Monday, November 29, 2010

:: monday confessions ::

I am about to begin my 3rd week back at work and I have some thoughts and confessions to share.

1. I feel really bad about letting my blog writing slide, but I have had precious little time to myself since returning to work. My new goal is to blog 3 times a week and return to daily blogging once I am in the swing of things (does that ever happen?)

2. My house is decorated for Christmas and has been for a couple weeks now. Thank goodness for the snow day we had on my second day back at school! I love how our bunting flags from Knotted Nest look in our dining room windows. I can't wait to get a tree this weekend to complete the look. I am hoping we can trust our little monster around a real tree. Any ideas for how to rig it up to be somewhat baby-proof?

3. I have never appreciated weekends more. I am determined to make the most of every second with my little guy and can't believe how quickly they go! We had a cuddly Saturday and watched a movie, and then a bright and early hockey game Sunday followed by brunch with some good friends.

4. I feel guilty for spending time away from H on the weekends. I did some dashing around town on Saturday to find the perfect pair of boots (Pajar - love them) at Winners and felt weird taking the time out for myself. I am sure I will get used to it, and I ended up having fun out shopping and even enjoyed a Nutella Latte at Deville (YUM!)

5. I have so many ideas for things to craft, bake and create (and blog!) over Christmas break. I hope I don't forget them all before my time off starts. Anyone else ever feel like they have too many ideas rolling around in their head? I need to start some sort of crazy ideas journal or something. I am always scheming in some way or another....

I hope you will keep reading, even though I am not posting as often.... I have some great giveaways to post soon, so stay tuned! Hope you have a wonderful week :)

p.s My little H turns ONE this weekend. I cannot believe it! I can't wait to make these beet red velvet cupcakes again - they are so delish!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

:: lmnop magazine gift guide on etsy ::

Loving this gift guide by LMNOP magazine of Etsy items. Find all the sources here.

p.s Yay to Tressa at DressMeUp for the mention in the baby section! She is a fellow Canadian!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

:: stock up on dr. seuss at hautelook ::

I love the Dr. Seuss inspired clothing on HauteLook right now - and there are loads of books on there too, which I always think is the perfect gift. If you aren't already a member, click here for an invite. I have done a lot of my Christmas shopping on HauteLook.....I love getting the packages in the mail!

Monday, November 22, 2010

:: waldorf inspired playthings on etsy ::

Visited the Waldorf Faire at our local Waldorf School this weekend and loved the beautiful silk and wool toys they had for sale. We bought silk sword, a silk twirlygig, and a shooting star toy.

 I am now obsessed with looking for more Waldorf inspired toys on Etsy. I discovered Beneath the Rowan Tree a while back and love their shop - lots of beautiful capes, playsilks and toys.

I also love the cheerful wooden stacking toys - these ones from Imagination kids are so beautiful!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

:: things i love friday ::

- I love this picture of H - looks like he's a wise old man telling you a story.....I just can't get enough of this  vest and ties for babies!

- I've always loved weekends, but I am sure looking forward to this weekend, my first one post-going back to work!

- Putting on pajamas after a long day. And hot baths with a good magazine (bonus points for a glass of wine)

- the giggles and squeals of my little guy when we chase him....his new favourite game!

- lovely vintage necklaces from Freshy Fig. Can't wait to give one as a gift this weekend to a very special friend!

- the framed art in this lovely girl's room (via Spearmint Baby)

- I love the Lee Valley Catalogue - can't wait to get my wooden gift tags! (item 99W8905)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

:: antilop highchair by ikea ::

Today, I just wanted to profess my love for the Antilop highchair. It has to be one of our favourite baby purchases to date.

At $19 and change (plus $5 for the tray), it is cheaper than most highchairs on the market and the design is just perfect. It's pretty nondescript and looks just fine in an uber-modern setting or a traditional one.

It's at regular table height so H can sit with us, and has an attachable tray for the messiest of eaters (like our little guy - he loves to fling food!).

The most important part is that it cleans up SO well. I wipe it down with a bit of vinegar and water after each meal and there are no cracks or fabric parts to collect gunk.

It also comes apart really easily so you can take it with you to the grandparent's house - although at that price, they could just get one of their own!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

:: let it snow ::

I got the best phone call early early this morning. After a long night of listening to a snowstorm whipping through our community, I heard the sweet words: "Go back to sleep, it's a snow day...". No school for me on my second day back to work! Naturally, I couldn't go back to sleep. I wanted to soak up every second of this bonus day at home with my little guy. 

We had breakfast, cleaned the dishes from last night that I was too exhausted to attempt and promptly headed to the basement to lug up boxes of Christmas decor. Our house is looking very merry! Now that H is down for a nap and no longer running around with jingle bells (the best sound ever!) I am browsing Etsy for a couple new things. I just picked up this screen printed pillow cover and fun onesie for H from OhLittleRabbit. Love that shop!

Monday, November 15, 2010

:: brown paper packages tied up with string ::

I've started to wrap our Christmas gifts already - I love the look of brown kraft paper with different ribbons and strings. It is a very inexpensive alternative to wrapping paper (and fun for kids to colour or stamp too!) and looks really nice under the tree. 

