5.15.2015

Women In Business: Frou Frou and Frill



Are you tired of building your accessory
stockpile and paying big bucks for each piece?
Frou Frou and Frill thought the same thing.
Founder and owner Jocelin
created Frou Frou and Frill
so that it wouldn't cost an arm and a leg
to accessorize with the trendiest pieces.



Read on below to find out 
what encouraged her to start her own business.

Just An Ordinary Family: What inspired you to start Frou Frou & Frill and how did it come to be?
Frou Frou & Frill: Frou Frou & Frill is an online women’s accessories boutique that sources the most dazzling, trendiest items at the most affordable prices. It’s a woman’s source to finding stylish “in” pieces that she’ll feel beautiful wearing while spending very little. Because of our affordable price point, customers can purchase several accessories to fit their ever-changing styles and moods. I’m the girl who loves to have a huge variety in my collection and one who always wants to have the trendiest, latest pieces of jewelry. I realized that while I love jewelry, it was foolish of me to spend upwards of $60 on one single accessory. Styles come and go so quickly that it becomes almost prohibitively expensive for most women to constantly keep up with the latest trends. I actually found myself wearing those expensive pieces only a few times before they were no longer ‘in’, and then I’d move on to the next round of trendy necklaces, bracelets and earrings. I needed to find a method to be fashionable in an economical way.  My passion drove me to provide a way for women to feel good about themselves wearing stylish, beautiful jewelry at affordable prices. My line of jewelry is affordable, ranging between $8-20, and we offer free shipping to the USA on all products.


JAOF: Where is the name Frou Frou and Frill from?
FFF: Frou Frou & Frill is about embellishing a woman’s everyday look with pretty accessories that she’ll feel beautiful and confident wearing. We thought the name Frou Frou & Frill was fitting to our purpose. It’s about having fun and not being too serious, so that’s why our logo has a whimsical feel to it. And as for the color hot pink, besides the fact that it’s our favorite color, it also stands for being passionate, playful and charming. Traits that we admire in a woman


JAOF: Where are you based out of, and how do you run your shop?
FFF: We are based out of the US and operate strictly online. Without a traditional storefront, we were able to save significant start-up costs, as well as ongoing costs associated with operating a physical store. We are able to pass on sizable savings to our customers, thereby offering lower prices for our accessories.


JAOF: As your own boss, how do you stay motivated and stay on track? 
FFF: I LOVE operating my own accessories company. I enjoy sourcing jewelry, holding it in my hands and admiring its design, inspecting it for quality, and packaging it for my customers. My customers also keep me motivated when they send me photos of themselves wearing Frou Frou & Frill jewelry, or email me kind, complimentary notes. It’s so much fun that it doesn't even feel like much work!


JAOF: What kinds of goals do you set for yourself and for your company?
FFF: We set goals to broaden and diversify our product line. For example, we just added handmade, sequin hangers and monogrammed decals to our product offerings and will soon be adding monogrammed koozies. In addition to accessories, we like other fun stuff and so do our customers! We also set monthly goals to increase our reach on Instagram and Facebook.




JAOF: Who inspires you in your work?
FFF: I draw inspiration from everywhere, really. But nature, new places, boutique owners, fellow entrepreneurs, bloggers and stylists are my main sources of inspiration.

JAOF: Where did you work before Frou Frou and Frill?
FFF: I’m currently a full-time copywriter in addition to owning and operating Frou Frou & Frill.

JAOF: How do you balance home life and work life?
FFF: I wish I had a secret formula to this, but I don’t. All I can say is that when I’m at work, my focus is on work. When I’m at home, I try to forget about work, which isn't always easy. I allow myself the leeway to make exceptions when necessary.  



As a thank you to my readers,
I would like to give away two of her
  be still and know that I am GOD bracelets.
One for you, and one for a friend.

How to enter:
1) Like Just An Ordinary Family on Facebook and follow us on Instagram
2) Like Frou Frou and Frill and follow them on Instagram
3) Tag one friend per comment, and they can win a bracelet too!

Contest ends Wednesday May 20.



You can reach Frou Frou & Frill by:

email: sales@froufrouandfrill.com

Facebook: Frou Frou & Frill

Instagram: @froufrouandfrill

Pinterest: @froufroufrill

5.14.2015

Jane: 7 months

 

On April 18th
Jane became 7 months old.
This month I am determined to have her photos
posted near the actual date she becomes a month older!
Here we are three weeks later and just showing you her 7 month photos.




 Jane is still our serious, calm and sweet baby.
However, she is starting to fight for her rights.
She is fighting nap times,
doesn't give up toys as easily
and will give her older sister a whap when she needs to defend herself.

She is so cuddly.
One of her favourite games to play
is when we say,
"Aw, snuggles!"
She will rest her head on our chest or shoulder with a big smile.
It isn't unusual for her to lay contently in someone's arms
or rest her head on my shoulder.


