#EscapeYourCommute with Essential Oil Blends!

Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and Armor All and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

IMG_9086_Facetune_15-11-2018-10-35-47.jpg

Between daycare pick up and drop offs, my daily commute to work and all the errands we run on the weekends, my car often feels like my second home. A second home that doesn’t get cleaned daily (unfortunately). No one warned me how chaotic driving around a 2 year old would be… and throw my snack stealing Boston Terrier into the back seat mix, and I have a guaranteed headache. I wouldn’t say that driving with both of them is relaxing and our daily commutes never used to be something I looked forward to... until now!

IMG_8820_Facetune_12-11-2018-17-54-36.jpg

Thanks to Armor All’s new Essential Blends air fresheners, I can escape my commute and imagine that I’m in a spa, doing yoga, or just sitting in silence at home (yeah right, I’m a mom… I don’t get silence at home :) ).

IMG_7740_Facetune_14-11-2018-20-08-11.jpg

Made with essential oil blends, their air fresheners can help you leave the traffic behind, with blends such as: Energize, Awaken, Focus, Calm and Refresh. The fragrances come as either a hanging diffuser style or as a vent clip! I used both :). The first one I tried is REFRESH which has a gentle but awakening Eucalyptus Mint scent. The vent clips make it easy to put the air fresheners in the back seat (which in my case is necessary!) and the incredible and unique scents will help you escape your commute! The scents include: Citrus Pomegranate, Pink Grapefruit, Eucalyptus Mint, Lemon Bergamot and Vanilla Lavender!

IMG_8109_Facetune_14-11-2018-19-46-16.JPG

Armor All is encouraging Canadians to take time off from the stress of daily traffic and try their Essential Blends air fresheners! They’re even making it a bit easier to get a head start by offering an Escape Your Commute Contest! Prizes include 25 Grand Prizes of WaySpa Gift Cards (valued at $150 each), 10 Instant Prizes of Armor All Product (valued at $100 each) and Frequency Essential Blends air freshener prizing. Enter the contest by visiting the essentialblends.ca website!

IMG_8821_Facetune_12-11-2018-17-58-37.jpg

Top Recommended Books for Toddlers - by YOU!

IMG-4390.JPG

I put up a poll on my Instagram a few weeks ago asking you for your top recommended books for toddlers! Who better to recommend books than fellow mamas? Take advantage of the awesome shipping promo they have going on right now: every book ships for free all summer long for plum membersfrom Indigo.ca and stock up on the adorable books below! Missed my poll? No problem! Add a comment below with any books that I missed so we can check them out!

1. THE LITTLE BLUE BOX OF BRIGHT AND EARLY BOARD BOOKS BY DR. SEUSS

Inside this adorable blue box (with a handle that your mini will love), include the 4 books:  Hop on Pop; Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!; Ten Apples Up On Top!; and The Shape of Me and Other Stuff. They survived 2 weeks with my son undamaged so these books will withstand any child lol. Click here to visit Indigo to learn more.

2. SING A SONG OF MOTHER GOOSE

 

All of your fave childhood nursery rhymes are in this adorable hard covered book including: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star; Humpty Dumpty; Little Miss Muffet; Rockabye Baby; Sing a Song of Sixpence; Ladybird; Pussycat, Pussycat; Jack and Jill; Baa Baa Black Sheep; Hey Diddle Diddle; Rain, Rain, Go Away; Mary Had a Little Lamb; Pat A Cake and Hickory Dickory Dock. Click here to visit Indigo to learn more!

3. DR. SEUSS'S 100 FIRST WORDS

I was curious how many other words Zane could learn before saying Mama LOL. This board book has bright and bold colours that your mini will LOVE. Click here to learn more.

4. ADVENTURES WITH BAREFOOT CRITTERS

Learning the alphabet is fun with these little critters and this adorably illustrated board book. Click here to learn more!

5. DINOSAUR DANCE!

From the best selling author Sandra Boynton, this colourful and fun board book is all about.... dancing dinosaurs! What else!? Click here to learn more!

6. THE LION INSIDE

A beautiful book with a powerful message: We all have a lion and a mouse inside. Click here to learn more.

7. I LIKE MYSELF!

This book about self-esteem encourages children to love themselves! Such a great read and an important message to start teaching your children at any age. Click here to learn more.

