Why They Always Want Mama

You hear it in the middle of the night








From the moment that they first wake up to when they rest their tired heads down on their pillow...and sometimes even in the middle of the night when something scary happens in a dream.








They Always Want Mama | Sweet Stellas

So often, we cringe at the words, especially when they are spoken over and over and followed up with

can I have a (insert thing here...probably the word "snack").

But at the end of the day, there is no sweeter word and no better feeling than your child wanting and needing you for something.

Why do they always want mama? Well, because they know you. They trust you. They know your heart from the inside out. They feel comforted by your arms and your smell.

They just want mama.

They want you to hold them. They want to hear your voice and for you to sing.

They want you because they love you and them saying your name over and over is them telling you that you are important. You are everything to them, even in the times when you feel like you are failing them.

Hold them a little longer

Squeeze them a little tighter

Be there. They need you.



What Makes me...amazing?

I had a good giggle, and maybe even a slight blush, when I saw that @mrs07c wanted to know "What makes you so amazing?" when I asked if anyone had any questions for me.

Gah! Really? Me? Amazing?

Then I started thinking about it, and maybe she's right! I think I'm quite a catch!

I think it stems from having a strong upbringing and parents who always encouraged me to chase my dreams {something I'm passing on to my son}. They knew that I loved art from an early age, and they encouraged me to just go with it, no matter what the outcome was.

I wasn't a sporty kid growing up. I was that geeky one in the choir, who could sing her little heart out {fairly well I might add!}...the girl in the art club who would organize fundraisers and other such things to help out in the community.

I'd like to think that I'm pretty well rounded...and that makes me amazing. I have a good head on my shoulders, have had to face challenges probably before I should have had, and had to grow up a little bit quicker than some.

I think it helps that I have a bit of a temper, and an attitude that I have nothing to lose, but so much to gain by putting myself and my work out there.

There's also a curly haired little blondey boy with blue eyes that makes me swoon...and because I made him, that's pretty amazing too.

What makes YOU amazing??

Mompreneur Monday: BailyBelle has a new look!

Remember that little shop I introduced you to earlier in the year, BailyBelle? Well...Ms. Vanessa has been working incredibly hard on her new website and I want to share it with you!!

The new BailyBelle features the same infinity scarves that I've fallen in love with, but also an incredibly celebrity collection, and unique eco-friendly tote bags that are too adorable not to share!

Vanessa has designed custom pieces for Lauren Conrad, Tenley Molzahn, Zooey Deschanel and Kim Kardashian! Pretty amazing if you ask me!

She's even been taking some of her older pieces, tearing them apart, and creating something totally new from them. I think it's so incredibly refreshing to meet an artist who has vision, and isn't afraid to look at something they've done, appreciate it for what it is, and turn it into something fantastic and new.

I proudly own four rings, an infinity scarf, am getting a custom business card holder made for my trip to BlogHer and own this amazing piece!

The photo does not do the necklace justice. It is so incredibly awesome, I just adore it!! It packs such an amazing punch, and is a real coversation starter.

Don't own a piece of BailyBelle yet? Hop on over to her Etsy shop...get 10% off with code BLOGHER

Mama Moments...on a Friday?

Going to get a little sentimental today.

Tomorrow, my son turns 2.




No matter which way you put it, it's emotional for mama.

I remember it all so clearly...the water breaking, the epidural, the 10hours of LOST that we watched...the aftermath.

I remember your Daddy walking in with you in his arms, and the biggest smile on his face {anyone crying yet, because I sure am as I write this!}. I remember snuggling you for the very very first time, and how in that one moment, I knew that I would be mush everytime you came to me for a snuggle from that day forward.

Tomorrow, you're two, little Bear.

My sweet sweet Bear...

Oh, how time flies.

I want to never forget how you say peas, tank-too, and welcome. I want to never forget how you say wuv-you and blow kisses to everyone, even from your carseat to people in the next car when we're stuck in traffic.

I will never ever ever forget the kisses you give first thing in the morning, or how you still like to have  All My Loving sung to you when you`re upset.

Happy birthday, Bear.

WAHM Wednesday: The Geek Bar

There's this little item on the agenda of BlogHer that has me really curious

The Geek Bar

First and foremost...what in the heck is a Geek Bar??

