My Style // The Statement Coat

:: Shoes, Coat (since sold out but similar!), Jeans (old but similar), Sweater (also old!), Sunnies (the standards) ::

I would love to start this post but saying that my style hasn’t changed much at all since transitioning into motherhood but that would be a flat out lie. It’s interesting to look back over the years and how my current life status has influenced my style but how could it not, right? From working in an office, to being my own boss (in a very different field) and working from home to being a mom, I’ve really changed somethings but try to stay true to quality items at the very least. That would mean not spending money on fake shearling jackets, right? Well I couldn’t help myself. If there’s one thing that helps me feel put together these days when I’m short on time to get ready, it’s a good coat. Since I keep reverting to basics in my outfits (especially in this drab weather) it’s been a lot of jeans, tee’s, button up and sweaters so when I can throw something overtop of all that basic-ness that elevates my look a bit, I’ll take it. Enter this faux shearling coat. I’ve wanted a shearling FOREVER. My Dad had one while growing up, and I’ll never forget the one that got away a long time ago at a Danier (RIP) outlet back in Ottawa. Since then, it’s been on my wishlist. Once I saw this one featured on instagram on another blogger and learned it was Zara, it had to be mine!

Motherhood // The first three months

Just yesterday my little Stella had her 4 month appointment which really got me thinking about how quickly this whole thing has gone down. It’s so true what they say! Throughout my pregnancy, I was happily surrounded by a large group of friends and family who were also pregnant (no seriously, my cousin, two sister-in laws, my best friend just to name a few) so I had no shortage of resources for asking questions as what to expect and it’s been so nice to have them as support from day to day (and I’ve been using them!). As a new parent, there are so many things happening for the first time and I hate to admit it but Andrew and I would turn to google almost every night when something we thought a bit off was happening and guess what, it was all natural and fine. Reading our search history would be comical and I feel like we’ve only just begun! As I’m writing this and reflecting on Stella’s first three months, it’s amazing how much I already forget but here are a couple of thoughts experiences that stick out and thought I would share.

Feeding

Feeding a big deal for your little one and I think I only slightly realized how big of a deal until we were in it. I took a breastfeeding course in preparation and felt like I was ready to hit the ground running! While we were in the hospital, with the help of the lactation consultant we were able to get Stella to latch but it wasn’t an awesome one. I literally almost lost it on one of them (they really get in there and grab and squeeze) and I just wanted to get out of there! They suggested that I start hand expressing my colostrum which I basically laughed at the lady for. It was the tiniest, smallest little drop that would come out and she wanted me to collect like an ounce of it. Tedious was a huge understatement. Luckily once I got home and with the help of my mom, we got it figured out and all seemed swell until week 2 when I got mastitis. After that feeding has gone quite smoothly but it was a major hurdle for us and involve some painful feeds.

Sleep

So yeah, it’s not great! That being said, it’s not all that awful either. I went into this journey knowing that I wouldn’t be getting an uninterrupted sleep for a long time. Years, since we plan to have more children but again, that’s an obvious statement right? What I didn’t expect is how much of a “thing” it is for Stella. It’s like once you pass the breastfeeding hurdle of motherhood (if you so choose to do so) it’s the sleep and then I imagine once you overcome that hurdle, guess what? There’s a new one! For about the first two months of her life, she would sleep pretty much everywhere which was great – she had a serious love affair with her car seat and would sleep in there for hours! For my birthday this year, we went to a pub with some friends and she slept the whole time which was amazing. But we’re now entering a more structured schedule which we’ve actually already experienced great results with. If anything, I have to teach myself to get to bed earlier! I’m such a night hawk and I experience a second wind around 9:00pm and have to remind myself of the cute little wake up calls I’ll be getting soon.

Stella Baby 

She has many nicknames, Stells, Stell Baby, Stelly, the list goes one but she really coming into her own personality which is so nice to witness. Everyone told us, wait until the 6 week mark, it’s a real game changer and they were right! At first their sight is limited (as well as their cognitive development, naturally) and don’t make connections with your face etc so it could sometimes feel rewardless. But after about 6 weeks we as parents had grown and so had she. We were better at understanding what she needed and were able to be a little more proactive. It’s so nice when they do recognize you and they give a little smile, it melts you! Now that she’s in her fourth month, she’s able to grabs things and loves toys. My living room has been overrun with things that I said I would never keep in my living room but she loves them and it’s great to keep her happy and occupied so I can get other things done as well. I think I underestimate how much fun I would have dressing her and shopping for her. I really have to hold myself back because I could go completely bananas and the sad part is, they grow out of it so quickly but when they have that outfit on… it’s the best!

