Lighting can be one of the easiest ways to update your space and really make a statement. I’ve put together a few of my favourite fixtures. Ranging in price and yes some can be an investment. What you need to think about when choosing a fixture, location. Is this going above a dining table, if so what size of table, you need to think about ceiling heights, and what furniture you have around you etc. If your making the investment, normally a dramatic fixture can simplify your space and eliminate the need for further decor, thus some cost savings. (That’s what you can tell your partner lol)
I’ve written and rewritten this post to many times to count. 14 months and 6 days ago was one of the hardest day of my life. I know it’s a difficult topic for most, and majority of people don’t know what to say….who would…it’s a horrific thing to go through…you lost your unborn child. That little belly of yours is growing no more.
Unfortunately for a large number of women, this is a very common problem…..yet for some reason, it is simply not talked about. Why does this need to be such an isolated experience? Shouldn’t we be open about our struggles? Join together to discuss our feelings? I originally posted about our misfortune last fall and I had a huge outreach of women who have also experienced loss. 1 in 4 will suffer, I am that statistic in my family, I am that statistic with friends.
Years ago I had a vision. Something that I wanted to do for myself based on one of my true passions in life. It probably comes as no surprise, but that passion is interior design. I’ve been thinking a lot about where this stemmed from and I think it started as a young girl watching my parents building their own homes. Taking on the role of their own general contractor, managing subtrades, and dealing with designers to perfect their homes. I grew up flipping through house plans, going on site walks with dad, imagining what my forever home would look like one day. Although back when I was 8 or 9, my dream home was in the shape of mickey mouse and had a slide in lieu of stairs.
Even though my tastes have changed, my love for interior design has not. I have been helping family and friends “unofficially” for years. Helping with finishes, floor plan modifications, etc so I decided it was finally a time to give it a shot. While I love working for my employer and I still plan on doing so….this new en-devour I will be undertaking a digital design role. Helping people online achieve their own dream home.
The baby market is a never ending pit of pastels, bouncers and pacifiers? When I was pregnant with our little one (Nora) I did a lot of research….when I say a lot I mean it. My pinterest board was crowded, my google search engine was worn out and my baby must have list changed by the day. I wanted to know what was worth spending the extra money on….where can I save etc. If there was a baby blog post you bet I read it. I truly enjoyed reading about all the new products on the market and I was excited to try some out for myself. So when Nora was 3 months old I put together a list of the baby items that saved me during those beautifully exhausting first 3 months. I have added several more products that I still find very useful over the first year with a little one. Some of these are a luxury, if you can afford to purchase them I would definitely suggest it.
1. Baby Home Bassinet 2. Hatch Baby Sound Machine 3. NestCam 4. Gro-Bag Sleep Sac 5.Halo Sleepsack 6. Juddlies Sleeper 7.Old Navy Sleeper 8.Wubanub – Reindeer 9.Jellycat – Bunny 10.Dream Blanket
Baby Home bassinet in Black – Great for the first 3 months beside our bed as a bassinet. It’s great for travel and we used this as a travel bed until Nora was 10 months old. We were constantly on the road and this saved us so many times. It’s very light weight and folds flat. We used this outside instead of a pack and play her first summer and add a mesh net to keep the bugs away! I love the design since it’s black it blends with our decor so you don’t mind having it out when company is over.
Hatch Baby Sound Machine – This was the third or fourth sound machine that I have purchased. The first three started off okay, but would either have a set time that they would run for. Not great if your babe is hard to get down. Last thing you want to do is sneak into the room to turn it back on. I don’t care if your a professional ninja, you’ll always get caught. The Hatch Baby machine can connect to your phone, so you can turn the volume & light up or down without going into the room. It also will change colours when it’s time to get up! Great for toddler training in a big bed!
The Nestcam – It has been amazing that we can both view her nursery via our phones! Great for travel, while we’re out on date night and can have piece of mind seeing her sleep. I am looking at purchasing a few more for the house for security since I love this product so much. Great for when we want to spy on our pup Franky!
Gro-bag Sleep Sack Sleep Sacks give parents the piece of mind that their child is sleeping safely while being snuggly and warm. I love that the Gro-Bag’s have different tog levels depending on the season.
Halo Sleep-sack – The Halo sleep sacks were life savers the first few months. Babies tend to flail their arms in the middle of the night and wake themselves up. The option to swaddle your babe or keep the arms out is a great feature.
