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Ava’s Help: Toronto Camp Guide 2017

Summer 2017
It’s that time of year when parents start thinking about SUMMER! Yes, before you know it, that school bell will be ringing and your kids will be running into your arms for 8 whole weeks :) Some of us cringe at the thought of this, others can't wait. Either way, some of you are thinking about what to do with those lovely little people. So, I have put together a North Toronto camp guide. Email me at amy@avashelp.com if you feel like I am missing or have gotten some details wrong; I’m still learning how to be a camp mom! Also, don't be afraid to do NOTHING during the summer -- sometimes it can be even more fun. Click on the link below for full listing of...

5 Simple Tips For Photographing Children At Your Home

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As a photographer, I have had the chance to take many photos of children. What is the secret to taking great photos at home? The key is to take a large amount of photos, enjoy what you are doing and have fun! 5 simple tips for photographing children at home: Good lighting is key for portraits Find a room in your home with window lighting. You want to be able to see the light in someone’s eyes and a glow in their face. Backdrop: keep it simple A plain or brick backdrop works best. Find an wall in your home that isn’t too distracting and make sure it is near a window. Natural poses I normally have children sit on a stool or on the...

Furnishing a Family Home? You Don’t Have to Order From the Kids Menu

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“I have to admit, I dream of decorating our home with the type of furniture that is banned for people with kids, cats, dogs (or a husband)”. Has this thought ever crossed your mind? As an Interior Decorator, and a mom, I am the receiver of many whispered confessions; the secret desire to decorate your home in velvet, high gloss surfaces and pure pure white. I get it. I’ve been there. I’m there. But don’t let go of those dreams! Your children are going to be living, eating and playing (aka jumping, spilling and destroying) under your roof for at least another 18 years. Enjoy your home now and make it work for your lifestyle as it is defined today. It is possible to create...

Looking for a date night with some mystery and surprise?

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Check out The Secret Sessions: THE MOVIE EXPERIENCE. What is The MOVIE EXPERIENCE by The Secret Sessions? Picture this: watching a movie while also getting to be on set and interacting live  with the characters from the movie. So, is it like I am in the movie? Yes! Everyone is part of the cast, including you ;) What movie is it? Now that’s part of the surprise – but you’ll have some hints along the way. Guessing is part of the fun! What instructions will I receive? After you buy your ticket you will be told what you need to wear/ bring, then 1 days before the event, the exact location will be revealed. What happens if I don’t follow the instructions? This is meant...

Mommies: Own the Jeans and Tee!

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Meet Aliya Charania, owner of True You Image Consulting & Make Up Artistry! She will be blogging regularly on hot topics related to fashion and image! Becoming a mom is a magical event, so body image should be the last thing on your mind. You’re alreay dealing with enough change—add in the body image drama and now you’re scared to death of fashion, image and beauty. But remember, while you’re transitioning into your new look and body, you can easily tweak your post-prego look and feel as fashionable as you did before! The standard pairing of jeans and a tee may seem boring and basic; however, using these five add‑ons will take the classic duo from drab to fab: Play up your makeup – Never underestimate the power...

Back to School, Back to Routines

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Many parents get thrown off when summer comes and school is out. For those with a child who does not sleep well to begin with, all the extra summer fun, bright sunshine and being on the go can make things worse and leave mom and dad feeling more exhausted than ever. In other cases, parents may have an amazing little sleeper, but due to more events, summertime fun and late night ice-cream shop visits, sleep can go sideways and, come fall, their dreamy sleeper has become, well, not so dreamy anymore. Getting off track with naps and bedtimes Of course, there will be times when your child falls asleep in the car or stroller during your busy summer travels. However, these should be a rarity,...

Backpacks Backpacks – Back to School Shopping Already?

Backpacks, Back to School
Is it almost time for back to school shopping?? Say it isn’t so! Tanya Schustyk, a Grade 1 to 3 teacher, has been kind enough to give us some amazing backpack tips. Read on before you hit the back to school sales. Buy a size appropriate for your child. Your child should NOT be able to fit inside! Don’t buy one for them to grow into because they will likely want a new one or destroy/lose it before then. The backpack should be able to fit an 8 ½” x 11” binder, a lunchbox and winter essentials, including snow pants, inside. More compartments means more places to lose school forms, food, and other things. Yes, it is common to find rotten fruit in backpacks, as...

Top 6 Sleep Questions: A Happy Family Is A Rested Family

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With three kids, in order to have sanity and find time for myself and my relationship, I need my kids to have good sleep habits. Most parents face sleep challenges on a regular basis, so finding good sleep support is ideal. Toronto mom Lisa Kvapil left the corporate world to become a sleep consultant. She offers some advice and answers the top six questions she gets from tired parents!

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