First, I want to thank you all so much for your ongoing support, you all loved the daily gift guide ideas so much! I got an overwhelming amount of amazing feedback! so thank you! Go over to my Instagram stories highlights to see how it all went down.
However, as promised I have put it all together right here for you! I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and I hope that regardless of all the things and stuff you get, that you really take the time to appreciate the moment, the love and all the special people around you!
Day 1 – Age 1 – Musical Instruments to promote that serve and return and open-ended play. Look for things like maracas, little drums, egg shakers, xylophone. Check out Indigo, Toyrus and even Amazon for all these ideas
Day 2 – Age 2 – beautiful wood blocks, block play has so much value! open-ended, math concepts, cause, and effect…YOu can find cute wood blocks online here if you live in Canada STANDARD UNIT BLOCKS
Day 3 – Age 3 – Magnatiles for so many amazing reasons! math concepts, building, creativity, fine motor, shape recognition, color, open ended play!
Day 4 – Age 4 – A set of animals – safari, dinosaurs, farm etc.. This can be added to all their block play! This will propel their imaginary play and allow to explore different schemas such as connecting, enclosures, transportation and more!
Day 5 – Age 5 – Boogie Board Tablet. A fun way to practice markings and drawings. Also, a fun way to work on writing skills, letters and numbers!
Day 6 – Age 6 -Board Games. This is great for working on skills like turn-taking, role-playing, math concepts and more! but my most favorite this about board games is how it provides great FAMILY TIME! Some fun board games are Whose Nose, Kerplunk, Uno, Trouble, Jenga…
Day 7 – Age 7 – Brackitz! These are a great STEM toy and perfect intro for littles! check em’ out here BRACKITZ
Day 8 – Age 8 – Get them outdoors! They want to be social and active! Skateboards, snowboards, cool gear. You can also get them passes to a recreational centre or lessons to a something the love (swimming, skiing)
Day 9 – Age 9 – I went with a cool innovative toy on this one that my 10 and 7-year-old love. HEXBUG new Battlebots stadium! Great intro to concepts of robotics (fun for mom too!)
Day 10 – Age 10 – Let the be creative! they are trying to assert their independence, they valued their friendships and they want to be creative so I am going with the Fujimax Insta Camera
Day 11 – Age 11 & 12 – TWEENS! Lot’s of physical changes and social and emotional changes too…They are really trying to assert their independence. We started with music so we are ending with music! earphones, a cool Bluetooth speaker or tickets to a fun concert or event.
There you have it! All summed up into one pretty post for you to access be it for the holidays or for gift ideas throughout the year. Have a wonderful holiday season,
Ok readers…I am going to start by saying, this is probably the most ridiculous but fun game ever! My boys thought Flushin’ Frenzy by toy maker Mattel was hilarious. The concept of a poop (which btw every kid thinks is hilarious) flying out of a toilet is probably the silliest game I have seen. I think Stefano’s face says it all!
So what are the pros with this one? well, you are going to get a ton of giggles and laughing with this game and funny enough, you will also get a ton of learning as well. Set up is easy, put the toilet together, get your plunger ready, tuck the poop into the launcher and flush the toilet to roll your die. The die number represents the number of plunges you administer to the toilet. As you plunge, the poop may come flying out of the toilet! Here’s where we practice skills like reflexes, hand-eye coordination, and gross motor! The first one to catch the flying poop wins a token. the game continues till all the tokens are done and then the player with the most tokens wins the game.
Is this game gross? or just gross enough? hard to tell cause I was too busy laughing the whole way through. This is the perfect game for children ages 4 and up. A round lasted about 15 minutes and you can easily cut the game short by playing with fewer tokens, which is great for little ones. We enjoyed it…Minimalist mom tip coming up – Once we are done and over a certain game, we pass it on to a family friend or donate it.
I wanted to start this weekly Mompreneur Spotlight to share about other amazing mompreneurs who are working super hard on their businesses and side hustles. I wanted to provide as many opportunities as possible for all of us to learn from other boss moms! Weekly I will post an interview with a Boss Mom I am crushing hard on! This week we are kicking it off with a mom who is just getting her business off the ground and I really loved her determination which is why I felt like it was the perfect place to start…The Start. Renee Johnsen, The Bow & Oak
The Bow and Oak are a family owned and operated clothing company, making comfortable clothing and durable wear for the whole family!
