Happy Blogging Anniversary!

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I officially reached my one year anniversary of blogging! I can’t believe it’s already been a whole year of writing, especially when I think of where I started with this. When I started writing I was struggling a lot mentally and emotionally with having Postpartum OCD and having a hard time transitioning into my role as a new mom. I felt very lost. 

Now one year later I’m in a lot better place and have more of an understanding of what I was going through, I’ve learned some ways to clear my head on the bad days including writing in this very blog. I also feel more confident and secure in myself as a mom even to the point of becoming pregnant with Baby #2! 

Writing about all these experiences was so helpful to me and my hope in writing them was always to try and help other moms who feel the same. Hopefully I did that somewhere along the way. 

Obviously the blog has changed a lot. We went from lots of sporadic posts, to scheduled posts, to just posting whenever I have time and get to sit down and write. Some of my favourite stories and experiences are in this blog like the travel series, the story of finding out we were pregnant for the first time, buying a trailer, and let’s not forget stories from lockdown (and unlockdown, and lockdown, and stay at home order, and go outside again order) in a global pandemic. 

I really honestly appreciate anyone who has read this blog, even one post, and commented or liked. These never go unnoticed (there’s not a lot of them so trust me they’re really never not noticed). When I started this a year ago I really wasn’t sure where I was going with it or how long it would last, but I can honestly say I’m proud of what I’ve built on here and can’t wait to see what another year brings. 

Summertime in Ontario

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Summer is in full swing now in Ontario which brings a whole new list of fun activities to do. We just finished a huge renovation on our deck in our backyard. The original plan was to keep the structure and redo the deckboards and railings, but upon pulling those things down we discovered we were fortunate the whole deck didn’t crumble down on its own before now. So after having to blow the budget a bit on that project we’re left with a beautiful deck that we can’t wait to make good use of it for the season. 

We’re big fans of smoking meat like pulled pork and ribs, and doing up some good old barbecue food, so one of our plans for the summer is to host some dinner’s for our friends and family in our backyard. 

Another exciting thing we go to do last week was go strawberry picking at a local farm. Baby T of course did lots of sampling and taste testing during the process. She was a very happy girl and we got a ton of strawberries. Needless to say our desserts for that weekend consisted of strawberry themed treats. I did make a delicious apple and strawberry crumble that I found on Pinterest, I will link it here for you as it’s definitely one I’ll be saving for future use. 

There is a small zoo about twenty minutes away from where we live so we went to visit last week as well and ended up getting a seasons pass. We already went back a second time this morning. Baby T loves seeing all the animals but her absolute favourite part is the ‘birdies’ which is a big collection of colourful budgies. She will stand there and stare at them for hours. 

Of course we’re doing things at home too like filling up the paddling pool on a regular basis and eating most of our lunches and dinners outside on the over-budget deck. Last year I also mentioned that we bought a trailer so we have already gone camping for a weekend and have booked places to go once a month from now until September. On our last trip my husband kept saying, “I know you didn’t always like camping but thank you so much for liking it now”. I really do though. It’s easy to pack up the trailer and it’s a very simple relaxing vacation which is what I always prefer. 

That’s all the updates I have for now. I hope your summers are off to a great start too! Kids are just finishing up school so I’m sure there’s lots of planning and activities to be done. They deserve a break after this long year, and so do their teachers! 

The Last Few Weeks

I know it’s been a while since I’ve had any posts on here. It was a mix of not really knowing what to write and also enjoying doing some other things during my downtime like reading some good books and bingeing a good tv show (Anne With An “E” on Netflix – if you grew up in Canada you know exactly what this is). We are still in lockdown in case you’re wondering, apparently it will also be extended again but thankfully the weather is starting to get nicer so more time can be spent outside.

The weather is one thing that’s been keeping spirits high in our house, another is making our own little stay at home plans for weeknights. Each week my husband and I go through the calendar and on nights where there isn’t a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game (he’s a big fan) we plan something for us to do after Baby T goes to bed. Friday’s have been charcuterie and movie night and it’s my personal favourite. There’s also video game night to play Mario on the Nintendo Switch and card game night which has mostly consisted of me beating him at cribbage. 

Having little things to look forward to each week mixed in with work, laundry and vacuuming has definitely made things better and brighter around here. Baby T (she’s basically Toddler T now, she’s getting so grown up) has expanded her vocabulary and keeps us smiling and laughing. She’s definitely my daughter and has her moments of stubbornness and sassiness but thankfully I know that kind of personality quite well. 

