Easter Baskets for the Girls

Spring is here and we’re getting ready for our next holiday festivities (of course!) I love holidays, and having the girls has taken this to a whole new level. #sorrynotsorry. I’m a sucker for holiday anything.

I put the girls’ Easter baskets together this weekend and they turned out so sweet! Yes, my kids don’t need anything, but no, I’m not willing to forgo holidays in favor of minimalism. I enjoy it too much! I am however becoming more mindful of what goes into the basket (read: not random throw away junk, but stuff that we use or need –save for the Shopkins this year– because apparently that is the thing for V). I’m also getting smarter and buying more of the same things for the girls despite their age difference, especially since lately they have to have what the other has.

My top picks this year are books, of course, (this year’s choices found here and here, along with some mini board books for A), some matching spring bracelets for the little divas, these spring-inspired resealable snack cups (hallelujah, no more stale bunny crackers!), some fun new felts and sidewalk chalk, and the best bubbles. I’m not a big fan of stuffed toys (does anyone else have these accumulating like crazy?) but I couldn’t resist the spring Jellycat littles— SO cute!

Every holiday seems to bring tons of sugar and candy, and, while I’m not opposed to holiday baking (clearly) and some treats, I’m also not a fan of the endless, week-long candy “negotiations” for V. We don’t do tons of candy, but I choose this brand of fruit snacks for their Easter eggs and they’re a total hit!

This weekend we’ll be baking and decorating sugar cookies (our fave any holiday activity) and we’ll have our annual Easter Egg Roll. My Gramma did this as a kid and I’ve grown up rolling Easter eggs every year, too. (In a nutshell: my uber competitive family rolls eggs down a ramp and tries to knock out opponents and win their eggs… we even play for money!) Despite sounding like total crazy people, it’s so fun.

And what would Easter be without matching jammies for the girls? (Go ahead and insert that little monkey covering its eyes emoji here…my pajama addiction is becoming a serious problem). But these ones might just be my most favorite ones yet 😉

Happy Easter! xo

Below: 1. V’s basket (age 3.5) 2. A’s basket (age 1.5)

My Mama’s Kitchen: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Do you have any of those tried and true family recipes that get passed down from generation to generation? My Mom passed away suddenly eleven years ago, and was gone far too young. She was an amazing cook, and I wish so desperately that I had more of her recipes written down (although I’m sure most often she was “winging it”).

Sometime around when I went off to University she wrote a few down in the back of a cookbook that she had bought for me. There are three: her famous Lasagna; garlic potatoes; and these banana chocolate chip muffins. Surely that’s enough to survive on, right?

In any case, these recipes bring back memories of my childhood and the smell of her kitchen. The oldest of five kids, she grew up cooking and caring for her younger siblings. Needless to say, she definitely knew her way around a kitchen. I’m mindful that one day my girls will want my everyday recipes, too, and I’m making more of an effort to record these things. Vienna loves to help in the kitchen and this is one of our favorite recipes to make together.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Cream together:
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of sugar*
1 egg

Add:
1 cup mashed banana (3-4 bananas)
1 tsp vanilla

Sift and add:
1.5 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

Blend in:
Chocolate chips (I use mini dark chocolate chips, add as much or as little as you like!)

To be honest, I just follow the order above and throw it all into one bowl (with the exception of pre-mashing the bananas). Then grease the muffin tin, or line with baking cups, and spoon in batter. Bake @ 350 degrees for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Makes 36 mini muffins or 12 large.

*A word on sugar: This recipe called for 3/4 cup of sugar. Recipes twenty years ago (I’m not possibly old enough to say “back then”, am I??) at least to my knowledge, did not strive to be sugar, dairy, gluten and five-other-ingredients free. (I know, I know … some people require these modifications, and I’m not here to argue that sugar isn’t bad). Over time I have modified this ever so slightly to be 1/2 cup of sugar, which is plenty sweet. I’ve also substituted in coconut sugar and my family couldn’t tell the difference and they were just as delicious!

I hope you enjoy these as much as my family does. xo

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Baking with V

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Mini Muffins

Here Comes The Sun

I don’t know about you, but over here we are (rather desperately now) dreaming of summer. Anyone else feel like this winter is never ending? It seems that we’ve had a few glimpses of spring (and we immediately commence conversations about riding bikes, blowing bubbles and hitting the park) and every. single. time. winter shows up the very next day to prove us wrong. Sigh.

