Copy of The Importance of A Great Planner from Lake and Loft

Every year I go on the hunt for a new planner. Not because it’s a task I particularly enjoy… but more so because I haven’t found one that has it all. Durable enough to last an entire year, equipped with enough tools but not overwhelming, a great layout, and gorgeous. This year I stumbled upon Lake and Loft, and they will now have a customer in me for the rest of my planner days!

USE CODE MNMM35 for 35% OFF at Lake and Loft

Finding the right planner for me, is the difference between feeling overwhelmed with my life and feeling like I’m in control. It’s the difference between missing deadlines and being on top of all that I have to do. I’m going share my fave features of my new planner from Lake and Loft! For a limited time, you can use code MNMM35 to save 35% off yours! Click here to see it and the other colors available.

First off, the details. The gold corner accents and gold binding rings tug at my heart. This planner is such a piece, that it can sit on a desk as decor and doesn’t need to be tucked away when I’m cleaning up.

It comes equipped with pockets at the front and back so store loose papers and the fun stickers that come included!

The first section is Dream - pages filled with “Big Ideas” and “Minor Details” so that you can map out how to conquer the year and every idea, thought and inspiration that comes to mind. Whether it’s inspirational quotes, the next great business venture, or just some room decor inspiration, this section is where I would put everything that wanted to keep track of, but didn’t need to access on the daily.

The second section is Plan - self explanatory! It has gorgeous tabs that separate the months. Each month begins with the most important thing: DREAM, GOALS and PLAN OF ACTION. I love writing down my goals for the month. It helps keep me focused, on track, and when I feel discouraged, I can quickly look back and remember why I’m doing what I’m doing.

IMG_2672.JPG

Each month also has a budget section where you can write down bills to pay and keep track of your money coming in and out. There’s even a section to write down what you’re saving up for!

A necessity for me is a monthly calendar view - I like to be able to see what’s coming up at a glance.

Finally, each monthly section is broken down by weeks, making it super easy to write down daily tasks, write weekly to-do lists and there’s even a little section for Weekly Wins. Not every week will be huge… nor super successful, but this weekly win section will help you focus on the positive and keep your drive going for the weeks to come.

IMG_2677.JPG

This yearly planner is filled with such cute extras, such as Thank You and Happy Birthday Post Cards at the end, making it super easy to send a beautiful note to someone special while you’re on the go and busy running the world! Click here to check out my planner along with all the other styles!

USE CODE MNMM35 for 35% OFF at Lake and Loft

Lake and Loft has so much else to offer besides planners! I also got my hands on the big ta-do™ weekly checklist! These tear off sheets have beautiful gold edges, tear apart by day so that you can bring one list at a time with you and are on thick cardboard, making it oh so luxurious to write. Writing to-do lists has never been so fun!!!

Lake and Loft also has note pads, greeting cards, coasters, recipe cards and so much more! Click here to visit their site and don’t forget to use MNMM35 to get 35% off your order!





Last Minute Shopper's Gift Guide

IMG-1230-Facetune-16-12-2018-11-27-04 (1).JPG

With Christmas only 9 days away (I know I can’t believe it either!), I’m helping all you last minute shoppers find the best items for the most important people on your list! What if I told you that you could go to 1 store and find it ALL. Gifts for your nieces, teachers, pregnant sister, difficult to shop for husband, parents and grandparents? Check out my gift ideas below, ALL available in store or online at Indigo! I’ve covering The Gamer, The Beauty Obsessed, The Entertainer, The Kids, The Relaxer… and a few more :).

Something For Everyone

IMG_1218_Facetune_15-12-2018-15-33-33.JPG

A cookbook, a guide to running an empire, some stationery to stay organized and a bit of Elmo. Finding a thoughtful book for ANYONE on your holiday shopping list is a breeze at Indigo!

  1. CRAVINGS: HUNGRY FOR MORE: THE MOST delicious recipes with easy and simple steps to follow. This cook book is perfect for anyone who loves incredible food.

  2. START WITH WHY: HOW GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE EVERYONE TO TAKE ACTION: Help the go getter in your lift find the inspiration to be a better leader and to inspire those around them, including colleagues and customers!

  3. INNER TRUTH PAD - I HAVE TO DO WHAT: For the student, the parent, the organizer. This will make chores, homework and tasks easy to keep track of!

