Kamloops

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.

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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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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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The End Of Summer

Somehow we have gotten ourselves into the middle of August. Normally I am a glass half full kind of gal and would be thinking we still have lots of summer to go, including a nice September! This month however seems to be a huge downer. The BC Wildfires have taken over the province. Not only is it super smoky but it also seems to bring the temperatures right down making it feel very fall-like. Of course the bigger issue here is for the people in the dangerous areas closer to the fires. My heart goes out to the evacuees who have been forced to pack up with very little notice and stand by waiting to see if their home survives mother nature’s rage. It really is heartbreaking. The community I live in has been outstanding with supporting evacuees which I have to say makes me so proud to live where I do. Unfortunately there is not an end in sight for ending a lot of these fires, but we pray for all of those effected by it and hope for the end soon. Perhaps maybe we can claim back a little of our summer too! We certainly plan to pack as much into the last few weeks of August. This week is a busy one as I have the Farmer’s Market tomorrow for my business which always makes for a hectic week. I am also getting all aspects of family life ready for the end of the week…. parent’s vacation weekend! Yes. We are leaving for three whole days. Gramma has a friend joining the toddler battle field and they are taking care of the two little rascals all weekend long. I know right now I am going to miss my babies like CRAZY (no FaceTime calls allowed, lesson learned on a previous trip – drunk momma talking to babies = ugly crying in the bar). Hubby and I are headed down to Vancouver to see some friends, do some shopping, eating and drinking, AND to see Zac Brown Band! I find it slightly hard to contain my excitement for this show as I have been hoping to see them live for maybe the last five years. So bring it ZBB, this momma is so ready! Once we return we have to pack right up again and head out to see family in Grand Forks, kids and all on this trip. Here’s hoping for a couple winery pop-ins on the way there. And back. We’ll see! Then once we get back from that trip it is right out again in the trailer for a weekend on the lake. Funny how all of this vacation time may just exhaust us. As long as no one gets sick I am going to be happy. Germs ruin the best of times in this family lately. All of this busyness and thinking about the fall season approaching really just leaves me wanting watermelon, sprinkler jumping, sticky popsicle kisses and wet grassed sweaty babies. Summer is so wonderful here in Kamloops and we are totally feeling shafted with it being cut so short. It actually even started late after the longest winter of all time. Time to get out as much as the smoke allows, and soak up all the last sunshine filled summer moments that we can, am I right? So as I catch up on the first Bachelor In Paradise episode (Can I get an Amen for the classiness of all these fabulous people!) I toast you – cheers to the end of summer and all we can cram into it without losing our minds!

 

OHYA! Did I mention how excited we are about potty training. Public toilets (she thinks its the best…..) Pirate Pack dates. Oh and our new funny faces.

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Who looks like they ate FOUR pirate packs…. it’s my one sitting on the floor haha! Oh Jackson . … . .

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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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