

If you want more ideas on Birthday parties make sure you are following my “Parties” board on Pinterest.

Follow Raising Fairies and Knights’s board Parties on Pinterest.

 

 

Kids Birthday Party Easy DIY Decorations - Kids Birthday Party's are so much fun! Here are some awesome ways to make them easier on yourself, DIY Party Decorations and locations to go for parties.

 

This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal and a sponsored post.

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Pack a Busy Bag for Medical Appointments

You need to Pack a Busy Bag for Medical Appointments for kids, you never know when you may need to run out the door fast to the ER or doctor, be prepared!

 

How many times does it happen that you have little to no warning that you have to go somewhere and keep the kids busy and quiet for a prolonged period of time.  Usually a walk-in clinic, doctor’s office, go to the ER, etc.  This is why you need to be organized and Pack a Busy Bag for Medical Appointments in advance.

I cannot tell you the number of times I have to grab the kids and go to the walk-in for step tests, ER for minor injuries, etc.  The last thing I want to think of when running out the door to take my sick or injured baby to the doctor is what I need to pack and bring with me to keep them entertained.  Even with an appointment we are at our doctors office for usually almost two hours.  A walk in clinic two to three hours.  The Emergency Room (even if considered high priority) three to eight hours.  Sometimes you really need to be prepared to keep your kids busy for a prolonged period of time.  But not just the doctor’s office, restaurants, shopping, non-kid houses, there are tons of places you may go where it can be helpful to have a dedicated bag full of kids activities they can use.


You need to Pack a Busy Bag for Medical Appointments for kids, you never know when you may need to run out the door fast to the ER or doctor, be prepared!

Here are some items I like to Pack in my Busy Bag for Medical Appointments to keep my kids busy at the Doctors office:

  • Grab & Go bags – I find them at the cash at Micheal’s, for a dollar, this is an AMAZING find.  Even just to throw in your purse.  A mini colouring book, crayons, and stickers.  These are perfect to keep kids busy.
  • Books – New-to-them books, or books they don’t read often.  Pick thin paper books so it isn’t as heavy or takes up a lot of room.  They are great to read quietly in the waiting room to kids, or in the examining room while waiting for the doctor or between medical tests.  Bring a bunch.
  • Flash Cards – Great to go through with kids and start conversations.
  • Brain Quests – They have tons starting at 2-3 years old.  Great to keep kids busy and interactive to do with the kids as you sit trying to keep them entertained.
  • Snacks – try to keep it peanut free as you never know what kind of regulations there will be, raisins, fruit pouches, crackers, juice boxes, water bottles, etc.  Don’t forget to pack some snacks for yourself.  Try not to bring items that squish easily.
  • Grab a tablet and chargers as you run out the door, once your busy bag fails, take a break and let them watch Netlflix or play games on your tablet.  Plus, especially in the Emergency Room your phone will die, bring a charger!
  • A book or magazines for you, you will get bored too, bring some stuff to entertain yourself with as well.
Pack a #busybag to keep kids busy at medical appointments #preschooler #kidsactivitites Click To Tweet

What to pack it in?

  • Cinch Sac – I love this bag, it’s a Cinch Sac by Thirty-One Gifts, we have a bunch we use for different purposes, but I keep this purple one by the door with stuff for a quick visit to the doctors or anywhere else we may have to go.  You can check them out HERE to get one.

What would you Pack in a Busy Bag for Medical Appointments?  Where else would you use one of these bags?

How do you keep your children busy in the doctors office or restaurants?

Use a #cinchsac to get set for unexpected outings with kids #busybags #kidsappointments Click To Tweet

You need to Pack a Busy Bag for Medical Appointments for kids, you never know when you may need to run out the door fast to the ER or doctor, be prepared!

I made a bag for kids to use in restaurants check it out below:

You need to Pack a Busy Bag for Medical Appointments for kids, you never know when you may need to run out the door fast to the ER or doctor, be prepared!




 

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My Four Favourite Baby Carrier’s plus a Giveaway

My Four Favourite Baby Carrier's plus a Giveaway - Baby wearing is amazing! Having the best baby sling or baby carrier is important. Here are my top four favourite baby carriers plus a giveaway!

I am frequently asked what kind of carriers I like and which I recommend.   I have been thinking and working on My Four Favourite Baby Carrier’s for a year to be honest.  I want to preface this by saying that carriers are like bra’s, very personal to shop for.  Each carrier fits each woman differently, and they also fit the baby’s differently too.  I firmly believe you need to try out a lot of carriers to find the one that fits you best.

I have a pinched sciatic nerve, which gives me a lot of back trouble, I was not sure I would be able to babywear at all.  I started with some of the cheap and free ones (Infantino stretchy and soft structure, Seven Slings free pocket ones) and found even with a newborn they hurt my back and were not that comfortable.  It did not take me long to realize I needed a better carrier.  My local baby store lets you try out carriers (for free!) for a few days and I found it really helpful.  I tried out four carriers before I found one that didn’t hurt my back.  I found that the carriers with the crossed straps in the back were the easiest on my back.

Are you looking for the best baby sling?  There are tons of amazing ones out there, but I am going to introduce you to My Four Favourite Baby Carrier’s plus a Giveaway at the bottom of the post so stick around!

My Four Favourite Baby Carrier's plus a Giveaway - Baby wearing is amazing! Having the best baby sling or baby carrier is important. Here are my top four favourite baby carriers plus a giveaway!

Please ensure you are practicing safe baby wearing, here is a great site to remind you of some important safety rules while baby wearing.

