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:
- I love to play volleyball and if you called me right now I would come to play.
- Sushi should be my middle name.
- I go to the gym and eat smart sweets 4-7X a week.
- When I read, I usually struggle with being in reality if the book is deep and based on true life.
- 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.
- I enjoy striving for a minimalistic lifestyle and
- 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.
Special Thanks to all these ladies above starting from the left
Photo Credit Julie Jagt photography
And of course Union Swimwear!
P.S make sure you check out our shop!
GIVEAWAY CLOSED— WINNER IS VIA INSTAGRAM TAG
Enter to win $50 gift card to The Polly Fox (located in Abbotsford, BC)
How to enter:
- Like and Comment on this blog post (share your favorite treat if you have one from The Polly Fox)
- Check out The Polly Fox’s Instagram and Facebook Page and Feather & Mane Instagram and Facebook
- 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
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.
- 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.
- Like and Comment on this blog and share one thing you appreciate about Taylor’s answers
- like and tag friends on our Instagram accounts
- 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
FOLLOW TAYLOR @
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!?
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.
GIVEAWAY!! CLOSED WINNER WAS KIRSTEN CAMPBELL
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!
- Facebook of feather and mane
- Instagram of Feather and Mane
- @union.swimwear on Instagram
- Our website is: www.unionswimwear.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/union.swimwear/
THANKS FOR JOINING US!
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.
Feather & Mane
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- The Air Jumper Pillow, they could have been on that thing all day.
- Zipline. Seriously, who doesn’t love a good zip line 🙂
- 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!
I had the honour and privilege of having the first time on feather and mane history of sharing a feature friend that is a male! thats right folks, branching out, putting our big girl pants on and talking with Jarris was definitely a highlight of my 2017 blogging life.
Jarris and I know each other through my husband, but with the help of social media I feel like I never lost touch of what he was up to.
He has graciously shared what keeps him going and what his life lessons have been in the past few years. You do not want to stop reading! Also Did I mention we have a giveaway?!check this out.
What do you do to earn money to live?
I Work for VSSL, but I love building custom tables (find me on Instagram for more details)
What would you like to share on the blog?
When Carla shared these questions, I really wanted to share what its like to be an authentic parent during this transition into single parenthood. It is interesting to say the least. Grace is needed, patience gets stretched constantly. But overall I want to constantly remind myself that I want to be present in my kids lives. I want to keep looking towards the end goal of being in an authentic relationship with my kids. Sometimes its hard to see that during the short term stressors, the long term is way more important!
What is your heartbeat, life giving moments?
The quiet moments with my kids. Bedtime is such a fun time, we can connect cause we are in such close proximity. We get to look back on the day together, and set the tone for the dreaming phase of the day.
Other days, the hectic morning drives are key. We get ready together, rush, sing in the car and embrace this stage of life together.
Something that you want to inspire others with
I want to share with you about “graceful exits”. This has been hitting me Huge lately, with even as small as changing jobs, relationships, daily tasks. Graceful exits are key to a lot of life situations. Something I try to remind myself when I am transitioning, maybe for example leaving a job, I am very excited for the next stage but I want to make sure I am being smart with how I am acting in my setting while exiting a situation. How I respond, how much I share, how I need to stay in the present even though whatever comes next might be thrilling. You need to always finish well, be present, and make sure you are honouring those around you.
How do I move to the next phase of anything.
1. step back and take a broader perspective of what is old, present and new.
2. Being present in the moment. Currently where your at. Being able to be there. ie. Switching jobs, Finish strong, don’t be so caught up on what is happening next, what is happening next will still happen.
3. Patience… just patience.
4. BE HUMBLE! Keep your head down and keep working hard. Honour those who are staying.
5. TIMING- share with the right people. Be respectful of everyones feelings as much as possible.
Why did you say yes to being interviewed?
Its super fun, I like the community of Abbotsford and the connections. I am A Huge Connection guy! I love the connection of Human beings.
What other things are you passionate about?
I loveWater-skiing, cross fit, ( they are like a family to me!,) My goal is to be a part of Worlds in 2019
HOW TO ENTER OUR VSSL GIVEAWAY!
like this post!
Comment and maybe share what kind of outdoorsy things you like to do and how this would be helpful or just plain awesome to have!
Contest closes March 8th, and winner will be ANNOUNCE HERE! on March 9th.
WINNER IS BRANDIE BRADSHAW!!!!!
This contest is for EVERYONE.
Sometimes I catch myself mentally figuring out the calories I am eating and thinking about how much physical work that would be to burn it off( I know, sounds unhealthy). My healthy weight and lifestyle has been a struggle. I had two high risk pregnancies, and than with that I tried my HARDEST to lose weight the “healthy” way ( exercising and eating cleaner). I finally, after much convincing and nudging I sought out help from a Naturopath. It has been a year, 70 lbs lost later. I know I should be super excited, AND I AM! believe me, I am almost what I was in high school.
So what am I sharing.
Now that I have spent the last 42 days in a low cal, hormone injection food restriction (I hate using the word diet). I am left with feeling super uneasy about carbs, constantly making sure I am not gaining weight for what I ate the day before, and nervous about what I should eat and when.
This has nothing to do with who I went to see, the naturopath has been amazing, supportive and so great with fielding my questions. I would see them on the regular if I had benefits for days. BUT unfortunately I need to figure some things out on my own.
What I am trying to be okay with right now.
- It’s okay to feel this way, I just need to learn what to do next without diverting back to bad eating habits
- I don’t need to snack while looking at a screen. I can not believe how hard it is to not do this! it is a habit I tried to break so many times. so I have tried my best to drink teas, or coffee or a fruit while watching or working.
- I need to find a more sustainable way to live. a healthy way to view food, exercise, and maybe realize that i am getting older and some food isn’t worth how it makes me feel in the long run.
- ALSO I love this post from Vancouver nutritionist Cristina
I am so thankful for this past year and what I have learned about myself, healthy habits, and what I am truly wanting in life. I want to be able to run with my kids, play in the park and go down slides without being too large (I did this today! so fun), and make sure my hormones, vitamins, and long term lifestyle changes that can make me the person I truly want to be. I don’t want to be a size 2, I want to be me.
have any tips for me? would love supportive, positive comments! and if you want to collaborate over a blog post with healthy resources in the area let me know!