Grow your own Magic with My Fairy Light Garden

A Toy that’s Also a Real, Live Garden!

My fairy garden is the first of its kind: a toy that’s also a real, live garden! Children love kits that allow them to grow plants at home; it gives them a connection to nature and a sense of satisfaction at having nurtured a living thing. Fortunately enough, Playmonster was kind enough to send us our very own My Fairy Garden Fairy Light Garden!

My Fairy Garden takes it to a new, exciting level by allowing children to interact with it as part of an enchanting playset! Children plant the seeds, and care for their garden, all while setting up and playing with adorable fairies, woodland friends and accessories! I know what you’re thinking – and yes this toy is also okay for boys. My son has always loved to help me garden and watch our plants grow so I knew this would be right up his alley.

Each kit includes everything children need to grow their very own fairy garden, nurture the plants, and play in the fairy world they create!

my fairy garden

About My Fairy Garden

Did you know that fairies are everywhere? They are! Fairies love nature, so you’ll usually find them near flowers, trees, and toadstools or among other wild and beautiful plants.  If you’re wanting to invite a fairy into your home, creating a magical garden for them is the first step.

This set includes everything you need to make that special garden for the fairy Saffron and her beautiful unicorn. Saffron spends much of her time daydreaming in her garden, petting and chatting with her unicorn, Calista. Saffron especially loves her garden at nighttime when it’s quiet and peaceful. She blows on her magical mushroom home to activate magical lights and music to fully relax.

Once you build Saffron’s garden and start growing your own plants, you can have fun playing in your new fairy world.

Contents of this kit includes: Light house, bridge, waterwheel, watering can, gardening tools, seed packets, seed starter, Saffron the Fairy, Calista the Unicorn and the fairy flying-cord.

my fairy garden

Make it your Own

As you’ll see in the photos Ry and I decided to add our own plants after the fairy garden grew. Sadly we went away on holidays and the fairy garden was looking a little sad when we got home so we decided to re-plant and regrow. Don’t ask the plants, I let Ryerson take the lead and he grabbed what spoke to him. It’s so fun watching him create and be so fascinated with the nature that is right in front of him.

For those looking to get this or if you already have it, be sure to really make it your own though when you grow your garden. Add rocks, sticks, twigs, shells, etc. Why not even add some extra flowers or plants as we did?!

I also loved the fact this was a STEM toy. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It’s great for the kids to become educated on how things work in a fun way (also with a dose of magic).

Now, what are you waiting for… go plant some magic and watch it grow!

my fairy garden

Disclosure: All opinions expressed are my own. The product was gifted in exchange for this blog post. 

Stacking Just Got a Whole Lot Sillier with Stacktopus

It’s Fun for the Whole Family

Nothing sayings being silly quite like putting funny objects on your fingers!

PlayMonster‘s Stacktopus is having players slip on silly sea fingers to become a stacking octopus…a Stacktopus!™ Stacking these cups should be easy, but when you’re wearing octopus arms on your fingers, it becomes silly competitive fun! Race to match your stack of cups to the card shown to win! It’s great fun for kids, but also for families—wearing the silly sea fingers levels the playing field for kids and adults! Best for only 2 to 3 Players.

stacktopus

Silly isn’t just for Kids!

When Ryerson received this game in the mail he was so excited. Talk about killer branding with a giant fun-loving Octopus on the side, what kid wouldn’t want to open the box immediately? Of course, dad had to join in on the fun (plus I don’t let Ry win if I’m playing #badmom hehe).

I will admit I have seen the octopus hands not just used for game-play… Ry likes to pretend to be an octopus and run around the house mostly scaring and annoying the cats, but sometimes he wants to just because. Sometimes the simplest games can keep the kids’ imagination running wild.

Rules of the Game

To play the game, kids draw from the included deck of 24 stack cards to receive their mission. From there, it’s a fast-paced race to see which player can complete the colourful stack on their card first. Kids (or even the adults) place three octo-fingers onto one hand to tackle the task. Nine of the awkward appendages are included, so up to three players can take part in the fun.

Stacktopus is a perfect addition to the game shelf for the entire family to enjoy. It’s a game that can be played quickly, stores easily, and will put smiles on faces all the way around. This game is recommended for 5 years and up but younger kids definitely can still join in.  Of course, Ry being younger didn’t always follow the rules but we made the best of it.

stacktopusDisclosure – This game was gifted and sent to us for review. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you PlayMonster and ChizComm.

Small Prints – Big Impressions

Smallprint Vancouver North, which specializes in handcrafted jewellery that captures the fingerprint of a loved one in silver. No moulds are taken; which means the silver keepsake has literally been touched by your loved one. Hand and footprints, drawings, and love notes can also be turned into silver jewellery. All items are handcrafted and hand engraved by Mahnaz (Naz), the owner, in her North Vancouver studio, from start to finish!