One thing that does single spring for sure is daylight savings time. Ain’t no winter going to mess with that 😉 Yes, the very thing all of us Mamas have been cursing since it screwed with the nap schedule for the very first time– the clock change. But, I’ll happily sacrifice an hour of morning sun and a few perfectly scheduled naps or bedtimes for an extra hour of sunlight in the evening, which clearly signals us to get outside! I mean, it could be worse: it could be Fall and we could have the problem of kids waking up TOO early.

So, is there any trick to surviving the time change with kids? I’m no expert (in time change, really, is anyone?) But I’m happy to share some tried and true tips from our family to yours.

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Adjust the schedule: We ease our kids into the time change by adjusting their bedtime to 15-30 min earlier, depending on how tired they are. So, if bedtime is 7:30 pm (which will become 8:30 pm) we put them to bed about a half-an-hour earlier, which is 7:00 pm in their body, but now 8:00 pm in reality. Yikes- I can barely keep these times straight!

If your kids tend to just sleep later on nights where they are up late then 1. I’m jealous, and 2. maybe you can totally just roll with the new time. Lucky you! My kids don’t buy this concept and no matter which way the time change is, we always have a few days of adjustment. When we slowly inch closer and closer towards the new time, our kids seem to adjust better and are back to the same schedule within a few nights. Thankfully, because lord knows my kids won’t simply wake up an hour later if I just put them to bed an hour later!

If you’re like me and love trying out a good baby/kid product, here are a few other things that might help with the transition:

Make it dark: We love our Gro Anywhere Blinds by the Gro Company. Made of thin black-out material, these “blinds” are amazing for blocking out light. We bought these for our previous home when the afternoon sun blared into our daughter’s room like a marching band at nap time and we always use them now since they are amazing at blocking out sun and kids sleep better in the dark. They are meant for travel and attach to the window with suction cups, so they can easily be attached temporarily to your windows and adjusted or moved as you see fit.

Be consistent: We always find that being consistent with our bedtime routine the first few days is very helpful. If you’re struggling with mixed up wake-up times, the Gro Clock , also by the Gro Company, can be a helpful tool for consistency. We purchased one of these for our daughter who has always been an early riser. The Gro Clock is adjustable so that you set a time for the icon sun to come up, which signals your child that it’s okay to get out of bed.

Now, this part is going to sound a little inconsistent, how’s that for being consistent? This is a great product, but (like anything) it does require commitment on your part. We haven’t done our part in enforcing that our daughter always go back to bed to wait for the sun, so (as completely expected) she half listens to the clock. This is totally on us, but I wasn’t prepared to push this issue when our wake up times and morning obligations weren’t always consistent. That said you can adjust the clock daily to a different time, but really you aren’t teaching their body any sort of consistent rhythm. Again, this is a great product and we still use it today, I am simply sharing my reality of how it plays out with a three year old. Be consistent if you want the results!

At the end of the day, products or not, daylight savings time brings about a new season. One filled with warm sun, fresh air, and the opportunity to get outside more often than not– no excuses. So, perhaps all we need is a little positive spin, with the added promise of new adventures outdoors with our kiddos. Here’s to a happy, healthy spring ahead!

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Put This Bucket on Your List

What’s the one baby purchase that both my husband and I rave about? Our infant bucket seat: the Chicco Keyfit 30. After our first born, we became those parents who told anyone in the market for baby gear who would listen about our love for this seat. Now, this behavior is not unusual for a Mama, especially one obsessed with finding the best infant gear (me). But my husband? Now that’s something to write about! When it came time to move our eldest into a convertible seat, we both missed the ease of the bucket seat. (Side note: I think people who claim that their convertible seat is so amazing and so easy must not have used the Chicco. They just don’t know how good it can be 😉 ).

We purchased the Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base on the recommendation of a local Children and Baby Goods store. Their take? The seat is so user-friendly that it is the safest seat on the market because it is being used correctly. This seat is the #1-rated infant car seat in America. Correct installation is key to car seat safety, and Chicco makes this not only possible, but very easy.

One feature I love is that anything that is the color orange on the car seat is adjustable: the five point harness is adjusted with one simple pull; the bucket lifts incredibly easily by releasing the orange handle on the back; the base has a leveling foot to adjust the fit to any vehicle’s seat angle; the bubble-level indicators on each side show you when the proper position and fit is achieved (genius!). All of these things make installation a breeze. We used this seat for 12 months with our first daughter.

