Return to Work // ESSENTIALS!

I’ve officially finished my 2nd Maternity Leave as of Ellie’s birth date but I haven’t yet been to the office as I had about 2 weeks of vacation days from 2017 I didn’t have the chance to take before going into labour.  I’ve spent the last two weeks doing a hodge podge of things, I met my sister for lunch, my father in law came over for a visit, I did some shopping, some brunching along with day care transition this week.  It was a tough week for sure (any parent who has gone through day care with an infant will know what I mean)  but I know things will get better.

As I prepare to return to my 9-5 job I started going through my wardrobe to figure out what fits, what is work appropriate and what makes me feel good.  I love shopping my closet because 1) it’s FREE! 2) I always stumble upon things I forgot I had! 3) It vibes well with my practice of minimalism.  From that exercise I realized all I needed was a new black LBD and a structure purse + a big ol tote (my LongChamp has a hole in it!).  I managed to put together some outfits that are both professional and keep my mom bod so I figured I’d share :)


  1. Sweater Dress
  2. Trendy Blouse
  3. Peplum Top
  4. Black Blazer
  5. Waterfall Waistcoat
  6. Black Trousers

I am actually re-using a non maternity sweater dress I wore while I was expecting.  It’s pretty tight so I’ll definitely be layering with a waterfall waist coat.  The waterfall cardigan, vest, waist coat is so unbelievably forgiving while still creating a feminine shape.

I love the bell sleeve trend and plan to pair mine with black pants.  Although these blouses can be worn with jeans (both skinny and flared) making this top easily transferable from the office.   I might throw a pashmina or drape a blazer over my shoulders if it’s chilly at work.

And of course a black blazer is a must.   I have a few with different cuts.  One that is a little long, one that is cropped and one that is more conservative with a more professional fit.

Lastly a great pair of black pants.   I love love love the cropped cigarette pant.  They go great with pumps or flats and are really fresh (as compared to the typical black work pant).  I love mine with a little stretch too!


Okay now for accessories!  I mentioned that I needed a purse or two but I think there is also a need for some other goodies to round it out :)

  1. Moleskine/Notebook
  2. Finepoint pens
  3. Coffee Mug
  4. Large Tote
  5. Structured Cross Body/Satchel (similar)
  6. Black Pumps (mine are old but similar linked below)
  7. Planner/Wall Calendar (I love this one)
  8. Nude Flats

I love using moleskines and I definitely prefer to use them at work.  The large one lays flat and the lines keep me organized. They come in a variety of sizes and colours and have a faux leather cover – which makes it look clean and professional (even if you have scribbles and doodles inside!)  I love this one too.

I am a sucker for all things stationary (seriously – back to school time in all the stores makes me giddy!).  These pens are the best – they don’t leak or smear and come in a range of colours.

It goes without saying you need to have a coffee mug. I love that I can have a little character showing with a cute one (like this or this).  It’s not only used for coffee, but also water or even oatmeal!  Plus – you can always take it to get coffee at Starbucks to get the environmental discount!

I got this tote and an the Tahari Glamper Satchel Crossbody (which I can’t find online but this is similar).  I’ve started using the purse and I love it!  It has a top handle and a long strap to wear as a cross body.  There are three compartments and I am figuring out how best to organize everything in there – but so far so good.

A comfy pair of pumps are must.  I love to add a little character by going with a pair of suede, textured or high gloss heels.  A pair of nude / skin tone flats are necessary for commuting, giving your feet a break under your desk or running across town to complete some errands on your lunch.

And lastly a planner (as well as a wall calendar well because #MomLife).  I use this one but I am tempted to try something new.  I like to have a personal / paper planner because I like to write things down and keep track of my life outside of the digital space. We have been using this wall calendar for years.  We hang it in the kitchen and I organize everything by colour to show what we are doing (family, friends, just us 4).  It keeps track of extracurricular activities, family dinners and playdates and easily accessible by all.

And there you have it!  I head back into the corporate world this week and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.  I’m also excited to push my career now, spend more time with the Mister and focus on family life as the girls grow up.

Miss El’s twelve month update

Wow…here we are!  I have an almost 4 year old and a 1 year old.


Definitely not the life I THOUGHT I would be leading but I must say I am pleasantly surprised.


This year has both flown by and made time stand still.  I experienced magic, happiness, challenges and worked harder than I thought I’d have to.  Despite everything, the Hubz and I are so incredibly grateful for these girls.

