Toy Storage DIY

How We Created Our Toy Storage With These Six Things From Ikea

Toy storage is NO joke in this house. I know I'm not the only mom that struggles with where to put all the things these kids accumulate but seriously where does it all come from?!

I always get asked about our toy storage  so I thought I'd put together a quick post linking the exact items we used to keep things organized in at least one area of the house! (No, this is not sponsored or affiliated and neither are the links!)

I love a good ikea hack as much as the next person and well I also just love ikea! Is there even a better place to get storage for your kids and home?

What you'll need:

2 Ikea Trofast Frames (here)

Storage Boxes : (we used)

  • 6 Small Ikea Trofast Boxes (here)
  • 6 Medium Ikea Trofast Boxes (here)
  • 2 Large Ikea Trofast Boxes (here)

14 Trofast Lids (here)

1 Ikea Hemmahos Bench Pad (here)

1 Ikea Lappljung Ruta Cushion Cover (here)

I Ikea Inner Cushion (here)

Contact Paper or Peel and Stick Wall Paper (optional)

The rest basically does itself, get husband/bf/anyone but you to build the Trofast units because us moms have enough stuff to do without building ikea furniture. Line them up with the shortest ends together and insert your bins in whatever order you want them. You can use this picture as reference or can make your own configuration with whatever size bins suit your personal toy storage needs. Place the bench pad on the lowest level with the cushion and create a little reading nooky nook for your littles!

If you want to add a little customization like the marble detail on ours just use contact paper or I'm sure peel and stick wall paper would work the same.

I had left over from our play kitchen so that's what I used and I just ordered it off Amazon.

Thats it, that's all! Enjoy your new storage solution and send me a pic or tag me with your end result! I love seeing how everyone else's come together and how you've made it your own!

If you have any questions shoot me a dm, email or comment below and I'll get back to ya asap!

xoxo

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Toddler Room Reveal

Cruz’s Bedroom Makeover

Before actually starting on Cruz’s room we spent quite a bit of time coming up with the design and deciding what pieces and brands we wanted to support in this project. My mind changed about 100 times but once it clicked the pieces really started coming together.

When I was pregnant with Cruz we did a couple minor projects to change up the room but as the younger sibling he got all Joey’s old furniture and room. I want make this room special and just for him. I put together a little vision board with products I love, inspiration I found on Pinterest and pieces I thought would make the whole room come together.

Where To Begin…

We decided to start with a blank canvas so we took everything off the walls, filled the holes, sanded the stripes and painted everything a nice bright white and by we I mean Mike (Thanks for being such a champ babe xo).

While on the painting I wanted to update Joey’s old dresser and make it a little more Cruz’s style. I spent way too long looking at paint swatches and decided to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey after my bestie recommended it. She recently had her crib and dresser painted with it and the result was amazing!

If you don’t know much about chalk paint it is the most versatile paint on the market, fun to use and EASY! You can mix colours together, lighten, darken, thicken or thin. You can use it as a wash or a dye. No need to sand or prime *hallelujah*! For furniture you need to seal the chalk paint with Annie Sloan wax. We used the clear wax but I might put a coat of white clear on top to give it a cool white wash effect.

To finish off the dresser we grabbed some chrome handles from Home Depot to give it a fresh new and modern look.


Custom Toddler House Bed

We didn’t think it was necessary to put Cruz into a twin size bed right away and there really isn’t much out there for cute crib sized toddler beds. When you can’t find something you like, you go custom and lucky for us Mikes best friend happens to have his own custom woodworks business.

I showed him a picture of exactly what I had in mind for the bed, sent him the measurements for the mattress and he got to work on it! It turned out better than I ever imagined.

We left one end of the bed open to make an easy transition from crib to floor bed. Cruz liked to snuggle up in the corner of his crib so this way we could put the open side against the wall to mimic his crib or we could leave it open for him to get in and out easily.

I painted the bed with the same Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey as the dresser. I picked up the metal letters at Michaels and got hubs to paint them black.  Braided bumper from @malia_mu is obviously an eye catcher! They are handmade by a local boss babe mama in Richmond BC. They can be customized in any size you need and colour combo!

Cloudy Days Wall Mural

I knew I wanted something more than just plain white walls. We previously had white and grey stripes on the wall and I was not sad to see them go. My search for inspo brought me to Rocky Mountain Decals. RMD is a Canadian company based in Ontario but don’t worry they ship world wide.

Once I laid eyes on their cloudy days wall mural my mind was made up! I HAD to have it! I think it adds just enough texture to the room while being subtle enough that I won’t get sick of it too soon.

This mural was custom cut to the measurements of Cruz’ room. Measure your space and then measure again to avoid any issues! It comes broken down in easily numbered strips. You start at the left side with piece number one and work your way over from top to bottom. These peel and stick murals will not damage your walls unlike other wall papers!


Toddler Bedding
with Beddys (bed.ease)

Seriously hit the bedding jackpot when we found Beddys Beds! You know when you have those “Why didn’t I think of that” moments? Well that was me with this bedding. Smartest and most convenient bedding ever and its not just for kids!

