I MICROBLADED MY BROWS: Melissa's weekly vLog

Guys, a lot of mamas have been asking about this morning routine saver.  We are talking NO more brow pencils, having the same shape of eyebrow every day (come on... you cannot draw that puppy on the same way each time.. lol). Going swimming with the kids and not being afraid to dunk your heads and misplacing your brows!  Watch what goes into having my eyebrows microbladed by Ashely from Highbrow Life!

Check out her other work at www.instagram.com/highbrowlife



3rd Times A Charm ... The Best Bottle For A Stay At Home Working Mama! #Forbetterbeginnings

It never dawned on me that with my third baby, things that I was good at with baby one and two, I might not be as good at, or even successful with the third time around. That saying, “third times a charm", rings a bell, however with this little guy, he had is own agenda.  

Each baby truly is so different, and nothing could be more true with our third.  After a high risk pregnancy, a premature birth, and a short stint in the NICU, my little man arrived home calm, and happy to be here!  He slept, ate and cuddled like clock work and this mama had felt like she hit the jackpot.  With a previous GERD baby, and one COLIC baby, my husband and I were expecting it to be way different.  However, while baby was rather easy, my milk production and breast feeding was not.

My milk came in late, and because he was premature I had to pump around the clock.  Along with that, while in the NICU he was being supplemented via NG tube every three hours so his blood sugars would not crash.   

When we were finally released he was nursing just fine, and things seemed perfect.  However, as each week passed he hit rapid growth spurts, and my milk could not keep up.  I knew as a third time mom what I needed to do, I just wanted my baby to be fed and happy.

I turned to the bottles which I trusted for all of my children.  7 years ago with my colic son (in image below) we used the Playtex Baby™ Nurser® with Drop-Ins® Liners. He loved those bottles, and mama felt the same way.  I also loved using the Playtex Baby™ VentAire®, which has a unique  Anti-Colic Bottom Vent helps prevent air ingestion for less gas, spit-up and fussiness! (Once you have had a colic baby you know just how important this is!)

I also looked to Playtex Baby for the soothers, because in the NICU all the babies are given soothers.  So I made sure to transition him to a Playtex® Ortho-Pro® Pacifier which was perfect for his tiny mouth.


I knew with the sterile liners, it was one less step for mommy and daddy when prepping bottles.  Daddy also felt more confident at just how easy it was to pop in a liner and have a bottle ready to go right away.

As a busy working mom of three, only needing to sterile nipples quickly in the microwave, is one reason I found the Playtex Baby™ Nurser® with Drop-Ins® Liners so much more convenient. 

 Along with that, because I am a working mama, my babe joins us on filming days, in meetings or comes along for road trips.  Instead of having to pack a handful of bulky bottles, the liners allow me to only bring one nurser bottle, a baggie of sterile nipples and a few liners!  Easy!

Having a colic baby in the past I have dealt with the gassy bubbles a well!  This was another reason why we loved the PlaytexBaby™ Nurser® bottle.  With the liners, we are able to push all the air out of the bottle, meaning no air was getting into our little ones tummy.

Lastly, as a third time mom I knew that giving the other two children opportunities to share in special moments like feeding the baby would be key to making a happy transition once the baby arrived.   

One of the tips we received on our social media, when asking how to help our youngest adjust to a new baby- was to let her feed him.  This was an amazing idea, as you can see in our vlog below- she just LOVED that chance when she got to feed her little baby brother.

Oh, actually I have one more reason why I loved having baby on the bottle.  It meant that mama could actually get some down time or a break because now anyone could help with the feeds!  Mamas, if this is baby one for you, I can’t tell you just how important that is (and how amazing it feels).





If you are looking for a bottle to help with colic or that are super easy to use (especially for hubby) you can find them here:

·         Nurser Bottles amazon.CA: http://tr4ckit.com/ivr3

·         Nurser Bottles toysrus.CA: http://tr4ckit.com/f38m

·         Nurser Bottles walmart.CA: http://tr4ckit.com/6sd5

·         Nurser Bottles playtexbaby.cahttp://tr4ckit.com/4wot

·         Soothers amazon.CA: http://tr4ckit.com/k68i

·         Soothers playtexbaby.CA: http://tr4ckit.com/lclg



What we wish someone had told us, as first time moms. Now as moms of THREE! #ForBetterbeginnings!

Trust us, when we tell you that the minute you hold your first little babe in your arms, you are forever changed. Life will never be the same, in the most wonderful way possible. You will be experiencing so many emotions, so that's why we feel it's just so important to be as prepared as possible. 

You may also be surprised by all the advice EVERYONE will want to give you, and we mean everyone, even those without kids. Now as moms of three (and proud #PlaytexMoms) we feel it's our duty to share all the "useful" tips we wish someone had shared with us when we had our firsts. 

So here goes......

