How to survive a road trip with kids

Every year, we drive our trusty Honda Odyssey minivan to visit family outside of New York city. I look forward to this trip with a mix of excitement and dread. We are going to beautiful place to visit people we adore… but first we have to get there. 9+ hours in the car with three kids. Here are some of my tips for surviving a long road trip. These are not Pinterest style suggestions, these are #realtalk.

1.) ALLLL the tv shows and movies.

When we are at home, especially during the school year, we have very limited TV time during the week. When we travel, all the rules are  thrown out he window when we! Need to stop whining and fighting in the car? TV! Need to keep them quiet at a  restaurant? TV!  It’s not going to destroy their brains and it might just save your sanity.
Target Happy
2.) Bribe

We do a Target run as soon as we hit the border. Each kid gets to pick out
one toy as a treat and bribe to be good in the car. We also tend to pick up some not so good for you snacks there as well. Sugar won’t destroy their brains either  (as long as they brush and floss after all- I am not totally negligent)


Treat time

3.) Naps

This may seem like a no brainer but if you are on the kind of holiday where it is possible to stick to your kids regular nap schedule DO IT! They will be happier and you will have a much-needed and deserved break. If you are like me, your natural instinct is to pack as much sightseeing and fun into a holiday but cut yourself some slack. It’s your holiday as much as the little ones and you don’t want to get home more exhausted then when you left (hope springs eternal)

Storm King

 

4.) Schedule something that you want to do
We did a lot of things that the kids really wanted to do (swimming, eating junk food and visiting farms and zoos) but we also made sure that we fit in something that we really wanted to do as well. This year, we went to Storm King, an incredible art centre featuring massive outdoor sculptures. It was completely child appropriate but it was for the parents really!

 

Burger King

5.) Manage your expectations

No vacation is perfect, in spite of what you see on Instagram. Prepare yourself as much as possible all the while understanding that all your best laid plans will implode at least once. That is what happens when you travel with kids. And that is what wine is for.

 

What are your best tips for road trippin’ or just traveling in general with kids???

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The Pull-Ups Potty Promise and a Giveaway!!!

June is Potty Training Awareness Month and we are making the Potty Promise to ditch the diapers!!!

 

  I wasn’t sure that they (and I really mean “I”) was ready for this particular milestone but the twins’ teacher had been telling us that they were ready to start training. Then one day our daughter wanted to wear her cute new “unders” … and well, that was that. Once that kid has decided on something, it’s happening, regardless of mommy!

I had a really hard time potty training my oldest son and the entire experience was incredibly frustrating and anxiety ridden for all of us. I vowed that I would not let it get the best of me the second time, even with twins!

I have learned a lot from potty training three kids and here are my top five tips!

  1. Make sure your little one(s) is ready. Take the Potty Training Signs of Readiness Quiz  to make sure that now is the time to start. There is nothing worse than pushing a child into training when they are really not at all ready, emotionally or physically. However, don’t assume that just because they are young they aren’t ready. Some children are ready at 18 months!
  2. Make sure they really understand the difference between Pull-Ups®  Training Pants /Underpants and diapers. In our house,Pull-Ups® are considered to be underwear and the twins try to keep them as clean and dry as they would underwear.
  3. Be consistent. Don’t go back to diapers during the day once you have introduced underpants and/or Pull-Ups®. The twins know that diapers are only for night time these days and love to choose their own underwear and Pull-Ups® patterns. This autonomy makes them feel like big kids and they are so proud of that!
  4. Make it fun but don’t depend on bribes. Check out Potty Training Games and Tools for some cool ideas. Keeping the mood and tone of training fun is a key to success!
  5. As a parent, don’t stress the small stuff. Your kid will learn to pee in the potty. They will not be going to high school in a diaper. Don’t worry if they have an accident in the grocery store. No one is judging you. This is a small blip in the parenting journey. They will get it and you will make it through. You got this!!!

  

To help you make the #PottyPromise this month, Pull-Ups® and I want to give you your own Potty Partnership Starter Kit!

 

PullUps_StarterKit_Boy

 

Please enter via the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** Giveaway runs until June 30, 2017.  Eligible for Canadian residents 18+, excluding QC**

*While this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

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Better morning nutrition with Greens Plus!