  4. ELMO'S LITTLE LIBRARY (SESAME STREET): For the little reader in your home, this series of 4 books reinvents nursery rhymes while fitting perfectly in their little hands! Perfect for road trips and vacations, the books pack neatly away in a little box that they will not want to leave behind.

Something For the Kids

IMG_1211_Facetune_15-12-2018-15-47-41.JPG

Whether you’re shopping for a future pro athlete, a scientist or an Elmo obsessed toddler, Indigo has the best of the best with prices that can’t be beat!

  1. NHL GOAL AND 2 STICK SET: This collapsible net that can be easily stored comes with 2 hokey sticks and a foam ball that will keep kids happy and parents happier. It can be put away so there’s no clutter but will also keep your little hockey fan busy for hours!

  2. DELUXE CLASSIC PEG PUZZLE BUNDLE by Melissa and Doug: Known for their quality and educational children’s toys, these peg puzzles are perfect for the learning toddler. The pegs make it easy for their little hands to grab, and these wooden puzzles are durable and colourful which will mean hours and years of fun! Melissa & Doug make some of the cutest toys around. Click here to see their entire collection at Indigo.

  3. FIRE FLYER, RRRROLL MODELS by B. Toys: A favourite brand in our home, B. Toys not only makes colourful and fun toys, they give a portion back to charity, use non toxic dyes and sustainable materials. This fire engine roars, moves on its own, lights up and comes with 2 fire men and a movable ladder so that your kid’s imagination can run wild! Click here to see the entire B. Toys collection at Indigo.

  4. SESAME STREET GEAR: Books, costumes, hoodies, stuffed animals and toys. Indigo is the place to go for everything Sesame Street! Whether you’re looking for a TICKLE ME ELMO, a P IS FOR POTTY! potty training book or a MUSIC PLAYER STORYBOOK, Indigo has it all!

Something For The Competitive Gamer

IMG_1129_Facetune_15-12-2018-16-09-56.JPG

For the competitive or playful person in your life, get them a stylish game that won’t spend it’s time in a closet! You’ll be the hit at every party when you show up with one of these games!

  1. CLASSIC DARTBOARD: Whether you’re an amateur or a pro, get every party started with a fun game of darts! This set includes a large dartboard, darts and instructions for the newbies!

  2. TABLETOP AIR HOCKEY: It can be set up on any hard surface and will have people lining up to play! It bring the classic arcade game right into your home! This set includes 2 strikers, 2 goals and a battery powered puck for that authentic air hockey experience!

  3. SIX-IN-ONE WOODEN GAMES COMPENDIUM: 6 of the best known board games, including checkers, chess and pick up sticks, come packed in this easy-to-bring-anywhere board game!

  4. 5 IN 1 WOODEN GAMES SET: a perfect stocking stuffer, this 5-in-1 wooden games set includes backgammon, chess, checkers, dominoes and pick up sticks.

Something For the Relaxer

IMG_1205_Facetune_15-12-2018-15-38-32.JPG

We have one of these in our lives… the person that either loves taking spa like baths… or the person that should spend more time relaxing! Help that person make the most of the holiday season with these spa-like essentials!

  1. SILVER BIRCH & JUNIPER MERCURY 3-WICK CANDLE and POURED GLASS CANDLE: This fresh and unique aroma will transport you to a world where holiday shopping and wrapping is done and there is no cooking left to do!! Guaranteed to please even the pickiest of people, the 3 wick candle is a beautiful centre piece for any table this season, while the smaller candle makes the perfect stocking stuffer!

  2. DETOX BATH SALTS: These 100% natural bath salts are formulated with lavender and eucalyptus essential oils and highly detoxifying Cambrian Blue clay. Just a handful of them will help to clear the mind and body… exactly what everyone needs this season! They also come in a CALM formulation.

  3. THYMES EUCALYPTUS HAND LOTION: The perfect stocking stuffer or gift for a teacher! Made with skin-conditioning jojoba oil, honey and soothing aloe vera, it has the most beautiful scent.

  4. THYMES EUCALYPTUS BATH SALTS: This single use package of bath salts is a great stocking stuffer and will help anyone forget their day’s stresses. It comes in an array of scents, such as Lavender, Goldleaf Gardenia and Aqua Corraline.

