Tuesday, August 31, 2010

:: hot cocoa and silence ::

Pre-baby Me in our framed house, Me with my Grandpa, Me on a road trip - young and carefree!

Sometimes I look back on photos of myself pre-pregnancy and pre-baby and wonder what I used to DO with all of my free time. Pictures like this tell me I had time to curl my hair, and show that lots of sleep left my skin shiny - in a good way. There are many pictures of soirees with girlfriends, lazy afternoons on vacation devouring a good book, and lots of the Hubs and I on various adventures.

These days I sport a mommy ponytail a lot of the time, and I think I might be seeing my first *gasp* fine lines around my eyes and mouth. I'm not featured in many pictures anymore - my little boy is the new star of the iPhoto files.

Of course, of course I would not trade my life now for my life then. I may have a perma-case of baby brain, and I have much less time for prettifying and fashion, but the giggles, cuddles and antics of my sweet little boy more than make up for all of it.

I was telling my husband recently how I like to spend my "Mommy Alone Time". He likes to spend nights out playing golf or hockey with his boisterous bunch of friends, whereas I love to sit down at Starbucks/Chapters with a coffee (HOT!, and not thrice reheated in the microwave hot!) and a magazine  and just enjoy the sound of silence. It's hard to catch a moment like this at home, because there are always things to do, but when I am out feel like I can finally breathe, relax and just be me. It felt odd the first couple of times being out by myself, not having the cute little babe on my hip for strangers to coo over, but I sure enjoy the hour or two to myself.

What a change in the past couple of years. It's not all about me anymore, that's for sure!

How do you spend your Mommy Alone Time? What would your ideal childfree afternoon look like? 

*I'll confess my IDEAL Mommy Alone Afternoon would involve a Nutella latte at my favourite coffee shop, shoe browsing and buying at Holt Renfrew, followed by a massage and pedicure at the spa. Maybe pedicure first actually. Unfortch, that is not in the maternity leave budget! Chapters it is!

*I realize I will be infinitely more busy with 2 or 3 kids, and probably look back at pictures of me with one child and wonder why I thought I was soooo busy too. It's a journey, right?

p.s I just found this wonderful video http://www.reflectionsofmotherhood.com/ - What would you tell yourself if you could go back to days before your baby was born? I would tell myself to sleep when that sweet little baby sleeps. The house can wait, the laundry can wait, your blog can wait :) You'll feel so much better with a nap.

Monday, August 30, 2010

:: birthday on the brain - heyyoyo has it covered ::

One of Hunter's best mates is turning one in a matter of weeks and I totally have birthday on the brain lately. I can't believe that the time is approaching to plan my own little guy's party!

CoolMomPicks (one of my favourite daily visits - well facebook feed) posted about HeyYoYo yesterday and I fell in love with the vintage feel of their HUGE selection of birthday schtuff. Visit them on Etsy - you will find so much to love, from cupcake liners in all patterns and colours, to toy favours you may remember from your childhood, and an array of awesome cake toppers and and cupcake toppers.

Happy {Birthday} shopping!

Friday, August 27, 2010

:: things i love friday ::

We really love sushi - and apparently Hunter does too. He devoured a couple cucumber rolls last night and made a huge mess at the restaurant. Hope Daddy left a good tip!

Real parties gallery at new daily must-visit blog HipHipHooray

This awesome super multi-functional top - I'll be ordering one of these for baby #2!

These free sewing tutorials - off to the fabric store this weekend!

These beet red velvet cupcakes - followed the recipe to a t (tee?) and they turned out amazing!

Online shopping at Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic - now shipping to Canada! YAY!

This baby food cookbook - the recipes are delicious and most translate into dinner for Mom & Dad too!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

:: these are a few of my favourite (canadian) etsy things ::

I created a new account on Etsy a while back so I could document all the great Canadian shops I was finding and had every intention of sharing it with you! As always, things get in the way sometimes of my big ideas, and here I am months later finally doing it!

