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Penelope and Oliver, just as they are! [#peanutsportraitsbyamanda by Amanda Barbara Artistry]

*All images in this blog taken by Amanda Barbara Artistry. Visit her Website or Facebook Page for more info.

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If there have ever been portraits that capture so much of my little one’s personalities, it’s these.

The nuances in their silly faces, their body language. The way Oliver’s hands look like at age two and a half, and the expressions they make as reactions to something funny. Those little things about them that, as their mother, I know so well, now forever beautifully captured in pictures for me, and them, to look back in years to come.

To say I love these portraits is an understatement; I ADORE them.

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A quick story of how Amanda and I met; her and I have been #instamom friends for years, and after many conversations of meeting up, serendipity brought us together by bumping us into each other by being at the same place at the same time. It’s always wonderful to meet women you have connected with online for years, but even more wonderful when you see that they are genuinely as lovely in person.

Amanda welcomed us to her home studio for this session, and immediately, the kids were comfortable around her. Penelope in particular thinks Amanda is her BFF, which I think is adorable, and she was so happy to have her picture taken. Even Oliver, who happily and excitedly sat on the chair (sometimes for only seconds at a time haha) had so much fun.

The children’s natural affinity for Amanda was obvious, and so was her talent for capturing beautiful moments. Even inside the inevitable chaos that is taking pictures of toddlers, the session was fun, easy going, and the children were able to just be themselves. The results, of course, being beautiful.

Thank you Amanda for capturing these lovely portraits!

For more information on getting #peanutportraits for you little ones, visit Amanda Barbara Artistry.

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Affordable Travel for Families in Canada – finally! [Our Experience with #FlySwoop Airline]

I have always wished for travel to be more affordable within Canada, and it finally is!

Canada is such a beautiful country, but it is vast, so unless you’re able to travel 14+ hours in car often – which we have done many times – travel can get quite expensive. In fact, for many years, it was more affordable to travel internationally than it was to fly from one province to another.

Not anymore! Travel has become so much more affordable with the new Canadian Airline  Swoop, and so I wanted to share our experience.

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We booked a round trip from Edmonton, Alberta to Abbostford, British Columbia, for 7 days. The overall concept of Swoop is that you only pay for your seat, and anything additional is extra; an a la carte system. Below a break down of what the cost of our flight included:

Round Trip for 3 paying travelers and 1 infant.
No carry on luggage (a personal item is allowed on the flight for free PER traveler; must fit underneath the seat.)
1 checked-in bag
3 seats next to each other (on the way there and back). Yes; you have to pay to guarantee you’re sitting next to your party, otherwise you could be spread out on the plane based on available seats.
Taxes & Fees
$468.03 CANADIAN –  That’s pretty damn good!

The limitations with the airline currently is that destinations are limited so you can only travel to and from the cities they provide. The time of the flights are limited too.


Customer Experience

Before flying with Swoop, I read a few reviews that were not very positive, so I was a little worried. Most of the reviews were in regards the check-in line closing strictly 45 minutes before departure time -which Swoop clearly indicates in all it’s literature-  so an easy solution to that is, arrive 90 minutes before.

The staff was very friendly, and were extra helpful seeing that we were travelling with two young children.

In Flight Service

The In Flight menu is VERY limited, and again, not included in your ticket price. If you want a snack or a drink – even water- you have to pay for it. We came prepared and packed lots of snacks before hand, and bought drinks before getting on the flight and it worked out just fine.

Overall Experience

Our overall experience flying with Swoop was very positive. I admit that I was worried that the price of the flight would be indicative of the experience the airline would offer, but I was pleasantly surprised. The staff was friendly, the flights were on time, and it got us from A to B safely, and more importantly, at a cost that will allows us, a family of four, to travel within Canada much more now.

Other tips to keep costs down when travelling.

  • Find accommodation through Airbnb. Not only are you able to find accommodation that is much more affordable, you may end up in the most charming little places with wonderful hosts. Most Airbnbs also have kitchenettes which are great when travelling with children as it allows for easy meal making.
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  • Make/ Pack your own food. Regardless of whether the place you’re staying in while travelling has a kitchenette or not, make a quick stop to a local grocery store and get some simple foods that you can make in the hotel room to take out with you for lunch/snacks. Bread and peanut butter; easy and always a win! Canned foods and crackers, another easy one. It’s also good to have snacks on the go when travelling with little ones.
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  • Pack Light (especially in summer months). As much as you can, try and pack light. It reduces the amount of bags you have to lug around with you when travelling, and also, the less money you have to pay for checked bags when flying. Lastly, there is nothing worse than having to wash clothes you never wore on a trip haha.

I’m so happy that Swoop is making travel within Canada so much more affordable, and look forward to many more travel adventures as a family.

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A Year of Our Everydays [ONE Year Blog Anniversary]

Motherhood and my children have been the most inspiring thing that has happened to me, and it motivated me to write; about them, about us, about our days together – Our Everydays.

I cannot believe it has been a year since I posted my first words on this blog. And what a wonderful journey of creativity, self-growth and community it has become

Motherhood ignited a confidence in me to explore the love I’ve always had for storytelling, and so I began to write. This space not only allowed me to be creative, and to learn and grow in my craft, but it introduced me to so many other amazing women and mothers who were also telling their stories.

I’ve said this before, but I really believe storytelling is the way we connect and relate as human beings. In motherhood, especially, telling our stories allow us to relate, to feel connected, and most of all, to know we’re not alone.

This journey also introduced me to so many amazing women in the community who I am happy to now call friends. I became an Alberta Mamas contributor, led a workshop for Box Social Events, wrote a piece for Yeg Inspired Magazine, collaborated with some amazing mom bosses and makers ( Mz McMully in the Moment , Live it All In , SIBkids, Kissable Lips Yeg, From Harper and Stella & Dot by Isabel Fry ) for a Gift Giving Week Giveaway last December, and have just met so many wonderful human beings along the way.

My most popular posts were:

How to have an Awesome Stay-at-Home Motherhood/ Maternity Leave in EdmontonLBECE0259

I am extremely humbled and grateful to each and everyone of you who have taken the time to read my posts, to share a comment,  to send me a message, or simply connect.

I am excited to continue fostering this space, to continue to grow and learn with it, and look forward to what it will bring.

Thank YOU so so much for following along in this journey,

Gabriela xo

To continue following along make sure to follow Our Everydays on Instagram at @our_everydays and on Facebook at @oureverydaysblog