It’s been a very quiet few weeks but being able to step back from busy schedules and enjoy time together as a family has been so nice. We’re hopeful that we will be able to have somewhat of a normal summer and make good use of our camping trailer that we got at the end of last year. We will find out soon enough but in the meantime I will continue to look forward to our charcuterie and movie nights every Friday. Nothing fights off pandemic fatigue like good wine and old cheese. 

A Favourite Quote

I’m currently sitting back out on our deck enjoying the sunshine and 13 degree weather that is melting the snowfall we had two days ago. If that isn’t crazy Canuck weather I don’t know what is. Anyway, our topic of the day is positivity during the ongoing pandemic. 

If you’ve seen the news, you know that where I live in Ontario, Canada, we’ve been put through the ringer lately. Honestly, that’s kind of putting it lightly. Since I’m working outside the home it’s hard not to hear the constant updates and new restrictions to the ‘Stay At Home’ order which is just a fancy new way of saying you’re still in lock down. 

Some restrictions make sense, while others do not at all. Regardless of what my opinion is on the goings-on, it all has a severely negative impact on people’s mental health. I’m always looking for ways to stay more positive. I recently came across a quote that I wanted to share, because it really makes you stop and think in this situation. 

“The more we concentrate on what we had before, the more we suffer. The quicker that we accept the new circumstances the quicker our joy returns to us along with the opportunity to make good use of the new circumstances.”

I don’t know about you, but when I heard that it led to some deep thought and self analyzing. There were a couple of things I came to terms with through this. One is that I keep thinking back to the way life was before, which for the majority of people was pretty great and most likely taken for granted (I know in my case it was at times). While it’s nice to reminisce, thinking back longingly to the point that it’s making me feel worse and worse about the current circumstances doesn’t help the situation. 

Yes things are very different now, and the sad reality is that it could be years still before things start to resemble what they were like before. That doesn’t mean that things have to be all bad for the foreseeable future. There’s still lots of great things to enjoy now. The more we think about the way things were before the more we suffer. 

Another thing I thought about was where the quote came from. This wasn’t from someone talking about the pandemic, it was from someone who years ago was imprisoned unjustly. Someone thought of this while they were sitting in a prison cell. I started comparing circumstances. My house is a cozy comfortable home, with a soft warm bed to sleep in, food in the fridge and I share it with my husband and Baby T. It’s far from any prison. 

I know that self-care and putting yourself first attitude is fairly popular nowadays, but sometimes self-care is realizing that other people have worse situations than you do and trying to help people who you know are also having problems. If I can put my energy into helping someone else with their problems, I quickly forget mine. Sometimes it means going out of my way to do things that maybe aren’t so important to me, but they’re important to someone else. 

Anyway, those are my deep thoughts for the day. If you have a quote or something that’s helped you during the pandemic leave a comment below! 

A Little Update

I’ve actually been at a loss for words lately. The third lockdown has hit harder than the first two and last weekend was one of the lowest times I think I’ve ever had. I don’t want to get in to details because I’ve barely told people in my real life about it, I certainly wouldn’t blab about it on the internet, but thank goodness for my husband, my own parents and my in-laws (and Baby T of course), who all helped me get through it. 

Since then, I’ve taken a step back from the pressure I normally put on myself. Some of that pressure came from writing two blog posts a week. This whole thing started as more of an electronic journal than anything, and while I still enjoy it, I found that a lot of my posts didn’t have a lot of heart in them. I was writing them to write something not because I wanted to write them. As a way of coming back from where I was last weekend, I’ve obviously cut back a lot on that pressure and while I might be able to get back to that kind of schedule again eventually, right now I need to get back to what I was doing in the first place and writing meaningful things that I know makes me feel better, when I’m ready to write them.  

The motivation to write more will come back I’m sure, but lately instead I’ve been spending a lot of time reading, catching up on Netflix shows, going outside and giving myself time to not over think. There’s a lot of negativity in the world and it can definitely start getting to you, sometimes it feels hard to see a way out of the situation we’re all in right now. 

Hitting the reset button on everything can be refreshing and remembering that if a day starts in a bad place it doesn’t have to stay there. Just keep taking more steps forward and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. 

What I Learned from the 16Personalities.com Quiz

I decided to do something a little interesting for today’s post, it required a bit more research than my other posts but it’s been very eye opening to learn more about myself and how my brain works. 