Me, myself and I

One thing that I’ve learned over these past couple months is acceptance. That may seem strange but I had so many ideas of what life would look like, what I would look like and things I knew I DID not want to happen yet I’m just accepting things as they come now versus having any expectations at all. I’m no longer on my own schedule (which is a major adjustment) and getting little tasks done take me much longer (should be no surprise here but I’m still surprised at how long things are taking me now versus life before babe). It’s exciting to add the role of mother to my life and it’s certainly been, and will continue to be quite the learning experience. In the beginning weeks I would make a list of things to get done around the house. Well that was a big eye-opener. I would be home ALL DAY and not get anything done? It was hard to accept that fact but I had to learn to move on from it. I stopped making those giant lists and started with one task a day. I think I was forgetting that the parenting part was supposed to be number one and that it was OK to not get to the zillion other things I wanted to.

I’m trying to find the balance of being a mom, working part-time, social life and being a good friend and it’s been harder than I thought. I’m sorry if I’ve had to cancel plans with you but I find myself over committing and then having to cut back. This month, I’m trying more than ever to tailor the amount of plans I make so I leave time to be more in the moment, do fun spontaneous things with my little family (Mackie included) and then also just do nothing with them as well. I’m also in love with other moms. I think I lacked something in my soul before – maybe it’s because I wasn’t fully comprehending the task at hand or maybe I was a witch but other moms are the bomb. I was terrible, I would be the biggest eye-roller out there “Oh you have to cancel plans because your baby is sick? What does that have to do with you?”, “Oh, you’d rather go on a vacation with your family than with your girlfriends?”, “Oh you have to leave work to deal with child-care issues?”. Yeah, I was the WORST but happy to report that I have mad respect for moms (you too Mom!) and even more so for those single moms. HOW do they do it? I’ll never know.

Photography by: Laura Collins Design 

xx

Caned Chairs

Did you watch the Oscars last night? I did and went to bed way too late but am basking in the current sunshine we have been given on this final Monday of February (whaattt? That’s right, it’s March THIS WEEK!).

So, if you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen a post from a couple weeks back that I was SO HAPPY to score a set of caned chairs for my dining room. I actually bought them straight off of Instagram – when Consignment store Elle & Eve posted them, and I realized they had posted only a matter of seconds ago, I knew I had a shot! I called the store right away and made the purchase. I just KNEW it was meant to be (and it was fun to see other people join the waitlist to see if I would change my mind). The price was right, and I couldn’t believe my luck. I had a vision of them in my space yet was having a hard time finding them (vintage, not new) after scouring Craigslist and Kijiji for weeks on end. Now that they are in my possession and in my dining room, I’m thrilled and it feels really nice to offer guests a proper seat versus immediately apologizing about the mismatched folding chairs we had for months. I’ll share some properly styled photos of the dining space once it’s completed (I feel like a broken record saying this over and over again but it takes time!). Also, looking back, I’m so happy that I wasn’t in a rush for these chairs because I may have purchased something (something nice, but just not these) and would be kicking myself now.

I’m not 100% of whether they are Marcel Breuer or not but they do have the Made in Italy sticker on the their bottoms so I believe there is potential and after seeing them on 1stdibs, I’m feeling like I walked away with a steal. And of course – there are some options if you’re looking to buy new including here and here. Here are some great pics of inspiration showing how versatile caned chairs can be in your home.

 

 

 

Photography via Pinterest – image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4, image 5, image 6

xx

Home Office Inspiration

Design inspiration image

First things first – It’s FRIDAY! Normally I’m super pumped about the weekend ahead but this weekend, I’m solo while Andrew is away for a Bachelor Party so it whenever our team isn’t in full effect, it just isn’t as fun. Stella and I have made several fun plans however, so it’s not all that terrible around here.

Having been in our home for close to six months, we’re finally starting to tackle the office space and I have to tell you that I am more than excited. Laura and I have never had an actual dedicated office space before. We usually work from either our respective homes, coffee shops, or she kindly joins me at mine with Little Miss Stella so it will be SO nice to not work from the dining room table and have a constant little pile of items hanging around. The location of this room is a bit unusual as the nursery is directly beside it (sans door) but you’ll get a better idea when I share before and after photos. Another unusual part of this space is that the only junction box to install a light is on the wall. I love a good wall sconce but it’s rather odd not having ceiling light. In place of a ceiling light however, is a sky light which is very much appreciated as it’s the only source of natural light (and is also placed in the exact place the ceiling light would be).

