A day where we celebrate love? I do have a soft spot for Vanlentine’s Day. Growing up my dad ALWAYS bought my sister and I at least one red rose and a box of Turtles. It wasn’t big or fancy or anything, but that Valentine’s Day tradition still warms by heart around this time of year.
We don’t really give big gifts here for Valentine’s Day. We’re not anti-v-day or anything. But our anniversary is just around the corner, and my b-day just passed. But I still love to check out what I might like, you, know, if we WERE going to get gifts. This year I got my husband a coffee mug and a few other little sweeties. He’ll probably bring me some flowers. But if I was going to make a wish list, here are five things that caught my eye this year.
Ok, here’s the list.
So that’s my 5 Faves list for Valentine’s Day 2017. What’s on your list this year? Have you picked out a gift for yourself? I’d love to hear about it.
This post is solely my opinion and the topic, items and links have, in no way, been sponsored, endorsed or affiliated.
Winter has finally landed in Toronto so it’s time to grab your favourite winter garb and enjoy the season.
That’s it for another 5 Faves Friday. See you next week.
Fresh off the Blissdom craft beer tour bus, I give you 5 faves friday with the golden nectar of the gods. Three of these are local to Collingwood and delicious. The other two are close to home and are regulars both when we head out for a taste and in our fridge.
Fall is here! Finally. Fall is definitely my season. Sweaters. Boots. Comfort food. The best!
Here are a few of my favourite fall things – some I have, some I’m lusting over.
That’s it for my fav’s this week. Next week I’ll be posting from Blissdom! Eeek, I’m so excited.
There’s something about this time of year that makes me want to take a long look at where I want to go, and how I might get there. It’s still my ‘resolution time’.
Here are my 5 picks for what I wish I had to get me ready for next Tuesday – the first day of my New Year.
1. Check out these Frecklebox Personalized lunch boxes. I’d love to write some little notes to remind myself to be awesome every day.
2. Who doesn’t need a new pencil case? As a writer, I tote a lot of pens around. I’d like to grab one of these from Etsy. Chevrons? Contrasting zippers? These just make me happy.
3. I’m a snacker. I believe these glasses would make me look like a smart snacker. Plus this reusable snack bag perfectly satisfies my appetite to make green choices for myself and my family. Colibri is a Canadian brand (A+). You can order different sizes and patterns from Well.ca.
4. Inside shoes. Outside shoes. These amazing Steve Madden boots strike me as a pair I wouldn’t want to take off. I have a pair of Madden boots already and I love them. These might be my fall go-to’s. Can’t wait to try them on.
5. Ok, most people would pick a new backpack for back-to-school, but this new Ali Edwards Bag from Epiphanie makes me want to go back to class. (I took a lot of photography electives). Big enough for a camera body, long and short lens, and some personal items, it has removable panels to easily convert to an everyday bag. Their whole new leather collection is definitely wishlist material.
What’s on your grownup “Back to School” wishlist?
I’ve had the Stokke Crusi for about a year now, give or take. Which is a long time to take to get around to a review. I discovered the Stokke brand in 2009 when I was preparing for the arrival of the Bubble and googled best stroller for bad back. Up popped the Xplory. I was instantly sold, despite the hefty price tag.
Fast forward to April 2013. After a long winter of being stuck inside with obviously not typically developing Obi hiding out from RSV season, I set about getting a new Xplory. I already had an upgraded seat so I thought I’d go and buy a new chassis.
When I arrived at the store, there, in all it’s Black Melange glory was the new Stokke Crusi. It was a vision. I pushed it around the store, doing laps past the new version of my much loved Xplory and decided to forgo the stroller I had already owned for the new one – complete with sibling seat (with the intention that it could be used later when Obi started a nanny share like we had done with Bub.)
It is a wonderful stroller. It really is. It’s lovely. Turns well. Is easy to push. Sigh. But it’s not the Xplory, my one true love.
That being said, there is much to love and I’m certain that if the Xplory was not the one that got away, I would be wholly sold on the Crusi.
It really is an eye catching stroller, even though it has a more conventional look than the Xplory. It does have a large storage basket. (You can see my amazing Epiphanie Camera Bag in there) And it has a nice high handle.
