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Jul 25

What is the Bra ‘n’ Brains Movement?

In a world of judgement, competition and social media trolls, there seems to be a theme emerging from the ugly fog of the past: I’m calling it the Bra ‘n’ Brains movement (Say it quick… See what I did there?) *cough* Patent pending.

Wait, what the heck is that? Well, it’s trending, so that’s good – when it goes viral, I’ll let you know… There seems to have been a major shift on social media, and in the minds of a large group of women. The belief and practice that we are stronger, happier and almost certainly saner when we travel through life together – literally or virtually – as women tackling the same challenges. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of Mrs Judgey McJudgersons to be found, but the idea of women coming together in large like-minded groups to share our stories, to laugh at our commonality and to encourage each other seems to be spreading like a toddler case of hand, foot and mouth disease. It’s like Girl Power grew up and it is haaaawt!

Why have I likened this mentality to the much-dreaded over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder? Well, simply put, this movement is pushing women up in a fully supportive – and sometimes uncomfortable – fashion. Sounds kinda like your bra, am I right?!

To prove to you that I am not delusional and that these supportive, encouraging, hilariously relatable, inclusive (should I go on?) communities really exist, you don’t have to look far. A few of these community gems can be found right in our own backyard. In the Toronto area alone, there are several bloggers/influencers who have found their tribe, and who are making it their mission to spread the love far and wide. Here’s a list of a few of my favourites (with website links). If you don’t already follow these ladies on social media… Whachu waitin’ for??

Not to mention there are tons of these warriors in the States too – that’s right, these chicks are warriors. They are blazing a much-needed trail of strong tribes where the bitter, angry and judgemental passed before. Here are some of my favourite neighbours to the south:

As a mom of two tween girls (gasp) I am thrilled at the prospect that there is a growing pool of role models that will show them the way to building others up – other than myself, of course. Social media has so far taught my girls’ generation that you are popular if you have the most followers, that there are dangerous people out there and that videos are fun to make and post. What it has yet to teach them is that it can also be the catalyst for large groups of like-minded people to rejoice together, to grieve together or to be able to make an amazing difference in the world.

Whether it’s a workout accountability group, a moms’ group or even a business community, having a place where women go out of their way to help each other and support each other – preferabl in a funny way – is turning into just the kind of world where I’m proud to have my girls grow up.

Way to go, Superwomen – first the internet, next the world. #branbrainsmovement

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Jul 28

Shame, Shame…

OK, so it’s been a long time coming… but here’s part 2 from the previous blog! That same night at the mall with the fam, we went to Justice to look at bathing suits for the trip. While the girls were in the changerooms, there was another mom sitting beside me waiting for her kids, so we started chatting. My girls (they are 10 and 12) came out and we talked about whether they were happy with their suits. At almost the same time, 2 little girls (maybe about 5 and 7?) came out of the changeroom next door and began asking the mom beside me if they could buy the suits they had on. So far, a normal experience.

But here’s the thing: my girls were in one-pieces and tankinis where no midriffs were showing. The lady beside me was obviously self-conscious about the fact that her girls were trying on triangle bikinis. She immediately began explaining that she knew the suits were inappropriate and that she shouldn’t be buying them but the girls were super excited and asked for them.

I mean…. This is another mom! We are equals. Both busy, tired women doing our best. She certainly doesn’t owe me any explanations. It doesn’t offend me if her girls wear bikinis, in fact, it doesn’t have any effect on my life at all. However, it’s a sad state of affairs when you think you have to defend your parenting choices to another random mom at the mall.

Of course I did not mom-shame her. I did not even hint that I thought her choice was wrong… Who am I to judge? In fact, I had just come from a situation when I was in her shoes.

The point of this story and of many of my stories is that we are a group of women with something important in common. We are Moms. Connected in a way that no other community can be, so why do we constantly make each other feel bad and guilty?

Stay tuned for the next blog, where I give you a list of some of my favourite bloggers and sites that are working on building women and moms up, on forming healthy and supportive communities – while laughing at ourselves.

Duuude. You only get one shot at life. I’m not wasting it being on either side of the mom-shaming game. Or any kind of shaming, for that matter. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

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Feb 26


Soooo…. I’m a mom and sometimes I’m compelled to write about mom stuff. I recently had 2 experiences I would like to share with you that really has stuck with me in the weeks that have followed. In this blog, I will tell you about the first of those 2 incidents…

My husband, my 2 girls and I were at the mall trying on bathing suits for an upcoming trip. The girls didn’t find anything they liked after trying on about 10 suits each. While getting their clothes back on, a mom with a little boy came up to the change room to wait for their turn. The girls came out without anything to put back, so I said to the mom “oh, sorry, it looks like they left the suits in there. Hold on a sec…” The mom looks into the change room, and in a less-than-mild tone, says “Yeah, they did. And they are all over the floor.” So, my girls aren’t perfect by any means, y’know they’re KIDS. They didn’t think to hang the suits up or even to bring them out. That’s totally not cool, but I don’t need to be parented by a stranger. Further still, as my husband goes into the change room to help tidy up, the mom addresses my kids with “you better go clean up in there because right now Daddy is cleaning up your mess.”