Beddys Beds are all one piece that cover your entire mattress and zip/unzip along both sides making it easy as 1,2,3 for your littles to make their own beds and never look messy! Another thing I love about Beddys is your kiddos stay cozy and tucked in all night. We chose the Lil Dash print because monochrome – obvi!



Decor

Kept things pretty minimalistic and of course monochrome as far as decor goes. Most of what is pictured we already had and realistically I’ll be changing up as I find new stuff I like better for the space. Have any decor favs? Help a gf out and keep me in the loop!

Saw something you like? Need to have it? Everything is linked below ->

Round Mirror | Pendant Light | Wall Mural | Toddler Bedding | Braid Bumper | Knot Pillow | Washable Rug | Play Campfire | Book Shelves | Picture Ledges

Thats it for now babes! Hope you like Cruzies new toddler room as much as he does!

xo

 

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Master Bedroom Makeover

Master Bedroom
Reveal

Let me start by saying this has been a long time coming! Mike and I traded in his one bedroom man cave for our family home when I was pregnant with Joey. Between moving into way more space and preparing for baby one thing that fell to the bottom of our priority list was our bedroom. In my mind it was a place no one would be spending anytime in except us anyways so we moved his old brown suede headboard and matching furniture in, and that’s where it stayed until now.

Over the years it got harder and harder (for me) to look at. The desire to have something that we picked out together and was just ours grew. After a while Mike was on board and the inspo and shopping began! 

Bedroom Furniture
w/ Structube

I love the way an upholstered headboard makes such a pretty statement in a bedroom. Our bedroom is pretty big so finding a headboard big enough that the main wall in the room wouldn’t swallow up was not easy. Once I laid eyes on the Versailles Bed from Structube I knew it was the one!

Catalina 3 drawer chest was next on the list. Instead of having two small night stands and a dresser we decided on two dressers to use as oversized night stands. We ordered some chrome pulls to add a little detail to the dressers and tie in with the studded headboard. They have just been discontinued but the Madison 3 drawer chest is very similar.

Tip: make a template of the drawers so your handles all line up perfectly. We also put masking tape over the surface before drilling the holes to prevent any cracking.

Bedding w/ Brooklinen

I love the feel of fresh new sheets. With all the pretty new pieces falling into place in our room new bedding seemed like a must! The decision was not easy because Brooklinen has SO many swoon worthy options. We got the All Season Down Comforter with the Twill Duvet Cover in white. For sheets we decided on the Luxe Core Sheet Set in Steel.

You guys, it honestly feels like a dream. No more lumpy duvet that feels like a paper thin sheet. Nights are way cozier with Brooklinen in our bed. They just released a new collection for kids called Brooklittles. I love the Fog Stripe Duvet cover + Sheet Set. Totally want to get them for Joey.

Feature Wall w/ Walls Need Love

One of the things I never liked that our builder did was paint a few walls a taupe brown colour and then painted the rest of the house a nice grey. One of those walls happened to be the “feature” wall in our master bedroom. Once our pretty new bed was in the room that brown wall HAD to go! I got hubs to paint it white and what a difference that made alone. Brightened it up so much!

As nice as that white wall was, it didn’t stand a chance once I found the Clara Wall Mural from Walls Need Love. *cue all the heart eyes* (Sorry hubs). The mural comes in numbered strips (we got the 8 panel). You start in the middle of the room with strips 4+5 and work your way out to the corners from top to bottom. Each strip took around 15-20 mins but I am super picky and have ocd so it had to be perfect. We also have two small windows on that wall so working around those made it a little more difficult.

Woah. What a beauty she is now! I’m completely obsessed with how it turned out and love so much that I have something so girly in my house full of boys. The Clara wall mural literally made my bedroom dreams come true.

Mirror and Lighting w/ Urban Barn

Every girl needs a full length ootd mirror. Keeping with my girly little oasis I picked up the Presley Floor Mirror from Urban Barn. Hubs and I both like a little bling so when it came to lighting we both decided on a chandelier from Urban Barn that unfortunately is no longer available on their site.

I could decorate every single room of our house at Urban barn. We also grabbed a white leather serving tray, decorative pillows ( here + here ), candle holders (here + here), faux flowers, mini frames and jewelry box.

Decor w/ Bouclair

Found this faux leather bench at Bouclair and knew it was the perfect addition at the end of the bed. It comes in white and grey. Bouclair also has the cutest decor for every room in your home. I grabbed this hilarious bath mat, vase, and storage baskets as well.

Orian Rugs

Finally we finished off the space with this 9×13 Seaborn Natural area rug from Orian Rugs. They have so many beautiful looking rugs that add texture to any space. I love the way this rug ties into the space while still stands out enough to be noticed.
Thank you so much for stopping by to check out our bedroom makeover! Some of the pieces featured in this post are sponsored but all opinions are my own.

I’ve link the shops IG pages below incase you need some design and decor inspo!

