Picture Book Fashion: Love You Forever

by Nadine on April 2, 2016

When you’re a new mom, you don’t have much time for blogs or fashion magazines. You do, however, have plenty of time for Robert Munsch and Dr. Seuss.

So, what happens when a well-chewed board book becomes your Vogue? You start to wonder where this mom got her nightgown:

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

The answer: Probably here.

Arcadian Dream Ballet Robe by Eileen West

You’re welcome.


Three Great Grape Things

by Nadine on April 2, 2016

Photograph: Raceytay’s etsy shop

For me, the perfect day must include three things: grapes, raisins and wine.

I’m easy to please.

On these perfect days, I physically consume almost every possibility, every potential life trajectory of the grape. It’s like…eating an entire Choose Your Own Adventure novel. Should’ve named my daughter Merlot or Syrah, that’s how much I love the grape.

My best friend Audrey understands.

She even has her own vineyard! An automatic friendship-qualifier.

Turtlenecks are in again. I predicted this two years ago. I also predicted the overalls resurgence. I’m sartorially clairvoyant.

She bakes raisin bran muffins! (Proof: her recipe.) I had Raisin Bran this morning! See?! BFFs.

How to end a day well: a glass of wine and a flawless updo. #hairgoals

We really should get together soon to gossip about Gregory Peck and striped shirts over a drink or two. It’s been too long.

(And, yes, you can gossip about shirts: “I saw a shirt today with a solid back, can you imagine? What’s the point of a stripe if it doesn’t go all the way around? Embarrassing. And don’t get me started on the white-stripe count. Pour me another glass, Audrey. I’m getting worked up over faux-bretons again.”)

P.S. My other fake best friend, Amy Grant, wrote a song about grapes….


Baby Led Weaning: Taste The Rainbow

by Nadine on March 22, 2016

Yesterday, my 9-month-old daughter (!!!!) ate some of each of the above items. Not bad, huh?

There’s no wrong way to feed a baby. Scratch that. Don’t feed your wee one a diet of 100% Cheetos. (95%? Maybe.)

We have friends who fed their babies iron-fortified cereals and baby food. The kids turned out fine. Others adopted the Sprout Right method. Wonderful. We’re doing Baby Led Weaning. It’s been awesome so far.

Our family doctor — a gem of a find when I was 8 months pregnant — has the most encouraging approach to introducing solid foods:

Do whatever works for you. Or do what your mom did. Just don’t introduce too many foods at a time (at first), and make sure your babe is getting some iron. The end.

I can live with that.

Anywho. Back to Baby-Led Weaning.

It made sense for us. I get to eat WITH my child instead of just make her food, feed her the food, and then wonder why I’m so hungry all the time. AND I don’t have to make baby food. She’s eating real food. The kind of food that goes on my grocery list anyway.

We’re eating meals as a family, 100% blender-free, and everyone’s happy.

(Warning: It can be messy. Like, M-E-S-S-Y. Especially on Let Your Kid Feed Herself Yogurt Day. Buy a few bibs and don’t dress your offspring in silk.)

The surprising benefit of this approach is that my lunches are healthier than they’ve ever been. If she’s eating eggs, avocado, cucumber, tomato and berries, so am I! I’m “eating the rainbow” as nutritionists everywhere advise.

It allays my fear that life with kids turns your diet into a revolving door of pasta-a-la-pasta, grilled cheese and pizza pockets. It doesn’t have to be that way. At all. I’ve got a baby who already loves roasted eggplant, beef brisket and kiwi. (Maybe all at the same time. Who am I to judge?) We’re off to an encouraging start.

I look forward to cooking with her. To shopping at the market with her. Maybe even to gardening with her.

Today I’m thankful for a kid who makes me eat my veggies.

Happy 9 months, Ursula. I love sharing my (baked) sweet potato fries with you. (And I don’t usually share those.)

P.S. I still eat cookies during her nap sometimes. Because I’m not a robot or a Paltrow.

P.P.S. Not every food is an instant win. Two days ago, Ursula refused to eat broccoli. Fortunately, Pixar is always right. An airplane had to intervene.



And They Called It ‘Puppy Love’

by Nadine on March 18, 2016

Don’t be fooled. This is not a puppy.

If someone tells you that having a dog is good practice for having a baby, that individual has never had a baby.

(Also, if you start with a puppy, note that you will be stuck with a dog when you do eventually decide to have a baby. Unless you’re waiting for that puppy to grow old and die. In which case, good luck, ovaries. Some canines live forever.)

And yet.

Yesterday, I took the carrier — we LOVE this one — out of the front closet and asked Ursula, who was on her hind legs standing up in the crib, if she’d like to go for a walk.

She started panting.

Dogs and babies. They’re the same.*




*Except when it comes to everything else.

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Parent Fantasy Hotline

by Nadine on February 24, 2016

So much truth.


