Scentsy with Shannon

Last year for Christmas I received an unusual gift from my mother-in-law. It was a ceramic pot with a saucer that fit on the top and these odd looking hunks of what appeared to be scented wax. My immediate reaction was “not again”. Yet one more gift from my MIL that I would have no use for. I have never been a candle person, too messy, too dangerous. Why on earth would she buy me this? Well, I am now eating (or maybe sniffing) my words. I plugged it in, turned on the switch and popped in a chunk of Pima Cotton.  Within a day I was hooked.

Fast forward 6 months later. I had my first Scentsy party a short time ago with Shannon Van Rompaey of Forest City Scentsy as my consultant. I have to say, she made my first experience as a hostess a great one. After our initial chat she came to my house that very evening with a big bag loaded with samples, product and hostess information. She even brought a copy of the party invite she would make available online that covered every aspect of the party you could think of. The best part was she brought me a bar of my all time favourite discontinued scent as a thank you just for booking the party with her.

 

She arrived promptly the day of the party with a literal truckload of awesome stuff that she artfully set out on display in my home.  My guests and I had a great time, sniffing, eating and laughing. Shannon was such an attentive consultant, there to answer questions, offer suggestions and chat with the guests while I busied myself with the hostess duties.  Orders were taken precisely and within 5 business days of my party closing she contacted me to tell me our products had arrived.  She did a lovely job of packing our individual orders and once again stressed if she could be of any further assistance just call or email (which I have and she always responds promptly and professionally). Shannon clearly loves her job with Scentsy and it shows.  I could not be happier with her level of service and attention to detail.

I should also mention the hostess rewards are pretty darn great too. I had the party mainly because I wanted to stock up and some of my girlfriends were really intrigued with Scentsy as well, so I never paid much attention to the reward aspect.  I was delighted when Shannon informed me of the final tally and of the free product I would earn just for hosting a successful party.

Thanks again to Shannon, Scentsy and my guests.  I can’t wait for the next party!

CONTESTS:  Shannon is graciously running not one, not two, but three Scentsy contests!!!  To enter the first contest, head on over to the Wundermums forums and check out the Contest section for your chance to win a full sized Scentsy warmer and two scent bars of your choice from current stock.  A second contest will be run at a later date.  Shannon is also holding a Facebook contest which you can access by clicking on here.  Good luck on all three!

Reviewed by mummyto2 for Wundermums.  All rights reserved.


Life with Baby ~ Connect. Share. Be well.

When I walked through the door at Life with Baby I was immediately struck by the beautiful space.  Set in a century home in downtown London, its high ceilings and serenely decorated rooms made me want to sit down and stay a while.  There are beautiful pictures of babies on the walls, an open lounge with comfy couches, and a smattering of toys on the floor that make it feel just like home (only cleaner).

Life with Baby offers a variety of services for new mums, starting with prenatal yoga and extending to well beyond the baby years.  Breastfeeding support, post partum depression counselling, mummy gatherings, and an on-site RMT are just a few services that are offered.  They even include a doctor of naturopathic medicine to help new mums (and old ones) achieve wellbeing.  Whether you are looking for an hour away without the kids, or a way to fill the afternoon with your newborn, I am confident that you will find something to fit the bill at Life with Baby.

The owner, Jodi is warm, welcoming, and has a realistic grasp on what it means to become a mum.  She understands how the simplest task can seem impossible and knows just how much the transition into parenthood can take its toll.  She strives (and succeeds) at making visitors feel that their time spent at Life with Baby is both meaningful and uncomplicated.  There is free childminding, places to nurse or change a bum, and tea is served after every class to encourage mums to hang out, share their stories, and really form a sense of belonging. At Life with Baby, it’s definitely about more than the yoga.

For those of us without babes in arms, there are things to discover as well.  During my visit I received a massage from Jordana that left me feeling more than a bit better than when I had walked in.  She told me beforehand that she would find places I didn’t even think were tense and fix them (yeah right) and to my surprise she did just that.  I felt so relaxed and peaceful when I left and felt even more wonderful a day or two later.  Now tell me which one of you, new mum or not, doesn’t want to feel like that?

The bottom line is that life with a new baby is hard and Life with Baby knows how to make that transition just a little bit easier.  So if you have a baby (or even if you don’t) taking a trip to check out Life with Baby is worthwhile.  I walked in expecting to find a business but ended up discovering a haven.

WIN IT: Win your very own $50 gift certificate to Life with Baby.   Send an email to mel@wundermums.com with  “LIFE WITH BABY” in the subject line and the answer to this question: Which service would you use your gift certificate towards and why? We’ll pick one winner at random. Contest closes at midnight, Thursday, March 31st, 2011.  Good Luck!

Reviewed by Melanie Morgan for Wundermums.  All rights reserved.

