Posted by Amanda On November 19th, 2014
A couple of years ago, Time magazine ran a provoking cover of a good-looking, young mother suckling her three-year old son who stood atop a chair in order to reach his mother’s proffered breast. The photo and accompanying article stirred up a maelstrom of debate. Many found the picture of a mother nursing her son beyond babyhood weird, revolting. Some said it was carrying things too far. I, for one, was pleased. In a way, I felt vindicated. Although no one had actually cast aspersions to my face, I was aware that many considered the fact that I had breastfed my son until he was over three years old rather strange. Now here was proof that other mothers felt the same way!
It was refreshing to know I was not alone.
Not having read the article at the time, I discovered only recently what had inspired that cover. The article accompanying the cover concerned a style of childrearing, known as attachment parenting, propounded twenty years before by Dr. Bill Sears. Attachment parenting is a philosophy of child nurturing that espouses the formation of strong emotional bonds between child and parents through several key principles. One of these is breastfeeding a child to the point that the child weans himself. Another is skin-to-skin touch which is attained by such techniques as carrying an infant during the day in a front-facing sling and taking baths with the baby. Having the child sleep in the same room or bed as the parents is also encouraged. The main element in this parenting philosophy is the positive and constant presence of a parent.
Choosing the right maternity wear.
Because I had given birth to my son in the ancient days of 1988, I had never heard of this philosophy, but as I read about it, I came to thinking, “Hmmmm. Seems we were doing most of this by instinct.” Our son slept in the same room as us – although he had his own room from infancy – until he didn’t want to anymore. I breastfed him whenever he was hungry until he was running around and hanging on monkey bars. When he tired or got hungry, he’d come to me for a suckle. Since he could already eat and drink regular stuff as well, I would deftly prevent him from innocently pulling up my breastfeeding top and postpone the nursing until we were in an appropriate place for this activity. (I wish I’d had some of those cool nursing tops that are available now, though. It would have made things much easier.) Our family was blessed to be living in Northern California at the time, where attitudes towards breastfeeding were pretty laid back. No one ever scolded me for nursing my son in public. It was all quite a joy. But, looking back, I realize situations could have been much convenient if I’d had some of the versatile breastfeeding clothes that I see nowadays. Sure, we had dresses suitable for breastfeeding then too, but I don’t remember them being as functional as they are now.
Now I realize that our style of parenting is not suited for all – either because parents may not be so inclined or they don’t have the time needed to devote to it. But at the time, we found ourselves in a space and time where such a luxury was afforded us. My husband was mainly working from home, I was a full-time mom, and so we were able to be round-the-clock parents. And what a joy it was! Today our son is all of 26 years old, and that close bond between us still remains.
Posted by Amanda On July 24th, 2014
As fun as plotting and planning unique wedding invitations for your big day can be, it can also be downright exhausting. But if you’re determined not to have cookie cutter wedding invitations for your special day, here are some general wedding invite do’s and don’ts for brides and grooms:
Do: Be a Rule Breaker
Friends, family members, wedding magazines and the Internet all add unnecessary pressures to the bride and groom’s big day, dictating certain expectations that almost no guest in attendance would ever have. Our best advice: throw out the rule book, especially when it comes to your wedding invitations. Use these people and other planning items as tools to help you conjure up ideas, but don’t let them tell you how you “must” create your wedding invitations.
Don’t: Succumb to Pressure
When planning your wedding invites, graciously listen to the opinions of others (as much as you likely didn’t ask for them in the first place), but don’t feel pressured and stick to your original plan. Think of your wedding invite as being the front door to your wedding. What impression do you want to give people before they enter? How do you plan on getting them excited about your big day? Do it your way and make the invites uniquely “you” to satisfy not only your wants and needs, but those of your guests.
Do: Use Language That Resonates With You
There are so many rules surrounding wedding invite wording and verbiage that are archaic and unnecessary (i.e. do you really need to spell out the date and time rather than use numerical values?), and which crush the spirit of what could otherwise be a unique invitation. Use the words that you would use when relating to your friends and family. Invest enough time in choosing speical quotes and song lyrics that relate to you and your soon-to-be spouse rather than resorting to a quote generator. What you say in your invite matters just as much as its design.