Brooklinen | Structube | Orian Rugs | Walls Need Love | Urban Barn | Bouclair

xo

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Have Bad Eyebrows

Microblading
w/ Savanna Dillon at Studio Sashiko

Here’s the low down, I fall into the category of 90’s girl who over plucked her eyebrows. OK, No, if I’m being completely honest I even shaved them. I know you’re thinking yikes! Trust me when I tell you I paid for that mistake. Always trying to draw them in only to get the shape completely wrong most days. (Looking back at pictures over the years and the various brows I have had always makes me laugh out loud and cry a little inside)

If I had a nickel for every minute I’ve spent filling in my brows I’d be able to pay for my brows, your brows and your moms brows. According to google microblading has been around for 25 years but I first heard about it from a gf two years ago. My microblading obsession was inevitable and immediately the insta stalking began.

Microblading 101

What is microblading? In my own words its your one-way ticket to thicker, fluffier, fuller looking brows. Microblading has to be the most popular way to amp up your arches and bring some self confidence back.

Unless you’re up to date on the latest beauty treatments, you might not know how it works or more importantly if its for you. Want the facts? I’ll leave that to the badass babes at Studio Sashiko. They’ve answered all the questions on their FAQ sheet.

Finding The Right Artist For You

Do your research and then do it again! I can not stress this enough. Once I heard about microblading I wanted it done and I didn’t want to wait for even one second so I went with the first available “artist”. When I got to the appointment I had a sick feeling in my gut that I wish I had listened to. On the verge of walking out of that nail salon the artist was renting a closet in to do brows, out she came to call me in before I could bail. Are you cringing? I am just thinking about it.

I’m going to spare you the details of what happened there that day. I will tell you I ended up filling in my brows everyday after that until the beautiful day a real artist *Savanna* made my brow dreams come true.

My BFF
(Brow Friend Forever)

I followed and stalked the Studio Sashiko IG for months before I even thought about a second attempt at microblading. While I truly believe all of the artists there are beyond talented and trust worthy with something as important as a face tattoo, Savanna was the perfect artist for me. Savanna has this welcoming, kind and caring presence about her that made me feel like I was in good hands right from the start.

I love the fact she is also a mom. She’s got a great sense of humour and is super easy to talk to which makes the whole experience a lot of fun with zero worry.

You can find her bio here and you should definitely follow her on IG here. Savanna apprenticed under Shaughnessy for three months before tattooing a real face. She has been microblading since early 2016 and has been an esthetician since 2010. Eyebrows have always been her mission – and girl it should be because this is your calling!

Savanna describes her microblading style as natural. She loves giving guests what they want or need but also finds beauty in the subtle changes that can really enhance someones look to help them feel a little more vibrant and awake.

The Process

  1. Consultation.
    First Savanna had to see what she was working with because not only was she giving me new brows she also had to work to cover up the mess from my previous experience elsewhere. We talked about what look I hoped to achieve with microblading. Then she physically drew them out stroke by stroke with her pencil. This is to make sure you get the shape you want before the actual blading begins.
  2. Outlining.
    Don’t be afraid to adjust the filled in portion with your artist. Your artist wants you to love them as much as you want to love them. Its okay to be picky. Also, don’t be alarmed if your fill in is super dark – this is totally fine! It’s just regular pencil that will come right off, and you want the lines to be bold enough for your technician to actually see where to blade. Once I approved the shape Savanna made the outline using ink since when the numbing cream is applied the pencil can come off.
  3. Numbing.
    Savanna applied the numbing cream and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Not only does this stuff make for some great selfies it makes the actual blading completely painless.
  4. Microblading.
    Once your brows are numb the blading begins. The blading basically cuts your skin + the brow pigment is “inserted” into the cut in your skin to create a hair like looking stroke. This is how microblading (when done right) looks so natural. If I had to explain the feeling I’d say its like being scratched very lightly and for me did not hurt at all.
  5. The Healing Process.
    Its crucial for best results to follow the instructions given to you by your artist. Savanna gave me a post care sheet and the barrier cream to apply as directed and I followed it to a T. Nothing was going to mess up this beautiful work of art. The first few days your brows will appear super dark – don’t freak out!- there is no need to start googling ways to reverse microblading. You’ll be fine, I promise.
  6. Touch Up
    This appointment needs to be after your skin has fully healed. That way your technician can see where she may need to put more strokes. For my follow up, Savanna went over both brows and added more strokes to any spots that the pigment was a little lighter.
  7. The Finished Product
    Gone are the days of super thin fine brows. Enjoy those perfect new brows. Microbladed brows last anywhere from 1-2 years, depending on your skin type + other factors. Unless you’ve waited until they’re completely faded out you don’t really need to go through that entire first process again. I will definitely be sticking with my girl Sav for upkeep and maintenance so they don’t fade out.


The pic above is after my first session (top) and after my second session (bottom).

Have any of you had your brows microbladed and what was your experience? I would love to hear!

