What to buy a almost 6 year old who only loves lego (and a giveaway!)

My darling #1 son is almost 6 and currently his birthday list consists only of lego items. While we will happily give in to his lego wishes, we would love to buy some other pieces that he would be equally excited about. Other than lego he loves the beach, swimming, music and funky fashion pieces. When I came across Sunuva, I was instantly excited. Not only do they stock incredibly cool stuff for kids, their story captures my heart. Created by two British Mums who met holidaying who were bored with the usual prints and colours, they instead decided to work with Boho styles and funky graphics. Their products are popular by gorgeous celeb Moms such as Gwyneth Paltrow and are stocked in major British boutiques. Now they’re online and shipping internationally (I was also excited to do my first European collaboration!*)

Back to #1, for his 6th birthday, I picked out the following items:

Picture 3A pair of machine washable, quick drying, UV protected swim shorts (these are the softest swim shorts I’ve ever found!)

Picture 4 A funky, cotton tee (the cotton is just lovely, especially for these hot days)

Picture 5And a pair of camo printed anti-fog goggles

 (these are just super cool, my son just can’t wait to jump in the pool, great motivation for new swimmers!)

Other items I loved for him:

Picture 6

He shouldn’t be the only one with aviators Picture 7

Perfect for all our travel, my music lover can plug himself in!

Of course I couldn’t help but peek at the girls and womens section:

Picture 3

Adorable nappy pants perfect for toddlersPicture 4

Simple cotton summer dressPicture 8A handy gift for Mum: to keep things organised (on sale too!)

The most exciting thing though is that Sunuva is offering one lucky reader £250 worth of chic UV Sunuva swimwear! Simply click on this link, fill out your details and you’re in the running to win! The competition closes 31st August, so don’t miss it! This is open to all my readers no matter your location! 

* I received product compensation for this post.

Spring fever! – a review & giveaway

With the sun making more regular appearances here in Odense and the weather becoming slightly warmer, I am actually seeing an end in sight to this long, long winter we have endured. To me spring conjures up floral prints, pastels,  shorter hemlines (but still with woollen tights), short boots, lovely gardens, longer days… and spring cleaning/organising. Each spring, I aim to cleanse my wardrobe (I usually host a clothes swap) and to clean out our ‘kontor’ (eg. throwing out old receipts/bills/letters/cards. One other thing I really like to do is re-organise my kids stuff. Over the winter they wear many sweaters, gloves, jackets, snowsuits etc etc and over that period things can tend to get lost – sometimes are found, but much get lost again and again…. So, before I put things away in the loft to store for next winter or and before I let them go out in their new spring wardrobe, I like to label EVERYTHING. #1 son had wonderful labels all over his daycare clothes back in Canada, now it is #2′s turn. In April, he begins at a local børnehaven (kindergarten) and so I have had to label all his indoor, outdoor, sleep, play (you name it!) clothes and items.

Picture 3

For this, Australian business Stuck on You came to help out.

They offer a variety of labels, tags and personalised items that help even the most disorganised Mum.

I absolutely love their water bottles for example because you can personalise it not only with your child’s name but with a funky graphic and fantastic graphic. The bottles are BPA free and have an easy-to-you pop lid.

Picture 6

Another item for the clean-freak Moms are the art smocks. #2 LOVES arts and crafts time at home, but I hate the mess. Here we can compromise. I was surprised about how good the quality of these smocks are – they are made from 100% cotton canvas and are really strong and hardy. Plus they are personalised, which I think is awesome and we chose this cool graphic for #2 which he thinks is just brilliant.

Picture 5

Parenting tip: if your child is anxious, bored, wary of anything: personalise it and trust me, it makes them all the more enthusiastic to get involved!

I can highly recommend Stuck on You. The ordering, delivery and shipping was smooth and successful despite the long journey! The quality of the items exceeded my expectations = you most certainly get your money’s worth! Visit Stuck on You here, and ‘like’ their facebook page. And here’s the best bit: today I’m offering FOUR €20 (or your country’s equivalent) to ANY of my readers in the world (Australia, Canada, USA, Europe… you name it!). Simply comment (with your email address) what item you would like to purchase from Stuck on You in order to organise your (and your child’s life) this spring. For an extra entry: ‘like’ their facebook page (and tell me you did that!) I’ll announce the winners in a week’s time.

