20.2.17

hiding till Spring

The past 8 weeks have been tough. City living in the winter definitely has it's challenges. We don't have a parking spot (and of course, no garage) so we park on the street like most of our neighbours, but that gets really tricky when the snow plows leave huge mountains for us to cross over, or frozen ice surrounding ones vehicle.There have definitely been days where I've gone to drive Oli to school (his school is only 1km away, but on cold days, we drive) and I literally couldn't get the car out of the ice, so he stayed home!

We've spent a lot of sunny Saturdays inside because the light by the window is a lot more pleasant than the light outside which also has the fierce wind and icy sidewalks to compete with. I love getting out, but this winter I've been a big baby, honestly. Spring is beginning to creep in and I can't wait to get out with my crew for long walks, bike rides, hiking at Mont-Royal, park hangs, and eventually the pool every.single.day.

I love these pictures of the kids enjoying their shared bedroom in the winter sun. It reminds me that even the annoying cold has a warm cozy lining, and like in most things in life, there's good with the hard. 

17.2.17

body after baby + a WonderBra giveaway!

*** giveaway is closed ***

So a weird thing happens when you have a baby, not to mention a second and a third within three years. Among other miracles, your body grows in such a way as to house, sustain, and eventually nurture human life. No biggie, right? And then the baby leaves your body, only to use it for sustenance and comfort for the many weeks, months, or years to come.

If you haven't guessed by now, this post is for the ladies. Mamas, in particular. So guys, do yourself a favour and head here instead, k? Ciao.
...

So, body after baby. What thoughts does that conjure up for you? I feel like my mind goes to annoying before and after pictures on Instagram of women looking smokin' hot without a glimmer of pregnancy or childbearing on their stunning bods, or the polar opposite, the reality of stretch marks, crazy boobs, and saggy skin that just weren't there nine months ago.

We all feel comfortable saying every baby is different, or every pregnancy or birth story is unique, but when it comes to body after baby, everyone seems to be comparing. Moms always want to know, how long did it take you to loose your baby weight? Spoiler alert: just like everything, it was a different journey with every pregnancy. With Lily I didn't even have time to think about my post-baby body before I was pregnant again with Oli. And then with Oli it was about eight months before I started resembling my pre-baby self. After Chloe I was fitting into my regular clothes sooner, but by then I had literally no muscle mass to speak of and couldn't even open a pasta jar.

Let's be perfectly clear, pre-baby self is never coming back. Weight is one thing - a measly number - but EVERYTHING changes when you have a baby, give birth, breastfeed, and ween. Those stretch marks that I got in the second to last week of my first pregnancy? They're here to stay. My breasts have literally been every single size on the conventional spectrum in the last six years. I'm not kidding. If you've ever been to one of my stuff swaps, you've probably been offered one of my countless bras in ever-changing sizes which no longer fit me.


When WonderBra offered me a few of their new bras to try, and I checked out their sizing chart on their website, I was once again enlightened to my new bra size. Except now it's probably my bra size for the legitimate future (fingers crossed, because I don't think I can handle any more body changes!). I'm not having any more babies, I'll never be pregnant or breastfeed again, and I seem to be at a stable size/weight (I know this because I've been wearing the same jeans for the past 2+ years, not because I weigh myself - I don't own a scale - a practice I highly suggest). Now is the perfect time for me to make peace with my body after baby, because it's the same body I'm going to live in for the rest of my life.


What I've learned after three kids in three years? Babies are not always kind to your curves. You might gain weight that you can't loose. Your girls might develop a mind of their own and mutiny against every shirt you own by being either way larger or much smaller than you'd like. What I've also learned? It's 100% worth it. I've written about my difficult journey of breastfeeding my three kids, and how I wish I started working out sooner, not to weigh a certain amount but for the energy it gives to help you through the day. But this body real talk? It's a first for me, but I'm glad to join the conversation.


