How Much Do I Pay A Babysitter?

How much do I pay a babysitter? An age old question (and a good one). Experience, age, location – all contribute to finding the magic number. Here are my tips to deciding how much do I pay a babysitter…

How Much Do I Pay a Babysitter

How much do I pay a babysitter?

First, consider the minimum wage in your province or territory (or state). Remember adult minimum wages in Canada differ from students rates of pay. Minimum wage will at least give you a a starting point for deciding how much to pay a babysitter.

Next, consider scope of work. Is the babysitter caring for one child or multiple children? Caring for a newborn (who requires diapering, feeding, cuddling) or older kids (who require less hands-on child care)? Caring for a child with special needs? Long term care (i.e. a steady babysitting job) or a date night out? Will he or she be required to drive? Cook? Clean? These are all factors which go into deciding babysitter wage.

Consider experience. When looking for a once-in-a-while babysitter for my baby son I knew I was more comfortable with an adult or university student babysitter. I interviewed nannies, E.C.E. (early childhood educators) and university students – whose wage expectations ranged between $10-$18/hr.

My thirteen year old did a babysitting course where she was advised to charge between $5-10 an hour (the lower figure being as a mother’s helper – where Mom was at home while she was babysitting).

Consider location. Is the babysitting been doing at your home, the babysitters home, on location (like a hotel room if you were going to a wedding)? Are you picking up the babysitter and dropping them off (general etiquette). Or is the babysitter coming to you (and do you pay for a taxi/bus fare?).

Consider time. In my experience, daytime babysitting costs more than evening (because it is more difficult to find a daytime babysitter so you pay a premium). Special occasion babysitting (like on a holiday, during a vacation, for a special event like birthday party or wedding) can increase wage expectations as well.

How Much Do “I” pay a babysitter?

I pay $10/hr for evening babysitting for my three children at my home (I like round numbers and there is no need to count pennies at the end of a date night out). I will have ordered a pizza (so no cooking). The kids will be watching a movie in pjs (so no bathing of kids). And we drive the sitter home.

 Share  with Parent Club: How much do you pay a babysitter?…

Kids Activity Bags

Call it a busy bag, travel kit, or kids activity bags – these tips will help keep your kids entertained while en route. From day trip to road trip to international flight…I have filled my share of kids activity bags. Here are my kids activity bags suggestions…

Kids Activity Bags

Kids Activity Bags

Put all your kid travel activities in a resealable bag!  It helps to keep kid stuff organized (and if you travel for with multiple children like I do…it’s helpful for each child to have a dedicated activity bag). A resealable bag is easy to pack in a tote bag or backpack. Easy to store under a car seat or in the pocket in front of you in an airplane. It is a one-stop-shop for entertaining your kids.

Yes, I pack individual  kids activity bags (because my kids have a wide age range and thus their entertainment activities are wildly different).

Toddler activity bag ideas

  • Board books
  • Small toys (small enough to fit in your bag but age-appropriate-enough that they are not choking hazzards)
  • Headphones (for airplane or train movies)
  • Snacks (dried cereal, pretzels, dried fruit)
  • Spill proof water bottle or sippy cup
  • Crayons and paper (great for airplanes or trains)
  • Their favourite music on cd (for the car)
  • Paper cups and plastic spoons (role play stirring, drumming, digging)

The paper cup idea is one of the best (and most free) activities for kids on the go. Next time you stop for coffee, ask for a 2nd cup. Then, pass it back to your toddler and create role play games. Once I had my son repeating “Luke, I am your father” while speaking in a deep voice and talking into the bottom of the cup. It was hilarious for us…and our laughing…encouraged him to repeat it over and over.

Big kid activity bag ideas

  • Ipod & headphones
  • Magazines
  • Homemade Journal (my book Boredom Busters shares how to make this)
  • Snacks (dried cereal, pretzels, granola bars)
  • Water bottle
  • Word search, sodoku, crosswords & pencil
  • Gum (for airplane take-off)

I have even gone so far, as to create a word search for my kids based on our trip. Use a word search generator (there are tons of free ones on the internet) and plug in hints and answers based on where you are going and what you will see (i.e. Ocean, Airport, Table, Window, Dock, Hill, Highway).

