Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How Canadian Moms Do Halloween

Toddler Halloween, Halloween Candy, Mom Halloween, Canadian Halloween,Halloween DIY Costume, Halloween Craft, Pumpkin Patch, Halloween goo, cool halloween, homemade halloween, halloween humor, funny halloween, boo juice, canadian mom, canadian blogger, blogger round up, halloween round up

Is it truly fall if we don't Instagram the crap out of our children in pumpkin patches? I think not.

Fields glow orange with pumpkin-clad photo opps. We throw on our brown boots, adorable scarf and plunk our kids down amongst some giant gourds. Boom!! Fall has arrived. Until we realize that the pumpkin patch can actually be a muddy, frigid pasture of Autumnal disaster and toddler trauma.

Toddler Halloween, Halloween Candy, Mom Halloween, Canadian Halloween,Halloween DIY Costume, Halloween Craft, Pumpkin Patch, Halloween goo, cool halloween, homemade halloween, halloween humor, funny halloween, boo juice, canadian mom, canadian blogger, blogger round up, halloween round up
Miss Teen USSR
So we head to Costco to buy some bacon maple syrup. Halloween is weeks away, but we should also stock up on the good candy before it's all gone and you are left serving those gross brown globs wrapped in an orange and white wrapper with black bats, you know the one. This Costco trip followed weeks of us using a variety of justifications for why the supply is halved by Halloween.
Toddler Halloween, Halloween Candy, Mom Halloween, Canadian Halloween,Halloween DIY Costume, Halloween Craft, Pumpkin Patch, Halloween goo, cool halloween, homemade halloween, halloween humor, funny halloween, boo juice, canadian mom, canadian blogger, blogger round up, halloween round up
Two Fun Moms
But we deserve some candy cause we have been getting our craft on hard for this big day!
We've been making yummy stuff.....
Twin Dragonfly Designs
Toddler Halloween, Halloween Candy, Mom Halloween, Canadian Halloween,Halloween DIY Costume, Halloween Craft, Pumpkin Patch, Halloween goo, cool halloween, homemade halloween, halloween humor, funny halloween, boo juice, canadian mom, canadian blogger, blogger round up, halloween round up
Celiac Baby!
Cute Stuff....

Toddler Halloween, Halloween Candy, Mom Halloween, Canadian Halloween,Halloween DIY Costume, Halloween Craft, Pumpkin Patch, Halloween goo, cool halloween, homemade halloween, halloween humor, funny halloween, boo juice, canadian mom, canadian blogger, blogger round up, halloween round up
Parent Club 
Toddler Halloween, Halloween Candy, Mom Halloween, Canadian Halloween,Halloween DIY Costume, Halloween Craft, Pumpkin Patch, Halloween goo, cool halloween, homemade halloween, halloween humor, funny halloween, boo juice, canadian mom, canadian blogger, blogger round up, halloween round upToddler Halloween, Halloween Candy, Mom Halloween, Canadian Halloween,Halloween DIY Costume, Halloween Craft, Pumpkin Patch, Halloween goo, cool halloween, homemade halloween, halloween humor, funny halloween, boo juice, canadian mom, canadian blogger, blogger round up, halloween round up
This West Coast Mommy
Gooey Stuff...
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Food Retro
And some of it even lasts til Halloween! Yay us!

Of course we also spend the whole two weeks leading to Halloween talking our kids out of the Elsa costume we don't want to foot the bill on. But hey, some seasons of mothering call for buying the costume....

Just as some seasons might call for some glue guns and cardboard....
Toddler Halloween, Halloween Candy, Mom Halloween, Canadian Halloween,Halloween DIY Costume, Halloween Craft, Pumpkin Patch, Halloween goo, cool halloween, homemade halloween, halloween humor, funny halloween, boo juice, canadian mom, canadian blogger, blogger round up, halloween round up
Twin Dragonfly Designs
Or, we might throwback to the days of our own DIY costumes. Really, every kid should be responsible for their own DIY costume at least once in their childhood.  Remember scouring thrift stores, dollar stores, your dad's shed and mom's craft room for costume construction materials?  It builds character and bonds a generation of kids who all bought that crappy palette of face paints that stopped oxygen exchange on your skin.
Toddler Halloween, Halloween Candy, Mom Halloween, Canadian Halloween,Halloween DIY Costume, Halloween Craft, Pumpkin Patch, Halloween goo, cool halloween, homemade halloween, halloween humor, funny halloween, boo juice, canadian mom, canadian blogger, blogger round up, halloween round up
Parent Club
Either way, we know to always SIZE UP the costumes to accommodate for wearing PJs underneath them. We vow that every single year of their childhood, we will retell our kids the tales of our snowy Halloweens. That they were so cold we could only trick or treat on ONE street before getting so cold that it was time to go home. These tales come with the caveat that our children's gratitude to climate change and their awesome parents must be expressed for every additional street we take them trick or treating on.

