Gift Guide for the Planner or Journal fan

Gift Guide for the Planner or Journal Fan - Great stocking stuffer ideas and gift ideas for anyone who loves to use a planner or journal.

Do you have a Planner or Journal fan to shop for?  Luckily we are easy to shop for!  There are lots of different things that you can get someone who loves their planner or journal.  The best part is it works for any budget!  You can start at $1 and work up to $50.  It totally depends on what you want to spend.  Whether you are shopping for someone who loves their Happy Planner, Erin Condren, bullet journalling, or any other kind.  We love a lot of the same things. Shopping for the planner lover falls into two categories.  Supplies and Accessories then Storage bags for your journal and accessories.

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Gift Guide for the Planner or Journal Fan - Great stocking stuffer ideas and gift ideas for anyone who loves to use a planner or journal.

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Supplies and Accessories

Most of these supplies can be bought at Micheals, Hobby Lobby if you are in the US (I have only heard of how awesome Hobby Lobby is never having been there myself), Dollarama, but a lot I buy on aliexpress.com.

Gift Guide for the Planner or Journal Fan - Great stocking stuffer ideas and gift ideas for anyone who loves to use a planner or journal. Gift Guide for the Planner or Journal Fan - Great stocking stuffer ideas and gift ideas for anyone who loves to use a planner or journal. Gift Guide for the Planner or Journal Fan - Great stocking stuffer ideas and gift ideas for anyone who loves to use a planner or journal. Gift Guide for the Planner or Journal Fan - Great stocking stuffer ideas and gift ideas for anyone who loves to use a planner or journal.

 

Planner bags

Gift Guide for the Planner or Journal Fan - Great stocking stuffer ideas and gift ideas for anyone who loves to use a planner or journal.

One thing everyone needs for their planner and journal is a good bag, or two, or three!  A place to organize all your washi tape, pens, markers, stickers, etc. is essential to keeping your house clean and to have easy access to all your planner accessories when you need them.

Super Swap it Pocket

Gift Guide for the Planner or Journal Fan - Great stocking stuffer ideas and gift ideas for anyone who loves to use a planner or journal.

Hanging Traveler Case

Gift Guide for the Planner or Journal Fan - Great stocking stuffer ideas and gift ideas for anyone who loves to use a planner or journal.

Your Way Rectangle

Gift Guide for the Planner or Journal Fan - Great stocking stuffer ideas and gift ideas for anyone who loves to use a planner or journal.

Double Duty Caddy

Gift Guide for the Planner or Journal Fan - Great stocking stuffer ideas and gift ideas for anyone who loves to use a planner or journal.

Fold up Family Organizer

Gift Guide for the Planner or Journal Fan - Great stocking stuffer ideas and gift ideas for anyone who loves to use a planner or journal.

 

 

What is your favourite accessory for your planner?  Where do you like to buy all your supplies??

 

 

Gift Guide for the Planner or Journal Fan - Great stocking stuffer ideas and gift ideas for anyone who loves to use a planner or journal.

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Organizing for your Lifestyle: Book Review

Organizing for your Lifestyle - A review on the book Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller with some tips on what to organize and how. Stress decreases with an organized space.

I was approached with the chance to review an organizational book and I jumped at the chance.  One of my goals is that I really want to de-clutter my house and get it more organized.  This book was perfect timing for the new year.  Unfortunately, I ended up needing a few surgeries this Winter.  Because of this I am super behind in reading and organizing.  Now that I am on the mend, I did a lot of reading while I recovered.  My hope is to get organizing once I am mobile.




 

Starting off the book has a quiz to gauge your organizing style.  For my results I got a fairly accurate reading. I am organized, but there is room for improvement.  Right you are!  The author is from Ontario, which is where I’m from (Ontario, Canada).  I think that is really cool.

Organizing for your Lifestyle - A review on the book Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller with some tips on what to organize and how. Stress decreases with an organized space.

Organizing for your Lifestyle - A review on the book Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller with some tips on what to organize and how. Stress decreases with an organized space.

