What is Fair Trade?

We have recently been working closely with The Intersection: Fair Trade. I am so excited to share a giveaway soon with them and would love for you to be aware of their brick and mortar that just opened last week! check them out in Clayton heights


So before we go into who they are and what they do, here is the answers towards what is fair trade 🙂


What is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is a term and a movement that has been growing in popularity and prominence around the world for a while. However, many of us are still a little bit hazy on what fair trade really means, and why we should buy fair trade products over other products. The following are nine principles set out by the Fair Trade Federation that must be adhered to for products and businesses and cooperatives to be considered “fair trade” (used with the permission of the Fair Trade Federation).


Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Members create social and economic opportunities through trading partnerships with marginalized producers. Members place the interests of producers and their communities as the primary concern of their enterprise.


Fair Trade involves relationships that are open, fair, consistent, and respectful. Members show consideration for both customers and producers by sharing information about the entire trading chain through honest and proactive communication. They create mechanisms to help customers and producers feel actively involved in the trading chain. If problems arise, members work cooperatively with fair trade partners and other organizations to implement solutions.


Fair Trade is a means to develop producers’ independence. Members maintain long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust, and mutual respect, so that producers can improve their skills and their access to markets. Members help producers to build capacity through proactive communication, financial and technical assistance, market information, and dialogue. They seek to share lessons learned, to spread best practices, and to strengthen the connections between communities, including among producer groups.


Fair Trade encourages an understanding by all participants of their role in world trade. Members actively raise awareness about Fair Trade and the possibility of greater justice in the global economic system. They encourage customers and producers to ask questions about conventional and alternative supply chains and to make informed choices. Members demonstrate that trade can be a positive force for improving living standards, health, education, the distribution of power, and the environment in the communities with which they work.


Fair Trade empowers producers to set prices within the framework of the true costs of labor, time, materials, sustainable growth, and related factors. Members take steps to ensure that producers have the capacity to manage this process. Members comply with or exceed international, national, local, and, where applicable, Fair Trade Minimum standards for their employees and producers. Members seek to ensure that income is distributed equitably at all times, particularly equal pay for equal work by women and men. Members ensure prompt payment to all of their partners. Producers are offered access to interest-free advance payment for handmade goods, or pre-finance of agricultural harvest with favorable terms.


Fair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment free of forced labor. Throughout the trading chain, Members cultivate workplaces that empower people to participate in the decisions that affect them. Members seek to eliminate discrimination based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, age, marital, or health status. Members support workplaces free from physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.


Fair Trade means that all children have the right to security, education, and play. Throughout the trading chain, Members respect and support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms. Members disclose the involvement of children in production. Members do not support child trafficking and exploitative child labor.


Fair Trade seeks to offer current generations the ability to meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Members actively consider the implications of their decisions on the environment and promote the responsible stewardship of resources. Members reduce, reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible. They encourage environmentally sustainable practices throughout the entire trading chain.


Fair Trade celebrates the cultural diversity of communities while seeking to create positive and equitable change. Members respect the development of products, practices, and organizational models based on indigenous traditions and techniques to sustain cultures and revitalize traditions. Members balance market needs with producers’ cultural heritage.

 Fair Trade Federation. “Fair Trade Federation Principles”. Fair Trade Federation. Digital Eye Web Design. 2015. Website. 11 November 2015.

content found on The intersection: Fair Trade

Haak WoodWorks

 Kayla and Justin have such a fun attitude towards Haak Woodworks. Get to know them behind the scenes and don’t forget to enter our contest!
 Kayla and Justin

1. How did Haak Woodworks Start?

Haak Woodworks started when I asked Justin to make a few hexagon shelves for our living room. After he questioned me on if they were in style haha, he agreed to make some. He’s seriously the best. A few friends who came by and asked where we had bought them, saying they had been looking for similar shelves and hadn’t been able to find any. We made a few shelves for friends and they loved them. A while later, when I was on a de-cluttering kick and selling stuff I didn’t need on Abbotsford Bidding Wars, I had the idea to try selling shelves there. I was surprised by how quickly they sold each time, but it was a little annoying to have to repost and watch the bids etc (also some people on Abby Bidding Wars can be a little crazy). My sister in law suggested we start an Instagram page to get the word out on what we had been making. Justin and I both didn’t have Instagram and we felt a little hesitant about joining that world… We’re quite private (him more than me) and not super techy or trendy or instagrammy (if that’s a word). But after some more thought decided why not? And here we are.


