my top 10 holiday movies

Monday, November 30, 2015

One of my most favorite things about the holiday season is the movies. Seriously, I anxiously wait the tv schedule each year to see when my favorite shows/movies are going to be on. That and I literally do not feel complete until I have seen each and every one of my favs. 

So, I thought I'd share with your my top 10 holiday movies... don't worry, I'm saving the best for last.

top 10 holiday movies

10. The Santa Clause 

the santa clause movie
This was Mr. B's pick and the more I thought about it, the more I realized I really do like this movie. I mean, what Christmas isn't complete without a little boy whose dad turns into Santa?

9. The Family Stone

the family stone movies
This movie wins most underrated Christmas movie. Have you see it?! Maybe I'm just blindsided by the all-star cast, but I LOVE this movie and it's quickly become a staple in my holiday lineup.

8. Home Alone

home alone movie
Alright, you KNOW this had to make the cut. I'm confident that I watch this enough times each holiday season to make anyone sick, including myself. I'm usually Home-Alone'd-Out way before Christmas.

7. One Magic Christmas

one magic christmas movie
One of those oldies but goodies. This movie reminds me of my childhood for some strange reason. You know, nothing like some kids whose father dies to make you think about Christmas. If you're feeling low on the Christmas spirit, this movie will help you out.

6. Miracle on 34th Street (old and new)

original miracle on 34th street movie

miracle on 34th street
Santa Claus is real. That's all I have to say about that.

5. The Grinch (old and new)

how the grinch stole christmas cartoon movie

how the grinch stole christmas movie

Who doesn't love and can't relate to the Grinch? Both versions make me happy.

4. Love Actually

love actually movie
One of my favorite movies of all-time. Ever. Ever. I adore this movie and I will watch it every year until the end of time. 

3. Elf

elf movie
Will Ferrell is funny and this movie is fantastic. I won't lie, I've already started getting my 2.5 year old to watch it. She's a big fan but who isn't?!

2. Christmas Vacation

christmas vacation movie
Christmas literally does not feel complete until I have watched Christmas Vacation. I recall one year where I didn't watch it until Christmas Eve, I was a Scrooge that year, enough said.

1. It's A Wonderful Life

it's a wonderful life movie
I have a confession: I had never seen this movie until a few years ago when I turned it on while wrapping presents. I'm confident I have made up for all the times I missed watching it since then. I love this movie. I get caught up in it every time it's on. If you haven't seen it, watch it NOW! I promise it's awesomeness.

Alright, your turn: tell me what movies you love watching during the holiday season?? 

Henryka Amber and Silver Jewelry - Review

Friday, November 27, 2015

Accessories are the icing on the cake that is your outfit. This is why I'm excited to be sharing my review of Henryka Amber and Silver Jewelry with you today!

Henryka is a jewelry company out of the UK that specializes in beautiful amber and silver jewelry. They also just opened their online store to the US (yay!).

I think one of the best part of doing product reviews is getting mail, seriously, so fun! Especially when you open up this:

henryka review

This is the package I received from the lovely ladies at Henryka. They picked out these beautiful amber and pearl earrings for me (because I was having too hard of a time picking something for myself) and they also sent me a box of delicious chocolates: um, do they know me?!

henryka amber and pearl earrings

Here are my gorgeous new earrings. Honestly, the picture doesn't do them justice. They are so pretty and so well-made. The amber is such a beautiful and rich color and I love the closure. I'm constantly losing the backs of my earrings so it's nice to have them all in one piece (and not flimsy at all).

henryka amber and pearl earrings

As I said, these earrings are amazing quality. You can tell from handling them that they are well-made. The amber part is thick and the pearls are gorgeous! 

wearing henryka amber and pearl earrings

I'm a big fan of the earrings I received but I am also loving so much stuff on their site and will definitely be making a gift purchase. Their stuff is so beautiful and very unique. I'm telling you, there's so many pieces and you haven't seen anything like them!

Here's a few pieces I have my eye on:

I know you'll love Henryka as much as I have, make sure you check out their Christmas Shop for some awesome gift ideas for every budget. 

Also, stop by their social media accounts and show them some love! 

**I received complimentary product(s) to to review for this post; however, all opinions expressed are honest and my own**

fall go-to outfit #6 - poncho sweater

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

 First, I've been posting some "fall go-to" outfits but now I'm wondering: when does fashion transition from fall to winter?

Is it temperature based? When there's snow on the ground? A certain date?

Well, I don't know the answer but we'll keep this a fall outfit for now... stay-tuned for some winter "go-tos" cause, you know, I'm fancy like that.

