Archive for May, 2011

May 30, 2011

To Do List (s)

hey party people, im ready for summer!

Im a big list maker. Some of the lists on my bb include the following:

things to get with aeroplan points

questions to ask dr at next Baby H apt

grocery

Baby H Clothing Needs

books to read

lunch/dinner ideas

Fascinating I know, but anyways you get the point.

Well – I have also started a list of things ‘to do’ this summer and here it is…I’m pretty excited that I crossed off a couple! But even more excited to get going on the rest…

Get a good camera

Learn how to use said camera

Fun baby activities with Baby H (ongoing)

Weekly playdates

ROM/AGO

Street Festivals

Go to Botanical Gardens/Edwards Gardens/as many parks & trails as we can

As many patios as possible!

Revisit my sketchbooks and start drawing again

SO. Now that my list is public I feel like I have responsibility not only to myself but to whoever reads this to actually make good on my mini goals. Most of them are fun anyways so it shouldn’t be that hard – but I guess you’d be surprised how quickly time goes by with the regular daily routines and then wham – next thing you know its Christmas and you’re still contemplating seeing the Fall colours.

Happy Monday All Ya’ll!  Hope you are all enjoying this gorg burst of sunshiney loveliness.

(Post Script:  The photo really has nothing to do with the post, I just thought it was squishy and cute 😉 Baby H loves being nekkid)

 

 

May 27, 2011

For Any Doubters of the All-Mighty Power of Social Media…UO PR Disaster

image courtesy of stevie koerner

courtesy of urban outfitters

Notice anything about the two items above? Despite the fact that they look eerily similar…ok, fine, EXACTLY the same – the first image was the original item made by Etsy designer Stevie Koerner aka @imakeshinylove  and the second was a complete and utter ripoff by Urban Outfitters.

Now I have to say one thing about this – obviously we all know that large corporations constantly ripoff independents for their creativity and unique ideas.  Its part of what makes the big bucks go round.  But to be so blatant about it is simply stupid.  Maybe they could have gotten away with a stunt like this 5 years ago.  But in today’s social media-enfused world?  Check out the results of what a tweet started here.

I’ve personally experienced the power of social media a few times.  Having had a bad experience here or there with certain brands, a simple tweet or FB message was about 10 000 times more effective and garnered an almost immediate response from the companies resulting in a satisfied customer.

Whether you are a large company or a small independent, its a fact that social media can’t be ignored.  Urban Outfitters at this point in time has not even so much as tweeted a response.  The problem definitely won’t go away if you brush it under the rug, in fact, this type of PR nightmare deserves an immediate response.  What could be the holdup?!

The other disturbing part of this story is the copycatting.  Its rare to find a truly original idea whether its in fashion, home decor, literature, cooking…etc.  But copycatting has always driven me a bit batty because at the root of it lies complicity, insecurity or just plain laziness.

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery but rarely does the imitatee ever feel this way.

So – will you be boycotting Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie/Free People to support independent artists?

May 26, 2011

Style Icons, Haute Hobos or Both?

I admit, when I was younger I detested the Olsen twins. Like really, couldn’t stand to watch Full house because I always felt they bore a disturbingly close resemblance to Troll dolls.  Even just typing that out makes me shudder because its unnecessarily cruel.

Anyways fast forward a few years and I’ve become an avid fan of the Olsen’s sense of style.  Whether its grabbing a coffee (as they are wont to do often according to the paps), attending art gallery openings or working on their various (super successful) fashion lines The Row or Elizabeth and James they are always interestingly clad in outfits that totally inspire me.

Many of you will disagree and point out that they, in actuality, dress like hobos.  Haute hobos, but still, hobos nonetheless.

I suppose its the ‘devil may care’ attitude with which they throw their looks together that appeals to me.

So Cheers to you, MK & Ashley – may you continue to grace us with your messy locks, oversized bags, and of course, Starbucks.  For your everyday fix of MKA check out this fab blog.

(All images courtesy of Olsensanonymous.blogspot.com)

May 24, 2011

Dining Out With Baby – Recipe for Disaster?

Enjoying his patio lunch

Baby H was a trooper this long weekend.  We dragged him around to various lunches, BBQs and dinners out and he was great throughout.  However,  things weren’t always this rosy.  We’ve most certainly been those frazzled parents with a crying baby, dishevelled and wild-eyed trying to flag down a waitress.

Coupla things we’ve learned.  We are always armed with Baby Mum Mums or puff cereal, his own dinner so he doesnt feel left out while we are eating, various toys, his own booster seat that we keep in the trunk for impromptu meals out, TONS of wipes and most importantly – a zen attitude and the willingness to ‘Take it to go’ since things can turn on a dime!

Even with all of the above arsenal, you never really know how things will turn out.  I’ve never been one to mind a screaming baby in a restaurant so much, but I’m ultra sensitive to his vocalization (which, I might add, is LOUD) nowadays since becoming a parent.  Usually people are very accommodating but you definitely get the odd evil eye now and then.

