Flour + Paper https://flourandpaper.com Stay A While. Be Inspired. Fri, 05 May 2017 01:25:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 https://flourandpaper.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/cropped-Negative-logo-32x32.jpg Flour + Paper https://flourandpaper.com 32 32 Maternity Style Staples: Tips To Stretch Your Closet + Budget https://flourandpaper.com/2017/05/maternity-style-staples/ https://flourandpaper.com/2017/05/maternity-style-staples/#comments Fri, 05 May 2017 01:25:24 +0000 https://flourandpaper.com/?p=5190 Once I got through the first semester, and my belly started to actually grow, is when I started thinking of having to purchase dreaded maternity clothes. I didn’t want to get sucked into spending tons of money on clothing that is insanely overpriced and, realistically, would only get worn for a few months. For the most part, the majority of pregnant women […]

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Once I got through the first semester, and my belly started to actually grow, is when I started thinking of having to purchase dreaded maternity clothes. I didn’t want to get sucked into spending tons of money on clothing that is insanely overpriced and, realistically, would only get worn for a few months. For the most part, the majority of pregnant women are going to need a wardrobe that takes them through 2 weather seasons, since they can get away with wearing regular clothing for the first trimester.

I did purchase a few non-fashion items in my first trimester which I found essential and would use throughout my pregnancy as well as after. However, when it comes to maternity clothing, it seems like wearing most of what’s available after pregnancy, could look a bit odd.

When shopping for maternity clothing, I found that prices range from average to just plain ridiculous. So, although it took a bit of searching (and self restraint to not blow all my cash) I managed to shop my own closet and purchase items that look great during pregnancy and will be just as stylish to wear postpartum.

 

STRETCHY TUNIC TANKS

These are perfect for layering with sweaters, shirts, and blazers. They have a whole lot of stretch and the extra length helps to keep your belly from showing a bit of skin once you’re baby bump is pretty plump. | $7 CAD, Old Navy (on sale)

 

SWING DRESS

Swing dresses are great and will fit your bump all the way through your pregnancy since they are cut in an A-line shape and the style naturally has extra fabric, allowing lot’s of room for belly growth. They look great with just about any boot, shoe, or sandal. I’ve been wearing mine since the first trimester and still wearing it proudly. | $48.96 CAD on sale at The GAP

 

EMPIRE WAIST BLOUSE

This was one of my maternity wear purchases. It has enough fabric to allow belly growth throughout your entire pregnancy, but it’s definitely a piece you can wear post par-tum, untied at the waist and worn lose with a blazer. | $34.97 CAD from Motherhood Maternity (on sale plus an extra 30% off)

 

BUTTON-FRONT CARDIGAN

Great for layering over tank tops and dresses on cooler days or days when you don’t really need a jacket but there’s still a coolness in the breeze. Another piece you can wear during and after pregnancy. | $15 CAD from Old Navy (on sale)

 

MATERNITY JEANS

I didn’t think I would have ended up purchasing a pair of maternity jeans or pants since I still wear my other jeans and pants with the Belly Band, but there have been times when I’ve gone away on weekend trips and totally forgot to pack them (pregnancy brain is real)! So, I bought a pair of jeans to avoid THAT happening again. | $50 CAD at Old Navy

 

JERSEY PENCIL SKIRT

Jersey is great because it has a lot of stretch. You can wear it dressed up or down. It has lots of length to it which will accommodate a growing belly, and you won’t end up with a mini skirt by your third trimester. | $16 CAD at Old Navy (on sale)

 

BOYFRIEND SHIRTS

These I already owned before becoming pregnant. During my second trimester, I was still able to button these up, but they we’re much cuter paired with a skinny belt at the waist. Now that I’m in my third trimester, I leave them open layered with a tank top underneath or they can be tied at the top your belly, paired with jeans, shorts, or a jersey pencil skirt for a summer weekend look. | $17.50 CAD at Old Navy (on sale)

 

COCOON DRESS

Sometimes you just want to be in something lose and non-constricting. The cocoon dress is perfect for just those days. This one was found at ASOS from their maternity line, but one that can be worn after pregnancy, especially when you can expect to be a bit sore after giving birth and no longer feeling that pregnancy glow. | $25.81 CAD at ASOS (on sale)

 

COLD SHOULDER TEE

The nice thing about this tee is that it’s very light weight and it doesn’t have so much extra material that I can’t make it work after my pregnancy. It can even be layered with a jean jacket or blazer. Once the baby arrives I’ll still have plenty of time to sport this with a pair of jeans or shorts, tucked or untucked. Bonus, it will be perfect for feeding time. | $34.95 CAD at The GAP

 

