Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Life is Only Stinky For a Minute

This morning I was rudely awakened by Ben bursting into our room, shouting, "I need help with Levi, his poo exploded up his back and it's all over his clothes!" Oh, for the love.... It was quite the sight, Levi dangling by one hand as Ben tried to wipe him and remove his clothes at the same time. It was a two man job, so I don't blame Ben for disrupting my sleep, but sometimes I really wish I could wake up to the smell of flowers and not poo. 
When I go for walks I always stop to breathe in the aroma of my neighbors' gardens. The beautiful waft of fresh flowers reminds me there is more to life then smelly diapers. I don't have a green thumb but I certainly appreciate the work of those who do.

 My friend Jennie Hembruch of Paeonia Gardens runs a garden design, consultation, installation and maintenance company in Vancouver. The work that Paeonia Gardens does is fabulous because they treat their work as art. Literally. Look at this painting Jennie did and she grew those Paeonias! Lovely as a breath of fresh air. 

 I have some wild lavender and yellow (I don't know the name of) flowers from my neighbors garden in the kitchen. If my day begins with a big, baby poo, I can stick my nose in the bouquet, take a big long sniff and remind myself that life is only stinky for a minute. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

All That's Wonderful - Or Wonderfully Weird

Inspiration Board

1. Celine Wedges via seaofshoes. Yes please.
2. Forever 21 dress. Have it, love it. Perfect for summer and deliciously cheap.
3. Flower Head image by Amira Fritz via The Clotheshorse. Very weird but whimsical. 
4. Animal clutches by Tsurubride via The Clotheshorse. Not really my thing but I think it would be a great gift for a little girl. How cute are they?
5. Louis Vuitton Ad Campaign Fall 2010 via fashiongonerogue. News Flash: The body is back. Mine's always been around. I don't know about the rest of you....
6. Chen Karlsson via Design Sponge. Coolest light fixtures ever. Levi loves lights. Imagine his reaction to lights with figurines inside of them. 
7. White lace tank top by American Apparel. Great for layering to achieve a soft, romantic look. 
8. I heart Garance Dore photography. I especially love the chic outfit in this shot. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Steps

Our front steps have the potential to be a place of great memories. Picture this: Baby in bed, beautiful summer evening, glass of wine, comfy chairs to rest in.

Our stairs have two landings. The top one is ideal for Levi to play on. We've constructed a monster of a gate to keep him from going head first down the stairs. Oddly enough this is his favorite way of scaling down the steps.

 Perfect. We have a great little out door play area where Levi is confined and his plethora of ride em' toys can be stored. I love to sit out there and listen to our lovely Greek neighbor lady shout instructions, to the next household over, on how to make a proper roast. There are also some tolerable musicians on the street who play their guitars like street buskers trying to earn a living.  To me, city noise is soothing. I like to know that there are other people close by.

I digress, back to our steps. Right now they look like this. 

Another home project courtesy of our landlord. One day these steps will be fabulous. As will our kitchen with its half painted walls and our bathroom with its sad linoleum floor. Meanwhile, Ben is enjoying being destructive and Levi is learning that, when he's a big boy, he can go from destroying block towers to houses.

Friday, June 18, 2010

O So Many Reasons Not to Wear a Bikini:

Too similar to "I'm in my underwear in front of a crowd of people" nightmare.

I don't want Levi to think it's open concession

As the saying goes, "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion." Take a hint girls: Discretion is sexy.

I think of my stretch marks as battle scars and dang it, I'm proud of them. However, I don't want to send the childless ladies screaming.

My husband is the Music Director at our 600 plus congregation church. Chance of running into peeps who I don't want to see me mostly naked is high. Hello, awkward!

I found a sweet $24.00 one piece from the Joe Fresh brand last summer. It is black, extremely flattering, and the straps can be removed for easy baby feeding.

*Please note breast feeding mamas, the same style is back this season in a gorgeous print

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Raving About Rooibos

I quit caffeine when I had a baby. That is basically like stealing a crutch from a crippled person. It isn't just the temporary alertness I have missed. There's nothing like a warm cup of tea to soften the blow of a stressful day.

