Baby Content – Birth Photography, yay or nay?

Have you heard about Birth Photography? This seems to be a growing trend, and admittedly one I’m really fascinated with. I love photography. I love the documentation of life and events, and more importantly – moments. And isn’t birth, like any momentous event, a close series of important moments?

A number of local birth photographers have popped up on my radar lately via some of my favourite pre/post-natal resources like Bebo Mia and Toronto Yoga Mamas. Two stand-outs for me are Born by Cala Evans Photography and Four Bees Photography.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on documenting this intimate time in your life – are you for or against hiring a Birth Photographer?

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Another Beautiful Yoga Morning

We welcomed in Spring today with Toronto Yoga Mamas (even though it felt like anything but Spring outside!). These camo Wunder Unders are still one of my all time faves and they spark a conversation every time I wear them.Image

There’s new art up in the Gallery where Toronto Yoga Mamas practices out of. I love yoga-ing amongst art.

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Style Content – A Taste of Spring, Outfit of The Day

Last Sunday we had our first taste of Spring, it was +12 and sunny and it was so refreshing!

Sunny OOTD

Ok once again, Zara everything; Jeans as previously mentioned, striped zip back top, and leather jacket. Boots from Fiorentini & Baker, sunnies from Tom Ford.

A closer look at the details (bracelet from Alexis Bittar, a Christmas present from MrContent);Sunny OOTD accessories

Pregnancy Product Love

Two of my favourite products that you really need to know about;

Sudocrem – this is a diaper cream that kicks all other diaper creams’ buts! I kid you not. I’ve been using it for years because what most people don’t know is that it’s amazing for so many other ailments other than diaper rash. More than anything I use it as a zit zapping cream –  zinc is a natural acne-bacteria fighting substance, and it won’t dry out your skin while zapping your pimple. And now that i’m preggo this is my absolute favourite ‘tool’ in my bathroom, because you just never know when your hormones are going to kick into high gear and you’ll wake up with a break-out. And you know it’s safe for baby unlike many acne medicines. Further to that I use it on razor burn, insect bites, and most minor skin irritations. It’s not nearly as ‘sticky’ as most other diaper creams which makes it easy to apply and rinse off.

Sudocrem is also my favourite add-on for a baby shower gift because a lot of new moms don’t know about it. 250gm for no more than $14, it’s not exactly a bank breaker.

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Now this is the single most-used gift I received this past Christmas. My sister put this in my stocking and at the time I was only 13 weeks pregnant and had no idea how much I’d use it in the weeks to come.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks, I have used this every day from week 13 until now (24.5 weeks) and have already stocked up on a second bottle because I don’t want to run out! With the start of my third trimester only 9 days away I know all the stretching and growing I’ve been doing is about to be amped up and this lotion keeps my skin soft, supple, and comfortable. It battles the itch of the stretch, and so far no stretch marks. (I realize this may change in a very short time). But should they appear this lotion is also packed with Vitamin E so it will help with the healing of them and reduce scarring. Plus it smells delicious! My husband likes to talk to the baby through my belly and is always telling him/her how ‘great mommy’s belly smells!’. It puts a smile on everyone’s face. FYI it’s Hypoallergenic & Paraben Free, a 250gm bottle should run you less than $10.

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Baby Content – Sleeping solutions

Cribs are one thing, but for the first few months Baby Content will be sleeping in our room which is rather limited in size. So what to do for those first few months?

Originally i was thinking I’d just get a stroller that comes with a bassinet that I could just plot onto a stand in our bedroom but I ended up deciding on a stroller that doesn’t have that option.

So here’s where I’m at; I’ve picked out two options – one is more on the inexpensive and functional side, and the other is gorgeous and still functional but maybe not as versatile.

First up – Summer Infant’s By Your Side Sleeper. It’s compact, travels well (convenient for the trip to the East Coast we’ve got booked for next September), has the mesh sides which aids in SIDS prevention (allows air movement so the baby essentially does not suffocate in it’s own CO2 while sleeping). It appears to be designed to be on the same bed as you, or on the floor or a counter of some sort – this is one of the major downfalls because our bed is quite high and I don’t have anything to place the sleeper on to keep him/her closer to my eye level. And you can’t really beat the price, $59.99.

