Frannie + Lilo Interview

Not Just a Shirt, a Motherhood Movement

Recently I had the pleasure of connecting with two amazing mama’s Francesca Brunsden and Lysanne Louter. These strong and inspiring ladies are the founders of Frannie + Lilo. In honour of October being International SIDS, Miscarriage and Infant Loss Awareness month I thought now would be the perfect time to introduce you to these two special and very brave ladies. They are totally killing this motherhood boss babe thing.

Francesca and Lysanne have both struggled with child loss, depression, anxiety, and post-tramatic stress disorder. They met in a prenatal class and quickly became friends when they had their baby boys Bodie & Finn 10 days apart.

Francesca is originally from Britain and now lives in Toronto. She is a queen-crafter, hair stylist and one brave bad ass mama. After her first miscarriage, Francesca’s son Phoenix was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder at 24 weeks in utero. A condition that is often “incompatible with life”. After 15 hours of labour — and against all odds — Phoenix was born alive. He lived for 5 hours in his mothers loving arms. That day marked the beginning of a journey through grief that may never be over. Phoenix’s younger brother Bodie was born almost exactly one year after his due date. Bodie’s birth was a gift that has helped Francesca find her voice and passion again. Through Frannie + Lilo she hopes to raise money to support other mamas faced with this kind of tragedy. Click here to read Francescas full story on losing her son Phoenix.

Lysanne also lives in Toronto. She is an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker and one sincere, caring mama. After witnessing the horrific aftermath of the Rana Plaza factory collapse that killed 1100 people in Bangladesh Lysanne decided she wanted to start her own made-in-Canada clothing line. Lysanne was overcome with nightmares, panic attacks and deep depression for years after meeting the victims of the Rana Plaza tragedy. When her son Finnley was born her depression returned. It wasn’t until she began working on Frannie + Lilo did she imagine a way to move forward and turn her experiences into something positive for other moms.

Together their mission is to raise awareness about childloss, miscarriage, postpartum mood disorders and fight the taboo of disgussing these traumatic experiences. Knowing first hand how difficult motherhood can be they would like to support women wherever they are in their motherhood journey.  Inspired by the brave mamas they meet everyday. Inspired by each of their stories of child loss, miscarriage and struggles with depression and anxiety. They are making a difference in others lives by sharing their stories and empowering women to be proud mamas.

Frannie + Lilo began in July 2017 and is based out of Toronto. All shirts are ethical, eco-conscious, designed and made in Canada. The company was started to help support mamas in need. A portion of every shirt sold is donated to five different child loss and postpartum charities. We The Mamas is not just a t-shirt it’s a motherhood movement.

I asked Francesca and Lysanne these questions:

  1. What is the inspiration behind your design?
    Designs are inspired by all the brave women and mamas out there who struggle every day to take care of themselves and their beautiful families.
  2. Who do you look up to?
    Our mothers and grandmothers for teaching us unconditional love and patience.
  3. What does your ideal Saturday look like?
    Our ideal Saturday would start with an early morning run along the beach. Then we would pick up breakfast sandwiches and coffee and take Bodie and Finn to the park to play. The boys would have a nice long afternoon nap while we worked for a couple of hours. In the evening, we would make dinner with our husbands, put the boys to bed, and watch Netflix.
  4. What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?
    Lysanne: I wanted to be a journalist and a photographer because I felt I saw things differently than most people and wanted to help make a difference in people’s lives.
    Francesca: I wanted to compete with England’s Olympic swim team because I loved the water and wanted to inspire other young girls to swim.
  5. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
    Lysanne: Vanilla dip donuts with rainbow sprinkles
    Francesca: Reality TV shows
 (both these ladies are seriously speaking to my heart right now)
  6. What three things make you happiest in the world?
    Lysanne: Spending time with family, walking my dog on the beach and helping people.
    Francesca: Watching my son learn new things, spending time with family from abroad and traveling.
  7. Fill in the blanks:
    We believe… Being a mother is the hardest and best job in the world
    We love it when… Our boys do something they couldn’t do yesterday
    Words you live by are … 
“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf” -Jon Kabat-Zinn

Important dates & Statistics:

  • October 2017 is International SIDS, Miscarriage and Infant Loss Awareness Month
  • October 9th-15th, 2017 is Infant Loss Week
  • October 15th, 2017 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
  • One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage
  • Up to 25% of mothers face some kind of postpartum depression or anxiety

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know these incredible mamas as much as I have. I would like to say thank you to Francesca and Lysanne for sharing so much of yourselves with me and everyone following along. If you would like to follow along with these two check them out on all their social media channels linked below: Facebook– www.facebook.com/wethemamas/
Instagram- www.instagram.com/wethemamas/
Twitter – www.twitter.com/wethemamas/
Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/wethemamas/

Shop the entire collection here. Sign up for their newsletter and save 15% of your purchase and for the month of October receive free shipping!