2. What is the most life-giving aspect of your company to you?

The most life-giving aspect of our company to us… there are 2 things I think. The first is that it doesn’t take away any time from our family, in fact, it helps us spend more time together. We have fun with this! Justin builds the pieces (hexagons, tables, headboards etc) and I sand them and stain them and connect with the customers. We do this together in our garage with country music playing while the kids scoot around on their bikes or “help” sweep up the sawdust (which ends up being more of a mess but keeps them involved and they love it). It feels like a hobby we can all share together and it feels good to spend time doing something fun together instead of doing something like watch TV.

The second is that we’ve had opportunities to connect with some awesome people and local companies including Duft and Co, Spruce Collective, and Oldhand. These guys have just blazed the trail for local companies and they are so inspiring. We’ve also had the opportunity to donate some of our products for AMAZING causes including Casa De Luz, I Get To Legacy Chain and the Abbotsford Hospice. I think we sometimes underestimate the gifts we have and forget that collectively, small changes make a big difference. (Ok, let me stop myself here before I get on an inspirational rant. But seriously these guys are worth checking out if you haven’t already!)


3. What is the hardest part of starting your company?

The hardest part of starting our company also turned out to be the best and most freeing. Figuring out for ourselves that we could make this whole thing look the way we want and not having to copy a certain model to get there. At first, I thought we would need a Facebook page, an Etsy account, and “oh do I need to now add a blog about my family and post pictures of us making our products while wearing cute local clothing so people feel connected to us?” (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against family blogs by any means or sharing day to day life. It’s just not me.) It feels good to be authentic and relaxed about it all and to just enjoy it for what it is.


4. What words of advice would you give someone looking into or starting a small business?

Words of advice for someone looking into starting a business: Be inspired by other companies but don’t compare yourself to them. You have something completely unique to offer!!


5. What is your favorite item you make?!

My favorite item is the crib we made when I was pregnant with our first baby and is now being used by our second. It’s big and sturdy and holds a lot of special memories. But other than that I LOVE the plant stands we make. I think a plant adds so much to a room, and the stand just shows it off a little better in a nice clean way. We also like doing new projects and hearing ideas from different people. Right now we are making a “house bed” for a friend’s little boy and I think it’s going to turn out amazing!!


6.Most popular item?

most popular item is definitely the hexagon shelf. People just can’t seem to get enough haha.


7. How can we support you well?

Man, we have felt nothing but support from the beginning. We’ve had great encouragement and feedback, some cool collaborations and we’re excited for what is ahead!





Enter to win a Two Shelves OR a Plant Stand (winner’s choice)

how to enter

  1. comment below about what you are looking forward to this summer
  2. like and share (for extra entries)
  3. tag friends in Instagram that would like this prize (one per comment)
  4. make sure you are following us if you have Instagram (Haak and F&M)

Must be 13 + years old to win. This is not a WordPress, Facebook, Instagram endorsed giveaway. Local Pick up only. We do not have shipping. Item will be from Abbotsford, BC. So if you have a way of grabbing it please enter!


contest closes Wednesday, June 27th at 11:59 PM.

