Penelope’s Playroom

I’m not gonna lie – we had the BEST time planning Penelope’s playroom. It’s just so fun creating a space that’s meant to be fun and spark creativity and adventure for our little girl to enjoy. We took advantage of Pete being off for the summer to create the perfect space for Penelope. Right now, since we spend most of our time in our living room, we have a bunch of her favourite toys in there – her play mat, Jolly Jumper, activity centre, toys and some of her books. But after a while, we were ready to have our living room back to being a living room and NOT a toy warehouse.


I started by looking on Pinterest (where else??) for ideas, and compiled a few ideas from different posts to create P’s playroom. Our goal – comfy and cozy but also clean and bright, LOTS of storage, and incorporate a place for her to sit and read. The most important part: it needed to be able to grow with her. Most of the furniture was purchased from Ikea – we didn’t want to spend thousands on organizational furniture, but we’ve also always loved Ikea’s modern and clean pieces.

We decided to paint the room white – clean, crisp, and it really helped to brighten up the space. The room has 2 corner windows and we really wanted to showcase them. I love the white paint because it makes the view out of the windows even more beautiful! We’re still debating on if we want to have an accent wall, but we just can’t decide!






For Penelope’s main storage area and reading nook, we purchased 2 of these shelving units from Ikea. We laid them out so that the one of them lays on the ground and the other one is stacked on top of the other one to frame the window & create a bench seat she can sit on as she gets older. It’s also good because it adds storage to the room to hold some of her toys and books – we bought a few white storage boxes to put in the cubes to hold toys and help keep the room look a bit more organized. The square, pink pillow is from Wayfair, the pink velvet pillow is from Urban Outfitters and we used a body pillow for the seat cushion (it’s a perfect fit)! Next to her reading nook is a chair we used to keep in our living room, but sometimes it’s nice to have a chair to sit in while she plays on the carpet, so we gave ourselves a little spot to hangout.



We wanted to create an area for when she gets older so we can sit and do crafts, or just have another spot to hangout. After some searching, we landed on this table and these stools – and one of the coolest parts is that the table has storage you can add to it, so we bought two of these storage boxes! It’ll be a while before we can use these to their full advantage, but I’m happy we have them in the space.


The rug is from Overstock and we are so in love with it – it’s super comfy too, and a really low pile which we liked for this space. And it combines our love of everything neutral with some accent colours which is perfect for a playroom.

We’ve put all of her toys in this room now, and it’s just so nice to have an entire room dedicated to her toys. We bring some of them out during the day to sit in the living room so we can play as a family, but just knowing that at the end of the day they go back to their respective places makes me feel way less stressed.


What do you think? Do you think the room needs an accent wall in a fun colour or pattern, or are you loving the white? Let us know!

— Rachel & Peter


Penelope’s First Pool Day!

This past weekend we celebrated Canada Day with a nice long weekend & the nicest weather we’ve had yet this year!! My sister invited us over for a pool day (two of them, actually), and it was Penny’s first time ever in a big pool. She LOVED being in the water!

My mom bought a Mambo Baby pool float which is basically the best thing ever invented for babies, and let her float around the pool. She’s able to lay on her tummy to practice her swimming skills, but right now she’s mostly all about that lounge life (although she did enjoy being on her tummy, but preferred laying back looking at the trees). We’ve got a water loving babe on our hands!

We can’t wait to spend the rest of the summer by the pool watching Penny enjoy the water – and enjoying some much appreciated family time too!

Happy summer everyone!!

Hanging out with daddy in the pool
After her first dip, she needed some snuggles from her great-grandma!
I can’t get over how relaxed she looks – she was living her best life.
My little water lovin’ babe!
*heart eyes*
Day two in the pool, this time working on our tummy swimming!
Penny loved pushing off our legs underwater and scooting across the pool.

Tips From a New Mom, part 2

I don’t know how many of these I’ll do – I guess its a new series I’ll be doing for the next little while (#TFANM!) – but as Penny gets older, and I become more and more confident with being her mom, there are always new things I’m learning that I want to share with everyone!



