The Ultimate Vacation Destination: Ft. Lauderdale

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Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or for a fun-filled family vacation, Ft. Lauderdale is where you need to head to next! We spent 10 incredible days overlooking the most beautiful beach and eating the most delicious food on our most recent trip to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Flight & Transportation

We flew into the Ft. Lauderdale airport. It’s a short 10 mins drive from the big hotels in the area and because it’s small, getting out and checking in is easy and quick. I much prefer it to the Miami Airport that’s busy and oh so huge. The downside? It’s small. Very small. There’s a Starbucks, a small pizza place and 1 store to buy snacks so I recommend eating before arriving at the airport. The terminal is also super warm (unlike most freezing airports) so definitely do not wear layers!

We rented a car from a dealership near the airport. It made pick up and drop off super simple. With 2 kids I really recommend renting a car. It came equipped with 2 car seats so picking up food and drinks and diapers was super easy once we landed. It also meant that we could come and go as we please without worrying about child-friendly transportation.

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Where We Stayed

The Conrad Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale was hands down, the best hotel we could have ever chosen for our family. Travelling with a toddler and a newborn isn’t easy and the amenities that the hotel offered made our stay a breeze. We chose a 2-bedroom Ocean Front Suite that boasted 2 closed bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms (one with a bathtub), 3 TVs, a pull-out couch, full kitchen (including dishwasher, microwave, stove and even a wine dispenser) and a full patio table on the balcony.

Our rooms were equipped with 2 cribs (at no additional cost) and even had turn down service twice a day, meaning that when we went to the room for nap time and made a mess after the room had been cleaned, we would come back to the room after dinner and it would be spotless once again.

The hotel has a beautiful roof-top pool overlooking the ocean with delicious food and quick service. We tried just about everything on the menu and one item was better than the next. One feature that we LOVED (and if you’ve stayed at a lot of hotels you’ll appreciate) was unlimited water bottles by the pool. You’d be surprised how many 5 start hotels we’ve stayed at that give you 1 water bottle a day per person. There was never an issue getting a chair by the pool and there was even a fake grassy area with blocks for kids to play and a ping pong table!

The beach is about a 30 second walk from the hotel and you get 2 beach chairs and an umbrella per room at no extra charge. The water was warm, clear and we even had a close encounter with a manatee!

Where We Ate

The Conrad Hotel has a café on the main floor with delicious breakfasts, oven made pizza and heavenly ice cream! There’s also a restaurant called Terra Mare with the most delicious happy hour menu and higher end food later on in the night. For late night snacks or THE MOST delicious chocolate martinis, the lobby bar is the place to go!

A short walk away from the hotel there is a strip with super fun restaurants and nighttime entertainment. You’ll find your typical beachside tourist shops, great happy hour restaurants and food to please any palate. Pizza, sushi, chicken finger and fries… you name it, it’s there. They’re all ocean facing so you’ll feel totally on vacation as you sip away at delicious drinks and listen to live music and even watch flamenco dancing! I recommend checking out Cafe Ibiza and Tsukuro.

For a larger selection of food, we went a few times to Las Olas Blvd. It’s a super trendy and happening strip with the cutest shops and most delicious food! I totally recommend checking out: Red Door Asian Bistro & Hibachi and Louie Bossi’s. Louie Bossi is famous for making all their pasta and bread fresh in house daily. Don’t miss out on their insanely good Frosé!

Where We Shopped

A short 30 mins drive away from where we stayed is Aventura Mall - the second largest mall in the United States and the largest mall in the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale area. They have everything from high-end boutiques (like Louis Vuitton and Cartier) and have all your bigger box stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s. The food is delicious, the mall is huge and it’s definitely the place to go to get the best styles and shop indoors.

There’s another mall more centrally located, Galleria Mall, that’s a bit smaller, but has some great restaurants like PF Changs and has stores like the Gap, Old Navy, H&M and is a fun place to stop when you need a break from the heat.

