It’s November and my brain is starting to think in “Christmas mode” again. I truly love the season, and I always try to give as many handmade gifts as I can. My Gifts in a Tin ideas from last year were so well loved (as of today, almost a million Pins!!) that I thought I’d kick off November again with another week of gifts in tins! This week, I’ll share with you some ideas for creative gift baskets that you can give to your friends or neighbors for Christmas (and some will work for any time of the year). Each gift in a tin idea will come with free printables so that you can make your gift look extra special! Today, you can also find some more DIY Christmas gift ideas from my fellow Canadian blogger friends at the bottom of this post. Today, this week, and this entire month will be filled with handmade gift ideas galore! Woohoo!
The first gift in a tin idea is this Mom’s Day Off In A Tin. Mom’s need a break, and what better way to encourage a special mom in your life to indulge in one than to give her a kit with everything she needs!Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago, we visited a beautiful greenhouse nearby and we stumbled across the most adorable little fairy garden. I hadn’t thought too much about fairy gardens in the past, but when I heard both of my daughters audibly gasp when they saw the one at the greenhouse, I knew that we had to do some fairy garden projects this Spring! With Mother’s Day coming up soon, I thought some mini fairy garden gifts would be a great way to give this new & adorable little art form a try with my girls. We rounded up a bunch of suitable supplies we had on hand, made some others, and came up with a couple of absolutely sweet DIYmini fairy gardens in tins that will be a fun gift to give to moms for Mother’s Day this year! These would also make unique teacher’s gifts or gifts for friends too! Here’s how we made our mini fairy garden gifts. Continue reading
My mother means a lot to me. Lately, she’s been a huge part of our day-to-day life – she’s been helping me watch my girlies on her days off work as I work on Our DIY House. She’s also the reason why I’m such a DIYer. She’s the original crafty woman in our family! She’s taught me everything I know. I love and respect my mom and I hope that I can be as good of a mom to my babies as she is to me and my siblings (there are five of us!).Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago, I received the most delightful email. Treion Muller, author of “Dad Rules: A Simple Manual For a Complex Job”, wrote to inform me that he and his wife Soni had included my blog as a resource in their new book Mom Rules: Because Even Superheroes Need Help Sometimes!As you can imagine, I was thrilled. These last few months have been very stressful because of our house build(and all of the “fun” things that come with that), so I was in need of some exciting news like this.
I had the honour of reading the book this past weekend, and I really enjoyed it. Mom Rules: Because Even Superheroes Need Help Sometimes is an easy, light read and as a relative newbie mom of two little girls I could really identify with the “rules” in the book. Some of them made me chuckle out loud because they were funny (“If you want it for yourself, hide it”), they made me laugh because I’ve totally been there (“Be prepared for a potty-training marathon”), and some even made me tear up because they struck a chord with me (“Be a messenger of hope”).
The book is divided into 82 little “rules” like this – which are more like inspirational thoughts on mothering with a small paragraph below with ideas and resources (thediymommy.com is listed as a resource under the “Power tools come in pink” rule!). You could read the whole thing at once, pick it up every now and then for a good laugh or for a thought-provoking snippet of wisdom. I think Mom Rules: Because Even Superheroes Need Help Sometimes would also make a unique gift for a new mom (imagine it in a basket with some mommy pampering products as a baby shower gift)!
Here’s what the authors have to say about the book:
“All 82 rules in the book represent years of experiences, study, and mistakes—some from personal experience; some from observing other Moms; some from the review of books, blogs, and articles; and some from actually asking other matriarchs how on earth they did it.” Says Treion Muller. Soni adds, “The part we enjoyed the most about writing Mom Rules was listening to the stories and advice from over three dozen moms. Many that we included throughout the book.”
“Our greatest hope with this book is that it will not only motivate mothers to accept their superpowers but also inspire them to be better mothers and enhance the quality of relationships that they have with their children.” said Soni Muller.
To celebrate the release of Mom Rules: Because Even Superheroes Need Help Sometimes, I’m hosting a giveaway! You could win your very own copy of this book (mailed to you from the publisher) to keep for yourself or to give away to a mommy friend.
To enter to win your copy of Mom Rules: Because Even Superheroes Need Help Sometimes, all you need to do is comment below and tell me just one thing you’ve learned since becoming a mom. It can be silly or serious – it doesn’t matter.
This contest closes on March 29, 2013 at 11:59 PM MST. The winner will be chosen randomly via random.org and will be emailed immediately. If they do not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and contacted. By commenting below, you are agreeing to my Giveaway Rules(please read them by clicking the link).