Let me tell you about this outfit. Sometimes I struggle to get dressed. Okay, I struggle on the regular. I have a closet full of clothes but given my often sleep-deprived state, I'm not always able to get dressed quickly. I regularly stand in the doorway of my closet and stare into the abyss that is my closet. I stare and think "I have nothing to wear". ANYWAYS, on this day, I just wanted to be warm. I pulled this ponchy-ish sweater I've had for years and paired it with a red long-sleeved tee. Throw on some jeans, boots, red lipstick and I'm ready to take on the world. And by 'world', I mean a 2.5 year old and 4 month old (same difference, right?!).

poncho sweater

poncho sweater + red long-sleeve t-shirt +  dark skinny jeans + black booties + red lips  = warm and fun fall shopping outfit

poncho sweater and jeans

wearing red lipstick and poncho sweater

Wanna know a secret? Lipstick freaks me out BUT I find it so much fun to wear. I feel like I can get away with only mascara if I put on some red lipstick. Added bonus: mascara and lipstick is like the quickest make-up routine EVER! Pretty much awesome if you're a mom on the run or otherwise have no time. It proved to be the perfect accessory for this outfit!! 

Are you loving the poncho this fall?

Don't forget, Winter Style Challenge registration closes this Friday!! Get in while you still can!!

Related Posts:
fall go-to outfit #1- chambray and tee
fall go-to outfit #2 - plaid 
fall go-to outfit #3 - more plaid
fall go-to outfit #4 - plaid dress
fall go-to outfit #5 -cozy layers

Link ups:
The Pleated Poppy
Pumps and Pushups
Pampers and Pearls
Tucker Up
The Mummy Chronicles
Cappuccino and Fashion 
Shopping My Closet

why mothers don't sleep: random thoughts and achy boobs

Monday, November 23, 2015

Little man normally wakes up regularly to eat (like every 2 hours). I'd like to be thankful when he sleeps in long stretches but instead, I don't sleep for other reasons. Here's kind of how it goes in my head:

wakes suddenly

He isn't up yet? What time is it?

What if he woke up and I slept right through it?

checks time on phone

WHOA. It's 4:10am. He went down at 7pm. That can't be right.

WHAT is that pain in my boob? Too long with no feeding. Wow that hurts.

glances at video monitor

Is he breathing? I don't think he's breathing,

quickly grab monitor for closer inspection

Wow that hurt. My chest is on fire.

Oh god, I seriously don't think he's breathing. He's not moving. not even a little. I should go in there.

No, don't go in there, don't wake a sleeping baby.

But, what if he's not breathing?

What if I went back to sleep and he really wasn't breathing?

Geez, he kicked his blankets off, he's probably cold. I should really go in there.

goes to baby's room, dutifully checks breathing (all good) and covers with blanket

Good, he's okay. Seriously, though, my boobs are killing me. Should I pump? Ugh, It's all the way downstairs. No, go back to sleep.

Oh he's stirring. Shit. I woke him up. Oh wait, no he's gone back to sleep.

He kicked the blanket off again. He's going to freeze.

Maybe I should just feed him quick? I can't sleep with my boobs aching like this. Plus, he's got to be hungry.

I'm hungry.

feeds baby and puts back in crib

Is that him crying? It's only 6am.

Why doesn't my baby sleep? I'm so tired.

Winter Style Challenge - sign up NOW!!!

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Fall Style Challenge has come and gone. If you've been liking my "go-to" styles for this fall then it's only fair I tell you that some of them were definitely inspired by the Fall Style Challenge.

Well, fear not, you may have missed the Fall Challenge, but registration for the Winter Style Challenge is NOW OPEN!!!

I'm excited about the upcoming Winter Style Challenge because my sweet baby boy is going through a sleep regression AND teething and it'll be perfect timing to have someone tell me how to dress myself on the daily.

Also, Alison has some awesome changes this time around.
What's new? I'll tell you:

  1. There will be a 'dress it up and dress it down' option for EVERY outfit!! This is perfect for both working women or stay at home moms.
  2. There will be 3 outfits perfect for holiday parties.
  3. There will be two surprise outfits. 
  4. 26 total outfits this time around (compared to the usual 21). 
  5. Several pieces from challenges past will be reused. SOOOOO if you've participated before and were on the fence or don't want to spend a ton, no reason not to now! 
Then there's the usual: sign up, shopping list gets emailed right away, you belong to an amazingly supportive Facebook group of challenge participants (seriously, that's the best part) and when the challenge starts, you get an email every night telling you what to wear the next day.