My Four Favourite Baby Carriers

Wrapsody Water WrapWrapsody Water Wrap

Honestly, I cannot stress my love of this wrap enough.  I use it so much and for so many things!  Bee was not very tolerant of being on her own for long, even while I showered.  I heard of a wrap I could wear in the shower so she could shower with me.  I literally went out the next day to buy it.  This was a life changer!  I could have nice long showers with a baby all happy and close on me and shower every day.

I wear this wrap a lot in the water while camping.  It is REALLY hot in a tent and can be near impossible for baby to sleep.  I put baby in the carrier, put a hat on their head to protect and shade from the sun then go to the beach and hang out in the water for an hour so they can sleep in cool comfort.  It works amazing!  On vacation this summer this was Po’s main way of napping during the day, my sister would watch Bee playing in the sand and I chatted with friends and enjoyed the water.

I also used it a lot as a newborn stretchy wrap (like a Moby, Baby K’tan, or Maman Kangaroo).  I started wearing Po when he was a few days old in my Wrapsody.  It is super comfortable and worked so well for him to be snuggled up against me.

Hopefully I have convinced you of how awesome this wrap is!  You can use it as a newborn stretchy wrap, lightweight wrap easily stashed in your diaper bag, and for in the water for showering or hanging out at the beach.

Beco SoleilBeco Soleil

This is my favourite soft-structured carrier.  I prefer to wear it with the straps crossed, but I can wear it regular in the front or as a back carry too.

Po napped in here in a front carry for the first 6 months of his life while I worked.  It was super comfy for me and a lot cooler than a stretchy wrap for him (he was a hot baby) and gave me lots of room to get my arms around him to type.

I also use this while running errands as it is super easy to put on and put him in, I also used it for Salsa Babies (baby wearing Latin dancing), while cooking/baking, going for walks, watching Bee at the park, pretty much anywhere.

When Bee got older I loved having her in a back carry.  I had SPD while I was pregnant so I couldn’t carry Bee without having excruciating pain in my pelvis.   Not all stores have carts kids can ride in and using a stroller wasn’t always an option so a carrier worked great.  She was also happy being up high and seeing everything.  It was also much safer in parking lots, I could not chase after a toddler, she was a lot faster than I was and I was worried about her safety so being in a carrier made me more comfortable and her out of harms way.

Toddler TulaToddler Tula

When I had Po my hubby got me a Toddler Tula!  I was so excited!  I could tandem wear them both, which I do not do often as they are heavy.  I found the Beco Soleil was a little small on Bee at this stage so this was much comfier on both of us.

My sister tends to wear Bee in the Tula more than I do as when we go somewhere I wear Po while she wears Bee.  It makes going to festivals and events so much more convenient.  Although she can walk, sometimes she is tired and with large crowds we prefer to baby wear them both and zip through places, not to mention we don’t have to worry about escalators, elevators, rocky slopes, or tight quarters.

Want to find an awesome #babycarrier, love #babywearing, here are my top four plus a #giveaway Click To Tweet

 

Tula carrierTula

My final favourite carrier is the Standard Tula.  I didn’t get to wear this for long.  I had an amazing adventure with my son’s birth group in which we shared a Tula and it got shipped across Canada so everyone had a chance to wear their December 2014 baby in it.  You can check out my story on it here.  This is one of the most well-known brands and most popular so our group went with this Tula as the baby carrier, I only had it for two weeks (insert crying here) but I fell in love with the Tula and seriously debated getting a new pretty Tula in a fun print to enjoy with my son too.  It is similar to other soft-structure carriers too but super fun!

Have you considered baby-wearing? Here is a great site to check out on WHY you should babywear and how awesome it is.

Giveaway Time

I am super excited to announce I am doing a giveaway for a $50 USD gift card.  You can enter in the giveaway below, may the odds be ever in your favour!  We will be contacting the winner after the contest is over.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I love this baby wearing quote on Pinterest, “Food Spoils. Babies don’t. Hold her. Wear her. Breathe her in. Keep her close.  It goes too fast.”  You can never spoil a baby by loving and baby wearing them!

 

This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of a gift certificate to Diapers(dot)com

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My Four Favourite Baby Carrier's plus a Giveaway - Baby wearing is amazing! Having the best baby sling or baby carrier is important. Here are my top four favourite baby carriers plus a giveaway!

Getting your Freedom Back as a Mom

Getting Your freedom back as a mom - ig

This past week I had the amazing experience to go camping with my two wonderful children (3 and 1.5 years old), my sister, friends, and other acquaintances at an awesome festival we visit each year.  It is an amazing experience, the only place I go where I can really feel the “village” still has an effect.  Everyone helps to look after each other’s kids (even the child-less adults are moms for the week), we don’t wear shoes and get to run wild in nature hearing bands, attending workshops,  doing crafts at Munchkinland for the kids, swimming daily, and playing at the park.

I have been attending this festival every year for about eight or nine years.  I did it last year with a 2 year old and seven month old baby, and honestly it was hell.  Trying to juggle the two of them (even with help) was awful.  I was an emotional wreak and broke down more than once.  Trying to get the two of them to cooperate for naps and bedtime was just awful, after last year where it was seriously challenging and hard I knew no matter what this year could not be as bad!

This year was a JOY!  My children were amazing!  My daughter was at the age where she could be independent and play on her own while I put her brother down for a nap.  My son LOVED exploring nature and had a blast studying plants and wandering around enjoying his freedom.  They visited friends at neighbouring campsites and I didn’t even have to worry as it was only 10 feet away!

