Ripe with Stripes

I’ve decided this stripey top is definitely the most versatile item on my 30 for 30 list. I am enjoying wearing it with everything and it’s so darn snuggly. This was definitely an inside, bake muffins, set up tent in the living room, read and snuggle together on the couch day.

Sweater: H&M, Stripey top: Thrifted H&M, Jeans: Thrifted BDG, Boots: Ariat (via Laws of General Economy), Belt: Aussie boutique (old), Necklace: Swapped

Sunday shopping: Give me some Sexy Summer Momma

Hey Moms, do you often feel that ‘sexy’ is the last word you would ever use to describe yourself at the moment? I do. I’d describe me as ‘practical’, ‘organised’, ‘efficient’ even ‘stylish’… but definitely not ‘sexy’. Well who says we can’t feel or be sexy after having kids? No one. And I know our hubbies still think we’re sexy – so that’s at least one person in the world. Thankfully some brands are offering us sexiness at little cost (under $50!) and infuse some practical summer features into the mix. Recently when virtual window shopping I came across the Victoria’s Secret sale and thought – wow, these girls are sexy – but not skanky, I think I could actually wear that and look somewhat-sexy myself. What do you think? (and just quietly I pretty much crush on every Victoria’s model out there – they are sooo gorgeous!!)

Monday Musings about Mother’s Day..

This is the time of the year when I really miss my Mom! My darling Mom lives about 13,000kms away from me…it’s far too far. My Monday musings are dedicated to those of which we love and honour most in our lives…our Moms! 

 To My Mother 

For all the times you gently picked me up,
When I fell down,
For all the times you tied my shoes
And tucked me into bed,
Or needed something
But put me first instead.
For everything we shared,
The dreams, the laughter,
And the tears,
I love you with a “Special Love”
That deepens every year. 
Author Unknown 

 

When I see like this i wish i was crafty…see more.

 

 Got Craft?

An Indie Mom? Love freshly made crafts? Here’s a treat for Mother’s Day: pack up the kids (or better still leave them with Dad!)  and head to Got Craft? – Vancouver’s biggest Indie craft fair at Commercial Drive on Sunday 8th May (10am-5pm). My picks for amazing pieces at great deals are Bueno Style, Firefly and Comiditas.

 

 Free Udder Covers (Pay Shipping)

BargainMoose has offered a wonderful deal this week perfect for new Moms who are having trouble with private nursing in public!! I know – I’ve been there! Udder Covers makes some simply stylish nursing covers perfect to fold and pack away – to use when you’re out and about with your newborn. You get a free nursing cover – all you do is pay for shipping! 

mydailystyle.com

 theyallhateus.com

Don’t you feel you are constantly spending your day putting on shoes? i do… 

Don’t you love Maya Rudolph? I think she is one of the most beautiful celeb Moms. Aside from her gorgeous name, stunning face and fantastic acting skills (LOVE her in ‘Away with Go’ with my other favourite actor John Kransinski), she is simply stylish and is pregnant with her third child (already has Pearl, 5 and Lucille, 2).

As much as i would die for a daughter. i love my boys. our house constantly smells of toots (ew) and i am forever washing dirty clothes. but i love how honest my boys are and how they are constantly energetic, enthusiastic and full of life and a great attitude. they make me so happy! AND dressing them is so fun too!

 

eatdrinkchic.com

 

 

Sugar and spice
and everything nice
that’s what little girls are made of

Sunshine and rainbows
and ribbons for hair bows
that’s what little girls are made of

Tea parties, laces
and baby doll faces
that’s what little girls are made of

 Old School -Antique style girls stationary set

 another chic gift for your Mom… stationery set made by Winnipeg artist InspiredPaperProduct. Love the vintage look. 

 

 Off to be a Mom… enjoy your rainy Monday (Vancouver friends)

 

xxo, SimplystylishMom

 

P.S don’t forget to to enter to win my 2 giveaways!

 

 

 

 

Saturday’s shmoozings with…

Fit 4 Two instructor Dee Clarke. I attended one of Dee’s baby-free bootcamps on Vancouver’s westside and oh-my-goodness, what an incredible workout! A group of Moms sweating it out together, laughing about our latest crazy-kid-moment and enjoying the joint goal of kicking that post-baby weight. I can highly recommend one of Dee’s classes. She is warm, enthusiastic and driven and cares about each one of her Mom’s in her classes. She creates fun and stimulating classes and is passionate about exercising. I was dying to know more about Dee, so here’s my interview with her.

SSM: What inspired you to join Fit4Two?

Dee: I was working as a doula and a parenting worker with Family Services before I went on maternity leave.  Like many women, having a baby made me reprioritize my life.  I couldn’t imagine leaving my baby to return to a job I that did not find fulfilling.  While I enjoyed working with new and expecting families, I didn’t enjoy the type of work I was doing.  I had a very active and wonderful pregnancy and had been a health nut for quite a few years.  Fit 4 Two seemed like the perfect way for me to have a career in health and fitness and while continuing to work with the birthing population.

