Hospital Essentials: What to Pack

Hospital Essentials: What to Pack

So, as many of you know, I’m expecting baby #4 this fall.  My actual due date isn’t until October 30th, but due to my recent cardiac health issues, we will actually be meeting baby at 33 weeks!

While there’s a certain element of excitement that goes along with the idea of meeting this sweet babe sooner than we thought, the reality of it also hit me full force that we have a lot less time to get everything in order – including packing up our hospital bags.

Continue reading “Hospital Essentials: What to Pack”

Maternity Capsule Wardrobe

Maternity Capsule Wardrobe

For those of you who have been following along for awhile, you may remember my post from last fall outlining my capsule wardrobe for the season, along with information about what a capsule wardrobe is, and the benefits of having one.  You can read more about that here.

As a quick reminder, a capsule wardrobe is basically a seasonal wardrobe made up of a set number of items, specifically chosen to be mixed and matched to form a variety of combinations.  The guiding principles are really minimalizing, budgeting, mixing/matching, and de-cluttering.

I am a huge fan of capsule wardrobes because they have simplified my life, made my shopping more intentional, helped me to better budget, and also de-cluttered my closet so that I’m not left looking at a million items and yet thinking, “I have nothing to wear”, every single day.

I had intended to post my winter capsule wardrobe, but to be honest, I basically just swapped out a few items from my fall wardrobe and kept several of the staples the same, so it didn’t seem to warrant a whole new post.  However, being that it’s spring, and the summer season is upon us, I decided to re-vamp … on top of that, I’m also pregnant!  So, this will be my first ever “maternity capsule wardrobe”, and I wanted to share it with you.

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To be honest, creating a maternity capsule wardrobe has actually been easier than creating a regular, seasonal wardrobe.  I think the reason for that is because with pregnancy being for a relatively short season of life, I don’t often go crazy buying maternity clothing anyway, since I know I won’t get much wear out of it in the future.  This is especially true for me now with baby #4, knowing that this will be my last pregnancy.

That being said, I love fashion, and I firmly believe that one of the best ways to feel good about yourself – especially in pregnancy – is to like the way you look, and to feel comfortable.  I have shared before on my Instagram posts that although I know how blessed I am to be able to have children biologically, I do struggle with the physical changes that accompany pregnancy, so for me, having a wardrobe that I feel great in goes a long way to having a more positive self-image throughout the experience.

The most difficult aspect of creating a maternity capsule was considering which sizes to purchase in the items I decided were essential to purchase– because I don’t want to have to buy these items more than once.  So, it’s important to remember that your baby bump is going to keep growing, and if budget is your main concern, try and buy items in materials that will grow with you.

A couple of other tips and tricks for putting together your maternity wardrobe:

  • Choose neutral basics
  • Layering pieces are a great way to get the most bang for your buck, and often transition from season to season (ie: kimonos, cardigans, leggings, etc).
  • Invest in a couple great pairs of maternity jeans/pants; there are a range of waistbands you can find for your greatest comfort.
  • You can often get away with buying pieces that aren’t actually “maternity” items, depending on the style, fit, and fabric – so it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have a great maternity selection where you live.
  • Make sure you invest in some quality UNDERWEAR! This might seem really silly, but I am not kidding you – being comfortable underneath your clothing goes a long way to how you’ll feel in your new maternity styles.

For this maternity capsule, I decided to increase my total number of items to 42 instead of 40, just given the fact that I want this to basically be one wardrobe that will span across two seasons.  I’m due in October, so technically I guess that’s entering the fall season as well, but I’m not going to buy myself fall clothes for the very end of a pregnancy; instead I will probably put together a “post-baby-body” fall/winter capsule.

For this spring/summer wardrobe I was really drawn to solid, neutral colours, with some pops of floral, classic stripes, and a range of textures that feel great.  I also incorporated a few pieces that can be worn both in a professional setting, and also paired with more casual pieces, since I’m still working.  I am also obsessed with dresses this season, and I find them to be one of the most comfortable things to wear during pregnancy; most of my previous pregnancies have been in the winter months, so I’ve never worn dresses the way I am planning to in this pregnancy.  Additionally, although I ended up packing away the majority of my “regular” clothing, I did keep a few pieces from my regular wardrobe to incorporate into this maternity capsule.

So, without further ado, here are my picks for my spring/summer maternity capsule wardrobe:

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Items in wardrobe listed by category with links provided when possible.  


Dresses:

Floral Dress (Gap), Black Tank Dress (Old Navy), Striped Dress (Pink Blush – Comparable), Fitted Turquoise Dress (Pink Blush), Mauve Maxi Dress (Pink Blush), Black Romper (Flexi-Lexi Fitness)


Bottoms:

Distressed “Bounceback” Jeans (Motherhood Maternity), Skinny Jeans (Jessica Simpson), Distressed Faded Jeans (Motherhood Maternity), Denim Overalls (Gap), Black Leggings (Lululemon), Black Pants (Gap), Denim Shorts (Jessica Simpson), Cargo Drawstring Shorts (Jessica Simpson)  (Still on the hunt for a pair of black shorts and a pair of joggers!)


