Life is fleeting and this “Things We Loved” monthly series highlights some of our favourite things over the previous month and is a place to reflect amongst the hustle and bustle of busy family life. This series includes products, family memories and even some sources of inspiration and lessons learned that swirl around this Mama’s over-thinking mind that need off-loading. A place to get a little more personal. This edition features our favourites for the month of May. Thanks for stopping by. Your support means the world to us.
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Moms’ Day Out
In my near decade of Motherhood, this Mother’s Day was one of my most favourites. The things I’ve learned about mama-hood on this journey so far can be found here, as well as what I really wanted, which was quality time with my own mom, who is our backbone in this crazy stage of parenthood. We spent the day before Mother’s day in Toronto, brunching at O&B Canteen, sipping on “Mom-mosas”, snapping photos around the entertainment district (I get my love of photography from my snap-happy Mama!), and catching the “Strictly Ballroom” musical at The Princess of Wales theatre. A former dance mom herself, and our combined love of Ballroom/Latin dance, this was a perfect way to spend quality mom-daughter time, and let’s face it, got the guys off the hook to sit through a theatre production 😉 It’s a fabulous show, and I left uplifted and inspired by the repeated wisdom in the production “A life lived in fear is a life half lived”. Dance was a big part of my life for 13 years, and I have a particular affinity for Latin/Ballroom, perhaps implanted from my most favourite drama film of all time, Dirty Dancing. I remember seeing this film with my parents at the cinema when I was 8 years old (I know, censorship was not a thing for us 80’s kids!), and recall it being the first time I felt incredibly inspired as a kid. I pestered by parents to sign me up for ballroom dance for months after seeing it, but baby ballroom was not part of the dance curriculum back then. Although I quit dance in my early teens, the dancer in my soul has always remained. I did some choreography in my university days, convinced Andrew to take Salsa classes when we were newly married and after the birth of our second child, I joined a women’s dance performance group. Now I live out my inner Latin dancer when the DJ plays hits at special occassions or embarrassing our kids in the car when “Despasito” ft. JB comes on! Strictly Ballroom was strictly amazing and the inspo I needed to perhaps reacquaint with my love of dance again. Also, my new TV obsession this month is World of Dance . The talent is insane! If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a must-watch.
Mother’s Day was low-key, unscheduled and exactly what I hoped for this year. The kids made the sweetest handmade gifts (insert sob-fest!), and Andrew made a beautiful brunch and delicious seafood pasta for dinner. I was even able to fit in a few hours alone at my happy place – Indigo. Paired with a hot Starbucks coffee in hand, I’m sure I had a bubble of bliss around me as I perused. I’m finding I spend a lot of time in the “Self-Help” section. It’s not because I need “help” per se (well some days I might ;), but is where I find all my soul-spiration and enlightening reads. This time around the one that grabbed my attention was “You Are A Badass” by Jen Sincero. Opening yourself up in the digital realm to audience unknown is a dash of bravery, and I don’t think anyone I’ve talked to hasn’t felt vulnerable to scrutiny and judgement. It can make even the most confident among us doubt our potential or hold back to play it safe. No matter what you’re doing, or not doing but want to, this straight up, no BS quick-read, with appropriately placed cuss words for accentuation should make its way to your cart. (Momfession: I’m not perfect and yes, I can at times be a cussy mommy. Sorry but not. It’s a release! And not new information to my kids, who are turning out to be pretty awesome people in spite of my indiscretion. Apparently, all the brilliant people do it, so I’m in good company, right? I just wouldn’t be being “authentic” if we didn’t get that flaw of mine on the table. Exhale….). Seriously, though, if there’s something in your mind and on your heart you want to make happen in your life, get this book. It’ll give you the kick in the butt you need. And while motherhood is riddled with guilt and self-doubt, mamas You Are Badass, and don’t ever forget it!
Official Start to Pool Season
We opened our pool in mid-May. We weren’t looking for a house with a pool when we moved 2 years ago, but man has it been fabulous having one. It’s been a parenting life saver to entertain the big kids while tending to the nap schedules of the littles, and also keeps us active on hot Summer nights after dinner, without the pressure to pack up and take them all elsewhere outdoors. You can read more about why we love it as well as our favourite pool life must-haves for the whole family here. We’ll be spending most weekends lounging around here, and possibly celebrating Canada’s 150th with a themed bash. For ideas on how to celebrate Canada 150 as a family, check out my first published piece on MomResource.ca – 20 Ways to Celebrate Canada 150!
YOU by Skechers
The beginning of May I was honoured to attend a Skechers Canada event for the launch of their new YOU line – a lifestyle brand for women. If you follow my Insta-stories, you’ll see I wear mine everywhere – for errands, to the park and walking the kids to school. They are like pillows for the feet and a busy mom must-have for sure. These will be available in select Canadian retailers in the coming months. I highly recommend for any woman to just be YOU in and who want a combination of incredible comfort and style. I have my eye on the white “Inspire” ones for my next pair. We have loved the Skechers line for the whole family, and Allegra especially loves the “Twinkle Toes” variety. Just days ago Skechers Canada celebrated it’s 25th Anniversary!
Every year I try to dream up a unique, thoughtful end of year gift for our teachers, and amidst all the crazy, I usually end up stalling to the last minute and going the gift card route, which I know teachers actually appreciate tons. But this year, I’m pairing a smaller gift card denomination with the fabulous find from on of my favourite Canadian accessory shops – Foxy Originals. They just released these inspirational necklaces and bracelets, with “Inspire” and “Live, Love, Teach” inscribed on the front and back of them. All our teachers will be receiving the silver bangle this year. Tip: You can get 20% off your purchase by subscribing to their newsletter.
I hope May was full of amazing memories for you and your family, and like us, you’re bracing yourselves for all the crazy that is June with end of school, recitals, special occasions and more!