When Penny was a newborn, she could nap anywhere! In the living room in complete brightness, while I was wearing her unloading the dishwasher – nothing could keep her awake. Now as she’s getting older, she’s realizing that the experiencing the world is WAY more exciting than napping. I noticed that we were having a really hard time with naps – she wouldn’t settle down in her room and didn’t want to sleep which leads to a very overtired (and cranky) little babe. After doing a lot of research, I realized something: now that her days and nights aren’t mixed up anymore, she knows that light = awake, dark = night. And her bedroom was actually really bright – we only had blinds, no curtains. So I hopped online and purchased blackout curtains (these pink ones from Bouclair) and Pete hung them up. I have noticed a HUGE improvement in the darkness of her room – they eliminate all the daylight!! Her naps are still a bit of a struggle (around this time, a lot of babies have this issue of not having long naps), but it takes a lot less time to wind her down for naps since her room is so dark. Highly recommend getting blackout curtains for babe’s room!


Penny’s getting older and more active, and needs more stimulation. She used to be okay laying on her play mat, looking at the animals and lights for a LONG time. Now that she’s getting older and her brain development is really increasing, she doesn’t love to be in one place too long – so we’ve learned to switch it up! It helps keep her entertained (and happy), it helps keep her brain working hard AND it helps tire her out – so many toys, not enough time in the day! We switch between her play mat (back and tummy time), her Finding Nemo activity centre, her Jolly Jumper, going for walks and hanging out with us on the couch practicing sitting and standing and making funny faces with us.


Keeping a consistent nighttime and nap routines are key in helping Penelope learn to wind down for sleepy time. We started with a nighttime routine which she seems to really love! Bath, fresh diaper & PJ’s, nighttime lotion, bottle, book & bed – every night, no matter how the day went. Our nap routine is similar to her nighttime routine, just a LOT shorter: fresh diaper, book & bed. We try and stretch out each routine a bit (bedtime takes ~45mins, nap time is ~10mins) so it’s more enjoyable and less rushed – I want her to have ample wind down time. No one wants to be in the middle of doing something and get told “GO TO SLEEP” – everyone needs time to wind down.


Do you know how easy it is to spend a week inside and not even realize it? For me, it was VERY easy. You fall into a pattern of feeding, changing and playing with the baby, and when they’re napping you try and get as much housework done as humanly possible (or have a nap yourself, I did that a LOT). I was feeling so incredibly lousy one day and realized I hadn’t left the house in FIVE DAYS. Like didn’t even go outside for a breath of fresh air. And do you know how awful that made me feel? VERY awful. Once the weather started to improve, Pete and I made a promise that we would get out and go for walks as often as we can – now we aim for walks once a day! It honestly makes me feel like a brand new woman. It’s amazing what an hour or two of fresh air can do for you! If you can’t do walks, honestly even getting into the car and going to grab a coffee makes a difference. It’s a change of scenery and some fresh air – you will THANK ME for this seemingly obvious advice.


“Penny is pretty fussy today and doesn’t really want to be left alone – but I need to get stuff done…” BAM enter the baby carrier!!! Potentially one of the greatest inventions ever. We have 2 – the Ergobaby 360 and the Wildbird ‘Elapaio Double. We first bought the Ergobaby and I actually won the Wildbird in an Instagram giveaway and my verdict is in: I am OBSESSED with the Wildbird. They are expensive ($114 US), but honestly, SO much easier to put on than the Ergobaby and Penny just looks so much comfier. The fabric is super thick so it will support her when she’s bigger, and it’s just perfection. I actually might buy another one – I’m THAT obsessed. Any baby carrier works for helping you get stuff done around the house, or if you know you’ll be walking around for a while and want to skip the stroller. It’s the perfect combo of being handsfree but also being able to soak up baby snuggles!!


Chores can really start to pile up in a house when you have a baby – even in just one day, let alone a week or month. And time has this new magic ability where it just seems to disappear. One minute, it’s Monday and the next minute it’s Sunday night and you’re wondering where your week went and how did the house become such a mess!! To combat this, we’ve recently started implementing “chore hour”. Once Penelope goes to bed (which is around 7p), we spend the next hour doing chores. Could be things like tidying up her toys, doing a load of laundry, loading/emptying the dishwasher, taking out the garbage and recycling, wipe down the counters etc. It honestly makes a HUGE difference. Because now, instead of waiting until the house is a disaster and it you feel like you can never catch up, we are able to stay on top of things better and even better – wake up to a tidy house which is a big YES PLEASE in our house!


