Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Years Resolution 2015

New years resolutions … some people make them and some don’t.  Some people make them and then inevitably break them, while others hang in for the long haul.  I have to admit that I’m usually on the "don’t bother to make them" side.  It’s not that I have anything against resolutions, it’s that I’m usually too exhausted after Christmas to even contemplate the New Year.

But this year’s different.  Maybe it’s because our fall was extra busy and I’m enjoying my relaxation time over the holidays (perhaps a bit too much).  Maybe it’s because our youngest now only wakes up once/night (usually – I’m typing this with as many fingers crossed as I can cross while still typing) so I’m thinking more clearly and have a bit more energy to think ahead.  Maybe it’s that I’m getting older and, if I’m going to make changes in my life, I may as well do it now.

Whatever the reason, this year I resolve to slow down and take time to smell the flowers.  I’m looking forward to a year of spending less time online and more time with the kids, taking time to play with them rather than shuttling them from place to place to place to place.   (Let me apologize now as I will not be responding to emails and texts quite so frequently … however, if you need to get a hold of me urgently you are always welcome to call). 

I’m looking forward to a year of more knitting and reading and drinking tea, and less time running around.  A year of more home cooked meals and less fast food (we started this resolution at the beginning of Dec. in our home and it’s been amazing).   I’m looking forward to a year that’ll be better for my mind, body, spirit, family and for the environment as sticking to my resolution will mean less disposable packaging (fast food) and less shopping for stuff that we don’t really need. 

Maybe the secret to keeping a new year’s resolution is to resolve to do something that you actually want to do?  Either way, I’m hoping to keep this one. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dryer-free for a month contest

For the past few months I’ve been doing my best to not use my dryer and discovering that I really don’t need it. So, I decided to extend the challenge to you as well – to try not using your dryer for the entire month of August.

What do you have to do?

(1) Not use your dryer during the entire month of August. This doesn’t apply to you personally, but to your entire household (and, yes, it will be a challenge to convince my hubby). Obviously I am depending on you to be honest with me here as I have no way of making sure anyone actually does this.

(2) Post on Bums Away’s facebook page at least once during the month of August something about your dryer-free experiences. Good, bad, ugly – all comments are welcome. Did it rain for 3 days and you’re all out of underwear? Do you not have a dryer so this is really easy for you? Etc. etc. (There’s no advantage in posting more than once, however you’re welcome to do so for fun. Commenting on someone else’s post doesn’t count – you must create your own post.)

(3) Be a resident of Canada

(4) In early September, I will be asking who made it dryer free for a month. If you did, you need to comment on this post (on the Bums Away facebook wall). I will leave two days for people to respond. Those ‘responses’ will be considered entries for the draw if you meet the other 3 criteria (above).

What’s up for grabs?

Since September is back to school time, I will be giving away 2 Itzy Ritzy snack bags (your choice of prints – as long as I have them in stock) to a random person who meets the above criteria.

So, have fun and get creative in drying your clothes (and no, a Laundromat is not an optionJ).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Website Updates

Here's a summary of the changes that went up today:

The bad news is that shipping charges went up a little for orders under $100, the good news is that I'm now offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $150 (before taxes).

The images showing colours/prints have always been small on the website making them hard to see (especially for the prints). Now, if you mouse over the small images, a larger one will appear so that you can get a better view of the different colour/print options.

Payment Method
You can now order through the website and opt to pay via cash or email money transfer or by credit card. If paying by cash or email money transfer, the products you order will be set aside for 7 days while I await payment. If no payment has been made within 7 days then your order will be cancelled. Note that for orders that are to be shipped, they will not be shipped until payment has been received.

5% discount for Facebook fans
This discount still applies only to orders paid by cash or email money transfer. With the changes to the shipping charges I can no longer afford to offer this promotion to items to be shipped. Therefore it is available for pick up orders only.

So, in summary, to get the 5% discount you must:
- be a fan of Bums Away on Facebook
- pay cash or via email money transfer
- write the code FB FAN in the Comments section when you checkout
- pick up your order.

That's it for now...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Stocking Stuffer Event 2010

This will be Bums Away's first stocking stuffer sale. How will it work? For one week (starting Sat, Dec. 11th) if you purchase over $60 worth of product from Bums Away, you will receive a free stocking stuffer with your purchase. Some stocking stuffers are for baby, some are for a toddler, some are for mom, and some can be given to anyone (or kept for yourself). The stocking stuffer will change every day - here is the list of stuffers:

Sat, Dec. 11th - one 30g container of Bum Bum balm. Retail value $12.00.