Being a parent is hard work. No surprise there but I am always amazed at how my health and diet suffer while taking care of three crazy little ones. I never have time to eat a proper breakfast in the morning- sometime it is just coffee and whatever scraps that the kids refuse to eat (and if I am being honest, sometimes stuff that has fallen on the floor). In an effort to see that the grown-ups in the house do not come down with Scurvy, my husband has started making smoothies in the morning. They are the perfect on the go breakfast- quick, nutritious and portable. The only think that I felt that we were missing was some added greens, so we have added a scoop of Greens Plus from Genuine Health to our morning blend. Greens Plus is formulated with 23 plants and essential nutrients and helps keep me going all day.

There are so many delicious smoothie recipes out there, but one of our FAVOURITES right now is the Hello Sunshine Smoothie, created by Joy McCarthy, a holistic nutritionist

Smoothie 1

  • 1 peeled orange
  • 1 peeled kiwi
  • 1 cup cubed pineapple
  • 1 peeled banana
  • half a peeled lemon
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 scoop Greens Plus
  • 1 cup coconut water

(This recipe serves two and we add a scoop of Flax as well!)

Smoothie 2 Smoothie 3

Not only do we love this recipe, the kid do too! Giving them a glass in the morning (however messy) sets my mind at ease knowing that they got an extra kick of veggie power going into their busy days!!!

 

 

** I was provided with this product free of charge for review purposes. All opinions are my own**

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Summer in the City- Possibility Camp

This time of the year everyone is looking for fun and entertaining things for the kids to do during the summer break. I would like to tell you a little bit about Possibility Camp.

Possibility Camp

 

The mission of Possibility Camp is to bring out the potential of girls to make positive impacts on the world around them. This program empowers girls ages 8-13 to become leaders, social entrepreneurs, and change-makers. 

Through fun and experiential learning, Possibility Camp will help instill a strong foundation of skills and values to help girls to develop empathy, identify societal challenges, generate creative ideas, design prototypes, and build self-confidence in a group setting.

The Program is based STEAM thinking (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).   and among other activities, participants will  get an insider’s view at the Telus innovation centre and learn about cyber and internet safety through the internationally renowned Telus WISE program.

This Summer’s Possibility Camp will be taking place  runs Mon, 17 Jul 2017, – Fri, 21 Jul 2017, 9:00AM- 4:00 PM at Ryerson DMZ Zone Learning

I would like to offer my readers 20% off the camp with the code: Friendatstrollingthecity

Girls need to be empowered now more then ever to take pride in themselves and to see themselves with strength and self confidence!

GIRL POWER!

 

 

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Spring Style- Gap x Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is coming to the big screen on June 2nd (Watch the kick ass trailer here) and The Gap is celebrating the ultimate example of Girl (Super)Power with a capsule collection of Wonder Woman inspired gear for women, babies and kids. The iconic logo, lasso, head-piece and the old school red, red white and blue outfit are all represented. So fun for the warrior women in your life!
Here are my favourite pieces!

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Toddler Favourites- Two Years Old!

Toddler Favourites- Two Years Old

Leapfrog Number Lovin’ Oven– We don’t have room for a play kitchen in our house so this little talking oven is a real life/spacesaver

Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway Set–  SOO happy that I kept all the tracks and trains from the twin’s big bro ( are they ever expensive)! They love them as much as he did.

Megablocks Big Building Bag– WOW do all three kids enjoy these. The twins are well on their way to being  master builder and their brother loves helping them make elaborate constructions! Next stop- LEGO!

IKEA Lockig Potty– Cheap and cheerful. Let the potty training fun begin.

“Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”– This is a favourite book in our house and a fun, rythmic way of teaching the alphabet.

Beanie Boos– All three kids are OBSESSED withe these big eyes plushies.

 

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No Baby Unhugged- November 17th is World Prematurity Day

no-baby-unhugged

When William and Charlotte came into the world a month early, they were in the NICU for 11 days due to infection and a need to develop a little bit more. It was so scary and nerve wracking to see them hooked up to machines in the islolets. My favourite time of the day was when I was able to take each baby out, careful of all their wires and monitors, to hold them close, nurse (or attempt to) them and just feel them in my arms. Sob… thinking back on this scary but special time still makes me tear up going on two years later.

November 17th is World Prematurity Day, a day to raise awareness of the high rates of prematurity across the globe.

