Thursday, March 31, 2011

:: button monogram ::

If you have an overflowing bucket of buttons .... you need to make this lovely button monogram art. 

I spotted it over at Spearmint Baby, who got the idea from the American Crafts Studio Blog. I clicked over to the post for the tutorial, and found a few other projects over there as well, like this ribbon headband tutorial. If you are a scrapbooker (I'm not....not enough hours in the day!) there are lots of ideas on there too!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

:: a nursery fit for a princess ::

In anticipation of the royal wedding, Graham & Brown are offering 20% off their Royal Collection. I recieved an email from them earlier this week and this wallpaper really caught my eye. 

I am normally a fan of the pink princess type nurseries, but I think this black and white wallpaper is a really sophisticated take on that theme. And they have little jewels you can attach to the crowns if you want to add a bit more sparkle - rubies anyone? 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

:: things i love sunday ::

- a mischevious morning with my little man
- the bright and springy baubles I bought yesterday from Flourish Vintage Inspired Jewelry
- the lovely gift I bought for a friend from Colourful Kisses
- these yam and zucchini fritters from Canadian food blog Food & Whine....H and my husband adored them!
- this DIY upholstered headboard from Design*Sponge. Fabric, batting and foam were bought yesterday! I can't wait to get started on this project!
- two weeks stretched out before me of spending time with my little boy. I love Spring Break!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend....has spring arrived where you live yet? We are still under snow here, and I have spring fever. Looking forward to some sunshine soon....I am a bit obsessed with the weather network right now.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

:: babble's best of etsy list ::

Did you see Babble's best of Etsy list? I am almost scared to click through to all the shops because it could be very bad for the bank account!

I was very pleased to see a few Canadians on the list that I recognized. Lindsay of Penny People & Jen of Sewn Natural. Congratulations!

These lovely ladies also have wonderful blogs. You can find Lindsay at Little House Blog and Jen at Sewn Natural's Blog

Did you see any of your favourite shops listed?

You can find 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

:: montessori floor bed ::

I love the simplicity of this floor bed, found on Ohdeedoh via Bloesem Kids. Valentina from designperbambini is guest blogging over there, and I have found a wonderful new blog to add to my reader! I just love the striped carpet too. 

When did you transition to a toddler bed? Would you consider a floor bed? 

Monday, March 21, 2011

:: healthy mac & cheese - with hidden white beans and butternut squash ::

I'm not a huge fan of "hiding" healthy food from kids. As yet, I have not had to go out and buy Deceptively Delicious or any of the other Sneaky Chef type books out there. I am the lucky mommy to a little boy who will eat pretty much anything, but that doesn't stop me from looking for ways to eat healthier and serve the yummiest food possible at the same time.

I love beans of all types, but especially love the versatility of white beans, since they are very mild tasting and hide well in many different types of food. One of my absolute favourite ever recipes are Julie van Rosendaal's Breakfast Bean Cookies (a MUST for the late night nursing sessions with a newborn!) which introduced me to the idea of putting pureed white beans in things. My next foray into adding beans to things is another recipe from Julie for pizza dough with beans. I'll be sure to blog about it!

I bought the Clean Eating for Kids cookbook a while back and I am really liking it. I was intrigued by the Healthy Mac & Cheese recipe, and with a few tweaks and modifications, I think it is just perfect!

I love the Eat Clean cookbooks, and probably my most favourite thing about them are the bright full-page photos that go with each recipe. I am such a visual learner. Which is why I hope this will inspire you to try my Healthy Mac & Cheese variation!

Here is my version of the Healthy Mac & Cheese - it's not as "clean" as the one in my cookbook, with the butter and full fat cheese, but I have never been a fan of low fat dairy!


2 tbsp butter or olive oil
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk (not sure if milk alternatives would work?)
19 oz can of white kidney beans, pureed
1 butternut squash, roasted and mashed (sweet potato would work too!)
1 cup yogurt cheese (strain yogurt in a cheesecloth to remove all moisture - it's very versatile!)
1/2 cup strong parmesan cheese, grated 
1 cup old cheddar cheese
450g elbow macaroni pasta
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp dry mustard
cracked pepper

1. Melt butter in a saucepan, add flour to make a roux. Add milk and stir until thickened.
2. Add butternut squash puree, white bean puree, parmesan cheese, cheddar, dry mustard (if you like it!) and cracked pepper
3. Cook and drain macaroni and add to sauce. 
4. Place in a casserole dish, top with some more grated cheddar and panko bread crumbs for the yummiest crunchy topping!