Sun, Dec. 12th - one Natursutten Natural Pacifier. Retail value $9.99.

Mon, Dec. 13th- two Doll Diapers by Happy Heinys. Retail value $12.00.

Tues, Dec. 14th - one package of Tangerine Vanilla Bath Bombs by Lalabee Bathworks. Retail value $11.95.

Wed, Dec. 15th - one bottle of Organic Baby Wash by Lalabee Bathworks. Retail value $12.95.

Thurs, Dec. 16th - 2 regular size Mama Pads (a great chance to try reusable pads, if you've been thinking about it). Retail value $11.90.

Fri, Dec. 17th - Natural Soy Crayon Rocks by Scwibbles (not recommended for children under 3). Retail value $12.95

Sat, Dec 18th - One pair of Organic Wool Breast Pads by Little Beetle. Retail value $10.80.

Sun, Dec. 19th - One Organic Teething Bonbon by Dress Me Up. Retail value $15.95.

If you want to receive the stocking stuffer, please write the code "STUFFER" in the Comments section when you make your purchase.

* Please note that the $60 purchase limit excludes the purchase of FuzziBunz Perfect Size diapers. If you do a combined purchase of FuzziBunz Perfect Size and other items, you must spend at least $60 on other items to qualify (ex if you buy 2 FB for $30 then your total order must be more than $90 to qualify)
*days start at 12:01 am EST and end at 12:00 am EST.

Friday, November 12, 2010

On the Madness of Modern Motherhood

This piece is in response to the article by Erica Jong posted by Bummis on Facebook. The article can be found at and her daughter's response can be found at

Both are very interesting articles and raise the issue of how far have we really come and are we going backwards. Erica does make the point (and I agree entirely) that there is way way way too much pressure put on mothers and expecting mothers.

I think Erica and my mother have a lot in common (except my mom is pro-cloth and pro-breastfeeding if only because of the financial savings). My mom was never famous and never tried to be, but working was important to her because she had grown up in poverty and was going to do everything she could to make sure we didn't do the same. My grandmother's advice to us all growing up was to get a job so that we wouldn't be financially dependent on a man (and, given her circumstances, it was appropriate advice).

Yet here I am, feeling very lucky to be able to stay home with our daughter while my husband brings in most of our household income.

What has changed? Family law has certainly changed dramatically in Canada since the 1970s. If we ever get divorced I won't be left with nothing. That provides security to the stay-at-home mom that didn't exist back in my grandmother's day.

That being said, I have to reconcile my current at-home status with my feminist beliefs (if you'd have asked me in my late teens and early 20s if I'd ever be a stay-at-home mom I would have told you NEVER). What has changed? I fell in love with my daughter and with motherhood and love it far more than any job I have ever had. Not all women have that experience and I fully support those women who can't wait to get back to work - staying at home is not for everyone.

As a stay-at-home feminist, I think several things have to change if we are truly going to achieve equality:

(1) Women's salaries have to increase - we have to get equal pay for equal work. Otherwise men will continue to earn more and households will continue to revolve around mens' careers.

(2) (This is the one that really really bugs me.) People have to get used to seeing babies, toddlers and children in public spaces. Not just seeing them when they're behaving themselves, but seeing tantrums, crying, etc. If children are confined to the home except when they're on their best behaviour, then women are confined to the home. Society as a whole benefits from the bearing and raising of children, yet society as a whole (in Canada) appears to be unwilling to accept children's presence unless the child is going to a child-specific event or is behaving well.

The airplane is a great example. Everyone thinks your baby is soooooo cute on an airplane until she begins to cry. A little crying is sometimes OK but there is a point where the crying becomes unacceptable for example if it's a toddler crying for an hour steady because she's just left her grandparents and doesn't know when she's going to see them again (speaking from personal experience on this one).

The case of the woman in BC who was told to get off a city bus because her daughter was having a tantrum is a perfect example. The woman then had to walk home with her daughter, and both of their bags. Further, when she complained about being kicked off the bus, she received a tonne of backlash online.