Clerk & Co

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity of being at a career day and participating in a panel discussion with Christiana. As soon as you see her (let alone talk to her) you are drawn to her joyful demeanor and calm mannerisms. Christiana founder and boss lady of Clerk and Co has graciously partnered with us in a Q&A and giveaway (that’s right! we are so lucky).
Grab your coffee/tea and baked good get to know Christiana.
How did Clerk and Co start, and why that name?
1. Clerk and Co started while I was on maternity leave. My daughter was about 6 months at the time. While I felt very grateful to be at home with her, I also wanted an identity for myself and something I could pour my creative energy into. The name was created by myself and my husband. A “clerk” is someone who deals with records and documents but it can also be a person who works in a shop. We liked how it captured the idea of curating items, sorting through them and then making them accessible to others.
What is the most life-giving aspect of your company?
2. For me, the life-giving aspect is two-fold. One is that it gives me a creative outlet. One of my biggest interests is home decor and this business has allowed me a way to be in that world. I enjoying styling and picturing how items will be used in people’s homes. Another great aspect is that my husband and I really enjoy “treasure hunting” together. Over the years we’ve loved searching for vintage items and antiques together. Whether it’s in a flea market in France, a salvage yard in the Middle East or down the street from our house! It really is our joint hobby.
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What was the hardest part of starting your business?
3. The hardest part for me is learning how to do things myself. I had never even used Instagram before I started Clerk and Co. Technology is such a huge part of this business and it’s an that’s constantly evolving. I’m probably about 10 steps behind every other up and coming small business owner in this regard and really do need to push myself to try and catch up.
What words of advice would you give someone venturing into the small business world?
4. Honestly, just go for it. Take the plunge and start because that’s the biggest obstacle. Aside from that, know your worth or your products worth and make sure you aren’t working for free and giving items away! While I am not advocating for price gouging, it’s important that you factor in your costs, including your time, and that your pricing reflects that. It’s easy to put in copious amounts of work and effort and then realize, you only made $10! Evaluate and know your profit margins.
what are your favorite items?
5. I am a total sucker for anything vintage brass. Especially brass animals. My two favorites are a brass cactus that I sold to a local jewelry shop and a brass deer head that I haven’t listed yet because I don’t really want to part with it!
Most popular items?
6. Popular items are globes and blankets. Globes sell very quickly. I sell a lot of Moroccan style blankets/duvets but also vintage wool blankets.
How can we walk alongside you?
7. Support from other local business is the best kind of support! A community is so crucial in this small business world. Honestly, spreading the word! Sharing with friends and family who may be interested and keeping us in mind if you’re ever looking for gifts or home decor. We love when local people follow us and champion our business.
Thank you so much Christiana! make sure you add her to your Instagram feed!

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Enter to win this beautiful glass shelf and a discount code for Feather & Mane collective by
1. like this photo
2. comment what your favorite home decor item is and tag friends who would love this (one per comment)
3. make sure you are following @featherandmane and @clerkandco (we will check for the winner)
4. Make sure you enter on the blog post and on both Instagram posts
This contest is for Canadian residents 13+ years of age. If you do not live in the lower mainland (Fraser Valley, BC) you will need to pay for shipping.this is not endorsed or through Instagram, Facebook, or WordPress. this is an independent small business contest.

What am I worthy of?

Recently, I (Carla) participated in a photoshoot for Union Swimwear. Yes, this was completely out of my comfort zone. Yes, I didn’t really know many people, and yes, I am very thankful I pushed through my fears and did this.  I got to spend time with some incredible women pursuing all sorts of things. As well as be a part of union swimwear’s journey to sharing their product.


I often put myself in a box, which I think a lot of us do. I tell myself, I can’t do this because of my body type, or my personality isn’t outgoing enough to actually talk to someone with more followers than me on Instagram. It is so easy to tear yourself down and forget how important you truly are.  I know we have been hearing a lot lately about “body positivity” and I often struggle with that phrase. I want to honor my body for what it has accomplished, what it has gone through these past few years, but that its okay to still strive for a healthier size and weight. Still look towards a goal that is challenging but attainable. I feel that being positive about your body is even if you aren’t in your ideal BMI, it doesn’t mean you should hide under a rock and never come out. As long as you are pursuing a healthy life and you are honored to be in the body you are in. That in mind is the definition of body positivity. Be the best you, and make sure your goals are your goals and not something unattainable.

I AM WORTHY OF BEING DOCUMENTED. this is a sentence Jenna Kutcher shares in one of her podcasts. I catch myself so easily taking photos of my coffee, kids, sidewalk, etc and posting it way faster than overanalyzing a photo of myself.


So here is a positive post about Carla:

  1.  I love to play volleyball and if you called me right now I would come to play.
  2. Sushi should be my middle name.
  3. I go to the gym and eat smart sweets 4-7X a week.
  4. When I read, I usually struggle with being in reality if the book is deep and based on true life.
  5. I actually love to argue. I know when I do, it means that the relationship matters to me and its worth having intense fellowship over.
  6. I enjoy striving for a minimalistic lifestyle and
  7. my ultimate goal is to have all small business, ethically sourced, sustainable fashion wardrobe. My favorite (free of guilt) thing I love to do, is able to share with you who made my clothes, what kind of fabric and why I chose that specific item.