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Next up is Restoration Hardware Baby & Child’s Heirloom Wicker Bassinet. what can I say about this that isn’t already obvious? It’s. Just. So. Beautiful. *Le Sigh* It comes with a stand that has a convenient shelf underneath for all the baby things you need to keep handy for the middle of the night feedings and diaper changes. I can park it right beside my bed and have Baby at eye level for quick and easy supervision. And I can remove the basket to use in another room if we decide to take a nap in the family room together, or i want to hop in the shower really quickly and keep an eye on the wee one. It won’t travel well – not to the East Coast anyways, but that’s only a week out of the entire year. And it’s such a beautiful piece of furniture that would not be obtrusive in our own bedroom. Eventually I can use it to put some toys in, in the baby’s room once we’ve moved on to a crib. A little more pricey at $299 usd, but if you compare to what Pottery Barn Kids has to offer – not outrageous.

RH Baby Bassinet

 

Baby Content – Top Three City Strollers

So I’ve spent weeks, maybe almost two months of weeks truth be told, deciding which stroller was best for me.  ‘Me’ is in bold because everyone under the sun wants to be helpful and offer their advice but at the end of the day only you can decide what the perfect stroller is for you. I had originally been looking at options that will be adaptable to a second child in a few years whenever #2 comes along, but quickly realized they are just too big for my lifestyle right now. So what is the point of spending money on something I’m not going to be able to, or enjoy using? There is NO such thing as the Perfect stroller, just what is most suitable to your personal needs. I made a list of my top 5 requirements and went from there;

1. Something light that I can take on and off the ttc on my own, from birth! And ideally eliminates the need for a second stroller (umbrella stroller). I don’t want a ton of ‘stuff’!

2. Forward and rear facing capabilities, as well as the ability to snap on our car seat. I want versatility.

3. Stylish! Of course i want it to look appealing, It’s an accessory that I’ll have with me all the time, after all.

4. Well made. My husband was really focused on wheels and treads and concerned about the winter months (more on that later too)

5. Not insanely expensive!

So I narrowed it down to these three brands/models, they all hit most of, if not all my top requirements;

1. Bugaboo, Bee – the lightest of the bunch weighing in at a mild 18.5 pounds. The easiest one handed closing I’ve EVER seen! It’s narrow – great for city sidewalks and inside stores. And hit every single item on my list, and it also has 4 wheel suspension – to my husband’s delight. The only thing I didn’t love about it was that the cocoon (bassinet) is soft so it’s only good inside the stroller, I can’t use it outside as I was hoping to so I’ll have to pick up a moses basket or bassinet for the baby to sleep in the first few months. Not the end of the world. Base unit price runs around $699 plus accessories (cup holder, parasol, cocoon, etc) at Moms to Be and More

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2. Mamas and Papas, Urbo – this guy weighs in at just under 20 pounds (9kgs), looks very cool, has the front/rear facing capabilities, and works with top brand car seats. My hesitations with this (and at one point I was leaning towards this as my top pick) are that it didn’t seem to be the same quality as the Bugaboo, and also the wheels were only so-so, and it took a bit  more effort to collapse and definitely required both hands. This guy retails for $579.99 at Babies R Us.

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3. Uppababy, Cruz – this cool guy weighs in at 22pds, works from birth (with an insert to cradle your peanut’s head of course), has an easy one hand fold, a large storage basket, adjustable canopy height to grow with your babe – and the canopy has a 50+ UPF rating. Also like the Bee it has the option of adding a kickboard for your toddler to cruz on when you have baby #2 in the seat. And this bad boy comes in at a comfortable $499.99 at Moms to Be and More

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For me and my lifestyle the Bugaboo Bee was the most suited, so that’s what I’ve decided on. I went ahead and put all the accessories on our registry including the sun parasol, the cocoon, and the sun canopy (summer baby), among others. Of course I don’t have a baby to put in it yet but I like to think that when he/she arrives I’ll be excited to get out and about in our bee.  Also one thing I didn’t mention – this stroller was SO easy to maneuver, like a really high end sports car. I can easily move it around with one hand and hold the baby in the other if needed.

Style Content – Leather Jacket Shopping

I ordered a leather jacket from Zara but it came in so slim in the shoulders I didn’t think that would be conducive to life as a new mom. So I headed to Zara to try on other sizes and also found an alternative style that I think I’m going to exchange for.

