Scholars Choice Teacher Appreciation Sale

Scholars Choice is having an amazing sale for Teacher Appreciation Wednesday, July 31st, 2019. I have received MANY requests asking for a list of my must haves and favourite toys so you can take advantage of the sale and scoop them up at 20% off!

This post is not sponsored or have any affiliate links attached , these are my person opinion and preferences. 


Recommend products


8 months and up

3 and up

5 and up

Sensory toys

0- 6 months

6-12 months

1-2 years

2-4 years

Arts and crafts,/

Open ended toys

My favourite from Melissa and Doug toys

Animal figures for active and small world set ups

Active world trays

Happy shopping everyone, and enjoy all the savings!

What’s On My Top Ten First Birthday Presents List

My Recommendations for the top ten birthday presents for a one year old


This blog post is sponsored by Scholars Choice, however the links are not affiliate.

You’ve spent months planning the perfect first birthday for your little one and closer to the date have had all your family and friends ask, what to get them as presents.

This can be a tough and daunting question to answer. On one hand we’ve been taught that asking for gifts (unless it’s to Santa) is rude, so you end up saying, whatever you’d like to get, but then you end up with clothing that doesn’t fit, a whole bunch of plastic ride on toys and things you’d really prefer not to store in your home.
Your child’s first birthday is one of the only birthday’s where you truly do have all the power in decision making for presents (take advantage mamas!). Later on these children start to vocalize an opinion of what they would prefer…. wah wahhhhh.
So take advantage when someone asks you what they should gift your child, because the toys that I’m going to recommend for you, are mostly toys that will grow with your child. These are toys of great quality, are multipurpose and they will use in different ways at different ages.
My recommendations are on the older end of a one year old because realistically the toys and resources you already have for your child are going to still be great learning and playing tools for them for the next couple of months. The toys I’m going to be listing below can be introduced to your one year old whenever you feel they are ready to start exploring but will keep your child busy and interested well into turning two and on.
I work in a partnership with Scholars Choice, to inform parents as an Educator for the last ten years and a professional purchaser of toys and resources from this AMAZING family own and run company. The best part of their website is you can create an account and start a wish list of these products to share with your families!
So without further adieu these are my Top Ten Birthday Present Recommendations for a One Year Old
Puzzle’s: These are amazing toys to help your child develop, learning colours, letters, shapes, spatial awareness, fine motor skills, and challenge their way of thinking. With introducing any new concept or activity it is important that it not be too challenging to the point of a child becoming frustrated and uninterested in exploring the toy itself. I absolutely love all Melissa and Doug products, they are reasonably priced, AMAZING quality ( they withstand years of daycare abuse ) and all produced with early learning and child development in mind.

2.  Blocks : These toys have many educational benefits and will be used by your children in different way throughout the years because they are considered toys that are open ended. Blocks help your child to develop hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, Spatial awareness, enhances logical thinking and cause and effect, and helps develop early math and engineering skills.  I love the quality and longevity that Hape offers to their consumers. This block set is a great starter set for your one year old and the wooden material will help keep them in touch with natural materials, those are proven to be beneficial for early learning development.


3. Books: I know by now your child probably has a pretty great book collection but their are some books that I recommend in the first year that will help develop many developmental domains.  The developmental early- childhood domains that can be worked on through exposure of these books I recommend are, Language, Cognitive, and Social Emotional.


4. Open ended toys and loose parts : You may or may not have herd of the concept of introducing to your child as they grow open ended toys and loose parts. These toys can be used in a variety of ways depending on the child, the day, and their imagination. They foster play, creativity, and imagination. My two favourite brands, which are very hard to purchase and ship to Canada and thankfully Scholars Choice sells, are Grimms toys and GraPat. I’m sure by now you have seen this iconic wooden rainbow in play, those are the types of toys that are perfect not only for your one year old but until I would say around 12-13 years old. These toys are AMAZING quality and truly to be what I consider heirloom pieces.

