Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Nooks Footwear Review & Giveaway!

I am so excited to have the opportunity to review a pair of Nooks Footwear booties (for Lemon) and slippers for me!  I had seen these boots for babes all over Instagram and wondered who made them and what they were all about.  Little did I know that they were run by an awesome mama who uses repurposed materials to make them, and handmakes each pair!  And I also had no idea she made adult sizes - wooo!  Scroll down to see how you can win a pair for your baby/kid!

About Ruthy's business:
From re-purposing leather into stylish change purses for Canadian design company Smoking Lily, to making custom socks for clients on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, I’ve always had a love for up-cycling natural materials into beautiful and practical creations. 
Nooks Footwear began with a visit to Kelowna’s downtown thrift stores on a cold December day where there happened to be an abundance of outdated wool sweaters; I knew I could re-use them to make some great new items. Patterns for baby booties were soon developed and the first pair of natural fibre, up-cycled Nooks booties were on my daughter’s feet, keeping her cozy. Friends showed interest in also having natural, stylish and unique footwear for their children that would be easy to put on and would stay on. 
And so Nooks Footwear was born and has been growing organically through word of mouth and social media ever since. Thanks to feedback from customers at local farmers’ markets and from online customers, the style and construction has been fine-tuned. Today, Nooks Footwear has grown from baby-sized booties into a full line of products ranging from newborn to adult sizes. 
Nooks Footwear is committed to continue sourcing great materials, developing new and innovative styles, and growing a sustainable business locally in Kelowna, BC. Whether you’re interested in toasty slippers for yourself, booties for your children, or unique and practical gifts for friends and family, you’ll surely be able to find a pair of Nooks that fit the season, your budget and your style.
About Ruthy and her family:
My name is Ruthy Penner and I'm the owner and designer of Nooks Footwear.  My partner and I live in sunny Kelowna, BC with our 2 year old daughter Anouk.  Being a stay-at-home mom means that I operate my home-based studio mostly in the evenings and weekends, but I still get to drop off parcels for customers at the post office and go thrift store shopping for materials during the day with my daughter.  Finding work-life balance is always challenging, but with the help of a great team and my partner who helps me out with marketing and communications, we've been able to find success in the first year of operation and there's no sign of slowing down!  Even though sleep may be getting compromised in trying to do it all, there's no better feeling than doing what I love and feel passionate about. 
Ruthy asked me what style of booties I wanted for Lemon and I, so I sent her some pictures from her IG page as a style preference and told her some colors we liked (girly ones, of course):

Ruthy sent us a custom made, matching pair of booties and slippers (in my requested color/style) and I absolutely love them!  She also sent me some wool inserts ($18.54 US), to make my slippers more comfy, and a friend recently bought Lemon one of Ruthy's upcylced, handmade dresses ($40) - another awesome aspect of her business.  All of her items are made from repurposed materials and you can even send her old items of yours, or your babe's (like their baby blanket!) for her to make booties, slippers or a dress out of - how cool is that?!  I love small, family businesses and I LOVE re-purposed materials - it's so awesome that she doesn't let anything go to waste!

Here is her size chart and prices (in Canadian currency, would have to convert to US currency):

Our slippers are made from pink and purple wool, with a pink heart, and brown suede bottoms and toes.  Mine are unbelievably comfy and fit true to size (I ordered a size 6.5, 9 inches, $60), although I kind of wish I would have gotten a half size smaller because I feel like they will stretch after a bit of wear (and since I'm in AZ I'm not really wearing them with socks).  This is the smallest Womens' size that she offers, and if you want to go smaller (measuring 8.25 inches) you are into Kids' sizing for $45 (kind of a deal if you have small feet!).

I have a tendency to wear cute slippers, outside of the house (sometimes even to school if they can pass as boots!), and I was really tempted to do that with these.  They are SO comfy and look SO cute with leggings that I had to promise my friends I wouldn't wear them out.  (And, as you can see I'm wearing leggings as pants in this pic as well, something my bestie would totally frown upon - watch this.)

Lemon's boots fit perfectly, I ordered a kids' size 7 (it measures 5.57 inches) so that she would have some room to grow (her foot measures 5.25 inches).  Even though the booties are a bit big the way I ordered them, they don't slip off her foot or seem uncomfortable.  They are the slip on style ($40) and are super easy to get on but stay put when on her foot and she seems to like them!  They have thick, suede bottoms and toes, perfect for a walker, and aren't slippery even on our hardwood floors.

They are also super cute with leggings, on a babe, and even with a dress!  I just wish we had more of a winter here so Lemon could fully enjoy these, we are going to have to chase a storm up north this weekend so she gets some wear out of them (it has been unseasonably hot in AZ this winter).  The mornings are still cool, however, and these are great for around the house so her toes don't get cold.  Socks are so slippery, on our floors, so I'm happy I have these to put her in at home when it's colder when she gets out of bed.

