Friday, December 30, 2011

How to Celebrate New Years with Toddlers

Want to celebrate New Years with your little ones but don't want to keep them up till midnight? Host a Noon Year Party and ring in the new year at noon. is celebrating Noon Year across the country, and here in Winnipeg we had two parties!

Anyone can host a Noon Year party. Send out invitations a few weeks before. During the holidays it gets busy so give them plenty of notice. Or if you are lucky enough to be in a city where there is a moms group, like, chances are they are hosting one already. Join in on the fun and attend your local groups Noon Year Party.

Have a potluck. Organizing a party when you have little kids at home is always a challenge. Make it a bit easier on yourself and have all the moms sign up to bring one item. Finger foods are best for young children.

Don't make your party too long. Have guests arrive between 10:30 and 11 am. End the party around 1 pm. This gives you time to have some activities before noon, celebrate the ball drop at noon, eat and then the kids can play. Longer then that and you will just have over-tired kids kicking, screaming and crying.

Have a ball drop! You can make this easily by cutting 2 large pieces of paper, like Christmas wrapping paper or easel paper, and tape it to the ceiling. Tape string on the paper. Place balloons under them. When noon comes, have a countdown and rip the paper by pulling on the string. Down comes the balloons. If you plan to have younger infants at the party just warn their mama's so they can hold onto them. Balloons are a choking hazard.

Plan an activity, like crafts. We love doing crafts at our momstown events. You can do a simple craft for a Noon Year Party like decorating foam crowns. Or you can make glitter fireworks! You can buy all the supplies at your local dollar store. Another great idea that our member Micheline had was to have a puppet show. Your kids can practice for a few weeks and have a show for their friends.

Get noise makers, party hats and crackers. The kids will love this! Bubbles are also a hit with kids. It's not as messy as confetti and safe for the younger ones.

Make a toast! Get some cute, fancy plastic champagne glasses and serve sparkling apple juice. Pink lemonade is another great alternative.

Most importantly, get someone to take video and photos of the big party. This is a party that you will want to remember for years to come!

Thanks to Lisa B and Micheline G for hosting our momstown Winnipeg Noon Year Parties.

Missed out on our Noon Year Parties? Sign up today to see our jammed packed calendar of events.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Don't Know How She Does It

I was recently given the opportunity to review Sarah Jessica Parker's latest movie I Don't Know How She Does It which is out on DVD January 3. When I watched the trailer my first thought was this would be a great movie to watch with my momstown friends. Moms are bound to resonate with one of the characters in the movie.

The moment the movie started, I was laughing. It begins immediately with the 'list'. I don't know a mom that doesn't do this! Fearing the teacher when you're late dropping off your child at a school! Getting snubbed by your daughter when you are not around much! Let's not forget the 'hair cut'! It was all too familiar with a recent business trip to Toronto for our momstown Conference. Except for me I missed the first time my son stood on his own. I could go on and on but I don't want to spoil the movie.

Based on the bestseller by Allison Pearson, I Don't Know How She Does It is about Kate Reddy (Parker), who is a working mom in Boston that is trying to juggle marriage, two children and a high-stress job. The movie finds humour in the stereotypes that stay-at-home-moms and working moms go through. From Allison, Kate's working mother friend, to the scary supermoms at her daughter's school to her workaholic, child-phobic young junior associate Momo, you'll find yourself relating far too often to the characters. We all struggle to be that supermom, perfect wife and exceptional employee. Mama guilt is far to common, as is the comparison to the other mom's around you. How does she do it? Look composed, clean, calm, thin, well rested?

I've heard it often myself. Ester, I don't know how you do it? I won't lie and say it isn't stressful. We make it look like we have it all together yet in reality we are barely making it through the day. I lay awake at night making my 'list'. I type emails while feeding my son his breakfast. I bought my tarts this Christmas instead of making it from scratch. The trick is to put it in a box with a nice ribbon and it looks like I've been up all night baking. I haven't experienced lice yet, but I sometimes forget the last time I've showered!

It took me three times to get through this movie. Not because it was awful, but because I kept getting interrupted from a waking baby. I found irony in this. The first night I attempted to watch it I was wrapping Christmas presents while watching the movie, running to rock a crying baby back to sleep and then continuing on with my work. Then I had to finish setting up toys from Santa so my kids could have a perfect Christmas morning. I finished the night at 2 am, preparing our traditional Wife Saver for Christmas morning brunch.

