Painting Fun – a rainy day activity

I have Mondays off from work and those are my “Mommy Days”. I wish this meant I slept in until 10, sipped hot coffee in my pjs and then spent the afternoon lounging at the spa. But who am I kidding, this is real life. I take Hazel to daycare, some may think this is selfish considering she’s already there the rest of the week, but this gives me a day to catch up. I usually run an errand or two right after dropping her off, I come home and tackle that mountain of laundry that’s staring me down. I do a few other household chores, spend some time blogging and most importantly try and prepare a nice meal for when my husband comes home. During the week I don’t have much energy to cook after work so it’s always nice when you actually feel like cooking.

This past Monday Hazel woke up a little cranky and showing signs of becoming the Booger Queen so I opted to keep her home. I figured it’s better to tackle the germs right away and I know if she stays home she will nap for at least 2 hours. At daycare she only seems to nap for about an hour. Nothing wrong with that but we all know sleep is the best medicine. Putting aside my usual Monday tasks we spent the day cuddling on the couch, catching up on Sesame Street, playing with Izzy and we painted. I love to do arts and crafts and now that Hazel is able to grasp some simple crafting concepts its lots of fun to introduce things to her. She of course is also being introduced to these things at daycare, which makes it even more fun when we do them at home too. A few weeks ago I put a large sheet down in the garage, stripped her down and we went to town with the paints, painting a giant sheet of paper to turn into wrapping paper for some gifts. She had a blast and was completely covered in paints within the first 5 minutes. Today however I opted to bring the paint inside. A little risky with a 16 month old but we managed and we also managed to keep the paint contained! Hallelujah! I placed her at our eating bar, and set her up with some paints and let her go to town. It was all fun and games until we decided to try and taste test the paints! Oh my! Thank goodness for water based, non-toxic paints! Here’s a look at what we created and all the messy fun that went into it!

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We started out with a blank 8×10 canvas. We then drew a heart with glue, we had to let it sit until the glue dried and then we started to paint over top.

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I placed 3 shades of pink and some gold on a paper plate for her and let her go to town.

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Of course we “sampled” the paint, at this point it was time for a nap while I cleaned up. And there’s our finished project sitting on her dresser :)

Have you tried painting with your toddler yet? If so what have you painted and do you have anything you suggest we try?

Xo. Andria

A Bulldog Halloween

What’s cuter than several English Bulldogs and French Bulldogs running around a park? How about several English and French Bulldogs running around a park wearing costumes? On Saturday we went to the Vancouver Bulldog Meetup Groups annual Halloween Bash at a local off leash dog park. To quote my mom, “It was a hoot”. There was at least 30 bulldogs running around in costumes on Sunday. I don’t even think the word chaotic quite sums it up. It was off the wall, ridiculous, an absolute gong show to say the least. We had super hero’s, airplanes, minions, Miss Piggy, lions and caterpillars, running around snorting and drooling. Here are a few of our pictures from Sunday, if you’re in the Vancouver area and have a bulldog, heck any dog, we’d love for you to join on us one of our walks.

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Sorry I don’t really have any pictures of the other’s in costumes, I was too busy following my two superheros around to take pictures of others :)

Xo. Andria

A new series – Top 10 Must Haves -Maternity Fashion

Today is the first day of a series of posts I will be doing on my top 10 must haves for new and expecting parents. I will be covering everything from my favorite maternity fashions to my hospital bag suggestions. Someone very close to me is expecting their first child and has asked me to put together these posts to help them prepare. Of course I know you want to know who is expecting and I have been holding this little secret in for a while now. I am super excited to share that my little sister is expecting her first child this spring! I can’t wait to snuggle my new little niece or nephew and I know my parents are just as excited to have another grandchild enter their home. So today for the first installment in my Top 10 Must Have series I bring you Top 10 Must Haves – Maternity Fashion.

My biggest recommendation when it comes to maternity clothes is COMFORT. When I was pregnant with Hazel I didn’t find myself purchases a lot of items from maternity stores, what I was purchasing were items a size up than I would normally purchase. That being said a few stores do carry a small run of maternity clothes, which is great for those items that you can’t get away with purchasing in a size larger. Topshop, Old Navy and H&M were my favorite places to go. Not only do these 3 stores carry a maternity line, but it is affordable. I found the maternity stores to be quite expensive, especially when you know you’re only getting so much wear out of the items. I picked up a pair of maternity jeans with the over the belly band from Old Navy for $15!!! Not only was I able to wear them my entire pregnancy but they were super comfy and looked just as good as the $200 maternity jeans I saw.  Another great find at Old Navy was tank tops, I was lucky and got them while they were on sale for $5 each. While they were non maternity I found even wearing them right up to week 38 they didn’t stretch out that much and I was able to wear them through the summer, post pregnancy.

