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A Dentist’s Guide to Trick-or-Treating

Everyone may not like the chilly weather that is coming our way but everyone loves the holiday seasons that comes with that chilly air! Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas is just around the corner; which means our belly’s will be full of yummy delicious food and our sweet tooth’s will be satisfied with candies, chocolates and desserts.

Halloween is around the corner! Don’t let those ghosts, goblins and witches scare you and your children away from those candies and chocolates. It would be unfair to not let your children get dressed up, go trick or treating and not let them indulge in those treats. The question becomes, what can you do as a parent to help satisfy your children’s sweet tooth and make it dental friendly? Milk chocolates are “easiest” to wash away with water, however be aware of those sticky, chewy, toffee and caramel candies that stick to their teeth. These candies stick like glue to teeth, this sugar turns into bacteria that can be cavity causing.


Follow these simple steps to prevent cavities during Halloween and the holiday season:
• Brush and floss your teeth in the morning and before bed
• Brush your teeth and rinse with water after you have satisfied your sweet tooth with a delicious sugary treat
• Try to stay away from those hard candies like toffee and caramels

When considering or visiting Smiles First, you will realize that we are not your ordinary dental office. We believe our patients deserve an unsurpassed level of care, and it is precisely this commitment to providing the highest quality of individualized care that sets us apart. Redefining the dental experience, Smiles First is a state-of-the-art facility with a courteous, friendly, and highly-trained staff of professionals and specialists who will completely change your perspective on dentistry. We always take the time to listen to your needs and concerns, and are there to answer any questions you may have. Stop by our office and experience firsthand how our unparalleled service and treatment has brightened the smiles of thousands of people in Ontario. Even children look forward to their dental visits at Smiles First, where our friendly dentists ensures that every child’s visit is a pleasant one!

Enjoy trick-or-treating, Happy Halloween!

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Makes 4 large servings

• 2 medium acorn squash, halved length-wise, seeds removed
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
• 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
• 8 oz. hot or mild Italian sausages, casings removed
• 1 cup white mushrooms, diced
• 1 small or ½ large white onion, diced
• 1 cup spinach (can be fresh or frozen)
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1/3 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
• 3 tbsp. parmesan cheese
• 2 tbsp. whole wheat bread crumbs
• 1 tsp. chili flakes (optional)
• 1 tsp. oregano (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375 F
2. Rub the squash halves with 1 tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake until golden and tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
3. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tbsp. of oil over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking into course pieces until browned. Transfer to a bowl. In the same pan, add remaining 1 tbsp. of olive oil and onion, cook until softened (about 2 minutes). Add garlic and mushrooms, cook for an additional minute. Add spinach and mix together over heat for an additional minute. Add broth, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in sausage and cook for one final minute.
4. Divide spinach-sausage filling amongst 4 squash halves. Mix breadcrumbs, chili flakes, oregano and parmesan. Sprinkle evenly over squashes. Place back in oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Angela is a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer. She loves to support and inspire individuals and families to lead healthy lifestyles that work for them. She can help families and parents establish health routines, eat healthier, and get moving!
To learn more about what Angela offers and for more yummy recipes, visit: www.eatrightfeelright.ca or follow her on Instagram @eatright_rd

Sweet Potato Layered Mason Jar Salad

I love mason jars and finding ways to fill them with healthy and tasty recipes. I did some experimenting and I created a salad I absolutely love. It’s beautiful, colourful, and more importantly jam packed with nutrients.



  • 3/4 cup kidney beans, canned and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa (I like to cook mine in broth)
  • 1/2 cooked sweet potato, diced (tip: to save time I pierce the potato with a fork all over and cook for 8-10 minutes in the microwave)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/3 cup apple, diced (I use pomegranate seeds during the winter months J)



  • 1 and ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced



Mix all dressing ingredients together and let sit.

Layer ingredients in the mason jar. Starting with kidney beans, quinoa, then add the dressing, red onion, sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, apple, then spinach.

Refrigerate and enjoy the same day or up to 2 days afterwards – it even keeps well once all the ingredients are mixed!


Empty contents into a bowl and enjoy! J


Angela is a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer. She loves to support and inspire individuals and families to lead healthy lifestyles that work for them. She can help families and parents establish health routines, eat healthier, and get moving!
To learn more about what Angela offers and for more yummy recipes, visit: www.eatrightfeelright.ca or follow her on Instagram @eatright_rd

The New Dependable SUV – 2017 Equinox

I have a need for speed and driving my shit box around Vaughan just doesn’t do it for me. So when I teamed up with Bolton GM I told them I wanted something for the family that makes me happy too. So they introduced me to the 2017 Chevrolet Equinox.

