Glow On Your Babymoon

Glow On Your Babymoon photo: @indrabogie
photo: @indrabogie

February – the depth of winter. The cold weather pushes many of us into vacation mode and this is why February is often called cruise season. It’s also the perfect time for a Babymoon!

Interestingly enough, the term Babymoon was originally coined by Sheila Kitzinger in her 1996 book The Year after Childbirth. She referred to it as family time with mom, dad and new baby. Now the concept has evolved and Babymoon is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “a relaxing or romantic holiday taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born.’’

There is a lot of advice on the web on how to plan your babymoon. The expertise that we can offer is how to dress while on vacation:

Signature Floral Wrap Dress - Carry
Sophia Floral Wrap Dress – Carry

 

 

 

The perfect date starts with a feminine dress. A floral wrap dress with vintage blooms is as radiant for a romantic dinner as it is for a walk on the beach.

 

 

 

 

Striped Maxi Tank Dress - Ripe Maternity
Striped Maxi Tank Dress – Ripe Maternity

 

 

 

 

The striped maxi – easy to wear with strappy heels or sandals, this resort favourite will take you from the poolside to dinner under the stars.

 

 

 

 

 

Chambray Cuffed Shirtdress - Jules & Jim
Chambray Cuffed Shirtdress – Jules & Jim

 

 

 

 

The denim tunic, paired with leggings and runners. An effortless look for strolling, whether you’re discovering the city or admiring the local scenery.

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you go to a exotic resort or choose to explore your hometown, cherishing these moments of heightened intimacy is an important part of your pregnancy. Take this as an opportunity to prepare for the next adventure that you are taking together. Go on your Babymoon and fall in love all over again!

Cold weather is coming – what are your options for staying cosy?

Being pregnant can have its challenges, but how to keep warm in chilly (or downright frigid) weather does not have to be one of them. Maternity designers have created coats that you can wear throughout pregnancy and after. Or if you already have a favourite winter coat, some innovative Canadian companies have have come up with products that will extend your coat to keep you cosy throughout your pregnancy

Winter coats: the investment piece

black-mcoat
The MCoat

The MCoat 

The Mcoat was one of the first winter coats developed for pregnant women. This coat, insulated with pure Canadian down, is popular because of its adaptability. A zip out triangular panel  faces down when you are pregnant and is flipped over for baby carrying, and then can be removed completely. The MCoat can be worn for years to come.

modern-eternity-3-in-1-parka
Modern Eternity 3-in-1 Parka

Modern Eternity

This 3-in-1 maternity coat by Modern Eternity is a casual, cotton twill parka that is down filled and water resistant. Popular for its extended length and weekend styling, this coat is great for being outdoors and active. The removable panel means that it is easily worn for maternity, baby carrying and after.


Coat panels: the practical solution

Make My Belly Fit

Make My Belly Fit

The BellyFit coat extender uses the zippers on your existing coat and their patented panel to create space where you need it most. It has a sleek look that features snaps along the panel so that you can tailor your coat both during pregnancy and for baby carrying. Their zipper is the most commonly used one by outwear manufacturers (like Canada Goose) so that it will fit into as many coats as possible. If your coat features a different zip, worry not! There are 16 zipper adapters available that will match the BellyFit to your coat. The panel is made with two layers of windproof/water repellent outerwear material with a layer of cosy microfleece in between.

small_grey_pregnancy_grande-btb
Bridge the Bump

Bridge the Bump

This coat extender system also comes in two lengths which allows you to choose the fit and style you want for your coat. Snaps and an adjustable belt create an empire waist or show-off-your-bump look. The Bridge the Bump system is made with a water repellent/windproof outerwear material and quilted microfibre insulation. And of course, the insert can be worn for baby carrying as well. Panel colours are specifically chosen to match Canada Goose coats.

 

With this range of practical options, you and your baby bump will be warm and cozy this winter. Come by the store or give us a call and we will help you figure out the coat solution that’s best for you.

Share the Warmth Coat Drive 2016

jessies-logo

As I write this, it definitely does not feel like fall. But, before you know it, the chilly weather will become a daily routine. And if the meteorologists are on track, the fall chill is going to quickly give way to a very cold winter. Many of us are lucky and have a choice of coats to wear through the varying levels of cold a Canadian winter brings.

