Accessorized Content – Unexpected Journey

So there I was with a 9 month old babe, and the end of my Maternity benefits in sight, zero desire to go back to an industry that would inevitably keep me working long days and late nights (that i was now no longer passionate about) and desperately not ready to leave my daughter in the care of anyone else. That said money was inevitably tight, new babies and reduced incomes have a way of doing that to a family, and I really needed (financially and personally) and wanted to be making a bit of money again. Not to mention getting back in touch with that part of me that has ALWAYS had a job of some sort. (Don’t for a SECOND take that to mean I don’t feel like my job as a mom is indeed ‘work’ or a ‘job’ because OF COURSE IT IS, it’s the most important and best work of my life)

I was looking for something i could do that would get me out of the house here and there, was fun and interesting, had something to do with my past career path, and where I could make a bit of spending money at the same time. Not needing to put the rug rat in daycare was also key. I sort of accidentally stumbled upon Stella & Dot, having been invited to a party i couldn’t attend and then perusing the website. I was immediately intrigued – the accessories were adorable and it seemed like a great fit. So I did my research, I talked to a current stylist to learn more about the job, I talked to my husband to see what he thought, and then I took the leap.


What I hadn’t anticipated was the community I would find, we stylists lovingly refer to it as the ‘Stella Sisterhood’. Working with other passionate women, finding a community of fellow like minded friends who keep you motivated and inspired, having a life outside of the house again, and truly enjoying the ‘work’. Being at home full time can feel like a vacuum, being able to connect with this community of women has helped me stay motivated, focused, and feel balanced.

I work as much or as little as I can, some months my family or household projects need more attention and so I don’t put quite as much into my business. And some months/days I need to give my every available moment outside of parenting to hip’r. And then other months i can throw myself into Stella & Dot, and it all seems to work. It takes a lot to admit you can’t do everything all the time, and even more to be ok with that. I am committed to being a great parent/primary care giver, I’m also committed to feeding my family healthy wholesome delicious meals. I don’t stress about housework (I luckily married a man who enjoys cleaning, go figure!) but I like a tidy house as much as the next girl – toddlers have a way of leaving a path behind them that resembles that of a mini tornado. I can’t tell you how many times a day i sort & tidy the shoe pile (read: mountain) that inexplicably grows by the front door. So I do what I can, when I can and am committed to being good with that. No sense in dwelling on what I didn’t get done.

So back to Stella & Dot. This company was started by a woman and made for women. And if you think it’s just about selling jewellery you’ve got it all wrong but you’re not alone, and I’m guilty of thinking the same thing when i first started. What I know now is that it’s not about selling anything. That’s not my job. My job is to educate. My job is to make sure everyone has a great time at the party. It’s to help style my clients when they need it and want it. There’s nothing i love more than using what I know, who I am, and stella & dot to help you solve a problem. Starting a new job and need some fresh new pieces for your new office ‘look’? I got your back. Do you already have a pile of really expensive accessories that you can’t even figure out how to wear? I got your back (often you’re just missing a few key pieces to pull it all together – my favourite trick is layering & balancing delicates with edgy/chunkier pieces). Do you need a really thoughtful gift? I can help you there too. New season? Need shoe suggestions to go with all those new accessories? I can help you! THIS is where I thrive. I’m not interested in you getting something you don’t need. I firmly believe there’s a place in every woman’s life for Stella & Dot, maybe it’s as a client, maybe it’s as a host, or maybe it’s as a stylist.


I also understand what it’s like to live on a budget. We can’t always afford all the things we want, and that’s a good thing! Half the line is always under $60. Or my favourite is helping someone who has a pretty decent sized wish list get a lot of it for free, or for half price by hosting a fun girls night. Sometimes I can’t believe that that is my job – spending a few hours getting to know new fabulous women, introducing them to stella & dot, helping them accessorize, facilitating a really fun afternoon or evening with really fun accessories. And then rewarding my host with free product! If I’m going to be away from my husband and daughter, this is pretty good!

Way back in the day I used to work for a fantastic company called lululemon. It’s now a house-hold name, but back when I started it wasn’t. What I loved about that company back then is what I love about Stella & Dot now. There’s genuine thought put into each and every piece. Our design team is brilliant and creative. They are always thinking about how to give our customers more; more bang for their buck, more versatility, more ways to wear. Everything is ethically made, and they stand behind their product. This is absolutely key for me. I’d never ever be able to associate myself with anything that I didn’t know was of quality. I’m proud to be a stylist. I’m proud to be a mom who works from home. I love fitting in my work time into nap schedules, and girls nights into the evenings and weekend slots that work for me and my family. I love not having to follow anyone else’s schedule or quota or demands. It’s about me. It’s about my family. And I really truly enjoy it.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Stylist Life, let me know. I’m growing my team and I’m looking for other amazing busy passionate women to join me. I would LOVE to be the one to introduce you to Stella & Dot.

