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Friday, October 30, 2015

My Side of the Bed: His & Her Bedroom Decor

Let's be honest, when you're married with kids keeping the romance alive can get pushed down the list (hands up, who looks at their bed and yearns for more zzzzzs?). Our bed is usually a pile of blankets, pillows, books, and kid's toys. A cozy, comfy nest it may be, but a sanctuary it is not. And I'll confess: I love how a made- up bed looks, but rarely make ours. It's just one of those things that has inevitably become less of a priority. 

But we can all dream of a perfectly tidy and styled bedroom can't we?  Calming, cozy, and serene are three words I like to think about when it comes to this particular room of the house. And I think this room might have that covered. Thanks to Old Barn Rescue, I had the chance to style a bedroom around their 'Mr & Mrs' pillow shams which totally had me thinking back to my wedding registry and all of the fun I had picking out things for our home. I love having accents in a room that compliment the overall style while showing the individual personalities of the occupants. For example, using the same lamps but different night stands for a more masculine/ feminine touch. I hope you like these photos as much as I liked having an excuse to decorate this room! See below for all the details.

About Old Barn Rescue
The story behind the company goes like this: In 2003 a barn on one of the co- founders'  family farm had to be torn down, (the inspiration for the name), and  rather than letting the 120- year- old wood go to the landfill, the co- founders gathered it up and started creating unique pieces using reclaimed materials. They now source materials from a variety of sources to create upcycled vintage- inspired signs and decor. The company also offers vinyl wall decals and recently added clothing and fabric decor items to their stock. In Spring of this year the brand added their Threads line and now offers everything from onesies, t- shirts, pillow shams, and more featuring their heat- pressed vinyl designs. All of the products are lovingly handmade using vintage and new materials. 

Bedroom Styling Tips:
Make it cozy- Blankets and pillows are an inexpensive way to add colour and texture, plus are super cozy to snuggle into. This is the room you sleep in after all, and you want it to be somewhere you love to curl up. 

Easy update- If you don't want to invest in an entire new set of bedding, sheets,  etc, buy some new pillow shams as a simple way to freshen the look of your bed. They are an easy item to replace and there are lots of options out there to suit your style. The same goes for your nightstands: swap them out and pair with some new lamps for a quick and simple update.

Colour vs texture-  A classic styling tip: If you love lots of colour, keep the shapes and textures in the room simple, so it doesn't become visually overwhelming. The opposite is true if you like a simple/ monochromatic palette: add in textures and shapes to create visual interest (think faux- fur, fabric textures, and accent materials such as glass and wood for starters).

Show your personality- It's your bedroom, so enjoy having some fun! Add in details that show you and your hubby's tastes. To avoid it becoming too busy/ cluttered, pick accents that compliment each other, even if they are on opposite sides of the bed (see tip #3 above). Storage containers such as crates and boxes can also help store items to avoid mess and clutter.

Mr & Mrs Pillow Shams- Old Barn Rescue

Items provided by & available to buy at The Handpicked Home:
Arrow Toss Cushion- Raggy Girl Vintage
Throw Blanket- Forest & Waves
'Choose Happiness' Wood Sign- AllyBeth Design Co
Dreamcatcher and Candle- The New Mercantile 
White Antlers- Townsend Rowe
Mountain Clock- Florid & Fallow 
Wooden Crate- One Wooden Wall
Rugged Gentleman Spray- Happy Spritz
White/ Gold & Gold Wooden bowls
Jewellery Box

Initial Mugs- Chapters Indigo
Lucite Tray- Homesense 

Visit the Old Barn Rescue website to learn more and to view their complete product line.

A big thank you to Old Barn Rescue for these pillow shams and inspiring this post, and to The Handpicked Home shop for providing items to style this room. 

October posts sponsored by

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fall & Winter Skincare with Studio Aroma

I owe credit to my Mum for teaching me many things, including how to care for my skin. Growing up she helped me create a regime that I carried through my teen years and it wasn't until my twenties that I began exploring different products to switch up my 3- step program (you know the one, it's French & starts with a 'C'). As I've shifted towards more natural products, I have reconsidered what I use on my skin and have had a hard time finding products that I love as much as those from that famous French brand until recently. I stumbled upon Studio Aroma at my favourite farmer's market this past Summer and have been trying out a few of their products including the Moisture Balm, Multi Purpose Balm, and Eye Serum. Founder Jen is a certified aromatherapist and is an advocate for using natural products, both for the benefit of our bodies and the environment. Her products are made from natural and raw ingredients, making them a great choice for individuals with sensitive skin in addition to regular daily needs.

