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.
Shampoo + body wash, conditioner, and face + body lotion from The Honest Company
Now to get in some entries!
To enter: Follow Our Happy Place and The Handpicked Home on Instagram and like the giveaway image (the one seen at the beginning of this post) + tag 3 friends who you think would love to win. Comment ‘done’ so we can see who’s entered. We will both be posting this giveaway on our Instagram accounts so that equals 2 chances to enter!
Bonus entries: see the contest widget below for bonus entries + earn a bonus entry for every $100 you spend in shop during this giveaway.
Contest closes at midnight PST on October 24, 2017
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!
OK hands up, whose kid’s rooms are better decorated than their own?! Haha I know that’s true in my house!!! And while we’re being honest here, it isn’t hard to get carried away with all the cute everything you can decorate with nowadays. And that goes for everything from furniture to accessories and finishing touches- and now thanks to Playtex, it also applies to your diaper disposal system!
Meet the Diaper Genie Expressions system: all the features you know and love about the #1 selling diaper disposal system in North America along with customizable covers to help it suit your nursery style! You can keep the Diaper Genie Expressions in neutral white or pick from one of the designer sleeves (sold separately) to make it as eye- catching as it is functional. A diaper pail that locks in odour and germs and looks cute while doing it? YES PLEASE! Plus it’s simple to pull the sleeves over the pail in just 3 easy steps (see how easy it is in the video!):
1. Pull down the fabric on the pail with the inner tag towards the bottom
2. Push the fabric into the top slot
3. Pull the fabric down and insert into the bottom
How cool is that?! And guess what??? I’ve got the chance for 10 readers to try out the Diaper Genie Expressions system with all 5 sleeves plus have the chance to win a $100 gift card to Babies R Us! In return all you have to do is publish a review on the Babies R Us website!
Want in? Here’s how:
Send me an email to kpetrunia@hotmail that includes:
— Your name
— Mailing address
— Preferred email address for contact purposes
In return all you have to do is:
– Try out the Diaper Genie Expressions system along with the different sleeves
– Write a review on the Babies R’ Us website and send me the link to your review by October 19, 2016
That’s it! Then you’ll be entered for a 1 in 10 chance to win a $100 gift card from Babies R’ Us!
More about the Diaper Genie Expressions system:
– all the odour control found with all Diaper Genie systems
– easy operation
– Push N’ Lock clamp system to lock in odour
– disposal bags made with 7 layers to lock in germs and odours
– holds up to 50 newborn diapers so you won’t have to change refills often
Retails for $34.99 and individual sleeves for $12.99. Available exclusively at Babies R Us October 1, 2016 and coming to Amazon.ca January 1, 2017.
To see my other post with Diaper Genie, click here.
Disclosure: I received product and compensation in exchange for this blog post. The review and opinions are my own.
First- who doesn’t hear Will Arnett’s voice from the LEGO movie when you hear the words ‘I’m Batman’? Just sayin’. I couldn’t resist having a little fun with the title of this post! 😉
There are lots of milestones when it comes to kids, from the first birthday, first tooth, and first word to other, smaller ones that still mark a special moment in time- like that transition from bottles to ‘big kid’ cups. And with it that feeling that your baby isn’t such a baby anymore (insert crying eyes emoji). We’ve been giving our little dude cups for a while, and we recently made the leap to this more grown- up/ sporty style cup. He loves it, I love that it’s bigger and doesn’t leak, and can take the abuse of a semi- toddler.
Whether we’re eating at the table, playing in the backyard, or on the go, I like having cups, bowls, etc that are durable and don’t break/ crack. Bonus points for being spill/ leak proof too (especially with this messy little guy!). Both kids have grown up using Playtex cups (you can see the other cups and bottles we’ve used here and here) and so far they’ve survived the tantrums, throwing, and dropping that two rambunctious kids have put them through. Some days these cups put up with the kids better than I do!… insert wine joke. 😉
Ari wasn’t too challenging when it came to getting her to drink water, but it took a bit more effort with Liam. Now that he drinks it no problem- and especially with the heat of the Summer- I take water with us everywhere (I’ve even stolen sips from theirs when I’ve run out! 😉 ) and this sports- style cup is getting well- used. It’s insulated so it keeps the water cool, which I appreciate when it’s a hot day, and like the other cups from Playtex we have, it’s easy to clean- just pop everything in the dishwasher- and has seen it’s share of abuse in the short time we’ve had it. I’ve even forgotten to put the straw in it once or twice and Liam can still drink from it spill free by tipping it. Yay for Mom- brain- proof products!
Even though the kids aren’t heading to preschool or kindergarten just yet, I think these cups would be great to pop into backpacks and come in a variety of cute designs (including Superman- not going to lie, I had a hard time choosing for Liam but the LEGO movie helped me decide, even if it was just because I could hear Will Arnett’s voice in my head when I saw it- lol the things that make me laugh these days…). Playtex has served our family well with it’s variety of cups that grow as your kids do, and it’s been fun picking out things for Liam that aren’t hand- me- downs from his big sister, including his new Batman cup.