Some of my favourite tips from the book:

  • When organizing your closet think of using shelves to display some treasures and make your closet a nice space.
  • The author says she doesn’t believe in the old adage: if you haven’t worn it in a year then toss it.  Thank goodness, as my body post-baby has made me totally change my wardrobe based on size.  But unfortunately I can’t wait to loose all that weight and wear those clothes again!
  • She gives advice on what clothes should be hung, folded, and where to store it.
  • Different ways to hand wash and care for your boots and leather.
  • How to organize your kitchen to achieve the most function.
  • Easy packing tips to downsize your travel wardrobe by creating outfits.

 

Thoughts on the Book

The author separated the book into different sections of your house.  You can read the whole thing, which I am doing.  Unfortunately, with kids and a bunch of injuries and illnesses it took me way to long.  But I can’t wait to tackle my house and organize it all once I am recovered.  Alternatively, you can hit up your favourite section to target your trouble areas.

 

Organizing for your Lifestyle - A review on the book Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller with some tips on what to organize and how. Stress decreases with an organized space. I think after reading this book I may have some hoarding tendencies unfortunately.  But using the tools in this book will help me tackle my living space.  Then I can try to make the clutter more manageable in my house.

 

One of the points Jane makes in her book that I think really hits home is how being organized not only saves time, but also helps your stress level.  If you are running around in the morning trying to find your keys or wallet, that may be what pushes your stress level over the top she says.  In my house I know this to be entirely accurate (cough my husband) on a daily basis.

 

Make it a MISSION to organize your house to help with your overall STRESS level

A dream closet wanted

Closets are a source of an issue at my house. We don’t have a big closet so finding room for everything is super challenging.  I love how the author suggested using command hooks.  Those are my staple too, the price is right, and it makes it easy to personalize any space.

 

Organizing for your Lifestyle - A review on the book Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller with some tips on what to organize and how. Stress decreases with an organized space. I loved the section on handbags.  I sell Thirty-One, so I have a LOT of purses and I have a hard time organizing them.  I was drooling over her organizational system and wishing I could have a closet dedicated to purses and shoes.  Which, there is also a great section on.  I must say though, she does make me want to go buy a pair of cowboy boots!

 

Feedback on the Book

One of the drawbacks would be some of her tips weren’t practical for families with small children.  Glass jars while pretty just are not practical as my kids will break them and cut themselves.  I also haven’t ironed in years, which she recommends for a lot of stuff. I have no time and the idea of ironing with a toddler running around is terrifying.  A lot of my space is taken up with toys.  While I can implement some of her tips, not all will work with the kids as young as they are for us.

 

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Organizing for your Lifestyle - A review on the book Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller with some tips on what to organize and how. Stress decreases with an organized space.

It also takes a fair amount of investment into each room to organize a storage system.  Which is for sure the dream, but on a budget not as practical to do each room in your house.  It would be very expensive to re-vamp each room and fund a new shelving or storage system complete with baskets and bins for  each room.  But gradually I hope to do just this.  Maybe I can advise on some cheaper ways to do this on a budget on my blog once completed.

 

What rooms or areas in your house need the most attention?  What areas would you like to see covered in a blog post?

 

Jane Stoller’s book was a nice easy read, perfect for post-surgery recovery and dreaming of what I can clean and organize once I am mobile again.  I cannot wait to use some of Jane’s tips to de-clutter and organize.  The book will be a guide for each room as I tackle the different sections of my house.  If you need some guidance and help I recommend checking out this book for some easy tips.

 

Organizing for your Lifestyle - A review on the book Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller with some tips on what to organize and how. Stress decreases with an organized space.

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Dress Up Fun with Your Children

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

Who loved to dress up as children?  Who didn’t love Halloween and getting to put on a costume and strut about enjoying the magic of it all.  Do you still do Dress Up Fun with Your Children?  Why can’t adults dress up too?  Here are some fun ways to incorporate dress up into your life this Spring and Summer.

 

Want to grow your kids dress-up closet?  Make sure you keep scrolling down for a 15% discount code and a GIVEAWAY for $50 credit to get costumes of your choice!

 

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

Where do you like to go all dressed up in fun costumes?

We use any excuse we can to dress up.  But, here are some fun places to take your kids all dressed up this summer in their favourite costume:

Festivals

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

Medieval Fairs, Fairies in the Park, Pagan Festivals, check out your area for fun local events to go to.  Some may even be free, but dressing up is a great way to help your kids enjoy the festival more, and you too.  Why can’t you dress-up too!