Can we just talk about this dress?  It is AMAZING.  Hand made, hard to score (Ruthy only offers one per week) and it was sent to us by an IG friend in a gift swap.  I absolutely love it, you can tell a lot of hard work went into making it, I love that it is repurposed and especially that it is one of a kind.  Unless Ruthy has more fabric from a repurposed item of clothing, no two dresses/boots/etc. are alike.  That is part of what makes these items so special and so fun to own.  (I paired the dress with our Feather & Filly moccs, she makes some of our favorite pairs!)

Overall I would totally purchase another dress and pair of boots from Ruthy at Nooks Footwear.  Although we did not try the velcro boots, I am sure they fit and are made just as well as our slip on pairs, and fit true to size.  Our boots are super comfy, so stylish (that I would wear them out!) and Lemon's dress is to die for.

Ruthy is amazing at what she does, does it with integrity and the fact that she's using repurposed materials means she cares about the environment and lets nothing go to waste.  She is great to deal with, quick to respond to all emails and questions/comments on IG and is building an awesome business.  I am confident that Ruthy will be doing this in years to come and will be SO successful at this venture - her clothes/shoes are made well and you can tell she puts lots of love into them.

Go and get yourself and your babe a pair ASAP and try to snag one of her weekly dresses - you won't be disappointed!

Nooks Footwear Giveaway!

Ruthy has generously agreed to give away a pair of her Nooks Footwear baby/kids booties and you get to choose any pair, from her Etsy shop, if you win!  Here's how to enter:
  • Follow nooksfootwear and I (allisonpants) on Instagram and repost our giveaway picture.  Hash tag it #nooksblueberry and cross your fingers!  (If you don't have an Instagram account, just follow my blog, on either Google or on Blog Lovin', and comment below to be entered.)
  • For an extra entry, follow my blog and comment on this post saying why you would love to win a pair of Nooks booties for your baby/kid!  (You've got to follow in order for your comment/entry to count.)
Winners will be chosen at random on Saturday, March 1st at 12pm MST.  If you win, you can choose any pair of Nooks Footwear booties listed in her Etsy shop for your babe.  Good luck!!

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

19 Months: An Awakening (& Tantrums!)

This is the month, this is it, where our little baby became a real person.  Does that sound weird?  Moms, do you know what I mean?  It seems like Lemon just woke up all of a sudden and things started to click.  It also seems to be why she has such crazy emotions lately and throws tantrums when anything goes differently than she thinks it should.  Toddlers are nuts!

Some days of note:

1.4.14          You laid with me yesterday morning and listened to me sing every kids song I know, and clapped, danced and sang along.  You woke up singing and sang all day.

1.5.14         You sang the ABCs today and brought a book into me and pointed out every picture, wanting me to tell you what it was.  You said every word after I said it.

When we sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm and get to the animal part you always say "cooooww" in tune with the song.  It's always cow!  

When we ask you what a pig says you just breath in and out really fast because you can't snort yet, it is so cute.

1.12.14          You started to fake sneeze and you think it's really funny.  You love playing in the dirt by the side of the house and your new word is "toes" when you point to your toes.

1.15.14          You said "mama" over and over tonight and only want me to put you to bed.  You love when I play my Nani's snow globe music and you lay your head on my shoulder or sing along.

1.16.14          You sat up in bed, in your sleep, and said, "hi."  You love to hand us things that you have, or pick things up and say "thank you" before we take it from you.  You like to hold things out that you are eating and feed it to us, saying "mmmmm."

You say "pretty" when you put on a necklace or bracelet of mine, or a bow in your hair.

You said "Lemon" today.  You say it because I say it when you accidentally change the channel or knock something over.  You say it in my same tone and everything.

1.18.14          You gave my dad, your grandpa, a kiss today when we left his house, when we told you to.  You leaned in and everything.  You chased your grandpa's cat around everywhere and loved her, you even pet her (first time petting a cat!).

You picked up a whole scoop of ice cream and ate it, then you cried because your hand got too cold.  It was so funny!

1.22.14          I thought this may have been your last day nursing, but it wasn't.  75 weeks nursing!

1.25.14          Today you were a total toddler.  You threw fits, had tantrums a dripping nose and nothing worked.  You screamed, testing our patience and drove us nuts.  Teeth?  Sick?  It was rough!  (You were sick.)

1.26.14          You came in today while I was showering, pulled back the curtain and showed me your hippo, saying "hippo."  You gave me a kiss when I asked for on, a good one, super slow and with your tongue out!

You came over to me twice, at the park, just to hug/kiss me all on your own.

You recognized a turtle from far away, one we didn't even see, on the side of the freeway.  You just pointed and said, "turtle."  It makes me think that all the things you babble or yell are things you see, notice for the first time, that we don't see.  Adults sure do miss things because we learn to, we just move too fast.  Kids make us slow down and see.

