What it’s like to have Pagan Friends

Ever wondered what it would be like to have Pagan friends?  Think it would be weird?  Wonder if they would stick out and make it obvious they were not Christian?  Probably not.  You have probably known Pagans at one time or another in your life and may or may not know it.

First of all what is a Pagan?  How is it different from Wiccan?  The easiest way I can use to describe it would be to say that Pagan is like the spirituality view (aka Christian) while Wiccan or shaman or kitchen witch would be the denomination (like Catholic or United).    Telling a Pagan they are going to hell is funny, since we don’t believe in hell or the devil.  We believe (many at least, there are always exceptions) in reincarnation.  So no, we do not worship the devil as we don’t believe in one.  We do believe in good and evil though.

One thing that is similar between pretty much all religions or spirituality beliefs is the Golden Rule or the Rule of Three fold.  The Christians have do unto others as you would have done unto you.  Pagans believe in the three fold rule, whatever you send out into the universe comes back to you three fold.  If you are worried about a friend being a Pagan or a witch and putting a spell on you, I wouldn’t worry.  They would only be sending out good vibes for you, otherwise it would come back three times as strong to them.  No one wants to put that kind of negative energy out there.




Some different things you may encounter

with Pagan’s or Pagan kids:

A lot frequent Pagan festivals and rituals

They are not as scary as they seem.  A lot of non-Pagans called “Pagan friendly” attend.  No need to be Pagan only to go!  They have workshops during the day, concerts, rituals, and drumming & dancing at night.  Rituals are actually mostly people standing around in a circle outside.  Usually with one or a few people in the middle talking.  If you are ever at a festival some may even allow you to sit on the outskirts to watch.

The night life, specifically the drumming & dancing is the best part of festivals.  A huge bonfire in the middle, 20-30 drummers and  50+ people dancing around in circles.  This is the highlight of the festival and always lots of fun. I have little ones asleep in the tent so I have missed this for the past five years, but it is a great way to get in some exercise, meet new friends, and have a blast.

Around holidays:

  • They may celebrate double the holidays you do.  Or celebrate things twice, or only the Pagan version.  Many mainstream holidays today had their roots in Paganism.  When the church started converting people thousands of years ago they found it was easier to keep similar holidays to what people were used to.  Thus we celebrate a lot of things twice.  Yule is December 21 & Christmas is December 25.  Ostara is March 21 & Easter is usually a few weeks later.  Mabon is September 21 & Thanksgiving around October 11th.Most of these we celebrate with a family dinner (sometimes with extended family).  We often exchange gifts, usually home-made for the Pagan version.
  • You may receive random gifts around holiday’s you have never heard about.  We often give Ostara baskets or treats to our family, friends, & kids teachers.
  • You may hear traditional holiday songs sang with changed pagan tunes: Jingle Bells, Walking in a Wiccan Wonderland, Silent Night, etc.  My son also asks for chants at nap time to fall asleep.

Other Things you may encounter:

  • We like to dress up all year round!  My kids dress as fairies, dragons, witches, etc. on a regular basis.  We frequently carry belly dancing skirts in our purses to put on at events and festivals.  We also like to wear cloaks and capes as much as we can!
  • They will have odd decorations in their house like brooms, wands, gemstones, goddess statues, books, tarot cards, mini cauldrons, etc.  You may also find some typical decorations we use for magic like candles, incense, and seasonal decorations.  NOTE:  It is always polite to ask before touching someone’s magic tools.  Most people don’t want them touched by others and they are usually only used for magic purposes.
  • Some Pagan’s have altars outside or inside, as with the tools above, look all you want, even compliment.  But please, do not touch!  Pagan’s believe each item has a certain “energy” and when you touch it, you throw that off or change it.
  • They may say things like “goddess bless”, “thank the gods” and other witchy phrases.  Like with all religions, take it as meant.  If someone says they are praying for me, I do not get offended, people mean it with love and I can pray to my gods in return for them.  If someone is sick, needs a prayer or is dying, Pagans often light a candle for them.  So if someone says they will light a candle for you or a loved one, it is meant like a prayer.
  • Pagans and other witchy people have an obsession with all things witchy.  That may be Samhain (or the traditional Halloween), Harry Potter, bones, stones, fire, anything.  We have pumpkin and witch decorations around year round in this house. My kids also ride toy broomsticks (meant as a sweeping kit not for magic!) and play “witch”.