ITEMS: Rug // Desk // Wall Sconce // Waste Basket // Task Lamp // Console Table // Shelving // Chair // Filing Cabinet // Box // Tape Dispenser 

Bon weekend,

xx

 

Family LOVE in Photos

Clearly, I’m a big fan of photos. I love how they can capture, time, emotion and evoke fond memories and feelings (as well as your hilarious awkward stage as a pre-teen and all those hairstyles you would like to forget). There have been many times when I thank the sweet lord Jesus that smart phones (cellphones even, for that matter) were around. Could not have handled all of that documented. Even though everyone now has a camera at the ready, how often do you take proper family photos? Like non-selfie ones (not that there’s anything wrong with those). In light of yesterday being Valentine’s Day, and celebrating all forms of love – I wanted to share some family pictures we took with the amazing Barb from Tara McMullen Photography. Over the holidays, my brother and sister-in-law were in town from Australia and as you can imagine, it doesn’t happen every year so it was a celebration of family indeed. Also, my grandmother (who was more of a mother figure for my family growing up) was turning another year older so what better time than to capture our currently growing family.

Girl power! Some strong, supportive women in my life with the newest addition, baby Stella.


My ladies and my leaders.

The Aussies! Brought along a little joey.

First family portrait!

The gang. xx

This Weekend

:: A cute new catch all from one of my favourite cities ::

I may be alone here but I find it hard to find balance on weekends. I’m always excited for them because hey, it’s the weekend yet I suffer from the weekend list syndrome. Throughout the week I’ll take note of things I wasn’t able to get to and ensure that I do them on the weekend. These lists can get quite lengthy and even with Andrew’s help they can seem overwhelming yet week after week, I make them. Why do I do this to myself? I only get upset if we don’t check off enough things and then next thing you know it, it’s Sunday evening and I feel like we barely relaxed. Same goes for making plans. I’ll make too many weekend plans on top of the list and BAM, there it goes without a long brunch with my favourites (Stella, Mackie and Andrew). So that’s it – no more lists and minimal plans (how am I just sorting this out now?). The snowfall we had here in Toronto was warmly welcomed on Sunday because that literally slowed everything down, it was almost like Mother Nature knew. Here are some pics from my weekend.

 

:: Stars on stars on stars for Stella! (crappy iPhone pic but that face!!!) ::

:: This is kinda funny, I was just casually filling this out and afterwards thought it was hilarious that Pizza came up quite quickly ::

:: Coffee date with these cute gals ::

:: Already shared my excitement for these dining room chairs I acquired from Elle & Eve consignment – it feels really good when its worth the wait and sitting on foldable IKEA chairs for months ::

xx

Blushing in February

Valentine’s Day, while not for everyone, is a bright little spark in the otherwise spark-less month of February for me. I understand why people may not be into the holiday since it can at times, seem ridiculous and silly yet I’m into the charm and cheesiness of it. I’ll take any excuse to make heart shaped toast in the morning and snuggle a little closer to my guy and now our babe! Also, the colours of this holiday are the best. Pink as a colour is really having a moment (from bathrooms to handbags!) these days and I’m fully supportive of this (in the correct shade and doses I should add). Below are some items that can either be a cute gift to yourself or your lover!

1 – A feminine blouse for dinner, perhaps?

2 – Lacey bra in the prettiest pink.

3 – Neon heart shaped light is fun for Valentine’s Day and beyond.

4 – OK so it’s not pink but it looks great with it! This rust coloured coat is unexpectedly pretty.

5 – A stunning arrangement, the how-to can be seen here.

6 – I love this bucket bag and the fact that it’s available in many colours including blush makes it all the more appealing.

7 – Again, not pink but velvet booties can be romantic!

8 – Add a little love to your sofa with this pink throw from EQ3’s Spring collection.

9 – If you follow me in on Insta Stories, you’d have seen that I have discovered this amazing new dusty rose/nude from Bare Minerals.

10 – Let them eat cake! This cake is just pretty and will make any date night sweeter.

11 – I’m not typically a phone case person but this one is just sweet.

12 – Last minute gift for your love? Tonic Blooms is offering The Rosie and can be delivered efficiently with their free two-hour delivery within the “on-demand” zone. Their delivery also includes a free bag of Squish gummies.

