Fun fact: peaches are at their peak in July and August and we’re loving all of the sweet and savoury dishes we can make with this juicy stone fruit. We’ve never met a flatbread we didn’t like and we’re so excited to share one of our favourite recipes that features the OH-SO delicious peach! It’s super easy to make and packs a serious flavour punch.
The great thing about flatbread is you can be as generous as you like with the toppings, so our measurements are merely suggestions.
2 fresh peaches, cored and cut into wedges
Cooked chicken breast, shredded (a store-bought rotisserie chicken also does the trick!)
A handful of spinach or arugula, torn
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
2-3 slices of prosciutto
1 tablespoon dry rosemary
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 400C.
2. In a small saucepan, bring oil and chopped garlic to a boil. Immediately turn heat to low to avoid burning and cook for five minutes. Remove pan from burner and set aside.
3. Lay flatbread on an oiled baking sheet. Brush the flatbread with a generous amount of garlic oil.
4. Top flatbread with chicken, peaches, prosciutto, spinach or arugula, goat cheese or feta and rosemary.
5. Place flatbread in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with remaining garlic oil before serving.
xo Jacqueline & Lindsay
And the milestone moments just keep on coming! We can’t believe we’re already sharing tips to prepare your home and your toddler for those first steps. That’s right! We’ve got little cruisers on our hands and we are in full-on proofing mode. We’ve had some mommas tell us they didn’t bother making many changes once their babies started to walk. While we completely understand not wanting to give your home a total overhaul and mess with its feng shui, we both decided to do a bit of reorganization. Check out what has worked for us in this new and exciting phase with our little ones.
Movin’ on up
Cleaning products, which often find a home under the sink, were moved to upper cabinets. Vases, little trinkets and other possibly-poke-an-eye-out items were all moved to higher ground.
One of our first purchases when our babies started shimmying about was a foam play mat. We love the grey and white tiles from Skip Hop. Besides the fact that the soft colour palette matched our décor perfectly (winning!), we love how the tiles can easily move around our homes and the area can be as big or as small as we like. With a new-found confidence on their own two feet, a foam mat has provided peace of mind when our babes take a tumble.
From coffee tables to fireplace seating, we’ve tackled those hard edges with (you guessed it!) more foam! There are so many options when it comes to covering corners and edges. Many products come in different colours so those protective coverings don’t have to be such an eyesore.
This mobile freedom seems to put a little one’s curiosity and desire to discover at an all-time high. We’re all for exploring the world around you, but we’d rather leave outlets and plugs off the radar for now. We’ve peppered our homes in everything from simple outlet covers to larger casings for those wall warts that need to be plugged in 24/7.
This is another one of those peace of mind products we feel are worth every penny. From a simple click and slide to a more flexible custom build, do your research and find one that works best for your home and lifestyle.
There are lots of ways to prep your little one for this next step (pun intended) in life. A great way to build your baby’s confidence and balance is to start her out by cruising along the edge of furniture. Place a favourite toy on one end of the sofa and encourage her to shift along the couch cushions to get to her destination.
Music encourages movement
Our babies absolutely love music. As soon as they hear a beat, they’re ready to sway, bop and shake (they got it from their mommas). Dancing encourages them to bend their knees and move up and down, which helps with balance and stability. So play that funky music!
It’s been so nice to get outside this summer and our little ones are loving frolicking in the fresh air. We’ve quickly discovered that no two babies are alike and one size certainly does not fit all. Lindsay struggled to find shoes that slipped on easily and fit her baby's feet comfortably, so she was so excited when she discovered Jack & Lily. This Canadian company offers the cutest kicks in a variety of styles and colours. Their sturdy yet lightweight shoes, mocs and boots feature non-slip rubber soles (perfect for travelling tots!) and are designed to promote healthy foot development. The only downside: they don’t come in adult sizes!
We’re so excited to partner with this awesome brand and we want to share the love with you! Head to www.jackandlily.com and save 25% off your next order with the code HAPPYFEET. Your tot’s tootsies will thank you! You can also check them out on Instagram and Facebook @jackandlilyshoes.
xo Jacqueline & Lindsay
And just like that I have a toddler. I can’t believe my beautiful baby girl is already one year old. To mark the occasion, we invited family and friends to Georgia’s first ice cream social. It was the perfect theme for a hot summer’s day and we had a blast turning our home into the cutest little ice cream parlour. Check out the details for this sweet celebration!