1. You can do this! You are going to be a great mom, and it's totally normal to feel terrified when it's time to leave the hospital with your tiny little babe. But you will know what to do, just believe in yourself and we swear the love just guides you. (And everything else you need to know is online, we promise!)

2. Even if you intend to exclusively breastfeed, have some great starter bottles and nipples, plus soothers on hand. We both breastfed, and bottle fed our babies. Bottle feeding was a lifesaver for much needed breaks, and it gave daddy the opportunity to bond with the new babes. We love PlaytexBaby™ and nipples, because they have a great variety of bottles, including: ThePlaytex® Ventaire™ bottles, that helps reduce colic, Playtex Baby™ Nurser® with Drop-Ins® Liners, and their nipples are very similar to moms. We find the liners are great for Daddy feeds, very little cleaning. As well, soothers are thought to reduce the risk of SIDS, so we definitely recommend having some PlaytexBaby™soothers on hand. 

3. Have a Playtex® Diaper Genie® and diapering kits (wipes, diapers, change pad in a box), in several areas of your home. It just makes life that much easier. We are absolutely loving the Playtex® Diaper Genie® Expressions™, because they have these fantastic fabric covers that you can customize for each room.


We have so much more to tell you, so please watch our video below for all our new mom tips.

The Playtex® Ventaire™ Bottle and the Playtex Baby™ Nurser® with Drop-Ins® Liners Nurser are up for a moms’ pick award on BabyCenter.ca! Head over and cast your vote if you love either as much as we do.

An Exciting Announcement With Playtex Play On Canada Grant Program

What would you say if I told you that 72% of Canadian girls feel they are unable to participate to their full potential in high school sports, because they can’t afford participation fees, uniforms, or transportation. As moms of daughters, this blew our minds!

Melissa and I were both really involved in sports growing up. I ran competitively from grade 6 through high school, and Melissa was involved with competitive dance and volleyball. Being involved with sports was a natural thing for the two of us, but the sad fact is school sports and the support around athletic programs just aren’t what they used to be. We both gained a huge amount of confidence from being committed, and successful in our respective sports, and to know that so many young girls are missing out on this opportunity is not okay. 

 Vanessa, competing at cross country finals. 

Vanessa, competing at cross country finals. 

 Melissa, after a high school basketball game. 

Melissa, after a high school basketball game. 

So when we heard about the Playtex Play On Canada Grant Program, we knew we had to get involved and spread the word. 

To level the playing field and give more girls opportunity, Playtex Sport launched The Playtex Play On Canada Grant Program in August, 2016. Through this program girls’ high school sports teams have the opportunity to apply for grants up to $5,000 (with a total of $50,000 in grants available). 

We’re so excited to announce the 13 lucky girls’ high school teams who have won the Playtex Play On Canada grants. These teams represent all sports including: swimming, basketball, wrestling, and rugby to name a few. They also come from all over Canada! 

To find out about all 13 recipients, please visit: www.playtexplayon.ca

Share this video by July 15, 2017 and Playtex Sport will add $1 to the Playtex Play On Canada Grant Fund--up to a maximum of $25,000 http://9nl.es/bkn2

We know you Moms want to help us increase awareness about this amazing grant.

Please check out the Play On Facebook page, and Twitter feed to spread the word. Let’s get these girls on an equal playing field!


XO Vanessa+Melissa

For more information on this year's recipients, click the link below: 






#PlaytexMoms, That's Us!

If you've been following our journey, or "lives" now for some time, you would know that we use a lot of PlaytexBaby products. That being said, we're very excited to announce that for the next 10 months we can officially call ourselves, #PlaytexMoms. Yay! What does that mean, you might be wondering? It means we're going to be sharing with you all the amazing products PlaytexBaby has to offer you.

You might not even know that PlaytexBaby, creates some of the best, and most popular baby products on the market today. For instance, did you know that the Diaper Genie Elite, the "Ultimate Diaper Genie" in our books, is a PlaytexBaby product?  Or did you know that PlaytexBaby creates fantastic Infant & Toddler Mealtime Sets, Sippy Cups, Baby Bottles, Nipples and Accessories? 

 We can't wait to open all our goodies!!

We can't wait to open all our goodies!!

The truth is that when many new moms think of Playtex, they might think of pads and tampons, cause let's be honest, Playtex does have a great personal hygiene line, but NO, we're going to be sharing all about PlaytexBaby with you.

Between Melissa and I, we have 6 kids, ranging from newborn to 7 years old. We are, and have been going though every baby phase you're in, so we know what you mamas need. We also know how important it is to be prepared and supported when babe arrives. We've literally been through it all, and we want all new moms to enjoy all phases of motherhood. We feel that part of enjoying being a mom is feeling in control, safe, and supported, and we plan to do just that for you.