Huge THANK YOU to my bff Savanna and Studio Sashiko for having me and being SO awesome. If you guys are local I highly recommend you give her a shout: savanna@studiosashiko.com

xo

 

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LG Washes The Dishes In Our House

The LG QuadWash Dishwasher with TrueSteam Technology Review
Superior Performance + Gentle Care

With three growing boys in the house I’m sure you can imagine how many dishes are used on the daily. Don’t even get me started on how many cups they go through in one day and heaven forbid I grab the wrong one. Lets keep it real, the only thing I dislike more than laundry is hand washing dishes. Who has the time to wash dishes all day long? Because I swear they eat all. day. long.

What’s important to you when shopping for appliances? Dishwashers have definitely changed over the years. It’s easier than ever to be overwhelmed or confused with all the features and different options. I typically go straight to the big brands with known reputations for quality, like LG. I like to invest in a product that is reliable, that I can count on and know is going to last.

LG QuadWash Steam
Features

Say what you will, but you don’t, in fact, like doing dishes. Lucky for me, and for you, we live in the 21st century where the days of paper plates and piles of dishes in the sink are a thing of the past. Instead, you can get a smart dishwasher like the LG QuadWash Steam. You’re obviously wondering what’s so smart about it right?

Using the SmartThinQ® app you can check the status of your dishwasher. This means if you ask your husband to turn the dishwasher on you can easily check he’s done it before “nagging”. [insert eye roll here] It took me a few minutes to figure out how to connect my machine to the app but once its set up its very easy to use. The first time we ran the dishwasher I got a notification on my phone saying ” Add rinse aid to dishwasher for better drying performance ” and there I was, out smarted by our shiny new dishwasher.

Trust me when I say I had high expectations trying out this new dishwasher. It did not disappoint! There are so many things I quickly fell in love with that I didn’t even know I was missing out on with our last dishwasher.

TrueSteam Technology

To start with The LG QuadWash dishwasher integrates TrueSteam technology, a powerful steam that helps eliminate the need to pre-rinse dishes. TrueSteam technology offers maximum steam coverage to give you 60% less water spots or water stains on things like wine glasses so they come out shiny every time. 

The QuadWash dishwasher with TrueSteam technology has DualControl™. What that means is you can adjust the intensity between the lower and upper racks. This lets you wash more delicate items up top, like your wine glasses, while using a stronger setting on the bottom for your plates or pots and pans. The LG QuadWash dishwasher uses four spray arms instead of two to achieve maximum cleaning throughout the entire cycle.

I didn’t think I would ever refer to loading the dishwasher as fun but with LG’s EasyRack™ Plus it actually is. You can easily adjust the racks to accommodate all your dishes. Gone are the days of fussing with bowls trying to make them fit and not fall onto one another. You can even lay the racking system completely flat for pots. Sounds awesome right? That’s because it is. Bonus points for making my OCD really happy.

The LG QuadWash dishwasher comes with three pull out racks. I absolutely love the option of having the top tray for silverware and having the option of removing the lower basket if extra space is needed for dishes. If that isn’t fancy enough for you, (at this point my mind was already blown), you can also adjust the height on the left side of the top tray to fit small items like espresso cups or sippy cup lids. The middle rack is also height adjustable making every single piece fit in one load.


Cycles & Options

  • Auto – Cycle senses the load size, soil amount and soil toughness and optimizes to achieve the best cleaning
  • Heavy – For heavily soiled and hard to clean dishes
  • Turbo – A shortened, powerful cycle for washing only (You can select Extra Dry option to dry dishes)
  • Normal – For everyday normally soiled dishes
  • Extra Dry – For better drying performance (adds 20 mins drying time)
  • Night Dry – Runs the ventilation fan periodically to help vent the steam from the tub
  • High Temp – Raises the main wash temperature to improve cleaning
  • Dual Zone – Sets the spray intensity to soft for the upper spray arm and strong for the lower spray arm
  • Half Load – Washes intensively by selecting the upper or lower racks


LG confidently backs their products with a 10-year warranty on your dishwasher’s Direct Drive Motor. The Motor and self cleaning filtration system were designed with quiet in mind. The LG QuadWash dishwasher with TrueSteam is among the quietest on the market. The first time we put it to the test hubs and I watched a movie in our open concept kitchen/living room. We didn’t hear it at all.

The most likely time for me to clean up is during nap time so I really appreciate a quiet dishwasher. The other day Cruz napped on the couch with the dishwasher running and wasn’t phased at all. The boys have their moments when they want to help which I also appreciate and think is the cutest ever!


So far, I have nothing but positive things to say about our new dishwasher. Its definitely an upgrade from our previous machine. LG’s QuadWash dishwasher with TrueSteam technology is available in 2 colour options, Black Stainless Steel and Stainless Steel. You can check them out here.

Sponsored by LG Electronics Canada but all opinions are my own.

xo

 

 

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Newest Member Of The UPPAbaby Family

The UPPAbaby MINU
Go places, big and small.

Shopping For A New Ride

What are the most important things you look for and take into consideration when buying a stroller? Affordability, design, look, size, weight, convenience? I have owned seven different strollers since I became a mom twelve years ago. Three of them have been UPPAbaby because once I find a brand I know, trust and love they’ve got me as a loyal customer for life.

