Tag Archives: kids


Snow Day DIY

Ever wonder what to do when 400 000ft (maybe a little less) of snow is holding your car hostage and the kids–or you–are getting a little too anxious for Christmas? Here’s our suggestions!

1. Sugar Plums

First of all, do any of you have any idea what a sugar plum is? I did not, but when I googled them I realized that I make them all the time! Technically plum is a traditional word for any type of confectionary. The sugar plums we hear of in the “Night Before Christmas” are pretty much Lara bars made into orbs! Here’s the recipe for the sugar plums I made this year (not knowing that’s what they were!) They’re super healthy and delicious!

Ingredients:

1 cup of dates
1/2 cup of nuts
2 Tbs of Peanut Butter
1/4 cup of coconut

Mix in a food processor and roll into balls. Refrigerate.

* This is my favorite combination, but you can add almost any kind of dried fruit to get different flavours.I know some people love dried kiwi and coconut. If someone is allergic to nuts, you could add some seeds or chocolate…m&ms…whatever you want!

2. Glitter.

Glitter can make ANYTHING christmasy and everyone (except the cleaner) likes sparkle!
-Draw a picture or write a phrase.
-Paint over your artwork with modge podge or clear liquid glue.
-Add some glitter. Shake it off and you’ve got a gorgeous Christmas decoration!

You can do the same thing to glitz up some tree decorations!

3. Old-Fashioned Decor

There’s something timeless about stringing popcorn and cranberries, making designs on oranges with cloves, or cutting paper doll chains! Why not make a few on this snowy day!

Popcorn and cranberry garland:

– thread
-needle
-popcorn
-whole cranberries

Thread your needle and stick it through popcorn, periodically adding a cranberry. It’s that easy!

Orange with Cloves

Take an orange and stick cloves all over it! You can spell a holiday word, make a pattern, or whatever you please! These will make your house smell so festive!

Paper Chains

Traditionally, these are made by folding paper, drawing little girls and boys, cutting out your doll shape and hanging them on the wall. I took a bit more modern approach, but it’s easy to adjust to your own style.

Find a large piece of scrapbook paper.

Fold it

Draw the shape of your choice. I went with Christmas Bulbs. I was wanting to use string, but if you don’t make sure you draw to the edge of your paper and don’t cut the edges! See the last picture for an example.

Cut them out!

Do any decorating you wish. I drew the top part of the bulbs.

Make little holes using a hole punch or needle and thread your string through the holes!

Hang them up!

Here are my trees made without the string!

I hope you have awesome snow days!

Affordable DIY Costumes


It’s that time of year again! Time to try and figure out how your child is going to wade their way through the masses of superheroes and fairies to the magical land of sugar-high happiness. However, while your child is dreaming of lollipops and mars bars, you don’t have to stay up all night worrying about what they’re going to wear! Here are a few tips and ideas to inspire you this Halloween!

My mother wasn’t overly into Halloween costume shopping, so we tended to simply find supplies around the house and get creative! We swapped thick goopy costume makeup for Mom’s cosmetic bag and pre-made suits for some of Dad’s construction supplies! One year my parents managed to transform Christmas supplies and a big piece of plastic vapor barrier into a “dancing bug” (I LOVED it).

All of the costumes above can be created for about $10 (that’s cheaper and cuter than VV Boutique (a.k.a. Value Village) !!!! If your child is willing to sport some FREE 3D glasses, Helium balloons, and a walker made of plumbing supplies, Carl from UP is sure to win first place in any costume contest!

Another really adorable trend is dressing your kids up like household items! There is something oddly funny about an 8 year old dressed up as a box of KD or a flower pot. A lot of great costumes can be made from taking a look around the house and making a trip to the Dollarama!

Here are a few step-by-step instructions for adorable and affordable Halloween outfits!

