THE TRIOBIKE MONO CARGO BIKE EXPERIENCE

Thank you @allovelo for sponsoring this post.

I love living an active lifestyle. This is one of the most important attributes that I would like to pass down to my children. Living an active lifestyle is great for your health, physically but also mentally. One of the ways I like to teach my kids to be more active is by always choosing to walk or bike if possible. I try to do things in the vicinity to avoid having to drive. Before the kids, Brandon and I loved to bike around the city. I biked to get to work every day and during the winter, I would use public transportation. Since moving to Montreal I haven’t felt the need to own a car. I love that about living in my neighbourhood. Everything is so accessible!

Last Saturday it was a beautiful sunny day and we went to Old Montreal with the Triobike Mono. This beautiful and stylish family bike is made in Denmark and is for sale or to rent at Allo Velo. When I first saw it, I thought about how it was a great idea since it is so convenient! I could get places faster than with the stroller and there is so much storage space to bring whatever my heart desires. However, I was a little intimidated by the size and the added responsibility of having to ride with my children in it. A lot of questions came to my mind. The first one was, will I be able to balance it and is it hard to maneuver? I also thought about the kids. How safe is it for them? But I had to give it a try!

Very quickly all my worries went away and I fell in love when I sat and started to ride.

I should start with how safe I found it for my children. I was happy to see that the beautiful leather seats come with 5-point adjustable seat belts to keep them seated properly and safely. The wagon also has a retractile hood which will protect them from harsh weather conditions. Snow, rain or too much sun, this is perfect all year round! The design is tailored to fit the needs of families. All the materials used are easy to clean and the box even has a self drainage system! Eating snacks and drinking milk, no problem! Taking care of your wagon is so easy with very little maintenance.

Since I am a petite girl, I was a little concerned about the size and weight. I was wondering how easy it would be to keep stable and how easy it would be to maneuver. The Triobike Mono is actually one of the world’s lightest and safest cargo bikes! The biggest and best part of all is that the bike balances on its own. I was super surprised by how easy it was to use! With all the different gear settings, I had no problem going up steep hills. I really especially liked how easy it was to steer. The brakes are perfect. They are built using the same design and mechanism as a car. This feature is one of my favourites because it makes me feel much safer.

The Triobike is all about your freedom to choose and express who you are. It will take you where cars cannot go. Choosing more economical and sustainable modes of transportation is a great way to be an example in our children and to make a positive impact on the environment. Living this kind of lifestyle will teach our children that they can indeed make a difference. The Trio Bike Mono is such a great alternative.

 Triobike is used  by families all across Canada! What kind of footprint are you leaving on this world for our children?

STAY TUNED FOR MY NEXT POST ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF BIKING!!

FROM FARM TO TABLE

Before having kids I never really worried too much about what I ate or even when I ate. Almost every night after work I would dine out or simply just order in. If I had time during lunch, I would usually just eat protein bars. Breakfast was my only priority simply because it is my favourite meal of the day. To be completely honest I didn’t know how to cook. I did not like it and it seemed like a complete waste of time.

When I became a mother, everything changed. Food became one of the biggest priorities in my life. Now what I eat not only affects me but it is my responsibility to ensure my family has a delicious meal they can enjoy and more importantly, one that is healthy and nutritious. My journey began at my community center, Tyndale St. George. I attended workshops with a nutritionist who taught us about food quality and a balanced diet. I also attended other classes and learned how to cook healthy snacks and how to make the process of cooking enjoyable. It soon became something that I truly loved to do with the kids.

I learned that one of the easiest ways to make certain your children are getting plenty of healthy nutrients is by always choosing fruits and vegetables that are of different colours. It is also super imperative that they have something green every day. Timing is so important. I found that fruits and vegetables are the most nutritious when they are harvested and eaten at the right time.

I absolutely loved visiting the farmer’s market Le Marche Bio Local at Quartier Dix30! I was so happy to not only be able to find good quality food but it was all LOCAL and ORGANIC! All of the produce is harvested the day before and delivered to the market so everything is as fresh as can be. The produce comes from farms surrounding Montreal, no further than 150 kilometres away.