We first purchased the UPPAbaby G-LUXE when Joey was a toddler. Then the UPPAbaby CRUZ when we had Cruz. What kid doesn’t want a custom ride with his name on it? Kidding! That’s totally not why we got it. I wanted a stroller that was smaller than my old jogging stroller, that could be used from newborn – toddlerhood, and didn’t cost 1.5K without sacrificing style. What completely sold us on the CRUZ  was the piggy back attachment for Joey. It was a total lifesaver to and from school for all those preschool and kg pick ups/drop offs.

Fast forward to now, we are currently obsessing over our new UPPAbaby MINU. It’s like the hybrid of our other two strollers. The MINU is the perfect portable lightweight stroller and here is why…

What I Love About The MINU

It took me all of one MINUte [see what I did there ;)] to fall in love with this stroller. First of all, the only assembly required when unboxing the stroller was popping 2 wheels on and clipping the canopy in. Clearly they were thinking about moms who a) have to ask our husbands umm one thousand times to put something together or b) have our hands full with another thousand things we need to be doing during the day and during nap time.

The MINU collapses with one smooth motion using only one hand so you can use the other to hold onto those kiddos trying to make a run for it the second they are free. Trunk space is a major factor for me with 3 boys, car seats and sports equipment or shopping bags. A girls got to have space and the MINU ‘s compact design when folded is like a dream come true. Check this out.

It’s easy access large basket can store all of your everyday on the go items and more. I had no problem fitting my diaper bag, camera, tripod, gathre mat and blanket under the stroller leaving me completely hands free! We also have the Carry-All Parent Organizer which I love for outings because it stores my phone, cash or cards, keys, drinks and more and can be transferred to whichever one of my strollers I’m using.

If you’ve ever seen an UPPAbaby you probably noticed their oversized extendable canopy and pop out UPF 50+ sunshade to protect your babes from harmful UV rays allowing you and your babes to stay outside longer and enjoy the sunshine. Knowing my kids are safe is obviously a huge one for me, as I’m sure it is for all parents. The MINU has a spacious multi reclining seat with adjustable 5 point safety harness. Your child will always be comfortable whether they want to lay back for a nap or sit upright to take in every second of your adventures.

Tell Me More

The UPPAbaby MINU can be used from 3 months until your child is 50lbs. MINU has add on features specifically designed for newborns safety and comfort. This stroller can be used from birth with a From Birth Kit. With adapters you can also take baby from drive to stroll with no transfer needed in the MESA and select other infant safety seats.

Available in 4 signature UPPAbaby fashions:

  • Jake (Black Melange/Carbon/Black Leather)
  • Jordan (Charcoal Melange/Silver/Black Leather)
  • Denny (Red Melange/Silver/Black Leather)
  • Ryan (Teal Melange/Silver/Saddle Leather)

Comes with UbXtend 3 YEAR WARRANTY with online registration [linked here] making it as easy as a few click click clicks and you’re covered! Another amazing program UPPAbaby offers is their Travel Safe Program that guarantees gear during air travel. This came in handy on our trip to California and is included with the purchase of the appropriate Travel Bag for your stroller. MINU weighs in at under 15lbs making it an amazing travel stroller and even comes with a carrying strap attached. It’s lightweight design and all wheel suspension make sure your baby is smooth sailing.

If you’re on the market for a stroller I hope this was helpful for you. If you’re already an UPPAbaby owner, what do you love most about your ride? Drop me a comment below!

xo

 

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Bye-Bye Summer Vacay…Back To School in 3,2,1

Back To School
-2018-

That’s officially a wrap on summer break and it’s been one to remember. This summer was all about family time and making memories with the boys. We also celebrated all three of their birthdays which is always fun fun fun! But all good things must come to an end… for them anyways (HA!). Class is back in session and Cruz and I are going to be rollin solo to all sorts of places!

The only stressful part of back to school is the shopping. I swear my kids go through a major growth spurt each summer so they always need new everything! New shoes, pants (knees don’t stand a chance against these two), jackets, socks, backpacks, school supplies, lunch kits and soccer cleats [insert crying face here].

Here are a few of our back to school finds that we love and want to share with you.

Yumbox Lunch Kits

Yumbox lunch kits are leak proof bento box style kits that simplify packing healthy lunches and make eating fun for the kids! I am so over throwing out lunches that don’t get eaten or worse finding food stashed places from days before. Yes that happens, boys can be disgusting.

Yumbox’s come with pre-portioned illustrated tray guides for you to make hassle free lunches. There are two different options available: 6 compartment encourages variety and healthy eating habits; and 4 compartment offers more volume for sandwiches, salads, sides and your favourite dip or treat!

Other perks are they are super light weight so they won’t weigh down your littles bags. The compact design takes up very little space in their backpacks leaving lots of room for that homework, gym strip or the occasional time they try to sneak their fav toys to school. You also save money by eliminating the need for bags, plastic wrap, and snack packs. packing a waste free lunch has never been easier. Reuse, reduce and save! Made with all food safe materials, BPA-free and phthalates-free. Check them out here. If you live locally you can also shop them at Little Bean + Co!