Here are a few of my favorite items out there right now, while they aren’t items I wore, a lot of them are very similar to what I did wear.

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1. Aritzia – This Wilfred Free dress is not only super comfortable but it has lots of stretch, making it a perfect item from Week 1 -40.

2. Victoria Secret – There is nothing better than a comfortable pair of underwear, especially ones that sit under your belly.

3. H&M – A variety of basic long and short sleeve shirts are a must have, nothing cuter than a tight tshirt and a little belly with a pair of jeans.

4. Mint – Having one or two black and white maternity tank tops make layering easy while pregnant.

5. H&M – Affordable and comfortable, easily your go to jeans for daily wear.

6. Topshop – Black leggings, a must have for every pregnancy.

7. You Lingerie – Probably my #1 item, a comfy bra. When your pregnant its never to early to get a nursing bra as they have ample room for your growing chest and provide excellent coverage and support.

8. Topshop – When paired with black leggings and a nice necklace, tunics make a great outfit for a night out.

9. Old Navy – Hard to tell but this skirt has a roll over band, perfect to find under your growing belly. Maxi skirts were my #2 favorite item when I was pregnant.

10. H&M – My #3 go to when I was pregnant. a chic and comfy sweatshirt, paired with a tank and boyfriend maternity jeans and your set!

Stay tuned for next week, when I share my next Top 10 Must Haves!

Xo. Andria


I have a Confession to Make

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Sometimes I just don’t feel like being a mom. No I don’t mean I regret having a child or anything like that. I just don’t  feel like being in charge, being responsible. Call it being lazy, call it whatever you want, there are just days, hours or even minutes where I just don’t feel like it. So I confess to you, some of the things I am guilty of when I’m in one of those moods.

1. There are morning when I hear that Hazel is making noise in her crib and I lay in bed and say to myself just five more minutes. She’s not screaming or upset just is awake and probably has a dirty bum, but I will “ignore” her and give myself 5, 10, sometimes 20 minutes before I go get her. Heck a few times she has fall back asleep -> goal achieved.

2. There are nights when I don’t want to cook her dinner. Please don’t take that the wrong way, I am not and will never starve my child. Chances are I’ve had a long day at work and the last thing I want to do is whip  up some nutritious meal that covers all 4 food groups and half of it is going to be fed to the dog. Enter in your favourite frozen mini pizza, shes happy, I’m happy and all is right in the world. Some nights when I’m feeling like a kitchen goddess I’ll even thrown in some steamed broccoli.

3. Sometimes I will say I have to pee and go upstairs and lock myself in the bathroom, just to get a minute or two to myself. When Evan’s not home I pretty much always have an entourage in the bathroom or else an epic meltdown will ensue.

4. Some mornings I let Hazel eat Fruit Loops straight from the box. 100% irresponsible I know, but have you read the ingredients on some of those baby products? They are pretty much the same thing and it gives me 5 minutes to put together my lunch so I don’t starve.

5. To keep Hazel occupied while I am trying to get ready I ask her to bring me things. Yes it’s kinda mean as she will run back and forth from the bathroom to her room, emptying her sock draw in the process but at least I can put my mascara on without having a toddler tug at my legs.

I know I am not alone, so tell me, what are your mommy confessions?

Xo. Andria

Wordless Wednesday

We’ve had a busy week this past week. Full of family brunches, birthday parties, trade shows, swimming, trips to the dog park, learning to drive and of course #selfies. Who can resist a good selfie first thing in the morning? Hope you enjoy this weeks Wordless Wednesday!

 

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Xo. Andria


Thank you

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I just wanted to take a second and thank everyone for all the kind comments and I received from my post Am I a Bad Mother? I wrote the post to generate discussion on getting some “me time” and boy did it do just that. My phone was going off the hook that day. I received countless comments on the blog, Facebook and several text messages from close friends and readers. Some of you even made me cry with the kind words that were said.