 

 

 

You may enjoy some of these related posts below:

 

I have a pagan group board below (as well as seasonal for each Pagan holiday) if you are interested in joining any of them then make sure you are following me on Pinterest and comment below which one you want to be a part of.

Follow Raising Fairies and Knights’s board Pagans Unite on Pinterest.

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How to Pack for a Vacation with Little Children

How to Pack for a Vacation with little children - We all know how travelling with a baby & toddler can be challenging and stressful. Follow these packing tips to make things easier.




Packing for a vacation with kids can be pretty stressful.  It takes me a week to prepare and get organized and I bring a lot of things with me, it is worth it though as it makes travelling much smoother and easier.  We went on vacation a week ago and it was amazing.  The place we stayed at had a washer and dryer, I would choose a place with laundry facilities over a regular one any day of the week.  It was amazing!  We were gone for a week and with a 5.5 month old it was glorious to be able to wash his clothes, especially after the fourth poop explosion in one day.
 
Pack days/weeks in advance and keep an ongoing list so you can add stuff as you remember it.  Less rush when the trip comes and less chance of forgetting things.  Also give yourself a lot of travel time, we ALWAYS end up leaving late for a vacation and you never know when you need to stop and diaper change/breastfeed for an hour.  Obviously how much stuff you bring is directly related to how long you will be away.  If it is a quick overnight trip you may not need much. 
 
 How to Pack for a Vacation with little children - We all know how travelling with a baby & toddler can be challenging and stressful. Follow these packing tips to make things easier.

Here are some of my essentials when travelling on vacation with my toddler and baby:

 

Sleeping Gear 

A pack and play for baby/toddler to sleep in or a cot for toddler, their own comforter/blankets, comfort objects, massive amount of pillows (help support back for breastfeeding, line bed so baby can’t roll off). 

Clothes

Bring lots of extra clothes, for all weather, it may be 30+, but you never know if the place is air conditioned, the temperature drops or anything like that.  Always bring clothes for warm and cold weather, including pj’s.  Plus lots of extras for poop explosions, accidents, food spills, mud, etc.

Extra Bags

Bring tons of wet bags (like for cloth diapers) and plastic bags.  Kids are messy and you never know when you may need an extra bag for dirty/peed on clothes, an extra garbage bag, or just another bag to stash stuff in and carry it.

Diapers

Tons of extra diapers/pull ups, vacation is the perfect time for poop explosions, diapers ripping, and other situations to make you run out.  Also on that front, extra wipes.  Although we cloth diaper, when on vacation it is just so much easier to use sposies, less stuff to bring (there but especially back), and a lot less work and smell (lugging around dirty diapers in a hot car does NOT smell good).

Hygiene

Those little sample bottles people give you of lotion/shampoo/soap/etc. bring them.  You get rid of them easily and the small bottles take up less room.

Blankets

Muslin receiving blankets (like the Aden + Anais ones) are amazing and so versatile, blanket for in the car, picnic blanket for outside, change pad, wrap around baby or help clean baby after a poop explosion, wrap around baby in carrier or over stroller to help protect from the sun.  I usually bring a sarong for myself for the same reason, blanket, shawl, quick skirt, can change behind it etc.

Other Random Gear 

Mommas and papa’s snug chair for baby to sit in, eat in, play in, a travel high chair, and potty seat for toddler. Carriers and stroller.  Sometimes the stroller is used to lug stuff around while baby naps in the carrier, either way both get used a lot! 

Easy Snacks

I don’t know what happens to meal times when we are away but we tend to eat a lot of snacks so bring tons of healthy and portable ones. 

First Aid Kit 

I have a toiletry bag where I keep all my medication essentials for baby/toddler, Advil and Tylenol for baby and toddler (yup that’s four bottles), Camilla’s and Hyland’s Teething Tablets, Gripe water, oval, cough syrup, cold medication, Hydrasense, snot sucker, saline nose wipes and nail clippers.  If you bring this stuff, you probably won’t need it, if you don’t bring it you probably will!  Even for an overnight trip, I bring everything with me as you never know when a fever or illness can strike.  Plus Polysporin, bandaids, sunscreen, etc.