Comicon

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

Does your family like to go to Comicon?  Why not dress up the kids to enjoy the fun too?  It is also an easy way to spot everyone in a crowd when people wander off to look at different stalls.

The Park

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

Turn a fun play date at the park into a magical time by letting them wear their costumes to play.

Gymnastics and play centers

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

Nothing more fun than running around in your costume with a bunch of kids!  Plus it is easier to spot your kid in a crowd!

Walk in the Woods (or the muggle road)

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

Play fairies and dragons and dress up to go for a fun walk in the forest, maybe you will even spot a fairy or two!  Also fun for normal walks too!

Camping

 

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

Bring some magic and fun to your campsite.  A great way to embrace the woods and have fun playing at the same time.

 

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

 

 

Review of Little Adventures

 

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer. I had the amazing chance to review some costumes from Little Adventures.  I was so excited.  The site had so many options on costumes to wear, even for adults.  I can tell you I was eyeing their adult cloaks pretty closely!  My four-year-old daughter immediately ran up behind me to help pick out a costume.  To no surprise she jumped on the fairy costumes, we settled on a cute pink one with a rainbow skirt.  She loved it!  She asked all the time when her costume would come in the mail so she could dress up!  My two-year-old son crawled into my lap and watched me debate which knight costumes to get him (I wanted to get a picture of my fairy and knight since that’s my blog’s name after all!) but as soon as he got a look at the dragon cloaks he made it clear he wanted to be a dragon.  So I got him the dragon cloak, if he wants it who am I to over-rule him!

Dragon Cloak

 

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

 

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

My son loves his dragon cloak.  He is two-years-old so pretty much everything he does is adorable, but putting on that cloak and running around roaring like a dragon………. the height of adorable.  Particularly when wearing just a diaper and the cloak.  He loves roaring and having the cloak on just makes it way more fun. My daughter now calls him her pet dragon and he follows her around like a dog.  He also mysteriously has started asking to read lots of dragon stories and have me sing him dragon songs too (Puff the Magic Dragon).  I believe the cloak and his imaginary play inspire it a lot.

He has a hard time keeping the cloak on straight with all of his running around and spinning so we have to help him adjust a lot.  But, he adores costumes to dress up in.  He will be wearing this a few places for sure this Spring and Summer.

 

Fairy Costume

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

First thing, my daughter’s Rainbow Fairy Costume  comes with a tag saying machine washable, magic!  I have no time to hand wash so this is amazing news to a mom’s ears.  My daughter was on me from the time the package arrived to see her outfit.  She gasped and couldn’t wait to put on the dress.  I find the sizes fit small, or I got the wrong size, but it’s a little tight on her.  It’s like a body suit so she has trouble getting it on herself and has had at least one accident as she couldn’t get it off in time to go pee.  But once it’s on, she transforms into a beautiful fairy.  She has worn it each day this week, she absolutely LOVES it.  Wants to wear it to school, for walks, playing in the backyard, she would probably sleep in it if I let her.  The quality is amazing and I think it would really hold up to a four-year-old’s wear and tear.  I know this outfit will get a lot of wear for us.  She is already begging to wear it for Halloween, six and a half months away!

 

Verdict

I would definitely order from this site again.  The quality is just so good, and the prices aren’t bad.  Way better than a costume, it will last longer and hold up better. My mother is already asking if she should get them costumes of Little Adventures for their next birthdays.

Here are some of the things on my wish list that I hope to get eventually, with maybe a few items for me.

Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

 

What was your favourite costume growing up?  Do you look for excuses for your kids to dress up and enjoy the fun too!

Ready to win a prize or go shopping?

Use this coupon code “rfak15%” for 15% off at Little Adventurers

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

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Dress Up Fun with Your Children - What magic dressing up brings. Learn lots of ways to incorporate Dress Up Fun with your Children into your Spring and Summer.

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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Bedtime Routine for a Toddler & Preschooler

I am a stay at home mom and my husband works a long hard job so by the end of the day we are both exhausted.   We don’t normally do bath time every day as there isn’t a lot of time and frankly we are just too tired.  Instead we focus more on family time for relaxing.  We have a fairly simple Bedtime Routine for a Toddler & Preschooler, which we try to stick to every night.

Bedtime Routine for a Toddler & Preschooler - Is it bedtime? Do you have a Bedtime Routine for a Toddler & Preschooler in your house? Try out this easy one if you are tired at the end of a long day.

