Before and After: First Ski Lesson Mount Seymour

I’ve been looking forward to having my twins, my youngest children, ski for years. Re-discovering the mountains and skiing with my older kids was amazing 5 years ago and so when the opportunity to get my twins up Mount Seymour for a first ever ski lesson, I was stoked!  My girls are nine years old and pretty athletic but I didn’t want to tackle teaching them myself. All kids learn differently for other people, so getting Chad as our instructor was great. He was friendly, fun, patient and perfect to teach my girls.  I thought recording their progress through videos would be the easiest way to showcase what kids can learn in a first lesson. Here are three videos that show 1) 10 minutes into the lesson learning the snowplow (stopping or making a pizza with skis) 2) magic carpet on the bunny hill of Seymour that makes getting back up the mountain fun and easy 3) 30 minutes into the lesson my girls are skiing.

 

Mount Seymour private lesson. 10 minutes into the lesson. Learning the snow plow or making a pizza with your skis.

 

 

Getting onto the Mount Seymour magic carpet at the bottom of the bunny hill. This eliminates the fear of a chair lift for beginners.

 

30 minutes later into a private lesson with instructor Chad up Seymour Mountain. His patience with my girls was amazing! This is my favourite video because near the end of the video my girls encounter a bump in the snow and the huge smile on their face after they go over it was adorable.

 

Thank you to Seymour Mountain and our instructor Chad!  Your patience and knowledge was awesome and the snow conditions up Mount Seymour mountain are perfect for beginner or advanced skiers.

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How To Find Your Photographer Soul Mate

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Having that picture perfect portrait of your family can feel overwhelming. Just the thought of getting kids organized for a portrait is always stressful for me – never mind worrying about how my family is going to gel with a photographer. Photography is such an intimate experience so finding your ‘photographer soul mate’ is important. Follow these 5 tips and you’ll be on your way to an amazing family portrait experience.

1) Stalk them on social media. I LOVE a photographer that is always sharing their latest family photography on Instagram or Facebook. Why is this more important than an updated website?  Nobody has time to keep their website updated daily, but that’s a different story when photographers are active on Facebook.   A photographer’s portrait location, style, placement will continually be changing. I love watching the evolution of portraits through a well updated Facebook page before making a decision to book. I knew from watching the Lark Rise House House Facebook Page for over a year, that the style and editing in her photos was a great match for how I pictured my portrait.

The below picture is from my phone as I watched Raeleigh style my girls and get them totally happy to be barefoot sitting in a barn window. It was at this moment I knew I was going to get a picture of the twins I would always treasure.

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2) Location, location, location. I think back to the stress of portraits at the Mall when my children were really young. The entire experience was anything but enjoyable. Here’s a little secret about finding the right photographer. The experience shouldn’t be terrible. A little stressful with children yes, but not something that gives you nightmares. I know my clan and they need to run around a lot. We met my photographer soul mate, Lark Rise Horse House, at a 200 year old farm with multiple barns and room to run. While my daughters were styled and photographed together, my boys got to collect owl pellets in an old barn, jumping in hay. This freedom gave me time to concentrate on getting my girls organized and not worry (too much) about my boys.

2.1) Location was one of the most important requirements on my list. Most photographers have access to a general location spot for pictures. Are you an outdoorsy family?  Or does the thought of light rain make you break out in hives?  A little mist doesn’t bother me and I was determined to have pictures with lots of leaves and Fall colours popping out everywhere. If weather elements have you concerned, does your photographer have a backup, indoor solution in case of freezing weather or rain?

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3) Will you click? Feeling comfortable with a photographer is important. For my clan, I need someone who is soft spoken, funny, and relaxed. I’m high strung enough for everyone, so having someone stay calm when you are feeling anxious about getting ‘the perfect picture’ is a must for me. I also know my children and a person that can yell “stinky farts” is the perfect fit for my kids. Getting them to laugh at the right moment or look dreamy in the next is great gift in a photographer. You’ll usually get the feel for this though their Facebook page.  Personalities shine through on social media – refer back to point 1) as it’s important.  I knew I had completely ‘clicked’ with my photographer when she showed up to our photo shoot with handmade fresh flower wreaths for my daughters and me to wear. She also brought some vintage looking dresses and vest for my girls – totally styled us all. I don’t have this ability and finding it in a photographer was SUCH a bonus!