I’m obsessed with pastels at the moment so ice cream was the perfect theme for a pretty colour palette. Soft pinks, yellows, greens and white with pops of metallic and sparkle peppered décor and tableware. Honeycomb ice cream cones, tassel garland, rose gold balloons and pale purple daisies were a few of my favourite finds when setting the scene. I also shrieked in delight when I discovered Indigo sells ice cream-themed accessories as part of their summer stock. A fun indoor/outdoor throw cushion and beach towel featuring frosty sweet treats were both added to our ice cream social inventory. We also thought we’d put the one million and one pictures we’ve taken of our baby girl to good use and filled frames and walls with strings of pictures from the past 365 days.
An ice cream party wouldn’t be complete without an over-the-top sundae bar featuring oh-so-tasty toppings and fun and festive tableware. Guests were asked to SNATCH a cone, cup or waffle bowl, SCOOP their desired ice cream flavours, SPRINKLE with their favourite toppings, SAVOUR the sweet, sweet goodness and finally, SAVE room for birthday cake. Our toppings included gummy bears, vanilla cake bites, cookie crumble, whipped cream, confetti sprinkles, Skor bites, marshmallows, caramel and chocolate syrup, and maraschino cherries to top it all off. We used a mini deep freezer to hold the ice cream and ice cream treats. To make it look a little less industrial and a lot more parlour-esque, we wrapped the freezer in bright blue wrapping paper and added black letters on the front. It was a simple DIY that fit in perfectly with the rest of the décor.
Once guests had their dessert of choice, everyone was encouraged to head outside for lawn games galore. Chris built beautiful wooden games for our engagement party, so we were excited to break those out and use them once again. Giant Jenga, ladder golf, washer toss and horseshoes were great party games for the young and the young-at-heart.
The cake was the only element where I drifted away from our theme. A nickname like Georgia Peach demands a peach birthday cake and Hello Cupcakes did not disappoint. The adorable two-tier stunner was accented with pale peach and white frosting and the cutest handmade sugar peaches on top.
Upon exiting our little ice cream parlour, each party-goer was given a small tub filled with “1”-shaped sugar cookies. With the help of vistaprint.ca, each tub featured a custom-made ice cream truck sticker with a little note of thanks.
It was the perfect day and I’m so thankful to everyone who came to celebrate our sweet baby girl. Now what will we do next year?!
Fun fact: our babies were born just four weeks apart from one another. That means July has become a pretty special month for our family and we’ve been busy planning fun and festive first birthdays for our little ones. With one birthday down and one more to go (insert “I can’t believe my baby is growing up so quickly” sobs here), we thought we’d share a few tips that helped us during the planning process.
Timing is everything
When scheduling your little shindig, pick a chunk of time when your baby isn’t usually napping or gearing down for a sleep. We tried to schedule our afternoon fetes shortly after a big nap and feeding to avoid any overtired, hangry (hungry/angry) babies.
Keep the guest list limited
It may be tempting to invite as many people as possible to such a momentous occasion, but keep in mind that a large guest list may be overwhelming for your little one. We’ve had so much amazing support this year and while there were oodles of people we would love to share this day with, we did our best to invite immediate family and a few close friends of the family. We wanted our babies to know everyone at their party and see familiar faces only.
Well done, you
Let’s be real. Yes, this party is obviously to celebrate our little ones’ first year on earth, but we’re also giving ourselves a pat on the back after our first 365 days of motherhood. From breastfeeding and dirty diapers to teething (why, tho?) and sleep training (or lack thereof…), it’s been a rollercoaster year and we say three cheers to us!
We get a little crazy when it comes to the details of any festive affair and a first birthday party is no exception. That being said, we were proactive when it came to the planning and execution of the day. Get as much as you can get done in advance and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Take lots of pics and videos
For Jacqueline’s son’s birthday, she requested someone take photos and someone else record videos. That way she and Craig didn’t have to worry about capturing those special moments themselves. At this age, your baby likely won’t remember the day, so images and videos are a great way to share the highlights of the day when they get older.