OFF SHOULDER TOP

Just like the Cold Shoulder Tee, this Off Shoulder Top is versatile enough to wear during and post pregnancy. It could even be a cute cover-up beach or pool side. Again, great for feeding time. | $37.43 CAD at ASOS

 

STRETCHY JERSEY TEE DRESS

This I bought in a regular fit from Old Navy. It’s something I knew would have enough stretch to wear during pregnancy, and that I can wear after as well. Pair it with sneakers or jean jacket, sandals, and woven fedora. | $15 CAD from Old Navy (on sale)

 

These are just about all the pieces I’ve bought to give me some wardrobe options during pregnancy.  Almost all of them were purchased on sale (and during Super Cash and GAP Cash days) to avoid spending too much. I think each piece cost $45 or less, with the exception of maternity bras. A bonus is that I can continue to wear about 85% of these items post-pregnancy.

 

OTHER FINDS

The most comfortable maternity and nursing bra

Jean shorts that grow with your bump

Baby shower dress option #1

Baby shower dress option #2

Super cute form fitting dress for when you want to show-off your bump

A dress to take your bump from day to night

Memory foam sandals for when all you want is comfort for your swollen feet in your last pregnancy months

Softspun knit v-neck midi dress

Make My Belly Fit jacket extender growing belly bumps during the colder months

Super comfy thong undies that don’t give you sausage lines

Shorts for bumming around the house

Great everyday basics

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Pregnancy: First Trimester Essentials https://flourandpaper.com/2017/04/pregnancy-first-trimester-essentials/ https://flourandpaper.com/2017/04/pregnancy-first-trimester-essentials/#respond Fri, 28 Apr 2017 01:33:47 +0000 https://flourandpaper.com/?p=5018   Yes! I’ve made it through the first trimester (Tom survived as well…and is still surviving through all the pregnancy hormones) and am basking in the bliss I’ve heard SO much about that comes in the second trimester. And it sure is wonderful! The first trimester of pregnancy is between weeks 1 through 12 and I’m not going to say […]

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Yes! I’ve made it through the first trimester (Tom survived as well…and is still surviving through all the pregnancy hormones) and am basking in the bliss I’ve heard SO much about that comes in the second trimester. And it sure is wonderful!

The first trimester of pregnancy is between weeks 1 through 12 and I’m not going to say it was the worst thing ever, but it wasn’t very pleasant either. All pregnant women will have a slightly different pregnancy experience, but for the most part, many of the symptoms are the same – the sore breasts, aches and cramps, bloating, constipation (I know, T.M.I.), nausea (I had ALL day nausea without the puking, thank goodness), and food aversions. I’m going to say…This. Was. The. WORST. I can’t speak for Tom but I’m pretty sure my raging hormones accompanied by mood swings will always rank #1 of the worst thing for my entire pregnancy. I think he’s a bit nervous about how I’ll be after the baby. I don’t blame him. I’m a little scared myself.

There are a handful of items I found very practical and essential to surviving the first semester. Seeing that we chose not to tell friends and family about our baby-on-the-way news for the first trimester, I was left up to my own devices on figuring out how to deal with certain symptoms. Here were some of my favourite things that helped me get through it:

 

BOOKS + APPS

Being newly pregnant and not being able to share the news or get advice from those who have been through it before, can be tough. You want to know if what you’re experiencing is normal and figure out how to manage. I found these books and app to be very helpful (in addition to talking with my doctor).

What to expect when you’re expecting

What to expect: What to eat when you’re expecting

What to expect app

 

PRENATAL VITAMINS

These are imperative during your first trimester. However, my doctor did recommend I start taking them once we started planning and actively trying since certain vitamins and minerals help to prevent neural tube defects which affects the brain and spinal cord (which are the first parts to develop of your growing baby and before you will even know you are pregnant). The most important vitamins and minerals are folic acid, iron and calcium.

 

GINGER

Another recommendation by my doctor as well as my pregnancy books and app. Since you are limited in the medication you can take during pregnancy, especially if you suffer from nausea and morning sickness, ginger is a great natural remedy to help alleviate those symptoms. Try ginger tea, ginger ale, and ginger lozenges.

 

FIBER

Constipation is pretty much guaranteed during pregnancy. It’s all due to those lovely hormones, specifically progesterone, which has a relaxing effect on your muscles, including your digestive system (causing food to make its way through your intestines rather slowly). The best way to fight this is to eat fiber rich foods such as whole-grain cereals and breads, fruits like apples (with the skin), and dried fruits such as figs and apricots.

 

CRACKERS

Such a simple thing, but when you have all day nausea and just can’t stomach anything, saltine, arrowroot, or ginger snap crackers are like gold. Have them on hand to help you get something in your tummy. The saltine crackers can help with the nausea as well.

