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Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy Monday!

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/208150814001156413/

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Hot Apple Cider

I don't think I need to say this, but it's that cozy time of year. Time to curl up in front of a fire with a book and a cup of something warm & comforting. There's so many delicious choices: coffee, tea, hot chocolate, steamed milk, apple cider....

This week I couldn't resist brewing up a batch of cider. It just felt right. And the nice thing is you can spike it and no one will judge you for having some grown up juice in the afternoon!

This is my own recipe that I created by looking at a variety of sources and taking my favourite ingredients. It makes a strong cider with a rich flavour, but can be diluted for a milder version. Perfect for taking along for a crisp evening walk or relaxing in the cozy comforts of home.

Image Source: 

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Hot Apple Cider

Makes 8- 10 cups


1 litre apple juice
1/2 cup each orang juice & cranberry juice (not cocktail)
3 cinnamon sticks
3 star of anise 
2 tbsp mulling spice
1 orange rind 
1 cup red wine (optional)
For a milder version, add an additional cup of apple juice or water.

Pour all liquid into a large pot; put heat on high
Peel or grate the rind of 1 orange & add to pot
Add cinnamon sticks & all other spices. Tip: you can use a ball tea diffuser or cheesecloth sache for the grated orange rind & spices to save you from having to strain the cider when ready
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer for 1/2 hour.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick & enjoy!

If you are unable to find mulling spices pre- mixed, you can buy the individual spices and make your own signature blend. These typically include any or all of the following: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, star of anise, cardamon. Taste your cider as it brews to achieve the flavour you desire. I recommend starting with a stronger batch & diluting to taste, since this will keep the flavours balanced, rather than ending up with spicy apple juice ;)

Also, it is important to use pure cranberry juice not the cocktail because the cocktail lacks the rich flavour & tends to have a lot of added sugar. I stock up at Trader Joes when I go to the States- it's the cheapest I've found and has great flavour. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Amazing Mom Feature: Angela Dean, Mary Kay Cosmetics Independent Sales Rep & MakeUp Artist

All right ladies, it's time for a little pampering! This week's Amazing Mom is Angela Dean, a Sales Director at Mary Kay Cosmetics & freelance makeup artist. With more than a decade of experience in the beauty industry, you're in good hands with Angela. Whether you're in the market for a new beauty regime, need a little pampering, or have a special event coming up, Angela is a seasoned pro who can help you achieve the most beautiful you possible- inside and out. While her job may focus on the outside, Angela helps turn the focus inside to help ladies find confidence and feel their best. Read on to 
learn more about this Amazing Mom & her amazing business!

Image Source: http://www.beautycrazed.ca/2010/09/mary-kay-metro-chic-fall-2010-not-your.html

  1. What kind of products and/ or services do you offer? 

    Anything Beauty. From taking care of your skin from the top of your head to the bottom of your tippy toes. We carry over 200 products of the highest quality but at a beauty you can afford. We have products with no synthetics, no dyes, no alcohol to the highest dermatologist spa grade with plant stem cell and hyaluronic acid and retinol. I also can glam you up for any special occasion from a night dinner out with your spouse or friend to a bride getting married on her wedding day!

  1. What is the price point? 

    They start at $8 eye shadow to $55 Night Retinol Cream. Consultations are complimentary for a flawless Face Skin care session to a makeover party with 3 of your closest friends. Application starts at $50-$125

  1. How long have you been operating and how did you start? 

    I have been in the industry 11 years. I started after watching a TV Show about Mary Kay and was in awe of the confidence these women had, the love for the company, the quality of the ingredients and the guarantee if it didn’t work i got my money back. So why not! I was surprised when I reached my first year that is was so much more about sharing the products it was changing women’s lives.  I had no confidence, no family or friends close by and knew i needed to pay of my student loans, gain a new sense of who I am and I needed to put the FEAR aside. I am so happy I took a chance and never quit! Now we have earned 5 company cars and in 2010 just before having my son I was the 2nd runner up in all of Canada for sharing the business - now talk about success! I arrived.

