Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Three Things from Life Lately

Newest beauty products to try.

Last week at my sorority meeting, we each brought one or two of our favourite beauty products to share with the group. This is what show and tell is like when you're an adult! I walked away with a list of a dozen new products I can't wait to try. These are the two I picked up to start with: Bad Gal Lash Mascara by Benefit and Flake Away body scrub by Soap and Glory.


Just finished reading this beautifully written book - Where I Belong by Alan Doyle.


Introducing Seb to skiing at Blue Mountain this past weekend.

xo
J

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Baby and Toddler Scientists Wanted!

When I was on mat leave, I had one rule. We had to have something planned every day. Every single day I had to have something on our calendar. So Seb and I did it all...Gymboree Classes, Early Years Centre programs, Toronto Health baby programs, swimming lessons, Strollerfit, playdates at the park, visits to the library, anything that got us out of the house.

One day I came across this post that suggested putting your baby to work as a scientist. It suggests contacting your local university or college to see if they run any infant or child study programs that your baby could participate in. So, in the name of having something on the calendar every. single. day, I signed us up for the University of Toronto Mississauga Infant and Child Studies Lab.  This child studies centre focuses on children's perception of speech and music.

Seb was probably around 6 or 7 months old the first time I took him to participate in a study there. They were trying to learn more about at what age babies start to tell the difference between different languages.

We just went back again to the Child Studies Lab last weekend for another, different study. This time they were looking at how children associate colour with objects. For example, if you show him a picture of a blue chair and a picture of a yellow jacket, and then ask him where the banana is, will he choose the yellow jacket?

During the experiment part of the study, you sit with your baby or toddler on your lap while they either listen to something or watch a short video. You are given noise-cancelling headphones to wear so that you can't hear what your child hears and unconsciously influence their responses to the stimuli. The experiment part of the study takes less than 5 minutes, and they ask you some questions before and after while you and your little one play in a waiting room filled with toys and puzzles.

Full disclosure time - Seb did not love the experiment when he was a baby. We got about 2 minutes in, and they stopped the study because he was crying. I felt so bad because I had no idea. He was sitting on my lap facing forward, and not really moving around, and I had those noise cancelling headphones on (note to self - get these headphones for when I don't want to listen to toddler whining in the future), so I didn't even know he was upset. He was happy as a clam to play in the waiting room, but didn't love the experiment part.

Last weekend he loved the experiment part! Asking him questions about finding an object in a book or on a video is pretty much his favourite thing of all time right now. Our house is full of these Seek and Find books. The grad student working with us told us that he was very active during the video. That lots of children just look at the right answer, but that he was so excited and pointed very clearly with his finger every time.

As a little thank you, your baby/toddler gets to choose a book or toy to take home and gets their very own Junior Scientist degree from the University of Toronto.


If you want to find out more about the Infant and Child Studies Centre at U of T, here's their website. Just click on the 'For Parents' tab at the top to sign up. If you're not in the GTA, I'd encourage you check out to see if your local college or university has something similar.

xo
J

Monday, 9 March 2015

Local Love: Pink the Town Glitter Doughnut Party

On Saturday, a couple girlfriends and I went to the Pink the Town Glitter Doughnut Party hosted at Le Dolci.

Chef Emily walked us through making the dough, cutting out our doughnut shapes, deep frying the doughnuts, and decorating them with plenty of icing and edible glitter!






 

In addition to taking home whatever sweet treats we made, all of the women were gifted a pair of earrings from the newly launched Cherry Pick Jewellery.  These are the earrings I received specifically. I don't normally wear this style of earrings, but it was so nice to be gifted a pair. Now I just need a fancy event or date night planned, so I can wear them out! (#nottoddlerfriendly)


Check out Pink the Town's image gallery here of the event. My pics were all taken on my iPhone, so these ones are much better!

Le Dolci has many other classes you can check out, including kid-friendly classes! And follow Pink the Town for more of their upcoming events.

xo
J

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The Time I Thought I Could Paint #DrinkCreatively

Twice a month I get together with a fierce and fabulous group of women. (Remember?) Last week for our social, we went to a Paint Nite event. This is one of those things I've seen online forever and have always wanted to try out. I'm fairly certain my artistic abilities peaked somewhere around the third grade but pretty much any event that includes wine, a bar, and my girlfriends is bound to be a good time.

If you've never heard of Paint Nite, it works like this. The event will be hosted in a bar or restaurant and the instructor will lead you step by step in creating a painting that you take home. Everyone at the event paints the same painting and you can see what painting you will be doing when you book your tickets online. The paintings range in skill level from easy to difficult. Thankfully, we picked a painting event that was painting an "easy" painting.

So, we met up for our event at the Hard Rock Café. It was the largest event ever in Toronto with 60 attendees! Armed with a paintbrush in one hand and a glass of wine in another, we vowed to have a great time and to not whine about our paintings not being perfect.

IN PROGRESS

This event turned out to be so much more fun than I think any of us thought it would be. We laughed all night long, and it was so fun to see how everyone's paintings were the same picture but each slightly unique. Our instructors, Jon and Lexie, were hilarious and willing to help with whatever we needed throughout the night.

FINISHED!


What you get when you mix paint and wine.