I am turning 30 this year and I want to do something big for you all! So stay tuned, keep your notifications on. and if you know anything about me, you probably already know what kind of big thing will happen.

— Carla


Special Thanks to all these ladies above starting from the left


  1. Jessica 
  2. Cassandra
  3. Codi
  4. Myself
  5. Taylor
  6. Katrina
  7. Chiantelle

Photo Credit Julie Jagt photography

And of course Union Swimwear!

P.S make sure you check out our shop!

Love Your Local – The Polly Fox

1.  How did The Polly Fox start?
In a big ol’ nutshell, The Polly Fox came out of necessity.
Kelsey has a multitude of food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances, including being Celiac for 15-ish years.  In moving back to Abbotsford from living in Vancouver, there still wasn’t an outlet for those facing the same dietary challenges.  After planning (so much planning), second-guessing its existence, saving, more planning and finally just committing, The Polly Fox came to be.
The shop grew quickly.  A lot faster than ever dreamed – which was both so wonderful and terrifying.
After an exhausting start, Kaitlin joined forces with Kelsey, and for lack of better words, completely saved the day.
Small fun fact: Kelsey and Kaitlin are sisters-in-law.
2.  What is the most life-giving aspect of your company to you?
Helping people.
Talking to people.
Learning that we are actually serving a purpose outside of donuts and sandwiches – that we’ve become a staple and a go-to for safe food.  And a go-to for delicious food.
That we have accomplished the number one goal of The Polly Fox: crush the stigma of gluten-free.
(The majority of our guests aren’t Celiac or gluten-sensitive).
3.  What is the hardest part of starting The Polly Fox?
Mentally and emotionally? Taking the leap of entrepreneurship.  It brings a lot of self-uncertainty, and a huge case of the always-fun “What Ifs?”
What if I fail?
What if no one is interested?
What if the market just isn’t there?
What if I’m just not cut out to own a business?
…what if lack of sleep just destroys me?
In reality?  Putting all of the pieces together.
Funding.  Finding a location.  Staffing.  Just, the logistics of a new business!  It’s difficult, it’s draining – but, so incredibly worth it.
4.  Words of advice for someone starting out?
The very first thing that comes to mind…get yourself a bookkeeper.
It will save you massive amounts of mental anguish.  Let someone else deal with the dollar signs so you can focus on everything else.
Also, be kind to yourself.
All of the pieces aren’t going to be there right from day one.  You’ll grow into your biz – which is the best part.  Start simple and go from there.
5.  Fav item?!
Ooohh..  Tough one.  The Apple Fritter.  Or maybe the Nanaimo Bar…  Or Cashew Bar?!
6.  Most popular item?
By far, the Apple Fritter.
Huge demand!  We cannot seem to make enough.  They’ve had a following since day one!
7.  How can we support you as well?
Help us spread the word!
We are still reaching new people every day, and seeing new faces in the shop each day.
Support local, shop local – we live in a great little city, with new small businesses continually popping up.  Take advantage of that!


Enter to win $50 gift card to The Polly Fox (located in Abbotsford, BC)

How to enter:

  1. Like and Comment on this blog post (share your favorite treat if you have one from The Polly Fox)
  2. Check out The Polly Fox’s Instagram and Facebook Page and Feather & Mane Instagram and Facebook
  3. Must be 13+ years old to enter and able to be at the Polly Fox in person (not an online gift card)

GOOD LUCK enter now till Monday, June 4th 11:59 PM.


PHOTO CREDIT- Kim Norcross Photography

Friend Feature– Taylor Aller

Meet Taylor Aller (and her great husband Jake). They are a couple with many hats, animal lovers, relationship growers and local to the Fraser Valley! Today we want to honor Taylor in all the amazing spaces she has created for us to follow along and glean wisdom from. We actually met Taylor through a great website connecting business babes and now have had the pleasure of growing our Instagrams together, seeing each other at photo shoots, business events and of course in the online world.  Grab a coffee, sit down and enjoy our interview with Taylor Aller! 


