How This Baby Product Saved My Sanity!

Baby Bjorn Bouncer Mini

Baby Bjorn Bouncer Mini

Baby Bjorn Bouncer Mini

Baby Bjorn Bouncer Mini

Baby Bjorn Bouncer Mini

I was lucky enough to recently be invited to an uber exciting bloggers night out! The event had hors d’oeuvres, baby cupcakes, and we even had a glass of champagne or two – at least the ladies who weren’t pregnant did! Held at the chic Gravity Pope boutique, we had the opportunity to learn all about the brand new Bouncer Mini, which BabyBjorn recently launched exclusively in Canada!

I have such fond memories of Holland as a tiny, little baby bouncing around in his BabyBjorn Bouncer! It was the perfect little tool for letting this west coast mama shower, cook dinner, or just relax! The bouncer uses a baby’s own movement (no batteries!) to gently bounce up and down, and it was one of my most used “baby stuffs”.

Holland in BabyBjorn

Holland in BabyBjorn

Holland in BabyBjorn

He slept in it, played in it, watched tv in it, and eventually played ON it until he was around 2 years old. I’m super excited to be part of the BabyBjorn Bouncer Mini launch, because it’s perfect for little ones. As you can see above, he was maybe a week old in the top picture, sleeping soundly and loving life while giving me a few minutes of “me” time. He looks absolutely tiny in the regular bouncer. That’s why I love this new Bouncer Mini.

The BabyBjorn Bouncer Mini is a newborn essential, and is designed for babies that are brand new up to 6 months. It provides vital support for a baby’s neck and back, and a reassuringly safe place to lay your newborn as you start to get adjusted to this new life of being a parent.

I love that the Bouncer Mini is made with 100% cotton that is washable and gentle on a newborn’s sensitive skin. The bouncer can be set in two positions, each that allow the child to gentle bounce and learn to soothe themselves, while training motor skills and balance. And NO batteries. None. Simply powered by your baby (or your hand, or your foot…!).

Bouncer Mini - Silver, Cotton (6)

Bouncer Mini - Light pink, Cotton (3)

Bouncer Mini - Light pink, Cotton (2)

The BabyBjorn Bouncer Mini comes in a beautiful silver or light pink colour, and has launched exclusively in Canada. It retails for $159.95, but you can enter the giveaway below to win one of your very own Bouncer Minis! Giveaway is open until June 22, 2015 at 11:59 pm PST.  And be sure to follow BabyBjorn on social media for all their latest news on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. Good Luck!

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Not How I Want to Be Remembered

Mother’s Day. Le sigh.

Our family had an incredible weekend. Not only did our little man turn three (3!!!), we also threw the most fun train-themed birthday party a threenager could ever ask for. There was cake, too many presents, and a bouncy castle.

On Mother’s Day, we jumped on a ferry and took a day enjoying Bowen Island. We love that place. It’s quaint and special, with forests full of ferns and deer and a small main area with cute shops and my favourite pizza place in the world, Tuscany’s.

The whole weekend was a success.

My daughter finally pulled out her hand-made Mother’s Day gift, a school project that required the kids to make books about how much they love their mother’s and why. All the wonderful things they do with their moms, and all the adjectives that describe their mommy’s – beautiful, pretty, smart, etc.

I learned a lot about myself from three pieces of glued-together construction paper.

I am loving, caring, dependable and helpful – of course! I’m mysterious(!), cheerful, and ambitious – woot! She apparently LOVES when we bake together (which we never do, btw).

My least favourite words in this book?

Busy. Stress. (<- that was in there twice!) Works. That I’m good at working.

W. T. F.

Is this how I’m going to be remembered?

A busy, double-stressed out mom who works a lot and is good at working?

Not quite what I had in mind…

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Quite Surprising

Very little surprises me, in this day and age. We are living in a time that people are skydiving from outside the earth’s atmosphere, while halfway around the world women can’t go to school or work because there aren’t public toilets that can accommodate them. There’s so much joy in this world and there’s so much strife at the same time.

Scientific discoveries abound. Mental and psychological illnesses are being researched and regarded with more respect than ever before. After a generation of preservative-laden “fast foods” we are finally coming to our senses and reverting to eating more whole foods. The last male northern white rhinoceros is under 24-hour armed surveillance.  Kim Jong Un is hiring women for his own personal pleasure squad.

People are valuing independent thinkers, creatives, entrepreneurs. People are fighting cancer. Years of research is providing us with therapies and even cures for illness and disease. Natural disasters abound. Droughts are killing our forests and our food sources.

This world is imperfect. All of the above is true. And none of it – absolutely, completely NONE of it – surprises me. The luxury of tapping my phone and being repeatedly overexposed to news from all over the world has led to a reality where I am no longer shocked and appalled at people’s situations all over the world.

I am not indifferent to it. I don’t just shrug my shoulders and move on. I think. I donate. I discuss. I try. But I’m rarely surprised by life anymore. It’s a roll with the punches type world. Things change, people change, events happen – good and bad – and I’ve learnt to accept this.

However, a MAN who won’t complete work assignments, because a WOMAN requested it of him?

Now, that surprises me.

Because that means he’s hardly a man at all.

xo M.

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Deep Breaths and Tight Rope Walking

Coffee Cup & A Book

Right this second, I’m taking a deep breath.

A long, deep breath. Inhale, exhale.

