Thursday, July 31, 2014

Check Out - The Glow

Check out The Glow if you have not already. The description reads- The Glow is a glimpse into the world of inspiring and fashionable moms. Here you’ll find their styling ideas, go-to gear, multitasking secrets, and enviable decor. The site if full of beautiful photographs of inspirational mothers (like Julie Bowen and Josie Maran) at home with their children. Apart from the beautiful photography, you can get a glimpse into their home and beautiful childrens rooms for some inspiration. 
Here are some of my favorite images. 





Wednesday, July 30, 2014

THIS Room!

How amazing is this room!? With black wallpaper and a mint green ceiling, it is not at all what you would expect from a little girls room, but that is exactly why it is so amazing. Nina Campbell's Perroquet wallpaper, which features birds and butterflies works perfectly in this space, it is feminine without being overly girly, and will definitely transition well into a older girls room too. 
Check out this room, and the rest of this designers San Francisco home here





Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Staycation Challenge- 10 Parks in 10 Days

I will be on vacation for 2 weeks this August, and most of that time I will be alone with my five year old and two year old twins. I know I will be limited in what I can do and where I can go, since many places (like pools) would need a higher adult to child ratio. Despite not being able to take three kids to the beach or pool alone, I still want to make the most of my time off and make each day memorable.
I have noticed what all three of my kids love most is visiting new playgrounds and parks. There are so many great parks here in town that we have yet to visit and explore. The best part about this is the cost... free! (expect a few $ for gas) and we wont be spending a lot of time in the car since we will be driving to parks within Kitchener-Waterloo.
My challenge during my time off will be to visit 10 parks in 10 days. Every morning we will embark on a new adventure and visit a new park to explore and have a picnic. I cant wait!
Follow my adventure on instagam starting August 11th
#10parksin10days

On that note, check out this great post about 8 Instpirational playgrounds and TripAdvisors list of Top 25 Parks in the World

Monday, July 28, 2014

Product Spotlight- Juice in the Box

This is definitely the best sippy cup I have used, and I have gone through a lot. I found it at my favorite local smoothie bar Fiddleheads. They come in many fun colors like blue, orange, green and pink, and I like that they are semi-transparent so you can see exactly what's inside. The best thing about these is the small size and shape, it fits into any purse or lunchbox and it perfect for little hands to hold. I fill it with smoothies every morning for my daughter for school and it was the perfect amount for her to drink during lunch, no waste! And it gets better- they are completely leak proof, made from indestructible tritan, completely dishwasher safe and BPA/phthalate free! Get it here.



images from www.juiceinthebox.com

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

When you're done with the diaper bag....

There comes a time in every mothers life when the transition from baby to toddler happens and you no longer need to lug around every paci, binki, blankie, stuffy, nappy, bottle....and everything else you need to survive a day out with baby (or babies). Carrying all those essentials usually requires a bag the size of a rolling carry-on with a million pockets and compartments, especially if you have multiples (imagine double of everything). 
When the transition to toddler happens it is time to ditch the diaper bag and find that perfect all-around bag geared towards the different activities you will be doing with your older children. You no longer need a insulated bottle holder or paci-pod taking up precious bag real estate. Instead you will need a bigger comfy tote or even backpack for those days out. If you already got rid of your stroller, comfort really is key since you will not have a stroller to hang or stash your bag in, requiring you to carry it through out the day. The items you are bringing with you are also changing. Frequent trips to the splash pad on summer days requires plenty of room for towels, bathing suits and big blankets. Bottles will be replaced by snacks, and diapers with band-aids and polysporin.
The key is to find a bag that is durable, spacious and most importantly light! My number one pick is the All Day Asana Tote from Lulu Lemon. It comes in many fun colors and patters. The little quick access pocket on the outside is very convenient for items like keys and cell phones, and there is also a removable inside pouch for larger items that can be used as a clutch. The bag has a durable polyurethane base and polyester body that is easy to wipe and keep clean. The straps on the outside are designed to hold a yoga mat, but I think its the perfect place to tote a blanket. 




If you are looking for something a little more refined and classic that can also double as a bag for work, the Jcrew Downing Tote is a good option. It comes in many different leather colors and can be monogrammed .



And for ultimate comfort on long day out, and perfect for travel, there is always the classic backpack! They have definitely come back in style and thee are so many chic options. Best thing about backpacks, they keep your hands free! And that definitely comes in handy when you are out with the kids :) 










Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Review - Bringing up bebe By Pamela Druckerman


Because of my love of all things French, I was very eager to for this book to come out. Having visited Paris before, I have witnesses French parenting in action on a number of occasions. What I have seen is similar to what this author describes- well behaved children who sit politely at adult restaurants without causing a fuss. 
Druckerman lived in Paris with her three young children and throughout the book outlines the many differences between French and American parenting that she witnessed, and why the French method seems so superior.
Some of the differences that struck me were- how most French women go straight to formula (no breastfeeding), how babies are expected to sleep through the night by 2-3 months, general eating habits and simply how differently children are treated in France. She claims that French parents are less stressed out, and try not to let their lives completely revolve around their children all the time, which in turn creates more independent children and less stressed out parents. They try not to over complicate their children lives either, mainly by not enrolling them in too many after school activities. The French preschool system is also something we in North America should be envious of- free quality daycare with highly educated caregivers and fresh gourmet meals. 
 I think we can learn a lot from the French mommies. The only issue I had is how the author seems to think that French parents are simply the best all around and that ALL American parents are crazy helicopter parents that stress out over everything. Obviously there are good and bad parents everywhere and Druckerman has very little scientific proof of one method being superior in the long run, just her own observations.
Overall I thought this book was well written and very informative, the author makes many great points. There are many parenting techniques outlined throughout the book that I think would be worth a try, especially the ones on children's eating and sleeping habits.  Now if only the author could revel the secret we all really want to know - how do the French lose all that baby weight so quickly? I think a sequel specifically on this topic would definitely be a best seller! 