Last year I felt so tied down, I couldn’t attend any workshops, go to any of the nightlife activity since I had to be at the tent with the kids, and my emotions were so raw from trying to juggle a baby and a cranky toddler.  I was thrilled with how different this year was.  Yes they are still children and have their moments, but it was great to see everyone playing nicely (for the most part!) together, both kids had friends their age there from some of my BFF’s so we had two 3-year-olds, 2 1.5-year-olds and other kids around those ages who popped in and out regularly to play.  That combined with the five adults to look after them and back each other up was great.

13872712_10155161292169478_4642200756022411313_nAlthough I still couldn’t make it to any workshops or nightlife this year, I didn’t mind as much, I still got to leave the site with the kids and check out the vendors, and the swimming, that is what gave me my freedom back.  Moms, have you heard of a PUDDLE JUMPER??  It is a LIFESAVER!  I used to have to hold my kids in the water, neither are big enough to swim on their own, then we discovered the puddle jumper, and my life has changed forever.

 

I always loved to swim, I was a fish and loved to be underwater all the time, with kids, you can’t really do that, I was really limited since I am always with my kids, and although I still loved swimming and went in the water, I mostly stayed at waist height playing with the kids.

You give up so much as a mom, get your #freedomback! Click To Tweet

13659164_10155161293509478_3227132755319959401_nFast forward back to the camping festival, with both kids in puddle jumpers, I got to SWIM!!  We swam out to the floating dock every day, my kids love to swim and I was thrilled they would go on an adventure with me to the floating dock.  In case you are panicking, there was at least one adult per kid and we were always close to the kids swimming, even in their pudde jumpers.  Once at the floating dock we all climbed on board, my daughter was content to sit on the dock and count for people jumping off, but my son (18 month old) LOVED to jump off the floating dock, sometimes into my arms sometimes nowhere near me.  It was amazing.  I loved to see my kids have so much fun and for me, I got a little freedom back this week.  It may not seem like much, but to someone who loves swimming (and doing anything really on yor own) once you have kids, you realize you have to give up stuff you never even considered before (like going swimming underwater with no child in your arms).  If there is a way to give you back some of your freedom easily, then go for it!

For me it was a simple puddle jumper (you can buy it at Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Amazon, or we got one free from our local buy nothing group) that helped me get some freedom back.  Now my kids could swim WITH me instead of on me, so we were all comfortable going deeper and could do so safely.

Maybe next year I will make it to a workshop, maybe I will get to swim to the dock alone, maybe I can hit up a concert or fire pit and dancing or other night life, for now I am content to be near my kids and satisfied they are safe and happy, but when they are ready for more independence I cannot wait to get back some of mine!

 

What is one thing you didn’t expect you would have to give up when you became a parent.  Comment below!

Please do not forget to share this post with others!

Getting Your freedom back as a mom - pt

 

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Travelling Tula

The Travelling Tula - What an amazing journey we had with the Travelling Tula! Check out our journey and tips on having a Travelling Tula in your group.

I am so lucky to have an amazing birth group with my son.  The women are all so supportive and have grown so close.  A bunch of us got together and each pitched in some money and bought a Tula soft-structured baby carrier together.

For the past year I have seen the posts and pictures as the Tula started off in British Columbia with the mama’s and babies there and slowly made its way across Canada.  Unfortunately for me I was the second last one to get the Tula but finally my time came!!  I proudly took the Tula to our local Animal Farm to carry my 16-month-old, shopping at an outdoor mall, and he napped in there a few times for grocery shopping.  It felt amazing each time I put it on.

This carrier was filled with so much love and I could honestly feel it while wearing it, the Tula went to 24 mama’s and baby’s, 6 provinces, and lots of events ad attractions across Canada: the worlds largest fly fishing rod in Houston, BC, a light up festival in Leithbridge for Christmas, Valley View farms in Ottawa, Bluewater Bridge  in Sarnia, watching older siblings practice at hockey rinks, tons of shopping trips, walks around local neighbourhoods, a Halloween costume party, and lots more.

Watching the #TravellingTula was an amazing experience & so much fun! Click To Tweet

If you have a birth group and are close I strongly recommend this.  We all signed a waiver on care and damage and each pitched in money, which covered the carrier itself and also helped cover the shipping costs between everyone.  We all voted on which design we wanted to get.  One mama was in charge of funds and we just sent her a copy of the receipt to be reimbursed each time it was shipped to the next mama,  we got the insurance each time for added protection.   We would get the Tula for two weeks then pass it on to the next mama.

One mama (who has her own business selling them) even made a matching chewlery accessory for the carrier so the babes could enjoy chewing as they snuggled.  My son liked to play with it so it did the trick.  It was super cute to have a little accessory to go with the carrier and help out all the poor little teething babies.

I will add, we did the draw this week and the Tula is on it’s way to it’s new forever home with a lucky mama (not me unfortunately!).  We decided to donate the money to a local shelter near our group’s treasurer to help with baby supplies.  There wasn’t much left but it was something!

Travelling Tula Mamas & Babies - What an amazing journey we had with the Travelling Tula! Check out our journey and tips on having a Travelling Tula in your group.

If you are thinking about doing this with your birth group (or another group) I strongly recommend it.  I have some tips below to consider and discuss with your group to ensure you are all on the same page.

