09 September 2021

Gifts for new and expecting moms

I get this question a lot, “my friend is expecting, what’s a good gift for her?” and I always have so many ideas. When I was pregnant and first had Brooks so many of our family and friends brought over the sweetest, most thoughtful gifts. Then of course spending countless waking hours scrolling the internet while breastfeeding I found some gems of my own. Instead of listing out all of my ideas every time someone asks, I thought I’d start a post with some of my ideas and invite you to share in the comments if you have any more (comments are monitored and must be approved by me before being seen by the public!)

Here are my suggestions for gifts for new and expecting mamas:

The Food Doula cookbook is so amazing for expecting and new mothers who want realistic recipes that nourish the pre and postpartum body. This is a great cookbook for meal prepping before baby is born, and for keeping up with eating nutritious food even once baby arrives. If you don’t already, follow Lindsay on Instagram for even more inspiration to eat well even when you’re tired and busy!

The How to Eat with One Hand cookbook is the perfect gift for new parents or parents of multiples. This book was recommended to me when Brooks was just days old after I complained that he wouldn’t let me put him down. So often I find myself cooking or eating while rocking, bouncing or carrying him, and this book is such a cheeky way to inspire new parents to keep eating well while raising littles.

The Relaxation Room diffusing set by Saje contains one of my favourite oil blends “stress release” which I actually had with me (in an inhaler) during labour. This scent is meant to invoke calmness and when diffused can help you through even the most stressful situation. I love this set for new parents because there is truly nothing more stressful than the first few weeks of parenthood. This plus a nice new cord-free diffuser (I need to get myself one of those!) is such a great gift idea!

A subscription for Live Fit Foods (or any food delivery service) is such a nice help for new parents. When we had Brooks we didn’t cook for weeks thanks to our family and friends dropping off meals. It was the most thoughtful and helpful gift anyone could have given us. We are so thankful for those ready made meals which made it that much easier to focus on our newborn baby.

The Pregnancy Skin Kit by SoKind is the most amazing set of skincare meant specifically for postpartum bodies. Masks, creams and serums help to hydrate skin so that the itchiness of stretching skin doesn’t drive you crazy, and you minimize any stretch marks you might get. I for one am a huge fan of their belly sheet masks. They are cooling and hydrating and really helped with the itchiness I was experiencing especially in the third trimester when my belly was just massive!

A Waffle Knit Robe by Knix will get so much use in the pre and postpartum phase. I bought one of these when I was pregnant and wore it in the hospital and for months after having Brooks while we navigated breastfeeding. In the middle of the night this is so helpful when I am changing him before a feeding. The fabric is so nice and soft and the fit is perfect for any body.

Other ideas:

• a good under eye cream (my fav here!) and jade roller

• Bebe Knows Best gift boxes (which I shared here)

• some magazines or a new best selling book

• a postpartum care package with balms, sprays, soaks and teas (Earth Mama products are my fav!)

• lactation cookies (I love Booby Boons!)

• homemade protein balls for easy snacking (I will share an amazing recipe in my Instagram stories under the “RECIPES” highlight)

• Arbonne fizz sticks, for a jolt of energy without the heart palpitations 

Have any other great ideas, or want to promote your small business? Leave a comment, and I’ll review it for posting shortly!


27 July 2021

The benefits of baby wearing

I've been wearing Brooks with my Beluga Baby wrap carrier for over two weeks now. He's a needy baby and loves his mama! It was getting overwhelming not being able to do anything since he was always sleeping on my chest, but he was too small to use in a carrier. When he finally seemed big enough, I gave the Beluga Baby wrap a try and it was an instant success. Now we're inseparable, and I can get so much done! But there are more benefits to baby wearing that just getting some free time back! 

Here are a few benefits:

1. It makes going places easier. Without the added bulkiness of a stroller, you can visit busy places (or inaccessible places) much more freely.