That's where you find us wandering the neighbourhood with our friends and all our children, a designated driver manning the stroller. Sure, someone in the neighbourhood is serving hot cocoa that singes everyones' tongues, but we pass. No, that's not coffee in our cups but we call it Boo Juice so it's plain festive.

If we are being honest, most of us despise the thought of taking a toddler out into the streets at night to get hopped up on candy. Though not as much as we hate the neighbourhood hooligans who think it's 'fun' to blast fireworks at 930pm when we've finally got our kids into their beds. Thanks 'Dad who thinks his mammogram machine costume is the most epic', and the 'teenage boys with backpacks full of booze and eggs'! The night is officially a write-off.  So we refill our Boo Juice, 'inspect' our kid's candy and smile that we get a whole year until we have to do this again.

Now, bring on the Christmas decorations!

Thank you to my fellow Canadian moms for their contributions to this piece.



Monday, October 27, 2014

November Closet Remix! {#moms30for30}

#moms30for30, closet remix, fall fashion, mom fashion, mom style, shop your closet, frugal fashion, mom fashion blog, breastfeeding fashion

Last February myself and some other ladies held a 30for30 Closet Remix Challenge. We wore 30 items of clothing for 30 days in 30 different ways (more on the 30for30 and why YOU should join in)

It was a way to really get some mileage out of my wardrobe, to step out of my comfort zone and ultimately start appreciating my wardrobe rather than wanting to burn everything and start over (plus some other enlightening stuff).


I was also bumping out in the first trimester during last February, so that was a hurdle to work with.


After we did this challenge we thought it would be great to do a summer version....so by the time we got back on track it's November. hashtag momlife. Am I right?!


Now this November my hurdle will be dressing for breastfeeding. I am also doing this challenge to ease back in meshing my different wardrobes for the various body changes: pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, post-pregnancy. I'm hoping to get out of the maternity sweats and pj shirts I've been wearing a lot....ok all the time....fine, my kids ask 'where are we going?' when I put pants on!


This time we have some awesome ladies on board. I can't wait to see their 30 picks and the outfits they put together. Here is why THEY are joining in the 30for30



#moms30for30, closet remix, fall fashion, mom fashion, mom style, shop your closet, frugal fashion, mom fashion blog,
Raj from Pink Chai
I'm doing the Moms 30 for 30 because I want to use all the beautiful clothes I own! I actually love my wardrobe, but now that I don't post outfit photos or have as many client meetings I don't really use it.
#moms30for30, closet remix, fall fashion, mom fashion, mom style, shop your closet, frugal fashion, mom fashion blog, breastfeeding fashion
Salma from The Write Balance
I'm doing 30for30 because I want to make better use of all the clothes in my closet. Doing my first 30for30 earlier this year really helped me understand my style better and I can't wait to do it again!
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#moms30for30, closet remix, fall fashion, mom fashion, mom style, shop your closet, frugal fashion, mom fashion blog, breastfeeding fashion
Taslim from Let ME Out Creative
I'm doing this because I want to have some fun, let out my inner fashionista, and take some care in dressing for the day!


#moms30for30, closet remix, fall fashion, mom fashion, mom style, shop your closet, frugal fashion, mom fashion blog, breastfeeding fashion
Margarita from West Coast Mama
I'm doing it because I seem to have fallen into a mommy uniform slump (leggings, over-sized tops)!

I'll be updating throughout the challenge on my blog and instagram. I hope you will join in with us and use the hashtag #moms30for30.

Now off to pick my 30 items.....if I don't report back by Friday it's safe to assume my maternity sweats declared mutiny and have strangled me with my last pair of spanx. 


PS. See all of last February's 30for30 posts here


PPS. I hope you will join in with us, leave a comment below and share this post!