I sort of envision a trendy bar set up of neat gadgets, geared for bloggers and companies. iPhone's, Blackberries, playbooks, Square....all sorts of apps and gadgets that can help us with our blogs, Etsy shops and things of the sort.

Once I looked it up, I began to understand.

The Geek Bar is all about the geeky aspect of blogging.

Wordpress vs. Blogger


Writing labs

Social media platforms


Video editing

Alot of the subjects from last year seem to be covered in the individual seminars this year, so I'm not sure if I'll get alot out of The Geek Bar this summer. There are things that I would like to learn, for sure, but I think I'd rather go to the individual sessions.

*sigh* I really liked the idea of a geeky gadgets bar!

SWH4T$: Toddler Fashion

I know I've talked about it before, but seriously, consignment shopping for kids is like the best thing ever. We all know how it works, kids grow out of stuff faster than you can wash them for the 2nd time.  Therefore, the abundance of gently used kids clothing out there is downright crazy.

I've been to a few different kids consignment stores, but I definitely have my favorite.  Most of these stores are individually owned franchises, therefore the quality of the clothing will vary.  You need to find a store where the owner and employees care about quality and not quantity of clothing.  

The store that I go to (BFF T told me about it, I can't take all the credit) only stocks brand names.  Gymboree, Chaps, Polo, Gap, Children's Place, Nike, Disney, Carters, etc.  Another store that I've been to will sell Target brand (Circo) for like $3/each.  Um, I can get it brand new at Target for cheaper than that so no thank you!  Do your market research owner-lady!  

Most of the time I am able to get a few items NWT (new with tags) at my store.  A lot of times they will have 30% or 50% off sales and fill-a-bag sales.  I go every season and get Jack some extra clothes for daycare, and I usually end up finding a few every-day things as well.  

Here is my latest haul:
1: Talbot's Kids polo shirt, Gap madras shorts
2: Nike Red Sox jersey & mesh short set
3: Nike T-shirt (NWT), Nike mesh shorts

1: Chaps khakis
2: Gymboree t-shirt
3: Gap khakis
4: sun hat
5: Gap t-shirt (NWT)
6: Gymboree jeans
7: Polo jeans
8: Black Dog hoodie (NWT)

Also, not pictured: Fisher Price Zoo Talkers Animal Sounds Zoo, $14.99 (NWT!!!)

So, how much did I pay for all of this?  $82.

Pretty good, considering the Zoo Talkers, Gap khakis & Gap t-shirt at full price would have been ~$82 alone.  

And that Talbot's polo and madras shorts might be my new favorite outfit for Jack 

WAHM Wednesday: Podcasting?

Another seminar on Day1 of BlogHer that I'm excited about is the Podcasting 101 seminar.

My husband and his friend, Mike Arsenault, used to podcast about once a week. Usually about sports, reality TV (their recaps of Survivor and The Bachelor were hilarious!) or they would dissect a movie like Dirty Dancing {manly...right?}

I was always too nervous to get the headset on and be a guest on Mike's podcast. I'd usually just holler in the background about who I thought was trashy on The Bachelor or who I loved on Survivor.

The Podcasting 101 seminar at BlogHer has gripped my interest. I'm obviously not afraid to vlog, so why not podcast? What about the microphone intimidates me?

Do I have anything worthy to say?

Will people giggle at my Canadian accent?

What would I even talk about?

I am so excited to sit in a room and hear about Podcasting...why it's important, and how to do it {and do it properly}.

Maybe it'll even get me over my fear of the microphone!

WAHM Wednesday: Blogging for the Love of It!

One of the seminars that really has my wheels turning is the Blogging For The Love Of It seminar on day1 of BlogHer.

It got me thinking about why I blog....about this little niche in the blogosphere that I've carved out for my artsy self.

Why do I blog? What do I get out of it?

Is it just to put out my art and products, get feedback and hopefully some customers?

The simple answer is no to all of that.

The longer answer...

I blog because I love to write. It has always come really naturally for me and I find that it is a really organic fit with the art that I do. I get to create something, start to finish, and then share it with the world. How often do you get that opportunity?

I blog because I have something to share. Yes, I blog about my house and my family, about who we are, local businesses, other mompreneurs and my little artsy company...but I blog because I have something to share.

