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6 Simple Ways to Treat Yourself

6 Simple Ways to Treat Yourself

beauty, FAM, GEAR, self By February 7, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , 4 Comments

As multi-tasking moms, often times we put ourselves last on the list. As Teri Hatcher wrote in her best-selling book, Burnt Toast, the matriarch of the family often has a tendency to say, ‘please take the good toast and leave burnt piece for me.’ Everyone else’s needs come first, and ours second.

Scarlett Ballantyne

Scarlett Ballantyne is a freelance writer, makeup artist, designer, and business owner. Married with children, she is an active dance-mom of two teenage girls. When she isn’t chauffeuring kids around, she is passionate about photography, cooking healthy meals and Dancing with the Stars. Scarlett’s musings on parenting have been published on Scary Mommy and the Huffington Post Canada. You can also catch her sharing musings, beauty tips, mompreneur advice and photography on her blog, www.scarlettballantyne.com.

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What is Mom Style?

FAM, self By November 5, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Mom StyleWhen people ask me what do for a living, I usually say, “I’m a fashion writer and blogger”. More often than not, this is followed up with, “oh, you are a mom blogger?” The thing is, being a mom isn’t what defines me or my dress sense. I’m an entrepreneur and fashion blogger, and I happen to be a mom. To me being fashionable doesn’t stop being an option when you have kids. If you had a sense of style before, it’s still there, just a little dormant now.

I have learned over the last two years of being a fashion blogger and connecting with an online community of moms that there are certain style issues that plague most of us that have had children.  Maybe it’s a subliminal thing, but we’ve picked up some bad habits, and now people are calling them “mom style”, cringe. So for my first post here at Urban Mommies, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my quick fixes for these style zappers.

Get out of the sweatpants funk – I understand; they are comfortable, but I promise you there are other comfortable clothes out there. The first step to regaining your pre-baby style sense is to make a commitment to look beyond the athletic wear department for clothes. How about creating a Pinterest board to get excited? Here’s one with mom friendly looks. (link to Pinterest Board)

Ditch the maternity clothes – If you child is over 12 months; it’s time to say adios to the maternity wear. I know it still fits, but the mindset is all wrong, the message you are sending to yourself and the world is; I’m not worthy of any better. A new outfit doesn’t have to be expensive, as long it fits well you will feel like a million bucks.

Switch out sneakers for flats and a diaper bag for a purse – I see way to many moms wearing beaten up sneakers and carrying a bag with circus clowns, it’s time for a change. If you can splurge a little on your flats, Tory Burch is the way to go, but if you are in need of a quick fix find a Payless coupon online and grab yourself a pair of cute ballet flats for $20. I promise you will walk with more grace and feel a bit more stylish. Same goes with the diaper bag, upgrade to a roomy purse. If you are in the mood to splurge my picks would be Kate Spade or Michael Kors (these are investment bags that you will keep for years), but if you want something seasonal head straight to Aldo.

Treat yourself to some new underwear – Do it for yourself not your mate! Most moms I know are wearing stretched out granny panties an old maternity bra; you can’t feel great about yourself with that as your foundation. Treat yourself to a new bra, and while you’re out, get a proper fitting – sizes change after pregnancy and nursing.

Get a new flattering haircut and learn to style it – I’m not suggesting you get an Anna Wintour bob or some drastic bangs (like I once did), because you don’t have the time to blow that out every day, but maybe some layers and highlights? Ask your stylist what products to use and then play, or even check out You Tube tutorials. I hate straightening my hair everyday so I found a tutorial online that showed me how to curl my hair while I sleep. Yes it takes a little time to learn, but it’s a skill you will use for the rest of your life.

Get out of the mom jeans lady – I can’t believe they still make these, but anything with a high waist, pleats, or light discolouration on the thighs and butt area is not a good look. You want a nice dark rinse with a straight or slightly boot cut leg, my personal favourite; the Sweetheart Jean from Old Navy.

I think many of us get stuck in a rut after having kids and somehow convince ourselves that being a mom and having a sense of style just don’t go together – but they do! How you dress has a profound effect on how you feel, how you interact with the people in your life, and the way your children remember you when they grow up. I want my kids to remember me as a competent pulled together woman who takes pride in her appearance – how about you?

