Friday, November 28, 2014

Week Three #moms30for30 {Interview with a closet}

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion
Welcome to week three of #moms30for30 where we wear 30 items of clothes for 30 days in 30(ish) ways.

So I had a little challenge epiphany.When I did this challenge last February it was my goal to take the 30 items and remix them into outfits. Preferably ones I was okay to smatter across the Internet.
This time round I'm sporting a three month old who likes to 'mark his territory' and a social calendar that consists of text messages to fellow moms and writing my husband notes to take out the garbage before work. So my pizazz level is right around 'throw on red lipstick' and 'who hid my other slipper?'.

So, I'm out of 'make an outfit' mode and into 'analyze all the items' mode. What I'm getting at is, I have started to think about this challenge as an interview for my clothes. I don't love every outfit I put together and that's a good lesson. The process of trying to put pieces together, attempting and failing at looks I had in my brain, taking dorky pictures of myself are all teaching me what I like, what I don't, what works and what doesn't. I've found myself throwing some items to the side that I had my heart set on making work, but they just don't.

Of course I'm also doing this for other reasons like, to simplify my wardrobe, get creative with what I have, to actually make the point of getting dressed when I can (some days I can't), and other things I've yet to form into concepts and sentences.

So here are my outfits for Week Three.

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion
Day 15 - Headed out of town for my nephew's birthday. It looks like I'm forcing my kids to be in this photo but truth is they are my little quail babies and I'm their quail mom and they opt to go all the places I go and do all the things I do. Smiling is optional.

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion
Day 16 - Who slept in til 10am, tucked her flannel in and out all day and acted like her hand was on my hip for a very intentional and carefree purpose? I'll give you a clue, she's been banned from cutting her kids' hair

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashiondovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion

Day 17 - Hanging out at home in the comfiest sweater ever. I once called hoodies the modern mom-apron. Meet it's partner, the giant blanket sweater, a modern-housecoat. Though I think it could use some pockets....or maybe a fanny pack!
dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion
Also, Levi has started taking hundreds of pictures on my phone, I came across this one and loved that it was a picture of me and my kids that wasn't a selfie. Even if it is blurry and I'm yawning with the grace of a muppet baby. (Sharing, just in case I haven't bored you enough with my outfit selfies)

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion
Day 18 - Headed out to a ladies lunch here. You may have heard my reputation for saucing it up a little at ladies lunches but since I was nursing and had no DD I ate my feelings instead of drinking them.

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion
Day 19 - This look subtly states a combination of 'my husband was home all week and now I'm all alone with three kids' and 'a mom who layers is a mom who knows she's gonna be puked upon'.

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashiondovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion

Day 20 - If I look the least bit calm today it is because I had an out of body experience after my wonderful toddlers were playing quietly in a bedroom and dumped all the toys out and doused the room in an entire bottle of baby powder....twice.... If I joke that Dawson was my favourite child on this day don't feel bad for my toddlers, they were tied for third favourite.

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion
Day 21- Had a couple moms over to feed them tea and the dried-goods section of my pantry. While our kids played in clouds of leftover baby powder from the confiscated toy collection. 

I realize these weekly updates have turned into a diatribe of my less-than-glamorous life. But hey, write what you know, eh!

Also link up with my co-hosts! Salma from the Write Balance, Raj from Pink Chai, Margarita from West Coast Mama and Taslim from Let ME Out Creative




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

On Being a Bystander {The Breastfeeding Chronicles}

video
Bedtime snacks for kids who hated mom's dinner.

Dad home after a long day. He pulls off his coveralls and is eating a semi-warm dinner before leading the bedtime routine with these two.

My little girl has two tiny feet tucked under her like two little white roses. When Dad is home he always lets her sit beside him on the bench, rather than her high chair.

My little boy has wide eyes that I can decode with growing ease. The code is usually, play with me, sing with me, let me help. 

I've had a lot of downtime these few months. Which is something I haven't loved in the past. 

Nursing every two hours means I sit a lot. I sit back and watch.

It means I can't be swooping in and wiping crumbs, reheating dinner, ushering kids to bed

Maybe it took three babies for me to entirely appreciate the subtle beauty of what was playing out around me, rather than feeling anxious about everything (that I thought) I had to get done. Get it all done. 

