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Sanity Strategies: 5 Time-Saving Home Products for Busy Moms
Lisa Canning

Busy moms need all the help they can get. Luckily there are some pretty innovative products and... more

Sanity Strategies: 5 Time-Saving Home Products for Busy Moms
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Busy moms need all the help they can get. Luckily there are some pretty innovative products and services on the market that can help you get the work done so you can go back to living life. Here are my top five home products for the busy mom.

Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker
With 4 small kids I need breakfast to be fast and appetizing for all—and this product delivers on both fronts. You pop in the raw ingredients, close the lid, and in just 5 minutes you get 2 fully assembled, beautiful breakfast sandwiches! Perfect for picky kids and grown ups on the run.

Baby Breeza Formula Pro
I must say this product is pretty convenient. No more trying to get water to the perfect temperature, or stumbling to make a bottle in the middle of the night. Once the machine is set up with water and powdered formula of your choice, one press of a button gets you perfect temperature mixed formula in under 30 seconds. 

Budget Blinds In-Home Consultation
When I work with my interior design clients to create customized spaces for their families, I bring in a team of trusted pros. And one of those pros is my window covering team at Budget Blinds. With samples on hand they make the process of selecting window coverings streamlined and low-stress. They take the guesswork out of those neglected windows that still haven’t been addressed since you moved in. And they bring everything to you, saving you lots of time and energy.

Brand new in Canada and available at the Home Depot, this product cuts your cleaning time on glass, tile and stainless steel products by creating an invisible barrier that resists stains without changing the look of your surface. It makes these surfaces significantly easier to clean and is backed by a 3-year warranty. You are sure to see a reduction in fingerprints, streaks and grime.

ArtKive App
This product saves me time by increasing my sanity big time! My children draw so many masterpieces—but with 4 kids you can imagine I simply run out wall space! This app allows you to save and enjoy your child’s artwork—clutter free! You can later print several into a book, or print favourite ones to include in a gallery wall. My favourite feature is that you can tag each image by date, child and child’s age—organizing all those previous drawings in just seconds.

Lisa Canning is an interior stylist who specializes in 2-hour, in-home interior design consultations in the GTA where she helps clients find strategies to make their space suit their goals, family's needs and budget. A mom of 4 (soon to be 5!) she shares her tips on making a space beautiful and functional on her blog Lisa Canning: Blueprints for a Beautiful Life.
Comments | Tagged under organizing, home, cleaning
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How to Teach Your Child to Play Independently
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Parenting young children can be exhausting—feeling like we are with them every second of their wakeful hours. While we do need to keep an eye on them (especially those 3 and under,) we don’t have to be entertaining them every moment of the day.

This doesn’t mean that we hand over the technology. (Reminder: the CSEP advises no technology for kids 2 and under.) What it does mean is that we take the time to teach independent play. Our kids need to learn to entertain themselves. Here are the 4 steps to teaching this skill.

1. Set up your child to do an activity that they really enjoy. Reading a book, playing with blocks, trains, cars, etc.  Let them know that you need to leave the room for a moment and that you know they will be just fine reading their book. Some kids will be fine with this. Others will feel concerned that you won’t be there. If necessary, tell your child that you will be back in 20 counts or at the end of Row Row Row Your Boat. Then, count aloud or sing the song while you are in the other room (bathroom or wherever you go). Be back when you say you will be back.

2. Notice that your child managed well while you were gone. Say, ‘I knew you would do just fine on your own. You do love to read that book.’ Don’t over-praise, just notice.

3. Do this every so often and gradually lengthen the time that you are out of reach With younger kids, ‘out of reach’ could simply mean you are chopping veggies at the counter or folding laundry across the room. You could even be sitting nearby reading your own book or magazine.

4. Extension. Ask your child to choose what they will do while you are reading, chopping, etc. and set them up for success. Eventually, they will be comfortable doing this on their own.

Teaching independent play helps children to learn that they are independent and capable, and that they don’t need technology for their entertainment.

Image of independent play from Shutterstock.

Julie Freedman Smith and Gail Bell provide tools for real life parenting through their company, Parenting Power™. Using over 40 years of combined experience, they work with parents across the country through telephone coaching and teleconferences to ease the stress and guilt of parents while providing practical solutions to everyday parenting challenges. Visit to ask your own parenting questions, and learn how to receive 20% off all services as a Parenting Power Member!
Comments | Tagged under kids, play
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