Because we share our lives and all our experiences, pretty much daily, on social media, you can imagine how many baby brands approach us to work with them? If you know us, or are just starting to get to know us, you'll notice that we really only work with select brands that we truly love and use ourselves. PlaytexBaby is one of those brands. They just get us, and they get what being a mom is all about. So watch this space! We hope you enjoy all that we share with you over the next 10 months, because we all deserve #ForBetterBeginnings, and we plan to give you just that! 

XO Vanessa+Melissa

What to pack in your hospital bag for mom and baby!

Heading into birth can be scary, exciting, overwhelming or "all of the above".  Each of my labour stories are different and now with baby three I am faced with an early induction.  What I am trying to say is the more prepared you can be before baby arrives the better your labour experience will be.

So this week, at 36 weeks pregnant I put together my hospital bag!  Check out this video with all my tips for you when you are packing!


You can also save this packing list I made for our mama friends of some of the items I listed , with some space for you to add addition items you want to pack as well!




Tis The Season for Super Comfy PJs and Christmas Firsts

It’s no secret that Melissa and I absolutely love the holiday season. To us, it really is one of the most special times of the year. The holidays mean more time with family, especially extra quality time with our children, giving thanks for our blessings, big family meals, baking holiday treats, and upholding the family traditions we cherish. 

First off, we always buy some new cozy Christmas PJs. This year we found the cutest 1 pc footed PJs at Carter’s | OshKosh. They have them in all sizes, so from our 8-month-old babe to our 7-year-old, everyone got a comfy suit. Once they put on these pjs they pretty much want to live in them, they’re that soft and cozy. Carter’s | OshKosh has so many great prints and festive styles to choose from. 

One thing we always celebrate is Christmas firsts. It’s just so special to us. This year is Minnie’s first Christmas, and we’ll be celebrating this occasion along with our other holiday traditions. Carter’s | OshKosh is always our go to for kid’s clothing because they’re wonderfully consistent. They always have what we’re looking for with relation to seasons and style. The biggest plus is that their clothing is affordable and adorable. They also always have “baby’s firsts” themed clothing, which we love to celebrate.  

Some of our other favourite traditions are baking holiday sugar cookies, and of course we leave out a few for Santa on Christmas Eve. Our kids also love holiday lights, so on those extra snowy December nights we tour our neighbourhoods and local parks to see all the magical lights. Fluffy snow and Christmas lights are such a beautiful site. We also enjoy going to our local churches to give thanks for our many blessing. 

Like many families, we also enjoy big Christmas meals. They can be a huge undertaking, but so worth the enjoyment on everyone’s faces. 

One thing I never thought I would do before having Minnie, was buy matching outfits for my kids. BUT now that I have an 8-month-old daughter and a 6-year-old daughter, I just can’t resist. It’s so fun that Carter’s | OshKosh has outfits ranging from baby to size 14, so if you want to do a little holiday twinsies with your littles, you can. We may have bought a few matching outfits. 

We hope you and your families have the most beautiful holidays! And if you’re looking for comfy pjs and fashionable outfits, you’ll find everything you need at Carter’s | OshKosh.

Don’t forget to enter the #CartersOshKosh #Kidsentials contest again this month for your chance to win a $500 gift card! Plus, share your favourite holiday #Kidsentials on social with us.



XO Vanessa+Melissa 

Our family tradition, the Gingerbread house!

Okay moms, it is officially December.  If you follow Vanessa and I, then you know we are both OBSESSED with all things Christmas.  Our elves arrived first thing on December 1st, and yes, our tree was already up and decorated in November!

When the month of festivities arrives, we have a tradition to map out all the things we want to do! Like watch Elf & Home Alone, go see Santa, drive through the festival of lights, and of course, make our family Gingerbread house!

Remember, when you're creating anything with little ones, it's all about the process not the outcome. So expect taste testing, and sampling when you create any type of gingerbread house. 

We just loved the Gingerbread house kit we tried from Sobeys, for many reasons. Firstly, this was the easiest one we have put together to date.  The instructions were simple, with pictures so the littles could follow along, and 'tell mommy what to do". 

The icing held the house together perfectly (no slipping) and it even fixed the crack! 

Want to see all our fun? Check out the video!!

The littles loved the unique cartoon characters that were included (Santa and a snowman) along with a wreath for the front door!

The best part of our Christmas gingerbread home was... eating it of course! Plus the cookies and goodies were fresh and yummy for sampling.   I think they were both surprised when I let them chow down on Santa and Frosty (after we got a few snaps first).

If you are looking for a fun, stressless activity to do with your kiddies over the holidays, this is for sure one that I recommend! Not only can you purchase these kits at a Sobeys near you, Sobeys has thought of it all- the are hosting gingerbread house building workshops through December for only $6.99!  That includes the house, icing and unlimited (let me repeat that.. UNLIMITED) candy to decorate with in-store and take home.  Hello mama, can you say leave the mess to someone else, score!