No matter where you want to go, the 2017 Equinox is ready to take you there. With a unique combination of style, versatility and available active safety technologies, this fuel-efficient ride makes every excursion that much more exciting. Drive with confidence knowing Equinox was awarded “Most Dependable Compact SUV in the U.S.” by J.D. Power1(current award based on study of 2013 model year vehicles) and has a 2016 Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).4

Get Comfortable

From the standard rear vision camera and 178 mm (7-in.) diagonal colour touch-screen display to an array of storage options, you’ll find impressive details everywhere you look. The perforated leather-appointed seats on Premier add elegance to the interior, while Premium Cloth seats on LS and LT models provide a superb level of comfort.

Folds. Flexes. And Fits.

When it’s space you need, the Chevrolet Equinox has you covered. The Multi-Flex®sliding rear seat slides back to provide an impressive 1013 mm (39.9 in.) of rear-seat passenger legroom. The seat also folds down to create up to 1804 L (63.7 cu. ft.) of cargo space.  And because the seats feature a 60/40 split-folding design, Equinox provides flexible cargo-carrying options and makes loading and unloading cargo that much easier.

Confident Safety

Equinox offers an array of safety technologies to help detect, prevent and protect from dangerous situations on the road.

  • The 2017 Chevrolet Equinox offers a variety of standard and available safety features.
Available Forward Collision Alert uses a smart camera sensor to scan traffic for stopped or slowing vehicles in front of you and will sound an alert so you can take action. When Equinox is in reverse, available Rear Cross Traffic Alert uses radar sensors to monitor traffic passing behind you, and the standard rear vision camera to visually warn you of those vehicles when detected. In addition, Rear Park Assist, Side Blind Zone Alert7 and Lane Departure Warning are some of the other available active safety features.

Technology That’s Personal

The 2017 Equinox offers available state-of-the-art technology designed to keep you connected and entertained every time you drive. With so many convenient features within your reach, you can stay in control at all times.

  • The Chevrolet Equinox is compatible with Siri Eyes Free for messaging, phone calls, and playing music.
  • The Chevrolet Equinox offers the MyLink system with a colour touch-screen display.
  • The 2017 Equinox offers the ability to connect up to 7 devices to its built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi.
The 2017 Chevrolet Equinox offers built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi.

Equinox is the first SUV in its class to offer built-in OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi®3capability, which provides bandwidth for up to seven devices.10 Chevrolet is the first and only car company to offer built-in OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi®3 capability giving direct access to streaming content, music, entertainment and more.

Siri Eyes Free allows iPhone users to make calls and send messages in the Chevrolet Equinox.

For compatible iPhone® users, the system allows limited hands-free interaction to read or compose a text message, make a phone call or play your favourite music.

Here are a few of my favorite features in the 2017 Equinox.

vaughan, vaughan moms, equinox, gm bolton

vaughan, vaughan moms, equinox, gm bolton

 Visit GM BOLTON, they offer new Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, GMC cars and trucks in Bolton, along with used cars, trucks and SUVs by top manufacturers. Their sales staff will help you find that new or used car you have been searching for in the Bolton, Brampton, Nobleton, Kleinburg, Vaughan, & Maple area.

2016 Fall Styles You May Want To Get Comfortable In

Summer has extended its stay and that’s awesome! But we all know it will come to an end soon. The kids are back to school and weather is starting to change. You can see it as nature colors start to switch to gorgeous autumn colors of red, orange and brown. And with this transformation comes change of wardrobe!

This is the perfect time to look into your closet and start sorting out your pieces. It isn’t just because we are entering a new season, but many moms could be also venturing into new opportunities: back to work, new jobs, starting a business, or simply changes in our physique!

I’ve sourced out the 2016 Fall styles you may want to get comfortable in. But before we talk trends and go on a shopping spree, couple of simple tips to keep in mind:

Clean your closet:

Besides dusting the shelves and washing the closet floor, make sure to go through every piece and start purging what you have not worn in the last 3 years. Why I say that? Well simply because chances are you will never wear them again. I personally go through my closet at least twice a year and give away stuff to women and mothers who may need them. Trust me besides clearing out space for new stuff, and appreciating the Zen of minimalism, you’ll feel good about giving away items to those who cannot afford shopping.

Write down what you are missing and why you need it:
Analyze your lifestyle and organize your clothing needs into buckets (athletic wear, casual lounge wear, sleep wear, business wear, formal wear, outer wear, and special occasions). Within each bucket, write down the missing or new pieces to buy. For example, under casual lounge wear, you may want to add cotton tops, knits, sweaters, cargo pants and T-shirts. Under business wear, you can add skirts, pants, suits, and shirts.