Heartfelt Impressions

When Naz reached out to me wanting to create some lifelong keepsake jewelry pieces I was floored. I had seen her work on other people and on social media so I was ecstatic to be working with her to create some unique items that were meaningful to me. The process was very easy. First, Naz sent over an inkless print kit where I was able to run a (wet wipe) a Magic Inkless Print Kit over Ryerson’s hands and feet and then press them onto this ‘special paper’. Then voila! His prints appeared (see image below).

small prints vancouver

Making A Mark

Additionally, I got Ryerson to write down his name and the word ‘MOM’ as this is something I wanted to be imprinted onto a charm for me to be able to wear as he grows. Something so simple yet meaningful, it seemed like the perfect choice to get on a piece of jewelry. I then took a photo of each of the pieces of paper where Ry wrote the names and emailed them to Naz. The rest was left in her magical hands.

The two pieces I had done up were a bracelet with the word ‘MOM’ and on the other side Ry’s handprint. Additionally, a keychain was made with both of Ry’s footprints and his name that he spelt out. On the back of the keychain was the date and his age so we were able to know exactly when the prints were taken.

small prints vancouver

Perfect for Every Day & Special Occasions

Smallprint Vancouver North offers a beautiful collection of handmade sterling silver keepsakes that are perfect at any time of the year.

Consider a unique handcrafted sterling silver jewelry piece or  personalized keepsake for:

  • Mother’s Day & Father’s Day
  • Birthday or a new birth
  • Engagement, Wedding or an Anniversary
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Christmas
  • Graduation
  • or even just because! There are so many reasons why these pieces make a great gift.

Smallprint Vancouver North also offers Memory Treasures for the bereaved. These handcrafted and personalized memorial keepsakes can provide comfort to those with loved ones they are about to lose as well as preserving the memory of those who have already sadly passed.

Who Can Get Their Prints Done?

Anyone really! From children as young as newborns to their grandparents, loved ones of all ages can get their prints taken for your Smallprint keepsake. And did you know that you can also take your furry friends prints? Anything you’d like to get an impression of you can realistically.

small prints vancouver

Experiences that last a lifetime

When you choose a Smallprint Keepsake, you are getting the experience in addition to your personalized accessory. And it really only takes a matter of moments. The creation process happens right in front of your eyes and you’ll have a memory of exactly where you were when your special piece was made. I loved the idea that Ry was a bit older so I was able to get his hand and footprints in addition to some of his writing. I think it’s also adorable that you’re able to get an actual drawing your child has created done up and recreated into an everlasting piece of jewelry.

Which Smallprint Vancouver North pieces would you love to receive? What special memory would you like to carry with you most? Let me know in the comments below.

If you want more information on the Smallprint brand you can either visit the Facebook page or  Instagram.
Smallprint Vancouver North in the media.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Smallprint Vancouver North however, all opinions expressed are my own. 

Reindeer in Here is Showing That ‘Different’ is Normal

A New Christmas Tradition

Reindeer In Here is back for another year of magic and spreading the #DifferentIsNormal message to children across the country. Created by a regular Dad – Adam Reed, Reindeer In Here is a new Christmas friend who helps celebrate each child’s individuality and champions the phrase DIFFERENT IS NORMAL!

Reindeer In Here Book and Plush set is a Christmas friend sent by Santa as an early first gift of the holiday season to get to know each individual child and celebrate that being different is normal. As daily adventures unfold between child and Reindeer, the Reindeer learn about each child and help Santa deliver their true Christmas wishes, creating a magical yearly tradition.

In December the Reindeer In Here book and plush set “magically” arrive for your child, setting the stage for a new yearly Christmas tradition. It’s their FIRST gift of the holiday season from Santa — and it came early! As the parent surprises their child with this unexpected early Christmas present, they introduce them to the special “untold” story of the Reindeer.

Reindeer in Here

Three years ago, creator Adam Reed was perusing stores looking for a holiday tradition he could begin with his young daughter. Being a lover of the holiday season, he wanted her to feel the magic like he did as a child. But what he found was exactly the opposite…spying eyes, tedious nightly pranks…where was the magic in that? So, he decided to start his own tradition, a positive one that celebrated the joy the season radiates.

He believed this Reindeer could be a beacon of unconditional friendship, not just during the holidays, but all year round. And with that, this cute little Reindeer, now complete with one antler shorter than the other and the mantra that “different is normal,” was born.

The plot of the book itself offers a sweet takeaway: Santa Claus wanted a way to better know children around the world besides receiving their letters. That’s when the reindeer narrator — who has two different-sized antlers — came up with a different idea: have the reindeer stay with the kids during December and share with Santa what they want for Christmas. Then at the end of the holidays, their reindeer friend goes back with Santa until this time next year to bring about the new traditions set forth.

