Today it was time to write...not about a product, a review or anything to do with a company of any sort. I needed to sit with my thoughts and reflect upon the year ahead. I started out by visualizing the past year..the path I have traveled, and what moving into a New Year represents to me. I saw myself traveling down a familiar path lined with trees that meandered through the woods, over bridges, across roads and back through the forest. It was a changing landscape: Dark and moody, bright and airy...I felt tense in some of the spaces I envisioned and joyful in others. I traveled with a large wheel barrel which held a number of items physical, emotional and spiritual: memories, tools, lessons, keepsakes. I moved about as if my baggage was as light as a feather, yet the contents proved the weight of the load. I visualized myself laying seeds along my way, seeds that would grow...that would become something bigger. Ideas, intentions, dreams. I promised myself I would return to these seeds to care for them, and to nurture their potential.
There came a point in my travels where it was time to deviate my familiar path, to a new road that branched off in a direction that would still remain apart of the original. You see, this has happened many times before. When I visualize my travels on this earth from birds eye view, the paths are all interconnected. Some are much harder to access and revisit, while others remain a pivotal road that I return to from time to time..to reflect and observe the growth of my seeds.
This new path was the birth of our daughter. It was unlike any road I had ever traveled, and it was filled with an entirely different light, sound and feel. I felt rooted with every step I took, knowing that this path is one that I have been traveling towards my whole life. I tread lightly, taking in the beauty, learning and growing from the obstacles I encountered along the way. I see myself today, and I am still on this road, except I am sitting quietly on a bench with my wheel barrel in sight...and it is time to leave behind some of the contents, but it's also time to observe some of the most recent items that have found its way inside.
Today is New Years Eve. After visualizing my path, I take the time to write down some negative thoughts and self talk that have come along with me throughout the year that hinder my happiness and self love. They come out of the barrel, (this is not to say that they may end up back in there) and I try to be patient with myself as I remove them time and time again. I must be compassionate as I grow and learn from those burdens I carry.
After considering all the seeds I have planted and the paths I have traveled each year, I have decided to change my approach to entering a New Year. I have decided that I will replace my New Year's resolutions with a Mission Statement. My mission statement will encompass one Large Goal, that can be broken up into smaller increments, so that I can celebrate each milestone. Also instead of writing down a list of goals for the upcoming year, I will write myself a letter expressing gratitude for the goals I have met. Perhaps I will share the letter that I wrote to myself...or perhaps not.
What I do want to share is my Mission Statement for now. The smaller increments which are the building blocks of my Grand Goal for the year will be written on stones in my home. As I accomplish each of these milestones I will celebrate. I will, however, ensure that these stones Do Not represent absolutes. They are meant to be flexible and harnessed in the time that is right, and I will not shame or punish myself if I do not celebrate them at a strict pace. I trust that each stone will be celebrated because they are not resolutions or traditions...they are decisions. They represent what I want for my life. So here is my mission statement
"My mission is to act as an instrument of positive change in family and community. I will participate in all aspects of my life with purpose, mindfulness, compassion and gratitude. I will nurture and develop my passion for the motherhood community to build my life's work. I will cultivate inner peace and self love within myself when facing challenges. I will also ensure that my home is loving and calm by creating space and time to be quiet with my family, and to live in the moment, content in our surroundings. Finally, I will find peacefulness within myself by looking inward while using my heart to guide my path towards my dreams, my mind to pursue the knowledge needed to accomplish my dreams, and my inner strength to create balance among all of my personal obligations. Finally, to walk life's path with the understanding that there is no way to happiness, as happiness IS the way"
Within this mission statement are all of those little increments I told you about. From those I will write my stones...the milestones that will help me to honour the mission I have set for myself. I hope that you all have a year of positive growth, love and peace. Happy New Year!