8. ORDINARY PEOPLE CHANGE THE WORLD GIFT SET

This New York Times best selling series is all about what makes a Hero. Click here to learn more.

9. GIRAFFES CAN'T DANCE

Gerald the giraffe just wants to dance! With his long legs, it's harder than you think. When he finally receives encouragement from a friend, he realizes he can do it! This book is an inspiration for kids who dream big! Click here to learn more.

10. CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM

This lively alphabet rhyme makes learning the alphabet fun! Click here to learn more.

Don't forget to take advantage of free shipping on every book all summer long for plum members at Indigo.ca!

Ripley's Aquarium - Fun for the Whole Family

If you're in the Toronto area, Ripley's Aquarium is a MUST SEE attraction. I wasn't sure what to expect and went in just hoping that I could keep Zane entertained for a few hours. It turned out, we could have spent the entire day there!

IMG-0724-Facetune-04-05-2018-14-48-17.jpg

From the second you walk in the Ripley's Aquarium, you're surrounded by gorgeous colours, illuminated aquariums that span from floor to ceiling and EVERY type of underwater fish you can imagine. It was such a nice experience to see Zane fascinated by the lights and swimming fish. I went with a friend of mine who has 2 older children and they were just as enthralled by the breath taking views.

IMG-0691.JPG

The aquarium is divided into exhibits such as the Canadian Waters, Rainbow Reef, Ray Bay and Curious Creatures (to name a few) but besides the exhibits, they have so many other things to offer! They have interactive stops along the way for older kids, they have caves that kids can crawl though, educational games and puzzles, and there was even a teaching session happening where someone from the Ripley's Aquarium was giving a lesson about fish!

IMG-0716.JPG

We had 2 favourite parts of the aquarium. The first was the Dangerous Lagoon - which is a long and beautiful aquarium tunnel that allows you to walk under swimming fish, sharks, sea turtles and so much more! There is moving belt so you can relax and be transported on what feels like a magical underwater journey.

IMG-0748-Facetune-04-05-2018-14-45-00.jpg
IMG-0736.JPG

Our second favourite was in the Planet Jellies exhibit. There was this HUGE wall filled with what seemed like hundreds of jelly fish. As the wall changed colours, so did the jelly fish! It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen!

IMG-0783.JPG

We had such a blast at the Aquarium and I can't wait to go back with Zane the next time we are in Toronto. It's a place we could visit over and over again and always find something else to love.

 A sleeping baby means a happy mama!!! This is the the right place to tire out your mini :)

A sleeping baby means a happy mama!!! This is the the right place to tire out your mini :)

My Apologies to My Friends Who Don't Have Children

I'm sorry I'm Late (7).png

Having a baby changes your life and also the relationships that you have with the people around you. It makes you sympathize and bond with your fellow moms over how it's possible to survive on so little sleep and it unfortunately, can also distance you from your friends who don't have children. I can't say that I blame my friends... I once upon a time didn't have a baby and found it really hard to relate to what my mom friends were going through. I would try to have a conversion with my bestie M. and every 10 seconds was interrupted by: L put that down, L stop jumping, L stop running in the house! Fast forward a few years and our conversations now go something like this:
-Hey M! How are y - Zane don't eat the dog food! - what was I saying? 
-I'm good... tired, busy the usua - L put that down! Leave your sister alone! - what was I saying?
-You were telling me I think about your day yesterday? I don't really remem - Zane stop french kissing the dog! Omg M gotta go. Zane is playing in the toilet.

Mom life changes EVERYTHING. I've teamed up, once again, with my mom friends and we've come up with a list of apologies for our friends that don't have children! Feel free to add your own in the comments below: 

I'm sorry I'm Late.png

1 - I'm sorry I was an hour late to your birthday party  - to be honest.. my son threw up all over as I was heading out the door and you're lucky that I showed up at all. You should in fact be buying me a gift. Have you ever tried to wake a baby up from a nap and then show up at a party smiling? Why is your party at 9am anyways? Don't you know this is NAP TIME. 

I'm sorry I'm Late (1).png

2 - I'm sorry that every time we go out I'm always wearing black yoga pants - it's really because no other pants fit me and the black really camouflages all the food stains from my child throwing his dinner at me. Tonight we ate cheerios for dinner because i just couldn't deal.

3 - I'm sorry that my child bit you/hit you/threw something at you - I really am trying to teach him. Listen - if you think you can do better, take him for a day and try. Actually maybe a week. I could use some sleep. Please?