Jane's relationship with her older sister is really sweet.
She will reach out to touch Claire
and see what response she gets.
Usually its an over abundance of hugs and kisses.
Soon she is trying to get away!
They are starting to play together,
which delights my heart.



Jane's face is starting to change shape. 
She is getting deliciously chubby,
with a round face and chubby cheeks.
She is the spitting image of her daddy as a baby.
She still has two teeth,
and seems to be working on a third.
Although there isn't any sign of it yet.

  
Some of Jane's favourite things are:
-eating solids, especially mango, banana and mum mums
-being outside
-her jumperoo and jolly jumper
-being carried in the wrap or carrier
-playing peek-a-boo
-dogs

(The photo on the left is one of my favourite faces of hers!)

5.11.2015

The Good Mother Project


My friends,
I have been quite excited to share this with you!
what an extraordinary story they have.
Eran Sudds is the girl behind it all.
She has been running her tail off
trying to keep up with the amazing feedback it has gotten.

The Good Mother Project began
as a Mom and Me photo session.
has been taking photographs 
with all donations 
going to the Pacific Post Partum Support Society.

A month and a half ago,
I happened to see a post Eran had on Facebook.
She was wondering if anyone and their daughters
were available that afternoon for a photo shoot.
She already had the idea for the Good Mother Project underway.
She was looking to photograph a few mom and their kids
to use as examples when advertising her photo shoots.
I was happy to volunteer myself and the girls.

While we were taking pictures and chatting,
I had mentioned briefly my own struggle
with post-partum anxiety.
 I said I would be happy to help in anyway I could.

It was then Eran says she knew there
was something more to the Good Mother Project 
then just photo shoots.

She began setting up photo shoots in other locations, 
allowing moms from all over the lower mainland to be included.
She then added a blogging piece to her website,
where she has invited women to share their stories.
What an amazing platform to therapeutically tell a story,
and then be encouraged by other women's stories as well!

I have enjoyed reading the stories of some amazing mothers.
This is a wild, crazy adventure! 
I love that Eran has opened up this avenue as 
a space where moms can open up, share and be encouraged.
We are not alone.

The Good Mother Project
has only been going for a month
and already has an audience that has reached
all over North America.
I am thrilled at the thought
of where it will be in another month,
even into next year! 

Eran asked me if I would be willing to be one of the
authors of a blog post and share my story.
As difficult as it was to go public with my struggles,
I knew it was something I had to do.
I wanted to be part of removing the stigma 
of being ashamed of anything related to mental health.
Sharing my story was a way that I could do that.
It was published on their website on Friday, May 8th.
You are welcome to read it here, if you wish.

If you have ever suffered from
any kind of pre or post partum depression or anxiety,
I encourage you to head on over 
to the Good Mother Project website and read 
some amazing stories.
If you feel you have a story to share,
please do so! 
and write what is on your heart.
Even if one other mommy is moved by 
your experience,
it is worth it.

Connect with the
Good Mother Project:

Instagram: goodmotherproject

Also seen on:







5.10.2015

Mother's Day

Happy  Mother's Day. 

I am filled with such joy 
and pride when I think of my own mother. 
Now as a mom myself, 
I appreciate her on a whole new level. 
That kind of sacrifice, 
That kind of LOVE. 
She is a saint. 

My mother-in-law is so gracious and kind. 
I was the first to marry one of her sons,
and her first daughter-in-law.
She came into the role like a practiced lady.
I am blessed. 

I look at my darling girls 
and my heart swells with pride and joy.
They made me a mother! 
I am so proud to be their mom. 
Lord, help me do this well. 

But, when I think of today,
I also can't help but think of the heartache. 
Perhaps your mom is no longer here. 
For that I am truly sorry. 
Maybe you haven't talked to your 
Mom in a very long time. 
Today, I encourage you to
pick up the phone and simply say 
Happy Mother's Day for life is much too short.

There are women I know who
are just as much a mother as I am, 
but their babies were taken too soon. 
Happy Mother's Day.
You are a mother. 
Your heartache is real. 

On Mother's Day two years ago I
was filled with dread. 
My heart ached with intense longing
to add another baby to our family.
I had the most beautiful girl who
made me a mother, 
but I was not in a good place.
That morning I woke up and wanted to stay in bed.
My husband encouraged me to get up and get dressed
and go to church. 
I did so reluctantly.

That morning Pastor Isaac and his wife
from Nigeria were visiting.
At the end of his sermon he made special mention of
the mothers. He asked each mom to stand up, so I did.
Then he asked all the moms to come forward to the front of the stage.
Typically, I hate this kind of thing. I wanted to just stay in my seat.
Then, he called all the mothers who were contending for pregnancy
forward right to the very front.