Invest in your basic pieces:

Owning multiple White/black/navy shirts, pants or skirts is essential to your look, so take the time to splurge on them. High quality products will retain their shape and texture much longer than what I have been terming as “disposable fashion”. Looks good the first time on but for some mysterious reason, they fit odd after couple of wears.

Color code your closet:

OMG you have no idea how practical this arrangement is to your sanity. It makes it so much easier to find out the preferred color of the day and how to mix and match.

Now let’s go through the Fall 2016 trend forecast and what to look forward to this season:

The forecast is quite colorful and ornate. However, the selection in this blog aims to offer mamas practical solutions suitable for Canadian weather and our hectic lifestyle. So here it goes:

Statement Fur!

Fur — real and faux — made a strong appearance on fall runways this season, specifically bold colors and prints.



We’ve seen ruffles on tops this past summer. If you like ruffles like I do, you’d be delighted to know that this look is in for Fall 2016.


Shades of Tan

Pantone declared that Tan/Taupe is one of the most fashionable colors this Fall. I personally think it’s a classic color for Fall and Winter. It gives a feeling of warmth and tranquility and would recommend adding it to your wardrobe. If you think this color doesn’t suite your complexions, consider taupe color accessories such as handbags, shoes.


Gold Metallic

Going out for dinner, wedding or wondering what to wear this Holiday Season? Gold Metallic is a definite must have and the craze this Fall/Winter. We can hope our favorite clothing boutiques carry enough inventory of this luxurious color!


Dusty Pink

Dusty pink is another familiar color from Spring / Summer 2016 we will continue to enjoy in the Fall. It’s absolutely feminine and elegant and makes a lovely addition to your work or formal wear.


Shearling Bombers

Great for Canadian Fall! These classic aviator style shearling jackets are IN again and designers are showcasing their styles at every Fall fashion show. You can find them at popular retail stores and they pair beautifully with any casual and work outfit.


Fall Floral Dresses

OK, I personally don’t wear floral prints in winter. But may just venture into Zara this Fall and see if this dress looks good on me. After all, Emerald green is also one of this season’s colors according to Pantone.



Velvet is the hottest trend this Fall/Winter for clothes and shoes. A good quality velvet is beautiful on any woman and will look smooth and elegant. Make sure the material isn’t too stiff, thick or too thin especially when shopping for clothes. High quality velvet can be pricy too and requires some work and try outs to find the right fit.


I hope you are now ready to hit your favorite shopping destination knowing what’s in and how to style it. I am looking forward to enjoying Canada’s best season, autumn!

Reena Ceschia, Founder/Owner
Pursed Boutique

Pursed Boutique is a local online shopping experience. It’s the curator of handbags (and soon accessories) made by emerging young and talented designers from around the globe. These designers leverage access to local craftsmanship and local talents to make exclusive, luxurious and avant-guard designs. What you own is a novelty made by a designer of our generation, a designer whose talent in recognized in many international cities, worn by celebrities and royalties and are now here in Canada! Click BELOW IMAGE to save 20% on all designer bags


Yours Truly, Coffee

Are you the type to get up every morning rush down the stairs while everyone is still asleep, grind your fresh coffee beans and turn a pot of coffee on? While the coffee is brewing and the smell takes over the house you prepare your creamers, sweeteners and of course your favorite mug to sip out of. Let’s face it for some of us, coffee is our best friend.


Before we take a sip of a warm cup of coffee, think about this… It takes one cup a coffee a day to start changing the colour of your pearly whites.

Your mouth, teeth and smile is someone’s first impression of you, so the question is “how do we avoid staining our teeth without giving up a good cup of coffee?” There are three ways to prevent coffee stains on your pearly whites:
Eat fruits which contains fiber to help clean your teeth,
Use a straw to drink your coffee
Brush brush brush!

Some other tips like; avoiding sugars and creamers as they only speed up the staining on your pearly whites, try to have your coffee in one sitting, avoid drinking multiple cups a day, and after your finished with your morning side kick do not forget to brush. Eating raw fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery are natural ways to scrub your mouth clean if you cannot brush them throughout the day. With natural fluoride, full of fiber and water these fruits and vegetables act like toothbrushes and scrape bacteria and food particles away.

Help to minimize the stains on your pearly whites by maintaining your bi-annual check-ups/ cleanings at the dentist. These cleaning will help to remove the stain on the tooth’s surface.

Giving up coffee might not be an option for some, but following these tips will be a great start to minimizing stains on your pearly whites!

We always take the time to listen to your needs and concerns, and are there to answer any questions you may have. Stop by our office and experience firsthand how our unparalleled service and treatment has brightened the smiles of thousands of people in Ontario. Even children look forward to their dental visits at Smiles First, where our friendly dentists ensures that every child’s visit is a pleasant one!


