Archive | Just for mom

West Coast Clothing Contest – Open to North America

I absolutely love this contest and I’m honored that these two clothing designers have lent their West Coast fashion for all Mommy Footprint readers to learn about and enter to win! You’ve heard me talk about Pina Styles before. The silk screen designs she creates are her own and they are done with so much ocean inspired love . . I’m such a huge fan. For the Fall, their most popular item is the slouchy sweatshirt with owl, anchor, and feather design. We also have Smoking Lily joining this contest and her contemporary, comfortable, chic West Coast designs are amazing. Check out the Point Grey Dress (pictured below) that joins this West Coast Clothing Contest!! Eeep – love it!

pina collage edited

Just because the artists are West Coast – this doesn’t limit you from entering. This contest is open across North America and everyone could use a little bit of the Coast to spruce up their closet for these Fall months. Please pin, post, share, and enter this contest. Let’s show that clothing made with social conscience, passion and locally crafted quality is a wonderful way to shop. When I’m wearing my current Pina Styles hoodie, I feel like I’m wearing art work and walk a little taller and I’m proud to answer the questions I always receive when wearing it.  Support these stores – you’ll be so happy to discover them!  Are you familiar with how to enter this contest? Just like, tweet, or pin via the contest box below and in a little over 1 week, I’ll announce a lucky winner. This contest is for the Mommy Footprint gals, but I’m working on a men’s fashion and children’s giveaway before Christmas. So please support this contest with entries so I can offer more features for local fashion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway





Früv Freedomwear

I can’t think of a better feature than Früv Freedomwear with Canada Day just behind us and our continued focus on companies that are supporting the local clothing movement. One of the coolest things about Früv Freedomwear is their uber local focus with producing great quality yoga wear. If you start asking questions like “where is this manufactured” with yoga brands, you’ll discover manufacturing close to home is actually very unique. Manufacturing locally has been Früv Freedomwear’s motto since Day 1 and you can see a difference in clothing quality and the hip styles are a sweet added bonus! I love being able to share this company with Mommy Footprint readers.

Since I wrote about the factory building collapse in Bangladesh, I really put a lot more thought into my own clothing choices. It’s sort of to the point where I suffer from consumer paralysis if I simply head over to the local mall to shop. There are too many questions, too much research, and it really takes the enjoyment out of selecting new clothing options (which is supposed to be fun) so I desperately need brands that have great answers to my questions. I love it that this company started manufacturing their clothing in Vancouver and have maintained this local focus over the years. Too many times a company starts manufacturing close to home but has to outsource the labour & materials because the profit margin just isn’t there. Don’t fall for buzz words “designed in x”, etc. with clothing brands – we are much smarter consumers than that. I also love that Früv is available to purchase online and their sizing table is great for figuring out sizes.

I see companies like Früv Freedomwear as that local, small business that is doing things right, and hopefully being rewarded with our consumer dollars. Busy mamas – need a great item for summer? I haven’t taken off the Brazil shorts Früv sent me since they arrived. They feel amazing and help flatten places that need a smooth fitted front. The material is classically ‘Früv’ and with the different styles they offer with tanks and shorts, I think any of the lengths and styles would be a well deserved treat for busy moms on the go during summer months. These clothes are not just for the yogis!

I’ve also been asked by readers for more sustainable choices in under garments and I can’t wait to check out the Früv Athena Bra for support with starting to exercise more and needed that breathable, sport bra style. There is a reason that yoga gear is so popular with moms. It’s not because we are taking the time to participate in hot yoga classes throughout the day <grin>. We desperately love stylish, comfortable, and cute clothing that enables us to get things done rather than hamper us with discomfort throughout the day. This is what Früv Freedomwear does. And the prices are equal or less than competitors that aren’t manufacturing close to home. What’s not to love?






This is a great time to connect with Früv Freedomwear and support them with a follow on Facebook. We are proud of this Canadian company and think you’ll love what they stand for and how cute you’ll feel in their clothing with a great back-story on design and manufacturing practices.


Related Articles:

Factory Clothing Tragedy in Bangladesh



State Of The World’s Mother’s 2013

This Mother’s Day I was searching for an article with deeper meaning to me personally. I’ve really gotten to that place in life that for my birthday, Mother’s Day, and celebrations for me – I feel nothing but blessed to have my healthy children surrounding me. So when Jeremy from Save The Children Canada shared with me some of the amazing work they do with the challenges facing mothers and newborns worldwide, I knew I wanted to share them with you. Each year, Save the Children release this index of the challenges facing mothers and newborns worldwide, from Canada to the Congo.  This review looks at key indicators such as maternal mortality, child mortality, educational attainment, political status of women and country economic strength to “rank” the best and worst places for mothers and babies.  This year, we also have a special focus on the first day of a baby’s life, highlighting  how the birth day represents the most dangerous day for mothers and newborns alike, especially in developing countries.

Thank you for sharing these beautiful Global mamas and their stories. Here are two and the difference Save The Children has brought to their lives.