Babes, especially those with low tone like little Obi do better when their feet can touch. The Crusi and the Xplory share the same seat design with the one hand foot rest adjust you can see here.
Like the Xplory, the Crusi is one of the Stokke Connection strollers and I think you can see from this photo, the seat is HIGH. Obi loves to look people in the eye and this seat means she never misses an opportunity… except when she’s sleeping, like in this picture. It’s easy nappin’ because of the super easy adjustment of comfy seat positions.
As you can see here, Stokke makes it easy to figure out how to make the stroller work by making all the parts that do something a different colour. The top push button adjusts recline and the lower one collapses the buggy for transport.
Crusi is totally suited to our big city life. Obi’s caregiver pops on and off the transit, it has a cup holder for trips to cafes and for water bottles required for long beach walks. It’s easy to maneuver, did great in the snow this winter and has an adjustable handle making it easy for me to push and for her caregiver who’s quite a bit shorter.
And of course, as with all Stokke products, the attention to detail and design is top notch.
There are a few little things that get on my nerves. While the 2 stage fold works for me because of the whole bad back issue, I find it doesn’t get super flat and doesn’t lock in the folded position. Not all that important because we have a big enough car but still not perfect. Also, I kick the crossbar when I walk.
Which I didn’t with the Xplory. Which folds flat. And locks. And well, is my first and one true love. Sweet Obi will likely be in a buggy for much longer than a typical kid, and with the latest version of the Xplory hot off the press, I may bite the bullet and buy that frame I was considering last year. No I am not made of money. But I have that second seat. And sometimes you just have to do crazy things for the things you love.
If you like a slightly bigger basket and a slightly less avant garde but still high design look with the same amazing connection, quality and customer service you expect from a premium brand like Stokke, go for Crusi. And don’t forget the option for the sibling seat…(which I didn’t even touch on but we did use a few times when I brought the stroller home and found it would be great for 2 kids around the same age or close in age but was only so-so for my 3 year old who couldn’t understand why the baby got the top bunk and he had to be on the bottom. As this was my original intention – to have Obi have a nanny share before we knew she would do better with one-on-one care – it was a great feature and selling point, just not one that has been used to full potential) which is a nice addition to the Stokke line.
If you are me – loving the look, not needing that much space, not gonna use a sibling seat, have a slightly longer stride, knowing you did the right thing by letting your last Xplory go but wondering why the heck you didn’t just get the same thing over again, go for Xplory.
At the end of the day, no matter what, if you choose a Stokke stroller (and I’ve had all three at one time or another) you will not regret your decision to go with Stokke – even if you pine for another model, late at night. You can read more about Stokke strollers here.
And, although I am an embarrassing super fan who writes on their facebook page a lot, all opinions here are about strollers our family has purchased and used.
The Mommydo post hiatus you recently experienced brought to you by a stomach bug which crashed our long weekend by taking down the kids one after another then lying in wait 4 days before knocking me out for almost 4 more.
Conveniently, said bug left me a whole 8.5 lbs lighter which is perfect timing for the fundraising gala husband and I have been invited to.
Normally I would be shaking in my boots about finding something to wear to said “Black Tie Optional” function. Husband and I haven’t been out to anything I’ve had to dress up for since I was pregs with the boy in 2009. And I have ZERO clothes that fit the season. My few dresses are either super summery, were worn as I gleefully marched friends down the aisle or, well, I have my own wedding dress…
Thankfully, no one will be forced to see me in any of those, as I tagged my trusty friends at Girl Friday in a facebook post today and they promptly responded on their wall with some of the options they have in store! Amazeballs.
Like this little number from fever London…
And this little number from Darling UK…
I have no idea what I’ll wear on my feet – my bad back rules heels out, but pretty pumped to go and get a new frock for the festivities. And lets be honest, the fact that I’m going out to some festivities is, in it’s self pretty exciting. I’ll let you know what I pick
Don’t you love having a go to place?
I totally got personally styled and it was Ah-mazing.
Wah? You heard right. I’m starting a work contract that happens in an actual office. In case you didn’t know, I’ve been working from home for 2 years – the first year I did a few contracts but also managed clients on my own and last year, on ‘mat leave’ I continued to work on my clients when projects came up.