When our second daughter was born, naturally we purchased a double stroller. The Chicco Keyfit 30, used with the universal car seat adapter, fits perfectly on our double stroller. One could argue that a potential “draw back” of this seat is that that it’s not as deep as others, i.e. your child could outgrow it sooner, based on height. BUT, the size of this seat allows it to fit well on the double stroller. I would suspect that a larger or deeper infant bucket seat would be less ideal for use with a double stroller as the second child sitting in the stroller would be more cramped for space.

We recently used our Chicco infant seat for air travel (it is airline approved, they double checked our seat’s sticker at the airport!) and it was a dream. I’m going to credit the size here again as it fit perfect onto the plane seat. I’m almost certain a deeper or bigger bucket seat could have difficulty fitting easily buckled onto the plane seat (aircraft size and leg room dependent, of course).

The recommended weight and height of the child using this seat is 4-30lbs and less than 30 inches tall.

Another favorite feature of this seat is the weight- it weighs just 9.6lbs (without baby or base). From a mom who’s hauled a bucket seat in one arm and a toddler in another arm, let me tell you the light-weight feature of this seat is crucial. Our second daughter, pictured here, is petite and is still safely using the seat at 16 months!

The cover is removable and machine washable on a delicate cycle in cold. I don’t know if any other brand makes a spot-clean-only infant car seat, but if that is the case then RUN. Milk, formula, diaper explosions… you are going to want a seat with a removable, washable cover. Guaranteed.

Now, my only regret is that in viewing the website while writing this review they have come out with a new print: the Lilla grey and pink polka dot, which almost has me wishing for another baby 😉


Chicco Keyfit 30 Features We LOVE 

Easy to Install

Easy to Adjust

#1 Rated Seat in North America!

Slim Size

Light Weight

Removable Cover

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Island Beats, Swim, Repeat

You know what the most crucial thing about travelling with kids is? MIND SET. A while back I read this article, and it’s so spot-on (and hilariously) truthful that I can’t even pick just one quote.

Some of my favorites:

“If your final destination has a kitchen, you are not on vacation. You are on a trip. If you have to grocery shop before or during your time away, it is a trip. If you, at any time during your stay, have to load or unload a dishwasher, that is a Groundhog-Day-style trip.” (We are in the moment where we live for a kitchen on our “trips.” And, I may have also nearly lost my mind not being able to find a solid grocery store near Waikiki beach).

“If there is a pack-and-play in your room, you are on a trip. If you are in a hotel room with two double beds, trippity trip trip.” Yup! Totally us right now!

Can’t. Stop. Laughing. Despite the headaches that can come with traveling with two littles, it’s still worth it in my books. And, we’ve been coming back from some pretty stellar family trips lately: we’ve just returned from Oahu, Hawaii, and our trip to  San Diego in the fall was pretty amazing! Our travel entails nothing too adventurous these days, mostly getting outside, enjoying the sunshine, and eating too much ice cream. WIN. The winter time is when our family gets to reconnect since our summers are so crazy with our boat business. Oddly enough we live in a summer paradise, yet have to get away in the winter to enjoy one! We don’t have huge expectations to do much more than see a few sites and get in some good quality family time.

We love traveling to Hawaii and this year we headed to Oahu for the first time. We spent one week in Waikiki and one week in Ko Olina, both which are really amazing locations. We would highly recommend the Ko Olina area for families. There are four lagoons along a boardwalk that links a few resorts, and the lagoons are beautiful protected and uncrowded areas for kids to explore the beach and water. V and I spent lot’s of time together scouring the beach for “treasures” and we had the most amazing one-on-one time doing this. Her sweet little three-year old inquisitiveness is in full force and we had some pretty cute conversations.

Oahu offers a lot of different sites and activities and I can imagine the endless exploring that kids a little bit older than ours would love to do. There’s something about Hawaii that always has us coming back for more. Everyone is so happy, the weather is nearly always perfect (and with the ocean breeze, not overly hot for little kids), and the pace of life follows those memorable island beats that ease us right into vacation mode. Sigh. Take me back.

Our days consisted mostly of coffee run (note, there is no comma between those two items 😉 ), swim, nap, swim, ice cream, iced coffee, swim, repeat. Or something like that. We took in the odd adventure: the Honolulu Zoo, a sunset dinner cruise, a character breakfast and Luau at Disney’s Aulani, Mike took a day at Pearl Harbour (the girls and I were uninvited, apparently for reasons related to our level of patience and/or our snack break requirements- insert that little eye roll emoji here), and a day trip out to the North Shore. For the most part we loved all of our excursions. After returning from the zoo someone at the hotel asked Vienna how she liked it. “There were no polar bears there. It’s too sunny here for them.” Great take away, kid.

