Thank you for following little me as I go about each day on my adventures!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

back in the saddle

I didn't mean to be away for so long, but giving birth and raising children while simultaneously running businesses takes allot out of a gal.
Fortunately for me, I'm a glutton for punishment and can still manage to string a sentence together on very little sleep. very.little.sleep.
I just can't be counted on to keep an up to date blog, apparently. (we are striving to change that)

The baby will be turning two in a few days and as the shock of that fact still sinks in - I've been throwing myself back into my beloved work.

With a toddlers independence (walking! running! daycare social life!) comes more time to devote to the business that supports all this crazy.

It's been really lovely getting back into the shops and back on the road doing the buying - Fall has always been my favorite season to shop for. All the sweaters, the layers, the boots! The endless possibilities and the thrill of the hunt make the pressure of what is also THE most important 4 months of the retail year, bearable. This march towards the end of the calendar year and ultimately, Christmas, will make or break many a business.

A really lovely start to this season happened today. My shops, Barefoot Contessa, were chosen as 1st place pick in a readers poll in my city. A local paper, the Georgia Straight, holds this 'readers choice' poll every year and its now our 5th straight win!

A lot of heart and soul go into any business and I am so honored that our customers and fans continue to love and support what we are doing at Barefoot Contessa.
It's not just picking what's hot or popular or trendy - it's having a passion and excitement for what we do and having that come across and inspire others.
I'm so grateful to all the local designers, crafters and artists that allow us to showcase their work and all the really fantastic staff we have helping, caring and bringing their passion to the table each and every day.
It's these little surprises - these confirmations that let you know you are on the right track that give you such a boost.
As I continue to struggle with finding balance being an entrepreneur and a mom, it's things like this that help give some perspective.
I'm so grateful that I get to do what I love to do and have it allow me to support my family and be a mom.
Thank you Vancouver, I am so honored and so very grateful for your support.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

my new addition

Never say never.

It will ALWAYS bite you in the ass.

I swore I would never open another store - "two was enough for me... I'd have to be a madwoman to even consider three... how could I possibly run three stores with three kids... I've just had a baby... what am I? nuts?"

Guess what?

I opened another store.

In my defense, it happened quite organically.

I actually didn't notice I was opening a store.

I thought I was gaining a lovely little office...with a sweet little storefront space...tiny...insignificant...hardly noticeable as a store.

Dutch Husband started the renovation - the goal of a pretty little office we would share, as our Barefoot Contessa Fashion headquarters.

He did an amazing job.
Too good in fact.

How could I not use this pretty space as a wee shop?

How indeed.

This, my dear friends, is how you end up doing something you never thought you would do.

Introducing my latest addition - "Precious & Few" a Barefoot Contessa boutique... for children.

Break out the bubbly...

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

a slice of life

I love being a mamma - I truly do. I am so grateful that I am fortunate enough to have been blessed with two beautiful, healthy, daughters.
I also love having my own business.

As exhausted as I am at the end (and sometimes beginning) of each day - It's worth it.

I am doing my best to be an attentive mamma while striving to be a successful business woman - I don't think balance is possible, but I am working on integration.
Balance is unattainable, and I'd rather err on the side of my kids.

Integration is where it's at People.

To find a way to successfully blend my family with, what is essentially, a family business, is my goal.

For example, I have to do allot of traveling for my stores - (buying trips sound much more glamorous than they really are) but having my baby along makes it possible for me to blend my work life with my mothering life.

The fact that both, Tallulah Grace and Amalia Rose, are now wonderful little travelers, helps immensely.

To survive all the travel itself, I've had to devise how to do so with children in tow.
Most trips have been with Dutch Husband along, to wrangle the toddler while I'm in the appointment picking fashions for the shops.

The baby is content being worn and rocked as I go about my day buying and ordering.
So far, so good.

But as the Spring season gets underway, I need to head out more and more, and as fun as the adventure of hotel living can be, it wears thin.

The baby and I have been doing more of these trips as a duo of late and we have it down to a science. Everything from what I need from my hotel (breakfast included is a sanity saving must) rental car (pick up near hotel) and stroller (Snap & Go) to where I stop to change, feed and give me and my little companion a break (too numerous and varied to mention).

Having a routine to how I do things makes for a smoother trip, easier work day and happier children.

I feel lucky that I have the opportunity to do this.

How lucky am I to be able to do what I love, and bring my babies with me? (when necessary - I'm not sacrificing their childhood to be at work all day, People)

Having my family with me allows me to do what I do, be a loving mamma, and a modern business woman to boot.

The funny thing about luck?
It requires allot of planning, hard work and passion.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, March 18, 2012

what she wore

One of my favorite features on any blog I follow is the "what I wore" post. I guess being a boutique owner really is my calling, as I just love seeing what women are wearing and how they put it all together.

I had meant to do the same on this blog - a weekly feature of favorite outfits. Once I discovered I was pregnant, I thought I'd do some cute preggers outfits. Then once my baby was born I was going to do a feature on all the great clothes I had found/made for her.

Needless to never happened.
I still want to do it but feel self conscious as I have allot of weight to lose still.

The fashion industry is a tough business in many ways; image being the trickiest to navigate.

Even the formidable Anna Wintour wears black most days - you cant go too far wrong in a sleek black outfit.

