My Apologies to My Friends Who Don't Have Children

I'm sorry I'm Late (7).png

Having a baby changes your life and also the relationships that you have with the people around you. It makes you sympathize and bond with your fellow moms over how it's possible to survive on so little sleep and it unfortunately, can also distance you from your friends who don't have children. I can't say that I blame my friends... I once upon a time didn't have a baby and found it really hard to relate to what my mom friends were going through. I would try to have a conversion with my bestie M. and every 10 seconds was interrupted by: L put that down, L stop jumping, L stop running in the house! Fast forward a few years and our conversations now go something like this:
-Hey M! How are y - Zane don't eat the dog food! - what was I saying? 
-I'm good... tired, busy the usua - L put that down! Leave your sister alone! - what was I saying?
-You were telling me I think about your day yesterday? I don't really remem - Zane stop french kissing the dog! Omg M gotta go. Zane is playing in the toilet.

Mom life changes EVERYTHING. I've teamed up, once again, with my mom friends and we've come up with a list of apologies for our friends that don't have children! Feel free to add your own in the comments below: 

I'm sorry I'm Late.png

1 - I'm sorry I was an hour late to your birthday party  - to be honest.. my son threw up all over as I was heading out the door and you're lucky that I showed up at all. You should in fact be buying me a gift. Have you ever tried to wake a baby up from a nap and then show up at a party smiling? Why is your party at 9am anyways? Don't you know this is NAP TIME. 

I'm sorry I'm Late (1).png

2 - I'm sorry that every time we go out I'm always wearing black yoga pants - it's really because no other pants fit me and the black really camouflages all the food stains from my child throwing his dinner at me. Tonight we ate cheerios for dinner because i just couldn't deal.

3 - I'm sorry that my child bit you/hit you/threw something at you - I really am trying to teach him. Listen - if you think you can do better, take him for a day and try. Actually maybe a week. I could use some sleep. Please?

4 - I'm sorry I forgot your birthday/anniversary/first day of work etc. - I run on 4 hours of sleep a day and I can't even remember my own name most of the time, so just be thankful I remember who you are. You really are important to me and I promise one day I will get my shit together and start checking my reminders on my phone... if I can only find it... my son was playing with it somewhere. Speaking of which... were is my son? 

I'm sorry I'm Late (4).png

5 - I'm sorry I had to cancel our plans last minute because the baby was sick - I promise this isn't an excuse. They put everything in their mouth and are sick every week. I would much rather be sitting and having a glass of wine instead of sucking out boogers from my baby's nose (for those who don't have kids - yes this is a thing... and yes you will have to do it. Have kids they said... it'll be great they said.)

I'm sorry I'm Late (5).png

6 - I'm sorry I left your party early - I know I said it was because the baby was going to have a melt down, but I was the one who was ready to snap and felt it would be frowned upon if I started crying in the middle of a crowd of strangers. 

I'm sorry I'm Late (6).png

7 - I'm sorry I can never make it to dinner with my kid unless we eat at 5pm - Kids are assholes sometimes. Especially tired ones. If you want to have dinner at 7pm and want me to bring my son, that's fine. But know that there WILL be a melt down. And my son's screaming is comparable in volume and pitch to a beluga whale so EVERYONE will stare. We might even end up on YouTube when he starts catapulting the food across the restaurant. I'm down if you are... I've been through it all and have no shame anymore. 

All in all, my life has changed... but I promise I'll find that balance again... or a really good babysitter that's always available. I love you and miss you and still treasure our friendship so please wait for me to find my way. :)

 

DIY Mother's Day Handprint & Footprint Gifts

We LOVE DIY crafts (well I do at least... Zane loves to play with paint - so it's a win-win) and what better time to make one than Mother's Day? All moms LOVE DIY crafts from their kids and even more so from their grandkids! Zane and I got to work and created the most adorable gifts for his Grandma and Great-Grandma this Mother's Day.

DIY NOVELTY TRAY AND PIGGY BANK

Start of with finding the pieces you want to decorate. Make sure to thoroughly clean and let them dry. Some materials are more porous and will need to dry over night. This step is SUPER important. Often ceramic and porcelain products are covered in a film or dirt and the paint won't properly stick unless it's clean. 

Choose your paint colours. We used the paint below and bought a thinner because I didn't want it to go on too thick. 

6A84A5ED-F954-4E18-8170-037B274DB5D2-Facetune-08-05-2018-20-51-37.jpg

Optional: Paint Brush - You'll need one if you decide to write something on the jar or piggy bank (such as the date, your child's name etc.). I also used a thick paint brush to paint on my son's hands and feet. You could also just mix the paint in a bowl and press their hand/foot in it.

Once your tray is clean and dry, map out the design you want. You want to know EXACTLY where you're putting your mini's hand or foot once it's covered in paint because it won't be fun trying to keep them still if they're younger. I recommend doing this project with someone else so that one of you can place the foot or hand in paint and make the print and the other can stop your baby from crawling away covered in paint. 

Follow the directions on your ceramic paint. If you used the same one as I did, let it dry overnight, then bake for 35 mins at 150 degrees. Then it's ready to package and send off!

Tips: Definitely find a place to date your artwork. It's always nice to look back and see when the art project was made. I definitely recommend doing the hand print before the decorating because it's the hardest part. I needed to wash off my son's handprint several times before getting one that was perfect and the rest of the design would have been ruined had I done it first!

IMG-0092-Facetune-08-05-2018-20-42-40.jpg
IMG-0095-Facetune-08-05-2018-20-46-53.jpg
IMG-0093-Facetune-08-05-2018-20-47-04.jpg

Happy Crafting! I would love to see the artwork you create so don't forget to tag me in your posts! @mrsnewmommtl

 

xox Tovah

 

White Chocolate and Pecan Scones with Hamilton Beach's Professional 14 Cup Dicing Food Processor

This weekend I busted out the ULTIMATE tool: the Hamilton Beach® Professional 14 Cup Dicing Food Processor and got baking with a good friend of mine :). If you've been looking for the perfect gift idea for Mother's Day.... look no further! This machine does it all: it dices, slices, shreds, kneads, chops, mixes and purees. Seems too good to be true... right? Well I put it to the test with homemade scones - and spoiler alert: they were DELICIOUS, so easy to make because of Hamilton Beach's food processor, and took under 30 mins from start to finish!