It might be pictures....an interesting home decor tip...maybe even a DIY tutorial

For me, it's about sharing and getting the creative ideas out there.

I'm really excited about this seminar at BlogHer and think that it will be amazing to connect with other like minded bloggers who blog just for the love of it.

Why do you blog?

SWH4T$: Sweet Popcorn Treats

Hello hello!! It's Thursday and that means it's time for SWH4T$! Want the bloghop part of the post back? Let us know!

A fun and easy treat for you this week on SWH4T$!! I whipped this Bunny Bait up for Easter, and my husband just about went gaga over it!

2 bags of popped unbuttered popcorn
1 bag of white chocolate chips
1 cup of M&M's
1 cup of chopped nuts (I used slivered almonds)
multicoloured sprinkles

How To

Pop your popcorn...pretty easy but make sure that it doesn't burn like it so often does.Put in a large bowl with the M&M's and nuts.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30second intervals, ensuring that it doesn't burn either.

Pour the chocolate over the popcorn, M&M's and nuts. Stir to coat.

Dump the contents onto cookie sheets and spread out the mixture. Top with additional chocolate if needed, and sprinkle with multicoloured sprinkles.

When cooled and chocolate has hardened, break up into large pieces.


Oreo - semi sweet chocolate drizzle, chopped Oreo's, and chocolate sprinkles

Rainbow - white chocolate drizzle, Skittles, multicoloured sprinkles

Mint Chip - mint chocolate chip drizzle, chopped chocolate chip cookies, chocolate sprinkles

Triple Chocolate - white chocolate drizzle, chopped dark chocolate, milk chocolate almonds


WAHM Wednesday: #Roadto30 Updates!

Welcome back, everyone!

I'm really excited to share with you some updates from my amazing roommates, Shaun and Mel, who I'm sponsoring in their #Roadto30....a journey to lose 30lbs each by BlogHer this summer!

Their journeys are going strong - Shaun and I have even connected on the Map My Run app for iPhone and I love reading about the routes she is taking. Every step may seem like a small one, but it's a step in the right direction and that's what matters!

I am growing increasingly proud of these ladies. They're not stopping at BlogHer...oh no...in fact...they're going to keep pushing themselves and are going to run the BlogHer 5km Fun Run! Amazing!

I'm considering joining them for the run. It might be crazy...it's be the first 5km I've ever run in my entire life...but I want to support them to the very end of their journey and show them just how incredibly proud I am of them.

Stay tuned! More on their journey next month!

Interested in sponsoring them? Contact Mel and Shaun today!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Michele from Mary Kay

Remember a few weeks ago when I was showing off my {lack of} makeup arsenal? Yeah…it was pretty pathetic right?

Well, that’s when I sent an SOS to my fabulous friend, Michele Thomson who happens to be an amazing makeup artist and Mary Kay Independent Sales Director!

I showed her my blogpost, and she agreed; I needed help. 

I was so excited to have our consultation...I laid out all of my makeup and took a {little} inventory.

My makeup and my skincare...that Rimmel is about 8 years old...
Eye compacts that are at least 6 years old, mascara that is about 2 years old, lip gloss from my wedding (which Michele did my makeup for and made me look, and feel, stunning!) which was nearly 4 years ago…noticing a trend?

Then a before picture, no makeup. This is pretty much what I look like every day.

Well, hello there!

And we got to work. I showed her the amazing outfits that Kristine Cook Designs is creating for me and we started talking about trends.

I want to be able to represent myself as an artist, stay true to me, have a professional {yet quirky} look and represent my sponsors with a fresh faced. While, sure, I could do that without makeup…I want to…pull together a more pulled-together look and feel really confident at BlogHer’12.

Bold lips…dewy cheeks…smokey eyes…nude lips. We talked tips and tricks…and over the next few months, you’ll be able to learn how to….

Two eye looks...smokey peacock on the left and smokey pinks on the right

Create a gorgeous smokey eye…with a pop of colour!
Create a bold-lip-dewy-face look
Learn all about foot and hand care with a special Mama’s Time Out feature
And a few other tips and tricks that Michele has up her sleeve, like proper skin protection, favourite products and trends for fall and winter 2012!