Thursday, September 26 will be the last time they pop up for the season until next summer. The local farmers work so hard driving into town and setting up their cute market booths. They choose the best fruits and vegetables, packing them carefully for families to enjoy. I love how the market area is super kid-friendly. They closed down the streets so there are no cars and they also have a cute sitting area where you can read books with the kids! Make sure to come over next week from 3pm to 7pm! Bring your kids and choose the perfect pumpkins to paint or carve for October.

LOVE

XXX

ELA

CAMPING WITH DINOSAURS BIRTHDAY

Thank you @laylaimperatori @popandcinfetti @tipienfete @sweetbite.bakery for sponsoring this post.


As you know, I love hosting, organizing get-togethers and planning parties. I really enjoy being able to get creative and to search for the perfect items and have good that makes me feel content.


I can’t believe Vera is already 3 years old. I am so lucky to have been able to stay home with her for the past 3 years. I love watching her grow and change. In the past year, she has developed so much! She is so happy, always singing and running around. She is such a bright little girl and I am so thankful for her. This birthday was very exciting for Vera because she could really understand the concept. As her birthday approached, we talked many times about what theme she would like. She had so many ideas but the one that always came up was the dinosaurs. Vera loves dinosaurs so much. Every night we read dinosaur books and sing dinosaur songs. Finally, we decided this would be the perfect theme.


When I started to plan the party I found Claudia, the owner of @tipienfete. She organizes theme tipi parties. When I saw her safari theme, I had to incorporate it to my party. This summer we took the kids camping for the first time and they loved it so much. I decided to create camping with dinosaurs theme. She has the perfect military style tipis, wood-like cushions to sit on, a toy camping fire set, flowers and vines to decorate and a picnic table set up for all the kids to sit at. It was perfect to create a cute and girly camping atmosphere.

We also set up a table for the cake, food and tableware. The center of attention, of course, was the dinosaur cake Vera had been asking for. But the table would still be incomplete without the perfect decoration details to finish it off.

Angie the owner of @sweetbite.bakery was the creator of our cake. The cake was not only beautiful, but it was also so delicious. She made us a 3 tier cake, vanilla flavour with confetti inside. It was such a cute cake, she made the colours match the rest of the decorations perfectly. Luckily, we had enough to take home so we could eat after!

@popandconfeti is one of the first stores I started to follow when I moved to Montreal. They are owned by 2 mothers, Anna and Sophie. They have the nicest party supplies! It was always a dream of mine to be able to use their plates for my parties. They supplied us with our birthday supplies. Since we had the dinosaurs and army tipis, I wanted to add a touch of pink. We got all the decorations and tableware in pink. I love how they chose the confetti plates as a special touch to the pink. They can also do customized orders.

We had a party at the park and it rained on us 3 times. Everything was amazing. All the details came together to have the perfect camping with dinosaurs theme party. We were surrounded by our family and our best friends. We had so much love and happiness and Vera had a great time. This was such a special day for us to celebrate Vera. I wanted to make sure we could save it so when Vera is older she could see how much she means to us. Thank you @laylaimperatori for capturing this day and showing all of the beautiful feelings we shared at Vera’s party.


HOW TO CHOOSE A DAYCARE?

I can not believe this time has come! There are only a few more weeks before school starts. This September, Vera is starting daycare full time. Vera is turning 3 years old this August. We’re planning to send her to pre-kindergarten next year. So, it is time for her to start preparing.

As you know she has been attending the child stimulation and playgroup program. These classes were only part-time. This has been preparing her to take the next step to go to daycare. I want her to attend daycare for 1 year before she starts school. Going to daycare will help her to get used to her new schedule and being alone longer. At daycare, they will prepare her to start school. The program focuses on helping the children learn the motor and academic skills they need for kindergarten. Here she will also learn the social and emotional skills she needs.

Finding a daycare can be a little tricky and maybe emotional. Finding the perfect nursery might feel like a big task because there are so many things to explore and consider. This time can also be emotional because you have to trust someone else to take care of your child and you finally part ways. 