Some young mothers are not fortunate enough to have one coat, much less a choice of which one to wear. It has become an October tradition for us here at Carry Maternity to collect coats for the Swap Shop at Jessie’s – The June Callwood Centre for Young Women. Jessie’s Centre provides much needed services to empower pregnant teenagers, young parents and their children. Attendance in their programs is high throughout most of the year, but it drops with cold temperatures. Young moms want to get to Jessie’s Centre but accessing services can be difficult without appropriate outerwear.

Our Share the Warmth coat drive will run through Sunday, November 14th. You can donate gently-used, clean women’s coats (both maternity and non-maternity) as well as coats for children under 5 years old. In addition to your coat donations, Carry Maternity will donate 5% of our fall coat sales to the Well Woman and Well Baby Clinic. We hope that our Share the Warmth campaign will support young women to access all the incredible programs that Jessie’s Centre offers.

As a thank you for your coat donation, we will give you $10 Baby Bonus credit, which you can use for anything you’ll need for delivery or after. And if you need to find a coat for yourself, our Fall Coat Sale is on until Sunday, October 30th. You’ll get 15% off beautiful and practical winter coats from MCoat, Modern Eternity, Seraphine and Noppies. We also carry coat panels from Make My Belly Fit and Bridge the Bump (coming soon).

With gratitude for your help,

Pat, Sarah, Kshama, Kavya and Kat
The Carry Maternity Team

Only a Mother Knows

 Bump age: 28 weeks day 0

We all love our mothers. They are warm, loving, kind and our safe haven. But do we really love our mothers the way they love us? Only a mother knows…

…  the inconceivable joy that lights up her heart and face when she sees those two little red lines on her pregnancy test.

…  the regimen of prenatal pills and essential vitamins that will help her baby’s in-utero development. Before she became life bearing, she would often forget to even eat on busy days.

… the feeling of anticipation of her first ultrasound, when she gets to see her little angel for the very first time. To her, that ultrasound picture is perfect beauty, even though to the rest of world, it just looks like black matter with a small white dot.

…  the feeling of life when she experiences her baby’s first kick. Even though it was very faint, she can describe the moment over and over again with the same sparkle in her eyes.

…  the journey as she watches her body transform day by day to accommodate the growing needs of her baby bump. She readily trades in her Louboutins for Tod’s and her Hervé dresses for Tees by Tina.

… the definition of perseverance when she thinks she has no strength left inside her and she can’t push any more, when her delivery team is encouraging her with  “One last big push and you’ll get to meet your baby!” She bites her teeth, clenches the bedsheets once more and gives it her 120%, one more time.

…  the feeling of exhaustion from waking up at night for feedings, making sure her baby is sleeping soundly – then not being able to go  back to sleep in case her baby cries for help again.

…  the meaning of sacrifice when she gives up her warm mitts on a cold day so her baby’s little hands won’t freeze  

Only a Mother knows the feeling of fulfilment when all the blood, toil, tears and sweat are met with her baby’s first words “Mama, I lub you!” and a heart-melting hug.

Only a Mother knows that even though her baby loves her, she loves her baby to the moon and back.

Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers and Mamas-to-be out there!

Xoxo,

Bay_and_Bloor

Happy Mother's Day with matching mother daughter dresses

 

Bump Goes on Vacation – London

Bump age: 23 weeks 4-6 days

If Tenerife was the do-nothing-but-relax vacation, then London was the explore-everywhere-down-to-the-last-minute holiday. I always find myself running out of time in London town so I listed a few spots as my must-sees and dos this time around: Harrods, high tea, Laduree and London Eye.

seraphine knot dressd wendyLuckily my good friend from Vancouver, The Lady and the Rose, was able to take the day off work and explore the city with us. We’ve decided to go to Harrods, since they have both afternoon tea and Laduree. Being in London, and naturally inspired by Duchess Kate’s pregnancy style, I wore the Jolene knot dress by UK designer Seraphine. This dress comes in two colours, fuchsia and peacock, and I proudly own both. Since the fuchsia was well-loved from my first pregnancy and the peacock from the new spring/summer collection, I decided to debut the peacock on this trip. Silky soft and flowing, the Jolene dress is stylishly knotted at the front, creating gentle gathers which drape effortlessly over the bump. This is not only suitable for maternity, but also for postpartum wear. (Just between you and me, it was perfect for the nursing times too!)  The Seraphine brand has also won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2015. Now that’s what I call royalty certified!