 

MATERNITY BRAS

These are a MUST! Regular bra’s just won’t cut it when you’re breasts start to swell and become ridiculously tender. I find that regular bra’s don’t provide the proper support or comfort you will need over the next nine months. A well fitted maternity bra can help prevent stretch marks, reduce sagging, and alleviate back pain. This is because a maternity bras cover the entire breast, which is more than an everyday fashion bra covers – everything is cut higher from the top of the breast to the breast tissue under your armpit. And between underwire and wireless, I’d say wireless all the way – they don’t feel so constricting and tight.

 

THE MIRACLE BALL METHOD FOR PREGNANCY

Towards the end of my first trimester, I started to get a lot of lower back pain and discomfort in my hips. My sister gave me the Miracle Ball Method for Pregnancy, which is a set of two teeny Swiss exercise balls and an instruction book on how to use them for different aches and pains. I wasn’t sure about them, but after the first time of using them, I noticed a HUGE difference. You have to be sure and be gentle with

 

BELLY BELT

During my first trimester I didn’t gain much weight, but my waist did grow enough for me to notice a difference in the way my clothes fit, especially my pants. I didn’t want to start purchasing  maternity clothes until I absolutely had too, and besides, maternity pants seem to be made for expectant mothers unless they are in their second and/or third trimesters.

The Belly Band is a perfect start to maternity gear while still wearing the pants and jeans you love most. It’s a set of elastics, at varying lengths to accommodate you as you grow, which easily attach to you pants with a button hole and button. I needed an additional inch and a half on my jeans by then end of my first trimester, and these did just the trick!

 

BELLA BAND

This I used (and still use) with my Belly Bands. I find that while the Belly Band give you more pant room, my pants would slide down slightly. The Bella Band helped keep my pants from sliding too much and would smooth out the bit of bulk that comes with using the Belly Bands.

 

SUPPORT SYSTEM

Surrounding yourself with family and friends who provide endless support and welcomed advice is always a good idea, especially for first time mom’s. The first several weeks were tough as Tom and I decided to wait until the end of the first trimester before sharing news with our family and closest friends. After sharing the surprise with everyone, it was the best feeling to have other supportive and experienced mom’s who had been through pregnancy already.

Are there any tips or must have items you used during your pregnancy? Would love to have you share them in the comments below!

1. Rosie Pope Wireless Nursing Bra $59.87 CAD | 2. Belly Belt $30 CAD | 3. What to Expect When You’re Expecting $18.17 CAD | 4. Miracle Ball Method for Pregnancy $20.21 CAD | 5. Bella Band $42 CAD

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An Everyday Watch | Lord Timepieces https://flourandpaper.com/2017/03/an-everyday-watch/ https://flourandpaper.com/2017/03/an-everyday-watch/#respond Mon, 20 Mar 2017 00:36:06 +0000 https://flourandpaper.com/?p=5120 Sponsored post Lately, I’ve been shopping around for an all metal watch that could be worn casually, without being too clunky. I lucked out when Lord Timepieces sent me the stunning Classic Silver Ladies watch ($98 CAD) from their women’s watch collection to review. Watches have made a HUGE comeback in the past couple of years. I remember getting […]

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Sponsored post

Lately, I’ve been shopping around for an all metal watch that could be worn casually, without being too clunky. I lucked out when Lord Timepieces sent me the stunning Classic Silver Ladies watch ($98 CAD) from their women’s watch collection to review.

Watches have made a HUGE comeback in the past couple of years. I remember getting my first “grown-up” watch when I was about 9 years old. It was an analogue watch. I’ve never owned a digital watch or clock, and not because my dad thought it was important that my siblings and I know how to tell time the good ol’ fashioned way, but because I just like the look of an analogue watch better, for many reasons, one being that they are just really classic looking pieces.

Fast forward to my 30’s and I still love a beautiful watch, but, I actually use it for the purpose of telling time (and adding a bit of POW to my outfit). The big thing for me is being able to glimpse at my wrist, rather than having to search for my cell phone whenever I’m curious about the time.  Besides, it’s a nice way to disconnect from social media for a little bit each day.

When you receive a watch from Lord Timepieces, it arrives in a simple black box with silver lettering. With it you receive a manual, warranty, and welcome card. The one thing I wish was included was instructions on how to adjust a mesh band to fit your wrist. I’m impatient and didn’t want to wait to have a jeweler to do this for me, and after a quick Google search, I found an easy tutorial.

The Classic Silver Ladies watch is a stainless steel version of the coveted leather boyfriend style watch. The 18mm mesh straps lends well to the 38mm face size and the ivory white dial keeps it clean and simple. What I always look for with anything I add my closet and accessories is versatility, and this watch delivers just that – wear it to the office or dress it down on the weekend. It’s well made in that it feels sturdy at all the connection points and has a good weight to it. A bonus is that it doesn’t pinch my skin. The only design detail I would have love to see is their crown logo rather than the word “Lord” on the face and clasp.