Finally, I've decided to do it anyway - post baby weight and all.
I don't have much to wear now that I'm in this weird limbo land of breastfeeding baby and chauffeuring my toddler everywhere ( having two stores full of beautiful clothing is great - when I'm my normal size. Not so much post baby ) but it will be fun to challenge myself and document this new baby/fashion terrain.

Had to ask Dutch Husband to snap a shot of me today with my iPhone - ugly weather didn't help but I managed to bravely ignore the rain and dress for Spring anyway.
Baby Tallulah Grace is peeking out from the carrier. Vintage slips I dyed and embellished a la Dottie Angel style are my go-to skirt these days, and my new Kork-ease clog sandals that I am obsessed with.

Amalia Rose in her Sunday finery. You'll see that I dress my children much more sensibly than myself - no bare legs and open toe sandals on her today!

She's growing up so fast - her little wool duffle coat is looking short on her. I think it's heading to the cleaners and then storage for it's next tour on Tallulah Grace. I love classic styles on kids - they really are timeless.

I knit the "February baby bonnet" for Tallulah Grace - a bit of Spring colour to brighten these grey days and keep her wee noggin cosy.

Saw this little bonnet on a customers baby last week and I had to run to Three Bags Full (my local yarn shop) for some wool and knit it immediately.
Easy, fun and cute!

Spring? Where are you?

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

lessons learned

Managed a trip to the Fieldstone Vintage Market today!

So glad I made it happen as it was wonderful wandering the stalls of vintage goodness. Even herded the girls and Dutch Husband into a portrait shot - there was a 'photo booth' set up with lovely old chairs and fantastic decor.

Can't wait to see how it turns out (they email the shot). Tho I am prepared to see my three year old grimacing, the six year old blinking and me yawning. Such is the fate of any family shot these days.

Even got in a wee bit of shopping - purchased five vintage linen stockings for Christmas this year. I was planning on sewing new ones myself, out of my enormous linen stash, but let's face it - it's not gonna happen.
Not this year. Sigh.

I've really had to be firm with myself. Talked myself off the Christmas guilt ledge a few times so far, and it's only Dec 3rd...
I am having to be reasonable (not my strong suit) and accept the fact that I will not get everything done that I would like.
For example, I am participating in one of my favorite craft shows - Got Craft? and have had to swallow the bitter, bitter, pill of reality.
I will have some of my handmade jewelry for sale, but not all the other wonderful items I've been scheming to make.

Everything got a start but no finish.
I'm looking at a studio full of half made...everythings.
Those lost weeks with the baby being ill really hurt my production line.

So this year, I am learning the lesson of patience and temperance.

THAT, and I am SO going to steal the twinkle-lights-in-old-canning-jars idea...I think I can manage to put that together this year.

What lesson are you learning this Holiday Season?

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas countdown

One month to Christmas.

Maybe you didn't hear me correctly. Let me repeat that....its ONE MONTH TO CHRISTMAS!

People, I am freaking out.
Where did November go?
And why am I only realizing this now? I should have been panicking weeks ago, not saving it up for the last minute.

I know there are many of you who don't even begin to think about the Holidays till well after American Thanksgiving. I've even been told some wait for December to begin.
Personally, I've always been more of a "Oh-it's-September-the-leaves-are-falling-OMG!!!-Christmas-is-practically-here!" kind of hysteric.
What can i say?'s served me well over the years.

You see, I love Christmas and all it entails - I love the music, the decor, the tree, the hustle and bustle of those city sidewalks...I love everything about it with such a passion that my panic in its being only a month away is more about the running out of "Christmas magic time" than any fear of not finding a gift for all the names on my list.
I want my Christmas to stretch out before me in a heart warming lineup of parties, cookie baking, wine by the fire and assorted Holiday flavored activities.
I don't want one day.
I want my Christmas to last all month long, and with only a few weeks to go, I'm down to the wire of getting the aforementioned activities started.

There lies my panic.
I am way behind.

I know how quickly these next few weeks will pass and I don't want to have it all end with just one day - I want to savor it each and every day - and so should you.

Its the small gestures and quiet moments that make Christmas special for me.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's been awhile...

So much has happened while I've been away. I don't even know where, or how, to begin.

Let's make it easy:

- I got pregnant!
After two unsuccessful years
trying, we finally made it happen. ( I don't discount the power of "giving up" and selling off all baby items. Had just sold off the last of the nursery furniture when I found out )

- It was a drama filled pregnancy.
Had originally set out to 'enjoy the process' this time ( I was so nervous when I was carrying Mia, it's all a blur ) So having complications threw a wrench in my 'enjoy being pregnant' plans.

Between competitive growing fibroids, a suddenly overactive thyroid condition and receiving a 50/50 chance for Downs Syndrome - it was an emotional roller coaster 9 months. Fortunately, everything worked out just fine.

- I gave birth to a super cute baby girl!
Named her Tallulah Grace and she is the sweetest little bun ever.

- 6 week old Tallulah Grace suddenly has a fever and we rush to hospital.
It's Meningitis.
I'm devastated.
Cue forward a week, to today, and she is doing great and we will be heading home tomorrow.
Sighs of relief all around.

There you have it. Some of the events of the last year. Well, baby specific events of the last year.
Lots of other interesting non-baby things occurred too but they would require more time (and coffee) for me to recount today.

This is just me saying "Hello, I'm back".

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