Earthy Princess

Supplies:
-Natural feathers ($1/ bag Dollarama)
-Brown headband ($1 Dollarama)
-Turquoise beads ($1 Dollarama) -optional
-Brown Tulle (2$/ yard Fabricville)
-Suede ($4 Fabricville)
-Eyeliner (you likely have this already)

Instructions:
1.Get your daughter to wear a white long sleeve shirt and neutral leggings.
2.Wrap the tulle around her hips and secure with a strip of frayed suede/ safety pins
3.Use leftover suede as armbands (or turquoise beads)
Braid your daughters hair.
Place headband around forehead to secure the feathers.
Make a few marks on her cheeks with your eyeliner
if you’re willing to spend a few extra dollars, you can purchase a brown tutu at Walmart or VV Boutique

Carl Fredricksen from UP

This is probably the cutest costume I have ever seen.

Supplies:
-3 lengths of Plastic Pipe ($3 hardware store)
-2 elbow joints ($2 hardware store)
-2 Tennis balls ($1 Dollarama)
-Helium Balloons ($3 Great Canadian Dollar store)
-String ($1 anywhere)
-Kids 3D movie glasses (FREE)
-Dress Clothes
-Bow tie
(DIY Bow Tie)

Instructions:
1.Dress your son in formal clothes (don’t forget the iconic bow tie)
2.Assemble the pipes and elbow joints in the shape of a horse shoe (ie. 2 vertical and 1 horizontal connected by elbow joints)
3.Cut an “x” shaped slit in the tennis balls large enough to slide the pipes into.
4.Stick the tennis balls onto the open ends of the plastic pipes to finish off the walker!
5.Tie your helium balloons to the walker and have a wonderful time taking pictures of your adorable little man!

Flower Pot!

Supplies:
-1 large flower pot that your kid can fit inside (~$5 Walmart, scope out thrift stores for a better bargain!)
-Lots of Fake Flowers ($4 Dollarama)
-Cord ($1)
-Headband

Instructions:
1.Cut the bottom out of the flower pot
2.Drill/ Cut holes in the sides of the pot (2 front and 2 back)
3.Cut 2 pieces of cord long enough to go over your child’s shoulders
4.Feed the cord through the holes, tying knots on each end.
5.Glue/ Tie a few fake flowers to a headband for your child to wear.
6. Fill the pot with fake flowers!

Have a blast making lots of “sweet” memories with your families this Halloween :)

*For more costume inspiration check out Dollar Store Costume Ideas
**KandeeJ has some sweet video tutorials for mom friendly costumes!

Get Dad a Cottage For Father’s Day! (and 4 other great gift ideas)

Dads are the hardest to shop for. Every year in June I seem to find myself in Canadian Tire, wandering  the halls and wishing that my dad wanted something specific. And, every year I end up just giving up and grabbing a gift card because I can’t wrap my mind around what my dad would need, let alone want. And so, this year it’s time to have an action plan. That’s right, ladies. No more wandering around aimlessly in a store that smells like duct tape and tires. It is time. It is time to take control.

It doesn’t matter who you’re shopping for, having an idea for a gift (even if it’s vague)  makes for  a much more successful trip. And so, to help you this Fathers Day (which if you haven’t realized is coming up soon… like the 17th) we’ve complied a list of 5 great gift ideas for your father this season. Also, feel free to let us know in the comment box what your great gift ideas are!

1. A Cottage! – Now, I know what you’re thinking, “you guys at Martell are crazy! I can’t afford that!”. But what you don’t realize is getting the Dad in your life a cottage may be cheaper than you think. For only $25 dollars you can buy a ticket to the Boy’s and Girl’s Club Dream Cottage Draw. Not only will you be giving Dad the chance at a new cottage but also helping kids in the Moncton area! To learn more about the draw and about our involvement click here!

2. Meat. – Yup. It’s just that simple. Get the #1 Dad in your life the finest and most masculine food you can afford. Depending on your man’s tastes, steak, lobster, sausage, or really anything else that he loves will be well appreciated. Make sure when you give it to him (cooked or uncooked) in a way that makes sure he knows that it was a special buy just for him. Here’s an idea: make it even more exciting by putting some bows on the (wrapped) meat, placing it in the (turned off) BBQ, and having your children blindfold their dad and lead him to the BBQ where he can unwrap his special Father’s day surprise (and then get to work cooking it!).