And as an aside: My Family Travel Packing List might come in handy for your next family trip.

10 Emergency Items

Ice storms. Polar Vortex. Snow Days. -40C weather. This seems to be the winter of extreme weather. Having just gone through the Toronto ice storm (we lost power – including heat – for 32 hours…lucky compared to those who were without power for days!)…I am sharing the 10 Emergency Items we found essential for survival in a winter storm.10 Emergency Items

10 Emergency Items

Mobile phone was essential for keeping in contact with friends and family as the power took out our landline. We kept my phone on and turned my husband’s off (to save battery life – knowing having one with full charge was our only back-up). In our battery storage box (yes, we have a battery box!) I found a new-in-package Duracell Rechargable Instant USB charger (gah – I so wished I had this charged – it instantly recharges any phone or device using a mini-usb cable). Let me tell you, the moment our power went back on I charged up this baby and have kept it on the ready (I even took it on a holiday car trip in case we needed to power up a device en route). Never will I be without a phone charge back up again!

A battery operated radio was essential for getting news reports (also provided musical entertainment when, at 5pm, it got as dark as night). Extra blankets were also essential as without power, our furnace provided no heat.

We happen to have 6 working flashlights and extra batteries (you might laugh at my battery box but it comes in handy in power outages…and when you get a new toy without batteries in the box).  We take for granted our electricity and lights. A night with flashlights really taught us how much we use lights – and that we should conserve when we can.

Though candles and matches were a godsend to keep the living room lit while we hudled together in the evening – I was sure candles and matches were placed out of reach of our curious pre-schooler. We also blew out the candles before we went to bed as we know – house fires can start with a simple spark.

At least we could keep our milk cold by taking it out of the fridge and putting it out in the snow. However, I was glad to have non-perishable food items like granola bars and juice boxes on hand for quick snacks, easy breakfast, and simply food.

And when the power came back on…I had an ‘a-ha moment’ of appreciation of power. From heat to light to food preparation…electricity is amazing. As are friends and family who pitch together and help each other out in times of trouble. In extreme weather…it’s good to be prepared for any emergency.

So That Time I Met Katniss…and Pink

Did the title get you? I hope so. Because this is no ordinary post dear readers. This is about unapologetic beauty. Strong women. Talented people. One fiction/one real. Both very inspirational to me this past week. So that time I met Katniss…and Pink ->

Catching Fire

It started when I took my big kids to watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Guys, it was a week-changer-type-of-movie. Not just because of the action…but because of our reaction to it. We talked about it at dinner. We replayed the scenes. My oldest got out the book (she has the whole trilogy) for me and I read it from cover-to-cover in a night (it’s a page turner!). I, like my big kids, were captivated by Katniss. She was smart, resourceful, ever-learning, and yes…human. My big kids connected with her as a character while I grew inspired by her beauty.

She was natural (in both look and character). She was unimpressed by the Capital Beauty (as was I). Such a strong character. Imperfect yet perfectly comfortable within her own skin. I admire that.

Fast forward a few days…

Pink ticket

Thanks to P & G, I was set to see Pink in concert at the Air Canada Centre (ironic how the ticket perfectly matched my CoverGirl lipslicks lip balm – meant to be right?!). Floor seats. I would have been excited to see the show..except that my tummy was turning instead. See..I was to MEET Pink backstage ahead of time (most people would be thrilled…I felt like throwing up).

See…I’m not fierce. Or Courageous. I’m not trend setting. Or CoverGirl beautiful. I’m not even really cool (erase the really…I’m just not cool. period). My thoughts of meeting Pink weren’t “wow, that’s amazing!” – it was more “what the heck do I wear? do? say?”

And you want to re-live that feeling of your grade-nine-nerd-self?!…stand next to a rock star…

Caroline Fernandez and Pink

Yes, I felt awkward at first. But you know what?! I left inspired. Not just because I sucked up my anxiety (seriously, took a lot of sucking…I was pretty nervous!). But I ended up taking a “This is Me” approach to the meeting.

