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Watch them Play with Peekaboo Beans

GEAR, style By February 5, 2013 Tags: , , , No Comments

peekaboo beansWhen I think ‘play’, I don’t imagine kids in stuffy suits.  As the mom as two highly sensitive kids, I recognize the need for soft fabrics, non-itchy labels and room for movement.  I adore the versatility, easy on-and-off functionality and awesome style of Peekaboo Beans.  The reflective tapes on many of the pieces provides safety and peace of mind and the mix and match capabilities also make getting dressed a breeze – even when they insist on pairing their outfit themselves.  Founder Traci Costa loves “the unquestionable innocence and curiosity of children, little bare bums and pure laughter.”  She recognized that parents should spend their time lavishing kids with love – not struggling with tiny snaps and tiny neck holes! 

Oh – and the adorable clothes are delivered to you with a purple and green wrapping theme – complete with jelly beans.  For the kids of course.. ; )  www.peekaboobeans.com

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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The Coach Legacy Collection

GEAR, style By October 31, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

I was in Buenos Aires recently and couldn’t keep away from the Recoleta Cemetery.  (And not to see the hoards of people looking at Evita’s grave.)  The sense of peace and solitude I felt was overwhelming.  The elaborate tombs are above ground and house every member of established Argentinian families.  It is their legacy.

As a mom I learn more and more every day about my role as a mentor and guide.  I think of my grandmother, my mother and my children and the long chain of influence we have upon each other.  I wear my grandmother’s bracelet, my mother’s scarf.  These small gestures ensure that I think of them and smile every day.

As we navigate our crazy lives with technology, a fast pace and instant information challenging us to slow down, I am noticing many shifts.  Martha Stewart Living is featuring more ‘home grown’ stories.  People are leaving big corporate jobs to pursue life-coaching careers, and families are exploring their roots through sites like Ancestry.ca.  We are paring down, giving attention to the past and choosing fewer possessions with higher quality and craftsmanship.

Even Coach, my favourite handbag company is offering a nod to classics from their archives.  Their new Legacy Bag collection is filled with pieces that give a nod to the past.  Brass fittings and soft leather create special bags that fit their name.  And I will be saving mine to hand down to a special person when I grow old.  I hope that I live a rich and kind life and when my legacy bag is treasured by a young woman, she will think of me and smile.

Here are a few favourites that we’re expecting to be best sellers over the holiday season.

Legacy Leather Molly Sachel $345

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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pregnancy style advice

Pregnancy Style Advice for Fall and Winter

FAM, GEAR, pregnancy, style By October 17, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , 3 Comments

It goes without saying that being pregnant places demands on your wardrobe that your existing clothes likely can’t meet.  Dressing your pregnant belly shouldn’t be dreaded or seen as something that’s difficult but should be embraced as an opportunity to rise to the challenge of dressing your new shape.  Pregnancy in the summer may be seen as easier to dress with maxi dresses and loose t-shirts but believe it or not, there are some easy tricks and trends to implement for fall pregnancy wear.  This fall, there are some key maternity trends and modified runway trends to keep you and your belly always looking stylish.  Here are the UrbanMommies pregnancy fall winter fashion trends.

Tailored pieces.  Though it may seem easier to hide your belly under loose sweaters and baggy pants, that can actually make you look bulkier. It definitely doesn’t make you feel as pretty as a nicely tailored pair of jeans or jacket will either.  If staying fashionable is super important to you, you could go for a pair of maternity jeans that hits below your belly, though these will be a little more uncomfortable.  If you’re OK with wearing real maternity jeans, find a pair that fit you perfectly and have a nice tailored look.  If you can’t find a pair that fit you exactly right, get the pair that fits your belly best and then get the pants tailored at a seamstress.  Jackets for maternity wear this fall should also have a structured look to them.  Jackets are often the item that gets overlooked during a fall pregnancy but with the tailored trend this fall, the maternity jackets look great on everyone.  The jacket trend for this fall in maternity wear combines timeless and classic cuts to create a tailored jacket that will keep you warm and flatter your growing belly.  Just remember—get one size bigger than you need if you’re buying before the third trimester!