  • Decide on the type of carrier off the bat.
  • To figure out the cost decide on the carrier and find out the total cost of it (including tax and shipping).
  • Get confirmation from everyone who wants to participate.
  • Figure out shipping costs between everyone.
  • Assign or get a volunteer to handle  the funds.  This is a big responsibility as they collect it from everyone and also reimburse shipping costs as you go.
  • Get your total from shipping costs and the carrier and divide it by participants, that’s your magic number everyone has to pay.
  • Decide on a set of rules, do you wash it after each transfer, how do you wash it, no sick baby’s or food in carrier, no smoking by the carrier etc.  Pretty much ensure everyone has a good idea on etiquette around the carrier so no one has an asthma attack or gets sick from someone else’s germs.
  • Decide on how long everyone gets to keep the carrier for.
  • We didn’t do this, but I recommend writing up the rules and including it with the carrier, I blame my lack of sleep but I thought we got it for two weeks and not one and accidentally kept it longer than my turn 🙁  By the time I got it months and months later I had forgotten everything, and I am sure others would too so a quick guide to remind people is always a safe thing to do.
  • Decide what happens to the carrier at the end and the remaining money.  Having people know what they are signing up for is important.
  • Finally everyone can vote on their favourite carrier!!  This made it super fun as everyone got a say.  We chose a travel-style one (based on a voting process) which was perfect for the travelling Tula.

I have a Toddler Tula and a Becco Soleil so this was my first time using a standard Tula and I LOVED it.  It was a great chance to try out a different carrier, I am not in the market for a new carrier unfortunately, but if I was, I would get a Tula, I really liked it and it was super comfortable.

The Travelling Tula - What an amazing journey we had with the Travelling Tula! Check out our journey and tips on having a Travelling Tula in your group.

It is so amazing to know that this carrier has been used by 24 women and babies in my birth group. I love cuddling my son in here and knowing this carrier is full of love from so many of my fellow mama’s loving and snuggling their babies in here too.  The Tula has had a fabulous journey across Canada and it was such a fun thing to do with my fellow birth group mom’s, seeing the places it went and the pictures taken.  A big thank you to a certain few from my group for all their hard work organizing this journey, you guys were awesome and made it a great experience!

DISCLAIMER:  None of this was my idea, the amazing ladies in my group came up with it and the rules and facilitated it, I am just sharing our journey as I thought it was so much fun and want to share it so others can have the same experience.

The Travelling Tula - What an amazing journey we had with the Travelling Tula! Check out our journey and tips on having a Travelling Tula in your group.

Would you ever consider doing something like this with your birth group or another group of friends?

The #travellingtula with my #birthgroup was so much fun #babywearing #tula Click To Tweet

Please share our journey to motivate other groups to do it too.  It is such an amazing experience I really want others to learn more about it so they can try it out too.

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What to do with essential oils

What to do with essential oils - Do you have an essential oil stash, but forget to use it when you need it? Here are some practical tips to start using up your oils

You like to use essential oils.  You found a whole bunch of oils you like and you looked up tons of different things to try and do.  You know what properties they can help with, now, what on earth do you actually do with the oil?  It can be so easy to collect different kinds of essential oils then have them sit in your closet and gather dust because you do not know how to use them, or you forget to use them, or you are just overwhelmed.

Are your #essentialoils collecting dust? Don't forget to USE them! Click To Tweet

Here are some of my tips on using your essential oils:

  • Put 3-5 drops in a diffuser and diffuse in your living room or in your room at bedtime to help you sleep.
  • Use it in an oil burner with a candle under it.
  • Dilute in the bath for a nice relaxing bath, add some baking powder to make it a detox bath.
  • Use a carrier oil and apply it directly to your wrists, temples, and other pulse points.
  • Place a few drops in an aromatherapy bracelet/necklace.
  • Whip coconut oil with a mixer (it changes texture and gets light and fluffy) and add some drops to it to rub on your body at the afflicted areas.

I recently made lotion for the first time, using Shea butter, coconut oil, grape seed oil and various essential oils.  I quite like the texture and how soft it is.

Lavender Roller Ball

My favourite way to use essential oils is in a roller ball.  I recently got into this and I am making roller balls for everything.  I have a great one to help with headaches, one to help with menstrual cramps, and another one to help when my kids are making me crazy!

If you want to get fancy you can make products with them like bath salts, bath bombs, lip gloss, rollerball, lotions and lots more.

You can even just sniff them in the bottle!  That can help too!

What to do with essential oils - Do you have an essential oil stash, but forget to use it when you need it? Here are some practical tips to start using up your oils

Disclaimer – The only thing I don’t do is ingest them, I tried once to put it in water and drink it and it made me feel funny, I do not recommend drinking it.

How do you use your essential oils once you have them?  It’s so easy to collect them, but remembering to use them and how to use them when you need them is more important.

 

 

Need some practical tips to USE your #essentialoil? Try these out. Click To Tweet

 

As always, make sure you read the labels and ensure you are using it properly.  Buy as high-grade and pure as you can.

What to do with essential oils - Do you have an essential oil stash, but forget to use it when you need it? Here are some practical tips to start using up your oils

 

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is coming, the time of year when you can show your wife, your mother, your mother in law, your grandma, your daughter (who may be a mother) exactly how much you appreciate her and support all of her efforts in such a hard job.  Being a mother is not the only hard job I know of, but being a mother is incredibly difficult, no sleep, no sick days, no vacation, no time alone even if it’s to go to the bathroom or shower, you work very long long days sometimes never alone for days or weeks at a time even while sleeping.  The holiday changes with your kids ages, but for me having a 3 year old and a 1 year old, I am in the thick of being a “mombie” with no sleep, and Mother’s Day is one of my new favourite holidays.  I think it is important to support all the other mothers in your lives, friends, mother-in-law, your own mother, all mothers deserve a day to know that they are loved.

Mother's Day Gift Guide - What to get the mom in your life? Here is a Mother's Day gift guide for all stages of Motherhood. Treat her to something special this year!