Guys...Christmas is 10 days away and today is officially the last day to order a gift online for Most stores (to receive it by Christmas). This is a short and sweet post reviewing some of my favourite shops that offer gifts that not only have meaning, but give back! If you are scratching your head trying to think about a few last minute gifts with a big impact- read on :)
I recently collaborated with this company because I was blown away by the beautiful vision the creators had. SOLS is a Utah based company working with Mexico’s most talented Artisans to bring you their beautiful products. Born in Mexico, but raised in the U.S. Liz, Cici and Abby were inspired while visiting small peublitos where their parents grew up. They were determined to share the beauty of their craft and culture with the world. Their mission is to give these Artisans both men and women the work and honorable pay they deserve in order to care for their families. A message from Liz, Cici and Abby:
"Every pair of SOLS has been handmade by an artisan in a small pueblito in Mexico. All leather, carefully handcrafted, and designed by real people with real names. Our hope is to share the beauty of the Huarache making art, which has been passed down through generations. Through this project, we hope to provide job opportunities for these people"
Visit ShopSols by clicking Here
2. Designs By A
I have had the pleasure of knowing, growing and working with the owner of this shop- Alanna. Her passion and creativity is so inspiring, and she is simply an incredible person and friend. When I am trying to think of a sentimental gift for anyone- whether it be a member of my family or a friend, the first shop that comes to mind is Designs By A. Alanna creates the most beautiful custom pieces for every occasion! For Christmas I think of her Custom Mugs, Wood Signs, Laser Cut Signs or specialty items such as unique hangers. I love getting people something unique and meaningful for their home..and Alanna makes absolutely stunning options! Take a look at the Designs By A Shop by Click Here to see if anything inspires you for the Holidays!
3. Kantha Bae
Collaborating with Krista and her beautiful company was a pleasure this year. Her creations are so magical and unique that I think they would make the perfect gift for a new mother, or anyone who loves textiles!! Check out Krista's inspiring words about the creation of Kantha Bae:
"I believe in mamas and sisterhood and community and that we can't do life alone and weren't meant to. I want my shop to be a platform for that. I hope that as you wear kantha, you feel a part of something bigger and that you are strong and brave!"
The stunning colours first attracted me to Kantha Bae, and now I just can't stop lovin on this company!! From wraps to carriers to pareos, head bands..quilts and more, just take a look at this site and feel all the beauty this mama creates. Check out the website Here
4. Jord Watches
I recently wrote a post about these beautiful watches and how much I adore them. So of course I want to include another hooray for this company. We are still in awe over the craftsmanship and attention to detail these timeless pieces possess. You can still order your JORD Watch for that someone special and receive it before Christmas- But today is the LAST day...so I have to remind you that the code for 25% off your order expires tonight! Click Here to receive your DISCOUNT and shop!!
5. Caco and Kai
Caco and Kai are two bizness ladies that opened a store in order to feed their global, vintage and hand-made textiles habit. As native Africans, Caco and Kai strive to use ethically sourced vintage textiles from all over the globe. Putting emphasis on promoting fair trade and sustaining local craftsmanship. Buying a Caco and Kai product is more than just a purchase for your home as 5% of every sale goes to support Morning Star Children’s Home orphanage and school in Kenya, Africa. Meaning you’re helping support the great work done to help the very communities our textiles originate from. They believe that in this era of mass production, there is a new desire to get back to handcrafted goods that tell a story, building the character of a home and illustrating individuality through uniqueness. Every Caco and Kai piece is one of a kind. It is such a beautiful way to show someone you care! From pillows to Blankets and Baskets, there are so many beautiful items that make for meaningful gifts this Christmas. Check out their website by clicking here. Psst they also have a Sweet Sale going on to!!