Follow Shawna Dovetail's board Mom's New Uniform on Pinterest.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

We Stand on Guard for Thee #ottawastrong

I'm sharing on BLUNTmoms the reason I will be wearing red tomorrow.
In respect of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and to show support of our Canadian Soldiers.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mom & Baby Must Haves

I'm no pro on parenting (especially as concluded by my clients)...But I have tried a lot of baby products over these past three and a half years. Confession time, when my first son was born I got to know my local postal workers too well. Related note, online shopping is so easy from your phone during midnight feedings! Which turns out, still counts as shopping to your credit card, just a heads up. 


tired mom, sleeping mom and baby, mom must have, baby must have

Third baby in and I've noticed a few things that I go out of my way to replace or make sure I have on hand for baby time.....



Wet bags 


We bought these to use with cloth wipes and cloth diapers. Even though the diapers don't see much action lately because I have a laundry problem, we still use them all the time. Wet bags are just great for general life, we pack them everywhere. The beach, outings, trips away. We even hang one in our pantry for dirty kitchen towels. When you have kids you WILL have gross things that need to be contained. They are also great for sorting your packing (a bag a day with the kids clothes and then you put them right back in for washing later). 


Nursing timer  


You can use and app or buy something like this. I've used both, they are especially useful if you need to block nurse and keep track of nursing time on each side, also for those days when you lose track of diaper changes. 


infant reflux, mom must haves

An inclined sleeper

I wish I had bought this sooner, especially with my daughter who had reflux. When we brought Dawson home, he wouldn't sleep longer than an hour when horizontal. No crib, no bassinet, no co-sleeper beside mom. Yet he would conk out all day in this Rock n Play. It is also great for travelling. 


Wool nursing pads


I may have compared my letdown to a ‘kegstand for infants’ so no question I need to keep myself outfitted with nursing pads. I have used wool nursing pads from baby numero uno. They wash easy, are super absorbant and double as coaster for your romantic glass of wine at the end of the night. 


wrap carrier, baby carrier, baby wrap, wear your baby, three kids under four, baby wearing

A stretchy comfy wrap

Wraps can be intimidating but once you get the hang of it you will love it. Get a wrap that has some stretch to it so it is forgiving of movement and easier on your shoulders. One thing I love about wraps is you control the tension and style. So wrap it quite high and tight to hold your newborn, or looser and on your back for your older baby. 


ONE great baby book


We all read them, but if you can, just pick one. This one is my top pick


A beautiful bra


Whether you are nursing or not, treat your ladies to something that makes you feel beautiful underneath the layers of over sized tees and spit up. 


phil & teds, explorer stroller, double stroller, three kids under four, car seat stroller

Double stroller with car adapter


If your pregnant wife is sobbing on the floor of Babies R Us because you two are so overwhelmed with stroller shopping, you would be smart to foot the bill on her first choice, even it seems excessive - because she will put miles on that bad boy. You should also get her some cupcakes too, just saying. If you are hoping to have kids close together, invest in a double stroller. A car seat adapter is a must too, no waking a peaceful baby, just lift the car seat from place to place and carry on with the day. 


Tummy Coverage


Sure these stretch marks are my battle scars and blah, blah, acceptance, blah. Yet, when I feel like a striped deflated balloon I prefer to keep these scars to myself while nursing. I keep covered with a belly band from pregnancy, an undercover mama or even a tank that I have cut below the bra for nursing access - the DIY version of this tank (warning, this last one will trigger many questions from your husband and jokes about wearing the altered tank at all times like a never nude). 


bottle warmer, mom must have, #aventmomsca

An AVENT bottle warmer


If you are a pseudo-hippie like me, you don't own a microwave.  Not that this helps your 'I'm not destroying the ozone' status when you pour gallons of hot water over a baby bottle to warm it up. After two babies and an embarrassing amount of treated tap water abused we finally are using a bottle warmer. It has a defrost setting, which is great when you leave for a girl's day and hubby is left with a freezer of your breast milk. It is also sleep-deprived friendly, you press turn the switch and it heats up in three minutes. It can also heat up baby food! There might also be some hot cocoa making and coffee reheating from time to time. Just saying. 

Another fabulous resource for a new mom is some online support. You can create an online account with My Phillips and receive email tips, product offers and advice on things like keeping fit during pregnancy, signs of labour, tips to soothe colic and teething. Moms that sign up earlier in their pregnancy can receive over $30 worth of coupons!


mom blogger campaign, phillips avent,




WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MOM AND BABY MUST HAVES?




Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Food Courts and Human Nature

mom shopping, mall shopping, shopping with baby, food courts

I was alone with my two month old son last week. My wonderful sister offered to watch my two older kids while my husband was out of town. Along with her two, she would have four under four. I assumed she either acquired a recent head injury; needed some heavy handed womb-shushing; or had a box of shiraz on hand. Maybe two out of three?

So I hightailed it out of this small town to a city.

I ate delicious ethnic food, not from a pub. I slept in a bed that wasn't mine. I hit up Starbucks and Target like a pumpkin-spiced soccer mom on a Saturday.  And I lost myself in the sweet maze of lies called a mall.

We live a good two hours from any decent mall, so I came ready: stroller, deodorant and water bottle. I tried on all of the things. Took change room selfies and sent them out for opinion of the masses (aka my sister). I talked myself out of many pairs of shoes. I didn't follow my 'list' at all. I cornered twenty year olds in stores I shouldn't be shopping in and asked them where their coat was from.

Malls make me sweat, their bathroom lights make me look like the scarecrow from Wizard of Oz. Being in a mall makes my hair frizz out and no matter what I'm wearing, I immediately want to buy a whole new outfit and put it on in the bathroom stall. Yet, there is this Bermuda Triangle in each mall where all your simple strolling and retail therapy comes to a screech: the food court. [Or a 'food mall' if you are my Dad, I'm not convinced he understands the overarching purpose of a mall]


mom shopping, mall shopping, shopping with baby, food courts

On the surface it's a smelly, neon hall devoted to providing a range of culinary experiences at a fast food level. It sounds simple: 
1. Follow the arrows to the giant cafeteria, argue with your shopping buddies on the 'true' direction of the arrow
2. View the horseshoe of bright choices before you and pick what you're in the mood for
3. Put your steamy, overpriced meal and giant fountain pop on that warm plastic tray
4. Eye your friends, feel proud you could pick them out of the crowd like a real life Where's Waldo. Wave your arms and mouth words to your friends across the food court while you mime agreement on the best place to sit
5. Prop all your shopping around you and feel a little glutinous as you ram your wobbly plastic fork into your soggy entree
6. Feel a sudden ripple of fatigue and disappointment in your meal choice
7. Eat three quarters of your meal, vow to never eat at that stall again and leave with your arms lined in plastic bags, sticky hands gripping that giant pop, up-sold because you wanted to save 75 cents. 

During my recent mall trip I stopped at a sandwich stall I had been to before with good results. I sat on the outskirts of the food court and instantly got lost in my panini and a moment of 'God must have spent a little more time on you' as I sung into the stroller at my adorable baby. Yeah, I was totally that mom. 

As I was sitting and singing and crowd watching I noticed the behaviour of people approaching the food court. No matter the age, gender, lifestyle - everyone does the same thing. Their movement slows down, their eyes dart across the space and everyone gets that same overwhelmed look in their eyes.

Some will start the circle tour of the ring of choices. Some just sit and stare. Some have team meetings about all the options and who wants what. 

Really, if you are dating someone and want to know your possible compatibility- take them to a food court, while hungry.  Our primal instincts come out. We treat the choice of where we will eat like the contestant giving their final answer on who wants to be a millionaire. We have one shot. We are hungry and a wrong choice means an unpalatable plate of slop or a semi-edible version of vegetables. We also feel pressured to demonstrate to others our relationship with food, and our stomach and brain instantly are on opposite sides of the table. 

Do we eat healthy but possibly unsatisfying? Be daring and try something different? Go for the cheapest? Do we have to pick the same place as our companions? Do we have to share our different meals?! Why didn't I pack my own drink? Why are the forks so tiny? Why do I always forget napkins? Where is there a table big enough for all of us? What day is it?! I HAVEN'T EVEN ENTERED YET!? What is wrong with me!? I'm SO HUNGRY!!!!

At the entrance of the food court I witnessed couples arguing and hurling accusations; girls' volleyball teams scattering away in huffs; parents interrogating their kids on what they were hungry for; pairs of women talking themselves into salads they didn't really want and teenage boys auto-piloting to the taco bell stall. 

In a world we've built up to overflow with variety and choices and instant gratification, we can sure crumble like the bottom of the waffle cone over making the right choice. Simple is not so simple any more. 

But what do I know. I'm the messy haired mom, fidgeting with her nursing bra and wiping humus off her face while serenading her infant. I'm in my own world just a loving on this baby and panini like I stole them, and I don't even care. Because, seriously, God really must have spent a little more time on youuuuuu.....







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