My New Staple: Backpacks!

Back in the Spring I had to fly with our two boys on my own (then 2 1/2 years and 6 months).  I was extremely nervous about how I was going to juggle everything, being as I am a mother with only two arms and unfortunately in this circumstance, not an octopus!  I decided to buy a cute little backpack to use instead of my diaper bag so that I had one less thing I needed to worry about carrying.  It worked out awesome! I could hold my older son’s hand on one side and carry my baby in the other arm, without the diaper bag constantly slipping off my shoulder.  I used it as my purse the entire time we were away and now I actually use it when I am out and about without the kids all the time.

Backpacks are so cute and they are available in all colours, styles and price ranges.  I have rounded up a collection of various priced mini backpacks, including a few that I am probably going to be purchasing (lol) to a couple that I wish were hanging in my closet!

Mini Blush backpack- H&M

 

My backpack (sold out in pink but still available in black)

 

Mini Backpacks

1. Ted Baker London Mini Jarvis Leather Backpack | Nordstrom

2. Canvas Blue Stripe- Merona

3. Aldo Midnight Black Embroidered

4. Matt & Nat ‘Brave’ Faux Leather

5. MARC JACOBS Mini Biker Backpack (Nordstrom Exclusive) | Nordstrom

6. Rebecca Minkoff Medium Julian Metallic 

7. Alonte Midnight Black Women’s Handbags | ALDO Canada

8. Tommy Bahama Siesta Key Backpack | Nordstrom

9. Rhea Large Leather Backpack | Michael Kors

10. Kate Spade Back to School

11. Faux Leather Fringe Backpack

12. Matt & Nat Fabi Vintage

13. Retreat Backpack | Herschel Supply Company

14. Matt & Nat Lawrence Loom

15. Matt & Nat Mumbai Dwell

16. Sole Society Faux Leather Backpack | Nordstrom

17. Amici Accessories Ring Handle Backpack | Nordstrom

18. Original Hunter Nylon Mini

19. Faux Leather Forever 21

20. Under One Sky White & Black Target

What do you think about this little backpack trend?  I would love to hear any of your comments.

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

 

Lunch at the Winery!

What better thing to do on a beautiful Friday afternoon then have a delicious lunch with a couple of my best girlfriends at one of our local wineries?! Maybe follow that lunch up with a wine tasting? Sounds like a plan!  That is exactly what I was fortunate enough to do a few weeks back and it was fabulous.  My two girlfriends and I met up at the Bacchus Bistro at the Chaberton Estate Winery.  We sat out on their lovely little back patio in the sunshine with a glass of wine and a light lunch.  When we finished up our meals we unanimously decided that we were not finished visiting yet and should probably stroll over to the wine shop and do a quick tasting ;))

For the wine tasting you get to choose from 4 of their available offered monthly selections for a fee of $5.00.  Upon purchase of a bottle, the fee is waived.  I am a fan of sweeter white wines and their Reserve Siegerrebe is one of my favourites!  Quite honestly, I enjoy most of their wines.  Let’s just say I have yet to pay the tasting fee on any of my visits as I tend to leave with a few bottles in hand!  Chaberton is one of my favourite local spots to go.

I have a couple more wineries close to home that I plan to visit before the summer is over… Stay tuned!

Blue Linen & Chambray off the shoulder dressesBacchus Bistro at Chaberton estate wineryLunch at DomaineChambray off the shoulder dressChaberton estate winery Langley, BCin the vines at Chaberton Estate Winery Langley BCChambray off the shoulder, Green maxi dressesLunch at Domaine- Tasting Room

If you have any favourite sweeter whites or Rosés to suggest to me, I am always looking for new favourite wines!

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

A Day at the Cidery!

Cider TastingMy girlfriends and I are always looking for fun restaurants and activities for when we get to steal a couple of hours away from our beloved children.  A few weeks ago one of them suggested we should go cider tasting sometime.  I didn’t even realize that there was a local cidery where we could do that… I love cider, so imagine my excitement!  Turns out that I am not super out of the loop…. the Cidery only opened their doors in May 2016 and I have been pretty tied up the last few years having babies… lol.  Well wouldn’t you know, the stars aligned for us and we were able to both have a few hours free on a beautiful Sunday morning.  We decided this would be the perfect opportunity to make a trip to the  Fraser Valley Cider Company!  The moment we walked in I knew that I was in love.  The tasting room was full of rustic charm and so many cute details.  The tasting was a good deal as well… only $4.00 or waived if you purchased a bottle (which obviously we did!)  The staff was so lovely and knowledgeable and the ciders were seriously delicious.  We decided to order a charcuterie plate and a bottle of the Rosy (a raspberry infused cider) and sat outside in the picnic area to enjoy it.  An added bonus is that everything they offer to eat and drink is locally sourced… as I love to shop local & support small businesses!Cider Tasting RoomCider Tasting RoomStyle Files TastingStyle Files TastingStyle Files Cider TastingStyle Files Cider Tasting