  • Early Bird Registration Opens:  11/20 
  • Early Bird Registration Closes:  11/27 at midnight ET
  • First Outfit Release:  12/13

Is there a better gift to give yourself this holiday season? I think not!

Sign up and join me in the fun. xo

**this post contains affiliate links, if you sing up for a Style Challenge I will receive compensation (which is used to support my Style Challenge addiction :) Please know I would not, in any way, endorse this program if I didn't absolutely love it and think you would too!**

fall go-to #5 - cozy layers

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I'm back with another fall go-to outfit!

It's starting to get chilly here which means the layers are coming out! A lot of people dread this weather but I kind of love it (until the snow hits).

Here's my cozy fall go-to outfit:

chambray + beige sweater + plaid scarf + black jeans + cognac boots = cozy fall go-to outfit 

black jeans chambray

Maurices chambray shirt, 52 CAD / Knit cardigan, 27 CAD / River Island black skinny jeans, 160 CAD / MICHAEL Michael Kors leather boots, 390 CAD / Monsoon crossbody purse, 90 CAD / Plaid shawl, 34 CAD

I love this outfit for being out and about running errands with the kiddos! It's perfect because if I get too warm, I can easily take off a layer. 

What pieces do you love layering in the fall?

Related Posts:
fall go-to outfit #1- chambray and tee
fall go-to outfit #2 - plaid 
fall go-to outfit #3 - more plaid
fall go-to outfit #4 - plaid dress

Link ups:
The Pleated Poppy
Pumps and Pushups
Pampers and Pearls
Tucker Up
The Mummy Chronicles
Cappuccino and Fashion 

Shopping My Closet

hate is not the answer

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I wanted to write something about Paris. I stared at a blank screen not able to adequately capture all of the thoughts and emotions  I have been having. Unable to come up with any words that hadn't already been said, I remained silent.

Today, I cannot contain my silence. Today, I cannot hold my tongue another minute. Today, I need to write.

I am afraid. I am so afraid that I have an uneasy and lingering feeling in my stomach. It won't go away. So I write.

You might think, initially, that I fear we will be next. You might think I am afraid that we too shall be victim of a horrendous act of terrorism. Yes, those fears have entered my mind and remained there; however, that is not my greatest fear and that is not the current reality I am being faced with.

In the minutes, hours and days following the attack on Paris I have been witness to many things. I have seen some truly beautiful posts expressing condolences and strength. I have also been made aware how oblivious I am about other events that have been going on around the world. Other lives that have been lost due to senseless acts of violence. I have also been witness to racism and hatred, to crimes committed against innocents whose only sin was 'looking like a terrorist'.

The events that took place in Paris evoke a sense of fear in us unlike others because who doesn't love Paris? What American or Canadian can't imagine a trip to Paris? Or at least, who can't imagine themselves being at a concert hall rocking out to their favorite band? Or in a coffee house having a late night cappuccino? Or in a bar, having a few pints? That's much easier to relate to than imaging what it would be like getting on a boat in the middle of the ocean bound for anywhere but where you are. Most of us can't relate to the refugees fleeing from a war-torn country because that is so far outside of our current reality.

I am so sad. I am so sad and so disgusted by what is happening. My news feed is filled with messages of hate, of condemning entire religions and cultures and pictures of children, beautiful children, with nowhere to go that is safe. In my own province a Muslim woman was attacked while picking her children up from school for no other reason than the hijab she wore. She was called a terrorist and told to 'go home'. A mosque was set a blaze in Peterborough, incidents of anti-Muslim graffiti too numerous to count and a picture of a young man taking a selfie with his ipad was photo-shopped into a picture of a suicide vest wearing Quran-yielding terrorist and spread like wildfire on the internet.

I am at a loss that the response to fear has been one filled with hatred and violence. I am ashamed that, as fellow human beings, people seem to be unable to find the ability to distinguish because terrorists and all Muslim people. I fail to understand how all Muslim people (and for the record, there are 1.57 billion Muslim people on this planet - the population of Canada a mere 35 million) can be grouped as terrorists and condemned to the same fate one might wish upon a suicide bomber.

Neither my heart nor my head can comprehend how people can look at a Syrian refugee, a child, and argue that we have no room for 'those terrorists' here. Those refugees who are only fleeing the exact same thing that has us all so wrought with fear and hatred.

I do not know what the answer is but I know it isn't hate. I do not know how to stop terrorism but I know it is not with violence. That is what the real terrorists want. They want us to ostracize an entire group of people and to leave them in fear and fleeing our hate and violence so that the only place they have to go is the one place they have run from.

