Calgary - MOMS & KIDS
June 30th, 2012
While our girls may be too young to indulge in summer romances (they need to be 18, right?) there is still something magical about the friendships that form over the school break.
The friendship bracelet is a beautiful way to seal those friendships with a memorable keepsake. We love these rhinestone bracelets made by BC brand Brooklyn Designs ($39) and they won’t take up much room in their bags when they pack for summer camp.
Or if they aren’t going away, and you need to keep them busy, try these DIY instructions to make your own friendship bracelets. All you need is some embroidery thread, tape, and two months of sunny freedom. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Brooklyn Designs Friendship Bracelets, $39, online, www.brooklyndesigns.ca
June 23rd, 2012
It’s not unusual for designers to launch childrenswear collections after they’ve had a baby. One rarely sees the need for it until they’ve experienced the overload of character clothing that dominates the kids’ market.
That’s why we are thrilled that Vancouver designer Dace has launched a capsule kid’s range, as effortlessly stylish as her main line, and without a cartoon print in site. We love the printed Frankie dress ($70) and the unisex Zephyr shorts ($50.)
And while Dace may be a womenswear line, we have a sneaking suspicion that the kids line will feature a good amount of boys stuff. That’s ‘cause we know Dace herself has a son, which is great news for all the little boys out there. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
June 16th, 2012
Whether you're on a beach, in a field, or inside (hiding from the rain) this summer, good holiday snapshots make for great memories. We asked Nicole Gurney, a Vancouver-based photographer and mother of twins, to give us some tips on creating great photos.
1. Hire a professional. Your kids are only young once so it's worth having some great shots of them. And it's a bonus to have some of you in them. Family albums tend to have tons of shots with dad and the kids and a couple of you probably in a nightgown.
2. The DIY Route. If you do plan on taking some shots of the kids yourself, plan for a day in the park or the beach. Run a brush through their hair and have a couple cute back-up outfits. If you can ask a friend or babysitter to come along and lend a hand, it helps with keeping the kids together.
3. Look for shade. Shooting in bright mid-day sun can produce hard shadows, not always so attractive. So find some shade or shoot in afternoon light.
4. Beware of the cell phone. If you are taking shots with your phone make sure the photos are not crap! A lot of cell phones take horrible pictures and some people take all of their family photos on them. It's a shame to look back at the younger years of your kids lives as a blurry fog (even though it kinda is).
5. Print Print Print! People tend to store all their photos on their computer and never print. Print a couple shots, maybe covert them to black and white and find some simple frames to put them in. Clustering a number of framed photos on a wall looks awesome and doesn't have to break the bank. DIY coffee table books are a great option too, such as Blurb or an IPhoto book.
Nicole does beautiful family portraits, weddings, and event photos (the proof: this adorable photo of my son!) in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Check out her website, www.gurneyphoto.com. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
June 9th, 2012
While we are busy waxing, spray tanning, and sweating on a treadmill to get ourselves beach ready, it is good to know that it is far more simple to get baby ready for the beach. Here's how.
These Kuki Kids sun hats feature a cotton outer with a towelling lining, a strap (so they can’t pull it off every two minutes) and an adjustable head size. $19.99 from Raspberry Kids.
A good suncreen is important for more than just the shoulders, we’re covering their delicate skin from head, shoulders, knees and toes with this Eco Baby Eco Logical Skin Care Sunscreen ($21.50) And while we are protecting their skin, try these Buzz Away DEET-Free insect repellent towlettes ($16). So much easier than accidentally spraying product into their eyes. Both from Lavish & Lime.
A re-usable swim diaper not only saves you money but means your kids aren’t swimiming around in a diaper full of weird, absorbent chemicals. And, these diapers won’t become so heavy they end up at their knees. We love Canadian made Applecheeks, their swim diaper is $19 at Dandelion Kids.
If your beach’s sand isn’t soft and white, you may want to protect their feet with a pair of waterproof Native Howard shoes. These work on the rocks and on deck. And we love that they look like mini boat shoes. $34.99 at Life & Soles. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
June 2nd, 2012
The Dolce dress, the Camelia dress, the Partini dress. These sound like items you'd be coveting from your favourite high-end designers.