Lord Timepieces womens watches review.

The Classic Silver Ladies Watch is priced at $98 CAD and ships free worldwide. You can’t go wrong with the price as you rarely find a well crafted and fashion forward watch for less than $100. It’s water resistant and comes with a 2 year warranty.

If you’d like a Lord Timepiece of your own, use the discount code “FLOUR10” for 10% off your purchase valid for both women’s watches and men’s watches.

Follow @lordforher on Instagram to see other watches in their women’s collection (and a little more enticement if you need it).

 

This post is sponsored by Lord Timepieces, however, all opinions are my own.

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How To Better Manage Your Time + Get Stuff Done https://flourandpaper.com/2017/03/how-to-better-manage-your-time-get-stuff-done/ https://flourandpaper.com/2017/03/how-to-better-manage-your-time-get-stuff-done/#respond Mon, 13 Mar 2017 00:45:59 +0000 https://flourandpaper.com/?p=5078   As I’m making an effort to get off my lazy butt and get back into blogging, I feel like I’m frantically playing catch-up. SO MUCH has happened in the past three years and life really isn’t slowing down it seems, but it keeps me on my toes (I know I keep repeating this, but when I […]

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As I’m making an effort to get off my lazy butt and get back into blogging, I feel like I’m frantically playing catch-up. SO MUCH has happened in the past three years and life really isn’t slowing down it seems, but it keeps me on my toes (I know I keep repeating this, but when I reflect on life-after-meeting-Tom, I’m still in such awe).

Now that Tom and I are expecting a little one in July, I feel like I need to dedicate some serious one-on-one time to the blog and have been thinking of how to better manage my time to achieve this. After giving it a good think, I figured why not go back to what I’ve tried and tested and I know worked well.

My “method” comprises of a handful of practices, which when combined, work wonders for getting motivated, actually getting stuff done, and feeling pretty good about it!

 

IGNORE YOUR PHONE + TURN OFF THE TV

These are HUGE distractions when it comes to getting anything done when you’re at home. They are readily there, making it too easy to plop on the couch and and be planted there while watching repeats and maybe surfing various apps on your cell phone at the same time (I’m guilty of this. Usually scrolling through Facebook during commercials or fact searching during a show), and before you know it, time for bed. Nothing really accomplished. Well, other than prepping and eating dinner. I’ve been letting myself fall into this trap much too often since wrapping up our wedding and getting pregnant. Using all our life-happenings as an excuse to do nothing. It was fine for a while, but now it’s becoming my lifestyle and I’m saying NO to it!

Some of you might not agree, especially if you have a regular day job which might be stressful, so I can see the want to just veg out on the couch and totally shut off your brain, BUT, I personally believe our brain needs more love and care than that.

 

DAY DREAM ABOUT WHAT INSPIRES YOU + SET GOALS TO WORK AT IT

We all have something that excites us, drives our passion, and gets our energy going when we really put some time and effort into it. Whether it’s a hobby, day job, side job, dream job, planning a getaway, or things you really want from and for your life.

It’s one thing to think about it, but there is so much POWER in writing your intentions, dreams, whatever you want to call them, down. I’ve tried and tested this and I couldn’t tell you how true this is. But there is a difference between just jotting something down and taking the time to really feel your desire and intention when you put those words on paper. Kind of like putting together a visual board *link – you don’t just randomly cut out 100’s of photos because you like them. You are selective in choosing images that really resonate with you. So grab a journal or visual board supplies *link and get to it!

 

SET LITTLE DAILY GOALS + WORK UP TO THE BIG ONES

There was a point in my life in 2011 where there were unnecessary things clogging up my brain. I needed to block it out and do that in a productive way rather than watching tv. At the time, I was also looking for change. Change in my lifestyle, job/career, and where I was living. So, instead of jamming more stuff into my brain, I started to write them down (see previous tip above). This it-self needed to be done strategically. I knew I wasn’t going to get everything done in a blink of an eye (instant gratification doesn’t work work with these things), but I needed to map out various ways of achieving what I wanted without limiting myself to a timeline. We have no control over when things happen, we can take the steps to help the process flow, but then trust the rest to faith, the universe, God, whatever/whomever you want to call it.

So, each day, I made a list of 3-4 things to get done which related to working toward my bigger goals, and assigned a certain amount of time to each. This helped to keep me from feeling overwhelmed with everything (I was preparing for a move and month trip to Italy) while still feeling like I accomplished something meaningful each day and kept my mind free of the “clog.” To help me get through my daily list, I bribed myself (see next tip).

 

BRIBE YOURSELF

Ok, maybe not bribe, but more like reward, which depending on how you look at it, can still be a bribe.

