Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Product Review: iögo Moment yogurt

We received a delicious delivery to our home in a nicely presented insulated black shopping bag with iögo logo. In the bag were packages of the new iögo Moment yogurt. The flavours raspberry, apple-caramel, vanilla bean and orange-cranberry fruit sounded delicious. Did you know? Unlike other brands of yogurt, iögo Moment yogurt is made with no gelatin and artificial colours or flavours, like all iögo products!

Made with natural ingredients such as whole milk, real cream and luscious fruit, iögo Moment yogurt has a rich and velvety texture that glides off your spoon. The yogurt comes in two formats: a creamy yogurt loaded with fruit on the bottom starring such delectable combinations along with the classics single favours like strawberry and raspberry.

My family are fans of yogurt. Like many Canadians households we wake up every morning and throw a few spoonfuls in a bowl, with fresh fruit and top with granola. However, the iögo Moment yogurt, with its rich and velvety texture has a dessert like taste and feel, providing a calorie wise alternative for busy moms like myself, who are tempted with sweet treats like cakes, cookies and ice cream. With just 140 calories and the same amount of sugar in 100g of iögo Moment yogurt as in 60g of ice cream, it is a healthier option for me and my family.

Want to try iögo Moment yogurt? Get a $1 coupon for the new iögo Moment yogurt available on www.iogomoment.ca.

Share your thoughts on twitter at  www.twitter.com/iogocanada and hashtag #enjoythemoment #iogo #purepleasure

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by iögo (Ultima Foods Inc). We received a product sample for this review.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

UBT Magazine Entrepreneur Mom Spotlight

Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine recently had a chance to talk Mom Entrepreneur Jennifer Dudzinski mother of four and co-founder of 2fish kids.

1. What is your product and what does the name 2fish kids stand for?
We currently have 2 products. My Week and Baby Talk. My Week is a magnetic, customizable weekly calendar for preschoolers. Children can see their week laid out with activity magnets and gain a better understanding of how we structure our time over the week. Abstract concepts such as today, tomorrow and yesterday are shown visually. The calendar also introduces the idea of weather, seasons, months and holidays. My Week has been designed so that it can be used even before children can read.



Baby Talk is a writable board book used to record baby’s first 20 words. Each word has its own page, where you can write and illustrate the word as well as record any precious notes such as baby’s unique pronunciation of the word and the story of when they first said it. More than just a memory book, soon, you have the first book that baby can read all by themselves! 

The name 2fish kids comes from a story in the Bible. After a long day of teaching and healing, Jesus asks his disciples to provide food for the crowd that has gathered. This crowd consists of more than 5000 people and his disciples bawk at the idea. They do not have the money and even if they did, where could they find so much food? In the confusion, a little boy is brought to Jesus, he has a lunch – 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish – and he gives it to Jesus. With this small offering, Jesus feeds the entire crowd. After everyone has had their fill, 12 baskets of leftover bread and fish are collected! In our hands, we have enough for one, in Jesus’ hands, many, many more are satisfied. It is my hope that as I give my life, my work and my efforts to Jesus, that he will use it to glorify himself and to bless many more than I could alone.

2. What or who inspired you to start your business?
My friend, Nathalie Cheng, co-founder of 2fish kids approached me with the idea of starting a business together. She comes from a family of entrepreneurs and really wanted to give it a try. We both had young children then (she was pregnant with her second and I had just had my second) and after being at home for a couple of years, she was eager to think about something other than babies!


3. How did you come up with the idea behind your product?
A calendar designed to help young children learn about the abstract concept of time in terms of the days of the week did not exist as far as we could tell. We knew from experience that our preschoolers anticipated events, (“How many sleeps until my birthday?”) but we had no way of showing them in an effective manner just when those events would occur. As an information designer and teacher, I tackled the problem from a human interface perspective. How could I represent the week in such a way that even pre-readers could understand and learn about how we structure our week? The result is a fantastic, fun learning tool – a highly visual magnetic, customizable weekly calendar. Using engaging activity magnets and a dry-erase marker, parents help kids lay out their many plans for the week. Once filled, children can find where they are in the week with the “today” magnet and then discover what their day will hold! Weather, seasons and holidays are also introduced. Using colours, symbols and letters, even pre-readers can find the playdate scheduled on Wednesday! Parents are thrilled with how their children refer to their own calendars to see what the day will bring for them instead of asking over and over again. It’s one more step towards independence and having a deeper understanding of this wonderful world that we live in.

