H E R B S

I have a major soft spot for fresh herbs. Really anything out of the garden. Last year we installed two are garden boxes in our yard and it was shocking how well they did! We had a crazy amount of very large cucumbers (I mean like five new ones daily, it was slightly out of hand), a TON of homegrown potatoes, carrots and green peppers…. it was a beautifully, flourishing garden. We had way too much kale and swiss chard and will probably rethink that this year but how are you to know before ya know right! Anyways, every year I like to make a valiant effort to have fresh herbs growing on hand. Since it is still a bit chilly outside, I thought keeping these babies indoors would be best, and why not on my kitchen window sill. That way they are nice and accessible for all of your cooking needs. This was such a simple task that even those who lack a green thumb can easily obtain one. Here is what you need:

Herbs of choice: I chose chives, parsley and cilantro. I LOVE cilantro in guacamole and tacos so it’s a staple in this house since we eat them so often.

Pots or some sort of planter (you will need one that is a good size for the amount of herbs you have chosen)

Potting soil to top up if needed

Spray bottle

Start by filling my kitchen sink with about 2 inches of luke warm/room temperature water. Gently remove herbs from the plastic containers you purchased them in. Place them in the sink of water, sitting upright, and let them soak up the water for about a minute. Remove from water and gently loosen the root. Place in your new pot and add potting soil as needed. Place in a bright place with a good amount of sunlight. Trim herbs as you use them in your cooking to keep them growing evenly. Happy planting!

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Outnumbered

Outnumbered is EXACTLY what I feel these days. But not in a negative way at all so please don’t take it that way. When I got pregnant with my second babe, a million thoughts would run through my head DAILY. How would I take care of two tiny humans? How would I find time to make each little person feel equal and loved and give them enough one on one time? How on earth could I be expected to keep two little people alive with only two arms, two hands, one set of eyes and no sleep? Quite frankly it seemed impossible. But I knew we would manage just as every other mom of two out there does. Moms of three and four and five, I salute you as you are obviously made of extreme super hero powers that I have yet to discover (did I just say YET as in I might do so in the future?!). Those first few months of going from ‘one baby to two’ are a total blur. Maybe it was sleep deprivation. Maybe just a bit of shock at how my life quickly turned from busy to a total shit show. Maybe it was all the wine drinking I decided to catch up on. Nevertheless, there were two of them and one of me. And as young and innocent as they are, those two gremlins are SMART. They know exactly what they are doing when they are doing it.
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Jackson….. nine months old and going on 72. He is the oldest man on the block. You put a cardigan sweater with elbow pads on that kid and hand him a pipe and he looks the part of an old professor pondering away in his library or gentlemen’s smoking room. To say he is sensitive is an understatement. If you greet that old man with the wrong pitch of ‘hiiiiiii babyyyyyyy’ (which is sister does daily) and you will get a bottom lip so big a bird could fly along and poop on it. Now put a farmer twist on this old soul as his teeth have decided to come in out of order: two centre bottom teeth and two at the top out to the sides. Can anyone say hillbilly? This does not seem to bother him as he loves to eat every darn item in the kitchen cupboard. I must say for baby led weaning, this kid is setting new records. It’s a good thing he is starting young though, learning how to fight for his snacks. You need that sort of fire on the playground these days. We do also have to check the wrist rolls daily to make sure he hasn’t hidden a cheerio in there for later. He may be an innocent baby boy but he sure knows how to scrounge and get the last bite in there before I notice. God help me when I haven’t swept the floors that morning and he decides to snag a dust bunny. Just kidding, I usually catch those.
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Miss Hallie…… We have always known this girl had a heart of gold. She is the drama mama who wants to take care of everyone and be involved in everything. She carries her tiny Paw Patrollers around in various receptacles (READ: whatever she can find or steal from mommy) and if one so much as falls or gets lost along the way, it’s very much true to being the end of the world. Tears, dramatic collapsing to the ground, you name it. I don’t even know which one is her favourite anymore as they all seem to deem much more importance than ANYTHING else on earth. And boy does she love her brother. It’s a mixed emotional roller coaster ride of course. I love him, I want to kiss his head, I want to smash his head into the ground or trap him behind the loveseat so he cannot touch any toys sort of love…. I can honestly see how hard it is to be a toddler sometimes. I mean I have absolutely no understanding as to why said meltdown is usually happening but I can appreciate how difficult it can be to understand why things are the way they are. Why did the microwave eat my sandwich? Why did you take away my toy? Why are you giving it back? Why can’t I play with the knives in the dishwasher? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?! This two year old tantrum too shall past my sweetness. Oh wait is that a shiny paw patrol toy hiding under the sofa? *TearsEnd*. Seriously no day with a toddler is like the next. But with all of her current ups and downs, my little lady does have a total heart of gold and it really is hard to stay frustrated for more than a minute…. until an hour later of course. But that is life with a toddler right? They tell me age 3 and 4 it gets easier…. Said no mother ever.

So these two. Every day they test me. Push me to limits I didn’t know I had. Take me to places of love and joy that I didn’t know I could experience until they came into the world. So for every moment that I feel helpless and completely like it’s two against one, which it usually is, I know we are making memories and experiencing what we know as life. Life with my crazy babies.

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Easter Favorites

Easter is just around the corner! I actually don’t remember the date exactly and will need to google it (or look at one of my three calendars, if you read my last post) but nonetheless, I know it’s March/April and this year it is going to be a fun one! Last year we sort of got into it for Hallie. We decorated the night before and did a small hunt around the house. She is much more adventurous this year and is comprehending so much more that I think we can take it to the next level. Jackson, we will just give him a bunny stuffy and a plastic egg to suck on and he will be happy as can be. So first off I wanted to share a few ideas off of Pinterest and other blogs that I think would be super fun to try. If you have a backyard and access to a helium tank, this idea is adorable. Also very straightforward for toddlers. There are some great ideas for getting festive with food in this link, I particularly love the breakfast efforts and know they would be a huge hit in this house. If you are looking for basket treat ideas that are not candy and filled with sugar, I love this post and all it suggests. I would like to think I will take a few ideas out of that one but at the same time, I know our easter will likely be filled with way too many Mini Eggs! They are too yummy to resist and a staple snack during Easter.

Now for some Easter Favorites…

As a Tupperware Consultant I get a pretty savvy discount, which explains why I have mass amounts spilling out of my cupboards. Gotta love TW AND keep a finger on the Tupperware pulse at all times. They are always coming up with fabulousnous. When they released the Spring sales for this month, they had the cutest idea of using the pails as an Easter basket. I love it when something can be used again after so this idea appealed to me immensely. They also suggested using the avocado keeper to surprise little ones with their Easter treats – like Mini Eggs! LOVE love love this idea and I also love to keep my avocado as fresh as possible. So win win there for this momma. I am also loving just about everything in GAP KIDS right now so have selected all of our favourite Easter outfits from there. I am going to track down those sandals for Jackson as quickly as possibly as they are just too cute! They suit his style perfectly too- anyone who knows him would totally agree. Aside from all of the cute kid’s clothes, I love this time of year so much. It feels so fresh and we are all so sick of snow and winter that it couldn’t come at a better time. Now if the climate would just get it’s act together and warm up, all would be just swell!

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An Organized Day

It seems to be a common theme since I had my second baby that I am always behind the eight ball. Whether it is decorating around the house for a holiday, gearing up for a vacation, or even just general day-to-day planning, I am not on my game like I once was. My husband says it’s OCD, and he may be quite correct, but I have always been super organized and well prepared. With the birth of each kid, that sharp skill has dulled. It’s still present but definitely not as mastered as it once was. This is also why I purchased and started using my new planner well into February rather than on the first day of 2017, like other super organized individuals who share the same sickness. I should disclose my feelings about planners and calendars while we are on the subject as well. It is a love/hate relationship. My need to be overly picky when it comes to my agenda is so bad sometimes I often think I should sit down, design my own and have it printed. That would take an immense about of time though which is a luxury I know longer have. There also has to be different calendars in use, it seems. I have always been a big fan of the monthly whiteboard in our home office area. I will usually plan out the month indicating family events, appointments and bill payments so that they are there, up on the wall for both hubby and I to see. When Henry became a realtor, he got all fancy and joined the world of technology, more so than before. This meant calendar sharing with him on our phones and laptops. People, we are now up to three separate calendar areas I have to update. Lastly, at Christmas I was given a pretty fun wall calendar. It’s monthly glance and has areas for each person in the family. It also has fun stickers to use. Most of all, it was a gift and even though I love it, I feel a slight obligation to include it in my rotation (read: crazy roller coaster of trying to be organized). Thankfully, we changed up our ‘home office’ and the whiteboard no longer suited the space. So the score was evened back down to three: Wall calendar for the family, personal planner for me, the family and my business, and finally the digital calendar shared with the husband. I am HORRIBLE at updating that one though so maybe it doesn’t even count. Either way, all of these are avenues in which I attempt to lead a semi-organized life, keeping all the people around me organized too. Sometimes it works, sometimes it absolutely doesn’t. This obsession however has lead to me finding a planner that I ADORE and felt the need to share with you. I have tried a few over the years, many of which I have found to be useless. So far I am loving my START PLANNER and every little detail in it. I selected the HUSTLE PLANNER which has a small business section at the back. It has financial planning, meal planning, grocery lists, holiday planning, vacation planning, monthly and daily views for the calendar, really I could go on and on about it’s features. It also looks great. It is on the bulkier side so if you are looking for slick and streamline, this option may not be for you. I tend to carry the contents of my entire house in my purse or diaper bag so to me it makes no difference. In fact the bulkier the better for me; that way it stands out amongst the diapers, goldfish snack packages and paw patrol books that crowd up my bag. A small glimmer of a put-together adult hanging out with a couple of sticky-fingered monsters. Which I love to bits and pieces but they still can be monsters. MY monsters. So moms, what are you using these days to keep your crew/zoo organized? Have you completely moved into the digital world or do you still enjoy putting pencil to paper like myself? Or all of the above. Either way, cheers to organized chaos!

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Feeling The February Love

Somehow we are already well on our way into February and I do not even know where January went. It felt like winter was ending and we were starting to get excited for spring. I even unpacked all our spring clothes to launder and freshen up. Florals were definitely in the air! Then BAM! A massive dump of snow and back down to minus twenty. I almost felt like I should be digging all of the Christmas decorations out and setting up again for festive fun. Don’t worry – that did not happen! For now we are just weathering ‘the storm’ and trying to embrace the pretty white snow that has covered my yard yet again. So much for seeing grass last week. We do however have a sunny and beautiful weekend on our hands though and with any luck, it will melt away in a hurry. Though it may be pretty we are VERY over winter. Ready for sun-kissed noses and hardened summer feet from running around bare foot all day. Yes we still have to wait a bit for that but one can dream of warmer temps.

So where have the last few weeks gone exactly. Well we started sleep training our little guy so there was ten days of my life there where it all seemed to blend into one stressful mess. The sleep training wasn’t even the hard part. It was more the fact that we were simultaneously trying to get both kids into one room. A two-year old and a six month old don’t exactly make the best roommates right off the bat. Luckily my mom was headed out-of-town for ten days and we were able to use her suite. So one parent would sleep downstairs with Hallie while the other would sleep up with Jackson. This worked great for the kids but I for one was really missing sharing a bed with my husband! Bigger picture though, it was worth it. While Hallie was getting by sleeping in a playpen (my poor TALL girl), Jackson went from five wake ups and three weddings to one wake up and feeding. ONE! After tackling that, it was time to transition the roommate situation. Our first attempt was one big fail. It was like a symphony between the two of them who could cry the loudest and longest. We maybe last twenty minutes before giving up and splitting them up again. The next night though, we had no choice. Grandma had returned home and we needed to give her space back. Surprisingly, it didn’t go TOO bad. Each night gets better too. There are definitely challenges to sharing a room at these ages. If one cries the other one seems to wake. Hallie has also reverted to waking up a bit more. I have faith we will eventually get there though and they will not mind sharing a room at all. Hopefully everyone will sleep better too. It may not be perfect right now but its manageable. Next house though, separate rooms are a must!

On top of sleep training we have had a couple of colds, one more potty training attempt, six month immunizations for the little one, lots of giggles and snuggles, a handful of play dates, and everything in between. Jackson is now on solids and eats three meals a day. The kid likes to eat, should be no surprise there. Other than her getting into constant mischief and him trying to crawl, the days seem to just be flying by and with each day, those two team up on me a little more. Feeling outnumbered and loving almost every minute of it.

Valentines Day is on Tuesday and usually I am much more prepared! There are heart garlands hung and heart-shaped cookies everywhere. Oh and glitter. Lots of glitter. This year I seem to have dropped the ball a bit. I will see if I can get something done in time but you can bet your boots we will have heart-shaped pancakes morning of. We also are attending a Valentines Day lunch at a friends. Three or four mommas with double the amount of babies….perhaps it should be a liquid lunch! I am sure there will be plenty of photo ops among the chaos. Even if I am not ready for the holiday of love, Pinterest is and I would love to share some favourites with you. These Strawberry Funfetti Pancakes would be so much fun for the kiddos, not to mention tasty. I also LOVE these Heart Shaped Pizzas for a toddler snack idea. If you are into making homemade cards for your loved ones, like we are, there are some super cute and corny ideas in this link for Cards. I think this garland is the SWEETEST and would make a cute surprise to wake up to on Valentines morning. Nothing says Valentines Day like flowers; I love getting away from your standard roses and doing something a little outside the box. These wild flowers in mason jars would be perfect scattered around the house, kitchen or part of a tablescape. Don’t forget kid’s themed pjs are an absolute MUST for all holidays, like these heart ones from Carters. When it comes to Valentines Day, I could go on forever. Thank you Pinterest for sucking up two hours of my life today.

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend and enjoying whatever crazy weather you might be having!

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Friday Favourites: Mama Style Winter Edition

The weekend has finally arrived! I couldn’t be happier because this week has SUCKED! It just felt that anything could go wrong this week was going wrong. I also felt super BLAH and the kids were not sleeping so each morning started with that feeling like you had been hit by a train. It was a bit of a struggle! But each day is a new one and all things do pass so here we are again at the beginning of a great weekend! So much fun going on too for us. Hallie has her first day of ballet; I can’t even contain my excitement about this. We have some adorable dance outfits to try and though we don’t have shoes yet, she can patter around bare foot and look just as cute. I don’t know who in their right mind thinks they can carole a herd of two year olds but power to ya! I intend to watch it to! I think it will be a combination of proud mom-tears and a good chuckle at the little kiddo’s expense. Will be quite the show! We are also heading out for some adult fun at the casino for a friends birthday. I have baked her a Bailey’s Chocolate Cake (yes, the boozy kind) and my entire house smells amazing right now. I am salivating just writing about the darn cake. If it’s a success tomorrow night I will be sure to share the recipe on here. If it tastes as good as it smells you can bet your boots I will be making it again soon. Bailey’s cake in the morning with coffee? Yes please! Okay so not the busiest, action-packed weekend I thought I was about to get into, that is pretty much it. Fun will be had nonetheless. Since it is so bitterly cold here, I decided to share some very appropriate Friday Favourites. Some of these items I own, and some I just wish I did. Either way, put them all together and you are feeling pretty darn cozy in this minus 25 degree weather we are having. No pone says you can’t look good, feel good and stay warm all at the same time.

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Victoria’s Secret Bralette / Tupperware Large Water Bottle / Sorel Coat / John Masters Organics Dry Shampoo / Sorel Booties / Pom Pom Toque / Piperwest Watch / Gap Sweater

I was browsing through Pinterest at some Winter fashion and LOVE the look of the bralette peaking out of soft winter layers. It’s at the top of my list next time I am shopping. I am in love with my large Tupperware water bottle, and love even more that it is black. I signed up to sell Tupperware just so I could get a great discount but I got this little baby for free. (Tupperware loves to give you free stuff!). And it’s not really little at all. You can fit an entire bottle of wine in there! Coincidence? I think not. One brand I have become deeply obsessed with since I moved to Kamloops is Sorel, mainly because everything is so warm. Your fashion choices definitely open up when you move to a colder climate. I particularly love this coat and the tan booties. They are not what you would typically guess to come from Sorel and I love that they are a little less rugged and a little more chic. Now that I have two kids and am a lot busier, I find the need for dry shampoo more than ever. This one by John Masters is light and feels incredible on your hair. It doesn’t leave behind a residue as well that some do. A winner in my books for sure. For those days where not even dry shampoo will cut it, I love hats such as this one. I have many pom pom hats but I am really liking this one in black. The hat and the this GORGEOUS watch are out of my friend’s online store, Wishlist. With a birthday coming up real soon, this watch may be on my wishlist too. I love the Rose Gold and the simplicity of the strap and face. Lastly, I picked up this sweater at our GAP Outlet and seem to live in it these days. It is so warm and cozy…. plus I have a thing for grey. All items are linked back to their sites above.

Happy Friday friends! It’s just about Happy Hour so I think we should get this weekend started. Have a great weekend!

French Toast In A Pinch

Well not really but a close second for sure! I wanted to share a holiday favourite with you, a little after the holidays. I meant to make a big batch of this and give it away in mini mason jars as Christmas gifts for friends. Like many, time slipped away from me and the holidays we over. Still, I couldn’t resist this super simple recipe, a staple in our home: Cinnamon Butter! This batch should probably be called cinnamon-maple-vanilla-honey-butter though. If you have read any of my food posts before, you know that I tend to veer away from following recipes. I am more of an instinct person when it comes to ingredients. A dash here, a heavy hand there. In the end, if it tastes good it is probably working just fine. So rather than share exact measurements, I am just going to tell you the ingredients and steps. Everyone has different tastes so feel free to add more of one thing and less of another. Spread it on your morning toast and it tastes very close to french toast with half the work and none of the clean up. A win-win for all the busy mommas out there.

Ingredients:

Butter – I use unsalted and a full pound. This made five mini mason jars.

Cinnamon – my personal favourite is by Watkins.

Maple Syrup – use the real stuff, not pancake syrup.

Vanilla extract

White Sugar – many of you will shake your head at that one but I am sure all the bakers can appreciate it’s importance.

Honey – liquefy before adding.

Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and MIX. I went old school and used a vintage hand egg-beater that my mom had. I was feeling the need to work out some aggression. Probably something to do with the kitchen faucet exploding that morning OR the furnace shutting down for 24 hours and leaving us all shivering our booties off. It’s been a tough week here! Using the hand mixer actually whipped up my butter and made it super frothy though so I will no doubt use that method in future. Taste as you go and add more of ingredients depending on your taste. In my case, it was all of them! But the result was perfection. Every buttery time. Enjoy! Full disclosure: Not the healthiest option and tastes even better on white bread. YUM!

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