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Thursday, October 27, 2016

You're Built for this Baby!

This year, I have tried to make fitness more a part of my weekly routine and yoga has become a big part of my efforts. I've recently been going beyond my at- home practice and going to different classes and trying out new poses. About a month ago I heard about Built For This Baby, a pre and postpartum wellness program launching this Fall that incorporates yoga and holistic nutrition to help women prepare for birth and to help them recover after. Even though Liam is a year and a half, I learnt from the founder, Georgia, that it goes beyond the baby and toddler years when it comes to our body's recovery: the six years after giving birth pose an interesting challenge to our health and bodies as we focus on others and generally have less time (and sleep!) to care for our own needs. 

I had never thought about a timeline after having kids for our minds and bodies to re- settle, to return (somewhat) to their pre- baby selves; I always thought it was something we did in our own good time. But of course, we never completely return to our pre- baby bodies or minds, we're forever changed, but making sure that change is healthy and that we don't forget to look out for our own health and well- being is key, both physically and mentally. And let's face it, it's a phase in life when we have very little time and energy to do so (who else has asked themselves: do I eat or do I sleep?). So when I had the chance to attend Georgia's program I was curious to hear what suggestions she had for those years (not just months) post- pregnancy for us ladies to fit in to our daily routines to help us keep our energy up, our minds at peace, and our bodies feeling good. 

We enjoyed a few hours sipping herbal tea, learning simple yoga poses, hearing sleeping tips from Rock A Baby Guru, learning about our unique nutritional needs post- baby (have you heard of adrenal fatigue? Google it, I bet you'll be able to relate), how we can find time- even just a few minutes- for self care in this busy phase of life, and enjoying some nutrition- packed smoothies and lunch from The Juice Truck. I came away feeling more relaxed and informed on easy ways to keep tabs on my health and energy. It can sometimes sound like one more thing on the to- do list to take care of ourselves when there's so much else that needs doing, but simply making sure we grab a quick, healthy snack while we race out the door can make a difference (think a handful of nuts instead of a drive- through item). I know I've made excuses in the past, and I'm trying to remember that small choices, small changes, can all lead to a big difference overall. 

If you're curious about the Built For This Baby program, you'll find more details below and on their website. You can also find more information on their Facebook page

Thank you Georgia for such a wonderful time and best of luck as you launch this wonderful new program!

About Built For this Baby

Built For This Baby (B4TB) is a mindset and a movement created to empower women all over the world to feel confident about their birthing stories, pre and post experience. The movement is intended to start and foster healthy global conversations about inherent wisdom in birthing. B4TB encompasses a web-series program where women globally can learn together about intuitive birthing online.  B4TB will launch, “Yoga For Your Belly™”, plant-based nutrition for pregnancy and postpartum, lead by Georgia Morley in the fall of 2016.

  • The B4TB program will launch its first pillar, Yoga For Your Belly™, in fall 2016.

  • The pre-recorded Yoga For Your belly ™ video will be 1.5 hours long.  The session provides valuable assets in nutritional coaching for plant based pregnancy and postpartum and is available for download direct from the B4TB website.  Assets include:  The Yoga For Your Belly™ plant-based pregnancy/postpartum  recipe e-book, a guided workbook, and valuable printable protocols and practices to easily implement into everyday life.

  • The Yoga For Your Belly™ app for iOS offers plant based recipes, nutritional tips for pregnancy and postpartum, equivalent Kent lists and grocery list making capabilities for optimal-proactive nutrition. The app will be available on IOS for $3.99.  The app will launch new bundles bi-annually.

  • Under the B4TB umbrella, Georgia Morley will also be launching a cookbook Nov. 2017 titled, Yoga for Your Belly™. This cookbook features recipes and lifestyle guidance for effortless nutrition during pregnancy and postpartum.

  • In 2017 additional video sessions will be available for purchase to B4TB participants:
·       The Birth Map: vision, and intention work for pregnancy and postpartum
·       You Are A Maven Warrior: winning at career and motherhood with balanced hormones and an exuberant sense of self.

