Christmas 2018 Prep Cleaning Series

 
 

Every year I plan on getting the house in order before the Holidays. Every year I find myself too late to start and so it doesn’t happen. Instead I push through the Christmas season wishing our home were better prepared for the festivities and being annoyed at myself that I didn’t work harder to get it done. Not this year. This year we are prepared! Rob and I spent a good hour coming up with a plan of attack to settle our home ahead of the peak Holiday rush.

Recognizing that we won’t realistically get it all done, we decided to prioritize our cleaning based on need and function. We mapped out the areas that need our attention most (kitchen) and the rooms we know we’ll be spending a lot of time in during Christmas (family room). We even have a few decor projects that we’ll be throwing into the mix, but that’ll be shared as a separate post.

For now, this is our agenda and tentative timeline. This will be shared as a series on our YouTube channel and through updates here and across our socials (so be sure to follow along, everywhere)!

2018 Christmas Prep Cleaning

Week One:
- Family Room
- Declutter toys
- Tidy office

Week Two:
- Kitchen Declutter, Reorganization
- Bathroom cleaning

Week Three:
- Bedroom tidy (x3)
- Front closet tidy
- Bathroom deep-cleaning (x3)
- Livingroom decor update

Yes, we have our work cut out for us and it’s likely just a bit ambitious; but ‘tis the season for dreaming big!

5 Travel Favourites for Kids

 
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Traveling is our family’s favourite. Over the years, between packing up the van for road trips and our luggage for flights, we have definitely established travel favourites for our kids. Below are the top five things we don’t start a travel adventure without.

5 Travel Favourites for Kids

1. MiFold

 
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We have used MiFolds for the boys for the last several vacations. They are a travel must! Without compromising safety, MiFolds are portable (as in they fit in my purse) booster seats that instead of raising the child up to meet the seatbelt, they bring the seatbelt down to the child’s shoulder height. Traveling with our MiFolds has reduced carrying the bulk of extra boosters, allowed us to reserve any size rental vehicle and conveniently travel by taxi. Our MiFolds aren’t just a favourite of ours, we have loaned them out to friends and family who reported being just as thrilled as us!

2. LeapPad

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LeapPad tablets have been such a help for long haul travel! They have proven entertaining for all three of our children. Compared to other similar devices, LeapPads are designed specifically for children and are priced well. The games and activities are kid friendly, appropriate and educational. LeapPads are also built more durable. We’ve had a couple of stumbles and drops where any other tablet would have been broken on impact, not our LeapPads! I also appreciate that the battery lasts a decent amount of time and the kids can tote them around in their own backpacks. Our kids have also enjoyed capturing their own trip photos with the built-in camera.

3. Thermos FunTainer Water bottle

 
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Each of our kids have had the same Thermos Funtainer water bottle for the last three years. It shows on the exterior - the print is faded and there’s definitely some wear and tear; but they function every bit as well as they did on the first use. I love these water bottles for everyday, but they have worked especially well when traveling. Funtainers keep drinks cold for 12 hours. While traveling we have the kids top up on water during flights, at restaurants and pretty much anywhere we can. Using Funtainers ensures their drinks are always cold and fresh. Traveling with a water bottle in general also saves on extra cost!

4. Phil & Teds Navigator (Dot) Stroller

 
 

Our days of lugging a stroller with us for trips is winding down fast. In fact, we don’t even take one unless we’re going to a park of some kind. When we are going to a park, it’s essential we have our Phil & Teds Navigator. Our kids are still young enough that they tire quickly. This doesn’t work out well when so much walking is required for most (if not all) parks. During our trip to Florida last month, all three kids rotated sitting between the two seats of the Navigator. The stroller itself is narrow and manoeuvrable enough to easily move through big crowds, yet is still roomy enough for our eight year old to sit in the upper seat. The Navigator packs easily and is light enough to conveniently store in any trunk we have encountered. Having a stroller also works wonders as a shuttle for bags, coolers, etc.
Note, the Navigator model appears to have been replaced by either the Dot or Sport style.

5. So Young Backpack

 
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In the world of kids backpacks (or any backpack for that matter), you get what you pay for. I know this firsthand. Over the last eight years or so, I have replaced at least six or more backpacks, because I spent approx. $30 and they didn’t last (some not even a couple of months). Spending a bit more on a So Young backpack is a wise move if wasting money isn’t your thing. For travel specifically, each of our children are responsible for their own backpack during our trip. What they can comfortably fit inside is theirs for the trip. Snacks, LeapPad, small toys and drawing items are all toted along. This means they have a reasonable amount of entertainment at their disposal, but as parents we don’t have to organize this. So Young backpacks come in two sizes for different ages/heights, have padded shoulder straps, a chest clip, an interior zippered compartment and two exterior water bottle holders. All of these make them the perfect trip backpack!

We love talking travel with kids and would love to know your must-haves for keeping things simple and easy! Please share your favourites in the comments.

Aveeno Wipes Review + Giveaway

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Aveeno. Rob and I have used Aveeno products for years. I especially love their body wash, moisturizers and shave gel. As parents we have trusted their full range of baby care product for the last eight years. In fact, Aveeno Baby has proven one of only a couple brands that our oldest, Hudson can use because of his extremely sensitive skin.

While our children no longer require Baby Wipes for diaper needs, they are still an essential we use everyday. I stock wipes in the bathroom so the kids can conveniently use them as needed. We also never leave home without them. Wipes have proven handy in many situations - bathroom use, messy face and sticky hands.

We were excited to learn Aveeno has come out with their first-ever wipes and even more excited to give them a try.

 
 

Aveeno Baby Hand & Face Wipes come in a convenient resealable package. They are made with oat extract and aloe. Specifically important to us is that the wipes are hypoallergenic, free of fragrances, soaps, phthalates, parabens, sulfates, alcohols, dyes, formaldehyde, chlorine, and gluten.
We have been using them now for well over a week and Hudson has not had a negative reaction to them. If anything, we have found his skin to be a bit more moisturized than normal.
They also work, really well. I have appreciated the smaller packaging, especially because the size of the wipes is still large enough for our needs.

To celebrate the launch of the new Aveeno Baby Wipes, we have teamed up with Aveeno for an awesome giveaway!

ENTER TO WIN AN AVEENO GIFT BASKET

 
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(APPROX VALUE $50 CAD)

Giveaway is open to residents of Canada (excluding Quebec).
ENDS FRIDAY OCTOBER 19. 2018

 

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