My fave feature of Hamilton Beach's Professional 14 Cup Dicing Food Processor is that it's really quiet... much quieter than the others out there. It also comes with a super practical storage box to keep all the accessories organized which means no searching through my mess of a kitchen drawer to find them! But the best... the blades, bowl and lid are all dishwasher safe #mom win. It would made a great gift for Mother's Day... or for yourself :).  This recipe, from start to finish, took 30 mins thanks to this food processor that can do it all! 

What you'll need to make the most delicious White Chocolate and Pecan Scone Recipe (taken and slightly adapted from geniuskitchen.com)

Ingredients:
2 cups flower
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup salted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
6 ounces white chocolate
3/4 cup pecans

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut up butter into cubes and put in the freezer! (this will help your scones stay fluffy and airy)
IMG-1200.JPG
IMG-1195.JPG
IMG-1201.JPG
IMG-1206.JPG
  • Remove the slicing blade and add the kneading plastic blade
  • Add in flower, baking powder and pulse until mixed
  • Add frozen butter cubes and pulse until blended. Do not over mix. You want the mixture to remain lumpy and the butter cubes to be intact. 
  • In a small bowl, mix together the milk, egg, and vanilla and add to the flower mixture - pulsing again until mixed. 
  • Add the white chocolate and pecans and mix again until evenly distributed. **You want the mixture to remain lumpy (like the picture below... it will ensure airy and fluffy scones!!! DO NOT over mix.)
IMG-1213.JPG
IMG-1214.JPG
  • Remove mixture and knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is approx 1.5 inches thick.
  • Cut into desired shapes!
IMG-1217.JPG
IMG-1221.JPG
  • Bake scones for 11-15 minutes - or until lightly browned on top! 
IMG-1239.JPG
IMAGE.JPG

These scones are sure to please anyone you have over for Mother's Day brunch! They were so easy to make thanks to Hamilton Beach's Professional 14 Cup Dicing Food Processor! I can't think of a better Mother's Day gift than this! It's a must have in every kitchen!

Affordable First Birthday Gift Ideas

Dance and Move Beat Toy - This is a toy we first saw at a friends house. I don't know why... but Zane is OBSESSED. It makes music that reminds me of being in a club or rave haha but he could play with it for hours. 

Ball Pit - Zane has a similar one and ADORES it. Just make sure which ever one you choose, you buy one that has the balls included!

Pounding Wooden Toy - This toy is not only fun, but will help with hand eye coordination and dexterity!

Wooden Fridge Magnets - these come in SO many different assortments. They have Letters, Shapes, Objects, Farm animals etc. I love that they're wooden and love the quality of Mudpuppy Toys!

Cash Register - Playing pretend was always my fave growing up so I know any child will enjoy this for years to come!

Farmer Says See n' Say - I remember playing for HOURS with this toy when I was growing up. I'm so happy its still available for our minis!

Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Tablet - This tablet will help your mini learn about sounds, animals, objects and colours! We've actually given this as a gift at 2 birthday parties and received one for Zane's birthday! We bring it everywhere with us :)

Big Colorful Building Blocks Woodland Treehouse - This is great gift for a boy or girl. Zane is obsessed with blocks and loves the little characters!

Light up CAT Truck with Sound - One of Zane's fave gifts for his birthday was this truck! My fave feature is that It's big so you don't step on it in the middle of the night (yay!). He loves the sounds and lights!

Classics Retro Record Player - Guaranteed to bring hours of fun and tunes to any little one ;)

Wooden Mini Balls - It's known that I have an obsession with wooden children's toys and Zane LOVES them too! We have a toy similar to this one at home and Zane has been playing with it for months and never gets bored!

Delicious 5-Minute Dips Your Littles Will LOVE

IMG-0696.JPG

We recently discovered President's Choice's fully cooked chicken strips and have been hooked ever since. They're the perfect quick weeknight dinner and a great option for our baby sitter when she needs to cook for Zane! All you do is Heat and Eat! And what better way to sneak in some fruits and veggies than with some quick and easy homemade dips? We paired our strips with a Mango Curry Sauce, a Pico de Gallo and an easy peasy Guacamole. You can make all 3 in under 10 mins!

Mango Curry Sauce

Add the following ingredients into a blender and blend: 
2 mangos peeled, pitted and sliced
2 tbs of orange juice
1 pinch of curry powder
1 tbs of vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste

IMG-0700.JPG

Pico de Gallo

Dice the following ingredients and mix well:
Juice from 1 lime
1 tomato diced
Coriander to taste
1/4 onion
1/4 red pepper
1 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

IMG-0702.JPG

Guacamole

I used a blender for this guacamole to make it easier for Zane to dip but you can mix it by hand for a more chunky sauce. TIP: Keep the avocado pit and leave it in the centre of your guacamole until you're ready to eat it - it will stop it from turning brown :)

2 ripe avocados
Juice from 1 lime
1/2 tomato
1 small onion
Pinch of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

IMG-0701.JPG
IMG-0764-Facetune-03-04-2018-20-29-42.jpg

Zane's First Birthday

DSC_8054.jpg

This first year came and went faster than I could have imagined. I wanted to throw Zane an extra special first birthday and could not have done it without some awesome companies and local suppliers that I had the pleasure of meeting. You can scroll to the very bottom of this post for a list of them all along with contact info, or read through my post and click on their names go to their website!

DSC_8016.jpg

All the pictures below were taken by my fave Montreal Photographer Veronica, from VEMB Photography (the same photographer who did our Fall Photoshoot… she does maternity, pregnancy and family photography). I didn’t want to spend the whole party behind the lens of a camera but I wanted to make sure to capture every moment and memory. We often spend so much on parties and then look back and say: I wish I had a better pic of the cake, the set up, my son laughing... I wish we had a better family picture from the day. I didn’t want regrets so I chose to have the perfect person attend and capture every special moment.