SWH4T$: Rainbow Rice

Rainbow Rice
by: Shizz

I'm sure you've all seen this floating around Pinterest, Rainbow Rice to put in a sensory bin for toddlers to play with. I've been wanting to make this for a while, and Monday was the perfect day since the weather here was 85 degrees and sunny (yup, its still April).

I used this recipe as my guideline :)

I tried to break down the cost by cup of rice, but it wasn't really working, so here is what I paid for everything today (I have leftovers).

1 10 lb bag of white rice: $5.49 (I only used about 1/3 of the bag, I made 12 cups of rice total)

bottle of rubbing alcohol: $1.09

Ziploc bags (sandwich size): $1.00 for 15 (Dollar Store!)

Food coloring: $2.50 for 4 bottles

Plastic container for storage: $1.00 (Dollar Store!)

So that's less than $12 for a fun activity that I could probably make about 8-10 batches from that one bag of rice. Not bad at all!

Step 1: Gather your supplies:

Ingredients listed above,

Wax paper for drying

Disposable gloves (if you hate dye on your hands like I do)

Step 2:

Bag up your rice: 1 cup to a bag

Step 3: Add color

1 T rubbing alcohol + 10-12 drops food coloring

First batch I mixed them in these little bowls, 2nd batch I added

the alcohol and food coloring directly into the bag (much easier)

Step 4:

Squish Squish Squish the bag till all the rice is colored.

Make double sure that your bag is sealed.

Trust me on that one...

Step 5: Dry

Spread out on wax paper in the sun and let dry

I think it took about 30 minutes to dry

Step 6:

PLAY! Dump into a bin, sand/water table, cookie sheet, large bowl,

basically any large container. Add a few utensils, cups or spoons,

and let your toddler go to town!

Jack loved it :) He played with it for about an hour :)

I was worried about the dye coming off on his hands, and I'm

happy to report that there was not one speck of dye on his hands :)

WAHM Wednesday: Nostalgic New York

Unlike some of my roomies, attending BlogHer isn't my first NYC experience.

Thankfully, my husband has family about a 40 minute train ride from the city and we've been able to go and visit them a couple of times. We even had a little babymoon in NYC just before we got pregnant with our son.

I was feeling a little nostalgic, and started looking through our pictures from our last trip in 2009.

Oh roomies...we are having cupcakes from this bakery...it is a must!

Can we squeeze in a Yankees game??

Excited for a group shot in Times Square

As much fun as it is to go on vacation with your husband, there's just something about a girls trip that is really exciting. Being able to get all dolled up in some fancy new clothes, going out for a fabulous dinner and then drinks on some rooftop patio

*sigh* Why is it only April!?

Blogger{at}BlogHer12: Blogging Tips

Definitely late to the game on this bloghop for the week, but better late than never??

Hopping along with my roommate Shaun...

The theme for this week is blogging tips...you know you have 'em, so you might as well share 'em!


This is something that is incredibly important to me. I want to ensure that I'm staying true to myself as an artist, not compromising my ideals and values, and that I'm also presenting my sponsors in the best possible light. This all boils down to quality. What good is a blog that is full of giveaways, reviews, and very little content? Well...it's great if you want to win stuff, but it's not great if you're looking to build a relationship with your readers {like I am}. Food for thought!


I've found that the best way to grow my readership is to have a close network of bloggers who believe in what I do, both as a writer and as an artist. Pushing posts to Facebook and Twitter only go so far if you haven't taken the time to connect with who will see those posts and tweets. Connect...engage...be real.


I try to stick to a consistent schedule. I know that my life as a fulltime mama and fulltime artist make for late night {or all-day-Sunday} blogging sessions, and without my themed days and schedule, I wouldn't know which post is going to go where...and likely would have writers block. it helps me stay focused, gives my blog consistency, and gives my readers something to look forward to when they know a certain theme is coming up in a day or two.

Those are my top three tips!! I can't wait to learn more and grow as a blogger in the coming months. This little dream of going to BlogHer is becoming more and more real, and it's such an amazing journey!

Mama Moments: Be Good...to Yourself

A new series...who knows how often, but I'm shooting for the second Monday of the month. A monthly series...Mama Moments

A chance for you to get to know me as a mom.

I recently went out for my monthly MNO (Mama's Night Out) with two girlfriends who have 6 month olds.