Colored Condiments.   If you’re a fan of colors but like to stay in earth toned hues, then you will love the color trend for maternity wear this fall.  Olive greens, mustard yellows and brick red (like ketchup!).  These colors really match the fall colors that surround you and generally look good when mixed together and with most skin tones.

Leather pieces. This is one fall runway trend that can be taken into maternity wear!  Even though pregnancy might not allow you to wear leather pants or a skirt, you can wear tops with leather pieces.  Leggings now come in stretch leather which would look great with a structured jacket or mustard sweater.  Keep in mind whenever you’re buying something with leather, to try it on, make sure it’s comfortable and that it will expand with your belly.

Prints and Details. Another trend that was translated from the runway to maternity trends for this fall is prints and details on different pieces.  Matching prints is the thing right now but if you feel that draws too much attention to your bump, then add just a splash of print to an outfit for some interest.  Details added to clothing such as appliques, zippers or beaded detail adds great emphasis to an empire waist.

Use these fall maternity trends as inspiration to spice up your maternity wardrobe this fall but always remember to invest in pieces that are stylish and comfortable!

Allie Samborn is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, BC.  She has covered a wide range of topics from fly fishing destinations to annual makeup trends. She has her BA in English Literature and a diploma in Fashion Merchandising.

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back to school

The Back to School Shopping Guide

GEAR, style, tech By August 20, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 5 Comments

We all know that the end of August brings an obsession with things ‘wooly’ and the exciting task of acquiring school supplies and clothing for the kids.  Parents scour busy stores overflowing with pencils in order to outfit their children for back to school.  Not to worry!  The back to school shopping guide features lots of stylish goodies that can be found online.  In hopes you used a bit of the summer to de-clutter and inventory what you already have, you can fill the holes in your kids’ back to school shopping list with a few of our picks.  We’ve shopped around to find the best supplies, gadgets and funky fashions for your little collegiates.

Back to School Supplies

1.  The Spencer Stainless Steel Bento Box Container: Crafted of stainless steel with a spacious bottom compartment, an interior tray for separating snacks and a snug plastic lid, this is sure to be a winner.  Just make sure you check our our healthy snack ideas when you fill it!  $59   Available at www.potterybarnkids.com

2. Text Bands.  Now kids only have to bump fists in order to pass notes.  The text bands allow the message to appear on a friend’s wrist with a light bump.  You can type up to 10 characters and each band can hold up to 24 messages at once. (Turning the band off will delete all messages).  Now that’s a heck of an improvement from note passing.  Hallmark.com

3.  ABC Sigg Water Bottles are BPA and phthalate free. You can recyclable them at the end of their lifetime, and the nonporous interior lining in the bottles ensures that it remains taste and odor neutral.  Know what that means?  You can put grape juice in it (or something stronger for Mom) on the weekend and send it to school with milk on Monday. www.mysigg.com

4.  Fun, Fictional Flash Drives –  From The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Looney Tunes to skateboard USBs, students can transport files with their favourite characters.  Unfortunately, they do not come with your very own Princess Leah hologram.  You’ll have to hit the rides at Disneyland for that. www.staples.ca

5.  The Madbox from Land’s End is the coolest lunchbox we’ve seen in a while.  Five kids from Madison, WI set out to build a better lunchbox and Land’s End liked their idea so much – they produced it!  It comes with an adjustable ice pack that focuses the cold to the food that needs to stay cold and leaves room temperature food alone.  No more soggy crackers.  www.landsend.com

6.  Who doesn’t love labels?   Mabels Labels has a cool new Tween pack that is sure to delight your kids.  They’ve also got a rock-sold back-to-school pack and even preschool shoe labels.  www.mabelslabels.com

7.  New for the fall, the Native ‘Jimmy’.  From the makes of our favourite summer show comes the Jimmy, just in time for fall.  These durable and funky boots will look great with this season’s signature trench for kids.  www.shop.nativeshoes.com

8.  The Lunchkin reusable sandwich bag.  In Hermes orange, or course.  Wait.  That’s for me.  Well, if you want uber-cute, they’re available in crabs, sailboats, soccer balls and school apples too.  And they’re great for the environment.  And cool.  Need we say more?  www.raspberrykids.com