13 – Pretty delicates because Valentine’s Day.

xx

This Week

:: A new sweater with a little more colour (than my usual) since it was such a drab January ::

I’m overwhelmed by all the love I received over the last post – I’m so happy that I ended up sharing! Blogging about your life can sometimes seem like oversharing but I was happy to her all the positive responses. This past week brought sweet little success in work and in life. Feels good when that happens, doesn’t it. I just wrapped a podcast for Elsie and Kel Design and it was so much fun! I hope it is something we can start on the regular – I’ll share listening details when it’s online and available if you’re interested. I’m actually slightly nervous to share considering I hate the sound of my own voice but people like my mom will want to hear. Hope you have a great weekend ahead.

:: Our holiday puzzle that was finished much later than our usual timelines – it was harder than it looks! (and we took a small break from it) ::

:: I truly believe that most of my favourite decor pieces are pieces from travel  – Stella is so lucky our friends thought of her during their visit to Kenya and brought back this adorable string of animals – just love it ::

:: Slowly easing into Mackie’s new look – liking it more and more ever day! ::

:: Baby wearing wins! I’m obsessed ::

xx

 

Motherhood // The Start of Life with Stella

Little Miss Stella is three months old this week and I’m in full on disbelief. It oddly feels like she has been with us forever while also only arriving yesterday. So much has happened with her development and us as parents it’s impossible to document it all (tell that to the million pics on my iPhone) yet I wanted to start a motherhood series on my blog. Share my updates and learnings as I take on this new role as a mother. It is STILL so weird to type that out. Now lets start from the start, shall we? I have a draft of a post sitting there that I had started before Stella had arrived and was too nervous to share! It was my thoughts on motherhood, pre-motherhood. I’ll considering sharing that post later down the line perhaps? I’m sure there will be come comical statements being made.

:: This is Stella a couple weeks old – perhaps even a month? It almost feels like a blur ::

My Birth Story of Stella

Don’t worry – I’ll spare you any gross or gory details 🙂 It was a casual Saturday, I had just finished hosting a bookclub brunch and Andrew had just arrived home from closing up his family cottage. He had considered not coming home that evening but looking back, I’m SUPER glad he did. We had ordered some of our favourite Thai food and I remember now, when we went to pick it up, I was having these “cramps”. I had just figured that they were nothing. I was due on November 9th and this was the 29th of October so I really didn’t imagine we would be moving towards labour so soon. Fast forward a couple of hours and we’re just lounging in our living room and I was enjoying a glass of wine and I remember turning to Andrew and casually saying, these cramps are coming and going, I wonder if these are contractions? How are people supposed to know what contractions feel like without having felt them before? I texted my sister-in-law and she said that she felt that if they were coming and going to start watching the time and see how close/far apart they were. I also consulted this hilarious 8.5×11 print out from the OB titled the Labour Decision Tree and it was basically a little map that told you when it was go time. My water hadn’t broken and my mucus plug (they should rename this guy, just sounds gross) hadn’t dropped. Anyways considering neither of those actions took place, I just figured these “cramps” would go away. It also just felt like I had to use the washroom, a number two. I never knew that’s what it felt like! I headed upstairs to bed around 11:00pm and wanted to try and sleep it off. It’s actually kind of hilarious because I was so clearly in labour with contractions coming quicker and the paint of them increasing yet I was still in denial. It was around 1:00am that Andrew and I decided to call triage who then proceeded to suggest we come in and get checked out. I was so sure that we would be turned away, I didn’t even think we would be needing our hospital bag. Good thing Andrew was smart enough to ignore me.

We checked in and I remember leaning over the chair in pain while we were registering and trying to breathe through but I still didn’t believe that this was happening. We head into triage, I get undressed and the nurse hooks me up and starts gathering info. The doctor wasn’t around so a student came in and chatted with us hinting towards the reality that these things can take a long time and not to get too excited. While she is there with us, these contractions are REALLY coming… super painful and I’m just trying to get through them finding comfort in standing, leaning over (random). I’m now slowly turning into the frantic ladies you see in the movies and squeezing the bejesus out of Andrew. The initial nurse who checked me in is noticing (read: hearing me groan) and decides that since the doctor is busy she should head up there and just see if I’m getting close. She pops up and says “You’re 5 cm dilated, you’re going to have this baby very soon!” I turned to Andrew and was like whoa, this is actually going to happen and happen fast! We hadn’t texted our family until this point and Andrew sends out a text to our fam. The nurse asks if I would like drugs and I say YES.