Old navy & Juddlies Sleepers – I have bought several of each sleeper brand. I love how light weight and soft they are! I love the Old Navy sleepers as I found that they are one of the only companies that still have the option for the mit over 3 months which is needed. The Juddlies Sleepers only get softer as you wash them, I really wish they made these for adults lol
Wubanub Pacifiers – The stuffy allows the pacifier to stay on your babies chest and you can easily spot them in their crib late at night. Our daughter stopped using them around 4 months, but still loves to cuddle with them while she naps. Also they’re adorable.
Jelly Cat –Bashful Grey Bunny – We started with one….then daycare came and we thought “let’s get her a daycare buns to help the transition.” Then it was “what if she’s sick and her bunnies in the wash” so we added a third. So that’s right we have three…and she recently found all of them so wherever we go she will have 3 grey bunnies tucked under her arms. I am glad we had three because those first 4 months of daycare were ROUGH and it was so handy to have a third on hand when she would get sick in the middle of the night and bunny had to go for a bath. I bought the most generic looking one so it could easily be replaced and would do it again in a heart beat!
Aden and Anais Dream Blanket – The Dream blanket is so soft, Nora started to use this in her big girl bed when she was 2. This blanket is great for picnics or playing outside. It is lightweight and breathable, but keeps her warm when she decides to ditch her jammies.
1. Medela Breast Pump 2. Twelve Little Diaper Clutch 3. Fawn Design Diaper Bag 4. Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter 5. Hands-free Pumping Bra 6. Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads 7. Frida Baby Bidet 8.Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies 9. Oatmeal Raisin Lactation Cookies 10. Honest – Organic Healing Ointment 11. Solly Baby Wrap
Breast pump & Pumping Bra – Medela freestyle hands free. I pumped for almost 4 months and this was a game changer. The hands free and dual pump allowed me to hold Nora, and do things around the house for that 30 +/- minutes each pump. I also bought a hands free breast pump bra to attach which was a lifesaver. Don’t forget to buy the sterilizing bags!!
Nipple Cream – For a stronger cream get your doctor to prescribe you Dr. Newman nipple cream. It is medicated and was a necessity for the first month. I also loved Earth Mother Angle Baby for when your further along. It smells great and was very moisturizing and helped keep things from chafing.
Fawn Design Diaper Bag – I constantly get comments on this bag, normally from younger girls who love the style. I love this so much I actually bought a mini too. I struggled going back to work and trying to maintain a purse and/or a diaper bag. I hated bringing my old diaper bag into the office, but I had to come to terms that I am a mom and I need to have the essentials on hand at all times. So when I spotted this bag I knew I had to have it. I love the colour and simple style, I went with the brown in the original and the mini in black. No one ever knows that it’s sole purpose is to carry around baby essentials.
Twelve little mini clutch diaper bag – This bag isn’t an necessity but it is great when your running out for a couple hours or to dinner. You can keep diapers, onesie, wipes, mini creams and lotions, wallet, phone and keys in this bag. Also the leopard print is my favourite!
Solly Baby Wrap – I bought this when I was newly pregnant. Dreaming of baby wearing and keeping my little one close to mama. Well I am so thankful that Nora loved this wrap. We used it until she was a year old, and I’m sure that if I tried to put her in it today she would love it just the same.
Blender – When it came time for solids, I was so excited to make baby food. It’s a nice feeling to know exactly what your little one will be eating those first few bits. Blender is necessity to make sure the baby food is smooth enough for them.
Burp cloth – The first few months you will go through several burp cloths a day. Put a bunch of your registry, then add 10 more 🙂
Bottle Sterilizer (for microwave) It feels like the first few months your a sterilizing machine! I love that boiling is not required and you can have sterilized bottles & pacifiers in 4 minutes!
Cleaners – Get used to spot cleaning everything. Once you introduce baby good you will never go a meal without something being stained. I have narrowed down my favourite products.
Major Explosions – Nellie’s Wow Stick
Gentle Stain Remover – Honest stain remover bonus it’s certified organic
Silicone Ice Cube Trays – I loved making Nora’s first real food and these are great for puree’s. Sweet potato, pea’s, peaches you name it. These silicone tray’s were perfect for freezing. The silicone allows the frozen puree to pop right out. The serving size is great for the first few months.
Glass Jars for Baby Food – I loved these glass jars to warm up Nora’s puree’s. We threw away all of our plastic containers a few years ago so the thought of using plastic for Nora never crossed my mind.
