You remember the kick-ass girl’s weekend I took with my best friends to Calgary? I mean it’s kind of hard to not remember with my slow and steady trickle of photos from that weekend still emerging in my Instagram feed! But I what you didn’t see a lot of was the coolest car that we were able to take on our road trip – the Ford Edge ST 2019!
This is the perfect dress for a growing baby bump – and you can probably already guess that it’s not from a maternity store – because as you know that’s the biggest secret about dressing your baby bump! But have you ever wondered “can you wear regular clothes while pregnant?
It’s true, I am always wearing non-maternity clothes while pregnant because I know exactly what clothes, and more importantly dresses, feel the best with a growing bump!
I love when Anthropologie puts out this style of dress (pictured above) – it’s not a swing dress or a tunic – but it seems like this gorgeous style of dress only makes an appearance on their racks during Spring and Summer time. I’ve worn similar fitting dresses from Anthro for my last pregnancy too (you can see them here and here) and continued to wear them postpartum, they were the best investment I made in maternity clothes!
So during a last minute shopping trip to West Edmonton Mall I stopped inside Anthropologie and was delighted that they had so many similarly styled dresses again! Not only do I love the fit of this dress for pregnancy but it looks amazing postpartum!
While I wouldn’t say these dresses are exactly breastfeeding friendly, they would be a beautiful addition to your wardrobe – they are so versatile from brunch, to summer weddings, to everyday errands. It can easily be dressed up or dressed down!
I was immediately drawn to the red motif pattern but when I looked online there are also 3 other gorgeous patterns! I think they all may make their way into my cart at some point because the more I wear the dress I have the more I fall in love with it.
Blogger, influencer, or Instagram blogger… It’ s a joke among some of my blogger friends, that started with grassroots beginnings, that these days all you have to do to become an instantly successful blogger is become a contestant on ABC’s The Bachelor… and truly you don’t even have to make it far before all these women are suddenly starting blogs with their 100 000 Instagram followers. It seems like besides broken hearts, The Bachelor is suddenly pumping out influencers and bloggers too…
But for the rest of us bloggers, influencers, and Instagram bloggers out there – we all had humble starts!
We work hard on creating content, connecting with others online, and we share our lives with you. But what is the difference between the roles of bloggers, influencers and Instagram bloggers?
I don’t think there is much variation between my general thoughts and my colleges – a blogger, as you can probably guess, has a website that is separate from their social media accounts. Typically, bloggers own their URL or have a free version from one of the blogging hosts. They also share their content and more on their social media – whether that’s behind the scenes or everyday life – they can use their blogs and social media to connect with their audiences.
An influencer is the big umbrella that everyone is cast under. It’s a general term that if you have influence on social media that you are under the umbrella of influencer – this can be business people, public figures, celebrities, bloggers, Instagram bloggers, etc. If you are sharing your lifestyle and people are wanting to know more and connect more with you – you are under the umbrella of an influencer. There is no minimum of followers to be one, some people naturally are one and don’t turn it into a business. Some people strive become one and turn it into a business. There’s a whole range of people cast under the umbrella!
And lastly, what is an Instagram blogger? It’s kind of a confusing term that is a synonym for an influencer who is strictly on Instagram. They don’t have a separate website, they publish their content – long or short captioned – on Instagram and connect with their audience that way.
I hope that brings some clarity to the differences between bloggers, influences, and Instagram bloggers! If you ever have questions feel free to reach out to me on Instagram – I am an open book.
If you are interested in starting a venture into the blogger and influencer world – do you have what it takes?
Make sure you sign up for my email list – I want you to be in the know about everything and anything – and the very first thing you’ll receive is my FREEBIE on how what 3 apps I use to edit my blog and Instagram photos! Hurry up, and I created this just for you so you can transform any iPhone photo into a masterpiece!
I honestly couldn’t braid my hair by myself until I was 15 years old, my mom always did it for me! But after lots of practice braiding I can say I thoroughly enjoy it – besides the fact that my arms get very tired after 5 minutes, anyone else get tired braiding arms? Well thankfully, this step-by-step bubble braid tutorial doesn’t make your arms tired!
For this bubble braid tutorial you’ll need mini elastics, I prefer the clear ones but any mini elastics will do!
Here are my 7 easy steps to creating this double bubble braid look:
#1 Part Your Hair
First, part your hair as you like – for wearing a hat I prefer a middle part – and pin back two front pieces that you’ll curl afterwards.
#2 Split One Side Into Two Pieces
Split into two equal pieces, and tie the back piece with an elastic.
There were too many times as a new mom I found myself staying in my rigid comfort zone of the indoors when the weather warms up. For me, it’s easier to keep up naps, it’s less fuss, and I can stay within wifi distance while inside my home… but there’s a reason that doctors, parenting books, and mom forums encourage going outside for fresh air. It feels so good once you get over the hurdle of getting ready to enjoy the summer with your baby!