SSM: How is Fit4Two any different to other fitness options?

Dee: Fit 4 Two postnatal classes are Baby-Friendly which means you can do whatever you need to do to keep your baby happy throughout the class.  You can feel free to feed, change a diaper, cuddle, sing songs, etc. during the class.  We encourage moms to listen to baby’s cues and attend to them as they come up.  I try to be helpful as much as possible if there is a baby who just wants to be cuddled.  I consider this one of the perks of my job. We offer tons of modifications to exercises so that women of all fitness levels, all trimesters (for prenatal), all stages of postpartum and all degrees of sleep deprivation can get a work out that is safe and effective. Many of our participants have issues with their wrists, pelvic floor,
abdominal separation and need modifications or alternative exercises.  We make sure there are plenty of options and progressions for everyone.  We spend a considerable amount of time in our prenatal and mom and baby type classes talking about the core and how important it is to strengthen from the inside out.  Cues like “Lift your pelvic floor”,  “Squeeze your pee muscles” or “Imagine picking up a marble using just your vagina” are not typically heard in other fitness classes! Probably the biggest difference is the sense of community and camaraderie women experience in our classes.  I have many clients from a few years ago who still keep in touch with the girls from their stroller bootcamp class.  They celebrate birthdays together, spend holidays together, etc.  Really special bonds are formed

while sweating it out. I had one participant recently tell me that whenever she is away from class and then comes back, she feels like she has come home.  That says a lot.

SSM: As a simplystylishmom, what is your personal style?

Dee: Honestly, I am a work in progress!  I am still learning what looks best for my body type.  I try to accentuate the parts of my body I like and minimize what I don’t.   When I’m not teaching in my sweats, mostly I’m a jeans and boots kind of girl.  I like funky, fitted clothes that I can comfortably move in.  I have to tell you how excited I am to be attending a Yummy Mummy fashion bootcamp next week. I’m looking forward to getting a professional opinion.

SSM: What are your key wardrobe items?

Dee: Figure flattering dark wash jeans and a great pair of boots.

SSM: Tell me about your diet and exercise regime.

Dee: I’ve been a vegetarian for about 22 years now.  I’m a pretty good cook and have fun experimenting in the kitchen.  I love whole grains and veggies and discovering new (and sometimes sneaky) ways to serve them to my family.  I avoid white flour, white sugar, white rice and processed foods.  Lately I’ve been addicted to steamed kale and broccolini with garlic chili flax oil and a splash of Braggs.  Yum!  I’m not entirely a “goody-goody” eater as my sister-in-law likes to call me, but I do crave foods that are good for me. I get a mini workout in every time I teach, but I try at least few times a week to get in a full-body workout on my own where I really push myself.   I’m usually pressed for time, so I do a lot of compound moves to work upper and lower body at the same time (eg. squat with shoulder press) , or do full-body exercises like burpees.  I like short but intense workouts for their time efficiency and results. My son keeps me active too.  As a big hockey fan he always wants me to take shots at him, or for me to play goalie.  That can really work up a sweat!  We go hiking and biking a lot as a family on weekends and holidays.

SSM: Any final words of wisdom for my readers?

Dee: It’s important to make time for yourself and to pursue your own health and fitness goals.  Find something you enjoy.  It could be bootcamp, snowshoeing, yoga, Zumba…whatever.  Move your body and it will thank you for it.  It’s never too late to start.  I was a late bloomer and can honestly say that the older I get the better shape I’m in.  Your kids need you to be a healthy active parent.   Besides, it’s much more fun than sitting on the sidelines.

Dee has kindly extended a giveaway to SSM readers: if you would like to try a FREE Fit 4 Two Pre and Postnatal Fitness class on the Westside contact dee@fit4two or check out www.fit4two.ca to find a franchisee in your area.

images courtesy of fit4two.ca


A secret, steal and deal: Vancouver’s best cafe for kids!

Ever need a place to catch up with your fellow Mommy friends? A place where your kids can play safely and happily and you can enjoy excellent coffee and delicious, fresh treats? Or for those lucky enough to be ‘WINK’ (without incredibly noisy kid), a quiet place to work and read while sipping on your $2.50 (everyday!) latte? Enter Kokopelli Cafe.

Kokopelli Cafe: Kid Friendly Coffee in Vancouver’s Dunbar Neighbourhood

Nestled amongst the Dunbar shopping strip, across from Stongs market is this fantastic cafe. Entry is through very stroller friendly wiiiide doors and the cafe is designed strategically so that there is a space at the front for those WINK’s to have their coffee peacefully and the back section is for noisy families and – get this – has an incredible play area for kids plus a big washroom with a child-height sink. Aside from the local coffee (http://cuppajoe.com) are delicious baked treats like the apple granola muffin ($2.50) and plenty of comfort food such as Macaroni & Cheese, kid portions available of course, with baby carrots on the side!