Here are some gifts any mother would love to get:

A Mother's Day Gift Guide for all ages! Click To Tweet

Jamberry Nail Wraps

Mom rarely has time to spend on herself, why not get her a pedicure and manicure!  It may not be possible for her to go out somewhere and get it done.  Jamberry is super cool and easy to use and mom can do it at home while the kids are napping or running around her feet.  If she has a daughter, you can get matching Mommy & Me Jamberry nails!

You can order them here

Monthly Subscription

 

I got panty by post for my birthday and I absolutely love it.  It’s so fun to know that every month you have a new pair of panties coming your way. I don’t really have time to shop for underwear, I consider my underwear that I bought two years ago to still be my “new underwear” so to get a new pair in the month is absolutely amazing. I can’t wait for the beginning of the month and check my mailbox eagerly for the first few days until I get my package. You name what size you need and you have three different styles you can choose from, the basic collection, the signature collection, and the premium collection, based on your kinds of taste.  It’s so fun to get something new, I get so excited knowing that I have something pretty that I get to wear because I don’t normally get to splurge on myself or pick up things like that so it is a great treat to get the woman in your life.

Check them out here

 

New Purse or bag
I know being a mother, you frequently have to lug around a whole bunch of things and don’t always get to pick up the prettiest items for yourself.  I got this bag two months ago and it is so beautiful and I love going out and try and actually dress up just so I can match the bag.  If I have to lug around diapers, wipes, change of clothes and toys, let it be in something pretty that doesn’t feel like a “mom bag”.

Check out some bags here

I miss my body (5)

A great way to help her relax, aid congestion, calm down the kids, etc.  I LOVE my diffuser and use it daily.  If the mother in your life is interested in holistic healing, essential oils, aromatherapy, or things along those lines then a diffuser is the perfect gift for her.

Check out where I got mine here

I miss my body (11)

 

Help make her see that she is putting effort into living healthy by getting her a tool that helps with tracking your fitness and motivating you to put in those few extra steps each day.  It is also great to use as a sleep tracker so she can see how much sleep she gets and adjust from there, whether knowing she needs to go to sleep earlier, seek help to let her have a nap, or just be more lenient on herself knowing she is sleep deprived.

You can get it here

I miss my body (7)

 

A new baby carrier!  Baby carriers are a super fun gift and a practical one as well.  Baby wearing can make it easier to get shopping done, chores around the house, cooking and of course going for walks and getting some fresh air.  The type of baby carier is specific to each woman, so if you know there is one she has been eyeing you can surprise her with it, or just tell her that’s what you want to get her and allow her the fun of picking the perfect carrier and print.

This is my favourite company to buy from here

I miss my body (9)

 

Take mom shoe shopping to get a new pair of comfy shoes, maybe fancy, or practical, something to help keep her feet comfy while she is chasing after kids all summer.  A new pair of sandals goes a long way in in comfort.

I miss my body (8)

Make a cute craft with the kids for mom.   In my house I am usually the one making crafts with the kids and cute little pictures or crafts for daddy, mommy may not have a chance to get these cute gifts herself yet so why not spend some time with the kids making her a surprise craft.  Bonus, this also gives mom a chance to shower or have a bath not knowing you are making her a surprise.

I miss my body (10)

 

My mom’s favourite was going to the nursery on mother’s day and getting flowers to come home and plant with us. One year my dad got her a crab apple tree. She loved it, it flowers every year around mother’s day and is a constant reminder of her family.

We also loved doing activities with her, movie date, pedicures together, picnic, etc. Why add to the clutter with more stuff, experiences last longer and are wonderful memories. My mom and I used to go to Stars On Ice together as my mother’s day present to her. It was always really fun.

Mother's Day Gift Guide - What to get the mom in your life? Here is a Mother's Day gift guide for all stages of Motherhood. Treat her to something special this year!

What does mom REALLY want for Mother's Day? Click To Tweet

So put on your thinking cap and think of what mom really needs, then ignore that and get her something fun she wants, or should want!

 

What are your favourite frivolous gifts to get mom for mother’s day?

 

Disclaimer:  I reviewed a pair of panties for panty by post, but have been a customer of theirs for seven months, otherwise these are NOT affiliate links, this is where I got my products and I love it so I am recommending it.  I have received no compensation and these companies even know I am recommending them!

 

 

 

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Mother's Day Gift Guide - What to get the mom in your life? Here is a Mother's Day gift guide for all stages of Motherhood. Treat her to something special this year!

9 Ways to get “me” time when you are never alone

Being a mom you rarely are alone, especially if you have small children.  My son is still on the boob so he is never far from my side.  I love having my children close and being able to spend all my time with them.  BUT, sometimes, I just want some space!  It is a joy and also a challenge being home with my kids, we are always so busy and rushed that I cannot ever fit in any “me” time, I’m lucky if I shower every two days let alone sit down to do something that makes me feel like “me” again.  It is important to get “me” time for exactly that reason, to remind you of what it is like to be you, that you are a person outside of your kids, husband, cook, cleaner, etc.

9 Ways to get me time when you are never alone - How do you get "me" time when you are never alone?  If you are always with kids it can be hard to find ways to de-stress and relax when they are around.

 

Here are some ways to get in “me” time while your kids are around.

