Thursday, November 19, 2009

I live to make your life easier

It's that time of the year again. The time of the year when my mom starts badgering and threatening us daily for our Christmas lists. In order to make things that much easier -Look! Pictures! And helpful links!- I decided to put together my list here for my mom (and the rest of the world) to see.

In all honesty, I'm just so excited to be going back to Regina for Christmas FOR THREE WEEKS that I don't even care much about gifts. I'm just going to enjoy being back home with my mom and sisters and brother-in-law and my awesome nephews. There will be a big gaping hole when my dad should be, but it will still be soooo good to be back.

However, for those loved ones who insist on getting me a gift, here are some things to chose from:

A camera grip like this one from Vistek or any other camera store. I did just see a tutorial for making one over at photojojo, however I lack some of the key hardware pieces and -more importantly- I lack the time to make one myself. Any of my friends and family (or loving blog readers) should feel more than welcome to make me one. Just kidding. Seeing as a strap like this is only in the $20-$25 price range, I'm not entirely convinced that making one would vaux la peine (be worth it).

I would dearly, DEARLY love an external flash someday. I've had the chance to play with Nikon's Speedlight SB-900 a few times when I've rented one for various photo sessions, but as of yet just can't justify the $600 (CDN) price tag. I realize that there are less expensive models, but I found this one so easy to use. So intuitive. And it has some features that I really like and see myself using all the time.

I understand though that in these tough economic times, Santa will not likely be dropping a $600 flash down my chimney (if I even had a chimney), so my second choice is a flash diffuser. There are many out there, but the one I've decided on is sort of softbox for on board (pop up) flashes. The problem is that it seems to only be available on ebay. At $20 (US), it's a much easier pill to swallow.

Next on my list is something that I consider more of a NEED than a WANT. You see, I'm wearing the same nursing bras that I used when I breastfed Liam OVER FIVE YEARS AGO. In the six and a half years since his birth in 2003, I have been breastfeeding for well over half of it. 48 of the last 78 months. The equivalent of FOUR YEARS SPENT WEARING THE SAME THREE NURSING BRAS. Not even three. Since the mysterious disappearance of a wire from one bra not long after Andrew was born, I've been down to two. One, the soft, comfy, stretchy one that I sleep and bum around the house in is so threadbare and battleworn. It should really be put out of its misery. The other, a padded, underwire bra that I wear when not in the comfort of my own home, is beginning to show the signs of repeated washings, ie. it somethings looks like I'm hinding a couple dinner rolls in each cup.

Because it's been so long since I've shopped for nursing bras, I asked the ladies on Twitter what brands they would recommend and it seems that the concensus is either Bravado Designs or Nummies Bras. The reason I've been so hesitant to buy a(ny) new bra(s) is mainly because I have NO IDEA what size I would be. Depending on the time of day and how recently Andrew has eaten, I'm sure I vary between an A and a D cup. I'm not joking. I don't want to be lost inside a bra at one moment and then spilling out the top of it a few hours later. So if anyone knows how to go about being fitted for a proper nursing bra, or could recommend a magical one that grows with you throughout the day, I'd love to hear.

And in the "Pretty and Sparkly" category, I'd love some new earrings. Since I got my hair cut, I've been much more inclined to decorate my lovely lobes. Unfortunately, I only have a small handful (read: three pairs) of earrings to chose from. I've only had my ears pierced since 2007, so my collection is pretty non-existent. I saw some really cute ones at the Stella and Dot trunk show I went to at Melanie's house. I particularly liked this pair and how you can change the look depending on where you place the hooks and how many links you hook on to. These turquoise ones were also pretty fabulous, although I'm not sure I could pull them off.

Happily, I'll be receiving some awesome-looking silver earrings from Cylene's etsy shop muffin top designs. We did a trade for some blog re-design work (I gave her a cool blog and she's sending me some cool earrings!). If you're interested in handmade jewelry at excellent prices, you're sure to find something in her shop. I looked through all her pieces when I was trying to get ideas for her blog design and was really impressed. Her stuff is all formed and soldered by hand, so it has a cool rustic look without looking... old, if you know what I mean. If I didn't still have chubby postpardum fingers, I'd be ALL OVER her stacked copper and silver ring set. Luckily for you, my lovely readers, she agreed to send along an extra pair of earrings for me to giveaway. Although I'm not normally a fan of giveaways, I love handmade and I love supporting local artists, especially those who are also working moms. Cylene's blog is not only (now) lovely to look at, but it's also fun to read, full of pictures of her sweet baby girl, design, and other etsy goodness.