My hair wasn’t professionally done. My clothes not the latest in style. My make-up simple. I thought of Katniss and realized…being comfortable in your own skin the best beauty.

And it worked for me.

Pink was lovely. Petite. In shape (I envy her abs). Stunning makeup and simple outfit (one-piece blue pantsuit, black jacket, heels). She welcomed me with a smile and a handshake. We talked about kids (yes, me and the rockstar talking kids…we could have easily been in a playground rather than a stadium). It was a moment between two Moms. And I realized. Pink and Katniss…I can learn from these women…

Pink in concert

I shouldn’t worry so much. I should feel confident in my abilities. Real. Pushing boundaries but staying true to who I am. Feel comfortable in my own skin.

You don’t need to be a “cool kid” or set the trend…you can break barriers and be beautiful. Always.

Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.

#lightwebdarkweb

Reclaim the real.

#lightwebdarkweb
The true ground of our being is nested within family and community that births us., and within Nature that sustains us. Ground yourself in the real. Now, more than ever know your roots.

#lightwebdarkweb Raffi (Homeland Press, 2013)

That quote is my take-away, as a parent and social media user, from reading Raffi’s latest book #lightwebdarkweb Three Reasons To Reform Social Media Be4 It Re-Forms Us. 

You will remember I interviewed Raffi a while back and learnt he was much more than just the singer of “Baby Beluga” and “Down By The Bay”. He is very dedicated to respecting the earth and children. And since our interview…we have a friendship (at least I consider it a friendship – I hope Raffi does too); showing the benefits of the #lightweb (#lightweb = connecting to anyone round the world via online platform).

In Raffi’s book, he exposes both the #lightweb and the #darkweb (#darkweb = predators using online platforms for villainous purposes).

It’s an interesting read for parents. Delving into the topics of online safety for children Kids’ use of social media. Pop culture and technology. Sexualiation, teens, and the internet. Social media and security.

Raffi

Raffi

Raffi not only brings well researched points to the page – he does it in a “voice” which engage readers in a friendly yet thought-provoking journey.

My Tips For Talking With Your Kids About Online Security

  • Never share private information  (this includes address, school, routine)
  • Abide by social media rules (You can’t get a Facebook account until you are 13.)
  • Use parental controls on your computer
  • Follow you kids on Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram and Pinterest
  • Remind them “If you wouldn’t say it to Mom – then don’t put it in a status update”
  • Remind them to be respectful. Always.
  • Should bullying occur – take action immediately (Don’t be afraid to call the school)
  • Discuss “sexting” (I also included in this family conversation –  that that the Web has a long memory and you never know who will take a screen shot…show it to their friends…share it everywhere…and you can never, ever, take that moment back. It’s awful but it happens. You have to protect yourself online just as you would in the real world.)
  • Predators aren’t just in movies. From identity theft to bullies to adults posing as kids…there are bad people in real life as well as in the virtual world.
  • Come to ME. You are your child’s best security. Advocate. Guide. I think it’s important to keep the web “conversation” open and evolving. Ask questions. Be open to them asking questions.

That last point is directly connected to the quote of Raffi’s book (at the top of this post). Rooting your child in the real is very important. It is so easy to get swept up in endless waves while surfing the net that kids can find themselves in trouble. Balance is key – I think. Screen time and screen-less family time. Online surfing (to work the mind) and real life sports (to work the body).

Social media, technology, and the Internet are everyday tools for most everyone nowadays. There’s almost no getting around it (proven by my kids’ latest homework assignment: a Power Point presentation on social media delivered not in hard copy but on a USB key to be presented via the class smart board!).

Technology is a powerful tool. It’s a great tool. But it can be a sharp-edged tool too.

What do you think about kids and technology?

Parent Club Profiles: Lori Kennedy

Name please. Lori Kennedy. I’m a registered holistic nurse.