So Many Pins, So Little Time….

by Nadine on January 18, 2016

My most-saved/liked pin is a photo of a pair of pants that I do not own.

I guess I’m not the only one excited for the return of the wide-legged trouser?

Katharine Hepburn for life.*

*When it comes to Hepburns, my husband prefers I look to Audrey over Katharine for style inspiration. But I refuse to play favourites.


The 2016 Red Carpet: Characters Edition

by Nadine on January 8, 2016

I have not been to the movies in approximately 42 years 7 months. I have not read a fashion magazine in almost as long. Usually, I’m on top of award season, both critically and sartorially. This year, I got nada.

I hear Spotlight is the movie to beat.

And Cate Blanchett is going to be nominated. Which means FASHION.

Have you ever tried to binge-view photos from fashion week(s)? It’s overwhelming. I tried. But instead of making dress predictions — my favourite thing ever — I ended up only seeing modern takes on fictional characters. (Folks, exhaustion is a brain-screwer.)

So while I have no idea what Cate and friends will be wearing on the red carpet this year, I do have an idea what Anne Shirley would be wearing if she were invited to the Oscars.

Anne Shirley in Alexander McQueen or Temperley London

Alice in Reem Acra

Elizabeth Bennet in Elie Saab

Annie Hall in Temperley London

Holly Golightly in Christian Siriano

Carpet in Valentino

Bowtie pasta — You know, from that movie with all the pasta? — in Christian Siriano


16 Things in 2016

by Nadine on January 7, 2016


Long-time readers will know that every year I give myself a list of challenges/goals. Last year, it was “15 things in 2015.” I did…a few of them. Apparently brewing, birthing and raising a baby takes ALL THE TIME AND ENERGY.

It’s exhausting.

And the best.

I like to-do lists. Ursula does not yet appreciate them. Calendars aren’t her thing either. And routines? Fuhgettaboutit.

But that’s okay. Productivity is so 2014.

I’m learning to manage my expectations for my day — meaning: “lower them” — and look for moments of joy instead.

I’m learning to slow down my brain, not just my schedule.

I’m learning to be present.

I found encouragement in this article about new mamas getting “nothing done”:

There is no greater task than the nothing you did yesterday, the nothing you are doing today, and the nothing you will do tomorrow.

Today I showered, drank coffee, washed avocado off the floor, went for a walk and played peekaboo. Success.

Yes, I have goals for the new year, both personal and professional. And I’ll share some of them here. But they’re soft goals, made malleable by a 6-month-old girl who likes to rub squishy handfuls of cucumber in her hair.

She’ll only be this little once. I don’t want to wish that away.


Murray Christmas!

by Nadine on November 24, 2015

One of the weird things about having a kid is that everyone tries to figure out who she looks like.

A FEW PEOPLE: She looks just like her mommy.

MOST PEOPLE: She looks just like her daddy.

CAREFUL PEOPLE: She looks like both of you.

ME: She looks like Steve Zissou.

Her new hat is the best ever.

P.S. Netflix watchers, A Very Murray Christmas is coming soon! Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. 

P.P.S. The awesome hat was made by my super-talented and lovely cousin Margaret Murray. (Thanks!) So it really is a Murray Christmas!


Identity Crisis?

by Nadine on November 1, 2015

[Print by Sebastian Millon]

On Friday morning, while I was putting Ursula down for a nap, I missed a call.

There was an automated voice message from Purolator: my package was available for pickup at their warehouse location, affectionately known by everyone as “The World’s Most Inconvenient Spot To Pick Up Anything. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.”

(Case in point: It takes less time to drive to Orangeville than it does to take transit to their warehouse.)

I was unimpressed. Here’s why:

  1. Either Matthew or I had been home during business hours for the entire week prior. And no one once tried to deliver a package.
  2. No one even left a “we missed you” note.
  3. It seemed that they didn’t bother to try to deliver my package AT ALL.
  4. I was under the impression that online shopping — I had ordered a shirt from a small American company — was supposed to make my life easier, not headachier.

Because transit would end up taking over two hours (round trip), Matthew offered to drive me. We bundled up Ursula and drove to the other end of the city. Rush hour starts before 3 on a Friday. It was brutal.

When I got to Purolator, the woman at the front desk seemed confused by the reference number left on my voicemail. Fortunately, my phone number was on file.

After waiting for approximately forever five very long minutes, she presented me with a package. She looked confused.

“Only one of your names is right.”

Sure enough, the package was to an Elizabeth — my middle name — who has a very different last name and address than me. But she has my phone number. Or at least she did at one point more than 10 years ago and hasn’t bothered to change it with certain clients/customers/companies/friends/family members/mail-senders.

We headed back home, empty-handed, an hour gone from our day.

And I’m still waiting on my package.

Moral of the story: If you change your number, make sure EVERYONE knows it. Or a stranger could end up trying to pick up your mail.