We head upstairs to the delivery room and I’m all about getting these drugs because, well it’s damn uncomfortable and painful. It felt like HOURS before the anesthesiologist arrived. Like HOURS. I remember just staring at the door waiting (while trying to make it through each contraction) and every time someone new came in (a lot of people come in by the way, it’s like a kitchen party) I would look at them like “is it you? are you going to help me?”. Since my OB wasn’t in that evening (this is now around 3:00am) a member from his team came in to introduce herself and she immediately entered the room by saying, I’m not the person you are hoping for but I remember thinking she was cool, smart and I was happy she would be delivering the babe. Around 45 minutes later the epidural was administered and MAN was that a game changer. I also didn’t realize that you CANNOT move while they are giving it to you. As I mentioned, I’m rolling around the bed like a crazy person, moaning and groaning in pain, how the hell am I not going to move. Andrew held me still and I tried not move at all (they also tell you the scary damage that can be done if you do move) which is a good motivator.

It’s hard for me to recall but after the epidural, it was really just a crazy, miraculous set of events. I felt SO MUCH better and shockingly enough, they suggested that I try to get some rest before pushing, Yeah, totes, I’ll just have a quick nap before I do the scariest thing in my life, cool. I was almost fully dilated (!!!!) and it would be go-time shortly. Andrew is a great sleeper and can sleep anywhere so I think he caught some zzz’s while I remember just lying there being like HOLY moly. Before I knew it, the OB was back in the room and was like, lets do this! She checks me out and is like WHOA your babe’s head is right there! Want to touch it? GROSS! Was my immediate thought and then I was like, welp, not sure when else this will ever happen in my life so I went for it. WEIRD!!!! And we started pushing (not feeling anything a this point which is awesome) and after a couple rounds STELLA WAS HERE! They brought her right up to me and I think I was still in full-on shock, looking at Andrew and saying “this is our baby” over and over. I didn’t cry and I don’t think he did either? But the nurses asked him if he wanted to cut the umbilical cord and he politely declined. They were not taking no for an answer so he did it but I remember being squirmy. It was funny. I feel really lucky that my labour only lasted a couple of hours. She was born at 7:11 am and most of the nurses reminded me that this was pretty unusual for a first-time mom like myself.
It was absolutely the most SURREAL moment of our lives. I do feel like I was in shock for a little while after the fact. You know once you’re pregnant that you are going to give birth but man, it’s SO crazy how it all happens! Not to sound super lame-o you but really do love the baby RIGHT AWAY, it’s nuts. To be clear, I wasn’t like an all-loving baby person. You know those ones who just LOVE babies, want to hold them, see them, visit them – yah, not me. So in all honestly there was a time that I considered not evening going this route, I mean I just didn’t really see what the deal was all about but Andrew and I knew we wanted a family. We went for it and I’m so glad we did.

:: Proud Dad heading home! ::

xx

Winter Beauty Routine

I wouldn’t call myself a beauty junkie yet I know some women who are – they have loads of products in their bathrooms, always seem to know exactly which product to use and when and always have their face “on” so to speak. As of late, I have less time to apply my usual make-up. Not to sound like a broken “mom record” but it’s become the reality of my situation so I have my go-to make-up routine which is a shorter all-star list of products that I try not to go without and then there’s the full monty make-up routine which is my full line up of products that I love. There are days when I do have the luxury of time (when A is home for the weekend or I have completed the perfectly timed nap) and happily apply the full monty.

My approach to skincare these days with the cold, dry weather we are currently experiencing is hydration, hydration, hydration. I’m injecting (and drinking!) as much water into my skin as possible. For my birthday, I had a lovely facial at my favourite spa, Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie. Not only do I love the serene moroccan inspired space but I love their products. A product the aesthetician used was this serum and I loved how it added another layer of moisture even before my regular moisturizer. I’ve also been adding a sheet mask to my weekly regime. I love how this one leaves my skin feeling almost jelly-like (but in a good way!).

SKINCARE: Left to Right 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

MAKEUP :: Left to Right 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

This is the full-monty of my make-up range. It’s funny how I normally don’t think I use that many products but when it’s laid out like so, it appears like a lot. I mainly focus on good, even skin (hence the concentration on hydration in my skincare) and the eyes. The eyes are where it’s at these days for and the main focus is on hiding my tired bags and making them bright. I haven’t strayed from my YSL Touche Eclat for years yet I never would have thought to use this Tarte Fake Awake Eye-Liner that I put in the inner corners of my eyes to make them appear more awake (smart name of the product, right?). Another gem from this line up is this Laura Mercier Eye-Shadow primer. I normally wear a barely there shadow and found that generally by the end of the day it went from barely there to definitely not there so I figured it was time to add a layer that would make it last all day. This product does this while also brightening so it’s a win-win!

xx

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