• Thu, November 30, 2017 8:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at our Holiday Social next Tuesday, December 5 at Little White Sneakers111 Roncesvalles Avenue, starting at 7:30 p.m. Come celebrate the year with your friends! The (free) wine will be flowing and there will be lots of yummy appetizers from the Cheese Boutique! We’ve invited some local brands that we love (many owned by former Netters!) and they’ll be selling unique holiday gifts and offering all attendees special promotions! A portion of all shopping proceeds will be donated back to MumNet! Feel free to bring a friend, the more the merrier!

    Here's a little more about our vendors:

    Little White Sneakers: a kids clothing store which sells high-quality kids clothes, both new and like-new. Unique brands from all over the world for up to 85% off.  Their collection also include several local and organic fabric brands which make perfect gifts. 

    Happiness Is Inc.: a brand of casual and athletic clothing made in Canada, with a mission to inspire everyone to celebrate their moments of happiness. Lots of great hubby gifts!

    Frannie and Lilo (or @wethemamas): eco-concious, ethical and empowering clothing designed by mamas for mamas. These shirts are made in Canada with bamboo/organic cotton. A perfect gift for yourself (or any other mamas on your list!).  

    Citrus Silver: made-in-Canada, personalized sterling silver jewellery for women, men, teens kids. 

    Wallumniation: revolutionizing your favourite home photos through light, fabric, and simple design. 

    Hello, Art!: small original paintings and art prints for children’s rooms that is charming and nostalgic and sometimes completely and delightfully odd!

  • Sat, November 25, 2017 2:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Tuesday, November 28, 2017 is Giving Tuesday, a national day for giving and giving back. As a non-profit, MumNet relies on the support of our members, alumnae, and friends to help us to ensure moms get the support they need. There are several ways you can give or give back, take a look!

  • Thu, November 23, 2017 12:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Earlier this week, we hosted another Bits + Bites event, an evening speaker and social series that provides additional opportunities for our members and friends to connect with other like minded woman, learn about topics that are relevant to them, and enjoy a night out! The topic of this Bits + Bites event was "Body confidence after having kids." We had some incredible guest speakers to discuss this subject from all angles, including emotional and mental wellness, physical wellness, and sexuality. Our panelists had some powerful messages for our members and friends. Take a look:

    Thank you again to our panelists, Rhonda Roberts Smid, Fitness specialist; Nadine Woods, Founder & Executive Director, Maternal Goddess, and Founder of Mayana Geneviere; and Gwen Schauerte, Registered Psychotherapist. 

    MumNet wants to ensure moms in our community get the support they need through our programs. We are thrilled to offer Bits + Bites events on topics that resonate with our members and friends. Have a topic in mind? Send it our way at

    Stay tuned to our blog and social media channels for information on future MumNet events.

    Facebook: @MumNetToronto
    Twitter: @MumNetToronto
    Instagram: @MumNetToronto

  • Wed, November 22, 2017 9:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Guest Blogger: Lesley Stoyan of Daily Apple

    The phenomenon of the ageless female form (think Madonna, Julianne Moore, Michelle Obama) is dominating tabloid and celebrity health media these days, with supermodels and Hollywood icons of “a certain age” looking better over 40 than they did in their twenties. The secret? It’s something that, as a double-decade health educator in a similar season of my own life, I have been devoted to finding out.

    The trick to attaining this youthful physique appears to be simple...well for those with a strong resolve: a combination of daily “inside out” training (a.k.a. Pilates-style, “teeny-tiny dancer muscle” workouts incorporating high reps and low weights); a clean diet - mostly plant-based and calorie-restricted, incorporating as many whole foods as possible; using your feet as your main form of transportation – logging 10,000+ steps per day; and, sadly for many people, avoiding or limiting alcohol as much as possible (drinking on non-consecutive days, no more than 2 drinks per day, and avoiding sugary, mixed-based cocktails). Interested in jumping on board the timeless train? Here are a few tricks to throw into your daily mix:

    • Start your day with a “shot” (no it’s too early for tequila!) Combine one teaspoon of turmeric, the juice of half a lemon, a pinch of cayenne pepper and a cup of tepid water. Bottoms up!
    • Raw Raw Raw! Fuel your workday with as much fresh produce as you can, topped with a bit of protein. Try these two super easy take-away salads with under five ingredients each!
    • Order (affiliate links to Amazon) some of the equipment we use at MumNet for your home gym, such as 10lb Kettle Bell, 10lb Dumbbells, Fitness Loops (versatile and portable resistance training tool, great for upper and lower body workouts), Wooden Balance Board, Skipping Rope, Yoga Mat.
    - Chopped Apple and Blueberry Breakfast Salad with Toasted Walnuts   and Maple Syrup Drizzle
    - Red Cabbage and Lupini Bean Mason Jar Slaw with Rice Vinegar
    • Drink all day. Choose water with slices of fresh fruit, green juices, herbal or lightly caffeinated teas to keep you going
    • Never. Stop. Moving. Embrace your inner 5 year old...and hopefully you won’t get in trouble by your teacher...and MOVE! All day long! Book “Walkings” instead of “Meetings”. Meet your friends for fitness instead of coffee. Walk to deliver an in-person message to your office mate versus sending an email (you’ll likely get an answer faster too!) And NEVER take the elevator for floors 10 and under. Yup. Just like that.
    • YTrain. Wait, Y what? YTrain (yoga/pilates inspired exercise) is my signature method of working out – using the principals of inside out training, and finding those “teeny-tiny dancer muscles” (yup, we all have them, even without a tutu). Try a new Pilates class, or venture out to a trendy Barre studio. Or join me at one of my YTrain programs, featured regularly at MumNet Runnymede and Swansea, and at my midtown studio. You can do it! Crank up the “Lucky Star," strike a boat pose, and then wash it all down with a side of kale juice!


    Lesley Stoyan, the owner of Daily Apple, is a certified lifestyle coach, personal trainer and yoga instructor, who has worked in both the commercial and corporate wellness sector for over 20 years, specializing in high performance athletics and family health programming. She is also a dedicated plant-based chef and social entrepreneur, co-founding the community-building non-profit company, The AppleTree Group. She developed her YTrain Method after giving birth to her son, Luke, in 2010, and has been featured in many publications and health journals on the specialized practice of post-natal fitness.

  • Wed, November 08, 2017 9:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Guest Blogger: Erin Welsh

    My day typically goes like this, coffee, herbal tea, wine, herbal tea. Sound familiar? Sometimes the order changes, but there is always tea in the day.

    On my quest to eat healthier and clean up the “toxic” products in my house I started reading all the labels and doing the research on what I was consuming. EXCEPT FOR TEA. Somehow this one fell through the cracks. One day someone posted an article on Facebook about how a popular tea company had terrible ingredients, is full of sugar and artificial flavours and colours and I was crushed! My cupboard was full of them. After more research, in steps Steeped Tea!

    Steeped Tea was started by a woman in Hamilton who went on Dragons Den and got funded (check her out here). It was her quest to create premium loose-leaf tea, with NO added sugar, artificial flavours/colours, Non GMO, and is sourced ethically and sustainably.

    My personal favourites are Peppy Peppermint, Berry Mania and Earl Grey de la Crème! Peppermint for the herbal tea, Earl Grey for that caffeine kick, and Berry Mania fruit tea for the kids cold in the fridge. The perfect stocking stuffer for the family, teachers, neighbours, friends and anyone else! 40% of sales go back to MumNet, a great way to support this amazing organization.

    Happy sipping!

  • Sun, November 05, 2017 10:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Guest Blogger: Marni Thompson

    My fondest childhood memories revolve around chocolate. From candy conventions to being in the kitchen with my father making caramels in the copper kettle...for as long as I can remember, chocolate has always been a part of my life. Today, nothing delights me more than sharing my love of chocolate with others by hosting children’s chocolate parties, bachelorette parties, or corporate team building chocolate experiences in our studio.