  • What do you do? (job, hobbies, lifestyle)

A SMALL TOWN GIRL WITH HUGE HEART DREAMS and all about that multipotentialite life. Hi! I’m Taylor Aller (Oomen) and I serve the Lower Mainland as an RMT, Educator, Speaker, and Mentor. I’m also obsessed with all things relationship-related and Co-Founder of The Relationship Project with my kick-butt husband. On most days you can find me balancing 5 different things, snuggling my handful-of-a-rescue pup, volunteering as a Facilitator with Free to Be Talks, or trying my darndest to go to bed early!


  • What would you like to share with us?

Ooh. So many things. And I guess that’s it. I love and am passionate about SO MANY THINGS! Relationships, health, mental health, volunteering, my marriage, my rescue pup, dancing, food, sleep. Fellow multi-passionate peeps unite! I’d love to share that living your life with no single passion and many curiosities is a-okay.

I have struggled in the past thinking that there is something wrong with me, that I am the only person who doesn’t have a single passion. I was told “You’re just confused” so much that I really did start to feel that way. I felt so suffocated, stifled, and joyless.

In this world of “finding your passion,” it can make us multi-pods feel like we are jumping around with no vision, no goal, and worst of all–alone. Hear me roar: We are not! There are so many people in the world like us that have multiple passions. Who pursue them, enjoy them, and carve out a life enjoying them all. That means you can, too.


  • Something that keeps you going?

Ah. Sleep. Now I know this may sound like a weird answer, but for my mental health, my full life, sleep is non-negotiable. I am an exponentially better person with sleep. I go to bed early as much as I can (usually between 9:30-10:30 every night!) and although I’ll joke about it–It’s no joking matter. (Ask my husband.)

  • Something that you want to inspire others with,

You can absolutely do it all, you just can’t do it all at once or by yourself.


  • Why did you say yes to being interviewed? What do you appreciate about Feather & Mane?

Firstly I love Feather and Mane! These two ladies have a mission that I think is so on point. Secondly, I love being able to share about my “what-I-think-is-normal-but-others-think-is-not” life. Secondly, their mission comes to mind. Living with purpose. They aren’t tutti-frutti about it. Jessica and Carla make it easy for folks to live the life they want with purpose. What else I love? They celebrate local businesses, their communities, other women. And most importantly, their wicked sense of humor.

Tay (1)

  • What keeps your life full?

I like to look at my life as the weather. There are many facets and no one takes over the other. They each have different seasons! Things that make up my weather-life are my practice as an RMT, The Relationship Project with my husband, Digital Calligraphy, mentoring, volunteering, my family, my rescue pup, dance, and many more!

We are excited to partner with Taylor in a GIVEAWAY!  You can enter to win a custom digital design created by Taylor as well as a $30 gift card to Saba Cafe and bistro in fort Langley. 

To enter

  1. Like and Comment on this blog and share one thing you appreciate about Taylor’s answers
  2. like and tag friends on our Instagram accounts
  3. make sure you are following us on Instagram if you have Instagram


Entries must be 13+ years old and a Canadian resident. this is not a partnership with Instagram or WordPress.

Contest Ends thursday may 24th at 11:59PM










Capsule Wardrobe Night (1)

Capsule Wardrobe night will be LIVE on this facebook page for those who can’t attend in person! STAY TUNED! 7PM Wednesday, April 25th. We have maybe 3 more spaces for in person, so for $5, you get to see some amazing articles, ask questions, and join in on the clothing swap. If you are a part of the LIVE you have a chance to win a door prize!

who is joining us!?

Union Swimwear Giveaway!

We are excited to team up with Union Swimwear, put a spotlight on this great bathing suit company locally to Vancouver and shares the same heart we have for being socially conscious and living purposefully.  here are some of their answers to the why’s and who they are! check it out and see the giveaway at the bottom!

What do you do? 

  • Professional Accountant by day, swimsuit aficionado by night, I’m a Vancouver local hoping to inspire others in their careers.  I obtained her Business Degree in 2007 and started her professional accounting career at a large international accounting firm (PricewaterhouseCoopers) downtown Vancouver.  In 2009, I managed to obtain her Master’s degree in Accounting from the University of Saskatchewan and successfully pass the Chartered Accountant’s exam that fall.  In 2010, I accepted a work opportunity in Melbourne, Australia where she spent two and a half years auditing large-scale public mining companies for PricewaterhouseCoopers Melbourne.  2015 was an exciting year when I got the opportunity to work in lululemon’s finance department as the Manager of Financial Reporting.  These days, I live my life outside the box (or outside the office) working full-time from home for TELUS’s finance department.  The lack of commute and efficiency in her day-to-day allows me to pursue all the side hustles, from real estate to financial consulting to starting a Swimwear company!