  1. How did you decide what to do? 

    I started with a fun project before and after makeover portfolio and was impressed on how many women wanted to feel pretty and try the products - referrals came easy and I just never doubted that if I worked hard it would pay off years later.

  1. What is your favourite part of what you do? What is the biggest challenge? 

    My favorite part of what I do is seeing my clients over the years and they thank me for helping them with their skin issues and share that this simple routine has made them to be more confident. On the flip side I watch consultants I have coached and they share the business opportunity changed their financial situation, offered a way for them to stay home and be the mom they never thought they could. As a sales director I coach close to a hundred women on their careers and I couldn’t be more fulfilled. My biggest challenge is finding a balance - some weeks are busy than others but I know that I am working towards my goals and my family is reaping the benefits.

  1. Any advice to other ladies/ moms looking to start their own business? 

    Take time each day for you. Either by getting up earlier to put on your face in the morning or to finding time to plan your day and work in small simple successful steps. I see moms so often beat themselves up on accomplishing too much when they need to evaluate what is important and stick to keeping it simple. Have a clear goal and stay enthusiastic even if you are sleep deprived.  Learn to work your plan and work smart not hard!

    You can contact Angela via email: beautybymarykay@gmail.com or by phone at 778 866 7379. 
    To purchase Mary Kay products through Angela, visit www.marykay.ca/adean.  

If this wasn't enough to tempt you, we're giving away an amazing gift: your choice of $20 worth of Mary Kay products through Angela's website or a complimentary make up application (a $50 value!).

There's a few ways to enter: leave a comment following this post, Like The Pampered Baby & Beauty by Angela, or share this link on Facebook.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mommy Date: Mary Kay Mommy on the Go Makeover!

Earlier this week I got together with a few of my Mommy friends and their little ones for some pampering provided by Angela Dean from Mary Kay. I haven't hosted a home party in a long time but having known Angela for a few years- and as a fellow Mom- knew she would do a wonderful job helping us focus on ourselves. With a few quick questions about our skin & beauty regimes she was able to tailor to our individual needs.

The goal was to create a beauty routine that was quick & easy that included a skincare and everyday makeup that us Moms could achieve in just a few minutes. We started by washing & priming our faces with Mary Kay's Timewise 3- 1 Cleanser & Age Fighting Moisturizer.

Next, we applied concealer to help even our skin tones and Mineral Bronzing Powder to highlight bone structure. For rounder faces, take your brush and sweep in the shape of a '3', with the first sweep going around your eye and landing just under the apple of your cheek- where the blush will go- and then another sweep to your jawline; for narrower/ longer faces, only do the first sweep in the shape of a 'c'.

We then selected a shade of their Cream Eye Color & put on a coat of MK's Lash Love Waterproof Mascara (we had our Aquafit class after the makeover!). The final touch was a few spritzes of Makeup Finishing Spray to lock in our makeup for the day. And voila! We were ready to go and armed with some new tools & tricks to help us focus on ourselves, if only for a few minutes each day. An important and mush appreciated chance for some 'me' time!

Angela showing off some of the MK goodies- lipgloss & lipstick

The finishing touch- lock in that makeup baby! 

Mom Zoey with baby Keira ready for the pool after our makeover!

Mom Celine with baby Oliver- he was as excited as we were :)

Mom Kate with baby Shepherd, who had helped her by holding the makeup mirror for her, but was happy to supervise too :)

For more info about the products we used, you can contact Angela via email: beautybymarykay@gmail.com or by phone at 778 866 7379. 
To purchase Mary Kay products through Angela, visit www.marykay.ca/adean.

And check back tomorrow for a feature on this Amazing Mom! (we have an MK goodie giveaway!)  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Words to Start the Day

Image Source: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/08/78/8d/08788d73bd8bbf8ab75e035839ff6025.jpg

Enjoy today! <3

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Retail Therapy!

