Thursday, June 12, 2014

Here's looking at you Ontario.

If you have been living under a rock for the past few months, let me take this opportunity to remind you that it is election day in Ontario. More likely though, you've been bombarded with media on said election and I hope you've been paying attention.

Voter turnout has not been good in the recent past (this is the fault of the nerds according to this Macleans article, but I digress), and that pains me. Voting is a privilege and a right and we need to recognise and embrace that. I realise that the options are not popular and I understand the hesitations but someone is going to hold office, you really should have your say about who. This is a genuine chance for us to be the boss, to have a position on a very important board of directors... seize it.

Let's take this opportunity to show the candidates that we are NOT apathetic, that we will hold them to their platform promises, and that we do care how our province is run. Then, perhaps all the naysayers will be true to their word and seek a role in politics prior to the next election. I also encourage them to do so.

For now, it IS election day and it IS important to vote, so it's time to make a choice for someone. According to the above noted Macleans article we really can't use the 'my vote doesn't matter' rationale anymore since low turnout means each vote is worth more than it has in decades, how's that for food for thought?

On that note, the Little-Miss and I are off. It won't be a fun walk in the rain but we have a job to do.



Good luck Ontario!


Monday, June 2, 2014

Sourcing Decor - Felt Ball Rugs

As I mentioned in a previous post, with our new arrival on the way, we had to drop everything and get to work on her future nursery. To that end, we've been looking at many items and aspects of it for some time now, but with the nursery having yet to be completed, our search continues on.
 
 
 
One product that was brought to my attention are the beautiful rugs sold by the feltballrug.com. These rugs are not only beautiful but also have a lovely story to tell. Recently, I was watching a rerun episode of Dragon's Den, where a recent University graduate from my neck of the woods (and school) pitched an eyewear company that used recycled materials from and were manufactured in his home (African) country. He didn't make it on the show as he was a little too 'green' for the dragons (they invited him back in a year) but he did have their interest due to the ethical nature of his work plan. They discussed how consumers like this angle nowadays as it provides them with the opportunity to purchase something lovely that they wanted anyway, and help to make a difference at the very same time. This got me thinking, they were right, weren't they? People, all things being equal, would love to make a difference in their purchases and that's another reason (aside from obviously lovely products) that feltballrug.com is so great. That was quite the long-winded segue, wasn't it?
 
 
Anyway, so right, feltballrug.com is the company behind beautifully handcrafted rugs from Nepal. The rugs themselves are made up of many naturally-dyed, hand-rolled, and sun-dried balls of wool. The artisans themselves add another ethical angle to this product too. Each rug is handcrafted by Nepalese women who, in most cases, have no other professional background, and have families to care for. Many of the rugs are handcrafted in the very homes where these families reside, providing not only an income for these women but also the flexibility they require as home keepers and mothers. These rugs are just so unique that I invite you to read a little more about the process yourself, here. There's also a pretty neat video available here, which pretty much makes me want to go to Nepal and make a rug myself. Admittedly, my favourite aspect of these rugs is how kid-friendly they are. Not only are they dyed (chemically-free) 100% pure New Zealand wool BUT that also means that they possess a natural protective layer that makes them repellent to dirt and water. Umm, yeah they do. Any cloth diapering wool users out there? Yup, like that.

 
 
 
Feltballrug.com provides several options for the perfect rug for your home. The most interesting, to me, is that you can design your own here, making it perfect for your space. If that's a little too much for you though, there are the more standard options of their round rugs or rectangular rugs. These provide 15 standard designs while designing your own reveals 65 additional colours to choose from. I received a colour chart from the company and can attest to how vivid and beautiful they are, not to mention how lovely the balls feel. I think walking on something like that would be quite the treat! It is also worth noting that if you need guidence or assistance in designing your unique piece, textile designer and FeltBallRug.com co-founder, Nasia Burnet is available for just that!
 
 
 
Finally, a press release tells me (quite possibly) the greatest tidbit of all -
 
'FeltBallRug.com offers free shipping throughout the world. Standard designs are shipped within two weeks while custom rugs are shipped within approximately four weeks. The company also has a Happiness Guarantee: If customers are not satisfied with their rugs, they can return them no questions asked.'
 