First and foremost, if you don't do an MNO but have mom friends...do it! it's such a refreshing little break, if only for a drink, dessert or {who am I kidding} a full meal that I can eat from start to finish...with it still being hot!

Anywho...I went out for our MNO, and we talked about some nitty-gritty stuff. Post-Partum Depression was a theme, as was me-time, diaper changes, solid feeding, transition to bottles and pretty much every other topic three first time mom's can chat about in 3 hours.

I was thinking about this post the entire way home and wanted to get up on the roof and scream


We sacrifice so much of ourselves as mom's, that really...what is left for us at the end of the day? Who is there to take care of us? When do we ever give ourselves a break?

WAHM's - tap a nap, and don't feel guilty about it

SAHM's - flick on a movie and snuggle up on the couch with your little one

Downtime is so incredibly important and I'm finding that more and more mom's don't take it. I know I'm totally guilty on not taking it until I'm at my breaking point and in tears, needing a break.

But, what good are we unless we are good to ourselves first, and others second? Who are we able to love, unless we love ourselves? How can we give others compassion and our attention unless we first give it to ourselves?

I've been thinking long and hard since April 5th about this new mantra, and it has completely resonated with me.

Be Good...to Yourself.

So you go on with your bad self! Have an ice cream date with a group of mama friends and talk tirelessly about sleep deprivation, being WAHM's, having kiddos in daycare, solid feeding, being a SAHM, being a working-mom.

Go bowling, to the movies, to the spa {ahhhh....}.

Be you.

And be good to you!

WAHM Wednesday: Updates!

So this journey to BlogHer is really heating up!

So far, I've...

  • met with my amazing fashion designer, Kristine
  • secured sponsorship for my flight
  • booked the hotel
  • collaborated with Amber on accessories
  • finalized the design of my messenger bag with Tina
  • finalized the design of my new business cards being printed by TPH

Everything's coming along tickety-boo as they say {do they still say that??} and I'm really excited that the conference is only 5 months away.

Still on the to-do list...

  • finalize a makeup sponsor and try to do something with my mug {...errr...face}
  • figure out a hairstyle that is going to work for the summer and still be trendy for the conference
  • continue on with sponsor posts the first week of every month
  • decide on what seminars and workshops I will be attending
  • blog about said workshops and seminars
  • figure out what places in NYC I really really want to make my way to with my roomies

How is your journey coming?

Mompreneur Monday: Luxe by Lisa Vogel

I am so excited about this mompeneur today!!

I met Lisa on our monday evening #mombizmondays chat on Twitter a few weeks ago, and after taking a look at her shop, all I can say is that you're all about to fall in love with an incredible woman and swimwear designer.

Lisa is lovely, sweet, genuine and real. Purely amazing!

What do you do?

Creative Director LUXE by Lisa Vogel swimwear, Co-President of RAJ Manufacturing (USA's largest domestic swimwear manufacturer), blogger, philanthropist, mom.

How do you maximize your time as a busy mom running a business?

A strong support system and organization are the two key ingredients. If I didn't have an amazing supportive husband, I don't know how I would do what I do. He is very involved with
the children and always patient when I have to work late or travel! I also send him all of the children's appointments, sports schedules, and school related activities on his blackberry so we can be on the same page.

What do you see as your greatest challenge being a MOMpreneur?

Balancing family with work. The truth is that balance does not exist. I just try to do the best I can.

What advice do you have for other moms looking to start a business?

Find something that you love and follow your passion. If you are motivated by passion, as opposed to making money, you will succeed.

Is there anything additional you'd like to share?

Please visit www.swimspot.com and enter the code "stella" for a 15% discount for your readers. This code expires 5/1/12.

Wow!! Thank you Lisa!!

Enjoy your 15% off coupon, everyone!

BlogHer Sponsor love: Elephoto

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and what better gift to give that special Mama in your life than a photo book from Elephoto?!


There are four beautiful options to choose from, that definitely set Elephoto apart from their competitors.

The 11x8.5 Landscape Books would be incredible full of vacation pictures and special memories. They feature a hardcover, in a variety of styles and colours, which make them not only attractive but also functional and sturdy enough to stand the test of time.

All of Elephoto’s photo books are incredibly affordable, and completely customizable. Add a die-cut cover, embellished pages, and additional pages…and voila! A gift for Mama, with your personal touch that is sure to bring a smile to her face and a tear to her eye.

