This giveaway is for all you mamas of littles and mamas to be out there! I’m excited to have teamed up with The Handpicked Home to spoil one lucky winner with a nursery prize package worth more than $300! Most of the items included in this giveaway are available in shop, so if you see a brand or product you love, find them online and pop by the shop to check them out in person. View Post
Every Spring as the weather is getting warmer I start to get everything organized for the heat of the Summer- water shoes and sandals, hats, beach essentials, swim suits… and sunscreen. And each year I try to find a natural option that isn’t loaded with chemicals while keeping my family from turning into lobsters (no olive skin/ 5 minutes to bronzed over here, we fair- skinned folks have to build up a tan over a looooong time). There seem to be some general things to look out for, some questionable, and some that you want for sun protection. As I did the research for this post I tried to simplify the information and make recommendations based on what I found* (I’ve also included the sources that I referred to at the end of the post so you can do some research for yourself if you wish). It’s sometimes hard to find quality options in grocery stores, so all of the options below are ones that you can easily find online (you can also find them in natural/ health food stores). See some of the good and bad things to look for in sunscreens and a few suggestions to try this Summer below- just add sun!
For more natural sunscreen options available online check out Well.ca and Amazon– if you’re unsure about some of the products you find, Google search them by name and you should be able to find their ingredients listed along with information about how they really measure up (that’s how I discovered one of my old go- tos wasn’t as good as I thought).
One other thing I learned while researching the sunscreens to include in this post: if you like sunscreens in spray form (ie in an aerosol/ pressurized can), look closely at the ingredients, as they may not be cause for concern when applied to the skin, but inhaling them has it’s own set of concerns (this article was informative on this topic). This opens up a whole ‘nother can of worms, so I didn’t include any aerosol suggestions, just a cream that you can spray on without it becoming a mist).
* Please note that these recommendations are based on research and information I found online. I am not making medical or scientific recommendations, and as with any skincare product if in doubt, apply a small amount to a test area prior to use.
This year got off to a great start and announcing the rebrand from The Pampered Baby to OHP has been a big part of that. After more than 3 years of blogging, I couldn’t let this milestone pass without something to mark the occasion.
So to CELEBRATE I’m hosting one helluva a giveaway! There’s MORE THAN $950 in goodies up for grabs, and there’s something for everyone: ladies, guys, and of course kids! Want to see what you could win??? See below for the amazing brands who’ve teamed up to help me celebrate & scroll to the bottom to enter- there are separate entry forms for each category (ladies, guys & kids). PLUS there will be bonus entries announced on social media throughout the giveaway, so keep an eye out for those!
THANK YOU to everyone who joined in the festivities & contributed to this giveaway!
A little random fact about the younger of my two little blondies: at 19 months, Liam still isn’t walking unassisted. It’s just in the past few weeks that he’s started taking his first steps by himself and the laughter and smiles we get are pricless as he gets more and more confident. And as much as I’ll be glad when he’s walking- this boy takes his sweet time!- I know I’m in for it big time when he’s running around. He’s already getting into mischeif Ari never did and I can only imagine what he’s going to think up; this mama won’t be sitting still!
With him learning to walk, having good footwear for him has been a focus. I wanted some shoes with hard soles for the cold and wet weather ahead, but also some with softer soles that would help his feet adjust to walking, helping him grip the floor/ ground. Shoes with leather or suede soles are perfect for this and when I had the chance to try out a cute pair from Aston Baby, the timing couldn’t have been better.
These shoes are made with a leather upper and suede sole with a velcro closure to keep little ones from pulling their shoes off (and of course Liam loves to do this!). Made for babies 0- 18 month old in mind, they were designed with 3mm semi- soft suede for the sole to protect little toes and make them slip- resistant (another importnat thing to consider when looking for shoes for little ones taking their first steps). As with the other products Aston Baby carries, these shoes combine classic and modern style and are built to last. I picked out the navy pair for Liam (these are available in 4 colours) since I thought they would be perfect for his Fall and Winter outfits, and so far they’ve survived my little guy putting them to the test. Scroll to the end of this post for product details.
– leather upper with semi- soft 3mm suede sole
– faux- buckle velcro closure
– classic t- bar design
– available in 4 colours: navy, mustard, red, and white
If you’re looking for a pair of baby shoes to help your little one take their first steps, or the perfect baby shower gift, visit the Aston Baby website to see all four colours these shoes are available in and make sure to check out their other items including baby gifts & gift bundles.
