Basically Beautiful: Date Night

Basically Beautiful: Date Night ~ Basic makeup for busy moms ~ Natural & chemical free options


When busy moms finally get a babysitter lined up and a date with hubby all planned, it feels so good to take a few minutes to do a little something special for yourself. For me, that usually means, putting on makeup, which I rarely wear anymore. I previously shared my basic morning skin care routine. Now I’d like to show you some of the products that I treat myself to for date nights!

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Living With Essential Oils: Self Care Love

Living with Essential Oils: Self Care Love ~ Clary Sage, Dragon Time, Dreamcatcher ~ Diffuser recipe by Bubblegum Sass

Sometimes I diffuse certain essential oils because I want to enjoy a particular smell in the house. Other times I diffuse oils to serve a particular purpose. Much of the diffuser time at the beginning of January was spent on Thieves and Purification Oils, to help clear the house of all the icky germs that had taken up residence (hello, stomach flu & sneezy colds).

But one day, I realized I needed to get back to diffusing oils for self care (not just germ care). This is the recipe I came up with to help calm my mama anger & impatience and increase overall optimism. Let’s face it, we can get dragged down listening the the news reports, grow weary trying to see the good side to things, and then our patience gets tested over & over by those little ones who are trying to feel out boundaries. So ya, self care love in the diffuser is helpful to have going.

Self Care Love

  • 3 drops Dragon Time
  • 2 drops Clary Sage
  • 1 drop Dream Catcher

*That adorable essential oils pouch is from fellow maker Lesley of The Ellebee Tree. It’s perfect for packing some of your favourite oils for travel, weekends away or if you’re a hardcore oils mama, goes into your purse daily.

Happy diffusing!


One Bad Day

When Balancing Mamahood With Business,

Makes You Want to Quit


One Bad Day: When Balancing Mamahood With Business, Makes You Want to Quit ~ By Bubblegum Sass ~ Mompreneurs

I woke up this morning with 21 tasks on my to-do list. Some of them were tasks for my handmade business {it was going to be a work day}, some of them were tasks for “home”. Some were things I’d marked in red as “must do” and others were just chores that would be great to get done {especially since we’d been sick the week prior}, but if I had to shift them to another day, then I would.

By the end of the day, I had completed a grand total of three tasks. THREE.


Still Here

DIY Thread Savers by Bubblegum Sass

Just popping by to let you know that I am indeed alive. I think of my poor blog often and there is a long list of posts I would love to write & share with you. But it’s taking a lot of effort to get up each day. To face my sweet, but demanding three year old (and even more effort to face him when he’s miserable). To attempt a normal daily routine. To try and keep making things for customers. To maintain our household garden.


My New Normal

My New Normal ~ A blog post by Bubblegum Sass

Maybe you follow along my life adventures on Instagram or Facebook, but for those that just read along here, I wanted to give you a quick update. Our lives exploded two weeks ago, when my father & I had to take my mom into the ER because of severe, unbearable pain in her back (a new area where her cancer had spread). After a very long night in the ER, she was admitted to an Intensive Palliative Care Unit and remains there now. Her condition has declined dramatically since then. It has turned our world upside down, to say the least.


Mourning Mamahood

I blinked and he was suddenly three.


Mourning Mamahood ~ thoughts on motherhood ~ blog post by Bubblegum Sass
Sam a few weeks old (2012)

This has been a big week. Between bathroom renovations, our washing machine officially dying and rearranging bedrooms to accommodate Sam’s new big boy bed {all in a five day period} I feel like our home was turned upside down and inside out. Or at least, that’s how these changes are making my tummy feel. A little queasy and uneasy. I’m not necessarily a fearless person when it comes to change. I hesitate, I deliberate, I ponder and I get a bit grumpy.


A year like no other

Sarah and Sam with embroidery hoop
Photo courtesy of Scott Frank
Of course, no year is really like any other. How could it be? Life keeps changing and we keep changing with it. Even if we don’t want to, life has a way of changing us.

Let’s see… this year we had our first baby, cared for & protected that precious little life, and along the way, been constantly changed by every experience that being a parent brings. I feel like I would barely recognize the person I was and the way we lived life before Sam was born. I’m still in there, that crafty, creative, smart, common sense woman who likes to organize & sort, sew & crochet. The big difference is where I put my energy, love, dedication and every waking thought.

I’ve let some things go because compared to Sam, they don’t matter nearly as much. The house isn’t so clean & organized these days. Paper work & filing are stacking up. It will get done one day. I don’t make & list as much new product in my Etsy shop. Craft show applications were ignored entirely this year. I do less visiting with friends. Christmas cards & letters weren’t sent. Craft projects are small & quick and I readily acknowledge & abandon ones that will not realistically get done. Cooking is simple. Lots of things are frozen, to be thawed for even easier dinners a few weeks down the road. Time to shave my legs and paint my nails? Only on super rare and special occasions. A bath? Don’t even remember the last time that happened.

Expectations. That’s the second biggest thing I’ve had to let go of. I think every parent faces that. For us, trying to keep things simple has been the key in dealing with letting go of expectations. You can only do so much in one day, plain & simple. That bit of rest you get at night, isn’t worth sacrificing so that the kitchen will be clean or the laundry folded.

The biggest thing I’ve had to let go of is planning, scheduling, having things be somewhat predictable, and regular. As soon as you think that you & baby have established some sort of routine, he changes, then your life has to change with it. As soon as you think that you can rely on some behavior or schedule, everything falls apart. It’s not all bad and it’s not all good, certainly, but the greatest challenge in being a parent has been learning to be crazy flexible and patient with the whole process. I still have my moments, where I rage inside against the new change, big or small. Sam and I get frustrated with each other during these times and then somehow, you just have to keep on trucking forward. I’m not a perfect parent, far from it. I look at friends in great wonder sometimes at just how they have the patience, love, & positivity, that feels lacking in me. I’m pretty sure, though, that every parent has their moments.

