Our Vote for the Best Crib Sheets

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When Ryker was born 4 years ago, Target was still in Canada-and I fell in love with the Circo line of crib sheets that fit perfectly in with the woodland theme of his nursery.

Fast forward to 2017, when I was pregnant with Oakley, and Canada has unfortunately said buh-bye to Target (except online) and besides Babies R Us and their serious lack of cute crib bedding, there weren’t many options to choose from when creating Oakley’s comic book nursery.

I searched online for a bit, but didn’t exactly want to spend $80 on one sheet, until I went back to my love of small, Canadian shops and discovered Black Lemon

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Amy has the cutest fabrics to choose from, she’s quick, and honestly, the quality is 100 times better then what you’d find in the store. And they’re handmade in Canada, which is always a super added bonus!

If you want to make sure your little is not only sleeping cozy, but super stylish-pop on over to Amy’s  Black Lemon Facebook shop or find her here on Instagram.

 

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Young Living is Healthy Living

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To say we’ve been a sick household this fall/winter is a drastic understatement. And the one that has been getting hit with everything the hardest just happens to be the littlest member of our clan.

From pneumonia, to bronchitis, croup, the flu, dehydration, ear infections and just a good ‘ol cold, he’s been snapping up every single germ big brother is bringing home from kindergarten.

Being not quite 8 months old, besides prescribed antibiotics, there’s not a lot to offer little ones to help combat or curb symptoms of illnesses that are approved for children under the age of two, and to be honest, unless absolutely necessary, I’m not exactly a fan of medicating.

That’s when my lovely friend Lauren approached me about essential oils. I’d heard about them before and their benefits for the entire family, but found all the information and types of oils overwhelming and being frustrated with lack of sleep and busy family life, couldn’t give myself the time to sit down and really educate myself.

With a Young Living starter kit and diffuser on the way to me, Lauren directed me to a super welcoming group of oily mama’s on Facebook called Oilers Unite (if you would like to join the group, please contact me first and we can proceed to set you up!) that were beyond welcoming, and most of all, super helpful.

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As soon as our starter kit arrived, we busted it out and got straight to using it. And let me tell you, it was love at first use for our family. The Oilers Unite group was more then amazing with teaching me which oils were safe to use for the boys, and no matter what questions I asked, I was never made to feel clueless, but instead greeted with tons of information and kind answers.

Lavender and copaiba oils quickly became my two favourites, with lavender on bed pillows and being diffused at night for a calm, serene bed time for all of us, and copaiba has been a life saver for Oakley, when on top of all the illnesses he’s been combating, decided it was a great time to have two teeth pop through.

Thieves I’ve fallen in love with for those days that seem to be filled with nothing but baby vomit and snotty noses-it seems to just grab and suck away all the nastiness in the air.

I’m no where close to being an expert, and learn more about oils and their thousands of uses every day-but they have been such a welcome addition to our family and I’m excited to try them all out-one at a time.

If you’re a newbie like me and want to get started on your oily journey with a group of amazing teachers, hop on over to Facebook and check out Oilers Unite or join up with the group here on Instagram.

Stay oily, stay healthy, friends.

Healthy Treats and Eats with Baby Gourmet

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It’s become a Christmas tradition in our house since Ryker was born, that each Christmas Eve, the kids get a Christmas Eve box.

Inside the box is always a pair of Christmas pyjamas, a new book and a special snack to enjoy.

This year, our go to brand for snacks for our growing boys was Baby Gourmet. Not only do they make a wide range of treats suitable for both our 7 month old and 4 year old, but they’re fun, nutritious, organic, and Canadian owned and operated.

For Ryker, who is four, we chose from their line up of snacks geared toward older children.

Baby Gourmet makes fun squeeze pouches for school aged kids called Slammers-an on the go, easy to pack in school lunch boxes, organic and nutritious, don’t-stop-the-fun treat in delicious flavours like “Awesome” which is bananas, blueberries, strawberries, beets, acai, and amaranth. Or Ryker’s personal favourite, “Chill’n” which is bananas, blueberries, butternut squash, Greek yogurt and yumberry.