9.  Any flower-lover would eat every bite out out of this adorable PVC-free grab-and-go lunch purse.  But be careful.  Unless you snag a couple you may have a fight on your hands, as we guarantee you’ll want one too!  I think I may grab one and use it for a funky back tie clutch…  www.lavishandlime.com

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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back to school picks for mom

Back to School Picks for Mom

GEAR, style, tech By August 20, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

The end of August marks a special time.  (And not only because the fall fashion issues are so thick).  With the little ones returning back to school for a new year and a fresh start, Moms can’t forget that they deserve a bit of a refresher too.  You get them to school.  You’re the activity chauffeur and playdate secretary.  School lunch chef, homework enforcer.  We know that’s just a few of your duties.  Here are a few of our Back to School Picks for the moms out there.

Back to School Picks for Mom

1.  Shoes: Gentle Souls, (a Kenneth Cole brand) are comfortable, practical and stylish.  And if you like science, their technology is based on displaceable solids comprised of – deerskin lining, NASA developed memory foam called PORON, flax seeds pillows &  rubber soles. Bottom line, they are so comfortable!  www.gentlesouls.com

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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Dressing Your Boys

GEAR, style By July 30, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 5 Comments

Some boys will only wear ‘Athletic Clothing.  Stripes, logos, numbers.  Hmmm.  Not always a stylish choice for boyswear.  Why not have a rule, shall we, that sports clothes are for, well, playing sports, and cool, cute, hip clothes are for going out in public without a ball/racquet/bat in hand.  I’ve never understood the hockey jersey thing (especially for grown men and women.)  Why would you wear a boxy jersey bearing a professional hockey player’s name on the back?  Your own name, ok…  Same opinion for little boys’ sporting attire.  If you earned it by playing a season of T-Ball, sure.  But to put Walmart’s logo and year of inception on his back because you think your kid looks athletic?  No.

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's in my bag? Ann Gallery

beauty, GEAR, style By July 18, 2012 Tags: , , , No Comments

We spoke to PR Pro Ann Gallery and convinced her to ‘spill’ the contents of her stunning Goyard monogrammed purse.  She’s lucky my initials are different or I would have nabbed it.

1.  The cult hair care line Black 15 in 1 recently launched travel sizes of its amazing Twice a Week Shampoo and Conditioner and Miracle Hair Treatment – I keep the 3 Oz hair treatment spray in my purse so things don’t get too out of control on drizzly Vancouver days.

2.  My bag by Goyard.

3. Shortly after we met, my husband Ian gave me a lovely Shamrock Charm in honour of my Irish roots (or was it my feisty red-headed nature?!).  The charm lives on my key chain for good luck.

4.  I can’t get enough of Steaz sparkling green tea, especially the Raspberry and Lemon Lime flavours.  So refreshing!

5.  I’m addicted to CND Shellac manicures and keeping Solar Oil in my purse and using it regularly on my nails and cuticles maintains my mani for even longer than the promised 14 days!

6.  I keep in my purse a quick, fun and portable game like Spot it! to help kill time with my 10 and 11 year old sons between appointments, practices and playdates.  We love visiting www.nognz.com to check out all their amazing products that promote brain health (while being fun at the same time!).

7.  I’m a lip gloss junkie and the sparklier the better! On a recent trip to Japan I picked up RMK’s Gloss Lips N in Holographic Orange and now it’s a staple in my purse.  I also snapped up RMK’s 15th Anniversary Cheek Palette – it makes me smile every time I open the case and it gives me a sun-kissed glow.

8.  Like most people, practically every photo we have is on an electronic device but I always keep a hard copy of this picture in my purse.  I love my boys even when they’ve been away at camp and haven’t bathed for two weeks!

9.  Between visiting family in Toronto and Montreal and a very busy travel schedule for work, it feels like I spend half my life on a plane!  I now just keep in my purse a merino wool Bliss Wrap by Icebreaker – it’s perfect for travelling as it’s chic, cozy and versatile and looks good with everything from jeans to my new favourite summer maxi dress.

Ann Gallery is the founder of Highview Communications.

