0 In Uncategorized

Mompreneur Spotlight, Meet Scarlet Kux-Kardos

Mompreneur Spotlight is back! It has been a while since I have done one of these and I was totally feeling like I needed to share about this incredible mom for a while! Her story is about to spark some serious light in you! Not only is she an inspiration but at my house WE are totally LOVING her products! So without further ado, I would love to share my interview with Scarlet Kux-Kardos, the super cool mama and founder of ZAPPED!

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Tell us a little about yourself….

Growing up in Northern BC, I was raised in the glow of the northern lights. Armed with awe for the outdoors, and attending design school in Vancouver and New York, I got my first job in the 1990’s during the snowboard apparel explosion in Vancouver. Playing hard while looking RAD was the way of life, and building a brand through being outside was the way business was done.  In 1998, I started a performance sportswear design studio (sk2design.com) where I continue to design for international brands.

About Zapped – How did it get started?

It was my 10 year-old who made me aware of how unaware most kids are when it comes to being seen on the street.  At the time, I was working with a few brands using all over reflective material for running / biking products. It was just SO cool to see the fabric reflect this hidden print when hit with light, but otherwise looked like a normal jacket.   I tried to find a jacket for my son that used this same technology and couldn’t find it anywhere. For the first time in my career, I saw a gap in the market.

 While the idea of launching my own brand was percolating in my mind, my husband was literally hit by lightening!  He survived, didn’t gain any super powers, but it jolted me into just doing it now or never … and the name (and brand) was born! 

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 The look of the Zapped fabric lighting up really looks like a flash of lightening! And I was really inspired by the edgy 90s rock / skate-boarding vibe which just paired so well with a lightening bolt.  I looked at all the essential pieces my son wears every day and realized creating “RAD” essential kids styles all in reflective fabric would be a great launch collection. And BOOM! … 

 ZAPPED Outfitters is a collection of “covert reflective gear” for kids aged 6-12 with secret superpowers. Each article features microscopic glass beads embedded in the fabric that reflect light at night. It’s the first line of fully reflective active gear for RAD kids! 

 We offer gender-neutral essentials for long dark days of winter while RAD enough to wear every day, year round!  The launch collection of ZAPPED includes a jacket, ball cap, toque, backpack, slip-on sneaker and fleece-lined high top. 

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 Challenges…

 This is funny … but really not funny:  

At the moment, it comes down to having a job where you have to pay to work.   I know it won’t be like this forever, but start-up life is hard enough and financial set-backs have been a huge challenge.  I often have to look at it as a REALLY EXPENSIVE hobby.

 The other challenge is wearing so many hats. There are many aspects of the business that I really don’t like doing and I’m probably not very good at either, but as a start-up you have to dig deep and know that hard work and perseverance will pay off.  And yes, it’s even harder to have to pay to do the jobs you don’t even LIKE doing 🙂  

 Motivation…

Back when I started my design studio, my motivation continues to be the same:

“ … Wake up when I was finished sleeping”

  Of course, that was before I had kids, however even now I love the flexibility of being self-employed.  

 The other thing that really motivates me is our focus on building the brand through charity partnerships and focusing on the deep meaning of our tag line.

 PLAY HARD / BE SEEN means more than just our reflective gear, it means getting together, showing off our true selves, seeing the light in yourself and others.  We are currently partnered with Ruben’s Shoes and Backpack Buddies to do just that.

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 How do you find balance between mom and business owner?

Being outside, connecting with nature, and having a life outside work and parenting. To me it’s critical to have a separate office (out of the home) and follow somewhat standard working hours.  I also try to involve my son as much as I can in the business and I am amazed at what he has already learned about being an entrepreneur.  

 Advice to moms considering a side-hustle?

You need to try it before it’s too late.  You never want to look back and say – oh man! … I should have tried it!  

Failure is Data

Use POWER rather than FORCE

Trust yourself

Be patient

Be kind to yourself

Don’t spend too much time analyzing, studying, testing, trying … sometimes you just have to do it.

One funny saying I loved: “Starting a company is like throwing yourself off a cliff and assembling an airplane on the way down.”

Favourite and Fun way to market?

I have loved working with the micro-influencers and it give me such a boost to see all the beautiful kids sporting the products and hearing how much both the moms AND kids love them.  We have also had a great time partnering with Backpack Buddies and Rubens Shoes at various events. We were just at the pride festival in Vancouver and it was a blast

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My boys are included in this, as we partnered together to collaborate, and as many of my followers know…I like to only partner with products and businesses that align with our vision, values etc…WE LOVE ZAPPED!

 

Next for the brand?

We have a really awesome new collection in the works for 2020.  We are now focusing our efforts on selling the current inventory so we have the money to launch the new collection!  

GO CHECK IT OUT! Links Below

Link to website: www.zappedoutfitters.com

Instagram: @zappedoutfitters

Till The Next Post,

Move.Play.Mom

 

0 In Travel

Montreal With Kids, Oui Oui!

Montreal with kids, Oui Oui! This is going to be a fun travel blog post to write because Montreal is home for me. I was born and raised in the incredible city with deep French and European roots. Montreal is truly a unique place not only to grow up in but also to visit! It’s also a fantastic city to bring your kids to visit too. So, visit to Montreal with Kids? I say YES!

Do you need to know French to get around? NOPE! Montreal is a totally bilingual city and despite what people say, it’s a super friendly city to visit. It’s pretty cool to be immersed in a bilingual place, it makes visiting feeling like you are not in North America. all the different languages, the sounds, the people…it’s such a celebration of multicultural living. What a great opportunity for children to experience this part of Canada and the history. My boys love it.

WHEN TO GO?

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Personally if you are going to be visiting Montreal I would highly suggest you do so in the summer. Montreal is always alive but in the summer it’s AMAZING, it’s vibrant, it’s eclectic, it’s hot and it’s got so much going on. There are some pretty epic festivals and events that take place between June and August that you probably want to consider crossing your vacation time over with. I listed some below with approximate times they takes place in the summer…

  • If you are a car fanatic, Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place in the month of June. There is more than just the racing going on. The entire downtown turns into a massive party. Everyones fancy vehicles turn up, there are outdoor stages built around the downtown area with live music. Every pub, restaurant and bar is partaking in the fun. It’s really something to see once in a lifetime if you are car obsessed.
  • The Montreal International Jazz Festival. I don’t even know what to say…this was my favorite summer event. Typically takes place the end of June and start of July for two weeks of AMAZING music events. There are hundreds of live music concerts and 60% are FREE! So many venues, bars, restaurants have live shows going on but for me the best is the outdoor stages! The shows are so good and the lineup of free shows has got something for everyone. It’s the worlds LARGEST Jazz festival in the WORLD! It’s quite the party!
  • For almost 40 years Montreal has been the host of THE JUST FOR LAUGHS Comedy festival. Montreal has been called the funniest city in the world.Just after Jazz festival ends Just For Laughs starts and some of the biggest acts in the world come out to perform for 2 weeks. You can enjoy theatre, stand ups, movies and more.
  • Montreal International Fireworks Competition takes place at the end of July every Saturday and Wednesday nights. event was one of my favorites as a kid. Since 1985 Montreal has been hosting countries from all over the world. You can view the fireworks from La Ronde, The old Port, The Jacques Cartier Bridge, Parc Jean Drapeau. We would turn on the radio station designated for the show and watch as the 30-40 minute fireworks performance would dazzle and dance to the music that goes with each event. Each night is a different country that performs. Last time I was in Montreal I took the boys out on a boat (was fairly reasonably priced) where we watched the fireworks right above us! You can catch the boat right out of the Old Port.
  • OSheaga is one of the largest music and visual arts festivals in Canada. Located at Jean Drapeau park at the start of the month of August. They set up numerous stages around the park and the event attracts over 130,000 music fans! Over several days over 100 bands will perform.

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ARRIVING TO MONTREAL BY PLANE

The Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is literally 20 minutes from the downtown core. Whether you are renting a car, grabbing an Uber or taking a taxi you are close to where you want to be right from the get go. Taxi will run you about $35-$40.

Where to stay? There are so many beautiful hotels to choose from but if you are coming with littles, you can easily find yourself a superb AirBnb or VRBO. Areas I would recommend, Montreal Downtown, Westmount, Old Montreal, St. Henry, The Plateau, Little Italy… You can’t go wrong with a cute exposed brick loft in the heart of the city.

Of course when we go visit we stay with family. I grew up right inner city but my parents just recently moved out to a spot on the lakeshore (it’s pretty sweet). We can ride bikes right to the old port, kick it in the suburb by the lakeshore which is sprinkled with cute little shops and eateries or I can easily get back to my roots for a night on Monkland Avenue within 10-15 minutes.

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WHAT TO DO

There is so much to see and do in Montreal and even more so when you have kids. Getting into all the details would be next to impossible in one blog post but here are a few MUST SEE AND MUST DO’s

First on my list is always going to be, visit the OLD PORT. I can’t even describe it to you in words. It’s literally like stepping back in time with impressive architecture, cobble stone roads, beauty, charm, old churches and European influence. You can eat anything and everything here. You will find some of the best little spots to grab a poutine, the original beaver tail shop, or step onto any terrace for a cold Molson…There are art shops, boutiques galore, street performers, a gigantic Ferris wheel and you can rent bikes, scooters, check out the boats…I can go on…Just go. Ben and I got married in this area, and I would recommend you take a moment to check out the church we got married in, The Notre Dame Basilica. It’s beyond beautiful.

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Second would be to check out Little Italy and the Jean Talon Market. One of North Americas largest open air markets. This is also a must do. GO HUNGRY! The food is to die for. We typically try all the things, and if you go at the end of August you’re in luck! It’s CORN SEASON! and nothing beats the corn on the cob from the market. From fresh calamari, incredible gluten free crepes, gelato and more…You can easily spend a couple of hours wandering around and eating. Following our visits we always hit up the surrounding area of Little Italy where the market is located to grab a coffee and cannoli.

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Third, restaurants! No place I have been to in North America, other than New York, compares to the food in Montreal. When I moved out to Calgary, this was literally the one thing I missed THE MOST. There are some very famous chefs that have come out of MTL and then there are some low key ma and pa spots that will blow your mind. My last trip out I was lucky enough to hit up some great restos

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But for you newbies, you will have to try the famous spots like Fairmont Bagels, Schwartz Deli, Joe Beef, Dunn’s Famous Smoked Meat, Chalet Bar-B-Q…Some not so fancy but each oh so good.

TO DO WITH KIDS

There are so many fun places in and just outside the city but here is my list of go to’s with the kids when I visit. We typically visit at least 2-3 of these places and it’s a full day of fun!  You will need to organize transport for these, or rent a car.

Granby Zoo and waterpark (45 min from the city) This Zoo is super interactive and fun. The kids loved every minute. It’s a full day excursion. They also have a pretty amazing waterpark attached to the Granby Zoo with the largest outdoor wave pool in Canada.

Parc Safari (45-1 hour from the city) Similar to Granby but the in addition to the zoo they have a drive through safari experience where you can feed the animals and they come right up to your vehicle. There is also a smaller waterpark but still lot’s of fun.

St. Sauveur Waterslides (45 minutes in the laurentian area) They literally built these waterslides into the side of the ski hill. They have a huge wave pool, lazy river and tons of slides for all ages.

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Mont Tremblant (1.5 hours from the city) This is the prettiest town and you do not feel like you are in Canada when visiting. IT’s truly an experience in itself going to Tremblant. I highly suggest you book a night or two as there is tons to do! You can LUGE, Take the gondola up to the top, hike, swim, eat at amazing little spots and more…

A morning at Beaver Lake, rent paddle boats and check out the scenery (you can bus or Uber) My kids loved walking around the are, we packed a lunch and hit the awesome park to play and climb!

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Here are some other ideas: La Ronde, Which is a crazy fun amusement park and you can easily take transit to get there. You can also take a day to rent bikes and cruise the city, it’s a super bike friendly place. Montreal has a bike rental system called BIXI. Bixi is a public bicycle sharing system, it was north americas first and largest bike sharing system!

For us, Montreal is our second home. I have a huge family and I love going back to visit my cousins and friends. I take time to scope out the latest restaurants, grab some wine with friends, and hang out by the many pools (public and friends!) We always spend lot’s of time around the family business and visit my dad at TRANZO. Tranzo has been in the family since 1939 and my dad and his cousin have been the owners since the late 70’s. Today, Tranzo, known as an Italian specialty and butcher shop, is located in Notre Dame De Grace or N.D.G (My old Hood). My dad’s famous sausage has won numerous awards and is featured in some of the city’s most prominent restaurants.

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Would love to answer any other questions you have, but overall, Montreal is definitely a city that should be on everyones bucket-list, and with kids, I say OUI OUI! COMMENT! Let me know if you have ever been and if so what was your favorite part!

0 In Style & Lifestyle/ Uncategorized

My Workout Plan and Routine.

I have been asked so many times over Instagram to share about my workout plan and routine. I am finally getting around to writing this post and sharing! First off let me tell you a little bit about my past and how I believe it led to my current plan and why I love to run.

As far back as I can remember I have always been active. I was born an athlete. I know that sounds crazy to say, but I was. My parents saw how busy and active I was from a young age and got me into sports right away. When I was just 3 my mom had me registered in soccer and figure skating lessons. I loved to move and watching the hockey boys step onto the ice after my figure skating lessons, I wanted to do THAT. By the age of 5 my mom had me taking figure skating lessons on hockey skates. I refused to wear the white skate with the picks at the front. For the rest of my life, I’d be known as the girl who was born with skates on her feet.

I transitioned into Ringuette by the age of 6 and was figure skating and playing Ringuette 3 to 4 times a week. There was no girls hockey team at the time. I loved playing Ringuette, but what I really wanted was to play hockey. When I was 12 my parents finally fought hard enough and I was able to join the Peewee Boys hockey team. I played both Hockey and Ringuette for a long time. For those who know me, they know how hockey became a huge part of my life as a young adult. Hockey was life.

In between I also played competitive soccer, swimming,  basketball and skied. I begged my mom to let me join her gym at 15. I was athletic…by 16 I was training 7 out of 7 days. If I wasn’t at the gym, on the ice or on the field, then I was probably rollerblading someplace in Montreal or running. My poor parents drove me all over the world for tournaments, games and competitions. They knew I loved it so they supported me.

Today I am almost 40 years young, and nothing has changed. I am still the same girl who is constantly in need of movement. I move to be healthy. I move to move me. I move to be strong. I am not the one stepping on the ice as often anymore, I am the mom driving my little guys around to the pitch or arena…but I still find time to move everyday.

Running and BBG

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I have always been a runner. In running I found a new outlet. I was able to challenge myself. No team, no passing strategy, no pressure from the coach, no outside competition, the only person I competed against was myself. Running was good for me, especially when I was playing hockey at such a competitive level. It was my ME time. Today I am still running. I run because it makes me feel strong and I love pushing my endurance. It’s a huge challenge. I love it cause I can run with others or by myself. You can run anywhere, it’s cheap, all you need are running shoes, a make believe start line and you’re off.

My running schedule is aligned with my strength training schedule. For the past 2.5 years I have been doing the BBG, or SWEAT, the Kayla Itsness program. I am obsessed. It takes a lot of discipline to work out this hard for 28 minutes BUT in the grand scheme of things it’s only 28 minutes, you can do it at home and the results are ridiculous! I swear by the Sweat App.

I combine my running as LISS and HITT training with the BBG workouts.

In addition to the above I also swim 1-2 x a week and I do yoga at home 2-3 x a week.

I also am the mom to three active boys and we try to get out and channel that energy and do things together like hiking, biking and more…

In the end, when I think of being healthy and strong, I think it’s important to share, that what you eat and drink plays a HUGE part in this. I believe that diet makes up 80% of your health and 20% is the work you put in physically. Food is key. Proper nutrition is key. Eating healthy and balanced is key.

Thats it! My current workout routine. Let me know what you think and what YOU do to move…

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till the next post,

MovePlayMom