Jen started creating her own skincare products as a teen struggling with acne after being told the product she was using contained a steroid that was affecting her body. With no commercial options available, she successfully learnt how to blend essential oils and use them to treat her acne; she was soon creating unscented products for daily use. This experience led her to further study in aromatherapy and essential oils where she learnt how to formulate skincare products, receiving feedback from family and friends she shared them with. After years of trying products that simply didn't work for her, Jen realized there was a gap in the market and Studio Aroma was launched in 2014. 

Hands down, the Moisture Balm is my favourite face cream of all the ones I've tried, and what Mom doesn't need some help with those fine lines and wrinkles around their eyes? This brand specializes in holistic personal products for the face, lips, skin, and body that are made in small batches from high quality ingredients sourced from around the world. I like that the products don't include harsh chemicals and my skin agrees. I also love her mantra: Passion and motivation are a basic foundation of starting a business. To help you get through the colder months ahead, Jen has offered some tips to help us care for our skin.

Skincare Tips for Fall & Winter

Exfoliate regularly- In Winter, a lot of people think their skin is too dry for exfoliation, but this isn't the case. Regular exfoliation helps to clear dead skin cells and prepare your deeper layer of skin to absorb moisture.

Moisturize more often- Depending on how dry/ chapped your skin is, you'll want to moisturize more often. Try adding soy milk and/ or a few drops of almond oil to your cleanser to help. (Starting in December we will be offering custom skincare for customers based on their unique skincare needs).

Adjust your skincare regime- No matter what your skin type, you may have to adjust how you care for your skin in the Fall/ Winter. In the Summer we have the heat and UV rays of the sun to contend with; in Fall/ Winter we deal with elements such as the cold air and wind (but still have to think about the sun!). Now is a great time to transition into a skincare routine for the cooler months.

3 Questions with Jen (founder)

Why do you think it's important to use natural products?
A polluted environment, plus the chemicals/ artificial ingredients in many personal care products can affect our health and weaken our immune systems. We can't always change our environment, but we can change the products we use.

What is your favourite product that you offer & why?

Hydrosol Tonic would be my choice. Hydrosol (also called hydrolat) is a co-product of essential oil distillation, with similar effects but more gentle and non-oil based. Hydrosol itself can be used as a cleanser, mask, body spray, and as a natural toner to help balance and improve the condition of the skin. We distill hydrosols in our studio from raw natural ingredients that are free of artificial additives, alcohol, preservatives, or colouring. The Hydrosol Tonic is usually blended with up to three hydrosols according to the customer’s choice or with our consultation to match their skin type or special needs. This is a product I use every day.

What is your most popular product?
The Eye Serum is one of Studio Aroma’s signature products and is the best seller. Customers from different age groups purchase it and I am glad to see women as young as their twenties taking care of their skin to help prevent wrinkles when they're older. I have several customers who are flight attendants and need to put on make up almost everyday; they're also working in planes with recycled air which can be tough on skin. They found that our eye serum effectively soothes and hydrates their skin after working in a dry environment all day and after removing their makeup.

Studio Aroma products retail for $11- $30 CAD and can be purchased online and at various locations in BC. 
Visit the Studio Aroma website for more info and find them on social media: 
Facebook | Instagram

October posts sponsored by

Friday, October 23, 2015

Trendy Tots Pop Up Shop

Who can resist a good pop up shop? It's a great chance to buy local and save on shipping from some of your favourite brands. Plus there's something really cool about meeting the ladies behind the Instagram pics.

The Trendy Tots Pop Up Shop is coming up on Saturday, November 7th hosted by Beluga Baby at Architek Offices in Vancouver and will feature a variety of great Vancouver- based brands. See below for the details.

Brands to Shop
Bebe De Luxe (organic coconut oat bath, free of nasties & perfect for you or your little one)
Emerson Apparel (free spirited kid clothing- don't miss their 'Wanderlust' tees!)
Glitter and Spice (chewable teething jewellery & kid- safe accessories)
Westcoast Baby (bamboo fibre layette pieces in beautiful prints)
King and Sage (gender neutral tees for your kiddos)
From the Seeds (canvas buckets and home accents- perfect to corral toys!)
Beansie Baby (adorable baby & toddler clothing)
Beluge Baby (fashionable & comfortable baby wraps)

Architek Offices
#202 28 West 7th, Vancouver BC

Saturday, November 7th
12pm - 4pm

Enter from the alleyway 

Hope to see you there!

