Infused Water Recipes

Infused water is a great way to making sure that you are staying hydrated during pregnancy and postpartum. By adding a few simple things to a large carafe and letting it sit over night, or in a fancy water infuser bottle, you can create so many flavours right at home!


One of our favourites for summer is Lemon Cucumber. The benefits of lemon water are longstanding with it being a go-to for liver and organ detoxification, and to reduce swelling and inflammation. The cucumber adds a hint of summer flavour. It's refreshing and cool; a great way to increase your water intake, keep your baby body cool, and ensure that you are staying hydrated.

Another great addition to your water is a combination of Watermelon and Mint. It's absolutely delicious and I haven't met a pregnant woman yet who isn't addicted to watermelon during a summer pregnancy. While not evidence based, I would hazard to hunch that the craving of watermelon is our bodies telling us that we need to increase our fluid intake. What a better way to do it than to add some fruit and veg to your water, let it sit and sip the tasty rewards?

xoxo
Shannon

5 Ideas for Summer Self Care

Self care is something that we take very seriously here...I mean...we give all of ourselves to our children and our spouse, our employer, the community (and the list goes on and on)...so what is left for us at the end of the day?

Not a whole lot.

If you are struggling to work in some self care this summer, we have a list of 5 Ideas for Summer Self Care that are quick, easy and fun! Things that will make you abundantly happy, which is always a great thing.



1. Get to the water

If you live near a lake or the ocean, I strongly encourage you to get to the water. There is just something so freeing about being near a body of water, walking in the sand with your shoes in your hand. If you don't live near a larger body of water, I'm sure that there is a river or even a little stream near you. Take a book, or a sketch pad and some pencils, and just sit. Enjoy the surroundings and the sounds.

2. Take yourself out for lunch

It's doesn't have to be anywhere extravagant, but take yourself somewhere with a patio. A Sunday works really well for this, as they are usually bustling with activity when the weather is nice. Get a cool drink, indulge in a dessert and enjoy some time alone.

3. Treat yourself to something new

Have your eye on a new pair of sandals, or need a pair of shorts, bathing suit, or tank top? Go get it. I find that the number one thing mom's sacrifice when they have their babies is their individual style. We get the kids new clothes all the time, but what about us? We deserve it too! Find something that makes you feel really great, and don't feel guilty about getting it for yourself!

4. Go out for ice cream

Sounds simple, right? Well...it is. Take the family out for ice cream cones, and have fun sitting at a picnic table or on the grass. Put your sunglasses on, enjoy the sunshine, and feel like a five year old with bubblegum or cotton candy ice cream.

5. S-P-A

I'm not talking about the mani-pedi day, even though those are super nice and relaxing. I'm talking about pools and hot tubs. If you have a pool, have a day lounging in it. Crank your favourite tunes, slather on the sunscreen, and float away in an innertube. Bonus points for inviting other moms over to lounge with you! No pool or hot tub? Grab your girl friends and hit the splash pad. Who says they're just for kids?

Five easy ways to incorporate some fun and self care this summer. Enjoy it. Get outside. Be your and embrace it!

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10 Thoughts I Had While Lying in the Grass

If you have young children, you are likely well versed in lying in the grass during a warm summer day...with them running around you, squealing and giggling. If you're a boy mom, you are likely well versed in them running and jumping on you, asking to wrestle or for airplane rides.

In the summer, our backyard is no different than yours.


1. Why? Why does he have to run and jump on me when his Dad is right.here!?

2. If I pretend to be asleep, maybe they will just leave me alone.

3. We really should do something with this yard. It's not very functional...just a patch of grass, a deck that doesn't really make sense.

4. We totally should get a hot tub. Ooooh...or one of those infinity pools.

5. What is wrong with that tree? Is the trunk supposed to have green stuff growing on it? There's definitely something wrong with that tree.

6. Those clouds look like bunnies...bunnies who are pooping little tiny white fluffs...

7. I feel like our neighbours are right on top of us. I can see up onto their deck from here, and into their kitchen. *waves* Hi Ron and Joanne! {note: need to landscape for privacy}

8. Ack! What was that?! Something's crawling in my shirt...get it off get it off get it off!

9. Ok, seriously! I'm not a trampoline! Get off of me!

10. I want a hammock...and a nap.

We love our backyard, as small as it is, and I'm so excited that we are finally getting plans in motion to make it a more liveable space. We love entertaining and having our friends over, so to be able to have an outdoor living area where we can do that will be great!

Now, where's my hammock and my nap?

