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5 Things Moms Really Want for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is this Sunday! Will you be doing anything special for Mother’s Day? How many times have you been asked this question by friends, family and your own spouse and kids? “What do you want for Mother’s Day?”

What DO we want for Mother’s Day, really? It’s fair to say most women simply would love to have their role as a mother be recognized, appreciated and honoured not just on one single day, but every day.

While everyone else will inevitably be celebrating mom on Mother’s Day, we can’t help but want some kind of celebration for ourselves too. So, we’ll likely fall into having expectations of a picture-perfect Mother’s Day just for the sake of the holiday.

According to a survey by savings site RetailMeNot.ca,  Canadians spent an average of $76 on gifts and an average of $184 on the overall experience in recent years. According to the survey, the top items on mothers’ wish lists included:

  • A dinner out with the family
  • Dinner at home with the family
  • Some other type of experience
  • Spa Day alone

Recent research shows that people derive greater happiness when they purchase experiences rather than things. While it’s nice to receive material things like jewelry, technology such as a new mobile phone, or a handbag, after a while the thrill wears off.  But participating in a fun experience that’s sure to create lasting memories, is far more enjoyable.

Here are 5 things moms really want for Mother’s Day.

5 Things Moms Really Want for Mother's Day | amotherworld.com

5 Things Moms Really Want for Mother’s Day

Sleep

More than anything else, Mom would love to sleep in! Especially moms with younger kids… the lack of sleep has likely caught up to mom, and she could use some quiet time in the morning to catch some extra zzzz’s.

No cooking

Don’t let mom cook on Mother’s Day, no. Dads can get the kids involved and cook a lovely breakfast, or barbecue an awesome meal for lunch or dinner. Mom doesn’t want to be near the kitchen, and that includes breakfast, lunch AND dinner. If you must, take her somewhere for lunch where it isn’t too crowded.

No fighting

Kids, please get along on Mother’s Day, if not any other day of the year! Don’t argue, bicker, or get into any fist fights today of all days, mk? Thanks!

Help out around the house

Now kids should already be doing chores, but especially on Mother’s Day. Mom expects everyone in the house to make their own beds, put away their own dishes, and fold their own laundry. That means picking up dirty underwear off the bathroom floor and actually placing them in the laundry hamper, not stuffed under the bed!

Pampering

Mom will always enjoy a few hours of pampering, so if you’d like, you can purchase a gift certificate to the spa, or to get her nails or hair done. Or offer her a back massage at home or a foot rub. Pamper her like the queen she is! Give her some time to watch a movie, or read a good book with a cup of tea or glass of wine. Or if she wants, plan a nice family day together.

Listen to mom! Do what she would like on Mother’s Day. No she would not like to watch the golf tournament on television (unless she’s a huge fan), or spend the afternoon wrangling her kids and the rest of the neighbourhood kids.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

Where to Stay in Hollywood: Hollywood Hotel

When you think of Los Angeles, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Hollywood, of course! For those visitors wanting to stay right in the middle of all the action, the Hollywood Hotel is the place to be.

Right in the heart of Hollywood, The Hollywood Hotel fuses old Hollywood glamour with modern amenities. The 130-room property (including 6 suites, and 4 guestrooms with king size beds)  is only steps away from shopping, world-class dining, and cutting edge culture and nightlife.

Combining cosmopolitan California architecture and vintage Hollywood glamour, Hollywood Hotel welcomes guests with a beautifully designed porte cochere. The hotel’s main entrance is highlighted by a double grand staircase and signature Technicolor Fountain, all overlooked by a large welcoming balcony.

Where to Stay in Hollywood: Hollywood Hotel Where to Stay in Hollywood: Hollywood Hotel courtyard Where to Stay in Hollywood: Hollywood Hotel foliage

The original Hollywood Hotel was built in 1903 and was known as “the” Hollywood hotel. The 1937 movie “Hooray for Hollywood” was filmed on location at the property and first featured the song “Hooray for Hollywood.” Rudolph Valentino lived in the hotel and met his first wife there.  Recent celebrities who have visited the hotel include Jessica Biel, Kristen Wiig, Aiden Quinn and Drew Barrymore.

