Mommy Content – Return To Work Style

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.

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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.

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Gilded Path Ear Climbers

http://www.stelladot.com/sites/melissasheppard

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.

Happy momming!

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Home Content – Reclaimed Wood Dining Room Table

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;

table in progress 3 Table in progress side profile

And our bench;

bench in progress

And today they delivered the finished product! 8.5 foot Reclaimed Hemlock Barn Board, 100% amazing.

new table set up

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.

new table decor

And to top off our new table, some fruit and fresh tulips. Can’t wait to host our first family dinner!

Mrs Content – Toronto Yoga Mamas

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I stumbled upon Toronto Yoga Mamas when I was searching for a Doula a few months ago. We interviewed a handful from different agencies and I ended up connecting with Thea who also happens to teach pre-natal yoga at Toronto … Continue reading

Mr Content – Casual Friday in Navy Tweed

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!

Casual Friday ootd blue tweed

Detail shot of the socks and shoes…

Casual Friday ootd socks

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.

Kitchen Content – East Coastin

My husband is an East Coaster – a Newfoundlander to be exact. I could go on and on about my love for both the East Coast and the people of the East Coast but I won’t, or at least not in this post. This post I’m focusing on one of my favourite East Coast meals.

I have been slowly trying to learn some of his mom’s recipes so I can incorporate them into our own family traditions and special occasions. This weeks special occasion was just that it was Wednesday, so why not? We’re both big fans of fish cakes and so we picked up a salt cod and called up Mr Content’s mom for her recipe and i gave it a go.

I do have to say that it’s really easiest to get recipes from Alice when you are standing right beside her while she’s making them because they are all in her head and she cooks and bakes on auto-pilot so when getting information over the phone we get instructions like ‘add a little bit of this’ as opposed to ‘add a table spoon…’ and ‘cook for a little while…’ instead of  ‘simmer for 15 minutes…’. So when in doubt I turned to the interweb to see what other recipes had to say about the matter.

Now Alice I know you are reading this and I am sure mine don’t compare to yours but I did my best and there were no leftovers so I think I passed the test! Also i made a couple of variations just to suit our preferences.

So first off – we went to Little Portugal and picked up a Salt Cod. The one we got was huge so i cut it in half and have the leftover piece in the freezer for next time. I put the fish in a bowl of water to start soaking the salt out – i changed the water after about an hour (you can visibly see the salt in the water at first)

fish cakes soak

Really you should soak the fish overnight but I forgot so after a couple of hours I put the fish in a pot with fresh water (again) and brought the water to a boil then let it simmer for 15 minutes or so, then repeated that process again. I got this tip from the interweb and it worked great. After the second boil I could flake the fish by hand – which is what you’re going for.

fish cakes salt

While the fish was soaking I was busy chopping potatoes and setting them to boil. (just like you would boil any potato – until tender, about a half hour-ish)

fish cakes boil

And I diced a couple of onions but instead of leaving them raw i sauteed them in a healthy does of butter until they turned a bit clear.

fish cakes sautee

Then I mashed the potatoes and added the satueed onion (butter and all, no need to drain) and mixed that all together. Then i flaked the salt cod into the mixture (remove any bones if necessary) by hand and mixed it all up together. There’s enough salt left over in the cod that you don’t need to add any more so i just cracked some fresh pepper into the mix and left it at that. Then i formed the fish cakes by hand – this is completely up to your own preference. Mr Content and I prefer them really crispy on the outside and proper potato-y on the inside so i made them round and thick for maximum pan contact (aka crispy exterior). Now Alice would have added flour to the whole mixture before forming the cakes but I found i didn’t need the flour, they stuck together just fine without. And then I fried em up in bacon fat. But you could use butter too and get the same result. I just like to fry anything possible in bacon fat when the opportunity presents itself.

Ta-Da! Newfoundland style fish cakes;

fish cakes

So here’s the ingredients, sort of;

  • About 6 to 8 white potatoes (depending on how you like your potato to fish ratio)
  • About half of a big slab of salt cod
  • 2 small yellow onions, diced.
  • Pepper to taste.
  • Some Butter for sauteing
  • Some more butter or some bacon fat for frying

Also I would like to add that in this quantity i ended up freezing half the cakes for a second quick fry dinner in the near future and we still had enough leftovers from the first fry to have for breakfast the next morning with eggs. Best breakfast ever. Trust me.

Enjoy!

 

Baby Content – Bee Decisions

Ok folks, those brilliant folks at Bugaboo have gone and done it again. This time they are offering limited edition Andy Warhol prints on their canopies for all stroller models. But which one to choose??? Let me know your vote!

Flowers?

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or Cars?

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Mr Content – OOTD Channeling Spring

Despite the -5 temperature this morning Mr. Content was channeling spring today.

OOTD channeling spring

 

Tie and pocket square both Hermes. Both are actually gifts from me, I am a sucker for all things Hermes, Silk and anything with what I call ‘Dutch Orange’ in it. The pocket square was for our first Valentines together.