Looking for a more traditional coffee table book? Elephoto has them in two sizes, 12x12 and 8x8, in hard and soft cover. Choose from plain designs, customization and more pages to suit your needs perfectly!

Preserve your occaision with beauty and style by creating an 8.5x11 Portrait book; perfect for the Hockey or Soccer Mama to celebrate the past year of achievement! Choose a simple hardcover, or upgrade to a photo cover at a very reasonable rate!

Linen and Leather, personalized photo covers…adding text and playing with fonts. Give your Mama something unique and fun this year…and something that will make her heart smile knowing that you poured your love into designing the perfect book for her!

SWH4T$: Disney Movie Club

Another Thursday, another week of awesome money & time saving tips!

Blog Hop Rules

1) Follow your hostesses, Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's, via GFC or BlogLovin'

2) Post our button on your blog for others to follow along

3) Link up a post that helps you save time, money, frustration...your sanity!

Have fun linking up and reading other mama tips!


Disney Movie Club

I've gotten these flyers in the mail for quite a while now, for the Disney Movie Club.  I kinda blew them off at first, but since Jack has become obsessed with Disney Cars, we bought him the DVD and I realized how freaking expensive those things are!  I remember when I was little we had all the Disney VHS tapes and would watch them all the time.  I wanted the same for Jack, but I'm too cheap to pay $29.95 each for DVD/BluRay.

Enter the DMC.  I surveyed all my mommy friends, and my resident Disney expert, Cousin B.  All of them said that it was a good deal, so I signed up.

The details are that you pick out 5 DVDs or BluRays initially.  You can chose to pay $1.99 each for the first initial 5, or if you pay with your credit card, you get them for $1.00 TOTAL.  Then, you agree to purchase 4 DVDs/BluRays over the course of 2 years at the regular price of $19.95 for DVD and $29.95 for BluRay.

You're probably thinking, what is the big deal if you are going to pay full price for 4 movies?  Well, if you do the math...you're saving a whole lot of money!

We have a BluRay player, so we did the BluRay option (plus, most of those come with DVDs with bonus features, so that's even more bang for your buck).  

For our initial 5, we got Dumbo 70th Anniversary Edition, Toy Story w/ bonus DVD, A Bug's Life w/ bonus DVD, Up w/ bonus DVD and Cars 2 w/ bonus DVD.  We opted for the $1.00 option by giving our credit card.

So, since we will end up purchasing at least a total of 4 BluRays including our initial 5 (for a total of 9), we would have paid $269.55 retail price.  However...since we joined the DMC, we will pay only $119.80, a savings of $149.75!!!

PLUS, each DVD/BluRay comes with a Disney Movie Rewards code, which you can enter on their website and redeem the points for prizes like toys, DVDs, apparel, memorabilia and more!  Winnah Winnah!!!

I feel like Disney movies are timeless, and honestly, I would rather put on a movie that he may not be completely 100% interested in right now, as opposed to Dora or Diego which I feel like rots his brain.  And Disney is wholesome, classic, and brings a lot of good memories back for me, so I want to pass those on to my son :)

Blogger {at} BlogHer12: Introduce Yourself

Well, hello there!

Linking up with my roomies from BlogHer12 in a new blogpost called....

What's it all about? Well, it's a chance for a few of us mama bloggers to connect and learn about one another, and our journey's to BlogHer before we even get there. Pretty appropriate since this week is all about my sponsors!

This weeks theme is Introduce Yourself and Your Blog

So...hello! I'm Shannon...great-greaddaughter of Stella {where the idea of Sweet Stella's came from, clearly}.

I am an artist, with a clear and inspired vision in abstract paintings, journals and hand sculpted art for your home as well as wearable art for yourself.

I am a mom to an incredible little {very busy} boy named Owen, who I love with my whole heart. Without him, I don't think my world would be filled with colour.

I am a wife to an amazing man, Colin, who loves me with his whole heart {a sentiment which i happily return.}

I'm just me.

My blog? Well, it's all about inspiration and creativity. It supports mompreneurs and other crafty types. It helps spread the word about neat and cool companies in London, Ontario, and hopefully...it entertains!

What about you? Are YOU off to BlogHer12? Hope to meet you!