El has started daycare and completely obsessed with a donut toy there (I think its a comfort thing).  If the teachers accidentally call her by her sisters’ name (they are in the same centre) El will lose her $hIt because she’ll think her sister has come to rescue her hahahahhahah / 😓.  At home she’s completely obsessed with the long triangle from her magnetic blocks (a gift from her dadu/dadi) and loves riding in her radio flyer wagon (a gift from her nani/nanu) with her big sis.  She’s used to eating her own breakfast and then being served a second breakfast from her Dad’s plate and will never say no to her sisters discarded leftover food.  She thinks its perfectly acceptable to drink my tea or coffee and she still makes the WILDEST faces.   She does a high pitch grunt and point to things she wants and I swear the words I use with her most are: “No thank you LoLo” and “omg what did you put in your mouth”.


She had her first hair cut a week before turning one and THOROUGHLY enjoyed her first sugar (icing from a birthday cupcake).  She’s taken several steps between people (her dad and I, her mosi and massar) and even tries to walk between furniture (coffee table and sofa) – her confidence in walking is increasing.


I am so thankful I wrote down some of her memories over the last 12 months but I’d be lying if I said I am afraid of the backlash I might meet in a few years when her sister finds out I didn’t do the same for her. 😬


I am so glad that I completed 12 months of photos for Elora (along with the accompanying posts).  I didn’t always share the actual monthly photo on the blog.  Partly part out of privacy, partly because it wasn’t the goal.  I didn’t post these on social media either because I didn’t think to (I do curate posts both on my blog IG and my personal IG – so I guess the monthly photos did fit my vibes).  I plan on making a photo book with all these journal entries for her – hopefully its something she can treasure when she’s older.


International Women’s Day #PressForProgress


I know International Women’s Day was last week but I really wanted to commemorate it with something on the blog.  In the last year (since becoming a mom of 2) there have been so many positive changes (here are some to name a few) I have gone through by finding my way through intense obstacles.  So much so, that I wanted to take a minute to reflect and remind myself and my daughters of how capable we are.  Although most days I feel like I am doing a $hitty job as a wife and mom (daughter, employee, blogger, friend the list goes on) – I know I am doing something incredibly magical.  Bringing up children (especially girls in our day in age) is probably the greatest opportunity I have been given.  I am grateful and in awe.

I am a wife.  I am a mother.  I am a photographer. I am an MBA.  I am a writer.  I am a creative. I am stronger than I know.  I am braver than I feel.  I am more successful than I think.  I am happy.  I  am emotional.  I am grateful.  I am an Engineer.  I am a Fashionista.  I am a singer.  I am a shouter.  I am a lover.  I am a woman. – BMM


Also, I feel the society we are living in is now much stronger – especially after the events of 2017.  My hope is that we can raise these girls of ours to stand up for themselves, those without a voice and for everything good in this world.  I hope they can look to each other and other women for support and inspiration.  I want them to know that when life is dark, there is always light to be found and embraced. That anything is possible with a determined mindset and everyday grind.  I probably don’t tell them enough, but I want to let my daughters know they are beautiful, strong, courageous and so loved.

“I love the person I’ve become because I fought to become her.” – Kaci Diane


Shorts | Sandals

When you face difficult times, know that challenges are not sent to destroy you. They’re sent to promote, increase, and strengthen you – Joel Osteen


Baby Shirt | Baby Jeggings | Sweatshirt | Step Tracker

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” – Unknown

Happy International Women’s Day

5 ways to Self Care when time is not a luxury


It’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks. On the home front, the four of us have been busy getting winter coughs and colds :(  Hoping and praying for spring to come early and for the germs to get their eviction notice.  It’s all about the positive thoughts!

Outside of the home, I’ve been filling out daycare forms and prepping for my return to work.  And most importantly,  make time to see my friends for catch up sessions including lots of prosecco.  Prosecco is the perfect segway for #SelfCare.

I am 12 months postpartum and have a full personal life and a busy family life.  Because of thatI feel it’s even more important to take care of myself as a women, wife and mother.  It’s sage advice I’ve heard over and over.  If I can’t take care of myself and make sure I am happy – I know I won’t be able to take care of my family and our life.  I’ve already seen the effects of if: short tempered, snappy and mean!


Faux Leather Leggings | Stripped Top (similar) | Faux Fur Vest | Blocked Heel Booties (similar)

I wanted to share some ways I practice self care when I literally have no time for myself.

I know self care has been a trendy buzz phrase from 2017 and it’s going to be even more engrained into our minds by social media in 2018.  I am sure most of us have been doing some form of self care – but it can easily become over looked especially for women (moms!) who are always trying to be everything to everyone else 200% of the time.

Essentially self care is vital for our mental, physical and spiritual health. Buuuttt, self care looks different for everyone. So in sharing what I do when I don’t have a lot of time, I hope it can inspire you to find ways to take care of yourself!  What I share here are things I can do quickly and why they give your mind, body and spirit a boost.