    At M Thompson Chocolates, we are known for our quality not quantity. Established in 2010, my husband Alvin and I started our business with the hopes of proving to people that you really can have it all. Every chocolate is handmade with love, using the freshest, finest, natural ingredients possible. We believe chocolate is meant to be enjoyed every day not only on special occasions. 

    If you want to taste the difference quality makes, we invite you to support MumNet by purchasing our chocolates through their fall fundraiser, and/or by visiting us at the Oneofakind Show: November 23 - December 3, 2017

    Chocolate Cheers,


  • Mon, October 30, 2017 10:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Guest Blogger: Gillian James

    Some events are unforgettable, even though 20 years have passed..and funnily enough the date was Friday the 13th. I was at work and my child care provider called, saying that my son Sam was having an allergic reaction to something. I live in a small town and was there in 5 minutes. By then, Sam was very swollen in the face and his arms and legs were covered in hives and I was given a list of everything he had eaten that day. We rushed to the doctor's office, he administered adrenalin and right away the hives started to diminish. Then the doctor gave Sam some Benadryl (slower acting but longer lasting) and one more shot of adrenalin before we got into the ambulance to go to the hospital, one hour away. The reaction settled down quickly for Sam after that (he actually fell asleep in the ambulance) but after allergy testing, I was now faced with the daunting task of avoiding peanuts at all costs in all situations.

    At that time, nut warnings were fairly new and many products that I wanted to use were either substandard or had the dreaded 'may contain nuts' warning. As a chef by trade, I realized that there was a need for delicious, nut-free products and I started adapting some of my favourite recipes. This marked the beginning of my business, Nut-free Gourmet Cookie Dough. My goal was (and still is) to use the same top quality ingredients my grandmother used with nothing artificial or unpronounceable....butter, fresh eggs, pure chocolate and unbleached flour..and no nuts, ever! Since 2002, our cookie dough has been available in stores such as Whole Foods, Bruno's and Pusateri's and many independent grocers.

    The next time Sam went to the doctor for a vaccination, he was stoic until we left the office, when he broke down crying. When I asked what was wrong, he sobbed, "I did't get to ride in the ambulance after my needle like last time."

    Sam is 22 now and has outgrown his allergies, but the business he inspired is still going strong. 

    You can get some of Nut Free Gourmet's cookie dough through our Fall Fundraiser. Buy yours today - the fundraiser is on through November 10.

    - - 

    Gillian James is a mother of three and a qualified chef. Born and raised in Montreal, Gillian earned her chef's papers at George Brown College in conjunction with an apprenticeship at the Board of Trade in Toronto.

    Gillian worked both restaurants and private clubs in Toronto before moving to Apsley, a small village north of Peterborough, to raise her family. While catering and working seasonally at local resorts, she started baking cookies and selling them through local stores. The cookies were very well received and within a few months, someone asked about buying the unbaked dough for a fundraiser and they bought enough dough to make 17,000 cookies!

    Since then Gillian has been busy making cookie dough for both fundraising and retail clients.

    In her 'spare' time. Gillian works with her husband in his auction business, Apsley Auctions and enjoys cooking, hiking and foraging for wild food in the forest near her home.

  • Tue, October 24, 2017 12:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Guest Blogger: Triona Coakelin, Certified Infant & Toddler Sleep Coach

    It's that time of year when everyone gets just-a-little-bit confused about what time it is – daylight savings! The good news is that you will get a “bonus hour” of overall sleep and a “bonus hour” of light in the morning, so waking up will definitely be easier. In the evening, it will be darker one hour earlier, so often the day feels really short. You will find yourself wanting to “get cozy” and you and the kids will likely get drowsy earlier—and therefore bedtime will hopefully be easier.