Summer Collage


Mrs Content – The Negligent Blogger

Ok so it feels like I’ve written a hundred posts in my head over the last year but somehow that’s not quite enough to make it on to the blog. Go Figure. So here’s my attempt to start catching up, and re-committing to somewhat regular posts.

What on earth have I been doing?? Before Baby Content was born I started working on a baby/children’s clothing company with a very good friend. And since then I (obviously) had a baby, and then a year later my partner had her second baby and so it’s taken us a bit longer than anticipated to get it up and running. One of the main reasons for us to have started hip’r was so that we could be the moms we wanted to be, primarily at home with our kids in these first few years. That said it’s getting closer and closer to launch and I am over the moon excited and proud of what we’re doing. I can’t wait to share it with the world.

And in the mean time, just over a year ago, I found Stella & Dot. I’ve been loving the ‘work’ and I think having a life outside of the house (when it works for me) makes me a better mom, and a better wife. It’s hard to go from working non-stop to being at home full time. This balance I’ve found right now (although not always easy) has helped me find ‘me’ again. The me who is a mom, a wife, a homeowner, a lover of all things fashion and design, a friend, fun, creative, and (at times, i hope) stylish ;) More details on my Stella & Dot journey to follow – it deserves a post of it’s on.

So that’s it. Here’s to me being more of me, right here! (Again!)

This recipe was adapted from an AMAZING recipe from I Don’t Blog, so I’m not taking any credit for it, I just made a few simple changes and cut the recipe in half (mostly because I only had enough ingredients in the house to make half). My friend Kat made them recently and she subbed in raw quinoa because she too didn’t have enough oats on hand, so she gets full cred for the inspiration.

This recipe yields a dozen regular sized muffins. They were gobbled up by my husband and daughter both. And for a mom who never takes enough time to feed herself (oh what’s that? 5 minutes free? Great! I can cram in 10 minutes of work, who needs to eat anyways!) I love having these in the house for quick fixes for the whole family. The original recipe was amazing, i was just trying to cram in some extra goodness. Also I can’t fit the original sized recipe in my Vitamix, another reason i cut it in half.

If you are making these in your blender be sure to put the wet ingredients on the bottom, you may have to stop and stir it up or if you are using a Vitamix then the pusher/plunger is very handy for getting everything in the mix.


  • 2 cups large flake oats (i have successfully subbed in quick oats)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (i use high fat (10%) vanilla because that’s what’s always in the house for the kiddo, but plain will do, or cottage cheese even)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (low glycemic & not very sweet – if you opt for regular sugar or agave nectar I’d use a little less)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 2 generous tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 2 generous tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • dark chocolate chips (however much/little you like. As Mr Content says ‘no such thing as too much’) held aside

Throw everything into the blender or mixer – like i said if you’re using your blender put all the wet ingredients in first. Blend until fully incorporated, then fold in the chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. If you are doing mini muffins check them after 20 minutes, that may be all they need.




Mrs Content – This Little Piggy

Recently a really fantastic baby/kiddo/mama store opened in my fantastic neighbourhood of Parkdale called This Little Piggy. I would say that as the weeks have gone on my visits there have increased from once every other week to multiple times a week. They are so much more than just a store. The owners, Kat & Faye, are both second time moms and started the store before their most recent Maternity leaves were up so that they wouldn’t have to go back to their previous jobs. I suppose I felt an instant camaraderie there as I’ve been doing the same thing (more about that later), our babes are all very close in age, in fact Kat’s little dude is a whopping one day older than Baby Content.

They have everything I need, a million things I didn’t know I needed, items I’ve regularly heard recommended by other moms for upcoming stages, and gifts I wish I had thought of for friends who are expecting. And they let me keep my visual merchandising skills & love alive by working on their displays from time to time ;). On days when I’ve been up all night with a cranky teething baby, or days when i need other moms to celebrate the fact that that tooth has FINALLY cut after weeks and weeks of grief, they are always there with open arms (and sometimes they let me leave the babe with them so i can pop next door to Glory Hole Donuts and get myself some much needed sugar & caffeine).