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Our first family vacation as a family of 4 was definitely one to remember. We’re already planning our next vacation! Any recommendations on where we should visit?

Speech Therapy at Home With Speech Blubs

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CLICK HERE TO START YOUR FREE TRIAL

I love discovering new ways to help other parents and kids so I jumped at the chance to try Speech Blubs, the app that has helped more than 500k kids with speech delay, autism and apraxia. Their success comes from using real kids in the app! According to Speech Blubs “children learn best when they get to imitate their peers instead of adults. With this in mind we designed our app to be the next best thing to real-life interaction. We utilize the method of video-modelling, informed and aided by the solid science of mirror neurons”.

The app is quite extraordinary. When you sign up, you answer a few questions about your child’s behaviour and issues that they may or may not have. You then choose what their interests are and themes are automatically generated. There is something for every child’s interest: there’s everything from animal names and noises to insects to the sounds that firetrucks and police engines make.

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The app then has videos of real children sounding out the sounds and pronouncing the words. The app asks you to repeat what the children are saying and by way of imitation, your children are motivated to mimic what they see in the app! Speech Blubs even takes it a step farther and includes role-play by using the front camera of your device and turning your little ones into the animals, for example, that they’re imitating! It makes the app fun, educational and extremely valuable.

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To add more motivation for kids (besides the role-playing that my son LOVED) is stickers! At the end of every activity, they get a sticker that they can collect in a sticker book! They’ll feel accomplished and motivated to collect them all.

CLICK HERE TO START YOUR FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

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They offer a free 7 day trial, so don’t wait and sign up now! Get your child started on the path to speaking. And if you’re a Speech Language Therapist, they offer you the app for free to use with your patients! So don’t hesitate to reach out to them!

Indoor Fun That Will Keep Your Toddler Busy

Time and time again I get asked the question: How do I keep my toddler busy?

With a 2.5 year old and a new born at home, I’m always looking for ways to keep my toddler busy that don’t involve an iPad or the TV! With the summer months here, we’ve been enjoying as much time as possible outside, but toddlers are like energizer bunnies… despite trying to tire them out, they just keep going and going and going! I recently received 2 toys from Jouet K.I.D. Toy that kept my son busy, entertained and out of mischief, so I just had to share them with you!

The first is the Pop-up Fun Playset with 30 Balls by LUDI. There are a few reasons I LOVE this toy!

  1. It folds up into this flat and easily tucked away storage bag. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a home that looks like it’s been taken over by a daycare.

  2. It’s easily assembled! You undo 2 pieces of velcro and the tunnels and ball pit instantly expand! That means your excited toddler won’t have to wait too long to start playing with their new fave toy!

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3. The bright colours are so fun and exciting for them! My son couldn’t wait to jump in, start crawling around and throwing the balls! It’s a toy that he can enjoy alone or even with his friends when we have them over!

4. I love that it can be brought indoors or outdoors! The ball pit and cube come with included anchors so you can secure them to the ground outside! That means when the weather is beautiful, you can take advantage by using it outside!

Click here to learn more!

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Anything that makes my son smile as much as this is a winner in my book! His face lights up every time we take it out! The Pop-up Fun Playset with 30 Balls by LUDI will definitely be one of our go-to birthday presents for Zane’s friends!

Next up is a Vehicle Puzzle Set! This darling set of puzzles is by a company called Scratch. They have the CUTEST puzzles, blocks and toys for kids. Click here to see them all! This puzzle set comes in the most gorgeous box (making it a perfect gift) and has 5 different puzzles, with 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 puzzle pieces! The back of the puzzle is colour coded so it’s easy to find the pieces that go together, and because there are different levels of difficulty, no matter what level of learning your toddler is at, they will find one puzzle that they can do themselves! The puzzle pieces are big and easy for them to hold, the colours are vibrant and the shapes are ones that your kids will be able to easy identify! Your toddler will have a blast putting together a boat, dump truck and hot air balloon and because the puzzle is so thick and well made, they’ll be able to enjoy it over and over again! Click here to learn more.