Photo credit: Michael Tsegaye/Save the Children A mother with her newborn child at Dessie Referral Hospital in Afar region, Ethiopia.  Save the Children staff refer girls and women with health problems from rural Amhara to the hospital and assist them in their journey there.

Photo credit: Alfonso Daniels/Save the Children.  In Sierra Leone, one of the worst places in the world to be a mother: Fatmara, 21,  lost a baby a few years ago after giving birth in the floor of her shack.  She recently gave birth successfully at the clinic opened by Save the Children in Susan’s Bay slum in April 2012.  She also benefits from free healthcare for mothers and children under 5 introduced by the government two years ago, thanks in part to lobbying from Save the Children and other organizations.

It’s an incredibly powerful campaign Surviving The First Day. Imagine becoming a Mother and this is your greatest worry – your child surviving the first day and then month of life because of low cost solutions . Click here to find out what Save The Children is doing to help – even Canada (ranked 22) and the US (ranked 30) could be doing better. Find out how.



Earth Month – DIY Personal Care

It’s Earth Month with April 22nd being the day we recognize as Earth Day. I used to feel pressure to come up with amazing one-day projects of how to celebrate Earth Day but as the years pass, I’m aware that how I live my life everyday is more important than my actions on April 22nd. Don’t get me wrong – I think Earth Day is great for learning and being inspired by children this time of year. I love hearing their thoughts on the environment and what we can do to help, but today, we are talking about YOU!  And what better way to approach Earth day then to minimize your personal waste, packaging, chemicals, money, and reuse items you already have in your pantry.  For Earth Month, Week, or Day – however you choose to celebrate, step out of your comfort zone. Try something that seems totally out there! By trying completely new ideas . . you will realize that making small changes to everyday routines are not that big a deal. And since the concept of Earth Day is NOT to go out buying a bunch of stuff to be ‘green’ – let’s keep things easy and inexpensive.

Here are 3 of the easiest DIY recipes I love because they contain limited ingredients and maximum effect. We are starting with your personal care because a lot of your household chemical exposure that is harmful to your family comes from personal care products and cleaning supplies. We are going to make deodorant, facial wash, and teeth whitener. We can make these three products with only 3 ingredients: coconut oil, lemon or lime, and baking soda. If you have these items at home – let’s go!


Up until a week ago, when I wanted to use deodorant I used this recipe and I’ve always been very happy with it. It’s effective enough for me with scent and moisture reduction but when I saw a post about trying lemon or lime as a deodorant I knew I had to test it out. Why? How easy is a one ingredient deodorant and because I’m addicted to hot water with honey and lemon at the moment, I’ve always got lemons in my fridge. To use lemon or lime for deodorant simply cut a lemon in half and wipe under your arm pit. It doesn’t get easier that this. Obviously don’t use this deodorant if you’ve just shaven under your pit – common sense needs to prevail here. My 1/2 lemon wedge lasted a week at the edge of my bathroom sink, it dried on skin quickly, and is very effective with reducing scent. Reduce your exposure to propylene glycol (neurotoxin), parabens (preservative) and  aluminum (effects your brain) just by this one simple DIY deodorant tip.

Facial Scrub:

Next up – an organic and 2 ingredient recipe to create an amazing facial wash or scrub.  I’ve always used either Noxzema, bar soap, or just water to wash my face. I’ve never spent a lot of money on skin care so when I ran out of Noxzema a few months back I decided to try making a facial scrub from coconut oil and baking soda. The beautiful part of this DIY is you control the amount of ‘scrub’ with the wash by how much baking soda you add. For every teaspoon of coconut oil, I add a pinch of baking soda. I would say my face is pretty sensitive and I’ve had no problem with the natural abrasive action of baking soda against my skin. My advice would be to start with a few tablespoons of coconut oil in a jar and add small amounts of baking soda until you find the right balance. I just prefer a bit of a scrub when I wash my face. And if the first time you try this your face feels really greasy or oily after you apply the water to remove the coconut oil . . .don’t panic. Once you remove the facial wash with water, pat or lightly rub dry with a towel and feel your face. It will be super soft and perfectly moisturized. So will your lips, neck and hands. I have no desire to go back to store bought facial cleaners that I know include preservatives to keep shelf life and a host of chemicals I’ve discovered my skin simply doesn’t need or miss.

Oil Pulling:

I know, I’ve been talking a lot about oil pulling. And I’ll probably be mentioning it a lot for the next while. I love it. Since the first day I tried oil pulling I’ve been doing it everyday. My mouth misses it by the afternoon if I’ve had a busy morning and haven’t been able to ‘pull’. This act of oil pulling sounds very complicated and involved, but again – here is a DIY that only needs one ingredient. You take a heaping teaspoon of unrefined coconut oil, put it in your mouth, wait for it to melt and then you swish around with your saliva between the teeth for 15-20 minutes. Think you need super expensive and questionable ingredient Crest Strips? Do you go to the dentist for whitening treatments? Do you use mouthwash? Why wouldn’t you save your body and wallet by trying this organic method of reducing plaque, whitening teeth, reducing bacteria, re-mineralization for teeth, and gum strength. Oil pulling has also been documented for improving skin disorders and pulling toxins from not only your teeth but mucus membranes.

