Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kwitchurbeliakin

Perhaps only my family will understand that post title, but bonus points for those that get it!

We are getting into the home stretch of this pregnancy and things are getting uncomfortable. Weekly visits to the chiropractor are definitely helping but I also have to remind myself to just slow down and rest sometimes. I have been very lucky that everything is going smoothly so far and baby's head is DOWN! Can't believe we will be 36 weeks on Friday!

We are almost done the nursery with great help from my mom! She painted the dresser and helped me hang the bee-themed gallery wall (catch a sneak peek on my instagram feed). Yesterday we hung shelves on the opposite wall and had fun finding knick-knacks to put on them. It was also really special to have her come to my midwife appointment. She loved hearing the baby's heartbeat and meeting my wonderful midwife. A great birthday gift for her!

I've been a little behind in providing belly shot updates, so here you go!




Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Preparing for Baby on a Budget

Now that I'm 30 weeks pregnant, I feel like I'm almost ready for the little one to arrive, but not quite. Today I thought I would share a few things I've done to prepare for baby without breaking the bank.



Maternity Clothes

Although I did buy some new maternity clothes from Old Navy (during the 30% off maternity sale), I had some success with my local thrift and consignment stores. I was able to get a few pairs of pants and shorts for significantly less. These stores had a specific maternity section, so be sure to ask if you can't find it.

I also made a few Wikston Tanks (seen here and here) that are still fitting nicely, but I may end up sewing some DIY shirts using these great tutorials from diymaternity.com.

Prenatal Yoga

I really wanted to do some prenatal yoga during this pregnancy but found the classes to be quite expensive (usually about $100 for 6-8weeks). My cousin told me about a great website called www.yogaglo.com, that provides unlimited online yoga "classes" for only $18/month. They have an amazing selection of pre- and post-natal yoga practice for all levels. It has been really great to do this in the comfort of my own home, especially now that the moves are getting harder!

Baby Gear

Try looking on Kijiji for used baby items. Tom and I scored a $600 stroller for only $350 (which included the car seat too). Before buying a stroller, I visited a local store to try out a few different brands. I settled on the Britax B-Ready, which has so many different configurations and allows easy removal of the infant car seat. But the price of $529 for just the stroller (add another $250 for the car seat) was just so much!

I was able to find a used 2010 model on Kijiji and negotiated a price of $350 for both the stroller and car seat. That's a savings of over $400! I know some people will not be comfortable buying a used car seat. But I did a lot of research to figure out if it had any product recalls and I trusted the Kijiji seller to be honest about it having never been in a car accident. Perhaps I'm naive but I like to think another mother wouldn't lie about that sort of thing!

A great source for brand new baby/kid items at discounted prices is babyhalfoff.com.  A friend told me about this website and we scored a great diaper sprayer for 50% off! There are different deals every day from clothing to cloth diapers.

Baby Freebies and Samples

Sign up for great baby product samples and coupons! Read this list of baby freebies put together by Coupon Christine.

Nursery Decor

Setting up the nursery can get expensive. Try painting or refinishing an old wooden dresser to use as a change table, like here and here. Mine is currently sitting in the garage with the drawers all primed, but still need to paint up the rest!

Make our own crib sheets! This is a relatively easy sewing project and I used this Tutorial by HoneyBear Lane. I bought a double top sheet from Value Village, gave it a good hot wash and sewed it up into an awesome crib sheet! I think there is still fabric leftover for another one too.

Family Photos

I was a bit disappointed with how our wedding photos turned out, so I've been looking forward to having an excuse for updated family photos! A local photographer was offering a mini-marathon photo session in October this year, so I decided to book a 20-min session and save some cash! This October marathon just happens to coincide with my last month of pregnancy, so we will get some nice maternity photos too. A 20-min marathon session cost us about half of what a full maternity/family photo session would cost. Obviously this is not a priority for everyone, so it may seem like just an "extra" cost.


Those are some of my thoughts and tricks for saving money! I'd love to hear about any ideas you have!


Sunday, September 08, 2013

Puppy and Belly Update!

Time for a quick belly and puppy update today!

Molly is growing so quickly! She is now 5 months old and behaving a bit like an a-hole teenager. We finished basic puppy class last week but now we really need to do more training at home. Walking her on a leash is incredibly difficult and frustrating, so we have to teach her that in small doses. Meeting people is so unbelievably exciting to her! She jumps and barks up on people, which is really not good. So if you come over and meet Molly, please do us a favour and ignore her until she is sitting nicely on the floor. It's so hard to be out in public and try and get strangers to do this. All they want to do is pet the cute little puppy jumping up their leg.

August was a bit of a whirlwind for us! We were away from home almost every weekend and Molly's routine was totally out of whack. As a result, Molly refused to sleep in her crate at night anymore. We had a few sleepless nights of her screaming away for hours. We have since retrained her to sleep on the floor in our bedroom and she is doing much better. We still use her crate to transport her in the car and she does so well! The car vibrations seem to put her right to sleep. I need to remember this come December when we have a newborn and a crazy puppy....put them both in the car and drive somewhere!


My belly is also growing fast and furious! This baby is incredibly active and I get lots of bumps and kicks throughout the day. This week marks the end of Second Trimester. Time to finish off the nursery and get ready for this little one to arrive! Still need to finish painting a dresser, get some baskets for the closet and hang lots of art.




Friday, August 30, 2013

Fall Burlap and Chevron Wreath

Whew! Is it seriously almost September? Where did August go?

I'm getting prepared for Fall and the onset of third trimester! But today I felt the intense urge to do something crafty, so here is my result: a Fall inspired burlap and chevron front door wreath.



Materials included a grape vine wreath base that I picked up at the Goodwill, a piece of burlap from Michael's craft store, various decorative flowers and feathers from Dollarama, a glue gun and some paint chip samples!


To assemble, I just dissected the feathers and flowers from the wire base and started glueing! The chevron was cut from some paint chip samples I had in one of my many craft drawers.



I really love how it turned out! Sometimes the best projects are the ones I don't plan down to the last detail.

Hope you have a great Labour Day weekend!


Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Vertical Garden: Sponsored by Natrel Organic

A few weeks ago I was approached by Natrel Organic to build a fun little project: a vertical garden. They sent me the materials to create the garden and all I had to do was buy the soil and plants! Fun right?!

I wasn't quite sure what to except but was delighted to see that Natrel had sourced the pots from a Canadian plastics company in Quebec - DCN Plastic. The system of pots is actually pretty neat as they are "self-watering". The bottom of the planter is designed to retain a bit of extra water and drain out any excess through the hole in the side. Kudos to Natrel for providing materials that are actually Made in Canada!

Sourcing vegetable plants in July is a bit difficult, but I made a trip out to Heeman's Garden Centre and picked up a few herbs (sage, thyme, and summer savory), some hot pepper plants, and a few perennials.


The other issue was where on earth to hang the vertical garden. It turns out six pots of soil and plants ends up being quite heavy! I didn't want to have the soffit of our house come crashing down so I found a metal rod (leftover from an old shoe organizer) and rigged something up on the front porch. I just used some zip-ties to attach the white rod to the front porch railing and then hung the chain which was provided in the vertical garden kit. The pots are attached to the chain with S-hooks. So far everything is still standing so I guess it worked!


Thanks to Natrel Organic for a fun project! Please check out their website to find out more about their organic initiatives including building Bee Hotels!

Note: Natrel Organic provided me with the pots and chains for this project but I was not required to post about it on this blog. All opinions on the products and materials are my own.

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