Yesterday we took advantage of the beautiful Fall weather and did a little shopping on South Granville.    While some of the stores can be a little pricey, it's a fun opportunity to window shop and get inspiration- and of course to splurge every once in a while! ;)

I couldn't resist snapping photos of some of the goodies I saw on my shopping adventure- some for baby and some for us Moms! We hit up most of the stores on Granville, but we always make sure to hit up our favourites- West Elm, Anthropologie, Williams Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, and Pottery Barn Kids (I didn't really go in before I had Ari). The Chapters is always good to check out too.

I also want to say how impressed I was at Pottery Barn Kids. I had to feed the young lady and one of the salesmen offered up one of their rockers in the store for me to feed her! Kudos and thanks to this family friendly store!!!

Allright here are some of my favourite goodies...

For Mom:

Pillow $29.50, Chapters

Fall & Halloween Decor, Pottery Barn:
Boo Pumpkin $57
Owl $87
Gourd $117

Small notebook $2.50 on sale at Chapters!

Large notebook $6.50, Chapters

Chevron fabric bin $39.50, Chapters

Diaper Bag $117, Pottery Barn Kids

For Baby:

Bedding $100+, Pottery Barn Kids

Changing Pad (I forgot the price! Approx. $50- $60), Pottery Barn Kids

GIANT piggy bank $49.50, Chapters

Novelty Soother $6.99, Chapters

Baby Toms! $39.50, Chapters

After all that shopping we decided to wind down with some lunch at Mein Hardt. If you've never checked this amazing gem out you should! They carry grocery items ranging from your everyday necessities to gourmet items- some made in house!- to satisfy your inner foodie wanabie! They also have a selection of fresh made food for dine in or take out. We opted for butter chicken and the quiche & salad combo (very affordable at $6.99- I tried their roast beet salad- delicious!).

Some of the beautiful hand crafted desserts at Mein Hardt.

Oil & vinegar at Mein Hardt (if you need a good quality olive oil, this place is worth the trip!)

Orchids, my favourite- couldn't resist!

A warm welcome into the store- would make a great DIY!

South Granville has become one of my favourite places to shop- even if I don't come home with much! There are stores here that you won't find anywhere else ranging from the unique local joints to the large scale high end chains. No matter what time of year or the weather, this open air shopping locale is such a pleasure! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Lemon Pound Cake

  • Now that it's officially Fall if you're like me your tea consumption is going to quadruple. And what better to go with tea than some yummy baking? In this case, pound cake. Lemon pound cake. I found this recipe where else? On Pinterest. Lol. This recipe is originally from Jenn's Random Scraps and is based on Starbucks's lemon loaf. I was out of icing sugar, so sadly I didn't make the glaze. But I'd say this recipe was a delicious success even without it.
Image Source: http://jennsrandomscraps.blogspot.ca/2012/02/starbucks-lemon-loaf.html?m=1

  • Yummy Mummy Recipe: Lemon Pound Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • zest of one lemon
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line a 9"* 4" pan.
In one bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt.
In another bowl combine eggs, sugar, butter, both extracts, & lemon juice.
In a mixer combine the contents, alternating between the 2.
When well blended, add the oil & lemon zest.
Transfer to baking pan & bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

For the glaze, simply whisk the ingredients together until blended & smooth.
Poor over cake & allow to cool.


I have a cup of Earl Grey waiting for me! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

DIY Vintage Metal Table Base

Another week, another fun project wrapped up! This art nouveau table base was hunted down at a garage sale and was in need of a little love. As soon as I saw it I knew what I wanted to do. I've been seeing a lot of vibrant furniture in magazines & Pinterest and felt this piece could handle more personality. Luckily, Rust- oleum had the PERFECT shade of green for this lil beauty.

With a little bit of elbow grease, a thorough scrub down, & several coats of paint this vintage piece's makeover was complete!

The Rust- Oleum was the perfect shade of green!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Amazing Mom Feature: Chelle Ostlund, Discovery Toys

This week's Amazing Mom is Chelle Ostlund, an independent sales rep for Discovery Toys. Chelle  embodies how you can find opportunity and create success when faced with the new responsibilities and dedication required of motherhood. Through Discovery Toys, Chelle has found a way to provide an income  while having the ability to give her son the attention he needs

Chelle decided to work with Discovery Toys after the birth of her son because it gave her the flexibility she needed to take him to medical appointments and help him recover after surgery. While this was her primary focus when looking for a new career, Chelle also sought something that was more than a job. With it's wide range of educational toys, Discovery Toys enables Chelle to connect with Moms & families and help them make play an opportunity for education and development. See below for more about this Amazing Mom...