These are my favourite DIY recipes for personal care. You can tell I’m not much of a cook since they contain so few ingredients but keeping things simple is key for me. I’ve petered out with any DIY recipe that contain a lot of ingredients. They are always very expensive to make and I’m trying to consolidate my personal care portfolio – not add to it.  I keep a jar of coconut oil separate for my hair care. I’ve enjoyed using this as a slicker and protective coating to the ends of my hair after I’ve dried it and have frizzies. Using coconut oil to moisturize hair is another DIY favourite. The list goes on and on once you embrace all the different uses for coconut oil. This is one product that lives up to the hype but make sure you purchase unrefined coconut oil so that chemicals aren’t added during the processing stage of making the oil. Go extreme with DIY personal care – you will love empowering yourself and the look on your family member’s faces when you tell them what you’ve been up to with lemons. Okay…that might just be me. (grin)



Sext Up Kids

I’ve become a bit of a documentary person since I watch so little TV so I discover information important to my life online. One documentary that we had great discussions via Facebook but I didn’t write an article about was Sext Up Kids  produced by CBC DocZone. I was honored to preview the documentary a few days before it aired on TV and I have not stopped talking about it since first watching it. I immediately took to social media to encourage parents to watch it (even parents with young children). I also mentioned the incredible resources listed in the documentary to our Premier Christy Clark back in October. When I see the reemergence of concerned parents with social media profiling or reading the letter written to Victoria Secret from a concerned dad about their new clothing line called “Bright Young Things” aimed at young teenagers I think of the information all parents need to know if their kids participate with adult tools like social media or devices that connect to the Internet.

The main concern of DocZone experts is our children are moving from toddler-hood to teenagers – the middle gap of childhood seems to be lost with the intense pressure of sexuality.  And the surprising (for me) reality for our sons? That they are using their widely accessible electronic devices to access porn. This is where they are learning how to treat our daughters and the amount of time spent watching porn is causing desensitization to violence by watching sex in such an aggressive forum. I can see both sides of this documentary having both sons and daughters but I have to say the learning curve on how I need to parent my sons really was a surprise to me. But it’s not hard to believe that this happens. It crossed my mind as a reality when I recently hosted a play date for my oldest son and an electronic device that couldn’t connect to the internet (only because we don’t have a wi-fi password) was  brought over to the playdate. If the ipod could connect to the Internet – what would they be watching? I still think of my 10 year old son as my sweet innocent baby, but kids profiled in this documentary say they started watching porn in Grades 4-7. ** Yes, mouth is on the floor **

And the flip side to the pornography issue with boys watching it? Girls feel pressure to become the characters portrayed online – from how to act, look, and perform. Phones and social media only intensify these online relationships with children producing images, texts via sexting, and videos with horrible, horrible consequences. We’ve all heard about children that have been tormented and bullied online from mistakes they have made sending pictures or actions over a phone or Facebook.

On the West Coast,  iGirl workshops are one proactive answer to addressing the feeling of not being enough for the pressures of society. Saleema Noon talks about the huge problem of young children receiving adult toys (Smart phones, etc.) and not fully understanding what is private and public. Teens are sending approx. 135 texts per day and social media is re-packaging their image on a daily basis. The documentary also states that girls that text the most, often are most sexually active.

Another BC expert in the fight against online bullying is Jessie Miller who talks to kids about the downside of the sexy side of social media. He tries to educate that just because kids can easily access technology doesn’t mean what they are using it for is right. His no nonsense approach with kids using social media is smart – they need to be educated if they are going to be using these grown up mediums. My favourite part of his speech to teenagers is when he tells them if anyone has a picture of a person under the age of 18 wearing less than a bathing suit on their laptop, iphone, or ipod they are in possession of child pornography. . . which is a crime. Why are we scared to educate our children about this? If we are going to give them adult tools to communicate, they need to be educated on how not to use these tools.

This is the list I provided the Premier when she reached out to local bloggers concerned about online bullying in BC. I told her our Province is already filled with experts – why not gather a team to go into schools and educate on this huge problem with a taskforce? I didn’t hear back about my suggestions. I’ve listed them again to help parents:

iGirl Empowerment Workshops created by respected sex educator Saleema Noon:

Mediated Reality created by Jessie Miller: I would love Jessie to speak at my children’s school – the no nonsense approach to social media is fantastic.

Author Peggy Orenstein wrote ‘Cinderella Ate My Daughter’ award winning writer about issues affecting girls and women:

And other great resources quoted in Sext Up Kids documentary can be found here. I make lots of mistakes with parenting but I prefer to do it with my eyes wide open. Watching this documentary is important for parents to watch – even parents with young children. There are lots of examples of how to curb accelerated behavior and modelling at a young age. I talked about this documentary when it first aired and I keep referring to it. The world has changed and here is a lesson in how we can adapt.



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