Our Routine:

  • Brush teeth.
  • Put on pajama’s and night time overnight diapers (I choose Goodnites).
  • Snuggle on my bed and read stories together for 10-20 minutes together.
  • Tuck in babies and goodnight kisses.

This routine works for us.  We enjoy snuggles together as a family and encouraging reading.  Even though my son is only two, he loves to sit for stories and my daughter has been sitting still for stories for many years as well.

Bedtime Routine for a Toddler & Preschooler - Is it bedtime? Do you have a Bedtime Routine for a Toddler & Preschooler in your house? Try out this easy one if you are tired at the end of a long day.

Night-time Diapers

I was approached by Influenster to test out the Goodnites diapers for free, and I jumped on it!  My daughter is almost four-years-old, and although she was fully day-time potty trained at two-years-old, she is still no where near ready for night-time potty training.  She was very excited to try these Goodnites in lieu of her normal pull-ups for bedtime.




Night-time Potty Training

Bee is a deep sleeper and just doesn’t wake up to pee, even if I try to wake her up, she has usually already gone so she needs nighttime stuff.  We have been using Pull-Ups for two years, and are very happy with them.  But they only go up to a size 5T, which is a little smaller than Bee’s normal clothes.  To be honest I didn’t even know there were bigger options.

Once I received these Goodnites and she tried them on, she was hooked.  They are a much better fit for a big preschooler.  She seems to be between sizes, the Pull-Ups are way to small, but the Goodnites are still big.  Which is good as she will have room to grow.  Who knew they had to go to Goodnites after Pull-Ups get too small? My only negative feedback on the Goodnites is they do not have the easy off sides. Pull-Ups my daughter can take off herself when she wakes up by ripping down the sides.  The Goodnites are more like undies and you need to remove them fully and that can be a pain.

Is your child too big for #pullups? It may be time to graduate to #Goodnites Click To Tweet

Is the end in sight soon?

I know she won’t be in nighttime diapers forever, but I cannot wait until we are no longer in diapers!  I have a toddler in diapers too so I am excited when the day comes that we are no longer in diapers.  But when we next to re-stock we will for sure be buying these Goodnites for her since they fit better.

Bedtime Routine for a Toddler & Preschooler - Is it bedtime? Do you have a Bedtime Routine for a Toddler & Preschooler in your house? Try out this easy one if you are tired at the end of a long day.

For those who have been through it, what are your tips to help the older child get potty trained?  I know limit liquids before bed, have them pee before bed, and before you go to bed, but anything else?

How do you know your child is ready for night-time potty training?

I received a package of Goodnights free to review from Influenster for the purpose of testing.

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Family Movie Night

We started this new tradition of a Family Movie Night every week.  My son is almost two and my daughter three-and-a-half.  It is so much fun, we all snuggle up on the couch, put our phones away and watch a new movie together.

Family Movie Night - Do you celebrate Family Movie Night at your house?  What makes it a success?  Try these tips below to make any family movie night with your kids special.

Sometimes we put a little table in the living room and order in pizza or take-out food and enjoy dinner and a movie.  But more often (and to save my living room floor) we eat at the table then have a snack during movie time.

What makes a family movie night awesome?

Tasty Caramel & White Cheddar popcornThis week we had the chance to review Orville Redenbachers White Cheddar and Caramel popcorn for free from Influenster.  It was so much fun.  Neither of the kids had tried caramel popcorn before, and my son hadn’t really had much popcorn yet at all.  We all snuggled up to watch Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and munch on some popcorn while we watched the movie.  Although the caramel was by far my favourite, it does taste good in the same mouthful as a white cheddar, seriously, try them both in one bite, it’s tasty.   My kids polished off the whole bag with us, my son didn’t even watch the movie, just turned his chair towards the popcorn bowl to snack on it.

I forgot a lot from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer from when I was a kid, they are MEAN to him!  Even Santa.  It is sad to watch with kids and my daughter is so sensitive she notices and wants to know why everyone is so mean to Rudolph.  She found the Abominable Snowman to be a little scary though.  But we all enjoyed the movie and popcorn and snuggles.  And the kids go to bed later so anything that delays bedtime is fine by them!

 

 

Family Movie Night - Do you celebrate Family Movie Night at your house?  What makes it a success?  Try these tips below to make any family movie night with your kids special.

