My Life

A great book reading in Toronto yesterday!

Check out some pics from my book reading yesterday of ‘Sharing Is Love- My brother and me’ at Toronto’s Little Feet/Little Faces Preschool.   http://littlefeetlittlefacespreschool.blogspot.ca/

This made me so happy seeing this blog and all the photos.  I was invited back for when my second book comes out in June – ‘Sharing is Love- My sister and me’.
canadian author doing book readings in toronto schools

new children's author reading books about kindness and growingThe kids were so cute, and they all had made their own little books throughout the week.  A few of their kids read their books and read it in front of the class.

I left my own little gift for the students too, a colouring page from a page in my book.  It included room to colour in their favorite toy to share.  All parents from Little Feet/Little Faces  receives a 15% discount on any book order too.

A fun morning!

I almost felt a bit emotional seeing this next photo..not sure why.  It just felt special, since I have not done many book readings yet so I valued this photo.

children's author book reading in toronto preschool

 

Have you ever read to your child’s class before?  How was the experience?

 

 

My Easter weekend recap- plus win a copy of my book!

books for kids teaching patience and kindness. stories for children, rhyming books for kids

Easter egg hunting outside at the Grandparents place in Beamsville.

It is Tuesday evening. My kids were home for the past four days for Easter long weekend. My oldest son is in full time junior kindergarten, and my youngest in 2 days a week daycare. Today they were both at their schools and the house seemed way too quiet, but I welcomed it!  Easter weekend for us consists of visiting one set of Grandparents one day in Beamsville, Ontario.  The other day we visit the other set in Barrie, Ontario. We live in Brampton, and the drive to each of those cities is exactly one hour.  Not too long a drive, but we always go up in the late morning and stay until early evening when we visit.

And of course when we go up, other extended relatives come over for a visit too.  It is more people, more fun, and VERY loud. I wouldn’t change it, but throw two little active boys into the picture, schedules thrown off, too much sweets and chocolate, super excited attitudes,  and they are two very long days.    I suspect most families with young kids can relate to this, especially if holidays consist of visiting family.

I compiled a list of what I already  somewhat knew about the mix of young children and special holiday weekends, and the list was only verified this past Easter weekend.  I know this is not the case for all families, but this is our reality at this time in the Babic household.

My top Easter weekend realities in our family.
1.  Kids will eat too much chocolate.
2.  We will be negotiating and bribing the entire weekend for kids to eat the healthy food and their meals in order to eat some of that chocolate.
3. Kids will mostly have chocolate on their minds for the entire Easter weekend.
4. Kids receive other gifts from the grandparents and extended family other than chocolate.  Clothes, books, candy, dinky cars, bubbles, balls and even money (It was us parents who only got them some Easter chocolates to hunt for).   I don’t remember getting all this stuff 35 years ago!?
5. Grandparents like collecting Easter presents up to one month before the day.
6. Don’t keep Nerf ball gifts in the house. Something will get broken.
7. Don’t expect kids under age 5 to understand its o.k to throw Nerf balls when adults are playing with you indoors, but then it is not o.k. to throw the ball 10 minute later on their own. Something will get broken.
8. We should be firm when having a ‘no Nerf ball’ rule indoors.  It’s soft but can be deadly.
9. Kids will have more than one Easter egg hunt  on Easter weekend
10. The more little kids get, the more they want ‘more’ (for kids under age 5 at least). It’s important to start ingraining being thankful and grateful at these early ages so that they grow up with these values.
11. Preschoolers won’t nap or rest Easter weekend…don’t even try anymore.
12. Kids will not fall asleep on the way home back from the grandparents, no matter how tired they are (at least not before 9:30 pm from my experience).
13. Kids will ask for those chocolates for days after Easter is over, 10 times per day (and for countless days to come…).
14. Parents will gain weight from their kids Easter chocolate that are ‘put away’.
15. Have wine ready at home in the evening when the kids are asleep
16. Have wine ready at home in the evening when the kids are asleep on Day 2 of visits.
17. We are fortunate to have the extended family to spend the holidays with, and all four Grandparents are with us.
18. Embrace the chaos, and realize this stage when kids are full of joy and excitement for these weekends is short lived. The weekend is exhausting, but I wouldn’t change it in the end
picture books for children, books for kids, books about sharing

A calm moment on Easter Sunday… reading and eating something healthy!

