Meet Our Favorite Moms: Vancouver Edition

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We are so excited to be heading to our 7th stop Gearapalooza in the truly gorgeous city, Vancouver, on Thursday, May 23 !  We can’t wait to bring this ultimate baby gear and registry event to the city — we will be featuring TheBabyGuyNYC who will have the BEST baby gear, products, services + safety information in one action-packed night!   If you’re a new or expectant parent this is a DO NOT MISS event!  The gift bags are also incredible and there are thousands of dollars in giveaways (strollers, car seats, carriers, and so much more)!

To celebrate our arrival in Vancouver, we want to introduce you to some of our favorite Vancouver moms.  We are so lucky to have these amazing women as part of our BCB community & most will be joining us at Gearapalooza so be sure to stop by and say hi!

We want you to meet…

1) Name: Monica Manalo

Age: 27 Years Old

Kids and ages: Jermaine Riley (2) & One on the way (due May 21, 2019)

Where do you live? Vancouver, BC Canada

Tell us a little about yourself…

Work life:  I currently work full time at the Vancouver Airport (YVR) as a Capacity Planner for Screening Officers. I am the blogger behind A Dose Of Ohana (adoseofohana.com)

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? When my toddler asks me for a hug or kiss on his own.

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) We travel a lot as a family and have been on many plane rides with our toddler ever since he was an infant. I know plane rides with toddlers can be a nightmare. We’ve never had a bad experience (yet). Our trick is to tire out our toddler right before the flight. Once he is settled in the plane, he would pass out. We have always received compliments at the end of the flights.

What is the best part about where you live? I love everything about Vancouver – everything is accessible and there is always something you can do. This city is very family-oriented and has a great Parenthood Community.

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. There are always family friendly events going on here in Vancouver, so we are kept busy attending those fun events. Other than that, we love to go to the parks on sunny days and indoor swimming on rainy days.

Favorite date night in your hometown. Simple dinner out, we love all kinds of food!

What are five things that you could not “mom” without?

Self Care Appointments (once a week I will either have a massage, chiropractor or acupuncture appointment). Agenda or Calendar (I am planner and love to organize what I need to do), Carrier (Ergobaby – when my son was an infant), Snacks (it will always keep my son still if I need him to), Stroller (keeps me sane when we are out and about).

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do. I usually book all my self care appointments when I know I have “me time.” I would either have a massage, chiro, acupuncture and sometimes a facial done.

Who are your “mom idols?”  I’ve got four mom idols. Michelle Obama (I mean who doesn’t have her as an idol – From everything on what she does and says and how her daughters were raised).

Karla McCormick of Kambia Kids (her ACCOMPLISHED dream came from a school project that her professor failed her on). Patricia Valdez of Paperplain Brand (Started off her kids clothing brand from her home and is now very successful – all from inspiration from her son. I have watched her grow and work hard to make it to where she is now).

Jackie Kawaauhau of Aloha Kai Apparel (Always has great stories to share. She also shares inspiring words everyday)

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? One of my best friends, Mary: She was the first our of our group of friends to be a mom. She is where I get all my advice from, I met her originally from Work. Angela (@ma.vie.avec.trois on instagram): One of the first instagram mama’s I met in person. Her youngest daughter and my son has a great bond ever since they were 8 months old. Patricia of Paperplain Brand: Since she is local, I met her at a random farmers market and from that day she has been my inspiration. Our sons love to go on playdates together.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before Motherhood? Breastfeeding is not easy. All I knew was that Breastfeeding is what was best. I struggled from post-partum caused by the struggle of breastfeeding. Everything eventually got better. I would say it was the hardest part post-birth for me. My advice would be “FED is bes.”.

How do you balance it all? Honestly, planning ahead. I plan everything on what days I predict will be best to do so. Of course, there is occasional unforseen circumstances but always prioritize what you think is best and know that it’s okay to postpone what should have been done that day.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? So many songs, but if I had to choose one of my favorites: Until the end of time – Justin Timberlake.

