Wednesday, 31 May 2017

How to give the gift of thrift...

I received so many nice baby shower gifts, it almost makes me feel guilty!
I mean this is our second baby so it should have been a sprinkle instead of a shower but people went all out, it was so sweet!

Maybe I will post to IG stories to show what we got.. is that weird??
It's not me bragging it's just my honest fascination with other peoples lives that would make me want to see what people gave.. so maybe you readers want to see.
anyway, we will see but I'm leaning towards a quick IG story haul!

I will say we got mostly gift cards and baby girl clothes, which is AMAZING!
I really had no idea what to say when people ask if we need anything.
no, we didn't NEED.
the baby will be fully clothed with all of Elliott's hand me downs but there's something so cute about her having her very own 'girl' wardrobe, I am so thankful for all those who were smarter than me and gifted them!

gift cards, blankets, books, clothes (especially if you're having a babe of the opposite gender!), diapers, we received all these things and they're perfect! so many cute things.. It confirms why I stay away from the baby sections, because I would be in deep with the shopping sprees! lol

but my cousin had a way of gifting that I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVED.

You all know my thrift shopping obsession is real and I just can't get past buying new when there are so many second hand shops with the cutest things floating around.. especially kids wear!
Kids grow SO fast, do not waste precious dollars on full price!

so my cousin knows my love and she has an equal love, so she gifted us with a thrift shopped baby gift!

thrift giving may not be for everyone and you'll know the time and place to give the gift of thrift but I really hope some of you take inspiration from this, and gift thrift more often!

This actually isn't the first thrifted gift I've received. (not including my immediate family who gives thrifted all the time)
My sisters friend gave us a baby gift for Elliott that was all thrifted!
she was a teen at that time and money is pinched for everyone, let alone someone working part time min. wage so she gathered up all kinds of gems from the thrift stores and they were some of Elliott's most worn items! I really appreciated the thought behind it as well, going to the second hand stores and thinking of us while there was just too sweet, she didn't have to but she did.

so anyway,  no pressure lol
I loved all my gifts equally and I cannot thank everyone enough.

but if you're looking for a way to make thrift more chic and add a bit of a twist to your gift, take a note from this card  >>>>>>........

SO cute!

a little peek of the thrifted finds!
and a homemade tutu.. omg stop!

Pop it into a cute basket with some tissue atop and voila!

the gift of thrift!
beauty on a budget!
and a happy earth friendly deed!

am I alone in loving this?!?!?!?!?!
lolol someone confirm this is genius!
Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Low key baby showers..

I'm really not a shower person, I am especially not a 'my' shower type of person.
I didn't have a bridal shower, I didn't even have a bachelorette party (something I would be more enthusiastic about.. girls night out/drinks!;))

I don't believe in social 'rules' and I'm not a traditionalist..
i.e do whatever you want for your wedding/baby/life!
and yet here we are lol..
I was surprised with a baby shower so may as well show it off!

Something I can appreciate is good food and décor, I'm also a fan of games as long as they're not mandatory.. loosey goosey is how I live my life!


I still cannot believe I'm having a girl..
I 100% do. not. believe. it.
and I will not believe it until they place that baby in my arms..

so seeing everything in pink is shocking, it doesn't feel like my baby.
I mean, I'm still adjusting to being a boy mom.. so that might have something to do with it, I was convinced with Elliott that I would have a girl and I was convinced this time would be a boy lol.

anywhoo, everything was sparkly and PINK! so that's fun!
and yes my sisters dining room is actually painted purple.. that was not added for the shower! hahah

also, I didn't take a single photo!!
so this is not 'blogger' quality but that's what you get when you rely on random party goers iPhone snaps. I am great at photographing EVERY minute when out with Nick/Elliott but see me at an event and my camera isn't even on the radar, I guess its a good thing - live in the moment, yadda yadda ;)
but I wish I could hire a professional to follow me around, these photos would've been SO good taken from a trained eye.
All you need to feel fancy is a few cake displays and silver platters.
I swear, thrift shop for them and you'll get your monies worth ten fold!
I keep a cute collection of cake stands on top of my cupboard and they look like décor even when not in use.