When you spread hate, you are not helping the problem. When you group entire factions of people together, you are not helping the problem. When you commit acts of violence against innocent people, you are not helping the problem. When you deny people, human beings, the right to a life free from fear and violence simply because of where they come from, you are NOT helping the problem.

Let us be rational. Let us not make decisions out of fear. Let us not be violent because that only sinks us to the same level of the very people we are afraid of.

I challenge you to think differently. I challenge you to click on the images of those Syrian children on your Facebook feed and look at each one and read their story and tell me that they don't deserve a chance at life.

I encourage you to comment on racists posts and challenge it. I encourage you to attempt to stop the spreading of hate and the promoting of violence.

I ask you not to group all people together and I beg you not to promote hate and violence. Those things will not serve as an end to terrorism. I do not know what will but I know that there is already so much hate in the world.

Please, if it's all we can do, let us be the ones who fill the world with a little more love and kindness.

I am lovable and capable (and so are you!)

I love fashion but I also love anything that promotes self-esteem and positive thinking in girls and women. When I came upon IALAC "I am lovable and capable", I knew it was something I wanted to share.

IALAC creates tees, tanks and sweatshirts that provide positive affirmations and empowerment via fashion for women and girls. As far as I'm concerned, with all of the negativity in the world, we can't receive enough positive messages.

 I love graphic tees as much as the next person; however, my wardrobe is severely lacking because I can never find ones with messages I love (recent post incorporating graphic tee HERE). For me, I want to wear something that captures what I'm thinking and can inspire those around me. Thankfully, IALAC offers some super cute graphic tees that serve a dual purpose: looking cute and reminding you how awesome you are.

You know how self-help gurus advocate writing love notes to yourself on your mirrors? Well, this is kind of like that. You're wearing clothing that has an important message and every time you look in the mirror you're reminded of it, that's pretty awesome.

BONUS: IALAC's clothing is all humanely made AND  they give a percentage of proceeds to help less fortunate children by providing grants for visual and performing arts.

If you're looking for clothing that looks good, makes you feel good and that sends a great message to those around you, make sure you check them out!!
Also, keep IALAC in mind when you're shopping for a unique gift this holiday season!

indiegogo campaign:

**I will receive a clothing gift from IALAC in exchange for this post; however, all opinions expressed are honest and my own**

Chalkola markers review

Friday, November 13, 2015

I love trying out new products and I'm super excited to share my review of Chalkola chalk markers with you today! Mostly, because I know you're going to love them as much as I do!

What are Chalkola markers?

Chalkola markers replace chalk and can be used on any non-porous surface (chalkboard, glass, ceramic etc). They are water-based and when used on a non-porous surface can be erased easily using a wet cloth (or glass cleaner). 

Chalkola markers are eco friendly, non-toxic and odor free. They are perfect for parents, children and teachers. 

my Chalkola Chalk Markers review:

I was super excited to try these markers out. First, to get them ready you have to shake and press down (to get the liquid flowing). This takes a little bit for each marker (maybe 30 seconds) but you only have to do it before the first use.
Then, write on any non-porous surface. 
When you're ready to clean, just use a wet cloth or paper towel or some glass-cleaner. Wipe. That's it. That easy.
These markers were a TON of fun to play with. They really are odorless and clean up is a breeze.
My ONLY issue is that my handwriting skills aren't prettier! 

Chalkola markers are perfect for writing on mirrors. A great way to leave a message for a loved one OR for yourself ;)

You can oh-so-subtly encourage your significant other (or children) to do some housework!

Labeling treats and/or appetizers!

I only had a short-time to play with my markers (aka naptime) but I'm still thinking of ways I can use them in the future. Decorating the mirror in our front hall depending on the season (next up: Christmas), writing on car windows (for birthdays), writing on mason jars (jams, salsa, bbq sauce etc), letting the kids write on the sliding glass doors (keeps them busy and easy cleanup for mom), labeling coffee/drink cups, marking expiration on food canisters/containers, writing on any chalkboard (keeping points for boardgames), writing on any whiteboards (weekly grocery lists).... the list is endless!

The holidays are quickly approaching (yikes) and Chalkola would make a great gift for the crafters, teachers and/or children on your list!

Chalkola is offering Confessions of a Frumpy Mommy readers 20% for a limited time on both 6mm pens and 15mm markers. 

