Wednesday, 16 January 2019

New Beginning

It's a new year which always feels like a new beginning to me; a fresh start. I've never been one to hold myself all that accountable for new year resolutions. I wrote down a few goals I'd like to work on this year, but honestly, the only things that matter to me this year are making memories and doing what makes me happy.

We have some fun plans this year, some set in stone and others that we need to finalize. Emma will be walking this year and she's already proved 2019 to be interesting since she's now crawling and trying to stand up. I can only imagine how many new adventures we'll encounter this year with her.

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I've also found new inspiration in my creative life - artists, creators, crafts, fabric. So many things have sparked new motivation in me. I haven't felt that in a while to be honest. It's nice. It's nice to feel these things again which make me want to spend time in my craft room or sit at my laptop and write .

My first step in my newfound creative world is starting a new Instagram account; one that will focus solely on my creativity and interests - sewing, crafting, reading, geeky things, and blogging. I've always held myself back a little bit on Instagram knowing that the people who follow me might not want to see a lot of Etsy posts, book reviews, toys, or new fabric pictures. Now, I feel free to spam the heck out of my 'creative' account.

The other thing I want to focus on is streamlining my social media presence. I'm taking a break from Twitter. I have found I just scroll on there; not really interacting or sharing my own thoughts. The next is Facebook. I've backed away from Facebook this past year a bit. I go on randomly only because most of my family is active on there and it's a way to stay sort of connected. But I don't want to get lost in that timeline either. So my goal is to connect my new Instagram account to my Facebook page. That way I can still share things without really having to log into Facebook.

I apologize and also thank you in advance while I navigate this new inspiration and try to find the voice I want to share online.

xo Jen

Friday, 7 December 2018

New Mom Must-Haves

It's been just over 9 months since Emma entered this world. It's been crazy. So many ups and downs. But I wouldn't trade this experience in for anything. She's amazing. It's definitely a learning experience and I wouldn't have gotten through the last 9 months without the support I've had. My family and friends have been welcome resources to help me in this new chapter of my life.

Emma has been a great baby - she sleeps well, she eats well, she's overall content and happy. We haven't experienced many problems. But that doesn't mean every day has been easy. Some days I don't get the chance to shower between Emma, chores, and just trying to eat; other days, naps are on schedule, feedings run smooth, and I have the opportunity to not only shower, but write up a blog post or bake cookies.

Since it's the time of year when people are out buying gifts, I thought I'd share the top must-haves I've needed over the last 9 months. They would be perfect for the new mom or mom-to-be in your life:

1. Olehenriksen Truth On the Glow Cleansing Cloths - I bought a small pack of these for my hospital bag. I knew the brand had a good reputation but the real reason I bought them was because they contain jojoba oil, which is incredibly moisturizing and gentle on your skin. I fell in love with them! First of all, they were so refreshing to have in the hospital with me but now they've become my go-to cleansing cloth when I can't fit in a shower or to wake up my tired face in the morning. Also, they smell like orange creamsicles.

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2. Batiste Dry Shampoo - Once again, another item to help me get through a shower-less day! I knew the joke of moms living off dry shampoo but I didn't really understand how real it was. Some days naps line up perfectly for me to hop in the shower. But then other days her nap time is filled with cooking, cleaning, napping (I need them too!), sewing, baking, etc. And my hair... sometimes even when I have time to shower, I don't want to wash my hair because I don't have time to deal with styling it. Bed head works better for me. So that's where dry shampoo comes in. I've tried numerous brands but I either hate the smell or it doesn't blend well. Batiste doesn't make me gag from the smell and I can brush it through my hair easily. Success!

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3. Leggings - Since having Emma, I've worn jeans less than a handful of times. It's great! Leggings have been my go-to outfit staple. They're comfy, stretchy, can be dressed up, or worn with an oversized t-shirt. Plus, they worked with my changing body after giving birth. Stocking up on comfy leggings when you're a new mom is a must!



4. Water bottle - I cannot stress enough how much water you should drink right after having a baby, and then keep on drinking! It's so easy to switch to drinking more coffee than water. I do this at least once a week, then I feel gross - headache, upset tummy, jittery. A friend told me to have a water bottle on me at all times. Find a cute water bottle that you like, keep the bottle filled up and bring it with you everywhere! I try to do this. It's too easy to just consume caffeinated drinks.

