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!
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!
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 ->
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
To start with The LG QuadWash dishwasher integrates TrueSteam technology, a powerful steam that helps eliminate the need to pre-rinse dishes. TrueSteamtechnology offers maximum steam coverage to give you 60% less water spotsor water stains on things like wine glasses so they come out shiny every time.
The QuadWashdishwasher 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 QuadWashdishwasher usesfour 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 QuadWashdishwasher comeswith 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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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)
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!
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!
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.
Alright you guys, I know I’ve been a little MIA lately. I made the choice to unplug over the holidays. I have to say it’s the best choice I’ve made in a while. As much as I love you all here and all you insta babes, I love my babes more. (sorry not sorry) Time off my phone and off social media meant spending more time with the boys enjoying every little thing about them. It felt so refreshing to really be present with them this holiday.
The beginning of a new year is prime opportunity to reflect on what you’ve learned and experienced in 2017 and how you would like to grow in 2018. It’s safe to say there were highs and lows but overall it was a very memorable year. Highlights of my 2017 would include many firsts with the boys. We took our first family vacay to California, many baby milestones with Cruz including his first steps and celebrating his 1st birthday, Mike and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary, I turned thirty (no I’m not upset about it). I launched this blog and met so many wonderful and supportive mamas that have really become friends and some more like family. The hardest part of 2017 was losing my cousin Cory. This devastating loss is still hard to believe at times and doesn’t seem real.
On my little hiatus from insta I spent a lot of time really thinking about what I’d like the next 365 to look like. The start of a fresh year is always full of promises and resolutions that most people don’t follow through with or forget about after a few weeks or months. Instead of setting resolutions that will come and go I like to set intentions for myself so that is exactly what I have done. Originally I didn’t plan on sharing them with anyone but then I thought if I put them out there then I can hold myself accountable.
Setting Your Intentions For The New Year
Try setting intentions that will help you live as the best version of yourself every single day. Setting intentions helps to focus your mind, prioritize what’s most important and start making transformations from within.
Here are a few tips for deciding on your intentions in 2018:
Sit alone and reflect on what parts of your life are most important to you. What brings you the greatest joy? What fills you with a sense of purpose?
Make a list of your intentions, goals and desires. Share it with someone who will be supportive and help keep you focused.
Create a short mantra that will serve as your daily reminder. Use it during yoga, meditation and any other quiet moments when you can set your focus. ” I love my life ” or “I have the power to create change” are a couple examples.
The first thing to really resonate with me was balance. This year is all about finding the right balance in all areas of my life. Balance with family, friends, social media and most importantly me. I began to notice towards the end of 2017 how little I was doing for myself, my own health and my own happiness. I am really hard on myself and was seriously lacking in the self love department. Then I had to ask myself “how can I be the best mom, wife, friend, daughter or sister I strive to be if I don’t take care of myself?”
Getting back into the gym 2-3 times a week was the perfect start. Finding the right fitness routine that works for you can be intimidating. What works for someone else might not be the right fit for you. As I found myself settling back in to old routines at the gym I became motivated to push myself further. Over the past 3 weeks I’ve tried out several different types of classes at Oxygen Yoga & Fitness. Being back in the yoga studio feels so good for the mind and body. Getting a physical work out, leaving with such a positive outlook and clear mind is worth every 5am wake up. When I get up early and go to class I find myself so much more productive around the house. I notice I have more patience with the boys as well and in general feel a lot lighter spirited.
I’ve always eaten a healthy diet. As much as I love food I have been on some ridiculously restricted diets before for the sake of my children. As they outgrew their restrictions I have added those things back into my diet. I don’t deprive myself of treats or something “bad” for me. I think its good to indulge once in a while after all, we only live once, it’s about moderation. We will continue to create healthy eating habits for us and our boys this year.