Safety

Bring a few child-proofing things such as door knob covers and cabinet locks to ensure they can’t get into dangerous places or escape your room.  Don’t forget your monitors too!  If you are in a condo or a cottage monitors are great to have so you can stay close but keep doors closed to minimize noise.

Soap

Bring some laundry soap, pods if they have a washing machine, individual ones for hand washing if not.  Sometimes doing laundry in the sink (or washbasin while camping) is worth it to prevent permanent stains from those raspberries they ate!  Don’t forget some dish washing soap to wash their sippy cups with.

Toys 

A lot of the time you can find things where you are to help keep a baby entertained, measuring spoons, a chip bag, shoes, etc.  I try to pack items for both kids that can do double or even triple duty, entertain both, and have multiple uses.  Like stacking cups, Duplo, crawling caterpillar, books, etc.

Some of my favourite activities to keep my toddler entertained are without a doubt her Minnie Mouse clip on dress toy, she loves it (Po chews on it), her doctor kit to play Dr. Mc Stuffins, bag of goodies to keep her busy during baby naps like colouring books and crayons, lacing beads, dress-up magnet boards, etc.  I also brought some movies for her to watch during quiet time if she doesn’t nap or we need to keep her busy during naps.

My sister let me borrow a really cool Duplo story book that comes with blocks to do the story.

What are your #travel essentials? Check out How to Pack for a Vacation with little children Click To Tweet

For the Car

Pack a special travel bag for the car.  Bee has a special bag I give her for the car with some books (new or put away so she hasn’t seen them in awhile), a Minnie clip on dress toy, and snacks that take a while to eat and they can do independently such as little boxes of raisins, an apple, little bag of goldfish, etc.  I also found (as annoying as it can be) getting some of their favorite music can really help keep them entertained.  Yes listening to two hours of Frozen or Dora the Explorer gets tedious, but better than listening to whining or them screaming and upsetting baby too.

For baby, lots of toys to chew on that are close by.  If you don’t have two, sitting in the backseat and playing with them can really help too.  On an eight hour drive from Boston Bee was amazing at nine months, I sat with her and read her books, handed her different toys and we stopped to let her stretch when necessary. 

 

 How to Pack for a Vacation with little children - We all know how travelling with a baby & toddler can be challenging and stressful. Follow these packing tips to make things easier.

Getting organized while on vacation

When you arrive try to unpack as much as you can right away.  Being organized helps you remain stress-free and it is easier to find things when you need it.  Plus unpacking makes it seem more like home and everyone adjusts easier. 

Travelling with kids can be a great way to explore and have fun as a family.  I hope you get away on a vacation too soon!

What are your favourite things to bring on vacation?  Favourite places to travel with kids?




Other travel posts you might enjoy:

 

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Updated June 28, 2017

Pinkalicious Bubble Wand & Bubbles

Pinkalicious Bubble Wand & Bubbles - Join the #monthlycraftingbookclub to celebrate Pinkalicious-themed crafts this month.  Make some bubbles & bubble wands!

This month in the Monthly Crafting Book club we are doing the Pinkalicious series.  I decided to make Pinkalicious Bubble Wand & Bubbles.  My four-year-old daughter, Bee, LOVES the Pinkalicious books.  They are about a little girl who loves pink, unicorns, cupcakes, mermaids, and lots more.  Perfect for little girls.  My two-year-old son loves them too, but he is easy going and loves all books.

I did some searching on Pinterest for Pinkalicious ideas and was happy to come across Pinkalicious preschool work pages and colouring pages.  I printed them off for my daughter to do during afternoon quiet time.  My son still naps so we use this time to do home work pages and keep learning.  Sticking to our Pinkalicious theme today was great.  I am mentioning this as if any of you are interested you can find school work-pages on Pinterest too.

I decided to take advantage of some of the amazing weather this week by doing bubbles and home-made bubble wands with the kids.

Pinkalicious Bubble Wand & Bubbles - Join the #monthlycraftingbookclub to celebrate Pinkalicious-themed crafts this month.  Make some bubbles & bubble wands!