5. An Active World Tray : I was generously gifted my Active World tray a little while ago and I use it almost everyday! It contains messes, encourages longer interactive play, and you can set up a whole creative world for your child to explore. ( hence the name) This is probably one of my top gifts ever recommendations since I have been using mine. This tray is another example of a toy that will be used over the years to come in so many different ways. You can also purchase accessories and legs to turn it into a table later on as your child grows.

6. Squigz: I’m a HUGE fan of the company FatBrainToy, they come out with amazing quality toys that help develop so many skills in your child. I have used Squigz with all the children at my daycare in a million different invitation to play set ups as well as the child just uses their imagination and directing their own play and using their imagination. I introduced these to Amadeo when he was just two months old to help make tummy time a bit more interesting, and because they are made of silicon they can be put into the fridge or freezer to help with teething. Another bonus is they suction to so many different surfaces, the bathtub, the window, the table, highchair, floors, airplane tray… the list is truly endless, I truly feel that every child should have at least one set of these to help strengthen their fine motor skills through play!

7. Dramatic Play Materials: Depending on your child’s interest its a great idea to start building up their at home dramatic play set ups. The most effective set ups mimic real life. (ie: Restaurant, grocery store, veterinary clinic, doctors office, mechanic, construction site etc) Melissa and Doug sell really great dramatic play sets of again AMAZING quality. These types of toys will be picked up multiple times throughout the early years. The learning skills that will be developed through dramatic play include, Role playing, Pretending and make believe, communication, cooperative play, Social skills and interaction, and problem solving.

8. Babies: So around one years old, children start to show a interest in taking care of dolls, stuffed animals, and babies, especially if they have another sibling or one on the way! Playing with babies can help develop your child’s Social Skills, Responsibility,
Empathy & Compassion, Imagination, and language. What I LOVE about Scholars Choice is all the of different ethic doll options they have to chose from. Weather your child is male or female and which ever ethnic background you will find a baby doll or doll that looks similar to them. Honestly go to the Scholars Choice website and search baby dolls and you can see all of the options.

9. Animals: Starting an animal figure collection will be really benifical to your childs development and play invitations through the years. There are so many activities you can set up with animal figures that will make learning different concepts more dynamic and interesting, as well as how they play with them will change and evolve.

10. Ride on Toy: Scholars Choice has some AMAZING toys that helped develop gross motor skills, and what I love about a ride on toy, is having one that’s versatile and can grow a couple stages with your child. This is the only type of ride on toy that you would truly want, its outdoors and is used in four different stages.


I hope all of you enjoy the wonderful milestone that is one years old! My Little guy will be turning one in a couple months and these will all be on his Birthday present Wishlist from Scholars Choice!


12 Scova Cres: Before & After

12 Scova Cres: Before & After

For those of you who have been following My Little Lamb from the beginning you will remember the huge undertaking my husband and I took to transform our current home.

When we get a vision and idea in our head, watch out world because its happening! When our Real Estate Agent, Christopher Avalos, sent us the listing for 12 Scova Cres we immediately saw SO much potential and the renovation ideas were just flooding in!

We always knew we were going to renovate the home but we ended up REALLY renovating the home TOP to BOTTOM, INSIDE and OUT! (as you will see from the before and after photos)

We are so excited that another family will be making memories in this house that we literally invested so much time and effort into making perfect! It was the PERFECT home for hosting our 100 plus family and friends for all sorts of events and the pool was a god sent when I was pregnant with Amadeo!

You have all requested for this blog post for a long time now, so here it is in all its glory.

12 Scova Cres is officially on the market and here’s the before and after!

Please feel free to share this post with all of your friends and family who are looking for a new home!

The front outside of the home



Thomas did a beautiful stamped concrete patio this May and it completes the front yard! For quotes visit

Inside of the home main floor




Upstairs bedrooms and bathroom



Basement common area, bedroom and bathroom (we also added a laundry room and full bath downstairs)






Again my amazing husband did our backyard stamped concrete patio! Visit for a free estimate!

Here’s the link to the listing!

Our Beautiful Postpartum Bodies Are Powerful

Our Beautiful Postpartum Bodies Are Powerful, Just Like Us

Our Postpartum bodies, more often then not, tend to be a subject of scrutiny and hatred in society and the media.