Motherhood is something I myself am extremely thankful for. Being a mom brings out the best parts of myself and it’s all because of these boys. Check out all three of us below wearing our shirts to support these mamas and their cause. To anyone out there struggling with any kind of loss or trauma please always remember you are not alone, you are strong, you are beautiful and there is always someone you can turn to.

xo

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Top 3 Trendy AF Kicks Your Babe Needs Like Now!

Little Bipsy Conor High Tops

Okay you guys we just got our first pair of these amazing kicks and lemme tell you they are the best fricken shoes everrrrrr. The new rubber soles make for easy walking and give new walkers stability and balance. They have elastic laces - um hello! smartest idea ever - have you tried keeping a baby still long enough to tie shoes? It doesn't happen. These elastic laces also make them super easy to get on and off for mom and sometimes dad. The velcro strap at the top is basically the icing on the cake because this keeps the shoe on babes foot so they don't slide on and off.  I would hate to get home from somewhere and realize we had lost a shoe. If this hasn't happened to you yet, it's most likely going to but not with these kicks! Lastly I need to just say how cute they look! A basic black shoe is never ever going out of style and works with every single outfit, every single time. Now all I need to hear is that they will be expanding their sizes so I can put these shoes on Cruz until he's 20. Then the kid can buy his own shoes, right?

Minted Method Shop Aigle Rain Boots

These boots are made for walking and that's just what they'll do... through every single puddle, wet field, muddy pumpkin patch you name it these are going through it. If I can be completely honest up until last year I pretty much hated the way rain boots looked. I was always the solo Vancouverite wearing anything but rain boots until I got my first pair. Legit dry feet for our 9 months of straight rain pour & never slipping into a wet pair of shoes again. Obviously with this revelation Cruz had to have his very first pair too. These are definitely the way to go. My older son has a pair of Hunter boots and in comparison I would have to say these Aigle boots from Minted Method Shop actually feel a lot nicer and seem better in quality. They are easy to slide on and off so no fuss needed and the stripe detail makes them look way cuter too. Click that button below to shop these boots!

Pretty Brave Electric Boots

Coolest looking shoes ever. Those of you who know me know I am slightly obsessed with bolts so the second we saw these boots it was love at first sight. I knew they had to be mine, ok well Cruz's. The distinct side elastic lighting bolt gives these boots an edgy cool factor that basically justifies throwing practicalities out the door but with these you don't even have to. The rubber sole and leather boot make these durable for all those wet & cool fall days outdoors. There's a convenient side zipper making them easy to put on and take off. Pretty Brave also makes all of their boots chemical free which is really important to me when dressing my kids. JTLYK before buying these bad ass boots, get ready for all the compliments because everyone that has seen these on Cruz has gone crazayyy over them and honestly I don't blame them at all. If you are local you can shop these boots at one of our fav baby boutiques Little Nest & Co. (Linked below)

Our seal of approval

Cruz and I fully approve of all three pairs of killer baby/toddler shoes and know you won't be disappointed with any or all of them. If the hubs asks if babes really needed them just say we said yes.  So when you grab them or if you already own them drop me a message or tag us on ig (@adventuresofcruz) and tell us what you love about them! I'd love to hear from you. If you still need convincing you can check out Cruz rocking them all over our insta feed because these are easily our favs and always get picked first.

ps. none of the links above are affiliate links these are just products and shops we genuinely love and think you will too.

xo

 

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Thanksgiving Weekend

Thankful, Grateful & Blessed

This weekend was all fall y’all! Saturday started out unlike most of our Saturdays because we actually got to sleep in! (like we are talking 9:30 people) The boys didn’t have any soccer over the holiday weekend so I took the opportunity to go run a few errands while the hubs stayed home and made the boys breakfast. Freedom! How good does it feel to go shopping solo?!

Overly excited to have a little me time a few errands turned into being out most of the day – oops!  All solo shopping trips must include a stop at Homesense so naturally that’s where I went first. Next stop was Muse Social Fashion House because mama needed those new faux leather boots they just got in.