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it: I originally started with my son being a brand rep for many local small shops when he was 7-12 months old. From there, we started attending local events and markets (and even volunteered for some). I absolutely loved the community I was in and was inspired by Vancouver Mom to start blogging. My blog started off about Motherhood and Support of what brought me here (Local / Small Businesses). I began showcasing important events in our lives and began travelling a lot. Now, I am transitioning the Blog to focus on Family Friendly Travel.

Find out more about Oahana on her blog and on Instagram!

We want you to meet…

2) Name: Julie Christine

Age: 33

Kid(s) and Ages: J age 5, N age 3, E age 2 months

Where do you live? Abbotsford, B.C.

Photo Cred: Mikaela Ruth Photography

Tell us a little about yourself…

Work life: I own my own photography business, Julie Christine Photography, and I absolutely adore my job. I primarily focus on lifestyle family, maternity, newborn photography. I take on 10 weddings and capture a handful of births a year! I also write for my personal blog, Julie Christine XO, focusing primarily on my mommy musings and also run a small blog called “This Is Brave”. This is a little passion project focusing on mental health and sharing stories of women working through their struggles in hopes to connect & relate with other women around the world who may feel alone in their struggles.

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? How much love a little human can have for you and you can have for them. Being a Mother requires so much vulnerability which is scary yet the greatest reward of motherhood.

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) Store extra clothes for each of your children in the trunk of your car in case of accidents/getting too dirty or wet, as well as a small bag of toys & snacks… they WILL come in handy. Also we stash a package of wet wipes in our trunk, centre consul and diaper bag… just in case.

What is the best part about where you live? We love living in a city that is not too “in the city” but not too rural. We love being close to stores and shopping centres yet also feeling like we can spend time in the country side.

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. Our Vancouver Zoo & Mann Farms. As well as our festivals such as the Tulip Festival, and Sunflower Festival. And we love the pumpkin patch farms such as Willowview and The Apple Barn in the Fall.

Favorite date night in your hometown. Our Escape Rooms and date nights at Highstreet for dinner and a movie.

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without? My Beluga Baby! Handsfree baby wearing is totally necessary with three kids. My Bugaboo Donkey Stroller, mostly because it has two seats and a scooter board, there is always a seat for someone. My Snuggle Me Organic, a total game changer when it comes to supervised naps. My Dwell and Slumber, amazing to sleep in and easy nurse in! And Batiste Dry shampoo!!!

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? Aleva Wet Wipes & Soother wipes Extra change of newborn clothes Lavender doggie bags we use or dirty diapers & dirty clothes on the go Beluga Baby Wrap Jax & Lennon Co. Car seat cover.

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? Take a bath & I love to work on photo as well!! I also love getting together with good friends for coffee and chats without kids.

Who are your “mom idols”? I often look at moms who’s kids are not in high school or recently graduating and I tend to idolize moms and parents that seem to keep their kids close, spend time with the regularly, travel with them, give back with them etc. I have a handful of these women in my life I constantly am looking up to. Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them?

Honestly, some of the most supportive moms I have found over the last few years have been through social media. A lot of them are small business owner, bloggers or past photography clients so they get the whole work/mom life balance and really step up to the plate when each other are struggling in a season. I have a few great friends I have found through there that are beyond supportive and helpful! I also have been so lucky to have an incredible sister in law who gets me on more levels than just being a mom.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? Don’t be afraid to ask for help & and then be that help when needed. Parenting is really hard at times and we need each other. We need a friend at times, we need a meal at times, we need a coffee at times, we need a place to vent sometimes, we need to cry sometimes, we need a nap sometimes, we need a break sometimes… be that for each other.

How do you balance it all? The million dollar question. I like to say I don’t but by saying that I mean, I have many moments I feel overwhelmed and when I do it really sparks me to reassess what my priorities are and what is really important to me. At times it means taking on less work because it is a season I want to spend more time with my kids and at other times its vice versa. How I balance it all is always changing.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? There is a older song called “I Hope you Dance” by Lee ann Womack and it I would always had thought that is my song. On the other hand right now in life it feels like “Who Let The Dogs Out” is a bit more appropriate haha.