Making more husband wife time is high on the priority list. I’m not quite sure what I did so right to end up with such a wonderful, supportive and caring man. He really stands behind me and supports me needing to spend more time on myself. He’s the first one to find a way to make it work for both of us to get our weekly work outs in. Always juggling all the boys sports, activities and routines on top of his own work. Life gets busy and I honestly feel guilty that we don’t get more quality time alone to connect, nurture our relationship and grow together as a couple. Starting off this year I have set us up with some couples cooking class date nights. Trying something new might be fun. I mean how could it not be? There will be food and we won’t have the kids asking for 100 different things before we even sit down to eat! Our wedding anniversary is this also this month. 3 years married and almost 7 together.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in insta life. It becomes habit to open that little app every single time I pick up my phone. Being more present this year is really important to me. No this does not mean I am leaving any of you. You’re stuck with us *kiss kiss*.
It just means my time with my kids is going to be a lot more unplugged. I want to really get down on their level and experience each stage of their lives. Each of them have such different interests, strengths and weaknesses. I want to be front row cheering them on, teaching them, lifting them up without my phone in one hand. (unless I’m recording them then totally fair game). Part of this is also stressing less about the mess they make. NO this does not mean our house can look like a bomb went off- hello OCD is real over here. I want them to be responsible for their things and appreciate the stuff they are lucky enough to have. I have a plan for this so I will put it together, test it out and if it works I will share it here in a later post!
As for my friends, new and old I love you all. You motivate and inspire me on the daily. I hope you all know my door and my heart are always open for you. Being at different stages of our lives, single, in relationships, married and having kids can cause distance in some friendships. I’m going to make a stronger effort to keep in touch more often and let those I care about know it. Communication goes both ways but sometimes you just have to make the first gesture. Yes this totally means more girls nights just like old times.
My insta goal for 2018 is to hit 10k. To continue to connect with amazing mamas from all over. To lift one another up and grow together in 2018.
Set goals, smash the shit out of them, clap for your damn self and repeat.
2018 – We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s do this! Remember every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.
Alright you guys, shopping for a third child is HARD. What do you get a baby that has two older brothers and so much stuff handed down to him already?! I started shopping early, like in October, yet here we are just 14 days away from Christmas and I’m so not done yet! I am super excited for Christmas morning this year since it’s really like Cruz’s 1st Christmas because he was only 6 months old last Christmas. I really want it to be special for him. Here are a few items we have come up with for Cruzie this Christmas.
First – up is this adorable play kitchen that I found at Homesense! You know that gold is going bye bye bye! Hubs and I are going to make a few little changes like painting the hardware, adding marble counter tops and a couple other little surprises. You’ll have to stay tuned to see the finished result but I can tell you right now I’m a little jealous of this thing and totally wish I had a play kitchen like this when I was younger. I found the same kitchen on Wayfair here.
Second – is this Melissa & Doug giant white tiger. This stuffed animal is just over 5ft long and weighs 4.5lbs. Cruz has a Schleich Toys plastic tiger that takes everywhere he goes. I say Cruzie “where is your friend?” and he will run all over the house and find this little tiger so I know he is going to love this giant tiger. Also because he loves to climb on my back and ride me like I am some kind of animal so really the tiger is giving me a break.
Chapters/Indigo has the tiger here.
Third – is the ride on push car from Amazon. This thing is bound to be a blast for him to cruise around on. There were many different kinds of vehicles available in different price ranges. Theres a Mercedes linked here and the Range Rover linked here.
Fourth – Every man & boy needs a set of tools – especially if he’s getting a kitchen – says the hubs. This cute monochrome tool set from Design Life Kids seemed like the perfect find!
Fifth – That monochrome pots and pans set is also from DLK. It was a pre order and not currently listed on their site but as soon as I see it come back on I will post to my stories on IG for anyone interested!
Sixth – Cuddle & Kind is a charitable company that donates 10 meals for the purchase of every doll. When I first came across this company i immediately fell in love with all the cute animals. Cruz got two of them for his first Christmas last year. This new bear is Hudson. He is too cute and almost fully monochrome plus he supports a a great cause. Gifts with purpose for the win. He is currently sold out but I’ve linked the site here so you can shop all the other cuties!
Last but not least I picked up a few of these mini Schleich toys for his stocking since he loves his tiger so much. they can be found at Toys r us, Chapters/Indigo, Michaels & Mastermind Toys to name a few.