Image courtesy of Chelle Ostlund

      1.     What kind of products and/ or services do you offer?

Discovery Toys has been offering quality educational toys, books and games for children 0 - 12 for over 35 years.  We have now expanded our game selection to be more family orientated – I take a lot of them to adult only games nights! We offer a life time warranty on all the toys and games we sell and have replacement parts for many of the toys.

      2.     What is the price point?

Prices range from $8.00 to $105.00.
We carry 126 products in the new Fall 2013 catalog, half of which are under $20.00. This makes these great learning resources available to a wide range of families.

      3.     How long have you been operating and how did you start?

I started with Discovery Toys in September 2012. My son was born with cleft lip and palate concerns and has many appointments and surgeries on a regular basis. My mat leave was ending in a few months and I knew that going back to my previous position was just not going to be possible. The employer would not be able to give me the time off I would need for not only the appointments but also the recovery time periods of 2 or more months after each surgery.

      4.     How did you decide what to do?

I was actively looking for a business that would allow me to stay home with my son, offer the flexibility to take him with me on business appointments and provide a consistent income for my family. When I found Discovery Toys all my requirements were met. Additionally, because the toys are educational in nature they offer resources that will help my son with his speech therapy.

Starting this business was a perfect marriage between providing an income for my family and obtaining the resources my son needs at a discount.

      5.     What is your favourite part of what you do? What is the biggest challenge?

    I love doing home parties! It just feels really intimate and small compared to the fundraising with daycares, preschools and therapists that I do.  A lot of times it’s a play date that the host is holding at their home. There is a lot of activity, the kids are really testing out the toys and I love seeing the learning happen! It is great when a child runs over and is able to show their parent something they just learned how to do with one of my toys.

The biggest challenge I have is I think what a lot of first time, small business owners run into – getting myself out there. I know that what I do will change children’s lives and help them grow and learn developmentally.

I find that although I want to share this with parents I meet, I don’t want to be perceived as trying to sell something instead of truly being interested in learning about them and their children in a social way. I have done a lot of learning in the past year and now feel ready to offer my services in a way that is very easy going. And I don’t get hurt when people say “no”.

      6.     Any advice to other ladies/ moms looking to start their own business?

     Research – don’t just sign up or start a business without figuring out things like financials, how much time it will take, will you be able to balance work and family.

      Passion – you have to LOVE what you do, if you don’t you will be disappointed. Being in business for yourself means you have to motivate yourself every day to keep going. If you don’t have passion it is going to be really difficult.

      Support – make sure you have the support of friends and family. These are the people you are going to be relying on a lot in the beginning- either for childcare, a shoulder to cry on or help producing a product. You will really learn a lot about your friends and family during the first few months of your new business. 

If you haven't checked out this cool company you definitely should. I remember as a kid my Mum bought me some goodies from Discovery Toys, and she still has them all ready to go for newest generation! The toys are high quality and educational, and there are options for a variety of developmental stages. 

     For more information about the products Discovery Toys has to offer (get a jump start on that Christmas shopping!), or if you would like to request some business information you can contact Chelle via email: all_4_mr_t@hotmail.com or check out her Facebook page.

And now for the really fun part! As part of this Amazing Mom Feature, we are giving away a Discovery Toys goodie- the Working Trio dump truck, courtesy of Chelle! 

Images courtesy of Chelle Ostlund.

The Working Trio can be stacked or linked and helps your little one learn cause & effect, audio discrimination, and helps develop their imagination, among other learning applications (See the info above). You can enter by sharing this post or liking The Pampered Baby & Chelle Ostlund Discovery Toys on Facebook, or leave a comment in the entry at the top of this page- that gives you up to 3 chances to enter! This contest ends Monday October 14 at 11:59pm.