A Scandinavian Mother’s Day

I’m not sure if Danes celebrate Mother’s Day (correct me if I’m wrong), if they don’t they very well should, we do a very difficult job day in and day out and if everyday can’t be Mother’s Day well one bally day of the year should well be. Ok preach time over. For Mothers Day this year, I want to give a shout out to some Scandinavian companies that make AMAZING products and that I genuinely want.

Here’s my picks for Mother’s Day this year (husband take note – and whip out the Dankort):

1. Simple, sleek and stylish: an Anne Black vase

Picture 5

2. Expensive, never-going-to-happen, but one can only dream, gorgeous Christiania bike for the boys and I

Picture 6

3. Elegant and yet useful for the never-stopping media Mommy: a Kahler USB port necklace

Picture 7

4. Cosy, sophisticated, attempting-to-be-a-true-European silk scarf from Besos


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5. And, most probable, yet not that helpful, but oh so delicious and tempting: Summerbird raspberry chocolate covered almonds, yum!

Picture 10What’s on your Mother’s Day wish list this year?

PS Sniff, sniff: another Mother’s Day thinking of my Mom far, far away!

A sustainable Valentine’s day

NOTE: Since writing and publishing this post, I received a large bill from the delivery company for the duty tax on the item I received from Novica. Buyer beware: I was charged the same amount as I would have paid for the item. If you are prepared to pay for the item, a hefty shipping fee AND a large duty tax fee, go ahead, but I would not recommend it! 

 

It’s funny as I look back over my years celebrating (or not) Valentine’s Day and how my wishes have changed so much. 11 years ago when M and I met I wanted grand gestures: jewellery, something heartfelt, a romantic picnic, a poem recited to me. These days, all I want is a house cleaned for me, a dinner cooked for me and something new for the house. Boring? Maybe. Definately over my 20′s? Absolutely. Or simpler requests, because I’m more content with life? Perhaps.

This year I pined for and am receiving a cushion cover. Yes very different from a mushy poem recital, a candlelit dinner and a walk along the beach!  As we just moved in December and are still getting through student life debt any small thing for our apartment to make it more cosy is heartily welcomed.

As we share a joint love for travelling, I love filling our house with things we’ve collected from all over the world and one of my 2013 resolutions was to be more mindful about purchases: ie. making more ‘green’ purchases. I came across Novica recently and found a store worth making purchases at. Novica is one of the leading fair trade artisan websites*.

Novica work in conjunction with National Geographic giving opportunities to artisans from all corners of the world a place to sell their items. Novica sells hundreds of fair trade gifts, accessories, jewelry and home decor items and have wonderful sales and discount offers. They include great gift ideas for those special people in your life such as the green co-worker, the difficult-to-gift husband (like mine!), the friend who can’t get enough fair trade jewellery, and the green thumb relative to name a few!

Here are my personal picks for Valentines Day gifts:

Picture 2Elephant Pride ring

Picture 3 Alpaca Shawl

Picture 4 Coffee Bean Cushion Cover (this is my gift!)

And get this: you can still order now and get gifts on the 17th, so to the men who are a bit slow off the mark, never fear, you can still be only three days late! And we won’t complain!

Have a wonderful Valentines Day!

xxo, SSM

* This is a sponsored post, I received a Novica gift certificate :)

Review & Giveaway: Teethease jewellery

Both my sons were (and are – sorry guys) – mini nightmares when they’re teething. #1 was growly and solemn for months on end, we could never get a smile out of him and #2 was (and is) like a whiny parasite. I’ve tried everything over the years: wet, frozen cloths, frozen fruit in a mesh bag, amber necklaces, distraction and attachment, frozen teething toys, homeopathic remedies… you name it. So, you can imagine my excitement when I was asked to review Teethease’s new pendant necklace as I have never tried a teething necklace and the idea of it doubling as a fashion accessory, well, that’s just brilliant!

10 things I love about Teethease jewellery:

  1. Teethease was started by a Canadian Mommy of two
  2. Each piece is made from high-grade silicone, is BPA- and PVC-free, and contains no phthalates, heavy metals or latex.
  3. They are easily cleaned with soap and water or can even be tossed in the dishwasher.
  4. They are essentially safe (made of FDA approved, medical grade silicone and has met and/or exceeded European standard safety  requirements)
  5. There are a variety of colours, shapes and styles (original pendant, bangle, rockease, pendant 2.0) to suit your taste
  6. They are affordable, costing the same -if not less than most jewellery you’d purchase for yourself.
  7. They make great shower gifts for your stylish Mommy-to-be friends
  8. They are lightweight, simple and are versatile with most outfits.
  9. They feature a break-away clasp that releases with any force (there is absolutely no fear of being strangled by your toddler!)
  10. Most importantly, my son loves my teethease necklace
Today, I’m giving away one of the pendant 2.0 necklace, you can choose which colour you’d like! Comment below your favourite  method of teething relief for your kids. For extra entries: ‘like’ Teethease on Facebook, follow them on twitter, or facebook, tweet and blog about this giveaway (that’s a total of six entries you can make for yourself!) Leave me extra comments letting me know which of these you’ve done! The winner will be picked randomly and will be announced a week from today! This is a great giveaway not just for you but for an expecting family member, friend, neighbour or co-worker.
This competition is now closed. Congrats to Mrs Knocked Up Fabulous who won this fabulous prize! 

Breast appreciation


Recently I was introduced to a fantastic non-profit organisation: The Keep a Breast Foundation. Their mission is eradicate breast cancer through educating young people about early prevention, detection and support. They use art, education and fundraising events to create awareness of breast cancer among the younger generation. I love these wrist bands (my son usually wears it) as the “I heart boobies” sign is catchy, funky and great conversation starters. There are plenty of ways to get involved and donate to this organisation. I love their online store that includes hiptster friendly items such as the trucker cap, slapband, multi-colour boobie bands and recycled cotton t-shirts. These are great gift ideas for the men (who are still boys) in your life! My favourite item however are the onesies (unfortunately unavailable at present though!) because I know how babies sure appreciate boobies  (#2 below included!)

Don’t forget him on Valentine’s Day

At this time of the year I am often thinking: what am I going to get for Valentine’s Day? He better remember… Will he remember? Oh my goodness, did I forget to write it on his calendar? Oh gee, what am I going to do if he forgets? How will i behave? Will I be angry or laugh it off…. (yes, after 10 years together this still goes through my mind each year)

But what about him? We can’t forget to get our man sometime to show him how much we love him. Here’s some ideas for the man in your life.

A rugged outdoorsy vest,

some funky socks,

an old school tie,

some ‘revitalising’ face scrub (so he’ll stop using yours!),

a hand warmer for those cold walks to work,

some bedtime slippers (I have a pair and they’re wonderful!),

or something that speaks pretty much to any man,

What is your guy getting this year?

Love me do

How do you want to be shown love this Valentine’s day?

a meaningful yet humorous card,

flowers delivered to your office,

a long, quality (as in not half asleep) massage,

sexy yet feminine lingerie,

a dvd (your choice!), wine and popcorn date,

a creative, suggestive game,

a small yet heartfelt gesture,

or a pre-planned night involving babysitters, dressing up, good food and wine?

I reckon every Momma deserves a good treat this Valentines! 

images c/o cupofjo, twopeasinabucket, likeyouonlyprettier, howsweeteats

Last minute gift ideas for Father’s Day

So, are you one of those organised, efficient Moms who has everything pre-planned and Christmas presents already purchased (and wrapped?) in July?

Hmm, well I’m pretty organised and efficient but I’m pretty useless when it comes to gifts.

My husband is one of the HARDEST people to buy for and so I often lack motivation when organising gifts for him.

As Father’s Day is pretty important, I’m doing my best to rally up the boys and get something good for him this year… will fill you in after Father’s Day, he’s a regular reader of simplystylishmom!

So here’s ideas for those of you – who like me – are leaving Father’s Day to the last minute. These are for those of you – who like me, are on a budget and prefer to give heart-felt,  kid – DIY presents. Here are some great ideas from craft queen Martha Stewart:

I love this pencil holder from Busy Bee:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are doing a more male version of the handprint poem:

My Hands printable version

Also, there’s various versions of these great cards you can make, what Dad wouldn’t appreciate this?

Finally, this one is perfect for the student-Dad – such as ours:

Don’t stress Dad!!

(try explaining stress to a 3 year old?!)

What are your plans for Father’s Day?

xxo, SSM

Tuesday giveaway: a bag from Giving Gifts!

The winner is: Lisa G! Congrats! Contact the other Lisa at Giving Gifts and choose your bag!!

Readers, let me introduce you to an amazing local online store: Giving Gifts. Founder of Giving Gifts, Lisa describes her products as ‘Gifts that give’ and this is exactly what you’ll find at this store. Lisa’s products are fair trade, often handmade and eco-friendly so in purchasing one of her products and using it as a gift – you are also giving back. All the products you’ll find at Giving Gifts are unique and special. I absolutely LOVE Lisa’s store and could purchase everything! However, if I have to narrow it down, here are some of my favourite items for the simply stylish Mom:

Ecojot Flower Garden Reuse 5x7 Journal

Ecojot Flower garden notebook

Little Jots

Little Jots – Lunch Notes for your little ones!