Choosing the appropriate daycare for my family was crucial. I had so many questions prepared for our interview. I also had things wanted to be observant of during our tour. Knowing all this information helped me to decide on the daycare we chose. Something that is really important to me is knowing other families who attend there. This helped me to know more about the environment and the teachers. It is important that it has a good reputation, qualified teachers and a secure environment.

These are the questions I asked:

1. What is the staff to child ratio? How many children are in a class? How many teachers are in a class? You want to make sure that they are in standard. It is even better if they have fewer children in the classrooms.

2. What type of curriculum system do you offer? You want to make sure that your kid is being taught what you believe in and what you think is important in the way you like.

3. What kind of qualifications do the teachers have? How long have the teachers been working there?

4. What does the schedule look like? You want to know what routine do they follow and the activities they do. How much outdoor and gym time do they get? Do they learn French? Do they have art and music time?

5. What kind of food do they serve? At what time do they have their meals? Do you need to pack snacks or lunch?

6. How does naptime work? Where do they sleep? At what time do they sleep? What do they need?

7. What do they need to bring or keep at daycare?

8. What are the policies regarding immunization? What are the rules for children and teachers who are sick?

9. How do I know my child’s progress? Are the parents involved? Is there a committee? I love being involved in my kid’s schools and to have a close relationship with the staff.

What about you, have you gone through this process yet? What were your main concerns? I would love to hear more about it and maybe add your questions to my list

LOVE

XXX

ELA

POOL SIDE LIFE

Today was our last day of school, and summer is finally full on in Montreal! I wanted to share some of my pool tips to stay safe and have more fun this summer.

One of my favorite things about living in a condo is having a pool. I love how convenient it is! We spend almost every sunny afternoon at our pool. We like to go after the kid’s nap. It is great because the time between nap and bed time is so difficult and tight. Usually the kids wake up in a bad mood which makes it hard to plan anything. Time wise, we have to do dinner, bath time and clean up so we don’t have a lot of time to get ready and go out. With a 1 year old and 2 years old, post nap time everything takes forever and it is a struggle to get out the door. It is so easy to be able to just wake up from our nap and take the elevator to be somewhere fun.

Staying safe in the pool is super important so we can have fun. When I had Hunter last year, I started to think. How will I manage at the pool on my own with two children? They both are so little and they don’t know how to swim. I was really afraid of one of them falling into he pool. My nightmare was that one of the would fall and the other one would follow. Okay, I know it sounds like a movie. But really, with my kids… you never know what they are planning!

My number one rule is that we can not leave the house unless they both have their floaties on. I like to make sure that they are on because this way if they want to jump right in the pool as soon as we arrive it is okay and it will be safe. This is something that has actually happen with Vera. She is so comfortable in the water and she is definitely not afraid. This also helps me not to have to fight by the pool because they don’t want to wear their floaties. Also, we have the rule that once floaties come off we will go home. This really helps us to keep them on since they never want to leave!

We started Vera in swimming classes so she could have more freedom and independence. This has helped me and her so much. She has so much fun and doesn’t need me to hold her. She does her own thing now and I can just watch and hold Hunter. I can not imagine having to hold both of them! Ha, I just don’t think I would go to the pool.

As you know change is usually very hard for everyone, specially for children. Not every kids is as simple as you tell them things once and they magically listen and do it. Obviously leaving the pool to go get ready for bed is less than ideal for any kid. Who wants to stop their fun to go to sleep?! To help to make this transitions easier for my kids I started to set up an alarm. When the alarm goes off it means it is time to go. This helps children to get emotionally ready to go and minimize … tantrums! We actually implement this method for a lot of our daily activities. It is something that has helped me to have an easier day.

I decided to establish these ground rules for the kids. They have really helped us this summer. We have less fights and more fun. Most importantly these are our pool safety rules! The best way to make sure it is easier for the kids to follow these rules is by staying consistent. This way, the rules becomes a habit! They will know what to be expected and it will just be part of our routine.

How do you stay safe by the pool? Make sure to tell me your tips in the comments bellow.

LOVE

XXX

ELA

LITTLE PILLOWS

Thank you Headleveler for sponsoring this post.