Sometimes the best lessons are learned by being still, and not getting it done. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week Two of #moms30for30

So I made it through week two with only one and a half Pajama days. I know it's not progress compared to my last week. Buuut I was also able to quickly change after being pooed on while headed out the door to a birthday. So, I call that winning.

So here is week two with a gentle reminder that I am not a fashion blogger but I am becoming a seasoned Awkward Selfie Poser.

project 333, 30 for 30, closet remix, shop your closet, make it work, use what you got, minimalist wardrobe, capsule wardrobe, fall outfits for moms, mom fashion, mom style, #moms30for30, ootd, what i wore, mom fashion blog, stay at home mom, get dressed, easy style
Day eight - This was the 'pooped on' day, no names but there may have been a three month old involved.  I headed to the big city for an adorable boy's First Birthday! Stayed the night with my wonderful sister. Though this wasn't what I was heading out the door in, I'm so excited I got a chance to wear this blazer. I love blazers and want to learn how to wear them without looking like an extra from Murphy Brown.

project 333, 30 for 30, closet remix, shop your closet, make it work, use what you got, minimalist wardrobe, capsule wardrobe, fall outfits for moms, mom fashion, mom style, #moms30for30, ootd, what i wore, mom fashion blog, stay at home mom, get dressed, easy style
Day nine - Visiting my sister (code: crashing her house, eating all her dips and complaining about loading all my luggage back into the truck). She watched my boys while I headed to Costco with Nina so to thank her I wore her necklace, and ate all her oatmeal. Also, good thing I didn't pack my sparkly velvety full length gown or my niece and I would have been wearing the same thing! That's always awkward.

project 333, 30 for 30, closet remix, shop your closet, make it work, use what you got, minimalist wardrobe, capsule wardrobe, fall outfits for moms, mom fashion, mom style, #moms30for30, ootd, what i wore, mom fashion blog, stay at home mom, get dressed, easy style
Day ten - A toddler showed up at my house before 9am and called me out for wearing pajamas. But I do love this toddler and do admit I was trying to pass off my fav maternity sweats as 'lounge wear'. So I got dressed for comfort. These highwaisted pants are from Joe and they are crazy comfortable.


Day eleven - let's just say poop happens.

project 333, 30 for 30, closet remix, shop your closet, make it work, use what you got, minimalist wardrobe, capsule wardrobe, fall outfits for moms, mom fashion, mom style, #moms30for30, ootd, what i wore, mom fashion blog, stay at home mom, get dressed, easy style
Day twelve -  Yay! Hubby's first day off! I had my first Pumpkin Spiced Latte at Moms & Tots. Then I posed casually in my kitchen before leaving for a hair cut.

project 333, 30 for 30, closet remix, shop your closet, make it work, use what you got, minimalist wardrobe, capsule wardrobe, fall outfits for moms, mom fashion, mom style, #moms30for30, ootd, what i wore, mom fashion blog, stay at home mom, get dressed, easy style
Day thirteen - Because when I wear pajamas around the house I also like to wear lipstick. And because baby cuddles.

project 333, 30 for 30, closet remix, shop your closet, make it work, use what you got, minimalist wardrobe, capsule wardrobe, fall outfits for moms, mom fashion, mom style, #moms30for30, ootd, what i wore, mom fashion blog, stay at home mom, get dressed, easy style
Day fourteen - Today I locked myself in my room to 'write'. A term I use loosely because it also describes the process of toddlers constantly coming in to 'tell me something' or 'give me five' while I type out random thoughts between nursing sessions and sneak eating the halloween candy I hid in my bathroom. Also, I apologize, because I am sitting down you can't really see that this is actually a semi-cute outfit. Conor took this picture because I just got puked on and got up and changed right away. It's ok, the outfit didn't match my fuzzy socks. 

I know, my life might be where glamour goes to die. 

But that's one of the reasons I'm doing this when I suppose. 

I've been having lots of thoughts about the 30for30 as I'm doing it. At the halfway point I can lose steam. I heard Kendie Everyday refer to it as a diet for your closet. So I'm starting to think of it as a fast on excess. And in the absence of excess we usually find invention and resourcefulness. Here's hoping!