Pinkalicious Bubble Wand & Bubbles

Pinkalicious Bubble Wand & Bubbles - Join the #monthlycraftingbookclub to celebrate Pinkalicious-themed crafts this month.  Make some bubbles & bubble wands!

Pinkalicious Bubble Wand & Bubbles - Join the #monthlycraftingbookclub to celebrate Pinkalicious-themed crafts this month.  Make some bubbles & bubble wands!Bubble Wand Instructions

 

  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Pony beads (or other kinds)

 

String the pony beads onto the pipe cleaners, filling up maybe the bottom half to two thirds.  Wrap the end of the pipe cleaner back around and inside the bottom bead to hold.  On top shape it into a circle, diamond, heart, etc.  Whatever shape you want!  I did find that it helped to keep the circles small. I liked to do figure eights as they were more likely to work and make the best bubbles.

 

Pinkalicious Bubble Wand & Bubbles - Join the #monthlycraftingbookclub to celebrate Pinkalicious-themed crafts this month.  Make some bubbles & bubble wands!Bubble Instructions

 

  • 2.5 cups of water
  • 0.5 cups of corn syrup
  • 0.5 cups Dawn dish soap (apparently this one works best, you can try another if you are brave).

 

Pour the water and corn syrup into a large glass bowl.  Microwave for about four minutes.  Then pour in the dish soap and stir well.

 

Pinkalicious Bubble Wand & Bubbles - Join the #monthlycraftingbookclub to celebrate Pinkalicious-themed crafts this month.  Make some bubbles & bubble wands!Play time

 

I poured the mixture into little bowls and let the kids go nuts!  They had so much fun dipping over and over with their home-made bubble wands.  My son has a tendency to spill bubble mixture a lot.  Intentionally and accidentally, I mean WHY would anyone put their feet in a bubble mixture bowl??  A two-year-old can find a reason!  At least with home-made stuff I don’t feel like he is pouring money down the drain.  We made tons of bubbles, caught lots on the sticks and had a blast.  We were all super sticky afterwards but had a great time!

Have a #Pinkalicious time making a #bubblewand & #diybubblemixture with your #kids #summerfun Click To Tweet

Pinkalicious Bubble Wand & Bubbles - Join the #monthlycraftingbookclub to celebrate Pinkalicious-themed crafts this month.  Make some bubbles & bubble wands!

Follow Raising Fairies and Knights’s board Monthly Crafting Book Club on Pinterest.

Pinkalicious Bubble Wand & Bubbles - Join the #monthlycraftingbookclub to celebrate Pinkalicious-themed crafts this month.  Make some bubbles & bubble wands!

Check out what the other bloggers have come up with below:

 

Have you seen the other Monthly Crafting Book Club Challenge books we covered this year?

Come join us for the Monthly Crafting Book Club. Each month we focus on a different book and encourage early literacy by pairing it with a craft.

January –Ladybug Girl Wings

February – Giraffe’s Can’t Dance Craft

March – How do Dinosaurs

April – The Hungry Caterpillar

May – Camping Themed

June – Pinkalicious Series

 

 

 

 

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14 Days of love Affirmation Printable

14 Days of Love Affirmation Printable - Ready for a relationship challenge? Lead up to Valentine's Day with this 14 Days of Love Affirmation Printable. Time to show some love affirmation!

 

It’s coming up to the season of LOVE!!  As a pagan, we celebrate a version of Valentine’s Day on Imbolc, also known as Candlemas or Groundhog Day as it was made into.  We use this day as an excuse to celebrate our love, have a date night and enjoy good food.  I like to use the time between Imbolc and Valentine’s Day to really celebrate our love together.  We try to remember why we have this crazy life and family together.  We have two little ones and my husband has a busy work schedule so romance isn’t always at the top of our list at the end of the day.  This is the perfect reminder that it needs to be and we need to make it a priority.

 

Time for a relationship challenge!

I have a challenge for you and your marriage or relationship.  I will say marriage, but I’m from Quebec, people don’t always get married there but live together for decades and have kids.  Some people are in a same sex relationship and may or may not be able to get married. I include everyone, if you are in love and together, this is for all of you!

14 Days of Love Affirmation Printable - Ready for a relationship challenge? Lead up to Valentine's Day with this 14 Days of Love Affirmation Printable. Time to show some love affirmation!

