Sunday, April 23, 2017

Three Easy Spring Fashion for Moms

Spring has arrived (or at least according to the calendar it has!), and it’s time to put away those heavy layers and try out some fun Spring trends. A visit into most stores these days will have you seeing visions of pastel colours, off the shoulder tops and floral prints, to name but a few. However, as moms we don’t have a lot of time to invest in figuring out the trends and seeing which ones work for us.

The trick to getting it right is to keep it simple and avoid getting overwhelmed. Sonia our fashion style expert from Styleiish breaks down the trends so you can make easy decisions, know what is wearable, and what fits in with your #momlife!

Florals
“Florals?  For Spring?  Ground-breaking”— said Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. Although it may not be “ground-breaking”, it’s the truth…florals are BIG this season! Although they’ve been around for several seasons now, there’s just something new and fresh about the spring florals. The lighter colour palettes, the softer prints…they just scream Spring!

Any easy way to incorporate florals into your wardrobe is choosing one piece and building your outfit around it. For instance, start with a dress in an easy, flattering cut and add some ballet flats or sneakers and a denim jacket, and you have the ideal Spring outfit.  Or choose an accessory, like a scarf or hat and wear it with basics like a white T and jeans.

Here's a a fun and flattering maxi dress from Forever 21. - Add a denim jacket and you're good to go!  Shop it Here
- The cutest scarf from H&M!
Shop it Here








Off the Shoulder/Cold Shoulder

The off-the-shoulder/cold shoulder trend is also one that has carried over from previous seasons. There’s something women love about showing off their shoulders that has provided this trend some strong staying power!

There’s an abundance of ways to show a little shoulder, my favorite being the flowy OTS dresses that are everywhere right now.  All you need is a nice sandal, and maybe a necklace to really make those collarbones pop, and you have a fun and easy spring outfit. If you want something other than a dress, the cold-shoulder tops are definitely having their moment. Pair one with jeans for a casual look or a skirt for something dressier.

Look for dresses that combines the floral trend in an Off the Shoulder
Shop it Here

Statement Sleeves
You are going to see sleeves in many different types of cuts and lengths this season, some being a little too over-the-top for the typical closet. The bell sleeve however, is a subtle nod to this trend and is very wearable. Just be sure to keep the rest of your outfit simpler, and make the top (or rather, the sleeves!) the focus!

Check out this fun bell sleeved top from Zara!
Shop it Here

Pink
Some love it, and some love to hate it, but Pink, in all its glory, is a resident colour of Spring. The great thing is that there are so many shades of it, ranging from a blush to fuchsia, that anyone can find a pink they like. Try a light pink coloured jean with a chambray denim top to ease into it. Or go all out with something bright and cheery… either way, you’ll look ready for Spring!



- Pair these bold pants with a subtle print to stand out, or black and white for a classic look!
Shop it Here
- Or try these if bright pink is not your thing!
Shop it Here

I hope this helps ease some of that shopping anxiety that many moms can feel. If you have any specific questions about the trends I’ve mentioned, or would just like some more advice, I’d be happy to help. You can reach me at styleiishss@gmail.com, or visit our website www.styleiish.com for more information.
Be sure to visit the blog again for next month’s style post!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Easter Book Ideas for Your Little Readers

Bunnies and baskets and chocolate, oh my! Easter is coming, and what better way to celebrate than with beautiful picture books? Picture books are always the perfect gift - much healthier, and longer lasting, than chocolate, that’s for sure!




Where Are Baby’s Easter Eggs? by Karen Katz
Experience the fun and excitement of an Easter egg hunt again and again with this colourful lift-the-flap book.

Spot’s First Easter by Eric Hill
Toddlers will love helping Spot find his hidden Easter eggs in this sweet lift-the-flap book.

That’s Not My Bunny by Fiona Watt
This Easter-themed entry in the popular “That’s Not My….” series offers bright colours, adorable illustrations, and textured patches for babies and toddlers to touch and feel.

The Itsy Bitsy Bunny by Jeffery Burton
The classic children’s song The Itsy Bitsy Spider gets a charming Easter make-over with this singable story about an Itsy Bitsy Easter Bunny!