After Harrods, the Lady and I settled at the Georgian Cafe for our Easter high tea. For more about our afternoon high tea experience, please read the Lady and the Rose’s post, as she truly writes beautifully and authentically for the both of us.

Carry B&W palm print side tie WendyFor the ultimate London Eye experience, I wore a Carry side tie dress. The black and white pattern went well with my new sleek Londoner hair-do. Comfy, lightweight and half-sleeved, this dress has a tie that cinches the waist on the side and falls just above knee. This cut is also one of Carry’s signature dresses, so you may find it in other colours. Since it was quite chilly, I wore my Burberry signature trench coat outside as a wind breaker.

The public transport system issues expecting ladies a pin that reads “Baby on Board” with the Tube logo on it. Pregnant women may wear this during their transit journey, and other passengers must offer their seats to the ones wearing this badge. I thought this was a fabulous idea and would love to see  Toronto do something similar.

London Eye is definitely a must-do at attraction in London. You can see the city with a 360 degree view during the 30 minute rotation time. Surprisingly, Squishy enjoyed the entire ride and wasn’t afraid of the heights. We met some friends for dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill afterwards to top off the night.

This London trip was too short as always, but we shall be back!

Xoxo,

Bay_and_Bloor

Bump goes professional

Bump age: 21 weeks 6 days

Squishy was a Christmas baby, so last year when I attended the PDAC (Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada) conference,  I’d already regained my form and fit into my regular suits and business attire. This year, I’m sporting a 21-week-old bump, which is harder to conceal. So of course, fitting into my old business suits is harder than mission impossible. Luckily, Carry Maternity makes professional clothes on top of the cute, casual and chic. My Carry Maternity Blazer, which I’ve worn for several occasions, features two buttons that close above the bump allowing spacious belly room, and still appears slim and fit from the back. Here I’m wearing it with the matching Carry Maternity Dress Pants, which have a sewn-in panel for growing room. Carry’s work wear is where professionalism meets comfort. The in-house designers truly understand the pregnant form and how carrying around that extra bump requires effort without compromising the overall look.

IMG_0830In the picture, believe it or not, I am holding a pure gold bar that is significantly heavier than I imagined it to be! (I had difficulty lifting it past my bump with two hands and I regularly work out). Underneath my Carry blazer, I was wearing the Tees by Tina Lattice Tank Top in Ink colour. At first I was skeptical whether this piece would make my professional look seem too casual; but as soon as I paired it with the black suit, the pop of colour really accentuated my bump and the length was perfect.  The entire look is fresh, crisp, yet projects a professional feeling.

IMG_0979The next day, I wore my Carry Ruched Tube Dress. What I like about this maternity LBD is its versatility. Pair it with a denim jacket, you have a casual look; pair it with a black blazer (like I did), you have an office lady look; pair it with a statement necklace, flashy heels and small clutch, you are then seamlessly transitioning into a night out on the town.

Throughout the conference, I’ve received so many complements from my peers, without once feeling out of place, nor too casual for the event. Who said bump can’t go professional?

xoxo,

Bay_and_Bloor

 

The Importance of Versatility

A conversation with designer Pat Gillespie


b&w series 2CM:
What’s new with your design work?

Pat: The latest is our black and white series. I designed these dresses because we’ve found that the most difficult thing for a woman, especially a woman with a career, is finding clothing that reflects her normal style – the kind of thing she would have worn to work when she wasn’t pregnant. As a result, I’ve been designing a series of work dresses over the past few years. I chose a black and white theme for this collection because black and white never goes out of style. It’s easy, clean styling.