I love that it’s truly a boutique hotel in that recently-refreshed rooms that each have their own style and vibe. My room had some touches of that Hollywood feel, and a retro vibe which is apparent in the bathroom – love the tiles! The view from the balcony of the open-air courtyard provides a lovely Mediterranean backdrop.

Where to Stay in Hollywood: Hollywood Hotel bedroom Where to Stay in Hollywood: Hollywood Hotel bathrooms Where to Stay in Hollywood: Hollywood Hotel - bathroom

Guests visiting will appreciate the complimentary Hot International Buffet Breakfast served daily in the Dining Room.  There are a variety of offerings, from cereals and muffins, to bagels and pastries. There is also an “egg station” where you can have your own omelette created with many fillings to choose from.  Sausage, cheese and a variety of cold cuts are also available along with coffee, tea and hot chocolate.

Where to Stay in Hollywood: Hollywood Hotel breakfast Where to Stay in Hollywood: Hollywood Hotel lobby Where to Stay in Hollywood: Hollywood Hotel pool

The hotel is steps away from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Sign, the Los Angeles Zoo. A unique feature of the hotel is Hollywood Hotel’s own Comedy Club, which brings all-star comedians to the property on a weekly basis.

Visit www.thehollywoodhotel.com for more information!

Where to Stay in Hollywood: Hollywood Hotel courtyard Where to Stay in Hollywood: Hollywood Hotel

Where to Stay in Hollywood - Hollywood Hotel | amotherworld.com

Oh Baby! Book & Mom Self-Care Twitter Chat

As moms, especially new moms, we are accustomed to putting our children first, naturally. That’s one of the reasons I wrote my book, “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, because that first year of motherhood is a challenging one.

Whether you have an infant, toddler, pre-schooler, school-aged child, or even a tween or teen, moms tend to themselves last on the list. Over time, putting mom last can lead to burnout, and feeling depleted. Mom’s self-care is crucial to overall physical and mental health.

And with Mother’s Day coming up, there is no time like now to celebrate all that mom does for her family. So I’m hosting a Twitter chat on Wednesday, May 9 at noon! There will be prizes to be won too, thanks to some fabulous sponsors.

Host: @amotherworld
Date:  Wednesday, May 9th
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST.
Hashtag: #OhBabyBook 

Prizes to include:

Klorane Gift Basket

Klorane products are manufactured in France and developed with natural ingredients. For mom, the prize pack will include:

  • Dry Shampoo (for busy mornings
  • Olive extract shampoo + leave-in concentrate (to strengthen her hair)
  • Eye Patches (to fake a full night’s sleep)
  • Floral water makeup remover (to quickly cleanse and remove makeup)

Value of: $84

Follow the hashtag #KloraneCanada on Twitter.

Aderma Gift Basket

EXOMEGA is the specialist for atopic and very dry skin and the first product range to benefit from the soothing and immunoregulating qualities of Rhealba® Oat Plantlets. Its formulas also contain Filaxerine®, a complexe of active ingredients exclusive to the A-DERMA Laboratories, to restore the skin barrier. The prize pack will include:

  • The new EXOMEGA Control range – Soothing bath
  • Emollient Cream 400 ml
  • Emollient Balm 200 ml
  • EXOMEGA Cleansing Oil

Value of: $101

Follow the hashtag #AdermaCanada on Twitter.

Today’s Shopping Choice $25 GC + Beekman 1802 Beauty Box Set

Beekman 1802 beauty box set +$25 savings card to TSC !
This bounty box is intended to give you a taste of all aspects of the Beekman 1802 farm.

  • Ingredients from the Beekman 1802 goats, honey and flower gardens
  • Helps protect, hydrate and moisturize the skin

Follow @ShopTSC and the hashtag #ShopTSC on Twitter.

Design Me Prize Pack

DESIGN.ME offers a collection that consists of four must-have hair products, including

PUFF.ME and PUFF.ME LIGHT, the FIRST ever volumizing cloud mist powder in a pump.