There is nothing worse (in my mom brain) than being under-prepared! Whether it’s caused by lack of snacks, water cups, sunscreen, towels, toys, or forgotten baby gear – it causes a scramble that either means we adapt and overcome, or we have to leave prematurely. And trust me, I’ve forgotten all these things many times before and the mom guilt is real.
I found 5 ways, to not only be prepared to be outside but, to enjoy summer with your baby more!
Pack a picnic! Snacks are fun – but more snacks are even better! The girls were eager to pick out their own SkipHop Zoo Backpacks and even more eager to help pack a picnic, how cute are they that they picked out matching lunch bags without me telling them too! I love using the Munchkin Miracle 360 cups because they don’t spill, they are BPA-free, and they are able to go into the dishwasher (a must in my home!). I also adore snack bowls that don’t spill all their snacks into the grass where they proceed to accidentally step on them… if you can tell I’ve experienced this a few times as well. My go-to for all my kids (especially little Adeline) is the Oxo Tot Flippy Snack Cup With Travel Cover – because it not only avoids spills but it helps them have a healthy pace of eating, opposed to shoving handfuls of Cheerios into their mouths until it’s all gone.
Always carry sunscreen! I have honestly forgotten sunscreen or bug repellant so many times I have multiples everywhere – we are huge with sun safety in our family! But better yet, I am a passionate advocate for using safer beauty products and that goes all the way to my kids. buybuy BABY has an amazing selection of baby safe sunscreen options like thinkbaby Safe Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+ (it comes in a stick applicator, which is awesome for kids who hate sunscreen!). and Sun Bum Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30.
Protect your baby and yourself from bug bites! Then there is the very real issue of mosquitoes and ticks in Alberta! It doesn’t matter what age my children are, they are always rolling around in the grass or running through the trees discovering new places – so I’m excited to try out the Care Plus Insect Repellant Spray which contains no chemicals or DEET. Last year I always sprayed the girls with the Trek Take A Hike Outdoor Spray before they went outside, which is a combination of essential oils to keep mosquitoes away. Plus, you can use on children 1 years old and up. Both are wonderful options for new moms who need that extra protection from bug bites for their babies!
Free up your hands! I love baby wearing! I like having my baby snuggled up to me so my hands are free to help with putting on shoes, or applying sunscreen, or filling up water bottles. But this time I needed assistance from the knowledgeable staff at buybuy BABY for a summer baby carrier, because the first thing I noticed was there are 5x more options available than 5 years ago when I bought my first baby carrier! I was able to try on all the baby carriers, wraps, ans slings that caught my eye – and the buybuy BABY staff made helpful suggestions while keeping in mind my budget (which I always appreciate!). My top favourite summer baby carriers are the: boba Kahla Wrap Baby Carrier, LÍLLÉbaby Eternal Love Ring Sling, Ergobaby Four-Position 360 Cool Air Baby Carrier. All three were very different in design but these were the best fits for my body, so I highly recommend stopping into buybuy BABY for a baby carrier try-on and consult with their staff on all your options before you commit to one.
Dress For The Weather! Am I the only one who has taken their babies to the spray park or beach only to see that we were ill-prepared for the weather? This year I picked up everything we will need to keep them comfortable while playing outside (more for my comfort than theirs, they would play outside rain or shine). From the essentials like long sleeve rash guard 50+ SPF shirts, swim shoes, swim diapers, hooded towels and – the most embarrassing but safe sun hat (I call it the mullet hat) – the baby sun flap hat.
The trick is to saving a little bit of your sanity this summer is to wash everything as soon as possible and then put it all back into your designated
Banff, AB with kids… if your kids love being outside in rain, sleet, sunshine or snow then you can do it! Thankfully, that’s right up my girls alley so I thought why not take them on a family trip to Banff.
What an adventure this weekend was! I was terrified of solo parenting while travelling but I had the opportunity to ease into it so I took a chance! I decided on Friday that I would drive to Banff with all 3 girls to meet my mom who was there for the weekend already. Matt had a guys trip planned to Edson and I had a surge of pregnancy stamina that said “go for it!”. I already mentioned in my Instagram post there would be no way I would have gone if I didn’t have extra help waiting in Banff!
This road trip was the first time I have taken my daughters to Banff ever, I’ve been a few times over the years on my bff road trips, so I was excited for my little ones to experience the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains!
Here are my 7 tips for solo parenting while travelling:
Consider the time of day | I saw a huge difference in their behaviour in the car between driving down to Banff versus driving back to Edmonton – and I think a lot of it was due to the time of day we were travelling at. I woke them up at 6AM the day we left and the excitement of a new adventure wore off within the first hour of driving. While on the way back we had our normal morning routine in Banff, and left at 9:30AM to drive to Edmonton. They were much quieter, there was NO FIGHTING (which was a miracle in itself!), and they made it all the way to Red Deer (3.5 hrs with the poor road conditions) before we all needed a break.
If you are able to, I recommend leaving after your regular breakfast time. It will make your trip a little bit easier!