Fill Your Own Water Bottles

For years I have been searching for the perfect water bottle for my kids.  Every single one we have owned has either leaked, cracked, leached chemicals, leaked, was a pain in the butt to clean, or… leaked.  All I wanted was an affordable water bottle that was safe, environmentally friendly, easy to open and clean, and well, didn’t leak.  After a couple of years and dozens of bottles I have finally found the perfect water bottle:  Fill Your Own

Fill Your Own is a Canadian company that sells reusable stainless steel water bottles, lunch kits, and shopping bags which feature artwork by Canadian artists.  All of their products are environmentally friendly, reasonably priced, and cute to boot!  The zero-waste lunch kit that we tried comes complete with a light weight and very easy to clean tote, 8oz and 16oz food containers, and an oh-so beautiful water bottle.  The bottle is made of stainless steel and is topped off with the smartest lid I’ve ever seen.  There is a flip lid which opens (very easily even for little hands) to reveal a straw.  So simple… but brilliant at the same time because your child’s grimy little hands never have to touch the same spot his/her lips will touch.  This is a concept that is grossly overlooked on other children’s water bottles, in my slightly germaphobic opinion.  There is a convenient carry strap, super cute graphics and a leak proof seal.  Leak proof!  I have had not one soggy lunch bag or wet backpack since using Fill Your Own.  The other products in the kit are equally as wonderful… so much so that my 5 year old refuses to take anything else to school with her.  Apparently she doesn’t like leaks either.   

I don’t know what else to say to convince you that Fill Your Own is a company worth checking out.  If their attention to detail, unique products and amazing customer service don’t do it for you, I’m not sure what will.  Maybe these two little words:  leak proof! 

WIN IT: Win your very own Waste-free Lunch Kit from Fill Your Own.   Send an email to mel@wundermums.com with  “FILL YOUR OWN” in the subject line and the answer to this question: How many styles does the 350mL water bottle come in?  We’ll pick one winner at random from the correct repsonses. Contest closes at midnight, December 17th.  Good Luck! 

Reviewed by Melanie Morgan for Wundermums.  All rights reserved.

Matilda Jane Clothing

I love having girls.  I remember when I was pregnant with my second everyone assumed that I wanted a boy because I already had a girl.  But I wanted another girl.  You can do their hair, paint their nails, and dress them up in super cute clothes.  The sad truth is that I love dressing them up so much because the clothes fit them far better than anything will ever fit me again.  I believe that’s what they call living vicariously…  At any rate, ever since discovering it, my favourite brand to dress them up in is Matilda Jane Clothing

Matilda Jane Clothing is unlike anything I had ever seen.  It’s funky and feminine, unique and super fun.  This is the one line of clothing that I have found that I love, my girls love to wear, and my husband actually condones me spending his hard-earned money on!  Matilda Jane creates pieces by mixing and not matching a variety of fabrics and patterns in a way that makes you wonder how it ever came together.  Nothing seems intentional, yet couldn’t be more complementary.  This truly is a line that stands out in a crowd.

The prices are a bit higher than mall brands but the clothes wear well and can be passed down from lucky girl to lucky girl.  There is even a rampant second hand market for the stuff that often garners full price for gently used clothing.  If you look at it that way… it’s like getting gorgeous garments for free.  That’s how I present it to my hubby and I’m sure that none of you will tell him otherwise. 

With Matilda Jane Clothing, nothing matches and everything goes, which means that my girls can put together their own outfits easily.  They feel more independent and still manage to look put together.  My one small complaint is that you have to order from the USA, but this is a small price to pay to be able to wear (or dress your kids in) such beautifully created and rare finds from Matilda Jane Clothing. 

WIN IT: Win your very own art fair knot dress from Matilda Jane Clothing!   Simply check out www.matildajaneclothing.com and then go to the Contests section of Wundermums’ forums and let us know what your favourite item from Sparkletown is.  Contest closes January 30th, 2010.  Good Luck!

Reviewed by Melanie Morgan for Wundermums.  All rights reserved.

Moonjar ~ Save, Spend & Share

In my previous life I was a banker.  I was a banker, my father was a banker, and I grew up being taught about money.  So it is rather surprising that I had never talked to my daughter about money and saving.  To be honest, the thought had never even occurred to me.    

 

The first time any of this did cross my mind was the day that we opened up our new Moonjar.  It looked simple enough… three separate compartments held together by an elastic band to create a non-piggy bank of sorts.  I was surprised by its plain appearance and instantly wondered what all the hype was about.  But being in a charitable mood, I decided to give this little savings centre the chance it deserved.

 My daughter and I sat down to take a closer look and she started to ask me what everything was.  I took off the elastic to show her the savings portion of the Moonjar and explained that this was where she could put her money to save up for something really special.  She quickly decided on a car (she’s four).  The second part was dedicated to spending and she didn’t need to be told about that.  Let’s just say she’s no stranger to the toy department.  It was then that we discovered the charity section and I realized what an important life lesson I had been neglecting.  I instantly knew what the hype was about.