Check out below for some photos of my little product tester and for more info on Playtex’s Sipsters® Starter Cups.
Stage 1- for age 4 months+; 6 oz
Stage 2- for age 9 months+; 9 oz
Stage 3- for ages 12 months+; 9 oz
Stage 4- for ages 24 months+; 12 oz
Available with different lids: spout, straw, spoutless, and sport (like the one we have)
Variety of designs featuring favourite characters including My Little Pony, Superman, Batman, and Thomas & Friends
Available at major retailers across Canada including Amazon.ca and Toys R Us for a suggested retail price between $5.99 to $10.99.
More About Playtex Sipsters® Starter Cups
The Playtex Sipsters® Starter Cups were created with your child in mind and their ergonomic design makes it easy for those little hands to hold onto. The cups come in four stages, starting at 4 months to 24 months and up, to meet your baby’s needs as he or she grows. To ensure that your little one can enjoy play time and stay hydrated without any spills, the cups are 100% spill-proof, leak-proof and break-proof. Stage 3 and 4 cups are also available in all new designs, including Batman, Superman, My Little Pony and Thomas the Tank Engine, so your child can take their favourite characters with them wherever they go.
Playtex Baby Canada is now on YouTube! Subscribe and take a look at what kids have to say about their videos here.
Disclosure: I received compensation and product in return for this blog post and review. All opinions are my own.
Last week one of my favourite local kid’s clothing brands turned 1, and to celebrate founder/ lady boss Angela threw one heck of a bash. There was shopping, treats (delish coffee served up by Jack Coffee, and popcorn from The Popcorn Bar to name a few) epic swag bags, a raffle benefitting The Joy Smith Foundation, and so much more. In the invite she called it a ‘Shop + Celebrate’ event, and I’d say she knocked it out of the park on both counts.
In case you’re not familiar, KEWE Clothing offers up locally made organic and bamboo clothing for kids that are as comfortable as they are adorable (I really wish the ombre leggings came in my size!). The fabrics are printed in small batches using water based inks so they’re safe and gentle against littles’ skin and eco- friendly without comprising on quality. The prints are fun and the quality of the fabric means they can handle whatever their little customers put them through.
The #KEWEBirthdayBash took place at Montrose + George General Store, with all sorts of goodies and a raffle for a gift basket loaded with items from local artisans curated by Pacific Basket Company, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting The Joy Smith Foundation, an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking (it’s sadly one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises globally and a very worthy cause- kudos Angela for helping bring more attention to this great organization). There’s a lot of hard work and heart that goes into running a business, and Angela makes it look easy. Congrats to Angela on all of her well- deserved success and to everyone who helped her make her celebration so special (see the end of the post for all the locals who were involved).
Sidenote: As Codi (aka Creative Wife and Joyful Worker/ co- host of the event) snapped this shot, she happened to mention potty- related activities and the look on my face is the result. Sometimes I think the candid shots are the best and I just might have to print this one. 😉
So let’s take a quick sec and talk about those swag bags! They’re a fun bonus from an event like this, and I appreciate the treats inside contributed by the amazing sponsors. By far one of the best bags of goodies I’ve been treated to, with some of my favourite local businesses like Bebe De Luxe and From the Seeds (see the full list of sponsors below). Let’s just say that popcorn from The Popcorn Bar and gourmet marshmallows by Marsh & Mallow were devoured as soon as I took this photo…
If you’re on the hunt for some new threads for your kids or need to pick up something as a gift, check out all that KEWE has to offer on their website and find them on social media: Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest.
Who else has been loving this amazing warm Spring we’ve been having? It’s been fun getting outside more and two of my favourite things to do during the warmer months are picnics and beach days. On days when the kids get restless or are grumpy, having the option to take them outside without layering up can help make the day go more smoothly. Everyone is usually in a much better mood after we’ve had some fresh air and sunshine and we’ve got some great parks nearby that Ari loves.
I’ve shared some of my on- the- go must haves before and I always try to keep a bag packed with things like wipes, snacks, blankets, sunscreen, etc to save time getting out the door (I swear it sometimes takes longer to get ready than it does to actually do whatever it is we’re doing!). Liam is currently in the drop/ push everything off the highchair phase, so basically anytime I give him something, he tosses it to see what happens (usually followed by a cheeky smile or a fit of giggles, so it’s hard to resist playing along). Pair this with the general forgetfulness of mombrain and there’s a good chance something will get behind (how often do you get home and realize something’s missing?).
To help wrangle some of the things I pack up to go, I’ve been testing out some items from HNY Baby including their Sippy Strap– an adjustable strap that fits around bottles/ cups and clips to highchairs, carseats, bags, etc- and the Toy Along– similar to the Sippy Strap, but for wrangling toys- and I love how handyand multi- purpose they are (you’ll also see Liam rockin’ one of their super soft bandana bibs in this post). Below are some photos of one of our recent picnics at Annieville Park in Delta where we put them to the test- scroll to the end of the post for some more info on HNY Baby and the products we’ve tried from them, and what I like about them.
