Cute & Cozy Swaddling Blankets For The Winter Months

Chilly temperatures mean cozy, swaddled babies for long walks and outings, so I thought I would round up six great options for keeping your infant warm and seasonally stylish. The Coyuchi Muslin Swaddling Blankets (pictured above) are the perfect prints for fall, but are still sheer and airy enough for use in warmer climates. Bundle your baby up underneath and have this gorgeous, plaid print to show off. The Plaid Orchid and Plaid Sunwashed Tangerine are sold in a set of two, and the bonus is that you can even use these as a nursing cover or scarf!

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Etsy never fails to please, and these next two selections have lovely, warm colors excellent for cooler months, but they could also be used year round. The Pellerina Chevron Slices Swaddle (above) features nautical, unisex colors, which are perfect for newborns. Pellerina Design offers modern prints mixing “Scandinavian simplicity and American boldness.” I am also finding this Wheatfield Herringbone blanket so attractive.

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The Organic Birds Swaddle Blanket and Burp Cloth by Wren and Rumor offers more modern design with fresh colors. Warm green tones contrast nicely with soft blues and vivid yellows. This would be a fun pick for year round!

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You can’t do a post about swaddles without mentioning the loved, turning classic, aden + anais swaddle blankets. The Into the Woods trio of swaddles is a great print and color for fall, made from organic, cotton muslin, and works for all needs as a swaddle, blanket, car seat cover, nursing cover, and general “lovie” blanket.

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If you have creative and crafty abilities, you’ll find the How to Make a Flannel Swaddling Blanket from Passionate Homemaking an easy tutorial. You can pick your own fabric to match nursery bedding, wall decor, and favorite animals. Once I can get my hands on a sewing machine, I’ll have to try this out myself!

Review: New Samsung Chromebook Laptop

I’m going to start off with a full disclosure here – I am a self-proclaimed Apple snob. Every computer (except for our business unit), every phone, every tablet and every laptop in this house is made by Apple. I have never considered switching or purchasing a computer from another company, even if the price is at times 75% less than my preferred brand. When Staples Canada offered for me to test out the Samsung Chromebook, I was very interested to see how it would hold up during my travels and huge workload, especially considering the fact that my nose has been permanently stuck up in the air when it comes to any other brand.

large-5For the past few weeks, I’ve been giving this computer a real workout, taking it to Mexico, Florida and Las Vegas on work-related trips where speed and reliance are of the utmost necessity. The computer was ready to use straight out of the box. It’s extremely light at 2.43 lbs and is less than one inch thick. There is no wait time when you turn the computer one, with a press of a button, the machine boots up in about 8 seconds. That in itself is a huge perk as my Macbook Pro takes ten times that long to start up.

The programming took a little getting used to as the applications that I’m used to seeing at start up, are naturally quite different – dare I say, even more simplistic. Instead of the usual round of applications, Google has built-in their Search, Gmail, YouTube and Hangouts on the Desktop. It’s quite nifty, especially if those applications are ones that you use regularly. As for me, I use the first three multiple times a day, so it was nice to have the easy access. The Chromebook was great during flights as Gmail and Google Docs are available offline, so I was able to get additional work done while traveling.

large-1Overall, my favorite feature of the Samsung Chromebook is the speed and lack of crashes. I haven’t had one crash or screen freeze since I received this laptop in September, which is something that I can’t say with my MacBook Pro.

Has the Samsung Chromebook replaced my beloved MacBook? Not completely, however it is my preferred computer for writing in the evenings and I have found myself reaching for it over my MacBook during trips. I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised as Google is known for their stellar products.

large-7If you’re looking for an affordable laptop that performs beautifully, I highly recommend the Samsung Chromebook. It’s light, but mighty and for the price ($238) you really can’t beat it.

Disclosure: Staples Canada provided us with this computer for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own as always.

ivivva’s Activewear For Girls ~ lululemon for Kids

Ice skating, gymnastics and dance lessons have begun, which means you’ve most likely been shopping for activewear for your children. lululemon athletica is my favorite brand of activewear and a couple of years ago, they launched ivivva, a brand that is inspired and made for young girls. All of the same technical fabrics like Luon® or anti-stink Silverescent™ that you know and love are used to make these pieces. I’ve purchased a size 14 for myself (equivalent to a size 4 women’s) and found the quality to be in line with lululemon.