When babies come into the world early, they are so fragile and vulnerable. Human touch and skin-to-skin contact are hugely important to newborn care development, in both the short and long term.

Skin- to- skin contact helps to improve sleep, regulate body temperature, improve oxygen levels and pain tolerance and improve brain development and so much more.

Huggies believes in the power of touch so much they created No Baby Unhugged, an initiative to make sure all babies get snuggled when when their mother cannot be there.

I was never in the hospital as much as I wanted to be- I was recovering from a c-section and trying to pump milk for two babies… how much more peace of mind I would have had if I knew that my babies were being held close when I was not there?

Through the No Baby Unhugged program, Huggies has provided $50,000 in funding to two Canadian hospitals, with more planned. To-date, Huggies has partnered with Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney, Nova Scotia and Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario, offering funding to cover hugging chairs and stations, along with dozens of Hugger Volunteers in the NICU’s to help ensure all babies get the hugs they need. Over 600 babies are admitted to these hospitals each year, where hundreds of hours of care are offered by trained volunteers.

Take a look at the videos below featuring true stories captured at the these No Baby Unhugged hospitals, which show the reality of NICU care and how this initiative is helping families.

 

       Here’s What Hugs Can Do: No Baby Unhugged at Cape Breton Regional Hospital

       Miracle Hugs from No Baby Unhugged at Southlake Regional Health Centre

Show your support at nobabyunhugged.com. When you do, Huggies will thank you for your support by sending you free Huggies Diapers!

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The Pull-Up’s Potty Partnership (Giveaway)

Huggies Pull up's Potty Partnership

I had a heck of a time potty training my eldest, Wee Man. I was so stressed out and anxious about the entire experience that it made it so much harder for both of us. While we are still a while away from potty training the twins, I am already thinking about ways to avoid the pitfalls that I experience the first go-around.

The Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership launched earlier this year with huge success and offers a whole new way to potty train. Created in partnership with renowned child psychologist and potty training expert, Dr. Heather Wittenberg, it’s tailored to work with your child’s unique personality, on their schedule and according to how they learn.

By completing a free, online quiz about your child’s habits, parents will receive customized tips and advice based on their kiddo’s Potty Personality: a Squirrel, Bear Cub, Puppy, Owl or Turtle.

Based on your childs personality, the program suggests the best way to approach this milestone in the most reassuring way possible for both parent and child.

I did the quiz based on Wee Man’s personality back then and he is a Squirrel. Once the animal is established, there are SO many awesome tips, including night training, training while traveling and transitioning to big kid underwear! I wish I had this in my back pocket three years ago and I am thrilled to be able to assess the twins personalities for potty training, as they most likely will be pretty different (those two are chalk and cheese, I tell you!)

Thanks to Pull-Ups®, I have an extra tool kit to send to a lucky reader (Canada only). The kit includes:

·         Pull-Ups® Training Pants

·         Pull-Ups® Flushable Wipes

·         Potty seat and chair 

·         Milestone chart to track and award your child’s progress

·         Potty training book

·         Plush toy to reward potty accomplishments 

·         $25 Walmart gift card to help you stock up on other potty training essentials outlined in the Potty Partnership Toolkit

Please enter via the widget below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Twin Essentials- One Year Old

Twin Essentials- One Year Old

Love Child Organics Oaty Chomps-  I want to disclose right here that I am a brand influencer for Lovechild but I would NEVER recommend a product that my kids don’t love. These are a HUGE hit with my babes at snack time!

Aden and Anais Muslin lovey– I am looking to introduce a lovey into the crib now that the twins are over a year old and these are the perfect chose- the muslin is light and breathable and they are SUCH cute patterns.

My First Book of Girl Power– My oldest son is a massive superhero fan and this was his choice for a birthday gift for his baby sister. She loves it and so do I!

 The Mother of All Toddler Books by Ann Douglas– I live by Ann’s books! I know I will be referring to this frequently this year!

Tilty Cups– As all mothers know, the search for the perfect training cup is a long and often pricey one. These cups are great because they don’t require the kids to tip them back too much. This is still a work in progress but the kids are fans of these ones!

VTec Activity Cube– This was an early birthday gift for the twins from their grandparents and I they love it and I love it because it will grow with them for the next two years!

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