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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5 Small Shop Christmas Items That Just Made Your Shopping Easier

5 Must Have Small Shop Christmas Items

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.

  1. Little Navy Customized Stocking
  2. Ole Design Minimalistic Deer Pull Over + Leggings
  3. Bambi + Birdie Winter Plaid 2 Piece Pj. (Also avail in sleepers)
  4. Pacific Knot Chunky Merino Wool Toque + Mitts
  5. Sprig West Laser Cut Wooden Ornaments

Little Navy

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.

Ole.Design

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.

Pull over, scarf and leggings by Ole Design. Basic black long sleeve, Nixon Sneaks & Beanie from Little Bipsy.

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.

Pacific Knot

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

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.

Click here for FREE printable gift tags.

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!

xo

 

 

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Community Over Competition

Women Supporting Women

This is something that has really been on my mind lately. A few months ago I struggled in a situation where I felt like I was being cyber bullied by someone I know in my heart I went above and beyond for as a friend. I take a lot of pride in being a loving, genuine and generous friend. Those of you that know me know I am first in line to offer my help, lend a hand or teach others.

I won’t get into details about that situation because then I would be wearing the same shoes that person wore when they walked all over me. Writing this post gives me mixed feelings because it’s not to satisfy myself and it’s definitely not to satisfy any bullies out there. It’s to raise awareness that if you are experiencing something similar, you are not alone.

“when a toxic person can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you. The misinformation will feel unfair, but stay above it, trusting that other people will eventually see the truth, just like you did.”

After having two separate conversations lately where people I know and care about have gone through similar scenarios it really made me think about why this keeps happening? Enough cattiness. Enough treating people poorly. We as women and moms need to come together. We need to support one another. In doing so we are stronger, we are better and we can fight harder for what is right.

Let’s all be in one big girl squad where everyone can be a part of it and no one is excluded. Yup you heard me, everyone. This isn’t high school, this isn’t a clique where you have to do a certain thing or look a certain way. Let’s look at one another as equals because we all deserve that. We all have feelings.

“The truth is that once you’ve been bullied, you always wonder about peoples’ intentions and trust is hard and feels unnatural. Once you’ve seen and felt for yourself how cruel people can be, your perspective of people is forever altered and your instincts to be cautious are on high alert”

3 Steps to Help Someone Who is Bullied.

  1. Listen
  2. Encourage them to talk
  3. Remember that healing takes time

In relation to social media I think a lot of this negativity comes from their own insecurities or dare I say it jealousy. What is suppose to be a community is being turned into competition. Don’t spend your time comparing yourself to others. Try to avoid thoughts like ” How did that photo get so many likes?” or “I’ll be as good as so and so if I collaborate with that company too.”

Instead allow yourself to be creative and different while staying true to yourself. If you consume yourself with what everyone around you is doing you will be the only one left behind while everyone else reaches new successes. Always remember, it doesn’t matter what other people think and hard work always pays off.

” You can always tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building each other up instead of tearing each other down”

Community Over Competition

So, how do you embrace competition? Ask yourself what this means to you?
Community over competition means acknowledging that the whole point of life is *not* to be “the best” at anything, really, beyond being the best YOU. It means using your time to serve others via what you do best, lifting them up even higher than you’ve been lifted yourself. Building others up does not bring you down. Helping someone out does not inherently hurt you. Light only gets brighter by being shared.

” Find your tribe. Love them hard”

Community Over Competition + Blogging

Embrace your community like its your job because in a way, it is. As bloggers our whole schtick is to create a supportive online community. Give of yourself expecting nothing in return. Don’t expect people to follow you back, or exactly reciprocate whatever you do for them. That’s NOT relationship building – that’s mooching and trying to manipulate the system. It’s fake. And at the end of the day…it’s useless.

Long term growth and success only comes from genuine giving – building genuine relationships. Friendships built solely on tit for tat things, I hate to break it to ya: will not pass the test of time.

I would rather put in the effort and time to be a person with real, lasting friendships, and a real, genuine community, whose journey takes a little longer, than someone lacking friends and lacking community who “arrives” much faster than I do.

Community over competition means giving, giving, giving, knowing that karma uuuuusually comes full circle, but not expecting her to right this very second. By helping others you can simultaneously grow into your bigger, better, best self.

” In a world full of look at me girls be a come with me girl “


( Babes supporting babes sweater worn by me can be purchased here. Boss Babe sweater worn by Nikolina – Owner and Maker behind Pacific Knot can be purchased at Minted Method Shop. Arm knit blankets are coming soon to Pacific Knot and you can check her out on IG here in the mean time)

Thank you to the amazing babes that have welcomed me into their community. I am blessed and beyond honoured to call you my friends. Some of you have even become more like family. Stay kind and continue to celebrate each others successes without questioning our own. Cheers babes!

xo

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