I will be the first to admit that I look up EVERYTHING – I seriously googled “do babies need to wear socks” once. I look up anything from why is she eating so much in a day, to why babies drool so much, to what the reasoning could be for her change in mood. Why? I am guilty of constantly looking for a solution – something I didn’t realize about myself before I had Penelope. Anytime something comes up with her (good day, bad day), I research it. I read articles on blogs and medical sites, moms talking about their babies in forums, and Facebook groups I’m apart of. I am always in search of a solution to any problem we’re currently faced with. Bad sleep, short naps, ate a lot more than normal and fussier than yesterday and I am instantly wondering why did it happen, did it happen to any other moms, do any baby experts have explanations, and how do I fix it?? I have started to try and just do me – go with my gut. I’m Penny’s mom, NO ONE knows her better than I do – so why do I think Regina Phalange in the Facebook group would have the answer to my problem? Not that research is a bad thing, or looking to other mom’s for guidance is the worst thing ever, but I want to try and let my instincts guide me day to day. I know this basically contradicts this series of blog posts, but just take every opinion and blog post with a grain of salt and remember – no one knows your babe like you do, so go with your mom instincts!!

How We Got Penny to Sleep Through the Night!

I wanted to create a blogpost for any new parents (and for us to look back on) looking to try and create a routine to help their babe get a good night sleep. Penny has blessed us with sleeping through the night, and I really think our routines helped us!

As soon as I got pregnant, everyone said “ohhhh be sure to get as much sleep as you can now – once baby comes, it’ll be a long time before you’ll get a full night’s rest!” (Do these people not realize that when you’re pregnant you pee like 4,000 times at night??)

So Pete and I were pretty anxious about our soon-to-be upside down sleep schedule. I LOVE sleep. I would go to bed at 9p and wake up at 6a – like, really I love sleep. Obviously the first couple weeks were tough for us. Adapting to life with a new baby, not getting a lot of sleep due to middle of the night feedings and diaper changes, taking care of my healing body – it’s hard to adjust! Pete and I decided to try and create some routines throughout the day and evening to help Penny adjust her nights and days and try and get a general rhythm going on to help all of us sleep better at night.

Penny is now almost 12 weeks old, and has been sleeping from 8p-8a for several weeks now (with a little diaper and snack in the middle of the night between 3-6a)!! Below is what worked for us.

Sleepy Penny when she was just a couple days old!

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My Recovery & Postpartum Necessities

I felt like when I got pregnant, everyone talked about what pregnancy is like for all 3 trimesters and what delivery is like (the good, bad and ugly) – but not a lot of people talked about what postpartum was like on their bodies. And surprise surprise, it was one of the biggest parts about having Penelope that I was scared of.

As my pregnancy progressed from the first to the second to the third trimester, my sense of fear of what my life would be like in the 4-6 weeks after I gave birth to Penny was growing. How bad does everything hurt? How long does it hurt for? How could I possibly take care of her if I was going to be such a mess? What can I do to make it less painful?

Now that I’ve healed, and Penny is 9 weeks old (um can time slow down please???) I wanted to share the knowledge I received from friends, YouTube, blog posts and website articles and what worked and didn’t work for me! (I’m spilling some details, so if you think that might gross you out – you might wanna skip these.) Also, if you’d like to read about my labour & delivery, click here! Continue reading “My Recovery & Postpartum Necessities”

My Labour & Delivery Story

I wanted to document my labour and delivery story for other mom’s to be, but also for me to look back on since I know I’ll forget a lot of this! While I was in the hospital, Pete took down notes so we could recount exactly what happened, and I’m SO glad we did.

Before I get into my labour and delivery, I should share that in December I went into preterm labour – I was 34 and a half weeks and woke up with really bad stomach pains. I went to triage, and learned that I was having contractions and was already 2-3cm dilated. The OB on call admitted me to labour and delivery (at which point Pete and I were like “ummm are we having our baby 6 weeks early?!”) to try and stop the labour. I spent 36 hours in the hospital getting steroid injections and magnesium drips to slow down the contractions and keep her in me for a few more weeks. ALL the doctors and nurses told us we’d be lucky if we could keep her in for just a few more weeks – and then my due date came and went. Penny did NOT want to come out anymore!!

Induction day – February 10!

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Penelope’s One Month Update

I have no idea how a month has passed already, but here we are – Penny is officially one month old!! This has been the craziest and most fulfilling month of our entire life. I wanted to share a little update on how our first month as a family of 3 has been – read on!

Penelope doll from Cuddle & Kind, onesie from Carter’s, bow from Three & Me Accessories

Continue reading “Penelope’s One Month Update”