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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Interior Vibes

This always happens to me with the change of season or once a big holiday is over with (i.e.: Christmas). I feel the need for a redesign in my main living areas of the home. So in our case right now that would include the kitchen and living room. We have a semi-open concept for those two rooms in this house so though they should flow and complement one another, they can each have a bit of their own style. Currently the living room has a cape cod vibe while the kitchen area has decor that would reflect that of a farmhouse kitchen. Not OVERLY but there is for sure a rustic presence and heavy use of plants potted in galvanized steel pots. Maybe the ‘brick wall’ adds to it as well. There is not a ton left to do in either room except a paint job on the kitchen and a refresh of decor in the living room.

I have always tried to have plant life in our house. I love the idea of bringing the outdoors in and the vibrancy or green, especially planted in cute pots that reflect the room’s overall feel. That being said, over the last few years I seem to have dulled my green thumb. Many flourishing plants succumbed to their injuries after I neglected them. It was a sad few day as I removed the once lively hibiscus and escorted it’s dehydrated carcass to trash outside. I spared a couple lives by simply gifting them to my mom, knowing she could give them the care they needed. I accepted that the only plants that I could really love and care for were succulents. That began my obsession with them! So it’s only fitting that my inspiration for a living room decor remodel be in tune with succulents and related southwestern items. Luckily the wall colors and furniture color palette fit in quite nicely with the direction I want to go. That means we only need to work on artwork, some DIY terrariums, swap out some furniture, OH and have my busy husband stop everything he is doing to build a new kitchen island. Let’s just say this redesign will take a bit of time, hence why I am starting while there is still snow on the ground outside. Perhaps if I will the warmer months inside, it will happen quicker outside. Also, after a toddler head/coffee table injury yesterday, I would like to sway that out for sofa side tables instead. Round ones too, no corners. These kids only get one head so I guess it’s up to me right now to limit how many objects it can encounter widely while playing. Below is some of my current inspiration which is fueling this redecoration. Now it’s time to get back to football and enjoying Sunday Funday! Go Steelers!

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Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things…. Sort Of..

Happy Friday! Except it really doesn’t feel like one. I guess after the holidays it’s normal for most people to go back to work and continue on with their routines. As a stay/work-at-home mom I may strive for the odd routine here and there but often my day to day is quite unpredictable. Did you see that meme that floated around social media over the holidays? Something about eating lots of cheese, not knowing what day it was, where you were in life, what you should be doing or what day it is? I guess parts of that still exist for this momma. The eating lots of cheese part and not knowing exactly what I should be doing. We have absolutely NOTHING on the go this weekend and I am also feeling awkward and fidgety without a go-go-go plan on our hands. But I guess this is one of those more quieter times of the year I should just appreciate. Speaking of appreciating things. I have a couple girlfriends back in Vancouver and we have an ongoing text chat about life, wine, babies… you know all the important things. Sleep, or should I say sleep deprivation often seems to be the most popular topic. Well that and daytime chardonnay. But at the moment, we are very tired mommies. With my first baby, I blocked out the nights where I would get up five times in a night. I forgot about the many mornings where I dumped a spoonful of formula into my coffee instead of sugar. I absolutely neglected the memory of heading out the door wearing my husbands pants instead of my own. Sleep deprivation, though can be very comical as previously stated can also be extremely dangerous. Luckily no babies have been harmed due to my lack of zzzzzzzz’s. While it is so easy to forget all of these painfully exhausting moments, I find myself right back in the middle of it with baby number two. This time, there is no ‘nap when the baby naps’. No, you need to spend that time chasing after the naked toddler making sure the Sharpie she is holding doesn’t make it’s way onto the white front door. Oh snap, it already did. In the odd moment one baby sleeps, the other one will be wired awake and demanding all of your attention, but in the most sweetest way so that all you can do is smile, sleepily and lovingly at them. By some crazy (probably never going to happen) miracle they BOTH sleep, you better count your god damn lucky stars, guzzle that bottle of cheeky afternoon wine and get those nine loads of laundry done that have been staring at you for the last three days. BUT! Here is the caveat…. these times are fleeting. They are exhausting and they are transitory into the next phase which will no doubt be more tiring than the last. And here is the real kicker. You miss it! I actually miss how small Hallie was and how she needed me to get through the night. She couldn’t go a few hours without my cuddles. Or maybe formula but whatever, I was the giver of formula! Now you couldn’t pay me to sleep with her. It’s like sleeping with a drunk octopus. But there you have it, that light at the end of your tunnel moms. It might seem like the end of the world now, and trust me some days it feels like it is. But soon they are two years old, CRAZY, and sleeping is the least of your worries. They’ve got it DOWN. Now it’s time to find out where they are stashing their baby brother’s dirty diapers…

Since it’s Friday I leave you with my playlist for the weekend. Have a good one!