 About Georgia Morley, Founder of Built For This Baby

Georgia Morley is a Certified Doula, Holistic Nutritionist/classically trained Chef and Registered Yoga Instructor. She has been involved in projects such as the very successful Heirloom Vegetarian Restaurant in Vancouver and has worked as a private consult nutritionist/chef to the likes of Henrik Sedin (Vancouver Canucks Hockey) and Chip Wilson (Founder of Lululemon). Her years of knowledge as a holistic nutritionist and chef offer new and important ways to eat during pregnancy, holistically and with intention; eliminating struggles with anemia, diabetes and preeclampsia to name a few. Her work as a yoga instructor is what brings the triumvirate of food, body and heart to one crossroad.

Georgia’s journey into empowering women with their birthing experiences came from her own experience of childbirth. While on one hand she felt very out of control and without choice, on the other she had never felt more powerful in her life. She recalls that for a few brief moments while birthing her son, she saw and felt a connection to that which is most tenacious, loving, trusting and courageous - that which was completely within her. She has subsequently committed herself to supporting women everywhere to help them feel ready to birth their babies and to choose differently, without judgment of themselves.  

Through B4TB, Georgia aims to reshape the conversation about birthing away from how painful it was, but instead to how empowered they felt and how it changed their lives – not just because they became a mother but also because it allowed them to better connect with themselves, as women.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

On Retiring & Life as a Working Mother: Judy's Story

My Mum is my hero. She is an amazing, strong woman who I still look up to and appreciate (even more now that I have kids!). And even though my brother and I are all grown up, that in a way her job is done, she still does whatever she can for us, including helping me with the kids a few times a week so I can work. She loves us and supports us, and for those that know her, you know that Judy is one tough cookie. She has come through so much and continues to be a source of strength and inspiration for myself and others who know her. We've always had a good relationship, and of course there were bumps and times when things were tense or challenging, but our relationship has remained a close one overall. My Mum was (and is) always there for me, no matter how challenging I might have been, or how tough the situation, she always made sure I knew I could go to her. For anything. And I did. And I still do.

This past Summer my Mum retired at the age of 65. She had worked full time most of her life, including during the years she raised Steven and I. She's the lady who made sure I made it to swim practice 6 times a week and that my brother got to lacrosse; that we got to school on time, sat down for meals, and had our sh*t together as we got older. I'm just going to say it: my Mum is pretty much just downright amazing. And like so many others like her, she did what she did for her family, even when that meant sacrifices and juggling work/ kids/ a house/ a husband and everything else. Even though I've always loved and appreciated her, becoming a parent myself has given me a whole new respect for her and everything she has done over the years.  
I have come to appreciate her in new ways as I've grown up and started my own family, and as much as I think I understand all that she's done for us, I never feel like I express my love or gratitude enough. Motherhood is full of so many things and I was curious about her journey from her perspective, to know what challenges she faced and how she overcame them, how she juggled everything. To my Mum, thank you for everything. For all that you have done and continue to do. I am blessed.

Now let me introduce to you to my Mum, Judy, and her story: 