DSC_7831.jpg
DSC_7793.jpg

We had his party at Biscuits et Confetti – a charming coffee shop in NDG that caters to parents and kids. We rented out the whole space to have a more intimate birthday party, and they supplied super helpful staff (look how much set up we did in 15 mins!), we rented a bouncy castle from them and we we able to offer our guests an unlimited open coffee bar made fresh to order by the shop (with screaming kids you need alllll the coffee you can get).

DSC_7722.jpg
DSC_7693.jpg

To add an extra special touch to the party we ordered a custom banner and loot bag tags from Streamers Party Supply. Julia (the owner and designer) is SO helpful and was able to make us EXACTLY what we wanted.  All we needed to do was tell her our theme and colours and within a week we had our proof to approve! Her Etsy shop doesn't even begin to feature everything she can make. She can do invitations, thank you cards, loot bag tags, banners, photo booth props, head bands (and list goes on and on)… and her prices are SO reasonable.  I wish I would have known about her for my baby shower and wedding shower!

DSC_8008.jpg
DSC_7715.jpg
DSC_7713.jpg

The loot bag tags went on our super special loot bags! We chose Nuby gifts from Elfe.com for each age group (and for the next 2 weeks you can get 15% off all regular priced items on their website using the code ZANE15*). For the youngest children under 9 months, we gave the 3-Step Teether Set BY Nûby™. Teething is no fun so with the bright colors and fun textures this was a gift that would please baby and parents alike. For the children around Zane’s age, we gifted them a Snack Keeper™ BY Nûby™ along with spoons. The bowls are perfect for his age group, are colourful, lightweight and prevent spills because of the awesome lid that allows them to grab treats without the mess! I also added in some Puffies and Puffies snacks from Baby Gourmet so that they could start using their bowl right away! For the older children, we gifted them the Snack N' Sip™ 9 oz BY Nûby™ with a candy filled bag! This genius cup has a straw and drink compartment at the bottom and a compartment at the top for snacks so children can eat and drink at the same time with 1 container! (* Use code ZANE15 for 15% off Elfe.com until 2018-03-23. Valid on regular priced items only. Certain restrictions apply (Nuna excluded)).

DSC_8003.jpg

We went with a jungle and animal theme since Zane LOVES monkeys. We ordered most of our jungle themed party supplies from Open A Party. They’re based in Canada (so no duties), their prices were SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than Amazon, and everything was delivered with standard shipping in 1 week! Everything we ordered was exactly as described and they have such an awesome selection.

We had burgers and fries catered by Notre Boeuf de Grace – if you haven’t tried them yet, you are missing out! We had a salad bar as well for the healthier guests, pizza for the kids from Bardeco (DELISH!) and a Kiddie Corner filled with Delicious treats from Baby Gourmet. I wanted to make sure the minis that were around Zane’s age didn't miss out on the delicious treats!  We offered an assortment of Purée pouches, Shakers and Puffies.

DSC_7763.jpg
DSC_7691.jpg

The sweet table had a candy bar for the older kids and the parents (mostly for me LOL) and cupcakes. I had a tray with rubber ducky jungle animals and asked people to adopt an animal (how cute!?). The star of the table though was our cake from Sisterly Sweets. OMG THEIR CAKES. I’m not even exaggerating here… this sister duo is on fire. Their creations are PERFECT and you’re not sacrificing beauty for taste. Their cakes are as delicious as they are beautiful. Gloria and Tania were a pleasure to deal with, were open to inspiration pics, but I chose to give them carte blanche and told them to do what they do best and I was blown away. We went for a chocolate cake with a vanilla light cream icing and hazelnut crunch. Heaven is where this cake brought me.

DSC_8014.jpg
DSC_7669.jpg
DSC_7672.jpg
DSC_7776.jpg
DSC_8043.jpg
DSC_8054.jpg
DSC_8060.jpg
DSC_8078.jpg
DSC_8096.jpg

For entertainment, besides the bouncy castle that was huge hit, we hired a children’s musician, Loony Lorny, that came in and sang some of Zane’s fave songs. He came equipped with a bunch of little musical instruments for the kids to play along with and it was perfect entertainment for all the kids!

DSC_7784.jpg
DSC_7793.jpg

Zane’s First Birthday was as much fun planning as it was attending. I can’t wait for Birthday #2! I’m so grateful for the suppliers that I met and I am certain that I will be using the same ones for every party we plan going forward. Below is the full list with direct links to their websites!

DSC_7908.jpg
DSC_7849.jpg
DSC_7839.jpg
DSC_7886.jpg
DSC_7867.jpg
DSC_7906.jpg
DSC_7861.jpg
DSC_8085.jpg

And that's a wrap! Zane's birthday was a hit and after a much needed sleep I'll be ready to start planning Birthday #2 :). 

Party Supplies:
Streamers Party Supply: Custom made party supplies
Open A Party: Canadian Party Supplies

Loot Bags:
3-Step Teether Set
Snack Keeper
Snack N' Sip
*Until 2018-03-23 use ZANE15 for 15% off site wide at Elfe.com . Valid on regular priced items only. Certain restrictions apply (Nuna excluded).

Cake
Sisterly Sweets MTL – Cake sent from heaven that you won’t want to share with anyone (maybe order 2?)

Venue
Biscuits et Confetti

Music
Loony Lorny

Photography
VEMB Photography : Montreal based Maternity, Pregnancy and Family Photographer

Food
Baby Gourmet baby food
Bardeco Pizza
Notre Boeuf de Grace

DIY Candy Jar for a Sweetie in Your Life

Zane and I have recently been loving DIY crafts (ok mostly me but he'll love having these keepsakes one day :)). With a husband who has everything, it's getting harder and harder to surprise him with little gifts every now and then, so a personalized gift from Zane is always sure to be a hit! With Valentine's day just around the corner, I thought it would be so cute to make my husband a personalized candy jar for his office filled with candy as sweet at him! You could also do variations of this craft by personalizing a candy bowl or a cookie jar and filling it with delicious sweets :)

What we used: 

  • Ceramic candy jar (you can also use a candy bowl or cookie jar)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Marking tape (optional)
  • Rubber or latex gloves (optional)

1. Mark the jar with the pattern you want using the marking tape.

2. Choose the colour you want for your hand print, add some paint on a plate and get your mini ready! It helps if you have 2 people coordinating this part :) This is the step where you want to put on your rubber gloves if you've opted to use them because although the paint will wash off your hands, it did not come off my nail polish. Place your baby's hand palm down in the paint and make sure it's well coated. Place your baby's hand flat on the jar to get a perfect print! 