What are your favourite movies to watch during family movie night?

What movie’s to watch?

We have done all the Land Before Times, almost all Disney movies, starting Ice Age, and are now focussing on Christmas movies.  It is my favourite night of the week when I can snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie with my family.  Sometimes I can even knit if both kids are snuggling with daddy.  Maybe I will finish my daughters hat before the end of winter.

There is something about watching classic Christmas movies that you grew up with, with your own children, by the light of the tree and keeping the magic of Christmas alive.  Next up, maybe Frosty the Snowman with some eggnog!

Other snack ideas:

  • Fresh popped popcorn
  • Chips
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Warm Milk
  • Cookies
  • Nuts
  • Oranges
  • Pretzels
  • Anything that is a special treat and fun to eat!  Bonus if it isn’t too messy so your floors don’t suffer.

What are your favourite snacks to enjoy at family movie night with your family??  Comment below and let me know!

DISCLAIMER: I received this product free to review for this blog.

Family Movie Night - Do you celebrate Family Movie Night at your house?  What makes it a success?  Try these tips below to make any family movie night with your kids special.

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Book Review – My Name Is Mahtob

Book Review - My Name Is Mahtob IG

Have you heard of My Name Is Mahtob yet?  Many years ago I read Not Without My Daughter.  I watched the movie and was fascinated and horrified by the awful story of Betty and Mahtob Mahmoody, a mother and daughter going to Iran with their daddy/father on what they thought was an innocent vacation to visit his family.  Little did they know they would be held captive there and suffer from countless abuse and humiliations at their father/husbands hands.

 

When I heard about this book written from the daughter’s perspective I could not wait to read it and hear her side of the story.  I was curious what it must have been like for her being such a young girl at the time.  Did she remember much of what happened?  How did her life turn out?  I hoped since karma dealt her such a low blow early in her life she would have an amazing life to make up for it and wanted to learn more about her.

At the end of Not Without My Daughter they cross the border and you think awesome, they escaped, happy ending to a story.  But that is NOT the ending.  They still had issues arriving in the middle of the night in a strange city, getting to America, and once in America never stopped being pursued by their husband/father.  They were never free, which I was horrified to learn through reading this book.

Mahtob Grows Up

Mahtob’s book is great.  It visits her storyline of being in Iran and trying to escape with her mother.  Mostly it deals with the aftermath.  Trying to grow up as a well-adjusted girl as normal as she possibly can.  But with the shadow and threat of her father looming over her for her entire life and the fear of him kidnapping her, or sending emmisaries to do it for him, really cast a pall on her life.  It affected her day to day life immensely.  If you are interested in seeing how their story finishes off you should read this book.  I was glad I had a chance to read it.  Mahtob is an amazingly strong woman who dealt with the blows of her life with grace and courage.  She could have rolled over and stopped fighting, but she never did.  She is a strong woaman and a great role model.

Mahtob fights back!

I enjoyed her way of writing, it seemed modest and informative. It gave a great history and lots of detail, but not overwhelming or boring.  Her faith was a big factor in her strength and helping her to get courage to face her illness (which I won’t write about in detail so I don’t spoil it) along with her father’s harassment and stalking.

I recommend this book to anyone wanting a real-life story of a girl suffering from atrocities overseas in Iran and learning about the differences for women in different cultures.

Are you familiar with this story?  What did you think of her mother’s book (Not Without My Daughter) and/or her book (My Name Is Mahtob)?  Did you see the movie with Sally Field?

Book Review - My Name Is Mahtob - PT

DISCLAIMER:  I was given a free copy of this book (in hardcover!) to review, all opinions are my own and no compensation changed hands for this post.
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We Are Knitters – Katja Cape knitting review

We Are Knitters - Katja Cape review - My first knitting project and I took on the Katja Cape from We Are Knitters, come check out the results and how easy it is to take up knitting!

I have always loved knitting and wanted to learn to knit.  I learned how to do it as a kid and used to keep my knitting in the van for long car rides.  Unfortunately,  my dad’s van got stolen and that was the end of my knitting since my stuff was gone.  My Granny was an amazing knitter and used to make amazing doggy sweaters, mitts, scarfs, and stuffed animals. I always wanted to figure it out but arthritis kicked in before I was able to learn from her.