Be in the moment
It’s easy to get caught up in details and lose sight of the sole purpose of such a special day. That’s why we really wanted to plan ahead and check all the boxes before the day-of. Be present and enjoy every single second of celebrating the first year with your little one.
What tips do you have when planning a first birthday? And how will you celebrate? We’d love to hear from you!
xo Jacqueline & Lindsay
Going back to work after maternity leave can be a challenge. Not just practically, but emotionally. For the past year, I spent almost every waking minute with my little one and I loved it. As maternity leave started winding down I began having some anxiety about pumping at work. I work in a traditional office setting and I had concerns about how conducive it would be to my pumping regime.
The good news is it’s not as scary as I thought it would be. Is it awkward? Yes, a bit. It is manageable? Absolutely.
Before I share my tips, let me say that it’s a learning curve. You’ll eventually learn what works best for you. Simple things like what clothes to wear will become more obvious as you go. (But work appropriate yet pumping friendly clothing is a whole other topic…#momlife.) Each day will be a little easier as you develop a routine that suits your needs. Just hang in there.
OK, on to my tips!
1. Plan ahead
Before you return to work, contact your employer and let her or him know you will be pumping so arrangements can be made in advance. More and more employers are anticipating that women will need to pump at work, but having a plan in place before your first day back will help ease your mind and ensure your place of work is ready for you. If your job is mobile and you know you won’t have a designated place to pump, make sure your employer or anyone relying on you knows you will be MIA a few times throughout the day.
2. Pack smart
I use the Medela tote. In my tote I have an ice pack and bottles in a freezer bag. I have a nursing bra that I wear only to pump. I have the pump itself and I have a blanket to catch any leaks. If you know you will be using a nursing bra at work but haven’t used one before, make sure you try it out ahead of time. You may also want to bring a nursing cover depending upon your comfort level and your pumping setup. You want to be confident in your tools.
3. Be open
Things that may seem obvious to you might not be obvious to others who are not in your situation. If you are unhappy with the arrangements that have been made, tell someone. Chances are they will work to find a solution to ensure you can pump as comfortably as possible. Pumping is not shameful, and we shouldn’t feel embarrassed to talk about it when we need to.
4. Ignore the Guilt
When you’re focussed on your job, it can sometimes be hard to disconnect just to eat lunch, let alone to pump. But try as best you can. I don’t check my work e-mails when I pump. I look at pictures of my son and I check with his caregivers to see how he’s doing. If it’s possible, do whatever you can to relax and know that this is a way you can take care of your baby while you’re at work. In a way, it makes me feel closer to my baby boy while in the office.
5. Keep that milk safe
As soon as I’m done pumping, I put the lid on my bottles to avoid spills. I then put the bottles into the freezer bag and the bag into the freezer.
6. Keep it clean
You may want to wash your pump after every use, use a wipe, or put your pump parts into the freezer bag along with the milk so any milk on the pump stays fresh.
7. Don’t leave the milk behind
This may seem obvious, but I wasn’t used to thinking about collecting my milk before I left work. To ensure I don’t leave it behind, I set an alarm that pops up on my phone at the same time every day, reminding me to grab my milk!
If you’re pumping at work, you are not alone! There are thousands of us standing with you. You got this, mama!
If you have tips for breastfeeding at work, leave them in the comments. I’d love to know!
My little boy recently turned a year old and to celebrate this momentous occasion, we turned Lindsay’s backyard into a carnival fit for a (little) king! My inspiration was Jillian Harris’ birthday party for her adorable son Leo. I read and re-read her blog post showcasing fun décor, yummy treats and smiling faces. I knew I had to do something similar for my own baby boy.
While I loved all the details at the party, I think my favourite detail was the candy bar. We purchased a variety of glass jars and filled them with gummy bears, sour candies, lollipops, jellybeans and more! It was a kid’s (and kid at heart) dream!
And what’s a carnival without cotton candy and popcorn? Glow Parties supplied concessions, carnival games, and balloons. The last time I had cotton candy I was eight years old at the circus. This nostalgic, sugary treat put smiles on everyone’s face!
My husband, being the extraordinary dad that he is, made corndogs from scratch and nachos with an amazing cheese sauce. Oh my goodness!! They were so good!