2. It keeps people from touching your baby! Especially now, this is very important. Also a lot of people don't understand how fragile newborns immune systems are, so ward off those crazies who touch and kiss your baby by wearing him!

3. It's soothing. For mom and baby -- haha! Just kidding ... but in all seriousness wearing your baby is very soothing for your little one. They feel your warmth and can listen to your heartbeat, reminding them of the safe space they once took up in your belly.

4. It prevents flat head! Everyone is concerned about their baby needing to wear a helmet! I think the helmets are cute, but I understand your concern. Avoid flat head by wearing your baby more and laying them flat on their back less.

5. It also helps prevent digestion and therefore reduces colic. When a baby is upright they can digest more quickly avoiding reflux which can create a cranky/colicky baby!

6. You can get things done! Like chores around the house -- with both hands free! I personally enjoy cooking and cleaning while wearing Brooks and he usually naps in the Beluga Baby!

7. It's a great way to bond! This is possibly my favourite reason to baby wear. It's true, the closer your baby is to you, the better for bonding. If you breastfeed you already get a lot of quality time with your baby, but if you are unable to or choose not to breastfeed, baby wearing is a great way to get bonding time with your little!

8. It's been proven to reduce postpartum depression (PPD). Probably because having them strapped to you is quite possibly the best feeling in the world! How could you not think so?!

Made in Canada, the Beluga Baby bamboo wrap carrier is the comfiest, eco-friendly wrap. With so many to choose from it's hard to pick just one! I'm wearing the "Jessica" wrap in these photos, which is a beautiful dark heather green. You can shop Beluga Baby wraps here, and find them on Instagram here.

Here is a great reel on how to tie your wrap and safely carry your baby. I promise it gets really easy after a few wears!

If you use a Beluga Baby (or any wrap!) already, share your experience in the comments below OR on my baby wearing Instagram post here! xo


08 May 2021

Bébé Knows Best: The best gift boxes for new moms

As a soon-to-be new mom and friend to many new moms and moms-to-be, I am always struggling to think of something to send my friends once they’ve had the baby. Shower gifts can be easy because you can shop from a registry or send a gift card, but I love the more personalized aspect of gifting post-birth. Meals, outfits and flowers have always topped my list, but once I discovered the Bébé Knows Best gift boxes, I knew what I was going to send the next few mamas who give birth.

Full disclosure, Bébé Knows Best sent me their Booby Box as a gift, but I was totally thrilled with every item in the box. I shared it in a reel on my Instagram and got so many messages saying how awesome every item in the box is. So often boxes like these can be full of useless junk, but every item in the Bebe Knows Best Booby Box is awesome. 

The Booby Box is particularly fit for breastfeeding moms, but there are two other boxes great for moms who choose not to breastfeed, or simply cannot. They also have the Belly Box, for pregnant mamas and the Birth Box for after birth. Inside all of the boxes are curated gifts meant to make mama and baby feel comfortable during pregnancy or shortly after birth. I actually really love the idea of the Birth Box, as a mom who has never given birth before, it would be so nice to get a box with everything I needed for either a vaginal or c-section birth! There is no being too prepared!

Today I will strictly focus on the Booby Box since that’s the gift box I received. Inside the Booby Box is:

  • A Haakaa manual silicone breast bump
  • Booby Boons lactation cookies
  • Rumina Naturals Ouchie Mama Nipple Rescue balm
  • Blue Fern teether
  • Earth Mama Milkmaid Tea
  • Spilt Milk Baby Cloths
  • Rachel’s Remedy Breast Relief Packs and Reusable Nursing Pads
  • Along with coupons for some amazing maternity and nursing clothing brands, photographers and more.

I love that many of the products are by Canadians brands, something I really try to focus on in my blog and on Instagram. Booby Boons, Blue Fern, Spilt Milk and Rumina Naturals are all local Canadian brands! Not to mention Bébé Knows Best is a Canadian company!

