To the boy that made me a forever mama…

To the boy that made me a mama…
In the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that your limbs are getting longer, and you no longer need me to pick you up at the grocery store anymore but would rather walk alongside the shopping cart. Even though you’re only 6, I am painfully aware that you are no longer a baby. You’ll always be my baby, but I know that you’re not a baby anymore.

You are my first baby, and my eldest baby. With that, we always be experiencing many firsts as a mother-child dyad. Most recently, sending you to kindergarten was one of our very firsts together. Just like how you were the first baby I ever nursed, the first baby I ever worried sick about, the first baby I ever sent to preschool, the first baby that I ever taught how to walk, you are also the first baby that I am going to be releasing into the world. This terrifies me because I don’t always know what to do.

I don’t always know what to do when you are angry. Especially now that you have a strong opinion and are able to debate and rationalize with me, I don’t always know how to level with you. Sometimes I don’t know if I should give you space or if I should run after you when you storm into your room.

You’re my first baby, and I know that that means you get the “guinea pig mama.” I will admit I spied on you with your toy binoculars when I first sent you to preschool. I promise I won’t do that when you go to high school. Mama doesn’t always know what she’s doing because I’ve never had a 5 year old. I have never had a 6 year old, or a 7 year old, and so forth. We are experiencing these stages together for the first time. I’ll be a little more experienced with your siblings, but am your “first time mama.”

But I promise you this:

I promise to hold my hand out to you even if you don’t always take it.

I promise to listen to you when you tell me that you’re angry.

I promise to not be the first to let go of a hug.

I promise to respect your voice when you tell me your feelings.

I promise that I will wait for you outside your room when you need space.

I promise to listen to you when you tell me that I am wrong.

I promise that I will always be your mama, and your FOREVER mama.

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Balance// Like an Ocean

Balance. As a momprenuer, this word is very elusive and intangible to me. I’ll preface this guest post with this: I think it’s impossible for me to achieve balance perfectly. Needs, situations, circumstances are always changing and our world is constantly moving and shifting. As a mom, I will always put my kids first, and because their needs are constantly changing, I will always need to adjust and adapt my responsibilities so that I can be the best mother that I can be. And as a business owner and mom, this means that I have to be intentional and careful with the choices I make. I’m going to be honest- this isn’t easy for me because I have so many dreams and plans for my business and I often feel torn because I love what I do, but I am also going to be a mother and wife before anything else. It’s even difficult to admit that I am torn because I even feel guilty that my heart feels like it is tugged in so many directions. While I’ll probably never achieve perfect balance, there are some things that I remind myself of each day that helps me. I’m all about self-talk and giving myself little pep speeches, so I’ll share some below!

1.) Keep your values close to your heart.
The two main roles I juggle are mom and business owner. (Ok, I guess wife is pretty important too!). At the beginning of 2017, I told myself that I needed to clearly define the priorities and values that I have for each role, and to base my choices on those values. As a business owner, I value the quality of my work and take pride in the pieces that I handcraft. I want to ensure that I am not making sacrifices on the quality of my work or cutting corners, so I made the choice to not outsource handmade process to anyone else. As a mother, one of my top priorities is to be present with my children both physically and emotionally. Because of this, I made the choice to make sure I didn’t take on too much at a time and have since implemented order limits. These two choices are going to be cornerstones for me as I attempt to find this elusive work-life balance.

2.) Recognize that you make choices everyday- big choices, small choices and micro-choices. Be intentional with each choice. Each of these choices will either help you find balance, or take you further away from balance. Personally, I’m working on my little micro-choices because I make little choices that take me away from balance without me even knowing it. For example, I’m learning to let the dishes go unwashed so that I can spend more time with my children. I’m also learning to make the intentional decision to put my phone down when I go to bed so that I don’t stay up until 3 AM. My Instagram scrolling habit may be just a habit, but when I don’t get rest, I can’t find balance. Being aware of the little choices that I make and how it affects the big picture is something that helps me find balance.