Starting the first day of February you need to have two of these sheets printed out.  Post it on the wall, or fridge, someplace you both can see and appreciate.  You need to remember to do it daily, that’s the fun of it.  Every day you and your partner need to think of a reason you love the other person and write it down, every day from Imbolc to Valentine’s Day!  It’s a great way to show your partner how much you care, and get some affirmation yourself that you are loved too.

Ready to start?

Click the graphic below to print or HERE for the PDF.

14 Days of Love Affirmation Printable - Ready for a relationship challenge? Lead up to Valentine's Day with this 14 Days of Love Affirmation Printable. Time to show some love affirmation!

Start #ValentinesDay by showing your #partner you love them #affirmation #marriage #relationships Click To Tweet

Are you ready?  Pumped?  Let’s work on our relationships and make our partner know how much we love and appreciate them!!!

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

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14 Days of Love Affirmation Printable - Ready for a relationship challenge? Lead up to Valentine's Day with this 14 Days of Love Affirmation Printable. Time to show some love affirmation!

Ladybug Girl Wings

 

Ladybug Girl Wings - Celebrate the monthly crafting book club for January with Ladybug Girl, come see the crafts bloggers have come up with, like my Ladybug Girl Wings.

This month for the Monthly Crafting Book Club we are covering the Ladybug Girl series.  This series is a personal favourite in my house and my daughter is always asking for Ladybug Girl Wings.  My son is game to try anything and likes the character Bumblebee Boy so he was happy to get his own wings too.

The Ladybug Girl series by  Jacky Davis and David Soman is really fun.  Each book is trying to teach children how to overcome obstacles, sometimes it is boredom, disagreements, etc.  My daughter was almost three-and-a-half when she fell in love with this series, she told everyone her name was Lulu (so strangers at the park asked me about my daughter Lulu!).  She even taught her 18-month-old brother to answer to Bingo (the main character’s dog) and would try to lead him around on a leash.  I couldn’t wait to do this book as a theme in the Monthly Crafting Book Club and see what everyone else came up with too!

If you are new to the Monthly Crafting Book Club, it is a group of bloggers I organize where every month we focus on a different book, series, or theme and all try to come up with a craft or activity that relates to the book. We have sucessflly done it for a year, you can check out last years themes and crafts below:

January – Barnyard Dance

February – If You Give A Moose A Muffin

March – ABC’s

April – Piggy in the Puddle

May – Five Little Monkeys

June – A Camping-related book

August – A Back to School-related book

September – It’s Pumpkin Day Mouse

October – Have You Seen My Monster

November – Georgie the Gingerbread Fairy Wand Craft

December – Winter Theme Book

If you are a blogger and want to join us, join our Facebook group HERE and feel free to participate whenever you can.  The next book we are covering for February is Giraffes Can’t Dance and March is How do Dinosaurs….series.

 

On to our Ladybug Girl Wings, what child doesn’t love a set of wings to run around and fly with?

Ladybug Girl Wings - Celebrate the monthly crafting book club for January with Ladybug Girl, come see the crafts bloggers have come up with, like my Ladybug Girl Wings.

Ladybug Girl Wings

Materials Needed:

  • Large Fun Foam
  • Wire
  • Glue Gun & sticks
  • Extra fun foam and glitter for decorations
  • Elastic
  • Cardboard to cut out (like an old cereal box)

How to assemble:

  • Sketch out the wings on some cardboard and cut it out as a template.
  • Trace it out on the fun foam, you will need four, two per side.
  • leaving a space a few inches long at the top left for the wire, glue two sides together with the glue gun, repeat on the other side.  Trim access foam around the edges so it looks uniform all around (save the spot you saved for the wire).
  • Take the wire and make a loop in the middle, with the wire sticking out the top on both sides (see diagram).
  • Use the glue gun to attach the long loops into the wing on each side.
  • Trim again to make sure the wings are uniform.
  • Take the elastic and tie to the top of the wire and bottom on each side. Adjust them to your child’s size.
  • Time to get your child to help you decorate the wings!  For my daughter we cut out black circles for the lady bug dots and she helped to glue them on. For my son I stuck to glitter as he is two and his help makes everything challenging.

