Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tiny Feet Creations {Wordless Wednesday and iPPP}

I recently started making hand stamped jewelry and realized that I haven't mentioned it here. I started Tiny Feet Creations after reading a book and being inspired. The book was a young adult fiction about a society that didn't allow its citizens to be creative. I like being creative and making things with my hands but haven't done anything in years and this seemed like a good idea.

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For my awesome sister-in-law.

The first piece I made was for me. I stamped the kids' names on a washer and put it on a ball chain and I love it. I wear it all the time. The kids love seeing their names on my necklace and wanted their own. So I made them each one, but with their own names. It's so sweet seeing them so excited about something I made.

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Trying out a new font.

After posting the pictures, I had people ask for their own and so I've made a handful of necklaces now. Sometimes it's an easy process, the design part I mean, but other times I go back and forth (and back and forth) with the person trying to come up with an idea that makes them happy. That's part of the beauty of this: because each piece is completely personalized no two pieces are the same. And believe me, with hand stamped jewelry, no piece will ever be perfect. It is perfectly yours though.

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Kids names, sayings, special dates.. whatever you want.

It's a fun process and the design ideas are limitless. I love seeing what people come up with and being able to create something for them.

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For a doula friend.
Do you find you need to be creative? Could you live in a world that limited the number of songs we listened to, the number of paintings we could look at, the number of books we read? I couldn't.

Tiny Feet Creations on Facebook


GFunkified


{I'm linking up with Greta from GFunkified , Angela from Jumping with my fingers crossed, and Angela from Angela Amman for #iPPP.}

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter 2014

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Who had a good Easter? We did and I credit that to our relaxed approach. Easter seems to have become a second Christmas, with kids being gifted not only chocolate, but outfits, toys, and books. It's a little crazy actually. In our house, Easter is about seeing family and having a small egg hunt for the kids. They are given things by others but that's not the focus at all.

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A rare family shot.
I think we struck a good balance this year between being busy seeing family and enjoying quiet time. Over the weekend J and I both got to sleep in and we both got some alone time. I even managed a run in the warmer weather (I have a 5K race next weekend that I'm totally ready for).

Other than our dinners, we spent a lot of time playing outside, playing with friends at an Easter party playdate, and spending time with family. J's sister SJ was in town and her and I went shopping one morning. We do this almost every time she's in town and I stock up on shirts and tank tops. I even bought a new purse and wallet.

Our first dinner was with my family. My brother and his wife were in town and we had a big turkey with all the fixings. The kids had a great time. After dinner they were chasing my brother around the house, everyone huffing and puffing. At the end, Little J hops up onto the couch, declares he's in TO (time out for anyone who doesn't remember playing tag as a kid), and, through big breaths, says That. Was. Awesome! It was cute.

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Hanging out with my family.

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Goofing around with my brother.
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Lots of colouring and playing.

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Goodbye hugs.

Our second dinner was with J's family. This time we had turkey and ham, but the main focus was being together. We spent a lot of the day over there both Saturday and Sunday.

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After my run, Little K wanted to go for a run too.

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Pulled out J's lego.
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Family walk to check out the creek.



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Seriously, lots of lego play.



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Outside play.

Other than that, we had a little egg hunt at home Sunday morning. The Easter Bunny assigned a colour to each kid to make it easier and they ran around with their baskets searching high and low. (The eggs were mostly in plain sight.)


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Excited kids.


SJ gifted the kids a set of dishes to be painted. Little K totally went for it while Little J wanted to copy the designs on the box. Interesting.

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Painting.


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Little J is SO proud of his bunny hat.

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Of course, Little K needed one too :)


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Little K admiring our outside Easter decorations.

J is enjoying some extra time off this week so I had a chance to take down all the decorations today. Easter is officially over, but we made the most of it and had a great time. I hope you did too.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Feature #20: Just a Trace

Just a quick post before the Easter weekend!

Tracey from Just a Trace Blog was my conference buddy this past weekend. She writes a lifestyle blog here in Ottawa and is getting married soon. You can expect to read about wedding stuff, dating stories, and events happening in town. She's super sweet and that comes through in her writing so go check her out!


On Twitter: @justatraceblog
On Facebook: Just a Trace Blog


Friday Feature is a way for me to share some of my favourite Canadian bloggers. Why am I focusing on Canadian bloggers? Well, some of my favourite blogs are Canadian and I think we have a lot to offer. I hope you'll check them out and tell them I sent you!

If you'd like your blog featured or know of an awesome Canadian blog please leave a comment.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

BConnected Conference Wrap-Up

It's not easy writing a wrap-up post for an event like the BConnected Conference where so much happened.. the people I met, the things I learned, the inspiration that struck. Before Easter is upon us, I want to share the highlights of my weekend and introduce you to some really great people, bloggers and brands, who were there. I've included lots of links so feel free to check them out!

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The BConnected Conference was the first of its kind in Ottawa: a parent blogger conference. I'm a parent and a blogger so it was a perfect fit!

The conference was held on the weekend with a social Saturday night. The only times I'm out of the house during regular work hours these days are for conferences, training, or the odd birth, so it was pure excitement that got me out of bed so early Saturday morning.

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The view from our room at the NAC (National Arts Centre.)


I teamed up with Delta from Just Play Toy Rental and knew a number of other bloggers attending so I wasn't worried I wouldn't know anyone. In fact, when I got to the NAC Saturday morning I immediately spotted Tracey from Just a Trace and we went in together. Registration was a breeze, chatting with people and receiving our swag bag. Seriously, a bag full of goodies from the vendors sponsoring the conference.

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Bright and early Saturday morning.


Tracey and I found a table with Chris from Canadian Dad and Sharon from PTPA (seriously!) where we sipped on Oasis orange juice and ate snacks, and listened to some pretty cool speakers.