6. Cuddle and Kind
This adorable company was created by a family with an incredible mission: they created cuddle+kind because they wanted to make beautiful hand-knit dolls that help feed children. So for every cuddle+kind doll sold, they give 10 meals to children in need. The sweet dolls are SO adorable and come in two sizes depending on your preference. When it comes to gifting a little in your life whether it be your own or not...hands down, Cuddle and Kind is my pick! I love that every doll gives back, and I also love the quality of each of the little friends they create! Piper has Stella the Polar Bear and she is Literally obsessed with it. They have some Special Offers going on right now, but remember today is the last day to ship before it's to late! Click Here to Shop Cuddle and Kind
Okay everyone, that's it! If you are searching and trying to think of some last minute ideas that don't feel like a last minute idea...well, I hope your search ends here, and that you can finish your orders and pour a glass of wine. Cheers everyone, enjoy the Holidays and Merry Christmas to you and your family xo Am
It`s almost Christmas and we couldn`t be more excited for the Holidays! It`s such a special month because not only is it Christmas, but it is also my birthday, my husbands birthday, And it`s the month we got engaged...Oh And the month that we found out that we are having a Girl! So needless to say, there is a lot of gifting and celebrating happening between now and New Years! I was so eager to give Andrew his Christmas present that he got it a little bit early for his Birthday instead! I wanted to make sure that he could wear it for our Christmas photos, and well...I was too pumped to wait!
Before I share the gift with you, I want to get into the inspiration behind it. When thinking about a gift for Andrew I try to think about whether or not he has mentioned something he would really like, and then I also consider what makes him happy, excited and inspired. He had started to mention that he would like to add to his watch collection, so naturally I made note of this! Although I have given Andrew watches in the past, I really wanted this years gift to be special and unique. It has been a whirlwind of a year for us both between finding out we are pregnant, to welcoming our baby girl into the world and embarking on an adventure of a lifetime. I wanted to celebrate this, and to make sure his gift is a gesture that comes from a place of appreciation. Andrew has always been an admirer of detail and when we were at the Winona Peach Festival this summer he stopped dead in his tracts at a booth selling watches made out of wood with incredible engraved designs on them. I had remembered seeing a similar design online, and felt that the ones I saw were bolder and included stunning options I loved for Andrew. I kept this in mind!
Fast forward to shopping for that Perfect wooden watch, I decided to check out JORD Wooden Watches. These were the beautifully crafted watches that popped into my mind the day of the festival. After scrolling through the JORD website I knew right away that this was going to be the special gift I get Andrew for his birthday. I thought I would share about this watch because I truly think that it is an incredible watch, keepsake and even an Heirloom to be passed down!
After giving Andrew his watch I decided that not only did I want to write about it, but I also wanted to Team Up with JORD Watches to offer a discount to those of you who are searching for the perfect gift. Whether it is for your husband, wife, son, daughter, parents...anyone who is special to you, I think that these unique handcrafted watches are absolutely timeless. To access a 25% off discount click the link below to enter in your email address. Your code will be emailed to you! JORD rarely has sales and this is a huge discount...I am so so excited to be offering it!!Click Here for the Discount Code
I am in no way trying to sell you on anything, and I am not being paid to say this! I am just so excited about these beautiful watches that I wanted you to learn more about them to. If you are thinking about buying a JORD Watch for Christmas, or if you simply want to take advantage of the discount, keep in mind that the offer expires on December 15th!!
If you love the watch that I got Andrew here is the direct link to the Dover Series: Koa and Black Watch - Click Here for this Watch
Here is the link to check out all Men`s Watches - Click Here for Men`s Watches
Here is the link to check out Ladies Watches- Click Here for Ladies Watches
"You already know that worrying is part of the parenting turf. (You'll find it listed in the job description right after "guilt.") What you may not realize until after your baby arrives, however, is just how many things there are to worry about ?- and how normal it is to drive yourself crazy by panicking about every little thing"- Ann Douglas, The Top Ten Worries of New Parents
Hi guys! I want to talk about this amazing Workshop that Andrew and I did recently! But first I want to talk about New Parent Worries and then you will see how these two topics go hand in hand.
According to Pregnancyandbaby.com, some of the top New Parent worries include:
I started to realize that the most reoccurring aspect of these worries was the possibility of Not being able to effectively help, control or respond to those dangerous situations! This was a big light bulb moment for me...and I realized that I needed to feel Powerful over these situations (as spontaneous as they are) by being Prepared for them! Do you relate or hear yourself in my words? Then I HIGHLY recommend doing a Full Spectrum Safety course for your family. In my eyes, I think that these courses and workshops are just as important or More important that our Prenatal workshops that everyone does. And after completing our workshop I actually believe it should be a must!