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AIRIX: The Pharmacy You Can Count On

DOWNLOAD AIRIX HERE

Scenario 1: You’ve left work early to pick up your child from daycare because they have a fever. After sitting for hours in the walk in clinic, you get a prescription for antibiotics. Your child is crying and screaming and you now get to go sit in a pharmacy waiting room while the prescription is filled and your child is cranky, tired and hungry.

Scenario 2: You have a monthly prescription (like an inhaler, birth control, blood pressure medication etc.) that you need to get filled - you realize you need it by tomorrow and don’t have time to go the pharmacy to pick it up.

What do these 2 seemingly different scenarios have in common? AIRIX will come to the rescue!

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What is AIRIX?

AIRIX is a mobile app, owned my a Montreal pharmacy, that you can download on your phone that offers a FREE prescription filling and delivery service to the Montreal area. But it gets better. You don’t actually ever have to step foot in the pharmacy to start using it and it gives you access to a pharmacist at your fingertips for questions!

Downloading the app is simple and getting started is even easier! You answer a few personal questions, set a log in and password and send in your ID for validation (they need to make sure it’s actually you before sending out medication)! A short while later you’re ready to start receiving deliveries!

DOWNLOAD AIRIX HERE

A couple cool features of the app:

  1. You can easily upload prescriptions right from your phone by simply taking a pic and in a few seconds they are submitted and ready to be delivered! There is no need to ever step food in a pharmacy. You can choose the delivery date and orders made before a certain cutoff are also eligible for same-day delivery!

  2. You can easily keep track of your refills and prescription information (including expiration date, medication information leaflet and dosage) right through the app. You can also see which prescriptions you have on file (even the ones that aren’t currently filled).

  3. You’re able to add multiple people to your account, so from your phone you can manage your profile, your husband’s and kids (making you basically the MVP of your home).

  4. Lastly - and most importantly for me - you have access, through a message thread, to the pharmacy team! It happens to everyone - you get home, you’re ready to start a new medication and can’t remember if you’re supposed to take it with food, without food, if you can take Tylenol with it, or if you’re supposed to wait until the next morning to take the first dosage! With the AIRIX app, you can message a pharmacy team member and ask away (your questions and conversation with the pharmacy remain completely private)!

DOWNLOAD AIRIX HERE

I decided to give the app a try before leaving on vacation next week! I have no time to be sitting in a pharmacy or making unnecessary trips to pick up meds before we leave! I placed my order first thing in the morning (I had previously downloaded the app and had my ID verified). Like clockwork, the afternoon came and perfect parcel was delivered to my door! I can now check one thing off my to-do list!

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This app will be life-changing for our family, especially when I’m back at work and winter time aka flu/cold/gastro/strep season is in full force! I would love to hear your experiences with the app! Click here to download it now!

The Block Party Of The Summer at Quartier DIX30

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I love discovering the city and love even more when I can do it with my family! This weekend, Quartier DIX30 is having a POP SUMMER block party for the whole family! From Saturday July 6, 2019 - Sunday July 7, 2019, head to the south shore and prepare to be blown away! There’s everything from music to DJs to live art! The patios are open and the stores are calling your name! I headed down there this morning and can’t wait to share everything I saw. The good news is that it’s happening all weekend long so you don’t have to feel like you’re missing out! You can head over there tonight or all day tomorrow (check out the event map at the bottom of my post)! It’s a short drive over the beautiful new Champlain bridge and from the West Island, the drive was only a little over a half hour (which is AMAZING for Montreal traffic).

Here’s a quick schedule of what’s happening and when so that you can be sure to maximize your time!

Here’s a quick schedule of what’s happening and when so that you can be sure to maximize your time!