It also depends on your baby’s temperament and general mood.  If he hasn’t napped, is teething, ill or generally grumpy its probably a good idea just to order in and call it a day.

Next, its usually good to do a little reconnaissance and ensure that the place you’re going to is child-friendly.  Trying to hit up a trendy lounge on a weekend probably isn’t the best idea.  We’ve found success going to busy places at off times – eg. patio lunch just a tad earlier than regular lunchtime so you can snag a great shaded spot and Baby has primo people-watching positioning!

We went to a great spot in our old neighbourhood Roncesvalles during the weekend which, though on the small side, actually worked out really well since we could take Baby out when he was bored and walk him along the busy street.  It was also Family Night so there were other kidlets running around which made it all the more fun.  Another baby-friendly suggestion is dim sum (already loud and hectic so a yelling baby goes relatively unnoticed).

We’ve defnintely figured out through trial and error alot of the tips above.  And our biggest lesson has to be not to force the issue if we know Baby H is overtired.  We’ve always loved eating out and its terrific that we can still do so with babe in tow.

May 21, 2011

Got My Hair Did, StylePantry Feature Etc.

ombre hair

Happy Long Weekend ya’ll!  As many new mommies can relate, your own appearance (well-being, basic needs etc ) take a back seat to your new lil bundle’s every whimper or cry.  Well, 7 months down the road and my hair desperately needed some attention.  I’ve been trying to break out of my mommy-hair-rut for awhile now and with summer almost here (i know, you’re thinking, really?! not with this rain…) I figured it was time to lighten up a bit.

I’ve been admiring the ombre/balayage styles for awhile now and finally got some time to deal with the mess on my noggin.

As you can see it goes from dark (natural colour) to a medium brown to a light blonde.  After many an hour in the chair (and many frantic texts from Hubby who was watching a very irate Baby H) we even managed to get some white-blond chunks in the back!

Overall I’m happy with my new summery look – I feel lighter (literally, my hair before weighed a ton! we cut like, fifty inches off).  Baby H took a long time to study my new locks and even touched them thoughtfully, not quite sure what to make of it all.

Also in related news – I’m wearing the Joe Fresh dress that was one of my featured looks in the awesome StylePantry last week!  I’m honored they chose to feature yours truly.  My looks were a mix of designers Ella Moss, Citizens of Humanity, Joe Fresh, H&M, Frye, Rodarte for Target, Paige, Parker, Modern Vintage.  The funniest has to be Hubby taking the photos of me and directing me to ‘look happier’ or ‘go for moody’. Who knew he had it in him?!

Hope you all take some time this weekend for yourselves to relax and enjoy whatever it is you’re up to!

May 17, 2011

TV – Our Dirty Little Habit

courtesy of bbc.co.uk

Pre-baby I’m sure I probably made some pretty sweeping generalizations that only non-parents can make:

“I’m never going to use a pacifier/let my baby watch tv/be that person with the screaming baby in a restaurant/have a rigid nap schedule..etc etc.”

Of course, once I had a kidlet of my own I realize how ignorant and silly it is to make any sort of assumption whatsoever that you will know ahead of time what will and won’t work for you and your baby.  If there’s one thing completely predictable about a baby is that he/she will be completely unpredictable and constantly changing!

So here we are, 7 months later. Baby H uses a pacifier to go to sleep, has a (albeit rough) nap schedule, has screamed in a restaurant and yes, horror of horrors, watches tv.

Let me qualify this by saying I definitely don’t plop him in front of the electronic babysitter and go about my day (as if he would let me!).

What ends up happening is that while I keep it on in the background with music playing, HGTV or the Food network (which he loves, greedy little thing) – he will inevitably catch some of it and once in awhile he will sit/lie there and look for a bit.  He has actually started to laugh when he sees something that he finds funny (animals usually, or Waybuloo!).  He’ll usually get maybe 5 minutes in max and only depending on his mood.

Anyways – does this make me a ‘bad parent’?  Well, I’m sure there are parents out there who don’t allow any tv for their babies/kids. And then on the other end of the spectrum – those who can’t get through a day without it!

I’d say we are somewhere in the middle.  I definitely don’t think its harmful for Baby H to see a little bit of it here and there.  I find the background noise soothing as opposed to the empty echoes of our home sans Daddy.  And there is only so much running commentary I can do (Mommy is loading the dishwasher now…yep..um hum…oh look at this…Daddy left his drycleaning in a pile on the floor..how nice…I guess Mommy has to take care of that now too…Mommy has a splitting headache and why isnt the Keurig going faster? Mommy needs her coffee..) and so on and so on.

So I suppose I don’t think it’s terrible that Baby H gets some tele-time.

Now how to get him to get over his obsession with remote controls?!….