October posts sponsored by

Fall in Love with Paper Airplane {Feature & Review}

Hello handsome!

If you follow the blog on social media- Instagram especially- you've probably seen photos of Liam sporting some cute items, including the bandana bib above. They are as useful as they are cute and I have my friend Steph from Cutie Pie Boutique to thank for introducing me to the shop that makes them: Paper Airplane.

As part of her gift to Liam after he was born, Steph gave me two bibs- a bandana bib and a regular bib- made from cotton and minky fabrics that I fell in love with (did anyone else only learn about minky fabroc when they had kids???). The cotton is easy to clean and durable while the minky fabric is soft on baby's skin. I realized pretty quick that Liam was going to spit up a lot more than Ari did and I knew I wanted to have more on hand to save Liam's clothes. Plus I love that they're a cute addition to his outfits (while more options are starting to pop up, there still aren't as many cute things out there for boys as for girls). I stocked up this Summer on some cute prints and the owner, Leslie, kindly sent a few gifts for Liam along with my order. Everything she offers is made from high quality, baby- friendly materials, such as durable cotton. While the bandana bibs are the most commonly used item,  this shop offers a variety of other products including blankets, taggie crinkle toys (one of Liam's favourites- see the funny video below), natural wooden teething rings, and pacifier/ toy clips.

As a Mom of two, Leslie knows what Moms need and appreciates the quality of handmade, which is what led her to create Paper Airplane. Believe me when I say that the bibs get put through their paces, but are quite durable and wash up nicely. Some nights I'll simply wash them by hand with hot water and castille soap to use the next day, while messy meals call for the washing machine. Even though Liam is not  a tidy eater and his food tends to be the kind that stains- think pureed carrots, peas, and squash to name a few- I haven't found that the bibs/ bandana bibs stain very easily. I love that everything is simple to clean and so well made- Leslie's handiwork is beautiful and has stood up well to everything my little guy has put it through (the video below is proof!). 

Everything that Paper Airplane offers make great gifts if you know someone expecting or with a new baby; or, if you're a Mama like me and know what you're looking for, are great to buy for your little one to have on hand.

If you'd like to see all of the items Paper Airplane has available, visit their website. You can also find them on social media: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter. Price info for the items included in this post (all prices in CAD):
Bandana Bibs: $8 | Bibs: $11 | Crinkle Taggie Toys $15 | Toy/ Pacifier Clips: $9

Come by The Baby and Tot Show this weekend (Oct. 24 & 25) to see these great products for yourself. 

October posts sponsored by

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Playtex Nurser Bottle & Drop-Ins® Liners Review + WIN a $150 Amazon.ca Gift Card

We've been using Playtex products with our kids for a while (click here for info on cups for on- the- go toddlers) and now that Liam's starting solids, it's a great time to try out new foods and feeding options. A friend recently helped me review their Nurser bottle with Drop-Ins® Liners (see here for that post) and this past week I've been trying them out for myself. Luckily Liam isn't too picky about bottles, but I wanted to wait to try this one with him until I began to incorporate a little bit of water and/ or formula with meals as we transition into solids. He took to the whole experience like a champ and I've got an opportunity for readers to try them out with their own little ones. See below for more about these bottles and how you can receive one for free plus the chance to WIN A $150 AMAZON.CA GIFTCARD!

Here's what the pieces look like when taken apart
Product Info
- designed for busy Moms on- the- go
- disposable & pre- sterilized liners make bottles easy to use & clean
- provide a comfortable feed for baby 
- as baby feeds the soft liner gently collapses to prevent air mixing with milk to stop it getting into baby's tummy & causing gas pain
- works with all new Playtex nipples 
- designed to mimic breastfeeding
- used for generations
- BPA free
- available online at Well.ca and Amazon.ca and all major retailers across
Click here to view the Nurser Bottle with disposable liners and here for the Nurser Drop- Ins
(this will be where reader reviews are posted).

Here's how it looks when assembled

Why I Think You'll Like Them
I like that the liners are designed to collapse to avoid air being swallowed. Liam can down a bottle pretty quickly, so I have to watch that he doesn't suck in air when he's finished. These liners eliminate that concern. I have friends who had gassy/ colicky babies and having a product like this could make a huge difference. Another great feature about these bottles is that you can try different Playtex nipples to find one your baby likes- if you've ever lived through a bottle strike, you know how important the right nipple can be (see the info about compatible nipples in this post). I also like that everything is dishwasher safe. I don't love that the liners aren't the most eco- friendly option since they're disposable/ a one- time use item, but they do make clean up easier as you can discard any unused liquid in the sink and simply pop everything else into the dishwasher (anything that makes clean up easier and saves me time is good in my books!).