^ my girlfriend make me these adorable cookies, love!

I'm not sure if this is the exact stuffed strawberry recipe used above but I googled it and this one is super simple/similar if not exact - stuffed strawberries

A little tutu on your wine glass makes all the difference!

^ all the prizes were wrapped in pink/gold or in cute paper bags (I'm going to say that wrapping paper is from winners/homesense 100%!)

^ straws are also my addiction!
they make everything look so much cuter.. confession: I cannot drink a beverage in my own house without a straw.. I actually purchased a ton of reusable straws for Elliott's birthday party two years ago. See here, I use those straws, EVERY DAY.

^ a baby 'shower' tho..

^ Obvious game
The Clothes Pin Game
pink clothes pins, everyone starts with one and when you hear 'baby' mentioned you get to steal that persons pin. whoever ends up with the most pins is winner!
*I was going to add pinterest links to games, but is it really necessary..
If you can't follow my direction, google baby shower clothes pin game lol

^ Same here! easy peasy!
Guess Mama's Belly Game
I measured my belly, then the yarn ball gets handed around the room and you cut a piece closest to the length you think I measured.
^ this one is probably the most fun! but also follows my 'not mandatory' rule because not everyone can pull off the baby bump ball carry lololing
Elliott loved this game and was mimicking it long after the guests left, he actually got pretty good by the time we went home. I'm surprised he had that much coordination in his little knees!

Tinkle in the Pot Game
so you place the bigger ball/balloon in your shirt (expecting belly!)
then you hold the small ball between your knees and waddle to the vase/jar to try and drop the small ball in.
its tough because of the 'baby belly' and you want a smallish opening to the vase/jar you use so the faux mama can't really see where she will be dropping the ball.
All I could think during this game is there should be a way to play this with water balloons so when you drop the ball it would be your 'water breaking' lololol, funny right?!???
I did some googling and found some variations of this are called
"tinkle in the pot" or similar, because of the non stop peeing!

^ so this is me... lol at there being no photos of me!
I was pretty much scooped up every free second and was chatting the whole time so the camera didn't make an appearance,
^ me and El

^ Elliott looked pretty darn cute and I think he enjoyed himself thoroughly,
he is a people person and doesn't shy away from much!

He did miss his nap that day and I'm shocked he was as pleasant as he was.

we came home, had a nice movie/snuggle then both passed out!

Thanks to everyone who came and showered Baby Clarke with love! XOXO

Friday, 26 May 2017

How to strengthen your hair: Bumble and Bumble Repair blow dry

So, by now you think you know everything about my hair.. am I right??!
You pretty much do, I will admit!

I am a hair-o-holic, I love changing it and trying new things.

and I'm pretty impressed with how much my hair has grown over the last year!
How much does your hair grow??
I googled it and I think I'm on the pretty decent side of growth.
There are so many factors that can change it, but hair growth can be a daunting task so I wanted to keep my hair as healthy as possible to grow that baby out!

This is one year of growth!
I had some very short layers in that little bob so I'm impressed my long lob has turned out as good as it has!