I have a lot of work ahead of me browsing Etsy (sigh, so difficult!) and favouriting all the Canadian shops I love. In the meantime, my Etsy favourites in the sidebar are now Canadian! Woot!

You can browse my favourite shops here. These will always be only Canadian.

You can browse my favourite items here. These will be mostly Canadian, but if I find something exceptional, you might see some international items too!

Am I missing any wonderful shops? Let me know!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

:: wordless wednesday ::

He ate the WHOLE thing!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

:: semi-diy halloween ::

Loving the DIY Halloween kits available on Etsy here. All you need is a plain hooded sweatshirt to create a number of different creatures! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

:: office in a closet ::

I don't think the Hubs and I have ever had a more productive weekend (post-baby anyways!). We repainted a cabinet, organized 3 boxes worth of papers "to be filed", and created this mommy cave for moi! It's in the closet of our spare room and I love it!

I got the office in a closet idea from a showhome we saw a couple of years ago and I am so happy to finally have a space to blog, write cards, pay bills and keep organized. And I'm determined to never allow the filing to get out of hand again. Should help that it we managed to condense everything into one accordion file.

In case you are wondering....

Desk: an antique from my Dad
Shelf: Ikea
Vintage fabric bunting: Knotted Nest on Etsy (love her and she is Canadian!)
Clock: Kvarta - hacked to add Amy Butler scrapbooking paper (thanks IkeaHacker!)
Purse: London Fog Crossbody tote from Beyond the Rack (they have Burberry handbags today *drool*)

I'm thinking of jazzing up (did I really just say that?) an Ikea table and chairs my Dad got for Hunter at a garage sale so he can have a little space in the room too. Love this.

Friday, August 20, 2010

:: things i love friday ::

Things I am loving this Friday....

- these candy coloured cribs from Ikea
- the AskMoxie blog (how did I not read this before!?) Love her piece on sleep. Going to stop obsessing about the ubiquitous STTN.....really going to try....*yawn*
- organizing books by colour
- large boxes of BC freestone peaches (le yum!)
- the way Hunter thinks it's hilarious when I have the hiccups. Only time in my life I have wished for them to stick around longer than one minute.
- the big sale at Momzelle!
- finding awesome deals on Mother of a Deal
- this cheerful nursery
- white cheddar Pirate's Booty - nom nom nom

Off to veg on the couch while the Hubs plays hockey tonight. Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

:: lovely shadow box nursery art - all canadian ::

by AboundingTreasures (Canadian!)

by AllThingsCourtney - Canadian!

I love shopping Ikea for frames and I really need to find some time this weekend to go shopping for some for our lovely family photos by Michelle Wells. They have been sitting in my to-do pile for way too long and cannot possibly be admired enough there.

One of my favourite Ikea frames is a white square shadow box. Look no further than Etsy for beautiful things to fill it with, especially if you have a butterfly or dinosaur themed nursery!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

:: pediped giveaway winner! ::

 Congratulations to comment #10, HamiHarri! 

You won a pair of Pediped Originals - we'll be in touch :) Thank you so much to everyone that entered..... I think it is our most popular giveaway to date!

:: wordless wednesday - mischief ::

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

:: beautiful prints by katie daisy of the wheatfield :

These gorgeous handpainted prints are made with love by Katie Lombardo, an illustrator who grew up on a farm. I love how simple, colourful and cheerful they are and think they would make a great addition to a nursery.....or anywhere in your home!

Shop The Wheatfield here. See more of her gorgeous work on her Flickr here.

p.s One of my favourite ways to browse Etsy is to find a seller I love (like thewheatfield) and browse their favourite items and shops. Katie has beautiful taste! I am loving the jewelry she has favourited!

Monday, August 16, 2010

:: cup of jo - nursery inspiration ::

Loving Cup of Jo's nursery for her little Toby. My favourite details? The handpainted blind, the deer print (of course), and the lovely collage of family photos. Oh! And the awesome mobile. I love when design bloggers have babies!