** I recommend doing the hand print before painting the jar because you don't get a print that you like the first time (it took us 4 times), you can use water to wash it off and to start over without worrying about ruining the rest of the design!

3. Paint the rest of your jar however you want! If you are using multiple coats of paint, be sure to wait at least 30 mins between each coat to make sure it dries. We chose to add Zane's initials to the jar and to put the date inside the lid so that we will always know how old he was when he made it!

4. Preheat oven to 350 F

IMG_0849.JPG
IMG_0850.JPG

5. If you used marking tape, remove the marking slowly (if you pull too fast it may remove some paint) and fill in any gaps you may have or uneven edges!

6. Put your jar directly on your oven rack OR on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for 30-35 mins. 

7. Let cool and then fill with your fave candy or sweets!

My recommendation for doing this craft with young babies: Do it with them only wearing a diaper - it makes cleaning up the mess much easier. Have the craft sitting beside your kitchen sink so that the minute you finish with the print you can wash the paint off of them before they get it anywhere else. This craft was super easy, inexpensive (under $20 total) and I know my husband will love his surprise - and I'm sure his colleagues will too now that's filled with delicious candy :). 

Urthbox - the Healthy Snack Subscription Box!

You can use code: MRSNEWMOMMTL10 for $10 off your order from UrthBox

Healthy and non-GMO snacks delivered right to my door every month? Yes please! UrthBox makes it possible to have Vegan, Classic, Diet or Gluten-Free full-size snacks and beverages delivered monthly! You simply sign up online, choose the type of box you want and the amount of snacks you want to receive and you wait impatiently for the delicious treats to arrive :). It doesn't stop there though... by signing up to the UrthBox subscription, you get coupons and discount codes to repurchase the stuff you love AND you earn loyalty points that can be redeemed at the UrthBox Shop! 

IMG_1131.JPG

You can use code: MRSNEWMOMMTL10 for $10 off your order from UrthBox

I was SO surprised at the amount/quality/size of the products that were delivered (if you're interested in seeing in more detail what I received, head over to my Instagram page and check out my Urthbox unboxing in my Story Highlights)! I requested the Diet UrthBox because my healthy eating New Years resolution is not going very well lol... and the products I received included Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Chewie Fruities, Advanced Recovery Formula, All Natural Sleep Aid, Coconut Granola, Vegan Gluten-Free and Soy Free Gum, Organic Fruit Gel and MUCH more. The only downside to receiving my UrthBox is that I am now obsessed and can not go a month without it LOL. I love that every month I will be surprised with healthy snacks and I love that I get to discover brands and items that I might have otherwise never tried! They even have an option where you can give a subscription as a gift! #bestgiftidea

You can use code: MRSNEWMOMMTL10 for $10 off your order! Click here to visit the UrthBox website.

The Gift Of Beautiful Printed Memories

Take advantage of the Buy 1 Get 3 FREE deal by clicking here

With smartphones at our fingertips, I think we're all guilty of hoarding hundreds and thousands of pictures without them ever making it to print. I decided to change that this Valentine's Day and surprised my husband with some beautiful pictures of some of our favorite memories. I chose Photography.com because of their AMAZING selection of printing types... they can print your images on everything from planked wood to glass to metal! I chose to print our pictures on Acrylic, which give a modern and sleek look with high definition printing that's lightweight and durable. I also LOVED that they arrived ready to hang (because my husband is not a handy man and I am... well you know... busy running the world lol).

 The pictures come ready to hang and look like they're floating on your wall! (Photo taken by  Darion Getzinger Photography )

The pictures come ready to hang and look like they're floating on your wall! (Photo taken by Darion Getzinger Photography)

Photography.com offers printing in any size and after receiving my order in under 2 weeks - i think its' safe to say I'm hooked :) There's nothing that makes me happier than walking into my home and seeing beautiful memories on all of our walls. There's also an amazing deal going on right now... Buy 1 Get 3 FREE!!! Click here to take advantage of this awesome deal and order yours now and make sure to order them by Jan 29th to get them in time for Valentine's Day!

 The Acrylic finish is super glossy and vibrant! The pictures become statement pieces in your home! (picture taken by VEMB Photography)

The Acrylic finish is super glossy and vibrant! The pictures become statement pieces in your home!
(picture taken by VEMB Photography)

Don't miss the chance to fill your home this Valentine's Day with beautiful prints. Click here to visit Photography.com

My Fave 5 DIY Gift Ideas for Babies and Toddlers

My fave holiday is just around the corner (and no it's not my fave because of the chocolate.... ok well maybe it's because of the chocolate), but this year I'm loving it so much more because of all the fun crafts I get to do with Zane! There is nothing sweeter than giving someone you love a DIY made by someone else you love! Below are my fave 5 DIY Baby and Toddler Valentine's Day Gift Ideas!

1. Finger Print Key Chain or Necklace

IMG_9911.JPG

I got this idea from The Crafty Crow who originally posted a tutorial for Mother's Day. I changed a few of the steps and decided to make a keychain instead of a necklace because I wasn't sure a bright pink heart necklace would match with my husband's suit every day at work LOL.