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Knitting 5When I was approached by We Are Knitters to try out one of their products I was SUPER excited!  Being a beginner they helped guide me towards the beginner projects that I could tackle. I chose to do the Katja shawl.  I choose the colours and eagerly awaited my shipment in the mail.  It was super fast.

 

Starting Off

Knitting 3I watched the instructional videos over and over again and attempted to start my project.  Well….. there certainly was a learning curve.  I had to re-start three times, but that was due to my ability not the project.  Luckily I had a girls weekend with my friends coming up.  A good friend of mine is an AMAZING knitter (she knit my son a cardigan that still fits him a year later) she took one look at it and encouraged me to rip it apart and start again.  With her help I was now on the right track and could tackle the project.  I suppose starting off with thick wool and chunky wooden needles wasn’t the easiest project to start with, but with her help I was well underway and loving how it looked!

Knitting 4I brought this with me everywhere, with two young kids I could only do a row here and there so it took me a LONG time.  It should have been faster, but oh well.  The next one I am sure I can do in half the time. It came with me to my daughters gymnastics practice to do as I watched, in the car as my husband drove for vacations, outside while watching my kids play, and camping with my other knitting friends.  We may have looked dorky all sitting there knitting, but I  thought we looked cool.

Need a new craft? #weareknitters has awesome kits for beginners to #startknitting Click To Tweet

Knitting 2Practice Makes Perfect

My biggest issue was I kept picking up stitches randomly while I knitted.  I would count at the end, and have an extra stitch or two each line.  Soooo my knitting doesn’t look even, but that is because I had to keep dropping stitches I had picked up.  Although I did the same pattern the whole way along, the beginning was really loose because I was just learning, I kept messing up my stitch count and I got tighter at the end.  Whatever, I love it and for my first piece of knitting I think it looks great.

Knitting 1Review

I honestly had so much fun doing this piece and really recommend it.  Even with  NO experience (I really don’t count a row or two in the car at age 11) I made this.  If you want to try and learn to knit the Katja Cape like me, this kit (or another beginner one) would be PERFECT for you.  I cannot recommend it enough.  It was a great way to de-stress and have some me time, even with the kids.  Grab a cuppa tea or wine (depending on the time….) and your knitting and you can supervise and interact with your kids while you knit.

We Are Knitters - Katja Cape review - My first knitting project and I took on the Katja Cape from We Are Knitters, come check out the results and how easy it is to take up knitting!

 

What do you guys think?

I have a birthday coming up next month and am I am already planning out which kit I want to do next.  These two kits are at the top of my list, so hopefully someone gives one to me!  The Cub Scarf on the left I would need extra wool so I can make one for each of my kids, but I would love one in adult size too!  Otherwise the cloak on the right would be for me 🙂

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If you could knit one of these which would you do next?  What are your favourite knitting projects?

Check out the kits from We Are Knitters below, there are so many options of things you can get!

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Don’t forget to follow them on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook for some awesome pics and ideas of new patterns and kits to try out.

DISCLAIMER:  I was given a kit to try out in exchange for my blog post, all opinions are my own and I make no money from you following links or purchasing anything.

 

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We Are Knitters - Katja Cape review - My first knitting project and I took on the Katja Cape from We Are Knitters, come check out the results and how easy it is to take up knitting!

Camping Hacks

Camping Hacks - Going camping is so much fun! But challenging with young kids. Try these Camping Hacks with kids to make your life easier and camping more fun!

 

Do you like to go camping with your kids?  I sure do! Although we always have a blast, I have picked up some tricks over the years to make our trip more enjoyable and comfortable. Here are some of my favourite hacks while camping with my kids.

Pillow case 1

This may seem like an odd hack, but after a week camping it was useful to me and other campers thought it was neat so I thought I would share it.  Instead of changing your pillow case before camping, bring the clean pillow case in your luggage, change it after your tent is set up.  I found my pillows got super dirty in the car and sitting on the ground or picnic table during unloading.  It is much better to change it once in the tent for a clean pillow.  Then use the dirty case as a laundry bag, put all your dirty clothes in there during the trip so it is easy to cart home and take straight to the washing machine to be cleaned.