 Sure, the Moonjar is a place for your kids to put their money and to save up for their first bicycle or guitar (or car) but it is so much more than that.  The Moonjar teaches values, and charity, and opens up conversations with your children that could so easily get missed otherwise.  Dare I say that it’s not really about the money at all?

 I am so happy that we came across the Moonjar and that my daughter and I had such a great conversation.  I now feel that she is better prepared to start learning about finances… and life.  Knowing how to be wise with your money is a wonderful thing to teach your children and giving them a Moonjar is the perfect way to start.

 

WIN IT: Win your very own classic moonjar & conversations to go – original from Moonjar!   Simply check out www.moonjar.ca  and then go to the Contests section of Wundermums’ forums and tell us what product intrigues you most on the Moonjar website and why.   Contest closes October 1st, 2009.  Good Luck! 

 

Reviewed by Melanie Morgan for Wundermums.  All rights reserved.

Peekaboo Beans ~ Playwear for Kids on the Grow

Peekaboo Beans makes unique children’s play clothes.  So what?  So… I’ve got a new place to spend all of my husband’s hard-earned cash.  The clothes look cute online but absolutely adorable in real life.  The quality of the fabric is unsurpassed (at least in our closets) and the My Girl Dress instantly became my eldest daughter’s new favourite outfit.  We have put this stuff through a tonne of wash & wear and it has held up beautifully.    

The unique and dare I say sassy designs are super cool and versatile.  The My Girl Dress is reversible and the Be Bop Skirt can actually be worn as a skirt, shirt or a dress.  Talk about getting your money’s worth out of an outfit!  Peekaboo Beans has a flair that makes me giddy and an attention to detail rarely seen in children’s clothing these days.  They have clothes for babies, children, and even Mummies (still trying to get my bod into a pair of Super Star Pants).  The fabric is soft enough to feel like pyjamas and durable enough to hold up under some serious sandbox play.  I did find the clothes fit small so I would recommend sizing up when purchasing Peekaboo Beans.  They can be purchased online, which I love, and are made right here in Canada. 

As anyone who knows me can attest, I have a small hankering for children’s’ clothing… unique, quality children’s clothing.  Peekaboo Beans not only impressed a very picky me but it made it to my list of must haves for the season.  No doubt about it… I will be spending my hubby’s hard-earned cash on more Peekaboo Beans in the years to come and I highly suggest that you do too. 

 

WIN IT: Win a $100 gift certificate to use on your next Peekaboo Beans purchase from Apples n’ Oranges.   Simply check out www.apples-n-oragnes.com then go to the Contests section of Wundermums’ forums and tell us what you would spend your money on.   Contest closes September 8th, 2009.   Good Luck! 

 

Reviewed by Melanie Morgan for Wundermums.  All rights reserved.

YOU Pillows

As the resident “Baby Products Tester” at Wundermums.com I get to try out some pretty neat new items, and since this is my fourth baby, let me tell you I have been around the block a few times! When I received the YOU Pillow package and opened it up, out popped the biggest nursing pillow I had ever seen! Now, I am pretty particular about my nursing pillows, since nursing is such a big part of my day…it needs to have a removable and washable cover, it needs to be soft but not flimsy, and the YOU Pillow lives up to all of my stringent requirements.

 

Some of the benefits of YOU Pillow include the promotion of relaxation and restful sleeps during pregnancy.  It’s a comforting support tool while labouring and giving birth, its ergonomic design helps position baby comfortably at mom’s nipple, and it offers versatile yet firm positioning for breast-feeding, bottle-feeding, nursing twins or even tandem feeding.  The YOU Pillow supports mom’s back, arms, shoulders and neck, is excellent for tummy time and learning how to sit for baby.  Beyond the baby years it’s a perfect cushion for all ages for relaxing, reading or resting. The only complaint I have about my nursing pillow is that I have to fight to get the pillow away from everyone else!  With a husband who is routinely curled up with it to watch a movie, my older children wrestling over it, and the sweetest moments when my toddler climbs under it while I am nursing to be part of the action, it is easy to say that this is a pillow that you will not be looking to unload at your next garage sale, even after nursing is over.  The YOU Pillow will take you through your pregnancy, nursing, and beyond.  Much like our new baby, the YOU Pillow is a much loved addition to our family.

 

WIN IT:  Win your very own Relaxation Gift Package (includes a YOU wrap, 2 eye pillows, and an Ouchy YOU) from YOU Pillows!  Simply check out www.youpillows.com and then go to the Contests section of Wundermums’ forums and tell us what you would use your YOU Pillow for.  Contest closes August 1, 2009.  Good luck!

 

Reviewed by Sarah Howard for Wundermums.  All rights reserved.