Share, sell, donate, upcycle…or toss?

A box of unwanted stuff ready for a garage sale or to donate to a charitable organization. Shot on white background.

Boxes of forgotten toys, miscellaneous kitchen gadgets, retired decorative fixtures, books, frames, baby gear, old clothes…no, this is not a hoarder’s dream. This is my basement. Ok, so it could be hoarder’s dream. You really need to watch your step if you go looking for the box of old files tucked in the back corner, […]

Is this what the end of the world feels like?

When I first heard the news about the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, I was simply overwhelmed with grief as a mother — as a human — on behalf of the families who lost their worlds yesterday. I felt angry, confused, bitter and disappointed in a world that seemed to be twisted inside out. Any words […]

Do you have some words to spare?

Send a message of hope and support to the homeless mothers at Marillac Place.

Being a parent is a tough job in so many colourful ways. And it sometimes draws out words that are equally colourful. For instance, when my 2.5 year old daughter decided to run down the street this morning as I was buckling my son into his car seat, I muttered a few choice words. Thankfully, […]

The poor and forgotten in our own Waterloo Region

I ran into this feeling once before. It’s like heartbreak mixed with insufficiency, a feeling that I’ll never be able to do enough to make right what I’ve seen and heard. The first time was during my relatively short working trip to Kolkata, India in June 2005. I helped out for a few days in […]

DIY: Holiday newspaper craft – success at last!

Finally!! After two previously documented attempts, and a few really miserable undocumented tries, I finally figured out how to create something that I don’t mind hanging in my house. The challenge was to create something that looks magazine-ready, using newspaper and flyers. The beauty about this particular craft is that it only took 20 minutes […]

3 tips for protecting your kids and your Holiday decorations from each other

DD in playpen beside Christmas tree

Decorating for Christmas and Hanukkah is one of my favourite things to do out of the whole year. I love stringing up garland, tying bows on just about every candle I own, and blowing the dust off my Nutcracker collection. But Holiday decorating also presents extra hazards for little ones who are crawling or toddling […]

Frugal fashion “lookbook” of hand-me-downs and handmade clothing

12 months - Who says you can‘t be comfy and dressy? This is a gorgeous deep purple formal dress, layered with a puffy jacket in fuchsia. The Ugg-style faux suede boots and brightly patterned winter toque complete the eclectic vibe.

Inspiration for buying gently used and locally handmade clothing for your kids. The bleak state of the economy, an ever-growing appreciation for reducing consumption, an increased awareness that supporting local small businesses will help bolster our communities and the economy…it seems there are a lot of big (and long-winded) reasons that people are thinking frugally […]

Social-media-marketing-induced multiple personality disorder

I just finished updating Cloak and Curio with more gently used children’s clothing. Blearily I stare at the clock and realize that I have just enough time to post a quick business message on Facebook and Twitter before clocking out for the night. So, I shoot off my chipper missives about updates to the store […]

15 minutes of lame

Just today, my almost-10-month-old son decided that holding his own bottle during feeding time was not a sign of parental neglect, but a step towards independence. Not only that, but he sat quietly on his own while drinking! This allows me an extra 15 minutes (two daytime feedings x 7.5 minutes each) to be a […]

Three reasons why negotiating with a baby is a (mostly) fruitless endeavour

They can’t talk. They don’t know what “negotiate” means. They do know that when you use that tone it means they’re not getting what they actually want. I tried negotiating with my nine-month-old son the other day. It didn’t go as well as I had hoped, primarily for the reasons noted above, but we did […]