KnitWhits Couture

MOM BOSS MONDAY 

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My stud wearing his Bob Marley romper from KnitWhits Couture

My husband is a musician and music is a big part of our everyday life. We have been playing our favorite tunes for Q since I was only 5 months pregnant. We recently took him to his first music festival and plan on taking him to so many more. If your family is in love with music the way ours is, you have to check out KnitWhit’s Etsy Shop!  This week’s mom boss turns your favorite band tees into the cutest rompers for your kiddos. She’s even making some awesome products for you moms out there so be sure to stop by and take a look. Amelia’s story hits close to home for me, as we both experienced our loved ones dealing with cancer during our pregnancies. Such and inspiring chick. Thanks for sharing your story, Amelia.

How KnitWhits Couture started

I grew up around artists of all sorts. Hands on artists.  My father is a self-made Chef who cooked for the likes of Mr. Pierre Trudeau (former Canadian Prime Minister). My mother went to sewing school, painting classes, and always loved crafting. My grandmother loved to crochet. I spent years sitting by her side on the sofa entranced in watching her hands move so quickly as she worked on my “wedding” blanket-bed cover. So I was always surrounded by creative energy.

I was the one you would see mixing colors in art class and not paying attention to direction, but instead wanting to do my own thing.  I went to college, became an aesthetician, and makeup artist. I worked in Ottawa, Canada for a few years and later moved back to Kingston, ON. I started my own business doing freelance and home spa parties.
Fast track from then to now: Married, had two amazing boys, decided as a family I would stay home with my babies. My mom became ill with breast cancer, (she is now a 5 year survivor). Within the same year, my mother in law was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma cancer and passed away months later with us by her side.  This changed everything. My life would never be the same. To say this was a dark and depressing time is an understatement. I began to craft anything and everything on Pinterest to focus on something other than the dark memories of cancer and what it had done.
On my birthday I received a sewing machine and automatically took to it. Sewing everything! My curtains that needed hemming, my pants, cutting up my kids clothes so that I could re-piece them, making scarves, etc, etc…Before long, people were asking me to make things.  After planning and getting back on my feet again, KnitWhits Couture came about! KnitWhits came to mind as inspiration from my nutty mom and mother in law. When those two got together and laughed and joked, knitwhits!
A struggle you experienced and have overcome during pregnancy
Hearing of my mom’s breast cancer at 3 months pregnant not knowing what the next day would hold, I struggled with trying to be the best mother, while having the strength for my husband and family during this time. I had a toddler and newborn to care for while dealing with my mental state. I was trying to keep it together while my mom went through chemo and radiation, losing her hair, and being bed ridden.  Soon after, my mother in law started the same process, with full force, and not one minute to look away.
From woman to a woman, from a mother to a mother, I knew her fight was real. Her need to live was never stronger. Being by her side in her last months, I gave up breast feeding. I gave up embracing the little milestones and those early memories of my toddler and second born baby. I wanted to fight with her to get her better so that she could enjoy being with her grand babies again.  I don’t regret anything. I cherish the memories I have and it molded me into what I am today. I am proud of my family and all that I am blessed with.
A couple years later I lost my grandmother to Dementia. The crocheted blanket she made for me is filled with memories and helps me during difficult times till this day.
Let’s move on from all the sadness. Through all this, there have been many many ups and successes.  I have an awesome husband who believes in me, two boys aged 5 and 7, who are so loving and wonderful!I am on year 4 of being in business and have been running ever since. I am so blessed to be doing something that I love so much and look forward to seeing what the next 4 years bring!
I have recently expanded into women wear…specifically ponchos and beanies. After all, mama needs some styling too!
Amelia’s motherhood tip
Take one day at a time and smile when you look at your babies. Tell them there is good in this world, whether it’s for a short time or longer.
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Amelia with her beautiful family.

KnitWhit’s Links

https://www.etsy.com/shop/knitwhitscouture

https://www.facebook.com/knitwhitscouture/

Nixi Lauroo

MOM BOSS MONDAY

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My bubba snuggled up on one of Nixi Lauroo’s ultra soft burpees.