But Redfish Kids Clothing didn't make those dresses for you, they made them for your daughters, whom they want to dress up in bright coloured prints, super cute party dresses, pouffy skirts, and girly coats that are all so pretty you'll be slightly resentful they don't make them in adult sizes. The Vancouver-based brand (that boasts local production) has just opened a store in downtown Vancouver, so you now have the option of shopping their irresistible collections online or in person.
And don't worry, if your girls are the types to get their clothing dirty within milliseconds of getting dressed, all Redfish clothing is pre-washed and safe in the washing machine and dryer. If only our designer dresses were the same. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Redfish Kids Clothing, 851 Hornby St., Vancouver, 604-685-7339, www.redfishkidsclothing.com
May 26th, 2012
We never thought babies would need a chiropractor, but it turns out that pediatric chiropractic care can be very useful. What’s not to love about a natural way to solve colic, prevent allergies, control asthma, and help baby sleep? Here are some facts from Dr. Stephanie Bonn at Coco Chiropractic in Vancouver:
1. Chiropractic adjustments help to stimulate nerves, and can help solve colic and reflux problems. So much better than medication!
2. Chiro can help support the parasympathetic nervous system to naturally relax a baby (how you feel after a yoga class!)
3. Chiro improves the child's lung function and increases their threshold to allergies. Asthma and allergies are two things we don’t want our kids to inherit.
It’s nice when someone’s got your back. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
May 19th, 2012
Once you have kids, there are a handful of retail stores you can add to your "danger" list (meaning highly tempting and potentially damaging to your wallet.)
Ella + Elliot is one of those stores which used to be primarily an online temptation (with a store in Toronto), but they’ve just opened shop in Vancouver. Don't be fooled though, the prices are sometimes deceiving. What looks like an expensive $2,400 crib converts into a bassinet, toddler bed, junior bed, AND sofa, which adds a great deal of value. And that $19 sippy cup is actually the most genius invention we've seen to date, with a weighted straw that means your little one can get to the liquid even if the cup is tilted.
So the prices aren’t as bad as you think. Unless you calculate the number of shoes you could have bought, instead of that crib. Then you’ll be the one crying hysterically.
May 12th, 2012
DIY Mother’s Day gifts are always the sweetest, but it’s been a long time since we made a candy dish out of clay.
So this year we’re getting a little (ok, a lot) of help from Vancouver's poetry website www.bentlily.com. Use the free InstaPoem feature to create a bespoke verse about you and mom; simply follow the steps to plug in details about your relationship and personality traits and voila — an instant tearjerker.
Here’s an excerpt from our little ditty:
you let me live
the cliff edge of mistakes
the big perm
the older boyfriend
the time I smoked cigarettes
Yes, that sounds about right.
Happy Mother’s Day from VitaminDaily.com
Create your InstaPoem here.
May 5th, 2012
The women on aspirational mommy blog, The Glow make it look sickeningly easy, but in reality, balancing babies and business can make you sweat.
In their new book Mom Inc., Meg Mateo Ilasco and Cat Seto offer sound advice to enterprising moms on everything from writing a business plan, to launching a website to staying sane and focused at home.
The writers are serial entrepreneurs–Seto juggles motherhood and a successful custom stationary line while fellow mom, Mateo Ilasco is an artist, crafter and DIY-er par excellence – so the advice comes first hand.
Mom Inc. isn’t the most original title, (it’s one of many) but this is a smart little book, regardless. —Athena Tsavliris
From $15.16 at Chapters Indigo.
April 28th, 2012
We may all be looking forward to the hot weather, but we are also dreading the task of finding entertainment for our kids (do they really need two whole months off?)
StageCoach is a musical theatre company founded in England that runs week-long summer camps for kids in BC, Ontario, and soon Quebec. Each camp is based around a theme: Musicals Unlimited features songs from Glee and High School Musical, while Waifs and Strays includes Les Miserables, Annie, and Oliver. Depending on your kids’ ages, the camps run a half or full day, and feature an end-of-week show.
Book before June for the early bird discount, and ensure that the Little Shop of Horrors, Stomp, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels will be in their house, not yours. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
From $150, www.stagecoachschools.ca