When: Saturday, October 1, 2016 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, October 2, 2016 10:00am – 5:00pm

Where: Enercare Centre, Hall D

Exhibition Place

100 Princes’ Blvd., Toronto, ON M6K 3C3

Details: General Admission: $15.00

Kids 12 and under are free

Parking at the Enercare Centre is $14.00


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Toronto’s premium pregnancy and early parenting exhibition features an expanded focus on local products and sustainable offerings for new parents

TORONTO – September 1, 2016 – Toronto’s highly anticipated pregnancy and early parenting show returns to the Enercare Centre On October 1 & 2. With a renewed focus on local artisans as well as more sustainable offerings for parents, The Baby Show addresses the changing needs and concerns of the modern day family.

Produced by Hestia International Inc., The Baby Show will feature over 130 national and local exhibitors offering products, information, training, and much needed pampering for expecting and new parents.

“Parents are looking for safe and sustainable products and services whenever possible,” says Sandy Pedrogao, The Baby Show’s show manager. “One of the biggest issues is that those types of products aren’t always visible. We’re excited to introduce these eco-friendly and local products and services to new parents at The Baby Show.”


· The Healthy Moms Toronto Zone (expanded): A dedicated area for exhibitors focusing on health and wellness and natural/organic/ecofriendly products and services specifically for moms and babies.

· Etsy Junior Area: A section on the show floor for artisans showcasing handmade, local products from brands found on Etsy.

· Prenatal yoga classes: With a focus on body awareness and relaxation, expectant moms who take part can win one of 20 yoga mats from Gaiam.

· VIP Baby Shower: Sponsored by Dear-Born Baby, 50 lucky moms-to-be will win a coveted spot at the most exclusive baby shower in town with an impressive grand prize!


· Little Feet 3D: 3D ultrasounds allow expectant parents to see what their baby actually looks like.

· Peace Collective: Unique tees for adults and babies. $4 of each t-shirt sale goes to Breakfast for Learning charity.

· Dads with Attitude: Hip hop inspired onesies for baby.

· Dressed to Deliver: Birthing gowns that provide a stylish alternative to hospital gowns.

· Hotmilk Lingerie: Maternity and nursing wear.

· Wall Wear: Custom wall decals for home and nursery.

· Diono: Launching a new travel bassinet, the Dreamliner.

· Lulla Doll: Innovative new sleep aid for baby that tired parents will love.


· Dr. Paul Roumeliotis: This generation’s Dr. Spock, Dr. Paul, author of Baby Comes Home, will discuss caring for your newborn baby from head to toe.

· Taya Griffin: Well-known for helping mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals, Taya will discuss how to get off to the best breastfeeding start.

· Dara Bergeron: Creator of Belly Bootcamp fitness for modern mommies, Dara will go through pregnancy exercise through the trimesters with a focus on health and wellness instead of weight loss.

· Ann Douglas: The best-selling parenting author will discuss the truth about parenthood

· Margaret Wallis-Duffy: A Registered Massage Therapist and International Certified Baby Massage Instructor, Margaret will demonstrate the basics of infant massage.

About The Baby Show
The Baby Show is produced by Hestia International Inc., which has been in the parenting industry for over 10 years. As publisher of Oh Baby! Magazine – a free digest-sized pregnancy and early parenting magazine distributed across Canada, its goal is to educate new and expectant parents through print media, social media and the consumer show platform.

For the latest updates on The Baby Show, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

For more information, visit http://www.thebabyshows.com/toronto/fall/

Fall Means Back to School for Kids but Moms Need to Be Ready Too!

Being a mother of 12-year-old twins and a female in the automotive industry has given me a good perspective on the needs that women and busy moms have when it comes to cars.

At the tail end of every summer as school approaches, many friends and clients reach out to me in panic; “I need your help. I need a bigger car to carpool kids to school and activities.” So, not only do we spend time back-to-school organizing and shopping for our children, we need to prepare ourselves as well. First things first…don’t panic.

zan1My first recommendation is if you have the luxury of time on your side, don’t wait till the last minute. Start your shopping early. I like to advise six months prior to purchase. Take your time, see what is available in your price range and narrow it down. Remember, sometimes cars have to be ordered and we may not have the model or colour on your wish list. Sometimes my clients are in a lease and see no way out as their current vehicle no longer fits the requirements of their lifestyle. They may have had more children or maybe kids have left the nest for university or college. They ask me “How can I change my vehicle when I have 8 months left in my lease?” Depending on the factors, sometimes we can assist in helping clients out of a lease early by asking a few questions: How many more months is the lease? And will you be purchasing from the same manufacturer? Although every case is different, we can help out the majority of the time.