Each week I have the pleasure of featuring a Mom Boss and each one of them has been simply inspiring. I love to hear the stories of how the love for their children, mixed with their creativity, talents, and passion, have led them to be the mompreneur they are today. Nixi Lauroo has the most adorable essentials for your littles and they are all hand made by a busy Mom from New Hampshire.  Kate, the founder of Nixi Lauroo is sharing with us some of the struggles she faces as a mom and what it’s like to run a business full time. My family and I are in love with her great quality products and I am sure yours will enjoy them too. A big thanks to Kate for sharing your story with us!

This week’s Mom Boss is Kate and her business is Nixi Lauroo

If it weren’t for my son, Nixi Lauroo definitely wouldn’t exist the way it does today! I studied fashion design in college and moved straight to California after graduating to pursue my career as an entrepreneur and fashion designer in the Bay Area. While I was there, I started a little company making women’s clothing, did a bunch of runway shows, and had a lot of fun learning & living—and that was really fun for about six years! At the end of the day, I got homesick and moved back to my home state of New Hampshire, and still dabbled in designing for a bit, and even designed and made a wedding dress—but honestly, I was burnt out. I opted for more corporate or more “stable” jobs in the fashion industry, and didn’t realize how much I missed creating until…surprise! We were expecting, and that was the last thing I was expecting! I was all of a sudden in “baby mode,” and dusted off the sewing machine. I started making baby blankets, swaddles, quilts, and much smaller clothing….and it dawned on me how much I MISSED creating and designing, and hey…sewing for babies was so much fun. The rest is history, as they say. I rebranded my company and started sewing baby things, first to friends, then online, and eventually took the plunge to do this full time. Nixi Lauroo officially turns one in November of this year, and I couldn’t be more proud! This has been a very long journey for me, but if not for the twists and turns, we wouldn’t be the Nixi Lauroo that you know. I feel like everything worked out the way it should have, and we settled into a niche that truly feels like home now.

Kate had a smooth pregnancy so she shares her some struggles she faces as a mom…

I’d be lying if I said I only have a few struggles as a mom! Becoming a parent is a huge learning curve, and I’m still figuring things out all the time. One of my biggest struggles is finding balance in my work life and home life, which I know a lot of moms struggle with too…since I work at home right now, it’s even harder to manage. I feel A LOT of guilt quite often when I’m home but not really home, or need to send my son to Grammy’s so I can concentrate, or when I’m sewing and can’t come play Dinosaurs right now, or on my phone or computer too much—things like that wear on me a lot. The perks of working from home are amazing, don’t get me wrong! The guilt that comes with them I never expected.
Kate’s motherhood tip:
If I could offer any tips as a mom, I’d tell other parents not to compare themselves to other parents, or their children to others. It’s not fair, and comparison really can be the thief of joy. You are always doing the best you can, and your little one is learning and growing in their own way, so just enjoy the ride and try not to stress out too much about things you can’t control!
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Nixi Lauroo’s Kate and her absolutely adorable son, Liam.

Nixi Lauroo’s Social Media

https://nixilauroo.com/

https://www.instagram.com/nixilauroo/?hl=en

www.facebook.com/nixilauroo

Super fit? Or Fit-ish?

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I’m totally ok with being FIT-(ish)!!!

Before my pregnancy, I naturally had a pretty active lifestyle without even trying. We love being outdoors and the ocean is our favorite. Not until I was pregnant did I decide to top off my active lifestyle with a workout routine. This was mostly due to the Gestational Diabetes. So, shout out to you Gestational Diabetes! You kill-joy party pooper! At the same time, I’m thankful. It really helped me change my lifestyle for the better. After I gave birth to my wonderful gentle giant, I thought I was going to be able to whip it back without any issues. WRONG. Here’s the thing. I actually slept part of my pregnancy and those hormones gave me a boost, making me some type of freak of nature. I labored hard and birthed harder, so I thought I would be back to my pregnancy strength in no time! I surfed some days out of the summer after Q was born, but lost a lot of my confidence and skill. The reality is, there were so many factors and obstacles for me, it was frustrating that I was unable to be where I wanted to be, physically.