I liked it, especially on this cold and snowy day. Second day of Spring you say? Not here in Calgary! 

I think next time I would add some more mustard or something to give it a bit more zip. Any ideas?

Yum. Crunchy panko deliciousness.

Hunter was a fan - "Stop taking pictures and give it to me!"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

:: cute tie ::

Gap is having a sale (when are they not these days? I am loving it!) this weekend - 30% off, so I am browsing the boy's clothing and picking out some spring items for Hunter.

Isn't this tie the cutest? 

Thanks to my friend Julie over at Lilo et Moi for posting about the sale! So excited that you started a blog....and that it is in French :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

:: ergo carrier winner ::

Spring has finally sprung here in Calgary, and we enjoyed splashing in some puddles this week

What an amazing response to our Ergo giveaway! Congratulations to Shea, who won a great carrier for all her upcoming warm weather outings.

I have some other great giveaways coming up this Spring, so keep visiting :)

Happy Weekend!

True Random Number Generator  287

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

:: help japan ::

I've been having trouble finding the inspiration to blog about happy things like decorating, toys and fashion because of the heaviness in my heart as I watch the news about Japan.

I thought I might link to a few Canadian organizations that are taking donations to help the people of Japan. I will be donating, and I hope you will too.

I have also found a number of Etsy sellers donating profits to help Japan. Just search with HELP JAPAN on the etsy site.

Friday, March 11, 2011

:: ergo carrier giveaway ::

I am SO excited about this giveaway! As you may have noticed, I don't do a lot of giveaways on my blog. I receive many offers to review and giveaway products, but I choose to only promote things that I would use and buy for our own family.

An awesome baby carrier is worth every penny. From the newborn days when they want to be near you all the time to the toddler stage when they love to be able to look at the world from up high, a supportive and comfortable baby carrier makes life so much more enjoyable for you and your baby.

I recieved our Ergo carrier over a month ago, but since we have been in a super deep freeze, we have not been able to get out and take the hiking pictures I really wanted to use for this post! I have worn it around the house and Hunter has loved being on my back and seeing things from a new perspective.

If you have ever been backpacking, you will appreciate the design with padded straps, and a waistband to distribute the weight and reduce the strain on your body. For more information on the research that went into the design of the Ergo carrier as well as the fair-trade environment they are made in, click here. There are also a number of accessories available, from a weather cover, snap on backpack to a soft strap cover for teething babies.

I am so happy to be able to give away one of these amazing carriers to a Mon Petit Amour reader!

Just leave a comment below, and make sure your email is connected to your Disqus account.

For an extra entry you can do the following (make sure to leave an additional comment)

1. Like Mon Petit Amour on Facebook
2. Follow me on Twitter
3. Like Fulton Sales (Canadian distributor of fabulous brands like Ergo) on Facebook
4. Follow Fulton Sales on Twitter

Good luck! I'll announce the winner next Friday, March 18th.

This contest is open to Canadian residents and international readers as well. If you live outside Canada, this prize may be subject to taxes and duties.

Gosh I wish I was walking on a beach right now!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

:: best baby names for 2011 ::

the first day of his life, and the best day of mine

A good friend of mine is expecting her first baby any day now and I am beyond excited! I'm trying not to drive her crazy with inquisitive texts and emails now that she is past her due date....but I really hope this baby makes it's entrance soon. I cannot wait to hear if she has a boy or girl and, of course, the name.

I have been name obsessed for as long as I can remember and I absolutely loved reading all the baby name books in preparation for our little guy's arrival. Though I am not sure he really looked like a Hunter on the first day he was born, he definitely grew into his name. 

I love the Nameberry blog for themed lists of names. Check out their top picks for 2011 here.

My favourites from their picks include (for boys): Asher, Archer, Levi, Everett, Jasper & Jack
(for girls) : Aurelia, Evangeline, Lark & Isla

What are your favourite names?