Baby Gourmet – The baby gourmet oatmeal was the first piece of “real food” we gave our daughter. Its a great starter food. Baby Gourmet also has amazing food pouches that were great for travel, when you didn’t have time to make baby food or to stop a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. Nora loved the sweet potato and old fashioned apple crisp.
1.Peanut Change Pad 2. Honest Nighttime Diapers 3. Honest Diapers 4. Honest Wipes 5. Wash cloths (Similar) 6. Bath/Body Oil 7. Aqua Pure Wipes 8. Organic Healing Ointment 9. Puj Tub 10. Live Clean Baby Wash
Peanut change pad – I love this change pad, you don’t need a cover and you can easily wipe it clean when there are explosions! I was worried it might be cool during mid night changes, but Nora never had any issues!
Honest Night Time Diapers – These diapers are better than anything I’ve found here in Canada. Nora can go all night without any leaks even when we go up a size with the overnights found here. Downside is that there only available in the states at the moment but can be ordered through Honest Company.
Honest wipes – I used these on Nora’s bum until she was about 4 months since they’re gentle on her skin and certified organic. Now I use them as face and hand wipes while out and love that they’re available in Canada.
Honest Diapers – I used these exclusively for the first 3 months of Nora’s life, certified organic diapers gave me the piece of mind that her tush was protected those first few months.
Wash Cloth – You go through so many of these. Stock up, and the softer the better for your sweet babe.
Live Clean – Soap & baby Oil – The shampoo and baby wash is something we still use every bath. It smells delicious like clean brand new baby. The baby oil was great for the winter months mixed with Nora’s lotion and Honest Organic Healing Balm.
Pampers – Pure Wipes – I have been using these with our toddler since they just recently came to Canada. They’re a great wipe for everyday. So soft and gentle.
Honest company organic healing balm – While I’m a total Honest Company fanatic, the organic healing balm and wipes are my top favourites. Nora had a bit of cradle cap the first month, and I would mix the healing balm with the Live Clean baby oil on after her bath and use a soft bristle brush to comb it out. It cleared it up within days. I now use it for any dry skin from the cooler weather or scratches!
Puj tub – I love that it folds flat and can dry behind out cabinet door. Nora outgrew this around the 6 month mark but I would say it is a must for those first 6 months
1. Baby Jogger City Select 2. Rattle Rings 3. Baby Shusher 4. Car Seat Cover – Winter 5. Infant Car Seat 6. OVer Car Seat Cover 7. Bamboo Swaddles 8. Dream Bassinet 9. Diono Carseat 10. Baby Jogger – City Tour (Travel Size)
Stroller & Infant Carrier – I love our stroller and car seat combo. We decided to go with the baby jogger city select and peg perego primo viaggio 4-35 car seat. The car seat is on the heavier side, but it has some of the best safety ratings. If you can, I think the infant carrier +stroller are a must. Being able to transfer Nora to and from her doctors, the grocery store, mall etc while staying snugly inside her car seat was great. Having a winter baby, the stroller was great in the snow, it was a bonus that it is adaptable, and can hold one or two babies for the future.
Rattle/Toy – Anything to keep the baby occupied on those long drives. The more colourful the better. If they make noise that’s a bonus!
Baby shusher (app and hand held) I bought this on a whim and it’s been one of our favourite products. So much so that I bought the app for my phone too. The handheld is pricey, but this saved us time and time again. If she’s fussy you turn it on and it instantly calms her. Great for when your out for dinner or driving home by yourself and you can throw your phone in the back seat and she calms herself.
OVer Car Seat Cover & JJ Cole Cover – I think both of these car seat covers are a great options depending on the time of year. In the cold Canadian Winters I would suggest the JJ Cole Cover as it has the fleece lining really helped block the cool wind. The OVer cover is great for both car seat cover to block the sun and wind in the spring/summer/fall months, but we still use this in the grocery cart to help keep the germs at bay. I can’t wait to use this when we get pregnant again.
Aden and Anais Swaddle – Spend the extra money and get the bamboo not Muslin! There’s a huge difference between the two. The bamboo is extra soft and keeps getting softer after each wash! The swaddle blankets are great for swaddling, to cover yourself nursing, to lay on the floor or put over car seat to keep the sun out of your babies eyes.
Back to the Baby Home Bassinet. Did I mention how good this is? It folds flat, can rock, roll or stay stationary. This this came with us everywhere!