 I found this red and green yarn and I love the simplicity of it - almost like a baker's twine. Have you started your shopping and wrapping yet? I'm almost done my shopping! Thank goodness for online shopping :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

:: things i love sunday ::

I love that we get a full year maternity leave here in Canada. This truly has been the best year of my life and I have loved seeing my tiny little baby grow into the cutest, funniest and most energetic little boy ever. I love that we spent our last weekday together going out for breakfast, just the two of us, and I got to watch H flirt with everyone in the cafe. I love that sweet little vest he's wearing (Baby Gap) and that we got a nice picture of the two of us with the camera timer. Notice me holding him back from running to the camera to see his little face on the screen - he is so smart!

I love that we had a wonderful weekend spending time as a family and getting the house cleaned and organized in preparation for my first week back at work. Here's hoping I love being back at work! I know I will love Christmas break which is just 5 short weeks away :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

:: diy fabric flower headband and messy bun updo ::

thrifted cashmere sweaters leftover from this project + fabric flower tutorial + cheap plain headband + messy bun tutorial + pocketbooth (love this app!) = feeling somewhat put together after a long sleepless night

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

:: playpants modern bloomers ::

I just love ruffles on little bottoms! How cute are these Playpants (made responsibly in Canada) modern bloomers? Is it weird to want to shop for the girl you hope you'll have one day?

Monday, November 8, 2010

:: bread & butter skincare for men - daddy christmas gift alert! ::

Picked up this manly looking skincare kit from Canadian company Bread & Butter on Beyond the Rack this morning for $25. Yay for great stocking stuffers!

:: giveaway week winners! ::

my office in a closet 
{if only it looked that tidy and inviting right now and I could blog there instead of from the couch}

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I really loved reading about your plans on Friday :)

I got to get out and have some mommy alone time shopping for some work clothes, and had a wonderful date night at home with the hubs. We had a simple meal of homemade chicken wings & caesar salad and a big bottle of wine. And then, instead of the usual movie night, we played Scrabble. It was really unexpectedly fun.

Today marks my last Monday morning of maternity leave. I plan to get a few things done this week - winter tires, meal planning for the remainder of the month, wrap Christmas gifts and cuddle little H lots and lots! Any tips for going back to work? Lots of kleenex? 

Without further ado - here are the winners from last week's giveaways. Thanks so much to everyone for entering. I love to give things away!

Knotted Nest Bunting Banner - congratulations Sarah of Saige Wisdom!

True Random Number Generator  

Johnson & Johnson Gift Basket - congratulations Alison!

True Random Number Generator  14
Canadian Family Magazine Subscription - congratulations Jody!

True Random Number Generator  17
Hooked on Hudson Owl Hat - congratulations Shannon @ What's Up Whimsy!

True Random Number Generator  

Stonz Boots - congratulations Andrea!

True Random Number Generator  87

Friday, November 5, 2010

:: things i love friday ::

New online (and Canadian based) store Apricot Culotte sells fabulous pre-loved clothes from France!  Felicitations for getting a mention on Cool Mom Picks this week too! If you are in the Vancouver area, check out sister site Mom with Baby for activities in your area.

These sassy dishtowels would make such a fun gift! Etsy shop DearColleen has some wonderful stuff.

The Christmas Cards I just ordered from our newest International Sponsor - Tiny Prints. So glad to have found the perfect design to go with this picture!

How incredibly talented is A from Pink Sugar Photography? I just love her blog and her Halloween decor has me so inspired for next year. LOVE those pumpkins! And the bunting....everything. Plus, her beautiful daughter was the Paper Bag Princess too (oodles cuter than I was!)

This is the flowery wallpaper I have been looking for! Found via this blog that I have added to my Google Reader - just lovely!

H is 11 months old today. We will be celebrating his first birthday in one month! I just received some of the decor in the mail this week. These vintage fabric bunting flag banners from Mon Petit Amour sponsor Knotted Nest will adorn our house for H's birthday party. I just love them and will probably keep them up for Christmas too!

Our final giveaway of the week is a bunting banner from Knotted Nest! These cheerful handmade little bunting flags will make your day! I have one hanging in my closet office and it just adds so much to the space. Just leave a comment below with your weekend plans. I'll announce the winner on Monday!

Thanks for visiting this week and participating in all the giveaways! I felt a little like Oprah or something - "It's my birthdaaaaaay! Everyone is getting a brand new caaaa-aaaar!". I'll be back to regular blogging next week, and then back to work the following week *waaaaaah!*

Thursday, November 4, 2010

:: giveaway week - johnson & johnson gift basket ::

I'm really lucky that H has always enjoyed bathtime. Even as a newborn he did not mind being in the water (especially when we bathed together), and these days he could spend hours splashing in the tub. 

Johnson & Johnson products have been around for a long time. I remember the smell of the yellow baby shampoo from my childhood and I am pretty sure that is what they still use in the hospitals.

I was sent a gift basket of some newer J&J products to try out recently. I'll post my thoughts on them below the names of the products because there were so many!

