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5 Gifts NOT to Buy Expectant Parents!
February 28, 2014 - Written by Jessica Lahrs

A new baby is on the way – how exciting!  Proud parents, prouder grandparents.  New life is fun and everyone loves celebrating with a gift to the expectant parents.  But choosing a gift can be overwhelming – here’s a start with 5 gifts NOT to buy!

1)    Hand-Wash Only Baby Clothes

I barely had time to hand-wash my clothes pre-baby, after baby everything went in the washer and dryer – it was survival of the fittest!  I am not even sure why hand-wash clothes exist but they do and they even exist in baby clothes.  Shocking, I know!

We received an expensive and beautiful redesigned vintage cashmere dress for my daughter and after wearing it once, it sat in the laundry pile for way too long because on the tag it said “hand-wash only”. I suddenly realized she was about to outgrow the dress and threw it in the washer... and then realized why it was hand-wash only.  It came out stretched and full of holes.  Point is, that dress made me feel guilty the whole time I had it! 

Read the rest of the list!

Technology Can’t Teach Your Child Everything
January 26, 2014 – Written by Jodi Quibell

There is a plethora of learning apps available for children, from infancy to school-age. The selling features of infant technology products claim to ‘make learning fun’ and ‘engage babies with songs and animation’.

There are apps that read stories and sing songs to your child.  A once beautiful exchange between parent and child has been replaced, in some families, by an electronic device.

For school aged children, the research potential that technology offers can benefit them greatly as they move through their school career. Technology, in and of itself, is not the issue.

Read about the real issue

Family Day Challenge - Bringing Families Together!
December 22, 2013 - Written by Jessica Lahrs

Life became chaotic... quickly!

In less than a year, my husband and I bought a house, had a baby, he changed careers and required school and I started a business.  Yep, life was busy!

That started two and a half years ago and life hasn’t slowed down.  I’m struggling - searching for ways to simplify my life and connect in meaningful ways with my daughter, husband, extended family and friends.  And, I don’t think I’m alone.

Do you feel overwhelmed? Read more.

Family Day Challenge - Bringing Families Together!

Connection vs. Perfection
December 15, 2013 - Written by Jodi Quibell

During the holiday season, it’s easy to fall into the ‘perfection trap’. A simple search on Pinterest will yield a staggering array of beautifully decorated homes and dinner tables, not to mention the prolific cookie masterpieces. These recipes taunt us with words like ‘simple’ and ‘quick’, which often become ‘difficult’ and ‘time-consuming’ endeavours instead.  Read more.

Crafting with your Children – No Skills Required!
October 15, 2013 - Written by Jodi Quibell

The leaves are changing colour and the weather is turning colder. Keeping your children occupied is a must for parental sanity. With a bit of planning, you can create a basket of simple crafts for you and your child to enjoy together or on their own.

Crafting doesn’t have to involve having a Pinterest account. Sparkles, glue and twine are optional. Simple materials, found in nature, and your time is all that’s required. Children aren’t typically concerned with the end product; for them, it’s the quality time spent with you.

Here are a few simple ideas, broken into age groups


Clean Up, Clean Up – Everybody, Play the Game!
September 2, 2013 - Written by Jodi Quibell

Encouraging children to clean up the toys at the end of a play session can often be a struggle for parents and care providers. Children enjoy creating messes – they don’t always love the clean up! And not only is a floor full of toys unsightly, it is a safety hazard – just ask anyone who has stepped on Lego!

If you are challenged daily by your children and mess, click here for solutions.

Conversations with My Baby
August 6, 2013 - Written by Jessica Lahrs

We were sitting at the table as a family and my daughter, who was about 16 months old, was pointing at something on the table that she wanted.  We said, “Say please”.  And, we waited for her to put her hand to her chest which is the sign for “please”. 

When she didn’t do it, we told her again “Say please”, still nothing!  She is usually very polite and we were wondering why she was refusing something that she was usually quick to do.  After asking her for a third time, it finally clicked – she’s actually saying the word “pease”!

Now, this is not a lesson in paying better attention to what our kids are actually doing (hey, I’m not perfect!).  Read the lesson learned.

Give the Girl a Hammer! Give the Boy a Doll
July 12, 2013 - Written by Jodi Quibell

If you had an easy bake oven as a child, chances are you are female. Did you have a set of building blocks, a fishing rod or a tool bench, as well? If you were born more than 10 years ago, the answer is most likely no. Girls and boys have traditionally been given toys that dictate what they should like and who they should be.

Do you want more for the little ones in your life? Read more.

Force Fed Learning – There is a Better Way!

June 25, 2013 - Written by Jodi Quibell

Jodi Quibell

Within the last couple of decades, research and studies on the incredible potential of a child’s brain have abounded. Indeed, the first six years of a human’s life is critical. Every experience, every encounter (both positive and negative) and every opportunity affects a young child’s development.

These findings have been taken very seriously by a large number of parents, child care providers and pre-school teachers. Unfortunately, in some instances, adults have tried to ‘force feed’ learning to children.

What is Force Fed learning? Click here to find out.

Reluctant or New Readers in your Home? - This One's For Them!

January 27, 2013 - Written by Jessica Lahrs

74% of Canadians who graduate from high school have “strong literacy skills”, the remaining 26% of graduates can only “handle simple reading and writing tasks” (ABC Life Literacy Canada).  It’s easy to say that reading is important but what about the kids who just refuse?!  Read about the solution...

Holiday Traditions - Why do we do what we do?

October 5, 2012 - Written by Jessica Lahrs

For most of us, the holidays bring about fond childhood memories.  Whether we had large gatherings with extended family or a simple dinner with immediate family, what we remember are the traditions.  The anticipation of doing what we did last year with the people we love.

When we become parents, the holidays bring on a whole new meaning.  We are now responsible for creating memories for our own children.  The memories that they will treasure as they grow older and miss when they move away!  It is an amalgamation of each parent’s traditions but it’s also a chance to start new traditions. 

My mom often tells me this story:

Great Prices for a Great Cause!
September 10, 2012 - Written by Jessica Lahrs

September 16 is a very special day for me and I would love to share my joy by inviting you to a Charity Auction!  Featuring Personalized Books, Games, Puzzles and Toys from Story is Yours, you can get fun gifts for the children in your lives while supporting a great cause!

Last September, my life changed in the way that every parent knows.  Until you hold your little baby in your arms, you don’t realize that you have just embarked on the most important journey of your life.  Knowing that I was my daughter’s protector, when she was whisked away before I could touch her broke my heart.  Read More...

Resourceful Communities

September 5, 2012 - Written by Jessica Lahrs

Do you believe that “It takes a whole village to raise a child”?  Since becoming a mom, I have met so many great people who offer services to babies and children.  From languages (Sign, French and Spanish), art and music to sports, dance and fitness; there are many wonderful people in our communities who passionately share what they love.  Read More...

Does a Child Need More Than a Cardboard Box?

September 3, 2012 - Written by Jessica Lahrs

As the joke goes, you can give a baby a gift and they will have more fun with the box and the wrapping paper then the actual toy!  As children, do you remember making forts out of appliance boxes and couch cushions or swords out of wrapping paper tubes?  Kids can have so much fun without all the bells and whistles of expensive toys and games!  Read More...

The People Behind the Business

September 1, 2012 - Written by Jessica Lahrs

When you shop at a store or buy a product, do you like to know who owns the store or who invented the product?  Does it matter if it is someone who is involved in the community, who is passionate about their business and is overall a decent person?  Read More...