30 April 2014

The Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries Volume V - Audition


On Courage:

Dearest, sweet little Huck…one of mama’s earliest (and sweetest) childhood memories is snuggling up in my mom and dad’s bed to watch The Wizard of Oz (again!) on the black and white bedroom tv. Even as a little one, I soaked up the voices, the characters, the story, the lessons. That poor lion. If only he could overcome those fears. Fears we all carry deep inside of us. Of not being good enough. Of being afraid to ask for what we want. Of failing. I was rooting for him from the other side of the screen. You will too my love, when you eventually watch it with grandma and I – it’s one of her faves. And you will begin to understand that real courage is about not being afraid to just be you.

The truth is Huck…I didn’t know if I was going to be a mama. Or if I even wanted to. I wanted to travel (I did!), I wanted to live abroad (I did!), I wanted a career that made me feel creative and fulfilled (I do!), I wanted to shop for cute clothes and try new restaurants and have the money to do so (Okay the first part) and I wanted to fall in love…and I did. But it came a little later in life then expected. At a turning point when your papa and I weren’t sure if adding to our little family was right. And I’ve faced my own fears monkey bear. Deep scary thoughts that wash over me like a strong wave and pull me under where I can’t breathe. That I was too selfish to be a mama, because I wanted things for myself. That I couldn’t handle taking care of someone else, when I often struggled to take care of myself. That I would have to give up who I was to be a good mama. A dedicated mama. A ‘real mama’.  
But a little light always shone from somewhere far away with a bright and hopeful notion that adding you to our family would create a seismic shift towards joy. Would give us a new purpose. That we could do parenting our way and not be afraid. That we could do things for ourselves and still do things for you. That just by fulfilling ourselves, you would in turn develop the courage to chase after your dreams. To ask for what you want. To be yourself. Even if that goes against the grain or what’s expected of you. So we jumped. And you came my darling. And you really did change everything. In the most wondrous, life-changing way. So I tell you this my amazing little Huck. Do not be afraid. Have the courage to face your fears. Let them wash over you. Feel them. Then let them go. And be you. Roar. Be the strong but gentle lionheart I know you are. (And one day watch The Wizard of Oz with your little ones.)

Love forever mama. xo

This is my audition for Volume V of the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries, an incredible community of babywearing mamas sharing their words and images through this journey that is motherhood. It is an honour to apply. To find out more, visit them here.

A very special thanks to the incredible Sunny from Sunny S-H Photography for the photos. We will treasure them forever. Take that step and capture those important (and everyday) family moments with Sunny – you won’t be disappointed.

28 April 2014

Pretty Prints & Displaying Unique Photo Sizes

Maternity leave has been an unexpected joy. I'm a bit Type A so I worried the lack of structure might be challenging. Even though Huck wakes at a bit of an ungodly hour, I enjoy our leisurely routine of nursing, snuggling, coffee, playtime, breakfast (he's eating now - yikes!), reading stories and then nap. But as I've found my groove as a mama, I've looked for small creative projects to fill some of my extra time during naps. One such project has been printing and displaying some of the photography long stored both digitally and in boxes. (another project has been a writing gig I've recently taken on - more info to come on that soon!)

Also, I've been taking more opportunity to work with some of my favourite local photographers. When I heard that Simply Rosie was doing a photobooth at a holiday pop-up shop back in December, I jumped at the chance to capture some photo memories with Huck with her beautiful, vintage style. We took these sweet images, which arrived in adorable 4x5 cards. Super cute but not a traditional photo frame size. I hummed and hawed and finally went hunting at Target for a solution. Bingo! A clear frame was the perfect for displaying the four photos in a cool group setting. So if you're looking for a way to show off a picture in an off-frame size - check out this easy option.

Also the Spring version of the Pop Up Shop is right around the corner if you live in Winnipeg - more info here.

Have a wonderful week!

09 February 2014

Sunday Blog Share: Julep by Minted

I have a confession. I'm just not that into Pinterest. I know that's a pretty unpopular opinion but with only so many minutes in the day - I have to choose my social media wisely. And I LOVE blogs. Yup, always have - probably always will. They are such an inspiration to me - from personal style blogs to glimpses into family life to new recipes to try to home and project ideas. I read them on my phone while I nurse, on the ipad in bed...I love the beautiful pictures and unique points of view and never-ending feed of inspiration.

One of my new favourite blogs to browse is Julep by Minted. When they asked me to check out their site and blog, I was super excited to dive in. I was already a fan of their products and it was so great to have another great addition to my blogroll. If you're not familiar, Minted is a gorgeous online paper and gift goods shop that crowdsources independent designs from all over the world.  Luxe wedding invites, cool cards and beautiful artwork are just a taste of what they offer. Designers get a commission on each of their sales. Cool, right? Julep is a curated collection of design-influenced blog posts inspired by their artists and products.

Yesterday I gave you a peek inside Huck's nursery decor and one of the things I'm working on is his gallery wall and adding more images in general around the house. It's funny because it can take me a long time to put art and photos up on the wall but once I do - I love love looking at them. They give me so much joy every day and they really add richness and depth to our home. Art is such a personal thing, isn't it?

Minted has some gorgeous wall art prints and I'm especially loving these bathroom pairings they shared on Julep.