Time to run around like a bunch of crazy fairies, bugs, etc.

What kind of bug is your child if and when they play BUG SQUAD??

 

Did you get a chance to see the other amazing crafts shared below by the other fabulous bloggers???

Ladybug Girl Wings - Celebrate the monthly crafting book club for January with Ladybug Girl, come see the crafts bloggers have come up with, like my Ladybug Girl Wings.

 

Thank you so much for visiting us and I hope you find some awesome crafts to try out with your little readers.

 

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Follow Raising Fairies and Knights’s board Monthly Crafting Book Club on Pinterest.

Celebrate the monthly crafting book club for January with Ladybug Girl, come see the crafts bloggers have come up with, like my Ladybug Girl Wings.

 

How to help your Direct Sales Business

I recently joined the world of direct sales last winter, almost coming up to my one year anniversary!  I have people ask me a lot of questions and from my experience blogging I have learned a lot so I wanted to share my tips on How to help your Direct Sales Business.  There are some websites that can make life a lot easier for you.

Whether you do trade shows, in-home parties, online Facebook parties, etc. there are a lot of ways you can make your life easier, and a lot of options for free too.  Do you want to know How to help your Direct Sales Business?  Keep reading below, make sure you add your tips to the comment section to help others too.

Tiny Torch

 

Do you host Facebook parties?  Then you NEED an online scheduling tool.  Facebook parties are amazing, but if you have to be present a few times a day (or night ) to post everything live it can be really hard, life happens, kids, families, making it so you cannot always be online to post when you need too.  You may also not be available at the times that are most optimal for participation.  Enter a scheduling website like Tiny Torch, this website is a life saver!  There are other websites you can use, but I like this one, you can sign up for a free account and schedule up to five posts a day per group/event/page, so you can preschedule all the posts for your private group in advance, as well as your parties.  Seriously a life saver.  It makes things much easier for you in the long run and gives you less to worry about.  For a small fee you can upgrade to a deluxe version and be able to schedule up to 10 posts a day, or add photo albums, all choices you can make if you think it would help your business, otherwise the free version is pretty awesome and still really helpful.

Use this link to get $10 free to try upgraded services if you want, or stick to the free ones: Tiny Torch

 

Tailwind

If you have a Pinterest account this is a great tool to have.  It is a great site which schedules all your Pinterest pins for you (similar to Tiny Torch above, but for Pinterest).  It is recommended you share content that is not always sales content to keep your customers interested.  If you sell makeup maybe tips on doing makeup, or a fun outfit to match with your makeup for a night out.  If you sell leggings tips on styling your outfit, if you sell essential oils, DIY recipes to use the essential oils in, you get it.  But for some having a Pinterest account is a big part of their business and scheduling your pins means you are pinning your content at the best time of day for your readers to see it, and sharing enough content to keep your business in other people’s minds.

Use this link to get $15 in free credit to try out Tailwind

If you are on Pinterest you NEED Tailwind, it is a great time saver and ensures you reach your customers at the most optimal time!

Hootsuite

Another free site that I use to schedule and share webpages is Hootsuite.  Whether you are sharing on twitter and tweeting it or sharing it on Facebook, this site can make it easy for you to share some fun content on both platforms to keep your readers engaged.  It’s a great way to share articles, or other pages that may be related to your business.  I use it to share recipes, tips, and other things that may interest my customers in my VIP group.

Use this link to try out Hootsuite

Want your #directsales business to succeed?? Try these sites to help you out! Click To Tweet

 

Square

Do you do shows?  Sell your wares to people in person?  This is invaluable.  You sign up for free and they send you a free credit card reader, seriously, that’s how easy it is.  If you use my link below you will get some transactions free (and me too if I am lucky!), but in general it will charge you 2%, which isn’t the end of the world.  In this day and age not many people carry cash anymore, I never have enough cash to buy stuff.  To be honest, if they do not have a card reader, they will be loosing out on my sale and many other’s as I just don’t have cash.  Even at my local farmer’s market, most have card readers, it shocks me when people don’t, it’s free to get!  Seriously, by NOT having one you lose out on so much business, so set yourself up, try it free below.  If you sell stuff, do your customer’s a favour by offering them the choice to pay by credit card!!