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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Unique Fathers Day Gifts for Dad

fitness, GEAR, style, tech By June 6, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , 2 Comments

Father’s Day is a tough one.  PS – socks and ties just don’t really cut it.  Here are a few curated picks that we’ll be ordering.  And probably using for ourselves..  (That’s when you get them for the father of your children instead of your own dad so the items are.. ahem.. nearby.. for your personal use.)

This was so awesome we actually already bought one for the office.  Sorry dad.  A new take on the retro polaroid, the shots from the Fuji Instax Mini 50s Camera come out immediately and in a mini size – about half the width of an old-fashioned polaroid.  And you don’t have to wave them in the air either.  Available at Caya.

What man could possibly attempt a camping trip without his R2D2 Folding armchair? If he’s into starwars you might want to check out our feature on the hand-knit R2D2 hat as well…. Available at  www.thinkgeek.com

CHARGE ‘N’ FRUITS Designed Docking Station: The most decorative way to charge cell phones and MP3 players: definite shapes and creative styling. Simply load your charging cable through the fruit from above and place the cord in the cable channel at the bottom.  Caya.ca

Blown Away: A Year Through the Lens of The Tornado Hunter.  I was so riveted to the photos in this tome that I could feel my testosterone level rising.  Showcasing the surreal, scary, romantic electricity of tornadoes across North America, Greg Johnson’s stunning book can be found at WalMart and online at chapters/indigowww.tornadohunter.ca (Oh – and if you comment on this post with your fav idea for dad you get an entry to win one!)

WEBER FIRESPICE® TRIAL-SIZED SMOKING KITS: Not sure what flavour dad likes to smoke? Here’s an opportunity to sample different smoking woods – hickory, cherry, apple and more. Comes in assorted four and six packs.  Pair it with Weber’s Smoke™ cookbook written by New York Times best-selling author and James Beard Award Nominee Jamie Purviance. It reveals the secrets to infusing rich, smoky flavours into almost any dish on any barbecue including  gas, charcoal, or smoker. www.weber.com

Date night with Dad. Especially wonderful for the dad who doesn’t get much one-on-one time with the kids, here is an opportunity for the children to share ideas as to what a perfect date with dad would look like: Building a model airplane? Learning how to fly a kite?  fly fishing?  Yes please. 12 different ideas for activities to do with your dad for a special date.  Brilliant DIY idea by the Happy HomeMaker.

Collapsable shot glass.  You couldn’t possibly go on a golf course without one of these.  Or to Europe.  Or to the office.  Just sayin’

www.thinkgeek.com

The Man Bouquet.  Attach assorted cigars, beers and Dad’s favourite items to small dowels and ‘plant’ them in a huge pot.  (You might also want to include some lingere for yourself, which we’re sure he’d also enjoy.)  Idea and photo by: Elyse Nichol

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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Maternity Shopping Guidelines

FAM, GEAR, pregnancy, style By May 25, 2012 Tags: , , , , 1 Comment

Maternity Clothing ListIf you can only afford to purchase a few key items, stick with the essentials. You are going to be wearing these pieces for the next few months, so go for quality over quantity. (e.g. a great pair of jeans will be worn more times than you can count).

  1. Choose pants that have either an expandable cotton/lycra front panel, or an adjustable waistline. These will provide you with comfort as your belly grows, and maintain a good fit.
  2. Dress up your basic black pants with a trendy top, a dressy blazer or shrug.
  3. Accessorize your wardrobe. Be creative, and have some fun. You can change your look by simply adding a stack of chunky bracelets, dangly earrings, or a long beaded necklace to update your look.
  4. Most of you will “live” in your maternity clothes, and we encourage you to buy clothing that reflects your personal style and taste so you can feel like yourself and enjoy your changing body.

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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Mom Gifts: Mothers Day and Valentine's Day

beauty, GEAR, style By April 20, 2012 Tags: , , , , , 2 Comments

If you’re like most of us, we have no idea what to get our own mothers for occasions such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. In this 2 minute video, we give lots of suggestions – letterpress stationery, sexy sports gear, new shades in a fav makeup brand, or the ultimate… a clean car.

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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