Every year, I tell myself that I’m not going to let the holidays stress me out. And every year, despite my best efforts, I end up frazzled and fatigued. Maybe the problem is that I’m setting a random goal but not doing specific things to create a different outcome. This year, that’s going to change. I have compiled a list of 25 small but impactful steps that you (and I) can take to keep things on track and enjoy the season more. That said, I’m guessing you don’t even have time to read this whole list. The tips are organized into 4 categories – prioritizing, shopping, coping and connecting – so feel free to jump to the section that interests you. There, you’ll find some suggested mini tactics to help ease your holiday burden. PRIORITIZING Pause and reflect. Time for some big-picture thinking. Can you clearly identify which holiday traditions…

‘Tis the season for mom to get a bath robe. Last year we all had a good laugh at the Saturday Night Live skit about moms being neglected during the holidays. It was funny because it was so relatable. This year, I thought I’d share a few goodies that us mamas might appreciate. 1. Something beautiful AND sentimental Our kids create so much beautiful art. I know most of it ends up in the recycling bin, but sometimes they create something special that deserves to be remembered. Made With Your Art takes your child’s piece of creativity and turns it into a stunning piece of jewelry. I have several pieces and have gifted them as well. The process is simple, the prices reasonable and the outcome incredible! 2. Something celebrating our Mama status I have the sweetest “Hockey Mama” shirt from Ash and Co. Their products are simple and elegant.…

It’s the time of year where we start to think about what to buy for Christmas. Yet, we look around, and the house is FULL of unused toys, and the thought of buying more seems wasteful and ridiculous. If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of kid’s toys, then you aren’t alone. If you’re frustrated that your children rarely play with expensive toys, then you’re still not alone. But, there is a way to plan for Christmas toys AND make the toys a little simpler. But having toys is essential; they’re tools kids use to develop. They used to learn and develop motor skills, critical thinking, and social skills to imitate what they know and see. The best way for kids to develop these skills is with open-ended toys. Open-ended toys mean that they don’t have to have one apparent single use. They’re not based on a TV character…

Women are known for flooding others with love, taking care of the family, and managing all aspects of the household. Unfortunately, these past 2 years have been some of the toughest on parents; mothers especially reached a breaking point. This season, Moms will be thinking of gift-giving, stressing over the perfect gift to make everyone happy. Unfortunately, women rarely reciprocate that love back onto themselves. Well, we are worthy of spoiling ourselves, and we deserve it after the $#^% show we’ve all been through. So let’s indulge ourselves- guilt-free! There is no one-size-fits-all for moms. But one thing is sure, at least in the Mabel’s Labels office. We all love to relax (that, and wine). So here is a roundup of the stuff we’re loving here in the Mabelhood. Our favorite products, services, and experiences that we’re planning on treating ourselves to Cassandra Gifts (even to ourselves) don’t need to be…

(This post was updated Nov 2021 to reflect the importance of labeling for daycare in post-pandemic life) The end of maternity leave is a very sad time for many mothers. It can make you feel sick with a mix of emotions; guilt, anxiety, sadness and fear. It’s also liberating for some moms, those who feel the need to get their life and career moving again. Moms can be really excited to have new challenges outside of the home. Yet, however you feel about it we can all agree that the logistics are hard. From packing, to pick-up times it’s not an easy transition to make. Nobody can take the anxiety away, but we can help ease the logistical challenge and steer you in the right direction with getting more organized for the next step. Why Label for Daycare? This is a question we used to get quite often at Mabel’s.…

It’s the start of the holiday season! It’s still Fall-like weather! It’s another one of my favourite months! If you ask me, November rocks! Now, some might think I’m saying this because I have a November birthday, but that’s not the only reason. If you read my October babies post, you know that I’m a lover of all things Fall and everything I love about Fall just continues throughout the month of November. Then you add in the start of the holiday season, and everything just feels all merry and bright! Plus, I love all things peppermint, cinnamon, and cranberry. I was definitely born in the right month! Those born in November have some great things going for them. Like October babies, they’re destined to be great athletes. Due to the two astrological signs in November, they’re known for being great friends, and their birthday month is also Peanut Butter…

I LOVE the Christmas season; It gives me strong Christmassy vibes at the first sign of a snowflake. The magic, the smells, the family time, and the joy it brings the kids. Having said that, I also find it to be a stressful time. Like many moms, I feel the burden from the most wonderful time of the year. This is the first year that I have considered Elf on the Shelf. My daughter is now at an age where she’ll hear stories from classmates about the shenanigans their Elves are getting into. As an Elf newbie, I am starting to consider whether this relatively new tradition I want to bring to my family. I just don’t know if I’m one of those families—an Elf family. This time of year, my sanity hangs on like a heavy Christmas ornament on a very floppy tree branch. The season is labor-intensive and…

Cis-gender, transgender, agender, non-binary, genderqueer. These are big and scary words. Worse, their use is seemingly fluid, and what was perfectly acceptable yesterday is suddenly offensive today. Some of the people who use these terms are remarkably forgiving when we make mistakes, but some aggressively enforce their ‘correct’ use at all times. All of these factors combine to make the topic of gender a seeming minefield of political correctness over what is a seemingly trivial thing that has only very recently become a prominent issue. The easiest thing by far is to avoid talking about non-standard gender topics entirely, right? After all, this wasn’t an issue when we were growing up. Why is it so important now all of a sudden? There has been an explosion in growth of studies being done on transgender and gender non-conforming folks. At the same time, we’ve opened our eyes as a society to…

Holiday cards can present an annual dilemma. Life is crazy-busy in December, and your to-do list is longer than Santa’s beard. But, you also want to send warm holiday wishes to the people you care about – something more meaningful than liking their latest post on Instagram. An old-fashioned holiday card is always a thoughtful gesture, and it might be even more meaningful this year. If you like the idea of sending out cards but aren’t sure where to start, read on for our step-by-step guide. Step 1: Make Your List The goal here is to establish who is on your “snail mail” list, since you’ve got to allow more prep and delivery time for them. You may choose to contact some friends and family by e-mail, text or social media, but you also instinctively know which ones will genuinely enjoy ripping open an envelope and unfolding a classic holiday…

We are just a few days away from Hallowe’en, and there are a few important points I’m considering and talking to my kids about before the big day! 1.Costumes When choosing their costumes, I ask my kids always to be respectful. Have them consider if their costume is making for or offensive of a culture or religion. Does it reinforce stereotypes about certain groups? My kiddos are generally very aware of cultural appropriation, but it’s still a meaningful conversation to have. Otherwise, if their costumes are safe and not too restrictive, I don’t police unnecessarily. Let them express themselves and have fun! 2. Inclusivity I try to ensure I have non-food items for kids with allergies or food sensitivities. Having a teal pumpkin on your porch will alert trick-or-treaters that you are a safe house for them. If you notice a child carrying a blue pumpkin for their treats, they…