I've had regular trims and colours all year long, as well as having had tape in hair extensions attached 50% of the time!
Tape in extensions can take a toll as well, you really have to be hair savvy and diligent if you plan on getting tape ins, they're not for the care free hair girl/guy.
I've heard some horror stories about people who have had tape ins and then all their hair breaks off at the tape or they lose a large percentage of hair after removal.
This should not happen, but anything is possible.
I also noticed this story came from someone who looked as if they had been box dying BLACK for quite a while..I'm not a stylist nor scientist, so I shouldn't place blame but I am so obsessed with healthy hair and if you are box dying, please HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE.
I want to say skip Tim Hortons and save those twoonies for salon visits but as a couponer, I know salons are hard on the wallet and not everyone wants to invest in that area. so that's fine, but girl get a hair mask, leave in conditioner or coconut oil it up!
this is about the product I added recently that has made a difference!
You know this is me:
Wet Brush - best brush imo.
it's better than my specialty brush for tape in extensions and it's a must have for kids!
Hair Mask - Love the Morroccan oil, been using the L'oreal (below) and like.
Also referred to me recently Redken extreme repair mask, I think I will try this next because I've recently revived my love for Redken and forgot what a classic it is!
Hair Oil: Moroccan, Hask or coconut.. users choice!
But my most recent add on is the.... Bumble and Bumble, Repair Blow dry.
serum/cream... ?? It's like a cream lotion IMO.
This is a sample I received forever ago! I never take sample hair products seriously because they're so small I always think it's not enough to get the full effect.
but with this one I was wrong!
which is why I recommend the smaller 2oz bottle ($17) if you are thinking about purchasing, because this sample .5oz has lasted me MONTHS! and I use on the daily!
so at first I used and used this and I didn't see a difference, it's a funny product because it doesn't really change anything noticeable to the naked eye.. at first...
It's a really light product, won't weigh you down (use small dime size amount, focused mainly on mid to ends) and it only adds a small shine.
So after a week, I said on IG stories I didn't think it was for me!
I like to see immediate results and I hate adding another product if I can't see it working immediately.
But since I had the sample I decided to use it to empty and the funniest thing happened...
I started to notice a difference!
as healthy as my hair is I have always had minor breakage around my neck, I'm a pony tail girl and I remember as early as 6th grade having a layer of shoulder length hairs that hung at the base of my neck.
the hair elastics broke them and no matter the product I used over the years, these baby hairs just broke and had to be bobby pinned.
All of a sudden about a month or two into the Repair blow dry I noticed I didn't have ANY broken hairs anymore.. my hair felt thicker and stronger.
I can honestly roll my hair into a bun and tie the ends under each other so its a LITERAL 'top knot'
*I don't recommend tying knots in your hair... lol
but I am guilty of doing this to wash my face when there's not a hair elastic around (it doesn't stay long term but the knot holds long enough for me to wash my face then magically falls out like one of those bun falling mesmerising videos lol)  

so that's my newest hair healer!

I'm going to pick up a full size (smaller one lol) when this is up but I checked with my Sephora insiders and they said ask for a sample in store so you can try it before you buy it!

I will probably stock up on samples too, I spend enough at that store and recommend enough products, they owe me ;)

in other news.. do I cut my hair SHORT like the above photos or do I grow, grow, grow like this photo???

I don't know what to dooooOoooo!
I am SO torn!

the super short is easier to dry and style but the bed head doesn't look that cute so you have to commit to washing more often.

the long is such a pain to dry and style but the integrity lasts longer so you can get more days in without a re-wash, plus cute BUNS!


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Weight update: 36 weeks...

I can't believe I'm at 36 weeks..
it seems so close to 40 weeks when you say it out loud but it also feels like the NEVERENDING life.
I just want to wake up in June already!

I know I should be patient, but I am getting so anxious to see Elliott and his sister together. It's funny because I know he has no idea what's in store but at the same time we've talked about the 'baby' so much and told him so many times that soon she will be here, that he is totally expecting something.

Last night he asked me "where baby go??" "baby go home??" and I say again she's in my belly and he shrugs it off like 'uh huh, yeah there's a baby in there.. crazy lady'

He even blames random things on the baby and he will pull up his shirt, exposing his belly and say "there's a baby in there". Its so cute.

I went to the doctor two weeks ago and went again this morning, honestly there's not much to report!
I was down one pound two week ago, total weightage: 186 pounds.