Pump soap & solar shower

This was my sister’s genious idea, combined with my soap.  Bring a solar shower with you.  It is only like $10-15 at Wal-Mart, a great investment if you camp a lot and also good for showers while camping.  Fill it with water and hang it from a tree, put some soap near by, I just brought regular pump soap, it is easier than a bar and can sit at the bottom of the tree on the ground.  After using the outhouse or port-a-potty or bush you can easily wash your hands afterwards!  My three-year-old could manage to wash her own hands, which made our life much easier. Great to wash your hands after playing in the dirt, questionable beach water, and before meals.  A simple cleanliness station, which makes you feel MUCH better camping.

Potty

My daughter can go to the toilet herself at home, but at three I don’t want her traipsing to the port-a-potty on her own and they are pretty nasty.  We bring her potty with us, I take out the center (for catching the poop and pee) and she can easily bush pee on her potty independently without needing us to run her to the camp bathrooms.  With the hand washing station above she can wash her hands afterwards on her own too.  Being able to have your child go to the bathroom independently is a great blessing while camping as it saves you time and effort.  She knew when she had to go poop to tell us and we would take her to the port-a-potty, no one wants to clean that up out of the grass!

Wagon 1

This one is depending on the ages of your kids.  We have a pop-up wagon that is AMAZING.  It can be used to help cart all your camping gear to your tent, store stuff at the site, help you transport kids around the site easily, hold all your beach toys, towels, water bottles etc. while going to the beach, and if you have to walk to your car help transport groceries from your car and/or kids to the car for errands into town.

Thermal BagI brought an extra thermal bag (I LOVE my Thirty-One thermals!) on the way up for drinks and veggies that didn’t fit in the cooler.  Once they did I used the bag for ice runs to keep the ice solid longer.  It worked great!  Driving to town and back plus walking to and from the parking lot meant at least 10-20 minutes that the ice was out of the freezer before going in the cooler.  A thermal bag to transport makes a difference and it is cold carrying it against your body so some extra protection between you and the ice feels better too.

Sarong fence

This one is great for close camping quarters and festivals.  Use those clothes lines like a fence. Bring string/rope to tie up around the perimeter of your camping area (also a great way to mark off your area so no one comes camping in it during festivals) then bring old curtains, sheets, sarongs, and clothes pins.  Pin them up on the clothes lines around the camp, it’s pretty, and you get more privacy!

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Have outside and inside bags

In a week camping we did not let one single mosquito into our ten (and let me assure you there were tons!).  I have a three and one and a half year old so that is saying something.  Trips into the tent are kept to a minimum and usually reserved for nap times and bed time.  I have a bin outside the tent with stuff we need regular access to like sunscreen, bug repellent, toothbrushes, hats, bathing suits, and flashlights.  Stuff is easier to access outside and you keep the bugs out of your tent with minimal trips.

 

Solar Lights

These are awesome and cheap.  You can take ones from your yard, or pick some up at Dollarama before you go.  Stick them out in the sun during the day to charge, then at night you can put them around your seating area and/or the edges of your tent so you can see where the tripping spots are.  It is great for checking on sleeping kids too, enough light to see them and like a nightlight, without having to flash your flashlight at them and wake them up.

 

Don’t forget to bring a flashlight too! Check out these cool flashlights, every camper needs a good flashlight.

 

Camping Hacks - Going camping is so much fun! But challenging with young kids. Try these Camping Hacks with kids to make your life easier and camping more fun!

What are your camping hacks?  What makes your life easier while camping?

Camping with little ones? Try these hacks to make camping easier. Click To Tweet




Camping Hacks - Going camping is so much fun! But challenging with young kids. Try these Camping Hacks with kids to make your life easier and camping more fun!

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Product Review – Duo Diary: A wellness journal for baby and caregiver

Duo Diary Review - IG

I am super excited to be reviewing this cool journal called Duo Diary.  It is a great journal that both mom and baby can use to help them keep track of their daily needs.

 

I was approached to review this really cool product called the Duo Diary.  Maybe I am just old-fashioned but I still love to write things down and find it easier to view in a journal.  After baby is born it is just easier to write things down in a book so everyone can see it, dad can write things down and keep notes too, as well as baby sitters, and it is easy to show to your midwife or doctor during checkups to see how newborn baby is doing.

