kamloops blogger

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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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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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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Seizing Moments of Productivity

This post is brought to you by nap time for one baby and the fact that the toddler is completely engrossed in Astroblast’s smoothie station….. for the moment. It shall also be sponsored my momma’s oh so festive Caralan’s & coffee, but that is between you and I. The past weekend and start to this week has been non-stop, and we are only half way through it. I am wrapping up with craft fairs and focusing only on online orders for my baby business Deer Baby, and one last pop-up shop event next week. Hubby has been busy with work, and many of you other realtors know, the work doesn’t stop just because it’s Sunday. Then there’s the babies. Busy, busy babies. Hallie has been a mile a minute, from morning until night. For the most part, she is full of giggles, mischief and spilt apple sauce. Yesterday however was tantrum-Tuesday and boy did girlfriend live up to it. Conveniently, I discovered this on Facebook and found it extremely appropriate for my life these days.
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It’s on those days where your toddler is crying for the 78th time before 9am that you do one of two things. Wish for a reset button on the day to start things over, or pray the next ten hours flies by so that you can have a glass of wine in peace, call it a day and pray for a better one tomorrow. Funnily enough, I always find that when I am at the breaking point of patience, completely frustrated and sleep deprived, the next day my kids are absolute angels. They sleep, they eat well, and comply with all of my plans for the day. Little masterminds that they are have me in the palm of their hand. How can we play with mommy’s head today?! God help me when one is four and the other is two…. I am already feeling a little outnumbered and they don’t yet have the ability to plot against me together. Good times ahead my tiny tots!

As I write this, Hallie has decided it would be a fabulous idea to tape unused diapers to the living room window. I guess I deserve that for leaving a roll of tape out on what I thought was a very high countertop. Apparently her arms are those of Gumby and she can now reach everything. It’s a good thing diapers fall from the sky and we really do not go through that many at all on a daily basis….. She still grins at me while completing this artsy task and looks cute as pie. Good looks get you far!

So with all of the chaos and mischievous fun happening at the Hayward house, I managed to sneak out moments throughout the day to be productive and get some housework done! By housework of course I mean Christmas decorating. Today I wanted to share a few fun shots of our festive moments throughout the house. We do not have a large space to play with and I really wanted to avoid the feeling that Santa threw up in my living room. It was all about finding a nice balance and I am happy to say I didn’t go that overboard. We don’t have our Christmas tree yet so that could really push the envelope, but we will cross that bridge on December 10th. That is when we set out for the perfect tree. Henry always makes fun of me because I have no concept of ceiling height. In my mind we have ten foot ceilings when really they are probably 7 feet. The perfect tree for me would be about 20 feet tall and require a couple of ladders to decorate. Maybe in my next house! So far Hallie has managed to keep her sticky fingers off of most of our decorations, but I have a feeling it will be a different story once the tree goes up.

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And with that, one baby is awake and the little lady has emptied goldfish crackers all over the sofa. Time to find something to do that productive to them! Cookie baking time anyone?

Toddler Happenings

I swear there will come a day, very soon, when I can’t stop talking about the good the bad and the ugly of BOTH kids, but for now my darling toddler hands me enough laughs to keep me busy for days. She literally does too. Jackson is in a super cute stage. He is still an infant so to speak, and cannot do anything on his own. We are close to rolling over, holding his own bottle, and finding his feet. For now though, he is just full of giggles and smiles and loves to be snuggled. Sleeps like total shit but you can’t look good AND be good at things as well right? The kid can jump hard in his Jolly Jumper though, I will give him that.

Little Miss Hallie, well that is entirely different breed. She is so fun right now, that is for sure. On the verge of her full sentences almost making some sense, full of hugs and kisses, and such a Mama Drama. There are at least 14,000 reasons as to why she breaks down crying each day, not all of them warranted by any means. Takes after her momma though, slightly emotional. With all of this awesomeness comes some huge development milestones. Lets start with the big one. The big, messy, brown one. POTTY TRAINING. I can’t do it. I am lacking serious faith on this. I start out with amazing confidence and an hour later she is in the bath tub and I am day drinking. But if it’s white wine it doesn’t really count right? I mean it’s almost a clear liquid, like water. Everyone needs water.

Since today was one of those days where clearly Hallie’s clothes were made of lava and she had to have them completely off or she would be burnt to death, I thought it was a great opportunity to do some potty training. I can already hear the sanctimommies task-tisking that I should be all ready to go ‘all in’ or not at all. But whatever, thought we would roll with it. Hallie spent a full hour running around naked before it was all I could do to get some ‘training panties’ on her. Following that I found four puddles throughout the house and one very happy-to-be-almost-naked toddler sitting in her own poop. Into the bath we go (after of course hitting up the kitchen for before mentioned glass of ‘water’). For the sake of everyone involved here I probably won’t go into further detail but lets just say it involved me scooping things out of the tub. The results of the afternoon…. probably going to delay potty training a little bit longer. I know she is ready. Just ain’t so sure momma is.

Another dragon that appears to have reared it’s ugly head is the picky toddler tummy dragon. She was choosy before but Hallie’s eating habits have quickly become… well quite frustrating to say the least. If I made it or put ANY effort in whatsoever, you can bet your boots it’s on the floor. Or the wall. Or on me. I just thank my lucky stars that she is obsessed with store bought squeeze pouches. I can take a bit of comfort in the fact that she is eating something. It also helps that the child safety lock on her ‘snack drawer’ is busted and I will often walk into the kitchen stepping all over fruit snacks and goldfish crackers. At least she is eating.

I think my favourite part of our ‘challenges’ right now though are the conversations. Though they are muddled and completely confusing to me, they are sweet as pie. Just like that little devil of mine. It is total gibberish but I know exactly what she is trying to say. The expressions that come along with it are priceless too and always put a smile on my face. Usually fits of laughter too.

Cheers Mommas. Another Monday down, and this one for me, was for the books.

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Breakfast Lovers

I’ve said it before and I will say it again – we are major breakfast people in our home! There is just something about the smell of bacon in the morning. Or in the afternoon. Or for dinner. Let’s face it, all things that end with bacon end well. With my picky toddler tummy, it’s always a constant guessing game as to what Hallie will eat today. This week there is a mild obsession with mini mandarin oranges. Last week it was cheese. The minute you feel confident that she loves a certain type of food (for examples, bananas), she will change her mood so fast that you won’t even get home from the grocery store with it and she has decided it’s gross. Bananas are now a mushy form of lotion that she likes to massage into her own hands. Thank the lord I can still get her into a high chair or bananas would be my new living room rug. One consistency Hallie has always remained true to though is toast. Sometimes she just likes to suck the butter off and discard it but 7 times out of 10 she will eat it. Which is why I am a huge fan of French Toast! Bit of protein from the eggs and a dash of fun with cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin spice. What kid doesn’t love it?! I am a huge fan too so it’s a win for everyone. Not to mention the massive side of bacon we can easily pile up on the plate next to it! There is something about the cooler weather & Fall that makes me feel like cooking up a warm breakfast on the daily. No wonder everyone gets a little chubbier this time of year! I am currently on the hunt for some new breakfast recipes too so if you have any to share, please do. Pinterest is such a fantastic resource for such things but these days I don’t exactly have two hours to get lost in the pinning world. Hope you are all having a great Friday and that the weekend ahead is full of bacon and smiles!

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I have had people asking me lately about my dish & coffee mug obsession on Instagram! Majority of my dishes and items styled in photographs are from Anthropologie and my favourite mixing bowl shown above here is from Homesense.

Just because I can’t resist…. (‘Stop taking my picture mom!’)
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