 What is something you are motivated by?

  • I am a big believer in the concept of Kaizen.  It’s the Japanese word for improvement or change for better.  It’s all about continuous improvement and is a long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality.  If I can improve my life, my work, my habits, my friendships by a small amount each and every day – I truly believe this will make a lasting impact on the world.
  • I also think a lot about my legacy – what are people going to remember me by when I’m gone.  This is where UNION swimwear comes into play.  UNION Swimwear is socially responsible and the reversible one-piece swimsuits are cute AF.  A portion of our profits is donated to HOPE International Development Agency (HOPE International) – specifically to provide clean water to communities in need. HOPE International exists to improve the supply of basic human necessities for the neediest of the developing world through self-help activities and to challenge, educate, and involve North Americans regarding development issues.  UNION Swimwear has recently donated enough to purchase our first well in Cambodia. You can look at the coordinates here.

 Something that you want to inspire others with, 

  • I am a huge fan of Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, etc.  I’d like to pass the inspiration that I’ve gotten from these role models to everyone.  My favorite quotes/teachings from each:
  • Tony Robbins: Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant.
  • Wayne Dyer: If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
  • Louise Hay: Create a practice of daily affirmations.  I have an app called think up where I’ve recorded positive affirmations.  You choose background music and I play these affirmations while I’m getting ready in the morning or when I’m working.

Why did you say yes to being interviewed?

  • I love meeting new people, experiencing new things, and creating new connections.  I got a great vibe from Carla.  I’m all about good vibes.

What is your side hustle? Brand rep? Hobby?

  • I have a few:
    • As mentioned in #3 under passions – UNION Swimwear my newest side hustle.
    • I do financial consulting on the side for small publically traded companies that don’t have in-house accounting departments.  I prepare the financial statements and MD&A’s that are listed quarterly on the TSX for a few companies at the moment.  I would love to get into more consulting involving start-ups and small businesses.
    • I also own a few properties that I rent out currently.  I’d like to get more into the air bnb space or corporate rentals with my place downtown this summer.
    • I also love the endorphins and serotonin that I get from working out. I work out 6 times a week (2 times with a trainer).
    • I have a love for cooking/baking!  On Sundays, I try to meal prep for the week – do a big grocery shop and make all my breakfasts and lunches so that I don’t make bad decisions during the week.

what is something you appreciate about Feather & Mane

  • What I’ve learned over the past 10 or so years since starting my professional career as an accountant – nothing else matters than the people you surround yourself with and the relationships you make.  So the people of feather and mane is the one thing I appreciate most.  Carla was so amazing when we first connected – figuring out how we can help each other.  Putting her hand up for UNION ask I was putting out through Vancity Business Babes – takes a lot of courage and I truly appreciate it.  Also, the event they’re hosting next weekend on Living with Purpose – I respect and appreciate anyone that’s trying to make a positive impact in their community.


  Let’s do a suit giveaway!  Follow @union.swimwear  and Feather & Mane + tag a friend and let us know how you’re living with purpose?  

Places you can find this giveaway!



this is a private contest endorsed by Union Swimwear and Feather & Mane. Must be Canadian Resident, in order to win you must be following at least one of our handles (both feather and mane and union swimwear), comment on a platform, and like the post. extra entries for sharing and commenting on multiple union swimwear and feather & mane platforms. the contest will run from  Friday, April 20th- Monday  April 24th 9PM. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, April 25th.

Good Luck!

Feather & Mane

5 Ways to Build Up the Mom of a Tantruming Toddler

Compassion Vs Show Down

My dad has had a great impact on my parenting. He is a wealth of knowledge. Some advice comes from real life experience, and I am pretty sure, some are just plain old made up. I know, all of it comes from his heart. He once told me that it isn’t until you have children and your friends have children, that you realize who your true friends are. The people who you knew post-children are very different than the ones you know now. Children bring out the best and worst in us. They also cause us to have to make real decisions that impact how we see the world and how we live out our lives. Decisions such as co-sleeping and breastfeeding in the early years and in the later years we have to decide between public and private school as well as everything in between. How do we, as parents, respond to sass from our children? How are we going to teach our children about respect for elders or the importance of apologizing? What about topics like spanking? or hot topics such as immunization and circumcision?