Llama Llama Easter Egg by Anna Dewdney
Introduce the youngest readers to Llama Llama, the beloved hero of Anna Dewndey’s series of picture books, in this simple, rhyming board book adventure.

Biscuit’s Pet and Play Easter by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Everyone’s favourite puppy is back in this toddler-friendly touch and feel Easter board book filled with different textures and colours to explore.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Easter Delights Inside: Charlie's Chocolate Factory

Tucked on a side street in Burnaby is a delicious hidden jem. From the second, you walk into Charlie's Chocolate Factory you feel in awe; it's like a child's dream. Since 1970, Charlie's Chocolate Factory has been satisfying every sweet tooth with their chocolates, candies and more. You'll truly feel like a kid in a candy shop!



Charlie's Chocolate Factory is home to the flowing chocolate river made with real chocolate. Kids of all ages (adults too!) will be amazed at the assortment of chocolates. You'll find virtually every kind of chocolate mold you can think of - cars, flowers, animals, tools, trains, sports items, computers, cellphones and more...all made out of chocolate. Stop by and show the kids how chocolate is made.



Looking for that perfect Easter treat? Charlie's Chocolate Factory has lots to choose from - marshmallow, peanut butter, raisin, almond easter eggs to wrapped chocolate bunnies in various sizes. Once you've tasted the yummy chocolate, you'll be wishing Easter came more than once a year. If your child is diabetic don't worry, they got lots for them too - chocolates and candies sweetened without sugar.


For those Moms (and Dads too) who love making homemade goods - they offer a do-it-yourself supplies to make your own chocolates at home.



Be sure to stop by throughout the year and don't be surprise if you end up walking out with a little somethig just for yourself! Check them out at www.charlieschocolatefactory.com


Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Fool's Day Pranks For the Kids

It's April 1st tomorrow, and have you prepared anything for the occasion? Share with your kids the joy of April 1st with some of these fun pranks.

Wormy Apple
Put an gummy worm in an apple in your child's lunch or in one of the apples out on the table and you're sure to get a giggly reaction.

Leaky Bottle
Poke tiny holes in a plastic water bottle, leave it where one of your little ones will grab it and see what happens when the water starts to squirt out!






Who Broke the Remote?
Put a small piece over the remote sensor and watch your kids try to change the channel.

Pillow Prank
Replace your child's pillow with balloons and watch them giggle at nap time!

Growth Spurt!
Put a bit of toilet paper or paper towel in the toe of your child's shoes. When he or she tries to put them on, you can say: "You're feet must have grown over night!"

Drink Up!
Make jell-o in a glass with a straw and tell your kids their juice is on the table. Imagine their confusion when nothing comes out of the glass.





Trick or Treat!
Take a candy box, remove the candies, replace them with carrots, tell your kids they can have a special treat... April Fool's! (Just be sure to have a bit of candy on the side to avoid tears of disappointment.)

Googly-Eyed
Stick googly eyes on everything in the fridge. So much fun! Then have them help you remove the eyes by playing who can collect the most eyes wins. 

Topsy Turvy
When your child goes to sleep on March 31, turn as many things as possible int he house upside down. Their reaction to a topsy turvy house on April 1 will be great!

For more ideas check out www.parentdish.ca 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Part 1: 2017 Easter Events from Vancouver to Richmond

Easter can be a hoppin' good time for the family with all these egg-cellent activities around the Lower Mainland, listed by municipality. Your local community centre may also offer Easter-themed fun - check with yours. Happy Easter everyone.

