lifestyle blogger

Put Your Big Girl Pants On

I will be the first to admit, I am rather slow at certain things when it comes to parenting. Potty training – still ain’t happening. Not my fault now though, she has chosen to embrace the diaper. The battle shall be hers and hers alone. For now. . . Drinking milk from a bottle – the effort is there I promise you. I have tried every sip cup on the planet and girlfriend still wants her milk out of a bottle. It’s not like she is dependant on it to go to sleep or anything, she plain ol’ likes it. But yes I know, it’s gotta go. Lastly, the crib. Hallie was in her crib up until quite recently. She never attempted to climb out of it and slept quite well in it, so why on earth would I let the lion out of her cage. Or lioness I suppose. After a few road trips though where we had no choice but to set her up in a ‘big bed’, we decided to take the plunge and stick her in a toddler bed. Well that didn’t really last long at all. She LOVED it. I however did not love trying to be a contortionist when trying to comfort her in a nightmare. I would be lying half on the floor with my back twisted and my arms attempting to stroke her hair. Two nights of this and a new decision was reached. Toddler bed OUT, bigger bed IN. Since my kids share a room and there is really no room whatsoever, we went with a twin. After a month of just a mattress on the floor (yes I know, parental neglect) I ordered a lovely bed on Wayfair. I am so excited to share a few snippets of the big girl ‘side of the room’. There a moments every day that I see this baby girl turning into a big girl. It’s so hard as a mom to watch this happening but at the end of the day, that is what we are here to do. Raise these little people into bigger people and send them off into the world. Oh ya and hope that we did a thing or two right along the way. Perhaps that why mommas keep having babies. One gets growing up and the baby fever sets in again. I always tell myself Jackson is here because I wanted 2 (or 3?) kids and wanted to give Hallie a sibling close in age. But lets be real folks, it was baby fever! Lord help me when I see too many preggos in one day. For now though these two troublemakers are keeping me rather busy so lets keep the baby makin’ at bay.  In the meantime though, we can pick out super cute bedding and throw pillows for their big girl room.

HallieRoom3

HalliesRoom3

HalliesRoom5

 

HalliesRoom2HallieRoom1

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!

Untitled

StartPlanner

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!

Untitled

Untitled

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.

friday favourites copy

 

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!

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

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!

 

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Christmas Week!

As usual I am blown away how quickly this week creeps up on me. One minute we are just entering the month of December and planning out all of the festivities. The next moment it’s time to buy a turkey and participate in the last minute chaos of stocking stuffer shopping. I can happily say with the very few days left, I have completed all of my Christmas shopping and only need to do the groceries. And booze of course. Ah, life’s necessities.

So no doubt, your house is busy busy with all of the usual Christmas week activities. Ours sure is. Wrapping paper rolls seem to be the toy of choice to play with. The tree is still standing which is miraculous to say the least. It took one major tumble last week (I think we both know without naming names who was responsible for that – three feet tall with charming blonde curls and sticky fingers). We entered the week with festive hang overs from my husband’s birthday, combined with the never-ending cold germs that are plaguing this house. I must have super mom powers as I have managed to avoid it by living off of vitamins and nightly glasses of red wine. It’s a winning combination I promise. Fingers crossed I can keep it all together and not get ‘the cold’ for Christmas. Just live among the infected instead. Our Elf on the Shelf is still going. He appears to not be as busy as other elves may be (read:mom is lazy and forgetful) but it is still fun see him move throughout the house and for Hallie to hunt down his whereabouts. Christmas baking started last week and proved to be an epic fail, so we will try again tomorrow. I think my baked goods packages for friends will follow suit to my mailed out Christmas cards and packages; slow and late. But hey, we are all a little slow on meeting deadlines this time of year, aren’t we! Lastly, the Christmas movie saga in our pyjamas seems to be going strong. I am not sure if it’s because they are cozy or the kids look so darn cute in them but I see very little reason for us to put on actual clothes each day! On the movie menu tonight for us I believe is Home Alone. It may turn into a marathon too as I am a fan of the second just as much as the first.

I think what I am most excited about, besides all of the usual fun that goes on this week, is for my brother to come visit. He has never been to Kamloops and boy is he in for it when he gets here. The minus fifteen temperature and all of the snow may be the first hit. The drinking games and festive fun that will follow, the second treat. We are overdue for some sibling fun. On top of that, I am so pumped for Christmas morning and seeing Hallie open her gifts. She has way too many presents coming her way of course. Next year I will start the tradition of something she wants, needs, can wear and can read. For now we will just go with the natural spoiling that is going to take place; mainly by her uncle and grandma no doubt. Jackson being the young age that he is, will just come along for fun this Christmas. I have a couple things for him but we certainly aren’t going crazy in that department.

As we enter the countdown until the big day, I hope you are all having fun, staying healthy and keeping warm. Merry one week till Christmas!

Untitled

PRE Christmas Train Ride which he spent the entire time asleep.

Untitled

Baking…. Lets just say there is dough that I use for cookies and then there is ‘Hallie’s dough’

Untitled

The child who doesn’t sleep.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

There are very few words….. unless you count the swear words muttered under my breathe as I cleaned up tree water.

Untitled

Untitled

Grocery shopping!….

Untitled

My girl friend gave me a fabulous idea of how to class our boxed wine up. Really does don’t ya think?!

Untitled