I miss my body (1)

I am very lucky that one of my closest friends has walking coffee dates with my at Chapters whenever we meet up.  Chapters (a chain of book stores in case you have not heard of it) has a kids section and a Starbucks.  I bring a stroller to put all our stuff, we grab some coffee and head to the kids section.  We leave the stroller where it can be seen, and hope that my two will play at the train table for a bit so we can chat.  When they don’t and start to wander (as kids will do) we wander after them while talking, while pregnant we followed my toddler around the whole store.  It was great exercise.  The kids get to play and explore and we still get to have a coffee and chat, just while following around the kids.

 

I miss my body

Sometimes it has just been one of those days and you need a break, cranky kids, whatever the reason.  On these days I pack the kids in the car, hit up Starbucks drive-through for a coffee (maybe a snack for the pre-schooler) put on some good music and go for a drive.  I get to drink a hot coffee in peace, and we just enjoy some music (even if it is Anne Murray or Doodlebops) as we drive around.  If I want company and un-interupted chat time, I will pick up my sister for the drive and we chat and drink our coffees as the kids look out the window.

Listen to Audiobooks

I found that I really missed reading a lot after having kids.  There just was no time for reading, and when I did finally make time, I was too tired to really absorb what I was reading.  Audiobooks are amazing.  I can listen to them while I breastfeed, drive, clean, cook, walk, etc.  This is great as I still stay current on my favourite authors and series while doing normal day to day things.

I miss my body (4)

As said above since having children I really miss reading.  I used to read so much, go through so many books.  I have a bookshelf full of books waiting for me to read, and sadly had to pack them away as I could not see how I would every find time to read them.  Then, I implemented reading time!  My almost three-year-old needs a bit of a quiet wind-down for nap time so everyday after lunch and before nap time we have 15 minutes of “reading time”.  I have a basket of new and special books I rotate out weekly, and we all sit down with our books.  I am almost 100 pages into my book in three weeks, I may only get 5 pages or so read a day, but it is better than no pages at all and I love reading time!  I leave board books and touchy feely books for my one-year-old and he wanders around, nurses, watches, throws books, but also understands that we do things on our own for this time and Mommy and Bee are reading.  I cannot stress how much fun it is to see everyone sitting and reading a book, if we have company over, I tell them to bring a book too and join us.

Shopping

This is entirely dependent on your kids ages and nap schedules.  Put baby in the carrier on your back to sleep during nap time and go shopping!  Or set up older ones in a stroller (easier to hold snacks and they cannot run away) then go shopping!  Hit up the mall, try on some lotion at the Body Shop, grab a cinnamon bun (you may have to share if your kid sees you get this one).  I love IKEA and Micheal’s for this.  Have some fun walking around, getting exercise and allowing yourself to do nothing productive but have a little fun being out of the house and away from it all.

I miss my body (2)

I love the new colouring trend.  I have always loved colouring and am happy I get one that is more adult.  Now I feel like a grownup!  I set both myself and my preschooler up with our own separate colouring books and pencil crayons.  Then we can sit next to each other while we colour.  It’s a great way to drink a hot tea (Bee gets a lukewarm non-caffeinated tea) and enjoy some stress-free colouring.

Bath Time - for you

Who doesn’t love a good relaxing bath!  I worry about falling asleep in the tub if I take a bath once the kids are in bed; therefore, I try and do it earlier.  I set my daughter up with some activities in her room and set my son up with some toys and some books on the bathroom floor.  I filled the tub and put in some awesome smelling bubble bath and climbed in to enjoy a nice luxurious soak while the children were busy with their toys.  Mission FAIL!  I had barely gotten in the water before my one-year-old son was attempting to strip his clothes off as fast as possible (I thought he was actually going to rip them off) and tried to climb into the tub while shrieking at the top of his lungs in indignation that he was not included in bathtime.  I did what any mother would, I gave up, stripped him and hauled him into the tub with me.  We actually had a really fun time.  I still got to lie down, relax, and soak in the tub with some soothing music playing and my son flipped back-and-forth all over the tub on top of me having a grand old time.  It was actually still relaxing and quite a bit of fun. So, it’s still another alternative if they insist on climbing in with you, there is still a way to have a nice relaxing bath.

#Bathtime is the key to #metime take advantage! Click To Tweet

Bath time for them

Alternatively set the kids up in the bath.  I know once I get my kids in there they can easily spend 30 to 60 minutes playing happily in the tub.  Give them some toys.  If you have any of those fancy bathmats and crayons, the colour tablets where the water changes colour, etc. , anything you can to make the bath extra special.  Set them up in the tub beforehand.  You have to be organized in this because of course we don’t want to leave children in the bath alone (depending on the age) so I make myself a nice warm drink and bring some stuff in the bathroom, new make-up, nail polish, etc. as the kids are having their baths obviously keep an eye on them, but you pretty much have free reign to do whatever you want as long as you’re in the bathroom for the next half an hour you want to do your nails, you want to read a book, you want to do something productive, like fold laundry, which is not exactly “me time”, but it may free up some time later that you would’ve spent folding laundry and can have “me time” then.   I love bath time during the day, it’s a fabulous way for getting stuff done and also having a few minutes to myself.  The kids have a blast and are clean and tired at the end of bathtime.

 

Yoga

Do yoga with the kids!  I have three mats, I set each of the kids up with a mat and as I do yoga I encourage them to try it out with me.  Sure they spend more time climbing me and trying to nurse, but it’s still fun and I can get some good breathing and stretching in.  I always feel better after a yoga session, even if it is at home with a kid always on me.

9 Ways to get me time when you are never alone - How do you get "me" time when you are never alone?  If you are always with kids it can be hard to find ways to de-stress and relax when they are around.

Notice how I didn’t once mention the TV?  That’s because that’s a given.  Obviously you can turn the TV on to keep them busy while you get stuff done but here are some alternatives to keep them stimulated at the same time so they are less likely to bug you, and you don’t feel as guilty about turning the TV on.