We ordered a cake from Frostings Cake and Event Design and it was truly a work of art. It was a three tier, carnival-inspired masterpiece. And even though I knew we had an amazing cake for our guests, I wanted to bake my son’s birthday cake myself. I made a six-inch round funfetti cake that I hope to make every year for his birthday.
My son enjoyed his party but let’s be serious, he likely won’t have vivid memories of this birthday. So, I purchased a personalized guestbook for him to have as a keepsake and read when he gets older. Guests took a polaroid photo of themselves and wrote a message next to their photo in the book.
It was such a special day. Our guestlist was small so my son felt comfortable and was able to enjoy himself. I honestly cried about five times, beginning the night before the birthday (there were no tears at the actual party). They were tears of joy and gratitude. (Can you cry tears of gratitude? I think I did! 😊) I am so thankful for this past year and the blessing of my son. From start to finish, his birthday was an absolute celebration of an amazing little boy.
Thank you to Lindsay and her husband, Chris, for sharing their house and party planning expertise. A big thank you to my parents for assembling décor and helping to pull the day together. Of course, thank you to my husband, Craig, who listens to my ideas and helps me execute them. This man is seriously so supportive, and he worked so hard to throw an amazing first birthday party!
Happy birthday, baby boy! We love you more than words can express.
After an amazing long weekend full of patriotic love and first birthday festivities, we’re looking ahead to the next few weeks and have compiled our checklist for July. This month, it’s all about delicious and nutritious meal prep, lots of time outside and spending quality time with the ones we love. Check out what we’ve got planned for July!
Sensational summer salads
While we can always get down with a burger, on hot summer days we tend to crave a fresh, hearty and oh-so delicious summer salad. Spinach, shaved carrots, nuts, quinoa and cold noodles are all seasonal salad staples. The best part is it can be made in advance and munched on throughout the week (three cheers for make-ahead meals!).
First things first
Summer 2018 comes with many firsts for our little ones. We’re looking forward to the first time their little toes take a dip into a fresh body of water, their first taste of sugary goodness at each birthday bash, their first picnic in the park and lots of day trippin’ to not-so-far-away hidden gems.
We recently celebrated Jacqueline’s son’s first birthday and now we’re just weeks away from celebrating Lindsay’s baby girl. With just four weeks between the two (not planned), July has officially become a party month for our family.
If you’re looking to update your outdoor décor, now’s the time to scan stores for their summer deals. Many retailers are already stocking up for fall which means their summer merchandise gots-to-go! Snag your very own steal-of-a-deal to complete your outdoor space.
We love hosting a good backyard bash, so we’re always looking for ways to improve our outdoor spaces. From grooming our gardens to giving our patio furniture a good scrub-a-dub, we’re excited to create an outdoor oasis perfect for hosting and toasting!
What's on your to-do list this month? Happy July friends!
Jacqueline & Lindsay xo
Fresh, local strawberries are a must this time of year! We love strawberries in all forms. From shortcakes to salads, cobblers and cakes, you really can't go wrong with this superfood. But our favourite way to enjoy these beautiful little morsels might just be as part of a glorious Eton Mess.
1 quart fresh strawberries
500 mL 35% cream
2 plus 1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 package meringue nests (6 per pack)
Optional Ingredients (add to taste)
Hull and quarter the strawberries, then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sugar (reserve 6 whole berries for garnish). Allow to macerate for at least one hour, if possible.
Add the cream, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and the vanilla extract in a mixing bowl,
Using either an electric mixer or a hand whisk, whisk the cream until firm peaks form.
Break the meringues into small pieces.
Fold the berries, whipped cream, meringue pieces, and any of the optional ingredients together in a bowl, then divide the mixture into 6 coupe bowls or glasses. Garnish with a whole strawberry on top.
Eton Mess is one of the easiest desserts you can make and always impresses. Serve this at the end of your next BBQ and be prepared for the praise that will follow. It's light, refreshing and tastes like summer!
How do you enjoy your strawberries?
After the snow, sleet and rain, we are bursting with excitement to see the summer sun shining! This time last year we were (slowly) approaching the final few weeks of pregnancy and getting ready to meet our little ones. Now that we can walk without waddling and don’t feel nauseous at the sight of a roast chicken (anyone else have this issue?), we’re excited to spend our lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer with our babes. Check out a few summer activities that are absolutely perfect for children one or younger.