 I like the soft, subtle smell of the Natural line and that it is free of dyes & parabens. The lotion and foaming wash come in a handy pump container and the baby shampoo still comes with the "No More Tears" guarantee. The containers are made from recycled materials as well.
 I love the smell of lavender and could see myself dumping some of the bedtime shampoo into my own bath. I found the bedtime bath did not have as much of a lavender scent as the shampoo, but still had a pleasant, soft smell. The bedtime creamy baby wash had a nice smell as well, but does contain parabens if that is something you try to avoid.
JOHNSON’S® Baby Bubble Bath and Wash
This new product has a very sweet, almost candy-like scent. It was a bit strong for us, and it does also contain parabens, if that is something you try to avoid in skincare products.
JOHNSON’S® Baby Lotion
The pink container of Johnson's baby lotion was familiar to me. I remember my Mom using it on my little sister. It has a baby powder scent - the classic baby smell. It also lists parabens in the ingredients.
Love that the duck does not hold any water - no yucky mold to worry about! And it is very cute!
These are the softest washcloths I have ever used. And they are from a wonderful Canadian company!
All lined up on our Ikea bathmat!

I was pleasantly surprised that I liked some of the products sent to me. I tend to choose smaller, more organic/natural brands for baby skin care products; like Weleda, Gaia, & Live Clean.  Although I am not sure I will switch brands next time I am shopping for shampoos and lotions for the boy, I am glad to see that Johnson & Johnson is responding to consumer demands for a more natural product.

Johnson & Johnson would like to send a Mon Petit Amour reader a gift basket filled with these products, and the duck & washcloths too! - just leave a comment below with your favourite bathtime game/routine.  The J&J website has a whole section on bathtime with lots of ideas. 

Here is ours: My husband does a trick his dad used to do at bathtime. He puts handsoap in his hands, mixes some water, lathers it up a bit and blows bubbles through his fingers. I have no idea how he does it - I can never get it to work for me! I think it is so sweet and H loves it!

p.s I've noticed some comments on other giveaway posts with no link to a google profile, or there is no email linked on the google account. Make sure you have your email linked on your google account, or leave your email in the comment :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

:: giveaway week - canadian family subscription ::

I love magazines. Like really really really love magazines. My husband can attest to the fact that I often come home with one or two from the grocery store. And he may deny it, but he is always up on the celebrity gossip as a result.

I really love having a subscription to a magazine (or 5!). The thrill of getting it in your mailbox before everyone else gets to see it on the newstands, sitting down and devouring it from cover to cover with a cup of tea - it's one of my favourite mommy alone time activities :)

When I found out I was expecting Hunter I bought a lot of magazines but eventually stopped buying the U.S based ones because so many of the things featured in there for babies/mommies was not available in Canada. When I finally discovered Canadian Family I was hooked. It feels young, stylish and proudly Canadian. It has great content (and the health info is vetted by a pediatrician which I really appreciate), delicious recipes, and a beautiful layout with loads of gorgeous pictures. 

I would love to buy a one year subscription for one my readers as an early Christmas gift. You must be Canadian (sorry international readers!).

Just leave a comment below telling me one article idea you would love to see covered in a parenting magazing (might give me some blog post ideas!)

Good luck! Winner will be announced Monday, November 8th.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

:: giveaway week - owl hats by hooked on hudson ::

Are you enjoying our giveaway week? I had a bit of a backup of giveaways and reviews so I thought we could do a little theme week. Especially since I am already thinking about Christmas and buying gifts. I would love to send out some gifts to my lovely readers!

How cute are these handmade owl hats by Canadian Etsy shop (based in Abbotsford, B.C) Hooked on Hudson? Meghan contacted me to tell me about them because she knows I looooove owls. And in the spirit of Giveaway Week, she would like to give one away to a lucky Mon Petit Amour reader.

To enter:

Visit Hooked on Hudson and leave a comment telling me what your favourite colour combo is

Additional entries:

1. Follow me on Facebook and comment
2. Follow my blog and comment
3. Follow me on Twitter and comment

Best of luck! I will announce the winner on Monday, November 8th.

Monday, November 1, 2010

:: giveaway week - stonz boots ::

I was really excited to get some Stonz boots in the mail to review. Winter comes early here in Calgary (we've already had snow!) and since H is now walking, he needed something to keep his feet warm!

I love the concept of Stonz. You keep your little one in their socks & Robeez or other shoes and slip the Stonz over top and tighten them up with the toggles. The generous sizing should ensure they fit all winter, which could last 5 months or more here. Can you tell they are a proudly Canadian company? Only a Canadian based company could understand our crazy winters!

I know you would love a pair of Stonz too! I played it safe with basic black, but there are many colours and cute patterns available.

To enter:
1. Visit the Stonz website and pick out your favourite colour/pattern and leave a comment on this post. Make sure your email is linked to your google account so I can contact you if you win!

For additional entries:
1. Follow my blog and leave a comment
2. Like me on Facebook and leave a comment
3. Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment

I'll announce the winner on Monday, November 8th. Stay tuned for lots more giveaways this week - I'm getting into the Christmas spirit early :)