Posts Tagged: mabels labels

The PANK Perspective: The Second Child

“It’s okay, it’s the second one.”

I heard this from my SIL the other day. I have heard it from my parents in relation to me. I have heard it from friends. You ‘care less’ about the second child. Now, I’m not saying that in the literal sense you ‘care less’ – but I think you parents know what I mean when I say second child syndrome. The first child was the learning experience; you learned how to hold them, feed them, and burp them. You mastered the one-handed diaper change. You learned that if they fall, they will get back up. You learned that you don’t need to worry that you might fail at some things – because it’s inevitable that you will. You learned that you could and did adapt to being a new parent. So, once the second one came around, you were a Pro.

My brother’s second child and my newest nephew joined our family just before Christmas last year. For almost 4 years, his brother was the only baby in our family and we didn’t think we could love another more. Then, the second one arrived and I was smitten. There’s just something about him that I have instantly fallen in love with. It’s almost like there’s an unspoken bond between us. I’m the baby of the family; the black sheep – and I think I see that in him. As the youngest, we must stick together.

I was pondering my instant affection for him the other day, and realized that when his older brother was born I had to learn how to be an Aunt. I too had to learn how to hold, feed and burp him. I had to learn how to be a friend and role model to an easily influenced little human. I quickly got comfortable with talking in a kid-friendly voice, helping him put on his shoes and being stern with him when required. Perhaps I do in fact have a special bond with the second one, or perhaps this time around as an Aunt I’m just more comfortable and have become a Pro too.

Did you feel differently towards your second child?


About the Author:

Diane Morris is a PANK; Professional Aunt, No Kids and works for Mabel’s Labels as the Sales Coordinator. She’s an Aunt to two boys, and an “Auntie” to her boyfriend’s niece and nephew. She’s a sucker for romance, country music and peanut butter.

My Son’s Camper Achievement Award

My 12 year-old son is in his element when he’s at camp. Running around, getting muddy, hiking, swimming, skipping stones and catching frogs with a bunch of kids is pretty much a dream come true for him.

He always comes home with stories about the adventures they’ve had and new camp songs he’s learned. His arms are covered with dozens of friendship bracelets. Apparently, the rule is that the bracelets have to fall off naturally, and you can’t TAKE them off no matter how dull and tattered the once brightly coloured bracelets become.

The first year he went to camp, he’d never been away from home for a two-week stretch before. His big sisters were there so I knew they’d help him out if he got homesick. I also knew that they’d probably keep an eye out for any of his lost belongings.

Last year, he went solo, which made labeling all the more important. We went with the Limited Edition Camp Combo clothing labels for kids and had him choose the icon. We played a game by laying out all his clothes into piles, labeling them and taking pictures (Okay, it was mostly a game for me!) Clothes and hats were labeled with Tag Mates (my favourite!) and Skinny Minis were on all his toiletries. The beach towels got labeled (Tag Mates on the care tags), flashlight and water bottle got Sticky Labels, running shoes got Shoe Labels and his duffle bag and guitar case got the metal Bag Tags.

At the end of each camp session, funny, personalized camp awards for kids are given to each camper to recognize one of his or her most well known achievements. When we picked Eric up at the bus stop last year, he came down the steps of the bus, beaming with pride as he displayed his special award. It was the “Most Items in the Lost and Found” award!

When we got home, I dug all the sandy clothes out of the duffle bag and threw them directly into the washing machine. Fresh from the dryer, we laid them all out and compared them to the “before camp” photo.  And you know what? Almost everything made it back home. I think we were missing one water shoe and a t-shirt.

Without Mabel’s Labels’ camp clothing labels, I doubt Eric would have been reunited with his stuff and he would have missed out on winning that cherished award. Pretty soon he’ll be heading back to camp on that bus, everything labeled, and totally prepared to defend his title!

Have you got your Limited Edition Camp Combo yet? Hurry! It’s available until June 30th!


About the Author:

Karen Pearson is one of the friendly voices you’ll hear on the other end of the phone when calling Customer Service at Mabel’s Labels. She enjoys writing about her family, which includes a husband, 3 kids and a rescue dog from Greece.

- See more at:

Fuel for Fitness

Whether you are training a young Olympian or supporting your own fitness, food is the only thing that fuels a body. I ran my first 10 K, slightly reluctantly and ever so slowly but, you know what? I got hooked.

I know how crucial it is to support any exercise regime with the right workout foods, and the older you get, the more important it is. Filling your tank well and ensuring that your exercise is actually doing you more good than harm can’t be stressed enough. The day before and on run day (yoga day, spin day, zumba day, weight day, cardio day…), it is all about the fuel. The day after, it is also critical to nourish cell recovery with the right food. So what is that?

10 hours before exercise:


  • Have a meal of low GI, easily digestible carbohydrate like lentils or beans which will allow your muscles to take up as much glycogen as possible. The protein/carb balance of beans is perfect.


  • Drink alcohol, it’s dehydrating
  • Eat a heavy protein or fat laden meal, it will weigh you down and interrupt your sleep
  • “Carb Load” with spaghetti and bread, they will let you down too quickly

2 to 4 hours before:


  • Eat Breakfast – It is true that you will burn more fat if you exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. But you will tire too quickly and may run the risk of burning the very muscle you are trying to build.

Here are some breakfast suggestions:


During workout:
Around the 1 hour point, your glucose and blood sugar levels will drop and you may become fatigued or lightheaded.


  • Drink 4-5 big gulps of water
  • Consider coconut water over sports drinks
  • 2 pitted medjool dates – Dates are a fresh fruit high in the all important glucose with the added benefit of recovery minerals and anti-oxidants. They are just as easily digested and portable as a “power pack”.


  • Slurp a commercial energy gel which is a highly processed, often corn syrup based packet. They don’t contain the antioxidants or minerals of a real food that will support you in recovery.
  • Drink sports drinks unless you are exercising for more than 2-3 hours and coconut water isn’t available.



  • Drink lots of water.
  • Within an hour or two after exercise, your muscles will be calling for replenishment. Feed them the highest quality post-workout foods you can find. (If you are going to “cheat” with a treat, now is the time, your body can use the extra calories quickly and efficiently).
  • Have a full meal with lots of vegetables, lean protein, preferably fish, and a good whole grain carb (like brown rice or quinoa or whole grain bread)


  • Drink alcohol before you eat. Since your muscles are primed for more fuel, and they can’t use the calories from booze to do so, those calories will be converted to fat. Give your body the kind of calories it needs to recover and then have a drink if you are going to. Remember, alcohol is also further dehydrating. Water up.

The daily grind of making meals becomes even more critical when young athletes are under your care. You barely get one day done and the next is on your door. Making the process systematic is the best way to hit the mark.


About the Author:

Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Specialist and Toronto Personal Nutritionist. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at

Related Posts with Thumbnails