Happy organising!

* Stuck on You did compensate me for this review, however I do REALLY like their items :)

According to random.org #5, #1, #2 & #3 won so congrats: Lisa, Ying-Chan, Alexis & Sidsel, Stuck on You gift certificates will be coming your way!

Tuesday’s giveaway: Yoga for Moms

Back in 2005, barely three months after moving to Vancouver, I woke up and could move. I wasn’t tired, hard-worked or stressed, I literally couldn’t move. I had an incredible pain all through my back and the only thing I thought it could’ve been from was from moving our boxes full of stuff that had recently arrived from Australia. New friends in Vancouver recommended me to a physio who has since been a great help, but he alerted me to the fact that I have Scoliosis as well as an abnormally long and slender torso which would mean I’d would likely be faced with a life-time of back pain… gee thanks. So, all it takes is for my husband to give me an extra tight hug and within 24 hours I am in excruciating pain. However, 5 years ago when I got pregnant with #1 a lot of my pain went away during the pregnancy. I was doing pre-natal yoga and after his birth, I continued, with post-natal workouts. Since then, my back pains have come and gone.  Most recently though, over the last Christmas break, I had the most pain I’ve ever experienced. I tried seeing my physio but nothing worked. Eventually I just rested and instead of going to my usual “power” classes at my gym, I attended yoga and only yoga for a month. And, voila, the back pain disappeared and as yet hasn’t reoccurred. I’m sure it will rear it’s ugly head again in time but at least I know that yoga is a proven method of pain relief. While I’m not crazy about the deep meditation and chanting, I absolutely love the physical side of it: the stretches, the poses and the peace.

Local yoga studio director and Mom, Danielle Mika Negel of Chopra Yoga concurs that yoga is imperative for Moms. Our days are filled with back-breaking activities: wearing our children, carting heavy loads of laundry up the stairs, running from place to place pushing a stroller with one hand and balancing a child on your hip with the other…

 Here are Danielle’s top five poses she believes a Mom should do everyday:

1.    Easy Seated Pose with “Success Breath”

Multitasking can easily become overwhelming. Try this simple posture for a few minutes to ground your thoughts and slow your heart rate down.

  • Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor or a chair.
  • Rest your palms on your thighs or place your dominant hand on top of your non-dominant hand.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Take a couple of minutes to let go of what has happened prior to this moment and what is going to happen after this moment.
  • Relax your entire body, including your jaw, neck and shoulders.
  • Start to take a deeper inhalation through your nostrils as you constrict the throat muscles slightly. This will be an audible breath.
  • Exhale completely through your nostrils as you constrict your throat muscles again.
  • Keep your awareness at your breath as you continue to take these long, slow deep breaths through your nostrils.
  • Keep it gentle, relaxed and maintain the intention of letting go, each time you exhale.

 2.    Cobra Pose

Carrying your children, groceries, laptop, diaper bag, yoga bag, etc. can start to wear you down. Take a few of these gentle backbends to counteract the heavy lifting and back rounding we do each day.

  • Start lying down on your belly with your legs extended back, tops of the feet on the mat.
  • Root through the tops of the feet and legs and spider your fingertips off the mat onto the floor.
  • Lengthen your tailbone down towards the earth, inhale and slowly start to peel your chest off the floor.
  • Unclench your buttocks and your teeth and lift your heart.
  • Roll the shoulders back and down, keeping the shoulder blades hugging in towards one another.
  • Keep the back of your neck and forehead relaxed.
  • Exhale and slowly lower back down towards the earth.
  • Repeat 5 times.

3.    Standing Forward Bend

Let gravity support you as you lengthen out the backside of your body. Enjoy the benefits of an inversion with increased circulation and oxygen to the brain.

