If you’ve been drooling over the chunky knit blankets all over Instagram and Pinterest, you’re not alone. I’ve been wanting to splurge on one for myself for a while, and when I saw this beauty by Leo & Bea at my friend Piya’s shop, The Handpicked Home, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. These blankets are gorgeous! And with Mother’s Day coming up it’s the perfect time to splurge on one for yourself or drop some hints to the hubby.
But before I gush about these beautiful blankets too much, I should also mention that the lady behind the business, Dani, is one inspiring lady. Not only has she drawn creative inspiration from her late Mother who was an art teacher, she’s also created a beautiful business out of a challenging experience. Instead of letting things get her down, she is full of energy and optimism which shines through (and why I gave this post the title I did). I am so grateful to have had the chance to work with Dani, and even more so as she has kindly offered up one of her beautiful blankets to giveaway to a blog reader.
When you scroll down to enter, I hope you’ll also take the time to read a little more about Dani and Leo & Bea (how she chose the name will tug at your heartstrings). My blanket from Leo & Bea is something special that I’d like to keep clean and free of stains (we all need something that is just our own, free from the evidence of crumbs and handprints kids leave everywhere) but I’m not going to let that stop me from enjoying lots of snuggles and cozying up with my loved ones in it, because life’s about the moments and memories more than anything else.
Here’s a little about Danielle and why you’ll fall even more in love with Leo & Bea
Danielle (or Dani as she likes to be called) lost both of her parents to Cancer, losing her Mom when she was 15 and her Dad when she was 25. Her Mom was an art teacher, and is the person who Dani draws inspiration from, helping her explore her new creative career. Originally from Nova Scotia, Dani moved to BC 15 years ago and taught herself to arm knit after being laid off from her career as an Optometric Technician, a position she’d help for 9 years. Instead of being discouraged, she took it as an opportunity to explore her creative side and created Leo & Bea, naming her business after her maternal grandparents, Leo and Beatrice. While she never knew her Nana, she has fond memories of her Grandfather who outlived his wife and only child, and who ‘lived and loved with all his heart’.
In addition to knitting and macrame, Dani also paints. It’s during the time that she’s creating that she feels close to her Mom, which is part of why she’s so passionate about what she does. Her strong spirit and optimism shine through and I find her mantra a good reminder for when life gets challenging, something she’s drawn upon after each of her parents’ passing: Even when we fall down, it’s forward. Dust yourself off and keep moving forward. When you see Dani’s work, it’s no surprise it’s as beautiful as it is, given the person who created it. Sometimes you meet people who breath fresh air into things, and Dani is one of them, her positive energy is contagious. A big thank you to Dani for giving me the chance to get to know her and work together. This post has meant more to me than the photos show- it’s given me a fresh perspective I really needed, and reminded me to take a step back to reflect on what I have to be grateful for.
If you’d like to see some of Dani’s other beautiful work- including her arm knit blankets- visit Leo & Bea on Etsy and follow them on Instagram for workshop info, sales, contests, and more.
Want to wrap yourself up in one of these beautiful knits?
Enter below for your chance to win one of Leo & Bea’s arm knit blankets!
Who’s a Back to the Future fan? In one week the future date from the movie will be here- it’s kind of crazy to think, isn’t it? To mark the occasion I’ve teamed up with Islands + Castles for a fun little giveaway and one lucky reader/ movie fan can win one of their I Am One in a Googoplex t- shirts. Even if our kids don’t understand the reference, it’s a cute throwback to something from our own childhoods that other parents will get a kick out of. See below for how you can win one for your little one.
About Islands + Castles
This family- owned Vancouver brand offers up tees for kids 3m- 8 years- with some designs available in adult sizes- in a variety of unique prints, drawing inspiration from their son, a love of travel, and everyday adventures (I love their Jetsetter and Carpe Diem designs). Their shirts are hand printed on organic cotton tees using eco- friendly, water- based inks. $1 from every shirt sold is donated to a charitable organization such as the BC SPCA, Save the Children, and Kid’s Help Phone (to learn more about the brand’s giving- back efforts click here).
Enter to WIN!
Want to win this cute shirt for your kiddo? Go to the blog’s Contests Page for all the entry options and find The Pampered Baby on Instagram for some bonus entry options.
Contest runs from October 14- 18, 2015.
I’m sure you’ve seen the leather moccs that so many little ones are sporting all over Instagram, and let’s face it, they’re pretty cute. There are so many brands that offer adorable clothes and accessories for kids and babies that it can be hard to choose. I’m lucky that family and friends have given us gifts and plenty of hand- me- downs for our kids, but I still like to pick out things for them myself (plus I don’t get in trouble if I shop for them! If I bring home shoes for me on the other hand… 😉 ).