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it: I shared a bit above in my business question that I have a presence on social media through my photography and two blogs. Although This Is Brave is written primarily by women all over the world (I facilitate the blog and am the founder), it is a huge passion of mine. I want women everywhere to feel they are not alone in the struggles of mental health and new stages of life such as becoming a mother, loosing a loved one etc… all which affect our mental health. My blog Julie Christine XO was something I started years ago, before photography and although I have revamped my site a handful of times and updated posts, it really is a spot for me to just share our life stories, tips, tricks, DIY’s, mommy musings etc. I love being creative, party planning, DIYing and sharing mom hacks. I also love supporting small shops and sharing them on the blog as well as share stories of walking through motherhood!

Learn more about Julie on Instagram and Facebook. This Is Brave: IG: @this.is.brave FB: @thisisbrave Julie Christine Photography: FB: @juliecphotos

We want you to meet…

3) Name: Nina

Age: 32

Kid(s) and Ages: 5, 2 and 1 on the way (due beginning of June).

Where do you live? Vancouver, Canada

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

Work life: I’m a SAHM, with a re-selling side hustle. I thrift for anything that I can make a good flip on, especially kids toys and designer items.

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? Acknowledging how strong I really am mentally and physically (hello, birthing kids)!

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) Hmmm, tough one. But, I’m trying this thing where I go to sleep when my kids go to sleep at least 4/7 nights. 8pm bedtime, ok! Forget the sink full of dishes, or pile of laundry, just go to sleep lol.

What is the best part about where you live? The diversity.

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. Have picnics in the park.

Favorite date night in your hometown. What are those? LOL, seriously, I don’t remember. We’ve been trying to plan a date night since Black Panther was in theatres and never happened. So, our goal is now going to watch Avengers End Game (End of April, ask me in May if we went LOL). Gimme all the nachos, extra jalape~os.

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without? Good kids music (1,2,3 Andres, Jessie Farell and Bobs & Lolo are family faves), The Gumboot Kids, Meditation App, a full belly, and patience LOL.

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? TushiStick, water bottle, chapstick, reusable cutlery, handful of lil cars.

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? Sleep, Eat, Read, and watch Survivor while eating ketchup chips or fresh fruit, depends.

Who are your “mom idols”?  My mom.

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? Met a couple of via the post partum drop in at our midwifery clinic with our 1st kid, and the rest of my mom crew, I’ve met at our neighbourhood park or through our hyper local parent group for our hood.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? I don’t know, don’t take advice personal? Take what you want, and filter out what you don’t.

How do you balance it all? You just do!

If you had a theme song, what would it be? Wake Me Up by Aviccii

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it: Follow Nina on Instagram where she shares a little bit about her family, culture (travel/food/etc), clean beauty and sustainability products that we enjoy. And on her blog, she covers the above topics, but include many reviews, whether baby products, beauty, food and even travels.

We want you to meet…

4)  Name: Clarissa Dingle

Age: 38

Kid(s) and Ages: Hudson, age 5

Where do you live? Port Moody, BC

Work life: I am a full-time secondary Socials Studies and Geography teacher. Additionally, I am the creator of the Life with Sass blog.

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? Watching my son grow into a little person; a person with innate hobbies, interests, and passions. I love seeing his natural character and personality develop. He is intuitive, sensitive, loyal and funny and I enjoy allowing him to hone his true sense of self.

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? Up-cycling and reconstructing your kids’ clothing! I cut pants that are worn in the knee into shorts for the summer and chop the sleeves of long sleep shirts to create tanks and vests. I try to use every item throughout all seasons knowing that next year they will no longer fit my rapidly growing son. I have a blog post on some easy ideas to get you started! https://www.lifewithsass.com/kids/2018/4/3/reconstruct-your-kids-outgrown-clothing

What is the best part about where you live? The Greater Vancouver Area is literally the best of all worlds: mountains, beaches, stunning views, amazing restaurants and shopping, and 4 seasons to enjoy it all. I cannot picture living anywhere else in Canada.

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. Living in Port Moody, my son and I are within walking distance to Rocky Point park, located on the Burrard Inlet. It’s the perfect one- stop-shop for families with a playground, waterpark, skatepark, trails, restaurants, ice cream, swimming pool, and Brewers Row (4, soon-to-be 5 Breweries) across the street. We spend many evenings and weekends at Rocky Point, taking in everything this gorgeous park has to offer.