3.) Learn how to say no. This is a tough one for me. I like to get things done, and done well. I like to give it my all and I have a hard time turning down opportunities. I’m learning that if I say “yes,” to everything that comes my way, I’ll be drained of time and energy, and it will be counterproductive in my journey towards balance. Which brings me to the next point….

4.) Quality over quantity. I would rather pick 5 things to do and be known for doing them well, than do 10 things and do a mediocre job on each one. This is my mantra for my business lately: as my business grows, order volume is growing as well. I would much rather be known for the workmanship and craftsmanship of my work, than fill as many orders as I can receive. It is hard for me to say no because I have a fear of being left behind or that I am going to miss out. I also have a habit of saying “yes” to everything because
I can feel insecure in my abilities, and that I won’t be able to do the few things I do say yes to. (So I say yes to everything!). But this year, I am going to challenge myself to be courageous. I am going to dare myself to believe in myself enough to know that I don’t need to do everything, but that I CAN do a few things well.

5.) Fill your cup and give yourself self-care. You can’t pour from an empty cup. It is not selfish to indulge or take the time to pamper yourself. When I fill my cup and surround myself with things and people that energize me, I am taking care of the people around me because they need me to be whole, healthy and well so that I can give them everything I have. Taking care of me, means I’m taking care of the ones I love.

6.) Find your tribe. The search for balance is often a lonely one. As I open up to friends about my struggles with balance, I’m realizing more and more that though we all have different circumstances, each person that I share with shares some of the same struggles. We can be sounding boards for one another as we seek balance. It takes a village!

And now it’s your turn! If I trick myself into believing that perfect balance can be achieved, I won’t be doing myself a favour. Like the ocean, balance always moves and changes with each wave and tide. The 5 things that I listed above are mantras that act as my anchors so that with each wave, I can stay afloat and keep my values close to my heart. Balance isn’t always about knowing how to divide your time and energy up into perfect little pie slices, but more about being able to stay true to your values and goals with each wave.

All images by McLachlan Studios

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Lily Jade & Mint & Birch

I’d love to introduce my newest obsession: my Lily Jade diaper bag. When I became a mama, one of the things I dreaded was to have to carry around a diaper bag that looked painfully obvious like a diaper bag. You know, one of those generic black nylon ones, with bottle holders all along the side. I’ve purchased my fair share of non-mom diaper bags but they have not been able to withstand the abuse that diaper bags take on a daily basis. Eventually, I gave up and started using plastic bags as a means of transporting all my baby gear. That’s how exasperated I was.

Lily Jade’s diaper bag is definitely revolutionary for me for a few reasons. First, it doesn’t look like a diaper bag. But the inside sure functions like a diaper bag. It’s got a great insert that helps you separate your baby’s clothes from baby food. I am usually carrying clothes and gear for all 3 of my kids, so it’s essential for me to keep things organized.

The best part about this diaper bag is that it’s made out of leather. Soft, luscious and beautiful full grain leather! It feels like a high end, luxurious purse and sometimes that’s exactly what this mama needs as a pick-me up on days that I’ve been spat up on 20 times.

Would you like one too? Good news! I’m teaming up with Lily Jade to do a giveaway for a diaper bag and some pretty jewellery from Mint & Birch!  Stay tuned and follow along on our Instagram feeds as the giveaway will be up sometime in the next week or so!


C R E D I T S :

Photos: Tamara Clark Photography (@tamara.m.clark)
Diaper Bag: Lily Jade (@lilyjadeco)
Juliette’s Jeans: Tattrd Threads (@tattrdthreads)
Jewelry: Mint & Birch (@mintandbirch)
Juliette’s Bonnet: Addi and Zoey (@addiandzoey)
Juliette’s Toque: Whistle and Flute (@whistleandflute)

This post was done by me, and all opinions are mine. This was a voluntary blog post and I received the bag to do a giveaway.

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Quality over Quantity: You can’t pour from an empty cup!