    If your baby is waking later in the morning than you’d like…

    ….good for you!! The time change will bring your child’s schedule back by a full hour, so this should solve any late-waking problems you may be having.

    If your baby is waking too early in the morning…

    ...I’m sorry. One of the most common things I hear from parents is ‘my baby wakes too early’! This time changes is probably going to be tough on you and you definitely want to be proactive so that you aren’t up at 4am!

    Try not to worry too much, there ARE some steps you can take to minimise disruption. In the week leading up to the time change gradually adjust your child’s schedule (wake-up, naps and bedtime) by 10-15mins every couple of days. For example, if your little one usually wakes around 6.30am and you would like it to remain that way work towards getting him up at 7.30am (and shift everything else ahead too) – that way, after the time changes he should be waking around 6.30am again and his whole day will adjust accordingly.

    Some practical tips to reduce the stress:

    Although there will be some timings you can’t adjust, like daycare or activity times, aim to shift all your daily routines 15 minutes later at each step during the "adjustment week."

    Stay really consistent and predictable with bedtime routines. Little ones thrive on solid routines and by keeping these the same it will help your child predict sleep and make sleep easier.

    With the clock change, the amount of light in your child’s room will also change which can affect their melatonin levels (melatonin is a hormone associated with the onset of sleep.) Make sure they get plenty of daylight and fresh air first thing in the morning to regulate their melatonin levels and suppress that sleepy hormone.

    Blackout blinds can also be a huge help so the new, lighter mornings don’t confuse them further!

    Many children are not affected by a small difference in time so it is simpler and perhaps easier to make a quick adjustment by doing the immediate shift. Ultimately, you know your child best so you’ll be able to identify which plan will work best for you- all I suggest is make sure you have a plan in place to avoid a horribly early wake up call on Sunday morning….and some strong coffee in case you need it!

    Sleep well,

    - -

    Triona Coakelin is a Certified Infant & Toddler Sleep Coach and Toronto Mom. After having her son in 2015 she decided not to return to her corporate marketing job and instead help other families by giving them the gift of sleep in a gentle, loving way. For more information visit

  • Mon, October 23, 2017 9:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Since the beginning of time, women have faced huge pressure to fit the mould of what an “ideal” body looks like. Failure to conform to the standard can cause stress and anxiety, and can ultimately impact our sense of self and overall confidence.

    When we become mothers and experience major physical, emotional and lifestyle changes, these issues become amplified. Being a mother – whether caring for a newborn or corralling a brood of teenagers – is tough business, and being the happiest and healthiest version of ourselves has never been more important. Rebuilding our confidence and learning to be comfortable in our own skin isn’t always quick or easy, but it’s incredibly important for our own well being and for that of our children as they grow and learn from us.

    MumNet is excited to announce our next MumNet Bits + Bites event, focusing on body confidence, that will take place on Tuesday, November 21st! Our panel of experts will contribute to the body confidence discussion with a focus on physical fitness and strength, mental health and sexuality. Topics will range from the pressures woman face to have the ideal body and what’s realistic, how our body image can influence our sexuality and strategies that can help us feel happy and empowered.

    Where: 3030 Dundas West, 3030 Dundas St. W. – see map.

    When: Tuesday, November 21, doors open for drinks and snacks at 7:30p.m. The talk starts at 7:45 p.m. followed by some much-needed social time with the ladies.

    Cost: Members: $20, Non-members: $25.00 and at the door: $30.00. This includes a few tasty bites!

    Purchase your ticket now

    Meet our Panelists!

    Rhonda Roberts Smid
    TAB The Art of Balance studio, is the vision of Rhonda Roberts Smid - Fitness Specialist, stage and screen performer, and university instructor. Rhonda has been dancing for over 39 years - 15 of that as a professional - and has been studying fitness and personal training for more than 12. In 2016, she was a Top 3 Finalist for CanFitPro Fitness Professional of the Year and she specializes in everything from pre and post-natal fitness training, older adult fitness, and she runs both classes and personal training sessions in the west end of the city.