Favorite date night in your hometown. Fresh, delicious sushi at Sushi Mori, or nearby Taps and Tacos! Yummm

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without? 1. Coffee 2. A planner 3. My backpack 4. Patience 5. A whole lot of love

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? Although I don’t have a diaper bag anymore, I do use a Matt and Nat backpack. I never leave home without water bottles for my little man and me, some snacks, and a few activities for my son (ie a colouring book and crayons, an activity book, etc.), wipes, bandaids my wallet and chapstick!

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? I workout nearly every day, hike, blog/write, create Instagram content, take photos, and spend time with friends and family.

Who are your “mom idols?”  Melanie Pederson, founder and co-owner of Free Reign Clothing (www.thefreereignlife.com) – she had the vision and inspiration to start her clothing line when she was in a care accident with her 9-day old son. Bedridden and suffering in pain, she wanted to do something from home and spread positivity and kindness, while shedding the stigma behind hidden illnesses. She continues to be a daily dose of inspiration to me and many others. Any and all single moms that I know or follow on social media. They are truly warriors and I admire them for their strength and tenacity!

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? Melanie Pederson, founder and co- owner of Free Reign Clothing (www.thefreereignlife.com) – we met through Instagram 2 years ago and have been besties ever since. Amanda Kollman, founder and co-owner of So Luxury (www.soluxury.ca) – we met at a market a few years back and have maintained a friendship that allows us to support one another in our co-parenting journeys. Lara Rabb, founder and owner of Heavy Eyes Happy Hearts Sleep Training (www.heavyeyeshappyhearts.com) – we met many years ago when we worked together at a part-time job throughout university and now are sons are besties in the same Kindergarten class.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? It’s harder than you think, but also more rewarding than you would have ever thought possible. Have a tribe, lean on people and never be afraid to ask for help. It truly does take a village!

How do you balance it all? I am a very rigid and structured person by nature, so I have a set routine and schedule and I ensure that I don’t have any grey areas of time throughout my day. Everything is designated as something specific. For example, when I’m spending time with my son, I am only doing that. When I am blogging or networking, that is what I’m doing during that set time. I’ve had to learn to say no to things in my life because I want to limit my stress and

If you had a theme song, what would it be? “Titanium” – David Guetta & Sia

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it.  My blog, Life with Sass, aims to reach out to mamas and parents who wish to live a life with health and balance, while having fun. I share all of my favourite brands and products through promotions and discount codes, while organically sharing a glimpse of my life – the good and the bad. I also focus on my perspective on how to navigate through the life of co-parenting by sharing my successes and failures, urging everyone to always have the best intentions for the children involved. I’m not always serious, however, as I am very sarcastic and witty by nature and have a passion for sharing life hacks and ideas that ease the burden of parenthood. Find more about Clarissa: Blog: www.lifewithsass.com Instagram: @lifewithsass Facebook: @lifewithsass

We want you to meet…

5) Name: Amanda Breen

Age: 31

Kid(s) and Ages: Mikayla – 2.5 years old and Nash – 2 months old

Where do you live? Delta, British Columbia, a suburb close to Vancouver

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

Work life:  I work at 102.7 THE PEAK and 93.7 JR Country where I’m a Digital Content Producer. What does that mean? Well, I’m a digital storyteller, a digital creator… I help these two radio stations with building brand awareness online and stronger online communities. I create content like Videos, Social Media Posts, Graphics, Photos, Facebook Lives, that sort of thing for their websites and social channels.

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? The biggest reward of motherhood so far is being able to watch my daughter discover the world around her and then being lucky enough to get to do it again with Nash. It’s so fun watching her reactions and being able to re-live my childhood again through them. We’ve made new traditions and holidays just became more fun. Also, being a mom has brought me closer to my own mom and has given me many other friendships with parents who have kids.

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) My biggest “mom-hack” is ONLINE GROCERY SHOPPING. Holy smokes. It’s the best thing and my biggest time saver! I order groceries at 10pm from my bed and pick it up the next day. AND it doesn’t cost anything extra! AMAZING.

