I recently fell in love with Beautycounter – have you heard? My girl Gwyneth Paltrow first introduced me, then I heard some more about it from JCrew (you can always count on Jenna Lyon!) . Their mission is simple – To get safer products into the hands of everyone. Their products though? cult following, and as I recently discovered, for good reason!
I have a terrible history with extremely dry and sensitive skin that is highly allergic & reacts with eczema. OHSOFUN. I stopped wearing all eye makeup 1.5 year ago because it got to the point where everything caused a reaction. Eczema on your eyes – not fun folks! Before Beautycounter I was down to 2 brands of cleansers & moisturizers that I could use safely – both unsurprisingly from Europe where they have MUCH higher standards for ingredients than we do in North America (and here then Canada has higher standards than the USA). Beautycounter has a Never List of 150+ ingredients that they will NEVER use in their products – making them so much safer for all.
They are extremely new to Canada, so when my girl Allison over at City Mama Style first signed up as a Beautycounter consultant I was quick to host an online pop up shop. My first order was the sheer lipstick in Fig, and that was all it took to get me hooked. The perfect natural enhanced nude colour, moisture that lasted half the day without leaving my lips high and dry afterwards. Instant brand loyalty in one cute gold lipstick case.Before I knew it I was ordering more and more and then I realized I really need to just become a consultant as well.
This past Sunday I found myself with a few hours of serenity in the late afternoon, my daughter was napping and Mr Content was catching up on work in his home office. I took the time to do a quick scrub with the charcoal cleansing bar (I only use it here and there to control the odd hormonal breakouts, Mr Content has more oily skin and uses it more regularly). And then I filled my sink with steaming hot water and held my face over top for a few minutes to loosen everything up and then i applied my new Purifying Charcoal Mask, laid back in bed and read my book in compete silence. HEAVEN.
A simple and quick treatment, although very lux for a Sunday afternoon for this mama. “Mineral rich with Kaolin clay and charcoal to draw out impurities, gently exfoliate, and soothe skin.”
This mama gives it two thumbs up! I didn’t need a lot of product to get even coverage so the tube will last me quite a while. It washed off easily afterwards and left my skin feeling fresh, smooth and taught but not dry. Follow up with your favourite moisturizer. I definitely plan to use this for spot treatments as well, when needed.
This week I had one of the most fun Style Sessions of recent history. I did a daytime ‘back to work’ session for new mommies with babies in tow of course. The best part was being able to ‘work’ during the week and bring my own 3 year old with me – and maybe the baby cuddles.
Some concerns about accessories were universal no matter what sort of career/work moms were headed back into because everyone has young grabby babies. Dangling earrings were out, as were delicate necklaces. Pieces that would also work for non-office mom life were also key – and I’m always a fan of versatility. So here are some of my top picks for new moms, no matter what your day to day looks like.
Earrings. Studs, Ear Climbers, and Ear Jackets. Nothing too dangly, some versatility, and a little bit of cool factor.
Deja Vu Studs are reversible, available in a variety of options and metals. I guarantee there’s a deja vu stud for everyone. And Sparkle Studs really speak for themselves – my absolute favourite ‘add-on’ item to any order, for $19 you get the look of 1.5 karat diamonds. Perfect for vacations, honeymoons, bridesmaids, date nights, and gift giving.
Ear Climbers are my favourite alternative to studs, just as easy to wear but that much more ‘cool factor’. Bonus – if you have more than one piercing you can put the climbers in the top and pair with a hoop or stud in the bottom piercing.
The Pave Triangle Ear Climbers are more delicate and also available in silver.
Ear Jackets have been popular for a while, my top pick for the newest version of an ear jacket is the Pave Horn Ear Jacket because you can also wear the stud on it’s own, turn it upside down and wear it like an ear climber. Or you can flip the climber piece around for a solid gold look instead of all-pave-all-day.
For necklaces, a simple pendant or versatile lariat always seem to work. Easy to finish your look for the office or toss on with jeans and a tee and head to the park, and not too delicate that it can be easily yanked off by your favourite 1 year old.
A pendant is great for those that are no nonsense, and no thinking required or are new to accessorizing and are looking for really simple pieces to just get started with. The Luna & Double Horn Pendants are the newer version of the Rebel Pendant (bottom row above). All very organic shapes, the Rebel is modelled after a piece of crystal and the Luna & Double Horn are a little softer and obviously lunar in shape/inspiration. Wear them together, alone, or layer with delicates to customize your look.
I love a lariat for those that require more versatility. You can wear them simply draped around your neck and maybe tossed over itself like a knot in the front, or get more creative. So many options with these, and so many more options available as well. Wear them doubled up to get a layered and shorter look, backwards for a black tie affair with a dramatic backless dress, wrapped around your wrist, or in your hair with your favourite up-do, the sky is the limit.
And for the wrist – keep it simple! Go with a easy wrap or a cuff. My top pick for any mom is always the Illumiate Cuff – proceeds from sales go to support one of my favourite charities Every Mother Counts (is there a better gift for a new mom than a very cool bracelet that also supports maternal health?). Or go with an easy leather/beaded wrap bracelet like the Sierra or the Gilded Path.
All these styles will work with just about any outfit, and can help you feel pulled together when you’re heading out of the house in the mornings no matter your destination.
Spring is here today! I don’t know for how long but it’s here today! And although it’s still a bit cool out I just had to embrace the season with my outfit today. I opted for absolutely no maternity items today – this is proving more and more difficult as time goes on, so this is me squeezing my belly into these Zara jeans one more (last?) time (seriously it’s starting to get uncomfortable).