POWERDRY.ME, a micro emulsion formula that speeds up drying time and enhances the entire process.

FAB.ME, the mother of all hair treatments designed to breathe life back into any mane with just a single spritz with its unique 4 defense formula.

Follow @DesignMeHair  and the hashtag #DesignMeHair on Twitter.

TōN Cosmetics

TōN Cosmetics is a brand-new cosmetics brand for women of all shades. Created by two sisters, Vicki and Maria Barillaro, TōN Cosmetics is a brand that simplifies the immense world of beauty for every woman and helps you find the right shade for your skin tone.

It’s a 100% crueltyfree lipstick collection that includes nine different variations of each colour for each unique skin tone and complexion. Take the TōN Test by answering a detailed questionnaire, available on the brand’s website, to determine your correct skin tone. Once you know which category you belong to, you can select from the shade variations that best suit you.

Follow @toncosmetics on Twitter and the hashtag #MyPerfectTone.

 

Oh Baby! Book

Copies of my book, “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, available at Amazon.ca and Chapters-Indigo, and independent bookstores.

Twitter Party Rules

  1. You must be a resident of Canada, excluding Quebec residents, age 18 or older in order to participate in the contest.
  2. In order to enter into the contest, you must correctly answer (on Twitter) at least one question posed during the Twitter Party using the hashtag #OhBabyBook
  3. In order to enter the contest you must follow @amotherworld so that you can receive direct messages in the event that you win.
  4. Winners will be chosen after the Twitter Party based on participation, engagement and/or awesome tweets!
  5. Winners will be announced via Twitter. Only 1 prize per participant.

Please leave a comment with your Twitter handle if you plan on participating, and for an extra entry!

Chat soon!

Twitter Chat Oh Baby Book Mother's Day

Unique Fingerprint Jewelry for Mother’s Day (Giveaway)

Mom deserves the best every day, but especially on the day we all honour our moms – Mother’s Day. Whether you’re shopping for mom, grandma, wife, mother-in-law, or even yourself, it’s often a challenge to find a special gift unique for her.

There is something precious about a personalized gift that is only for her. Now this gift idea for Mother’s Day is one she will cherish for years to come.

Dimples Charms makes beautiful custom and personalized jewelry, imprinted with your loved ones’ fingerprints.

I had one made in sterling silver with my children’s fingerprints on a trendy Fingerprint Bar (horizontal) Necklace. It’s so much more than a simple engraving; with Dimples’ High Def technology, the fingerprint looks as if your loved one just pressed a finger into your pendant. You can also add an engraving on the back of the necklace too, for even more personalizing.

It’s super easy to grab an image of the fingerprint you’d like to use for the necklace. Dimples can provide you with an ink kit, but using a washable marker also can do the trick. There is also a phone app which can capture the fingerprint.

Unique Fingerprint Jewelry for Mother's Day (Giveaway)

Enter to Win

The horizontal bar necklace in sterling silver retails for $259.00. Guess what? One lucky reader will win their own Fingerprint Necklace!

Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter this amazing giveaway. Canada only, ends May 12 at midnight.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

7 Super Easy Spring Cleaning Tips

Before the grass begins to grow again, and the tree and flower buds begin to form, there’s that distinct outdoor smell that spring is finally here. That spring fever rush makes you want to open all the windows, and let the fresh air invigorate your home.

While I do admit to dislike the process of cleaning, I do love the feeling afterwards when the house is organized and squeaky clean. I’ll head to Costco to stock up on my arsenal of cleaning products from P&G, such as Bounty paper towels, Swiffer Duster refills, and Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Best of all, Costco is having a sale on P&G Home Care items, on now in Eastern Canada until April 30. Then, it’s time to tackle these seven super easy spring cleaning tips to get my home clean and organized!

7 Super Easy Spring Cleaning Tips

1. Tidy up first.

Tidying up first will make it easier for you to then clean. De-clutter things that you don’t need; use bins or piles for things you want to toss, store away, and donate. I use plastic bins to store winter clothing in order to make more room in our closets, and then label them with a marker.