The roads in DIX30 were completely closed off so your minis can fun free without you worrying about cars! So many of the shops have tents set up outside and there were so many fun activities for kids. There’s something happening at every corner, you won’t know where to start! There are life size chess boards and inflatable swans and chairs that your kids will just freak out over.

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There are stunning murals and artwork on the walls and cross walks throughout all of DIX30 - you won’t know where to look first! The best part is that you can see the artists live at work! They had just begun painting and designing the cross walks when I arrived early Saturday morning and I can’t wait to go back tomorrow and see the finished products! Some of the artists include: Charlotte Ratel, Olivier Charland, Frédéric Chabot, Franco E. Art, Roadsworth, Marc-Olivier Lamothe and Beyung.

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Many of the stores are bringing their merchandise outside in cute pop up tents so you can take advantage of great sales without having to go in the store and miss out on the beautiful weather! Some of my fave stores in DIX30 are Pottery Barn Kids, Anthropologie, Lulu Lemon, Rudsak, ZARA (it’s HUGE) and many others. There are also SO many restaurants and most have beautiful patios so you can soak in the sun and people watch while eating the most delicious food!

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If you’re coming with kids, not to worry! There were even picnic tables set up so when they need a snack (every 15 mins) and you need somewhere to sit in the shade, you’ll find the perfect picturesque tables with a parasol and fun activities near by.

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There will be bike rentals, DJ booths (3 in total) and entertainment for kids and adults. I caught a few acts while I was there and can say that they were a blast! So whether you’re looking to shop, eat or just sight see, the DIX30 POP SUMMER event is the place to be this weekend! Oh, and there is a TON of parking which is always a win in my book!

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I would love to see what you enjoyed the most so don’t forget to tag me on Instagram in your pics @mrsnewmommtl and tag QuartierDIX30 too @quartierdix30. You can click here to go to the Quartier DIX30 website for more info.

Save this image on your phone so you don’t miss any of the pop up events!

Save this image on your phone so you don’t miss any of the pop up events!

The Ultimate Juicer - Making Healthy Snacks at Home

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Making healthier choices everyday is sometimes a struggle for moms! We’re always on the go, have so little extra time and we often prioritize ourselves last. I’m always looking for tools and hacks that can help me indulge in the things I love the most, but that are simple and easy to use. I was so excited to get my hands on a Hurom juicer. I’ve heard so many amazing things about the machine and I couldn’t wait to experience it first hand!

I’ve heard that they are easy to clean, can make juices, smoothies AND ice cream (certain models) and they are absolutely gorgeous (so no need to try to hide it in a drawer when you’re not using it). They come in the most gorgeous colors, from rose gold to silver to black, so you’re guaranteed to find a model that fits in perfectly with your home’s style!

I tried the Hurom HZ Slow Juicer. It’s Hurom’s top-of-the-line juicer, made in stainless steel. It has a patented Slow Squeeze Technology that mimics that motion of a hand squeezing juice, so you’re guaranteed to have fresh juice that remains in its most natural state (and therefore packed with all the nutrients that you want your juice to have)! This juicer has all the bells and whistles that you would expect from a top-of-the-line juicer, such as a control lever and a fine and coarse strainer that allow you to control the amount of pulp in your juice, as well as parts that are made from quality materials. You feel it the minute you start to unbox it - the pieces are sturdy, heavy and able to withstand daily use (because it’s so amazing you’ll want to use it every day)!

One thing I noticed immediately, was how the pulp that came out of the machine was dry! I have a cheaper brand of juicer and I always feel like I’m wasting fruits and veggies because the pulp is wet, fleshy and filled with wasted juice! This is a problem I didn’t have with my Hurom!