Try this link and you can process up to $1,000 in credit card sales for free during your first 180 days Square .  It is still free to get the reader.

 

 

Vistaprint

 

I am sure everyone has heard of Vistaprint by now, but if you haven’t you need it!  It is a great affordable way to order personalized business supplies without costing a fortunate.  The best part is they always seem to have some sort of sale going on so it is rare you pay full price without some sort of incentive or reward.  They have fun monthly promo boxes to send you tools monthly you may need for your business.  You can get personalized business cards, magnets, post cards, address labels, signs, brochures, etc.

 

Follow this link to see how Vistaprint can help you

 

Canva

 

This is another free site, invaluable for making graphics.  I use it to make party graphics, graphics for the party page, my group, party invites, printables, signs, so many options of things to make.  It may take a bit of playing around to learn to navigate but is essential for keeping things fresh and making you own graphics.

Follow this link to start making your own designs through Canva

 

Do you do #directsales? Here are some easy tips to help your business flourish. Click To Tweet

 

Trello

This is a super cool site I was introduced to through blogging, it is amazing for making lists.  I have many different lists to keep track of, upcoming parties, who is hosting, the date, their address, etc. I always have a million lists on the go and his is perfect for keeping track of everything all in one place, again free!!

Follow this link to start organizing your lists through Trello

 

There you have it!!  My tips on How to help your Direct Sales Business, largely for free, and super easy to learn to use.  Which tip is your favourite?  So you have any more to add?  Please comment below on your favourite tips to help your Direct Sales Business succeed and flourish.

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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!

Monthly Crafting Book for December – Flip and Flop Penguins Craft

 

Flip and Flop Penguins Craft - Time for December's edition of the Monthly Crafting Book Club, winter themed books from bloggers.  I am covering Flip and Flop, check out the book and craft.

This month for the Monthly Crafting Book for December I decided to focus on the book Flip and Flop by Dawn Apperley.  I have a two-year-old and a three-and-a-half-year-old and they identify perfectly with the characters in the book. Both my kids are sick right now so I needed an easy craft, one that both kids would enjoy and could do on their own.

Flip and Flop Penguins Craft - Time for December's edition of the Monthly Crafting Book Club, winter themed books from bloggers.  I am covering Flip and Flop, check out the book and craft.

Materials Needed:

  • Po enjoying making some penguin craftsConstruction paper in various colours: blue/purple/penguin colour, white, orange, yellow
  • Scissors
  • Crayons
  • Glue

How to Assemble:

  • Before you gather the kids cut out a large penguin oval (I used half a paper) for the penguin body.  I picked blue (like one of the characters), but didn’t have purple so I used pink (to my daughters delight), you can use whichever colour you want or stick to Flip and Flop’s character colours.
  • Cut out a circle for the head in the same colour as the body.
  • Next, cut out a white oval, smaller than the body, for the tummy.
  • Grab the orange paper and cut out two orange feet per penguin.
  • Lastly cut a yellow beak.
  • Bee loving making her penguin craftsNow the fun part starts, gather the kids for gluing!  I gave them the pieces one at a time, body, then tummy, then head, then feet, then beak, and let the kids glue them on independently.  Then I had them draw eyes on their penguin.  My daughter’s looked more like eyes than my sons 🙂  But both kids were thrilled with their final product.

What is the Monthly Crafting Book Club?

Have you heard of the Monthly Crafting Book Club?  Have you seen any of our past posts?  I am a big advocate for children’s literacy and encouraging kids to read. I think that by incorporating a fun craft with the book it encourages a deeper love of reading and enjoyment of the book.  Every month a group of bloggers get together, whoever feels like participating that month and do a craft based on a specific book or theme.  It’s lots of fun and I get great ideas on activities to do with my own kids!  If you want to join our Facebook group, click HERE and you can check out other books, no obligation to participate each month.

 

Check out some of our past month’s book’s here.

January – Barnyard Dance

February – If You Give A Moose A Muffin

March – ABC’s

April – Piggy in the Puddle

May – Five Little Monkeys

June – A Camping-related book

August – A Back to School-related book

September – It’s Pumpkin Day Mouse

October – Have You Seen My Monster

November – Georgie the Gingerbread Fairy Wand Craft

 

Next month we are doing the Ladybug Girl series by David Soman, a personal favourite of my daughters! February is Giraffe’s Can’t Dance.