So what did we look for in a Workshop? A Comprehensive, hands on approach to Safety! We found a few courses that cover CPR Suffocation and Choking, but nothing that covered all of the most common threats to our wee babe! Finally, we turned to With Care who is a fellow blogger that I have gotten to know over the past year. I adore her page and all of the amazing information, knowledge and inspiration for pregnancy and parenthood she offers- plus she has the sweetest family that is an absolute joy to follow! Follow along with Care's Instagram HERE and visit her blog by clicking HERE
Would you know what to do if your child or baby stopped breathing and went blue at home?
This is the opening question to Care`s workshop, and to be honest for Me the answer was Panic. The Infant and Family CPR & Safety Workshop teaches you what to do if the unthinkable happens. It`s a 3 hour course focusing on accident prevention, family first aid, as well as infant and child CPR and relief of choking. Here is a list of the Workshop contents:
I cannot explain the relief this course brought us. I feel fully confident in my ability to respond to all of those emergencies big and small, and to me that is Priceless!
Although new parent worries are Going to happen, having the tools to respond to those unthinkable situations is so important! I feel like I have gained control over the anxieties that were once swamping my mind with scary scenarios, and my only frustration at this point is that we did not do it sooner. Life will bring it`s curve balls and sudden accidents, That is something I cannot control...but I Can control my ability to respond to those situations with proper education. Guys, I am telling you that it is so worth it! If you are looking to attend you can head to Care`s workshop page by clicking Here.
I hope you all have a safe and happy day xoxo Am
We are heading into month number Five with our new babe and let me tell you, the Four Month Sleep regression has gone through this house like a bat out of..well (Mamas) you know what I mean. Combine her sleep regression with the horrifically long Leap #4 (If you are following along with the Wonder Weeks), as well as a tooth coming in, and you have got a recipe for a cranky baby/mommy and daddy running on little to no sleep. It is during these times that I am reminded how beyond our control parenting can be. This realization was huge for me. More importantly, I discovered that the one thing we Can control is how we look at a situation as it presents itself. This discovery alone can determine the outcome of my day. So when I find myself in a situation that is particularly challenging such as a teething, sleepless babe I turn to Mantras in order to balance my mind.
My relationship with Mantras began through my love of Yoga. If you also practice Yoga, you might recall your class starting with a Mantra or Affirmation to reflect upon throughout your sequence. The word Mantra comes from a Sanskrit word meaning a sacred message or text, charm, spell counsel. The purpose of the mantra is to create a meditative sense of focus as you repeat a word or phrase. For me, a mantra has great power over my mind in a number of ways, but if I could define HOW it affects me, I would say that it comes down to 4 words: Insight, Balance, Clarity and Grounding. So, as a new mom in the trenches, I felt that those 4 words would make all the difference in times when I need to shift my perspective and the way I view a situation. A mantra gives me the opportunity to pause, breathe, clear my mind, focus, ground and re balance. More often than not, this single practice changes the mood, experience and outcome of my day with my baby girl.
If you are looking for a Shift in your day, or a Tool to keep in your back pocket for those challenging moments, try out these Mantras that I have chosen as my Favourite New Mom Mantras for a Balanced Mind. What I would suggest is, write these down in a place that is accessible. I had them on my chalk board. Eventually you will memorize them, and simply recite the Mantra that makes Most sense for that moment. Ask yourself, what message do I Need most right now. Or, give these a try, and then develop your Own Mantras! So without further adieu, here are a few mantras that help me! I hope they will help you to xo
This Feeling Is Temporary
You Do Not Have to Do Everything
You Are Doing the Best You Can
I Choose Calm Over Anxiety
I am proud of Myself for...
Today I release expectations of perfection
My Mothers intuition leads me to the Right Choices
Do What You Can, Let the Rest Go
I am the Best Mother for my Baby
Taking care of Myself is Part of Taking Care of my Baby
Throughout my pregnancy I was told by many that reading will help to prepare me for motherhood. Apparently the more I read, the easier life will be because I will have all the tools necessary...*cue the laughter from all new parents*.
There is literally no book that Fully prepares you my friends ..every single day is different, and although the books give you insight into what life might be like, and tools to tackle the biggest challenges babe throws your way, there's no "do this and life will be swell". So with that said, my advice (in my personal experience), is to learn your baby, trust your instincts (I promise they will kick in), and to find time for yourself. One of the main ways that I find time for myself is to walk with Piper in her carrier. Although it's technically not "Me" time in the sense of being alone, it's a great way for me to get fresh air ..breathe and clear my head.
So today I want to talk about that special time of Baby Wearing, whether I'm using my sling, wrap or carrier..it's all equally wonderful. One important piece of advice that I read during pregnancy was that baby Wearing is SO important...Here is an excerpt from one of my favourite books The Happiest Baby on the Block that really got my attention:
..."for thousands of years, the !Kung San (African bushman) lived in isolation on the plains of the Kalahari Desert...reports are particularly interesting because !Kung infants hardly ever cry...fussy bouts average only sixteen seconds. Careful examination of these African Moms reveals they hold their babies almost 24 hours a day...carry their babies in leather slings all day...
grow up Happy and Self Sufficient"
One of the most important aspects of baby wearing for me is the heart to heart connection. I also love that there are so many options out there!! Typically if I am just strolling around, popping into a store, or if I am just looking for something light (in hot temps) I will use a Ring Sling as seen above! My favourite ring slings come from potterandpehar.com and www.auraleaf.co.
If I am looking for something light like a ring sling, but I want more Hands Free/Secure support I will opt for a Wrap Carrier. My favourite company that I purchased my wrap carrier (seen below) is Kantha Bae - kanthabae.com
Finally, if we are planning on a tough hike or if I want a carrier that will keep Piper warm, I go with my Baby Bjorn! I really love that the Baby Bjorn comes with a weather protective cover that keeps P cozy! It's so easy to throw on, it keeps Piper super secure, and I don't have to worry about her slipping out at all!
This week is International Baby Wearing week, so I just had to share my passion for this beautifully close form of getting around with my little lady! Like I said in the beginning, it all comes down to knowing your baby, trusting your instincts and taking time for yourself...and Baby Wearing hits all three cornerstones of motherhood for me. Not only does it help me connect with Piper, but that connection deepens my bond and instinctual understanding of her needs. Oh AND it allows us to get out into nature, I get a good workout traveling about with my babe on board, and I am able to get things done with my hands free! So if you're a mommy to be ..go get a sling, wrap or carrier of your choice! If you're a mom debating the "Baby Wearing" route ..it's the best, I promise xo Enjoy the incredible benefits!
Towards the end of my pregnancy I started to experience pain around the top/center of my abdomen. I decided to bring it to my midwives attention, and she informed me that it is possible that my ab muscles are separating and that it is a common occurrence. Leaving her office, I said to Andrew..."how is this a common occurrence if I have never heard of this happening?". So I started to wonder whether it was just Me who had never heard of it! I started to ask around within my mommy network...and after talking to some of my most informed moms, I only came one other person who had experienced it! Not only was I shocked, but I became really concerned about whether or not this would be a problematic injury.
A month later after delivering Piper, I discovered that it IS most definitely a major injury, and not only that, but it would require physiotherapy to fix it! So how did this happen? And most importantly...how can You prevent it from happening when you're pregnant Or if you have already delivered your babe, how can you tell if you (unknowingly) have it to!
"Diastisas":Separation + "Recti":Rectus Abdominis
Hi! My name is Amber, I am a wife and mother to Piper June. Welcome to my blog. You will find my path towards natural health and wellness as well as my honest discoveries as a new mother. In all aspects of life, I strive to cultivate Balance through a mindful existence. I share my experiences as a mother, helpful product reviews and companies that I am passionate about for our family. I am so grateful for your visit xo