My daughter asked me some time ago if I would write about my life for the last twenty eight and a half years as a working mother. Looking back to when I became a mother, and how much my life changed overnight, I cannot believe that I have not only survived those years, but have somehow managed to retain my health and sanity!
After working full time since the age of eighteen, for forty seven years, I have just celebrated my 65th birthday and finally packed it in! I am worn out and tired, and am looking forward to a long and healthy retirement.   God willing, I plan to be around to celebrate my 100th birthday!
I returned to the workforce when my daughter was four month's old. I can still remember it to this day, as it was the worst day I have ever lived through in my life.   I cried and cried for many weeks, as back in 1987 working women were only allowed to take seventeen week's maternity leave.   A year and a half after returning to work, I took a six month leave-of-absence, as the stress of what I was going through along with feelings of guilt, anxiety, depression, etc., had taken it's tole on me.   When I was able to return to work, I gave two week's notice and quit.
Unless you have actually experienced leaving your child in daycare all day, combined with the multitude of emotions a mother experiences, it is impossible for anyone to even begin to imagine what you're going through. There are no words to describe the overwhelming emotional pain a mother can experience when leaving her child with a complete stranger and then having to go to work for the day.   Some mother's are okay with it, they eventually adjust, but many like myself, are not, which is why I eventually found a way to earn an income working from home.
I was fortunate to have a husband, who was not only a tremendous support, but also did everything possible to help with everyday life and make sure that we shared the responsibility of parenting equally during those early years of motherhood.  It would be three years of sleepless nights before we were finally able to start getting a good night's sleep.   How we survived those three years, I do not know, as we both had to get up and work everyday with little or no sleep!
At the age of forty, my husband found himself unemployed with very little income, and I found myself financially supporting my family for a short period of time.   It was during this time that I got my license to operate a family daycare from my home to help us through this tough financial time.
The year I turned 45, I gave birth to my son, and within six weeks had resumed operating my daycare business, since paid maternity leave for self-employed women at that time was not  an option.   Life then became even more hectic, with a six week old baby, an eight and a half year year old daughter, and five daycare children to take care of.                
There were many years of juggling work with family life,  such as school drop-off and pick-up, sports activities both during the week and at weekends, daycare children coming and going, running a house, etc.   I eventually found myself doing the majority of the work myself due to my husband's work schedule, however, he did what he could to help me.   As for any time to myself, that was a joke; by the  time I had worked a twelve hour day, run here, there and everywhere, cooked, cleaned, done laundry, cut the grass, worked in the garden, and did maintenance around the house, and so on, I would crawl into bed at night, if I was lucky, by 11 p.m., only to get up at 6 a.m. the next morning and do it all again!   Holidays  were few, as by the time all the bills were paid, there was very little money left.   It's alright saying that you need to save every month, but as I'm sure many of you can relate, that's not always possible.
Surviving these years have not been without challenges, however, when my 65th birthday was approaching earlier this year, I decided that I'd had enough with this hectic routine and was going to retire.   Having spent the last twenty eight and a half years navigating through life with two children and coping with the many challenges of a working mother, I've finally arrived at a time in my life to do what ever I want and start having time for me!
Thank you to my amazing Mum for sharing this here. I love you Mum, so, SO much more than words. xx KP




Thursday, October 20, 2016

Telling Time in Style with JORD Watches {+ Giveaway}

Who else agrees: the right accessories finish make an outfit. They're the details that bring everything together. And be honest: how often do you notice a great pair of earrings, a hot pair of shoes, or an awesome watch before you notice the clothes? This happens to me all the time and so many times it's love at first sight. And this time, it's about a watch. One helluva of a beautiful, wood watch.

JORD makes timepieces that combine classic with contemporary with watches made out of a variety of wood including sandalwood like the one I'm wearing below. They've taken something traditional and made it a little more edgy, a little more of a statement. Something about the wood makes it jump out a little more than if it were a traditional metal piece. Even though they offer both men's and women's styles, I love that many of them have a unisex vibe- I don't think mine screams ultra girly and I love that. I can wear it with jeans and t- shirt or pair it with a dressy outfit and heels to add contrast. It's a heavier piece that you can wear on it's own or stacked with bracelets and it will look amazing either way. You just have to decide which one you want more, which I think is the hardest part! ;)

... And just in case you find yourself falling in love with these watches like I did, I get to give away a $75 shop credit towards a JORD watch for someone to splurge on themselves! Scroll to the end of the post to enter!

Outfit Details:
Sweater, jeans & boots- My own
Dark Sandalwood watch- JORD
Wood brimmed hat- Austra
Bracelets- Quinsco

About JORD
JORD offers handcrafted wood timepieces that make a statement and suit a modern lifestyle. Their watches are made from materials such as bamboo, ebony, and sandalwood (like the one I'm wearing) and are a fresh twist on a classic item with styles available for both men and women. Whether you're a watch lover or not, their pieces will have you putting yours on everyday.

Aaaand let's not forget about that GIVEAWAY I mentioned! I have a $75 e- voucher to give to one lucky reader and for a fun added bonus, everyone who enters (aside from the winner) will receive a $20 e- gift card from JORD!

Want to win a Luxury Wood Watch for yourself? Enter below!

Fallen in love with JORD? Check them out online for the latest news & styles!
JORD Watch website
Instagram: @woodwatches_com
Facebook: JORD Wood Watches
Twitter: @woodwatches_com

Photo credit: Janette Shearer- Ava to Zoe