Your Website? http://www.lorikennedyrhn.com/blog/

What’s your absolute specialty? (work-wise – you’re probably pretty special at a lot of things): Understanding the magic of food and how specific foods have the ability to make us feel light, energetic and vibrant or bloated, tired and angry. I believe the key to health and happiness is directed related to the food choices we make every day. Two years ago, I set a goal for myself that has turned into my personal mission: To improve the lives, both physically and emotionally, of 1 million people by 2022.

Best thing about your work:

I have the pleasure of living my passion daily which just happens to have a direct relationship to help others to improve the quality of their health and life through food.

I have the privilege to share my expertise and knowledge with a wide variety of people directly. Small changes in food choices over time add up to full lifestyle transformations. That’s the best thing about my work… also that I get to work from home and be around for my kids (most days).

Lori Kennedy

Parent or not a parent? Parent. I am a mom to Alexis 5, Daniel 2.5 and wife to Bryan.

Share a typical Tuesday (really we want to hear how you “do it all”): 

Tuesdays are actually my content writing days. I don’t book meetings, calls or anything that distracts me. My team knows not to bug me on Tuesdays. I shut off the world and just write.

My typical days starts between 4:45am to 5:00am. I really like waking up that early because no one bothers me. It’s the only 60 to 90 minutes in the entire day I get silence and to myself.

I find that early morning are my magic time. I’m creative at the crack of dawn and can bang out a blog or two before the morning routine starts.

I’m really lucky because my husband and I work together and he typically does breakfast. We whip up a batch of pancakes on Sunday so we have pre-made breakfast. Meals together are really important to us and we have breakfast and dinner daily together as a family.

8:00am kids go off to school and daycare and I get into my writing mode. Depending on that particular day I may or may not have even put on bra… the benefits of working from home.

The kids are picked up between 4:00pm or 5:00pm depending the activity they have scheduled. Dinner is early around 5:30pm and then it’s organizing for the next day, bath, play and bedtime.

I’m guilty of doing work after my kids go to bed. I usually get into bed around 10 – 10:30 and watch a PVR’d show and go to bed.

How do you handle busy mornings as a mom and business owner?

Mornings are rushed at the best of times but add in an early morning meltdown or a missing piece of homework, and it’s enough to put any parent over the edge.

My mornings became so stressful that I started waking up at 5:00 a.m. just so I could have 1 whole hour of time to myself. I relish those 60 minutes. It’s the only time in the day I get to myself without the constant pinging of devices, questions, emails and nagging.

As a nutritionist it’s important to me that my entire family eats well-balanced meals at the table before rushing off. I’ve learned a couple of time-saving tricks that you can easily use to makeover your morning routine.

Do tell. What are these these time-saving tips? Share them with Parent Club readers!

Tip # 1: Pre-made breakfast:

I’m a stickler for a well balanced breakfast. The foods you chose at breakfast will set your emotional tone for the day, so make sure to chose wisely.

On the weekends we make a big batch of healthy pancakes, egg muffins, hard-boiled eggs, and breakfast muffins. Fruits like cantaloupe, pineapple, watermelon and berries are washed, cut up and stored in the fridge.

This way, breakfast is pre-made and just needs to be warmed up or pulled from the fridge. This tip works great for picky eaters because there are 3 breakfast choices to choose from.

Tip # 2: Pick out clothes, shoes and pack bags the night before

Picking out clothes the night before is nothing new – except that it works when you actually do it. My 5 year-old-daughter is a mini fashionista. I couldn’t deal with the fights over the colour of her socks in the morning.

Now, picking out clothes is part of the bedtime routine. Both of my kids pick out their clothes, shoes, and pack bags before heading off to bed. The clothes are brought downstairs and are placed on the couch so they can dress themselves before breakfast.

This single tip dramatically changed my morning routine.

Tip # 3: Assign duties to each family member

My husband and I used to run into each other in the mornings, literally. It was annoying. Now we each have responsibilities so we stay out of each other’s way and get more done in less time.

I’m usually out of the house first so I help get the kids get dressed while he does breakfast. We don’t need to discuss the breakfast because it’s already made and the clothes are already laid out so it’s easy.