We also chose their new Puffies, a crunchy, 100% organic quinoa snack loaded with 1 billion probiotics and available in two different flavours, Strawberry and Beet, which is fruity and has a pleasant, slight sweetness to it, and the more savoury Broccoli and Cheddar, which makes a great mid-afternoon snack.

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For Oakley, who is still rocking a single tooth and is still a newbie to the solid food world, we went a more traditional route.

Infant cereal is a staple in lot of baby’s first diets, whether it’s mixed with other purees, or served on it’s own, and Baby Gourmet offers a wide range of nutritious and delicious varieties that soar well above the competitions generic, boring old, plain rice cereal.

We chose the apple and spinach, but Baby Gourmet also offers banana and raisin, ancient grains, brown rice and oatmeal varieties-with each one being packed full of iron and B vitamins and are easy to digest and have no added sugar or salt.

Baby Gourmet also has one of the best varieties of fruit and veggie based meal pouches that I’ve found on the market-with unique combinations like, Vanilla Banana Berry Risotto,  Hearty Vegetable with Turkey,  Juicy Pear and Garden Greens, and Autumn Pumpkin, Pear and Beef Stew or more textured options for the more adventurous little eater like Chicken Minestrone Soup, Fruity Chicken and Brown Rice or their awesome freeze dried Mushies snacks.

Whichever you choose, you really can’t go wrong with the goodness, nutrition, and amazing deliciousness of Baby Gourmet.

 

Happy Holidays everyone!

 

*This post was sponsored by Baby Gourmet, as I was given product in exchange for my honest opinion.*

 

 

The Perfect Cozy Blanket

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Who doesn’t love climbing into bed, or cozying up on the couch after a long day with a warm blanket and a good TV show or book? The Blanket Shoppe has the perfect blankets for just that, and they’re completely customizable too!

Based in Toronto and made with yarn crafted in Canada, these quality blankets are soft, warm and durable and the perfect size for your little one.

 

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The Blanket Shoppe offers a huge selection of designs, languages and a choice of 18 colours to mix and match to make your blanket perfect for you. They are also open to any ideas and creative suggestions to work with you on making your blanket exactly what you want it to be.

 

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From fire trucks to hearts, and everything in between, you’re bound to find and create the perfect blanket for your little at The Blanket Shoppe. Nothing beats warm, snuggly, quality, and personalized Canadian made coziness. They make great gifts too!

How The Zen Sack Changed Bed Time

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My oldest son was always an amazing night time sleeper. At 11 weeks, he was fed, changed, snuggled and put to bed and would consecutively sleep through the night. (day time naps weren’t quite so successful)

Oakley, at 19 weeks, has slept through the night already on several occasions-but as for making it a daily occurrence, that has yet to happen.

Oakley loves touch, loves to be snuggled and cozy and loves being held. I’m not a personal fan of co-sleeping, as it just doesn’t work for our family, and so I needed a solution.

 

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I’d seen Nested Bean’s Zen Sack on other blog sites and mama run Instagram accounts-and it peaked my curiosity.

With it’s lightly weighted pad (that cute little chick on the chest) and a plush upper panel, it simulates the pressure of your touch, which for a baby like Oakley, was perfect.

With adjustable shoulder tabs and a two way zipper system, these cozy, soft sleep sacks are functional, warm and come in a variety of super cute prints and colours. And as an extra little tidbit, if you have a babe that enjoys sleeping on their tummy-just simply flip the sack around so that the weight is on their back.

The sack is also available in swaddle form for those tiny one’s who aren’t quite ready to have their arms free.

We now have a much more rested little dude, and mama. 😉

 

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And lucky for us in the this great country of Canada, Nested Bean now has a site created just for us!

Cozy up over to their great new Canadian site here and enjoy free shipping on orders over $60.00 CDN and be sure to use the code PR-CANADA15 at check out to enjoy 15% off your order!

This post was sponsored by Nested Bean with an exchange of product for my honest opinion.

We Love Gray & J

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We love supporting small, Canadian, mama run shops and Gray and J is one of them.