Something For The Tea Drinker

IMG_1197_Facetune_15-12-2018-15-39-41.JPG

The tea aficionado in your life will think that they’ve seen it all, until you gift them these items that will blow their mind!

  1. NUDE RASPBERRY HONEY: Available in stores (but worth the trip to your local Indigo), this smooth raspberry honey gives your tea the perfect extra kick that it needs. It’s subtle and not overpowering, but the hint of raspberry will make you wonder how you’ve ever lived with just regular honey before!

  2. TEA DROPS BOOST TEA SPRINKLES: These sprinkles that include a blend of organic matcha, ginger, and lemon can just be added to water and magically dissolve! No steeping or waiting necessary! This is, by far, one of the coolest presentations for tea that I’ve ever seen!

  3. TEA FORTE - WORLD OF TEAS: Available in stores, these loose teas from across the world in single serve packages mean that you can take your favourite teas on the go! You’ll travel from Morocco to China to Japan and enjoy every bold flavour in this box set.

  4. PERFECT TEA MUG - HOLIDAY PLAID: A perfect gift for dad, this large tea mug that includes a lid and removable infuser, will keep him enjoying his favourite tea all winter long!

Something For the Hostess

Spoil the hostess with the mostest by gifting them items that will not only make entertaining easier, but also more stylish!

  1. GREY MARBLE & WOOD COASTERS and WHITE TERRAZZO & MARBLE RECTANGULAR BOARD: More than just a kitchen accessory, this marble board and set of coasters are decorative pieces that will impress any hostess!

  2. AURIA GEO ULTRASONIC DIFFUSER and AURIA DIFFUSER OIL BLEND FOREST: This gorgeous ceramic silver diffuser is a statement piece in any room, and combined with one of the many Auria Diffuser Oil Blends, they will turn any space into a relaxing escape!

  3. CUT GLASS LOWBALL: With gold trim and conversation starting wit, this set of glasses will be a hit at any party! With sayings like: “dare to be fabulous”, “meet me under the mistletoe”, “pleased as punch”, “cheers daring”, they are perfect for any gathering!

  4. ROUND MARBLE BOARD – YUMMY and GOLD CHEESE MARKERS - SET OF 5: Looking for a gift that will leave someone speechless? This beautiful white marble platter with gold accents is the perfect gift, and if you really want to splurge, pair it with this unique set of cheese markers!

Something For The Beauty Product Obsessed

IMG_1187_Facetune_15-12-2018-15-52-45.JPG

We all have a friend or family member that loves to pamper themselves, so help them this holiday season by gifting them the best of the best!

  1. LAPCOS VARIETY SKINCARE PACK: This set includes 7 masks and 1 exfoliating pad that addresses a different skin issue every day of the week!

  2. ILLUME GIFT SET - BEST DAY EVER, WHITE BERGAMOT: This gift set includes a rollerball fragrance, hand creme and lip balm with a mix of mix of grapefruit blossom, blue fig, sparkling blackberries, bergamot, waterlily, lotus flower, cedarwood, crisp vetiver and cool white musk!

  3. ILLUME BAR SOAP - HEY GIRL HEY, COCONUT MILK MANGO: A perfect stocking stuffer, this bar of soap will become a necessity in every beauty routine. It’s smell is devine and it leaves your skin feeling soft and refreshed!

  4. AWAKENING GINSENG AND EUCALYPTUS UNDER EYE MASK: Available in store, these under eye gel pads, made in Korea, are enriched with 12 hydrating extracts which leave the skin around your eyes feeling revived and replenished!

I wish I could say that I covered everything Indigo has to offer… but I could spend weeks writing gift guides filled with unique and beautiful items! Head over to their store or visit their site to take advantage on amazing holiday sales! I would love to see what you pick out so don’t forget to tag me on Instagram in your pictures!

This blog post was written in collaboration with with Indigo.

All thoughts and opinions (as always) are 100% my own.

#EscapeYourCommute with Essential Oil Blends!

Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and Armor All and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

IMG_9086_Facetune_15-11-2018-10-35-47.jpg

Between daycare pick up and drop offs, my daily commute to work and all the errands we run on the weekends, my car often feels like my second home. A second home that doesn’t get cleaned daily (unfortunately). No one warned me how chaotic driving around a 2 year old would be… and throw my snack stealing Boston Terrier into the back seat mix, and I have a guaranteed headache. I wouldn’t say that driving with both of them is relaxing and our daily commutes never used to be something I looked forward to... until now!

IMG_8820_Facetune_12-11-2018-17-54-36.jpg

Thanks to Armor All’s new Essential Blends air fresheners, I can escape my commute and imagine that I’m in a spa, doing yoga, or just sitting in silence at home (yeah right, I’m a mom… I don’t get silence at home :) ).

IMG_7740_Facetune_14-11-2018-20-08-11.jpg

Made with essential oil blends, their air fresheners can help you leave the traffic behind, with blends such as: Energize, Awaken, Focus, Calm and Refresh. The fragrances come as either a hanging diffuser style or as a vent clip! I used both :). The first one I tried is REFRESH which has a gentle but awakening Eucalyptus Mint scent. The vent clips make it easy to put the air fresheners in the back seat (which in my case is necessary!) and the incredible and unique scents will help you escape your commute! The scents include: Citrus Pomegranate, Pink Grapefruit, Eucalyptus Mint, Lemon Bergamot and Vanilla Lavender!

IMG_8109_Facetune_14-11-2018-19-46-16.JPG

Armor All is encouraging Canadians to take time off from the stress of daily traffic and try their Essential Blends air fresheners! They’re even making it a bit easier to get a head start by offering an Escape Your Commute Contest! Prizes include 25 Grand Prizes of WaySpa Gift Cards (valued at $150 each), 10 Instant Prizes of Armor All Product (valued at $100 each) and Frequency Essential Blends air freshener prizing. Enter the contest by visiting the essentialblends.ca website!

IMG_8821_Facetune_12-11-2018-17-58-37.jpg

14 Pounds Down in 2 Weeks Thanks To Keto Coffee

I was super skeptical when I started my keto diet 2 weeks ago. i wasn't sure it was for me and wasn't sure if I would see results, but 2 weeks later I have lost 13.9 pounds and I couldn't be happier! My success is because of my daily Keto Coffee. You can get it for 40% off by joining my 90 day challenge!!! Ask me how by commenting below or click here to sign up!

Ripley's Aquarium - Fun for the Whole Family

If you're in the Toronto area, Ripley's Aquarium is a MUST SEE attraction. I wasn't sure what to expect and went in just hoping that I could keep Zane entertained for a few hours. It turned out, we could have spent the entire day there!

IMG-0724-Facetune-04-05-2018-14-48-17.jpg

From the second you walk in the Ripley's Aquarium, you're surrounded by gorgeous colours, illuminated aquariums that span from floor to ceiling and EVERY type of underwater fish you can imagine. It was such a nice experience to see Zane fascinated by the lights and swimming fish. I went with a friend of mine who has 2 older children and they were just as enthralled by the breath taking views.

IMG-0691.JPG

The aquarium is divided into exhibits such as the Canadian Waters, Rainbow Reef, Ray Bay and Curious Creatures (to name a few) but besides the exhibits, they have so many other things to offer! They have interactive stops along the way for older kids, they have caves that kids can crawl though, educational games and puzzles, and there was even a teaching session happening where someone from the Ripley's Aquarium was giving a lesson about fish!

IMG-0716.JPG

We had 2 favourite parts of the aquarium. The first was the Dangerous Lagoon - which is a long and beautiful aquarium tunnel that allows you to walk under swimming fish, sharks, sea turtles and so much more! There is moving belt so you can relax and be transported on what feels like a magical underwater journey.

IMG-0748-Facetune-04-05-2018-14-45-00.jpg
IMG-0736.JPG

Our second favourite was in the Planet Jellies exhibit. There was this HUGE wall filled with what seemed like hundreds of jelly fish. As the wall changed colours, so did the jelly fish! It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen!

IMG-0783.JPG

We had such a blast at the Aquarium and I can't wait to go back with Zane the next time we are in Toronto. It's a place we could visit over and over again and always find something else to love.

A sleeping baby means a happy mama!!! This is the the right place to tire out your mini :)

A sleeping baby means a happy mama!!! This is the the right place to tire out your mini :)

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!