Dancing On My Own – Calum Scott

You’re Not There – Lukas Graham

24K Magic – Bruno Mars

David Guetta Ft. Sia – Titanium

Pink – Just Like Fire

Hamilton Leithauser – I Had A Dream You Were Mine

Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling

DNCE – Cake By The Ocean

Shawn Mendes – Treat You Better

Kaleo – Way Down We Go

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

I can still say that right? We are merely days into 2017 so you are still allowed to wish a Happy New Year & Happy Holidays, at least until the weekend that follows. At least that is my justification. As usual I intended to sit down and get a few thoughts typed out on New Years Day but life does it’s thing and ‘happens’, so that little moment of ME time didn’t happen. I actually spent the day playing in the snow, sipping white wine and overindulging in fondue…. a battle I was not prepared to fight so I simply gave in hah. I mean, we all know how good white french bread tastes dipped into bubbly cheese. These activities did not prevent me from thinking about the year that had passed and the year ahead. It’s a bit of a shocker when you reflect back at how much has changed, or hasn’t, in the year that is gone. I know ours was a busy one. It was filled with change, joy, adventure, stress, worry, excitement, frustration, essentially all sorts of emotion created the ride we call 2016. I am not really one for resolutions and rarely make them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have ambitions as to how I want the next year to play out. I am not sure why I don’t do ‘resolutions’ so to speak. I have never really wanted to give anything up. Usually if I do set a goal it’s like eat healthy or exercise more. I guess if I am vague about it I do not have to hold myself as accountable. Now that I write that down and read it back to myself, that sounds terrible but it is what it is. It’s probably why I did so poorly in a sales position back in my mid-twenties. But nonetheless, that is me and for now I am sticking to my non-resolution ways.

As far as the kids go, there are a couple things I do need to get done. It just so happens the timing falls within the New Year  and there is no better time than the present right? Potty training. Yayyyyyy shoot me now. I have tried a few times and failed miserably. I now have the tools (and shiny stickers) for a Potty Chart so we will try that. And we will succeed damnit. So stay tuned for the messy details there that shall commence next week. Sharing. What do ya know, another one for Miss Hallie. Apparently Jackson is not allowed ANY toys so that is another thing we will need to work on. I have included a very endearing photo below that showcases her toy hoarding abilities quite well. For both babes, we are going to get on the healthy eating train. For Hallie that actually means eating dinner that I cook and not rejecting it in disgust. Jackson seems to have a hungry eye and I have a feeling he will do just fine.

As for myself…. more adventures on the weekends and less hanging around the house. We live in a beautiful place and have explored only snippets of it. Can’t let the minus 20 hold us back! Actually wait, we can. Will let it warm up a bit and then get to some proper exploring! So often we get lost in obligation and forget to just go out and do what we really want to do. Or in my case, what my toddler wants to do. I would like to get our home more organized. It is such a small space and I CANNOT WAIT to move to a larger home. But until that happens you gotta work with what you’ve got. Any space can be functional and comfortable if it’s organized properly. This way I can create spaces that promote healthy and happy habits for these two little humans I am trying to raise. In saying that, I should probably try to be more present for them as well. It’s so easy to mentally check out and get lost on my phone in the world of Instagram or Facebook. I need to make more of an effort to put down the phone. One awesome trick I find is I bluetooth my phone and blast the times from it. That way I am less tempted to answer a text or call or go on it as I am enjoying the music playing. Usually Hallie is busting a move to it too and if I know anything, you do not interrupt a toddler’s dance moves.  The list could really go on and on. More cooking, less delivery. More intention, less worrying, more laughter, more fun, more memories. We can really only just put more effort into enjoying each day and making those moments count. Because at the end of one year, and the beginning of another, you really see how quickly it goes and you need to make the most of it. So Happy New Year, have a good one and make the most of it!

 

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