Would I go back to the way things were before baby? Absolutely not. One look into that chubby, smiling face, with big eyes longing to discover the world, is the only reminder you need of why you will accept, perhaps even embrace, all the change & transformation.

This post was supposed to be a year in review. What we accomplished, how it compared to others, the ups & downs. It’s not the post I set out to write, but it certainly encompasses our entire year. What did I do this year? I became a mom.

To breast or not to breast

Sam breastfeeding

It has always been my desire to breastfeed my baby. That seed was planted long before I got pregnant or even met my hubby. It probably arose because I grew up knowing that my mother had breastfed all three of her children (for various lengths of time). It certainly didn’t come about from seeing or spending time with women who were breastfeeding. Which is a sad when you think about it. As “rich” as our North American culture is, it sure does lack some of the most basic elements of our own humanity. We get nursing mothers to cover up, herd them into separate rooms designated for that purpose, and bombard them with plenty of free samples of formula to try.

Now I’m not here to debate the formula vs. breastfeeding issue. It’s a complicated one and a single blog post isn’t necessarily the appropriate place for it (nor do I feel knowledgeable enough to really to debate this). And I’ve come to learn that formula feeding isn’t entirely evil. It has it’s place and purpose, so please don’t feel that I’m labeling it as “bad”.

My concern is with how we almost lost the art of breastfeeding in our culture. Certainly there has been improvement over the past 40 years with the spread of the Le Leche League and their determination to support breastfeeding mothers. Hospitals and health care professionals are more aware of the need to accommodate breastfeeding. Even if your own doctor isn’t well educated on breastfeeding, he or she will at least be able to get you connected with a lactation specialist.

I’ve had a number of friends and old co-workers who were unsuccessful with breastfeeding their babies. It was because of their tough experiences and the knowledge that I would be having a c-section delivery that hubby and I decided to employ the services of a postpartum doula. We wanted to increase our chances of being able to breastfeed, not just for the short term, but for as long as little Sam was interested. Hiring a doula by no means guaranteed success, but we were just trying to put into place as much support as possible.

Besides, like so many women, I had no idea how to breastfeed, only that I wanted to. Our doula, AJ, met with us for a breastfeeding lesson prior to Sam being born. I really encourage all those papas-to-be to attend any breastfeeding sessions your wife might go to. You are her number one support person and there is lots you can do to help, especially in those early days.

Sam breastfeedingOnce Sam was delivered via c-section, the three of us (hubby included) went to the recovery room for just over an hour. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to try breastfeeding while in the recovery room, as I had hoped. So by the time we reached our postpartum room, I was eager to nurse him and our doula was right there with us to give it a try. She and hubby helped out so much in those first few days of feedings, assisting me in holding Sam, positioning him, and encouraging me.

It was work. Trying to establish a good and proper latch averaged 40 minutes, just so he could feed for 10. The first two nights in the hospital, when Sam and I were without the help of hubby & the doula, I resorted to hand expressing and feeding him by syringe because I couldn’t manage a proper latch by myself. But by the time we left the hospital, Sam and I were really starting to get the hang of it. Each nursing session was getting a bit better and easier.

The first night home, we received a phone call from one of the public health nurses, saying that there had been a mix-up at the hospital in regards to how much birth weight Sam had lost. Instead of 8-9% it was over 11%, and apparently 11% is just too much in the eyes of our health care system. The nurse immediately started talking to me about supplementing with formula. This was the first time I can recall when my true mothering instinct kicked-in. I told the nurse we would not be introducing formula at this time. After all the work Sam and I had done to establish a breastfeeding relationship, I wasn’t about to jeaporadize it by introducing formula at this point. We made a compromise. I would nurse Sam every 2-3 hours through the night, and hand express 2-3 syringes to feed him after each of these nursing sessions. It was a LONG night (and remember I was still recovering from a nasty c-section). My wonderful hubby was right beside me the whole time to help where he could.

A public health nurse came by the next morning to see how we were doing and weigh Sam. His weight had not gone down, he seemed to have hit his plateau. She was quite happy with his overall health and confident that he would fine without formula supplementation. Phew! (Now I should say, that if his weight had continued to drop, then we certainly would have considered formula. Sometimes, though, you just have trust your own instincts on these matters. After all, who else knows you & your baby better than you?) I will be forever grateful that we gave Sam a real good chance to learn breastfeeding.

Sam breastfeedingThings just got better from there in terms of breastfeeding. By the end of the first week, we had a really good routine going. It has continued to go well. We have been able to introduce a bottle of pumped milk into the routine once or twice a week. The main challenge these days is just how much Sam tends to eat. His weight gain is on a perfect, steady curve, so no worries there. I have just had to get used to feed-athons (consecutive hours of feeding typically in the afternoon). Not every day is like that, thankfully. I do get a break occasionally from tht and I’m hoping that things will improve more as the weeks continue to go by.

I managed to surpass the six week breastfeeding hurdle that so many of my friends talked about. And although my goal still remains to breastfeed Sam for the long haul, I have decided to look at it in smaller chunks of time so that I don’t get overwhelmed.

There was short period during the past several weeks when I was feeling depressed about the whole thing and wondering if I could really continue to breastfeed for the coming year. It wasn’t because of any physical nursing challenges, but rather the mental challenge, trying to see myself as something more than a milk truck. I definitely wasn’t feeling much bond with Sam during that time. And then one day he smiled at me. He’s continued to smile since then and for whatever reason, that was enough to encourage me to continue with breastfeeding and enjoy it a bit more.

There’s sure to be more adventures to this whole breastfeeding thing and I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going from time to time.