  • Stand with your feet about hip-bone distance and somewhat parallel apart.
  • Lift all your toes and fan them out.
  • Release your toes back down to the earth with space in between each toe. (make a mental note to yourself to make time to take care of your feet)
  • Root through all four corners of your feet.
  • Inhale and reach your arms overhead.
  • Exhale to forward fold, hinging at your hip crease, keeping the abdominals drawn in and your knees bent.
  • Bring your fingertips down to the earth. (bent knees are fine and good for supporting your lower back)
  • Let go of your head, neck and shoulders and keep your jaw relaxed.
  • Hold here for a few deep breaths, keeping the abdominals engaged to support the low back.
  • Put a slight bend in your knees, if you haven’t done so already, and slowly roll yourself up to standing, one vertebra at a time.
  • Engage your core center to lift you all the way back up.
  • Take a couple breaths in a standing position before moving back into activity.

4. Supine Spinal Twist

Spinal twists promote flexibility in the spine while improving digestion. As mothers, we are always concerned about feeding our kids healthy snacks but we often forget about feeding ourselves!

  • Start laying down on the floor with your legs extended.
  • Take a moment to just relax and do nothing.
  • Hug your right knee in towards your chest and take your leg towards the left.
  • Keep your shoulder blades on the floor and extend your arms out into a “t” shape, palms up.
  • Gaze towards the right hand and close your eyes.
  • Take a few breaths here to lengthen out the right side of your waist and nourish the ascending colon.
  • Inhale to come back to center, using your abdominals and release the right leg down.
  • Take a moment to notice the difference between the right and left sides of your body.
  • Repeat on the other side.

5. Legs Up the Wall (with or without the wall)

Try this restorative posture, especially if you have been on your feet all day. Use a block, bolster or pillow for support. This pose is a passive variation of Shoulderstand. (avoid during menstruation)

  • Start by laying down on the floor with your legs bent, feet on the floor.
  • Take your prop and place it underneath your sacrum. (make sure that it is comfortable there. If not, remove the prop and continue without it)
  • Hug one knee in towards your chest and then the other.
  • Extend your legs up towards the sky without engaging your abdominals, legs or toes.
  • Keep the back of your neck relaxed and avoid turning your neck.
  • Keep the gaze towards your toes and breath.
  • Stay for about 5 minutes.
  • Come out slowly by bending one leg, then the other and placing the feet back down to the earth.
  • Lift your hips and remove the prop.

For all these postures, make sure that they are comfortable and relaxing. They are here to support your busy life as a mommy!

Today’s giveaway: For one lucky Vancouver Mom, Chopra Yoga is offering you a free month of yoga! Simply comment on this post and for extra entries ‘like’ them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter (tell me you’ve done this!) This is an amazing giveway – their classes include hiphop yoga, yoga barre, pilates and hatha. What a great belated Mother’s Day gift! 

Congrats to Tracey who won last week’s giveaway of a family pass for Vancouver’s International Children’s Festival! 

image c/o spiritvoyage

Congrats to Zoe, the winner of this fantastic giveaway!


Tuesday’s giveaway: Free tickets!

Vancouver Mommies, have I got a treat for you today!

Not only does the upcoming Vancouver International Children’s Festival feature amazing films, but there will be a huuuuge array of activities for children of all ages!

I think the most popular activities in my household will be the facepainting, the soundscape and the twist and toddle area.

Today, I’m giving away a Family 4-Pack (valued at $24) of Site Activity Passes that can be used to access the world of art & music in 3 activity zones (this includes the World Youth Stage so there is live music & dancing, along with the arts activities). To win simply comment below as to which activity you and your family will most definitely take part in (for extra entries ‘like’ them on facebook and follow them on twitter, tell me you’ve done that!)The winner will be chosen randomly on May 24th, so keep an eye out for the announcement!

The Vancouver International Children’s Festival will be held at Granville Island from May 29th- June 3rd

The hours of the activities are as follows:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:30am to 2:30pm
Friday 9:30am to 6:30pm
Saturday 10:00am to 6:00pm
Sunday 10:00am to 4:00pm

Also: the winner of last week’s Lippy Girl giveaway is…. Sassy Assed Dianna! We’ll be in touch with you to get you your blush and lipstick soon! Congrats! 

images c/o the Vancouver International Children’s Festival site.

this contest is now closed

Tuesday’s giveaway: Pucker up Mommacup

Five things I love about Lippygirl

  1. They make organic, vegetarian, animal friendly beauty products that don’t contain any chemical preservatives
  2. The founder, Darcey Diehl is a Vancouver wonder-Mom who resides in Whistler  and was compelled to start Lippygirl during her pregnancy when concerned about what she was putting into her body in way of cosmetics. She’s even made a incredible video showing us how to make lipstick! (see below)
  3. They have cheeky names for their products eg. vexy vixen, home wrecker and gobsmacked!
  4. They are honest and give us a full list of their products ingredients.
  5. Their products actually work and make you look fabulous and feel good about yourself (not just your self-esteem) but that you’re actually caring for your body and the environment by using these products.