Slowly but surely, I'm adding new pieces around the house and adding a touch of whimsy to places more unexpected rooms. I'm thinking of grabbing this vintage KitchenAid mixer print for the kitchen, what do you think?

How do you get your daily inspiration? Are you a blog lover, a Pinterest gal or an Instagram fiend? All three perhaps?

Are you a fan of art in unexpected places?

**Disclosure: I was compensated by Minted for this post, but all the thoughts, opinions and curated ideas are my own.

07 February 2014

Huck's Nursery Tour

When it came to planning Huck's nursery, we were pretty limited in our space options. We have a small house with small rooms. But I was determined to make it work and make it function. We have plenty of time to think about moving into a bigger house when our financial situation allows it. Plus, more space more stuff - right?

I knew I wanted the space to be bright, airy, cozy, simple and functional. I wanted it to reflect the style of our home but still be fun and right for a baby. Chic but not stuffy. Whimsical but not too cheesy. Am I right that there is A LOT of cheesy kid's stuff out there? Why can't it be a touch more elegant and simple? I wanted neutral creams and greys with pops of turquoise, lime green and yellow.

And I wanted to do it on a budget. So here's a basic breakdown:

General decor: I chose a neutral pale grey green colour for the walls to brighten the small space. Jack built me a gorgeous feature wall using old weathered barn board we had picked up in rural Manitoba for a past project that didn't happen. Old shelves we had pulled out of one of our Gimli rental properties added storage space and Jack used a few of the leftover barn board pieces to make our custom 'H'. I am slowly building a gallery wall - starting with with some fun prints of animals with books I picked up on sale by the lovely Trafalgars Square shop on Etsy ($12 each) with cheap IKEA frames, a print we bought on our honeymoon in Florida in a thrift store frame (the school of fish) and an 'H is for Huck' online printable that I simply printed at home (get yours here!). I plan to add more to the wall over time.

Crib area: I was lucky enough to receive this pretty and simple IKEA crib ($79) as a shower gift from two wonderful girlfriends. I picked up the mattress at Babies R US with a discount coupon and the Aiden and Anais bedding was a shower gift as well (available locally at E-Children in the Exchange).

Feeding area: I knew I wanted something ultra comfy for feedings and rocking Huck to sleep but rockers and gliders are soooo expensive! I scoured the IKEA scratch and dent section for months while pregnant and finally scored with this leather overstuffed rocker/recliner. It was originally $649 but was a floor model with some denim marks on the cream seat so I scored it for $260. It was definitely my big splurge for the room but well worth it and again - it will transition well in our next home as additional living room/basement furniture. The quilt is ultra special to me...my sister made it using all the fabrics featured on the tables at our wedding. The lamp I picked up at Target.

Changing area: The change table is just an IKEA dresser ($149) that we can use as Huck gets older and transitions to big boy furniture. Jack built the wooden box that secures the change pad to the top for safety. Dollar Store buckets and baskets in pretty pops of colour hold all my diaper and changing supplies.

Storage: The room has a very small closet filled with a few hanging items, bedding and wipes refills, the laundry basket, diaper garbage, etc. IKEA baskets above the closet and under the crib hold toys and items not currently in use. A hook rack behind the door keeps my baby carriers and stores dirty reusable diapers.

Hope you enjoyed the nursery tour! I really love spending time with Huck in the space and despite the small size - is quite functional thanks to some design choices.

What's your favourite tip for scoring extra storage in small spaces?

06 February 2014

Introducing Huck Jackson McGee

Born October 20th, 2013 at a whopping 9 pounds, 15 ounces and 22 inches long. Where do I even start when it comes to talking about my new son (well, if you call 15 weeks new!)? Wow, just saying I have a son is pretty surreal. He's so great. I'm not going to lie...this parenting this is exhausting and emotional and stressful and challenging. But waking up to that smiling face? Worth it.

Here are my favourite shots from Huck's 9-day old photo shoot with Sunny S-H Photography. She's a real gem that Sunny. If you're looking for a family photographer in Winnipeg, I cannot say enough good things about her.

06 January 2014

The Quiet Beauty in Try

I've never been very good at yoga. I'm tall and clumsy, not very flexible...I used to get annoyed with the laying silently part....but one day I woke up and realized that 20 years had gone by. 

20 years of me trying to do yoga. Of signing up for beginner classes here and there throughout the year, just because it felt good to sign up. It felt good to show up. It didn't feel good to awkwardly try to push my butt up init a downward dog...but it felt good to keep trying.

I had just gotten into hot yoga when I found out I was pregnant a year ago. So I had to quit. But here I am this week, back in classes, still trying. I am, by far, one of the least 'yoga-like' people who go to yoga. I'm still the one who can't hold the poses as long as you should. But less and less do I sneak glances at others and wonder if they're judging me. I just show up for me. I keep trying. Even when I'm not very good. Because I like it. 

For all you Type A's out there like me, who always want to be really good at what they do...let's make this the year we find success in just continuing to try. In doing things we love just because we love them. Without apologizing for how bad we are or pushing ourselves to be the best. Let's just keep trying.

You with me?


ps: I had a baby. He's awesome but he keeps me busy. This will be the year I keep trying to blog. Even when I'm not very good at it. :)