There are so many topics and decisions that come up in parenting that can cause a divide in friendships. How do we navigate our adult relationships while doing our best not to compromise our own parenting choices and decisions?

Living in a world with so many different people in it, we are sure to interact with people we do not agree with, every single day. As I am raising my children I find myself often telling them that they need to be kind and gentle with the little ones that cross their paths. I am often correcting behavior that is causing my children to come across as unsympathetic or aggressive. Am I doing the same for myself? How am I coming across to those around me? The best way to show our children the proper behavior is to model it ourselves. Am I being kind? Am I being gentle?

We are in this together. Parenthood is a community. The largest community out there. People all over the world are raising the next generation and parenting has no language or cultural barriers. We are all thrown into the trenches as soon as that baby is placed in our arms. There is no getting away from it. So, why are we adding to the battle instead of supporting each other?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when interacting with either a lifelong mommy friend or a new mommy friend:

  1. BE KIND – Motherhood is hard and when we aren’t battling the evil glares of strangers as their eyes, nose, and mouth show us their judgment on how we are parenting our child who is currently throwing a tantrum. We do not need to also be self-conscious of our fellow “trench dwellers”. Offer to watch that mom’s shopping cart while she does what she needs to do to gain control of her wild child. Be a safe place for that mom as she handles this awkward situation. Write a kind note about how you saw her doing her best and leave it on her car or hand it to her in person. We all need kindness. There are enough people out there judging. How about we make it normal for people to show kindness rather than attitude. Let’s be honest, next time it could be YOU with the full shopping cart and the toddler screaming at the top of her lungs. Invest in the crazy moments and throw kindness around like confetti.london-scout-41029-unsplash
  2. ASSUME THEY WANT THE BEST FOR THEIR CHILD – This one is sometimes hard to apply. We see a mom yelling at their 2-year-old son for picking something off the shelf in the store and it seems like she is overreacting. I mean, it was only one little thing. NO need to scream and cause a scene. What we don’t know is how often she has had to say it or what else had transpired that morning between them. We often are condemned just on the small glimpses people see into our relationship with our children. Before we decide that we have found the “worlds worst mom and should probably call child services, thank goodness I was there.” Let’s assume better. Take some time and observe some more interactions that they have. If their entire shopping trip is cause for concern then maybe you should be concerned. But if it is just one interaction than I am pretty sure she is just a mom. A mom like you.                                                                                                                                                                     There are areas that we may also need to apply this attitude. When a mom makes a decision for her child that is the opposite of what you would do, we should assume the position of Support and educate ourselves as to why she has decided to make that choice. Only the stories of the parent’s making epic fails of choices for their children make the news. What about those moms and dads who make daily decisions that affect their children for the rest of their lives and don’t make the news. These days we don’t only have to be afraid of a stranger stealing our children, now we also have to be afraid of a stranger seeing us parent in our worst moment and reporting us to the authorities. Here is my take on what we should do. If you see a parent who is struggling to be kind to their child, be their friend. Introduce yourself and be brave enough to confront them like a fellow human than a faceless enemy. Tattle tailing is always the worst when it comes from a stranger.jordan-whitt-145327-unsplash
  3. AVOID TOPICS AND FIND COMMON GROUND – When I meet a new mom friend it always feels like a first date. Will this new friend like me? Will she agree with how I parent? Will my kid bite her kid? Or is that last one just me? It can be nerve-wracking and exhilaration meeting a new friend. Finding your common ground can come just by asking a series of questions. This questionnaire can also bring up areas of contention. The spotlight can often get stuck on the topics that you disagree on. Depending on the friend or situation this topic may come up often and be hard to avoid. But in most situations, your friendship can continue with ease, just by avoiding this topic. You can come to a mutual agreement to just leave that topic out of your friendship. This is such a great tool to model for our children. Such topics like Santa. If your child has already found out the truth, we don’t want our kids to be “that kid” who spills the beans, so we teach them to keep the secret and avoid that topic with their friend who would have their soul crushed if they ever found out the truth. Let’s apply the same topic to our lives.
