Current Kids Obsession- Wittlebee

Full disclosure: Wittlebee only delivers in the US. I know… it sucks. Maybe we can convince them to ship to Canada if we barrage them with emails!!

Wittlebee maybe the greatest thing ever created for the sartorially savvy mum! This website sends you a box of clothes every month based on a style profile that you create for you little one. With brands like Tea, American Apparel and Calvin Klein, the choices are amazing.  New clothes every month for my kid and receiving packages in the mail!!! I love that SO much!!

The cost is $39.99 USD per month. If you live in the US, this is a totally amazing and cost-effective way to shop for your kids.

Learn more about Wittlebee here or call  1-888-WITTLEBEE

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Autumns coming…. now what? (Toronto- Part One)

I know that it is still August and still certainly feels like summer, but the cool weather is coming to Toronto soon!  I love this time of the year- it makes me want to buy sweaters and back to schools supplies. However, as mums with young kids know, it is a tough transition from the splash pads and parks to indoor activities. I have compiled a list of indoor activities for  your little one to enjoy during the cooler months .

Rainbow Songs

Buds has been attending Rainbow Songs this summer with his babysitter and we are going to do the fall session together starting in September. I am really looking forward to an excuse to belt out some tune (although do I ever need an excuse?) There are locations all over town, so there is sure to be one near you!  Check the website.

Babytime and Toddlertime at the TPL

These programs are fun for the kids and best of all they are free (although some locations require pre registration). Check out the TPL website for more details.

The Weston Family Learning Centre at the Art Gallery of Ontario

I haven’t checked this out yet, but it looks awesome. The AGO always goes to great lengths for their youngest visitors!

KidSpark at the Ontario Science Centre

I LOVE this place so much. I would be there everyday if we lived closer. Buds loves to run around and look at everything and I love the fact that he can’t get into too much trouble there! Fore more details, check out the website

Playful Grounds (Little Italy)

This cool coffee shop/cafe is run by two moms (Tera Goldblatt and Davina Cheung- Brown) and the rational is for parents to have a place to gather together with their children in a comfortable space for everyone. They have a tasty menu, great coffee and a liquor licence. When I was in there, there was a group of young moms with their infants in tow enjoying a late afternoon beer! Love that!  There is no judgement if your kid screams and no weirdness if you need to breastfeed. There are awesome books and toys for the children. More details here.

 

Please let me know if there are other places I should mention in Part Two!!!

 

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Toronto Store of the Month: Coal Miner’s Daughter

I am in the process of (finally) getting back in shape post baby (yes I am aware that he is no longer a baby) and while I am certainly more confident in my skin than I have been for a while, I still get a that feeling in the pit of my stomach when I have to enter a change room. This fear has led me to make some bad online purchases, which are such a bitch to return. Trying on clothes that I have already paid for and hating what I see in the mirror proved to be a pretty strong motivator to get my butt into a store to try stuff on before I paid duty and shipping to get it from the US.

My friend T suggested that I check this place out and I was hesitant. I have been walking by the Queen West location since it opened and always assumed that I wouldn’t be able to find anything in my size…. the fact that the friend who recommended it  is supermodel thin didn’t do much to convince me otherwise.

However, I was getting desperate for something to wear to a series of events in the next month, so I popped in after work one afternoon.

SO happy I did.  The store is cozy and full of a well curated selection of designers, most of them Canadian.

Krystan Caddy, one of the owners (with Janine Cockburn-Haller), helped me choose a dress that will work for several of events that I have to attend and we had a lovely discussion about different styling ideas. However, the best thing about this shopping experience was that she remembered T and her family and the exact dress she bought… I think that is super classy!

Check out Coal Miners Daughter at their two locations:

744 Queen Street West and  587 Markham Street

and check out their website here for all the details about the designers they carry.

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Ikea with a toddler

I realized one day last winter that we were “those” people now. My little family was at Ikea and we ran into an old boss of mine, who was there with his wife and newborn son. We looked at each other ruefully, a mutual acknowledgement that our lives were forever changed – we were in Ikea on a Saturday pushing strollers. Yikes.

I remember those irritating people from my younger days- Trying to pick out some fab throw pillows when some idiot runs over my foot with their gigantic pram. Asshole. This was shopping time, not a stroll in the park! Focus people.

Now I understand the appeal. It IS a walk in the park. You can look at kitchen stuff and bedding and there are little play areas scattered around the store to keep the little ones distracted. The kids area is awesome and there is lots of fun things to look at (and inevitably buy for your wee one) then before you hit the check out, the restaurant  beckons with their kid friendly menu and white plastic high chairs.

Ikea is a place where we can be grownups and parents – I think that this is the appeal.

And if your kids are really driving you nuts, you can stick them in the daycare!

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No boys allowed (Seriously- you won’t get it)

I was infuriated last month while reading comments made about Kate Upton on a website called SkinnyGossip. This person (slug) had the audacity to imply that Kate Upton, who recently graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, was fat  and that her (natural) breasts were floppy. After washing my eyes out with soap, I got to thinking about how women look at themselves and others when it comes to how we look and dress.

My friend and colleague Lori loves to listen to me rant at people’s outfit choices when we drive in her car. It is my personal version of road rage. Sometimes I get a little mean about people whom I consider to have bad taste, although I by no means consider myself to be the “Fashion Police” and I certainly have made serious wardrobe errors in the past.

I digress….