VANCOUVER

Easter Eggstravaganza
April 15, 11:00am – 1:00pm
For children ages 1 to 8 years. Under 1 year free. Please come join us for our Fun Fabulous and Outrageous Easter Celebration! Easter Eggstravaganza...featuring The Purple Pirate! Cost: $6.00 per child.
Location: Kitsilano Community Centre, 2690 Larch St. Vancouver BC

Eggs-Tacular Easter Egg Hunt 
April 15, 9:30am – 10:45am (Ages 1-3), 11:15am – 12:30pm (Ages 1-6), 1:00pm – 2:15pm (Ages 4-9)
Hippity Hoppity down to the Roundhouse for an Easter Egg Hunt. The event will include an egg hunt with arts and crafts activities, a candy bag to take home and a visit from the Easter Bunny. No need to bring a basket, this will be part of our arts and crafts activities. Parent’s supervision is required for the 1-3yrs session. Pre-registration required, drop-ins permitted ONLY if space is available.
Cost: $6 per child.
Location: Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver BC

Stanley Park Easter Train & Easter Fair
April 13-17, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Hop on by for a fun-filled day including a ride on the miniature train, egg hunts, crafts and a visit from the Easter Bunny. The train runs rain or shine and is fully covered, protecting everyone onboard from spring showers. Be sure to bring your own Easter basket for the egg hunt!  After the train ride, purchase carnival strip tickets so your kids can enjoy fun activities.
Cost: $6 per child/adult. Buy tickets on TicketLeader
Location: Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC 

Hippity Hop Easter Event
April 13, 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Hippity Hop, Hippity Hop, bouncy your way through the egg hunt maze, games and all the other fun and exciting stations.
Cost: $3.00. Pre-registration is required
Location: Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver BC

Easter Eggstravaganza
April 15, 10:30am – 12:00pm
EGGstra fun is in store at our annual Easter event which includes a continental style brunch, games, crafts, family entertainment and an Easter Egg Hunt. Space is limited and registration must be done in advance. Children must be accompanied by an adult. This event is suited for children 2-8 years. Cost: $5 per child + adult.
Location: False Creek Community Centre, 1318 Cartwright Street, Vancouver BC

Easter Eggstravanza
April 14, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
HOP on down to our annual Easter Event at Sunset. Activities will include a bouncy castle, arts and crafts, face painting, cookie decorating and an Easter egg hunt. Register now as this event is surely going to sell out.
Cost: $5 per child, 1 and under free 
Location: Sunset Community Centre, 6810 Main Street, Vancouver BC 
Call to Register: 604-718-6505

Easter Egg Hunt and Carnival
April 14, 9:30am – 10:30 am (Age 2-4), 10:45 am – 11:45 am (Age 5-7), 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (Age 8-12)
This popular annual event brings families and the Easter Bunny together to have a FUN-tastic time! The event will feature a bouncy castle, Easter themed arts & crafts, face-painting, and so much more! The Easter Egg Hunt portion of the event will take place both indoors and outdoors (weather-permitting). All participants are guaranteed to take home a prize! Adult participation is required for 2-4 yrs session. Drop-ins not permitted. $4.50 per child 
Location: Kilarney Community Centre, 6260 Kilarney Street, Vancouver BC

Easter Fun
April 15, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Enter a colouring contest and make neat crafts to take home. Get your photo taken with the Easter Bunny on . Photos are $6 each by Mandarin 1HR Photo. Download colour sheet 
Location: Kingsgate Mall, Kingsway & Broadway, Vancouver BC

Breakfast with Bunny
April 15, 9:30am – 11:30am
Join your neighbours and friends from the Kensington Community for Breakfast with Bunny. There will be a pancake breakfast, arts and crafts, entertainment and a visit from the Easter Bunny. Please register early for this event.
Cost: 
KCCA Members - Family $12, Adult $5, Children (4-18) $3, Children 3 and under Free. Non-members: add $1.00 each. Use code 88589
Location: Kensington Community Centre, 5175 Dumfries Street, Vancouver BC

Easter Egg Hunt
April 8, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Join us for kid fun filled Easter Craft Session as we get ready to celebrate Easter. Due to limited supplies, please RSVP. Email events@riverdistrict.ca with the child’s name and age (children must 2 years or old and a parent must be in attendance)Info: www.riverdistrict.ca/events/4882/kids-easter-craft-session