Our bodies after pregnancy and birth have been through ALOT like ALOT, ALOT, and it only makes sense that we have physical remanences of that.

I was finding that around 4 months postpartum after being diagnosed with PPD , my self confidence and feelings towards my body was staring to take a turn for the worst.

I wanted to try to take some pro active steps in trying to change that because it was VERY much weighing on me mentally in a very negative way.

I have some things stacked against me at the moment in regards to me working out as most of us do after the physical trauma our bodies can go through after birth, and I’m not cleared to make any drastic changes at the moment.

So I had some choices to make that all basically lead to acceptance and learning to love my body in the state that it is in currently after pregnancy and birth.

I turned and looked to this amazing mama blogger Instagram community that I have had such amazing positive experiences with on so many subjects regarding motherhood and I stumbled upon this amazing woman and mothers account @mrsdingman.mama , Krystin. She inspires me every single day to love my body for what it is, what it’s been able to do, and the beauty in all of that put together.

I started saying daily mantras to my naked body in the mirror:

* My body is healthy

* My body is beautiful

* My body is enough

* My body is strong

* My body has shown me how capable it is

* My bodies loose skin is the reminder of where my son was created

* My body deserves respect

* My body deserves kindness

* My body deserves grace

* I will be patient with my body

Sarah and I from Creations Behind the Lens we’re brainstorming of ways that we could showcase how beautiful a postpartum body truly is and it turned into one of the best days in My motherhood journey as of yet!

We did a photo shoot with a group of AMAZING women from the Ottawa Mom Bloggers group and what the day brought to all of us was a step in the direction of self love and acceptance.

Before the shoot took place we all gave quotes on how we felt before the day started and then how we felt after experiencing the day and seeing the photos from the shoot.

Sarah from @simplysarah

Before the shoot:

” I haven’t been super thrilled about my postpartum body. I saw this opportunity and said F it, I need to do this. I signed up but pushed it out of my head.

The date grew closer and I was procrastinating because the thought of trying to find something “sexy” got me anxious.

After much searching on the last night possible to shop I got an outfit I felt comfortable in.

The day of the shoot came and Vanessa and Sarah were so welcoming and warm. The other ladies I think were feeling the same way as me which I felt comfort in.

We eventually got dressed in our sexy undies and everyone looked amazing. Each woman had such a different body and they were all beautiful. I felt like I fit in rather than stick out like I thought my baby pooch did before.

Not every body is the same and there is beauty in that. I came out of this shoot realizing that the society’s pressure to get back to pre preggo shape is bogus. We just grew humans so why can’t we just be able to celebrate that. ”

After the shoot and Sarah saw her photos:

“My initial thoughts were to break apart all the details in the photos of myself. It’s interesting that most of us did this when looking at the pictures. I think we need to be less critical of ourselves because when you stop looking at all the silly little details the over all view is of beauty and strength. ”

Kaityln from @mrmrandmama

Before the shoot:

“I was so nervous, anxious, & uncomfortable. Worried that I would do all of this, and end up with no good photo of myself because of how insecure I was. Like I wouldn’t be able to relax and smile and have a good time. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into but I knew I would be more upset with myself if I backed out. I haven’t been happy with my postpartum body in 2 years. It was time to try something and maybe gain some sort of confidence out of this.”

After the shoot and Kaityln saw her photos:

” I was so excited to see the pictures but in the back of mind I already told myself mine wouldn’t be that good. After spending a few times going through them and really looking at why I did this. I fell in love with them more & more. It’s been a long time I’ve felt this confident, especially in my bra & underwear! To top it all off,

I was the last one to get dressed!😂 just didn’t want to change out of something I felt so sexy in! This was the best experience & i am so happy I did it. ”

Laura from @makeitlaura

Before the shoot:

” I was so nervous and unsure about doing this photo shoot. After having 2 kids my body is completely different than it once was, and my confidence has been long gone. It’s hard to come to terms with how you remember yourself and the reality when you look in the mirror. ”

After the shoot and Laura saw her photos:

” I was so surprised seeing the photos. My first reaction was that I don’t look that bad, but then I quickly started analyzing each photo looking at my biggest flaws. I am still struggling feeling a disconnect between my old body and how I look now, but this photoshoot is helping me to realize I am still myself and still beautiful.”