  4. CELEBRATE AND STOP ONE-UPPING – How frustrating is it when you are sharing with your friends a proud mommy moment and they quickly come up with a better story about their child which makes your child’s accomplishment look like a minor deal. I am guilty of this one. We are so proud of our children and some children can do amazing things and some children are just amazing in their own way. I felt this way in kindergarten with my sweet boy. Last year, he could have cared less about reading. I know that reading is not expected from a child in kindergarten but I felt like I was failing him when I would share his minor “alphabet ” accomplishments with my fellow mama friends. Their children seemed to be reading with ease and I was sharing how proud I was of my son being able to recall that “A says Ah”. I am not innocent in this “Child Olympics” as I have been guilty of bragging about my 11-month-old walking and my 18 month old being able to sing a song all on her own. My son was riding a 2 wheeler at the age of 2 years and 11 months. I remember being sooooo proud of his amazing accomplishment. I was not gracious about sharing this information with the world. You better believe you can find the recording of boasting all in my Instagram history. Video and all. I am not saying that we should stop sharing our children’s triumphs and victory’s but we should remember that that isn’t what life is all about. We shouldn’t be thinking up an equal or better accomplishment done by our child in response to a friends story. We should listen. Celebrate and let them have that moment. Your moment will come. It doesn’t always need to be at the same time. Also, it is your child’s moment. They are our children, but, it is THEIR moment, NOT ours! All I can say is, I am so thankful my mom didn’t have Instagram when I was a kid.DSC_2299
  5. BE BRAVE AND BUILD BOUNDARIES – This one had me thinking. With all that I have said before this, I don’t want to leave without saying that we should be brave enough to set boundaries in our relationships. Not everyone will have the same mindset on parenting as we do. Not everyone will agree with what we do or how we spend our time. So, set boundaries in a respectful way. I find this is the hardest the earlier on in parenting that you are. This is something that develops over time and is done after a lot of trial and error. I remember the early days of motherhood when it was just me and my newborn son at home and the visitors were still flooding in. My husband was back at work and I was there to fend for myself. I got advice from everyone I saw and most of it was harmless. BUT some of it was harmful. Some of it shaped my mind and didn’t allow me to feel free to parent as I wanted to. I lost a lot of precious moments with my son trying to please other people. I wanted him to sleep on his own and I was only doing it because other people told me I should. I would have been way happier if I had let that happen on my own time.  I would have been happier if I had bottle fed him. I would have been happier if I had not been so stressed about nap times and bedtimes in those early months of parenthood. I didn’t know any of this until I had baby number two. That is when I realized how much more enjoyable life is when you are doing what is best for your family and not what is best for everyone else, in order for them to stop judging you. Baby number two got a much braver mama than baby number 1. This is not something I regret, it was a great learning experience, but is something I wanted to share. Be A BRAVE mama!!! On that note. Bravery doesn’t have to be accomplished on your own. Surround yourself with people who allow you to “Build up your Brave”. Find your safe place to grow and GROW!


Parenthood is a strange-hood to be in. No one has the same story and no one has the same struggles. We are all dealing with different combinations of personalities and behaviors and circumstances. The one thing we have in common is that we are raising the next generation.  What we do and how we react to our fellow earth dwellers is seen by those little eyes. We all know that children have selective hearing, but their eyes never lie. Their eyes see it all. Modeling behavior worth repeating can be hard, but it can also be world changing.




Maan Farms Country Experience


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We had the privilege of joining Maan farms this past Easter weekend in a delightful crepe breakfast and a tour of all the fun spaces this country experience had in store.

If you are looking for a great Abbotsford local item that you can get a VERY reasonable yearly membership to, I would highly recommend Maan Farms.

Maan Farms has a corn maze, an air jumper pillow, a peddle kart track, zip line, petting zoo, delicious raspberry wine, and during berry picking season they are the place to go!

Top 3 items our kids enjoyed

  1. The Air Jumper Pillow, they could have been on that thing all day.
  2. Zipline. Seriously, who doesn’t love a good zip line 🙂
  3. Petting zoo. It was so fun watching them look for bunnies, say hi to chickens and watch the goats and kids.

Next time your unsure of what to do, or want to plan a good play date with a friend. Head on over to Maan Farms Country Experience!