At the end of the day we are constantly reminded that down time is the best time.

If you’ve got questions about or want a review of any of the activities we took in, feel free to send me a message! I’ll spare the details and get straight to the main point– a quick photo recap of some of my favourite memories. Enjoy! xo


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Guy Time with Jord Watches

Funny story, my husband Mike is pretty much clueless when it comes to blogs. Like, he knows I have one, and that I love writing it, but he totally doesn’t get it. Don’t get me wrong– he supports me, of course, but he has zero concept of the blogging world and I think wonders what I’m doing half the time. Enter Jord watches.

When Jord reached out I knew this collaboration just might catch Mike’s eye. I mentioned it to Mike and he immediately became interested in my blogging life, go figure! What a fun opportunity to get the husband involved in blog world! 😉

What is really great about this particular connection, and why I was keen to take part, is Mike LOVES wooden watches. His personal style doesn’t go much farther than basic tees and plain shorts (which he will wear until the last possible day before Canadian winter sets in), but the guy loves watches. And unique watches. This collab, it’s a perfect fit.

I never know what to get Mike for gifts, but this watch makes for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift– it’s unique, practical and  little something special! And he totally deserves it. Mike is the most patient, happy and hardworking Dad and husband.

I have to give extra credit to Jord for having amazing customer service– they shipped this watch to our hotel in Hawaii where we are vacationing! Seriously, what an incredible surprise and treat to pick this up from the front desk! Cue amazed husband face. This gives me the confidence that if you are in need of a last minute Valentine’s Day gift, they will give it their all to get it to you on time!

The presentation and packaging alone for these watches is beautiful. They come in a gorgeous wood, logo-engraved box that also serves as a humidity-controlled storage place for your new watch . This particular watch has a navy face on it, which I think perfectly suits Mike and his nautical nature (for those that don’t know us, we operate a cruise boat company). Both Mike and I LOVE this watch.

I took a few photos of Mike and the girls down at the beach in Waikiki while we were watching the sunset the other night. How cute are they?! Nothing sweeter than a Daddy and his girls!

If you’re interested in getting your hands on one of these (and they have a women’s watch line, too!) I’ve partnered with Jord give one lucky reader $100 gift code! And, just for entering, you’ll get a $25 credit to shop Jord. Win-win! Click here to enter!

This giveaway closes February 12th at 11:59 pm and gift codes are valid until April 30, 2017. Good luck and happy shopping! xo

This post is sponsored by Jord Watches; however, all content and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make this space fun!

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Watch Gift Ideas

Hi There

Hi! And welcome to Mama Writes Blog. For those of you I don’t know, let me introduce myself. I’m Raina. Mama to Vienna and Aria, wife to Mike, and a lover of the written word. I grew up in a small town in British Columbia, Canada, not far from where I live now. I love sunny weather and traveling, coffee, Pilates, holidays, baking, and, of course, being a mother to my two beautiful girls! I wanted to take a quick post to start the New Year off with a little about me and my plans for 2017!

Communications is my professional background and I love to write. I started this space in hopes of creating a memory for myself and my girls, and for connecting with other mamas and like-minded people. (If you’re into collaborations and networking, let’s chat!) This year I’ve set some big intentions and I’m excited to see how this little online space of mine will grow and change.

Here’s what I’m committing to for the year ahead, both personally and professionally:

Do More: More parks, more playing, and more time outside. More fun with family and friends and more taking advantage of the beautiful place we live in. More spontaneity. More living. More presence.

Do Less: Less obligations. Less planning (save for holidays, of course!) Less worrying. Less multi-tasking. Less “stuff.” These are all MAJOR obstacles for me and I’m really working on letting go a bit. Here’s to channeling my inner-Elsa in 2017 😉

And some specifics…

Read & Personal Development– current reads here and here.

Journal & Be Grateful– starting with my nightly gratitude journal.

Meditate–eeek– can I set my crazy mind at ease?

Fill My Cup–find what makes me happy and truly follow my heart.

I know I said less planning, but more specifically less planning of the little things and more intentional planning for the big things. I was SO excited to dive into my new Day Designer planner this weekend and start filling the pages for the BIG things.