With two kids and jobs to get to mornings will never be 100% calm and pleasant but I’ve found these 3 makeover tips to be helpful in keeping the peace and walking out the door with a smile on.

Do you blog? Yes, I blog at http://www.lorikennedyrhn.com/blog/

Do you tweet? @lorikennedyrhn

What’s in your diaper bag?

Monday morning: I make school lunch, I check e-mail, and I re-stock our diaper bag. The contents of a diaper bag are personal yet practical. This is the post where I share all that…and I ask…What’s in your diaper bag?What's In Your Diaper Bag

  1. Black Skip Hop diaper bag (mine is a 2nd-hand-older-version – and I envy the drink pocket on the model pictured above).
  2. Toddler boys pjs – oldnavy.ca (this is the “in case of emergency” change of clothes. Pjs are lighter to pack and always comfy!).
  3. My Nokia Lumia 920 (read my review of this windows phone – it makes my life easier!)
  4. CoverGirl Outlast All-Day Lipcolour (I use #528)
  5. Boys’ socks – joe fresh (I use heavy socks as mittens in the winter – they stay on and keep lil’ fingers warm)
  6. Hand sanitizer and holder – bath & body works (used every time I put the grocery cart away – germs be gone!)
  7. Tim Horton’s gift card (in case I don’t have cash – we can still have lunch on the go!)
  8. Aveeno lotion travel size (my dry hands love this)
  9. Wet bag (this one is itzy ritzy – mine is not – but both keep wet clothes compartmentalized)
  10. Kirkland wipes (for hands, cheeks, and other sundry body parts)
  11. Infinity scarf – ardene (I hate having a chilly neck – plus it doubles as a kid’s scarf)

It might be of interest to have a look at my suggestions for Family Travel Packing List as the baby items on there kind of marry with what’s in my diaper bag. I also created a FREE printable of that list.

So share…what’s in your diaper bag?

How To: Homemade iPod Costume

This next D.I.Y. is terror-ific! Creating a homemade Halloween costume is simple by following this How To: Homemade iPod Costume tutorial. Using stuff you already have around the house – you can easily (and cheaply!) make a homemade ipod costume. My daughter had a blast making this…

How To: Homemade iPod CostumeFor a homemade iPod costume you will need:

  • Large cardboard box
  • Silver spray paint (we used 2 cans but if you buy one with primer/paint combo you will only need 1 can)
  • Permanent black marker
  • Grey pencil crayon
  • White Paper
  • Contact Paper
  • Large serving plate (used to trace large circle at front of iPod).
  • Small bowl (used to trace small circle at front of iPod)
  • Scissors (or box cutter) – adult help required to cut box
  • White school glue

Homemade Ipod Costume

Using scissors (or box cutter) roughly cut out “screen” portion of iPod. No worries if it’s too small – you can always cut bigger later. Next, cut off the bottom flaps of box.

Carefully spray paint box. Put on old clothes to do so (you don’t want paint on your good clothes). Paint inside of “screen” too (for background). Set aside to dry.

Meanwhile, take white paper and place a large round serving dish on it. Using marker, trace a large circle.  In the centre of the circle, place the smaller bowl and again trace the it. Colour the smaller circle in with grey pencil crayon. Using permanent black marker draw in the MENU and triangles for forward, back, pause as shown (or copy from your own iPod) around the bigger circle.

Place a square (the same size as your white paper) of contact paper on your white paper. Using scissors, cut contact paper/white paper circle. When the paint is dry (we waited 24 hrs) glue the circle underneath the “screen”.

ipod costume easy halloween homemade costume

On the backside of the homemade iPod add an “apple” logo (tip: print one out on your computer!). Glue it to the back of the iPod. Next, using permanent marker, write “iPod” and underneath “8GB” as shown above.

Have child try on the homemade iPod costume and mark, with the grey pencil crayon, arm holes. Carefully, using scissors cut out rectangles for arms (be sure to leave enough room to fit a warm jacket!).