Then the usual grocery store stop. Also had to hit up the Costume shop. No luck at all finding a costume for myself but at least the boys are all set for Halloween! Stay tuned to see what the boys are being for Halloween.

My last stop for the day was a bakery in Fort Langley but little did I know that this weekend was the Cranberry Festival. 30 mins to find parking and hours of walking around all the vendors at the festivals later I made it back home to make dinner and finish off the day with a movie.

Sunday came and we were off to the pumpkin patch. The boys ran through the hay maze and corn maze on repeat. They sipped on hot chocolate and enjoyed a treat before heading to the haunted house. Then off to the patch to find our pumpkins. Noah and Joey went traditional with their orange pumpkins. Cruz picked white because well monochrome – duh! I was on the hunt for a nice white one myself until we walked up to the patch to find  grey pumpkins! Mike and I both ended up getting the spooky grey pumpkins. Mike went to load up the pumpkins while the boys raced through the maze a few more times and played a few games.


Back at home everyone got cleaned up for family dinner. Sunday dinners have always been a tradition at my parents but turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie always make it even more enjoyable. Props to my mom for once again pulling off a delicious feast. Cheers to family, friends, food & health. Cruz surprisingly not a fan of turkey unlike his big brother Joey but he loved his first taste of pumpkin pie.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend spending time with their loved ones and the people closest to them.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from me and mine.

xo

 

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Hey Girl Hey!

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me

(Outfit deets: Cruz is wearing Ole.Design beanie, Huxbaby knit sweater, Tattrd threads jeans & Pretty Brave high tops. My outfit is head to toe Muse from their new fall 17 collection that you can shop TOMORROW – click here to check out their IG for info on how you can sip bubbly, shop and save)

With quite a few new followers I thought I would do a little introduction and tell you 10 things about myself that you may or may not already know.

  1. I’m Whitney and I turned 30 this year — which I have to say has been pretty fantastic so far! I am a stay at home mom to three boys who keep me constantly on my toes. Like seriously can mama have one sip of coffee before you climb on the table and try to swing from the light fixtures? Who am I kidding, coffee is over rated wine is where it’s at. When it’s too early for wine dance parties get us through the day.
  2. I can’t whistle to save my life. Many have tried to teach me this skill and failed. Playing referee to our three boys sure would be a lot easier tho if I knew how don’t you think?
  3. The sound of people chewing in a quiet room drives me C R A Y – C R A Y . I have to put on the tv, music, or GET AWAY asap. Aka before I rip the offending food out of their mouth, pull my hair out in a blind rage & glare in their general direction. Especially people who chew with their mouths open. I mean come on! Manners people…
  4. I have watched every single season of The Bachelor/ Bachelorette. It’s my not-so-guilty pleasure. I will stay up until 1 am to watch it in peace and quiet then be tired A F the next day but it’s sleep well lost. No matter how scripted or unrealistic the show might be, I love the possibility of a love story. No matter how it happens.
  5. Italy & Bora Bora are at the very top of my Travel list. Italy for obvious reasons, Its beautiful – duh! It’s where my family is from and a part of my culture that I would love to experience and learn more about. Bora Bora because I am a total beach bum. My ideal KIDLESS getaway is an all-inclusive with my hubs on a tropical beach or private hut over the south pacific sea and a minimum of 30 degree weather.
  6. I’m slightly OCD about the way my house is kept and where things belong – No boys the floor will not do. Under your beds and in the closets will not do. See all those organized bins giving you the perfect spot for each and every one of your 10,000 toys, those will do just perfect. When everything else in life is chaotic, having an organized home gives me a much-needed sense of order and control.
  7. Pizza and Tiramisu are my favourite foods. I just friggin love them!
  8. I am deathly afraid of spiders – it feels like I can’t breathe when I see there is one in the same room as me. I recently told my husband if someone offered me 5 billion to touch a spider I don’t think I’d be able to do it. Luckily I live in a house full of boys who don’t seem to mind them at all. My heroes.
  9. On the daily you’ll find me in active wear. Looking like I’ve been at the gym when I actually haven’t. Otherwise I’m an oversized sweater, ripped jeans and LWT type of girl.
    (Brandy Melville are my fav JTLYK because who isn’t on the market for more LWT’s?)
  10. I met my husband while he was filling in at the shop I was working at. Little did we know years later we would end up at a company ski trip in Whistler together. Many adorable texts & a few cheesy pick up lines later (by few I mean 100’s) our story began.