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How To Enjoy Fireworks With Your Family



Every summer children and parents look forward to one thing, celebrating the summer holidays with fireworks. The timing is perfect; it coincides with many Canada Day celebrations, which is when 37% of Canadians (via Web Perspectives “Celebration of Light” online survey) attend various firework displays across the country.

Image Source: Wikipedia

What do we love about going to the fireworks?

Well, it is a great family friendly event to attend. Often, you will find additional activities for children such as bouncy castles, petting zoos and carnival games. Of course, there is always delicious food, but there really is nothing better about a summer fireworks celebration than sitting out under the stars with your family on a big blanket to oooh and ahhh over the colours and sparkle. Actually, 52% of those surveyed think firework displays are a great event to enjoy with friends and family, and plenty of food and drinks!

As noted by those who stated they attended fireworks regularly 56% claimed it was for the fireworks display, 23% loved the outdoor atmosphere, 16% looked forward to having the community gathering together, and a meek 5% admitted it was all about the glow sticks and cotton candy. 

From picnic blankets to extra activities, a fireworks display is a great way to kick off summer.

Here are some tips for celebrating fireworks with your family safely:

·                     Always use caution when near fireworks. These are explosives, after all, so leave ignition to the professionals!

·                     Since fireworks are a night activity, bring an extra bag of long sleeved shirts, jackets and pants for your children. Better yet, have them get dressed into their pajamas before the fireworks display starts!

·                     Sparklers can get very hot, so be sure to only give them to older children and wrap a damp paper towel around the handle to prevent burns.

Vancouver’s Celebration of Lights is one of the country’s most notable fireworks celebrations, and it includes something for everyone. Families can delight in free activities at Sunset Beach in an outdoor atmosphere; this atmosphere is one of the biggest reasons for attending a fireworks display as noted by 16% of those that took the online survey. Plus there are face painters, roaming mascots and lots more on site to entertain both those young and old.

The Vancouver Celebration of Lights is also a fantastic event for a date night out, which survey participants agreed wholeheartedly about with a whopping 47% positive result! From taking part in the entertainment at Sunset Beach to indulging in the VIP experience at The Keg Lounge, the Celebration of Lights is a non-stop date night event sure to impress.

If you are headed to an open community fireworks celebration this summer with family and friends, and have the opportunity to take along a cooler of refreshments, consider taking along a pitcher of strawberry lemonade and fun summer snacks such as chocolate dipped pretzels, marshmallow crispy squares, orange wedges, strawberries and freezies for the kids. Better yet, if you are able to have open flame, pack all of the necessary ingredients for s’mores!

Another popular treat to bring to our local fireworks celebration are cupcakes, and more often than not they can be easily themed for the occasion. Simply pick up a cake mix from the grocery store, but frost with homemade butter cream icing; using a simple combination of confectioners’ sugar and butter (3:1 ratio). Then, top with whatever decorations you like including coloured sprinkles, chocolate candies, flags, paper umbrellas. There are so many fun elements that you can use to decorate your cupcakes, and all readily available at your local party store. 

Join the 47% of Canadians that took part in this online survey who think that firework displays are a great celebration that anyone can enjoy; including those who agree it makes for a romantic night out, and will be attending a fireworks celebration this summer!

Disclaimer: All opinions and views expressed are my own. The data within this article is based upon a Web Perspectives “Celebration of Lights Survey” completed by 808 panelists.

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Summer Detox Refresher #juice #recipe #detox #flush

Dealing with some belly bloat? Incorporate a fresh and yummy juice detox into your diet once a week to help your digestive system function.


2 apples
2 pears
1/2 lemon (rind removed, white pith left on)

We all know by now that apples and pears are loaded with fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C. We also know that lemon is often used as a system flusher when combined simply with water. Juice all of these ingredients together, and you have a super detox juice recipe - perfect for bloating and swelling over the summer!

This juice recipe also contains potassium, calcium and folate.

Be kind to your digestive system and colon health with this great summer detox juice recipe!
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Summer Festival #Fashion

One thing that my husband and I love to do in the summer is go to the various festivals and outdoor concerts that our city hosts in July and August.

This is the perfect venue to try out something a little out of the box when it comes to your wardrobe.

Summer Festival



Tiered tanks in bold colors
Striped shorts with structured pockets
Tall gladiator sandals
Wrap bracelets
Feather charms

I love this look for a variety of reasons. First, it uses pattern in an unexpected way. When I started wearing my tribal print shorts by Kristine Cook Designs last summer, I was super self conscious about all of that pattern and visual interest on my rear end. The truth is, it distracts the eye and creates an illusion.

The cobalt tank is beautiful and flowy, the perfect cut to hide the hips!