So get out your own December list of "Fun Things To Do", and add this to it for sure! If you make one from Sobeys like we did, make sure to share your pictures on social media with Sobeys and use the hashtag #MADEBYME


The Mom struggle is REAL!

I'm a mom.

I struggle to find balance in life and always put my family's needs before mine. Every time I leave the house (which right now is sadly averaging once a week), I feel the need to apologize for our appearance. Things like, "My child usually matches, but stripes and polka dots are the only clean patterns," "Sorry, my entourage and I are a hot mess," "I realize I look awful, I ran out of dry shampoo," "Oh, gosh. I didn't realize I had food on my shirt. Wait... that might be my kid’s booger."

I think you get it.

Why do I feel the need to apologize for these things?

My apology is typically posed to another mother at a playdate. I know she gets it, but I still feel the is guilt for not appearing to have my “stuff” together. I know she's got to be doing the same thing at her house and struggling with the same issues? Right? Just me? I really hope not. We all try to post the nicest photos of our lives on Facebook and Instagram, as though to tell the other Mamas, "Hey, life is perfect over here in the [fill-in-the-blank with your last name] Household! My daily makeup regimen is on point and my children are always poised for an impromptu Baby Gap photo shoot!" (Aren't those social media filters amazing, by the way?)

I don't know about you, but I seriously can't remember the last time I wore makeup. I may have looked in the mirror yesterday and noticed I literally had two caterpillars above my eyes that needed dire plucking! I then realized it was the first time I've looked in the mirror (like really looked at myself) in probably a week or so. Because seriously... what toddler mom has time to painstakingly pluck individual unruly hairs from her exhausted brows??

At the risk of being tossed out of the Perfect Mom Club (as if I ever had a membership) I want to pose a question. Does this hot mess life have to be a bad thing? Why can't we embrace honest mama realness? Find some amusement in it? Poke fun at ourselves and have a good laugh at the chaotic madness that is our REAL selfless mama life? It is what it is...and that can totally be.okay. We will, after all, look back someday in the distant future and miss these moments. (At least that is what my mom keeps telling me.)

I’ve learned to embrace the fact that I may be a "hot mess,” but I'm happy with that. Go ahead, have a good laugh about the booger that I literally just found on my shirt. I no longer pretend that I don't live in leggings and tee shirts every...day...of...my...life. I do. No, for real. I think the last time I wore jeans might have been two-ish years ago. I can't remember. I didn't mark it on the calendar. (But alas, I digress...)

These kids of ours will only be little once. That’s it! It’ll be over in the blink of an eye. I want to soak up every last ounce of these tiny moments and attempt to enjoy the chaos. I’m a hot mess, I’m boundlessly exhausted, but that must mean I’m crushing this whole mom thing. And if you feel like this too, you probably are as well! So way to go, Mama! Let’s go easy on ourselves and each other, embrace the challenges of selfless motherhood together, and vow to pluck those eyebrows (at a minimum) on a quarterly basis.

By Melissa Lyons Grins & Grace

Instagram.com/GrinsandGrace OR @grinsandgrace
Pinterest.com/GrinsandGrace            Newsletter SignUp: http://eepurl.com/bZOzIz  Email: hello@grinsandgrace.com

Must have baby items, every mom needs to know about!

As two moms with 5 children between us (and one on the way) we know a lot about what you do and what you do NOT need in the first year of your babes life.  So we compiled a list, and featured some of our favourite products on a recent segment of our talk show, "Vanessa + Melissa". Watch the segment to hear just why we loved these items, and click on the images below for for information on each.

What are some of your must have items, share them in the comments below!



Phil & Ted Dash Double Stroller

Ollie Swaddle

Playtex® VentAire® Bottle Set 



Lorena Canals Machine-Washable Rugs

Cooking With Soul - Rosemary Olive Oil Hummus

Lots of moms asked us for the recipe for our most recent segment of Cooking with Soul! We'd love to share it with you.

Share your recipe with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and tag us so we can see your creations. 


1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (roughly 2 cups drained, cooked chickpeas)
3 tablespoons Pasolivo Rosemary olive oil
3 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon), plus more to taste
1 small clove of garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
To serve: pita wedges, pita chips, raw sliced vegetables

To learn more about Pasolivo check out their Facebook page here.

Keepin’ It Real On Newborns And Stuffy Noses

“Compensation for this post was provided by hydraSense®. Opinions expressed here are my own.”

As a mom of 3, I deal with colds more often than not, especially in the colder months. When I brought my 3rd newborn home, it was in early March and my son, baby #2, had a terrible cold.  I tried my best to keep a distance between the two, but it was almost impossible! I felt so guilty, since all he wanted to do was love his new baby sister. 