Many people ask me why I don’t hire more employees to handle order volume. We do have two hired employees who package and attach the clasps. But I am still the only one stamping, cutting and filing your bars! There are several reasons for this. It’s not that I don’t want to pay someone to help. It’s that for now, I am the only one that can stamp your orders with precision. This is because we use specialty custom fonts. Each and every one of our stamps require a huge amount of precision to get the letters to connect properly. We also cut and hand finish al your bars, which take skill and care. I value quality over quantity, which is why I have decided that I will not outsource this very important step of the process.

However, having said that, I am also a wife and mother to 3 young children who need me. For the last year, I’ve been pulling 14 hour work days at least 4-5 days a week. My children need me and I cannot be away from them for so long. (And I’m pretty sure my husband misses my cooking!) I was hoping to be able to stay open 24/7 but because I value quality so much, I cannot.

Therefore, I am going to have to continue to open and close with order volume. I will do my best to stay open for as long as I can, but I will need to close when I reach capacity. This will vary during the slow/busy seasons. I will continue to find more support in areas that can alleviate some of the workload for me. And I only close and open because I want to make sure that each necklace receives the time that it deserves. I don’t like to cut corners around here, and you all know I take pride in the fact that each thick bar is made one at a time with craftsmanship! I want to continue with this standard of excellence in quality. Please be patient with me. I’m so sorry I won’t be able to stay open all the time but I do promise the following things:


  1. I aim to shorten turnaround time so that you can get your goodies as fast as possible, with smaller batches.
  2. I’ll keep the website viewable when we are not taking orders.
  3.  I’ll update my social media often with opening dates as much as I can and also send out newsletters for when we open.
  4. I’ll occasionally send newsletter subscribers coupons and goodies.
  5. I’ll always vary the opening times so that you all have a chance to order regardless of what your schedule looks like
  6. I will try to do smaller, shorter batches so that you don’t have to wait too long to open.
  7. I will do my best to respond to emails within 24 hours.
  8. I promise to continue offering high quality, thick and luxurious bars and fresh new designs!
  9. I will share a little more behind the scenes and blog a bit more!

Sooooo the point of my very long post is this: I cherish and value every one of my customers, and I want to continue to spend ample time on each necklace that you order. But, I’m also a mom of 3 littles, so I need to only take on as much as I can handle at once without compromising on quality. I’m doing this because I value you. I would much rather take fewer orders and know that they are done with care, than send out a ton of orders that are not done properly. I know that it will be frustrating at times. I know that some will choose to purchase elsewhere because of the opening/closing. (I promise my necklaces are worth the wait!) And I promise to do my best to open as much and as often as I can, so that there are plenty of chances to snag a necklace and to update you, but please know that I will need to open and close continually because I care about your orders!



  1. Sign up for the newsletter!
  2. If you don’t want the newsletter, you can sign up to be notified for your item of choice! You can do this by viewing any listing on our website when we are closed. If you are not on the newsletter you will need to do this for every opening that you want to be notified for as I send these notifications personally to each person that requests them.
  3.  Check Social Media often!

Thank you to everyone who made it to the end of this lengthy post. I’m constantly learning and stretching to run this Mint & Birch gig while being a mother/wife at the same time. It’s not easy, but I do cherish the relationships that I have built with each and every one of you! I say this a lot, and I will say it again: I sure am a lucky gal!

Photo by McLachlan Studios

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10 Things I Want to Tell My Daughter on her 1st Birthday

Photo by McLachlan Studios

 I knew it was going to be different the moment that I met my daughter for the first time. You see, I had a bit of a traumatic birth with her. (You can read about it here). Long story short, we almost lost our lives and I experienced a lot of trauma from the birth and I have since learned so much about myself as I recovered.

As they wheeled me into my room and brought her to me, I didn’t feel like I was ready to hold her because I was still shaking from the anaesthetics. I was barely awake at this point and my eyes were half open. I was about to tell them that I wanted to wait to hold her because I was scared that I’d drop her.  But deep down, I was afraid because I have an estranged relationship with my own mother, and I was scared that I wouldn’t know how to love her as a mother who didn’t know what a mother-daughter love is like. They didn’t hear my mumbles and thrust her into my arms anyways. I fell in love instantly. She taught me how to love bravely and fiercely, and that’s where it all began. And in doing so, my daughter has taught me so much, and there is so much I want to tell her.