Once you are on your way to car shopping, consider asking yourself these questions: How many kids need to be in this vehicle? Are there car seats or boosters involved? Is this a temporary situation or do I foresee it changing over the next 18 -24 months? Do my children participate in extra circular activities or sports where I need a large truck space?

zan2 Generally, a compact 7 passenger (as I like to call it, where the third row reclines) has a smaller truck space when the third row is being used. An example would be the Acura MDX, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot or Hyundai Santa Fe. This differs from a full sized SUV that is larger such as the Mercedes Benz GLS 350, or 450, Infiniti QX80, or Toyota Sequoia. This is where all of the questions above come into play. If you are using your third row all the time, are you okay with the truck space available or do you require a larger option? A minivan gives the most versatility in combining car seats or booster setups. I just had a client come to me who purchased a Toyota Sienna and needed three car seats installed. She was able to customize the set up of where her seats were placed while still making sure all safety standards were met. Bring the family and all of your gear when you come for a test drive at the dealership. Our sales associates won’t mind and this will give you a piece of mind with your car purchase.

Lastly, no question is a silly one. I am always available to answer or assist in any purchase or inquiry. I can be reached at andria@zanchinauto.com. I hope the tips above will help you think about your needs when looking for a car to fit your busy lifestyle.

As a special incentive to all of our Vaughan Mom Community, I am offering an additional $600 off any car purchase from September 1, 2016 until October 31, 2016. Just bring this article in to any Zanchin Auto Group locations or email me and I will be happy to help you!

Thank you,
Andria Zanchin,
Zanchin Auto Group – www.zanchinauto.com


Returning to work after Maternity Leave

Since this is my inaugural blog post for vaughanmoms.ca, I will start with a brief introduction. My name is Tara LeBlanc, I am a loving dedicated mom of a 3.5-year-old daughter (Natalie), a devoted wife to a 42-year-old husband (James), and a beyond busy Corporate Human Resources Manager for a Global Company, working full time (sometimes more than full time). I currently live in Woodbridge, but throughout my life, I have lived all over Canada (Air Force Brat).
Tara - Blog image
I decided to write this blog for two main reasons, firstly, I love the Vaughanmoms community and wanted to take a more active role, and secondly, I wanted to share any knowledge or experience that I may have with women and moms that could benefit from it, in any way shape or form.
OK, on with show!
First blog topic……… drum roll PLEASE……. Maternity Leave, or more specifically returning to work after Maternity Leave.

I, like many other bread winning moms out there returned to work when my little one was 6 months old. 6 months earlier than the traditional leave. It was one of the hardest decisions I had to make as a mom. Was this going to scar my daughter for the rest of her life? There were many factors that went into this decision… I was the spouse that had a higher salary, so financially it made sense for me to get back to work to get the family back to pre maternity leave income levels, but the more driving factor was a personal one, an emotional one. I was eager to get back to work… I love what I do… it is a part of me. A part of me that I gladly put on hold to start a family, but a part of me that I couldn’t help but be anxious to get back.

This decision, came with some logistical problems:
1. It is very difficult to find a day care that will take an infant at 6 months. Initially, I thought my only option was a live out nanny. I placed an ad on kijiji, asked around to my friends, met with about 4 or 5 nannies, but no luck, no connection, no one that I wanted to leave my sweet little baby with for 10 hours a day. Then, my luck changed, I received an email through my kijiji ad from a woman who runs a home day care, and she invited me to her home to meet with her. So I went over one Wednesday evening with James and left knowing this was the person and place that we would bring Natalie every day, for the next 3 years. Her home was full of love.

2. Massive sleep deprivation! Natalie was still getting up at least once a night when I went back to work. This meant I was tired… every day… and it was extremely difficult to concentrate for 8 hours on my work, or contribute effectively in meetings or team projects. Unfortunately, my workplace did not offer nap rooms like Google does. I would arrive home exhausted to try and do my best to be an awesome wife and mom, but on the inside I always felt I was not doing my job or my job of wife and mom 100%. There was no solution or quick fix for this problem… in fact this is something I still struggle with three years later. The only thing that even starts to tackle this issue for me, is knowing that I give my all, all the time… every second of the day. I want both a successful career and to have a happy home life, and to have that it takes every bit of my effort. I have come to the realization that it is impossible to have it all without some sacrifices. And if you have to sacrifice, doesn’t that mean you don’t have it all?