Now, tell me something I don’t know about you! I love getting to know the babes supporting me in this crazy journey. Comment below and share something about yourself, it would seriously make my day!

Anything else you want to know? Ask me them below and I’ll answer!

xo

 

 

p.s I am such a sucker for any insta-worthy wall. Big shout out to my girl Nikolina for telling me about this aaaamazing paper flower wall.

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This Season’s MUST Have Baby Bomber

This jacket quickly became our favourite and is at the top of our must haves for the season


Cruz’s Outfit ( Bomber & harems – LTLPPL, Basic white t – Little Bipsy , Matching mommy and me beanies – Ole.Design and of course matching converse )

SO we’ve had this dime piece for about a week and I am still DYING over how cute it is. Naturally I needed to share it with all of you. Alright now let’s be honest here, is this jacket not the most insanely stylish and trendy jacket for a one year old ever?! I screamed like a giddy little school girl when we put it on Cruz and I am still gushing over here just looking at the pics.

The jacket is fully lined to keep babes warm all fall and winter. I absolutely love when pieces can transition from one season to the next which makes shopping small much more affordable. A staple piece like this could be used for more than one child and should be. It would never be considered one of those hand me downs you got stuck wearing. This is the jacket you would steal out of your siblings closet because it’s that cool. Anyways point of this post, I love this jacket, get the jacket, have fun looking cool A F.

xo

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Getting Stuff Done

8 Tips for managing your time, getting stuff done and feeling good about it!

With so few hours in the day, hundreds of emails and notifications to keep up with, projects left unfinished or piling up, learning how to manage your time is crucial. Both boys are officially in school now and starting all their extra curricular activities this week so I really need to up my time management game since we have had a fairly laid back summer – like I’m talking our floaties are still inflated sitting in the garage from all the time we spent at the lake & yes that’s going on my to do list. Finding a good balance can be a struggle for many of us moms so I am putting together a list of tips I use to stay organized and on time.

Top 5 Mistakes that cause stress:
1. The first mistake is being overwhelmed with an out of control to do list.
2.Not creating a plan or a schedule for your life.
3.Not having a morning ritual
4.Not practicing self care.
5.Not having boundaries for social media, family time and personal time.

Incase you didn’t know I am seriously OCD so naturally I am going to start with decluttering. Declutter your life, your desk and your to do list. You’ll start to feel better already I promise. It feels good to get rid of clutter that is bringing you down.

Next step is to Plan! Be realistic with your daily expectations and make sure you stick to them. Checking tasks off as you go is a great way to stay motivated. While you’re at it, make yourself a morning ritual.

Now that you have your tasks for the day, prioritize them. Remember it’s not a race to get everything done the fastest. Try to be the most effective. Keep focused – eye on the prize. Once you get to a task, make sure you complete it no matter what. There’s no room for procrastination. Most people tend to tackle easy tasks first to push out the difficult ones. Don’t fall into this trap. Once you get organized, STAY organized. Getting organized takes longer than all these tips combined so once you are, stay organized. Plus it will become effortless the more you stick with it.

Here is what a successful day looks like in my shoes…

1. I set my alarm for 30 mins before I actually need to get up. Getting an early start and gaining that extra 10-30 mins starts the day with little to no stress which is key when your making lunches, setting out clothes, feeding three kids three different breakfasts and trying to get two of them to different schools on time. I call this the morning hustle and I know you all have your own version of this.

2. Picture the desired result. Set this is as your intention for the day.
Use an affirmation to start the day on a positive note. Here are a couple affirmations I like:
I love myself I believe in myself, I support myself.
I have the freedom and power to create the life I desire

3. Set your schedule. List your to do’s. Group similar tasks for more efficiency.
Here is an example of what an average day looks like for me:
6:30 – alarm
7:50 – Noah off too middle school
8:15 – Joey off to elementary school
8:35 – gym/exercise
10:00 – Plan dinner, go to grocery store if needed
10:15 – run errands
11:15 – nap time/house work
12:00 – catch up on emails
12:30 – work on projects
2:30 – school pick up
3:00 – start making dinner
5:00 – eat dinner and get boys ready for soccer.
7:00 – Bath & Bedtime routines for all 3 boys
8:00 – MW time ( Mike & Whitney – this usually consists of our fav reality tv and putting our feet up)

Incase you are looking at this list thinking she doesn’t eat breakfast or lunch and where is Cruz? We eat and he is attached to my hip 24-7. This is just an example. If I wrote out every second of the day in between each one of these steps would include, playing, teaching, changing, feeding & boobing Cruz every 30 mins – at least that’s what it feels like some days.