They’ve become my ‘drop in’ of sorts. Baby Content loves to play with their toys, or just crawl around the store. I’m always obsessed with whatever new & cool local kids designer they are carrying. They make a big effort to support the local start ups, the mompreneurs, Canadian made, and they do most of their sourcing by word of mouth from other moms making an effort to carry only what really works.

If you live in the west end or are visiting our fair city, if you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant, a new mom, a veteran mom, looking for a shower gift, or you’re just looking for a great little shop – I just can’t say enough about This Little Piggy. Tell the girls I sent you ;)

Here’s a quick pic of Baby Content sipping out of her Zoli cup & wearing her Ollie Jones pants both from TLP;



Mrs Content – Just One Of Those Nights

I just had one of those nights you read about on some amazingly well written comedic blog like Pregnant Chicken and before you have kids you think is a total exaggeration… And then you have kids and realize no one has as good as an imagination as real life.

Let me set the stage; I made dinner! This in itself is a huge accomplishment before Baby Content goes to bed. Admittedly it’s not one of my more nutritious and fancy dinners but it’s made and ready to be popped in the oven as soon as we’re ready. So this is also code for ‘the kitchen is a disaster’. I never had a chance to empty the clean dishes & reload the dishwasher so the dirty dishes that accumulated over the day today are stacked up along with the various dishes used to make dinner.

There’s also remnants of food all over the floor & table & highchair from Baby Content’s dinner. Yay I fed the kid! And it was nutritious and wholesome. Go mom!

So next is bath time. While I’m running the water trying to get the perfect temperature so I don’t cook my kid, said pipsqueak unravels the entire roll of toilet paper. I try to re-roll it with my one available hand but that just encourages her to unravel with more ferocity. I admit I had a good chuckle, it’s pretty cute after all.

Ok bath is ready, i spread out the towel on the carpet and lay her down to finish removing her clothes, which at this point only consist of a onesie and her Applecheeks cloth diaper. Wait… what’s that I smell.. oh no. Of course. It’s a poopy bum that I hadn’t planned for or I would have undressed her on her change pad downstairs with all the accoutrements. So now I’m trying to hold poopy squirmy baby with one hand and trying to find the beginning of the unraveled roll of toilet paper with the other hand. Eventually i find it and tear some off, dip it in bathwater and try to clean as best I can.

And then she shoves her foot in it. Awesome. Ok, I can handle this. More paper. More water.

And then she rolls. Ok. I can handle this. She’s on her belly, easier to clean the bum right? Yah totally, until she rolled again and then sat right up on her bath towel.

Ok I can handle this. So we’ve got poop on the towel, i can still clean the foot and keep the poop contained to the towel and grab a fresh one. No bigs.

And then she stands up and takes a step towards me. Naturally I’m wearing dropped crotch pants today so it’s pretty easy to walk all over my pants when I’m sitting on the ground. So now the poop is on Baby C’s bum, her foot, the towel, and my pants. I can handle this.

And then she looks at me kinda funny, says something in her gibberish and proceeds to pee all over me. Included in the pee zone is her towel and the carpet. She’s kind of confused so I quickly plop her in the bath and tear off my pants and wrap them up in the carpet & towel to be dealt with later.

So now I’m pantless but the baby is finally in the bath and the poop is contained. The rest of the bath was relatively uneventful – just the way I like it.

After bath, she’s tired and a little restless. This is always challenging when trying to wrangle a slippery baby into a slim fitting sleeper. I had prepared before we even headed into the bath so everything i needed was at my fingertips. I am trying to keep her occupied and on her back with various tubes of creams etc while I get her diaper on. I grab the tube of diaper cream squeeze some out and wipe it down her bottom. It took two swipes for me to realize the ‘diaper cream’ was not going on at it’s normal oppacity’ HOLY EFF I just put the ‘Breathe Easy’ eucalyptus chest rub on her bum!!!! OH good good. Bad Mom! Bad Mom! I quickly try to wipe it off with baby wipes then run to the bathroom with Baby Content tucked under my arm and get a warm washcloth to finish the job. She’s squirming and confused and isn’t quite sure what to make of the cool sensation on her bottom but after a little bit of time with the warm washcloth she settled.