What is the best part about where you live? Vancouver is a mosaic of different cultures and it’s beautiful year-round. It’s also a very family- friendly city. There are a lot of different kid-friendly activities, events and support for parents. We’re also lucky enough to hop in the car and be able to drive to the beach, go snowboarding on a mountain, visit a farm for fresh food and shop downtown all in the same day.

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. My favourite thing to do with my kids would be grabbing fish and chips at the wharf, frozen yogurt for dessert and run around at the park.

Favorite date night in your hometown. My favourite date night is getting a coconut margarita and Salmon burrito at Las Margaritas for dinner, then going to a Canucks game at Rogers Arena or a country concert at the Commodore Ballroom.

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without?  I cannot MOM without my iPhone. That’s pretty general… so let me break it down a bit. The Amazon app is my go to for getting diapers and random bits and pieces I think of. We also have an Amazon Echo in the Kitchen which is great for putting together a grocery list. But my iPhone has our calendar in it, so I can stay organized. It’s also my camera! I need it to capture all those little moments. Oh and GPS. I’m terrible with directions! So my iPhone gets me to the right places and helps me avoid traffic jams. Gotta keep the car moving when you have a sleeping baby in the back… know what I mean??

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? 1) K’Pure Overachiever body balm – it’s a balm that does it all! I use it on my lips, dry cuticles, diaper rash, road rash… Everything! 2) A Diaper Clutch. I keep diapers, pullups and wipes in it. 3) A Wet/Dry bag. I keep 1 wet/dry bag with me and if there’s anything that’s dirty (ahem.. potty training) I just toss it in there. 4) Muslin blanket. I also use it as a cover when I’m nursing 5) Snacks! Right now, my toddler is really into Seaweed and Made Good granola balls.

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? Facemasks! I make time for myself every week. I actually put it in my calendar that every Monday after 8pm, when my toddler has gone to bed, I pass baby Nash off to my husband and I go upstairs, put on a facemask, close our bedroom door and chill out for a minimum of 20 minutes!

Who are your “mom idols?”  I look up to my Mom and mother in law the most. My Mom worked full time as a nurse yet she powered through and raised both myself and my brother. She cooked delicious Filipino meals and made sure we had dinner on the table every night even if she wasn’t there to eat it with us since she worked from 3pm to 11pm. My Mother-in-Law who was a daycare provider for many, many years! She has endless energy and is so playful and so patient with her grandchildren.

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? I would have to say my girlfriend Megan, who I met through my husband’s old co-worker. We had kids in the same year and when Mikayla was born Megan would check in on me. We shared the same aches and pains of breastfeeding, cluster feeding and all the emotions that came with motherhood. Other Mamas in my tribe would have to be my neighbours. There are 4 of us that all have kids around the same age. Every sunny afternoon, right before dinner we’re outside letting the kids run around while we catch up.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? Nothing is forever. Every challenge, every sleepless night, every sweaty, stressful, hard moment is only temporary. It’s only a stage. They’ll move on and it’ll get better. Enjoy each day, hold your baby close and cherish that moment. They’ll never be that small ever again!

How do you balance it all? I schedule everything. I plan it out and put it in our calendar. I’ve learned to manage my time better since having kids. I give myself a specific block of time to get things done then I move on to the next thing. I schedule in ME TIME, a date, or a hang out. And I’m specific about it, I plan out our month in advance with activities, dates and me-time. I have to! Otherwise it’s not a priority. If I put it in our calendar, I’m less likely to cancel on myself, my husband, family or friends. Plus my husband can look at our calendar and we work together to make sure we don’t cancel on our plans.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? I go through so many theme songs! Haha! But right now I’m totally feeling and loving BONES by Maren Morris. Also GIRL by Maren Morris and I’m also loving The Bull by Kip Moore.

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it:  TheUrbanMom.ca is a collection of my personal stories as a full-time working mom trying to find balance between: Me and #Momlife. I’m passionate about helping busy moms find balance between selfcare, career and finding fun and affordable things to do with their families. I share a lot of detail in the posts on TheUrbanMom.ca but you can find quick, bite sized stories, reflections and How-To’s on my Instagram: @amandalbreen. I recently started a YouTube channel and on there, I post quick weekend trips around Vancouver, plus How-To’s for new parents, PLUS stuff I do for me aka NOT #momlife stuff!  Follow along or subscribe and let’s connect!