3. A Ticket to The Game – Pick your poison…uh.. I mean sporting event and get the Dad in your life  couple of tickets. Whether he takes you or takes a buddy, he’ll appreciate the “man time” that you’ve given him. If that’s out of your price range, it’s okay! There are great alternatives: Get him a jersey/hat/tshirt from his favorite team or give him a gift certificate/money for him and his buddies to go out to a sports bar during one the “the games” so that they can enjoy it there (mini sports vacation?).

4. Gadgets – Men like having new toys and so the Dad in your life will light up when you get him a new gadget to play with. Depending on his interests a tablet, video game, tool, model airplane, or music instrument might be the perfect gift for him this June. Whatever you decide on make sure that you have everything ready that it needs to work (are the batteries included??) so that he doesn’t have to wait to use his new toy.

5. A Craft – This one is more for your kids, but if they’re young they’ll likely need your help to do it. I know that my dad still has “happy father’s day” art work that my brothers and sisters and I made 20+ years ago on display in his tool shed. While meat, gadgets,  and hockey tickets might be nice there’s really nothing like a personal touch. So, get those hands dirty and help your kids make a hand-print Dad’s Day card or get our the crayons and get those tikes to draw a mural of your family. No matter what you do he’ll love that you put so much thought to him and he’ll really understand just how much he is appreciated by his loved ones.

 

Happy (early) Father’s Day to all the dads out there! We love you!

3 Easter Crafts for Your Family!

Holidays are special because they allow us time with the ones we love the most. For a lot of us, this means being able to spend time with our children. This Easter get creative with your family and enjoy some fun! Here are 3 crafts that you can do with your children this Easter holiday season:

1. The Bunny Mask!

Become a family of bunnies with these fun and furry masks! For more info on how to make this great craft click here

 

2. Easter Egg Basket

 

Put your hands to work – literally! This craft is easy for younger children and will look great on your fridge! For more information click here

 

3. Bunny Chair Cover

Sitting becomes hopping when you put this bunny chair cover on. Make this even more fun by customizing each of the bunnies to look like each of your family members! For more info on how to make this craft click here.

 What will you be doing with your family this Easter?

Family-Friendly Hotels in Moncton

A family enjoying the Delta Beausejour pool

Traveling with children can be a big undertaking for parents. Often, one of the biggest decisions is finding a suitable hotel. Not every hotel meets the needs of a traveling family. But in Moncton, several family-friendly hotels have anticipated many of these needs, and begun catering to them. As a result, they provide a vacation that the whole family can enjoy.

The hotels listed below all cater to families with children. They each provide a variety of amenities catered towards children.

Hampton Inn Suites by Hilton Moncton

A great hotel for families who are going to Magic Mountain. Magnetic Hill is also close by. Kids will love the pool and water slide. For breakfast, the make-your-own-waffle station is a big hit!

Delta Beausejour

The hotel is centrally located and walking distance from just about everything you’ll want to see in Moncton. Their indoor pool now features water slides that older kids will love. The in-room movie and popcorn, as well as iPod dock with speakers make your stay that much more comfortable.

Marriott Residence Inn Moncton

The hotel boast suites with full kitchen and separate bedrooms and bathrooms, which is a big plus when traveling with kids. Complimenting the full service suites is the guest laundry room. Food wise if you are not up to cooking in-suite, the hotel provides a hot complimentary breakfast (complete with waffle bar) and there is a Keg restaurant onsite. The hotel pool completes the family friendly ambiance.

Chateau Moncton

This hotel comes highly recommended if you are traveling with kids. It is located on Main Street and is very close to Champlain Place and Crystal Palace. They offer a nice free breakfast. Hotel staff are very accommodating, friendly and helpful.

Ramada Plaza Crystal Palace Hotel

What could be better for children than a hotel connected to an indoor amusement park? But this hotel does;t stop there. It provides a great pool that is open late, so parent can enjoy it as well.The hotels beds and pillows come highly rated, perfect to refreshing after a busy day. Topping of the family friendly atmosphere are staff that treat you like you are home away from home.

What are some of your favourite kid friendly places to say?

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