In order to stay on track with my daily goals, I rewarded myself with things like getting to do an artsy project, watch a movie, or meeting up with a friend. They were simple things, but one’s that gave me the opportunity to take a break.

 

REST + RELAX

This is not a reward. This is a MUST. You have make the effort to shut your brain off and allow your entire being to just relax. Yoga, meditation, stretching, working out, and sleep are all great ways to keep your energy levels high and helping you stay refreshed, not burned out. I find that yoga and meditating are great ways to keep your mind present and from thinking about all the stuff that’s okay to let go of for a moment each day.

 

Are there any tips you have for better managing your time and getting stuff done? I’d love for you to share them in the comments below.

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Compact Living: Beautiful RV Homes https://flourandpaper.com/2017/02/beautiful-modern-rv-homes/ https://flourandpaper.com/2017/02/beautiful-modern-rv-homes/#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:46:35 +0000 https://flourandpaper.com/?p=4855 With fashion and home design trends gravitating towards a “minimalistic” look and style, it’s no surprise many of us are adopting to a more compact and simple way of living. From Capsule wardrobes, de-cluttered homes and work spaces, even the way we vacation, we are seeking a simpler way of being. What better way to live simply and […]

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With fashion and home design trends gravitating towards a “minimalistic” look and style, it’s no surprise many of us are adopting to a more compact and simple way of living. From Capsule wardrobes, de-cluttered homes and work spaces, even the way we vacation, we are seeking a simpler way of being.

What better way to live simply and unrestricted than in the comforts of a beautiful modern RV?! It’s crazy to see what RV owners have done to revamp and make their compact space cozy, comfy, and surprisingly roomy.

I searched the web to find some of the most beautiful RV’s out there and saved them for a few idea’s I have brewing for later down the road. All-in-all, these spaces are absolutely stunning, and you’d never guess they were an RV. There are endless design elements you could use for a small bachelor apartment, boat or cabin. Be warned, you might just be influenced to pack-up and hit the road – leaving all the strings and clutter behind…

 

Photo | The Noshery

Meseidy of The Noshery decided to move into a vintage RV in order to save money and as a means of decluttering. But downsizing didn’t mean forgoing a few modern luxury finishes to add some pretty and style to their space.

 

Photo | Apartment Therapy

Jordan and Britney Griggs decided to trade in their home for a life on the road in a camper in order to pursue their careers and take a year long tour of the USA. They both “work from home” and managed to fit important elements into their camper, including a super cozy workspace for two.

 

Photo | Medium.com

Bailey Eubanks took an old RV he bought on Craigslist and made it a DIY project which turned out to be absolutely stunning! The end product is modern but with a very cozy feel…oh and a “bumpin’ sound system.”

 

Photo | Little Things

This artist turned his vintage camper into a motel in the woods (he rents it out via AirBnB), in Austin, TX. Perfect for two, this camper is like a cabin on wheels with a few modern amenities such as WiFi, fully loaded, and TV.

 

Photo | Lynne Knowlton

Lynne Knowlton of the blog, Design The Life You Want To Live took on a DIY project of renovating an Air Stream camper from 70’s drab and stinky to something modern and chic. She rents out this sweet little camper on her 100 acre property just a few hours north of Toronto. She also has a tree house and cabin for rent as well. Her design style is immaculate and totally calls to my soul. Hands down my fave (have to admit the tree house totally upped the ante).

 

Photo | Mobile Home Living

This camper was used by Ellen Pompeo when she was taking breaks from shooting scenes for Grey’s Anatomy. It allowed her to retreat to a private space without giving up a bit of luxury, and without having to travel to a hotel.

 

Photo | Chic Street Style

When Brenna of Chic Street Style decided to spend a few years touring the US after her wedding, both her and her hubby decided to sell just about everything they had and bought themselves a lil’ fixer upper RV. After three months of renovations, they were finally ready to hit the road in style! I absolutely LOVE the pop’s of gold throughout which make it “Glam” without being overly girly.

 

Photo | Country Living

This has GOT to be the most cozy RV out of the bunch. Sarah Schneider revamped her Airstream trailer with some help from Anthropologie. Her camper style is very boho-chic and perfect for those of you who are in love with Wanderlust.

Have you tackled an RV camper reno? What would be your ideal camper style?

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And Then There Were Three https://flourandpaper.com/2017/02/and-then-there-were-three/ https://flourandpaper.com/2017/02/and-then-there-were-three/#respond Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:06:05 +0000 https://flourandpaper.com/?p=4861   We’re going to be parents!! We wasted no time at all starting a little family! Tom and I agreed not to put too much pressure and expectation on ourselves to conceive right after our wedding, so getting pregnant so quickly was a bit of a surprise. We discussed when we would consciously start “working on it” and […]

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We’re going to be parents!!