Diono Adjustable Car Seat – I feel like a broken record…but we did a lot of research on car seat’s. I love the safety ratings for this seat and the fact that you can have two in the back and still use the center seat.
Baby Jogger City Tour – We purchased this stroller for our trip to Eastern Canada this summer. I did a lot of research on travel strollers and I really didn’t want to lug around our city select. I loved that the city tour comes with a backpack for easy traveling. It also fits into the overhead compartment on airplanes which is a huge win since you hear stories about strollers being damaged while being gate checked.
1. iGuy 2. LeapFrog Letter Factory 3. Car Mat 4. Activity Mat 5. Jolly Jumper 6. Rockaroo 7. Car Mat Reversible
iGuy & Leap Frog Letter Factory– The iGuy is a great cover for ipads as its a rubber cover that can stand on it’s own and has two cute arms that they can hold onto. My sister who works for the school board told me about the Leap Frog Letter Factory. After watching letter factory our daughter started to form 5+ word sentences and her pronunciation has cleared up pretty quickly.
Play Mat – Play mats with lots of colours, textures and crinkle sounds are what you want. These will keep your babe entertained for long periods of times.
Car Play Mats – These car mats are so sweet and I wouldn’t mind having them out compared to the play mats we had as children.
Jolly Jumper – This is a must have. It will keep your babe busy and tire them out for hours a day. I think it had a lot to do with our daugther walking at 10 months old.
Rockaroo – The rockaroo is another expensive purchase, but I know a lot of mom’s that have found these on mommy markets for a good price. This rocker allows me to shower, make a meal, put groceries away etc. the rocking motion calms her and puts her to sleep and she always had at least one nap in this a day for her first 6 months!
BIG CAREER ANNOUNCEMENT IS COMING LATER THIS SUMMER…
FOR NOW…SEE BELOW FOR SOME MOTIVATIONAL THOUGHTS TO KEEP YOU HUSTLING
Okay well it’s technically spring…but it’s still 0 deg. Celsius…and snowing….you heard that right..I know it’s only the first week in April BUT I need spring to be here…like yesterday. As most of my fellow Canadians would sure agree, this winter has been a tough one……
One reason I am so excited for some warmer weather to come our way is to start the landscape on our new house.
Did you guys know that designing an outdoor space is really expensive….like really expensive. Patio furniture cost more than regular furniture? $300 Umbrellas you bet…Those cute wooden sheds you daydream about…might as well sell a kidney. Follow along to see what look we’re going for…what our plans are and when it’s all said and done I will share an update!
Check out some of our inspiration below…extra points if you can spot our little one playing in her playhouse “I spruced up”
I took a poll earlier this week and majority of people had no idea what I was talking about when I asked if anyone else has a capsule wardrobe….A capsule what??
Here’s the gist….a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that won’t go out of style/fashion. You then add in your accessories (shoe’s, scarf’s, coats, etc) maybe a couple statement pieces but keep your collection under 40 items for each season. Accessories are included in this number so be prepared this could be tricky. The key is to buy well made clothing that work well with each other. So when Monday morning comes around, you’re not half asleep starring at your closet with coffee in hand dreading what you’re going to wear.
When we designed our kitchen….
We knew we wanted to keep it classic but with a youthful edge. We decided to go with a shaker style cabinet in Classic Grey by Benjamin Moore. We went back and forth on brass hardware or black and made a last minute switch to black. I am soooo happy we went with the black. The pops so nicely against the pale cabinets and our caesarstone counters.
Hospital Bag Essentials
When I was pregnant with Nora I swear I packed and repacked my hospital bag 1000 times because 1. That’s the type of person I am and 2. I loved looking at the little sleepers and would get so excited to meet our little babe. I think because I was induced and I knew when I would be going to the hospital I was even more prepared because I knew I had a deadline to get everything together.
I have shared this list with so many of my girlfriends and coworkers because I found I was looking at several different blogs and everyone contradicted each other. Bring your breastfeeding pillow, no don’t bother…well people what is it??? (I did by the way and didn’t use it lol). You should ask your OB who will be delivering the baby (If you’re having a hospital birth) what products they will supply since some hospitals are better than others. I had Nora at London Health Sciences Center Victoria Hospital so my comments are based on what they provided me at the time. I know everyone will have different opinions on what to bring but this was what works best for me. We were at the Hospital from December 13 to December 16 which I didn’t expect to be there that long so I’ve added a few things to my initial list that I would add/change!