I have to say, I'm pretty proud of how my painting turned out. "Swirly Birds on a Wire" it's called. I would absolutely do this event again. Plus I felt pretty validated the next morning when Seb could immediately identify 2 birds and a heart. So yeah, it looks like what it's supposed to look like! Seb was actually so excited about the painting that he wanted it up in his room (melt my heart).


If you're looking for a fun girls' night or a new thing to try for date night, I highly recommend Paint Nite. Google around for discount codes when you place your order. I use the one PAINTNITECA for 40% off.

xo
J

Monday, 2 March 2015

How I'm Keeping Warm While Winter Just. Won't. Quit.

I'm so over winter. I'm tired of waking up in the morning and thinking, "What goes with winter boots?" (Spoiler alert - not a lot). My sweaters need a break, and my Tieks are quietly calling my name from the back of my closet.  Oh spring...so close yet so far away.

I hate being cold. Given that I was born in Thompson, Manitoba (land of polar bears and guaranteed snow before Halloween), you'd think I'd have warmer blood but 'tis not the case. Instead, here's how I'm keeping warm.

1. A cozy hoodie. I've been living in this Bonsoir Paris hoodie all winter long. It's soft, cozy, warm without being bulky. Paris-inspired with an athletic vibe. All my favourites.

2. A warm hat. I found this Winter Wonderland hat on wicked sale a little while ago. It's sold out now, but here's something similar. (The hoodie and hat were inspired by The Mom Edit. A blog you should absolutely check out!)

3. A faux-fur scarf. This was a Christmas gift from Rob, and I wear mine all the time. It's on sale for $9. $9!! You won't regret buying this scarf. It goes with everything and really is warm.

4. Smartwool socks. I know spending $25 on one pair of socks seems outrageous, but on the days I have to be outside for work, these socks are everything.

And I'll basically wear all of those things at the same time....



And then pour myself one of these...

5. A cup of tea. Give me a warm cup of tea, and I'm a happy lady. And tea always tastes better when it's in a beautiful mug.

6. A glass of wine. Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon is my newest favourite wine. I like big red wines and was gifted this one over the holidays as well. Now it's on high rotation in our house.

Stay warm friends! #springisontheway
xo
J

Sunday, 1 March 2015

OMG MARCH! Finally.

Bye bye February. BUH BYE. I'd like to say it was nice while it lasted, but it wasn't. Toronto had the coldest February ever on record, so yeah...that sucked. I was sick not once, but twice and had to cancel not one, but two outings with friends (including pre-purchased VIP tickets to see 50 Shades of Grey) as well as two date nights. Valentine's Day consisted of me laying in bed and Rob bringing me soup while I worked my way through a box of Kleenex. That's kind of romantic I guess....And then there was the story of Elijah Marsh; a Toronto toddler who died after wandering out of his apartment in the middle of the night during the extreme cold. So yeah February, see ya on the other side.

Around February 21st we told Seb it was "one month until spring." He has no idea what "one month" really means so even though it's now March 1st, he's still saying "one month until spring". He's probably right. Even if he keeps saying it for a few more weeks, it feels like he'll probably still be right. #diewinterdie

Oh yeah..and Seb's dropping his nap. 'Cause it's so easy to go to the park and burn off energy these days....

Nap fail selfies

Links to distract us until it gets warmer!

To Read
Roald Dahl's Powerful Pro-Vaccination Letter that he wrote after his own daughter died of measles. Seriously moving stuff.

15 Things All Badass, Fearless Alpha-Women do Differently from Other Types of Women. This post is inspired by the Laurel Thatcher Ulrich quote, "Well-behaved women rarely make history." My cousin recently shared it with me and a number of our girlfriends. Such an engaging read. I'm working on number 7.

To Watch


"This Girl Can celebrates the women who are doing their thing no matter how they do it, how they look or even how sweaty they get." Best message ever. Watch their inspiring video here.

Adrienne Moore (Black Cindy from Orange is the New Black) made a short film about working moms. It's about 5 minutes long and quite funny. Watch it here.

For Kids
I haven't tried it out yet, but the website Cooking with Toddlers has me intrigued. I can't wait to pick out something to make with Seb. I'll probably post more about this when we try it out to let you know how it works!

Mamma Don't You Worry. I was sent this e-book for review, and I really loved the lesson in this story. Written as a poem, it's about a 6 year old boy who thinks his mom worries too much about keeping track of him when they're outside or in a store, etc. Then the little boy learns just why it is so important to still stay near mama. You can buy the book on Amazon for just $1.29.


Magnetic alphabet upgrade. I saw this idea from @dressupfiles on Instagram. She spray painted the magnetic alphabet letters gold for a classy upgrade. I love this idea so hard. Fridge magnets are not my thing because I think they always look so messy and unorganized (#imanerd), but these...these are magnets I can get behind.


I have a work deadline for a project tomorrow, so our weekend hasn't been too exciting. The new season of House of Cards is on Netflix, so we did a bit of that. We also had Rob's mom for a visit, and I will squeeze in a run (followed by a caramel macchiato, of course).

I vow to make March more exciting. I always get to this point in the year and regret not booking something sunny, warm, and wonderful for March Break, but I make up for it by planning extra girls' nights, playdates, and date nights.

xo
J

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