This post is not sponsored by 16Personalities.com, however they do offer a free Personality Quiz (which is what I took and where I got my information from) as well as paid packages to learn even more about yourself. 

16Personalities pairs you with one of 16 personality types and provides you with a detailed description of basically, yourself. There were one or two points that I don’t really see in myself but the vast majority was eerily accurate. 

My Results 

After taking the short quiz, I got my results. My personality type is known as a Defender Personality or ISFJ and includes the personality traits of Introverted, Observant, Feeling and Judging. Defender’s make up 7% of all 16 Personality types and about 13% of the world population. 

Defender Celebrities

Some celebrities who I share the Defender Personality with include Kate Middleton, The Queen of England, Beyonce, Rosa Parks and Anne Hathaway (according to this website). I mean, common, who wouldn’t want to be categorized in the same group as these amazing women. 

What Does my Personality Type Mean? 

This is where things started to get really in depth and interesting. Defender’s are known as sensitive people with strong analytical abilities, reserved but with well developed people skills. We are true Altruists and always believe in meeting kindness with kindness in excess. 

As you know, I am a perfectionist and have postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder so it was not really surprising to learn that Defender’s also are known to be meticulous to the point of perfectionism. We also have amazing memories and use these memories to remember people and details about people’s lives instead of trivia and information. 

What Are the Strengths and Weaknesses for my Personality? 

My strengths include being supportive, reliable, patient, having a practical imagination, enthusiastic when the goal is right and have great practical skills. I would definitely agree with these for myself, especially the practical imagination part. I have a hard time being creative with things like creating my own art but give me a pen and lined paper and I can have plenty of creativity. 

My weaknesses include being humble and shy, taking things too personally, repress my feelings, overload myself (if you’ve read my other posts you know this is a regular thing for me), reluctant to change and can be too altruistic to the point of helping others before myself while my own troubles mount. It was interesting when talking about reluctant to change, it mentioned that Defender’s value traditions and history highly when making decisions. This is something I never realized about myself but I am the kind of person to choose traditions over spontaneity. 

What Does my Personality Say About Me with Jobs, Friends and Parenting? 

No other personality type is so well-suited to service others. We’re not just good at working in support positions we thrive and enjoy it. In these types of jobs we can see things through to practical solutions and can be appreciated. A Defender’s ability to also remember things about others makes them perfect for customer support jobs. 

An interesting thing is that we struggle in grasping abstract concepts like corporate strategy because they’re too impersonal. I’ve worked in the banking industry for almost ten years now, and although I thrive in the customer service portion of my job there are a lot of abstract concepts that come with it and now it makes sense why I can’t wrap my head around these kinds of things. 

Most of the friends that Defender’s have are made through consistent and comfortable contact. It takes us a while to learn to trust people enough to let them be our close friends, however our real, close friends are the ones we truly cherish because of the quality of their character and quality of discussions. There’s nothing I love more than sitting around chatting with my close friends. 

As far as being a parent, Defender’s have warmth and care that makes parenting come naturally. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I feel like parenting has come naturally to me, however that could just be my own mom insecurities. We do have great patience and do everything we can to ensure our children have a safe and happy upbringing. 

Our value for history and traditions moves us to desire traditional roles for parents and children where the parent imparts the wisdom and values. Independent and rebellious children can throw us for a loop, but even if our children are more dependent we need to help them not to neglect their own independence entirely. 

Some Other Fun Facts 

After getting my initial results, 16Personalities.com sent me a few more emails with some extra fun facts about the Defender’s Personality Type. Defender’s are most likely to:

  • Enjoy turn-based games
  • Prefer wine to beer (um, how did they know this?) 
  • Refuse to sacrifice privacy for fame
  • Hide their anger
  • Make to-do lists for themselves (all day)
  • Get annoyed by pranks 
  • Prefer texting to calling 

As you can see I got a lot of really interesting information from taking just a short quiz. It’s helped me realize a lot of things about myself that I had never noticed before, some good and some bad. With the Premium Package from 16Personalities you can learn how to master you personality type which I can definitely see as something that would come in handy. 

I’ll leave the link for the quiz through this post that you can do your own! Let me know what you find out and what you think in the comments below! 

#Adulting

I remember being a teenager (or younger) and seeing people who were my age now (around thirty) and thinking they were so cool and must have their lives all together. I couldn’t wait to be that age. Now that I am that age, it makes me laugh because I definitely am not ‘so cool’ and don’t have my life all together. I think the people who have it all together are the happy older couples you see casually walking down the street enjoying their retirement. That kind of work free, empty-nester, get to spoil the grandkids then give them back and go on nice long trips with no responsibilities life is the kind of life I think we’re all working towards. . 