Thankfully I was introduced to Rooibos Tea by my naturopath. I'm a natural health nut, so you can imagine when I heard about the benefits of Rooibos I was quick to jump on the bandwagon. Rooibos is higher in antioxidents than Green Tea. Take that free radicals! It is found in South Africa and is used for its anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties. Rooibos is thought to bring relief to insomnia, colic in infants and skin disorders like eczema.

It was a novel idea to me to give tea to my infant but Rooibos is full of goodness for our little ones. The low level of tannins in Rooibos prevents problems with iron absorption. Levi loves drinking Rooibos straight up, but it's easy to add flavor with a bit of maple syrup, or my favorite sweetener, agave nectar.

Loose leaf Rooibos can be ground very fine in a coffee grinder and used to make yummy lat├Ęs. Now that summer is here, I'm mad for Rooibos iced tea. Here's my yummy iced tea recipe:

Seep three teaspoons of loose leaf Rooibos in boiled water, until water is a rich, brown colour.
Once the tea is cooled, squeeze the juice of three limes into the tea and then leave the limes in for flavour.
Add agave nectar to sweeten.
Put in some ice cubes.

A nice variation is to put in mint leaves or a few sticks of lavender.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shoes With Soul

I'm going to barf. I spent $45.00 on shoes for my one year old. I am convinced that the right shoes will get Levi walking in no time. Actually for $45.00 I think they might enable him to fly, ski and swim.

Although the price I paid for these little shoes is steep, I swear Levi is taking steps with more confidence and gusto. According to the nice saleslady with the soothing voice, the rubber soles of the shoes are thick enough to give grip and support, but not so thick Levi wont be able to feel the safety of the ground under his feet.

The brand is called Tip Toey Joey and I'm sold on them. However, don't just take my word, read a review on Canadian Natural Mama Product Reviews. To find Tip Toey Joey shoes in Vancouver check out Crocodile Baby.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Wanderlust. It defined my young adulthood and there is still a deep longing in my heart to travel the world. I love this editorial. The model is portrayed as a lone traveler which reminds me of some of my own journeys overseas. The stunning blue sky as the central focus of colour draws me into a reverie of when I would look up at the sky, feeling overwhelmed by how the different tint of it was a reminder that I was in the opposite hemisphere from my loved ones.

I also love how the model's jewelry does not change throughout the shoot. When I was traveling, I always wore the same jewelry. There was security in wearing one ring, given to me my parents, to remind me of home. And then once home, the ring reminded me of my adventures abroad.

While traveling alone had its' romanticism, I would much rather explore the world in the company of my family. Even if that now includes a toddler. After all what is an adventure if you have no one to share it with?

*Bruno Tenorio by Jacques Dequeker for Vogue Brazil June 2010 via

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Life is For Living

Whew! May was crazy busy with a family wedding, relatives in town and Levi's first birthday! Yes, my little man is one!

When I reflect on the first year of my life as a mom I would say it was the hardest year I've lived through. Ever. But when I look at these pictures what I see is joy. Life, even its most difficult seasons, is always full of beauty.

For example, look at those eyes! Even when Levi has been a terd all day, those eyes make me smile.

And nothing is better than mommy hugs!

I love watching Levi try things for the first time, like dipping his feet in the ocean, or nom, nom chowing down on pizza.

Does anything beat a beautiful, evening picnic at the beach with family?

And then there was Levi's first birthday party. Umm, I may have gone crazy and invited 40 people. It was a superhero theme and for some reason I felt passionate about dressing up as spiderman. I never reflected on what it would be like to be a spider mommy making my way through the crowds at Granville Island (Yes that was me). Oh, and how flippin' gorgeous are my mom and sister in this pic!

Do you see the resemblance?

Proof. Minus the mask but I swear I wore it!

Very excited about presents!

Levi's thank-you speech.

How sweet is life? 

*All photos by Esther Gadd