The movie couldn't have come at a better time for me. This past year has been the most hectic, exhausting yet rewarding year of my life. While I struggle to find balance as a mom, wife and business owner I love my children, love my husband and love my job.

Want to make life a little easier. You can enter to win a $1,000 Gift Certificate to Molly Maid at Enter here.

I can't wait to show this movie at the next Mom Movie Night with the momstown mamas! Check out the trailer:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Honey Glazed Carrots

During the holidays my family gets together and each of us are in charge of bringing a dish or two. Glazed carrots is a family favourite! Here's the recipe I've been using since I can remember.

2-3 cups baby carrots (or large carrots cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
fresh minced parsley or chives

In a medium skillet, melt butter. Add brown sugar, honey, nutmeg and cinnamon; mix together. Add carrots. Cover; cook on medium low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When finished cooking, the carrots should be firm, not mushy.

Remove from skillet and sprinkle with fresh parsley and/or chives. Serve.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

momstown Holiday Party

The previous Saturday we had our 1st Annual momstown Holiday Party. It was great to see so many of our members come out who I haven't seen in some time. I have been working on the party for some time but this time Santa sent me some helpers so I was able to enjoy a lot of the party. We had crafts, music, a potluck, trivia, prizes, a dance party and a visit from Santa! Not to mention some great company and lots of laughter and happy kids running around!

I had some homemade gingerbread playdough for the kids to play with. I also made a Christmas playdough using peppermint and coloured it green. By the end it was all one big ball of nutmeg, cinnamon and peppermint, but still smelled good!

We had a potluck and had a great variety of healthy snacks......  cookies are healthy right? Well the veggie platter balances it out!

Santa came by for a visit. The kids loved him! He even danced with us to some Christmas tunes!

In some cases moms loved Santa more then the kids. There may have been the odd tear too. Is it bad that I love these photos the most?

What's a Holiday Party without a Christmas Tree! Thanks to Santa's little helpers for setting this up for us!

Here's Santa again! The kids just couldn't get enough of him.

The generosity of our moms just continues. We had a collection going for our 2 families for the Christmas Cheer Board. We also had a collection going for The United Ways Koats for Kids.

What's a party without a little gift. Santa left each family some Reindeer Food to take home. You must remember to feed them too. Everyone leaves milk and cookies for Santa but forget about his helpers. They need fuel to fly around the world that night. Click here to see how you can make this Reindeer Food at home.

Thanks to all of Santa's helpers for helping make this event a success! Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Make Your Own Center Piece This Holiday Season

We are always looking for new events and we moms love those mom nights out. With Christmas around the corner, we wanted to do something crafty just for us moms for a change. So a bunch of mamas got together to make Christmas center pieces. We shared a pool of supplies and rolled up our sleeves and got crafty.

Luckily for us we have an Art Teacher as a member. Cathy shared some ideas and tips with us.

We had a variety of Christmas ornaments, fake flowers, greenery, pine cones and ribbon in different colour schemes to choose from.

And Captin Marbles was at it again!

What's a mom night out without a little wine....

In the end, each center piece looked different. It showed our different personalities and tastes....

Well except mine. Mine ended up looking like a Carrie Bradshaw hat.

All well. My mom liked it! Hmmm, not sure if that's a good thing! Better try next year! Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hot Apple Christmas Punch

Yesterday was another Gingerbread Decorating Playgroup. It was such a popular event we had 2 parties! Why not! Lisa hosted this one and had a fabulous Hot Apple Christmas Punch that we had to share.

Here's what you need:
1 L Apple Juice
1 L Cranberry Juice
1 container frozen orange juice, undiluted
10 cinnamon disk candies
2-3 cinnamon sticks

Put in slow cooker and wait until it is nice and hot.  2-3 hours on high, or longer on low.

Serve in some adorable Christmas cups and enjoy!


It's the perfect punch to serve at Holiday themed playdates, like our Gingerbread Decorating Playdate! Click here to see how you can make Gingerbread Houses out of Graham Crackers!

*This recipe was contributed by our momstown Winnipeg member Lisa B. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

How to Make Christmas Ornaments

Remember making these cute, traditional salt dough ornaments in school? It's a great ornament to make with the kids that is affordable and made with stuff in your cupboards!

A few weeks back we had a Ornament Making playdate. With the help of my daughter I premade the ornaments because they had to bake for an hour. It's a great activity you can do with your toddler.

But the kids got to paint and decorate them.

We sprayed them with a glossy coating to protect the paint, plus it makes it look pretty too.

And what's a playdate without playing with toys!

Check out the momstown arts and crafts blog for the recipe!