happy birthday to s&s! this little slice of the internet turns 7 today!

it really doesn’t feel like that long, but in all actuality, it has been much longer.

before s&s i wrote a blog called (off)TheRightTrack. it focused on recovery from a bad ankle injury (pre-leg break), general fitness and lifestyle. i detailed my physio and platelet injection procedures as well as sister’s and my first trip to Boston. i worked on self-esteem and yoga poses. every post title was actually a song lyric – a fact i never shared, and it seemed no one picked up on.

i stopped writing it in august 2010 because of a troll. an internet troll ahead of his time, who wanted his buddy to get the job that a 24-year-old blonde girl (me) did instead. he tore deep. he said really nasty things. and my brand new boss was hesitant. being 24, i gave in to the troll and the boss and retired from blogging.

four months later i realized that was stupid and made my triumphant return with s&s. i still have the troll blocked on twitter, and forgave the boss almost immediately.

in the last seven years, i’ve moved across the country, broke my leg, saw my friends get married and have babies, shared all my dating adventures, had a lot of fun giveaways, and so much more.

i learned how to take much better photos, and rebranded three times – s&s used to have a lot of pink and blue on it and looked like a gender reveal.

i’ve worked on mending heartbreak, shared my test pages, and took deep dives into my friends’ purses and gym bags.

i have been lucky to work with some really incredible brands and even better pr people behind the brands. i have formed friendships with these people, which is always more rewarding than any business deal.

the internet has also introduced me to many friends – thank you for always reading and commenting. i write for me, but happy you’re sticking around for the fun.

*giveaway*

as a little thank you, i am giving one s&s reader a not-sponsored-by starbucks gift card. all you have to do is leave a comment and share a s&s memory – how we met, a favourite post, how you found it, etc. i’ll pick a winner on wed, jan 10.

xx

real winter is calgary isn’t as much fun as the pretend, above-zero winter we experienced until mid-december.

now it’s just cold. cold and dry. cold and dry and snowy. i fully understand why bears hibernate. i, too, would like to eat a lot and then comfortably sleep for long periods of time.

instead, i’ll be putting on every piece of clothing i own and walking to and from the train in the bitter cold temperatures.

to be able to protect myself, and my delicate skin, i arm myself with some of my favourite and most soothing products to keep me happy until spring.

 

 

bee lovely all over balm – neal’s yard remedies

cracked elbows and heels always come to say hello to me in the winter. it’s so dry in calgary that you need to up the water intake, and also get all the smoothing and moisturizing products. this deeply nourishing, organic body balm instantly relieves dry and rough patches of skin. it is easily absorbed, with the uplifting aroma of organic orange essential oil, to keep you soft and beautifully scented. you’ll also support more than 500 bees with every balm, as 3% of sales go to charities that help protect this humble, vital insect.

peppermint lip butter – rocky mountain soap company

not only does peppermint smell good, it’s refreshing and offers relief to dry, irritated, itchy, cracked lips. the lip butter is made of a blend of cocoa butter, beeswax and sesame oil, which combines to create a moisture bomb that your lips will love. their products are completely natural, and mostly organic if that matters to you.

spa spirit – saje wellness

while calgary may get frigid, it is thankfully very sunny. while i love liquid sunshine, i don’t have to turn to essential oils to boost my moods in the greyness – i’ll leave that for vancouver and south western ontario. i use spa spirt for it’s purifying qualities. it’s the diffuser version of throwing open the windows to air the place out. it also doesn’t hurt that the calming and uplifting blend of eucalyptus, grapefruit and benzoin turns my living room into a restful sanctuary.

summer honey – drizzle

because who doesn’t want to hold onto summer for dear life? while aja offers spring and holiday spiced varieties, the summer is my favourite. the light, sweet flavour is delicious, but also makes it the perfect honey for baking. drizzle is raw, unheated, sustainable honey, rich with healthy enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. raw honey is exceptional for sore throats and digestive issues. two things that are synonymous with the winter.

luxury lush pud – lush

when it’s basically dark all the time, all you want to do is sleep. anything that contains lavender is going to be your best ally. this bath bomb will be pretty in your tub, plus creamy benzoin resinoid soothes and protects chapped, dry skin, while the lavender oil and sweet, warm tonka banish tension and aid relaxation.

immunity – the gut lab

sickness is around every corner in the winter. it seems like there is always someone in the office with a cold, and sneezing and coughing on public transit is plentiful. a sprinkle of this immunity potion into a smoothie, soups and daily dishes, you’ll have all the weapons needed to fend off the flu. ‘sunshine’ is also one of my favourites. sip on a bright yellow, delicious turmeric latte and receive the anti-inflammatory benefits.


what are a few of your winter saviours? 

i always love featuring my mama friends on part & parcel because i think their bags will be drastically different than mine. i’ve been finding – besides the tonka trucks – there is a lot of crossover. especially snacks, because i love a good snack. you never know when you’re going to get hangry, and it’s best to be prepared.

alison’s backpack – something i’ve also been rocking – covers all the bases. this mama-on-the-go is prepared for any situation and looks so stylish doing it. for photos of the cutest kids, great family fashion and tough workouts, you’ll want to follow alison on instagram. but for now, let’s take a peak inside her bag.

 

 

my bag looks a lot different than it did four years ago. i love me a classy black cross body purse and still switch it up to one of those when i don’t have my two little sidekicks with me {when is that?! ha} but most days i am rocking a backpack! with two kids {one in each hand!} a backpack was a total game changer for me! i love my new grey Kute’n’Koo one but I switch between that and my super casual Boken Essentials backpack – perfect for our day to lives and weekend adventures.

what’s inside?

kirkland wet wipes
even when my kids aren’t with me, my wet wipes are my best friend. dusting the truck at a red light, cleaning my boots, wiping sweat off my face after teaching SurfSet – you name it. but mostly for sticky fingers and messy faces.

water bottles
a contigo water bottle for me and munchkin no spill water cups for the kids. we drink a lot of water and the moment we get in the truck Ryder asks for water.

snacks
must have snacks!! usually a selection of Lara Bars {coconut cream pie} & Kids Clif ZBar {iced oatmeal} & Love Child Organics Bars {cherry spinach}. my kids have this terrible habit {that i clearly started} of needing a snack every 15 minutes it seems. some may think my name is snack as i hear it more than Mom most days. most days. ;)

vaseline and bath & body works bare mint gloss
winter or summer my lips are dry so i am always putting vaseline on my lips but also love a little shimmer to make me feel a little put together even if i rarely really am.

my phone
mainly for the camera. photos as my love language and i LOVE love love taking photos of my kids. plus google maps saves my life most days. i am SO directionally challenged.

poop bags
mainly for the dog if we stop for random walks.

randoms: wallet, a couple diapers, sunscreen, hair elastics, chocolate if i’m lucky, plackers {because having something stuck in your teeth is the worst} and tissues.

 


what are your essentials?