Snacks and drinksI mean, this is a given if you have kids like mine that ask for snacks 24/7. But when you’re solo parenting on a trip you’re doing both the job of driving safely and being the backseat helper. So I made a quick stop to Walmart the day before we left to pick up juice boxes, granola bars, crackers, fruit gummies, a dozen dinner rolls, and a small jar of peanut butter. While I brought juice boxes I only allowed their spill-proof water bottles while driving, because I was not going to deal with kids crying over wet pants.
I gave each daughter their own small Ziplock bag with a combination of a handful of crackers, an open fruit gummies packet, and an open granola bar. I could imagine that 5 minutes into driving on the highway someone would ask for a snack and I would not be able to open up snacks to distribute so I did this before hand to make it simpler for me to keep everyone happy and drive safely.
Portable potty and Pull-UpsAs a mom of 3 daughters (5, 3, and 1) with different washroom abilities going to the bathroom was a hurdle I wanted to be able to have a solid plan for while solo parenting. Besides making them all go to the bathroom twice before we left, I brought our bjorn potty training potty with toilet paper and Lysol disinfecting wipes. I’m glad I brought it because we used it once on the road!
Not only did I bring the portable potty but the older girls wore Pull-Ups because I wanted back-ups. No other reason besides I didn’t need another mess to clean up and stress over.
Audio books and noise cancelling head phones | The night before I had the idea of choosing an audio book that both the girls and I could enjoy – and I found the perfect one that would last the entire trip! The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe! There were hours at a time when they would be listening intently to the audio book, and it worth the $20 on iBooks...
Sunglasses, for me, are one of those items that reveal my expensive taste! You know what I mean? Where I’ll be shopping around and pick up a pair and the price tag will read $200! Cool, cool, cool. Since I’ve realized my champagne tastes on a beer budget, I started signing up for my favourite stores email lists and keeping an eye out for sunglasses under $60.
If I’m being honest my more expensive sunglasses last longer than my $10 H&M ones because they are quality products. The hinges, the lens, the arms of the sunglasses, the frame plastic – you can tell when it’s made well.
And I’m not knocking down cheap sunglasses! Our home’s front entrance is littered with 3 pairs of my cheap sunglasses and another pair in the van… but my Raybans and my TOMS sunglasses have lasted for 4-5 years while I have to get new cheap sunglasses every year from the falling apart part way through the summer.
As you can tell from my selection of sunglasses above, I love big sunglasses! I like to keep my sunglasses style classic because some of those sunglasses trends are wild to keep up with.
So when I saw that Stella & Dot was having a sale on majority of their sunglasses, I knew I had to share it with you! And today, Monday April 29th is the last day you can receive 20% off all orders $150!
Which is your favourite pair from the 4 Stella & Dot sunglasses? What is your favourite pair of sunglasses under $60? Tell me in a comment below!
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Summer opens the door to many, many more activities that you can do outside – for our family, it’s one of the best parts of summer! And if you are a parent with a baby and/or a toddler, you know that they love being outside just as much as you do too. So what’s a better way to bond with your little ones than to spending time together in the fresh air? Scroll down for inspiration on activities for families with babies and toddlers that everyone will love!
Last week, I made a trip to buybuy BABY (there are 2 Edmonton store locations – West and South) this past week to check out their selection of outdoor gear – from outdoor water tables, to bike accessories, to baby carriers! They have the best variety of gear, it all depends on how you want to spend your summer with your family.
And did you know buybuy BABY has a new phone app – Bed Bath & Beyondbuybuy BABY! You can shop online through it or make a “wish list” in-store by scanning bar codes to add exact items to your list. It makes shopping so much easier!
Do you remember when you were toted around in a bike trailer as a toddler? I do! And this Burley Bee Bike Trailer is bringing me back to my 90’s childhood riding along with my little sister. I also remember what a bummer it was when I was too old to be strung along in one!
One of the coolest, innovative bike gear creations for parents of 1 year olds is the Thule Child Bike Seats – instead of the seat riding behind the bike rider, it’s situated in the front!
I don’t know about you but it is overwhelming how many choices there are for baby carriers these days – it seems like every year new ones are available! I decided I wanted input from the knowledgeable staff at buybuy BABY, and I was able to go in-store to try on all the carriers I wanted.
I personally do not like to shop at stores where staff approach you and it feels like they’re lingering, I know it’s part of their job to initiate contact but that the kind of shopper I am. But I was pleasantly surprised that the staff were supportive, they took into consideration my budget for a baby carrier and didn’t show me any that were out of my range, and they shared the different types that would fit well with my body.
The first baby carrier I received as a gift with my firstborn cut into my sides so much that it made it uncomfortable to wear her around – but I didn’t know any different because I had never tried a baby carrier before. This resulted in me not trying another baby carrier for 2 more years!
Baby carriers have many different styles for different stages for babies, and they shared all this valuable information with me while I made my decision! If you’re in the market for a baby carrier I highly recommend stop by your local buybuy BABY store and try on the carriers before you purchase.