I am so happy to be partnering with Headleveler and bring to you Headleveler / Ortho-Cervorthopedic pillows for our children. Headleveler is a family owned company based in Montreal. All their pillows are made by hand and designed diligently for each person.

I want to discuss the importance of having an appropriate pillow for our children.

Why is it important that children have a kids pillow and not a regular pillow? All pillows are different, some are bigger some are smaller. Some are thicker some are thinner. Some are stiff and some are soft. Just like pillows, children are different too. Different sizes and weight. This is why Head Leveler makes orthopedic pillows specially designed for our children.

The pillows are designed according to the child’s size. The pillow size and thickness is very important for the delicate neck and posture of our children. Not having the right pillow will give them discomfort which can turn into sleepless nights. If they are not comfortable they can have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. The correct size pillow will give them the right support for their head and neck. They need a pillow that is small enough for their body and wide enough for their shoulders. This will help their body to be able to recover during their sleep. The kids will wake up well rested and ready to take on the day.

This is where our children rest their face every day and every night. I really love that these pillows are washable! Just like we wash their sheets, and pillow cases, it is also important to wash their pillows. How many times do their pillows go on the floor, or they spill food or drinks on them? They get sick and sneeze, cough or vomit on their pillows. So, this is great because it can help you to keep their bed cleaner.

As a mom and a Registered Massage Therapist choosing the right pillow for my children is very important. When children sleep it is the time when they grow and develop. The kind of pillow that they use will affect their posture and the quality of sleep they get.

Vera and Hunter are already using theirs. They are loving them! When Vera saw the pillow she knew it was just for her. Just like when we got their little table and little chairs. She knew that the little pillows were for her and Hunter.

Make sure to check out their page and get your kids their perfect children size pillow, the A really fun way to get them involved in the process is allowing them to choose their own pillow cover!

Make sure to check out their page and get your kids their perfect children size pillow, the Headleveler / Ortho-Cerv pillow. the A really fun way to get them involved in the process is allowing them to choose their own pillow cover!

KEEP A LEVEL HEAD WITH HEADLEVELER ORTHOPEDIC PILLOWS

XXX

Love

ELA

THE 1ST YEAR THE 2ND TIME


Another big mile stone! Hunter has turned 1. He has officially enter the toddler phase and he is a big boy.

I can not believe this time has come. I must tell you, this year has been the fastest year in my entire life. Hunter turning 1 was a different experience compared to when Vera turned 1. Even though it was filled with much excitement and happiness it was also very sentimental. 

If you are a mother of more than one and you stay home with both of them, maybe we feel the same way. 

I felt nostalgic that his first year went by so fast. Almost as if it was not long enough. It is hard to have to share my time instead of having all my attention for him. Even though we did classes and activities together, it was simply, not the same. 

We didn’t have enough time to do all the classes and activities we did with Vera. Play dates were also not the same. Most of our play dates were with Vera’s friends doing big kids activities. 

However, every time Hunter has a great time. I can see how excited and interested he is. Being around the older kids and doing these activities are very beneficial for him.

Using the word compare is not fair because every child is different. It could be personality, interests, it could be that they are developing in different areas. 

However as hard as I try, mom guilt always tries to sneak in. I think, is it because I don’t dedicate enough time or pay enough attention to these details. Constantly, I try to find the balance. Paying enough attention to Hunter so he can learn but continuing to give Vera a toddler the interaction that she needs. On top of that, I have to make the time to keep up with the household. But most importantly never to forget to take care of myself.

I guess, motherhood is different every time with every kid. And so I remember all the parenting classes I attend and tell myself. You are enough and you are doing great. This year went fast, was busy but above all was incredible. 

I have never felt or witnessed so much love. Watching Vera and Hunter grow together has been amazing. The way Vera loves and takes care of Hunter is the most special feeling. Every time I see Hunter trying to do what Vera does and how quickly he learns from her is incredible. I am so thankful because Brandon and I are able to work as a team and support each other. This has made this journey easier.

All of this experiences and feelings have made our family grown closer and stronger.