That’s a wrap! No seriously its time for me to wrap these before he finds them in my hiding spots.
It’s never too early to start shopping for Christmas gifts. Christmas can be one of the most celebrated yet equally stressful holidays of the year. Holidays should be fun and enjoyed with family and friends while creating memories that last forever. I don’t know about you but I like to do most if not all of my shopping online to avoid the mayhem that is our local malls and retailers. I’m also all about supporting local small shops.
Here I have put together a list of 5 small shops that are kicking off the Christmas season with some adorable handmade items for your littles and they are monochrome! ** cue angels singing** All items are available for order online so you can shop quality pieces from the comfort of your own home.
Let me just start by saying the second I saw these stockings I went CRAZY over how cute they are. I’m a total sucker for stuff that can be customized. I love the personalized touch it adds to any gift and makes these items life long keepsakes.
Jen is a stay at home mom that taught herself how to sew and started her business after her second baby was born. She makes personalized name blankets, bedding and apparel that now ship to over 14 countries. Every item is designed and handmade with love and let me tell you that’s the truth. I recently purchased a personalized blanket for a friends baby and I was blown away over how nice it was when it arrived. These stockings are no different. The quality and every detail are amazing.
Cruz likes to put his toys in it and pull it around with him everywhere he goes. Does this kid not realize it’s white and mama would like to keep it that way? For all of you monochrome lovers and minimalists there are black and white options available like the stocking we have here for Cruz.
The stocking measures approximately 18″ long with a 6.5″ opening and is the perfect size to fill with all of those wonderful holiday gifts and treats. Each stocking is handmade with super soft fleece and is designed especially for you. It is lined with a soft batting and topped with a fuzzy cozy cuff! Perfect for hanging on the fireplace.
You can check out all the items from Little Navy here or on their instagram here. Holiday order cut off for Canada and US is November 24th. Check them out on IG & Facebook too see all the cute creations and follow along for special announcements and offers.
Olena Gurr is the creator and maker behind the trendy clothing brand Ole.Design. Inspired by her son she began making and designing children’s clothing. Her creativity (that is off the charts), love for fashion and business experience quickly pushed her to try and make more of her hobby.
Ole Design is a Canadian company based out of Calgary Alberta. Dedicated to using only natural high quality fabrics in creating the most stylish and comfortable apparel for babies and kids. All pieces are made from organic cotton from Europe and I can honestly tell you it is like no other.
Cruz is wearing the minimalist deer print modern pull over and leggings. Olena designs all her patterns and hand makes each item to guarantee the highest standards. The modern pull over has a slightly slim fit that I absolutely love on Cruz. The leggings are a relaxed fit with drop crotch, basically making him look super g while being cozy and comfortable.
All prints are limited so if you are as obsessed as I am with this print (or any of her other prints-because lets be real – they are all so damn cute) you will want to order fast! Order deadline to ensure your items are received in time for Christmas is December 1st for international orders and December 7th for all orders within Canada. Click here to shop or on the images below for direct links to the leggings and pull over.
Bambi & Birdie
Bambi & Birdie first started earlier this year by longtime friends Ali & Brittany. As moms it was important to them, as it is to so many of us, to dress their kids in comfortable, ethically made and eco friendly pj’s. That is where the inspiration came from to start the perfect sleep wear line and that is exactly what they have done.
All B&B pyjamas are made with ultra soft bamboo, the perfect temperature regulating material to keep your babes comfortable all year round. Not only are these Pajamas like the softest thing you will ever feel their designs are mega trendy for pjs. Like I’m talking acceptable to wear in public trendy.
If you are like me and LOVE to twin with your littles then you are in luck because this summer they launched matching MAMA pyjama sets and you can bet I was first in line for those! Just like their summer line the new winter line will also include Mama sets that come with a relaxed fit t shirt in a solid colour ( totally wearing this all day long ) and printed bottoms to match your littles pj’s.
Winter line launches TODAY (Monday November 6th) so make sure you check them out here and get them before I buy every single one because I might just gift everyone I know a pair of these pj’s for Christmas. Two special holiday prints will launch November 17th. Order deadline for Christmas orders is December 13th.