The thing I see most often that drives me crazy  is  women wearing clothing that doesn’t fit correctly or doesn’t flatter their figures. I truly believe that this is what comes of society hitting us over the head with images of women in fashion magazines wearing clothes that only look good on a hanger (aka a size two runway model). Regular women with regular sized bodies want to wear these clothes because they are the current trend, not because they are flattering on their own body. We are told that if we can wear the clothes we see in magazines, we will be beautiful.

I feel that by being unaware of what works for our individual figures, we are setting ourselves up to feel shitty because we don’t look like the models in the magazines (yes, including Miss Upton).

I love fashion and I love trying the new trends as much as the next girl, but there are somethings that just don’t work for me- micro shorts,high-waisted trousers  and backless dresses for instance. I love these looks on others, but not on me.

Ladies, figure out what looks good on your body and tailor the trends to work for you! Take control!

And for the love of GOD- wear bras that fit!!!! It makes a world of difference.

For a little inspiration, here is a link to a great blog dedicated to showing the world that style doesn’t only come in a size zero.

http://www.gabifresh.com/

 

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The Mommy Wars

This is a familiar headline to mums ever since that lithe blond breast-fed her preschooler on the front of Time magazine. I think that we all had our own opinion on that one (lets just say that it reminded me a little too much of that infamous Game of Thrones scene).

Usually the battle is a bit more subtle… the giving of the “side eye” at mothers who give their kids fast food, let them watch TV or let them bite other kids without disciplining them…. silent judging. Or, as I experienced this past weekend, not so silent.

My husband thought I over reacted to this incident, but it made me by turns furious, embarrassed and sad.

We took Buds to the park on Sunday morning, as we do almost every weekend morning. The three of us, two coffees and a sippy cup, running around in the sand. This week, Buds was obsessed with the slide. He was up and down that thing about a zillion times! He was having the time of his little life and as exhausted as we were (he was up at 6AM and raring to go that morning) we were loving being able to share the joy with him.

One one of his ascents to the top of the slide, another mother stopped and squinted up at me:

“I always wondered who his parents were”

I felt like she had kicked me in the teeth. She went on to say that she had seen my son with his babysitter and how great it was to put faces to his parents. I probably mumbled an answer that made no sense and she moved on, leaving me feeling like the world’s shittiest mother. To me, she had implied that I was some form of absentee parent that was uninvolved in her child’s life, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Is this how working parents are viewed? As ghosts in their children’s lives?

Have any of you working mothers experience anything like this? Did I overreact? Was I too hard on myself?

 

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My favorite style blogs!

On a lighter note, I wanted to share a list of my favourite fashion and lifestyle blogs

www.cashmereandcupcakes.com

www.lecatch.com

http://www.lovemaegan.com/

http://atlantic-pacific.blogspot.ca/

http://www.eatsleepwear.com/

 

What are your favorite style blogs?

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Working sucks sometimes

Before my son was born, the idea of being a stay-at-home mum made me cringe. Spending all of my time covered in drool and poop? No thanks! I am a career girl who also happens to want children!! I can have it all and not even break a sweat!!

Um…. sure.

When I went back to work after Buds was born, he was 7 months old and I was sad but also excited. I will be using my brain again! I can have lunch! I can pee when I want! I can have half an hour to myself on the streetcar twice a day to read a book in peace. Paradise!! What I didn’t take into account was that I had to work all day and then go home and still be a mother to a demanding infant. He didn’t sleep through the night, I was still breastfeeding  (and pumping twice a day) and I still had some serious Mummy Brain going on. I was not “doing it all”… I was hanging by a thread… not doing either of my jobs the way that they should be done. I went back to work too early and it is not a mistake I will make again.

I had a couple of months off after that first job and when I went back to work on my current show, I would like to think I was way better prepared. I feel much more confident in my abilities this time and although this has been a stressful show, I think I have been much more on the ball. It also helps that my kid sleeps 12 hours a night now and I am getting sleep!!!

Regardless of the fact that I feel much more comfortable being a working mother now, I still feel guilty when I miss bedtime or check my email when it is supposed to be playtime. It’s a balancing act and I think I am doing okay at it… and when I am not, I have a wonderful partner to pickup the slack. Himself is a prince! I think that most of my working mum friends feel that way about their husbands. My girlfriends have excellent taste in men.

I don’t think anything that I have said here is exactly earthshaking, but it is true. You can’t ever really “have it all”.

 

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My first attempt at shabby chic

I am not always a fan of the loosely defined concept of “shabby chic” decor. Sometimes it looks more like garage sale chic. However my hilarious and audacious friend Moxie is the queen of the Chic in the name. Her house, home to 4 children (ages 10 months to 18 years), a husband and a orange tabby, is so cozy and classy that I always feel so awesome and happy when I am over there. I especially love her bathroom… it is small, as her house is a traditional Toronto Victorian, but it is so perfectly decorated that you don’t even notice! It has a lovely white Parisian theme, which I have sort of half  adopted in my bathroom. The other day, I decided that I needed to pump up the colour and interest level of the room. I have my own bathroom and it is a large space so I had something to work with, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of cash (my current job is coming to an end) so I headed to Homesense.

I have to say that Homesense, and its sister store Winners, have always intimidated me with their huge amount of merchandise. Luckily, this past weekend it all came together for me. Within 5 minutes I found a blue metal shelf, four baskets, a candle and two Parisian themed plates that have now become the basis of my shabby chic bathroom.

Take a look at what I have done so far. I am thinking about using empty, painted picture frames to display my jewlery in a nicer way then shown here.

What do you think of my new look?

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