I love WonderBra's approach - that every woman's body is wonderful and we should see them as the incredible things they are, no matter their size. In partnering with Wonderbra this month, I got to try some bras from their new collection and they are so beautiful and so comfortable! I've teamed up with Wonderbra to host a giveaway on Instagram, and one winner will receive a bra set of her choice! You can enter as many times as you like (by tagging women you admire!), so head over to Instagram to enter. The winner will be drawn Sunday night at 10pm! Good luck girls, you're wonderful ;)

15.2.17

a day in HER life - Erin


Hello! I'm Erin and I live in Raleigh, NC with my husband, 2 kids (Wyatt, almost 5, and Zora, almost 1) and my boston terrier, Mollie. My husband works in software and I work (from home) in marketing as a graphic designer.


A typical day in my life is not very exciting, but I'm very lucky and grateful for health, happiness and my family.


I've recently started swimming at a local pool on some mornings and I love it! Its usually me and a couple of senior citizens swimming up a storm in the quiet of the morning. When I get home, I get the kids dressed and feed them breakfast before my husband takes them to pre-school for the day.


I start my day with coffee from the french press b/c (in my opinion) its the best! Sometimes I take a shower but sometimes I wait until lunch (lol). I like to spend a couple of minutes watching the Today Show as I sip my coffee. Then, its time to work. I am a designer so I spend my days working on all different types of projects including logos, web design, marketing collateral and mood boards. I've been doing it for many years and I enjoy it. You will also find my little furry sidekick hanging with me in my office most days. She keeps me company :)


I usually have lunch at home and make it myself. I like to read or watch some Netflix during this time.


I'm back to designing in the afternoon and sometimes i'll take an afternoon break on the couch to read or catch up on a favorite blog. Mollie is always by my side.


I go and pick up my kids in the early evening and they get in a bit of playtime before we have dinner. They are at the age where they want to be wherever we are and I just love that. My little Zora is always at my feet if not in my arms and my Wyatt loves solving puzzles and playing with his legos.


We have dinner and its usually very simple on the week nights. My husband loves to use his new grill when the weather is nice (it usually is in NC even in the winter for the most part). After dinner and clean up, the kids get a bath and then we read them stories. They love books! Both my kids are good sleepers (it took a while with my son though!) so they go to bed and stay there most nights!


Once everyone is asleep, my husband and I (with Mollie of course) usually settle in for some chill time on the couch with Netflix and I'm passed out by 10. Good day, good night!

See, I told you - exciting stuff!

Thanks so much for sharing Erin!
Instagram - @sunnycirclestudio
Home Tour - Style Mutt Home

13.2.17

roadside mid-century desk!

A few weeks ago I was heading to pick up Lily from school. It was -16 and I didn't have gloves (because it was supposed to be a quick pick up), when I saw this beauty. Or at least, I knew it could be a beauty with a little (a lot) of sanding and a couple coats of paint.


I love mid-century style furniture but it usually it comes with a hefty price tag, but this solid wood desk was totally free though very heavy and I knew if I waited to come back and get it, it would be gone. I frantically texted Brad to come help me. His job has a lot of challenges but one huge perk is that he more or less works flexible hours, so in an emergency roadside find situation, he can be there, with gloves, to do the heavy lifting.


I've been known to pick things up from the side of the road but it's been a couple years since I've done a makeover on a piece of furniture. Our dining table and Lily's baby dresser were the last big projects. This time around, we live in a tiny apartment with three active kids, so I knew it had to be a weekender and no more. We don't have a garage or a yard or any extra rooms to store a project like this for what it's convenient.

 

I washed it with lysol wipes as well as a water-vinegar mixture with some essential oils in hopes of getting rid of the awful smell. Then I put baking soda in the drawers which was an awesome suggestion by my friend Audrey and totally worked. I sanded the whole desk three times with varying strengths of sand paper and finally, two coats of white paint that we had leftover from painting our bathroom.


The largest challenge was the beautiful hardware which was impossible to remove, so I had to use the kid's tiny paint brushes to free hand around the handles for the two coats of paint. It's now in our kid's room and I just love it!! Lily's "desk" was our vacant microwave stand in the kitchen and it was fine, but now she can have the option of closing her door to drown out the kid's noises while she and I tackle her homework.

 

I alllllmost kept this desk for myself and put my IKEA desk in the kid's room, but in the end it's the perfect size for a kid's room and would have been too boxy and short for my work space in our bedroom. So everybody wins! Thanks to my elderly Portuguese neighbours who are always leaving the coolest things on the sidewalk!