Those who know me well, know that I hate shipping charges. I know why we need to pay them, but I hate them. So free shipping certainly has my attention!
 
 
You can learn more about and see more gorgeous pictures of these rugs on their Facebook page or their Instagram feed.
 
 
 
As with any sponsored post, all opinions are (as always) my own. I only post content of my choice, that I believe to be applicable, and that I think will appeal to you, the readers.

Monday, May 12, 2014

We've Grown {again!}

First,  I'm sorry.
I mentioned (fairly) recently on facebook that I was waiting on many things. These things would mean not only a lot to do, but also a lot to write about. These things are happening slowly now, so I'm hoping to get to work soon, as I find the time (and energy).

With Mother's Day come and gone, there's no better time to share our news -

One of those 'things' was a new wee member of our family! The Mini-Mister is now a proud big brother to his new sister! He is a nurturer if I've ever seen one and it makes the Mister's and my heart swell daily. It is amazing to see someone I love so much, love our new daughter too.

The Little-Miss was born into our little family, one day late, on February 22nd at 4:51am. This birth was a little different from her brother who came 3 days early and entirely intervention-free. The similarities are that, once active labour actually started, things went quick and for the second time, we were with the same wonderful midwifery group and were under the same great care as with the Mini-Mister.

The differences started early. Pregnancy was... harder. This was true both physically and mentally. I just couldn't shake the feeling that we were robbing the Mini-Mister of his time to be the baby. I wanted to spend every possible second with him yet I was exhausted and not feeling well. Then there was the fact that I was deeply saddened by the feeling that the new edition was suffering from 'second baby syndrome ' before she was even born (and not just from us). I was bothered by the fact that she wouldn't have the surprise/sentimentality/keepsakes that her brother had (even if he doesn't and may never care about them). Was the Mister right when he said that she was going to be loved by us and that she was going to be an important part of our 'crew'? Absolutely, but they were very real and very heavy feelings at the time (Editor's note: The word 'crew' came from a very wise friend who had previously felt exactly what I was feeling. She really provided clarity and substantiation to what I was going through).

Anyway, fast forward through about 9.5 months of aforementioned heaviness and we waited for her to signal her pending arrival... and waited, and waited. On February 20th, just one day before my estimated due date (and, as it was, my 31st birthday), I was enjoying some pre-bedtime cuddles with the Mini-Mister. It is, by far, my favourite time of day so it's only fitting that what happened next, happened then. It was in adjusting the little man, while sitting on his bed with him on my lap, that I felt a pop. I just knew what it was immediately,  even without ever feeling it before. I yelled for the Mister, told him what happened and left him to finish bedtime. I called the midwife, made a plan, then waited. Nothing happened. After a surprisingly quiet night, the following morning we headed into the clinic to make sure all was well and to make a plan. Options were discussed regarding potential induction buuut no one really thought it would get to that. After that, contractions came and went all day long and (admittedly) got a little annoying after a while. For the record, the midwife only gave me until 8am the following morning to have contractions pick up on their own.

That night, we put the Mini-Mister to bed again as a (surprisingly) only child. I can assure you that knowing what I did about the following morning, I savoured every second with him, my little bear. At midnight my little love woke up yelling (it happens from time to time) and I went in to see him. After getting him back to bed, contractions started again...
At that point the midwife, who was already at the hospital, invited us to come in while she called for back up. Unfortunately, by the time we reached the hospital things had ground to a screeching halt again. We walked circles around the labour & delivery unit in hopes of it picking back up but it didn't work. Around 2:30am, 30 hours after my water initially broke, we started the induction. Fast-forward two hours to 4:30am and active labour was called... guess who showed up 20 minutes later?

Introducing little baby E -

We checked out of the hospital a couple hours later and arrived home around 7:30am. It was another whirlwind night filled with a whirlwind birth. A small price to pay for a complete little family, err... crew!

Daddy got her dressed to hit the road.

Pride... and fatigue.


A little while after the Mini-Mister woke up and was ready to pay attention to his sister... very interesting (and soft), these babies.

So there you have it!
(Now to finish the nursery!)