As a busy mom on the go, one of my favorite features is how easy it was to clean. Other juicers that I have tried leak on my floor, take SO long to disassemble and wash and take forever to dry. The top fo this juicer detaches easily from the base, so it can be put in the sink, there is no leaking while you carry it, it comes apart in under 1 minute, and can be washed just as quickly! I major bonus was that is came with a drying rack so that I don’t have wet pieces all over my counter!

The Hurom HZ Slow Juicer works on everything you can imagine! Fruits, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and soybeans to create nutritious cold-pressed juices, milk, tofu, and more. I decided to try it out and make a juice and then ice cream! fruits, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and soybeans to create nutritious cold-pressed juices, milk, tofu, and more. I still can’t decide which I preferred! I made a delicious peach juice and added some sparkling water for an extra refreshing summer drink!

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I added some sparkling water to my peach juice and it was DELICIOUS!

I added some sparkling water to my peach juice and it was DELICIOUS!

My juice was so delicious that I decided to make an ice cream smoothie bowl next! All you need is yogurt and frozen fruit! You’ll see below how incredible my smoothie bowl turned out! My final verdict? 10/10. This machine literally does it ALL. Smoothies, ice cream and slow pressed juice - there’s no reason to ever own another machine. It’s such good quality, so easy to clean and use, and the bonus is that it’s gorgeous too! Click here to visit Hurom’s website and check out the rest of their juicers!

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Can you believe I made this with a juicer?

Can you believe I made this with a juicer?

The Coffee Maker of My Dreams

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When I heard that Keurig had come out with a new coffee maker, I was intrigued. I am OBSESSED with my Keurig already for a few reasons and couldn’t imagine what they did to make it better! I can make my favourite blend of coffee at home, from Starbucks to Tim Hortons to Van Houte, at a fraction of the cost, it’s simple to use, easy to clean and looks great on my counter top. I didn’t think it could get better… until I received the Keurig K-Café Coffee, Latte & Cappuccino Maker.

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The Keurig K-Café coffee maker has all the benefits of my original Keurig plus SO MUCH MORE.

Ready?

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With the K-Café coffee maker, you can make cappuccinos and lattes! Yes. You read that correctly. A Keurig coffee maker that allows you to make your own Starbucks latte at home. There is a frother on the side of the maker that is so easy to use, you could basically do it with your eyes closed. You add the milk to the appropriate measuring line (cappuccino or latte) and press the button on the front. It even has a “cold” button which keeps your milk cold for your cold drinks!

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That brings me to my next fave feature: it perfectly makes iced drinks! Now that summer is here, who doesn’t want an iced latte? Chose your fave blend, froth the milk with the “cold” setting, add a glass of ice and press the “latte” button on the top of the coffee maker and that’s it! A perfect, made at home iced latte that doesn’t cost $7 and doesn’t require me to clean a million pieces in a complicated machine!

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For all you die hard black coffee fans aka sleep deprived moms, the K-Café coffee maker has got your back! On top of the cold drinks and milk frother (which should be enough to convince you that this coffee maker is the best), you can choose from 4 different cup sizes for your coffee, there is “strong” button to add more of bold taste to your regular cup of coffee and a “shot” button for the perfect latte and cappuccino or for those mornings when you have no time to enjoy a coffee but Need. That. Caffeine. Oh… or if you just enjoy espresso style coffee. #momlife

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There are a few other added features that I think are super cool (but nothing beats the milk frother for me):

  • Auto-off function when the coffee maker is idol for 2 hours so it saves your mom brain from wondering if you turned it off.

  • A feature where you can turn on the coffee maker, add your pod and walk away and it will brew your coffee as soon as it is ready (with my old coffee maker I used to have to turn it on, wait for it to be ready and then insert the pod). No more wasted time!

Lastly, in case you weren’t aware, you can actually use regular ground coffee in your Keurig by purchasing  one of their reusable pods! So if your fave brew doesn’t already come in a K-cup, no problem! There’s also a huge selection of Tea and Hot Chocolate Pods on the Keurig site that you can order and have delivered right to your door!

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