1.  Work out early in the morning for 15 minutes 

Let’s be real – the time for me to have a gym membership has come and gone (especially in this season of my life).  So I am going to submit to that idea and just figure out a way to get in 15 minutes of activity.  For me this is usually something like a quick HITT, tabata circuit or intervals on the treadmill.  That’s the kind of work out I need to feel accomplished and better about myself.

2.  Remind myself that “this too shall pass” 

It can be really calming to take a moment out of the chaos to realize that whatever you are going through is just a drop in the bucket.  I know it sounds counter-intuitivie but for me – it’s about giving myself perspective but also understanding that life could be so different.  It also lets me experience and feel what I am going through.  Sometimes it takes 1 minute, other times it will take 10 but it’s a no-nonsense way to show yourself some love.

3.  Take deep breaths 

I recently read that the only way to control the nervous system is through breathing.  That is so interesting to me.  That I can quickly take control of my body just by slowing down my breathing.  When I feel overwhelmed (or just because) I take 2 minutes to focus on some deep breathing.  This also works wonders with kids and helping them calm down from a tantrum #MomHack :P

4.  Light a candle and make a cup of tea

Something about going through the motions of lighting a candle and make a cup of tea (or coffee) is very relaxing to me.  Depending on how long you steep your tea for, this should only take 5 minutes and can often be thought of as a way to mediate.

5.  Get some fresh air

I know it’s still cold in Toronto so whenever I know the weather is going to be warmer or if I see the sun shinning – I make the extra effort to get outdoors.  Taking some fresh air into the lungs and letting the sun touch my face gives me an opportunity stretch and breath.  Ideally I’d love to do 20 minutes but even 5 minutes can do wonders.


Being tourists in our own backyard #TorontoStaycation

TLY_TO_Staycation2018_11Double Stroller (another option) | Snowsuit | Boots | Stroller Handle Pouch

For a few weeks we’ve been meaning to get away.  Now, we are still not brave enough to go out of country without generational help – buutttt we were all in need of a few days with a change of scenery.  And for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to do a staycation in the city.  So what better then to be tourists in our own backyard.


We stayed at the Chelsea Hotel Toronto.  After reading and hearing about their kid friendly amenities – we were intrigued and had to check them out for ourselves.


First stop was the CN Tower (aka CN Castle as Miss S called it).  Luckily our double stroller fit in the elevator and throughout the observation deck (even with all the renovations).  The girls thoroughly enjoyed taking in the views and eating all the snacks we had packed :P


TLY_TO_Staycation2018_4 TLY_TO_Staycation2018_2

I unfortunately forgot to take pictures of the scenes from above (I only got the teddy bear close to harbour front #TOicebreakers) .  I was so enthralled by the girls experience of being at CN Tower – that it slipped my mind.

TLY_TO_Staycation2018_6 TLY_TO_Staycation2018_7

We spent a good portion of our time at the hotel’s children activity centre.  This room was so entertaining.  Miss S was living her best life doing craft after craft after craft.  And Ellie loved the open space to crawl around to her hearts desire.


Jeans | Cold Shoulder Sweater

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We would definitely like to return for another stay… but maybe in the summer.  With it being high season for cough and colds – we didn’t get to fully enjoy the city (honestly, we spent a lot of time checking temperatures and giving advil :S).  The hotel was very accommodating (even bring us extra blankets and a heater) plus the room service is FAST!   Definitely recommend it for families with little kids.

Miss El’s eleven month update


I know I am 5 days away from Lolo turning 1 but I wouldn’t be able to live myself if I skipped this!

I keep thinking back to this time last year.  All the braxton hicks, the wadling, the waiting (usually they say your second baby will be born gestationally earlier than your first – this was not the case for us), avoiding Miss S from kicking my belly, feeling all the kicks from the inside.  It’s surreal to think this was all just a year ago – but at the same time I am ready to move forward with ME.

Buuuutttt…. this post is for my baby – so let’s get it started!


Miss El is really into eating.  If there is anything we are eating – she wants a bite.  She’ll even eat the food that Miss S is not going to finish.

She’s got wild hair.  She’s able to take a few steps unassisted and even stand/balance on her own for 10+ seconds if she’s distracted.  She’s able to crawl on both knees now, can successfully roll both ways and pulls up on ANYTHING (aka: my PJ pants went I am cooking in the kitchen).

She’s really starting to look like a toddler these days and more and more like her sister everyday.  That said she loves her big sissy but I think also afraid of her at the same time lol.


She points and screams when she wants something.  Although we are trying really really hard to make her use baby sign “more” when she wants something.  She does it – but not consistently.

She likes being held but also loves exploring on her own.  She also likes to be in the sling. Anytime she sees me getting it ready she starts panting lol.


We are planning a super intimate 1st birthday party for her.  The planning has been pretty stress free but still has my DIY flare.  Hopefully – I’ll get some shots to share on the blog in a week or two.