Katie from @mom.shares

Before the shoot:

” I felt nervous and excited! Spending time to get myself ready and do something solely for me filled my heart. After the shoot I felt sexy and beautiful. Well worth it 🥰 ”

After the shoot and Katie saw her photos:

” When I first saw my photos I felt happy with my hair and makeup, but less so for how my body looked, I starred long and hard at all the things I didn’t like, the rolls on my tummy when sitting, the cellulite under my legs… but the longer I starred the more I realized that I just look like everyone else who has a normal human body. I am not 100% there in fully loving myself, but I am closer than before. ”

Bekah from

Before the shoot:

” This shoot was the best thing I have done for myself since becoming a mother. For the first time in almost 5 years I felt beautiful, relaxed. I felt like a woman first and a mother was a part of my identify but not my whole identity!! ”

After the shoot and Bekah saw her photos:

” I had no idea what to expect. I was super excited to see my photos and I thought I looked kinda stiff in my headshot so I was worried I was going to carry that through the other shots too and I was so wrong.

Apparently the more exposed I am the more relaxed I was able to feel and that really surprised me. I love being able to see the confidence and happiness I felt being mostly naked in a room full of women. I never would have expected it and it is so wonderfully empowering! ”

Emily ( currently pregnant with her second child ) from @millenialbossmoms

Before the shoot:

“Anxious + excited. I said yes knowing it was a fantastic opportunity, but the nerves set in when it became real. It was such an awesome experience though, I love knowing that we’re in a time when we don’t have to wear baggy clothes to hide our bodies, and can have an honest conversation about how tough it is to navigate your pregnant and post-partum body”

After the shoot and Emily saw her photos:

” My first reaction going through them was to nit-pick all the ‘flaws’ I found in myself. I was in awe of how gorgeous everyone else looked, but managed to pick apart my faces and poses. We are our own worst critics and in reality every picture turned out beyond amazing, but getting away from critiquing myself took some reminding.”

Vanessa ( me ) @mylittlelmabblog

I was so excited that I was able to get all these Beautiful women together in my home….. I had already done my boudoir shoot with Sarah and knew how amazing everyone would feel and what Sarah would be able to do for us!

I went first and you can tell by my “big smile” that I was in the environment of fun and laughter, so much so we forgot to take more pictures of me after! The experience was so wonderful and definitely added to this body positive journey I’m on!

Sarah ( our photographer ) @ottawaphotographer.creations

This mama is so fearless and gave us the most incredible gift during this shoot!

Let’s all move forward together as women and mothers to go against the grain of society and just love ourselves a little bit more!

We are stronger together in this movement then separate!

Boudoir Shoot

 Boudoir Shoot

Creations Behind The Lens Photography



I absolutely love working with Sarah from Creations Behind The Lens Photography. She has captured some truly special family moments, we’ve collaborated on some fun styled shoots and even a wonderful day of shooting amazingly beautiful local Ottawa mom bloggers in our undies for a postpartum body positivity shoot.

In my journey to have more love of self, confidence and a body positive outlook about my own body after baby, I decided to dive full throttle into doing a boudoir shoot!

I’ve always wanted to do a boudoir photoshoot in the past but my now husband never trusted a random photographer in having photos like that of me, well along came a photographer that I trust not only with the actual content but with taking such vulnerable pictures of me!

This blog post is meant to help inspire women to love their physical selves pre and post baby.

We started the shoot accompanied by a big bottle of champagne to help me let go of any awkwardness and loose my inhabitations. Liquid courage is what I call it, and it did wonders! 

This robe was kindly gifted to me by the super mom behind the Etsy shop, Endless Temptations


Cheers to all you wonderful women who carried your children for 9 months and then birthed those suckers! Our bodies have done something crazy and incredible, we should be kind to ourselves and not wait till we “get our bodies back” to feel sexy.


I call this my Cristina Aguilera moment.