Within two weeks, Minnie, my 3rd baby, had her first cold. So, not only was I exhausted from caring for a newborn, because as you know you barely sleep when you bring a newborn home, but a newborn with a stuffed nose and cold is even worse. Since I knew this might happen, I was prepared. I had hydraSense Easydose® vials on hand.  


Filled with 100 per cent natural sourced sea water; meaning no medications, or preservatives for the little ones under 2. These were my go to vials to help clear Minnie’s stuffed up nose. I simply lay her on her back and squeezed 2 drops in each nostril, 4-6 times a day. It’s gentle so you can use the Easydose vials every day. It worked like a charm. The saline helped to clear her nasal passages, so she could breastfeed and breathe through her nose again. 

The Easydose vials are easy to use. I’ve used hydraSense for all of my kids to deal with nasal congestion, through colds and allergies. I can see why hydraSense is the #1 saline solution brand in Canada for children (Nielson, 2016), because it’s an option that works for newborns, and kids. Kiddos under 2 generally can’t blow their own noses, so hydraSense is a way to help them clear their nasal passages and breathe easily, giving us peace of mind and hopefully more sleep! 

We totally understand what it feels like to be a new mom, and sometimes it’s hard to know which products to trust with our precious new babies. That’s why we use hydraSense for stuffy noses from colds and allergies, because we know it works.  

You can purchase any hydraSense products at your local drugstore, or online at Amazon.ca.

Big Nugget Labors

I laid down Thursday night, November 19th, feeling normal. At this point, I’m 40 weeks 3 days pregnant and feeling like I’m being pranked. I feel like holding my baby girl in my arms is only a vague dream fading away with every text message and phone call I receive asking if I’m still pregnant.

I woke up at one in the morning Friday (November 20th) thinking I might be starting to feel some contractions, which ended up just being a really sore bladder. Apparently, the two hours of sleep had filled my bladder over its capacity because I let out a river, and no, it wasn’t my water breaking. I laid back down and continued to wake every two to three hours to empty my bladder.

Morning time had arrived and I had no desire to go back to bed. It was close to seven in the morning and I was wide awake. I began to feel small contractions rolling in. They felt like uncomfortable menstrual cramps. I was excited, but nervous that it might just be my mind playing tricks on me. Could I really (finally) be on my way to brining Zion home?

Josh came into the room and asked how I was feeling. I debated on telling him about the start of my contractions because I was nervous it was me simply make-believing them.

Of course, I gave him the news.

It was unspoken, but the atmosphere in our household was that of excitement all around. Even Little Nugget felt it as we asked him if he was ready for Zion to come home.

Could it really be that we were finally on our way to start the journey of bringing our little girl home? (Can you tell how incredulous I felt by how doubtful I was about the onset of labor?)

Being that the contractions were just beginning and they were really small, I felt comfortable with Josh going to work, but he suggested that he drop Little Nugget and me off at my mom’s house for the time being. Arriving to my mom’s house (which is only a 10 minute drive from us), the contractions seemed to have become more consistent and a bit stronger; however, I didn’t start timing them because gauging my mood and emotions, I knew this was still only the beginning. (I realized that this wasn’t necessarily true in the end.) I text Robyn, my midwife, giving her a heads up that I had begun pre-labor (or what I thought was pre-labor). I ate something small, some cereal, since my appetite was not great, and began stocking up on some electrolytes (maybe a little early, but figured it couldn’t hurt).

I took advantage and did some last-minute loads of laundry at my mom’s house and while I did that, I found myself squatting, leaning, rocking, and deep breathing my way through the contractions as they came on. Occasionally, I’d feel a little nauseous but the feeling would go away as soon as the contractions ended.

In between doing laundry, I played with Little Nugget trying to keep my mind off of me laboring. Little Nugget would occasionally ask me what was happening to me when he saw me rocking on all fours, I shot back (nicely) asking him if he was going to help daddy massage me when I didn’t feel good. He confidently replied with a “yes” and added if he would be doing this at Robyn’s house. My heart filled with joy as this was proof enough that involving him in this whole process had made him knowledgable and more aware of what was happening.

It was about eleven in the morning when my mom arrived home. She had been out on an errand and it had been only Little Nugget and me at her house. She was surprised to find out that I had started labor as I waited to tell her until she got home. She was also very surprised to see how close together the contractions were happening. She started timing them when I told her I didn’t want to focus on how close together they were and explained that I was just going based on my mood. According to her, my contractions were 4 to 2 minutes apart. She suggested I contact Josh to let him know to head home. I was in denial until I felt a slight push sensation. I knew it was go time then! But still, I thought I had more time than I did. I still thought it was all in my head.

I sent Josh a text making him aware of my current status. He text back letting me know he’d be on his way. I spent my time looking out the front door hoping every car passing by was him. I wasn’t in pain, but the contractions just continued to pile on.