Next on the list is another book outlining how (north) Americans are doing it wrong- 'Battle Hym of the Mother Tiger'  By Amy Chua. And 'All Joy and No Fun: the paradox of modern parenthood'  By Jennifer Senior. Stay tuned for those reviews! 




An average Saturday morning with and without kids...



Monday, July 21, 2014

The Mondays

This picture very accurately depicts how I feel this morning....


Product Spotlight - OXO tot

My new favorite brand for innovative children's products has to be OXO, specifically their line 'Tot' line. I stumbled upon them when looking for a booster seat for my 2 year old twins. I saw it in a post featuring an IKEA kitchen renovation on House Tweaking (one of my favorite blogs), Dana featured a great kitchen renovation from a blog called 4th floor walk-up. I saw the booster seat in one of the pictures and asked where it's from and they both replied that it was the OXO tot booster seat.  I liked it for its simplicity, not to mention that it looks very comfortable since it has a padded seat and small back rest. My toddler's hate sitting in their high chairs now and meal time is becoming a challenge, cant wait to receive this! 



I also purchased this stroller hook , which we have been using for a few weeks now. I have been looking for a good stroller hook for a while now and I am so happy I choose this one (instead of mommy hook) because this one stays in place and it has a comfy padded grip that doubles as a handle for older children, my older daughter loves holding on to it on walks! 



We also got the OXO tot cutlery set for big kids and we love it too. The set is perfect for children that have outgrown the stubby little toddler cutlery but aren't quite ready for adult size yet. The fork and spoon have a nice narrow shape that's perfect for little mouths. Another product from OXO that I use now almost daily is the straw and sippy cup cleaner. Before having this I could never really get sippy cups (with all their nooks and crannies) truly clean. This product comes with three tiny tools that make it easy to get to every little part.



And last but not least, the OXO tot tub stopper. Our metal tub stopper that came with the tub was slowly leaking water, so before bath time was over the water was almost gone. I like this product because it has a suction cup so the stopper can be hung on the shower wall when not in use. It also does not have any parts that stick out that could hurt my babies legs in the tub. 



I am still waiting to receive and try out the booster seat so I will be sure to made an update on how we like that product. But, all the others that I have purchased and tried out...I love. They have simple and modern designs that are very well thought out.

All images from amazon.ca





Monday, July 14, 2014

Keeping up with Scott Disick

I am proud to say I do not watch The Kardashians, but for some reason I do know who Scott Disick is (don't know how I know this). And I was never more tempted to actually watch the show then after I saw some of this best quotes (displayed below), all just to see him poke fun of the Kardashian Klan.
Sorry if the last group if pictures is so small, you can find it in its full sized glory here.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Not your mama's one-piece

The latest fashion trend I am most thankful for as a mother....the return of the one-piece!
Years ago it was almost impossible to find a one-piece that was trendy, cool and a little sexy all at the same time. The one-piece's ALL looked pretty much the same and came in boring colors, patterns and cuts (and screamed "mommy!"). Now there are so many different suits to choose from when looking for a one-piece, its hard picking just one...or two....or three...
The best part about being patient and waiting till July to shop for bathing suits, is that by now they are ALL on sale. 

Here are some I recently purchased that I cant wait to try.






And here are some on my wishlist, currently a little out of my price range, but maybe 'll get lucky and find one on eBay for a good price. The three below are all Mara Hoffman, she has the best cuts and patters around, these are definitely attention getting bathing suits.


Mara Hoffman


And even though the suit below is not a one-piece, the high waisted style is also a nice change from the standard skimpy bikini, and the yellow floral patter is just beautiful. Sadly this specific suit is sold out on net-a-porter, but they have different separate bikini pieces and a one piece halter in the same patter still available on jcrew.com
jcrew

Annnnd...if you are feeling really risque there is always this one, hey its still technically a one piece ;)




Product Spotlight - Coleman Roadtrip Beach Shade


I can not say enough good things about this product. We are avid beach goers and have been on the lookout for an alternative to the standard beach umbrella for a long time. With 3 kids under the age of 6, we needed something light and easy to carry when we trek across the sand, and something that provides enough shade for the whole family. I came across this product on Amazon, it's currently one of their best sellers with over 500 positive reviews. One of the things I like best about it is how convenient it is when folded. It is only about 2 feet long and comes with it's own carrying bag with handles, making it much easier to transport then a beach umbrella, which is twice as long and usually contains 2 parts. The whole inside is lined with UVA/UVB lining, offering true protection from the sun. This beach shade provide a lot of shade as well, definitely enough for our whole family. One of the most convenient features though is its ability to double as a private area to change on the beach. Both sides can be zipped up to provide full privacy for changing which really comes in handy. I also like it for diaper changes on the beach, it's a nice shaded spot to lie baby down for a diaper change that offers a lot of privacy from others on the beach and blowing sand. And would be a nice spot for a nap and bottle as well. We received a lot of compliments on it already after only 2 uses and really couldn't imaging a trip to the beach without it. 
They are currently sold online on Amazon.com 
I will be sure to post some pictures of this product in use soon, and an update on how well its holding up after a summer of use!