What I find truly amazing about how Sarah captured this shoot, is I looked back at all my pictures and I wasn’t staring at a stranger. I was staring at this beautiful, confident, insanely happy woman, that I truly am, and she was able to capture all of that through her lens.


This mug says, Girls Support Girls. If you ever need someone to lean on or let you know how truly wonderfully beautiful you are, I’m your girl!


Dance like no bodies watching and let your happiness shine through.

I’m obsessed with becoming a women who loves and adores her body.



And then we moved upstairs into the bedroom, for those more risqué, sultry photos. The half naked ones that would leave me no where to hide. No robe or comfy sweater to make me feel like a little more comfortable, just me and my raw postpartum body.




Many of you have reached out to me and asked what the most rewarding part of doing this shoot was for me, hands down it was the realization that I couldn’t believe I haven’t felt sexy even just once since I got pregnant and birthed my son, after seeing these photos I cant believe that was ever the case because I now look at these pictures and that’s all I see.

You don’t have to choose being a mother or being sexy, we are complex because we are still our own person with so many different parts and aspects to us. After birth I really felt like the sexy aspect to me had died until this shoot.




To do this pose I pretty much broke my vagina, but it was worth it.

I’m so passionate about sharing all of these raw moments from this shoot because it was truly only possible because of Sarah. She is so talented in having that special quality that just makes you feel comfortable and beautiful and know that her whole intention is to get these photos in your best and most flattering light.



I feel so fortunate to have this platform to share such a positive empowering decision I pushed myself to make and follow through with.




In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act

I can for the first time in a long time finally say, I’m comfortable in my own skin.



Thank you Sarah for all you have given me mind, body and soul from this photoshoot.


Scholar’s Choice Partnership

Scholar’s Choice Partnership


View this post on Instagram

I am SOOOOOO excited to officially announce my partnership with @scholarschoice! ⁣ ⁣ I will basically be doing what I’ve been doing over the past ten years working in the field of education and purchasing for our programs from Scholars Choice, sharing all the products that I loveeeeeee and let you all know why! ⁣ ⁣ I will be writing a blog post in the very near future which will include a corky video from the lovely Emily Webster and I …. see a screen grab above! (she’s my people!) and also include links to videos made by the CEOs of Scholars Choice explaining their mission statement and why they do what they do and how they do it! ⁣ ⁣ I’m now experiencing raising a child from the parental point of view and can relate to how on top of the everyday million stresses of parenthood if you aren’t educated in how to give opportunities for your child to grow and learn it can be VERY overwhelming and you might just not know where to start! That’s why this company is who you should be spending your hard earned money on! They do that leg work for you, and you can confidently go into the stores and ask a employee all about the products and how they will help assist in your child’s development! ⁣ ⁣ I’m always an open book regarding everything Early Childhood Education and I love helping you as a parent feel confident that you are giving your child every opportunity to grow and learn ❤️ Let’s work together to help provide opportunities for our children to achieve their hopes and dreams! ❤️