Waiting for Josh to arrive, I tried to remember words that I’d use in describing labor: “hugging my baby out,” “amazon woman,” “empowering,” “beautiful journey”. I had accepted that I was on my way to bringing Zion home; however, still in denial of how far along I was in my labor.

Josh arrived to my mom’s house, loaded Little Nugget and me into the car and we headed to our apartment to pick up our bags. It wasn’t long before we were officially on our way to the birth center.

The drive to the birth center (about a 25 minute drive) consisted of me attempting to somehow prop my pelvis up as much as I could to make the contractions less uncomfortable, deep breathing, and coaching myself by repeating, “Just get through this one contraction.” Having my eyes closed and allowing myself to completely be embraced by the contractions really helped my mental state. Before I knew it, we had arrived at the birth center.

Making it through the front door of the birth center resulted to be a challenge for me as the contractions kept rolling in. When I finally made it in, it wasn’t long before Robyn and Josh found me sitting on the toilet exclaiming, “She’s coming!” I heard footsteps running on the wood-floored hallway leading to the room I was in. Robyn barely had enough time to check Zion’s heart rate. All was well with Zion, and she was “right there”. Shortly after, I exclaimed again, “She’s coming!” And surely enough, she was. I was asked if I wanted to move to the bed to push or stay on the toilet. I decided to stay on the toilet where I felt safe and comfortable.

The next few minutes were incredible. Literally, the. next. few. minutes. To give you an idea of how fast it all happened, we arrived to the birth center at about 1:30pm. Zion was born at 1:54pm.

I pushed her out so fast that Robyn had to help me slow down. My beautiful baby girl was so swollen and a little bruised from her face because I barely gave her enough time to rotate out, but my goodness was she beautiful and perfect.

My goodness was it all beautiful and perfect.

When I held her in my arms, all I could say was, “Mamas! Mamas! Yes mamas! You’re here with us mamas!” She was finally home! And my tribe was there to greet her with me. Josh and Little Nugget had been by my side the entire time. Little Nugget saw her and said, “Oh she’s so cute! She looks like a baby!” and pranced around the room letting us all know he was her “brudder”.

I had trusted my body and embraced my labor, and the result was glorious. I am beyond blessed with a support team that believed in me and my vision.

I feel one step closer to heaven.

A very special thank you to:

Robyn, my midwife, for being the amazing, knowledgable, and loving person we know you to be. Thank you for being so hands-off and allowing me to enjoy every bit of my pregnancy and labor. It means the world to me that you helped us include Little Nugget in everything.

My Little Nugget for being the best son I could ever imagine. Thank you for being by my side through it all and for showing an abundance of love to me and your sister even before she was born.

My husband, Josh, who continues to amaze me. Thank you for your hard work, love, care, and faith in me. I can only continue to offer you to spend the rest of my life with me as repayment for loving me (and now our children) so much. Also, thank you for never doubting me and my natural ability to birth our children.

All of my family and friends who were alongside me through this entire journey. You all provide me life, light, and faith.


Jasmin Escobedo

Social links:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/LittleNuggetBigNugget/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/littlenugget_bignugget/
Wordpress/blog - https://littlenuggetbignugget.wordpress.com
Direct link to blog post - https://littlenuggetbignugget.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/big-nugget-labors/

Key Assets Asks You To Foster Up!

Hello all – I am Melody McFoster!

I proudly serve as an ambassador for a foster care agency called Key Assets Canada Ltd.

And…I’m here to ask you to Foster Up!

Key Assets partners with the local Children’s Aid Societies across all of Southern Ontario and we provide carefully-matched and well-supported foster placements for children and youth aged 0-18 years, most of whom have complex needs or have experienced some form of abuse, neglect or trauma.  More than ever before, we are looking to build long-lasting and loving homes for these well-deserving young people.

In honour of National Foster Family Week (October 16th to 22nd, 2016), I am raising awareness about Key Assets’ crucial need for home-based care.

Here are some of the qualities we are seeking in well-qualified foster parents:

©     You must be over the age of 21

©     You must have a spare bedroom

©     You must have a valid driver’s license, and regular access to a reliable vehicle

©     A stay-at-home parent is preferred, however if you are currently working, your schedule must be flexible enough to accommodate the needs and varying schedules of our young people

©     We hope you have the “stickability” to weather the storms with children who need a safe and stable place to thrive


Key Assets’ provides foster families with a generous compensation package, 24-7 support and ongoing training opportunities.  Our specialized staff are committed to helping you approach and handle different types of situations, as you create memories that will last a lifetime.

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, or would like to learn more information, please contact Key Assets at 905-279-4500 or www.keyassets.ca.

Every journey begins with a single step!

Melody McFoster xoxo

The THING about Motherhood

We try and prepare ourselves as best we can for motherhood.