The idea for Baby Talk came when my second daughter was a bit late to talk. She had some words but whenever we praised her for using them, she quieted right down and refused to repeat the words. One day, I suggested we list all of her words and her older sister was very eager to help. Together (my older daughter and I), we wrote out a list of all the words that my younger daughter could say. Then, I drew pictures to represent the words. She was completely intrigued and just loved to say the words on the pages that we had created. When I stapled the pages together to make a book, my little one would carry the book around, show it to whoever was visiting and then proceed to “read” each and every page to them. She was so proud of herself and it was just beautiful to see. I wanted other parents and children to experience the same kind of joy at a child’s acquisition of language, so Baby Talk Board Book was born!

4. What makes you unique and makes your business/product different?
I have a unique set of skills gained by being a designer (industrial and user interface), turned teacher (elementary levels), turned mom of 4. The experience gained from all these facets of my life gives me the ability to come up with ideas for products based on users’ needs as well as the background to design the products to be educational, effective and to be aesthetically pleasing. Nathalie, my partner also has a wide range of skills including business knowledge, accounting, math and computer programming to name a few! Together, we rarely needed to spend funds on hiring consultants as we are able to do the majority of tasks ourselves.

5. What was your process for getting the business off the ground? How much start-up capital and resources did it require upfront?
As stay at home moms, my partner and I decided right from the outset that our families would continue to be our first priorities and that our business would be conducted on play dates. One mom would look after the kids (and get dinner ready!) while the other worked. We did not want to work evenings and take time away from our husbands and we did not intend on finding childcare for our kids. Therefore, we required almost no start-up capital and/or extra resources. We only required funds when it came time to incorporate and to manufacture our product and that was raised as a shareholder loan, it was somewhere in the area of $5000.

6. What accomplishments are you most proud of in your business so far?
I am the most proud of our product, the My Week calendar. It is very rewarding to know that we are helping children to learn by providing them with good quality, fun tools.

7. How do you balance entrepreneurship and growing your business with motherhood and family life?
My business always comes after the needs of my husband and children. When life is busy in my home, I only do the minimum required to keep 2fish kids going. Then I dedicate more time to working when I have the time and energy.

8. What support do you have as a business owner?
Having a business partner in Nathalie has been a wonderful way to travel on this journey of entrepreneurship. Two heads are better than one and four hands can do much more than two! As well, our husbands have been consistent supporters and sources of encouragement. 2fish kids has also found a wonderful partnership in the husband and wife team of Debbie and Kevin Jiang who have taken on the marketing of 2fish kids and our products.

9. What is your best advice for a mom thinking of starting a business?
Absolutely keep your family first and business second. There will be time for growing a business later but the time with your kids is limited and disappears quickly. This may not be wise business advice if your goal is to maximize profit but I personally would gladly give up the extras that money can buy in order to spend time enjoying and guiding my children in life during the short period that they are young.

10. What are you working on now? What’s next for your product?

We are very excited to be developing a 2fish kids’ responsibility chart. It is a powerful way to help little ones with routines, daily responsibilities, ongoing goals and more. It will help parents move their children towards independence and also to make the day run more smoothly for everyone! Less reminding on the parents part and more self-direction on the child’s part, all before they can even read!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Save the Date! Fall 2014 Bellies to Babies Celebration


Bellies to Babies Celebration™
Sunday, October 5th, 2014


Don’t miss out on the Fall Bellies to Babies Celebration™. BC’s best and original tradeshow for new and expectant parents. Whether you're a rookie or becoming a mom for the second or third time, this day is just for you! Dads and Grandparents welcome too!

See everything from stylish baby and children’s clothing; unique, baby gear; skin care; to postnatal classes and green baby products. It's all at one show - under one roof.

Moms-to-be can participate in educational workshops. Rookie Dads can take part in our Daddy Diapering Contest. Varied support groups will also be on hand to answer questions for new and expectant parents.