Reindeer in Here

Different Is Normal

Christmas has always been a holiday rooted in nostalgia. We watch the same movies, listen to the same songs, and tell the same Christmas stories every year. While there is a certain comfort in the familiarity of it all, there is a void in the market for something new. A story that reflects who we are as a society today; A narrative that not only acknowledges
our individuality but champions the notion that being different is normal wherein children can celebrate their own differences and the differences of others all through a little holiday magic brought forth by our Reindeer.

Reindeer In Here is the brand that fills a void. More than just a children’s book, and so much more than a plush toy, the story is a reflection of our diversity, a celebration of our differences and an experience that affects children for the better in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Simply put, Reindeer In Here is allowing kids to explore and share in the magic of the holidays throughout the whole month of December and even throughout the rest of the year.

Reindeer in Here

A Christmas Friend

Since receiving our Reindeer in Here – Ryerson has loved taking ‘George’ along on his daily adventures and telling him all the magical things Santa could bring him this year. Every day he gives his reindeer a hug and reminders us of how Christmas is quickly approaching with each passing day. With the countdown officially on, once Christma Eve is here Santa will deliver the Christmas wishes and picks up the Reindeer to head back to the North Pole where it lives the rest of the year with Santa until returning next December!

A Positive Christmas Tradition

This unmistakeable bond between the child and their reindeer will be the beginning of a yearly Christmas tradition that children look forward to every December! I know for our household it’s going to be hard for Ry to say ‘see you soon’ to George.

Being Different is Normal

Every one of us in the world is different in our own special way. Different on the inside, different on the outside. Different in our hopes, dreams, and desires. Reindeer In Here celebrates the differences in each and every one of us, whether human or Reindeer!

Learn more here: www.reindeerinhere.com

The product includes a plush reindeer and book set and focuses on encouraging children to celebrate everything that makes them unique all season long. Reindeer in Here is currently available on Amazon and Bed, Bath & Beyond, among several other retailers, which can be found – by location – here.

Disclosure: This post was in partnership with Reindeer in Here. The product was provided in exchange for my post. 

Long Weekend Staycation | The River Rock Casino Resort + Tourism Richmond

Boardwalk River Rock CasinoOver the Victoria Day Long weekend, my family was fortunate enough to have been invited by Vancouver Mom to the River Rock Casino Resort for a 2-night staycation thanks to Tourism Richmond. This was the perfect little getaway for our family with May being one of the busiest months for us to-date. With plenty of deadlines, birthdays, a trip to Vegas and just life with a toddler it was nice to be able to get away from all the hustle and bustle for those few days!

The River Rock Casino Resort

If you haven’t been to the River Rock before I suggest you make it a must-visit for your next family staycation or overnight outing. Situated right along the Fraser River the views from the boardwalk alone are simply breathtaking! Conveniently located nearly 5 km from Vancouver International Airport, the River Rock which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year offers upscale dining with three on-site restaurants, an indoor pool and hot tub, an award-winning spa, gym and of course a 24-hour casino including live entertainment. Did I mention how close the bus and Skytrain station is too? You will also find FREE parking which when it comes to going anywhere in the Lower Mainland is a big plus.

The highlight from our trip hands down had to be the saltwater pool complete with a whopping 70ft slide and the amazing food. We went to the pool three times on our first night there and we only checked in at 4 pm… so it’s safe to say Ryerson would have swum all night if he had the choice. For us parental units it was all about the food. Anytime we travel or stay overnight I like knowing we have options, but also that those options are actually good quality flavourful dishes. The buffet was West Coast-inspired with options ranging from pasta dishes to the traditional roast carvings and even sushi! Plus they served chicken nuggets and french fries, so that’s a win in my books right there. You’ll also find Curve Lounge where we were fortunate enough to have a family-style brunch the Sunday morning we checked out. If going out isn’t an option with the little ones opt-in for room service where a movie and eating in your pj’s is never a bad thing!

Swimming at River RockOur suite was very spacious for our family of three, with a queen bed and a sofa bed for the little one. The room also came equipt with a Nespresso machine, free WIFI, a 42-inch TV and complimentary bathrobes. We even had the cutest little personalized welcome gift waiting for us upon arrival. It’s truly the little things that make the trip that much more special.

Finally, no stay at River Rock is complete without a visit to Absolute Spa. Services include manicures, pedicures, massages and more. I chose to pamper myself with a pedicure seeing as we were off to Vegas in a few short weeks. I needed my feet feeling fancy and fresh! Taking some ‘me’ time during a staycation is always imperative for me. A quick break from the family makes me a way better mom and significant other! 