Name Bubbles

Name Bubbles are personalized kids name labels and clothing labels. Turns out you have to label EVERYTHING for school. Like. Every. Single. Thing. In my case I would have to label everything regardless because my boys have yet to been blessed with my organization skills or just general responsibility for anything that’s not an Xbox, Nintendo Switch or iPad – They ALWAYS know where those are and who’s is who’s.

Name Bubbles offers a variety of labels to cover all your naming needs! Here’s what we went with:

  • Iron-On labels pack: durable, waterproof iron-on labels that will stick strong through the washer and dryer. Perfect for tagless clothing and sports gear.
  • Contact Name labels: laminated for durability and fade resistance, these labels are perfect for big-ticket items and great for when you need more than just a name. Contact labels have enough space for a phone number or email. These will definitely come in handy should any more of the boys items go missing. I’m still mourning the loss of Noah’s Burton snowboard jacket that went to school one day, never to be seen again.
  • Round Press and Stick labels: waterproof as well as laundry and dishwasher safe. These labels can be used on clothing, water bottles, drink cups, lunch kits, backpacks and even your kids favourite toy. Designed to fit perfectly on a clothing tag with a simple press-and-stick application, no ironing necessary.

Fall Wardrobe

L&P Apparel

L&P Apparel is a Canadian company making clothing and accessories for children and adults. They offer a variety of unique pieces that reflect the active skateboard-inspired lifestyle they are part of every day. They aim to spread exclusive pieces that will turn heads and will also be useful for kids and their parents. Their vision is being fashion, urban and trendy, evoking the active life of kids. Bring your lifestyle to your mini.

I can’t even begin to tell you guys how head over heals in love I have fallen with this brand. My favourite pieces are definitely the Urban Style Boys Jacket , Baseball Style Jersey T’s and the French Terry Skateboard Walkshorts for Children. You can see the quality in each and every one of their pieces right down to the fine details.

We all know supporting small businesses can come at a higher price tag than box stores. I’m sure you’re thinking ” get ready to empty my pockets” but LP Apparels entire collection is reasonably priced and totally affordable which is such a pleasant surprise when you are getting unique, quality pieces that will surely last a very long time; even from one child to the next.

You can find the closest retailer here or shop them online here. They offer free shipping on all orders over $75 before tax to anywhere in Canada and USA.

Cheers to a great year ahead for all our kiddos, to the chaos of fall schedules about to begin and to all the evenings filled with wine, tissues and the best show on tv returning for another season; This is us.

xoxo

 

 

 

 

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A Mama Must Have For Under $100

The Gathre Mini 

Not Just Another “Must Have” Collecting Dust

We all know there are a TON of baby and kid products on the market. They get cooler and trendier by the day it seems like. Looking back at what was available twelve years ago when I had Noah to what is on the market today blows my mind. Of course we see all the pretty pictures on IG and instantly think ” I need that “. Well for somethings that will actually be true and others you purchase, use once or twice and then store it for years in hopes you’ll “need” it again some day. The Gathre Mini does NOT fall into that last category at all and here’s why…

Reason’s Why I Love Our Gathre Mini

First of all, if I can use one item for multiple purposes it’s an automatic win in my books. We have had our mat for about a month now and I’m obsessed! Cruz is at that super fun I’m a two year old and I can do whatever I want stage.  You know the one where once he is done eating he decides to dump his plate on the floor?! (If none of your kids have done this I envy you) Picking up shredded hash browns might be our least favourite, My husband actually started laying down newspaper under his high chair. Hello he’s a boy not some animal we are trying to train. Anyways, gone are those days because now we just lay our mat under wherever Cruz sits and it does all the work for us!

My boys also LOVE popsicles and ice cream but they have far from mastered how to eat them without making a big sticky mess. No problem now, they can sit and eat whatever they want on the mat and have little picnics and parties and I can just shake it off… shake it off! ICYWW I totally just sang that like T.Swift.

Ok so there’s a few ways the mat has made my life less messy and more convenient. But wait, there’s more… It folds up nice and small and hardly weighs anything so I can easily pack it in my diaper bag or throw it under the stroller when we are on the go. I’m an over packer and with our mini mat I don’t have to sacrifice a ton of space which gives it a plus plus ++! Saving the best for last. Are you ready for it? This baby doesn’t go in the laundry… Ever! Spot clean only which is basically a hail mary in my house because I am already fantastic at neglecting our laundry.

About Gathre + The Mats

Another reason my love for these mats is so real is because they were made for moms by moms! Two moms, Marilee and Jessica, out on a girls night met through mutual friends and totally clicked. Navigating through motherhood together they came up with the idea of a wipeable blanket for kids. They ran a Kickstarter campaign where they raised $78K in 30 days. They hustled for many all nighters in Marilee’s mother in laws garage. Since then they have moved to their own studio.

