November 29, 2013

Shop Til Ya Drop


I’ve always been a shopper. Mall, boutique, grocery, big box, farmers market – You could throw me in any kind of store and I will find something I need (or want!) I guess you could say its a skill that I’ve curated over many years.

After a long time accumulating lots of stuff and not really having much to show for it, I’ve been working hard to adjust my shopping habits. This is not as easy as it sounds since having kids is an easy excuse to always be on the hunt for clothing, toys, books, toiletries etc.
Nevertheless I’ve come a long way from the binge shopping maniac I used to be – nowadays I have to just be more creative and work the sale racks a little harder to stay stylin 🙂

But how hard is it for all you fellow former-shopaholics to resist one of the biggest consumer days of the year?! I vowed to stay away from any malls or stores today but I did manage to score some deals online for some kid necessities. Not anything close to the damage I would have done say a few years ago though.

Overall I’ve found that having less stuff leaves more time for appreciating what we do have and I think it’s a way of life I’m learning to embrace more as the years go on.

November 22, 2013

Love, Actually


Every year around the holidays I pull out my absolute favourite rom-com and proceed to bask in 2 hours of unadulterated feel-goodness.
Why do I love Love Actually?
It’s just such a deliciously cozy movie with just the right balance of romance, familial love, heartbreak and humour.
I generally dislike films where there are a ton of characters (remember the disaster that was New Years Eve?) since I find the lack of screen time for any one character makes it harder to connect with them. But somehow the sharp writing and great acting make each storyline a fun and effortless ride in this classic. I’m especially partial to the storyline involving Liam Neeson and his son and Hugh grant plays the charming Englishman to a tee as always.

Also, how many of you The Walking Dead fans remember seeing Rick in this unforgettable scene where he (silently) professes his love for Keira Knightley?


Never fails to put a smile on my face and a tear in my eye!

Do you have an all time favourite feel-good flick?

November 18, 2013

Review: Seventh Generation


I was lucky enough to get to try some Seventh Generation products recently and thought I’d share my findings with you guys.
Before having kids I wasn’t overly concerned with what was in the detergent, soap or shampoo I used – as long as it got the job done I was happy enough to scour the sale racks for whatever.
Being a mom has totally changed this for me. As a family we’ve kind of made a natural progression towards more of an organic, toxin-free, “clean” lifestyle because we just want the best for our kids and short of moving to a farm we’re trying to adjust our lives accordingly.

I have to say I am impressed with the Seventh generation line. My favourites were the wipes – scent free but very moist and thick, excellent for handling massive baby poop explosions.
With kids that battle dry skin and excema, I don’t have to worry about rubbing their skin with fragrance or excess chemicals.
The same applies to the laundry detergent – love the freshness and the way the clothes turned out.
But the best for me was the lotion and shampoo – the use of olive oil really made them work well for dry skin.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the diapers – a little too rough feeling. Also her lavender face soap had a bit too much of a scent for me.

But overall I loved the products and am definitely a convert to the detergent, dish soap and baby lotion and shampoo. I’d love to compare these to the Jessica Alba brand Honest Company.

How have you changed your lifestyle after having kids?

November 15, 2013

And let the Holiday lies begin!


Have you guys ever heard of the Elf on the Shelf ?
It’s a cute idea that these two ladies came up with to start a family tradition around the holidays.
The basic premise is that you introduce your kids to their own Elf and tell them he/she will be watching them and reporting back to Santa on whether they’ve been naughty or nice. In other words, a clever little gimmick to prod good behaviour!

We decided to give the Elf a try in our house to see how H would like it.
I would say it worked for about a day before he started not to care whether or not the Elf was watching. But it’s still cute to hear him talking about Santa and getting excited about the holidays. Our family likes the idea of the Elf more for adding a cute magical element to the holidays more than as a way to modify behaviour.
So what do we think about the “white lies” surrounding Christmas?
For us, it’s all in the name of fun and encouraging creativity and imagination.
H loves to talk about magic and flying and I love encouraging his mind to stretch beyond everyday reality.

I’ve always LOVED Christmas growing up – the food, decorations, and family traditions.
Ours involved decorating the tree together, baking and stockings and I’m hoping to start some new traditions this year such as the Elf.

What traditions do you celebrate in your home around the holidays?