What you'll need: 

  • Oven baking clay (in whatever colours you want!)
  • Keychain rings (or a chain or rope if you want to make it into a necklace)
  • Cookie cutters
  • Skewer to poke a hole
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking sheet
IMG_9910.JPG

Directions: 

  1. Take your baking clay and roll it out to the thickness you want (I made mine 1/6 inch thick)
  2. Cut out your shape with a cookie cutter
  3. Grab your mini and press their thumb down in the clay until you get a clear fingerprint impression (this may take a few tries... especially if you have a mover like I do)
  4. Take the skewer to make a hole in the heart (where you want to insert the keychain ring or chain for a necklace)
  5. Place the clay on a baking sheet
  6. Follow baking instructions on the package of the clay
  7. Once cooled, insert your keychain ring and you're done!

2. Footprint Canvas Art

IMG_0074.JPG

I found this idea on The Mommy Nichols. She's known for her awesome DIY projects and easy recipes... and this craft is no exception. With our little ones growing up so quickly, what better keepsake than a piece of art with their itty bitty tiny feet? I love how easy, quick and beautiful this canvas craft is! Click here to visit The Mommy Nichols website and get this craft started! Follow her on Instagram for more awesome craft ideas all year long!

3. Abstract Art

DIY Abstract Art.jpg
DIY Abstract 2.jpg

This is such an easy craft to do and your little one, no matter what their age, will have SO much fun doing it! You can choose whatever colours you want and the fact that it makes no mess is a bonus! It's a keepsake that you can hang anywhere in your home! Click here to see my blog post about it. 

4. Love Bug Finger Print Art

LoveBugs.jpg

I got this idea from I Heart Arts and Crafts. I think it's such a cute craft for older kids who know how to use scissors and can use glue. This is such a sweet idea and I love that your children will be able to do it all on their own. I recommend using washable paint or protecting your arts & craft area with plastic so that once they dip their fingers in paint you don't have the paint everywhere :) Click here to visit I Heart Arts and Crafts to see the full tutorial for this DIY.

5. Kid Made Jewelry Dish

jewelrydish1.jpg

This last idea came from Inner Child Fun. This is definitely a craft for your older kids (unless you want to do it yourself lol). It requires very few things to buy and it's something that any Mom or Grandma will love. Your kids will have so much fun doing it and will love that their mom can use it every day! You can also do variations of this craft depending on who the gift is for - you can make a ring bowl, a candy bowl, decorative bowl for your home... the possibilities are endless! Click here to visit Inner Child Fun to make your own jewelry dish!  

I can't wait to see which you end up trying! Make sure to tag me in your posts on Instagram so I can see your finish product :)

Healthy Homemade Dog Treats!

IMG_9860.JPG

Rambo has officially joined the list of men in my life who are picky eaters (lucky me), so I decided that instead of spending money buying treats that he hates, I would make him some delicious homemade cookies! It also gives me peace of mind knowing EXACTLY what's going in them... and the fact that he loved them didn't hurt either! I wish I could say that finding a great recipe was easy... but it wasn't. I had 3 failed attempts before finding 2 that he loved, but I guess good things don't always come easy! I hope your little fur baby enjoys them as much as Rambo did! I made him Crunchy Ginger Cookies and Mini Muffins!

Scroll to the bottom for links to my fave cookie jars!

Crunchy Ginger Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat non-bleached flour
  • 1/2 cup large flake oats
  • 1 tbs of ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup no salt added chicken broth
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
IMG_9862.JPG

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F and grease baking sheet
  2. In a large bowl combine whole wheat flour, large flake oats and ginger
  3. In a small bowl combine chicken broth, egg and oil
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well blended
  5. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough until 1/4 inch thick and use cookie cutters of your choice to cut out treats.
  6. Put treats on baking sheet and bake 25 mins.

Mini Pup Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 Apple or 1 cup of Apple Sauce
  • 1 Medium Carrot
  • 1 ripe Banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1 1/4 cup Unbleached Flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
IMG_9864.JPG

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease muffin tins (large or small)
  2. Peel and cut carrot and apple and steam until soft. If using applesauce, only steam carrots.
  3. In large bowl, mash banana 
  4. Add eggs and butter
  5. Puree the cooked apple and carrot
  6. Add apple and carrot to the other wet ingredients and beat until there are no lumps
  7. Add the flour and baking powder to the wet ingredients and beat for 2 minute (until smooth)
  8. Fill greased muffin tin 1/2 way full with batter.
  9. Bake for 15 mins if making mini muffins, and 20-25 mins if making regular sized muffins, or until wooden tooth pick comes out clean.
IMG_9865.JPG

I would love to see pics of your fur babies enjoying these treats so please tag me in your pics on Instagram :) @mrsnewmommtl

Here are some decorative that I think you'll love - perfect for treats, cookies, baking goods and storage! Click the links below OR visit my online store to see them all by clicking here.

Stackable 3 Tier Cookie Jar 

Set of 3 Chalkboard Glass Canister Jars 

Chalk board labels - turn any jar into a chalkboard! 

Set of 5 Airtight Glass Canisters 

Glass Apothecary Jars

    Collagen Peptides - What's the Deal?

    If you've been on social media following any of the health nuts - I'm sure you've seen at some point or another talk about collagen peptide supplements. The supplements are supposed to help you feel and look your best by benefiting your hair, skin, nails, joints and bones. It's as simple and adding a bit of the supplement to a beverage of your choice (it is totally flavourless), such as tea, smoothies or even a glass of water, and sticking with it for a few months!

    IMG_9844.JPG

    Some of you may be wondering - what is collagen and why do I want it... or want more of it? Collagen is a protein that is found in EVERYONE's body and is associated with younger and healthier looking skin. It is part of hair, skin, nails, gut and connective tissue. Collagen helps maintain your skin's elasticity - thereby reducing wrinkles and fine lines and it also contributes to firmer skin and has even been shown to help with skin tone. It can help your joints, skin tissues and digestive health as well. So now that you understand WHY there's such a big hype around collagen, you now understand why people are bending over backwards to get there hands on collagen peptide supplements.

    I went to the king of the industry: Vital Proteins - Collagen-Based Nutirition, and tried their unflavored Collagen Peptides. I was sent the 1.25 lb jar and a box of individual portion packets (amazing to bring to work or when you're on the go!). I've been using them for a week already and can't wait to see my results next month! Like any supplement, the results won't be immediate (so don't expect them to be) but will take a bit of time and sticking with it is key! Just as you can't eat one bowl of spinach and fix an iron deficiency, you're not going to take collagen peptides and look 25 years younger immediately. You need to keep using it! I'll update this post in a few months with my results! Click here to visit Vital Proteins and check out their entire collection.