CM: It seems like something uncomplicated that you can just throw on but still look polished for work or to go to an event.


b&w seriesPat:
That’s the thing. When I design, I remember something my mother taught me early in my career. She’d say a good design should be able to do more than one thing. That’s something I’ve really held onto as a designer. I don’t believe in filing your closet full of impulse buys. You want to build a wardrobe that has substance, that has quality, that you can go to time and time again and it always makes you feel good.

Going back to my mother, I learned that you don’t buy a dress or an outfit for just one purpose. When you buy something for work, it should be versatile. This is why many women own a little black dress (aka LBD); it’s easy to dress up or dress down. The black and white prints of this current series are a more eye-catching version of the LBD. For example, the shift, paired with a jacket, is a great dress for work. Then, wear it with pretty sandals and jewelry and it becomes the perfect dress for a baby shower. Often in the store, a customer is looking for clothes for work and she’ll say “You know, I also have an event coming up and I think this dress could work for both.” So, clothing being versatile is key to a good wardrobe and it’s even more important in a maternity wardrobe.

CM: Why is versatility so important in a maternity wardrobe?

Pat: In your regular wardrobe, where you have dozens of pieces to choose from, you might wear something once or twice a month. A maternity wardrobe has fewer items so it’s important to be able to mix them around to create different looks. With this versatility, you will wear your maternity clothes – like the shift dress or wrap dress – twice a week, if not more. Clothing that can be worn more than one way adds value to your wardrobe. Style with versatility and value – that’s what this collection from Carry Maternity delivers.

The Holiday Wish List Contest

Holiday wish listBuying gifts for others can be difficult; finding just the right gift takes serious time and thought. Hence, the wish list.

When you’re pregnant, your holiday wish list is often filled with things for your little bundle of joy. While that’s a great idea, your family and friends will want to spoil you too. So we asked a few of our customers to share their wish lists and we hope you find inspiration to put together a wish list, just for you.

 

Jasmine + Lee | Candace Berry Photography (www.candaceberry.com)

Jasmine, due in May 2016, works in a government and corporate affairs role for a multinational company and spends about a third of her time on business travel. Now that she’s in her second trimester and has a renewed sense of energy, she’s looking for maternity clothes that are comfortable but polished and professional.

 

Isabelle MaynardIsabelle found her pregnancy to be an incredible experience and loved watching her body change month by month. Anticipating her baby’s arrival in mid-December, she can’t wait to experience all the “first” moments and to see Baby smile as he/she recognizes Mom. Her wish list is a combination of comfort and style.

 

Allison ArkellAllie, a fitness instructor, loves to stay active, which she currently does by taking long walks with her boy, four-month-old Emmett, in his carrier. As a first-time mom who teaches yoga and spin classes part-time, she likes her clothes to be versatile, durable and flattering.

 

Now, what’s on your holiday wish list? For a chance to win a $100 gift card, share your list in the comments section below or on our Facebook page. Winner will be drawn on December 14th and will be contacted via email or Facebook.

Share the Warmth with New Moms

Autumn is here. Like turning on a light switch, the leaves change colour and a chill creeps into the air.

The annual ritual of rummaging through closets for fall and winter jackets has begun. Luckily we usually find them exactly where they were packed away, ready to be of service again. Canadian weather can hand you almost anything, so most of us own several coats. We hang the ones useful for fickle fall weather in the hall closet, waiting for a nippy morning.

Some young mothers aren’t fortunate enough to have one coat, much less a choice of which one to wear, and are left struggling in the cold. For the past two years, we have collected gently used coats for the Swap Shop at Jessie’s – The June Callwood Centre for Young Women. Jessie’s Centre provides much needed services to help empower pregnant teenagers, young parents and their children. Their programs are well attended throughout most of the year, but attendance drops with cold temperatures. Travelling through winter weather to access services can be difficult without appropriate outerwear.

This year, we’ve decided to support Jessie’s further by donating 5% of our fall coat sales to the Well Woman and Well Baby Clinic. You can also help us not only by bringing a coat to donate but by telling your friends about our Share the Warmth campaign and encouraging them to donate as well. Along with women’s coats (non-maternity as well as maternity coats), we can also take coats for children under 5 years old. As a thank you for your donation, we will give you $25 off a new maternity/baby-carrying coat. We currently have beautiful and practical winter coats from MCoat, Modern Eternity, Seraphine and Noppies.