5. Healthy, ready-to-eat food - Greek yogurt, lots of fruit, pre-cut veggies, trail mix, and high-fibre and/or protein granola bars have been a huge help. These items are helpful right from day 1 of having a new baby! Having these items on hand when Emma was having a bad day or a clingy day was helpful. There were days where I'd forget to eat or couldn't put Emma down, so being able to grab a granola bar and yogurt was life-saving. To this day, there's still times when I can't get away to make a proper meal for myself; when Emma's having a meltdown, diaper explosion or we're too busy between swimming lessons, laundry, bath time, and other bedtime routines. Having healthier snacks to grab and go are key!

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These are my new mom must-haves and I'm sure I'll come across more as we head towards Emma's first birthday. If you're looking to make up a gift bag for a friend expecting or when visiting someone after they've had a baby, a little Mom-wellness gift is a great idea!

xo Jen

Sunday, 18 November 2018

My Favourite Baby Must-Haves

Having my first child has been eye-opening. I've learnt so much and made so many mistakes. It becomes a guessing game of what your child needs at times. You want to be 'perfect' but the reality is we're all just winging it and doing the best we can. Sometimes that means spending hours on Google, texting every 'mom' friend you have, or on hold with poison control because your baby licked eczema cream off your finger when you were putting it on her cheeks (or trying to).

With Christmas around the corner, I thought I'd share the top baby items that have saved us over and over again. They would be perfect gift ideas for new parents-to-be or stocking stuffers for infants.

1. Swaddle blankets - even if your child doesn't like to be swaddled these blankets are amazing. They're extra large and made from a breathable cotton. They were perfect for the spring and summer to bring with us on walks. If there was a cool breeze, too much sun, or Emma was upset, having a muslin cotton swaddle on hand helped in all those situations.

She's grown very attached to her swaddles. We've been using them in her car seat since spring and she's become snuggly with them. 

2. Oball - this is an expensive and little toy. It's absolutely perfect for little baby hands! It was the first toy Emma could hold and she was obsessed with it and actually she still is. It was the perfect toy to entertain her from a young age.

Look how little she was!! Anyways, look at that grip on the Oball!

3. Bamboo wipes - these have been great to clean Emma's face. I still use basic Huggies or Pampers wipes for diaper changes. However, since birth Emma has had sensitive skin. She's had some dry spots on her cheeks and her nose gets a little dry after wiping her face after feedings. I quickly switched to natural bamboo wipes for face wipe ups (usually when we're on the go or in a rush) to help with Emma's skin. I noticed right away that her skin didn't look so pink or irritated when using the bamboo wipes.

I've used both this brand and Aleva bamboo wipes.

4. Toy with hook(s) - there are about a million baby toys out there with a hook attached to the top of them. If you find the right one and add on extra hooks (they sell link loops separately) they are ideal to keep on the infant car seat handle. We found a frog that had hanging legs with rattles, tags, and teething rings on it and it's saved us so many times! Baby freaking out in the store? Distract her with the rattle. Baby getting annoyed during a walk? Give her the teether.

You can see the chain of loops we have to hook her frog to the car seat handle. It keeps him from getting lost!

5. Pacifier clip - if you will be using a pacifier, definitely get a strap for it! The first couple of months of Emma's life was her throwing the pacifier onto the floor. She had a hard time keeping it in her mouth and it always landed on the floor. We finally picked up pacifier straps when we took her to the doctor's and she dropped the pacifier on the floor. We were officially grossed out and made a point of searching out a strap for it. It's been helpful when we're out and about. Worse case scenario, the pacifier ends up in her armpit but at least it's clean and not lost in some store. Also, there are times when the pacifier isn't what she wants and she ends up content just playing with the colourful strap hooked onto her shirt.

Made by The Peanut Shell

Every baby is different and they won't all want the same things. The items on this list definitely made life easier for us though and, after 8 months, we've bought multiples of the above items too.

What items made life easier for you when you first had your baby?

xo Jen
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