Yes I keep wearing the same clothes over and over, that’s what you do when you are 7 months pregnant! It’s too expensive to keep buying new items. I did buy this new t-shirt from Jcrew and am loving it. I went for a size large, even though i can still fit into a size Medium, thinking that it would easier accommodate the bump in these last 10 (or so) weeks.
Leather Jacket – Zara, hoodie – Wings & Horns (husbands), V-neck tee – J Crew, jeans – Zara (same washed out stretchy jeans I bought months ago). I paired this with my good ‘ol black Toms. I was going to go with my Tory Burch flats but had too much running around to do and thought the slipper like shoe was probably my best bet.
Layers Layer Layers and Comfort. That’s my advice (and motto) for today.
When my parents got married, their parents bought them their Dining Room set – table & chairs etc. To this day we still have most family dinners/meals/gatherings at that table. So when we got married my parents wanted to do the same for us. I knew we were going to need something large and special to suit the space. Added to that we really wanted to go with reclaimed wood, but also have something that wasn’t so rustic it would look odd amongst our more modern & contemporary furnishings. And to throw one more ball into the juggle, my parents were paying for it so I didn’t want it to be outrageous in cost.
I searched high and low all over the city, the internet, word of mouth leads, etc. There’s no shortage of companies in Toronto that will make you a reclaimed wood table but their pricing was just out of the question. And then I stumbled upon HD Threshing. Their showroom and work shop are out in Cambridge, which helps them keep overhead down, it’s a family business, and they deal direct with the wreckers who take down old barns all over the country. We went to visit them in January and fell in love with their product. They don’t stain the wood but they do an epoxy finish that protects your table for life (I swear this thing will outlive my husband and I). This also adds a smooth surface which is helpful for kids doing homework, cleaning up crumbs and spills, etc. The colour of your finished product is based on how much sanding they do – the more sanding, the lighter the final colour. Everything is custom made and you can choose from a couple of different wood options, plus a variety of styles of shapes/sizes/legs/etc. We also opted for a bench to coordinate in style for the one side.
Last week they sent us photos of our table pre-epoxy;
And our bench;
And today they delivered the finished product! 8.5 foot Reclaimed Hemlock Barn Board, 100% amazing.
To keep it feeling modern we opted for really clean lines with the legs, and to seat enough people we opted for a Trestle Table as opposed to a Harvest style so the legs don’t get in the way. Also the bench they designed to be in the same style as the table. The bench came out a little darker than the table which is kind of the brilliance of their process, i love it. I don’t like things to be too ‘matchy matchy’. And we opted for clear resin chairs on the opposite side thus keeping the beauty of the table top as the focal point as well as maintaining a lighter and modern feel in the room. We have two velvet upholstered chairs being made for the ends, they should be ready in a few weeks. I’ll post photos when they arrive.
And to top off our new table, some fruit and fresh tulips. Can’t wait to host our first family dinner!
A great sport coat can go a long way. Today Mr. Content paired his new Navy Tweed jacket with a bold purple check shirt, a clean pocket square, dark denim cuffed over a strong loafer (not as high as in the picture, i tugged them up to show you the socks), and he’s never without a bold sock. The lesson here: Casual Friday in denim does not have to be sloppy!
Detail shot of the socks and shoes…
Sport coat is from a new favourite spot of Mr. Content’s – Ted’s Style Shop. They have one of the best hand-picked selections in town and will tailor everything to fit like a glove (if it doesn’t already – most brand are from Europe and have a tailored fit right off the rack). Shirt is Tom Ford, socks, pocket square & shoes are all from Harry Rosen.
I like most people have always just bought hummus in the store, not realizing how flippin easy it is to make myself!
I can’t take the credit for the recipe, just for following it – and now sharing it!
Here’s the recipe I used from Inspired Taste. Seriously delicious, I don’t plan on changing a thing next time. I like my hummus a little thick so I only added about 2 tablespoons of water at the very end, but everything else I followed to a T.
Enjoy it with baby carrots, sliced cucumber, or just about any other veggie you can think of. Also for the price it cost (under $2) it yeilds about 2 or 3 times the amount you get in a pre-packaged option in the grocery store. And of course, no preservatives!
Ok so I admit I put the whole wallpaper search on hold for a while. I did order the mural for the family room, which just came in. And was debating just painting the hallway instead of wallpapering it, mostly because the cost of awesome wallpaper was just so high! (seriously – it’s an investment!). But I really didn’t like the idea of a plain hallway, i wanted impact and life, some creativity! It’s tough with a hallway, there’s no direct sunlight and i have really awkward light fixtures (they came with the house, see below).
So I took the time while I was waiting for the mural to arrive (meanwhile we did the baby’s room and our bedroom) to brainstorm solutions for the hallway. Should I just do the one wall? (but then would the impact be there?) Should I try one of those stencils like you see on Pinterest? (seriously, at 30+ weeks pregnant I can’t exactly get up on a ladder and my husband is not really the ideal candidate for this job) Should I just say ‘eff it’ and do plain jane paint for the entire hallway until i have the money and inclination to do it right? And then I was watching Candice Tells All and discovered paintable wallpaper. Oh. My. God. Could this be the solution?
As it turns out doing the hallway in Paintable Wallpaper is going to cost less than half of what it would cost for any of the cool graphic print wallpapers that we were looking at. And there are a lot of options, you can get anything from just a really cool texture, to a geo repeat, and plenty of traditional options as well. Including an option that would be awesome for a ceiling to mimic tin tiles.
And the winner for us is this guy, i just love the traditional pattern and the scale of it. Also the fact that the texture is on the raised pattern really adds dimension:
So the plan is to leave it white (the ceilings are going to be painted white as well, this grey has GOT to go) and then when it starts to look a little dingy we can just put a fresh coat of white paint on it. It’s highly durable and designed for high traffic areas. Can’t wait to show you the ‘After’ photos.