This morning I was prepared to hit the big one, I thought for sure I would've jumped up at least 7 or so pounds, I can feel the weight in my belly, my face, and of course my hands and feet are swollen.

I've also noticed my appetite is back, hard and heavy.
Even when I feel 'full' because my stomach is so squished full of baby that I hardly feel I can fit anything in there, I still feel hunger.. It's weird and freaky. lol

I've had the same cravings the whole way through.. whatever is bad for me: burgers, pizza, desserts, she's not one bit interested in fruits, veggies, or chicken.. yuck.

Weirdly, I didn't get a single stretch mark on my stomach until the day Elliott was born.
I remember being happy no stretch marks popped up that whole time (thighs and butt are another story) and then the day after Elliott was born, I looked down and I had one evil little purple squiggle starring right at me.
It was practically attached to my belly button ring scar so it looked a little more heinous than your average stretch mark too. This time I figured stretch marks were for sure in the cards but so far all that's showed up is a little one attached to my faded Elliott mark!
If you look at the above photo you can sort of see the faded old mark and the newer addition just below my thumb. Since that one showed up so late with El, I am wholeheartedly expecting a new grouping to pop up sometime about 3 weeks from now.. but I'll be fine if they feel like staying away ;)

Other than that, completely regular run of the mill stuff..
I have HORRIBLE heart burn that shows up every night now, every single night!
It keeps me awake all night and I keep forgetting to pick up the tums, so the doctor wrote me a prescription today but she said she finds Gaviscon works great and to give that a try first.
My vomiting has been back hard this week as well, some mornings I can't get up at all. I just lay there hardly blinking hoping it will pass, most of the time is subsides enough for me to move from the bed to the couch and throw some toast and berries on the table for El.
Completely uncomfortable, peeing every second, no position to ease the aches and pain, horrible sleeps, nightmares, carpal tunnel.. all the usual stuff is in rotation.
but all I can say is 4 MORE WEEKS, 4 MORE WEEKS, 4 MORE WEEKS...

I have 200 blog post ideas and 5 dozen emails pending.. I want to get it all out to you asap but I don't know how people keep up! AND, Elliott goes to daycare 2 days a week!

I should be powering through those days and quit complaining but by the time daycare days roll around I normally have an appointment booked, its the one day I actually make food that doesn't come in form of sandwich or box.. then its get him home, supper, bath, bed and big brother for me. hahahah

You could challenge me to give up my tv (mainly reality tv.. ) addiction but you would LOSE that challenge. 30 years in and TV is still the love of my life.

I have to see the Doctor every week now, which is going to be completely
I thought I would only have a couple of doctor dates left, forgot that they move you in every week at this point and that doctors office is heat is set to 1000000 degrees!

I love being cold, I love it, pregnant or not, I live for a nice crisp 10 degrees..
I know that's insane to some people.. well people put on a sweater!! lol

The doctors office was set at 23 degrees today and I was about to pass out, throw up and scream all at the same time.. I had to go stand outside and had everyone checking me out as I looked like I was about to smoke a cigarette out front of the OB GYN.

it was so funny to see everyone craning their necks to get a glimpse of me (there was at least a dozen heavily preggos in there) but then I caught the eye of one lone lady and she knew what I was feeling.
I could tell, she gave me the silent nod of pregnancy heat stroke.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Moroccan Oil: Where to Splurge and where to SAVE...

It's no secret that I LOVE the Moroccan Oil line..
I just do. I love every product, I love the smell, the results, the options.

I've done a ton of research on the brand because some people say its not that good, its full of fillers/silicones and not really penetrating like they would have you believe...
well, I say I don't care. lol

I find it very helpful, it works for my hair and I'm sticking to it.
so with that being said, you know the comparisons below are also pretty high quality/have good results if I'm saying they can be interchangeable with my beloved Moroccan Oil.