The Haakaa breast pump has been one of the top recommended products to me by many of my friends, and I tried the Booby Boons, and let me just say, even if you aren’t able to or planning to breast feed, they’re a pretty yummy snack to have handy!

Aside from everything in this box, there are options to add-on items when you are checking out on their website. One of the items I am really intrigued by is the PAUME Hand Sanitizer which comes in a really chic pump bottle, perfect when you have visitors with a newborn. Even before COVID, I think it’s really important that visitors clean their hands before handling your baby, and PAUME makes a really aesthetically pleasing product great for being on display inside your home. 

One Eco Step OXO biodegradable milk bags are great too. I believe they are the only biodegradable single-use breast milk bags available in North America, and let’s be honest single use with new mamas is pretty important, but as someone who is committed to doing the best I can for the environment, I love that these are biodegradable!

So if you’re looking for a gift for a newly pregnant mama, new mama OR you are a new mama and you want to try some of the best items out there, I’d definitely recommend Bébé Knows Best gift boxes! They are beautifully packages and reasonably priced as a gift. If you buy or gift one, let me know what you think in the comments below, or on my reel on Instagram! xo


29 March 2021

Our Babymoon at The Elora Mill

We wanted to get a babymoon in before I get too big to walk and sleep comfortably in another space (a little late, I haven't slept well in months!). The Elora Mill Hotel and Spa seemed like the perfect place for a winter getaway -- but we were pleasantly surprised with amazing weather that felt more like late spring - early summer. The Elora Mill checked all of our boxes; It's pet-friendly, walking distance to so many great shops and restaurants, there are amazing views of the Elora Gorge, hiking trails nearby, and an incredible spa and rooftop pool. What more could we ask for? Actually, their restaurant is also phenomenal, so there really isn't anything missing from this destination.

The Elora Mill dates back to the 1800s when mills were used for industrial purposes. But in 2018, after a massive overhaul, the Elora Mill opened as a modern hotel situated in one of the cutest towns in Ontario. In fact, Chevrolet named Elora the most road trippable town in Canada! I'd agree since it resembles an old European town, and has something for everyone!

In the summer you can enjoy a tube down the gorge, swim in the quarry or hike the many trails nearby (see photos from our hike below!). In the winter, enjoy the heated rooftop pool, spend some time at the spa, do a brewery tour or snuggle up beside the wood burning fireplace in your room!

Speaking of rooms, we stayed in a pet-friendly Coachhouse room. There are three of these rooms available to book, and each has it's own enclosed back patio where dogs can safely roam and get fresh air. When we arrived there were pet bowls, a pet bed, treats and the cutest little stuffed toy for Colby. It's safe to say he was thrilled to try some new treats and have a new little dinosaur toy! Don't quote me on this, but the gentleman at the front gate even offered to walk our dog if needed, but we planned each day around getting Colby some fresh air and exercise, and even took him on a hike along the gorge with us.

If you're lucky enough to get to eat in one of the outdoor heated igloos you can even dine with your doggy! We didn't because Colby is a big bigger and we wanted to enjoy our meal without having him growl and chuff at us for a bit! We always look for pet-friendly places when travelling locally because we don't like to leave our fluffy buddy behind.

Besides being pet-friendly, our room had a propane fireplace on the patio and a wood burning fireplace in the room. It had a king-size bed and beautiful walk-in shower. The bathroom really was stunning and gave me so much design inspo. for a future bathroom we want to add in our basement at home. We loved our room so much, but I will say that if you go sans-pets you are able to get a room with a stunning view of the river and falls!

We were okay without the view if it meant bringing Colby along, because there are so many other opportunities to see the Elora Gorge. From our igloo at dinner, our table at breakfast, the spa and the pool, you are able to see the ridiculously beautiful river and falls that the Elora Mill is built above.

Here is our view from breakfast.