Bellies to Babies Celebration™ will feature a wide variety of exhibitors and sponsors, over $3000 in door prizes. The first 100 Moms in attendance receive a complimentary diaper bag. For attending one lucky winner will win the grand prize draw a $1000 in prizes from Raspberry Kids.

Enter your baby into our Cutest Baby Cover Photo Contest. Your little one could win the opportunity to be featured in an issue of Urbanbaby & Toddler magazine plus win some fantastic prizes. Photos taken on site.

Bellies to Babies Celebration™ takes place on Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at the Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive from 11am – 4pm. Admission is by donation to Vancouver Food Bank Basics for Babies Program. Donations include baby food, formula, diapers and baby wipes. Monetary donations also appreciated.

Drop off your old or expired car seats at the tradeshow for recycling and help keep car se. ats out of the landfill. Sponsored by WCS Recycling.

Bellies to Babies Celebration™ supports "Breastfeeding is Best" and provides a breastfeeding-friendly environment for all.

Sponsored by: Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine, Belly Bandit, JRFM, Z95.3FM, CTV, Raspberry Kids, Shop n’ Stroll Fitness, Vancouver 24 Hrs, Yoyomama, Movies for Mommies.

To Attend: Register at www.belliestobabiescelebration.com or call 604-908-8835. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BelliestoBabiesCelebration for more ways to win.

For More Info: www.belliestobabiescelebration.com

Friday, August 29, 2014

Rainy Weekend Fun from A to Z

Discover 26 rainy day crafts to do with your kids this weekend. From making a paper plate apple to a zebra masks, you'll make some fun projects together and bring some sunshine (and few giggles) this weekend. 

Craft ideas and products from http://eastcoastmommyblog.blogspot.ca/2014/08/alphabet-crafts-to-z.html



It’s Here! Our Fall 2014 on Shelves, Online, and In-stores


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

B.C Teachers' Strike: Programs & Camps

If B.C. teachers remain on strike when the school year begins, parents will be looking for alternatives for about 300,000 B.C. schoolchildren aged 12 and under.

Below is a list of new programming in various communities that will take place during school hours in the event of a strike. We will add more as we receive information.


ABBOTSFORD

The City of Abbotsford’s
Day-camp program will continue into September if a settlement isn’t reached.
More Info:
http://www.abbotsford.ca/parksrecreationandculture/recreation/abc_preschool.htm

BURNABY 

Burnaby 8 Rinks
Offers full-day multisport and hockey camps the first two weeks of September
More Info: 604-291-026 or
http://icesports.com/Burnaby8rinks/camps.aspx


Burnaby Village Museum
Fall Heritage Adventure Camp for ages 6-10
Crafts, activities, games and exploring  9 a.m.-3 p.m., with after-care available until 4:30 p.m.
More Info: Burnaby recreation centre, or
http://www.burnaby.ca/About-Burnaby/News-and-Media/Newsroom/September-Day-Camps_s2_p4720.html


Kouri Flute Academy
Music, arts and crafts
More Info: 604-523-6683 or
learn@fluteacademy.ca.

 
COQUITLAM

Poirier Community Centre
Sport activities, entertaining games, fun and challenging outdoor adventures, and much more
More Info: http://www.coquitlam.ca/parks-recreation-and-culture/sport-and-recreation/recreation-centres/poirier-community-centre.aspx

Victoria Park

Join us for a day filled with sport activities, crafts, entertaining games and challenging outdoor adventures
More Info:
http://www.coquitlam.ca/parks-recreation-and-culture/sport-and-recreation/recreation-centres/victoria-community-hall.aspx

Pinetree Community Centre

Various Programs
More Info:
http://www.coquitlam.ca/parks-recreation-and-culture/sport-and-recreation/recreation-centres/pinetree-community-centre.aspx
Tri-City Taekwondo
Day camps for children
More Info: 604-939-8232


 
DELTA

Delta Gymnastics recreation camp includes science, writing, reading, math, art, gymnastics and More Info: info@deltagymnastics.com.

LANGLEY

Langley’s XTreme Allstar Cheer & Dance is offering day camps at its location on 204th Street.
More Info: 604-512-4840 or info@langleycheer.com.