Image: A compilation of fashions available at Holt Renfrew.  Floral Jacket: Erdem, Motorcycle Jacket: Acne, Dress: Aquilano.Rimondi, Jeans: Rag + Bone, Flats: Roger Vivier.

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Test Drive of the BMW X5

auto, GEAR By May 18, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

BMW X5This car positively purrs and it a fantastic ‘mom-mobile’.  The BMW X5 is roomy and offers a ton of family-friendly features that make it a great option if your bank account can handle the hefty price tag.

Kid’s Perspective: They LOVED the extra-large panoramic moonroof

Mom-Friendliness:
– The bluetooth and phonebook sync with both our Blackberry and iPhone was exceptional and worked with the wisp of a touch.
– The forward-to-reverse on the gear shift is a bit counter-intuitive but it’s a BMW thing and you get used to it.
– Lots of room between 2 carseats
– Adaptive headlights follow the direction of the wheels for extreme safety
– Ambient lighting when it’s dark outside
– Sun-reflective seats so even when it’s burning hot outside, the seats stay cool.

Trunk: Clamshell-style and the lower part is quite high so hard to get stroller in if you’re short.  There’s a ton of room for groceries and a big stroller.

The Glitz: Carry the key in your purse and doors are unlocked just by touching the door handle.  I must for a mom carrying groceries, a toddler and a diaper bag.

The Glamour: You can get into the car in stilettos, drive fast and look sexy.

Would it Make a Good Push Present? Absolutely.

BMW Canada

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Keeping Healthy as a Mom while Balancing Work and Life

Uncategorized By September 21, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

Twins?  I wish.  I’ve always been likened to Kristen Davis, and once a guy on the street asked me out by saying that I looked like ‘Sex and the City’s’ Charlotte.  He struck out, however, as I would rather have been told that I was a spectacular actor like ‘Sex and the City’s’ Kristen Davis.  I had the opportunity to meet the new mother and icon on Friday, August 3rd,  when she attended the launch event for Zarbee’s new all natural extra strength line of cough products for adults and children 12 and up at The Kimberly Hotel.  The luncheon focused on keeping healthy as a mom while balancing work and life.

Hosted by Liz Gumbinner of Mom 101 and Cool Mom Picks, the event celebrated individuals that are an inspiration to their families and communities and I was lucky to have been interviewed by fellow Canadian Janice Croze of 5 Minutes For Mom. We spoke of work/life balance and the challenges of making healthy choices for our children.

On the question of balance, I shared that the word seems like a moving target.  Not only does it seem unattainable, but the concept puts too much pressure on mothers.  It’s like a constant benchmark imposed by society and we are always falling short.  Surely that’s not healthy.  Some days we’ll be with our families for a disproportionate amount of time, baking bread and playing blocks.  (Ok maybe just the block part).  Other days we’ll spend a long day at the office.  Are either of these choices wrong if ‘balance’ isn’t struck on a daily or hourly basis?  I don’t think so.  I think that moms need to be kinder to themselves and look at balance from a more macro perspective.

Asked about health, I laughed.  Feeling like ‘Mom of the Century’, I admitted that my kids play in a ton of dirt outside and I don’t really keep my house very clean.  Shhh.  Hopefully that’s why they are rarely ill!  I tend to get sick a bit more than they do.

I have used Zarbees products in the past – especially because they are available at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada.  I have also ‘borrowed’ the kids’ medicines when I have been ill, as I prefer the natural choices, and, well, I have found that they actually work. Miraculously using dark honeys, zinc and vitamins,  Zarbee’s is drug, alcohol, dye and gluten free.