I thought, “Hey, I was on a diabetic diet for nearly 9 months. Why not do it again?” So I decided to cut down on carbs. It was easy and it felt good. On top of this, I added a workout routine to my schedule, mixed with breastfeeding and very little sleep. Talk about needing a chill pill. It started to become too much for me and even affected my milk production. I learned that it wasn’t wise to just get up and change my eating habits without realizing how my body would react or how it could affect my baby’s food source. My milk production did not stop but it did decrease significantly. I was pumping 9-12 extra ounces a day and it went down to 4 oz, sometimes even less. Now in retrospect, I should have given my body enough time to catch up on rest and allowed for more healing.

I was too concerned about staying fit, not educated enough about the birth process, and what it really meant to “heal” before going full force again. Through my research, I found a Birth Fit group here in San Diego.  We get to bring our babies, meet other moms, and really focus on strengthening those muscles that may have been weakened through our motherhood journey. So as much as I would like to be a super “fit mom,” for now, I am okay with being “fit-ish.” My focus now is to strengthen from within, slowly, carefully, and efficiently.  I don’t know if you have seen my kid, but he’s only 4 months and weighs 19lbs, so I need to get fit the right way in order to keep up with him.

As of now, I welcome carbs. I try my best to stick to the healthiest forms and I’m not hating it. I actually feel thinner than when I was avoiding them, which really shouldn’t matter but it’s definitely a plus. I take long walks with the baby in the morning, a couple of baby and me yoga classes from home (Youtube videos), and have just started the postpartum mini-series at Birth Fit San Diego. My milk production is exactly where I want it to be. My baby is clearly eating well and now I just need to take it easy and strengthen slowly. The rest will follow. The point of this post is, it’s ok to chill. Listen to your body. Exercise is great but it doesn’t have to be aggressive, so if your body needs more time, give it that. For the time being, as long as my family and I are healthy, I’m okay with starting from scratch, and instead of being super fit, I’m owning that I am “fit-ish”.

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Birth Fit San Diego – Keirsten

Learn More about Birth Fit 

Use coupon code: livewellmama for 15% off your FIT-ish apparel!

Simply Love YYC

MOM BOSS MONDAY

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Mustache leggings by Simply Love YYC

As mothers, how many times does the thought of being unable to conceive cross our minds? To be honest, for me, hardly ever. Until I met this amazing woman along my motherhood journey. When I asked to feature Ann, I found out that she had yet to have children and is on a journey of her own. She has opened my eyes and made me even more aware of one of the many struggles women have to face, not to mention one of the most difficult. I have since become more appreciative of those who continue trying to conceive no matter how difficult the journey becomes. The motivation, love, and commitment you have is the foundation of motherhood. I have the utmost respect for those that are trying to conceive, and I want to thank them for being a constant reminder to never take my family for granted. Just because Ann does not have her bundle of joy yet does not make her any less of a MOM BOSS, so thank you, Ann, for sharing your story with us.

Ann Rocha the Mom Boss behind Simply Love YYC

I started my business as a distraction.  My husband and I have been trying to conceive for two years now and I started up Simply Love in an effort to create a distraction.  When you are trying to have a baby everyone tells you to relax, take a holiday, forget about it because it will “happen” when you least expect it.  To be honest, in our situation, it will not be able to just “happen”.  Unfortunately, in January I had to have surgery to remove one of my tubes and some endometriosis.  Following that we started IVF.

In my true nature, I love to be busy!!! I had been working on my business for a while and I thought there was no better time than the present.  Most people would not choose to start a business with all of that going on, however, for myself I felt like life had to go on and things are always going to come up and why should it stop me from following my dream.

I have always been able to sew.  I took lessons as a young teen and followed fashion through high school, at one point I wanted to go to design school.  I didn’t go to design school, however I continued to enjoy sewing and designing.  I have made grad dresses, flower girl dresses and gowns for all occasions, plus just about any project I could get my hands on.  I have made them with patterns and designed my own.  I have always wanted to start up my own company and I thought why not start up a company doing something I love.  Simply Love is all about Baby Clothing.  I use organic knit fabrics created with low impact dyes.  I chose to use organic fabrics with low impact dyes because I feel strongly about what you put next to a babies skin.  I feel with all the pollutants out in the world we should be most cautious about what we are putting right next to the delicate skin of a child.  I chose baby clothing because….well babies are cute!

Ann’s pregnancy struggle

As I mentioned above we have been struggling for over two years now.  We have had surgery and we have unsuccessfully completed a round of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).  We have unfortunately not overcome infertility and unfortunately many people struggle with this.  In the United States 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility and in Alberta (where I am from) 1 in 6 struggle with some form of infertility.  Infertility is more common that people think, its just not something people talk about.