2. Tackle one room at a time.

Looking at everything that needs to be done will make you feel overwhelmed. Tackling one room at a time is the best way to start. Begin with each bedroom; go through closets and dressers, and pull out items of clothing you haven’t worn in at least a year, and have no plans to wear again. Spacing out your spring cleaning by room or floor will make the task more productive and attainable!

3. Clear bathroom drawers.

Clean and de-clutter your bathroom shelves and drawers, tossing old makeup and bath products, and bringing old medicines to the pharmacy for disposal. Wipe down dusty drawers and cabinets with the Swiffer Duster, which you can purchase refills in bulk at Costco.

4. Deep clean your kitchen.

Empty out your refrigerator, and toss any products that have expired. Wipe down fridge shelves with warm soapy water. Once dry, cover shelves after with wax paper or fridge liners to protect from spills. Give your oven a deep clean, and don’t forget to wash the range hood filters. Clean your dishwasher by placing a cup of distilled white vinegar on the top rack and running it. Wash your garbage cans and recycling bin too. Wipe down kitchen cabinets with Bounty paper towel, and if you can, wipe down shelves and drawers. Don’t forget to dust above the cabinets and fridge with the Swiffer Duster, which I always stock up on at Costco. Also, clean behind the oven and fridge too with the Swiffer Sweeper dry followed by wet to collect dust.

5. Wipe down the walls.

Dust can accumulate on your walls, behind furniture, and in the corners. Wipe down walls with the Swiffer Duster to get rid of dust in tough-to-reach places and use an extender for the extra hard to reach spots! Dusty floors can be wiped up quickly with a Swiffer Sweeper as well. My kids have created so many scuff marks by banging the walls with their backpacks and cumbersome hockey bags. Use the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to wipe off scuffs and marks off the walls and doors.

6.  Clean the baseboards too.

Before vacuuming, wipe down baseboards and blinds with the Swiffer Duster. Dust around your stairs and banister, then vacuum. Don’t forget to wipe down photo and art frames, and even vents and bathroom fans where dust loves to accumulate.

7.  Clean the windows.

For tiny crevices that need a scrub, like the tracks of your windows and behind the toilet, use an old toothbrush and some vinegar. Use Bounty paper towel to clean up the gunk!

After you’ve completed your spring cleaning, reward yourself and your fresh space by buying some fresh flowers.

7 Super Easy Spring Cleaning Tips | amotherworld.com

ENTER TO WIN

One lucky reader will win a P&G Home Care prize pack worth $150! Prize pack will include the following products:

▪           Bounty

▪           Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

▪           Swiffer Duster

▪           Swiffer Sweeper

▪           Mr. Clean Liquid

Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter this giveaway. Canada only. Ends April 29, 2018.

Spring Cleaning P&G Costco Prize Pack

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This post is proudly sponsored by P&G Home Care. As always, the opinions expressed herein are my own.

 

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Epidaurus Theatre

If you’re visiting Greece, Athens and the Acropolis along with the Greek islands of the Aegean Sea are surely on your list. But one of the best places to visit in Greece is the Epidaurus Theatre.

Epidaurus is one of the most popular archaeological sites in Greece, reflecting its splendour and magnificence. Located on the north eastern side of Peloponnese, in the region of Argolis, Epidaurus Greece is world famous for its Ancient Theatre. It’s about an hour and a half from Athens. Among all the ancient theatres, Epidaurus theatre is the most beautiful and best preserved.

The Epidaurus Theatre was constructed in the late 4th century BC to host religious ceremonial events in honor of god Asclepius, whose healing centre was located few steps away.

Famous for its symmetry and the incredible acoustics, this classical theatre is surrounded by lush greenery and gives nice view to the valley below. In summer, it hosts performances of ancient Greek drama.

The theatre is considered to be one of the purest masterpieces of Greek architecture. See it in person and it’ll take your breath away. From any view, whether you’re at the bottom or looking from above, you will be struck with awe at the amazing symmetry. The acoustics are almost perfect from any seat.