NORTH VANCOUVER

Easter Egg Hunt
April 15, 10:00am – 12:30pm
Hop on over to JBCC for this popular annual Easter event! Easter egg hunt will start promptly at 9:30am, bring your baskets and get ready for fun! Crafts, cookie decorating, games, and loads of gross motor play! Even meet the Easter Bunny! Tons of photo ops! This event is best suited for kids aged 2-6yrs. Hop to see you there! Pre-registration is required, register online or by calling 604-983-6575.
Cost: Free

Lonsdale Market Celebrates Easter
April 15, 10:00am – 3:00pm
Easter activities include face painting and balloon art for a nominal fee, an Easter-themed craft, and a special visit from the Easter Bunny. The Bunny will be at the Market, and available for pictures, from 11am-12pm.
Location: 123 Carrie Cates Court,
North Vancouver BC
Info: http://www.lonsdalequay.com/events.php
Easter in the Village
April 15, 1pm – 3:00pm
Lynn Valley Village will be hosting an Easter Event that will feature children’s activities, and an Easter Treasure Hunt. Come and enjoy this free family fun day together.
Location: 1233 - 1277 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver 

Easter Brunch
April 16, Seating at 9:30am or 2:00pm
This year's Easter festivities will feature delicious brunch classics for all ages and an exciting Easter Egg hunt led by the Easter Bunny himself. Cost: Adults $50, Child (5 - 12 years) $18, Tots (2-4 years) $10. Reservations limited.
Location: Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver 
Info/Reservations: 604-998-5045 or www.grousemountain.com/events/easter-brunch-2017

WEST VANCOUVER

Easter Dino Egg Hunt
April 16, 11:00am – 1:00pm
Britanniasaurus Rex is back again! Join us this Easter for our annual Dino Egg Hunt. B. Rex will be wandering around the Museum site from 11 to 12 and then 1 to 2, hiding gem-filled dinosaur eggs. Find the eggs and then bring them to the mineral table to identify your treasures. We'll also have a special table where you can learn how, where and under what conditions minerals form! 
Location: Britannia Mine Museum, PO Box 188, Britannia Beach, BC V0N 1J0
Info: www.britanniaminemuseum.ca/events-app/easter-dino-egg-hunt

RICHMOND

Easter at the Cannery
April 14-16, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Have fun hunting for eggs while learning about fishing on the West Coast. Enjoy Easter themed arts, crafts and activities. Enter the annual prize draw for a chance to win a chocolate Easter bunny.
Cost: 
$4.90 for Kids ages 2+, $3.90 for Adults 17+
Location: Gulf of Georgia Cannery, 12138 Fourth Ave, Richmond BC
Info: www.gulfofgeorgiacannery.org/events/easter-at-the-cannery-2


Easter Eggstravaganza
April 15, 9:30am – 12:30pm  
9:30-10:30am: 3 year, 10:30-11:30am: 4-6 years,  11:30-12:30pm: 1-8 years
Come celebrate Easter with arts and crafts, games and Easter egg hunt led by the Easter Bunny. Parent participation is required. Register at www.richmond.ca/register or 604-238-8060.Location: South Arm Community Centre,  8880 Williams Road, Richmond BC
Info: www.richmond.ca/parksrec/centres/southarmcentre/programsandevents.htm

Easter on Parade
April 16, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Easter on Parade, the beloved Richmond tradition that showcases attendees “parading” up and down scenic Monument Avenue.
Cost: Free Admission 
Location: on the blocks between Allen and Davis Avenues, Richmond, BC. 
Info: www.venturerichmond.com/events/venture/easter.html




Part 2: 2016 Easter Events from Surrey to Abbotsford

Easter can be a hoppin' good time for the family with all these egg-cellent activities around the Lower Mainland, listed by municipality. Your local community centre may also offer Easter-themed fun - check with yours. Happy Easter everyone.