Now about that giveaway!
25 TPB readers will get the chance to try out a Nurser bottle with Drop-Ins® liners PLUS enter for the chance to win a $150 Amazon.ca gift card. All you have to do is write a review on Amazon.ca  once you have tried them out, then email me the link to your review to be entered (that means you've got a 1 in 25 chance of winning!).

Simply email me at kpetrunia@hotmail.com so I can arrange for you to receive your products to try. Once you've completed your review, all you have to do is send me the link to be entered. Good luck!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate ads

October posts sponsored by

Monday, October 19, 2015

Yummy Mummy Monday: Healthy Snack Ideas with Love Child Organics

While I usually feature recipes in my Yummy Mummy posts, I also like to share about products that I have found, made with quality ingredients and that our family loves- especially since food allergies/ sensitivities are becoming an increasing issue for both adults and kids. When I find something that's allergy- friendly and love, I like to share about it in the hopes that it will help readers find products they will love for their own families.

If you don't already know this about me, I'm always on the lookout for healthy snack options that I can give Ari (Liam is just starting solids, so it's only a matter of time before he's eating 'big kid' foods too). It can be challenging finding options that are both gluten/ dairy free for Ari, so I often make my own snacks for her. A+ for being healthy, but sometimes you just need something convenient when you're in a hurry. Convenient and healthy isn't so easy to find, but I've got a few go- to brands that I love and trust their ingredients. Love Child Organics is one of them. I love this family- owned company's attention to quality and that they're based here in BC (fun fact: did you know they appeared on Dragon's Den and got a deal?).

I've bought a variety of their products and recently tried a few new ones that were just released: 3 new snacks- Teefies, Owlies, and Love Ducks- plus two new pouch flavours (gobbled up in no time). I'm sharing a little info about them below. You can purchase Love Child Organics products in a variety of stores including London Drugs, Save On Foods, and Walmart, and online at Well.ca.
Love Ducks are gluten- free puff- style snacks made with non- GMO corn flour, rice flour, sunflower oil, and dehydrated fruits and veggies. Trust me when I say these didn't stand a chance, Ari couldn't get enough of them. Puff snacks are popular with kiddos but usually lack in nutrition, so these are a great option that's both tasty and packing a nutritional punch.These are recommended for kids 9m+ and come in 2 flavours: carrot + apple, and tomato + carrot. 
Owlies are Love Child's first cookies and made with whole grains and spelt flour (which is easier to digest than wheat). These are nut free but not gluten free. If your child is only mildly sensitive to gluten they may be ok, but make sure you know if they're able to eat food with spelt flour. I enjoyed being the taste- tester for these and thought they were good (the raspberry vanilla flavour was my favourite). These are recommended for children 12m+ and come in 2 flavours: sweet potato + ginger and raspberry + vanilla. 

Teefies are nut- free multi- grain teething biscuits that are dual purpose: they easily dissolve for teething babies and make a great snack for toddlers. They are made from rice, buckwheat, amaranth, and millet and have no added sugar or salt. They dissolve really well and aren't sticky, making them perfect for new little eaters. I gave the pear beet flavour to Liam for the first time this week and he enjoyed being able to hold his biscuit while he chomped on it. While these are wheat and nut free, they're not gluten free but if that isn't a concern I really recommend them. These are great to pop in your diaper bag or purse and come 3 in a pack. Recommended for babies 7m+ and available in 2 flavours: pear + beet and mango + purple carrot. 

Love Child Organics is an organic children's food company preparing 100% pure and organic products powered by superfoods. Filled with nutrient- rich ingredients, Love Child Organics's products are made using only real, simple, and clean ingredients that parents will recognize and feel good about. 