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My girls have become quite active this year with various activities and have repeatedly asked for matching tops and tanks like their mama. ivivva will be on my shopping list this holiday season and something tells me that both of my daughters will be thrilled!

Have you ever purchased ivivva for your girls?

Burberry Kids! Mini-Me Fashions For Fall Winter 2013

Burberry’s children’s collection is fabulous this season (more on that soon), however my favorite is the Mini-Me inspiration. oxblood dressEvery year Burberry picks several items from their adult line and shrinks them down to a child-sized version for their ‘Prorsum’ collection. Each one of the Mini-Me pieces are inspired by the runway styles for men and women.

green military jacketThis year oxblood, camel, army green, black and a print featuring a cream background and heart ‘dots’ are trending. The nice thing about each of these shades is that they’re timeless. pony coatTrendy for 2013 yes, but they will still be ‘in’ for 2014 and onward. Burberry gets it right each and every year.

Photo credit: Burberry

Jean Paul Gaultier Launches Junior Gaultier Couture

Jean Paul Gaultier is known for his intricate and luxurious gowns and now the designer is about to extend his talent to children. During his Spring 2013 couture fashion show, four kids popped out from under a model’s dress wearing long gowns. Those gowns are actually part of the new collection and will run you $1,200 each. The fluffy tulledresses are part of the Junior Gaultier Couture Spring/Summer 2014 collection and feature a silk bodice and Swarovski crystal detailing.

The collection is inspired by Gaultier’s Spring 2013 Haute Couture collection for women and although it’s incredibly pricey, I’m sure it will appeal to the princesses in the world.

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The dress will be available in ivory and padparadscha, and are set to go on sale in the next couple of months. Only 90 dresses in each color will be produced and sizes will range from 4 to 14 years.

$1,200 people. $1,200!

Source: Jean Paul Gaultier/Huffington Post

Links We Love: 20 Travel Hacks You Need To Know, The BEST Halloween Costume & M

Super cool and functional bookshelves for kids – LilSugar

Classic wooden toys that don’t cost a million dollars – Cool Mom Picks

6 clever kid’s room organizers – Handmade Charlotte

The best Halloween costumes of the year (Anna Wintour anyone?) – Celebrity Babies

We are loving these adorable hats from Funky Little People – Boys Be Cool

Child Mode elsewhere:

  • Halloween outfit solutions for newborns and babies – Disney Baby
  • 20 travel hacks to save you time and money on your next trip – Babble
  • 40 baby names inspired by Thanksgiving – Disney Baby
  • 9 places that are still unexplored frontiers – Babble
  • Condé Nast Traveler announces “World’s Best Small Airline” – Babble
  • 5 of the biggest mistakes parents make – Babble
  • 10 of the scariest places on earth – Babble

 

Food Friday Featuring: Hearty Vegetarian Chili

As the Halloween festivities come to an end I have to say I am exhausted.  The parties, school and daycare functions and the infamous trick-or-treating event has left me feeling wiped out and sugared out.  On the upside, my crock-pot is dusted off and ready to make a big pot of chili. Chili, in my opinion is the easiest way to make a healthy and filling meal in minutes.  I like to prepare the chili on the stove and then transfer it to the crock-pot to stew away for hours until we are ready to eat! I often quickly prepare it before bed and leave it cooking all night. The longer the flavors are left to stew, the greater and bolder they become. Serve with some sharp cheddar cheese and a crusty piece of bread for a complete meal of goodness.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Splash of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 6 button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can black beans
  • I can kidney beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Taco seasoning

Directions:

  1. Sauté garlic, onion, red pepper, and mushrooms in olive oil on medium high heat until soft.
  2.  Season with salt, pepper and taco seasoning.
  3. Add beans, diced tomatoes, stir and combine.
  4. Add tomato paste to thicken.
  5. When you have reached the desired flavors transfer to your crock-pot and keep in low until you are ready to eat (as long as possible for best results).