 

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Run by beautiful mama, Ashley Chapman, and named after her two littles, Grayson and Jordyn,  Gray and J is where you want to look if you’re looking for cute, one of kind accessories and apparel  for any stylish littles in your life. From bandana bibs, slouch hats, girls headbands, knotted beanies or infinity scarves, like the one pictured on Ryker, Ashley makes it all with amazing skill and quality.

 

Ashley has graciously offered my readers 15% off your first purchase- just use the code  SHOPSMALL15 at check out. Link to her store is below. Trust us when we say, you will love Ashley and her products as much as we do!

 

Please go visit her Etsy shop here

Back to School Essentials

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My baby boy is starting kindergarten this fall. Cue the ugly tears. He’s only going to be 3.5 years old since he’s a December baby, but as much as it’s bittersweet watching him grow up so fast, I’m also really excited for him.

He’s a little social butterfly and wicked smart, so I think school is going to be good for him. And I wanted him to look forward to it, and be excited about going-so why not have fun with picking out some fun and cool things that are all his own to take along each day?

 

Mabel’s Labels

We went with the best of the best when it came to choosing labels for all of Ryker’s school things. Mabel’s Labels have been around since 2003 and were created by Canadian mom’s, which makes me love them even more. Not only are they dishwasher and microwave safe, but waterproof and completely customizable. We chose the rocket ships-but you can choose your own here.

 

Go Green Lunch Box

Most schools in our area are big on promoting a litter less lunch, which I think is an awesome idea, as it makes sense not only environmentally, but cost wise as well, when you eliminate constantly having to buy brown paper bags, plastic wrap and Ziplocs. Ryker is a big eater, and as much as we found other bento style, fun lunch boxes, the Go Green was the best choice for us. With each compartment individually sealed, I can throw in some of his favourite Rolling Meadows Dairy Greek Yogurt and not worry about it making his sandwich, or crackers and hummus soggy. Added bonus, it comes with a cute, insulated lunch bag that has a white board for messages, as well as an gel ice pack and stainless steel water bottle. Find them here.

 

Parkland Design and Manufacturing Backpack

I first came across Parkland backpacks at Indigo when Ryker was about 1.5 years old and I was looking for a backpack to use instead of a diaper bag. We bought a camo print one that held up great after two years of being drug around, that he still uses on sleepovers to the grandparents house or day trips. When this space obsessed kid saw the cool rocket ship print one while back to school shopping, we knew it was time for an upgrade. Not too big and not too small, with comfy, padded straps, they’re perfect for starting school.

 

Re-play Snack Containers

This little guys are awesome. They hold a substantial amount of munchies, and you’re able to stack them together to save on space in the knapsack. Made from recycled milk jugs that are BPA, BPS, PVC, lead, melamine,and phthalate free, and available in a variety of fun and bright colours, they’re durable and dishwasher safe. Find them here

 

Hope you all have a safe and happy new school year!

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter and Jam Pancakes feat. Rolling Meadow Dairy

I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with dairy.

Growing up, I ate it with no problems on cereal, in recipes or a yummy bowl of yogurt or ice cream-to no ill effects. But I noticed as I got closer to puberty, I was becoming more sensitive to it with stomach upsets and unmentionable bathroom visits. So I began to just strategically avoid it as best as possible.

When R was born, I was unsuccessful with breastfeeding-so we ended up bottle feeding him. Very quickly we noticed he began showing obvious signs of a lactose sensitivity and made the choice to put him onto a lactose free formula-and had great success with it.

When he turned 1, we attempted cows milk to the discover the same lactose sensitivity he’d had as a newborn. Soy products made me nervous and we tried goat milk with some positive results, but ultimately ended up choosing to have him on nut milks as they were the easiest to come by and the most affordable.

While researching the best alternatives for R to have, I also unfortunately discovered the downside to the dairy industry. Cows kept in tiny stalls, fed processed feed, pumped with antibiotics and growth hormones (this is somewhat better controlled and monitored in Canada then in the US) and just living a miserable existence hooked up to pumps daily. It bothered me to find out that a food group so widely consumed was not being run very ethically.