All mats are made of bonded leather. Bonded leather is water impermeable, regulates well in heat and is stain resistant. Top surface is made with a synthetic layer of polyurethane which makes it very easy to wipe clean. Bottom side is made of soft suede leather. As I mentioned earlier, all mats are spot clean only. You can use a wet cloth, cleaning wipes or paper towel until area is clean. To remove wrinkles you can lay the mat out in the sun or steam the underside. Do not iron.

The mat pictured here is the Sail Mini. A collaboration with Rylee and Cru x Gathre. I know this is my first mat but with so many beautiful designs, it will definitely not be my last. I’m currently obsessing over the Pier Midi+ , their tablecloths and their scallops which might just be my FAV!

Hope you love yours as much as I love mine and if you do or even if you don’t, drop me a message and let me know because I love hearing from you babes!

xoxo

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Two Sweet

Cruzie’s Ice Cream Themed 2nd Birthday Party

First things first, all party planning starts with a theme. Lucky for us parents you can pretty much turn anything into a theme these days. Use something your child is into at the time, be creative and when in doubt… Pinterest will ALWAYS save the day.

To be completely honest I was procrastinating hard on planning a party for Cruz because I was in major denial about him turning two. It was not this emotionally hard for me when Noah or Joey turned two. Must be because he is our last, officially out of the “baby” stage and onto toddlerhood. It wasn’t until a shopping trip to the states with my sister that she brought up the party and I realized how soon it was coming up. While in Target *hallelujah* I found some cute party cups, plates and colouring table clothes. Then at Home Goods I found ceramic ice cream cone holders and the theme was decided just like that!

Joey and Cruz both love Whistle and Flute designs so naturally I had to incorporate their ice-cream kawaii print into Cruzie’s party! I used a cricut to design and cut the lettering and shapes for the backdrop. I also used the cricut to make the ice cream cone banner and cake topper. If you love crafting, scrapbooking, or just making party decor you need one of these machines! (not sponsored actually obsessed)

Click the pic to shop all ice-cream apparel from Whistle & Flute.

I picked up the balloons from Paper and Parties . They also sell balloon garland strand (I’m not actually sure what it is called) but it makes it SO easy to make the garland! I blew up the balloons with a little hand pump from the dollar store and just popped the balloons through the holes on the strand! Took less than an hour and I got it all done start to finish while Cruz napped which was a lifesaver because what kid wouldn’t want to play in a room full of balloons?!

Steph from Little Cookie Co made the CUTEST cookies to match the theme perfectly! She totally nailed the design without even knowing much about what I was doing for decor. The two scoop cookies are basically an exact replica of the W&F design. I almost couldn’t handle how cute they were and trust me when I say, they tasted even better than they looked and they looked GOOD!

Cruz + Joey are both wearing Whistle & Flute tanks and hat paired with Jax and Lennon co shorts, Natives and People Footwear.

I always make my boys birthday cakes. It’s a little tradition and means a lot to me to make them something special for their birthday. This year his cake was a chocolate fudge cake with buttercream frosting and white chocolate ganache drip. Ice-cream party wouldn’t be complete without ice cream so we also set up a sundae bar which was a huge hit with all the kids and lets be honest, the adults loved it too!


Most importantly he was surrounded by so much love and fun on his special day with his family and friends. He opened presents, jumped in his bouncy castle, played on the trampoline and ate candy, cake and ice cream. Two days later on his actual birthday Cruz, Joey and I spent the day at the beach. Birthday boy wore his Bday crown and carried his balloon around all day. Joey made him a special #2 cake to celebrate!

To Cruzie,

You are one of a kind, wild and fun! You love french fries and chup’ (ketchup), your favourite treat quickly became ice cream, second would definitely be cookies! You are so playful but still so snuggly (please don’t stop snuggling any time soon). You say so many cute things now and repeat more and more every single day. words can’t even explain how much I love you and how blessed I feel to be your mommy. I hope you felt as special on your birthday as you make our lives every day.

xoxo

Mommy

xoxo

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Baby Wearing 101

Why Baby Wearing?

There are many reasons why baby wearing is so great. Convenience being at the top of my list. You guys, I don’t know what I would have done without a form of baby wearing for any of my three boys. Two words for you: Hands Free! Hands free is a big enough perk if you ask me but the added bonus that your babe or toddler is attached to you and can’t terrorize everything in sight is like pure bliss. You name it I have probably done it with one of my carriers. House work, laundry, cooking, walking and travelling. On the daily I use a carrier for school pick up and drop off as well.

Not only does baby wearing make motherhood dare I say it easier at times, there are so many benefits for mom and baby. Carrying babies is good for their physical and mental development. Carriers improve yours and babies core muscles and posture. 50% less crying and fussing when carried. Keeping babies close when sleeping can reduce the risk of SIDS and increase your peace of mind. Moms who baby wear are twice as likely to successfully breastfeed. Babies tend to be calmer, more alert, observing and taking in the world around them. Regulates body temperature.

I’ve had several different carriers but here I will only compare the 3 most recent kinds that I use and love. Ergo Baby with Petunia Pickle Bottom, Beluga Baby Wrap & Lille Baby Ring Sling.