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4) How do you feel about candid pictures?  I always end up loving these the most. They are always taken when you least expect it and it takes a certain eye to capture a perfect candid. Are you looking for a photographer that can tell a story of the day? Here is my favourite candid from our Lark Rise Horse House portrait. It was taken in a moment of one child saying ‘my mommy’ and being goofy. I love the expression on her twin sister’s face…bemused. And I’m so glad I just accepted the love of her grabbing my face rather than telling her to behave for the camera. It resulted in this candid picture I’ll treasure forever!!

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5) Referral. Word of mouth is also very important. Don’t know of a photographer in your area?  Ask your friends to show you their latest pictures and explain what the experience was like. Was it structured, relaxed, how long did it take to receive pictures, was their editing included, prints? I am one of those people that can’t wait to see pictures – if it’s going to take three weeks to get edited photos, I’m probably not a good candidate. I love seeing watermarked images shared after a family’s portrait – little sneak peeks a few days after the pictures have been taken. All of these questions can be answered by friends – a referral is so important because it means the photographer has left a happy trail of clients.

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I had been four years since I last took pictures with my clan. A few of these will be blown up on canvas as a surprise to my husband for Christmas. He doesn’t know we did this portrait and I’m sure will love the updated pictures of our kids. I am so grateful to Lark Rise Horse House for these pictures – they will be treasured forever! The below picture is the winner for going up on the canvas for our entrance way.  I love black and white pictures and all my kids and their different personalities are captured perfectly in this picture.

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Want to know one last thing your photographer soul mate will have you do?  A picture that wasn’t on your list. A picture that takes you out of your comfort zone. A picture just of you. Thank you Raeleigh. xx

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Back To School With Triple Flip Review and Contest

Sponsored by: Triple Flip

Hosted by: Mommy Footprint

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For our family, heading back to Fall routines always include a trip to Triple Flip. My nine year old twins love the tradition and because they are gymnasts, usually their clothing picks include the locally made Triple Flip gym line. This year’s shop included clothing selections with an older, street wear vibe.  It reminded me that they are entering the pre-teen stage and I’m glad that Triple Flip knows the value of manufacturing and sourcing gorgeous clothing that is appropriate for these years; providing fashion freedom that is perfect for their fun ages.  This concern was how Triple Flip was born from founder Linda.

Linda Maslechko, the mother of three girls (all of whom were going through their awkward tween years), realized that there was something missing in the marketplace for girls aged 7–13 years. Shopping with her daughters was just a series of disappointments and fruitless searching to find something they liked and that fit their growing bodies.

Have you seen the hashtag #strongisthenewpretty? It’s probably the best message on social media at the moment. Muscles and strength are beautiful and young girls are seeing this message through clothing and fashion. A fashion brand that stands for a healthy lifestyle while still being cool is what Triple Flip and ‘Flip Girls’ is all about. A brand I love to support with their effort to support their house line manufacturing in Calgary and their efforts to keep girls looking in the mirror, and loving what they see!  Below you see a spontaneous dance when my daughter Isabella finds her perfect outfit!

 

We have teamed up with 5 Minutes For Mom to bring you a contest to win a $100 Gift Certificate to help you with back-to-school shopping. If you are lucky enough to have a Triple Flip store in your area, pop in and check out a few of these 5 top Triple Flip features for Fall and Back To School or of course shop online:

1. Activewear Lightspeed Collection. (Our favourite line from our visit!!) Photo credit: Triple Flip

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2. Minky – new styles introduced – Minky Chase Hoodie and Luxe.

3. Backpacks and school accessories. My girls have Roxy backpacks and the quality has been amazing! Triple Flip has so many different designs in backpacks this year. Photo Credit: Triple Flip

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4. New prints – Neon bunny and Birds On A Wire.

5. Denim -Tractr, Silver and Blank NYC. Photo credit: Triple Flip

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One lucky winner will win this

$100 Gift Certificate!