We wasted no time at all starting a little family! Tom and I agreed not to put too much pressure and expectation on ourselves to conceive right after our wedding, so getting pregnant so quickly was a bit of a surprise.

We discussed when we would consciously start “working on it” and agreed that right after the wedding would be the best time.  We decided that I would come off of birth control in mid-August right before our wedding in September, to give my body, what we thought would be, several months to get it’s natural groove back.

I did use the P Tracker app to keep a log of my cycles and any weird things happening with my body during the “re-sync” stage. This was mainly to make sure that I was consistent and to know whether or not Tom and I would need to try alternative methods of conceiving down the road should it take longer than 6 months (according to my doctor) for anything to happen.

This little person growing in my tummy couldn’t wait very long and right after we returned from our honeymoon in October, tah-dah – I was pregnant. We confirmed all the weirdness and “something isn’t normal” feelings I had in mid-November when I took an at-home pregnancy test and saw two pink lines, confirming we were going to go from two to three, in nine months!

I don’t think it hit home for either of us. I mean, yea we saw two pink lines telling us we were pregnant, but I didn’t look it, and aside from my aches and pains, bloating, and exhaustion, I couldn’t feel anything in there. I didn’t feel pregnant other than all the symptoms I was/am experiencing. After our first ultrasound, it registered that there was definitely a little life in my tummy, but the fact that I couldn’t and still can’t feel anything still makes it feel a little unreal.

All I knew was that from when we had that two line confirmation, I needed to amp up my self-care and self-love (and so did Tom!). In the first trimester, everything we read about the first 12 weeks of pregnancy was that it’s the time of high risk for miscarriage. I knew that whatever was meant to be, would be, but I was determined to nourish myself as best as I could. This did become slightly challenging when I developed all day nausea for about 8 weeks and is now history in my 17th week. Each day gets a little easier and I can stay awake past 7:30pm.

As the days pass by and this tummy of mine is slowly growing, it’s starting to hit home. I wake up in the middle of the night a few times in the week with all kinds of things racing through my mind – will we be able to cope, will we be good parents, will our little one grow up to be someone who embraces all the best attributes one could hope for in a child they raise, like not being an a**hole, has a big heart, lots of will power, honest, determined, appreciates the gift of life, has a great set of values, and just a super cool soul? We can only try our best.

Tom and I already feel the immense support from family and friends with words of advice, encouragement and support, helpful tips, books, and pre-loved maternity and baby gear being freely passed on to us. We are both so grateful and look forward to sharing this time and adventure with you.

And in case you’re wondering, we’re NOT going to find out the sex! I’m itching to know and Tom wants a surprise – so we will wait until baby’s arrival for the big reveal.

 

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Our Wedding https://flourandpaper.com/2017/01/our-wedding/ https://flourandpaper.com/2017/01/our-wedding/#comments Tue, 17 Jan 2017 01:29:41 +0000 https://flourandpaper.com/?p=4517 Hard to believe it’s already been 4 months since we said I-do. It’s so true what they say – the day goes by so quickly! It’s unreal. I tried to put to use all the words of wisdom we got leading up to the day, and I’m so thankful for those tidbits of knowledge. We had the most […]

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Hard to believe it’s already been 4 months since we said I-do. It’s so true what they say – the day goes by so quickly! It’s unreal. I tried to put to use all the words of wisdom we got leading up to the day, and I’m so thankful for those tidbits of knowledge. We had the most incredible day ever and were so happy to hear our guests say it was “the best wedding I’ve ever been to – hands down.” What a compliment!

We couldn’t have re-lived the day without our beautiful photos taken by Christine Reid. Everyone loved her. She knew how to jive with us and our guests and was such a pleasure to work with. Christine was wonderful at capturing important details, including our handmade decor, candid moments, and so much emotion and personality of all our guests.

I hope you are able to enjoy our day as much as we did, at least a little, through our photos.

I was determined to have our wedding outside as planned. I put all my thoughts, wishes and hopes out there into the universe and asked for no rain during the ceremony and photos. I said  “after 7pm the weather can do whatever it wants because we will be in the tent.” It did exactly that. At 3pm the skies cleared just in time for the pre-ceremony photos, the ceremony, and remained that way until part-way through the dinner service, at which point it poured rain on and off for the evening. We were lucky it wasn’t windy and our guests loved that it added to the atmosphere.

Tom and I poured our hearts into DIY’ing almost every detail we possibly could, not only to save on costs, but to ensure it reflected us as individuals and as a couple.  If it was wood or paper – we made it! Clearly we love a good challenge.

Photo credit | Maid of Honour

We both had the most incredible day and couldn’t believe how amazingly everything worked out. The entire week called for rain on the day of, with (very) warm temperatures. We learned afterwards that there were warnings for hail and a tornado!