With that being said, there are a few things I have start doing recently that have made me feel extra adult-y, if that’s even a word. A lot of them have to do with sleep which is something I feel like a lot of adults struggle with. I went through a stretch of time where I was waking up four or five times a night and not even from Baby T! I thought maybe this was my life now, just never sleeping but somehow still getting up in the morning and functioning like a normal person, which is actually what most moms do every single day. But I started doing a few things different, I’m not sure if one of them fixed the problem or a combination of all three but my sleep has improved so much! 

The first thing I did was invest in a new pillow. I consider myself a fairly frugal person, I like to look for good deals when I’m shopping but there are certain things I feel like are a good thing to spend money on and I have officially added a pillow to that list. I would always buy a cheap $20 pillow and not think too much about it, a pillow is just a pillow after all. But I started waking up every morning with a really bad neck ache, you know, like an adult. I finally decided to invest in a good pillow from Amazon that had good support for side and back sleepers. I am not even lying when I tell you this, the very next morning my morning neck ache was gone. Even still, this pillow is amazing. I will link it for you here incase you’re interested, I am not sponsored by the pillow company although if they want to send me more free pillows for recommending them I wouldn’t complain. 

Another thing I purchased that I did actually look for a good deal on was a pair of silk sleeping masks. I just bought them from Amazon, I think they were about $10 for a pair, but I just wanted to try them out to see if they would work. Since I’ve had them I’ve used them every single night. I didn’t realize how bright our bedroom still was during the night and early morning. There’s a little blue light on the tv when it’s turned off, the green light from the baby monitor (that turns red when she’s crying, so red means bad) and we only had blinds on our windows so even the earliest morning light was coming in. Having the sleeping mask obviously blocks this all out and I think it forces me to keep my eyes closed so I’m not just looking around the room when I’m trying to go back to sleep. We have also, since then, put up some curtains in our room which has helped my husband to sleep better as well. 

The last sleep related thing I’ve done is start using an oil diffuser every night. I’m not a huge believer in everything everyone says about essential oils but I do think certain ones can help in certain situations. I put two drops of lavender oil and three drops of eucalyptus and it does help me to wind down for the night. If the room is filled with those smells it’s like I know it’s time for bed now. I got my diffuser and oils both for free from my mom because she bought some new ones and was kind enough to share her old one and I’ve been using them pretty much every night since then. 

My last adult-y thing I started doing is probably something I should have started a long time ago. I have started to make sure that I moisturize my face, legs and arms a lot more than I used to. A few years ago I started breaking out with a really bad angry red rash on my eyelids and neck. I went to the dermatologist and doctor and we could never find out exactly what it was so I kind of experimented with a few things to figure it out. I though maybe it was the moisturizer I was using on my face so I switched that out and I had also read that it could be cause from extreme dry skin. So not only did I buy a new face moisturizer, I also bought a nighttime one with different ingredients and I religiously use them both everyday. I’m happy to tell you that my face has not broken out since I started doing that and usually the dry winter was when it would happen the worst, and I’ve still been in the clear. I also found my legs would be so dry but I was usually too lazy or rushed to worry about putting moisturizer on them. The only time I would think of it was before bed but if you’ve ever put the wrong kind of moisturizer on your legs and then climbed into bed you know sometimes it just feels weird. I bought an inexpensive bottle of good moisturizer that was quick drying that I just throw on my arms and legs after I shower so I don’t even have to think about it for the rest of the day, and my skin has thanked me for it. 

In conclusion, I may not have it all together like thirteen year old me thought, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of the adulting thing especially since I’m quite proud of these new discoveries in my life. Like I said with the changes I made to my sleep routines, I can’t say whether it was one specific thing that really made the difference or a combination of all three. Either way, I still obsess over my new pillow. I think when I start raving about my new vacuum to all my friends I’ll really hit full adult status. 

Blog Challenge: A Book I Loved

I skipped a few on the Blog Challenge and jumped right to this one. I’ve been a bit of a serial reader lately and have been through a lot of books, but most recently I read The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. 