Phew. That was no good. So i now I have an extra squirmy naked baby who is tired and restless and has a cool bottom. With some effort I get a diaper on (proper diaper cream), and a sleeper on – no more harm done. I grab her warmed bottle and head to her room. Finally it’s wind down time and then sleep! We cuddle in to the rocking chair, pop the bottle into her mouth and watch a steady stream of milk pour out of the bottle onto her sleeper. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I some how didn’t get the top on properly so I yank it out of her mouth (she was not impressed) undo it, redo it and then FINALLY we’re good to go. And then I realize I forgot to give her some advil before bed – which I’ve been doing for the last handful of nights because she’s got a tooth emerging and it tends to save us all from a restless night.

So send some positive thoughts my way that we have a calm, restful night. And that things don’t get progressively worse with tomorrow’s full moon. Now I’m off to do a load of poopy laundry.

Baby Content – Top 3 New Family Gift Ideas

Spring is in the air, and that is often accompanied by a lot of new life. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about some of the best gifts I received for both my shower and when Baby Content was born, so here’s my roundup!

1. Food. I remember every single person who showed up at my house in those first couple of months with food of any kind. Easy options to toss in the oven for dinner, fresh fruit & yogurt for breakfast, baked goods, etc. I honestly don’t remember who gave me what outfit (other than a couple of really adorable items) but I can name every single person who showed up with food & also tell you what they brought with them.

2. If you can’t bring food, think about a gift certificate for grocery delivery, or to something like Supper Works. Brilliant!

3. A cleaning service! Dear (amazing!!) friends of ours gave us a gift certificate for Molly Maid. OMG it does not get any better than that! They might not even need it right away, we waited until recently to use it for a good spring cleaning of the house – we can manage the day to day stuff, but finding a few hours to do a big top to bottom cleaning? no way.

Baby Content – Sleep Soundly

A girlfriend of mine is pregnant and due this spring, almost exactly one year apart from Baby Content. I told her I’d put some of my pregnancy/baby tips together for her and as I started to compile it I realized I’ve learned a lot in the last 7 months. Perspective, as they say, is everything. But the one thing I wish I had done more reading on is sleep.

Sleep, sleep, sleep and more sleep. And I don’t mean load up on sleep – that’s just obvious, and somewhat inevitable if you were as tired as I was. I spent so much time in my pregnancy reading about birth and breast feeding and what I really should have read about was learning how to create good sleep habits.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to know your options and preferences for birth and I found reading & watching anything from Ina May Gaskin was very inspiring, especially the birth stories. But in the end the birth happens very quick, and a certain part of it is out of your control. Know what you want, be ready to stand for it, but be flexible/open to change. I’m glad I had my birth plan in place, and had discussed it with my husband & doula. Our birth took a different route than anticipated (as almost all do) but I was still able to hold my ground on a few items that were important to me. And it feels good to stand your ground on the things that are important to you when you’re in the thick of it (for me it was refusing the pitocin during active labour, when it wasn’t really necessary), it certainly helped me be open to changing some of the others (like taking the epidural after a full day of hard active labour and finding myself at only 3cm dilated).

If I had read half the books I read on birth, on sleep, I might have gotten a lot more of it in months 4-7.  The first three months you really don’t have much say in sleep, but there are things you can do to set you both up for the rest of the first year. I had no idea how to create good sleep habits, and I took it for granted that i had a pretty decent sleeper from the beginning. I eventually found myself in tears at 3am on New Years Eve with a screaming baby who was frustrated and so tired she couldn’t get back to sleep (it happens!!) emailing a sleep doula for help.

Part of this came with starting  breast feeding full time at 3 months, I totally didn’t think my kid would refuse a bottle after only 2 days of not having one (even though she fed from one almost exclusively for 3 full months prior). I would have worked harder to keep night feeds to a bottle, and from my husband. But I found myself (as is very common, and not an issue for many moms) as the sole provider of food, and I had gotten into the bad habit of using the magical boobs to put Baby Content to sleep. Not a big deal in the beginning but as they get older they wake more often (those brains are so active!) and what I have since learned is that how a baby falls asleep at the beginning of the night, is generally what they need to put themselves back to sleep. And before I knew it I was getting up 3-4x’s a night to help her back to sleep. More often during growth spurts. And teething.  And I couldn’t escape & get out on my own for more than an hour or two at a time, date night with my husband had gone down the drain, and I as a walking zombie. If only I had known about creating good sleep habits!!