3. The DREADED phone call – “Natalie is sick and you need to come and get her”. This call can come at any time… regardless of your super busy work schedule, your business trips, or your husbands work schedule. You drop everything and switch gears from professional to mom in under 60 seconds. This usually would mean, caring for sick child, and turning on the laptop after said child is finally resting to catch up on work.
In hindsight despite all of these challenges, would I do it again, return work early? Probably, most likely, yes I would. Would I ever judge a mom who didn’t want to go back to work early? NEVER. It was a very personal decision, and every situation is different. I did what was right for my family.

In my future posts, I will share with you what it was like for me returning to a demanding job as a new parent, how that changed my approach as an HR professional when co-workers returned from leaves, and some of strategies I tried to achieve balance between work and home life. I will focus my posts on workplace issues that affect women and moms and offer insights, thoughts, and general opinions, in an effort to shed light and encourage thoughtful discussion.

Wife, Mother, HR Professional.

My Twins Make Five

As I laid there patiently as the Ultrasound technician moved her goopy wand from side to side along my 6 week baby belly, her eyes squinty and her one eyebrow raised…at this point I’m thinking something fishy is going on.
She tells me to sit up and slowly turns the monitor my way… “Congratulations your having Twins”…. then I calmly said with a slight chuckle, “no I’m not, your mistaken”. HA!
Needless to say I was absolutely thrilled and my poor husband was 20 shades of white.

My pregnancy with my twin boys was smooth sailing (except for the occasional nausea) up to the six-month mark. This is when I started looking like I was full term and ready to pop. I usually just plopped myself on the couch all day eating pickles by the jar…not kidding. I would usually refer to myself as the “beached whale”, because that’s what I felt like. Walking started to get difficult, there was so much pressure on my pelvic I thought for sure it was going to snap in half, I just wanted to roll everywhere! Forget about going up and down the stairs, I should of asked my husband for one of those automated chair lifts, that would of come in handy, come to think of it!
Coming to the end of my pregnancy I was really anxious and scared about the outcome of labor and delivery. I know all women worry about the same thing, but I heard so many stories of complications with twins. I tried staying positive and just hoped for the best because that’s all I could do.

twinsMy doctor had advised me that considering the position of “Baby A” I will be delivering vaginally….um….What???? I don’t know if I was relieved that I didn’t have to do cesarean or scared shit less.
I was induced at 36 weeks, so that’s pretty much full term for carrying twins. My contractions started around 10am and by noon I was screaming for the man with the needle! Once that was all taken care of and I stopped screaming obscenities, I was ready to get the party started!
My labor wasn’t going as swiftly as my daughters, so I was getting really bummed that there was little or no progress in dilation.
By late evening there were complications with my epidural. IT WASN’T WORKING!! The catheter had somehow come out of my back and was releasing liquid, well, that doesn’t do much for me does it???
They tried to fix the problem but the epidural wasn’t working, as it should, so I was white knuckling it pretty much the whole night

Finally I reached 10 centimeters and I was wheeled in the operating room, this is just in case an unforeseen emergency occurs and they can act quick. There were about 6 nurses and 2 doctors ready to get the show on the road, I felt more than ready to push these babies out!

“Baby A” was born at 6:09am at 6 lbs 9oz and with a nice set of lungs and “Baby B”, well, he was having a bit of trouble coming out. Panic started to arise, my babies heart rate was dropping and they needed to get him out quickly. With a little help of a suction “Baby B” had arrived 6:14am at 6 lbs 4 oz but with low vitals, he was whisked away immediately and the team of nurses and doctors began tending to him.
I was anticipating hearing him cry but I didn’t’ t hear him at all, and I didn’t get to see him either which was making me really nervous, all I could do was keep asking my husband if ‘everything was okay’. My husband isn’t a very good liar, so when he said, “everything was fine” I knew things were bad. I felt so helpless, so sad, so happy, a whole bunch of crazy emotions.

It took a few minutes for “Baby B” to show signs of improvement, and when he finally did, they made him comfortable in the NICU, where they took amazing care of him for 3 days. It was hard having my boys separated, but I knew with do time my boys will be together. Leaving the hospital with one baby was heartbreaking and I think I cried all day and all night and I couldn’t wait for all of us to be together.
My Baby boy came home to me on Mothers Day. That will be the best Mothers Day gift EVER!
So there is my story….it was fun writing this post and recounting all the events. It was a scary time but all in all such a joyous one! It seems like yesterday they came into my life! Now they are two beautiful, healthy, rambunctious, pain in my butt, loud and crazy 5 year olds.

This is me at my biggest! 35 Weeks…….

Tales Of A Twin Mom Vanessa Pedone

Back to School They Go!

Parents do you feel calm atmosphere? Can you hear the silence? There aren’t any children running and screaming around the house! It’s September, kids are going back to school!