There is so much going on in our lives right now that it’s been nearly impossible to get a blog post out – hence the quiet times here on the blog. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break, isn’t it?

When everything is going full force, to pull back from just one thing is a huge relief. But then I start to miss blogging – the writing, the interacting, the community, the fun of it all!

Sometimes I feel like I’m walking on a tight rope juggling stacks of items – like books and frying pans, paperwork and coffee cups – and there’s only one way to go on this wobbly tight rope, and that’s forward, towards an opening that’s too small for me to go through unless I crouch down and drop some of my shit.

xo. M

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Creating a Business while Raising a Family

How to Build a Business while Raising a Family

Right now, as you read this, I’m smack dab in the middle of building a business. It’s a surreal and exhilarating feeling, to put so much hard work into creating something from vision to reality. I’ve dedicated so much of my focus to this undertaking and it feels so good to be doing this, for myself and for my family.

There’s a constant outpouring of ideas coming out of my mind. I’m constantly thinking up new marketing programs and promotional ideas, dreaming up launch parties, discussing employee conduct and branding ideas – there’s so much to do! It can get exhausting sometimes, and there were some days that I felt a bit burnt out, but most nights I either lay awake with anticipation or dream about my ideal shop!

As you can imagine, this venture has taken up quite a bit of my time. And I thought I already had my hands full with work, blogging, husband, kids, and a house to manage! It’s been a bit of a juggling act, with some days being more successful than others, but we’ve developed a flow in our household that’s working for us, and I wanted to share some tips on how to create a business while raising a family.

How to Raise a Family & Build a Business

Be Tenacious

This is the time in  your life to be more determined than you’ve ever been before, and to work as hard as you possible can – at everything! You are going to have to work your butt off to get your business running, you’re going to have to work harder at family, at home, at health, at relationships – things will become more challenging. But curb the complaints – remember, YOU wanted this! Anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed and down a bit, remember why you wanted to do this in the first place.

Always put your best face forward. Don’t only slap a smile on for a client, be your cheerful, happy self to your children, your family members, and your friends. Be an inspiring individual, remind yourself that you’re working towards a goal. Yes, it’s hard. But you’ve got this.

Be Efficient

Time is of the essence, especially in a full household. Depending on your daily schedules and routines, you will need to carve out essential and focused time for your business, without impeding on your family time, your home life, and your own personal time. This means focusing on tasks at hand, ignoring the call of social media and unnecessary Facebook updates, and using time management techniques or creative multi-tasking.

On a typical day I wake up just before 6 am and get my “necessary” tasks out of the way; think emails, to-do lists, organizing, and planning my day, week, and month. By 7 am the kids are up, and it’s morning routine time, then out the door by 8 am. I’m usually back home before 9 am, and my “work hours” are from 9 am to 4 pm. However!!! Some days are taken up by client meetings or doing business errands, or even personal appointments. I have to plan my time properly, and use the time I have efficiently to really get shit done.

Be Present

During your “business hours” you should be very focused on your work. A client at a meeting gets all your attention. You take notes during a workshop, and you spend time ensuring your invoices are correct and look great. Your business is another baby in your life that needs your full attention.

Do the same for your children and other loved ones in your life. When it’s family time, be fully present – don’t check your emails, don’t look at your phone, don’t do “just one more thing”. Same goes for dinner dates with your partner, or time spent with friends. Make your time with your loved ones just as important as your work.

Be Flexible

Being self-employed means setting your own schedule, right? You could time your day down to the minute in attempts to get through your workload – but sometimes things don’t go as planned. There are deadlines, client meetings, an exploding inbox and a phone call from your daycare provider asking for your child to be picked up because of the dreaded 3D*.

At this point you may feel like the universe is testing you. But what else can you do, other than take a deep breath, think positive, and pick up your kid? I like to think that the universe is sending me a personal message: “your child needs to be with you right now, everything else can wait”. I get to spend time with my child, and I move my workload to after the kids’ bedtime, and everyone (including me!) can sleep a little happier that night.

Be Inspiring

There are some days that will really push you over the edge. It will seem that your never-ending ‘To Do’ list is encroaching on your days, your household is falling apart, your relationship is failing. Time to take a break – fifteen minutes, an hour, or a day, just take a break. Go for a walk. Reflect. Remind yourself again why you want this. Be grateful for the opportunities you’ve been given.

It’s so much easier to just put your bitch face on, trust me, I know. It’s easier to take out your frustrations on the people around you – but don’t. Not only will it plant seeds of doubt in your loved ones’ eyes, they might start thinking that you may not have what it takes or that this work choice might not be right for you. Because if you’re not happy at work, why are you doing it?

It’s hard to take negativity back. Instead, be grateful. Remember that you are inspiring those around you. You are showing your children that you are a strong woman who is pursuing her dreams. You are showing your partner that you’re happy with your choice, and that it’s making you a better person, not worse. You are following your dreams, and you should do so with grace.

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Solutions to the work-life balance comes in many different forms, but when it comes right down to it, it’s your business and your life – it comes down to you. Do you have any tips to share about how to achieve a work-life balance? How do you run a business while raising a family?

*3D – what is this? I recently discovered that if your child has three loose bowel movements (aka. diarrhea) your daycare provider legally has to call you and ask you to pick up your child. Even if he’s fine by all other means. Now you know.

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