In the event that I become a millionaire and can splurge all the time on hair care, I would probably choose the Moroccan oil consistently.. but right now we had taxes due (paid in. ugh), and a winter/summer tire change cost, so I'm cutting a few corners and saving a couple of dollars this month.

Here's where I've spent and saved:

These are ALL empty.
I told you, I really love all their products.

I damage my hair A LOT.
I'm a colour addict, I had my hair extensions taped in, I use hot tools daily (multiple tools, think blow dry, straighten and curl in one sitting).. but some how my hair is still in amazing condition. I'm not just patting myself on the back, people really do tell me all the time that I have very healthy hair.. the hair experts say it, so it's true lol
I think the main reason is because I use a hair mask REGULARLY.
When we say regularly, we mean practically daily.
Whenever I use just plain conditioner I feel like its not enough.. I can notice the dryness/static.
so finding a hair mask for daily use that isn't going to weigh my hair down or grease it up was important. I stumbled upon the Intense hydrating mask ($42 online) and never looked back.
It makes my hair so shiny, healthy and smells great, my favorite is the hydration option (brown lid) but I've also tried the Restore (orange lid), shocker it wasn't as hydrating haha.
Since I'm saving some ben-ja-mins..
                               ^ Our would be, almost, future Prime Minister. Eh, Canadians ?! ;)
I picked up the above L'oreal remedy hair mask and was shocked!
It was the first hair mask I saw in store, I was in a huge rush, grabbed it.. low and behold I really love it! I know L'oreal has really stepped up their hair game over the past few years and become a bit of a salon star in their own right.. so I'm not that floored that I like it but it was just luck that this exact container was at the right place at the right time!
I found it online, Amazon L'oreal hair mask ($16) but I picked mine up at Lawton's Drug Mart (Halifax NS).

I love, love, love a good oil on my hair ends, daily!
Some people will message me saying Coconut oil is a great alternative and I don't disagree!
I love a good slather of coco oil on my hair now and then but for the daily I find it too greasy and weighed down.
I prefer the Moroccan Oil 'OG' treatment  ($17-49) OR for a big save..
the drug stores carry Hask Oil, Macadamia or Argan oil versions are both good! ($4.29 online)

Now we're getting to the point of no comparison...
I like the colour options, the smell and the lasting power/added grit.
I don't have an exact recommendation for something similar but I have no doubt you could find something at the drug store. A lot of the girls I chat with LOVE drug store dry shampoo and brands I hear come up a lot are: Batiste, Dove, Oscar Blandi (I like this one, but is it technically drug store?)

Moroccan Oil hairspray ($28)

I mainly love this scent.. such a scent sucker I am!

Again, I don't have a recommendation to give but Drug store hair sprays have COME miles and miles... so I would suggest you pop into Shoppers and ask the beauty guru worker what a best seller is.

And finally something I can't compromise on is my Moroccan Oil dry texture spray ($12-29)
if you go watch my Instagram stories right now, YES RIGHT NOW, guaranteed I have the texture spray in my hair.

A couple of months ago I realized dry shampoo wasn't exactly the product I should be using..
I was mainly using the dry shampoo to add some volume and grit to my hair, less about the oil absorption.

I don't tend to get much oil buildup, unless I'm on 4,5,6,7th day without washing.. and to be honest I hardly ever get to 7th day without washing unless I'm 12-25 weeks pregnant and laying down is all I can do at that moment.

The more important aspect of dry shampoo for me, is volume boost!
the texture spray is my perfect little slice of heaven for that.
very little is needed to add lift, and I tend to spray at my roots and let the product fall down throughout the day.. this is a serious hold product so if you spray too much on the ends they will get tangly!

And that's my Moroccan Oil brand break down!
Hair care is so unique to every individual so let me know what you've been loving and if there's any other price tags I can cut! :)
I do need to start spending more time in the Drug Store Hair Care isles, drugstore hair products have come SO far.
I need to get off my hair snob horse haha!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Bedrest bookclub: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore review..