This pair of little red booties from First Baby Shoes will be one of those things I keep for Liam even when he’s outgrown them. I love how cute they are and that they hold a special sentimental value since I made them. I love a good craft/ DIY project, but sometimes I just don’t have the time to pull off a Pinterest- inspired project. The kit for these booties allowed me the time to make Liam something special without feeling ‘not good enough’ from all the ideas out there. The cost of a kit is comparable to what you would pay for ready- made leather shoes and I spent about 3 hours over 3 nights working on them (it would have only taken 2, but I goofed a little- you’ll see what I mean). I opted for the Rie design and am really happy with how they turned out. Even if you’re not a savvy crafter, this shoe kit would be a cute and simple project- plus I think one of these kits would make a really cute baby shower or first Christmas gift. I’m sharing how I made them below.
Everything came in this cute keepsake box (inside the lid there’s space to write to/ from and other info as a sweet memory saver). When your little one has outgrown them, you can store them in the box for safe- keeping alongside other sweet keepsakes.
Everything came ready to go, all I had to do was read the instructions and cut the thread (the holes are pre- done as well, making everything pretty much fool proof). Once I laid out all the pieces and cut the thread I watched the tutorial videos a few times to figure out how to put everything together. The instructions are pretty simple and straight- forward, but I’m a visual learner and liked having the option of online videos to help me get started. The website has instructional videos for all styles available plus the basic stitch needed to sew their shoes, which I found helpful. There was a little bit of a learning curve, but once I got the hang of it, it was really simple. It took me about 3 hours to sew the pair; it would have probably taken a little less time but I made a mistake while I was sewing the second shoe.
Here’s everything laid out; I flipped the pieces to show what the inside and outside look like. A feature I really like about these booties is that they have rubber soles, making them a durable option for early walkers.
I took this photo to show when I goofed making the second shoe- can you spot my boo boo? It just required some unpicking and new stitching, but I opted to finish them on a 3rd night. Otherwise they would have only taken me a night or two to make.
Voila! Boo boo fixed & finished. I love, love, love them and am so happy with how they turned out.
My little dude- I think he likes them! <3
I had fun making these booties and love that they’re something just for Liam. My time might be shared between 2 kids now, but I’m trying to make sure I do things that are special for him, as I did for Ari. I definitely pick my projects a little differently than when I just had 1 kiddo, but I hope this post shows that there are options out there for busy Moms looking for something special for their kids.
First Baby Shoes is a Polish company specializing in high quality & on- trend baby shoe making kits. Using soft, breathable leather and flexible styrogum (for the soles), First baby Shoes allow baby’s feet to grow and move unrestricted while wearing. Both ready- made and shoe kits are available. Prices range from €12.50- €37.00 for ready- made soft sole shoes & kits cost €35.00.
“We believe shoe making can be a great way to express LOVE. One pair of hand made baby shoes contains time, passion and love of people who decided to sew it. We are sure first steps in FIRST BABY SHOES will be unforgettable and this unique pair will stay with family forever”.
You can see all available products on the First Baby Shoes website and find the company on Facebook.
How many times have you gone to dress your kiddos and their pants either fit their waist but are too long/ short or are the perfect length but too big in the waist? Sigh, Mom problems. A little while ago I was talking to one of my friends about this issue and she was mentioning how she’s been on the hunt for a belt for her son because he’s long & lean and always having to pull his pants up. There don’t seem to be a lot of options out there and of course cost and quality are 2 common concerns when it comes to buying anything for our youngsters since they grow out of everything so fast; plus these little ones can be rough on things once they become mobile!
Sound familiar? If you’ve been on the hunt for something to fasten those little pairs of pants, you’ll want to check out Doonbug Designs. These quality, handmade accessories are made for active kids right here in BC by owner/ creator/ Mom, Andrea. The belts are made with 3″ of adjustability so your youngster will get a lot of wear out of them and there are 3 closure styles to choose from: velcro, velcro & d- ring, and double d- ring, so you can select the style that’s age- appropriate for your bumpkins. These belts combine function & fashion and are available in a variety of prints- the hardest part will be narrowing down your favourite designs!
Jena and I got the chance to try 2 of Doonbug’s belts with our own little product testers. Ari got the velcro- only closure style and Nico got the velco & d- ring closure style since he’s a little older.
Ari’s belt- the velcro- only closure style
Nico’s belt- the velcro & d- ring closure style
Ari is long and lean and there’s been plenty of times I’ve gone to dress her and the pants I’ve chosen for her don’t fit her waist. Since she runs all around our house, up and down stairs, and is constantly on the go I don’t like the idea of her tripping over pant legs that are too long from drooping down. The belt Ari got to test out fit her well with room to get plenty of more wear out of it.
I like how quick and easy the velcro closure makes it to get the belt adjusted to fit my little wiggle worm. She seemed really curious about it at first and then continued about her toddler business. The belt is well made & sturdy, so I’m not worried about it being tugged and pulled on by me or Ari. It’s also cute to see her romping around wearing the belt & she’s received compliments on her new accessory. I’m a fan that they’re made here in BC by a Mom- someone who understands what kids need & understands the challenge of dressing them- and that they’re a quality item that are not only cute, but serve a purpose. They’re also an affordable purchase at $16.50 each.