Accessories wise, wrap bracelets from local arts festivals, and necklaces with interesting charms are great accessories for the Summer. Pick pieces that you love and wear them with pride!

Go bold this summer by mixing neutrals with bold colors and patterns!
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Postnatal Summer Fashion #pregnancy #postnatal

When I had our first son, it was mid June. It wasn't super crazy hot yet, but the warm weather was definitely on its way. I learned very quickly that soft flowy fabrics, a good pair of sandals and simple accessories will become your best friend.

Postnatal Summer Fashion



Dresses were my favorite when I was in that first postnatal phase after having Owen, and they are this time around as well. Look for empire waisted, soft fabrics that don't cling to your tummy. Bonus points if you can find dresses with detail like the ruched neckline of the one above. A little detail can add just enough visual interest to make even the simplest summer dress special.

Gladiator sandals are still my favorite type of footwear for summer, and unless you're dealing with postnatal edema and swelling, they'll likely become yours too.

For accessories, think big floppy beach hat, structured fedora, or open weave cuff and long necklace like the ones pictured above.

Ultimately, you want to be comfortable, but feel human again!
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Summer Cake, from Pinterest #food

Parfaits are pretty
Sorbet is sweet
but when it comes to entertaining, there is nothing better than having a beautiful cake to serve your guests.

I went in search of a yummy summer cake using seasonal fruits on Pinterest, and was overjoyed by this one!

 
First and foremost, the presentation is glorious. I love the slices of peach with their golden flesh, accented by the raspberry tones of the pit.

I also love that this cake uses peaches as the flavor. For summer, I find that so many use strawberries or raspberries, so it's nice to have a new fruit to enjoy in baking!

You can find the recipe here from The Baker Upstairs.
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Summer #BBQ Hostess Essentials

Playing hostess to family and friends this year with a big backyard bar-b-que? Here are a few things to make your hostess duties a cinch, and make you look fabulous this summer!

Summer BBQ Hostess



When I think about playing hostess to a summer bbq, I think about making my guests feel at ease and relaxed. After all, it's summer!

Bring out the blankets to sit on the lawn if you have limited table seating, as well as chic plastic or melamine plates and drinkware.

Line the paths with citronella candles to keep bugs at bay {a huge thing for me...they devour me!} and place lanterns along the porch, deck and anywhere that your guests will be sitting.

Pick up a cute condiment tray like this one from Williams Sonoma. I always cringe when I have to put out the bottles and jars from the fridge and wish they could look a little prettier...so this caddy is perfect!

And what will you wear?? Well a pretty sundress and wedge heels are perfect. It's summery but not too fancy, girly yet laid back.

Above all, have fun! Bring out the washer toss games and bean bags, water sprinklers for the kids, and sparklers for night time!
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Organization 101: Summer BBQ Organizer #organization #list

Take the stress out of hosting a  BBQ this summer with this free printable Summer BBQ Organizer.





Be prepared for your guests! While this list has the standard BBQ staples on it from condiments to plates and napkins, hamburgers and hotdogs to the drinks, there are also spaces on the list for you to add your own items.

Throwing a BBQ Pizza Party {how awesome would that be?!}? Don't forget the naan bread, olive oil, tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, garlic, breadsticks, and other toppings!

Maybe you're throwing an afternoon Lemonade and Cupcakes party! {again, hello! Fun!!} Lemonade, lemon-lime soda, cupcakes, tea cookies, ice, fancy glasses and rimming sugar.

Download the shopping list HERE for free!
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Beach Babe #raw #vegan #juice #recipe

After a few weeks of creating juices wit the same bases, it was time to branch out. I wanted to create a yummy summer juice recipe that would be awesome in cocktails, as well as delicious on its own.


2 apples
handful strawberries (rinsed and tops removed)
1 tangelo (rind removed, white pith left on)

Never heard of a tangelo? Neither had I but when I saw them in the citrus area of the produce section at the grocery store, I thought...when in Rome!

I juiced everything in the order listed above, no fancy this then that, then more of this and end with this. Straight forward and simple, this juice is sure to delight your tastebuds.

So...what's a tangelo? Well, upon doing some research it is a hybrid citrus fruit that is a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit, which explains for the rich coral color of this yummy juice recipe.

Nutrient wise, you will be getting loads of antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C. You will also be getting potassium, vitamin A, and even some calcium!

Juice up a BIG batch (this recipe makes about 6-8oz) if you're throwing a backyard bash this summer, and set it out with lemonade, tonic water, vodka and rum to create the perfect juice bar! This recipe would also be excellent for mimosa's on the morning of a summer wedding!


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