Parents can understand the stress that comes with planning lunches and snacks for our kids! We have a few ideas for you that are not only nutritional but that will make your kids “teeth happy”. When you start to prepare your back to school grocery list, consider the following teeth friendly and nutritional items;
• Raw veggies and fruits
• Water
• Whole grains
• Easy to pack dairy products, like cheese

It can be difficult to get your children to eat veggies; a great way to get them excited to eat veggies is to cut them into fun shapes! Kids love veggies with a crunch, like baby carrots, cucumbers, peppers and celery. Veggies like these provide kids with vitamin A and C and provides them with two antioxidants that will give their gums a boost!

Fruits are the best way to satisfy a sweet tooth during the school day. Cut up an apple for them to munch on, this will provide them with fiber, water and natural fluoride which can tide them over until their next brush their teeth at home. Eating an apple is sweet and satisfying but acts like a dancing tooth brush in their mouth scrubbing everything clean.

Packing low-sugar dairy items like aged cheese or plain Greek yogurt is a healthy snack for their teeth and great tasting to fill their belly.

It is important to stay away from anything with high sugar content like juice boxes. It is best to give this to them at home after school as a snack where they can brush their teeth right after.

Get your kids involved! Have them help pack their lunch and snacks each night before bed. If they get to ‘choose’ their “teeth happy” snack and help prepare it, they will be more inclined to gobble it up throughout the school day.

Happy Back to School!!

We always take the time to listen to your needs and concerns, and are there to answer any questions you may have. Stop by our office and experience firsthand how our unparalleled service and treatment has brightened the smiles of thousands of people in Ontario. Even children look forward to their dental visits at Smiles First, where our friendly dentists ensures that every child’s visit is a pleasant one!

Get Sleep Ready for Back to School

During the summer months we have so many fun reasons to stay awake – bbqs, parties and beach days! And if you are like so many parents that I speak with, your flexible schedule gets a little more wiggle room during July and August! Now as we can see the beginning of school nearing we need to plan for this transition back. Our kids will need to be awake at a scheduled time and so that will mean a more structured bedtime. Here are a few tips to get you sleep ready for back to school!
Bedtime (and morning) Routines
The first thing that you need to do to implement a bedtime routine is have a time for it all to begin. To figure out what time your child should be going to bed, do the math. If a preschooler needs 11 hours of uninterrupted night time sleep and needs to be awake by 7am to get dressed and out the door on time, your child needs to be ASLEEP by 8pm. So bedtime routine ideally needs to begin by 7:30 or earlier if a bath is part of your routine.
So if over the summer months bedtime has been closer to 9pm, a shift needs to start. Gradually over the next few days or weeks, transition bedtime to the new earlier time. You can also start to wake your child at their new wake up time so that an earlier bedtime isn’t such a struggle.
It is important to remember that children thrive on routine and predictability; even school aged children. So having a consistent bedtime routine will allow your child the time to relax prior to falling asleep.
Creating a Flexible Routine
If you are going to make changes to your schedule this might be a good time to evaluate your bedtime routine as well. I often tell parents that it is important to look at the overall evening routine, including dinner time. Children need more time to digest a meal compared to adults, so ideally you want dinner to be approximately 2 hours prior to bedtime to allow time for digestion.

You will also want to control caffeine and ensure that they don’t consume any after about 3pm. By removing caffeine in the afternoon and evening you will allow your child the ability to get tired and more ready for sleep.
Turn off the electronics at least one hour prior to bedtime. The light emitted by electronics such as televisions, tablets, smartphones, etc., inhibit the production of melatonin in our bodies which can make it difficult to fall asleep.
Avoid rough housing and active play prior to bedtime. Try to introduce quiet activities such as books, puzzles and building toys. Once homework is complete encourage your child to unwind and relax with some quiet activities.
School is a big adjustment for children, even if it is “just” preschool. It is a period of adjustment, schedule changes, new expectations and reaching new milestones. Try to carve out some time with your child to connect at the end of the day. The extra time with mom and/or dad will create a positive attachment experience and will ultimately add to the unwinding and relaxation prior to bedtime.
If your child is not yet going to sleep independently and you need some help on where to start, contact Family Bliss to work on a customize sleep plan today!
Remember a well-rested child will have better emotional, physical and developmental health. They will also be calmer and more willing to listen than a child who is overtired and in need of some quality sleep.

If you are ready I wish you luck and great success! If you need a customized sleep plan or would like to schedule a complementary strategy call please visit my website www.familybliss.ca for contact information.



Food For Thought!