We both loved the ciders we tasted and had such an awesome time there.  If you are looking for something fun to do one weekend (they are currently only open Friday, Saturday, Sunday) I definitely recommend a trip to the Fraser Valley Cider Company!  My husband had asked me to bring him home a bottle of my favourite… I couldn’t decide so I had to buy one of each… lol.  With the exception of the sold out Elderflower Cider… they were just in the middle of brewing a new batch.  Guess I will have to make another trip back soon…..  ;))

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My Outift Details:

Linen Sundress // Sandals similar here // Sunglasses // Bar Pendant Necklace

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

 

Sweet Strawberries!

One of our favourite Spring/ Summer activities to do as a family is to go strawberry picking.  We are pretty lucky where we live, in that we have a few local fields to choose from.  So far this year we have only made it to Krause Berry Farms as the U-Pick fields were delayed due to the extended cold and wet weather we were having earlier here in the lower mainland.  My oldest son LOVES berries and digging in the dirt, so it is literally one of the perfect activities for him.  It is a great way to get the kids outside and they love knowing that they are eating the strawberries they picked themselves!

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My outfit details: Overalls  //  Shoes  //  Tank

I seriously love these overalls & I own this tank in almost every colour… :))

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Another great thing about most U-Picks is they have expanded beyond just berry picking.  Krause for instance, has a winery and restaurant, market (if you prefer to buy already picked berries) bakery and playground for the kids.  We can easily spend a few hours there!  I am looking forward to whipping up all sorts of yummy things with all of our fresh berries, stay tuned!

I would love to hear what some of your favourite family friendly activities are if you want to leave me a note in the comments.

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

My Experience With Microblading

I have to share my latest obsession… Microblading!  I would love to pretend that these are the beautiful eyebrows I was born with, but alas I would be lying.  Like many women I know, I got a little tweezer happy in my teens when very thin eyebrows were in style.  My poor eyebrows were never the same again! (I have already made my six year old stepdaughter swear to never touch her natural eyebrows.. haha!)  For the last decade I have been drawing them in with an eyebrow pencil or filling them in with eyeshadow.  Then a girlfriend suggested microblading to me.  I was instantly interested and started doing my research.  At first I assumed it would be like the normal tattooing process and was a bit nervous that it would be permanent.  My supportive husband teased that I was probably going to end up looking like an angry muppet… lol.  I learned that it was actually more of a semi-permanent makeup in which pigment is placed under the skins surface.  It is also referred to as micro pigmentation or cosmetic tattooing.  It is in fact not permanent and does require touch ups.  Learning this I felt much less intimidated.

After browsing through Instagram and looking at incredible before and after photos, I decided to book at Studio Sashiko, right here in Langley, B.C.  The studio opened in 2015 by eyebrow guru Shaughnessy Keely.  If you haven’t heard of her, you have to checkout her Instagram, the woman is an incredible artist!  They only open up their booking once a month and I ended up waiting about five weeks for my appointment, but let me tell you… it was worth it!  I booked with the lovely Tanya DeSousa, one of the artists at the studio.  I was super particular about how I wanted my eyebrows to look and she never made me feel like I was being a pain, which I really appreciated.  I was in the studio for just over three hours during my first visit.  Most of the time was spent drawing and redrawing my eyebrows with a pencil to follow my natural brow line.  Once we got the shape I wanted, she applied a topical numbing cream.  While my brows were “freezing” Tanya mixed up different colours to try until we found the perfect soft, ashy brown that I had in mind.  The microblading was done with a small, bladed hand tool that actually drew hair strokes into my eyebrows.  I found the procedure a tiny bit irritating, but thankfully not at all painful.  I honestly could not believe how natural my eyebrows looked when they were finished.  Tanya explained that they would lighten and almost dull a bit as they healed (usually about a week).  After at least six weeks I could book my follow up appointment.