20% Off on Amazon - Use Code -> CHK20OFF

20% Off on Amazon - Use Code -> CHALK20A

**I received complementary products in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own**

fall go-to outfit #4 - plaid dress

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I have not taken a lot of outfit pictures lately and if I'm being honest, there haven't been many photo-worthy outfits (or days) lately.

Fall always brings sickness and our house has been sick the last two weeks. You know what's not fun? A toddler with croup and a baby that's congested as all get out. Oh and let's not forget clogged ducts (of the breast, not my heating) and colds leading to lost voices. Good times.

Having said all that, I did manage to get dressed and actually capture it before I had to wipe a nose and calm a crying baby.

plaid dress + booties + tights/leggings + simple accessories = stress-free mom outfit (bonus: easy peasy nursing outfit if your dress has zippers or buttons!)

go to #4 plaid dress

I've recently posted about my current love of plaid here and here. Well, my love continues to grow with this plaid dress. It's super comfy and is going to quickly become my 'look put together without doing much' outfit for fall/early winter.

I bought this dress for the fall style challenge and JUST wore it recently. I was nervous that it wasn't practical for breastfeeding. Apparently I'm an idiot and neglected to notice how far it zips down. It's actually the most perfect dress for breastfeeding. Quick zip and voila, dinner is served. AHmazing!

dress: dynamite, boots: Sam Edelman 

What's your go-to outfit lately? Bonus for nursing friendly options!

Related Posts:
fall go-to outfit #1- chambray and tee
fall go-to outfit #2 - plaid 
fall go-to outfit #3 - more plaid

Link ups:
The Pleated Poppy
Pumps and Pushups
Pampers and Pearls
Tucker Up
The Mummy Chronicles
Cappuccino and Fashion 
Shopping My Closet
Mix and Match Fashion

dressing for special occasions this holiday season

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

It's November. Christmas has already taken over the department stores. The season is upon us.

I love this time of the year. It's filled with work parties and galas. There are tons of opportunities to dress up and who doesn't love dressing up?!

Sadly, I'll be missing my work holiday party this year (blame the children) BUT I didn't want to miss out on the dress shopping fun. So, I'm sharing with you some of my picks for evening dresses this holiday season from

Here are some of my favorite dresses that I would love to be wearing:

Love this long black gown, It's fancy enough for a pretty formal affair but not too much. 

This lace gown would be lovely for your office holiday party.

Sexy but still professional. LOVE this dress so much. Perfect for the holidays and could easily serve as a go-to wedding guest outfit for years to come.

Yes, this dress is pretty fancy, but my goodness it's gorgeous. I NEED to attend a formal event where this would be suitable because it's so pretty. 

It was really hard to narrow it down to four dresses because there are literally tons of gorgeous gowns to choose from. I'm confident I could find a place in my wardrobe for all four and they're affordable enough that Mr. B wouldn't be too upset if I did that. I also love that they offer dresses for under $50 and in plus sizes.

I swear, next year, I'm finding every possible fancy- pants event to go to and am having a ton of child-free, dress-up pretty nights! Who's with me?!

I hope you all have some fun events on the calendar this holiday season.

What's your go-to special event wear? 

**I received compensation in exchange for writing this post; however, all opinions expressed are honest and my own**

underwear for men's heatlh

Monday, November 9, 2015

By this point, the majority of us have all heard of and likely, in some way, contributed to Movember. Each year my brother grows an unruly mustache in order to raise money for men's health including prostate and testicular cancer and I donate dutifully. It's something we don't talk about enough.

testicular cancer statistics

Here's the thing, if your hubby, boyfriend, partner, brother or dad is anything like Mr. B, they can be pretty freaking stubborn; however, they tend to listen when they're encouraged (read: forced) by the lovely ladies in their lives. Sure, it's their responsibility, but, they're more likely to follow-through on said responsibility if we're reminding them to do so.

So, let's help spread some awareness AND have the men in our lives see their docs!

How are others helping?!

WELL Tommy John has partnered with the Testicular Cancer Foundation to raise awareness and funds towards this great cause.
  • they're contributing $10 for each purchase made by new customers who were referred by someone else

man in underwear
  • they're donating $1 for each entry in their Instagram contest (up to $1000)
Tommy John is hosting a "share a pair, win a pair" contest. To enter, simply take a picture of any pair of round objects, and tag them on instagram @TommyJohnWear, @TesticularCancerFoundation & #SupportYourBalls for a chance to win free underwear from TommyJohn

blue pair of balls

Happy November and don't forget to have the men in your lives schedule their check-ups. You can also donate towards men's health or buy some underwear that'll serve as a fashionable and functional reminder of the cause.