SURREY
Easter Fair 2016
April 15, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Join in Easter fun for the whole family at the Surrey Museum with crafts, games and an Easter Egg scavenger hunt. Learn about the real Easter Bunny and friends as you discover local wildlife and meet rescue animals, from rabbits to reptiles and an assortment of dogs and parrots. For all ages. Cost: by donation.
Location: Surrey Museum, 17710 - 56A Avenue, Surrey BC


DELTA



Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
April 8, 9:00am – 11:00am
Join us for an egg-citing morning filled with Easter themed activities including a pancake breakfast, crafts and an Easter Egg Hunt. Bring your camera and have your picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Cost: $7 per child. Location: South Delta Recreation Centre, 1720 56th Street, Delta BC


FORT LANGLEY

Fort Langley Easter Scavenger Hunt
April 16, 10:00am – 5:00pm, Scavenger hunt (10am – 5pm), Easter egg hunt (11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm)
Calling all little bunnies! The all ages scavenger hunt includes fun activities that will take you exploring around the fort and earning chocolate as you go. The egg scramble will last until all the eggs have been found. Regular admission applies; free for annual pass holders.
Location: Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada, 23433 Mavis Ave, Fort Langley BC

Info: 604-513-4777 or www.facebook.com/FortLangleyNHS/

LANGLEY

Easter Bunny Photos
April 3-16, Various Times 
Hop on down to Willowbrook to have your child’s photo taken with our Easter Bunny. Every child that visits the Easter Bunny will receive a free eco-friendly gift (while quantities last). Photos taken at Centre Court near Purdy's Chocolate during the following hours: Friday to Tuesday 11:00am – 6:00pm; Wednesday & Thursday: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. Partial proceeds from the photos will benefit the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada.
Location: Willowbrook Mall, Centre,19705 Fraser Highway, Langley BC
Info: 604-530-4492 or http://shopwillowbrook.com/events/

Easter Festival & Egg Hunt
April 14-16, 11:00am – 4:00pm
Fun for the whole family- participate in an egg hunt in the vineyard and splurge on Easter goodies in support of the Small Animal Rescue Society (formerly BC Rabbit Rescue). Take in live music and enjoy a glass or two of wine with your barbecue lunch at our outdoor wine bar while the kids frolic for the afternoon. Cost: $15 per child. Location: Township 7, 21152 16th Avenue, Langley BC

ABBOTSFORD

Easter Egg Hunt 
April 14-17, 11:00am – 3:00pm
Join us for our 2nd Annual Easter Egg-Stravaganza at Maan Farms. Join for Easter Egg Hunt, prizes, Easter Bunny Meet and Greet, petting zoo and play area. Admission $8.00, Bring own Easter basket. 
Location: 790 McKenzie Road, Abbotsford, BC

Part 3: 2017 Easter Events from Burnaby to New Westminster

Easter can be a hoppin' good time for the family with all these egg-cellent activities around the Lower Mainland, listed by municipality. Your local community centre may also offer Easter-themed fun - check with yours. Happy Easter everyone.

BURNABY

Easter Egg Hunt
April 16, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
The Easter Bunny is stashing treats at the pool. Seven-year-olds and younger must be accompanied by an adult in the water. Bring your bathing suit. Loonie swim rates apply.
Location: CG Brown Pool Memorial Pool, 3702 Kensington Avenue, Burnaby BC
Grandparents and Family Easter Egg Hunt
April 15, 10:00am – 12:00pm
Come join in on the Easter festivities. Decorate an Easter basket that you can use to collect eggs during our mini egg hunt! Children must be accompanied by a grandparent. Cost: $1.86 per child. No drop-ins, please register.
Location: Bonsor II Recreation Complex, 6550 Bonsor Avenue, Burnaby BC

PORT MOODY

Easter Extravaganza
April 16, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Join in on the Easter egg hunt (kids look for marbles and exchange them for chocolate eggs). There will also be magic, music, face painting, photos with the Easter Bunny, a Easter basket craft and a duck pond prize game. Rain or shine. Cost: $5 per person, cash only.
Location: Port Moody Station Museum, 2734 Murray Street, Port Moody BC

MAPLE RIDGE



Easter Bunny Photos
March 19-26 , 11:00am – 1:00pm
Visit and Photos with the Easter Bunny 
Location: Haney Place Mall, 35 - 11900 Haney Place
NEW WESTMINSTER

Easter in Queen's Park
April 16, 11:00am – 2:00pm
This family event is filled with activities for children between three and 10 years of age. Event highlights include: entertainment, crafts & face painting, photos with the Easter bunnies, the petting farm and loads of fun activities for youngsters to enjoy. Concession services will be available. Admission is free.
Location: Queen's Park, 600 Eighth Street, New Westminster BC
Info: 604-777-5121 or www.newwestcity.ca/calendar-of-events/events/4296.php

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Crayon Marks Be Gone: How to Remove it Off of Stuff!