Tops:

Black Tank-top (H&M), White Tank-top (Gap), Grey Tank-top (Gap), Grey Tee (Artizia), Pink Tank-top (Gap), White Tee (Babaton), Black Tee (Aritzia), Denim Button-Up (Gap), Striped Button-Up (Community – Comparable), Oxford Button-Up (Gap)


Sweaters/Wraps:

Oversized Cardigan (Aritzia), Navy Floral Kimono (Pink Blush Comparable), Yellow Sash Kimono (American Eagle Outfitters), Lace-Trimmed Kimono (Spank), Crochet Kimono (American Eagle Outfitters Comparable), Long Marl-Grey Cardigan (Banana Republic)


Jackets:

Denim Jacket (Guess), Oversized Coat (Aritzia Comparable), Pink Boyfriend Blazer (Dynamite)


Shoes:

Steve Madden Flats (Town Shoes); Adidas Stan Smith White Runners (Aritzia), Birkenstock Sandals (Town Shoes), Grey Dress Flats (Franco Sarto – Comparable), Black Slip-Ons (Gap), Cognac Sandals (Gap), White Woven Mules (Gap)


 

So there you have it!  I may swap out a couple of the more professional pieces for one or two more casual items once the summer rolls around, if needed.  Every pregnancy is different, and it’s hard to know how the body will grow and change, so I’m going to give myself some flexibility in this wardrobe if I grow out of pieces too quickly.  However, I think I’ve made some smart choices, and hopefully this wardrobe will do well until baby #4 arrives in fall!  What are your must-have maternity items?!

August is here! Be part of (5)

 

 

Mother’s Day Blooms

Mother’s Day Blooms

 

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I could do for my own mom to celebrate all she has done for me. Truthfully, I don’t think there will ever be anything I can do or say – and certainly not buy – that would ever truly convey how grateful I am to have a mom like mine. And yet, every year, we try our best to spoil our moms in some special way – to let them know that we know just how blessed we are to have them.

Now, being a mom myself, with kiddos who are finally old enough to understand the meaning of the holiday, it’s fun to watch them plan and “whisper” to one another (and to their dad) all of the things they want to do to spoil me this weekend. Some of their ideas are pretty inventive 😉 But at the end of the day, the fact that they are even thinking about it is all the gift this mama needs.

However, that being said, I wanted to take some time to chat about an awesome experience I had this last weekend, which I think would make an absolutely wonderful Mother’s Day activity if you’re in need of a quick idea, or something to tuck away for next year.

This last weekend, I had the privilege of working with local Saskatoon florist, Joanne Morris, owner of Twig and Bloom. I first found Twig and Bloom through Instagram, after seeing a gorgeous flower crown on a friend’s feed, and following the links to Joanne. Her creations are so stunning, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in awe over her ability to arrange the flowers and greenery so artfully. Not having any sort of a green thumb myself, frankly, I’m always amazed by anyone who is good with plants and flowers.

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So, I was really thrilled to receive a private workshop from Joanne, learning all kinds of neat tips and tricks in the art of flower arranging. I also had an absolutely lovely time getting to know Joanne, and more about her business, Twig and Bloom.

Twig and Bloom launched as a business in December 2016, and Joanne shared with me that she had always loved arranging flowers as a hobby. In fact, many of her friends and co-workers would ask her to arrange flowers for events, such as weddings, and she also did the flower arrangements every year for the dance recitals at the studio where she is also a choreographer.   This love for all things pretty inspired her to establish Twig and Bloom. Joanne told me she “jumped in with both feet” once she made the decision to start her business, and within four months of launching, business really started to boom. She told me she continues to be surprised when people tell her they have heard of Twig & Bloom, and is grateful for the success of her social media accounts, and grassroots advertising.  Personally, I’m not surprised, since her arrangements are so gorgeous!

I was so impressed with Joanne as a person, and her ambition, but also with how she led our workshop.   When I arrived, everything was arranged so beautifully, with aprons and rose-gold-handled scissors for each of us, along with a gorgeous array of flowers and greenery in a neutral palette.

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As we began, she walked me through her process of choosing a colour palette for each arrangement, and she explained to me that she only uses what she loves in the arrangements that she makes, and works hard to stay true to her aesthetic and brand – which is actually what inspired the name of her company! “Twig” is meant to convey simplicity, while “Bloom” speaks to her love of all things pretty. She also explained that, having taken Interior Décor courses, she applies many of the same principles when choosing flowers, considering elements such as texture, how the flower drapes or stands, it’s shape, it’s colour, etc. She is certainly an expert at this, and I was so impressed with the gorgeous array of blooms she selected for our workshop. I was also thrilled with the neutral colour palette she chose, and had a great time learning the names of the different flowers, and also many of her clever tricks for both arranging and maintaining floral creations.

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I won’t give away all her secrets, but I really appreciated her step-by-step guidance as I worked on my arrangement – and also her encouragement to allow myself to be creative with my own arrangement as well! At the end of the workshop, I was truly shocked at what I had managed to create! Not only did I have a gorgeous flower arrangement to give my own mom for Mother’s Day (because flowers are an absolute must on Mother’s Day), but I’m also really excited about everything I learned, and I plan to give flower arranging another try on my own (or maybe with my mom!)

Truthfully, I found myself wishing that I had brought my mom with me, as I think the private workshop would have made for such a fun Mother’s Day experience – one I’ll definitely be looking into sharing with my mom and sisters next year! What are YOUR plans for spoiling your mom for Mother’s Day?

 

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I love supporting local businesses, and I also really enjoyed my time with Joanne. I love that she is an entrepreneur and is doing what she loves as a career! I am sure her husband and two boys are super proud of her success, and I couldn’t be more grateful for her generosity and the lovely workshop experience!  

If you’re in the Saskatoon area this week, and are looking for a gorgeous arrangement for your mom, you can check out Twig and Bloom at the Center Mall on May 11th and 12th, and if you’re interested in participating in a workshop of your own, consider registering for the upcoming Garden Workshop (June 16th) at www.twigandbloom.ca

Twig and Bloom is also available for a range of events, such as weddings and galas, and can be found online through both the website and on Instagram.  All the best Twig & Bloom! 

August is here! Be part of (5)