blogging

New Season, New Blog Posts . .Hopefully!

Sorry for the total radio silence over here! I can’t even remember the last time I sat down and had some free time on my laptop. It is rare and when it happens I usually waste time on Pinterest! So let’s see what has been going on…
Summer went by in the blink of an eye. As per usual we got inundated with smoke from the forest fires. It unfortunately has become the norm for Interior BC. Well actually a lot more areas than that but those are where the fires are that effect our breathing space. It is not only horrible to be happening in the first place but really puts a damper on the summer fun when you can’t breathe fresh air or see the skyline. We still managed to make the most of it though and got in lots of camping and lake time. Feels like forever ago but the warmer temps are long gone as are our tan lines. Till next time summer, you were a peach! No complaints for fall though. It is one of my favourite times of year, especially here in Kamloops. The colours are stunning and for the most part we have sunny days. Crisp but sunny. A few months ago we removed a few fruit trees from our yard so the leaves clean up is pretty minimal this October. In a way that is great but it also took away a lot of fun for the kids. They love playing in the piles of leaves, as most kids do. Still my raking time has been drastically reduced. I will take it!

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We are in the throes of Halloween as it is only a few days away. A local landscape company put on fireworks last weekend which was a blast. The fireworks were fantastic though the fact that EVERY CHILD in Kamloops was in attendance made the whole event a little overwhelming. Not to mention my daughter sliced her tiny finger open getting it caught in the port-o-potty door, followed by a bad reaction to too much candy and the site of blood and puking all over me. All is well now but I will not be surprised if we have trouble getting her back in one of those again when its potty time at a public event. Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year so that means Hallie has preschool for half of the day, followed by an afternoon/evening of Trick-Or-Treating and large amounts of sugar. It will no doubt be a very long day, but hey that is what it’s all about!

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I love, love, love Halloween but this year i have found it challenging to really get into the swing of things. We still have yet to carve pumpkins and the decorations are not up to the usual Hayward standards. We will have to make up for it next year and go all out! Or maybe we will make up for it this Christmas. The kids are already asking me when the Christmas tree will be arriving. God help my husband, they are turning into Christmas obsessed little monsters, just like their momma. Speaking of monsters….. The phases these two are in at the moment are quite the treat! That was some thinly veiled sarcasm in case no one picked up on it. Jackson is two and is … emotional. A mama’s boy. Stubborn. Sweet as pie. Constantly running around. Oh and hates sleeping. Hallie just turned four. Also emotional. Slightly bipolar it seems at times. Very attached to mom. Heart of cold. Extremely sensitive. They love and hate each other fiercely and like to drive me bonkers. Can’t wait to see what the next phase is like! Often leaving the house with them is extremely daunting but it’s exactly what they need most of the time. That or a tranquilizer… I mean they are perfect little angels and I am never annoyed at them (eye rolls here!). Time and time again I keep telling myself I need to read a parenting book or meditate or work on my patience…. but when I actually have time to think about these self-improvement plans, I end up wasting time googling home decor ideas and recipes on Pinterest. I tried listening to some parenting podcasts on a recent road trip to Vancouver (for a little Luke Bryan baby!) and after four of them I was so annoyed at the people speaking, the sound of their voices was making me cringe. Not to mention I was with Henry and he couldn’t stop making fun of them so it took all of the learning right out of the activity. Sometimes I think parenting is just a survival game. And your weapon of choice is coffee or wine. At least mine is! So now that we are up to date on current events, where are we headed. November is busy. I have limited my business to three local events, including one at a winery. I need to shift the focus of the business to more online presence. The markets just take a bit too much time when you factor in load-in, being there and taking everything down. So I hope to focus on building up the website which you can check out here, and developing the brand on Etsy. If any of you have experience in building your business on Etsy I would love to hear from you! It seems a bit daunting but I know it needs to be done. November will also present some health commitments including flu shots for the kids and the usual dentist visits. Can’t wait for those! Again, sarcasm detected here. We will also begin the slow filtration of ‘winter decor’ which really is my way of decorating for Christmas early. I usually stick to natural tones though so it’s not too obvious (to the husband) and wait for December for the festive pops of colour. Just a hint we are going to play with a lot of greenery and wood this year. I think it’s time I learned how to use power tools. My DIY to-do list is far too long for a certain handy husband. In the next few weeks though I hope to share some DIY decor projects we have already completed, some recipes I am loving at the moment, and some holiday plans and bucket list items we intend to tick off this winter. So stay tuned for some fun, I promise to make more time for sharing on here.

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Babies Grow Up

When I started this blog it was mainly because I found out I was having a baby. I wanted to document the growth of my adorable bump. Which eventually lead me into the not so adorable 9th month of just being huge and desperately uncomfortable. My intentions then switched gears into survival mode and learning how to be a first time mom. Learning how to keep a human alive, how to work WITH my newlywed husband at keeping a tiny human alive while focusing on our marriage and helping it flourish in it’s infant stage. The blog was comical, raw and loving all in it’s own unique way. Slip in a massive move to a new city where we knew no one, as well as the news of a sibling on the way, the blog began to encompass many things.: Family, parenting, chaos,a new business, cooking, crafting. . . Really whatever I decided to write about. Fast forward to the present. The blog has taken the back burner big time. I have taken time off of writing but keep feeling the heartstrings pulling to find more time for it. Yet again, I feel the direction shifting. It’s no longer going to be about surviving babies, but more so the children they are growing into. My kids are still young. Nearing four and two. Yet they seem to be these growing forces of energy, personality, and increasingly strong abilities to outsmart their mother. They take me to the brink of losing my mind and patience, and reel me right back in with their snuggles and giggles. How do they have the power to do this? And how are they so bad at doing things sometimes? I try to hand them the open goldfish package in the gentlest way, yet as soon as it reaches their hands it seems to be on fire and explode into the air. I will be picking up goldfish until they go off to high school, I promise. Even as I sit here writing this, I am quietly hiding behind my coffee and laptop, as I know Paw Patrol will end in ten minutes, and so will the peaceful silence. Rider and his pups will happily rejoice about their latest savior and as that theme song blares, my darling children will automatically turn to me, zombie-like stagger their way over, climb ALL over me demanding snacks, strawberry milk, more paw patrol, ice cream, and anything else they can think of. (This actually DID happen too, as soon as the show was over. It’s like a weird magnetic mom-pull.) Don’t get me wrong. I am NOT a complainer nor do I ever want it to seem like I am ungrateful for my children. I love them to absolute bits and pieces. I am just in complete amazement about how they shifted from my tiny babies into these crazy little humans: Tiny toddler explosions that keep going off in weird ways that you don’t expect. And this ride is just beginning. Babies, I fear were the easy part. Children, for now you win! I have seen your special powers over the last few weeks! Unfortunately I can only blame your dad, and myself as you had to get it somewhere. So I am excited to see what direction this blog will take next. Excited and scared for what parenthood holds. Hopefully I can find time amidst the craziness to keep documenting a few of our stories here, and the lessons I am learning along the way. Thank you for joining me and reading along!

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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.

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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