We read all the recommended books, we nest, we buy a plethora of baby equipement, we go to birthing and breastfeeding classes and we listen attentively to the stories and advice that filter through to us from family members and friends who have already crossed over to the ‘other side’.


So when the ‘time’ comes we should be feeling prepared.


But, the THING about motherhood is that the THING that changes our lives to the very core, cannot be learnt from a book, google or from close ones.

When the ‘time’ comes we don’t just birth our baby, we birth a whole new understanding about life, about ourselves and the world in which we want to live and bring our child up in.

It is not the child that makes the change. That makes us feel this THING so much. It is the act of becoming a mother, a parent, a role model, a supporter, a carer, a nurturer that instigates the shift towards our new life and how we will adapt to it.


Everything changes. And you can’t learn how you are going to feel about this THING from others. It is so personal and it’s effected by all your past experiences.


For some this THING and the way it makes our outlook on the world change happens like a lightening bolt and it is magical and positive and all consuming… For others it’s slow, drawn out, messy, painful, confusing and often with the outcome of a silver lining.

A silver lining that comes in the form of an understanding about yourself and the role that you are here to play. It results in an understanding of self and ultimate purpose.


This THING about motherhood might hit you hard in the face and take you on a journey of time travel. It will have you questioning all those questions that you were previously unaware that needed answering. If you have a ‘past’, this THING will hit you hard, challenge you, show you parts of yourself that you had forgotten existed. It will push you to expore your every limit and leave you with a thirst for more.


More than just motherhood, because motherhood for you is not just about raising your children, it’s about raising yourself to be the woman that you want them to look up to, your very best self. And that’s important to you because you want your children to grow up knowing that they also can become whatever it is they want to be, their own very best self. To live with possibility.


This THING also has us yearning for ease. Ease within ourselves and ease knowing our place in the world. It will get under your skin. It will have you working and striving harder than you have ever worked because it is so important to you. It will also be your ally and help you find strength to get back up after failure, because you now know the only failure will be giving up and not reaching your goal.


This THING will have you defining and fighting for what you believe in.


I’ve been on a long journey with this THING and I know what a rough ride it can be. So I’ve made it my mission to support women like you who feel this THING and want to Raise Your Woman and find that elusive balance between becoming your best self and being the best mother you can be and all the feelings that come with it…

You can find Johanna Rossi at: http://www.raising-women.com

And follow Johanna on instagram: @raising_women

Best Baby Gifts For The New Mom

As two seasoned moms, we're quite confident that we know what a new mom will need once her baby arrives. Although, we have to admit, before we became moms, this was not the case. Admittedly, we both purchased some very unpractical baby gifts in the past, because we thought they were cute. We still feel like we need to apologize to our older sisters and a few friends for some of the silly gifts we bought. At least we had good intentions. In hindsight, small frilly undies for a new mom, who just gave birth, probably wasn't the best gift. Whoops! Was just trying to let her know I was thinking of her, when everyone was focused on the baby. Or that ridiculously poofy dress, with a ton of crunchy bows I bought for a newborn. Pretty sure that was never worn.

With this is mind, we've happily partnered with Playtex Baby, to share our top baby gift ideas that we know any new mom would love, need and appreciate.

Have a look at these perfect bundle packages Playtex Baby have created. With an excellent variety of products, you're covering so many of Moms needs with her baby, and that's what it's all about, right?   

Right now at Babies "R" US Canada, between Sept 30th – Oct 31st if you spend $40 or more (before tax) on Playtex Baby products (Diaper Genie products excluded) you get a $10 gift card to use in store or online!

So moms or moms to be, send this to your family and friends so that they know exactly what to get for you and the new babe!

Go to: www.babiesrus.ca/PlaytexBabyGifts for all the details!

The 5 Minute Face


5 Minute Face

Whether you're a makeup minimalist, a busy mom or just running late, with the right products and simple techniques any woman can look perfectly polished in no time. Follow these steps from Two Chicks and Some Lipstick and get your makeup routine down to five minutes.

Step 1 - Foundation, use a small amount of foundation all over your face. Make sure to blend into your skin using either a foundation brush or your fingers. (If you don't normally wear foundation take this time to spot treat your problem areas with a concealer that matches your skin tone.)

We love: Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation or L’Oreal Tru Match Foundation

Step 2 – Apply concealer underneath eye area to cover any darkness, if needed. Use a concealer brush or your ring finger to blend.

We love: MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Cocealer OR L'oreal Magic Lumi Concealer/Correcteur 

Step 3 – Powder, apply with a powder brush to set foundation, especially if you get oily throughout the day.

We love: MAC Cosmetics Careblend Powder OR L'oreal True Match Mineral Powder

Step 4 - Bronzer/blush; apply bronzer with a fluffy brush and blend where the sun would naturally hit your face (across the forehead, along the cheeckbones and chin)

Apply Blush with a blush brush by depositing the colour on the fleshiest part of your cheek and blending up and out.  (You don’t have to do both bronzer and blush if you don’t have time; both products add colour to the face, so use your personal preference)

We love: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer and Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush OR Annabelle Perfect Bronze and Revlon Blush.