Friday, August 13, 2010

:: pediped giveaway ::

I was pretty excited when Pediped contacted me about doing a review and giveaway. A mommy friend of mine gave us a pair of Pedipeds when Baby H was first born and they were such great shoes.

Yes, I know a teeny newborn baby doesn't really need shoes, but he wore them a lot because it was winter. They were simple, white and navy with adjustable velcro straps, which helped them to stay on. It's shocking how many cute baby shoes I bought for him before he was born that just would NOT stay on.....and this was before he learned to pull them off himself!

An ongoing struggle of mine is that so many things for boys have some sort of train, dinosaur, truck or other boy-ish thing on them, so I appreciate that Pediped's shoes are neutral and sophisticated enough to go with anything. And they have so many styles....makes me glad I don't have a little girl yet because I would need to buy them all! I want those silver sandals for myself!

Now that my little guy is on the move and may even be walking soon (AH!) it is becoming more important to find good shoes to protect and support his developing feet. Angela, the founder of Pediped - who is a native of Toronto, by the way! - started the company with her husband in 2004 when she had trouble finding shoes for her little one.

"After doing a lot of research, Angela discovered that doctors recommended barefoot walking or soft leather sole shoes, but the choices for infants and toddlers were limited. That is when Angela and her husband Brian decided to create the perfect shoe which was “the next best thing to bare feet”.

Today, pediped® uses the latest technology, plus the highest quality materials and craftsmanship to create shoes for children that are designed to care for their feet from crawling, to those amazing first steps and into the toddler years." 

The Originals® line for pre-walkers is designed to most closely mimic barefoot walking and the natural foot shape of a child. The Grip n GoTM line is the perfect line to help toddlers transition from early walking to walking with a more confident stride.  The Flex® line combines everything she wanted for her daughters when looking for a rubber soled shoe; high quality, fine leather and a soft flexible rubber sole."

Pediped has shoes for each stage of mobility for your little one. Some of the Flex shoes are even machine washable!

You can check out the newest arrivals at Pediped here.

Pediped is giving away a pair of Originals to one lucky Mon Petit Amour reader! Just leave your little one's size in the comment, and if you win, the lovely people at Pediped will choose a style for you. I'll announce the winner on Wednesday, August 18th. Good luck! 

p.s Make sure your email address is linked to your google account! The winner will be emailed as well as announced here! If your email is not linked to your google account, leave your email in the comment. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

:: back up where they belong - a bravado bliss review ::

Bravado sent me their newest nursing bra to review and it has changed my life. OK.....that is a bit dramatic, but really! A good bra really changes how you look. And when you are still holding on to a couple pounds of baby weight, you are thankful for all the help you can get from your undergarments!

If you are a nursing mama, you know that nursing bras are not the most glamourous of lingerie. They are utilitarian, and it's a bonus if they look anything like the stuff you used to wear (the stuff that got you into this mess! I kid! I kid!)

I have been a fan of Bravado since baby H was born. I lived in the nursing tanks when he was little and loved the stretchiness of the Body Silk bra when my milk came in and as my size changed while my milk supply regulated. I bought another Bravado bra when baby H was a couple months old and I have lived in those bras since. I did not really realize that my size had changed until I got my Bliss in the mail and it was too big! All that nursing melted off a couple inches from my band size! The exchange was handled wonderfully and I was soon wearing the right size and could not believe the difference in support.

I love that Bravado bras offer great support without underwire. Having just gone through another mini-bout of mastitis (ugh!) it is important to me to make sure that the bras I wear fit well and aren't going to cause blocked ducts.

The Bliss bra has a nice molded cup, much like the bras I used to wear before my little guy arrived, and they even have a nice little lace detail in the centre. I love the clips and ease of feeding, and that the whole cup slides down for full skin to skin contact. No squeezing your nipple through a hole....I hate that! The band is fitted for support but very comfortable, and I can wear it all day with no problems. And the best part....my boobies are back up where they belong!