Webb’s Holiday Acres offers day or overnight horse camp, swimming pool, arts and crafts, games, trampoline
More Info:  604-857-1712 or 
webbsholidayacres.ca.


LOWER MAINLAND and SUNSHINE COAST

The YMCA of Greater Vancouver is working towards providing 1,200 spaces in ‘Strike Camps’ at 34 location across the Lower Mainland and the Sunshine Coast. The day-camp cost is $15 for YMCA members, $30 for non-members. The “Just in Case” wait list number to call to register (the camps will run if teachers remain on strike) is 604.939.9622.

NORTH VANCOUVER

The North Vancouver Recreation & Culture (NVRC)
Offers special day camps in September. Parents can begin registering their kids
More Info: 604-987-Play (7529) or nvrc.ca.

Grouse Mountain
Scheduled full-week camps in September with themes like Art & Drama, Survival, Wildlife and First Nations Exploration
More Info: Register 
online, by phone at 604-980-9311 or in person at Guest Services.

 
PORT COQUITLAM

Children Services Recreation Camp
More Info: 604-927-7529.
Arts and Culture Art Camps
More Info: 604-927-7529


Youth Fall Camp
Join our youth leaders in September and enjoy a fun and active out trip each day. Bring your swimsuit, towel, water, sunscreen, lunch and water each day. Transportation and entry fees
More Info: 604-927-7529.

PORT MOODY

Rocky Point Sailing Association
Offers a week-long sailing day camp
More Info:
info@rpsa.ca

Port Moody Recreation Complex
O
ffers a six-hour day camp of games, crafts active play and fresh air for kids 5-10 years
More Info: 604-469-4556

 
PRINCE GEORGE

Climbing day camp
More Info:
info@overhang.ca


RICHMOND

Richmond Olympic Oval’s
Individual full-day and week-long camp options of the Richmond Olympic Oval’s most popular sport camp experience
More Info: Register online

Panther Cheer Athletics
Offering an action-packed day full of tumbling, jumping, stunt 101, crafts and more
More Info: 778-297-8437 or
panthercheerathletics.com.

 
SURREY
Surrey Parks Recreation and Culture will be offering a variety of day camps during the week of Locations are below:

Fraser Heights Recreation Centre
Fleetwood Community Recreation Centre
Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre
Port Kells Hall
Cloverdale Recreation Centre
Clayton Hall
Newton Recreation Centre
South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre
Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex
North Surrey Recreation Centre
Surrey Nature Centre
Guildford Recreation Centre will begin to offer camps.
Info More: Visit the 
city’s website for details on the camps, times, and cost.

 
VANCOUVER

In Vancouver, individual community centres will decide what camps are most applicable to their situation should the strike continue.

Kensington Community Centre
Britannia Community Centre
CoalHarbour Community Centre
Marpole-OakridgeCommunity Centre
RoundhouseCommunity Centre
KerrisdaleCommunity Centre

Skills4Kids
Offers a full-day schedule of classes for children aged 5-8 which follow the B.C. curriculum for Grades K-3
More Info:
info@skills4kids.ca

Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art
More Info:
604-733-1356

 
VANCOUVER ISLAND

City of Victoria
Beacon Hill Hut camp facility located near the main playground in the park, out-trips, games, activities
More Info: Register online or call 250-361-0732

Camp Qwanoes
Endless Summer’ camps
More Info: http://www.qwanoes.ca/


WHITE ROCK
Cooper Studios
Offering September School Hour Workshops at its Vancouver and White Rock locations.
More Info:
http://www.cooperstudioswr.com/

 
HOME SCHOOLING

The B.C. Ministry of Education has a number of online educational resources for parents in the event of a continuing strike in September.

Teaching at home can go 
here.
Open School BC, log on here.
LearnNowBC can learn more 
here.
 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ParticipACTION’S Backpack Must-Haves


ParticipACTION’S backpack must-haves to encourage active play this school year
Canadian parents look to structured activities to get their kids moving, but let’s not forget about the importance of free, unstructured play. The before-, during- and after-school periods are opportune times for spontaneous, outdoor play and getting to and from places on foot. For back-to-school, ParticipACTION provides parents with a few backpack must-haves to encourage their children to be active throughout the school day.