A post shared by Mylittlelamb (@mylittlelambblog) on

If you’re reading and following what I’m sharing, I hope that by now you have been able to get a pretty good sense of who I am as well as how and why I’m using this platform to connect with you.
I pride myself on being unfiltered, raw, and honest about all that I share with you, and that 100% includes the companies I have chosen to partner with and what products I share and recommend to you.
I have some moral criteria which not only fits what I believe, but was amazing advice from a fellow mom blogger on how and who to work with as a blogger.
1. It has to be a company that I would purchase from with my own money
2. The product has to be something that I’m curious about testing and again would purchase with my own money
3. I have already purchased said product with my own money and I feel passionate about it potentially being of value to your life as well
4. A company and its media marketers have to have the same morals and values as myself and my audience
Scholars Choice checks off all those boxes.
I’ve been working as an educator at the Glebe Parents Daycare for a little over ten years now and Scholars Choice is one of the companies we purchase all of our supplies, toys and educational tools from. Almost all of the products that I intergrate into my programs have been purchased from Scholar’s Choice and are carried by them.
I was gifted some products from my co-workers for Amadeo and when I started posting Amadeo playing with them and how I was implementing them with him at home as parent, I was being bombarded (in only the best of ways through my blog) with questions on where they could be purchased. When I would say Scholar’s Choice almost all of the parents did not even realize you were able to shop there if they were not a teacher or educator. After a while of receiving the same feedback I knew that there was a need for me, as an educator, and being newly apart of this parental club, to connect parents with amazing product, at great price points, from a company whose main interest is having a child reach their true potential through play.
Emily Webster, Scholars Choice Social Media Manager reached out to me after I sent a message expressing interest in being a part of the Ottawa, Barrhaven store’s grand opening. After a couple days of back and forth, a video meeting was scheduled with the marketing director. During the meeting, myself and the team from Scholar’s Choice were able to get a real sense of our intentions behind what exactly it is that drives us to do what we do for children and learning.
I went from being an educator who had been purchasing from Scholar’s Choice as my job and always being extremely satisfied with the products and services, to a parent/mom blogger who was learning about what truly drives this amazing company and employees to bring to parents, teachers and educators the quality in products that they carry in their stores and online for purchase, as well as the intentions behind that.
A lot of what I post from Scholar’s Choice I have purchased on my own and some has now been gifted in this partnership for me to test be able to show you how it can easily be implemented into your family’s routine to help assist in discovery based learning, working on social emotional skills and emotional regulation, gross and fine motor skills, language and vocabulary skills, and so much more.
Click below to watch the video Emily Webster and I filmed while visiting the Ottawa, Barrhaven location. It is definitely not perfect, I have some learning to do on centering both people in the video….


I have had a lot of parents reach out and express that they have recently visited a Scholar’s Choice location to purchase products to help support their child in some way or form. There are so many amazing products for parents to choose from sometimes they feel overwhelmed! I have physically gone into the stores with some of these moms to help them or recommended products online as well. If you are feeling overwhelmed and want to know more about the products in the store please feel more then welcome to reach out to me for questions and help. All things Early Childhood Education and helping a child reach their full potential is honestly my passion and helps me fulfill this need to do so while at home with my son on maternity leave.

I HIGHLY recommend now taking time to view this video of Scholar’s Choice’s mission and vision with the Chief Financial Officer and President, Cindy and Scott Webster. I can’t seem to get through this whole video without tears of joy and thankfulness for these two and the value they are adding to parents, teachers, educators and most importantly children’s lives.

Just to end this post with, I hope you will visit a Scholar’s Choice store, and/or browse their website before purchasing from a big box toy store. Shop from this amazing Canadian, family owned and operated business, who does the leg work of finding the best products and toys for your children and families.
Vanessa Ravalico

My Little Lamb

Mother’s Day Minis

Mother’s Day Minis With Creations Behind The Lens Photography


This year I will be celebrating Mother’s Day for the first time, and I knew that because my intentions are to have Amadeo’s first year captured professionally by Sarah from Creations Behind The Lens Photography, booking her to do a Mother’s Day shoot was a MUST HAVE!

I don’t have a lot of great pictures of me and my son that anyone else has taken other then Sarah, so to have some AMAZING pictures that I can have in an album and printed to frame on the walls of my home mean the world to me and when my son is older he will be able to say, hey my mom did exist!

I HIGHLY recommend booking Sarah to capture any and all moments and milestones that are important to you! She is so reasonable in price and working with her during a shoot is relaxed and she some how with her photographer magic makes you so comfortable and having a good time that she captures you and your family in the best light! Every time I see a finished shoot from Sarah I always see the personality and essence of myself and family through her work!


Sarah still has some spots available to book your own Mother’s Day Minis April 27th & May 4th with rain dates for the Sunday. It’d only $80.00 for an outdoor mini session for 20 minutes and 10 edited images with print release. To book email Sarah at


Here are our Mother’s Day Minis















Thank you Sarah for capturing my little boy at this amazing stage of his life and honouring me as a woman and mother.

Sometimes if not all the time as mothers we put ourselves last, but ladies we deserve to put our love and light front and center and have and create memories for our children that reflect these magical moments of their childhood. I’m SO lucky and thankful, for everything that has lead me to my son.