Monday, March 7, 2011

:: ask a naturopath ::

I’m looking for some advice on natural ways to deal with hormonal fluctuations of my monthly cycle, also with a view to preparing myself ultimately for menopause.  

For whatever reason, as a society we think that it is normal to experience miserable periods.  I have some news for you…it isn’t!   There are a number of ways to help make this time of the month as comfortable and pain/PMS-free as possible.
Painful and heavy periods are usually due to inflammation and hormonal imbalances (usually increased estrogen exposure). Decreasing both of these factors will not only improve your periods, but your overall health. A few suggestions are:
  • Decrease saturated animal fats & dairy products, especially if non-organic. These are sources of exogenous estrogen.
  • Try to eliminate eating from plastic and DO NOT  heat food/drinks in plastic containers. Plastics are a source of xeno-estrogens and will therefore add to the already high amount of estrogen in the body. Glass and stainless steel are the best containers to use for heating or storing food.
  • Avoid pesticides. Learn the dirty dozen and clean 15!
  • Increase your consumption of fiber, especially ground flax. Ground flax helps balance your estrogen levels and is excellent for bowel regulation. Try adding 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed per day to your diet.
  • Increase omega 3 and 9 fatty acids. Some sources include fish oil, olive oil & avocados. These are natural anti-inflammatories.
  • Eliminate sugar, white flour, and refined foods during this time of the month, they are unhealthy and cause inflammation.
  • And most importantly, take care of your liver! Your liver helps metabolize your estrogen and maintains your hormonal balance. Try eating 1 serving of the brassica family (broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, etc…) of vegetables daily. They are great for liver detoxification. Also be aware that B vitamins are necessary in liver detoxification. These are often depleted by birth control pills and stress, especially B6. Consider supplementing with B vitamins for overall health.

In my practice, I do a lot of work with women and changing hormone levels.  I find that a combination of dietary modifications, liver drainage/detox and acupuncture are the most effective ways to help women through their monthly cycles and also through the lovely process of menopause.  If you are a Calgary resident and are having any issues, feel free to book in and start your journey towards hormonal regulation.

Calgary Naturopath

Sunday, March 6, 2011

:: kate quinn organics on hautelook ::

If you find it hard to get out and shop for all the baby showers you will be going to this spring, you will want to check out the amazing deals on beautiful Kate Quinn organic cotton clothing on Hautelook today. I love the simplicity of the pieces, and the gorgeous patterns!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

:: words to live by - my manifesto ::

a little poster i made

It's been a long week. I'm not sure if it is the weather (two weeks without a Chinook!) or the report cards, or the dreary time of year but I am feeling a bit blah.

These days, I find I am living for the weekends. Once they are finally are here I am stressed about getting the errands run, the house cleaned and squeezing in some fun and family time. Then Sunday night arrives, and I am sad to have to go back to work after a weekend of rushing instead of relaxing and enjoying.

I've decided it is time to change my point of view. I want to have more fun, and have better perspective on all the silly little "problems" that seem to get in the way of me truly enjoying my days.

I thought of these words to live by while nursing Hunter before bed. We had just come home from a lovely dinner with friends and I had fresh perspective on what was truly important - and what truly makes me happy. I think I'm going to print it out and stick it on the fridge.

I am re-reading the Happiness Project right now. Have you read it? Gretchen Rubin's blog is wonderful too. It gets a lot of clicks on my google reader because of how uplifting and inspiring it is. I'm really enjoying some of the interviews she has posted lately!

Have you written a happiness manifesto? What would you add?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

:: braided knot ::

Pinterest is seriously affecting my report card productivity these days. One of the things I have really enjoyed exploring is hairstyle pins. I wore my hair like this today actually, though it wasn't as cute and tousled looking. I wish I could get that look right - it only ever happens after a salon blowout. Any tips?

:: diy fabric decals ::

Cooper & Campbells shared room via Ohdeedoh via The Thompson Family

Did you see this cute shared room tour on Ohdeedoh? I love the clouds on the wall and the post links to a tutorial on How about Orange. I think I might try some small decals this weekend since the cold weather is not going to let up anytime soon. Crafting should boost my spirits!