November 13, 2013

On Needles


Call me a glutton for punishment but we decided to take baby M in for his four month shots and at the same time get H his flu shot.
Vaccinations can be a hot button topic so let’s not even go there, but if you’d like to read a basic overview try this .babycenter article
Both kids have up until today been amazing with the doc and I am so grateful that we happen to have a terrific ped. So I wasn’t overly concerned about the whole thing.
Boy was I in for a surprise!
Baby M was actually great and only eked out a tiny little yelp for his two needles. Could be his chunky monkey thighs helped! I managed to cuddle him back to grins and laughs within a minute.
On the other hand,when it came time for H he seemed perfectly fine and was happy to pick out his Captain America bandaid. But as soon as that needle showed up, my normally super brave boy turned Into a terrified little guy and it all but broke my heart!
I totally turned to mush hearing him scream and say “No doctor don’t hurt me!”
With the shot came crying and clinging until we left the doctors office. I eventually got him in a better place with lots of cheerful chatter, fun activities and being a little more lax on his screen time.
I definitely prefer a needle to a terrible flu but I just hope he isn’t totally traumatized.
Will his next visit to the doc be a scary event for him?
Did I screw up by not doing more to prep him?
Or did I mention it too often and in doing so somehow plant anxiety in his little brain?
The experience made me realize that as a parent you can only do so much to shield your little one from pain and how you lose a bit more of that ability the more they grow. It was easy to comfort baby M but took almost the whole afternoon to snap H out of his funk (doesn’t help he has a crazy good memory and imagination).
In saying that, it’s a lesson in helping develop the coping mechanisms H will need to help himself through “tough” times like these. We read one of his books about a boy going to the doctor and I explained that even though the needle hurt it would make him strong and help him not get sick.
Ugh! Hate needles though.

November 11, 2013

Date night aka Oh hi there!

Some of the yumminess from our din

This past weekend the hub and I were able to get out for the first relaxing date since lil M was born. We had been out during his first few weeks but it seemed more rushed and we were both running on fumes.

We went to one of our favourite local spots for some delish Italian food, good wine and much-needed alone time. We thought things were busy before with H but now with two littles to juggle it seems much of our daily conversation revolves around the kids, household stuff and just maintaining a semblance of order.

So it was nice to actually recharge with some good convo minus the (loveable of course) background chatter of a 3 year old and 4 month old. It was kind of an “oh hey, you!” moment. As easy as it is to slip into autopilot, I always find it so important to make these opportunities for us to reconnect as a couple.

It’s also fun to get a little dressed up and put some heels on 🙂

What do you do to recharge as a couple? Any favourite date spots?

November 8, 2013

Back in the Blogosphere

So it’s been almost exactly one year since my last post.
A lot has transpired in that year as I’m sure you can imagine!
So why did I stop blogging? Well I took an extended pause to focus on My super active boy and life just kinda took over.
To be honest I didn’t really feel inspired that much either.

But now I’m back, and hoping I can re-energize my little corner of the internet.


Oh and we have a new addition – here is Mr.M! A strapping young lad at just under four months old. Check out the hair on this lil dude!

So bear with me while I get back into blogging mode and hope you enjoy following our new adventures as a family of four.

November 15, 2012

Stay At Home Mom…What Does That Even Mean?!

Dancing like nobody’s looking

Recently our family made a fairly big lifestyle choice.  For many reasons, but mostly we love change and we also have always believed in those tired cliches of ‘living life in the moment’ and just really being able to fully enjoy our little kidlin. After 10 months of working full time and having H go to daycare, we decided that I would call it quits (hate that word!) and that we would be pulling him from daycare…I am truly excited and happy to say that I am now a Stay at Home Mom.

Let’s discuss this.  What does that term even mean?  Though it may seem innocuous enough, it seems it is actually quite heavy with meaning.

I’ve come across various ideas of what a SAHM is from different people but they seem to veer on either end of a bizarre spectrum with the two major assumptions (and I say assumptions since these are in no way actual definitions) outlined below:

1 – Depressed and overly-stressed woman who has zero adult interaction and who regrets her decision to stay home to raise her kid/kids. Waits anxiously at the door for her husband to come home and release her from crazy screaming toddlers and baby mayhem. Commonly found with cake batter in her disheveled hair and coffee stains on her sweatshirt.

2 – Perfectly coiffed Super-Mom.  This chickita manages to somehow make gourmet meals, look amazing, squeeze in lunches with girlfriends and arrange fun playdates for her well-behaved Super-Offspring.  Hubby jokes about her spending habits but comes home to model show-home that is clean every evening and a happy family all the time.

Realistically I fit into neither category, as I’m sure most don’t, and yet these seem to be the prevailing assumptions made when the term ‘stay at home’ is used.  For me, it is simple – I’m choosing to spend more time with my family.  In no way does this mean I am sacrificing my self-worth, social life, intelligence, or ability to contribute to society.  On the flipside, neither will I be churning out beautifully plated meals every night, signing up for pilates or teaching my child five languages.  I think I’ll probably end up falling somewhere in between where, just like any job, there will be good days and bad days.