The Mommy Book by Todd Parr

The Mommy Book

Reuseable Snack Bag - Little Miss Zig Zag

Reuseable Snack bag 

1 Liter Earthlust Stainless Steel Bottle - Silver Tree

Earthdust stainless 1L stainless steel water bottle

The lovely Lisa sent me two bags to try out and oh, how much fun did I have trying them out?!

MiniSax Lunch Bag - Red Flowers

The Mini Sax Lunch bag

This handy dandy lunch bag comes in its own little pouch – easy to pop it away after use and keep it stored in your purse, diaper bag, stroller or jacket pocket. Instead of taking your lunch to work in a throw-away bag, here’s a way to be more environmentally conscious – and to look pretty while doing it (because that is VERY important!!) This sack is made from recycled fabric, it is water-resistant, fully washable and ethically made.  It has a mini pocket inside perfect for spare change, keys or a small snack. I love how small these bags are and I think they’d also be great gifts for not only Moms but little ones – kids love dressing up and playing “Mom” (really?!) so this is a great bag for them to fill with their keys, lip balm, train (in our case), hat and a snack. It gives a child that little bit more independence and confidence that the books tell us we should be doing. Also it’s a great art and crafts bag (if that’s your thing), book & ipod bag or there are some more ‘manly’ designs that you could get for Dad’s lunch bag also!

Bird Envirosax Bag

Envirosax bag

This bag is amazing! I use this all the time. Lisa sent me (on my request) the ABC envirosax bag as I wanted something for my son to use for transporting stuff to preschool and bag eg. hat, spare clothes, rainboots etc and I loved the funky design. Having said that, I often use this bag out grocery shopping during my frazzled moments when I realise I’ve forgotten my cloth bags and before I hyperventilating about having to use plastic bags – VOILA! –  my envirosax is tucked away in my purse and I am saved! This wonderful bag can carry up to 22 kg/44lb (the equivalent of two supermarket bags), is waterproof, fully washable. Envirosax donates a percentage of its sales to environmental organisations.

 Today’s giveaway is either a Envirosax Roll-Up Bag or Minisax Bag – you choose! What a great giveaway?!  To win:
1. Comment on this post for one entry
2. Like Giving Gifts on Facebook for another entry. Offer only open to Canadians. 
Good luck! Happy Tuesday,
xxo, SimplystylishMom
PS The winner of the Bueno Style earrings is Kokoro, congratulations! Contact me with your address so I can mail them to you!
images courtesy of givinggifts.ca

Coffee-to-go for Mom, Colours-to-go for kid! & a great giveaway!

Mommies, have you ever had a ‘gosh darn it’ moment when you’re out with your kid and you realise you’ve forgotten to bring something to keep them entertained? Or when you’ve got yet ANOTHER kid birthday party coming up and you don’t want to rush to the dollar store for yet another plastic toy. Or when you have to visit some of your trendy kid-less friends who don’t have not even one toy in their house and so you need to bring something so that you can have at least 15 minutes of adult conversation while you’re there. Well, dear reader, welcome to Colours to Go (colourstogo.ca) 

Like us Susannah Findlay, a Canadian mom has had similar dilemmas. She wanted an alternative to buying dollar store toys and great hostess gifts for play-dates. Thus she began making crayon rolls to give to give away and this grew into Colours To Go. Now she makes not only the Crayon Rolls but Crayon Aprons, Colouring Wallets, Purses and Bags, one to suit each gender and every age. You can change from crayons to pencil crayons to markers depending on the child’s age or stage and get this – her products are made of felt fashioned from recycled pop-bottles!?! Susannah also has a facebook page where she keeps readers up to date with all her information about new items, sales and events http://www.facebook.com/pages/Colours-to-Go-wwwcolourstogoca/329742429119?sk=wall

I’ve got hold of some of these products and have shown them around my 3 and 4 year old friends and words like ‘oooh so pretty’ and ‘I WANT THAT’ have come out of their dear, sweet innocent mouths.. and amongst their Mommies, words like ‘oooh sooo pretty’ and ‘ I NEED THAT for…’ have come out of their not innocent mouths. 

These are amazing for gifts and also great to just have in your purse for many of those ‘gosh darn it’ moments.

As a giveaway to my faithful readers, visit Susannah’s website at colourstogo.ca and write a comment about it under this post and you could win a pink colouring purse!

Have a great week!

xxo, Simplystylishmom