Be sure to read to the end to learn about our giveaway with True North Ring Slings.
When a new baby joins the family, the pace of life inevitably slows. The priorities shift to feedings, diapers, cuddles, and nap times. One thing that doesn’t go away is the daily routine of meals, errands, laundry, and tidying. Mom’s hands are full and her plate just got fuller.
I remember well how overwhelmed I felt as a first time mom four years ago! Simple tasks like folding laundry suddenly seemed impossible… they needed to be done, but not at the expense of sacrificing time with my baby.
Enter the time-honored, global tradition of babywearing. I loved that I could snuggle my baby and still stay on top of the daily happenings. With my second born, I discovered another plus: it made snuggles easier during those long, hard days of teething. Now, with my third baby, I’m loving that I can still keep up with my toddlers and keep my baby close by.
What carriers have I tried? What are the pros and cons?
Wrap Carriers. My wrap-style carrier (think Moby, Solly, etc.) was my initiation into babywearing. It gave me the courage I needed to go grocery shopping for the very first time alone with the baby.
Pros: Soft and stretchy. Readily available. (Even stores like Target and Walmart offer this style)
Cons: Hot. Difficult to use. (Unless you like feeling like a ninja all while juggling a baby)
Soft Structured Carriers. After becoming frustrated with the complicated wrap carrier, I purchased a soft structured carrier (such as a Boba, Ergo, Lillebaby, etc.). It was a great experience, but lacked a few conveniences I desired.
Pros: Supportive. Great for long carries and bigger babies.
Cons: Bulky (you can’t just toss it your diaper bag). Difficult to safely situate newer babies (who often want to be worn more frequently).
Ring Slings. My third baby has been much more picky about being worn. He’s had some pretty difficult tummy issues and needs a lot of Mommy snuggles, but my wrap and structured carriers were met with very low tolerance. At the suggestion of my midwife, I pulled the trigger and purchased a ring sling. He slept for two hours the very first time I wore him. I’ve tried a few different ring slings for fun since they’ve worked so well for us and can safely say, linen (from a company such as True North Ring Slings) is my favorite. The sling took babywearing from something I did for convenience to something I did because I truly loved wearing my baby.
Pros: Even picky babies seem happy in a sling. Easily adaptable from tiny newborns to toddlers. Quick to adjust (I love having an alternative to lugging around a heavy car seat). Strong supportive fabric that’s still soft enough for delicate babies. Compact (can easily fold and stash in your diaper bag for on-the-go days).
Cons: Slight learning curve (well worth it!). Needs a short breaking in period (there are lots of great short cuts and resources for this!)
I strongly believe that next to a quality car seat, my ring sling is the most worthwhile baby equipment purchase we have made. Hands down.
We are THRILLED to be partnering with Alberta-based True North Ring Slings to bring you a giveaway! I recently purchased a beautiful gray ring sling (with to-die-for rose gold rings) from this amazing company. I’ve been nothing short of impressed by their quality and their customer service. I’ve received almost instant responses from them when I’ve reached out with questions – and they’ve been so personable (even giving me the fun fact that I was their first Texas customer!).
Using high-quality linen sourced from Europe, they offer a wonderful range of colors from classic neutrals to vibrant hues. They are unique in that they offer several lengths to choose from (no worries if you’re tall or broad shouldered! They’ve got you covered!). Their slings meet all safety standards (both mandatory and voluntary), so you can rest easy knowing that your baby is safe. More than anything, I love that is company is mommy-owned!
True North is partnering with us to GIVEAWAY a $50 STORE CREDIT* to one lucky reader and a 10% OFF COUPON CODE to all the rest of you!
To enter the giveaway, head over to Instagram and follow us (@canvasandtable) and then (@truenorthringslings). Tag your friends on our Instagram about this baby wearing blog post (you’ll receive an entry for each tag). For a bonus entry, “regram” our post to your personal Instagram!**
To save 10% on your order, simple use this code when you check out: canvasandtable. Offer good through April 20th.
Do you “wear” your baby? Leave a comment below and tell us.
*$50 store credit is CAD (Canadian dollars) as True North is based in Canada.
**Find complete entry instructions on Instagram post
Decorating for Christmas has always been a serious business and this year is no exception. We’re breaking all of the good American rules of Christmas decorating and putting up our Christmas trees BEFORE Thanksgiving. Yes, I said trees- plural. We take Christmas decor seriously in our home.
While I don’t expect you to deck the halls to the tune of five Christmas trees, like we enjoy doing, I do expect you to check your Scrooge at the door and add some festive touches to your home. So, today I’m sharing with you a few simple strategies to get the maximum merry for the minimum humbug (effort).
Focus on your tree. If you’re looking to keep things on the minimal side this year, focus your efforts on your Christmas tree. Personally, I love my trees having themes. Our main Christmas tree looks deceptively like Valentine’s Day, with an abundance of hearts. We keep updated pictures of our sons in little ornament frames and a few special mementoes on the tree as well. Another one of our trees (it goes in our kitchen) is all food related, with simple popcorn and cranberry homemade garlands and cut out cinnamon ornaments (recipe here or here) and/or baking soda ornaments. It’s simple and incredibly cozy. Yet another one of our trees is covered in our favorite Instagram snaps from the year. You can read about that Year-in-Review tree here. The bottom line is this, you’ll get the best overall effect from your tree if you take a few minutes to plan which direction you want to go. Also, be sure to place your tree in a prominent spot in your house to feel all of the warmth and glow.