What is a reality from this past Easter weekend that you would add? I would love to hear!  Let’s keep it light.  Please leave a reply below (no emails will be posted).  Best of all, a random draw will be held on Saturday April 26 for a copy of my new book. The winner will be posted Saturday on my blog (or emailed privately if you ‘sign up’ to my site).

Also, if you want to get some parenting tips during the holidays, here’s one with five suggestions.

All responses to this list will be automatically entered.  The winner will be mailed a copy of my book; Sharing is Love- My brother and me, early next week.

I look forward to reading your comments below!

parenting kids during the holidays

A sugar rush for Benjamin and Oliver. Or partly just being normal little boys.

Don’t forget to join my ‘sign up ‘on the side to receive future articles and updates from Babic Books.

 

Part 2 Review of the 2014 Mompreneur Conference

It took me a bit longer than a week to post my Part 2 review, but life with two sick kids this week tends to make that happen.

Everyone attends these conferences with their own intentions and goals.  Any of the following reasons can pertain; For pure networking and to make new connections (the main reason), to learn new skills and tips on running their business, to sell their actual product at a  vendor table,  to get re-motivated, to hear specific speakers, to re-connect with past business acquaintances, or maybe just to have a ‘weekend away’ with other ambitious woman. It may be ‘all of the above’  for some.  Did you attend for a reason not listed? Please comment below…I would love to hear.

The highlight of the Mompreneur conference was listening to the keynote speaker Arlene Dickinson (more details on Arlene’s speech in my Part 1 blog below), there were many other ambitious business woman sharing their journey’s.
keynote speaker arlene dickinson at the mompreneur conference

Arlene Dickinson Speaking

As mentioned, the day started with registration, receiving our ‘goody bag’, breakfast, opening speeches and introductions, followed by your chosen ‘Breakout Session A’ at 10:25 am. I picked the following  speakers; Paula Coop McCrory  Pinterest expert, Kim Wilson (Creative head at KidsCBC), and Joanna Duong (Founder of Henkaa fashions). I also very much enjoyed having a 1-ON-1 ‘Expert Consultation’ with Business Coach Lara Galloway (of MomBiz).

Although I am not sure Pinterest would benefit me much for Babic Books, I did enjoy listening to Paula and learning about the site.  Paula has more than 4 million followers, and one of the most popular Pinterest profiles worldwide.  As for Kim Wilson,  I went to this informative session because the ‘TV for kids’ debate is something that we often wonder about.  In the end, it clarified what we already know which is to be selective with your kids programming.  There are many great shows out there that kids, where they can learn and be stimulated  in a positive way.  TV is not all BAD.  Kim also provided a website with ratings of shows, based on reviews from kids, parents and the experts. Here is the website.  http://www.commonsensemedia.org .   I  try to limit my kids TV time, but some days they will watch more or way less.  Example…this week of sickos in the house the TV has helped a lot.  Don’t beat yourself up over it as parents… balance is key.

Joanna Duong was interesting, as her interchangeable dress business Henkaa has quickly grown the past few years. You could tell she was also a bit overwhelmed by its progress and success.  Great for her! She is young and motivated, and clearly did not let her doubts influence her ideas and progress.  I half to admit, I just bought a knock off of one of her designs from Wallmart for $20, just to have  a cute summer dress. Her dresses sell for $100 plus, which I would consider buying for a dressier type outfit (and it can still can be used for a casual event).  I know the quality of her dresses would surprise my $20 dress.

Joanna Duong entrepreneur

The Henkaa Dress

I missed most of Kathleen Mundy’s presentation that I was signed up for.  The day was a bit behind schedule and my 15 minute session fell into … seminar.   My one-on-one went longer than 15 minutes, and it as nice chatting to a stranger about my goals and fears. She had unbiased advice that did help me. She recommended Oprah’s one page business plan .  Check it out.  I filled this out the past weekend and it helped sort of out my goals and thoughts.   Thanks for the recommendation Lara. Lara overall verified some things I already knew, but sometimes verification is necessarily to bring more confidence.