    I'm having a giveaway on Instagram for a limited time, so head over to my Instagram for your chance to win your own Collagen Peptides from Vital Proteins!

    Squoosh, Quinoa and Chia Seed Muffins

    My son is now eating solids and becoming more and more curious about textures and food tastes, so this mama has been trying to come up with creative ways to please his ever developing palate! It should come as no surprise to me (because I know who I married) that my son is a picky eater already like his father... forget vegetables and anything healthy... my son has a sweet tooth and a desire for anything savoury! I've been forced to become a bit creative in the kitchen to make sure he's getting enough vitamins and minerals from his food, so I was SO thankful when I discovered Baby Gourmet's Squoosh packs. They are snack sized organic fruit and veggie purées that taste DELICIOUS and each has a full serving of fruits and veggies! In case you're wondering, I have ABSOLUTELY tasted one before - if the food is good enough for my mini, it should be good enough for me! And in this case it definitely is! Zane's fave is the Squabbleberry Squoosh which has apple, blueberries, bananas and butternut squash, so I decided to try to make a more textured snack with his fave purée pouch and the result was a terrific muffin!

    IMG_9774.JPG
    IMG_9748.JPG

    Total Time: 30 mins
    Servings: 16 Muffins


    Ingredients: 

    IMG_9749.JPG
    • 2 cups quinoa flour
    • 1/4 cup milled chia seeds
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
    • 1/4 cup almond milk
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 4 - 90g pouches of Baby Gourmet Squabbleberry Squoosh (1 box)
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 2 eggs

    Directions: 

    1. Preheat over to 375F and grease a muffin tin
    2. Combine all dry ingredients
    3. Combine all wet ingredients
    4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well (2-3 minutes) - ensuring there are no lumps 
    5. Fill the muffin tin halfway with batter
    6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
    IMG_9747.JPG

    DIY Baby Abstract Art!

    We had a blast last week making Zane's first piece of artwork with his bestie, Josh! It can be done with babies at any age (you might need to help the younger ones a bit), it's inexpensive and it's not something you'll eventually hide in a drawer!

    What you'll need (we bought it all at the dollar store)

    • Garbage bags
    • Saran wrap or plastic wrap
    • Painting Canvas (any size)
    • Acrylic paints

    Step 1: Start by protecting your floors with the garbage bags! If you have a mobile little one, you may even want to tape the edges to your floor so that they can't move it around. 

    Step 2: Randomly put your acrylic paint on your canvas. You can put it in any design and can put as much or as little as you want (the more you put, the less white you'll have showing through when the project is over!). You can also first mix the acrylic paint with water to give it a more blended look afterwards - but it may be a bit messier!

    IMG_1767.JPG

    Step 3: Cover your entire canvas with your plastic wrap! Make sure to have every edge covered in every direction so no paint can escape!

    IMG_1775.JPG

    Step 4: Put the cavas down and let your little one have fun! There's no wrong way to do this, and with the plastic covering, there will also be no mess!

    IMG_1871.JPG
    IMG_1856.JPG

    Step 5: Once your little one is done having fun, remove the plastic wrap and let your canvas dry! What you're left with is an abstract piece of art that you can hang anywhere in your home! Don't forget to sign and date the side so that you'll be able to remember how old they were when they made it :).

    IMG_1894.JPG
    IMG_1887.JPG

    I love this as a gift idea for the holidays! It's personalized, one of a kind and super special. Let me know if any of you try it!

    Road Trip Must Haves (and it's not the items you think...)

    Going on a road trip alone with a 6 month old is basically suicide. There is nothing good that can come of it... yet here I am planning my second road trip with Zane. My first road trip to Toronto (which should have taken me about 5 hours and ended up taking closer to 7) involved 2 explosive car seat poops (one of which resulted in a bath for Zane in a bathroom sink at a gas station), projectile vomit all over my new car, and lots and lots of tears (from me not him). 

    Why am I making this road trip to Toronto again you may ask? I have no idea... I guess I forgot how horrible the first time was and I want to try it again. Thankfully, my best friend will be waiting with some wine at the other end! 

    All that to say, I have narrowed down my MUST HAVE items for a road trip with a new born or baby (and no it does not include diapers and bottles... those are the least of your worries): 

    1 - Kleenex: Like I said above, NOTHING good comes of a solo road trip and you will end up ugly crying at some point... so Kleenex will come in handy (it's much more efficient than your sleeve which will probably have baby poop on it at some point).

    2 - A change of clothes in the front seat: Obviously you'll have your suit case in the trunk, but in the event... or rather WHEN, your little one decides to have an explosive poop and kick and squirm so that it really gets into every groove of the car seat, you'll quickly pick him up and then have poop all over you. You'll need a change of clothes that are easy to get to so you don't get poop on your suitcase (yes this is a thing...and yes you need to throw out the suitcase after).

    3 - More Kleenex: When you realize the poop smell won't come out of the car seat and you still have another 4 hours to drive, you'll cry more. 

    4 - A great play list: You'll need something upbeat - like Zumba music to give you the energy to continue on. At some point you'll debate turning around and going home or just pulling over not the side of the road and giving up... that's when you need to start blasting the Rocky soundtrack!

    IMG_1562.jpg

    5 - A good sense of humour: No matter how prepared you are, your little one will throw you a curve ball because they're sneaky like that. You can try covering your car seats with garbage bags to shield them from the throw up - your little one will find a way to pee on the car floor mat. You can try to bring 10 changes of clothes for them... they'll manage to get poop on them all. You can even try to plan your drive around their nap time - it'll be the one day they decide they hate sleeping. You need to laugh it off and take notes so that the next time you have the crazy idea of driving 5 hours with a baby, you remember why NOT to do it! 