4 - I'm sorry I forgot your birthday/anniversary/first day of work etc. - I run on 4 hours of sleep a day and I can't even remember my own name most of the time, so just be thankful I remember who you are. You really are important to me and I promise one day I will get my shit together and start checking my reminders on my phone... if I can only find it... my son was playing with it somewhere. Speaking of which... were is my son? 

I'm sorry I'm Late (4).png

5 - I'm sorry I had to cancel our plans last minute because the baby was sick - I promise this isn't an excuse. They put everything in their mouth and are sick every week. I would much rather be sitting and having a glass of wine instead of sucking out boogers from my baby's nose (for those who don't have kids - yes this is a thing... and yes you will have to do it. Have kids they said... it'll be great they said.)

I'm sorry I'm Late (5).png

6 - I'm sorry I left your party early - I know I said it was because the baby was going to have a melt down, but I was the one who was ready to snap and felt it would be frowned upon if I started crying in the middle of a crowd of strangers. 

I'm sorry I'm Late (6).png

7 - I'm sorry I can never make it to dinner with my kid unless we eat at 5pm - Kids are assholes sometimes. Especially tired ones. If you want to have dinner at 7pm and want me to bring my son, that's fine. But know that there WILL be a melt down. And my son's screaming is comparable in volume and pitch to a beluga whale so EVERYONE will stare. We might even end up on YouTube when he starts catapulting the food across the restaurant. I'm down if you are... I've been through it all and have no shame anymore. 

All in all, my life has changed... but I promise I'll find that balance again... or a really good babysitter that's always available. I love you and miss you and still treasure our friendship so please wait for me to find my way. :)

 

DockATot aka My Life Line and Reason for Sleep

IMG_4077.JPG

Before Zane arrived I had heard the hype around a sort of baby bed called the DockATot. It's main use was first as a tool for co-sleeping (which I wasn't sure I wanted to do) and I thought it was pretty expensive (between $165-$185 USD), but I discovered how essential it was to my sanity within 5 minutes of using it.

Zane was a super colicky baby (which we would later learn was due to an allergy to milk protein). He had horrible reflux from the day he was born, would cry for endless hours at a time, and seemed to be hungry every hour on the hour (mostly because of his constant throwing up). By the end of week 1 at home, we had exhausted the possibility of Zane sleeping in his crib (this meant I literally had to sleep on the chair in his room in order to tend to him when he cried or spit up) and we had also tried a bassinet in our bedroom which he hated - I'm not sure why, but the bassinet caused more crying than the reflux. My husband unfortunately couldn't take more than 2 weeks off work, so we needed to find a solution that allowed us (A) To get some sleep between the crying (B) Would offer Zane some relief from whatever he was going through. Co-sleeping seemed like a temporary solution and so off my husband went to buy this magical item called a DockATot which seemed like our last resort. 

I remember taking a screaming baby, swaddling him in a blanket and putting him down in the DockATot on the bed beside me. What I heard next was enough to make me cry. Silence. For the first time in a week, baby Zane seemed at peace and was fast asleep. DockATot should be called the Miracle Bed. 

 Fast asleep in the DockATot at 1 week old

Fast asleep in the DockATot at 1 week old

Baby Zane is now almost 3 months old, is no longer colicky and sleeps about 5 hours a night but we still use the DockATot daily. We bring it to my parents house, my in-laws house - anywhere where there is no crib for him to sleep in. It's super light and can be brought anywhere where baby needs to sleep. I have it beside me when I'm watching TV, I bring it to the park, and in a few weeks I'm taking a road trip to Toronto and it will be coming with me so Zane has somewhere safe to sleep!

The cover is removable and washable (which is a MUST for a baby with reflux) and it comes in a variety of colours to match whatever decor and design you have in your home or baby room. It also comes in 2 different sizes (the Deluxe and the Grand) so that it can accompany your baby as he/she grows! Zane is currently in the Deluxe and it seems as though it will fit him for another few months. We will, without a doubt, be purchasing the DockATot Grand when he needs it. Since getting ours, I have recommended it to every new mom I find, and I have yet to encounter 1 who is not as thrilled as I am.

I encourage you to check out their website to see what all the hype is about. If you do decide to purchase one, I am sure you will love it as much as I do!

www.dockatot.com

If you enjoyed this blog post, follow me!

Follow