It was then that I felt myself being carried.
It almost felt like I was floating.
I went right up in front of the whole church,
and in front of all these women.
With me were three other women,
one I remember looked like she was in her 50s.
Pastor Isaac, in his beautiful thick Nigerian accent, 
prayed over us. I wasn't paying too close attention to his words,
but his wife came up to each of us and placed her hands on our wombs
and way praying in tongues. 
Then, they switched. 
His wife was praying with such authority, she was practically shouting.
She was pacing back and forth in front of us,
asking the Lord for babies.
Pastor Isaac came and anointed each one of us with oil.
It was the most amazing experience I have ever had.

After the service I bumped into my friends Maria and Anna,
and they didn't realize we had gone to that service that day.
Maria said that when they called forward the moms contending 
for pregnancy, she and Anna began to pray fervently for me,
not at all seeing me as I approached the front of the crowd.
That next Tuesday at my moms group one of them women,
also unknowing of what had happened that previous Sunday,
told me she was talking to Pastor Isaac's wife and she had said
that every woman she has prayed for like that has become pregnant.
It was at the end of that year that Jane was conceived. 

What an amazing and memorable Mother's Day!

Ladies, whatever your situation is today.
Joy, sorrow, pain of loss or ache of wanting;
I want to pray for you. 
Please feel free to leave a comment here,
or send me an email at sm.smid@yahoo.ca
and I will commit to praying for you.

Happy Mother's Day to my mom,
to my mother-in-law and to my amazing mommy friends!


photo cred: Aneste Photography

5.04.2015

May is for Moms

As most of you know,
May brings Mother's Day.
This month at Just An Ordinary Family,
we are collaborating with
celebrate mother's everywhere.
There are some great things happening around 
that we want to share with you this month!
We have a few special posts lined up,
including another giveaway and one where 
I will be sharing my own story with you.
My hope
is that throughout the month of May,
you come across something that encourages you and
gives you that 
tug-at-your-heart-strings kind of feeling.

The reality is,
not everyone's journey to motherhood is an easy one.
Not everyone's role as a mother is the same.
Some of these stories are tough to read.
For me,
they have offered a fresh perspective on my role
as a mother to my daughters,
and a wife to my husband.

We're all in this together.
Whether our children live with us here on earth,
or have been taken too soon.
Whether or not we bottle feed or breast feed, or both.
Whether we use cloth diapers, disposable diapers, or both.
Whether we work outside the home, inside the home, or both.
Whether we wake joyfully for those midnight feedings
or stumble out of bed to rock our babies back to sleep.
We are all moms,
and we need to share our stories,
seek help and give encouragement.
You never know whose life you will touch
by sharing your successes and failures,
hardships and triumphs.

We are mothers.
We are good mothers. 
Happy Mother's Day
{photo courtesy of the Good Mother Project}

4.29.2015

Women In Business: Whitney Dyck, stylist

Here at Just An Ordinary Family
we want to highlight and celebrate
women who have made something for themselves.
Today's lady boss is someone very dear to me,
which makes this post extra special.

Whitney and I have been friends for a long time.
We met through my husband and I immediately wanted to be her friend.
Whitney has been styling my hair for about 8 years
and I completely trust her with every hair on my head.

A cut and style for our Claire Bear

Whitney has many talents;
she can sing like an angel,
she is hilarious and quick-witted.
She has impeccable style,
is a great wife and mother
and is constantly pushing me and encouraging me in my roles
as a wife and a mother.

Short styles (photo credit for the first photo: Stephanie Glasgow

On top of that all she is a hair stylist. 
She has always been able to balance owning her own hair business
and holding a full time job.
Once she had her son things changed, naturally.
She wanted to find a way to be with him 
as much as possible.

I am so proud of her for taking a step of faith
and launching her hair business.
It has allowed her to be at home 
for the majority of the time, 
and also allowed her to
work and be creative in her salon.


Hair and make up style

Read on below to hear 
how she manages to balance all of her roles,
who inspires her in her work
and what her favourite trends are right now!


Just An Ordinary Family: Being a wife, mom and owning your business is a lot to juggle. How do you manage all three roles?
Whitney Dyck: Sometimes I don't do it well!  I wish I was a better juggler, but ultimately I try and place things in the right order: Wife & Mom first, Stylist second. I have a great husband who tackles our home life and parenting duties right alongside me, and I work part-time - quite a nice change from what I am used to!

JAOF: You don't work out of a conventional hair salon; how does your space work for you?
Whitney: I have an in-home studio that works really well for what I need. We renovated a functional salon-type space last summer and it has been perfect for my business. Unlike a typical salon, there aren't several others having their hair done simultaneously, so it's pretty peaceful - and the garden view helps with that!
JAOF: Who inspires you in your work most? Is there a mentor or particular stylist that you follow?
Whitney: I follow several stylists via social media, but I suppose my favourites would be Leonardo ReDavid, Vancouver based stylist and creator of ReDavid Styling products (my favourite line to use in my studio!) and Ted Gibson, celebrity stylist and former What Not To Wear stylist.  

JAOF: What was it that encouraged you to take the leap to doing hair full time?
Whitney: The main reason I decided to go into business on my own was my strong desire to stay at home with my son as much as possible while he was still so young. My family and friends were instrumental in encouraging me to 'take the leap' and without their support and shameless promotion I wouldn't have been able to make it work!  

JAOF: What kinds of things do you do to keep on top of the newest trends in hair?
Whitney: I find Pinterest to be an endless source of creative ideas! I also enjoy online tutorials and finding inspiration from other stylists. 

JAOF: Having all of the roles you do, how do you make time for yourself? What kinds of things do you do just for you?
Whitney: I'm aware that my load is relatively light compared to lots of working moms out there. I have one son I get to care for and a job I love to do - not to mention a great support system! Ideally, time for myself includes a glass of wine, a good book and a bubble bath...pretty please! 

JAOF: What 3 pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
Whitney: 1) Be realistic about your abilities, expectations and commitment.
  - What can you offer? Is it worth what you're asking? Are you willing to see it through?
2) Under Promise, Over Deliver
- Clients need to feel that they are getting more than they expected!
3) Social Media is your friend.
- Use your online network to grow your business and offer incentives to those referring you. Be worthy of other's promoting you and make sure your existing clients feel appreciated for their business and referrals.

JAOF: Where would you like to see your business in 5 years?
Whitney: I would like to expand my business enough to work with an esthetician partner and offer more salon services. I enjoy the wedding and special event side to my business and would love to see that grow further - I have 5 weddings booked this summer and hope that could double next year! 

Nice, subtle ombre 

Whitney has been kind enough to offer
Just An Ordinary Family readers
$10.00 of any colour service for the  months of May and June!
Simply mention this post when you book your appointment.
Whitney's full list of services is available on her Facebook page.

To book your appointment
you can reach Whitney
by email at
dyck.whitney@gmail.com,
calling or texting her at
604 838 8610.
You can also send her a private message on
Facebook.

Don't forget to Like her page for updates, future promotions and new styles!



4.24.2015

Cinnamon Sticky Buns

Candle by Two Tall Trees

These cinnamon buns are a hit at our house.
They are so good, in fact, that I can't have them around
unless it is a special occasion.
These are perfect if you love a sticky, gooey type of bun.
They can be made on the same day,
but I recommend making them the night before and
letting them rise in the pan throughout the night, resulting
 in perfectly fluffy dough
ready to put in the oven for breakfast.



You will need:
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 warm water 
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped nuts or seeds of your choice 
  • 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice (you can also mix 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg)


To prepare:

1 Fill a measuring cup with warm water and dissolve the yeast and sugar in it. Leave for 10 minutes until creamy and frothy. Warm the milk in a saucepan until it begins to bubble, remove from heat. Mix in 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup of butter and the salt. Stir together until the butter has melted. Let cool until lukewarm.

2. In a large bowl, or the bowl of your mixer, combine the yeast mixture, milk mixture, the beaten eggs and 1 1/2 cups of flour. Using your dough attachment, combine altogether on low speed. Or, using your brute strength, use a wooden spoon to mix! Slowly sift in the remaining flour, about 1/2 cup at a time. When the dough has formed a ball, place on a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and has elasticity.

3.Lightly oil your large bowl and place the dough back inside, turning the dough to distribute the oil throughout. Cover it with a damp tea towel and place in a warm area to let it rise until it has doubled in size; about one hour. 

4.While the dough is rising, melt your butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Stirring until it is a deep amber brown. Remove from heat and add in your spices. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Pour the toffee mixture into the bottom of the pan, making sure to reserve about half for the inside of the rolls. Sprinkle the nuts or seeds evenly on top.

5.Once the dough has doubled, place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle until it is about 1/4 inch thickness. The size doesn't really matter, you will just have more or fewer layers to your roll. Take the remaining brown sugar mixture and brush it over the dough using a silicone pastry brush (the back of a spoon works just fine as well).

6.Beginning at one end, gently roll the dough away from you and move along slowly to the other end. Then work your way back the other way. Pinch the dough together to seal at the end. Using a serrated knife, cut the roll into 15 sections. Place them into the 9x13 pan. Now you can choose to leave them overnight, or let them rise again. Place a damp tea towel over top and let them rise until doubled, about an hour, or overnight.

7.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then invert onto a large plate. Scrape the remaining mixture and seeds/nuts onto the cinnamon rolls.
Enjoy!

Photos are property of Just An Ordinary Family. Do not use without permission.

(recipe adapted from allrecipes.ca)