    *** In the event that your trip goes worse than mine did, I recommend bringing enough clothes to last a few months because you may decide to not make the trip back at all. Hopefully whoever you're visiting doesn't mind 2 new permanent house guests (hint hint to my bestie... we'll be staying a while).

    Wish me luck! 

    5 Reasons Why I Am Flipside Prints Obsessed

    IMG_1272.JPG

    I am no stranger to failed picture hanging attempts... and I have holes in most of my walls as a daily reminder, so when I came across Flipside Prints I was intrigued! Not only do they offer me a way to  hang prints in my son's nursery without damaging the walls, but I can also change up the prints by just flipping them over as he grows (It also didn't hurt that their prints are just adorable)!

    Here are my top 5 reasons why I am Flipside Prints OBSESSED: 

    1. I was able to hang them up while my son napped in the room without waking him up!: As a new mom I barely have time to breathe... so finding the time to decorate my son's room is nearly impossible because my little man always wants to be in my arms. I was able to hang up my Flipside Prints WHILE HE SLEPT because there are no nails and no banging on the walls! 

    IMG_1273.jpg

    2. No damage to my walls and no searching for tools: Flipside Prints use a sticky 3M film that literally took 2 seconds to put up, and it comes off just as easily. That means if I want to move the prints, move houses or remove the prints all together (I'm sure I'll never want to do that though), it's easy, hassle free and leaves NO mess on your wall. You also get EVERYTHING you need delivered with the prints! I hate buying something and getting home only to realize that I'm missing a screw or a nail. Flipside Prints sends you everything you need to measure and hang up their prints!

    3. As your child's taste changes, so can the the prints: Flipside Prints do just as the name implies - they flip over! All the prints are double sided and because they use a magnet to hang,  flipping them over is super easy to do! This means you can flip them weekly, daily, or even hourly! Ok but lets be real... no new mama has time to flip them hourly lol... but your little one may when they get old enough to do it!

    IMG_1297.JPG

    4. The prints are super cute: I guarantee they will make your little one grin from ear to ear. Zane can't stop reaching for them, staring at them and laughing. We chose the In the Jungle theme prints,  but they have everything from Under The Sea, to Tiny Dancer, to Mythical Unicorns! You are bound to find a theme that your little one will LOVE.

    5. You can order new prints and use the same magnets: When Zane one day decides he wants to be a baseball player or decides he is obsessed with trucks, I don't need to go searching for new artwork. I can simply order a new set from Flipside Prints, and replace the ones I have without needing to remeasure the wall or patch up holes! They all use the same hanging technology so switching them out is painless :) 

    IMG_1178.JPG

    I love things that are easy to use, don't take time to set up and make Zane smile. Flipside Prints do all of the above (and I love them too!). Check out their page and get your little one a set of their own! Use promo code: MNMM at checkout for 20% off your prints! 

    Luhvee - The Fill In The Blank Love Book

    The hubby and I just celebrated our 1 year anniversary, and like most women, I struggled with what to get the man who has everything, coupled with the fact that I don't have a lot of time to make a sentimental gift with a newborn in my house. When I came across Luhvee Love Books I was super excited! Luhvee Love Books has books that you can gift to your grandparents, mom, dad, husband, teenager and even child... and here's what sets it apart from the rest - it's a fill in the blank book (Surprise surprise... the founder of Luhvee is a mother of 2! She gets the lack of sleep and found a solution to help us lol). It was SUPER easy to make and I finished making the book before the baby even woke up from his nap. 

    IMG_1020.JPG

    I obviously chose the "Why I Love You" book for my husband, but I'm definitely eyeing the "I Love You Just The Way You Are" book for Zane for his first birthday. Setting up an account was quick and before I knew it I was starting on my book. The layout of the site makes it super easy to navigate, and you don't have to finish creating it in 1 sitting... You can save and come back at a later time which is super practical. 

    I was able to easily upload pictures from my computer, and once uploaded, all I had to do was drag and drop them into place. What I loved the most however, was the fill in the blank part on each page. It made it SO easy to create the perfect sentimental gift without having to sit and think about finding the perfect words (which seem to be harder and harder to find as I become more and more sleep deprived). I've made a lot of other picture books in the past, and having the ability to add captions that are already thought out for you is a game changer.

     This page for example, had the caption: Your greatest gift to me... and I filled in the rest! How easy is that?

    This page for example, had the caption: Your greatest gift to me... and I filled in the rest! How easy is that?

    The book I chose was divided into 4 sections: When We First Met, Why You're So Special To Me, Our Life Together and My Everlasting Love (how cute is that!?) and the fill in the blanks were perfectly suited to each section. You were also able to create your own text if you couldn't think of an appropriate answer for the fill in the blank!

    I definitely recommend Luhvee Books. From start to finish it was an easy process, the book was delivered in less than a week, and the fill in the blanks made it so easy to create the perfect gift. My husband was laughing as he read each caption and couldn't believe half of the memories I had shared (which I might add I would have never probably remembered without the fill in the blanks)! Thanks Luhvee!

    If you visit their site now, you can save using the promo code: TOVAH20. ** Whether it's for an anniversary, a first birthday, Mothers Day or Fathers Day... this gift is guaranteed to impress and leave a lasting impression. I honestly can't wait for Zane to old enough to look through this book one day!

    **Only one coupon code is redeemable per person. Code is not redeemable for cash. The offer will expire 12/31/17 at 11:59pm. EST. This offer can not be combined with any other offers. 

     

    It's Ok To Not Love Being Pregnant

    I remember at the early stages of my pregnancy I was obsessed with these perfect Instagram moms who chronicled their beautiful pregnancies from start to finish. This would be me. I saved the posts that inspired me the most and so began my beautiful journey to motherhood... or so I thought.... but there was one problem. I HATED being pregnant. 

    Not liking being pregnant has nothing to do with wanting to have a baby. I know there is often a lot of guilt around admitting that you're miserable during your pregnancy. You're supposed to be thankful and appreciative and so excited for your new baby. You can be all those things and still be miserable about the tiny human that won't stop kicking you in the vagina. I promise it doesn't mean you will be a bad mom.