We want you to meet…

6) Name: Ashley Cau

Age: 34

Kid(s) and Ages: Daughter– Ireland, almost 12!!

Where do you live? Abbotsford, just outside of Vancouver.

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

Work life:  I have been the city blogger for Modern Mama Fraser Valley for almost a year and a half. I am fortunate enough that I love my “job.” I get to attend fantastic local events and meet incredible people throughout the community. I aim to show moms that we have more in common than differences.

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? I think just giving birth to my best friend. I am lucky that as much as I am a parent first I really do have a genuine friendship with my daughter. We have inside jokes and open communication. I feel like in many ways she has raised me just as much as I have her. I love watching the smart, stubborn and beautiful person she is becoming.

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? I feel like my best hacks were plan ahead when you can. Pre-pack that diaper bag, restock stuff you might need in the car when your thinking about it, pick out outfits the night before. Always have snacks.

What is the best part about where you live? We live in suburbia so we get the comfort of living in a small community. Our neighbourhood still does block parties and we have a Facebook group just for our little area. We have great local lakes and hiking trails. We are also close enough to Vancouver that we still get the city vibe when we need it. Countless restaurants, theatres and attractions to choose from.

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown? One of our favourite things are walking around Mill Lake or watching a play at the Abbotsford Arts Centre.

Favorite date night in your hometown. As a single mama these nights don’t happen much but having dinner and drinks at the VIP Cineplex or my favourite local restaurants are Bow and Stern and Noodlebox.

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without?  1) Youtube– we love laying in bed watching movie trailers together and comparing music tastes. 2) Online Grocery Shopping Apps 3) Ultimate Family Calendar on our Fridge combined with Google calendar 4) Pinterest for dinner ideas 5) Coffee!!!

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? Change of clothes, diapers, snacks, toys and teething supplies.

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? Watch Netflix, write, workout, get massages and go for infrared wraps. I struggled with prioritizing “me” time for way too long and I went to a Peace of Mind workshop at the Ravenstone Retreat and found it really helped get rid of some of that mom guilt and helped me find myself as a person again.

Who are your “mom idols?”  My mom tribe is filled with moms that I can always turn to for advice or support. My Modern Mama followers have become part of my tribe and are a great sounding board for new suggestions. I really appreciate celebrities that are honest about motherhood and share their struggles in a funny and relatable way. My two favourites would be queen of the clapback– Chrissy Tiegen or the always hilarious Kristen Bell.

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? My top 3 moms that will always support and be brutally honest with me: Ana (my best friend from highschool ), Stephanie (we were PAC moms together) and Malynda (co-workers that survived the worst year of our lives together). My grandmother has lived with us the last 8 years and I cherish the fact that I have been able to raise my daughter with her.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? Be prepared for so much unwanted, unsolicited advice. Understand that every child is so uniquely different that just because something worked for one doesn’t mean that it will work for another and that is okay. Ask for help when you need it and don’t “should” yourself. Also I feel like people talk about the “terrible twos” a lot but don’t really stress that those cute babies turn into teenagers. Try to enjoy the terrible twos because they are so much cuter than the terrible tweens.

How do you balance it all? I don’t! I feel like even after a decade of parenting, we are just taking it day by day. I try to pre-plan whenever possible and to not carry too much guilt when the plan doesn’t work out. Some days all you can do is laugh it off. The saying that the days are long and the years are short is so true, that all we can do is try to stay present in the moment and not stress about what we cannot control.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? “Shake It Out” by Florence and the Machine.

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it: Modern Mama has been around for the last 11-years and is all about “getting moms out of the house.” Being a mom on maternity leave, stay-at-home mom, working mom, step-mom, whether you have one child or five, the common thread is that it’s difficult to find time for yourself and we want to help make moms feel less overwhelmed or isolated. We want to help moms find fun local events, great services and products. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

If you’re an expectant or new parent in the Vancouver area, don’t miss Gearapalooza on Thursday 5/23 6:00-9:00 pm at West Coast Kids!  Join us and these amazing moms featured here for an event just for you!  We’re bringing you the BEST baby gear, products, services + safety information in one action packed event!  For more information and registration, CLICK HERE.