It was a very short lead time for this gig but I realized I needed to get out of the house and gain some perspective (staring at the baby wasn’t helping her or me). I also LOVE what I do, and given the chance to do it on a larger scale in an office for a bit is healthy for me, (our household finances) and for the kids – I believe a happy Mommy is a better Mommy. (And I know that happy comes in all forms – stay at home, work at home, work in the world.) I need a little more world right now.
So I said yes to the contract but then quickly realized I haven’t been shopping for spring clothes (unless you count capri yoga pants and t-shirts) for a great number of years. Trying to get pregnant-pregnant-mat leave-pregnant-pregnant-mat leave. Now. Styles have changed and I’ve changed. My taste. My body. Crap.
So I made the best decision I’ve made in a LOOONG time. I heard from a friend about an experience she had with a personal stylist and it sounded AMAZING. Then, it turned out – I knew the stylist! I got in touch with this wonderful designer, stylist and boutique owner, and we spent a couple of hours together at her store on Saturday.
Rebecca Nixon, designer and Owner of Girl Friday in Toronto and I messaged back and forth a little bit about what I was looking for (clothes for working in a creative environment), what size I am, what kind of things I like and my budget. I was already planning to head to the store to get a ‘first day with the grownups’ outfit – it’s one of my favourite shops in Toronto.
But she was free and we agreed we could start ‘the big shop’ there. Rebecca mentioned that they also offer a ‘Closet Cleanup’ service (which the friend I mentioned above loved) where their stylist comes to your home, goes through your clothes and helps you find the clothes in your wardrobe that are working well on you, breathe new life into things you thought were maybe out of style by suggesting new ways to wear your existing pieces. And, shows a little tough love to the things you really need to say goodbye to. They will even bring those clothes to donate so you aren’t tempted to rummage through later. Given that I don’t really have any suitable clothes, I figured I’d just get new and save what’s lumped in my closet now for when I’m back to working at home. The shopping takes place at their boutique and at the mall if necessary.
We made plans to meet at the store. I got myself ‘shop ready’ because I wanted to feel amazing as I ventured into a dressing room. No idea how long it had been… I wore good undies, a supportive b.ra, a white tank so I’d know what things would look like with a little coverage under and I brought flats just in case.
Then all the wonderfulness began. Rebecca pulled tons of stuff for me to try on – in my comfort zone, on the edge and out of my comfort zone. I brought an open mind and tried on everything she pulled for me. Some things just weren’t me, others I would never have picked and totally loved and the rest was exactly me.
She showed me how to mix and match the pieces to get lots of wear from winter into spring and made outfits I would never have thought of. The best part was she made me look very stylish and still look like me. The clothes are age appropriate, flattering, interesting and really wearable.
I was amazed that I could get fashion (not just clothes) for about the same as I would spend for regular priced items at the mall. And I feel so FANCY.
You’re asking yourself “where are the damned clothes?”
In total, I got 8 tops, 3 bottoms and 2 necklaces. Including tax we were $23 over my $1000 budget. In the end there were more pieces I liked that I didn’t choose due to budget and time of year. They will work better in warmer months and can be part of my ‘oh crap, I also don’t have summer clothes’ shop later in the year.
I’ll be instagramming outfits all week (forgive me, I’m new) so if you want to follow, checkout mommydoCA.
Girl Friday has more than one stylist on staff, they have great taste, they are so friendly and def not ‘judgy’ (as I sometimes worry people who dress better than me might be) and the whole thing was FUN. If you’re interested, call the store at (416) 364-2511, check out their blog or visit them online or on Facebook to learn more.
Not surprisingly, I’m a worse clothing photographer than I am food photographer, so I’m pulling photos from the internet. Tried where ever possible to pull photos from Girl Friday. Some are from second clothing (that’s the yoga jeans people). For the rest, I apologize random internet photos. If you see a pic you didn’t get credit for, please let me know and I’ll amend.
UPDATE: Here’s day 2: Shirt By Everly, Second Yoga Jeans (With an Elastic Waist!!!), I’ll have to check the credit for the necklace.
Day 3 Outfit: John & Jenn Sweater, Dish Jeans