We have been very open with our story because we feel that it is something that is not openly discussed and wanted to bring some light to the area.  The great thing about being open is we have lots of love and support from family and friends, the downside is it hurts.  People don’t understand about infertility and are uncomfortable with it, they often say things that are meant to be nice and helpful but they are really hurtful.  My best advice for people who know someone struggling with infertility is to listen, it helps to have someone just listen and not give any advice and be there for when it gets hard.

Ann’s tip for those with Motherhood goals

Enjoy the journey…not always as easy as it seems, but enjoy every moment of your life and live it to the fullest.  I honestly believe everything happens for a reason and we are not given things we cannot handle.  It may not seem easy or fair all the time, however, we need to have faith that it will work out.  You have to have a positive outlook.  Not every day will be easy or sunshine and rainbows, however you will make it through.  Pick yourself up and continue on your journey.

 

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Super inspiring Ann Rocha from Simply Love YYC

Simply Love YYC’s Social Media

www.simply-love.ca

https://www.instagram.com/simplyloveyyc/

Born Free and Me

MOM BOSS MONDAY 

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Baby Q rockin’ his Panda Party Raglan from Born Free and Me

Do any of you other Moms out there get bored with the same old, boring, repetitive prints to dress your little one in? Well, I found a Mom Boss that wasn’t impressed with what kid’s fashion had to offer, so she was inspired and created some pretty awesome stuff for our littles!  Can you even believe the cuteness of this Panda Raglan outfit from Born Free and Me?! Being this cute should literally not be allowed! Okay, so you already know that I meet amazing Moms doing what I do, but I mean come on! This week’s Mom is a SUPER Mom Boss! Keep reading to find out what her other WORK is! Like creating kid’s fashion or being a mom wasn’t already enough…

This week’s Mom Boss is Jules from Born Free and Me

I started Born Free & Me whilst on maternity leave with my first baby, Evangeline as I was fed up with a wash if baby pink florals and Disney themed clothes. I wanted my brand to be fun and playful letting our littles be little.  Like every mum working from home, you try and squeeze as much into nap time as you can and then work away when they’re tucked up at night (or at least that’s the theory). So in between the constant demands of mum life, various tantrums, bouts of teething and sleepless nights, you just kind of get on with it.
My day job is a doctor. I graduated in 2010 and I’m a junior pediatric doctor. When I go back to work this time round, I’ll be working on the neonatal intensive care unit which looks after the extreme prem babies as well as those with serious medical/ surgical conditions in the region. I LOVE IT. That being said, I wanted to find a way to reduce my hours at work so I could be home more with my babies and watch them grow up, so I started a business. It’s so different to everything I’m used to doing but I have enjoyed every minute of it and have found some really kind people who totally get that. I know I’m not the only mama out there trying to make it happen!
A pregnancy struggle Jules has experienced
My pregnancies have been pretty plain sailing I have to say but run into problems with repeated mastitis whilst breastfeeding. I had to be admitted to hospital first time round. (I’m actually sat in the waiting room at the doctor’s surgery waiting for some antibiotics as I type!) Regarding mastitis, I’ve had multiple bouts of it, which mostly I’ve been able to sort out myself (lots of hot/cold compresses and hours spent glued to a breast pump). Glamorous I know. I’ve always chosen to carry on feeding each time it’s happened. I guess I wanted to decide when to introduce formula milk rather than feeling forced to do it. And despite the booby drama, I actually really enjoy breastfeeding my babies. I’ve ended up in hospital twice (once with each baby) because it got so bad. Miles is 5 months old and I’ve started to introduce some formula milk during the days and feed him at night.
A motherhood tip from Jules 
Tips for mums would be to let yourself off the hook if you’re still in your pajamas at lunchtime, your house is a mess or you can’t remember the last time you washed your hair! Just be proud of yourself for making a small human and that they’re alive and well at the end of every day!
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Doctor, Mom Boss, and Creator of Born Free and Me  – Julie, with her adorable son.

 

Born Free and Me Social Media 

https://www.instagram.com/bornfreeandme/

http://www.bornfreeandme.com