The day was a mix of listening to our lovely MC, Julie from Coffee with Julie, speakers and time to mingle and chat with sponsors. For me it was also a chance to see a lot of friendly faces and catch up. I took Tracey along with me the entire day. We had our picture taken at some sponsor booths, signed up for contests, played Mario Kart on the Wii, and learned about some neat companies.

Dylan of Captivision Photography was the official photographer of the conference and took headshots of attendees. He's legally blind but able to take pretty amazing pictures. He also does shoots so check out his page if you're in Ottawa and need a photographer. Check out my photo:

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My new head shot.


Some of my favourite sessions from the weekend include ones on personal branding and an animated look at parenthood, but I learned the most from the more technical ones about Triberr, LinkedIn and Google+. I came away with a long list of things to tackle, a very long list, and I've been working on things here and there all week.

That's the best thing about going to conferences: the inspiration that gets into you and makes you move. The feeling of accomplishment, comraderie, and joy from getting together with like-minded people and talking about something you love. Yes, I love blogging. Am I ever going to be a big-fish blogger? Probably not, but I can be a better blogger and I'm working on it.

A big thank you to everyone I met last weekend, the speakers and sponsors, and the organizers. It was a great conference and I will be there again next year!

Watch out for future Friday Feature posts about some of the great bloggers I met at the conference!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

#NoMoreBullies {Wordless Wednesday and iPPP}


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BConnected Conference

As you all know, I spent last weekend at the BConnected Conference. While I work on getting my thoughts together on my experience, I thought I'd share a bit about the #NoMoreBullies campaign we learned about.

#NoMoreBullies was started by Stuntman Stu here in Ottawa and it's growing and growing. Stu and his colleagues go to schools in town giving a presentation on bullying in hopes that even one less kid experiences it.

You can visit Stu's blog to learn more and watch a video. Go take a peek. He's in a unique position with his job at the radio station to meet a lot celebrities. Having celebrity support allows him to reach more and more people.

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#NoMoreBullies

I think it's safe to say that everyone has experienced bullying in some form, to some degree. I know I have and I know a lot of my friends did too. Unfortunately bullying doesn't stop when we leave school, but talking to our kids about bullying and how to deal with it is so important. We've been dealing with some issues with Little J and he's only in junior kindergarten. We're learning how to deal with these situations.

I would encourage you to learn more about the #NoMoreBullies campaign, watch the video, and like their Facebook page to show your support.


GFunkified


{I'm linking up with Greta from GFunkified , Angela from Jumping with my fingers crossed, and Angela from Angela Amman for #iPPP.}

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Book 16/50: A Doula's Journey

I'm still decompressing from my conference this past week so today I'm sharing a quick review of a doula book I read. I know birth work isn't for everyone, but this novel was interesting.

A Doula's Journey by Hazel Tree was the first novel I'd read about doulas. It's the story of Joy and her path to becoming a doula. Like a lot of doulas, she feels called to it, a pull she cannot ignore. The novel, written as journal entries, also deals with her personal life and the transformation she undergoes as she delves into her past.

Joy's journey is maybe not like every doula's journey but it's beautiful. Her learning, transformation, and insights along the way were aha moments just like mine. Having the book written as journal entries appealed to my sense of order (in that it was chronological).




I'd recommend this book to anyone thinking of becoming a doula and those already doing it. I'm always looking for new books to read so tell me what you're reading these days! Oh! I also found a book club and can't wait to talk about our first book, A Rosie Project. Book clubs aren't just for old people.

Up next: Your Logo Is Irrelevant by Michael R. Drew

Monday, April 14, 2014

Home office - keeping it real

Happy Monday, friends! I spent all weekend at the BConnected Conference here in town and learned so much. But it was so busy and now I feel behind. While I catch up, I wanted to share with you my office spaces... yes, I have two! Staples Canada is having a fun contest right now. Read on!

I work from home and we have two office areas in our house. Neither is a big space, nor in a room of its own, and neither is doing a good job. Enter the Staples #MakeMoreHappen Contest where you can win $1000 to upgrade your space. Wouldn't that be fun?!

I like to keep things real so I went and took a picture of both spaces to share with you. First is the office in the basement. This is where our desktop, all of our camera stuff, and all of our files live. All crammed in to a tiny space between the wall and the couch in the back of our rec room. We're lacking space and storage and light and any sort of decorating. Sad really.

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Our "office".

To make this space work better, I think there's just enough room to the left of the desk for a bookcase that would be used for storage, books, and probably some DVDs and, let's be honest, toys would end up there.


(Bookcase)

And I like the look of these Martha Stewart organizers to put on the bookcase.


(Martha Stewart organizers)

And what about this cute owl print for above the desk?
(Owl Always Love You)

The second space is a corner of our bedroom that I use primarily for my doula business. We were given an older Apple computer and I bought a printer. My files are all in a cabinet that doesn't fit between the desk and the door. I have shelves on the wall but no desk chair and let me tell you that sitting on the ottoman, which is great for storage, doesn't feel good for any length of time. What's missing is a good chair and more storage.

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My wishlist includes a desk chair and a chair mat because of the carpet.

(Staples Mesh Task Chair)

(Low-pile Chairmat)

And two of these bright guys for garbage and paper recycling.


(Honey Can Do trash can)

And after looking through most of the Staples.ca site, I'm still not sure how to make my filing cabinet situation any better. There's just not enough space. If I won, I would run through the store and grab all sorts of supplies like paper and pens and markers and post-its. It would be like Christmas!

Even if you don't work from home, everyone deals with paperwork and bills and has some sort of computer/laptop. So tell me what you would do to revamp your home office space? Any tips for my filing needs?