Don’t: Create a Standby List
The thought of inviting 150 people to a wedding can be daunting to a bride and groom, which is why many mistakenly create an invite “standby” list. Sending a second round of invitations to these “secondary” guests almost always backfires as they’ve likely already discovered that your first wedding invites were sent out a month or so ago and they will feel further insulted by being treated as a second thought. Do everyone a favour and send out your unique wedding invitations to everyone you truly want to be there and ditch the standby list.
Do: Enlist in the Help of Trusted Friends & Family
Creating wedding invitations that are to reflect both you, your loved one and your big day doesn’t mean that only you two should be put to work putting them together. Enlist in the help of friends, nab some snacks, grab a bottle of wine and make an evening out of crafting and putting together your invitations. They want to help – especially when they find out that they get to have the first peak at your exclusive wedding invites.
Posted by Amanda On July 13th, 2014
In most cultures, baby shower favours aren’t expected, but they certainly are a nice way to thank your guests for attending and they can be used as prizes to hand out to the winners of the baby shower games that you play. Before you groan about the lame baby shower games that you’ve been subjected tin the past that have left you tempted to slip away from the festivities early, we’ve compiled a quick list of the best games that you and your guests are sure to enjoy, as well as great baby shower favours or take home prize ideas to go along with them:
The Blindfolded Diaper Change
To make this game fair, be sure to pit experienced mums against other experienced mums, and inexperienced diaper changes with others who haven’t ever had to change a diaper… in the dark… at 2am… while also cleaning spit up and soothing a wailing infant. Blindfold your willing guests and hand them a doll and a diaper. Whoever can change the diaper the fastest, wins!
Baby Shower Favours: The thought of changing a dirty diaper may have “stunk” up the room a bit, so think about rewarding these guests with delightful smelling soaps and candles.
The Price is Right: Baby Edition
Prepare for this fun filled game by purchasing 10 baby items that you think the expecting parents will need for their little one. Using blank card stock or note cards, write the price of each item on one side and the name of the item on the other. Then ask guests to gather around and play the game just as if on the game show! Each guest must guess the price of the item, and the person with the closest guess wins the round. Continue until there’s one guest left remaining as the ultimate victor!
Baby Shower Favours: A personalised t-shirt that commemorates the win or a picture frame are always a welcomed special prize for the victor of any game.
Guess How Many
This is a quick game that everyone can enjoy, and comes with a sweet prize at the end! Fill a large baby bottle with candies, taking care to accurately count each and every candy that goes into the bottle. You can have guests drop their best estimate into a bucket as they enter or throughout the duration of the party. At the end, the person with the nearest guess wins!
Baby Shower Favours: Pastel M&Ms, jelly beans, tiny candy soothers and mini candy bottles can be used to fill the “prize” bottle. If you buy the candies in bulk, fill up favour boxes, personalised baby shower favour tins or smaller baby bottles with any left over candies as take home gifts for the other guests.
Posted by Amanda On July 13th, 2014
Wedding bombonieres come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the traditional sugar almonds to handmade or personalised favors. Presenting your guests with a wedding bomboniere is a traditional way to thank that person for celebrating your special day with you, but if you want to make the greatest impact with your bomboniere, below are 3 ideas to help you choose the perfect wedding favor:
Play Into Your Wedding’s Theme
The best wedding bombonieres are those that tie into and support the theme of your wedding. Here are some ideas to help get you started:
- If you’re having a Halloween-themed wedding, give out mini gourds or provide miniature “trick-or-treat” style gift bags alongside a candy buffet so guests can pick and choose their desired treats
- If your theme colors are pink and brown, then have gift boxes or tulle bags dyed in those colors filled with mints, treats or other personalised items
- If a band or type of music is what brought you and your beau together, consider creating your own “mixed tapes” that have been burned on CDs or, if you’re feeling generous, downloaded on iPod minis
- If you’re throwing a retro theme, opt for single use camera, classic gumball machines, or paper parasols (these are particularly handy if you’re having an outdoor wedding on a sunny day!)
Go with the Season
Weddings during the cooler months are less likely, which is why so many of the weddings that take place during the spring or summer are often seasonally themed. Pick wedding bombonieres that compliment the season, such as hot cocoa kits, warm blankets, or candied apples and candy corn.
Make Your Wedding Bomboniere Multi-Functional
Budget-friendly and memorable, creating a wedding bomboniere that serves two or more purposes is a great way to treat your guests. Things such as Christmas ornaments boasting your guest’s name and the date of your wedding or luggage tags with table numbers tucked inside for a destination wedding are all great ways to thank your guests for coming while presenting them with a useful gift.