OK parents, hands up how many of you are always looking for snack ideas for your kids? No matter if it’s for at home or you’re packing them up to go to school/ daycare/ grandma’s, sometime you just need something quick to grab (I know I did this morning with Liam- the kid doesn’t stop eating!). If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you know that dietary restrictions and food sensitivities have had a big influence on what we eat, just like many other families. It can make things interesting for parents trying to navigate what their kids need to thrive and can limit food/ snack options, among other unique challenges that arise when your kids can’t eat certain foods (‘they have it, why can’t I?’). Allergies/ sensitivities have become a major conversation as they seem to become more common, and it can be hard as a parent to know what to do- scary, even, if your child has a severe allergy- and sometimes it really comes down to trusting your gut instinct.
As of the beginning of September we started re- introducing foods back into Ari’s diet after more than a year and a half of her going without things like dairy, peanuts, and almonds. Her stomach and digestion had been doing much better, so it came time to try some of the foods we’d been keeping out of her diet. Knock on wood, so far, so good. Going dairy and gluten free had the biggest impact on our family, so I tended not to talk about certain other foods, like nuts, that we also removed from her diet, but I know this is another common allergy/ sensitivity. I’m not going to pretend to understand all the finer details of allergies/ sensitivities, but when removing food from her diet I also learned how sensitive someone can become if they’re never exposed to that allergen again; the body may develop a stronger reaction when it’s not exposed to something for a long time, and peanuts/ almonds had me a little nervous when it came time to give them to her again. Luckily, we didn’t have a problem, but it reminded me of the nerves that come with introducing foods to a baby for the first time- it’s exciting, but you’re also nervous to see if/ how they react.
Now that she’s eating almost everything again (she’ll stay gluten free for the foreseeable future), it’s been fun trying foods and snacks that she wasn’t able to have before now. I know that foods like nuts, eggs, wheat, and milk can be biggies when it comes to allergies, but I’ve also learnt that completely avoiding them may not be the answer either, especially when it comes to introducing babies to foods that are common allergens (again, things like nuts, egg, wheat, milk, etc). This is a tough area for a parent to figure out, and I know our family sure has had some interesting experiences when it comes to food. But that doesn’t mean you have to be scared to try foods with your kids/ babies. There are now studies showing that introducing rather than avoiding common allergens can help children grow up without allergies to foods like peanuts (I know this might sound counter- intuitive/ confusing). But by speaking with your paediatrician or family doctor/ naturopath, you might find out that you’re able to give your child certain foods, even if you have concerns and/ or a family history of food allergies (please know I’m not trying to give medical advice, just a friendly suggestion as Mom who’s gone through a lot with her own kid’s health). And if you’re a parent with a baby about to start solids or just looking for some tasty snacks for your kids, it’s good to know what options are available.
In the past I’ve shared about some of the snacks we’ve tried (convenience always seemed to be my biggest challenge when it came to gluten/ dairy free ideas), and we’ve recently been enjoying trying out Cheeky Monkey’s Peanut Butter Puffs with the kids. These were actually the first peanut- containing food that we gave Ari since adjusting her diet, and they were a hit with both her and Liam. Sure, I was nervous, but I also knew we had to see how she’d do; she was never diagnosed with a severe allergy, just a strong sensitivity so I was cautiously optimistic that she’d be fine with them (and she was, yay!).
I understand that peanuts pose an interesting challenge when it comes to packing lunches for school/ daycare, but I love having these as an option when we’re at home or on a play date with friends, and even for taking to visit the grandparents. Both kids love them- who doesn’t love puffy snacks?- and I like the attention to the quality of ingredients (they’re 100% organic and non- GMO, and gluten free for starters). As we enter this new foodie phase in our house, I appreciate that fun snacks like this exist and that it’s a convenient option I now have that isn’t loaded with added sugars, weird ingredients, or preservatives. Somedays you just need something quick and easy, and these check all the boxes in my books.
What I love about them:
– 100% organic & non- GMO ingredients
– gluten free
– no added sugars
– high protein
– baked, not fried
– no flavour extracts or trans fats
– no chemicals/ preservatives
If you want to find out more about introducing the ‘Big Eight’ foods known to cause allergies to your kids, check out this website for more helpful info. I know this can be a hot topic, so I’d love to hear how you handle(d) food allergies/ sensitivities with your kids. If you’re curious about Cheeky Monkey & trying their snacks with your kids, visit their website to learn more.
…And speaking of trying out these tasty snacks with your kids- Scroll to the end of this post to enter to win a case of Cheeky Monkey Peanut Butter Puffs (12 bags) for your kids! Nom nom, happy snacking!