This homemade iPod costume is great because kids can wear layers of clothing underneath to keep them warm as they trick or treat. It’s light. They can walk easily. If you were concerned about safety you could mark a small circle at each side for sideways viewing.

My daughter LOVED making this. To her it was a crafty activity. And she was so proud of how it turned out.

Want more Halloween tips: then you have to read 10 Halloween Treats (non-food and tons of fun)!

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car

You can’t forecast how a toddler will behave in a car ride…but you can forecast how much fun they’ll have in a toy car!
The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car is a non-moving car which offers tons of play time fun. I’m going to go out on a limb and forecast the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car as the hottest infant toy this holiday season.Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car

Discover the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car

Do you see the colourful shape sorters on the door? A great way for your little one to discover shapes, colours and sorting.

Do you see that the door opens and closes? A great way for your little one to learn opposites.

Do you see the big red car? It encourages kids to crawl around, sit up, pull themselves up, hold on and move around.

When my son was younger, I searched everywhere for a toy car where he could pretend to steer, change gears, put on lights. Every kid wants to “be like Dad” (or Mom) and driving is such an attraction for pretend play. Boy, I wish this toy was on store shelves last year!

Also included in the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car:Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car

  • 75+ sing-along songs, tunes & phrases

  • Interactive dashboard with lights, sounds & busy activities

  • Light-up baby “GPS”

  • 3 modes of play: Learning, Music & Imagination75+ sing-along songs, tunes & phrases

  • dashboard with lights, sounds & busy activities

  • Light-up baby “GPS”

  • 3 modes of play: Learning, Music & Imagination

  •   Built-in ramp for ball play (includes 3 balls)

It always amazes me how kids discover how to play with toys in different ways. Take my son’s Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Play n’ Go Construction Set I had always set it up in the way it was pictured on the box. Leave it to some boys (who were visiting on a playdate) to discover that the ramps could be switched around; creating different routes to send the wheelies. Me-the-grown-up: do what’s on the box. Kids: discover.

Cars, books, musical toys are great, non-gendered, gift ideas for toddlers. What’s your favourite toy to give to tots?


Disclosure: I am part of the Fisher-Price Play Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

10 Halloween Treats

Trick or Treat! 10 Halloween Treats specifically. These non-food Halloween ideas are sure to scare up some fun for little monsters with braces, gluten sensitivity and/or food allergies. From Halloween rings to ghostly pencils…these treats are spooktacular. Easy to find and actually very low cost…these 10 Halloween Treats will make for a real ghoul time!

10 halloween treats

 

10 Halloween Treats

  • Pumpkin Treat Bucket  $0.99 Party City
  • Rubber Skull Glow Wand (12 in a bag) $11.79 Party City
  • Wacky Whirlers Assorted $0.99 Mastermind Toys
  • Play-Doh – Colours (24 in a box) $9.87 Toys R Us
  • Halloween Attitude Rings (12 in a bag) $0.99 Party City
  • Black and Orange Spider Rings (30 in a bag) $0.99 Party City
  • Halloween Fun Tattoos (12 in a bag)$7.49 Party City
  • Halloween Pencils (24 in a bag) $7.49 Party City
  • Halloween Activity Pads (12 in a bag) $0.99 Party City
  • Black Bead Necklaces 32in (8 in a bag) $1.99 Party City

ACTIVITY TIP: bag up some of those goodies as class treats by putting them in a brown paper bag and printing off “HAPPY HALLOWEEN” labels written in a bootiful Free Halloween Font.

NOTE: this post is unsponsored. My Halloween treat research was conducted during nap time and focused on Canadian suppliers. You could certainly find many of these items at dollar stores, chain stores and even local shops…

How To: Girls Emergency Locker Kit

In concluding the September theme of Back-To-School, I had to share this How To Make Girl Emergency Locker Kit. It is like a survival kit for tween and teen girls through middle school and high school. You know…just in case.