You throw things when you get mad, anything you are holding (including breakable things, my phone/iPad), and daddy make you pick them up - and that makes you get really, really mad. 

You have a molar coming in, bottom left, and I have no idea where it came from!

Thought you were over nursing but you're not, you just weren't into it for awhile.

More teeth are coming in but I don't know where (how do parents know, I'm not sticking my finger in there!), you are a pill.

You love bubbles and drawing with chalk, we did both of these at the park today.

You say so many things and recognize animals, and say their sounds, without being prompted.

You say Spanish words and it is really, really funny.  You repeat them after I say them and I love it.

You got to pet a horse, a pony, today (3rd time petting a horse I think?) and you fed it a treat.  You were so brave and loved it.  You love horses!

I was doing something and next thing I know you are kissing the sliding glass doors because your daddy is outside and you are kissing him through the glass.

2.1.14          You sing all the time and we have no idea what you're singing.  You even sing to your own imaginary tune/music!  You talk all the time, like crazy.

You make things up and play by yourself with multiple toys, like you are using your imagination for the first time.  You lined all of your Hello Kitty toys up in a row and talked to them today, and put them back if I moved them.  You laid them all down face up and acted like you were playing something, it was so cool.

And some more things you do that I don't want to forget:

When you hold you, you pinch the back of our arms, it is a comfort thing.  You've been doing this forever, I'm just not sure I noted it before.

We have to comb your hair in the shower, it's getting so long.  Your hair runs down your back but it's so curly that you can't tell how long it really is.  You do have some ringlets that have started to hang down, I love it.

You say "down" for "up."

"Puppy is my favorite word that you say.

Unprompted kisses are the best.


The morning I went back to school this year, after winter break, and the morning I went back to school last year after the same break.  Equally as tough.

But I did score a great parking spot!  And Zoe was apparently tired when we went back to work too!

I get to cuddle this muffin every single morning, before I get ready (for an hour!) and ever night while we watch Bubble Guppies before bed.  I have seen every single episode of Bubble Guppies but I don't care, I love the cuddles and am the luckiest!

Me trying to get ready in the morning with a toddler.  Exhausting!

As you know, we love the zoo!

And Lemon loves the goats!

And kettle corn (it was her first time eating it and she loved it, although she did save all the kernels in her mouth after eating the puffed part, I had to fish them out at bath time)!

This girl loves playing in the dirt in our neighbor's yard.  She needs a sandbox STAT!

Always a ham at dinner:

And I've started involving her in dinner this month at a recommendation from our pediatrician.  She said that toddlers are more inclined to eat something new, and what you cook them, if they are involved in making dinner.  So we tie her to our high chairs at our counter, with a scarf around her waist, and she tries out all the veggies I'm cutting up.  She also plays with her daddy while I do the hot stuff.

Brittany, our friend and Lemon's new nanny, is amazing.  She stayed for a bit after I got home one day and helped me hang up all of our moccasins!

And every day we come home to a clean house and sometimes by our laundry folded and all of Lemon's diapers/clothes washed and put away!  She's amazing!!!

And Brittany and Lemon are SO BUSY.  We even met them at the park one afternoon:

We took this baby out to eat and there were no cute spots for pics so here she is, in a dirty parking lot:

Swimming has been a chore this month.  Something happened, a couple of months ago, and now Lemon just hates it.  She loves being in the water, loves the playing part, but hates all of the other stuff, and especially when the teacher (Ms. Amy, who I love!) comes over and tries to hug her.  She just wants to be left alone.  It seems like something scared her, or she just hates the fact that the only time she gets to swim is for a class, with work to do and things to learn, instead of like over the summer when she could swim for fun and take a class.  I don't know what it is but this girl that used to just jump in by herself and swim to the surface if we let her go, now won't let us let her go at all and hates going under.  The teachers tell me it's a common thing, a regression, and that if we allow her some weeks to just play and not try to have her do too much, then she will be back to the way she was.  I hope so because I would hate for her to hate swimming this summer!

Who is this teenager?

Ian cleaned out the laundry room and we found fireworks, it was super fun lighting them off one night and she loved them just as much as she did on the 4th of July!  This girl isn't scared of fireworks!

Train park with friends!  I love seeing these girls and their babes!

And celebrating one of Lemon's little friend's birthday at the park:

Sometimes I get to do bath time:

And this hair, I just can't believe it.  I know I post about it every month but it's just bananas:

Ian and I got to leave school one day to attend the Arizona Recycling Coalition's annual luncheon, it was fun (any excuse to leave school and still get paid is fun)!

Celebrating my bestie's birthday with our friend Nicole:

Weekend morning hangs are my fav:

And I like after school hangs too but our girl is just so tired when we get home.  Brittany wears her out!

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