Have a little scribble artist? No worries, they’ll grow out of it eventually. In the meantime, here is an organized "how to remove info". Keep in mind some paint finishes may be dulled or damaged by a particular method, so test a small area of the surface first.

The next time little Picasso decides to draw you a masterpiece on your walls, windows or furniture with crayon try to relax, here are some tips to help you remove crayon marks from everything:

Crayon marks on walls: One of the quickest methods to remove crayons from walls is WD-40. If you have flat paint on your walls, be forewarned that WD-40 is a lubricant and will most likely leave a grease mark. Soap and water, Mr. Clean or a degreaser will remove any oily smudges left by the WD-40. Another method is baking soda and warm water, wipe with sponge (nothing too abrasive, you don't want to damage your paint) or try Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

Crayon on glass or windows: There are several methods for removing crayon from glass and windows. The first, which I found to be the easiest, was WD-40. Spray it on the stain and wipe it off! That's it. If you don't have a can of WD-40 handy, dishwasher detergent and warm water work well, as does vinegar and warm water. You may have to use a little elbow grease, but these solutions work.

Crayon marks or wax on carpet: I have no idea how crayon became imbedded in my brand new Berber carpet, but I can tell you that a brown paper bag and an iron will remove it! It worked for me. Place the brown paper bag down on the wax, place the iron on the bag. The heat from the iron will draw the wax from your carpet and it will stick to the bag.

Crayon marks on screen windows: Spray WD-40 onto the crayon markings left on the screen. No scrubbing necessary and no awkward oily residue. It works like magic! Your screens will look brand new.
Crayon marks on wood floors and ceramic tile: I've heard of people using WD-40 on flooring, but I wouldn't recommend it, as I've never used it for floors. I worried about colorfastness with our wood flooring. Here's a solution that I've used successfully to remove crayon from wood floors and ceramic tile: dishwashing detergent in warm water. Use a sponge and work in a circular motion on the wood floor. I had to work on it a little while, so be patient. It does work.

Crayons marks on fabric blinds and curtains: Scrape off any excess crayon. Lay fabric as flat as possible and place the stain between two pieces of paper towels. Lay an iron on the paper towel gently. Change paper towels as crayon is soaked up by heat. Otherwise, you'll end up putting wax right back onto the fabric.

Crayon marks in the clothes dryer: After the little artist decided to spruce up our home, his mother washed and dried his clothing with crayons in his pocket. To take care fo this problem, use an old rag that you'll be happy to throw out afterward. Spray a small amount of WD-40 on the rag. Rub the crayon markings with the rag. NEVER spray WD-40 inside of your dryer! It's flammable. Throw away the old rag and use a soapy wet paper towel to remove any oily residue.

Crayon marks in tub and on shower walls: Spray WD-40 onto the crayon marking and wipe off with a sponge. This worked like a charm in our Jacuzzi and on the tub surround in our other bathroom. Make sure that you wash the tub and walls thoroughly afterwards. If you have a Jacuzzi tub, run the jets with a solution of dishwasher detergent and hot water to remove any excess wax that may have gotten onto/into jets.

Note: Please use caution when using WD-40 for crayon removal. Make sure that you have proper ventilation (open the windows) and do not spray contents or place can on a hot surface.

Article courtesy of Den Garden 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

18-month Parental Leave: Can You Afford It?

Canadian moms and dads will soon be able to choose an extended 18-month parental leave thanks to billions of dollars earmarked for child care in the federal budget. But advocates say that not every family stands to benefit from the changes.