I have never once doubted my ability to be a mother, no one should.  Parenting is one of those things that I don’t believe will ever be mastered. No matter how many books you read or how much advise you receive, something will always come up and stump you. I believe the only way to tackle the task is to take it one day at a time and do whats best for you and your child.  These little monkeys throw more curveballs than some of the best pitchers in MLB.  What I do believe is that we need to pause and take a minute or two for ourselves. The better our mindset the better we will be for our children. I know it’s not always easy as we don’t always have the convenience of having family near to help us. Sometimes it’s just about getting our partner to take over for an hour or two. Just remember that you are a team, split your parenting responsibilities between the two of you and tag each other in and out. And don’t be afraid to say something to your partner, they might not realize  you need more help from them or need a break.

Xo. Andria

 

It’s Getting Furr-ific in Here

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I have been on the hunt for the perfect Faux Fur Vest for a while now, ok like 3 weeks but that feels like forever when you want something really bad. A few weeks back I caught a glimpse of a vest at H&M out of the corner of my eye, but Hazel was done with shopping so we left the store with out looking and well, I’ve been kicking myself since. Ever since I have been madly scouring the internet for the PERFECT vest. It had to be brown, look somewhat “real” and be the right price.  I was just about to give up my search when Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama,  was like Hey, girl have you been to Target lately? Hold up! Target has exactly what I’m looking for and you say it’s only $30?? So I dropped Hazel off at daycare this morning and drove like a mad woman to Target as I didn’t want to miss out on this amazing find! To my delight there was a rack full of these beauties. And yes it was only $30!! It comes in 3 colors, beige, brown and gray, so if your on the hunt for a Faux Fur Vest, run friends, RUN!!! These won’t last long.

Of course in my desperate search over the last few weeks I found a handful of other beauties. So I put together a few of my favorite finds for you below. Now to find a matching one for Hazel ;)

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  1.  Zara
  2. H&M
  3. Target
  4. Joe Fresh
  5. Aritizia

 

Xo. Andria

 

Am I a bad mother?

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This is a post that I have been struggling to write for a while now. I can’t just seem to put the right words to paper, screen. I find that it’s a topic that just keeps me asking questions more than anything. Recently I have both heard and read about moms not being able to leave their children. I am talking about women who aren’t able to leave their babies for more than an hour or two. Women who can’t go out until bed times are done. Women who haven’t had a night away from their children EVER and they have 2 year, 5 year and 7 year olds! I have no problem leaving Hazel so I have to ask myself, am I a bad mother?

Am I a bad mother because I have never thought twice about leaving my child to go do something for myself? I have never had an issue with leaving Hazel, ever. At four months old I left her with my mother to go attend baking classes, to get some me time. Does this make me selfish? At 6 months old I started introducing a bottle at bed time, instead of breastfeeding. It was still breast milk, but I wanted her to get used to having  others, most importantly her dad, put her to bed. I didn’t want her to rely solely on me. Again, does this make me a selfish mother? At 10 months old we left her with my parents for 5 days and hopped on a plane to Vegas. We only checked in once and didn’t think a thing about it. We knew she was in good hands and we were excited to enjoy some us time. Does this make us bad parents?

I don’t believe I am a bad mother for leaving my child, I love her more than I could ever imagine, but I need sometime to myself every now and then. I need time to unwind, time to just focus on me and no one else. Just as my husband needs and deserves this time too. So I have to ask myself, why aren’t these other woman doing the same? Why aren’t they splitting the bed times with their spouses? Is it because as women we are naturally programmed to be the nurturers?  Do they feel that if they don’t dot on their child every second that they will fail as a mother? Am I failing as a mother because I don’t dot on my child every second?

I would like to think that by raising Hazel to be comfortable with others that I am raising a strong and independent girl.  I don’t want her to rely on me for everything, I want her to grow up and make her own decisions. I want her to realize when I leave her at daycare or someone else’s house that it’s only temporary and that she will be ok without mom and dad. I want her to be able to go to bed on her own instead of having to have me tuck her in every night. I want her to jump on the couch and realize when she falls off that it probably wasn’t the best idea.

So I have to ask, why are these women not leaving their children to go out and get some me time? Are they are afraid that they will be classified as bad mothers because they are out enjoying themselves? I need to know, what’s stopping you ladies? If your worried about your child freaking out, its bound to happen at one point or another. The younger you instill that independence in them the better it will be for both of you. For those of you that have no problem leaving your children to enjoy some me time, I applaud you. You deserve it, go enjoy that glass of wine with your girlfriends, relax at the spa, heck you push that grocery cart as slow as you can through the grocery store, enjoy every second of your break. Just remember, you aren’t a bad mom, your giving it 110% and that’s all that matters.

Xo. Andria