Oh and a bonus point: their price is just right! Lipsticks are priced at $15.50 and blush at $16.50. I say thank you and yes please!

You can be the fortunate winner of your own Lippygirl lipstick and blush of your choice! Simply visit Lippygirl and tell me what kind of colour you are (personally, I’m a ‘Sassy Ass’!!). For extra entries, ‘like’ Lippygirl on Facebook and follow them on twitter (tell me you’ve done this!)

This giveaway is now closed.

Tuesday’s review and giveaway: Let them make a mess

Eating for kids can – and should be a fun and often messy activity. On warm days, I tend to take my toddler’s shirt off him so he can make a bare-chested mess but in the cooler months a bib can often come in handy. I’ve tried the cotton bibs and I find that they are either too heavy around my guy’s neck or they are so messy after washes that I end up using them as dish cloths. My favourite bibs are the plastic, wipe-friendly bibs and if they have a little pouch to collect the crumbs, that’s an extra bonus point in my book.

I recently tried the J J Cole bibs. I love how they have stylish (very important) graphics (my son has the ‘white vroom’ one), how they’re easy to wipe down, have three adjustable snap closures and that they are pvc and phthalate free.  Plus they have my bonus points pocket.  Affordably priced at $7, eating in my house is most definitely fun – and allowably messy.

Giveaway! To win your own (or rather your kid’s) bib, comment under this post which is your preferred graphic and for extra entries ‘like’ JJ Cole on Facebook and follow them on twitter (tell me that you’ve done those things!)

Check out other cute toddlers at Very Busy Mama!

Photobucket

This giveaway is now closed.

The winner is… Nicole Hsu! Congrats Nicole!

Review and Giveaway: Sweet, snuggly dreams

My little ones LOVE their sleep. We have been blessed with two good sleepers: both of them slept through the night by three months and still both of them sleep 10-12 hours a night with no nightly wake-ups. Partly we thank God, their genes, the flexible but scheduled naps and bedtime routines we instilled but also I partially thank their swaddles and sleepsacks for providing them with a good nights sleep. I swaddled both of them until their arms wanted to stray free and then I moved them both to sleep sacks.

Why swaddles and sleep sacks? For the longest time I’ve had a huge fear of SIDS and would look over into the crib and check if my kids were breathing. Knowing that they were in safe made me feel a little better. According to the American SIDS institute,  the best way to reduce SIDS is ” a bare bed, meaning absolutely nothing in the bed but the baby, the clothing he’s wearing and a fitted sheet.” So if they are to have practically nothing in their bed, how do we keep our child warm and asleep? Enter the swaddles and sleep sacks. “Sleep sacks are really the first product that has come along that allows us to accomplish our goal of reducing SIDS rates,” says Laura Reno, director of public affairs for First Candle/SIDS Alliance. “We very strongly recommend sleep sacks.”

In steps Ali Foreman, a local (actually in my neighbouring suburb so very local!) Mom-entrepreneur who, like me was fearful of SIDS and wanted the best sleep safety for her son, so she started Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines, a proudly Canadian company that designs and manufactures swaddles and sleepsacks for children. Her products promise to be the “perfect blend of safety, comfort, style and convenience” and are designed with more features then any other sleep sack. 

I put these promises to test in my laboratory: aka #2′s nursery and I was really impressed. Sleepsacks I’ve had have either been made of thicker fabrics and I’ve been concerned about my son overheating or have been too easy for my son to kick off or escape from which has thus been less safe.

What I love about the sleep sack is that it is made of a super stretchy fabric so #2 was able to kick himself silly but not kick himself loose! The sack is also laden with zippers and snaps which may look complicated but in fact is designed to make our lives easier – for the late nights at friend’s places we can transfer him to his carseat still in his sleep sack and for the odd times he poops in the night, we can change his diaper, again, keeping him in his sleep sack. And of course, they meet my simply stylish requirements! Priced at $80CAD they are on the pricey side but for three years of sleep per child it is a good investment! It’s also an absolutely essential shower gift.