Step 5 – Highlighter helps to brighten the face and give you that “JLO Glow.” Use a fluffy eye shadow brush and a shimmer shadow (make sure the colour is not too frosty) and apply in the inner corner of the eyes, along the brow bone and along the cheek bone.

We love: MAC Cosmetics Pigment powder in ‘Vanilla’ OR Maybelline Face Studio Master Hi-light in Nude

Step 6 – Eyeliner helps to define your eyes and make them stand out naturally. Use whatever product/technique you’re most comfortable with whether it’s a pencil, a gel liner with an angle brush or a liquid liner.

We love: Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner OR Essence Gel Liner

Step 7 - Curl your lashes and apply mascara. Curling your lashes really wakes up your eyes and applying mascara gives your lashes beautiful definition.

We love: Too Faced ‘Better Than Sex’ Mascara OR L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara

Step 8 – Eyebrows; use an old mascara wand (make sure to clean it!) to brush your eyebrow hairs into place. Sometimes that’s all you need, but if you have any sparse areas that need filling, use a thin eyebrow pencil and fill in with soft strokes; make sure to blend with the mascara wand to get rid of any harsh lines.

We love: MAC Cosmetics eyebrow pencil in “Lingering” OR Essence eyebrow pencil

Step 9 - Lip Gloss, use your favorite lip gloss, lip conditioner, lipstick or whatever you prefer to use on your lips

We love: MAC Cosmetics Cremesheen Gloss in ‘Deelight’ OR Essence Lipstick in “Cool Nude”


Helping Owen Adjust to Being a Big Brother

                          By: Suzanne Toth

One day, my son Owen looked at me and said “Mom, you are going to have another baby”. With a surprised look on my face, I replied, “Maybe someday Owen”.  Two weeks later we found out that we were pregnant! After some time had passed and we felt it was time to tell Owen, we filled a huge box of pink and blue balloons, had him open it and announced to him that we were having a baby! Owen was delighted and for the remainder of my pregnancy gushed to anyone and everyone that he could that he was going to be a big brother. 

When the big day finally came that Ella, our daughter, would make her debut into the world, Owen snuggled up beside her on my hospital bed and kissed her and I wrote down what he said because I never wanted to forget, he said to her: “I’m going to love you, even if I live to be 100 years old”.  I was over the moon! This new little soul fit into our lives so perfectly. 

We arrived home and started to settle in with the new baby and just as quickly as our new family fell into place, it seemed to just as quickly fall apart. Ella had a “witching hour” where she would cry straight from 3:30pm-10pm every day. It was exhausting. Rick and I would take turns passing her back and forth, there was nothing that we could do to help her feel better, it was so sad. This was also taking so much time away from Owen and he would cover his ears and leave the room to play in the basement, he just couldn’t stand it. I would get Rick to take care of Ella upstairs while I played with Owen after dinner for awhile and often Owen would say mid-game that “I didn’t love him anymore” and that he wished he never had a sister. It would completely break my heart and often leave both of us in tears. 


Now here is the secret to the number one thing that helped all of this, it’s TIME. Time went by, and Ella started to mature.  Her crying didn’t stop, but she would cry less and less. She started to smile at Owen and she would light up if he was in the room, she started laughing, the big belly laugh that only her big brother could make her do. He loved her even more and he started to realize his very important role as a big brother. She slowly but surely won him over. 

Along with time, here is a list of things that helped our family through the adjustment period:


Consistency.  When I tell Owen that I’m going to do something, I do it.


Big Brother Tasks.  These are tasks that only Owen can help with.  This could be setting the table or helping me make dinner. I would also involve him in helping me get things for Ella like her toys, or wipes, or helping me push her in her stroller. 


Keeping the same schedule.  Our life might have changed but our schedule stayed the same. We wouldn’t miss Owen’s swimming lessons, even if that meant that Dad would take him one week, and Mom the next, we kept the same weekly routine.


Bedtime.  Ella is 9 months old now and we still have the same bedtime routine going. Sometime after dinner, I give them both baths/showers and then Owen will hang out with Dad while I get Ella ready and feed her before bed. Once I get her down, I spend some one on one time with Owen. This could be anything from playing video games to doing some reading for school, then I tuck him into bed. 


And lastly, if Owen asked me for a glass of milk, or anything that I knew I could do without Ella going into a tantrum, I would say to Ella, in front of Owen, “Ella you have to wait, I need to get Owen a glass of milk” or “You need to wait Ella, I need to….whatever it was.” She had no idea what I was saying… but it showed Owen that he was not the only one who had to be patient and that his needs were just as important as those of his baby sister’s.