Best places to visit in Greece: Epidaurus Theatre

Best Places to Visit in Greece | Epidaurus

Best Places to Visit in Greece | Epidaurus Theatre | amotherworld.com

Best Places to Visit in Greece | Epidaurus Theatre | amotherworld

Best Places to Visit in Greece | Epidaurus Theatre | amotherworld | amotherworld.com

Best Places to Visit in Greece | Epidaurus Theatre

The Asklepieion at Epidaurus gained fame throughout the world for its unique healing practices. It was the 6th century BC when the work began on what was to become known as the cradle of medicine.

The ancient Greeks built a sanctuary for the ill. The sick would be purified in waters from a sacred spring, before they would go to sleep to meet with the gods in their subconscious. The deities would either cure them or give them instructions on the treatment they should follow.

Today its monuments are standing proof of the practice of medicine, and it was believed that healing depended on God.  Archaeologists have discovered a large number of medical instruments at the site, which suggests the gods preferred to leave the hard work of healing to man, rather than always do it themselves.

Still, temples around the complex at Epidaurus show how much weight the ancient Greeks placed in the spiritual guidance. Epidaurus Theatre is one of the best places to visit in Greece – make sure to add it to your list!

Best places to visit in Greece - Epidaurus Theatre

The Spring BabyTime Show – Win Tickets!

Whether you’re expecting a baby, recently gave birth to your bundle of joy, or already managing the fun chaos of parenting a little one, The BabyTime Show has you covered.

Toronto’s BabyTime Show is back April 27 to April 29, 2018 at The International Centre.

There is no other baby show in the Toronto area that has leading parenting experts, major brands, unique artisans, stellar education and top notch toddler entertainment all under one roof.

Thrilled to share that I’ll be speaking at The BabyTime Show! I’ll be talking about The Importance of Self Care for Mom – How to Avoid Burn Out. Today, moms are juggling more than ever before. How do we achieve a healthy balance? I’ll be sharing my own personal experience of managing expectations of being a “natural” mother, the importance of self-care, and how to avoid burn out.

Join me at these dates/times:

  • Friday April 27th at 3:00pm on the Expert Seminar Stage
  • Sunday April 29 at 12:00pm noon on the Expert Seminar Stage

So what are you waiting for! Buy your tickets and save $3 OFF Adult Admission by using the code TINYHUMAN. Click here to buy tickets.

The BabyTimeShow
International Centre, Hall 1
6900 Airport Road, Mississauga

Parents and friends (13+): $17
Grandparents: $10
Children 12 and under: Free

The BabyTime Show Spring 2018

Come and join me at the BabyTime Show! I’m also giving away tickets to the show! Fill the Rafflecopter below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

I Thought I’d be a Natural Mom

Long before I even thought of starting a family, I thought I’d be a natural mom. I imagined I’d ease into taking care of a baby, and that my baby would come first before anything else. I planned on taking care of my baby and family, breastfeed without a hitch, spend much of the day cuddling with baby, and feel completely fulfilled.

I had a picture in my mind that I’d be able to juggle motherhood, career, and home life. I mean, other women could do it – why couldn’t I? They made it look so easy! Aren’t we as women supposed to be natural moms? Where did these preconceived ideas and unrealistic expectations come from?

Media’s depiction of motherhood is quite deceiving. You’ll see images of confident supermoms in print ads, TV commercials, and magazines who seem to be juggling everything effortlessly. Rather than feel empowered by these images, they add pressure for women to strive for perfection.

According to research, most new mothers struggle to form an instant bond with their baby. A survey of more than 2,000 women revealed that most didn’t feel like a ‘natural mother’ following the birth of their baby.

I’m sure I wasn’t alone; many women have the vision of having a wonderful birthing experience, a hands-on husband, and a supporting family. It’s disappointing then  to have your plans go awry; the natural childbirth you hoped for ended up being a C-section, breastfeeding caused cracked and bleeding nipples, and the husband who was supposed to help you breathe through labor ended up passing out on the hospital floor. This is the real normal.