Pitch a tent
What is it about a small child crawling in and out of a tent that is absolutely adorable? Before the temps were on the rise, Lindsay placed an infant tent indoors so her baby girl could get comfortable with her little dwelling. She instantly fell in love with it and it’s been a staple on the patio ever since. Many child-focused tents consist of UV-protected materials and bug-free closures to ensure your littles ones are safe and sound.
If you’re not able to take a full blown vacay, consider a road trip! Some of our favourite family trips this year have been driving an hour out of town and taking in the small town charm of rural Nova Scotia. Walks through the main street, small cafes and book shops, and discovering home-grown boutiques and restaurants is the perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday.
Climb every mountain
In Nova Scotia, there are so many beautiful trails to explore by bike or on foot. Besides getting in your steps, the views are absolutely breathtaking. Baby boutiques offer several carriers (front and/or back facing) to support your baby’s height and weight and fit your frame.
After a long hike, it may be time to cool off with some icy goodness made with love. Homemade popsicles are a great way to offer your wee ones something refreshing without loading them up on sugar. Yogourt and fruit or just straight up cucumber water makes a delicious summer treat. (Parent hack: we’ve found these also come in handy to help our teething babies when unpleasant pain sets in.)
We’re excited for our first trip to the beach, but we’re pulling out all the stops when it comes to sun safety. Beach tents and parasols, sunscreen, sun hats, UV-protected swimwear and slick mini shades are all on our “bring to the beach” list. Our cute wicker beach totes may not cut it anymore!
Mommy and me exercise groups
Break a sweat and make a few new friends by joining a local ‘mommy and me’ exercise group. From walks around town to yoga in the park, check out what programs are offered in your ‘hood.
Music in the park
We recently discovered our local Public Gardens offers music for children during the summer months. Our little ones are just starting to show some rhythm with hand-clapping and bum-bouncing so we know they’ll absolutely love this!
A glass of vino on a patio downtown used to be one of the first signs of summer when we were footloose and fancy-free. And while a glass of goodness al fresca doesn’t present itself as often as it used to, we’re still not ruling out a few trips to our favourite outdoor eateries.
What summer activities top your list with little ones? Happy summer!
Jacqueline and Lindsay xo
Three cheers for the amazing men in our lives! Father’s Day is this weekend and we’ve got some fun things planned to celebrate their special day. In need of a bit of inspiration? We’ve got you covered.
A work of art
We’re obsessed with this thoughtful and adorable gift! Get your little ones involved in creating a priceless work of art which can be framed for the home or office. Chris gifted Lindsay this sweet gift for Mother’s Day and let’s just say the tears started flowing!
Dad’s favourite dinner
Harness your inner Barefoot Contessa and create a menu featuring all of his favourite dishes.
Round of golf
It’s now become a tradition for our father and husbands to hit the greens together on Father’s Day. Give him a little peace and quiet with a day on the links.
Breakfast in bed
A hot cup of java and flapjacks drizzled with maple syrup taste even yummier when served with fluffed pillows and a cozy comforter.
Picnic in the park
This is such a cute idea. If the weather cooperates, grab a blanket, pack some of his favourite goodies and head to the park for a picnic.
Prolong the festivities with a fun scavenger hunt. Each clue can lead to a token of your appreciation. Keep it contained by staying home, or broaden the search with a hunt through your neighbourhood.
Personalized photo book
If you’re like us, you have a million-and-one photos of your little ones on your phone. Put those images to good use by creating a photo book full of sweet moments. Add text to create a little story you can read together.
Who doesn’t love a good graphic tee? From ‘Papa Bear’ to straight up ‘Dad’, give the gift of fresh threads this Father’s Day. Chris loves this T-shirt and wore it proudly the day his baby girl was born. Another great shop for giving (and getting!) is ILY Couture. Check out their selection of graphic tees and use code FAMILY15 for 15% off your order!
15% Off Site Wide at ILY Couture with code FAMILY15. Ends 7/1/18.
How do you plan to celebrate this weekend?
Jacqueline and Lindsay xo
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