Mommy needs some #metime to feel like a normal human! Try some of these tips to get some in. Click To Tweet

The key thing is to figure out what really makes you happy?  Is it reading?  Colouring?  Cooking?  Crafting?  Once you know what it is that makes you de-stress and feel like you are getting time to yourself, you can figure out how to manage it with kids around.

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9 Ways to get me time when you are never alone - How do you get "me" time when you are never alone?  If you are always with kids it can be hard to find ways to de-stress and relax when they are around.

I Miss the Old Me, the Pre-Motherhood Me

I miss the old me!  The pre-motherhood me.  Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my kids with my entire being and I adore my family and my life now.   But sometimes I remember what my life used to be like three years ago and honestly, I grieve for it sometimes.  There are things that you give up when you become a mom, some of it you understand and know what you are in for, some of it you over look and never even consider the ramifications of post-kids.

I Miss the Old Me, the Pre-Motherhood Me - Motherhood changes you in so many ways, a lot of things you know you will give up going into it, but some you don't. Sometimes I miss the old me and who I used to be.

I miss my bodyThe one that used to take my dog for an hour walk and do a half hour of yoga, each and every day.  The one that didn’t have a post-baby tummy and stretch marks everywhere.   I’m not going to even touch on the size I used to be pre-baby, I know it was worth it, but I truly miss what size I used to be, I worked hard to get there then two pregnacy’s messed it all up.

I miss my boobs

I have been nursing for almost three years now.  All my shirts and pj’s have to have boob access for easy nursing, I can never be away from my kids for long as they need me for milk (neither ever took a bottle).  I have kids pawing at my boobs all day long and regardless  of where I am or who I am with, my son will yank down my shirt and bra to get access to his milk.  Now always full of milk, scratch marks (baby nails really are razers), stretch marks and usually covered in snot (since baby seems to think its a kleenex), they have not been “my” boobs for a long time, I shudder to think of what they will look like once my son is done with them!  But I am sure my husband will appreciate not having to share them anymore……..

I miss going out after dark

Seriously, something you take for granted.  Because my son nurses I can never be gone long enough at night for a movie or anything because he will wake and freak if his milk isn’t available and mommy isn’t there to snuggle him back to sleep.  Let’s say he is finally asleep, I am just too darned exhausted to go out!  And frankly on my average three to four hours sleep a night,  I cannot drive after dark as I am just not safe behind the wheel of a car.  No shopping, no errands, no movie,  no coffee with friends, one day I will be able to see the world after dark again,  for now unless I can see it out my window or on TV it’s a foreign concept.

I miss time

Time to relax, time to sleep, time to myself, time to read, time to craft, time to shower.  Waking up one morning and thinking “what do I want to do today” and having the time to do whatever I want.  I miss that.

 

I miss cooking

I guess linked with time, but I really miss cooking.  I was such an adventurous cook, I would experiment with a minimum of three new recipes a week and try to make elaborate dinners for my husband and friends.  Now, I am lucky if I even get dinner on the table let alone make it from scratch, forget using a new recipe!  I miss going through cookbooks and trying to find the perfect recipe to surprise my husband and make for him.  We used to do wonton Saturdays, I miss wontons!

I miss spontaneity

It was so easy pre-kids to say, hmmmm lets go out for lunch in half an hour, and do it.  Now we have to pre-plan, make sure baby has his nap on time, toddler is not too exhausted that she will have a tired tantrum, but also a little physically tired so she sits still, then thread the needle between their nap times ensuring the biggest chunk of them behaving and not tired is spent at the restaurant.  Have to run errands?  Get groceries?  Visit a friend? Have a play date?  All has to be pre-planned and worked  into the schedule for the day to ensure no tantrums, naps or meals ruin it.  No more leaving the house whenever you want, you are tied down by a nap schedule, eating schedule, and potential tantrums and teething to try to work around.

I miss my old hobbies

Particularly kayaking – This one is personal.  I LOVED (notice past-tense) to kayak,  I started with my dad when I was young and would go as often as possible, spending a few weekends a summer (usually every long weekend) up at the river kayaking with my dad and friends.  Now, I haven’t been since early-pregnancy with Bee (as in 3 weeks).  I miss it so much.  It hurts sometimes to see other people out running rivers and waterfalls while I am stuck at home longing for my boat and a class III-IV river.   Again, time makes it impossible, I need a weekend alone, that’s not going to happen, like ever!  I will paddle again one day, and when I do I bet everyone will see my smile from a mile away as I am reunited with my beloved boat and some rapids!

I miss my husband

This one may seem weird, but it’s true.  I miss my husband’s undivided attention, where we could sit and have a conversation start to finish together without having to mediate a dispute, breastfeed, pick up and sway with a cranky child, or get interrupted a million times so the other person doesn’t even remember there WAS a conversation going on.  I miss going out on dates (or rather having the energy to go out on dates), doing fun things together, and having the time and energy to focus on each other and do something together we really enjoy.  I really miss him some days even though he hasn’t gone anywhere.

I miss my friends

I used to have coffee with a good friend of mine every two weeks.  Now we are lucky to see each other every four to six months!  When I do see my friends, conversations to catch up on each others lives are put on the back burner as we watch children and get interrupted 1000 times, frequently at the end of the visit, I don’t feel like I got the chance to talk to them at all and still don’t know what is new in their life and how they are doing.

I Miss the Old Me, the Pre-Motherhood Me - Motherhood changes you in so many ways, a lot of things you know you will give up going into it, but some you don't. Sometimes I miss the old me and who I used to be.