Thank you Bravado for making such a wonderful (and Canadian!) product. I hope to keep nursing my little guy for as long as he wants, so I know I will be wearing this bra a lot! Time to pick it up in black as well!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

:: earth's best diapers review ::

If you are a regular reader, you know I am cloth diapering mama. So when Earth's Best contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing a new line of disposable diapers, I hesitated, because it's not something I use on a regular basis.

We do use disposable diapers occasionally, on vacation and sometimes for overnight. I always try to buy the most "green" diapers I can find. These diapers really fit the bill, so I accepted. Hunter really liked opening up the package that came in the mail!

The diapers came at a good time, because I needed to "Rock a Soak" of all of my cloth diapers because they were starting to smell like ammonia (ugh!). Luckily, my Rockin Green detergent got all the stink out, but I was left with no diapers for 24 hours while they soaked, washed and dried.

Hunter wore these disposables to bed (no leaks!) and all day with no redness or rash. We also enjoyed some very messy spaghetti and I was happy to not have to wash that diaper!

We'll be looking for them next time we need the occasional package of disposables. They retail around $18.99, which is a bit more than we regularly pay, but there is a printable coupon here for $3.50 off which would bring them down around the price we usually pay for PC Green Diapers at Superstore/Loblaw's. You can also buy these diapers at Babies R Us.

You can also enter to win free diapers for a year from Earth's Best here.

We'll still be cloth diapering over here, but if you are using disposables you might want to check these out!

Earth's Best Diapers boast:

  • Certified chlorine free

  • Wood pulp is made from renewable, sustainable forests

  • Superior, non toxic absorbency

  • Environmentally sensitive diaper uses less petroleum based products and more sustainable materials

  • Made with natural absorbent materials from renewable resources wheat and corn that reduce the use of petro chemicals

  • Non-woven inner and outer cover, made of plant based renewable resources from corn

  • Latex-free, dye free, perfume free

Monday, August 9, 2010

:: urbanwalls - canadian vinyl decals ::

I love getting emails from readers, and when they happen to own an awesome (and Canadian!) Etsy shop I love it even more because it gives me something exciting to write about. On especially early mornings (5:45AM!!!) I often suffer from writers block.

I mean, I could have written about the fab decor we added to Hunter's Nursery this weekend - tinfoil in the windows - but you would all just be too jealous of our stylish new "blackout blinds". Ha! Reason for the horrendous window faux pas? Little H had decided he did not want to sleep at night while it was still light. He wanted to plaaaay....and since it does not get dark until after 9pm, we had to take drastic measures. At least the blackout curtains (that don't work!) cover the aluminum foil. Le sigh! I need to go shopping for blinds this week.

I was thrilled when Paul & Danielle contacted me to tell me about their Vancouver based etsy shop featuring fun and modern vinyl wall decals. Don't you love the owls and heart trees? I know! It's an obsession :)

They are offering 10% off for Mon Petit Amour Readers. Just mention that you read about them here. They are on vacation right now, the lucky ducks, but they are offering a free decal with orders purchased during the month of August. The decals will ship first week of September. More details in their Etsy Shop - Urban Walls.

I have a backlog of review/giveaway emails so I think this week may become a big Deals, Coupons & Giveaway Week! So stay tuned....

Friday, August 6, 2010

:: things i love friday ::

photo by Michelle Wells Photography

I love reading other bloggers' "Things I love Friday" posts (especially here, here, and here) so here is one from moi. It's more sentimental than design/shopping oriented though....can you tell I had a great day today?

- waking up beside my sleepy smiling boy
- a hot latte from Phil & Sebastian
- a mini brioche from Ladybug Pastries
- a big bag of sweet, fresh carrots from the Farmer's Market
- spontaneous giggles from the backseat of the car while we drove home.
- mischevious baby grins
- nursing my squirmy worm into a fast asleep cuddlebug (Happy World Breastfeeding Week!)
- quiet afternoon mommy time with some coffee and blogs. Always makes me think of this print.
- the above picture taken by Michelle Wells of me and my little boy. Now I can look at it every day as my new blog header. What do you think?
- the smell of baking bread. Can't wait for my dough to be done to put it in the oven!