    Her combined experiences in the dancing and fitness industries, in addition to being a mother to a nine year old daughter who also dances, make her only too aware of the pressures faced by women when it comes to achieving a perfect body.

    Nadine Woods 
    Nadine M. Woods is the Creative Director and CEO of Mayana Genevière™ Inc., an innovative high luxe intimate apparel lifestyle brand dedicated to celebrating and supporting women in motherhood. The Canadian-made garments not only celebrate the sexiness of women as they transition through life’s many changes but they also focus on the restoration required during postnatal recovery. As the creative visionary, Nadine manages and oversees all aspects of the business.

    Nadine is also the founder and executive director of Maternal Goddess®, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing postnatal maternal health through education and awareness of the changes and challenges women experience post-birth.

    Nadine works closely with a broad spectrum of professionals, especially those whose expertise is to facilitate the transition from birthing to motherhood with a focus on a mother’s needs.

    Gwen Schauerte
    Gwen Schauerte RP, M.Ed. ( is a Registered Psychotherapist who has been helping women navigate transitions, transform relationships and grow personally for over 25 years. She is a registered member of the College of Psychotherapy of Ontario and a clinical member of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychotherapists and Psychometrists.

    She has studied mindfulness disciplines and healing approaches for two decades. Gwen also has a Master’s of Education from the University of Toronto and holds certificates in Couples' Counselling, as well as in Addictions and Trauma. She combines her extensive training with a compassionate approach to therapy.

    Gwen provides therapy on a range of life challenges such as: individual/couple relationships, communications, depression/anxiety, self esteem, boundaries/assertiveness, parenting/family, mid-life issues and grief.

    Tell your girlfriends and bring them along - this event is open to everyone!

  • Sun, October 22, 2017 8:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It's the most wonderful time of the year - the time when you can check some people off your holiday gift giving list and buy some things to decorate your home for the season through MumNet's annual fall fundraiser. This year's fundraiser kicked off on October 16 and runs through November 10. Products on offer include: 

    • Wreaths;
    • Poinsettias;
    • Cookie dough;

    • Tea infusers;

    • Tea;

    • Birch syrup;

    • Maple syrup; and

    • Honey.

    By supporting MumNet today through the fall fundraiser, you're supporting other moms across the city in having access to the support they need through MumNet's programs

    - -

    This year, we thought we'd introduce you to our fundraiser product partners. Here's a Q&A with our partner, David Martin. 

    Your wreaths are so beautiful. Can you share any tips on how to keep them fresh and green for the holiday season?

    If you have the wreath outside it does not need near as much attention, but misting it with water once a week is still a good idea.

    Wreaths inside your house need a little more attention but still very easy to maintain the fresh green look, take some water and put it in an empty spray bottle, and then every 2 or 3 days you should put a water mist over the front of the wreath so the needles can absorb the moisture and stay fresh. If you really want to go to a lot of work you can also lay the wreath in water, the back side facing down where all the cut stems are and they will also drink up water to freshen up the needles, this could be done once a week, but the spray bottle method is a lot faster and easier and just as efficient if done every 2 days!

    What inspired you to start your own apiary? 

    We were inspired to start our own apiary for a few reasons, first one obviously as farmers we are very concerned about the bee population and what would happen if we did not have these pollinators anymore, so that encouraged us. Second reason, we have done Maple Syrup for 18 years now at the farm and lots of people also asked for natural local honey so we gave it a try and really enjoy working with our honey bees now. We own a lot of property so this was a natural fit for us.

    How far afield do your bees travel for their nectar?

    Our bees travel up to 2 miles for nectar but because we are so far in the country and surrounded by a perfect mixture of buch, swamp and farm land our bees do not have to travel very far to gather nectar.

    Everyone is familiar with maple syrup but what is birch syrup and how can we use it?

    Birch Syrup is mainly used as a glaze on chicken, pork, or salmon. It's also used in some baking. You can find recipe ideas here.

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