When adding photos to this post I realized the only profile pictures of me solo are from my wedding! LOL. Those won’t do! But that’s ok, because my kids and family are a huge part of who I am, so it’s not surprising I’m only in photos with them. Also, I’m incredibly uncomfortable in selfies. Maybe something else to work on 😉

If you’ve made it this far, I would LOVE to connect with you! Here’s to an intentional and fun filled 2017. Thanks for reading! xo

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A New Chapter

2017 is here and I am so excited to be writing this post. Mostly because it’s my first post of a New Year. And you know what that means? That I’m still blogging! I started this little blog back in the Spring; it was something I had always wanted to do. But I was nervous. Scared. Intimidated. What if no one reads it? Or perhaps more accurately, what if someone reads it, LOL. What if I have nothing to write about? I’m my worst critic, and I knew I would be hard on myself if I didn’t “succeed”. It took me 4 more months after I decided to blog before I published it on social media, in particular to friends, family and people I know. 5 months later I am SO proud of myself for this accomplishment.

Putting myself out there to the world is part of a new chapter about me. One where I’m less concerned about what people think, and more focused on being my true self. And maybe no one is reading this after all (anyone? 😉 ) But that’s OK by me! That’s not why I’m here. I love writing. And like I said in the beginning, I want a memory of this time for my girls.

In starting Mamawrites I have connected with a community of people that I may not know in person, but feel like long time friends. I have received so many kind compliments and support from friends and family, and from acquaintances, too. That support and feedback isn’t the be-all and end-all, of course, but it has given me confidence and the encouragement to not care (about the wrong stuff) and to care (about the good stuff).

I am so excited for this start to a new year, which naturally brings about an opportunity to plan goals and dreams. I’m looking forward to a full year of hopefully somewhat pre-planned blog content, too!

We rang in 2017 with a couple of friends at our fave local pizza place, and then came home for an early count down with the girls before tucking them in for the night. And, just to remind us of what season of life we are in, Aria had one of her only explosive diapers ever while we were out (sorry about that, friends) and Vienna put on a fairly good display of toddler whining all the way home and refused to have her picture taken. There’s no where I’d rather be, but please pass the wine.

Here’s to another amazing year ahead! And how cute are these little princesses? xo

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Our Christmas

Well, that in-between week of hanging on to anything Christmas has come to a close (remind me again, when do I have to stop putting Salted Caramel Baileys in my coffee??) and I’m reflecting on what an amazing thing it is to have little kids at Christmas. (Truth: I started this post during said week but never finished it and now it’s January).

We I set out our Holiday Bucket List in true Type-A, Pinterest-loving fashion and we had a great month of celebrations. Here’s a quick recap of the festivities!

We started off the month with meeting our new Elf on the Shelf, despite the recommendations of some friends deeply regretting starting this madness after a few years. V has been going through a stage of naming things random words, like “Chroccoli”, which was the word of the the month in November, so there was no way I was letting that fly and having an Elf around every Christmas from now forward named “Chroccoli.” I went ahead and named the Elf Jovie, of course from one of my favourite Christmas movies! V basically rolled her eyes and said “No Mom, that’s Red Riding Hood.” So, Red Riding Hood it is. Mike even tried to swap in Jovie a few times: “Hey Vienna, where’s Jovie?” to which she replied “Red Riding Hood is on the tree, Dad” very serious and matter-of-fact toned. The Elf was pretty uneventful for the most part, but she did really go out with a bang surprising Vienna with a mini Christmas Tree in her room when she left.

We took the girls skating and out on the sleigh, looked at lights, baked cookies galore, drank hot chocolate on the daily, visited Santa and attended holiday parties. We wrapped up the festivities with a tractor ride with friends out to a bonfire where we roasted s’mores and drank hot chocolate, and then on our way back visited all the horses in the pasture. Magical! All in all, our Holiday Bucket List was a success and we loved all of it! Next year I hope to make an advent calendar, but that requires some pre-planning (before the day before) and I might not have that in me yet.

For Christmas Vienna asked Santa for a “Dress-Up Room” (“You know Mom, like at Preschool?” i.e. the entire back half of the preschool). Santa brought a trunk full of dress up clothes and, the little closet under the stairs that is joint with V’s room was turned into a dress-up space! It is SO cute. V’s still a little unsure on the Santa part in that she actually expected to see him deliver said dress-up room, which we learned when she told some of our visiting relatives “well, my Mom and Dad just brought me that.”

We spend Christmas at home now that we have kids and we host all of our family for dinner on Christmas Eve for a traditional(ish) Ukrainian twelve dish dinner, including:  wheat, borscht, cabbage rolls and perogies, among other dishes. We’ve done this is on Christmas Eve my entire life and it comes from my Gramma’s family.