The closing presentation was by ‘Eli Davidson…’The Quantum Leap Catalyst’  from 4:15 to 5:00, but the day was running late so she finished up about 5:30 pm.  Eli Davidson was interesting, but I admit not someone I could relate to.  I could not personally jive with the way she spoke to the crowd. She was a bit too eccentric for my preference.  I think Canadians and Americans generally have a different public speaking method (especially when it comes to motivational speaking).  I know the others at my table could not quite ‘get’ her either. To each their own. None the less, she has accomplished a lot, and I respect her for that.

After changing and freshening up in our hotel room at the Sheraton Conference Center, we enjoyed a delicious dinner at 6:30 pm.

Kelly and I at the conference during dinner.

Kelly and I at the conference during dinner.

One cool thing that happened at the event was running into our family friend Kelly Bos. Her husband was in our wedding party when Gregor and I got married 7 years ago.  They are now living in British Virgin Islansd with their daughter.  I knew she was back in the GTA for the birth of her second child, a little boy ( see photo below), but unaware she would be at this event.  She used our hotel room to go up and pump.  It was great hanging with her.  I saw her one week later to meet her little boy, which is when I took this photo.

working moms with a baby

Baby Lincoln, 6 weeks old

Ironically, I finish Part 2 of this blog the same way I finished Part 1….revealing another ‘win’ from the event.  As you may have seen from Part 1 blog, I won a COACH bag by simply placing my card in a jar (won from Susanne Hemet at http://www.collectiveherd.com/ ).  Well, I received an email yesterday revealing that I won  a Cutco French Chef Knife, again, by simply putting my card in the jar.  I guess putting your card in a jar CAN actually win you something.   I can tell you that we don’t own a $154.00 knife, but now we do. MY husband will enjoy this more then me, since he is picky about his cutting knives.    I hope I don’t have to wait another 38 years to win stuff of any value.  My mom told me today that ‘win’s’ happen in three’s, so stay tuned for my next post with my third  prize. I can hope….but I don’t really believe in the ‘good or bad things happen in 3’s superstition’.  But if it does, I hope its a trip next time.
purse prize from mompreneur conference

My purse I won. Love that its for everyday use.

My first ‘real’ unbias book review on Sharing Is Love

I was so excited today to receive a notice from the website IN R DREAMS. Owner, mommy blogger, and Brand Ambassador Tammy, posted a wonderful book review of my first children’s book ‘My brother and me’. I was honestly expecting a one paragraph review, but it instead was a lengthy article talking about how much her 4 children loved my book.

This is my first unbiased book review (meaning, not written by a good friend), so it was a real confidence booster to hear her thoughts. I anxiously agreed to add a contest to win one of my books on her site too. This is also a great tool for me to see how many out there are interested in receiving one of my books. I held a contest for one month on Goodreads, and I was thrilled to see that 469 people entered.

Thank you again for the great review Tammy! Check out her site…its great! http://inrdream.com/

brother learning to share, books about sharing that teach kindness and compassion

Christmas time–the true sharing test!

A great day at the 2014 Mompreneur conference – Part 1

women in business, work-at-home mom's, celebrating business women

Mompreneur Conference 2014

Yesterday I attended the Mompreneur conference in Mississauga, a full day of seminars and networking with other talented, hard working moms. I was very excited to attend this day, as my only experience attending these type of business conferences in the past was when I use to tag along with my friend Anna, CEO of Actium Consulting, on her international conferences (in short, I would join her for a low cost weekend away to enjoy a new city and relax with a friend. Always a great time).

Anna also attending this conference, and we decided to make it a mini weekend away by staying the night at the Sheraton Conference Centre. Why not be able to enjoy sleeping in uninterrupted past 7:30 am (something you only truly can appreciate after having children). Plus, we could obviously have a couple drinks and not worry about driving home.

mompreneur, mompreneur networking, woman in business, woman entrepreneurs

Anna and I at the dinner gala.

The overall day was what I expected, and worth attending. The day started with registration, receiving our ‘goody bag’, a small breakfast, opening speeches and introductions, followed by your chosen ‘Breakout Session A’ at 10:25 am. I chose to attend the seminars throughout the day that included the speakers; Paula Coop McCrory (4 plus followers on Pinterest), Kim Wilson (Creative head at KidsCBC), and Joanna Duong (Founder of Henkaa fashions). I also very much enjoyed having a 1-ON-1 ‘Expert Consultation’ with Business Coach Lara Galloway (of MomBiz).