Eye-level impact. There’s nothing at all wrong with string lights on top of the cabinets or festive blankets and pillows nestled into baskets on the floor, but to get more bang for your Christmas-decorating buck, focus on putting trinkets at eye level. Think about it: all of the classic Christmas touches happen right in front of your eyes; the tree, stockings, fireplace mantel, and wreath all hit you right between the eyes. Take advantage of and focus your main efforts on those places.
Consistent style. I find it really helpful to stick with a basic style throughout the house when I decorate. This makes it easy to switch things up from year to year (for example, switching out the entryway table decorations with the mantle decorations) and helps to make the transition from one house to the next (if you foresee a move in the coming few years). A few ideas to get you started are: classic winter wonderland (blue and silver, snowflakes and icicles), glitz and glam (a dressier approach with lots of gold and silver accents), or woodland (plaid, more casual touches, and burlap, baby).
Gift Wrap. Personally, I think it’s hard to beat a wrapped box with a bow. (But don’t get me wrong… I’ll accept your gift if it’s in a bag with tissue paper, too. haha!) One thing I’ve enjoyed over the past few years is buying several rolls of coordinated Christmas gift wrap (I buy it a couple days after Christmas for the following year and save a lot of money). It gives such a nice, cozy effect to see that some thought has been put into the physical appearance of gift under the tree. It’s an inexpensive way to round out the look of your tree.
When in doubt, light the place up. I really think I could be totally content by decorating for the holidays ONLY with white string lights. Take advantage of doorways, arches, cabinets, mantles, ledges, etc. and light the place up with the warm, festive glow of Christmas lights! Also keep in mind that Target has the CUTEST string lights in their Dollar Spot section… Peppermints, woodland moose, mercury glass style spheres, and jingle bell shaped lights are all styles I’ve seen in the past year or two. Most of them are battery operated, which means they can go just about anywhere in your house.
One mandatory rule. There is one rule for Christmas decorating that I encourage you to adhere to: match your Christmas decor plan with your life and schedule. Maybe you have a slower-paced season ahead and can enjoy an extensive decking of the halls. Perhaps you’re in a very busy or stressful season and need to scale way back. Or maybe you have young children and need to really dial it down and keep things baby proof. That’s okay! Do what allows you to keep proper perspective during Christmas and what will allow your family to have the most memorable and relaxing season! For our family, we’re bending a few rules this year…. We’re putting our decorations up before Thanksgiving (I know, I know!) and we’re going lighter on our decor (we won’t put up all 5 trees this time). We have a baby due 10 days into the new year – which means we need decor to come down quickly and easily after Christmas.
Leave a comment below and tell us your favorite Christmas decorating tip!
It’s been a goal of ours to upgrade our bedroom furniture and decor for awhile now. We’ve been married for going on four years and some of our “starter” pieces have been showing some wear.
We took a long time to absorb inspiration from Pinterest before making any purchases (Actually, we were just saving up for our purchases…). My husband and I love thumbing through look books from stores like Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, etc. I’m in love with the Anthropologie look, so I like to sneak those catalogs in, too.
As we took time to feel out our style, we took a trip or two out to our high-end, in-your-dreams-baby stores. Anthro had the beautiful, vibrant color and rich textures (I tried not to drool in the store. That would be embarrassing.). Pottery Barn had the soft down duvets we love too much (it’s like sleeping on a cloud!) and beautiful, but down-to-earth styling.
Inspiration was drawn from both. Our furniture has warm tones, so we pulled used warmer, bohemian colors and prints (we chose corals and creams, instead of the blues and greys our inspiration offered), but our main inspiration was this display in our local Pottery Barn store.
For 5.5 seconds we considered splurging and buying the “real deal”. Sanity returned quickly and we remembered that we have young children who frequently climb up on our bed to cuddle with us. Also, we did some math…. for the styling we liked, a Pottery Barn set up would run around $1200. No, no, no, no, no.
Next stop, Target.
Now… You need to know something. I’m a Target-a-holic. It’s my one-stop for almost everything. Their prices are good, their style is always cute, and it’s easy to find household items that feel like they will hold up well.
And we saved a nice penny. That is if you call saving about $800 a penny.
Here are a few pictures of our results and a few tips for saving in your own makeover.
Tips for Your Own Budget-Friendlier Home Decor Makeover:
Choose a store that offers stylish options without expensive name-brand labels. You can easily mimic over-all styles from upscale stores. Look for colors, patterns, and layers similar to those that caught your eye in the store or your inspiration picture.
Wait for a “white sale” or home goods sale. These roll around pretty frequently. Remember that even just 10% or 15% discounts can add up on larger purchases.
Store card discounts. Because we shop at Target often, we have their Red Card credit card. This saved us a lot in shipping costs and an extra 5% on the bottom line. Other stores, like Kohl’s, offer additional discounts or cardholder-only coupons.
Find areas where you’re willing to cut corners. In our case, our final product was going to consist of a down-filled duvet on top of another. Instead of buying two down inserts, we chose to buy one authentic down and one down alternative. The down alternative filled duvet went in the comforter that was folded at the foot of the bed and the authentic down went on the layer that we would use as a cover. This shaved at least $50 off just like that.
Leave a comment and tell us what room in your house you would like to makeover!