Photo credit | Maid of Honour

If I could relive the day (minus the planning part), I would. Over and over again.

Tent + Rentals | Encore Tents
Washroom trailer | Harris Septic
Florals | Dahlia May Flower Farm (custom made boutonnieres + bouquet. DIY centre pieces, aisle chair decor + arbour decor)
Caterer | Farm Girl Food
Cake | Dufflet
Wedding dress | Handmade by the Bride’s sister
Bride’s make-up | Mix Beauty Lab
Groom’s bow-tie + Pocket square | The Belle and The Beau
Wedding Party Shoes | ALDO (Pinterest “Inspired by I Do” contest grand prize winner)
Bridesmaid dresses | Twobirds found at LoversLand bridal store in Toronto, ON
Bride’s rhinestone belt + clutch purse |
ALDO (Pinterest “Inspired by I Do” contest grand prize winner)
Music | DJ Paul Martin
Officiant | All Seasons Weddings
Coach Bus | Tripps Unlimited

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Why It’s Rude To Ask “Are You Pregnant?” https://flourandpaper.com/2016/12/why-its-rude-to-ask-are-you-pregnant/ https://flourandpaper.com/2016/12/why-its-rude-to-ask-are-you-pregnant/#respond Thu, 22 Dec 2016 13:14:55 +0000 https://flourandpaper.com/?p=4840 I don’t make it a habit of publicly venting about things, but this question is starting to get under my skin. I apologize if this post comes off a bit harsh and negative. Tom and I got married (yay!) on September 10th this fall (post and photos coming soon), and from the get go there […]

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I don’t make it a habit of publicly venting about things, but this question is starting to get under my skin. I apologize if this post comes off a bit harsh and negative.

Tom and I got married (yay!) on September 10th this fall (post and photos coming soon), and from the get go there was talk about us getting pregnant. I know this is a commonly expected occurrence to take place after a couple gets married, if they’ve chosen to follow this order of events. At first it was easy to laugh off, but now it’s just annoying. From the sneaky ways of asking, assumptions, and demanding that we “get started now.”

I’ve never asked someone “are you pregnant?” And I try not to insinuate the possibility to couples. My reasoning is simple and considers the situation of others’, not just my own.

BEFORE ASKING “ARE YOU PREGNANT” CONSIDER THESE THINGS

Does the couple want to have children?

Do you know whether the couple intends on having children or whether they have changed their minds about the idea? If a couple has chosen not to have children, this could become quite annoying – to have others assume you will be having kids when you are not planning on it.

Miscarriage

How do you know that this couple hasn’t been trying, managed to succeed, only to have miscarried? This question can be quite hurtful and bring up memories of a very tough and emotional time.

Ruining the surprise

If you’re asking someone who is pregnant but still very early on in their pregnancy, you’re putting them on the spot to either lie or tell the truth. And if someone ends up telling you they are pregnant very early on, you’ve ruined the moment for when they are ready to share their big news, especially if they haven’t told their family and close friends.

Personal dietary choices

Just because someone chooses not to drink alcohol or eat a certain food, doesn’t automatically mean they’re pregnant. Myself for example, I’m not much of a drinker and so I usually will have a cranberry and soda if I’m not feeling like a Cesar. I also stay away from certain liquors and wine since I seem to have an allergic reaction to them. Combine that with asthma, and it’s no fun. I’m also not a fan of runny eggs – so no, I don’t get excited about eggs benedict. Don’t forget, some women might actually just be bloated due to something they ate.

Bodies take time to recover

If a woman has just had a baby, chances are her body is going to take a while to recover. I don’t know what grueling workout regimes and diets celebrities put their bodies through post pregnancy, but for regular folk, it can take more than a few months for a woman’s body to return to “normal.”

Unable to have children

Assuming that all women and men are capable of having children, is ignorant. Asking if someone is pregnant who cannot have children, can be very upsetting.

Not your sex life. Not your Fertility. Not your business.

I can only speak for myself on this one, but I’d rather not get into the details of my sex life with my family, friends, co-workers, no one. No one needs to know how often we’ve been having sex and what superstitious methods we might or might not be using to conceive. At the end of the day, this topic is no one else’s business other than the couple themselves, whether they are adopting, trying to conceive naturally, using a surrogate, etc.