 

I have had a lot of friends suffer from depression pre-baby, PPD (post-partum depression) with baby, as well as anxiety post-baby, which can be quite severe.  Trying to battle depression, or any of these illnesses is awful, especially with a new baby.  It can be so hard to function, your care and well-being goes down the toilet.  You focus all your energy on keeping this new lttle person you created safe, fed, dry, and preferably happy  (aka not cying), if you have older children too……. well…. life is not going to be easy for quite some time for you.

Duo Diary Review - TW

When I first heard about this journal all I could think about was how AMAZING I would be for a mom suffering from PPD (or any of the above anxiety, depression, etc. I will lump it together as PPD for this post to make it easier than writing it out each time) Mom can easily use this journal, and even dad can help her fill stuff in if she is having a hard time with it, to help her track of her needs as well, making it easier to see what is missing and how badly it needs to become a priority.  Dad can look at the journal and see how mom is doing today too, has she only had 2 hours sleep?  Send her for a nap!  Not enough food?  Make her a healthy snack to munch on while being a human milk machine.  Did she get any exercise?  Maybe suggest a walk around the block?  And water, well I think anyone around a breastfeeding mom will make them forever grateful if they just always fill up her water bottle or bring a glass of water when she is nursing, nursing makes you super thirsty and you drink a massive amount of water, keeping her water full (whether with PPD or not) is an incredibly thoughtful and practical thing to do.

 

This journal has a grid every day to help mom keep track of her food intake, sleep (or lack thereof!), exercise, and water intake.  Plus times for each entry.  There is also a blank section at the bottom for additional notes.  I would probably note  (or ask mom to make note of) when she gets to have a shower so anyone supporting mom can ensure she gets a shower as often as possible.  I know some people with depresson used little happy/sad stickers to keep track of their moods and you could easily put a sticker on the sheet to help mom track her mood as well.  For the first few days after birth it would also help track her painkillers (well can we even CALL Advil and Tylenol post-partum painkillers?) and any anti-depressants they are taking or other medications they may need to track.

 

On to baby, the reason I am sure this journal was primarily made, everyone has to keep track of baby stuff when they have a newborn.  The midwife or doctor will ask you almost daily for the first week how much baby is sleeping, are they feeding (whether breast or bottle), how many wet or soiled diapers they have a day, etc. You can track all this in your journal, plus a blank note section to calculate any extras you need.  I had issues nursing my daughter and had to keep track of whether she fell asleep at the breast, if I ended up using a nipple shield, etc.  This would have been a great spot to track our use of the shield and progress at getting her back on the nipple afterwards.  How does the umbilical stump look?  When did it fall off?  Are the poops still meconium or have they moved to the mustard seed kind yet? Any mini milestones?  All information you can track in your journal and information the doctor or midwife will need to know.

 

I had a 21-month-old when I had my second son, appointments with my midwife where chaotic to say the least.  Being able to just hand her this journal so she could see for herself exactly how we were doing would have made both our lives much easier.  Also, any question’s I had that came up I could write in the journal to remember to ask her next time we talked would have been great as well.

 

You get the picture, this is a really cool tool that can make a new mom (or a second time new mom’s) life much easier, keeps everything in the same place, helps dad understand what’s going on and any other caregivers supplying back-up to mom, and a BIG help to anyone suffering from PPD to make their life easier to track their symptoms and help ensure they are taking care of themselves too.

 

 

If you would like to buy this super useful journal  for yourself (not just for newborns!) or as a gift for an expecting mom in the future (especially if you know they have suffered with anxiety or depression before, make it easier from the start!), check out HERE where you can buy it.  I even have a coupon code FAIRIES10 to use at checkout and get 10% off (plus they are currently running a summer sale, 10% off in addition to the sale price).

Follow on Facebook or  Twitter or Instagram: @duodiaryinsta

Breastfeeding Caddy

A gift for a pregnant friend: a breastfeeding caddy!  All things to help her while breastfeeding, a receiving blanket, nursing pads, newborn diapers, diaper cream, nipple cream, stretch mark cream, and a book and activity book to keep her toddler busy while she is nursing.  All held together perfectly in Thirty-One’s Double Duty Caddy and of course featuring the Duo Diary so mom and baby can track their habits easily.

Duo Diary Review - PT

If you were going to use a journal after baby, what would you want to be tracking?

 

DISCLAIMER:  This is a sponsored post, I received compensation for sharing my opinion on this cool product.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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