The breakfast menu was hands down our favourite. We booked the "awake" package which included breakfast. We both tried something different each day so we were able to samples a few different menu items. Shown below is the crepe, quiche, french toast and the slow cooked lamb belly. All of it was amazing, but I think the quiche was my absolute favourite. I also recommend one of their croissants as a side. Yum!

For dinner, the first night we were there we had dinner in one of the outdoor heated igloos. The igloos are such a great way to extend dining during COVID since restrictions have really limited how many people can eat in the restaurant at one time. When we booked the hotel a month prior, I called immediately to book our dinner and request an igloo. We were lucky enough to snag one! It was so cozy, and had a little fireplace, speaker and blankets. We shared an app (gnocchi, shown below) and enjoyed two delicious plates. Tyler's burger looked unreal but I didn't try it since it wasn't cooked well-done and I am a paranoid preggo. One of my favourite features was that their drink menu offers spiritless cocktails. I had a spiritless Apple Collins (also shown below) and it was absolutely delicious. So delicious I had another one by the pool the next day!

Speaking of the pool, it's the perfect place to hang out on a snowy or sunny afternoon. It's also a great place to relax after a massage at the spa. Our first day there I enjoyed a prenatal massage at the spa before hanging out in the pool. The spa is gorgeous, and with the windows open you can hear the natural sound of the falls outside. Our second day there was 19 degrees so after spending some time in town we hung out by the pool and actually got a little tan!

The spa lounge has one of my favourite teas, Tea Forte which I enjoyed warm before my massage, and after my massage I poured over ice and drank it poolside!

The town of Elora has so many great shops and restaurants. There is something for everyone, but we love to eat and try new restaurants so most of the places we went were for food and drinks. What we loved most about Elora is how everything is walkable. We valeted our car when we arrive and didn't need it during our entire stay!

Here are a few of the local spots we hit up:

The Elora Brewing Co. - We’ve been a fan of their sour beer for a while now so we were sure to stop in and enjoy a snack and a flight (well, Tyler had a flight!). Their charcuterie board was delicious and their in-house beer jam is to die for!

Elora Distilling Company - They distill their own spirits on-site and offer tours of their distillery as well as cocktail making classes. Tyler tried a flight of cocktails while I had a virgin Moscow Mule!

La Fontana - Their Instagram definitely drew me in. I was starving the evening we went so I didn’t snap a photo of any of their food, but our pizzas were delicious and I highly recommend the arugula salad and warm olives to start. How cute is their covered patio, situated along the river?

The Wild Tart - I love macarons, so any place we go where I can find a shop selling macarons I will definitely hit up! This little cafe offers the cutest high tea dining experience, but all I did was stop in for a sleeve of macarons, which did not disappoint!

Scoop - Not even ten steps from the Coachhouse is the yummiest little ice cream shop in town. I had pegged them as a place to go before even arriving in Elora. We tried their two dairy-free options and were so impressed with the flavours and consistency. Sometimes dairy-free can be iffy, but they nailed both flavours!

We had the best time at the Elora Mill and can’t wait to return, hopefully this fall, with our little baby in tow! I imagine the autumn colours are absolutely stunning. If you go or have been, comment below with what your favourite part of Elora is, or what you hope to do when you do go!

xo, S.


19 March 2021

Baby S’s nursery reveal!

It’s finally ready for a reveal, our baby’s nursery has been a vision for some time now. As it came together the nursery (or baby room) totally became something different than what I initially imagined, but I couldn’t be happier with its final look!

My original vision was something more woodsy and natural, but as I started to piece it together I decided a nice neutral, greenery-inspired room was perfect for our little addition! I also realized how expensive certain items were, and for a nursery that would only be utilized for a few years before being turned into a toddler room, I couldn’t justify the high ticket prices on some items I had dreamed up prior to starting the design.

What we ended up with is a green and white oasis perfect for ME, who will be spending ample time in there, and totally calming for a tiny baby! I went with a really minimalist look, and chose some “splurge” items that I could not see myself living without. This is what we ended up with...