To add more pressure, some cultures are still very much entrenched in tradition. In my husband’s and my own culture, women are still regarded as responsible for taking care of household chores and children. The house should be immaculate. If your house isn’t sparkling clean, then you aren’t a good mother. A good mother wouldn’t have dirty floors and a dirty house, no . . .  what a disgrace! A mother who would go out with her girlfriends instead of staying home with the kids? Terrible!

To top it off, women are expected to naturally move into the role of the perfect mother who can cook, clean, and take care of baby—and husband too. Motherhood should be second nature; women are multi-taskers and can do it all. I’d hear other older ladies say, “She can handle it.” I was a supermom before I even became a mom.

Were you expected to be a natural mom?

 

What to Do With Leftover Chocolate

Do you have any leftover chocolate from Easter? You know, the solid milk chocolate that you could break your teeth trying to eat?

Well even if you’re a disaster in the kitchen, you can manage to make this simple recipe with leftover chocolate. Have fun with it! Add your favourite nuts, marshmallows, rice crisps, or even dried fruit.

Leftover Chocolate Recipe ~ Chocolate Bark

Ingredients

Whatever chocolate is left over

1/4 cup butterscotch chips

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup butter

1 cups miniature marshmallows

½ cup roasted almonds

¼ cup rise crisps or puffs

 

Directions

In a saucepan over low heat, combine chocolate, butterscotch chips, and peanut butter until melted.  Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes or so.  Stir in the marshmallows, coconut nuts, or other ingredients.

Pour onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and spread evenly. Cool in refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Leftover Chocolate Bark recipe | amotherworld

 

Arthritis Affects Young People Too

Growing up, I remember watching my dad massage my mom’s neck and shoulders. He’d apply ointment to her joints, as she would explain to me she had arthritis. Fast forward to today, and I too am in my 40s; I recently learned after an MRI that I have arthritis in my cervical spine.

When you think of arthritis, we normally envision an elderly person struggling to walk, with a cane in hand.  You hear more stories of younger adults developing arthritis. But did you know that arthritis also affects children and teenagers too?

Arthritis is one of the more common disorders resulting in chronic disability in children and teens in Canada. While we think that arthritis is an “older person’s” disease, juvenile arthritis can affect young people, with potentially devastating effects on developing bodies.

March is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, and I had the opportunity to chat with Nicole Barry whose 10-year-old son lives with a form of juvenile arthritis – juvenile ankylosing spondylitis which affects the spine.

Nicole’s son, Conor, first began to complain of pain in his left foot. Nicole thought he may have outgrown his running shoes, so she bought him a few new pairs. A few weeks later, Conor’s gym teacher called Barry, and told her she noticed he was limping, and favouring his right foot.

After several doctor visits and x-rays, medical professionals attributed the foot pain to growing pains. But the issue persisted.

About a month later, Conor was admitted to the hospital after blood work came back irregular. After a week’s stay and several tests, doctors thankfully ruled out bone cancer. But his diagnosis turned out to be arthritis.

“When I was told he likely had arthritis I thought phew! No biggie. Take some anti-inflammatory pills and stretch out your hands, like my Grandpa does. I wasn’t aware of the different types of arthritis and how it can impact your internal organs,” Barry admitted.

Barry has switched careers to reduce stress on the family, and to be available for medical appointments, sometimes as many as three times a week to check on worrisome symptoms.

“Life has indeed changed for us. Managing the appointments, medicines, insurance forms, and his symptoms is a lofty task – one of course I am happy to do,” Barry said.

“I worry about his length of life and that his type of arthritis is degenerative, so I worry about his mobility as he ages. But, he is incredibly resilient and strong and I know he will strive in whatever does in life, Barry says.

Despite his worrying condition, Barry remains optimistic.

“Conor is so mature, so kind and empathetic, so intelligent. I am so proud of him and how he manages and thrives in spite of this disease.”

For more information and resources, please visit the Arthritis Society website.

 

Disclosure: This post is proudly sponsored by AbbVie Canada. As always, the opinions expressed herein are my own.