Richmond Night Market

Remember how I said everything was in very close proximity to the resort? Well if you’ve ever heard of the Richmond Night Market and were hoping to go – now is the time as they’re literally down the street from one another. The group of us were able to pack up our families and make our way without having to fight for a parking spot. And if you know me you’ll know I have major road rage… so this was super convenient and less anxiety-ridden. Plus it gave me the chance to walk off all the food we consumed.

I had been to the night market years ago when it had a different location, but wow! I can’t even begin to recall all the food that was coming and going but just the experience alone was something to rave about.

Final Thoughts

For those who are looking to take a family staycation for a change of pace The River Rock and Tourism Richmond have you covered! We loved every minute of our time there. It was such a relaxing weekend with just the right amount of busyness added in. We’re already talking about when we’re going back (maybe this time without our kiddo in tow).

A big thank you again to Vancouver Mom, The River Rock Casino and Resort, and last but not least Tourism Richmond for their amazing hospitality and creating some life-long memories for our family! We can’t wait for our next visit!

Family at River Rock Casino

This post was in collaboration with Vancouver Mom, The River Rock Casino and Resort, and Tourism Richmond. All opinions expressed are my own.

Charlie’s Colorforms City on Netflix // Spark Creativity

Charlie’s Colorforms City

As a parent keeping your kiddo entertained on a day-to-day basis is half the battle. I’ll be the first to admit screen-time is prevalent in our household and a lot of the time needed for my mental sanity. No, I don’t just stick Ryerson in-front of the TV but when I need to get work done or have a conference call you best believe he’s going to be on the iPad or watching something on YouTube or Netflix. And guess what… I am not the first parent to do this!

Luckily for us, we were recently introduced to Charlie’s Colorforms City that launched back in March on Netflix. This 13-episode adventure series for preschoolers centers around the character Charlie (voiced by Jacob Soley) and his colorful cast of friends as they create fun stories using different shapes! Take off for adventures in outer space, the Wild West — and from right at home; the adventures are endless!

charlies colorforms city
Image credit: Netflix

About the Show

Once upon a time, there was…Charlie! He is inquisitive, impulsive, emotional, silly, and Charlie loves to create stories. In fact, he created Colorforms City out of his imagination so that he can tell the best stories possible… like a knight trying to save a balloon, or a cowboy/cowgirl duel, or Charlie’s epic quest to eat a pancake.

Kids at home will help propel these stories forward interactively, playing along and helping Charlie creatively solve story problems. Imagine you and your child as main characters in the show, and like any other main character, the story and episode cannot move forward without them. And Charlie’s other friends will help, too… or at least they’ll try. There are the twins—Violet the brave and Red the cautiously curious, Miss Weather the unpredictable, or should we say “fair-weather” friend, and the Silly Faces, who are just that, primarily faces and primarily silly.

Every story is an opportunity for Charlie to create. Charlie’s built Colorforms City on the Signature Black Background with the sticky magic of Colorforms. Charlie can peel, stick, scale and animate his world to move stories forward. From a madcap farce to make enough pancakes to feed all of his friends with a pancake machine, to an epic quest to deliver his forgotten birthday party invitations in a rocket ship-submarine, the stories get better, sillier and more creative with the magic of stick.

This series celebrates the stories kids love to tell and gives them the tools to enrich their stories and make them even better, through kid-friendly storey structure, creative problem-solving, emotional intelligence, and humour.

Charlies Colorforms City

Spark Creativity

We were sent some fun products to play with while watching the show. Of course, when Ryerson received his own Colorforms Book he was ecstatic! He had such a fun time playing and creating pieces that he cooked up in his imaginative mind. If you’re looking for a new interactive show for your preschooler or already have one that is a fan of Charlie and his gang, they’re going to love the Colorform Book. Wanting to get your kids to follow along and enjoy the activities Charlie is doing? Download Charlie’s Activity Book here!

If you weren’t already familiar with the Coloforms brand – Charlie’s Colorforms City is based on the classic toy brand Colorforms, a humour-based creativity brand that offers unique and tactile products and experiences that activate creative thinking, self-expression, and experimenting through story-based play. Founded back in 1951, the brand has stood the test of time, being named one of the Top 100 Toys of all time by TIME Magazine.

Ryerson has loved watching the show and playing along since we were introduced to Charlie’s Colorform City. I’ve noticed such a big improvement with his colours, shapes and numbers and it’s been such fun watching him grow and learn alongside this show. It goes to show you that not all TV shows are harmful and non-educational for kids. This series truly celebrates the stories kids love to tell and gives them the tools to enrich their stories and make them even better, through-kid friendly story structure, creative problem-solving, emotional intelligence, and humour.

Now, who else is ready to have their kids join Charlie in his next adventure?

Charlies Colorforms City

Don’t forget you can find Charlie’s Colorforms City on Netflix right now!

Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Charlie’s Colorforms City. As always, opinions are all my own. Products were provided and gifted in exchange for a review.