Truth be told, I personally love the build up to Christmas more than Christmas morning itself. The morning seems a bit chaotic and overwhelming, and disappears SO fast. But, seeing the magic of Christmas building for them and the excitement of Christmas morning is really so amazing.

One thing I struggle with is capturing “good” photos on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning; there is too much going on and I don’t want to miss the moments trying to get a beautiful picture. So, here’s a recap of Christmas and December from what I’ve got (i.e. mostly grainy Iphone photos).

Enjoy and Happy New Year! xo

Christmas Countdown!

It’s Christmas week! Can you believe it? Anyone else love the build up to Christmas more than Christmas itself? I am always sad Christmas afternoon when the excitement is passing and I know it will just be regular winter again soon. I truly love all the chaos and fun that comes with Christmas planning.

Both girls got pretty sick last week, which delayed a lot of our Christmas festivities. So now we are taking it ALL in and loving every minute of it! We took V for her first ice skate at the local outdoor rink; mailed our lovely Christmas cards; did some festive baking and made a gingerbread house (which is slowly, mysteriously losing all of it’s decor, as per the photo); took a few sleigh rides down the nature trail by our house; and are binge watching Christmas movies in our Christmas PJs all night, every night. On our list this week is cookie decorating, a Christmas light tour, eating too much and drinking all the Christmas coffees. 😉

Oh, and shopping. Because we still haven’t done that.

Although it’s really late (we’ve got 4 shopping days left?) I’m  hoping to wrap things up tomorrow and avoid all of my last minute errands– I literally run out every Christmas Eve to pick up something I forgot. This year Vienna asked Santa for a “Dress Up Room”. Yup, you read correctly, girlfriend wants an en-suite. Just wait ’til you see how we are trying to pull that off last minute.

If you’re local and last minute like me (ahem…. shipping deadlines have surely passed by now… sh$t), then check out this Local Last Minute Gift Guide I’ve put together with the help of some great small businesses offering promos to get those last items crossed off your list! I love supporting local, and these shops are a few of my fave!

For Her
None other than my go-to self-care place, Illuminate Skin Care and Aesthetics. If you have not treated yourself to a facial by Meredith than it’s a must-do! Treat yourself or anyone you want to spoil! The Eminence Organic Hungarian Facial is Ahhhhhmazing. And, because the owner, Meredith, is also amazing, she’s offering my readers 25% off an Eminence Organic Hungarian Facial gift certificate purchased through her online site from now until December 24th!!! These only go on sale ONE other time per year (and that time isn’t coming around again for a while). START THE CAR! 😉 Use the code GIFTOFGREATSKIN to score your deal today! You won’t regret it!

For Him
Anyone else never know what to buy their husband? I barely know anything about electronics, but recently impressed my husband with a decent pair of headphones as a gift! If you are local head over to Andres Electronic Experts and you can pick up a set of Bose SoundTrue headphones for $89 (That’s 10% better than any price online price). Or, tell them about your husband and I’m sure they will find something that fits! If he really doesn’t need anything what about a Parasail adventure with Eldorado Parasail for HALF price. Say what? Maybe buy this for anyone on your list!

For the Babes
We are in toy overload over here, and  the girls really need nothing. Of course they will still get some gifts, but Aria’s stocking will be filled with a few of my go-to baby products this year. If there is one thing we still always need, it’s baby products: diaper cream or baby lotion. And bunny crackers. Can I put those in a stocking? For amazing baby products shop online at Nu.Babee and save 15% off your purchase with code MAMAWRITES until December 24, 2016!

As for toys, my shopping go-to’s this year are local kids stores or Chapters, which has a great selection of toys too!

For Them
Ok- this is the only self-serving item on my list (in that I would indirectly profit from it) BUT I am honestly only including it because it’s a great idea for locals! If you have hard to buy for in-laws, or relatives that need nothing,  a gift certificate to Kelowna Cruises is a great local option (full disclosure, this is my husband’s company). Buy a gift card for a dinner cruise for two for the 2017 summer season before December 24, 2016 and we’ll give you $20 off (Mention code MAMAWRITESBLOG) ! We get lot’s of last minute requests for these GC’s every year and always have great feedback! (Or, if this isn’t their “thing”, I suggest local wine. Lot’s of local wine).

Merry Christmas, the countdown is officially on! Here’s some shots of our Christmas week so far! xo

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