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What To Wear To An Office Holiday Party https://flourandpaper.com/2016/11/what-to-wear-to-an-office-holiday-party/ https://flourandpaper.com/2016/11/what-to-wear-to-an-office-holiday-party/#respond Thu, 17 Nov 2016 20:53:16 +0000 https://flourandpaper.com/?p=4678   Deciding what to wear to the office holiday party is always somewhat of a challenge. At my office, what we do each year is always different, and this is what makes it’s a bit of a chore to figure out what to wear, especially if you go straight from the office into your celebration. […]

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officeparty

 

Deciding what to wear to the office holiday party is always somewhat of a challenge. At my office, what we do each year is always different, and this is what makes it’s a bit of a chore to figure out what to wear, especially if you go straight from the office into your celebration. I also have to decide on what to wear to Tom’s company party, but they do the same thing each year, so the “dilemma” here is going with a look that’s different than the year before.

Here are a few basic rules I follow when I’m trying to figure out the perfect ensemble for a company holiday party:

Time Of Day. Weekday Or Weekend.

The time of day and whether your event takes place on a weekday or on a weekend determines a few things. If your holiday party is during the day, on a weekday or weekend,  you are probably safe in wearing what you would regularly wear to the office, but this is also dependent on the venue and any activities planned.

If your party is in the evening, during a weekday, then you will most likely need to already be dressed for it when leave for the office in the morning, or bring a change of clothes and shoes. If your event is on a weekend, then you’re lucky to have the day to prep and get ready without the extra hassle of packing a change of clothes.

Do: Up The Wow Factor
Don’t be afraid to wear a skirt, pants, blouse or dress with a metallic finish or some sparkle.
Venue

You never want to be over or under dressed for the venue where your celebration is being held. Wearing jeans where they are not permitted or getting decked out for a pub dinner,  might leave you feeling a bit out of place.

Don’t: Bare It All
Avoid wearing a mini skirt and plunging neckline together. Do one or the other.

Will There Be Any Planned Activities?

If it’s a night of dancing, you want to be sure you are wearing items that are comfortable to move in. That doesn’t mean lose baggy clothes and ballerina flats, but opt for clothing items with some stretch and softness and invest in a pair of gel shoe pads that cushion your heels, toes and balls of your feet.

Do: Have Fun With Your Accessories
If you want to have fun and go bold with your accessories, choose one statement piece paired with simpler items.

 

Top Photo | ELLE

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How To Survive A Blended Family https://flourandpaper.com/2016/11/how-to-survive-a-blended-family/ https://flourandpaper.com/2016/11/how-to-survive-a-blended-family/#respond Wed, 16 Nov 2016 02:34:27 +0000 https://flourandpaper.com/?p=4752   My parents divorced several years ago when my siblings and I were all in our adult years. My father recently remarried and there began our blended family. His new wife has children who range in ages from 7yrs to early 20’s, while my siblings and I range from age 28 to 34 – it’s […]

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modern-family

 

My parents divorced several years ago when my siblings and I were all in our adult years. My father recently remarried and there began our blended family. His new wife has children who range in ages from 7yrs to early 20’s, while my siblings and I range from age 28 to 34 – it’s quite the spread!

The adjustment hasn’t been difficult for me, personally. Having been an adult when my parents divorced and when my father remarried, made it a little easier to adjust. After all, I no longer lived at home, and had a life of my own. While we all got along and seemed to settle into this new dynamic, a smooth transition isn’t usually the case for all blended families. There are many factors, people, relationships, and bonds to take into account when attempting to meld both families, whether you are the parent, child, or new spouse.

Keep communication open

It’s not always easy to speak your mind without offending someone else – communication is the one thing seldom mastered. By establishing a method of communication that works best between you and each family member, you can address problems or gritty situations before they snowball or avalanche out of hand.

Start with an open mind and be genuine

Regardless of your role in a blended family, don’t push yourself onto new step-family members. I know it’s natural to want to form a strong bond immediately, but this could actually work against you if you push too hard. Take it one step at a time, be yourself, and let your relationship flow naturally.

If you’re the new spouse, remember not to impose a “parent” role onto young or adult children. Keep in mind the kind of relationships that still exist between birth parents. Not all children of divorced families have a parent who is MIA. Where children experience the divorce of their parents in their adult years, there will very likely still be loyalty and strong bonds to your spouse’s ex.

Make room for one-on-one time

I think it is important to allow your spouse the space they need to have time alone with their children, young or old. It’s important to respect the relationships and bonds that have formed between them before you, and allow room for that relationship to continue to grow. Unfortunately, that may mean spending time together that may not include you. On the flip side, take time for you and your spouse to reconnect, and, most importantly, take time for you.

Don’t Interfere

If you’re an adult child with a parent who has remarried, be mindful not to meddle in your parents’ relationship, give them space to adjust to their new lives as a couple, and try to be as supportive as you can. If your newly-wed parent is happy, why interfere with that?

Plan group get-togethers

This is a great way to create bonding and relationship building between both families. When you become more comfortable with each other, your time spent together is more relaxing and fun!

 

Are you a part of a blended family? What advice do you have for children and parents in this type of family dynamic?

 

Top Photo | Just Watch

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