For Valentine’s Day this week, Little C and I did some baking together. We made some pretty cupcakes (the easy way – with a mix), iced them with buttercream icing (here’s my simple tip on how to ice them rosette style), and finished them with a little heart gummy candy perched on top.
While I thought the cupcakes were festively pretty and the cookies were uber-cute, here was my favourite cupcake:
Little C smudged the icing on it gingerly, grasping a spoon ever-so-carefully. “It’s for Daddy“, she said as she worked, “because he doesn’t like all of dis sugary icing.” It’s a cupcake made with true love from a four year old to her daddy.
My favourite cookie? This one:
There’s a couple of wee fingerprints on the bottom of this cookie, the icing is haphazardly spread and there’s a gummy heart in the most random position one could think of… but it’s a work of art.
As a mom with perfectionist tendencies, I do put a lot of pressure on myself to make pretty things, have well-behaved children and look put-together.
But that’s not the goal, is it?
While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to make my home beautiful and enjoy creating things for and with my babies, none of that matters without LOVE (there’s a Bible verse about that).
When my children grow to adults, will they think of me as a busy, impossible-to-please mom who’s too tired to devote some time in the day for a cuddle or a story? Gosh, I hope not.
I want them to know that they are loved unconditionally by their mother.I want them to know that I am not perfect and that they don’t have to strive for perfection either.
Like this fingerprinted, lopsided little heart cookie I’m a bit of a mess some days. But, somehow God uses messed-up moms to shine His love through too.
When it comes to motherhood, I am still learning that the goal is NOT perfection, it’s LOVE.
As part of my Healthy Mommy Challenge, I turned to one of the strongest, most inspirational women of fitness that I know: Andrea Page of FITMOM. Andrea is an expert at post-partum fitness, and she’s sharing some wonderful advice with us today on fitness after baby. Want to strive for a healthier 2013 with me? Visit this post, comment on it, and then chat with me on Twitter, Instagram (use #healthymommy) and Facebook about what you’re doing to be a fit mama. I also encourage you to visit Andrea’s website – I love her workout videos and she even has an online training program! – Christina
How should a woman expect to feel 6 weeks after the birth of her baby? It seems to be a common belief that a new mom should not expect to feel good about her body, 6 weeks or even 6 months after her baby arrives. I however, after having trained hundreds of expecting and new mothers over the last 10 years, have yet to meet a mom that doesn’t want to slip back into her skinny jeans and feel great, inside and out at the earliest possible opportunity.
It’s disturbing how many moms report feeling like they have aged 10 years, just one year removed from the birth of their child. Although the most important question to this phenomenon is “why”, my focus today is to help you understand how to start getting back into those Parasucos as soon as possible.
As a new mother who strives to achieve a fit and healthy mind, body and soul, here are 3 simple facts you should know before you get started.
Spot Training Won’t Lose your Baby Bulge Spot training (focusing on and fixing one specific area of your body) does not burn the baby fat around your belly. Sorry ladies, 50 sit-ups at the crack of dawn and again just before bed simply won’t cut it. The most effective way to burn that baby bulge is a combination of eating consistent and frequent small healthy meals, interval training and spot training.
Abdominal Separation is a “CORE” concern Most people have heard of abdominal separation but very few address it properly prior to engaging in exercise. Get checked for abdominal separation by a trained professional and seek out a pre/postnatal fitness specialist who knows core restorative protocols.
Don’t Forget to Watch Y & RR Yield to rest and recover. Like the soap opera, too many women experience feelings of guilt and drama about yielding to rest and recover, but in actual fact, we are betraying ourselves, just like Jack and Nicky. Resting is very specific. It means napping in the day and early to bed at night. Recovering can also be achieved through passive activity like meditation where your mind is quieted or reading. Although going out with the girls or watching the real Y & R is great for an escape, it does not constitute true rest and recovery. The fact is sleep deprivation has been proven to hinder weight loss.
The FITMOM 5: Five Must Do Exercises for New Moms
Wall Sit How: Lean your back against a wall and lower yourself until you have your legs are bent at a 90 degree angle. Reps: 3 intervals of 30-60 seconds. Benefits: A great stabilizing exercise that targets your abdominals and lower large muscles with very low risk of injury.
Side Plank How: Lie down on one side of your body with your bottom leg bent for beginner or straight for advanced. Lift your hip off the ground and hold for 30 -60 seconds. Reps: 3 intervals per side of 30-60 seconds. Benefits: Widely considered one of the most important core exercises for postpartum women. It engages all of the stabilizing core muscles including the pelvic floor.
