14.12.16

toy-guided with today's parent

The world of children’s toys is something that is completely new to me. I don’t usually buy toys as gifts, other than maybe a precious wooden car or teether meant more for the parents, usually! Of course, I’ve seen the updates of classic Fisher Price toys that I remember from my own childhood, but otherwise, my first forays into toy stores looking for toys for Luca have been bewildering. I don’t want to overdo it, and fill our home with dozens of toys that are loud and bright and all primary-coloured, but I do want to choose a few toys that will be good for his development and amusement. We spend a lot of time looking at books, but I like having toys that can help with his motor development as well, for example. But it can be daunting at the start.



I was pleased when the Today's Parent 2016 toy guide came along. It breaks down all the best toys of the year into age groups (baby and toddler, preschool, little kid, big kid), after hundreds of toys were tested by actual kids in those groups. It’s as though I get to pick the brains of all the parents I know on what toys worked for their children. So helpful! I got some amazing ideas for Luca as well as a few that I will file away for the future. Check it out here!



12.12.16

gift guiding with chatelaine and today's parent

It’s no secret that I love Christmas, and the holiday season in general, especially now that I have a tiny one to celebrate with. He might be too little to remember this Christmas in the future, but I’m hoping to start new traditions that he’ll be able to carry with him. One of my favourite memories from my childhood was of driving to various family friends’ houses with my dad on Christmas Eve, distributing presents. Now that I’m an adult I realize they were probably very simple gifts (boxes of chocolate, bottles of wine), and maybe we didn’t visit as many friends as I think we did, but the memory is still pure magic. Just as when I would look out the window hoping to see Santa up in the sky.


I know that some of the more commercial aspects of Christmas are not so wonderful, but I honestly love picking out gifts for my loved ones. This year I’ve been having a little trouble with a few family members (bought my brother something he already had last year and I didn’t keep the receipt, so my gift-giving morale went way down). Also, since so much of my time is spent looking after Luca, I don’t have the luxury of spending time shopping. I’ve been consulting gift guides, specifically those by Chatelaine magazine and Today’s Parent. They both feature 100 gifts for under $100, from a variety of Canadian retailers, and also sites such as Etsy. I’ve gotten some great ideas from them!



The guides are available online (links above) and in the December issues of the print versions.


In keeping with the Christmas feeling, I made a playlist of some of my favourite songs. It’s supposedly to play while trimming a tree or wrapping presents, but, um, I’ve been listening to it non-stop (yes, I actually love “Wonderful Christmastime”). Boney M, multiple versions of “O Holy Night”... what am I forgetting?