Here’s what I ordered (in a better fitting size) – and yes I plan to wear this open over the belly this Spring, possibly layering a lightweight hooded sweatshirt underneath. And also in the fall again – with a baby carrier underneath 🙂

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Today I’m wearing one of those extra long cool racerbacks underneath, with my favourite wunder unders – they are made of a textured looser knit fabric that is more comfortable around my belly than the regular luon. Both from lululemon. And also a lightweight wool cardigan from J Crew.

Here is the style that I think I prefer more. I love the covered studs.Image

I have to say I was a bit dissappointed that I couldn’t just exchange in the store – apparently if it’s the same style i could have but for a different style I can’t. So now i have to send the return back, wait for the refund, and then re-order. Much too complicated and time consuming Zara Canada!

The Style Files – Black is always a great idea

This was one of those days where I had a million things to do and the day started off with prenatal yoga (at Toronto Yoga Mamas) and continued from there. So at the base of it all is my tried, tested, and true lululemon items. I found that early in my second trimester my wunder unders were no longer comfortable around my waist and ended up picking up the Skinny Will Pant. I love love love how as I’ve grown the high waist (which I folded under my belly early in the third trimester) now supports my lower belly as I’ve increased in size. I wear the waistband all the way up and have cut out the drawstring (it just adds a strange bulge which no pregnant belly benefits from). And my other go-to is just a basic tank, i thrive on the Cool Racerback (sidenote: I can’t see the Long version of these online but in stores they are often available in black and white in a longer version, these are my preferred length right now because you get a little extra bum coverage).

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Layering is the key these days, it’s still cold here and my internal temp is all over the map. So today I tossed a chunky knit sweater from Zadig & Voltaire over top, and my go-to boots are always from Fiorentini & Baker. (They make everything better).

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I promise the quality of pics will improve! I don’t have a full length mirror and rely on the hubs for the full length shots – we’re working on it…

I just want to point out again that I have on Zero ‘maternity’ clothing, and I’m just about 24 weeks along here. This took me from yoga to coffee, through errands, home for a nap :), and then dinner with my husband in a trendy restaurant.

Home Content – Mural Edition

With the first floor of the house mostly organized (just a waiting game now for the last of the furniture to arrive) I’m starting to plan the second floor. One morning I woke up with this brilliant idea to wallpaper the hallway. Originally I was thinking of a geometric print in greys/blacks/golds on a white/offwhite background. I wanted something bold so that when you went upstairs it really struck a chord (like the kind of chord that makes you think I hired a professional designer to come up with this brilliance).

So as it turns out sourcing awesome graphic wallpaper is not as easy as one would think, should you be ‘just’ a residential homeowner and not trade. But I persevered and finally found a store in the east end, Toronto Paint Store that had a great selection of Crown Wallpaper that I could actually see in person (as opposed to online). I went during the day and was helped by very friendly staff who also helped me come up with colour concepts for paint on the adjacent walls and also helped me figure out costing.

I brought Handsome Husband back there with me that evening after he finished work to vet my top selections and we brought three books home with us for a few days to see in daylight and in our own space. I was very excited to show him one concept in particular – a mural – for our family room. Initially I planned to wrap the wallpaper from the hallway around to the family room so we had a bit of a feature wall and also some direction for that room.  I found this amazing mural that i think really sets the tone for the family room and it got me inspired for a bit of a theme for the whole floor (colour and mood). The family room is a bit of a mish mash right now and screams ‘man cave’ (before and after photos of the final transformation will come at a later date). One wall is exposed brick, one wall has a sliding glass door to nowhere in it (great for light, but so awkward!), and the other wall will have wall to wall, floor to ceiling, white glossy built-ins for entertainment, books, and storage solutions (thinking ahead for storage for children’s toys in a house with virtually no closets).

So without further ado, here’s the Mural that thankfully my husband whole heartedly agreed with. And just like that I have direction for the whole floor, not just one room…

New York 'Chelsea' MuralI think it has just enough of the rustic look to work with the age of the house, and the grey tones are perfect with the exposed brick tones (they aren’t bright red, lots of taupe in them). And the hallway that opens up to the living room has a trio of gold & crystal chandeliers so the gold tones in the mural really work well. Instead of putting a couch in front of the mural we’re going to put my (future) rocking chair (new mom friendly room) and a side table of some sort to hold the kind of stuff a new mom needs handy when she’s nursing.

See where I’m going with this? Modern, Stylish, and family friendly. Blog post to follow shortly with wallpaper options.

Source: gilt.com via Melissa on Pinterest