Flys How: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend the knees slightly and lean forward at the hips to 45 degrees, keeping core firmly engaged. Create length through your spine and extend your arms, holding 1–5 lbs weights outwards and parallel above your thighs. Extend your arms (elbows slightly bent) out to the side (like a cross) and focus on clinching your shoulder blades together. Reps: 2 sets of 20 repetitions Benefits: This exercise helps improve posture and strengthens large back muscles to combat middle and upper back strain from pregnancy posture, baby wearing and baby holding postpartum.
Curtsy Lunges How: From a standing position, extend one leg back as far as you can with the knee slight bent in a lunge position. Then lower down similar to a traditional ladies curtsy. Reps: 2 sets of 20 repetitions for each side. Benefits: A great low impact exercise to strengthen and shape calves, quads and gluts. A much better option than a traditional lunge for women recovering from pubic symphysis.
Speed Skater How: From a standing position, bend over at the hips to 45 degrees. Extend one leg as far as you can to the side. Squat with body weight centered over the stabilizing leg with knee slightly bent. As you elevate from the squatting position, also elevate the extended leg as high as you can off the floor. Reps: 2 sets of 20 repetitions for each side. Benefits: An exercise that both requires and helps restore balance. This assists the stabilizing hip muscles will support the realignment of your hips as we all know, it’s a common fact that women’s hips widen during pregnancy.
Andrea Page is founder of FITMOM (fitmomfitness.com) , fitness personality and expert , DVD producer and author.
Throughout her career, Andrea has been deemed an International expert on Prenatal and Postnatal fitness, been sought after by the media for expert knowledge, written hundreds of articles and developed alongside other experts the curriculum that is the “FITMOM” Coach Certification.
Within motherhood, business and the relationships of working with over 30,000 woman who are mothers Andrea has shared her insights in the great works of others like Mom Inc, Death By Rubber Ducky, Toxic Baby Documentary, The Mom Show, Entertainment Tonight, Chatelaine, Active Woman Magazine, CTVS Success Stories with Sandy Rinaldo.
You may have also seen Andrea as she MC’d the event that lobbied the government to ban bisphenol A, MC,ing for Health Minister Tony Clement as he launched a healthy pregnancy awareness campaign along side Dr Andre Lalond SOGC Executive Vice President.
Private and group training, consulting and online education.
I’m totally digging the fact that the colour burgundy seems to be trending again this fall. I really think it’s pretty! I’ve always been a huge fan of the colour red, and burgundy is such a gorgeous, muted variation of red that’s perfect for fall.
The above outfit featuring burgundy skinny pants is a simple and casual style that works well for mom-errands. The skinny pants are nice and stretchy (perfect with boots), and I’m wearing a flowing and forgiving blouse, cinched in the waist with a belt to highlight my waist. The fun leopard print scarf is an easy DIY, and I really enjoy how the black and white heart print of the blouse contrasts with the tan and chocolate print of the scarf.
Another way I’m enjoying wearing a bit of burgundy is with these lovely tights. They work nicely to fall and winterize my summer skirts and dresses. Here, I’ve worn them with a lacy skirt (I’m a huge sucker for anything cream coloured and lacey, and this skirt is made from an ultra-comfy knit jersey which is so easy to wear) and boots.
Below is a full-body shot of the outfit above. I almost wrote this post entirely with the pictures showing only bits and pieces of me. These last few weeks have honestly been some of the toughest ones of my mom career due to extreme exhaustion from a sleepless baby, a really busy fall so far that’s including a new DIY house build for our family (is it just me, or is fall about one million times busier than summer anyhow?!) and some shenanigans with a rear-ender car accident. I’m thankful for a God I can trust, loving family and friends and strong coffee, but my face and body haven’t been loving me – I feel like I have bags under my eyes that reach to the floor, stringy hair and a perma-mad expression. I’ve been wearing my glasses most days because my eyes are so tired that they sting when I put my contacts in.
While my youngest was having her afternoon nap, I shot the below picture as my 3 year old girl looked on. I looked at the final photos with disdain, shaking my head at all of my imperfections.
“This looks like a tired, fat mother”.
My little angel-girl, with her eyes sparkling (she loves taking pictures and seeing pictures): “Can I look, mama?”
“OK”. I’m smiling, but I’m feeling defeated.
My baby peers into the camera and looks at the preview. I hear an audible gasp as she says:
“Wow! That is wonderful. You are beautiful, Mama!”
And that’s why I post the photo below.
Despite the imperfections I see in myself, despite my less-than-perfect few weeks, and despite my lack of sleep I have two little girls that think I’m beautiful. I have family and friends that think so. I have a heavenly Father that thinks so. I have a job to do that requires so much more than physical “perfection” – being a mother is a beautiful thing.