We ended up deciding to just eliminate dairy entirely from our home.

R has never been a picky eater, and ate a wide variety of fruits and veggies and whole grains, yet we always struggled with his protein in take as he was not an avid meat eater and seemed to have a distaste for eggs.

Diving into the world of nutrition, it kept leading me back to dairy. There’s no doubt that dairy offers a growing body a lot nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamin A-and as much as we enjoyed trying the vegan lifestyle-I’m a huge believer in eating balanced and clean, as opposed to eliminating certain foods from your diet.

But the ethics behind the dairy industry still bothered me.

That’s when I came upon Rolling Meadows Dairy. A company made up of farmers from Southwestern Ontario, the milk is 100% Canadian and from happy, healthy cows that graze on pasture as long as our weather allows-and then are fed stored grasses throughout the winter.

Grass fed dairy is not only higher in Omega 3 (up to 300% compared to non grass fed), but also CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, a naturally occurring fat with numerous health benefits) and easier to digest. It is also milked from cows that live the way a cow should, grazing and munching on pasture for as long as the weather permits, and treated with nothing but love and respect.

Check out our yummy recipe below for peanut butter and jam pancakes featuring ingredients from Rolling Meadow Dairy.

Peanut Butter and Jam Pancakes (batter recipe courtesy of Tasty with our personality added to make it our own)

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2cup sliced strawberries

Mix milk, egg and peanut butter in a bowl and whisk until blended. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl, then blend with peanut butter mixture-whisking until smooth. Ladle batter into a greased pan. Place strawberry slices into batter in pan. Flip and fry until cooked through. Top with maple syrup or topping of your choice and enjoy!

Zoocchini Organic Cotton Underwear 

I see London, I see France, I see super cute, organic cotton underpants.

Zoocchini, an awesome brand of children’s products, ranging from hats and backpacks, to wash cloths and underwear-really abide by their motto of being beautifully different. Promoting a love of animals, nature and colour, the company only uses materials that are BPA, phthalate and lead free and strictly work with manufacturers that abide by their same precise standards.

 

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Made with super soft, organic cotton, these boys boxer shorts are not only incredibly comfortable to wear, but also bright and whimsical-and easily help my 3 year old determine front from back with quirky little friends printed on the bum.

While sized a little generously, the fit is comfortable and loose and they’re easy for independent potty goers to pull on and off, while the elastic still maintains it’s shape.

If you’re looking for quality, fun products for your little one, I encourage you to visit Zoocchini’s official web site to find these adorable boxer shorts, and all the other amazing products they have to offer.

This post was my honest opinion in exchange for product.

Squeasy Gear

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This post is my honest opinion in exchange for product.

 

I hate plastics. I try to avoid them as often as I possibly can (although they seem to control the world), especially when buying products for my boys. So when searching for an easy-to-take-along, non plastic water bottle that wasn’t quite as costly as stainless steel or glass, I was delighted to discover the Squeasy Gear Snacker and Squeasy Gear Sport 100% food grade silicone squeeze bottles.

 

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These bottles are seriously the best. Not only are they fun to drink from because you can squeeze and squish them, but they’re also leak free, incredibly easy to clean with no small parts, and can be used for purees, apple sauce and yogurt as well-making them that much more versatile.

 

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The Squeasy Snacker is 6 ounces, and I’ve loved using it for quick snacks in the car or for after parkour class or trips to the beach. They’re quick and easy to fill with whichever squeezable snack you choose, and won’t soak up the water from melted ice in a cooler. These will be a staple for snacking while we’re camping this summer.

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The Squeasy Sport is 16 ounces, and we’ve absolutely loved using this one strictly for drinks, especially in the hot summer heat. It’s a must have for us to take along on any day trip as it holds a perfect amount of liquid for my older son, and because it’s fun to drink from really encourages him to drink a lot more water. The added bonus of it being silicone, is that when you do choose to put juice in them, the bottle won’t stain or absorb the smell.

 

Squeasy Gear bottles are now available in Canada at Wal Mart, or online at Squeasy Gear’s official web site.