Also link up with my co-hosts! Salma from the Write Balance, Raj from Pink Chai, Margarita from West Coast Mama and Taslim from Let ME Out Creative

My favourite looks this week

A photo posted by Salma (@salmadinani) on


Taslim's WEEK TWO RECAP


Monday, November 17, 2014

Sneaky Mom Tricks {#AVENTmomsCA}

Maybe you have a baby who sleeps as soundly as a dad of three does when all three kids are awake at 2am.

Maybe you have a kid like mine who can hear your very loud thought process that, 'hmmm, everyone is sleeping, I should have a shower'. To which they wake up because you obviously would rather hang out with them than carry out overdue personal hygiene.

So maybe you learn some sneaky mom tricks.....

Anyone keep a stash of Halloween treats in your ensuite to snack on in privacy? I'm asking for a friend. 

Or have you taken your popper to pop popcorn out on the porch five minutes after bedtime? I mean, Mama needs her popcorn and movie, kid-free, thank you very much!


Can you ninja-close each door in your house in the quietest manner humanly possible and avoid all the creaks in the hallway? 

Because sleeping children are little baby angels and my nightly goal is to get them to sleep and keep them sleeping. 

So then comes the first night my baby sleeps through a feeding and I wake up to the sensation of two bags of sand and nails strapped to my chest. Last thing I want to do is fire up the ole Double-Barrelled-Bessie-Milking-Machine. 

Sneaky moms find a manual pump and keep it beside the bed. It can be operated in the dark, in the comfort of my bed bed, in almost complete silence. I also prefer manual pumps because a) I feel less like I'm being 'milked' and b) I have more control over the let down and pumping. 

I've tried a few pumps and have really loved this one from Phillips AVENT.
manual breast pump, breastfeeding, pump and dump, nursing, express breast feeding, mama must haves, breast pump review, best manual breast pump
  • It's small and light and can fit in my purse. Like for those girl's days out where I have to excuse myself for a glamorous pumping session in the mall bathroom. 
  • I have walked around my house helping toddlers get dressed for school, while pumping. I didn't have to sit still and lean forward like with some other pumps. 
  • I didn't have to try different sized attachments for the right fit. The soft cushion moulded nicely onto my ever-changing bosom
  • I could pump, put the bottle top on and put the milk in the fridge for Dad to use later in the bottle warmer (the whole AVENT system is inter-compatible, is that a word? probably not, but it is a useful feature when buying baby products)
  • It all fits nicely in a pot to boil between uses because it is small and has only a few parts
I also liked the pre-sterilized AVENT breastmilk bags. They don't tip when you fill then with milk. They have a double zippered closure and are well lined to resist tears or rips. 





I'm hosting a Phillips AVENT Giveaway valued at $15.  For Canadian Entries Only. 
It consists of a Philips AVENT Natural Glass Bottle and a Philips AVENT Soothie. ENTER Below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I have been a proud Phillps AVENT Mom. They want to help new and expecting moms. Sign up for 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!

Friday, November 14, 2014

The 5 Love Languages for Children {Book Review}

There is a book most couples may have read. Or if you're like us, the wife read it and reiterated it to the husband. It's called the 5 Love Languages. It outlines ways in which we feel loved, how we may express love and matching them up with our partner's 'language'. I have found it tremendously helpful in my marriage.

I recently read the 5 Love Languages of Children.
5 love languages of children, gary chapman, ross campbell, book review, parenting book, discipline, emotional coaching, angry toddler, how to raise toddlers, how to parent, difficult child, new baby adjustment, mom guilt

I wanted to read this because I loved the book for couples. I also wanted to read this because whatever I was doing lately didn't seem effective. 

5 love languages of children, gary chapman, ross campbell, book review, parenting book, discipline, emotional coaching, angry toddler, how to raise toddlers, how to parent, difficult child, new baby adjustment, mom guiltSince baby number three came, I felt like my parenting had been a sliding scale of threats and bribery. I felt like a different mother -  short, distracted, and unable to 'be' with my kids now that there was a baby here. How could I expect them to emotionally navigate through it all when it was even hard for me?

I could call it the terrible threes and twos, but I thought it would be worth a try to stop what I was doing and see if I could pick up on cues at this early age at what their Love Language could be. 