Today I’m giving away one of Sweet Dreams and Flying Machine’s swaddles that works as both a swaddle for young babies and a sleep sack for older babies. It’s priced at $40CAD and is a perfect item for your baby or a gift for a family or friend.

To win simply post a comment or for an extra entry “like” Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines on Facebook (tell me you did that!)

Sweet dreams for both you and your baby!
This competition is now closed
Congrats, the winner is Lisa KH!

Thursday latelies: Touch and Smell reviews and a giveaway!

Don’t forget to comment to win 2 lipsticks from Make Up Forever!

*Only Canadian entries

Congrats to Amanda, the winner of the lipsticks, hope they’ll brighten up your day!

The contest is closed.

One

Darling readers, well we made it. One year of Simply Stylish Mom. I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone. It all started with my husband’s conference and when he arrived back I hit him with the news: I need a change, I’ve started a blog. The poor guy.

My first month consisted with lots of posts (to get the blogging bug out of my system): beautiful Moms, favourite charities, one of my favourite things to do, style articles (leather leggings, Spring trends, Mommy shoes,  Vancouver posts (things to do during Spring Break, sales and swapmeets), my first review and reminders that I’m indeed a parent (here, here & here).

April was full of firsts: royal wedding fever (and also weddings for that matter), Mother’s Day gift ideas, my first interviewMidi skirt love and my first giveaway.

The summer months consisted of my first events I attended as a blogger, my first outfit posts (these make me laugh out loud!) summer style posts (white jeans, maxis, colour blocking),  plus a few gems (I love this post).

In the Fall, I started doing Thursday latelies, videos where I documented the little things in life, more personal moments and my Fall/Winter 30 for 30 and the beginning of my maternity posts for my pregnant readers!


 2012 marked some noticeable changes such as more serious articles, professional photos (thanks Meg!) I’ve really enjoyed writing this blog and what has come out of being a blogger – aside from all the wonderful events I get to go to, I’ve loved meeting and getting to know some incredible, creative and inspiring people in North America. I hope to continue growing Simplystylishmom over the next year or so. As all Oscar’s speeches go, I have so many people to thank: my wonderful readers, my loving friends and family for their ideas, input and criticism, my little boys for their love and laughter and most of all to my greatest fan: my husband. Without his patience, positive reinforcement and flexibility I couldn’t have put so much time and effort into SSM and to this I’m so grateful. The only downsides I’ve found from writing a blog have been spending so much time on the computer and less time with my boys and cleaning my house. In this vein the second year of SSM will be marked with more family time, less computer time (thus perhaps less posts, sorry!!) and a greater effort in green living.

To kick off my new blog year’s resolution and as a thank you for your continued support, I’m offering a giveaway today! You’ll win a Green Works gift pack (includes all-purpose cleaner,  bathroom cleaner, glass and surface cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, dishwashing cleaner (original), dishwashing cleaner(water lily) & biodegradable cleaning wipes). To win this simply share what your favourite Green Works® product is.

And once again, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!!

xxo, SSM

Conditions: This giveaway runs from March 26th to April 14th, 2012, and is open to Canadian residents only. You may enter may enter this giveaway across multiple blogs, but may only win one prize. 

The winner is Coleen! Congrats! 

Winners!

Thanks to all the wonderful ladies who entered my United Styles “design and win your own dress” giveaway! There were so many beautiful designs, I really had a difficult time picking my favourite. But as every judge says, one stood out and caught my eye from the very beginning…

So, in second place with a gorgeous yellow “Tokyo” dress that I’d love to see worn this summer, is Ilse:

Congrats Ilse, you win the $30 coupon for your own United Styles dress (with free shipping)

And in first place, drum roll please…. is Carlissa with her classic polkadot “Paris” dress! I love the design of this dress and can see it being worn year round.

Well done Carlissa: you’ve won yourself a free United Styles dress!

Again, thank you for entering this giveaway, I was so impressed with all the designs. Don’t forget to check out United Styles and have fun playing designer! 

xxo, SSM