Sippy Straps– These are compatible with all sippy cups and bottles. All you have to do is squeeze the release button to adjust the strap on one end (made from a non- slip fabric so it stays in place) and clip the other end onto a secure object (also adjustable- I think this would be perfect for older kids with water bottles and backpacks). I love that these make toting drinks easier and harder to lose. If you run out of space in your bag, just zip one of these around the strap and hang the cup.
Toy Along– These straps have two adjustable lengths with snaps so you can fasten one end around a toy and the other around a car seat, highchair, or bag like I did. Even though they’re designed for toys I could see these having a lot of other uses.
Trip Clips– These are super handy. These are adjustable straps with clips at each end, so you can do pretty much anything you want with them: turn a receiving blanket into a nursing or carseat cover, wrap up wet beach clothes in a towel and use as a handle, or turn a branch into a tent/ sun shield like what we did; I also like the idea of using them to attach mittens together for the Winter. The options are endless and something you’ll always find a use for
What are your must haves for getting out the door with kids?
Thank you to HNY Baby on collaborating on this post!
Help wrangle everything you need to get out the door with the kids- visit the HNY Baby website to see their full selection and order your favourites to have on hand this Summer.
I think there’s a lot of pressure on parents these days to throw the perfect birthday party. Don’t get me wrong, I love scrolling through Pinterest and getting party ideas, but I ultimately take what I see and try to narrow it down (I can’t imagine planning a wedding with Pintersest and Instagram now, birthdays are crazy enough!). With Liam’s first, I wanted to keep things simple but still pick a theme and have fun with it. I was determined to not overwhelm myself with DIYs and a never- ending list of ideas, which for the most part I think I succeeded at. I also kept the party smaller than I usually would have; even though I would have loved to invite a few more friends, keeping the guest count down helped the day go smoothly and kept the stress level low (it also kept the budget a little more manageable).
I went with a ‘True North’ theme so I could repurpose most of the decor in his room and for future use, in addition to using items I already had instead of splurging on a bunch of new things that I probably wouldn’t use again. While I love seeing styled dessert tables, I opted to bake him his cake myself and keep the sweets to a minimum. For better or worse, I pulled it off (you’ll see it below- I fondly referred to it as my ‘half- naked hot- mess cake’ and it still makes me laugh) and I honestly liked loved how imperfect it was. Again, my focus being on enjoying the process and the party itself, rather than getting hung up on the details. I still had moments of frustration when things didn’t go the way I hoped, and of course it’s challenging being the host of birthday parties, since it can be tough to enjoy the moment and the company as you’re running around. But overall it went well and I loved celebrating my little man’s first birthday. I still can’t believe the day has come and gone, but I loved how it rolled out, and I hope this is proof that a party doesn’t have to be perfectly styled to be perfect.
For favours I did a mini bean seed kit. Rather than send kids home with candy I gave them a cello bag with everything they needed to grow their own bean plant (just add dirt and water): In a seed pot I popped a bean in a smoothie straw that I’d cut in half, stapled at each end and covered in washi tape. I then had a friend bag them for me and tie them up with twine for a cute finishing touch (thanks again Bronwyn!)
I created a memory photo wall as a fun way to show how Liam has grown and changed over the past year. All this took was twine, washi tape, and paper clips. I picked some of my favourite photos and had them printed in squares for an Instagram- inspired photo wall.
For food I did a make- your- own sandwich station with poutine and a trail mix bar, plus lots of fruit and veggies for snacking. I bundled wooden cutlery with a napkin and a paper bag so guests could scoop their trail mix and nosh at the party or take it to go. And to avoid mixing up cups there were little canvas tags and a sharpie so everyone could keep track of their drinks.
… And then there was the cake. I was going for a naked cake, layers and all, and what I ended up with was this creation. I’m no Martha, but I tried and even though it’s not the prettiest thing, it tasted pretty good (and Liam liked it, which really is the most important thing I guess 😉 ). I used vanilla frosting and tossed on shredded coconut to try and redeem my efforts (I’m even laughing as I type this!). It was fun whipping up the sponge cakes and having the chance to bake it from scratch. I didn’t make it gluten/ dairy free just for a refreshing change and picked up some store- bought treats for Ari. I just didn’t think I’d have the time/ energy to make two versions of a cake and I’m glad that I opted to simplify the baking to one option.
… And if the birthday boy liked it, I guess that’s what really matters?!?! <3
I still laugh when I think about that cake, and the day really went well thanks to the help of Will, my Mum, and a few good friends lending a hand, so overall I’d say it was a success. I’ve been reminded recently of how easily we can get caught up in the details and miss out on the bigger picture and even if this party wasn’t styled up the wazoo, it was about celebrating this little human who has brought so much joy into our family and making some precious memories to look back on. Thanks to everyone who made his celebration so special, I’ll look back fondly on Liam’s first birthday because of those I got to share it with.