I’m not trying to be a downer, but sometimes I just really miss my old life and parts of it that I used to be able to do.  I know as my kids grow up I will get more time and energy back to try to devote to myself again.  Maybe in a few years I will get the old me back a little bit.  As I said above, I LOVE my life and my children, but that doesn’t mean that I cannot miss the old me too sometimes.

What do you miss about the old you since becoming a parent?  Please comment below!

 

 

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I Miss the Old Me, the Pre-Motherhood Me - Motherhood changes you in so many ways, a lot of things you know you will give up going into it, but some you don't. Sometimes I miss the old me and who I used to be.featured%20button%20small_zpszlufuxnj

My Potty Training Essentials

I actually potty trained Bee a week after her second birthday.  There were a few reasons I decided to train her then, she had been pooing on the potty consistently for six months and almost always told us when she had to go.   Another reason was her brother.  I cloth diaper my kids, well my (at the time) three-month-old son was so big and chunky that he needed to use the big cloth diapers (the large, size two, one size, whatever you call them), I was NOT going to fork over the money to buy a bunch more cloth diapers when I knew Bee would be potty training soon, so just decided to move her over to underwear and move Po into her diapers.  Yes, lets take a moment to laugh at the fact that I had to potty train my just-turned-two-year-old so her three-month-old brother could wear her diapers.

Potty training wasn’t the best, but not as long as I thought it would take either.  The first day was pretty eventful, she had eleven accidents, the next day it was seven, the next was three, then after that sporadically. She had a hard time recognising the signs that she had to pee, and that was the biggest challenge, recognizing it before NOT during, and getting her to the potty on time.  I grew proficient at scooping her up with one hand, whiping down her pants and underwear with the other and racing to the potty before she peed everywhere.

Are you ready to start #pottytraining your toddler yet? Here are some essentials you will need. Click To Tweet

My Potty Training Essentials - Potty Training is a great milestone in any toddler and parents life, here are my essentials for potty training my daughter.

My Potty Training EssentialsPOTTY!  Kind of self-explanatory but yeah, very important.  You have to make a decision between what KIND of potty you want to get them.  The potty seat or the stand alone potty.  Both have their pros and cons.  If you have a small bathroom, I would recommend the potty seat as it does not take up as much room.  The stand-alone potty is great for side by side pees (seriously it works) and travelling, but who wants to clean pee and poo out of a potty, the seat is so much more sanitary to me and definitely my preference.  Once they get used to it they don’t even need the seat and can hop up on the toilet themselves without a potty seat.

 

My Potty Training Essentials (5)LOTS of underwear (I’m talking at least 12) and pants.  I stacked these in the bathroom on the main floor, at least five pairs of each and replenished a few times a day.

 

My Potty Training Essentials (3)A big stack of towels to clean up the messes and some kind of sanitizing wipe (Clorox, Lysol, whichever you prefer) to clean the floor after you have soaked up all the pee.

A timer, whether on your microwave, egg timer, or app on your phone.  I got to know her times, usually every 25 minutes the first few days, so I set an alarm/timer for every 20 minutes and would take her to the potty then.My Potty Training Essentials (8)

 

Books.  I had a stack in each bathroom of special books for her to enjoy potty time and stay on the potty long enough to pee.  WARNING:  Using potty time as an excuse to read will make them claim they have to potty whenever they want a story!!

 

My Potty Training Essentials (2)Flushable wipes – making the transition to the potty and toilet paper can be a little rough on their bums, these wipes are super soft and won’t irritate them as much, especially when they are needing to wipe more often.  You may even steal them to use too!

 

Pull-Ups.  Super important, even if you go straight to underwear, they will still need some extra support during nap time and bed time (and car rides or long trips out).  I love the pull apart sides on Pull-Ups (Pampers just don’t offer that!).  My toddler can take it off herself after her nap or when she wakes up in the morning, and if she is wearing pants I do not need to remove the pants completely to put her pull-up on.  I keep a potty in her room and I  love how she can pull down her own pull-up and pee, then pull them back up and get back into her bed on her own.  It really helps her feel independent.

My Potty Training Essentials - Potty Training is a great milestone in any toddler and parents life, here are my essentials for potty training my daughter.

I was so excited to get the opportunity from Influenster to review their Pull-Ups VoxBox.  Pull-Ups is actually my training pant of choice so I was thrilled to have the chance to test out the Cooling pants and write a review on them.  As I said, my toddler has been in underwear since a week after her second birthday, which has been 10 months.  She still wears pull-ups for each nap and bedtime.  I am hoping the cooling sensation will help her start to recognize when she pees and start to wake up from her naps dry too.

My Potty Training Essentials (6)

She also LOVES the characters!  It was a good tool for potty-training as well.  We would say to her “you don’t want to pee on Doc McStuffins, that would make her sad”.  Then when she made it to the potty she would excitedly proclaim, “I didn’t pee on Doc McStuffins!” (or Sophia the First, or Minnie or whatever princess was on her Pull-Up).  It really motivated her to pay attention to her signals and make to to the potty on time.

I would also say, be prepared to do a LOT of laundry for the first week, perhaps a few loads a day, between pants, underwear, towels, etc. we went through a lot of laundry, but it lessened and now I do less laundry since I only have one kid in cloth diapers now!

My Potty Training Essentials (1)

 

I received these Pull-Up products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.  All opinions on the product are my own.  I do not promote something I do not like.

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My Potty Training Essentials - Potty Training is a great milestone in any toddler and parents life, here are my essentials for potty training my daughter.


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