      This is me at my baby shower and it accurately depicts my entire pregnancy - eat to survive. #IWasOverIt. But also, how good are chocolate covered oreos!?

    This is me at my baby shower and it accurately depicts my entire pregnancy - eat to survive. #IWasOverIt. But also, how good are chocolate covered oreos!?

    My pregnancy was hell. And while I realize that there are pregnancies that were a lot worse than mine, for me, it was the worst 9 months (almost 10) of my life... with the exception of a few moments such as the ultrasounds and the cute little kicks that didn't knock the wind out of me :).

    When I think back, below are some of my all time fave things about my pregnancy (I am being sarcastic for those of you who didn't read the first paragraph... shame on you for skipping to the juicy stuff):

      The swelling was magnificent

    The swelling was magnificent

     

     

    1. Swelling: Who doesn't love retaining water? Doesn't that mean you can survive longer in a drought? I was swollen. Everywhere. It started at around month 5 of my pregnancy and progressively got worse. I had cankles that were as thick as my thighs and at one point, I was so swollen that I had rolls around my neck! Imagine being so swollen that your neck doubles in size? I was a sight for sore eyes I promise. #IWillSurvive

    2. Weight Gain: Obviously all the water retention also led to weight gain... a lot of it. Near the end I had gained almost 100 pounds. I would say that 40% was water, 60% was cheeseburgers because when you're miserable and can't see your feet what else is there to do but eat? #MomBodLove

      I was out shopping the entire day with my belly showing and didn't realize it until I was home #CLASSY

    I was out shopping the entire day with my belly showing and didn't realize it until I was home #CLASSY

    3. Nausea: I had nausea for about the first 3.5 months of my pregnancy. People would comment on my pregnancy glow... yeah I'm red from throwing up my lunch but thanks...and let me tell you... there is NOTHING more romantic than your husband leaning in for a kiss and you having to tell him: "I am going to throw up in your mouth if you don't move out of my way" as you make a dash to the washroom. #RelationshipGoals

    4. Sweating: If I just sat on a chair breathing, you would think I had just finished a spinning class at the gym. I'm really not sure if it's the hormones, the weight gain, my body trying to cry because it was so unhappy.... but you sweat All. The. Time. I probably would have showered 20 times a day if I could have managed to lift my shirt over my head without it getting stuck around my fat swollen neck. #PermanentSweatyGlow

    5. Crying: People love the blame the pregnancy hormones for our emotional mood swings ... but c'mon... wouldn't you cry if you literally couldn't sit down on a toilet without getting stuck? Or if your stomach was so large you couldn't bend down and pull up your own pants? #PregnancyMomentsToRemember

    All in all, pregnancy was a miserable time. The happiest moment of my life was when I gave birth because I finally had my son in my arms and because I wasn't pregnant anymore #WorstMomEver.

     

     

    Zane's Room - My First DIY Success!

    If you follow my Instagram stories, then you know I am not talented when it comes to DIY projects. Most of them just give my husband a reason to laugh or get upset... his reaction depends on how much money I wasted lol. My DIY failures extend to the kitchen (I can't cook and once gave myself salmonella poisoning), beauty (I once waxed off too much of my eyebrows and had a lopsided face for a month), and until recently included arts and crafts. I am SO proud to announce that for the FIRST TIME EVER, I had a DIY success!

    I had such a bad pregnancy that I never really got around to fully decorating Zane's room because it was uncomfortable to breathe, let alone start hanging things on my walls. So now that my munchkin is here, I decided to spruce up his room a bit! 

    I bought some wood letters from Michael's Crafts and spray painted them a dark grey to match his room. (this part was a little bit of a failure because I almost sprayed myself in the face and put way too much on each letter so it took a few days to dry instead of 1 hour).... but the end result was great!

    I then ordered grey triangle wall decals from Indigo to put around the letters! I opted for decals instead of painting the wall because I figured if I messed it up (there was a 90% chance that would happen), then I could easily take them off before my husband got home to avoid being ridiculed. Scroll through the pics below to see the final product!

    Voila! A fully decorated wall for under $60!

    iFloat Baby Spa - Zane's Happy Place

    Zane, like most 4 month olds, is beginning to discover his hands and feet, and does so by giving me swift kicks to the stomach and ripping out my hair any chance he gets. It's a good day for me when I don't get my eye poked by his tiny little precious fingers (that have a way of finding my pupil EVERY time he pokes my eye). As a result, I am always looking for ways to tire him out because I really can't afford to lose any more hair postpartum and one of these days he will end up giving me a black eye with his little feisty fists. So when I heard about iFloat Baby Spa, where babies float around in a pool and can kick and move freely (and without injury to me), I was in! It was a bonus that they also gave baby massages, because you know he isn't spoiled enough already.

    Their website explains that the floatation and massage helps to improve socialization, strengthens bonding (because of the skin-to-skin contact), provides stimulation, promotes relaxation and better SLEEP, increases physical & cognitive development, boosts confidence & enhances well-being, improves coordination, and builds strength & develops learning skills. With all those benefits, how can you not try it at least once?... also please note the benefit SLEEP. Anything that will get me more sleep is worth a try.

    I'll be honest, at first I was a bit skeptical and nervous because at first glance, it looks like the floatation device is a bit uncomfortable... but I knew right away by Zane's reaction that it was anything but that. At first he didn't know what to do and kind of just floated around looking confused (sort of like me at the gym... out of place trying to figure things out), but 10 minutes in he was a natural (like me at McDonalds). He was yelling, kicking, laughing and splashing water everywhere. 30 mins of floating time was up and it was time for the baby massage. 

    The masseuse is a registered massage therapist that specializes in baby massage. She gave him a head to toe massage using organic baby massage oil... and I think Zane's face says it all. We loved iFloat Baby Spa so much that we bought an unlimited ifloat and massage package for the month. In case you're wondering - he took a 2 hour nap after our first visit (YAY SLEEP!).

    And for those of you who are thinking it... I'll just say it first. My 4 month old son has a better life than most of us. Floating around and getting massages 4 times a week.