  1. You are beautiful for your heart. Yes, those sweet little eyes are beautiful, but what matters most is what is on the inside.
  2. Thank you for challenging me to be strong for you. We had a rough start, you and me. People around us threw rocks at us because we were supposed to “get over” our traumatic birth, but we knew we needed to take it slow.  But together as one, just like when you were in my womb, we prevailed. We advocated for ourselves.
  3. It’s okay to not please everyone. You know this too well. You are fierce and strong in your ways, and you don’t even let your big brothers get in your way.
  4. Never lose your stubborn ways. You had trouble breastfeeding and we tried all sorts of things (bottle, SNS, finger feeding, cup feeding). But you would cry and cry until you got the flow of milk you desired. Nothing could trick you. You were determined, and you didn’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  5. You’re smart – don’t let anyone ever overlook that. Our society places value on females for their outward appearance, but you don’t ever have to be minimized  to just “a pretty girl.” You are more than what society tells you that you are.
  6. Be a wildflower. Don’t be afraid to go against the current – know that you never need to conform to anything.
  7. Surround yourselves with empowering women. After your birth, we took a while to recover. Those that truly loved us and supported me for as long as I needed, and didn’t rush me. Mama is surrounded by so many women who love her, and in turn, love you. I wish for you to see what true sisterhood looks like, so that you too, will one day have your own sisterhood. It takes a village.
  8. Always tell me when I am wrong. Never let me forget how to be humble so that I can set an example for you.
  9. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and for others. Your little voice is already so strong. There is so much strength and tenacity in your voice. It demands to be listened to. Use that powerful voice to do good, and never to bring others down.
  10. I love you. I promise to listen to you when you cry. I promise to tend to you. I promise to love you with unconditional love, forever. I am your forever mama.
(Photo by McLachlan Studios)
(Photo by McLachlan Studios)
Lookin’ pretty rough. This was about 5 days post c-section.
How her older brothers initially felt about her….


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5 Tips for Nursing in a Wrap

Babies love to nurse, and sometimes they like to nurse non-stop. Often, they want to nurse when we have things to do or are out and about. (There’s nothing like mama comfort, right?) Because all 3 of my babies have been avid comfort nursers, I’ve had to master the art of nursing in public with hands free to be able to supervise my other kids. 
Enter: Beluga Baby Wrap! This wrap is one of the most comfortable carriers to nurse in because of the 4 way stretch. Can you believe that I’m nursing in this photo below? Scroll down because I’m going to share a few nursing tips!

  1. I pull my top down and my breast out instead of pulling my shirt up. But don’t worry! The side pass will keep you covered if you prefer privacy!
  2. Lean forward while supporting your baby’s back to allow gravity to give the wrap a little stretch while you establish a latch. Sometimes I do a little shake to really get my breast in between us for a latch. 
  3. I like to wear Juliette very high up when out and about, but when I need to nurse, I temporarily loosen and re-tie the knot so that she can be more “boob-level.” Though I’m am smaller framed, I am a bit busty so I find that this helps a lot!
  4. If she falls asleep nursing, I tighten it back up while she’s latched. 
  5. Need to adjust your latch? I sneak my hand into the wrap through the side instead of into the wrap from the top as the side panel allows for very discreet nursing. Most people can’t even tell that I’m nursing!

I hope these tips are helpful for you! Nursing in a wrap is easy once you get the hang of it, and it makes going out so much easier for us! 

These opinions are my own, and the post is not sponsored. I truly wanted to share these tips as I get asked all the time! Make sure you check out Beluga Baby below!

Instagram: @shopbelugababy


Facebook: Beluga Baby

*Disclaimer- These are my own tips, and each mama will have her own. Please be careful when loosening the wrap and also when letting your baby sleep in the wrap and monitor their breathing and ensure their noses are not blocked. 

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