There are so many diet fads out there! What to eat, what not to eat, what has low sodium, half the amount of sweetness and sugar. When it comes to your pearly whites, you are what you eat! Two big factors involved in tooth enamel loss and cavities are: ACID and SUGAR. When teeth are exposed to acidic foods and drinks like soft drinks, wine and fruits like oranges, the acids soften and erode the surface layer of teeth. If you are going to eat candy and drink sugary drinks your contributing to your tooth decay!

It’s fine to enjoy these treats everyone craves and needs a bit of sweetness in your diet. However, if your running behind and cannot brush your teeth right away eat an apple. They are high in fiber and water. When you eat an apple it produces more saliva in your mouth which rinses away bacteria and other food particles. Apples contain fluoride, which can tide you over until your next brush! Eating an apple is like scrubbing your mouth clean. Carrots and Celery like apples contain fiber and water, they also act like toothbrushes and scrap bacteria and food particles away. Raw celery contains vitamin A & C and two antioxidants that give your gums a boost!

The secret is to make sure you aren’t constantly bathing in acid by 1) avoiding acidic snacks multiple times throughout the day, and 2) avoiding snacking/sipping on acidic foods/drinks over a long period of time – that means no sipping on pop, juice or lemon water throughout the day!

Sugars tell a similar story – when it comes to teeth, the length of time the sugars remain on your teeth matter most! Ice cream (sugary but melts away quickly in your mouth) is less dangerous than sticky sweets like caramel or hard candy that you suck on for a long time. So if you cannot avoid sweets, try to finish sugary snacks in one sitting and don’t have them so often throughout the day.

Now, what are some healthy snacks that are low in acid and sugar that you can safely snack on? Nuts and seeds, cheese, plain yogurt, popcorn and crackers!
Remember when it comes to your pearly whites, you are what you eat! How is that for some Food for Thought?

When considering or visiting Smiles First, you will realize that we are not your ordinary dental office. We believe our patients deserve an unsurpassed level of care, and it is precisely this commitment to providing the highest quality of individualized care that sets us apart. Redefining the dental experience, Smiles First is a state-of-the-art facility with a courteous, friendly, and highly-trained staff of professionals and specialists who will completely change your perspective on dentistry.

We always take the time to listen to your needs and concerns, and are there to answer any questions you may have. Stop by our office and experience firsthand how our unparalleled service and treatment has brightened the smiles of thousands of people in Ontario. Even children look forward to their dental visits at Smiles First, where our friendly dentists ensures that every child’s visit is a pleasant one!

PIZZAFEST is coming to Vaughan

Vaughan Pizzafest Flyer-page-001Purchase your tickets today: HERE

Check out the best Pizzeria’s in Ontario spinning their Signature Pies all weekend long!

15 Pizzerias spinning their Signature pizzas!
Entertainment for Families and Children!
Live Bands & Musical Performances all Weekend!
Fully Licensed! Enjoy Beer, Wine and Spirits!
Free Samples and much more!

July 15 4pm -11pm
July 16 Noon – 11pm
July 17 Noon – 7pm at the Woodbridge Fairgrounds

For more information visit Pizza Fest

Your Child’s First Visit

As moms we all have important jobs to do. Not only do we have to stay on top of our health, hygiene and day to day living we need to start the path for our children. A lot of moms call us and ask when is it the right time to bring in my child for their first visit to the dentist! The Canadian Dental Association recommends assessment as early as 6 months after their first primary tooth has erupted. When that first tooth does come up, we recommend to gently wipe the gums with a clean, soft cloth after meals. Then, as teeth erupt, help your child establish a healthy habit of brushing twice a day (after breakfast and before bedtime) for 2 minutes each time. Don’t forget about flossing! Brushing alone won’t clean the plaque between teeth and underneath the gums. Easy flossers can make flossing less intimidating.

Some things to expect when you make your child(rens) first dental appointment; The hygienist will have your child sit in the chair, put on some “cool” sunglasses, make them feel right at home and of course comfortable. The hygienist will provide your child with a mirror so they can see their teeth and start counting; it is a great introduction and always fun! It is important that the hygienist explains to your child what they are doing and explain the instruments to your child and what they do to the teeth. When the Dentist comes in to check over the appointment they will go through at home cleanings with you and give you tips on how to make it easier on you. They will ask about eating and drinking and just give some food for thought advice. The dentist will also check to see if the teeth are strong and cavity free and will provide you with continuing oral care; Cavity free kids are happy kids

What about those X-rays? A lot of moms are concerned about x-rays for themselves and for their children. However, it is so important to note that 15 minutes of sun exposure is more harmful to you and your child than taking digital x-rays. X-rays are imperative to your oral health, you do not want to miss any complications like cavities, crowding, infection and extra teeth.

At Smiles First they want you to feel comfortable and confident in choosing your dentist for you and your family.