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Monthly Crafting Book Club for December

I love how creative everyone is in coming up with other fun crafts, I cannot wait to check them out too!

 

Monthly Crafting Book Club for December - Winter themed books & crafts from awesome bloggers

 

Flip and Flop Penguins Craft - Time for December's edition of the Monthly Crafting Book Club, winter themed books from bloggers.  I am covering Flip and Flop, check out the book and craft.


Thank you so much to everyone for participating and I hope you got some great ideas on Winter themed books and crafts.

Get some great ideas on #winter themed books & crafts at Decembers #monthlycraftingbookclub Click To Tweet

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Flip and Flop Penguins Craft - Time for December's edition of the Monthly Crafting Book Club, winter themed books from bloggers.  I am covering Flip and Flop, check out the book and craft.

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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Yule Sun Ice Catchers

Yule Sun Ice Catchers - Celebrate the Winter Solstice by making beautiful Yule Sun Ice Catchers, alone or with your kids, easy to make with ingredients you already have & fun!

 

It is almost time to celebrate the shortest day of the year, soon after the days start to get longer and we will see the sun more and more each day.  For this reason we celebrate the sun at the Winter Solstice, also known as Yule.  In our house I am always looking for ways to get the kids involved and excited in our celebrations too.  This year we are trying out these Yule Sun Ice Catchers after seeing some fun pictures on Pinterest.  What better way to celebrate the return of the sun than to make some Yule Sun Ice Catchers to catch the suns rays and make some pretty designs in the snow??

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I have a toddler and a preschooler, so my crafts have to be easy for both of them to do, but slightly challenging for my preschooler so she won’t get bored. My son likes to be right in there though so I have to be creative and adapt the Yule Sun Ice Catchers craft for each of them.

Yule Sun Ice Catchers - Celebrate the Winter Solstice by making beautiful Yule Sun Ice Catchers, alone or with your kids, easy to make with ingredients you already have & fun!

Supplies Needed:

    • Water
    • Food Colouring
    • Circular Tupperware containers
    • Smaller containers filled with coins or nails to weigh them down.
    • Fun shaped ice cube containers if you have, or regular if you don’t
    • Thick ribbon

 

Directions

  • Before you get the kids excited and involved (depending on the age), find some circular empty Tupperware containers.  Stick the weighted down little containers inside it a few inches from the edge (you will thread the ribbon for the Yule Sun Ice Catchers through here). I used some empty play dough mini containers, or ones for making baby food.
  • Fill with water a few inches (as thick as you want it to be) and stick in the freezer for an hour to an hour and a half to start to set.
  • Grab some ice cube trays, fill with water, and either alone or with a child helper, put a few drops of food colouring in each one and freeze for an hour too.
  • Once set for an hour, get the kids out, let them use a spoon to poke the ice a little and break it.  There are a few different patterns you can try:

    1 – drop a few coloured ice cubes inside the ice water
    2 – let the kids use food colouring and drop a few drops in to the ice or freezing water
    3 – or do both!

  • Refreeze overnight until completely frozen.
  • Let sit in hot water until it can come out of the container.  If the weighted down circle isn’t coming out put hot water in that until it slides out.   Keep an eye on it as it will melt quickly.
  • Take out the weighted down circle and thread a ribbon through.
  • Hang the Yule Sun Ice Catchers outside and enjoy how pretty it is!!!

 

 

Final Results

My daughter was much better at the food colouring drops than my son was, he just squeezed the whole bottle so he got a lot more guidance, my daughter could do it more on her own.  My son probably made most of them more coloured than anticipated as he kept poking and stirring, but I still like how it turned out!

 

 

Celebrate the #returnofthesun #yule #wintersolstice by making these beautiful #YuleSunIceCatchers Click To Tweet

 

 

Do you celebrate Yule in your house?  How do you like to celebrate with your kids

Yule Sun Ice Catchers - Celebrate the Winter Solstice by making beautiful Yule Sun Ice Catchers, alone or with your kids, easy to make with ingredients you already have & fun!

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