“Sport leagues, programs and school activities are essential, valuable components of getting our kids to more active, but kids need to do more than that, and more often,” says Elio Antunes, president and CEO of ParticipACTION.  “Our kids are missing out on opportunities for spontaneous movement—such as getting to places on foot and playing freely outdoors.  So, let’s pack our kids’ backpacks for active play!”

Pedometer: Let children log the total amount of steps they take in a day and make a game out of getting healthy.
Rubber ball/chalk/skipping rope: 63 per cent of kids’ free time is spent being sedentary, so send kids to school with something to encourage spontaneous, active games with friends.
Mobile phone: Parents worry about the safety of their kids. A phone can help them stay in touch while their kids walk to and from school, or play outside with friends.
Jacket: Weather is one barrier to active play, so make sure children are ready for rain or shine.
Sun hat and sunscreen: Kids need a sun hat and sunscreen in order to protect them from the rays and enjoy outdoor play.
Helmet: Wheeling to and from school will quickly add up to a much healthier lifestyle, as will walking or running.  With 62 per cent of parents saying their children are always driven to and from school, why not let them walk or wheel?
It’s important for parents to remember not to over-pack. Experts recommend that kids carry no more than 10-15 per cent of their total body weight.



For more information on ParticipACTION, tips to encourage active play, or to download the infographic, please visit: www.participaction.com/get-informed/infographics/

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Talking to your Child about Adoption


When is the best time to talk to my child about being adopted? Many adoptive parents are apprehensive about discussing adoption with their child. They are concerned about whether their child will understand adoption, how the information will affect them emotionally and whether it will change the parent-child relationship.

As both an Adoption Consultant and an adoptive parent I am convinced that the best time to introduce adoption is right from the beginning of your relationship with your child. Whether a newborn or a teenager, it is never too soon to start talking with a child about their adoption story. I often encourage parents even before their adopted child is placed with them to begin by telling the adoption story to each other to establish a sense of ease and comfort with the information. With this approach there is no need to choose a time to tell your child about adoption because they’ve been hearing about it since you became a family.

It is important when thinking about your child’s adoption story to remember that it did not begin when he or she joined your family. Your child, no matter what their age at the time of adoption, already had some very significant experiences before you became their parent. These experiences must be acknowledged as significant to the child’s history and should be included in their story.

The story is best developed over time and with great consideration for the child’s current developmental capacity. A child at the age three can best manage the basic themes of their story, while each new stage of development will present an opportunity to provide information with greater detail. Children need to hear their adoption story at each developmental stage so they have an opportunity to ask questions that fit with their new experiences and understanding of the world. A child at the age of three will want to know whose tummy they came out of while a child at age of six may wonder why their birth mother chose an adoption plan.

Sometimes a child’s journey to adoption includes upsetting and potentially hurtful events that may be difficult for adoptive parents to discuss with their child. It is important to remember that the details of a child’s history are shared according to the child’s social and emotional development rather than all at once. Regardless of the degree of unpleasantness a child needs to know the truth about his or her story in keeping with their developmental capacity to understand and tolerate the information.

A child develops the ability to accept their own story and all of its complicating factors based in part on their perception of their parents response to the information. When I am consulting with loving and well intentioned adoptive parents who are unable to tell the story of their children from beginning to end with clarity and confidence I am immediately concerned about the well being of their child. If the adults in a child’s life are not comfortable talking about the child’s history it will be difficult for the child to make sense of it.  When an adoptive parent is missing key information about their child’s history in spite of their best efforts, these missing pieces become a part of the story. There are times when a parent must work through their own grief and loss whether historical or at present before they are able to handle the grief and loss of their adopted children have experienced.

If you have not begun to share your child’s adoption story with them it is never too late to start. It may be startling information for a child who experiences it for the first time in their middle childhood. It will require a great deal of empathy, understanding and patience for parents to support their children in understanding their story and accepting it as a part of themselves. Once the child is able to make sense of their own experiences they are better prepared to move forward with their development and engage in healthy relationships.

Article courtesy of  Andrea Chatwin, MA, CCC
Consultant, Educator and Therapist