I could go on and on and on and on, but the point is that if we want women to have more freedom, we have to give kids more freedom to act out and to realize that kids act out even with good parenting. There's nothing better when your kid is having a tantrum in public than another parent coming along and saying "been there, done that".

And, lets face it, if we stop to think about it, some tantrums are downright funny. I'll never forget when we were at the checkout of a major department store and went to check my daughter's diaper because things were getting a bit stinky. She objected to me checking her diaper and promptly threw herself down on the floor yelling "just farted mommy, I just farted" over and over.

So what am I doing to effect social change? I AM taking my daughter out in public even if she's grumpy, has a dirty face, and is wearing a witch costume on top of a princess dress on top of her cloths one week after Hallowe'en. What else am I doing, I am supporting those other parents who take their kids out in public (whether by necessity or choice) and have to deal with tantrums while they're grocery shopping. In my experience, there's nothing better than being nice to a mom with a grumpy child to help take the pressure off that mom a bit.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Birthday giveaway

Tomorrow is my birthday and approximately the one year anniversary of Bums Away going online. So, to celebrate, we want to give you a present. Make a purchase from Bums Away between now and midnight Nov. 10th (EST), and we will include a free give based on your purchase amount. Please indicate your top 2-3 colour/print choices in the Comments sections as the inventory numbers for the ‘gifts’ will not be accurate – I will update them periodically throughout the day, but I won’t be online all day (especially since it’s my birthday!).

Birthday giveaway details:

Spend more than $50 (not including tax & shipping) get Kanga Sac snack bag (value $7.95)

Spend more than$100 (not including tax & shipping) get Snack Happened snack bag (value $12.99)

Spend more than $150 (not including tax & shipping) get Eco lunch box (value $24.99) - Please indicate whether you want the Oval set ( or the three-in-one set (

Spend more than $200 (not including tax & shipping) get 3 Sprouts Organic Storage bin (value $40).

Happy shopping!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Eco-Friendly Birthday Parties

Is it possible to have an eco-friendly birthday party for a child? With balloons, banners, loot bags, presents, paper plates and cups all available for children's birthday parties, going eco-friendly is definitely something that takes time to think and a bit of extra effort.

We've just celebrated our daughter's 3rd birthday party and the question of eco-friendly loot bags has been on my mind for at least a month now. How to give out something that's eco-friendly yet affordable (an ongoing question as most things that won't end up in the landfill within a few weeks of you purchasing them are significantly more expensive than things that do).

What I finally came up with was to give out Itzy Ritzy Snack Happens bags. The bags themselves were the gifts. But, since kids usually expect to get bags with things in them, I was afraid to stop there. I bought a bunch of apples at a local orchard, dried them, and filled the Snack Happens bags with the dried apples. As far as I could tell from the party, my daughter is the only child who didn't actually like the dried apples. Oh well, you can't win them all.

I've created a page on my website that has a few eco-friendly loot bag ideas. With the exception of the soy rock crayons, they are containers which can be filled with food or other eco-friendly ideas. (Note that the Little Bites cups are in sets of 4 so the actual cost per child is $4.75 before taxes.)

As for gifts, we asked guests to bring a donation to the local food bank instead of a gift. I love this idea (which I stole) as, not only does it reduce the number of gifts, it also teaches children about the importance of giving and that there are people in our city that have a lot less than we do. I also gave my daughter a brief explanation about why people would be bringing gifts that weren't for her. I'm still not sure how much of my explanation she really understood as her first question was whether there would be a climbing wall at the food bank. But now she at least knows that a food bank is not a festival and won't (hopefully) expect a festival when we go to drop off the donations.

(As a side note, our daughter will receive a lot of gifts from family members who could never be convinced to do otherwise, so she will definitely not miss out in the present area.)

We also managed to avoid the paper plates, etc. This was a big issue for me (we made people wash their own dishes over our wedding weekend so that we could avoid paper plates then). My mom has this fantastic set of extra plates that we were lucky enough to be able to borrow. Borrowing a few sets of dishes from good friends would also have done the trick.

We did buy a few 'Happy Birthday' signs but those will be taken down carefully and put away for next time.

The one product I haven't found a way to avoid yet is the balloons. My daughter is obsessed with balloons and wouldn't consider a party to be a party without them. Hopefully I'll think of an alternative in time for next year's party...