Side note: I love love love bottle feeding. I also love breast feeding. But bottle feeding can be a lifesaver and it’s soooo great for Dad to have that time with babes as well. And it really helps when you want to just have some time with the hubs/partner and you’ve got grandparents/aunts/uncles who would LOVE to baby sit for a few hours. So this is more a note to myself to remember to institute a night bottle from the very beginning, breast feed during the day/bottle feed at night.

Stay tuned for a post on my thoughts on baby registry items.

Baby Content – Jammie Obsessed

Pyjamas have become one of my favourite things since Baby Content arrived. And not for me, but for her. Cute babies in cute jammies make those middle of the night feedings so much easier to swallow – it’s true. But not all jammies are created equal no matter how cute they are. So I’ve compiled my list of Jammie Rules for other new moms.

1. Zipper closure. Snaps are finicky, they are a pain to do up when you’ve got a squirming, tired, cranky baby on your change table, and they are challenging for daddy’s larger fingers to line up. If they are of lesser quality they can pop open in areas that there is a bit of strain on (think chubby thighs, or long torsos). They can also leave gaps that baby’s feet can squeeze through if your little one is not totally filling out the width of your sleeper and can pull his/her legs up inside.

2. No Feet! Footless is totally the way to go once you’ve moved out of newborn stage. Why manufacturers don’t leave a little more room in the legs with the built in feed I do not understand. So I avoid them at all costs no matter how cute. Just put some socks on to keep those toes warm (tip – put the socks on under the jammies so they stay on all night!)

3. Wide cuffs. Look for long cuffs that you can cuff up and unfold as the babes grows – this will make your sleeper last much longer. Often babies grow out lengthwise before widthwise and this can help you get an extra few months (yes – months!) out of your Jammies.

Now where can you get said PJ’s? Two of my favourites are  Hanna Andersson and Gap.


Baby Content – Cut From The Same Cloth

Before Baby Content was born, when i was just starting to do my ‘research’ on what I would actually need for this little person, I got a little education in cloth diapers. I loved them right away, today’s cloth diapers are nothing like the ones my mom used to pin on us back in the late 70′s (very late 70′s for those of you doing the math). I learned about a few different brands at the store, how they work, how they differ, and then I went home and did my online research.

One brand continuously came up with rave reviews from real moms – AppleCheeks. This particular brand comes in two (highly adjustable) sizes for an accurate fit no matter what size your babe. Coming from a product development background (in apparel), this spoke to me more than the brands that have so much adjustability that they are a ‘one size fits all’. How can the same diaper be equally effective when your baby is 6 pounds or 26 pounds? I’m a ‘fit fanatic’ so this just didn’t make sense for me. So AppleCheeks went on my registry.

I actually only received a handful at my shower, I don’t know why people don’t get more excited about cloth diapers!? And as we all know Baby Content arrived ahead of schedule so I didn’t have much time to stock up in what was missing, nor did I have time to really think about it for a while.

So fast forward a few months, I was using cloth at home and disposable outside of the house (which is often), and still disgusted with the amount of waste we were producing. A friend of mine sent over her cloth diaper stash (her youngest & last is now 4) and then I finally told my husband that I was ready to commit to cloth. We popped out to Snugglebugz and I picked up what I needed to get going on a full time basis – more covers (i had enough inserts), a large wet bag for the nursery, a small wet bag for my diaper bag, and a natural diaper ointment stick. Now I had enough to get me through 3 full days.


I’m in love with cloth. I had a hesitation because they are a bit bulkier and I was worried about half her clothing not fitting. Completely superficial and I got over it really quickly. I’m now obsessed with her apple bum and happily pulling out clothes from the closet that she can now fit into. Because my stash is partially built on hand-me-downs I’m not exclusively AC….YET. I’m working on it though! But because of that I can tell you that the only diapers that consistently do not have ‘diaper breaches’ (poop explosions!) are my AC’s. So I’m slowly replacing the ‘others’ with AC’s as I can afford to (this new job as a mom doesn’t pay as well as my old one!). I’ve got my routine down, we do a diaper load every 2-3 nights and I look forward to the following morning when i sit & fold & stuff during nap time.


Cloth diapering is it’s own world. I am totally a newbie and just learning all the lingo, this past weekend I learned that collecting all the colours (discontinued, shade variations, limited editions & other ‘hard to gets’) is a ‘thing’. I’m kind of the opposite because I am dying to trade some of my colours to have a very concise colour scheme (black, white, grey, pink and a few orange because I’m dutch & they nailed the orange!) to match her wardrobe. Stay tuned to see how successful I am with that.