Choosing the right carrier for you

Ergo Baby w/ Petunia Pickle Bottom Carrier

Ergo carriers are considered soft structured carriers. Weight recommendation is from 5lbs up to 45lbs. 100% certified organic cotton twill body and 100% certified organic cotton sateen lining. Supports front and back baby wearing. Features a sleeping hood with elastic edge and snap to snap attachments. Hood supports babes head while sleeping in the carrier and protects from sun and wind. Adjusts with 5 different levels for babies growth. Padded waist band and shoulder straps  made with high density foam. 

Beluga Baby Wrap – The Rachel

This is a wrap style carrier. Suitable for babies newborn to 25 lbs. Beluga wraps are 4.2 meters in length. Made from sustainable and eco friendly bamboo. Unique four way stretch that wearers and babies love. These carriers are honestly the softest I have ever felt. Folds up into attached storage pouch. Fits perfectly in diaper bag without taking up space or adding extra weight. Made locally here in Vancouver BC!

Lille Baby Ring Sling

Sling style carrier suitable for infants from newborn to toddler. Recommended from 7lbs to 35lbs. Made from 100% natural premium linen fabric. Beautifully engraved zinc alloy rings are durable and easy to adjust. Removable pouch for storage. Optional padding provides extra comfort. Available in one adjustable size measuring 27 inches by 78 inches.

My Experience

All three types of carriers give the benefits mentioned above as well as so many others. I have used a structured style carrier for 11 years and just newly discovered wraps and slings. Ergo feels very supported and distributes the weight evenly. It’s honestly been my go to being so easy to use with two simple clips. Love being able to use it front and back. Some days this thing has saved my life and my ears. Makes long days and trips pleasant with how happy each of our boys has been in it.

While pregnant with Cruz I discovered the Beluga Baby wraps at a local baby market. Haley is super helpful and showed me how easy they were to put on and tie. I had always been interested in trying one but felt like they might be difficult to use and lets me real, no mama wants anything that makes things harder. After trying one on, feeling how incredibly soft they are and how easy it actually was to use I knew I needed one before little Cruzie arrived. I really loved how soft it was against my newborns skin and how it mimics a womb like feeling for baby after birth.

The Lille Baby carrier is the newest we’ve tried but really fell in love with it from the moment I tried it on. I absolutely love that baby is in a side carry position like a little koala bear. Cruz is all smiles feeling like he is being hugged 24-7 in the sling. To be honest, I was a little unsure of how secure the ring sling would be with a 25lb baby starting out in it. Well those thoughts were completely unnecessary because it felt well supported on me and didn’t slip around or loosen at all when wearing him. Cruz loves being next to me in the sling and not just because he can grab my face and tries to rip my top down to find his oh so precious milk makers.

Baby Wearing Safety Checklist

Keeping your baby safe with K-I-S-S-E-S:

  • Kissable
    Keep your baby close enough to kiss! While you don’t want to constantly be bumping your little one, their head should be close enough to your chin that you can easily bend your head to kiss your baby on their head.
  • In View
    Keep your baby in view at all times. When wearing your little one, you should always be able to glance down and easily see your baby’s face.  The fabric of the carrier should not close over their face. (this would be more of a problem with a sling or a wrap).  If the baby is in a cradle position, they should be facing upwards and not toward your body.
  • Supported Back
    Your baby should be held close to you so that their tummy and chest are against you. Keep their back supported in a natural position. If you gently press your hand against your baby’s back, they should not uncurl or move closer to you.
  • Supported Hips
    You want to always be sure that the carrier you’re using is supporting your baby’s hips and thighs. Ideally, the baby’s legs should be in a “M” position with their knees higher than their bottom. Their weight borne by their bum and thighs. If the width of the seat portion of a carrier goes from knee to knee, then this will also ensure that gravity pulling on a baby’s weight isn’t putting too much strain on their hips.
  • Easy to Breathe
    Keep your baby’s chin off their chest, so that their airway is open. Always be sure that you can fit the width of two fingers between your baby’s chin and their chest while they’re in a carrier. Little ones should never be curled so their chin is forced into their chest, as that will interfere with their breathing.
  • Snug
    No matter whether you’re using a wrap, a sling, or a soft-structured carrier (and anything in between!), make sure that the carrier is holding the baby very snug against your body. While you obviously don’t want it overly tight as to cut off circulation, keeping your little one tight against you will prevent the baby falling out of the carrier. Any slack or loose fabric can also cause an especially young baby to slump over, possibly restricting their breathing.

Acronym based on the T.I.C.K.S rule for safe baby wearing from the school of baby wearing & the ABC’s of safe baby wearing from baby wearing International.

Honestly all three styles are excellent options. I would have a hard time choosing just one. (Which is why I have all three). I would definitely recommend testing out the different options available. Borrowing them from friends or family to see what works best for you and your baby before purchasing a style you may not like.

If you have one of these three what do you like/dislike about it? If you have another kind you absolutely love drop me a comment I would love to hear about what you are using!

xo

 

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