Nikolina is the super talented and creative maker behind Pacific Knot. She taught herself to knit from watching youtube videos and let me tell you this girl is a natural. I recently had the pleasure of witnessing her arm knit a chunky merino wool blanket for the first time and she whipped it up like she had made 100 of them before. Who knew it was so fascinating to see and well the blanket is gorgeous! You may have noticed it in my last IG post and ICYMI you should go check it out because she is going to be listing them on her site soon!
Pacific Knot was inspired by her love for the outdoors and staying cozy. She lives and works in the city of New West and wanted to incorporate a piece of her city in each of her designs. All her items are named after various streets in New Westminster BC. She takes pride in each piece she makes and that shows in the quality of each and every knit.
You name it this girl can most likely make it. I have without a doubt kept her busy with my sometimes crazy ideas and she comes through every single time. She made the pom garland that is pictured on Christmas tree. Both merino wool toque’s pictured – one of which she just casually created her own pattern for – and the thumbless baby mittens to keep Cruz’s hands warm on our early morning walks to the school.
All toques, scarves and blankets can be ordered from the listings on her site or can be completely customized to your colour preference. Nikolina hand purchases each skein of yarn she uses to make your items and would never sell something she wouldn’t put on her own kids. Oh and did I mention she also makes mommy and me matching toques?! As we head into winter these knits will be an absolute must have to stay warm in the cold and will make the perfect Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. Current turn around time is 2-3 weeks. Order deadline for Christmas orders is December 7th. Shop her knits here or check her out on instagram here.
Sprig West launched in December 2015 by Jeff and Amanda Penner. Borealis Manufactory is their company name and Sprig West and Minimoc are their brands. They make trendy and minimalistic embellishments for your home and life. Some of these items include ornaments, peg boards, wall hangings, pennants, cake toppers, coasters, banners, magnets and book bags. Located in the hippest part of Abbotsford you can find them at their store front Borealis Manufactory. If you are in the area it’s definitely worth stopping by and checking them out.
All ornaments are designed by them. They operate the laser machine to cut and engrave them in right in their factory. The ornaments are all made of 3mm birch plywood. Natural wood is used giving each ornament a unique look. The natural white grain will pop against the background of your tree. All items are made in Canada. These would make the perfect little topping for a gift or stocking stuffer.
I like to think my style and decor is pretty minimal although when it comes to Christmas ornaments I am more traditional/sentimental. Since I was a baby my mom & dad have bought me a Christmas ornament every year for my stocking. Sometimes they would have significance to what was happening in my life at the time and others would just be because they were pretty. When I moved out of my parents house she handed me a box with all of my ornaments from each year of my life to have for my own tree.
I absolutely LOVE seeing them come out of the boxes each year while remembering each special memory that comes with every single one of them. So my favourite ornament from Sprig West is hands down the “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments. There are several options avail including: tree, circle, snow globe & bunny for 2017 babies & bear or fawn for 2016 babies.
All orders should be placed by December 15th to receive in time for Christmas.
Shop Sprig West here or check them out on Instagram here. You can also catch them at the Shop Sweet Christmas Market on Nov.18th.
Nikole Culo Design
Nikole is a Vancouver girl living in Edmonton. She is my go to for party invites, prints, special projects, birthday boards, you name it she can create it. She is currently preparing to become a first time mom in a few short weeks – Eeeeek! Can’t wait to find out if she is having a girl or boy! She will remain open for orders while she adjusts to motherhood and having a newborn. I already know her baby is going to have the cutest birth announcements & party invites.
You can check out her work on her Instagram here & on her website here. Keep her in mind for your future projects!
We’ve partnered up to check one thing off your Christmas shopping list! Gift tags!
Attached is a FREE printable with 4 different gift tags created by Nikole Culo Design.
There you have it – 6 amazing Canadian makers and some of their amazing products for Christmas that I hope you love them all as much as I do. Happy Shopping! Drop me a message with your favourite small shop Christmas items! I love hearing about new shops and fun gift ideas and would love to hear from you!