Jessica Hotz and her friends opened Kokopelli cafe (www.kokopellicafe.ca)  in 2003 simply for Moms to get-together, have coffee with their friends while their kids play nearby. As Moms themselves they understand the importance of home-cooked, kid-friendly foods. So, all their food is cooked on premises (they’re in there at 5am!) and not only do they offer snacks and lunches to eat-in, they also have a take out freezer stocked with meals to go such as chili, lasagne, quiche as well as unbaked frozen treats that you’ve already sampled in store  . A favourite is Chicken Pot Pie, perfect to grab on the way home from a busy day and way more nutritious than pizza?! Additionally they make their own home-made granola which is sold locally in 6 stores and they even design and make birthday cakes. Woah! These busy ladies run a thriving business and you can feel the energy and buzz in this cafe where your kids are free to run happily around without receiving any judgmental stares from other customers. I highly encourage you to check this gem out!

 Kokopelli Granola.JPG

And there my reader is my Vancouver secret for the week and as a treat to my Vancouver based readers  the first 10 of you to comment on this post win a free coffee/tea with any purchase of a muffin or scone this month!

xxoo, SimplystylishMom

  

 Photos courtesy of Kokopelli cafe and VancouverMom

  

Spring 2011 Trends…the mommy version


The Maxi Dress This year it’s all about the sheer maxi dress. Really. Well that’ll look good at preschool pick-up. Hmm. Never fear Momma, I have searched high and low for the perfect Momma maxi dresses and here’s a few i heart.

Ardisia Maxi Dress, Anthropologie.com

Bec & Bridge escape maxi dress, thegrandsocial.com.au

H&M maxi dress

Lace & Crochet

Nothing new here. We’ve seen this trend happening for awhile – and like the sheer trend sometimes not so easy nor practical to do. My feeling is best to wear small amounts – a lace blouse, a lace detail on a skirt and work from there depending on how you feel. 

The White Shirt

An extremely versatile and practical piece, the white shirt allows you to add elegance to a variety of outfits. It can be casual and requires a lack of effort to put on, leaving you a simply, stylish Momma!


Preppy Cardigan

ok i love this one! Get yourself an old-school cardigan (easily found at any thrift store or market)/ This is a truely versatile item and perfect for Moms to throw on when running out the door. Have fun mixing and matching. Wear it with your white shirt and a pair of denim shorts or to be more feminine, a skirt and sandals. And here goes my tribute to one of the best tv shows ever…

 

Denim
This trend is eternal! Ideally head-to-toe denim but if you’re like me that just doesn’t suit, so then, instead fill your closet with denim skirts, shirts, jackets and jeans.

Stripes
Vertical, horizontal, black & white, bright coloured… zebra it up ladies!
I’m looking forward to a great spring!
xxo, Simplystylishmom

Simple but stylish mom-friendly shoes

In Vancouver it rains. A lot. And when you have a couple of kids tucked under your arm you will go mad if you spend all day inside. So plop on some rainboots and embrace the wet! I absolutely LOVE Hunter boots. They are super durable and obviously waterproof but last longer than a lot of rainboots on the market at present. They come in a huge variety of colours and even in kid sizes. Originating in Scotland in the 1900′s Hunters were made for the flooded trenches of WWI. How things have changed? Now we are wearing them as fashion accessories!

If I am going to spend money on a pair of shoes/boots, they have to be a) good quality and b) they have to look stylish! Not that you’re going to be super stylish with rainboots but Hunters are as stylish as you can get. Celebrity moms embrace Hunter everwhere. You can purchase them in stores but I find you can get deals online – but do try them in store first as the sizes are a bit screwy.(OR YOU CAN WIN A PAIR HERE!!) 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My other favourite Mom shoes are TOMS. Founded in 2006 by American Blake Mycoskie wanting to help kids who have no shoes. TOMs promises to match every pair of shoes we purchase with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. 

So aside from the altruism, you are actually getting a pair of super-comfy, versatile shoes. I wear mine everywhere in every weather and they still look good. They come is so many styles, colours and patterns. Check it out at: www.toms.com

So next on my list are Converse Chuck Taylor All Star shoes. Again, like Hunters and Toms they come in so many colours and styles (notice my pattern here?!) plus they’re affordable and semi-comfortable. Ok, I cannot totally vouch for their comfort. They are great for running around outside with the kids but they are not a great all-day hike affair. LOVE Liv Tyler. She is just the funkiest Momma out there. Love matchy Mom and kiddo look as well. My boys and I totally support the matchy matchy look.

Lastly a word on shoes I DO NOT APPROVE of for the simplystylishMom. Can you guess it? Ugh UGGS! Yes, as a proud Australian I should be supporting our national shoe (apart from the thong known here as the flip-flop because we wouldn’t want people thinking we Australians spend our summer in wearing ‘thongs and not much else’ have made THAT mistake before) – ANYWAY – I think UGGS should NOT be worn out of the house. They are slippers ladies, things to wear at home, to mooch around the house with, when you’re sick, watching tv or if you HAVE to, on a plane (though TOMS are perfect for that also) but woe to you Mommas who walk out of the house in your UGGS. ok rant is over. Happy Saturday!