Tell us about your business and what motivated you to get started? Well, this is all very recent for us! It all started when I found out I was pregnant last year and was making those Pinterest boards we all do, of all the cute and adorable things I want to force on my child before he gets a mind of his own!
It all started with a baby nook. I loved the idea of a doc a tot, but hated the bland look of it. I showed my mom what I wanted, we found some fabric and it ended up being beautiful! So beautiful that when people saw it they would ask for one! From there we realized that these were items other people wanted as well, so we started making them on a custom order basis, to be able to perfectly match fabric and style with each individual client.
After Bowie was born, I had started cloth diapering and quickly realized those cute and adorable clothes I loved so much were pretty much a no go. They either didn’t fit the fluffy butt or fit but we’re not functional. MAMA to the rescue again! We spent hours adjusting our patterns, making sewing mistakes, and fixing them and doing it all over again to find the perfect fit for the fluffy butt.
Once again I knew this wasn’t an ME issue, but rather one most people just don’t have the time to figure out. When I checked out mommy groups for their solutions to this problem everyone said they would have to size up, sometimes 2-3 sizes just to get the diaper to fit under the clothing!!! But also have the clothing big everywhere else! Can you imagine going around all day in clothing two sizes too big for you? How uncomfortable! This is where The Bow and Oak really started. To help parents help their kids feel comfortable and look cute too! Because let’s face it, we all want to dress our littles the way we can until they start having fashion taste of their own….and that’s a small window!
Being a mompreneur isn’t easy, what motivates you to want to be successful? My family! Growing up my parents were self-employed (and still are). It has been a way of life I always knew and being able to do something like this with my mom, we push each other to be better. Sewing is something my mom really enjoys doing, so to be able to help her do something she enjoys professionally is a big deal. We both have put so much of our hearts into this.
What is one way that you try to find a balance between being a mom and a business owner? Downtime. Making sure we aren’t over working. The machines will always be there, and putting into perspective that if we work hard for a few days we can take a day without thinking of the business. (Kind of).
We try and schedule days, one day is for patterns, one for cutting and one for sewing. Then a day or two off. Then one day for product development and ideas. And we do it all over again! The easy part of everything is my mom does the patterns, and sewing, and I do the product development and fabric sourcing so we’re not stretched in too many directions! Not to add, we both get multiple baby snuggles throughout the day!
What was your first big a-ha moment as a business owner? Realizing how many people need these items and how no one has thought to create them yet! Cloth diapers are gaining popularity not just for the environmental footprint, but the many other benefits it brings your family! With the jump in use, the market hasn’t really adjusted to make for accessible clothing. When doing a little research, I was noticing that this wasn’t just a ME problem and it really put the business idea into perspective. We will be offering a lot more cloth diaper friendly items in the coming months along with our regular fit!
What advice would you give to a mom who might be considering starting a business or a side hustle? Make.a.plan. We kind of just jumped into this full of excitement, we’re organized but have so many ideas we want to get working on and it’s hard to control yourself from doing a million things at once. We have so many exciting products in the works, doing one at a time can be frustrating because you just want to share it. But your products/services will be SO much better if you take the time to do ONE thing or item at a time- perfect it- and then move on. It’s slow at first, and it might feel like you are running uphill but in the end, it will all be worth it!
What has been your most favorite and/or fun way to market your business? Social media for sure! We’re working on some giveaways at the moment. People LOVE free stuff, and most of the things I buy have been from someone tagging me in a giveaway post, that then led me to a web store.
What’s next for your brand or business? We’re hoping to be a commen household clothdiaper clothing brand. While we do make clothes that fit older children and non-cloth babies, Bow and Oak was launched with cloth diaper friendly roots and we don’t want to get too far from making our items work for every baby.
How can we see more! give us directions to your site, social media etc… Instagram: thebowandoak Webpage: bowandoak.com Etsy: Bow and Oak
Anything else you would like to add…sales, upcoming promos etc… We’re currently working on baby jeans (super soft jegging like….because we think it’s fair to stuff little lovers in tight jean), chinos, and blazers, and a really great breast-feeding aid (this has to be the most exciting for me)! Not to give away too many details, but it will do away with having to hold the breast up for baby. (Which seems like a bigger issue for the bigger breasted woman)
I want to thank Renee so much for sharing! I think we can all relate to her A-Ha moment…when you realize there is a gap in the market or something missing, and you know you can fill it! Love it!
If you want to share your thoughts, what you loved or how you relate comment below and let me know what you think! If you are a mompreneur and want to share your amazing story, let’s connect!