Of course the most anticipated part of the day was hearing the Keynote Speaker Arlene Dickenson, CEO of Venture Communications and judge on Dragon’s Den. She spoke following lunch. Her speech was authentic and honest, which I appreciated most. I have read both of Arlene’s books, plus I frequently watch Dragon’s Den. I have enjoyed her books, and she is admired by countless women and leaders everywhere (and I am sure admired/loved most by her children and grandchildren). She spoke about her life and of course gave advice from the heart. Although I have read her books, it was great to hear her stories directly from her. But I have to say, what I would love most is to photograph her. As many of you may know, my other business is commercial and portrait photography (for over 12 years shooting for magazines. www.anitazvonar.com) I would love to shoot her in her own personal space, casual, and capture her spirit. Plus I think she needs new marketing portraits rather than the constant ones in that white long sleeve cardigan type blouse. Great top, but she needs new shots (I am guessing she hates getting photographed or posing for photos like most do). Anyways, here’s hoping one day I can have 10 minutes to photograph her and we can both enjoy ourselves in the process.

arlene dickinson speaking, dragon's den judge, arlene dickinson's book

Arlene Dickinson Keynote Speaker.

I am going to stop here, as this blog seems to be getting too long. And I seem to have so much more to say. What did I expect and want to gain attending this conference? Why was it worth it for me from a business perspective? Stay tuned for Part 2 end of the week.

A black coach handbag that I won

A black coach handbag that I won

But I would like to add one cute unexpected bonus to my day. I received a call the day after the event that I won a COACH handbag. I have never won anything more then $20 from a scratch and win ticket before….so to win a COACH bag from putting my card in a jar for a draw was pretty darn cool! It was ironic too, since I love purses and have too many. I LOVE purses. God knows I would never actually spend that kind of money on a purse, so I will anxiously await my COACH win. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog which will reveal how much I love my new purse or not (since we all know that is important info! ha).

Hope everyone had a great weekend… I did!

My first book reading!

I have my first book this afternoon at St. Anthony’s school. It is for my son’s junior kindergarten class, requested by his teacher. Should be interesting, as I can honestly say I have never spoken in front of twenty eight 4 & 5 year olds. A great learning experience for me, and hopefully more book readings to come.

Brotherly sibling battles …. how do we deal?

How do I deal? Well, I wrote a book eight months ago.

My boys are 4 1/2 and 2 1/2. They are VERY active typical boys, who argue mostly over toys. They are both very stubborn, and the younger has learned to hold his own (and he’s a big 2 1/2 year old so he can hold his own well).

It is no doubt that we do the best we can as parents. Are we always doing it right, of course not, but we live and learn.

I’m living and learning through my first children’s book by connecting with great authors. I have worked with a talented illustrator on my book, Sharing Is Love- My brother and me, and I am thankful for that. Rocio taught me a lot as we produced the illustrations together. Here is her website. http://rocioarvea.blogspot.ca/

Has my book ended my boy’s sibling battles..of course not. But they like the book, are amused by the characters looking like them, and I would like to think the message comes across loud and clear. They talk about the lessons in the book after each time we read it together.

This book is simple, to the point, rhyming, and has very colourful and vivid illustrations for kids to enjoy. Rocio and I have already begun discussing my second book; Sharing Is Love- My sister and me.

I wish I had more time to concentrate on the marketing of this book, but I take it day by day, week by week, and do what I can. I don’t consider myself an author, maybe a ‘pretend’ author really. One who makes silly spelling mistakes via email and while blogging. Maybe after I write a few more children’s books I may slightly accept this title.

Oh, and as I was writing this I had to go help my husband out as he shouted from downstairs ‘I need a hand’… so I could stay with my youngest, Oliver, while my husband escorted my oldest, Benjamin, upstairs. Why? Hitting his brother. It was an early bedtime for overtired Benjamin.

Typically we deal with our boys battles by either separating them or often a ‘time-out’, followed by a short chat about the ‘time-out’, then an apology to his brother. The hardest thing for us parents is keeping it calm throughout the process… and I have still not mastered this.

Here is an article I just read with some good tips on dealing with nasty sibling fights among young children. http://goo.gl/hxQaB5

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!