With gratitude for your help,

Pat, Sarah and Kshama
Carry Maternity

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

An expectant mother often forgets to stop and pamper herself. So, if there’s a special mom-to-be on your shopping list this holiday season, save the baby gifts for next year, and treat her to something that’s all about her. Whether she’s in her first trimester or the final countdown, she’s sure to appreciate a bit of indulgence. In that spirit, we’ve pulled together a gift guide to help you find just the right thing to spoil the mom-to-be this holiday season.

$50 and under: the Stocking Stuffer gift

Skip Hop Grab & Go stroller organizer $25, Bella Band $35, Mama Mio Pregnancy Essentials kit $49, Shupeas baby shoes $35, Blueberry Hill baby hats $18-$35

 

$100 and under: the BFF gift

Mamalicious Blazer $89, Mamalicious Sparkly Dress $69, Elari diaper wallet $65, Blanqi support tank $85, Mamalicious denim $79, Isabella Oliver scoop neck top $75, Bola necklace $85

 

$150 and under: the Under-the-Tree gift

Carry Sweater dress $149, Queen Mum sweater $169, Boob panty/nursing bra set, Skip Hop Chelsea diaper bag $125, Cache Coeur Lisa Nursing Nightgown $110

 

The Splurge gift

Mayana Genevière bra $90, Carry Ruched dress $149, MamaMio package: Boob Tube, Lucky Legs,Tummy Rub Butter $137, Paige denim, gift card, Mcoat $379

OWNER OF CARRY MATERNITY SUPPORTS WOMEN BEYOND TORONTO’S CITY LIMITS

Work for Widows is a charity organization that is a product of a truly tragic disaster. In 2004, a Tsunami devastated numerous coastal communities of Sri Lanka. Many women were left to face an uncertain future as the tsunami left them widowed, homeless and without income as they struggled to care for their children. The heartbreaking story of one particular woman sparked Work for Widows founder, Pamela Porodo into action. While assisting to feed, clothe and offer medical assistance to the victims of the disaster, a Buddhist monk who managed a Moratuwa camp was concerned about one of the displaced survivors and introduced her to Pam. Pam met the young 23 year old woman who was 6 months pregnant and alone. She had lost her home, mother, father, husband and three year old child to the deadly wave. Without hope and what she deemed a bleak future ahead of her, she was stealing medication from other victims in the camp to end her life and that of her unborn child.

Many hours were spent with this young woman in order to convince her to hand over the medication in exchange for a promise that there was a way to support herself  and child.  With no plan set in place yet, Pam bought a bag of beads, some fishing line and showed the young woman how to make a simple necklace,  promising to return to the camp the next day to buy her jewellery. Upon return it was clear that word had spread as Pam was greeted by a small crowd of local women. It was upon this humble platform that the organization was established. Today, Work for Widows has supported over 180 widowed and abandoned women along with 362 children under the age of 18. The overarching aim is to empower impoverished and abandoned women in Sri Lanka by providing with them a means to earn a living while staying at home to care for and educate their children.

Owner of Carry Maternity, Pat Gillespie explains that their reason for stocking the jewellery stems from their personal mandate – Our family extends beyond our own walls. “We wanted to support an organization that is doing something positive for women. Work for Widows is a wonderful initiative and we are so proud to be an advocate”. Pat, who also knows somebody who has lost their life in a tsunami, says that it is very easy to feel for the women. “the destruction caused to people’s lives from disasters such as this is horrendous“. This organization is unique in that rather than just providing immediate relief and refuge, it lays the platform for women to be able to make a living and provides ongoing support in their endeavours.

By volunteering as an ambassador for the program, Pat Gillespie  shares the same proactive spirit with other entrepreneurial ambassadors like Amber MacJodi Faith, and One Tooth Activewear.

Each piece is very personalized and comes with a thank you message from its maker. Very reasonably priced, it is a great way to make a small contribution to the livelihood program supporting hundreds of women and children. To find out more about the efforts of Work for Widows, or browse their jewellery visit them online. Alternatively, you can find a range of handmade jewellery for sale at Carry Maternity in Toronto’s Yorkville.