My son comes
from a long line of lanky humans. So trying to fit pants on him, has been
challenging. His legs grow faster than his waistline and we are constantly
tightening the elastic button waist adjustment thingy’s in his new pants.
When Kat asked me to trial a belt made specifically for kids by Doonbug, I
thought: so she’s noticed how bunched up his waistline looks? Haha.
impressions: Love the Velcro. I am currently trying to teach my 2.5 year old to
dress himself, so this is super easy access (in the non-adult way) for him. I
imagine that when I finally stop putting off potty training…when he is about
ten… this will also come in handy. They also feel pretty sturdy, which is
essential, because rather than softly pulling the belt off, my toddler likes to
yank until he is free of his pants and can run around in the nude.
We received the
blue camo print, which we liked. If you’re not a fan of camo, there is a wide
variety of designs on Doobug’s Etsy store that you can pick from. I love that
these are handmade in Williams Lake, British Columbia, by a Mum. Win, Win,
If you’ve been looking for an affordable, quality option to cinch your kiddos’ pantaloons, these belts are a great solution. Doonbug Designs also offers up other great accessories for kids, including non- slip hairbands that are worth checking out.
If you’re having a baby or are shopping for one, it’s safe to say that there are so many cute options out there. How do you choose??? (Hint: sometimes you can’t & just have to buy one of everything! 😉 ). While it’s fun shopping in the larger stores at the mall I’m finding that there are so many amazing local brands with adorable quality products that I’d much rather buy from & support. One of these local brands is The Little Moore Shop, which sells a variety of items for your little one including leggings, moccs, and bibs, to name a few. The owner, Jamie, started it up when she was searching for a way to earn an income working at home while her kids are young. Isn’t that the ind of business you’d like to support & see succeed? Here’s a little bit about the lovely Jamie & The Little Moore Shop…
A little bit about Jamie
After being a stay at home mom for 4 months I decided I needed to do something to help with the finances as I am pregnant again with baby #3. I am a certified teacher and love what I do, but where I am in my life right now I feel like this is where I am supposed to be. Starting The Little Moore Shop allows me to be there for my family.
How did you decide to start The Little Moore Shop?
I was encouraged by friends and family to start my own business selling all the baby things I love to make as gifts. In August 2014 I opened Moore Craft Creations and changed the name to The Little Moore Shop this January. I wanted to give the shop a more chic name to appeal to the customers I’m trying to reach.
What kind of products do you sell?
I offer homemade sewed baby leggings, baby leather moccasins, baby bibs and bibdanas, infinity scarfs, and crocheted baby hats. Most of the products in the shop range from $10.00 -$35.00.
How did you decide to open the shop?
I started researching fads and trends for babies and began designing my own baby leggings and moccasins as they are really popular. From there The Little Moore Shop has taken off!!!
What is your favourite thing about having your own business? What is the biggest challenge?
My favourite part of what I do is being able to stay at home with my 2 little girls and still help out with finances.The
biggest challenge is putting a hold on my career as a certified teacher, since I really love what I do. But having The Little Moore Shop allows me to be there for my kids & contribute financially.
Any advice to other ladies/ moms looking to start their own business?
If there’s something you love to do, why not try and make something of it? Starting your own business is pretty easy these days, especially with the introduction of online businesses and social media pages. Of course, in order to make use of this, it’s important that the business owner has a good internet connection, such as one of these optimum internet plans. This will help them to get online and start creating their brand. This all makes it easier to set up your own shop and grow it. When growing your business, it’s important to make sure you’re receiving all of your payments. For example, a lot of companies lend out money or products to other companies and never receive payment for them. It’s important to try and get this debt back. It can be difficult to do this alone, which is why a lot of companies get in contact with accounts receivable and debtor management services to help them get this money back. Small businesses often need all of the money they can get, so it’s vital to recieve all of this debt back. That’s a tip that my friend told me and it is good to keep in mind. Keep your finances in check at all times.
I hope you’ll check out Jamie’s business.
Did you love all the cutie items in the post & want to support this Amazing Mama? Jamie is generously offering an outfit for your favourite little lady or man from The Little Moore Shop (a $75 value!). Hop over to the blog’s Contests page to enter!
PLUS Jamie is offering TPB readers an exclusive discount: Receive 10% off you entire purchase for the two weeks of March (March 1- 14). Enter promocode (SS2015) at checkout to receive your discount.
Make sure to visit The Little Moore Shop on Etsy to shop all of Jamie’s adorable wares! Plus find the shop on Facebook & Instagram: @TheLittleMooreShop to stay in the know about her upcoming products.
Images & logo courtesy of Jamie Moore, The Little Moore Shop
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