I also think Stay at Home is a bit of a misnomer since most days we are out and about 🙂  H is signed up for some fun programs and we are lucky enough to have friends to have playdates with, so while we cherish our rest time at home, its more like a home-base for our various adventures in the city.

We got a range of responses when letting friends and family know about the recent choice we made.  It was sad that some immediately thought that something negative happened at work and that me staying home was a default.  I guess it was such a natural decision that once we figured we could make it work, I didn’t have to think twice about it.  What stood out was the ton of positive reinforcement which was awesome.  Every family is different and you just do what ya gotta to make it work.

Though I enjoy working (outside the home that is, since what I do now is definitely still work!) I really feel, and this may be naive or overly optimistic, that I have lots of time to do that.  So while it was sad to leave, it was definitely bittersweet.

Right now I’m looking forward to spending some fun times with the little guy and just taking life as it comes 🙂


September 19, 2012

UK fave Next now Shipping to Canada! Review

There are many things this mama misses about her hometown of Newcastle, England. The walks down to the high street, the old cranky couple at the post office, fresh cream cakes.

But one major thing missing is the amazing SHOPS!  I’ve always had a special place in my heart for any British stores and Next is no exception.  I recently had the opportunity to try out the amazing shipping to Canada from one of my fave UK shops.

For those of you who don’t know (and really, where have you been?) Next carries a wide array of clothing and accessories for women, men and kids.  I was eager to give the boys stuff a go.

I Love it BecauseThe Next website is great to look at and the shipping was a breeze!  But most importantly, I spent ages poring over my options since there were so many great looking items to choose from. Of course, the process was made even more lengthy by my forays into the womens’ section!

After I chose my items (the raincoat pictured above and a set of hat, gloves and scarf) I was pleasantly surprised by just how quickly everything arrived.  I’m used to waiting weeks for products to arrive from overseas or even from the US so it was awesome to come home only about a week after to my Next package!

Since H is larger than the average 2 year old, I chose a size 3-4 and the jacket ended up fitting perfectly.  He is the height and weight of about a 3 year old.  I loved the quality of all the items but especially the jacket – perfect for Fall since it has a soft cotton liner with a waterproof shell.  Roomy enough for a hoodie underneath and autumn layers.

The hat seems to fit well too, but as you’ll notice, he didnt keep it on long enough to snap a pic! Will have to see when the cooler temps arrive if he will keep it on his noggin.

But I Wish It Had – I was slightly frustrated by the ease of use of the website.  I found navigating a bit annoying as once you click on a category (e.g. Young Boys) you were taken to a lookbook type page even if you wanted to stay on the category dropdown menu.  It took a bit of getting used to before I was able to comfortably browse the site.

So , reco or no? – A resounding YES to try out this website and get your brit goodies from Next!  Not only are you getting your hot little hands on goodies that you can’t find locally, you can expect excellent customer service and a large range of products.  There are so many options, colours, sizes that I felt I was browing an online department store – one stop shopping for the whole family!

As you can see, H did not want to take his jacket off…He ended up wearing it the whole day at daycare apparently!

August 30, 2012

Review: Reebok Zigtech and ZigLite footwear

Can you believe it’s September?! Already?! With the little ones going back to school many of you parents out there are packing backpacks, filling pencil cases and stocking up on school snacks.
Amidst all the hustle and hustle – don’t forget to make sure your kids are rocking the cool kicks!
I recently had the opportunity to attend a lunch and learn with Reebok hosted by the lovely rock-it promotions where I was able to mingle with some other blogging mommies and learn more about this kids shoe line.
As soon as I saw the shoes I was impressed with the style and choice of colors. Lately ive been into simplicity in a kids shoe and these have just enough going on without being out of control and overwhelming.

Some fun facts:
• the ultra lightweight ZigLite technology features a sleek and light running shoe
• the unique design of the sole provides vertical an horizontal support ensuring comfort from heel to toe
• the multi-surface outsole gives awesome traction

H was lucky enough to score a pair to try. We’ve had our share of shoe issues with his chunky monkey feet (wide!) but they fit just fine.
He ran around outside at the park, the beach and walking around the street and I was impressed with the fact that he didn’t trip once! Rare for a toddler but I definitely attribute it to the sleek design of the shoe and the lightness.

There are no unnecessary design elements which would impede an active kid in his running and climbing escapades!
I’m a fan of these – mostly for the fact they combine style and function so well.
Oh! And they carry the same styles through up to men’s and women’s sizes which is a testament to how well they are designed as I’m seriously considering getting my own pair!
Ya know… If youre into that whole matching thing;)




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