Girls Emergency Locker Kit

  • Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer
  • Always teen sanitary pad
  • Always panty liner
  • Hair elastics
  • All purpose black clutch bag

Why would one ever need (or have google) a how to: girls emergency locker kit? Because sometimes it’s just embarrassing to ask the school secretary for…um…”supplies”.

I’ll note that using a no-attention-being-called-here-its-just-a-black-bag can be pretty darn stealth of a young girl to hold at her locker. Could be a pencil case. Could be a make-up bag. Could be a wallet. No indication to anyone at all (not even the boy you like two lockers down) that this is one’s emergency locker kit.

“When will I get my period?” was a big question when I had “The Talk” with my girls (you know “The Talk” about body image, body changes, periods et al).  My answer: “Who knows!” (an honest tho less-than-informative answer n’est pas?). I told them there is no magic age for getting a period. It’s not like BOOM today’s forecast: period with a chance of cramps. I have heard of girls getting their first period at 10 years old…others at 18 years old. To be a girl means to just be prepared …a moto the follows us through life doesn’t it?  Raise your hand if you always have “supplies” in your purse or a snack for the baby in your diaper bag or a tissue in case of a sneeze?  Girls = preparedness. It’s female math.

Related: you know those hair elastics pictured up there? Well long-haired readers might enjoy How To: Sock Bun  (’cause every girl – including me – carries extra elastics – see math reference above).

The great thing about making a girls emergency locker kit is that you can personalize it to your girl. Add in a mini-deodorant, travel toothbrush & toothpaste, some body spray (which should come with a “go easy!” warning), lip balm or anything that might help your girl feel great!

I know in Back-To-School mode we are often overwhelmed with making school lunch, supervising homework, and filling out the seemingly endless school forms. But take it from me, this girls emergency locker kit is one to make…because being prepared helps a girl feel confident. And confidence is a much needed school supply for girls!


Disclosure: I am part of the #PGMom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Parent Club Profiles: Candace Derickx

This week I’m featuring past Parent Club Profiles…they are just too good to keep in the archives (some comments may be from original post)

Name please. Candace Derickx, but I respond to  @best_tools, @seemummyjuggle, @candacedx, and Hey you!

 Your Website?  My business is www.toolsforschools.ca My personal is www.lifeinpleasantville.com and I also blog at www.yummymummyclub.ca Too much?

What’s your specialty? (work-wise – you’re probably pretty special at a lot of things) Having the shortest attention span EVER! That’s a speciality, right? Plus it’s why I have so much on the go.

What’s your shameless plug? (books, blogs, bling, etc.) These charities because I love them…. Because I am A Girl Canada, World Vision Canada, Kids Help Phone, United Way, and support your local food bank!

www.toolsforschools.ca

Best thing about your work: Being able to give. We are able to help kids in need get supplies they need by partnering with local businesses and also by parents donating when they purchase a kit. Philanthropy should be built into every business plan.

Parent or not a parent? Parent. Sometimes. Sometimes I’m the child.

Share a typical Tuesday (really we want to hear how you “do it all”) There is no typical Tuesday. There’s no typical day at all, it’s part of my specialty (see above) But through the year I have to get up and tutor my youngest for an hour and a half each day, because she has dyslexia. I also have homework with my oldest. I also make sure my kids have a hearty breakfast every morning. So that’s all before 7:30 in the morning. Then I try to workout by running, yoga, 30 day shred…something. I’m a baking machine through the school year, because I don’t buy processed snacks anymore. Then I blog for Erica and my new site Life in Pleasantville. Work gets thrown in there somewhere. Then there’s volunteering. Don’t forget Twitter time. Laundry. Dishes. Housekeeping. You know life. It’s all good.

Do you blog?  I feel like a broken record now. I should have read ahead. Ok I blog at Yummy Mummy Club and Life in Pleasantville. Sorry, I was never good at following directions.

Do you tweet?  I do! See name above.

Name 3 people you would like to meet-in-person from Twitter (add why so we can follow them too)… @alliworthington @mrlady and @thebloggess I don’t just want to meet them though, I want to make them a meal and drink copius amounts of wine with them.  They live the adage  “To thine own self be true”. I admire that.