I waited nine weeks to book my touch up appointment due to my schedule and being away on holidays.  As anticipated, my eyebrows had faded a bit and were not quite as “dramatic” as I wanted them to be.  Following the eyebrows she had previously created, Tanya filled in some of the thinner spots and made them a bit fluffier.  When she finished they were exactly what I was hoping for.  Overall I am thrilled with how they look!  I think microblading is such an intriguing procedure.  Not only for women like me who simply love the convenience of not having to apply makeup every morning… but for people who have scarring or who have experienced hair loss.  Some of the transformation pictures are pretty amazing!

This being said, it is definitely a bit of an investment.  I promised my husband that it could be my Valentines, Mothers Day and birthday presents and he is holding me to it… lol!  Oh and for the man who previously mentioned that I was probably going to look like an angry muppet, he thinks that they look great!

Lastly, I want to mention that I have not received any sort of discount or promotion for writing about Studio Sashiko or my experience.  I am honestly just so happy with how my eyebrows turned out and want to encourage anyone who is debating if they should have theirs done or not.  I would love to hear about your experiences or answer questions from anyone if you would like to comment below!

Microblading
Getting nice & numb… it’s a good look!
microblading before
Before (photo credit Tanya DeSousa)
after microblading
After (photo credit Tanya DeSousa)
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Before (Photo credit Tanya DeSousa)
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After (Photo credit Tanya DeSousa)

Studio Sashiko

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With my awesome brow artist, Tanya!

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

Girlfriend Getaways Are Good For the Soul

I have always thought of my girlfriends as my crown jewels.  I am very fortunate to be blessed with a group of incredible women in my life.  (It is definitely a bonus that our husbands all like each other too!)  I treasure these women like an extension of my family.  Unfortunately I do not get to see them as often as I would like to, as we are all moms, step moms, working and busy with day to day life!  I am sure that everyone can identify with this.  When we do get to see each other it’s usually over a quick cup of coffee at one of our houses while we are herding our children, trying to encourage them to share their favourite Paw Patrol toy while not spilling their drink all over a brand new couch!  Distracted to say the least.  This is where the very necessary girls weekend comes in.  We had to pick the date a couple months ahead of time to find a two day period where we were all free, but we did it!  It was going to be my first time away overnight from my baby, so we decided to stick pretty close to home.  We are lucky enough to be less then a two hour drive from beautiful Whistler, B.C. so we chose that as our destination.

On the way there we decided to do the Train Wreck hike that we had heard was pretty cool.  It is essentially a derailed train that the forest has grown up around.  The cars have all been covered in graffiti, making it almost like a museum in nature.  It was a simple hike and i would definitely recommend it as something to see!  We grabbed a quick plate of nachos and an iced cold Grapefruit Ale from the Whistler Brewing Company when we were finished, before heading to Whistler Village to check into our condo.

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We lucked out and the weather was gorgeous for our weekend.  We spent the afternoon and evening having snacks and cocktails on various patios throughout the village.  A word of advice my friends… stick to flat shoes!  Throw on a cute pair of birkenstocks, (yes they are back in style!) flip-flops or slides with your sundress.  We witnessed way too many woman almost bailing as they maneuvered the cobblestones in sky high heels through the village.  Whistler has a pretty casual vibe, that is one of the things I love about it.

One of my girlfriends had put together the most spectacular charcuterie platter so we headed back to our room to devour it, drink wine and share stories.  (After changing into our matching TNA leggings we picked up at Aritzia… comfort is key lol!) It was so nice for us to hang out, laugh and catch up uninterrupted!

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The next morning we went out for a delicious, caloric breakfast at the Wild Wood.  I highly recommend the Florentine Benedict, although next time I will be only ordering a half order as sadly I couldn’t finish it!  Breakfast is always my favourite meal to go out for.  I love sitting with a coffee, mimosa and something to eat that I could never cook for myself.  I could brunch for hours.  (I am always accepting recommendations for favourite restaurants!) After breakfast we decided to go and relax at Alta Lake.  Whistler has no shortage of incredible, scenic lakes to choose from.  It was the perfect way to relax and rejuvenate.  IMG_8522IMG_8524

Our trip was quick and we were only gone one night, but I feel like we had so much quality time together.  We had some serious, hurt your stomach and make you cry laughs!  It was awesome.  There has already been discussion that we need to make this an annual thing. One weekend away together a year.  Next time we are thinking wine tours in the Okanagan…

I would love to hear where you go for your weekends away and any suggestions or tips!

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx