Spring Break

This post is a little late but hope y’all had a great spring break!! My kids are little and not in school so it doesn’t really apply to us but for whatever the reason may be, it still felt like a break. It was like everyone else’s routine was flipped sideways so we could get away with it too. We had busy days to start. A ton of fun stuff planned too! However, don’t they say something like ‘make a plan and see what your toddler thinks of it’. It’s murphy’s law in my house I promise you that. Both kids got super sick. Hallie had a really gross cold that simply made her super emotional all the time and gave her the hall pass for cartoons and ice cream whenever she wanted. Jackson however took the ‘man cold’ to new levels. He is JUST coming round the corner to feeling well. Needless to say, all plans went out the window and we were somewhat housebound. We still managed to get out and play at the park and what not, but we definitely kept to ourselves. I really didn’t want to be that mom who spread the kid’s cold germs like confetti. It is such a relief now though that everyone seems to be feeling better. We had a pleasant shift in the weather today as well so we are hoping for a sunny Easter weekend away in Grand Forks and not such runny noses. Hey a mama can dream right!? One delightful morning I did want to share with you from our sicky spring break was what we called pancakes and pjs. Hallie was adamant we all wear our cozy housecoats one morning so we decided to really make a morning of it and test our new Pampered Chef pancake molds. Couple lessons learned. They are a ton of fun, especially when you get to the final step of actually eating them. Second lesson, there is an art. These are quite tricky to master (especially if you are a perfectionist) but I think after a few rounds of trying, I will get the hang of it. Come on now, we all want star shaped pancakes. No room for the boring ol’ circular style anymore right? Gotta step up my pancake skills stat.

(If you want to get your hands on these they are sold through Pampered Chef, and are quite awesome! The silicone molds are a great size, super durable, and I LOVE the pancake mix shaker. Can’t wait to take it camping and only have ONE dish to do after making breakfast!)

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(Who knows what happened to the housecoat!)

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Easter Fun!

Well it’s almost time for the ol’ Easter Bunny to hop along our way and we couldn’t be more excited. Why you ask, because that means spring is officially here! Old man winter has finally thawed his cold ass out and we are getting sunny days and warmer temps. My kids have been CRAZY being cooped up in winter – yes I know a lot of you brave mommies just bundle everyone up and do the damn thing but we just aren’t cold weather people. Which is odd because we live in Kamloops but we like bare feet and bare bums (well the kids do at least). I am not one for the ice and snow. Winter unfortunately means a lot of indoor madness and endless movies in my house. I try not to worry about ‘screen time’ though as I know that once spring and summer hit, we are outside morning until supper time; Judge if you may. But back to that big white bunny. We will be heading out of town for the Easter holiday as we need to tend to a few family matters. That means our easter baskets are already organized (almost) and packed away ready for the road trip. I wanted to share a few of our favourite finds along with a few old loves that never die (wind up chickadees all day every day please).

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Back when I was a kid Easter was all about CHOCOLATE. The giant chocolate egg that you cracked open and low and behold it was filled with even more chocolate but at a bite-sized level that you could hide and munch on in secret without your parents knowing. I don’t know about your kids but my son, at the ripe age of 21 months can actually SAY chocolate. They get more than their fair share on a weekly basis. I am at fault here too. A tiny piece of chocolate goes a long way when your tiny terror is mid-tantrum and you have little to no resources other than the promise of a delicious piece of milk chocolate tastiness waiting at home for them. Or in the car. Or at the next destination. Whatever momma needs to say, am I right? So on holidays, it’s not really about the overload of sweets for us. I try my hardest to make it more about the holiday, the tradition and the experience. I am (pretty much) done completing the assembly of the kid’s easter goodies and there is no trace of anything edible yet. I will include a chocolate treat of course but for now, we are busting at the basket with anything but sugar. Oh crap… that’s a lie. I did order a local box of homemade cookies and treats. That is more of a family treat for the road trip though. So of course it doesn’t count! I mean most of that will go to mom and dad and necessary bribes. But they are homemade and gluten free so it’s all good right? So down to brass tacks…. the winding chickadee. This is a MUST. I don’t have a single childhood easter memory without one of these babies. My kids love them too. Perfect for races. We also have the token bunny ears. I am a huge fan of the glittery kind too but to keep things simple, we went or good ol’ dollar store fun and furry. Since we are hitting the road and staying in Grand Forks for the holiday, I have included a few colouring activities, including glitter chalk. I did not know this was a thing. My chalk world has now changed! With any messy activity too, aprons are required. The ones pictured above are actually my own design from my store Deer Baby. A little vintage floral for the ladies and nothing but the coolest for the gents: butcher style! Lastly, I am not a fan of the Paw Patroller crew but my kids fight ENDLESSLY over the few that we own. Therefore they will each be acquiring their own set. How I will keep them from mixing them up and continuing to fight, I have no idea. Lord give me the strength to be the Paw Patrolling mediator. Oh yes, don’t forget a couple books. Those are mandatory.

At then end of the day, it’s all just STUFF and not at all relative to what the holiday is actually about. But the little ones love it and I am here to make them smile in whatever way I can. That means Easter baskets for them and Easter wine for mama. Here’s to hoping all of your Easter hunts end with happy little munchkins.

Roll On Spring . . . Please!

I am sure I am not the only one who is totally over winter. As I sit here on my sofa (Hallie has passed on her germy cold to me so we are snuggling and watching Toy Story while Jackson blesses us with a nap) I can’t help but appreciate how beautiful winter can be. The snow, the white, the trees that are dusted from the last snowfall still…. I get it. We love it. For a little while! For a season even! But come on folks, March is literally right round the corner and we all need a little warmth and vitamin D in our lives. I believe that Old Man Winter is sticking around everywhere too. Not just Kamloops. So I don’t feel too burdened knowing that many others are dealing with the chilly temperatures as well. Nothing can stop me from dreaming about spring which basically means perusing spring clothing online and losing hours of my life on Pinterest while I research summer recipes, outdoor activities for the kids and backyard remodelling ideas. Normally I turn to my essential oils diffuser and diffuse something fresh and tropical to lift our winterized spirits. Today (and for the last two weeks) it has been Thieves in the diffuser all day, erry’day. I do believe we have avoided most of the bugs this season because of our oil use and Thieves in particular. I have also made my own countertop cleaner, incorporated it into our laundry, and made the kids roller balls and chest rubs for when they aren’t feeling top notch. It is amazing stuff for building those immune systems. Though they did catch a bit of a cold the last couple weeks, I hundred percent believe their symptoms were mild because of these efforts. So when the germs depart and I can get back to sweeter scents, my favourite to share with you today will leave your home smelling exactly like Anthropologie. Everyone who loves that store KNOWS that smell. You can thank me later! Combine Grapefruit, Geranium, Orange and Bergamot. You will be seeing sunny skies in your mind before you know it. I have also decided to share some fashion favourites that have me personally hoping spring get’s it booty here STAT! Also, for those not suffering from the sniffles, a dreamy sangria recipe to get you in the mood for warmer temps:

The Soho Sangria

I know I will be making this up in the near future for sure!

Now, it’s time for more snuggling with my homegirl and perhaps a little catch up from The Bachelor last night. Team Becca all the way!

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Parenting Crutches

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Yesterday I  had a couple ah-ha moments as a mom. Sometimes I love those moments. It’s like ‘This is great! This makes things so much easier!’. Sometimes these lightbulb moments are frustrating and I think of all the times I suffered and had I know about this fun little fact, the situation, outing, day, etc. would have gone all that smoother. So back to yesterday. We had a rather busy day ahead of us, my little crew and I. The morning started off great and I couldn’t help but start thinking about everything that was assisting me in that nicely flowing morning. Which is exactly what inspired me to let you know about some of these ‘helper’s. Here we go:

The Backpack.

It’s taken me countless outings struggling with two babies, and overflowing diaper bags to discover that there is one style of bag that works. The handsfree backpack. There are so many stylish options out there too. I have a simple black one, quilted and leather. Stylish and functional. I was online the other day and found tons that I would happily adorn on my back ranging upwards to $300. No matter what your budget though, I promise you there is a great option out there for you. Many have an insulated pocket area for those pesky baby bottles and snacks. All have roomy compartments to store diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, and any toys or books that ‘must come with us mommy’. The best part? Your hands are free and ready to hold tiny hands, tie up laces, put on little mittens, zip up jackets, clean up the spilt juice box or the thousands of goldfish crackers that have just exploded out of the shopping cart at Costco. You are ready for anything (well that may be an exaggeration) without having to break your neck and shoulder with an overcrowded bag weighing you down.

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Tupperware Lunch-It Containers.

I love these. My wallet loves these. My kids love these. For my picky toddler, these are fantastic because the food doesn’t actually touch each other. Each type of food has a tidy compartment. For my little guy, everything is just easily;y accessible. The lid seals tight and nothing spills or overflow into the next space. They are perfect for ‘tidy eating in the car’ – I say that loosely because the state of my car begs to differ. But honestly, they can manage everything quite well with tNJ These containers in their carseat. Plus the bright colors are fun and aesthetically pleasing. They WANT to eat snack out of them. For the mommas, you will love that they are dishwasher safe and lifetime warrantied. Such sexy words I know!

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Audio Books.

New obsession! We have been borrowing these from the library and I honestly wish I had discovered these about forty road trips ago. Even if they aren’t even referencing the book, just having the story read aloud seems to entertain them and make errands run smoother. Some of them are fun. Some of them will hundred percent drive every adult in the car crazy. I mean listening to Farmer Duck three times on the way to and from Walmart is surely enough to drive anyone nuts. But the kids are delighted every time that damn duck quacks. So I will take it!

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Big Sisters.

Hallie is in the nicest phase. Okay well it isn’t ALL the time but happens at least two or three times throughout the day, conveniently when we are out and about. She loves to take her little brother’s hand and be his protector. Which makes things easier for me! I don’t have to juggle as much. We all just hold hands and watch for cars. It takes five times as long to get anywhere but slowness is the price you pay for sanity. Speaking of sanity…..

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(Full disclosure: This picture is not recent. But they have only grown closer and are so cute here, all matchy-matchy!)

The Gym.

The gym is now my sanctuary. It has complimentary childcare while I work out. I can work out all my frustrations and stress on the elliptical and my kiddos get to socialize with other kids and play. They also say that winter is where summer bodies are made so I am truly hoping I can shed some holiday love I seem to be hanging onto around the mid section.

Oh… did I forget wine?

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So there you have it. My current list of favourites that seem to be making a huge difference in my day. Finally, I am winning at parenting. Hah! I don’t think so. We all have our ‘winning moments’ where we feel like hey, maybe I can do a good job at this and raise these tiny humans. We all have days where it doesn’t feel TOO overwhelming to parent and we might actually be doing a pretty good job. Lets not forget all the other days too. Where it seems impossible. Where you hide in the laundry from your bickering kids. Where you cry just a little because you just mopped the floors and now ALL of the apple sauce in the world seems to be spilt all over them. Where you look at your hysterical toddler and wonder where on earth she learned that tears and all the drama in the world actually help a situation  – oh yea, she got it from her momma. Where your precious baby boy tumbles off a foot high bleacher at the rec centre and smokes his head on the concrete floor. Oh yes this happened this morning. This morning where everything was going oh-so-smoothly. When it doesn’t matter what backpack you have on, your free hands still didn’t get there quick enough. (Luckily my rambunctious little man is just fine and continuing to head-butt the poor dog today, bruised, goose-egg and all). It’s a combination of these days that make up parenthood, and no matter what crutches we find helpful or not, we will make it through!…. hopefully.

New Year, New Blog Post… finally!

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Well my big January 2018 comeback to writing was slightly delayed. Did anyone else find it extremely difficult to bounce back from the holiday season and get into a routine again? I sure did. Still am struggling a bit actually. But slowly, as we begin our activities again, put down the holiday celebratory cocktail and pick up that clean eating schedule again, things seem to be shifting into place. Our holidays were BUSY. The front door seemed to revolving with friends and family filtering in and out. It was of course very welcome and a lot of fun! Exactly how the holiday season should be. Certainly gluttonous as well. Salads we non-existent and meat and cheese platters seemed to dominate. We laughed, we loved, we ate and we drank.  The kids had a ball too. Christmas is absolutely going to be a hit with them every year. Now that January completely zoomed by, and February has made her debut, we are focused on being healthy, happy and trying to slow down the day-to-day. As I do every year, I looked back on last year’s resolutions. Well not even resolutions. More like lifestyle commitments. I smiled when I saw that we had managed to incorporate it all. I didn’t really do anything different this year. Just a few mini goals and when you add them all up, it just means try to BE better all around. Spend more time in the present with my kids and husband, less time looking at Facebook on my phone. Buy less on Facebook! Damn you to hell mom swap and all the dollars you sucked out of me this year on things I didn’t need, nor was I looking for until I scrolled passed. You know you have been a victim too! Less television, more reading. More crafting and creating! Clean smarter and not all the time. Less laundry! I realize these are all remedial tasks so far…. be kind to others and go out of our way to help people out. Volunteer. Donate. Be mindful of our neighbours and friends. Be thoughtful, intentional and surprising. If I learned anything in 2017, life is short and throw a curve ball.. It reminds us of that often and sometimes in painful ways. 2018 will be more about making all of our moments count, and less about stress, worry and grudges. And though we are already well on our way into the year, I am excited to dive in. Cheers to all of the days ahead, and hopefully more blog posts on my part!

Labor Day Weekend

The last long weekend of the summer has arrived. Labor Day weekend is one of my favourites. I am not entirely sure why but there is just something about it. A certain feel or vibe is in the air. Everyone is relaxed and easy going from enjoying recent summer holidays. We are tan with crispy and freckled noses from long sunny days at the lake. ‘Summer feet’ have developed from the lack of wearing shoes. Fall, school & responsibilities are just around the corner but on this weekend, that matters not. Everyone is having a good time and hanging on to the last of the summer sunshine. If you live in the Interior, you also may be hanging on to 35 degree weather. Aside from a wedding on Sunday, we do not have any major long weekend plans. We will be lighting up the bbq non-stop, sipping on some sweet summer drinks, and feeling all the feels that this time of year brings.

Many of you know I am a lover of all seasons. The colors in the leaves & trees changing, the holidays that present themselves all of a sudden and disappear just as quickly. I love it all. It’s a festive passion almost that I plan to encourage my children to embody as well. The summer lovin’, the fullness of Thanksgiving, the spookiness of Halloween and of course the magic of Christmas. The fresh feeling you get when starting the New Year, the excitement of Easter, the easy-going fun that comes with May Long Weekend camping and the patriotic party that comes along with Canada Day. So much fun packed into one year that I find it impossible not to be excited about each season as they approach. I have a number of people in my life who have their favourites too. Some are winter people. They love to ski, snow mobile, drink hot chocolate and hike off into the woods to cut down their own Christmas tree. My mom has a green thumb and loves to create beauty in the garden. The gardeners in my life tend to gravitate towards Spring. Sunday football, chilli & stew lovers always look forward to fall. Though I LOVE all of these moments in the year, I think I have turned into a bit of a summer girl. I love hanging in the sunshine with my kids, eating watermelon for dinner, juicy peaches and corn on the cob. Packing up for the day to head to the lake and bringing most of the sandy beach home with us, finding it in our hair or beds for days to follow. Exploring where we live. If it has cell service, we probably don’t want to go there. Taking that leap into the water only for it to quickly take your breathe away, then adjusting and not wanting to get out for it’s warmer in the water and the sand is going to be way too hot on your feet as you scramble back to your back towel. Summer is a secret escape from routine, bedtimes and stress. Sure those are all present somewhere in our heads and I am not one for living in total denial. But it seems to be a lot easier in summer to ‘leave that for tomorrow’ and enjoy the rest of today. So one question I have as we approach a new season. How can we bring that summer feeling with us all year long. At Christmas time, I FEEL Christmas and vow to carry that happiness, joy and care for others in my heart all year long. On January 1st, we make promises to ourselves that the year ahead will be different than the last. The year ahead will be better. WE will be better. Better people, better mothers, better eaters, better at exercise and spending money. So my vow is to keep summer in my heart this year. Try to be more relaxed. Enjoy more moments with my family and be grateful for our time together and the experiences we have. Keep a little more adventure in my spirit and leave a few of those chores ‘for tomorrow’. I won’t be able to keep my tan or my flip flops and I am guessing it might be hard to enjoy sticky popsicles in the snow. But I can keep summer excitement alive in my family by being brave, playful and present. Everything that summertime requires.

Have a happy and healthy labor day long weekend friends!

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Cutting Board Rejuvenation

I am a big fan of my wooden cutting boards in my kitchen. I have different types of wood and different shapes. Not only do I use them multiple times daily I also like to have them displayed on the counter. This means I need to keep them looking fresh. I always wash them after use but sometimes, just like many areas of the home, they need a deep clean. In an attempt to move more chemical-free at home, I did some research to come up with a cleaning recipe used by many. Effective and as natural as it gets.

What you will need:

Lemon cut in half, use one half of a lemon per cutting board

Coarse Sea Salt

White Vinegar (you can also use a vinegar cleaning agent)

Oil

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Start by covering the board in white vinegar.  Sprinkle a heavy dose of sea salt all over the cutting board. Use your half lemon to scrub it into the wood. While doing this, squeeze the lemon so that the juices pour out. I did this for about two minutes. Then pour a couple tablespoons of oil onto the board. Continue scrubbing with the lemon, mixing the oil into the salt and vinegar and covering the entire surface of the cutting board. Do this for about one minute. Let sit for fifteen minutes. Rinse clean. Voila! Fresh and clean, looking good and ready for use.

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