Giveaway ends 09/5/15 at 11:59 pm ET! Open to US and Canadian and residents 18+ and older.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to US and Canada 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Organic Companies Announcing New Products CHFA West recap

A few weeks ago I was apart of an amazing group of social media influencers that attended the CHFA West 2015 Trade Show. This was unlike any trade show I’ve been to and I strongly encourage any retailer or buyer to attend if given the opportunity. Because it’s not open to the public, the atmosphere is very relaxed and the 100s of vendors announcing the latest and greatest in the organics industries are apart of one huge, incredible collaborative under one roof.

I was blessed to guest write an article for Vancouver Is Awesome with my recap of the show. Please head over to this article HERE and read about my favourite organic picks. Below is a sneak peek but to learn the juicy tidbits about the products, VIAwesome is the place to visit.

My favourite roundups:

We started our morning with the co-founders and entire Nature’s Path family. I thank them for continuing to turn out clean food and for the hope I felt after listening to co-Founder Arran speak about how he views the future of organics. Read more here.  Below is the snapshot of my favourite new product (Qi’a) that is launching soon to your local grocery store!

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Visiting the owner Alicia at AspenClean, we talked about their recent news of having all essential oils in their cleaning products 100% organic, while maintaining their already impressive Eco-cert certification. For anyone still using traditional cleaning products, make the switch to a healthier home, once you do, kids can even help clean!

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Team CHFA West discovered that Wholesome Sweeteners has rebranded with a very playful and fun packaging with the shortened name Wholesome!. I’ve long used this brand (coconut sugar) and I can’t wait to try their syrup, especially organic cane sugar syrup – not tapped from a tree. In my experience with trying to avoid GMOs for my family, preparing my own baking using organic sugar (cane or coconut) has really helped with avoiding GMO sugar beets (one of the big GMO crops).

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Visiting the Aura Cacia booth was super fun because I love learning about oils. When used properly, essential oils and plant oils can substitute so many traditional products with synthetic ingredients and perfumes. A great example is the Aura Cacia aromatherapy oil diffusers for vehicles. Have you see these?  No more little toxic trees! Aura Cacia is doing a great job educating consumers with over 100 DIY recipes, showing everyday people how to harness their own creativity and make their own personal care and cleaning products. Love it!

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Last but not least, as CHFA West had hundreds of companies with amazing things, we went to get the scoop on Simply Organic. Again, I love learning more about a company I’ve already been supporting with my consumer dollars for years. The big news was their popular vanilla extract is now available in a non-alcoholic version due to consumer demand because of religious reasons or baking for very young children. Consumers spoke and they listened. Look for this version the next time you are picking up any of their extract, spices, or mixes.

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The group assembled to spend the day talking to leaders in organics was a joy to spend time with and I was like a kid in an organic candy shop. Special thanks to sponsored brands Nature’s Path Organics, AspenClean, Wholesome!,  Aura Cacia, Simply Organic, and CHFA West for assembling them all under one amazing roof in Vancouver!

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Spring Break with Triple Flip

Sponsored by: Triple Flip

Hosted by: Mommy Footprint

Age appropriate, stylish, and functionally designed swim wear for kids. It can be hard to find swim wear for girls that will last an entire Spring/Summer season that is appropriately made for children. For parents planning on hitting the pool or heading to sunny skies over over Spring Break, our friends at Triple Flip have you covered. The tankinis, full suits, and 2 piece suits are back and until March 22nd are on sale (use code SWIM25)!

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About Triple Flip

Triple Flip is inspired by real girls. We believe in having fun, and that feeling good, inside and out, is important. We’re a Canadian clothing brand that is passionate about making a difference, and helping girls stay happy, strong and confident as they grow.

Our family will be having local pool time over Spring Break. For anyone jetting away for a holiday of sun and surf, checkout the Triple Flip sun guard t-shirts and our DIY chemical-free sunscreen recipe that we tested all last summer.

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We are excited to bring you the chance to win a $100 Gift Card! The Spring line from Triple Flip is adorable; if you can get into a Triple Flip location, the house line has some very comfortable pieces for your active girl. My girls live in their Triple Flip stretch wear because the fabrics are soft and look great!

One lucky winner will win this

$100 Gift Card for Triple Flip!

Giveaway ends 03/22/15 at 11:59 pm ET! Open to Canadian and US  residents 18+ and older.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to US and Canada 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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