May 13, 2011

Chicken Curry Casserole

easy weekday dinner

What do you get when  you combine 1 teething baby who just had shots + a dash of sleep regression + 2 cups of exhaustion?  A recipe for disaster amongst other things but this also spells out a need for an easy weekday dinner thats also nutritious and yummy.

Combine the following into a casserole dish, cover & bake for 90 minutes at 350 degrees.

3/4 lb of chicken cut into 1 inch pieces

3 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 can diced stewed tomatoes

1/2 cup raisins

1 cup brown rice

1 cup water

1 chicken boullion cube

1/2 onion diced

1 bay leaf

salt to taste

And presto – with minimal effort (everything goes in uncooked and comes out tasty as can be) I can be standing at the door, dinner ready with my hair and makeup perfectly coiffed holding my man’s slippers and his drink for when he comes home…

Or I can be found laying on the couch balancing my fourth coffee of the day with baby sitting on my stomach systematically pulling my hair out. Bon Appetit, busy mommas!

May 13, 2011

Ch-urds

chocolate cookie turds = churds

One day I’ll get the hang of taking food pix that are a bit more flattering to the food.  Its really too bad these look like turds but they just taste so damn good.

This recipe was from Lookbookcookbook one of my faves for a good ole fashioned dose of food & fashion.

1 cup oats
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat & mix syrup with oil in pan on stovetop. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.  The longer you cook, the less gooey they become so i took them off the heat as soon as everything was mixed up. Spoon onto a cookie sheet and pop in fridge to cool down.

I love these because they literally took 10 minutes to make and they totally satisfied my mid-afternoon slump for chocolate. *lipsmacking goodness*

May 11, 2011

Hands Up, Baby, Hands Up!

Babies K, S, S, F & H! Hilarious pic

In my ongoing quest to keep Baby H entertained and happy, I signed us up for baby sign language classes (har har).

My first experience with baby sign was at our music class where I felt like I had stepped into the twilight zone since every other mom in the class knew sign and was fervently gesturing away to each song.  Though at this point we had already enrolled in the sign class I was feeling a bit out of the loop since it hadn’t started yet; so I kind of half heartedly waved my hands around or fussed with Baby H’s zipper in an attempt not to look like the loser-mom who didn’t even know how to sign ‘hello’. (FYI its like waving from your forehead)

ANYWAYS… at BSL this particular group of mommies and I all have one thing in common – BIG BABIES (the exception being darling preemie Baby K who is literally doll-like gorgeous) Though the ages range from 6 months-10 months all our babes look like they are 1  yr+!   Momma S thought it would be hilarious if all the babies learn sign and could sign to each other.  I, on the other hand, would be excited if Baby H could even just tell me ‘more’ milk! I’d be ecstatic.

There’s a great format for this particular class since the teacher teaches a group of us in one of our homes – perfect since its a relaxed and informal atmosphere with comfy places for baby and momma alike to hang out, breastfeed, play, chat.

First of all, I have mad respect for anybody who has mastered sign language. After struggling with the first half of the alphabet (who knew pinky fingers just won’t bend the way you want them to?!) I started to sweat thinking ‘Nevermind Baby H learning this…I can barely string together a sentence without my hand cramping up.’  But as the session went on and we sang some songs and became more familiar with everything it came a lot quicker than I thought it would.

We learned some key signs. ‘Milk’. ‘Momma’. ‘More’. ‘Time’.’All Done’. oh and the best one..’Sleep’!

So in essence I could sign a crucial first sentence: Time to Sleep because Momma’s All Done!

I actually got quite excited when Baby H started waving his hands around! I mean, he was overtired and wanted to go home but I’m pretty sure he was trying to tell me something 😉

Well we learned quite a bit and its always nice to get together with other mommas and babies and let them all roll around.

Oh yeah and trying to get that photo was possible the funniest part of the whole shebang. Let’s just say it was a case of ‘crying dominoes’!

Anyways, watch out music class, because this week Stylinmommy’s coming in strong ready to sign away!!!

May 8, 2011

Happy Mama’s Day

foxy lady

matching bowl cuts!

mama & I on my wedding day

My first Mother’s Day!  Its been such an unbelievable experience being a mom – as much as I thought I was prepared for it, nothing could really prep me for all the ups, downs and everything in between of having your first child!

Having Baby H has truly opened my eyes to what mother’s go through – the feeling of wanting to do anything and everything for your child and putting their happiness and health above everything else!

My mom has always been such a rock and a strong lady – she has always been a great role model for me.  But I have to say, I don’t think I really could appreciate what she has gone through til I had my own 🙂  Well, Mom, just a big thank you for everything you’ve done over the years, I really hope to be as great a mom to Baby H as you are to me!

And to all the Mamas out there – Happy Mday! May you all be showered with kisses 🙂

my baby & i! (baby wearing shirt by Old Navy, H&M jeans, Mexx shoes; mama wearing h&m leggings)

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