Having just closed her Broadway run of The Best Man, Kristen expertly managed her motherhood and career while keeping everyone healthy.  You can’t really call in sick on Broadway!  Here are her Healthy Tips for New Moms:

  • Eat Right: 
Prepare healthy meals and snacks (like brown rice) when you have a few minutes so you can throw it in the refrigerator and have something healthy on hand when you get the chance to eat.
  • Go Natural:
 Rely on natural products you can trust, especially when you get sick.  You can’t be at your best when you feel terrible!  I love Zarbee’s because it’s an all natural product that helps with coughs and allergies without making me drowsy.
  • Make Time for Yourself: It is hectic being a mom so try to carve out some “me” time during the day – even just a minute to breathe and assess what you need so you can be at your best for your baby.

Disclosure: UrbanMommies was hosted for lunch and received samples of Zarbees products for review.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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What to Put in your Home Emergency Kit

Uncategorized By July 17, 2012 Tags: , , , , 2 Comments

Now’s a great time to get organized, and one thing that should never be put off is the creation of your home emergency kit.  You and your kids can use the opportunity to plan escape routes, compile vital information and pull out the globe to talk about parts of the world that are currently experiencing natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, drought and fire.  You could even use the opportunity to practice charitable giving by sorting out piggy bank funds and making a donation to a group who is currently in need.  After your kit is assembled, make sure everyone in the family knows where it is located and every time you take something out, be sure to put it back.

1.  Large waterproof box to store these supplies
2.  First aid kit: at least two pairs of latex gloves, sterile gauze pads, scissors, tweezers, adhesive bandages, pain relievers, cold medications, antiseptic cream, alcohol wipes, cleansing agent, burn ointment, thermometer, eye wash, prescription medication (if anyone in the family uses one daily with dosage information), allergy medication, and a first aid manual.
3.  Swiss army knife
4.  Gas-powered camp stove
5. Sanitizing Hand wipes
6.  Paper towels
7.  Simple puzzles/card games
8.  Non perishable food: granola bars, canned juices, soup, bottled water, peanut butter, crackers – most experts recommend enough for the whole family for 3 days but we upped it to a week to be on the safe side.
9.  Plates, utensils, other feeding supplies (pots)
10.  Heavy work gloves
11.  Self-powered flashlights with extra batteries
12. Self-powered radio
13.  Maps
14.  Paper, pen, permanent marker
15.  Emergency blanket or sleeping bag
16.  Large heavy duty plastic bag
17.  Personal hygiene items: toilet paper, feminine supplies, oral care
18.  Extra keys to house and vehicle
19.  Duct tape, plastic sheet, tools, bungee cords, rope
20.  Old prescription glasses
21.  Rain poncho
22.  Copy of important documents and phone numbers
23.  Whistle, dust mask
24.  Emergency cash
25.  Loveys or comfort objects for the kids
26.  Mace
27.  Candles and waterproof matches
28. Insect Repellant
29.  Suntan Lotion
30.  Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
31.  Solar cell phone charger
32.  Manual can-opener

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Natural Household Cleaning Recipes

Uncategorized By November 7, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , 5 Comments

Not only can you save space and money with a handful of natural ingredients, but you can improve the health of your family as well.  Vinegar, Borax, lemons, olive oil, baking soda and salt can work wonders in a home, and are usually already on hand.  Here are some simple, but effective, recipes that will keep your home clean and healthy.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Baby Sleep Tracker

Uncategorized By August 11, 2010 Tags: , , , , , , 1 Comment

Ask any parent about the most difficult part of having a baby and we are willing to bet that SLEEP will be among the top three.  Our handy sleep tracker chart can at least help you to figure out when sleep is happening, and if there are any trends towards lengthier slumber!  We have a ton of articles on sleep as well if you need some guidance.  Baby Sleep Tracker

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Weight Issues

Uncategorized By November 5, 2007 Tags: , , , , 1 Comment

bathroom-scale.jpgIt takes nine months to gain weight during pregnancy, but it’s hard not to expect that now you’ve delivered, the weight

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Getting Back into Shape Postpartum

Uncategorized By February 24, 2007 Tags: , , , , No Comments

working out with baby post pregnancyAs excited as new moms are about the birth of their baby, they also can’t believe the body that’s been left behind. Our round, voluptuous body that seemed so beautiful while pregnant is completely transformed! What makes matters worse is that new moms 1) don’t have time to do traditional exercise and 2) shouldn’t be dieting.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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