OK, let me preface this by saying.. I am THE harshest critic that ever lived.
Nothing satisfies me.. literally nothing.
Something could be 99% perfection but because its not PERFECTION, I would score it 75%..
so lets just keep that in mind. lol

Also, I want you to know I LOVE Drew Barrymore.
I mean, I love her.
She can do no wrong to me, no matter what I had to own this book.
I could be filled with empty loose-leaf and I would have to have it.

Wildflower was released last year, I ordered it Here - from Amazon. ($30 hardcover)
The cover is GORGEOUS, the way its written is perfect, it feels like the way I write...
not exactly A+ material but you can hear the words coming through in her voice and it feels genuine.

If you love Drew like me, you'll know her past is CRAY CRAY.
little baby on E.T, crazy teen, absent parents, pulled herself together, became kick butt power women..
so those were the stories I expected to read about, and at first I couldn't put the book down!
for 3 days I read every second I could, I got through about 2/3 of the book, then I jumped ship...
the early chapters about her youth were amazing and captivating, stories about moving around with her single mother and taking acting gigs to pay their bills, then emancipating from her at 14? 15 at most, was so interesting!
I loved the stories where she relived some of her wilder moments..
cue flashing David Letterman.
but 2/3 of the way through and she still doesn't reveal any dirt or even hint about her drug use etc.
she kind of skirts around it but doesn't leave any actual evidence on paper.
which I understand..
I'm sure her kids will read this when they're older and you don't really need every detail of your parents 'pre- you' life written in stone.
but as a reader I was slightly disappointed.
I wanted truth, top to bottom.
As I was getting closer to the end the chapters started to get a bit draggy..
you know when you have a life changing moment but on paper its kind of like "yeah, life changing moment in India"
......... good for you, hard for us readers to REALLY feel it.
I think more photos would have been a HUGE help!
I'm a very visual person so photos in autobiography books are the key to success for me.
then the chapters started being titled: Dearest Olive, Dearest Frankie etc.
Call me cold but I get so bored with these style writtings! lol
I have a son and I'm mushy/pure sap when I write in his baby book but that's because he's going to be reading it and we know each other (obvs lol) so its all sweet and teary.
I don't get the same reaction reading other peoples "dear ...." letters.
It's all "you're so amazing, stubborn but beautifully unique. when I held you for the first time.."
Yeah, yeah. same emotions here with my kids but lets keep it to a paragraph maybe.. ?
am I the only one who feels this way???
man, I feel cold right now....

sooooooo, now that I've made Wildflower seem like a snooze-fest..
I'm going to tell you, you should still pick it up!
just be warned, its not a down and dirty tell all.
Its a sweet read, an easy page turner and something light hearted for the casual airplane trip etc.
I read a ton of reviews AFTER I wrote this post, because I didn't want to be swayed by any of their words.. but it turns out we all thought the same thing.
worth a read but if you can, borrow from the library or a friend because its not a multiple reads kind of story. (unless you just think books are so pretty and you MUST own them.. that's how I feel)
1 1/2 thumbs up to Drew..
You get a whole thumb just because I love you and 50% of the book was a real draw you in feel, so that's winning enough for me.
Any one have any different thoughts????
did you LOVE it??
or kinda the same feelings, worth it but not drool worthy.
Now to bore you with my own mother/child boringness! LOL
maybe I should have saved this for another post, I'm such a hypocrite!
but if you need a Mother's Day gift, this My Quotable kid journal is just so cute!
I'm slightly confused because this version linked above says the book is $42?!?!?
ummmm what?
is that a bigger size than mine or something?
because I would have never paid that price tag!
You might be better advised to check it out in store, Chapters is where I picked it up.
I am a cheapo! and would've made my own version if that was the price.. so there's another idea!
You could 100% get a blank journal and have your kids or youself (perfectionist talking) decorate it with some sharpies and washi tape!
either way.. cute gift for mom!