I think we all have someone in our life, whether our parents or not, who has loved us 'conditionally'. We have probably loved other people conditionally. You must behave like x.y and z to earn and maintain my love. Conditional love doesn't feel like genuine love (to anyone) yet sometimes we love our kids conditionally.  Sometimes we even give rewards and special treatment for meeting the required behaviours (my default parenting mode).

I had heard someone once say that children will cooperate and obey you if they feel loved. I don't believe this as a complete theory. I believe they are motivated to feel loved, if that comes with conditions they will learn they have to meet them to get that reward of your love. They will learn they are worth loving based on them meeting a 'checklist'. We have the tremendous gift of teaching our children what makes them lovable and what love looks like. 

No pressure right? I mean most days I'm all....
5 love languages of children, gary chapman, ross campbell, book review, parenting book, discipline, emotional coaching, angry toddler, how to raise toddlers, how to parent, difficult child, new baby adjustment, mom guilt
But I wanted to ask myself, how can I make my kids feel loved even when I don't love what they are doing? How can I instill in them that they are worth loving based on who they are, even when they make mistakes?

There are some great tips on identifying your child's Love Language in the book. I think, at three and a half, I can just start to apply these to Levi. What does he ask for, how does he show love to others?

I watched Levi for a few days. I tried out the different 5 Love Languages: Physical Touch; Words of Affirmation; Quality Time; Gifts and Acts of Service. I took the test at the back of the book. I started to notice that Levi's attitude turned sour and mean for the whole day when I would get upset with him. I underestimated how aware he was of my own feelings above his own and how tender his heart responded to mine.

Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service were tied for number one. 

So I started praising all the great things Levi did rather than reprimand him for everything negative. Gradually the positive behaviours became the dominant ones.
I paid special attention to my words to give him genuine compliments on his efforts and accomplishments. I saw the smile that came across his face, and the pride he started taking in trying new and harder things.
I helped him with new projects and activities. I didn't do things for him, but I did help him, especially when he asked. I saw him taking on new tasks he couldn't do before after some initial coaching from me. One day I helped him put a puzzle together a few times. That day he played it for hours and brought it to bed with him.

I also noticed that his own way to express love, as Acts of Service. He always wants to help. Now, I had to give him space to do that without so many 'NOs' and 'not right nows'. After all, I see him assuming his role as biggest brother very seriously. When he was 'trying to help' me clean the toilet I had to first acknowledge he was trying to help - rather than jump to punishing him for covering the bathroom in fecal water.
5 love languages of children, gary chapman, ross campbell, book review, parenting book, discipline, emotional coaching, angry toddler, how to raise toddlers, how to parent, difficult child, new baby adjustment, mom guilt

What a difference. He started helping more (with the space I had given him to do more on his own); being more cooperative; playing nicer with his sister. Yes, of course he is three and has strong negative emotions that this month is November, or that his toothpaste isn't blue. Yet, now I feel like I am able to love him effectively. He can get me in quality because quantity is no longer an option.  I feel like he is feeling more secure in knowing he is loved and valued in his newly changed family.
5 love languages of children, gary chapman, ross campbell, book review, parenting book, discipline, emotional coaching, angry toddler, how to raise toddlers, how to parent, difficult child, new baby adjustment, mom guilt
ALL of the feelings

There is great information on discipline in the book too. It's not about being a doormat to our kids, but doing everything, even discipline, with effectiveness and love, rather than negativity and anger. In fact, there is a whole chapter on Anger and Love which was impactful for me. The book outlines how it roots into our actions, our passive-aggressive tendencies, how it can control us or how we can teach our kids to control it (lots of emotional coaching in this book, which has been the type of parenting that suits me and my family). 

I would highly recommend this book for any parents, with kids of any age.  The book points out that there is a primary language, but it doesn't mean your kid has only one. The book also points out that it changes from the preschool years, to elementary, to teenage years.

How about you, have you ever read the 5 Love Languages books?  What are your kids' Love Languages?

"Book has been provided courtesy of Moody Publishers and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Moody Publishers".



The Five Love Languages of Children from Dr. Gary Chapman on Vimeo.




.appendChild(s); })();