The Liberals’ second budget, tabled Wednesday, includes $7 billion over the next 10 years to help Canadians with their child care costs. That includes creating up to 40,000 new subsidized daycare spaces by 2019, and offering parents a choice to extend the usual 12-month parental leave to 18 months.
But the extended parental leave comes with “a couple of catches,” Barbara Byers, the secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress, told CTV News Channel Thursday.

Advocates say that not every family stands to benefit from extended parental leave. While the federal government had “really good intentions” in offering the extended parental leave, it comes with the same amount of money stretched over a longer period of time, Byers said.

Employment insurance benefits cover 55% of a parent’s salary over 12 months. That same amount will be stretched out over 18 months for those who choose the extended leave. “So that means that there will be a limited number of families that can actually take advantage of that,” Byers said.

The budget measures will also allow expectant mothers to claim maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before their due date, an increase from eight weeks. Regardless of whether they would prefer the extended parental leave, many moms-to-be are still not eligible to receive the EI benefits, Byers noted.

To qualify, parents must have accumulated 600 hours of insurable employment in the previous year – a criterion that remains unchanged in the latest budget. Previous research has shown that women who have low-paying jobs, work part-time or freelance often don’t meet that target.

“With employment insurance, the biggest issue is you have to qualify for it first,” Byers said.  “And we know that so many women do not qualify for employment insurance and so therefore this isn’t going to be something that’s really accessible for them.”

Byers said the lack of affordable, good quality day care spaces across the country is one of the reasons behind the extended parental leave offer. But $7 billion over a decade “is just not enough” to address the issue, she said.

There are almost a million children in need of child care across Canada, Byers added. Alvin Tedjo, a father of three young children who sits on the board of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, called the federal budget “a great step” but said it doesn’t include enough money up front to help address families’ immediate child care needs.

For the last several years, Tedjo and his wife have had at least two kids in daycare at any given time, which costs them an average of $30,000 per year out of pocket.

“Part of the problem is finding quality spaces, licensed spaces,” he told CTV News Channel Thursday.
Tedjo said 40,000 extra daycare spaces over the next three years is good, but not enough nation-wide.

“We need more money up front and I think the discussion needs to pivot towards universal child care,” he said. “We’ve been talking about that for a long time and it needs to come back to the forefront again.”

Article Courtesy of CTV News 

Related articles 
Will 18 month parental leave reduces pressures on working families? 
Is 18-month maternity leave a good idea? 
Does extended parental leave hurt or help women? 

Delicious Picture Books for Little Foodies

Everyone loves food! Introduce your little ones to some of the world’s incredible culinary diversity with picture books and board books that celebrate delicious dishes from all around the world.

Bee-bim Bop! Written by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee.
Follow along with a little girl as she helps her mother make the delicious traditional Korean dish bibimbap. This lively picture book has a great rhyming text and a rollicking, bouncing text that will have readers bopping along!

Dim Sum for Everyone Written and illustrated by Grace Lin
A little girl and her family visit a dim sum restaurant, sharing, laughing, and of course eating delicious traditional food in this fun, colourful picture book.


Soup Day Written and illustrated by Melissa Iwai
Nothing warms the heart and soul quite like a steaming hot bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day. A little girl and her mother prepare a delicious soup from scratch, enjoying each step of the process, before sitting down to enjoy it with Daddy at the end of the day.

First Book of Sushi Written and illustrated by Amy Wilson Sanger
Hot miso soup, soft tofu, spicy wasabi, yum yum! This sweet andstrikingly illustrated rhyming board book introduces the littlest readers to Japanese cuisine, a popular dining option here in Vancouver!

Chaat and Sweets Written and illustrated by Amy Wilson Sanger
Dive into the delicious world of Indian snack foods with this celebration of sweet, salty, and spicy treats! The simple rhyming text makes this a perfect introductory board book for babies and toddlers.

Baby Food
by Margaret Miller
Margaret Miller’s board books are always delightful, and this celebration of food is filled with diverse pictures of adorable babies.  This is a great board book for the very youngest foodies.

Jane Whittingham is a librarian, educator and life-long book lover who writes about books for all ages on her blog www.raincitylibrarian.ca