Visit the LCO website to see all of the products they offer and find them on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

October posts sponsored by

Friday, October 16, 2015

Home Clean Home: Review with The Swift Maids

My thoughts on housework... ;)

When life gets busy I am guilty of pushing 2 things down my priority list: exercise and house work. Some weeks I'm just happy to tackle the mountain of laundry that our family produces and clean the toilets- pretty sad, but true- never mind chasing dust bunnies, wiping down stainless steel appliances, scrubbing floors, corralling toys, the list goes on... And I have always hoped (dare I say dreamed?) of hiring someone to come in and be my house work fairy godmother. Someone to make all of the mess go away and endless tidying find it's end- at least for a few precious hours. Let's face it, houses with kids are a vicious circle of chasing messes out of one room and into another, and I flat out don't have the interest in being a slave to a clean house. Nope, no thank you. So when Swift Maids offered me the chance to try out their cleaning services I pretty much jumped for joy. This past long weekend I enjoyed a Thanksgiving sans cleaning thanks to this local service and it was a much enjoyed/ appreciated break from the cleaning cycle. 

How It Works
To book a cleaning all you have to do is fill out The Swift Maids online form  and provide some information about your home, what kind of cleaning service(s) you would like, and when you would like to book. The Swift Maids then assigns one of their cleaning teams to your home. The company screens all of their employees to ensure they are experienced and professional, and that they will meet the company's cleaning and customer service standards.

Cleaning services start at $114 CAD including GST and you can select extra options such as laundry ($20/ load), move in/ out services ($50), appliance cleaning (inside oven or fridge $25 each), and others. You provide payment online and can select a one- time cleaning, or book recurring services to receive discounts.

When I booked my cleaning I asked them to arrive in the evening, so I could enjoy it being clean & tidy for a few hours after the kids were settled for the night. A huge added bonus was that I didn't have to worry about house cleaning over the long weekend, just the laundry. And I loved not having to think about cleaning over the weekend.

Here's a rundown of what was done:
- floor vacuumed and washed
- sink cleaned
- stainless steel polished/ cleaned
- stovetop cleaned

- toilets and sinks cleaned
- bathtub cleaned in main bathroom

Living Room & Dining Room
- floor vacuumed
- dusting

Kid's Rooms
- floors vacuumed
- dusting

I tried to take a variety of photo but none of them did justice to the cleaning (before/ after shots of dust don't really show up that well) but these ones of my stovetop are a good example for before/ after purposes.



For a basic cleaning I was happy and grateful to have a weekend off from chasing messes through the house (you know the cycle, you clean up one mess while your kid(s) make another). I was especially thankful to have my stainless steel appliances wiped down (yay for no handprints/ streaks!) and my stovetop cleaned, two chores I hate doing (why is it called stainless steel???). I also appreciated that I was asked several times if there was anything else I wanted done as the ladies went through the rooms. For general cleaning, the service I received is fine, but I'd recommend booking extra services if you would like a 'deep' clean for specific rooms or additional services like those listed at the beginning of the post. I also see a value in a service like this if you're planning to host an event or party at home so you can save time and put it towards other things on your to- do list (this would be a good idea if you'll be hosting holiday parties- I always hate the cleaning before and after you have guests over).

Exclusive for TPB Readers
If you would like to try The Swift Maids for yourself, receive 30% off when you book online using promocode thepamperedbaby (promocode valid until Januray 4, 2016).

Thank you to The Swift Maids for saving me from a weekend of cleaning at Thanksgiving!

To view The Swift Maids full list of services visit their website. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Image Sources;
Pinup image- Pinterest
Logo courtesy of Swift Maids

October posts sponsored by

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Back to the Future Giveaway with Islands + Castles

Who's a Back to the Future fan? In one week the future date from the movie will be here- it's kind of crazy to think, isn't it?  To mark the occasion I've teamed up with Islands + Castles for a fun little giveaway and one lucky  reader/ movie fan can win one of their I Am One in a Googoplex t- shirts. Even if our kids don't understand the reference, it's a cute throwback to something from our own childhoods that other parents will get a kick out of. See below for how you can win one for your little one.

About Islands + Castles 
This family- owned Vancouver brand offers up tees for kids 3m- 8 years- with some designs available in adult sizes- in a variety of unique prints, drawing inspiration from their son, a love of travel, and everyday adventures (I love their Jetsetter and Carpe Diem designs). Their shirts are hand printed on organic cotton tees using eco- friendly, water- based inks. $1 from every shirt sold is donated to a charitable organization such as the BC SPCA, Save the Children, and Kid's Help Phone (to learn more about the brand's giving- back efforts click here). 

Enter to WIN!
Want to win this cute shirt for your kiddo? Go to the blog's Contests Page for all the entry options and find The Pampered Baby on Instagram for some bonus entry options.
Contest runs from October 14- 18, 2015.

See Islands + Castles full line on their website and find them on Facebook & Instagram

October posts sponsored by