For the crib, I originally thought I wanted a natural wooden crib in the same design. This crib is Storkcraft from Wayfair.ca. The reason I ended up with the white is because this bed also transforms into a toddler bed. I thought for the long-term white would be more practical and less trendy. I love the flat wooden bars along the side, and am happy with the quality of this piece. It was really easy to put together — I did it all by myself!

The mattress was a splurge item. It’s a Newton breathable mattress ($400 on Amazon). The cover zips off for easy cleaning and the inside can be hosed off in the yard or shower. It’s definitely not something everyone will prioritize as a “splurge” but for me this mattress was a must-have!

For the rocking chair, I really wanted this expensive chair I saw at Pottery Barn, but for the amount of time I will use a rocking chair I just couldn’t justify the cost. I found an almost identical dupe for it on Wayfair (shown below), which is so comfortable and I absolutely love. The faux fur pillow is from Bouclair and the crescent moon pillow is from a local shop, Rust and Rubies.

For a change table, I chose a dresser for space reasons. I didn’t have enough room for both a dresser and a change table, so this needed to double as both. This dresser is by Storkcraft from Wayfair.ca. It was the perfect size for our small space and such a lucky find! The top drawer has diapers and wipes for quick changes and the changing pad is the Hatch Baby Grow, which weighs the baby daily, helping you keep track of their weight via an app on your phone. 

I really love the Hatch Baby app (not an ad!). It’s an all-in-one place where I can keep track of the baby’s growth, while also tracking feeding times and diaper changes. It’s a great app for new mamas and replaces various other tracking apps. It’s very helpful for understanding your baby’s sleep and feeding patterns, so you can develop a regular routine. The app also connects to our night light and sound machine, which was graciously gifted to us by a good friend. The Hatch Baby Rest sound and light machine is great for babies and toddlers, especially while sleep training. The light mimics morning and light so your baby can start to make connections with when they should be awake or sleeping!

For shelves and accent pieces, I kept everything else pretty minimal. I got the floating shelves from Wayfair and used some extra Rae Dunn items I had purchased without thought a few years ago. This little bird house is also a piggy bank — It’s never too early to start teaching kids about saving money! The footrest pouf is from Simons and was very affordable ($60!). I just love this piece and know I will be able to use it elsewhere in the house when my baby no longer needs a “nursery” (insert a million tears here, because that thought makes me so sad!).

Something else I have in the nursery is a Snuggle Me Organic lounger and nursing pillow. I got both in the “moss” colour, which matches the IKEA carpet perfectly! The lounger will likely not be used often in the nursery, but the nursing pillow will definitely come in handy during feeds so it was important to me that it matched the rest of the room. 

Some final things to mention are the baby care items I chose. I am very particular with skincare items I use on myself, and I will be just as particular with what I use on my little one! For all of their baby care items, such as hair and body wash, bum balm, powder, etc., I am relying on Rocky Mountain Soap Co. baby products. I love this Canadian brand as they consider the environmental impacts of their business while creating amazing, clean products! I use their products on myself, and will use their products on Baby S!

For detergent, I use Ecomax hypoallergenic for the whole family! And for Diapers and wipes, we will be using Pampers Pure (I have some samples of Pampers Sensitive in his drawer that I will be using up before opening the Pampers Pure box!). While safety was a big concern when choosing baby gear, it was just as important that I choose clean products to use on their body!

A few final details worth mentioning: The green accent wall is Sherwin Williams “Secret Garden”. The faux fiddle leaf fig tree and wicker planter are from Ikea. And yes, I have an obsession with muslin swaddles! The basket for the swaddles is from Real Canadian Superstore. Finally, once we decide on baby’s name, I’ll be adding a wooden name sign over his crib. The wall looks sort of empty right now, but I think a simple wooden name sign will be the perfect finishing touch!

Thanks for stopping by for Baby Sherwin’s nursery reveal! If you love it, leave a comment below!



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