4. Select your top three and keep focused on your priorities. Get to work. Starting small to gain momentum can sometimes help keep you motivated but remember don’t take the easy ones and neglect the hard ones. Once you’ve started one task don’t start another until this one is completed.

5. Plan for tomorrow. Set your future self up for success.

6. Practice gratitude. Be proud of your daily accomplishments. You go girl!

7. UNPLUG!! Spend time with your family, those you love and remember to take time for yourself.

8. Commit to a quality sleep. Recharge for at least 7 hours. This is one I seriously struggle with. Once I start something I don’t like to stop which sometimes conflicts with how much sleep I get. I’ll definitely be working harder on this last one.

Click here for a free printable to do list via Pinterest + Team Confetti

What are your go to ways of staying organized and on time?
I’m always looking for new ways to improve myself. Leave me a comment below I would love to hear what helps you!

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Fab, Fit and Fun in one box?! Yes Please!

*FabFitFun Partner

Alright you guys, I can not even begin to tell you how excited I am to be a fabfitfun subscriber. There’s something to be said about having all the season’s must haves delivered to your door without having to lift a finger or haul three boys to Sephora and wait in their “quick and short” lines – don’t get me wrong I love Sephora but you know – convenience wins when you’re a mom. Besides who doesn’t love a surprise box packed to the brim of full size beauty, fashion, tech, fitness, and lifestyle products? That is what I like to call happy mail especially since Cruz loves to play with the box too.

*Spoiler Alert *
What’s actually in the Fall17 box? Where do I even begin?

Mer Sea Cozy Wrap in three different colours (annual subscribers get to pick their colour)

 

Private Party Gym Bag


trèStiQue Matte Color & Shiny Balm Lip Crayon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your choice between a B-low the Belt Belt, The Jetset Diaries Beanie, Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse and Whitening Powder and Toothrush

My fav item from the fall box is hands down the cozy wrap in grey – shocking I know!
If you don’t already get their boxes, you can sign up using the code ‘ FALLINLOVE ‘ to get $10 off your fall box! Click here to shop now

What are you picking? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to know so we can be fab fit and fun together.

xo

 

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Who run the world?

Well the quick answer is GIRLS. Don’t tell the cute assistant sitting next to me I said that though because he totally knows he runs my world.

The reason we as women are so strong is because of our ability to band together and take on anything. Motherhood, life, work, relationships, fitness, we all inspire one another to set new goals for ourselves in different areas of our busy lives.

I would like to sincerely thank all of the incredible mamas we have met over the past 10 months since we started @adventuresofcruz. When I first started his rep page I never dreamt it would be where it is today, and while it may seem small to many of you, all of the love and support we have received has blown me away. It’s really true when they say behind every successful woman is a tribe of successful women who have her back – so cheers to us!  Every single one of you have warmed my heart and for that I will be forever grateful.

Which brings me to this blog. I have always thought about starting my own creative space to share my fav products and talk about topics I really enjoy like motherhood, parenting, relationships, pregnancy, baby, design, decor, health and beauty and you will find it all here (eventually – this is still a work in progress).

Special shout out to the babes (you know who you are) who inspired me and gave me the push I needed to move more into a lifestyle space and create this blog. Women helping women, babes supporting babes, lifting each other up and not down is something I am extremely passionate about so if ANY of you need a friend, someone to talk to, advice, help or pretty much anything I am your girl. Don’t forget it! After all real queens fix each others crowns.

Until next time

xo

 

 

 

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Twinning is Winning


Literally my fav thing to do is twin with my boys or to make them match each other. I actually get like school girl giddy inside but shh don’t make fun until you try it. These Beau Hudson beanies and matching mommy and me shirt/dress are available @Mintedmethodshop Don’t worry there will be PLENTY more of these twinning photos. I should consider giving them their own section.

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Not Your Average Diaper Bag


Alright mama’s, some of you are shoe girls, some jewelry but me, I am all about the bags! I honestly can’t say enough of about this bag so for now I will just say how flipping excited I am about it. The leather is seriously the softest I have ever felt. The quality is 100. This thing is like a luxury SUV with all the options. 12 pocket organizer you can pop in and out, attachable strap to make it a backpack. Change pad in case you actually want to use it as a diaper bag and not just an everything bag. Full blog post coming soon on my top 3 Diaper bags and why. Until then go admire them on IG @lilyjadeco

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