And if I'm going to go to the effort of doing my hair, putting earrings in, and wearing a nice bra, I should probably do something about the sorry state of my makeup bag. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I think the mascara I have is at least, at least, three years old. Don't they say you should buy a new tube every three months?? Cause I'm waaaay passed that mark! Because I'm a glutin for punishment, I decided to look up my current mascara in the Skin Deep database. I was pleased to find that my current brand contains ingredients that are linked to:
  • cancer
  • developmental/reproductive toxicity
  • violations, restrictions & warnings
  • allergies/immunotoxicity
  • Other concerns for ingredients used in this product:
    Neurotoxicity, Endocrine disruption, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Multiple, additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Enhanced skin absorption, Contamination concerns, Occupational hazards, Biochemical or cellular level changes
Nice, eh? Although we went all natural with our other personal care products 2+ years ago, I wear makeup so rarely that I hadn't really bothered to look into it more. MIS-TAKE. SThis lead me to look into so more natural, eco-friendly mascara options. According to Natural Living for Women, hundreds of years ago mascaras were made with waxes, oils and pigments, and that natural mascaras are returning to those bases today. Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Mascara in Espresso looks nice.

Also on my list:

  • stainless steel or stoneware muffin tins and cookie sheets (so I can get rid of my non-stick version)
  • some sort of chunky knit sweater like this or this
  • or this
  • a jewelry box (possibly my dad's old one)
  • a lens cleaner kit of some sort
  • a breakfast tray (for all the breakfasts in bed that get served around here. *snort* Actually we do eat breakfast in bed on special days -birthdays, mother's & father's day, etc)

Hopefully this list will make Christmas a lot easier and less stressful for my mom  my husband  my kids  Sara  Santa.

(Even though Peter is sitting next to me giving me a hard time about this list, guess who's going to be furiously checking this post when it's time to shop?? Yeah, HIM.)


  1. Some nice choices! I want a camera lense cleaner too, and a new lense.

    I like the breakfast tray, where is that picture from? I think I might ask for one.

    PS-You could totally pull off the turquoise pair of earrings and I hope someone gets them for you!

  2. You know what? I did my 'wish list' for Christmas (for me, not my kids!) this week on my blog, and I TOTALLY FORGOT to include an amazing camera like the one you and (it seems!) all the other bloggers have! Darn it... guess that means I can't get one now! ;) Maybe for my birthday... OMG... I would die for a great camera like yours!
    You list sounds great! Lucky you, going to Regina to see your family for 3 whole weeks! You're all going to have a blast.

  3. A suggestion for getting properly fitted for a GOOD nursing bra - check out and then take a trip out to Westboro or the Glebe to get a fitting at one of their stores. AND I guarantee you will also likely come out of there with more things to add to your xmas wish list! ;-)

  4. Ooh... nice list. I should make one myself, but I really don't know what I want.

    And about the mascara... I still have one that is 10+ years old. Think it's time to trash it?

  5. love love love ya, amy! and seriously, i need a bra too. and probably that camera grip too!!!!


  6. I like a woman who knows what she wants! I'm so easy...I want some iTunes cards to I can keep filling up the iPod Touch I got for my birthday...and some JoAnn's gift cards so I can keep feeding my fabric addiction :)

  7. Good idea. Ditto the nursing bra problem. I finally got a new bra and I feel young again! Those straps were worn out! Hallelujah for fresh elastic:)

    Enjoy your family and my father is gone too and now my grandmother but we enjoy sharing memories of them. In fact we are going to record some of out memories of them this Thanksgiving. God Bless

  8. I can't speak for nursing bras specifically, but Bra Chic (on Richmond Rd. in Westboro) is a great place for bra fittings in general. Their website: doesn't specify whether they carry/fit nursing bras, but if you're in the area, it might be worth checking out.


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