What I did at this point was leave the store. Listen, I know it takes all kinds… But, why, just why, do some moms take on this petty, competitive attitude? I can guarantee that this mom went home to her husband, and her community of mom friends, and started the re-telling of this story with something to the effect of “You will never believe how these girls behaved…”

Parenting is hard enough, you know? Trying to make other moms feel crappy about their parenting or about their kids so that you can feel superior is just wrong. Moms should stick together, not try to make themselves feel better by belittling other moms. That’s just BS. The thing is, I didn’t feel badly, I just felt angry. It was a great reminder to me about the way I want to live my life, about what’s important and about how I want to teach my girls to behave.

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Dec 06

New Year… New You?

Well, let’s not go that far! But what does the New Year mean to you? A fresh start? Renewed enthusiasm? Resolutions? At our house we do a sort of inventory, where we look at what’s working and what’s not working and we adjust for the coming months. This means organizationally, as well as homework practices, food choices and what we are working towards as a family, including our own personal priorities. I’m not much into resolutions, for me they tend to be abandoned by spring lol But this taking stock approach seems to be working for us!

Goals are always good, but as I tell the girls, they need to be optimistic AND attainable. Nobody likes to be set up to fail, but if they are too easy, then you haven’t stretched yourself. My theory is to make a list of goals rather than resolutions and work towards each one – with a wide range of difficulty so that you are thrilled with the rapid accomplishment of some, and really have to work towards some of them, with a big payoff at the end. One idea might be to reward yourself to keep yourself motivated! For example, if you are trying to save money, take 10% of your savings each month for a treat!

Hippie Chick Originals started off as a company to make a product that I couldn’t find on the market but it’s also about encouraging other families to have their own mantra, rules and mottos – with a unique and quirky take on it! Enjoy…

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Mar 25

It’s time…

Sooooo… The other day, I had the pleasure of re-watching one of the few great movies that’s near and dear to my heart… Perhaps not a universally recognised “classic,” but The Bucket List is a movie that really speaks to me. The idea that time is fleeting has always struck a chord with me – you know us free-spirited hippie chicks, we go where adventure takes us!

Well, since I’m not gettin’ any younger – I turn 40 in the fall – I have committed to making a Bucket List this year. I guess now that it’s officially out there, that plan is real! Dun dun dun… It’s an exciting and terrifying endeavour. What do you think about bucket lists? Do you have one?

Stay tuned for the customized, original canvas printed proof of my Bucket List and consider composing – and ordering, of course – your own version. Hippie Chick Originals can make anything that you can imagine, even your Bucket List. Duuude.

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Jan 31

It’s a New Year!

New year… New you? Nah, nothin’ wrong with the old you! But where do you see yourself in another year? What about your family? Do you have life lessons you’d like to share, values you want to practice, important messages for your little ones? Well, here’s where a Family Manifesto can help you with those goals.

I think we all have words of wisdom we want to impart on the next generation…  There seems to be a shift in parenting, back to old school, to the ways in which our parents raised us. As some of today’s parents have rebelled against the toddler ipad revolution, so have they adopted a lot of the old style of parenting. Basic “real world” values, a focus on logic and common sense and, at our house, cultivating a witty, sarcastic next generation.

The whole intent of the Family Manifesto is to decide what your family stands for, and shout that proudly for the world to see, in a fun (and if I might say, awesome) manner. Simple. A simple idea to embrace a certain motto, or creed, if you will, to display what’s important for your family.

So I’m sure by now you get the concept! The Family Manifesto is my way of reinforcing with my kids and anyone who visits our home, what we’re all about. You want to get in on that? Dude, we’re unique, original and would love to create anything you need for your family, friends, neighbours or anyone you know. Get yourself a Family Manifesto.

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Mar 22

Happy Spring!

Sooo… It’s almost April, and spring is now here! (Can I get a woo hoo?!) It’s a time for new beginnings, new ideas and gettin’ your family on the same page – you see where I’m going with this? Inside jokes, special memories, life lessons, your family code…  We all have things that belong to our family, just to our family, and you’re in luck, that’s Hippie Chick’s specialty!

Have you always wanted a manifesto to call your own? Something your family stands for? Have a birthday coming up? Personalized Mother’s Day gift? Need playroom rules? Gettin’ your summer bucket list together? Now’s your chance!

We can do anything you want – Hippie Chick is the name, creativity is the game. Contact us today to see what we can do for you – dude, you will NOT regret it…


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Hippie Chick Originals

Jul 07

Has anyone seen my keys?

It often starts the same way.  The search, I mean.  (OK, not always exactly the same way, more often than not, the search starts with me yelling “has anyone seen my keys?” But I digress…) It goes something like this: I get an idea, I get all excited about the idea, I start to look for whatever it is I thought of.  Then, because I am very detail-oriented (sometimes referred to as picky) and focused (sometimes referred to as inflexible), I have a heck of a time finding whatever it is I have in my head. In fact, I rarely, if ever, locate exactly whatever it is I think I want.   Last year, I got an idea.  I wanted to hang something in our foyer that meant something to our family, to reflect the important stuff in our lives, to remind the kidlets of what mattered most… OK, I will get off the podium…  Any who, since the stores cannot read my mind, they refuse to carry what I am imagining. And so, the Family Manifesto was born.   I hang it with pride in my foyer, and I hope you will too. (I have since decided that all sorts of awesome Manifestos are necessary, of course, as you will see when you check out the rest of this site).

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