It’s a story of a family in the 70s who pack up and move to Alaska with no money and no outdoors skills. The father it a Vietnam War Veteran and Prisoner of War who has PTSD and because it’s in the 60s there’s not any awareness of the mental affects those things can have on a person. He takes his anger out on his wife and when they move to Alaska they realize that there is more danger in their cabin during the winter months than there is outside. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, my husband bought it for me for our anniversary because he thought the fact that they were moving to the last frontier sounded pretty cool and he had seen it was on a lot of the top book lists. It’s probably one of the longest books I’ve read in a long time so between working and taking care of Baby T it took me some time to finish it. 

Even though it was long, it kept me intrigued the whole time. It made my jaw drop, it made me laugh and it made me cry my eyes out multiple times which is something a book hasn’t made me do in a long time (despite reading a lot of good books lately).  

My husband kept looking at me saying, “I’m sorry I bought you such a sad book”, but I told him that means it’s a good book when it makes you feel something. I also added that as long as it has a happy ending everything will be okay. 

I won’t spoil it for you whether it does have a happy ending or not, but I would definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a roller coaster read that gives you all the feels. 

The Perfect Getaway

We just recently got back from a week away, the perfect week away I would say. We booked our favourite cottage in Calabogie, Ontario back in November before there were any talks of a second lockdown. We planned to go with two of our closest couple friends, one of whom has a baby boy who is only a week and five days older than Baby T. 

As the date got closer for us to leave, it was very touch and go whether we would be able to still go on the trip. With the lockdown, there were no short term rentals allowed and also you weren’t allowed to see anyone outside of your household. Thankfully, the week before we were leaving, the region that the cottage is in was put into green zone (meaning short term rentals were allowed again, and gatherings of up to ten people) and our region was put into orange zone (which also allows gatherings of up to ten people) so we were good to go! 

The cottage is on Black Donald Lake which is just over a five hour drive away for us. I was very nervous about how Baby T would do on the drive but she was amazing! She didn’t sleep as long as I was hoping but she was perfectly content to sit in her carseat and watch Frozen 2 and Cocomelon the whole way there.

The cottage itself is amazing. We’ve been there a number of times now and walking in the front door felt like walking into our second home. There are so many memories from there before having kids and we were so excited to make new memories with the kids this time around. 

After being away from people for so long it did take Baby T some time to adjust to a full house and having another baby around, but eventually she was fine venturing off on her own and giving her little friend some bigs hugs and kisses (we gotta watch out for this girl in the future). 

Most days included a walk outside and some tobogganing, day drinking for the adults only of course, and snow man building. I’ll share a picture of the fire the other two girls built in the snow that made for the perfect afternoon outside with some warmth and whiskey sipping looking out over the frozen lake.

The babies were on the exact same schedule so nap time allowed for some Mario 3D World playing, board games or even time for us adults to catch up on our sleep and rest. After bedtime, if we had energy left after a full day with the kids, we would play ping pong in the basement just like old times. 

All in all it was a beautiful relaxing week with friends that was much needed after the long couple of months we’ve all had. It was nice to spend all day everyday with no masks on, no one else around us and barely even thinking about Covid; a little piece of normalcy that will get us through the next few months again. 

Closing Out Lockdown Number 2

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We have just come to the end of our second lockdown; our region has been moved into “Orange” phase which means we can see up to ten people indoors and stores and restaurants are allowed to reopen. 

It’s very exciting because as much as I had high hopes of staying positive for this lockdown, it was harder to do that this time around. The first lockdown we played card games or something in the evening, this time we spent most of our evenings binge watching tv shows (like the ones in my last post) and I have to admit I played more Nintendo Switch video games than I would like to admit. We just tried to do whatever we could to pass the time. 

Now, moving forward we will get to see some of our close friends and family again. I worry a lot about how all this will have an affect on Baby T psychologically, the fact the she can’t socialize with other kids the same way or go to group activities, so I’m happy she’ll at least get to see some people again.There’s no way to really tell right now, we just do the best we can with what we have and hope it’ll get better soon. Comment below if you’re a mom also stressing about this everyday. 

I also wanted to mention that there will be no posts next week, I am taking a week off of work and including a week off of posting in that. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some fun new content written to share with you when I get back! I’ve got some good ones in the works, or at least I think they’re good ones. You’ll have to tell me! 

Enjoy your day wherever you are and I’ll see you all back here on March 2nd! 

Lockdown Binge-Worthy TV Shows

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One habit I think a lot of us picked during lockdown is watching more TV and there are some specific shows that I found were binge-worthy in the evenings after Baby T goes to bed. 

First is The Mandalorian on Disney+, I know there’s a lot of controversy right now over Gina Carano being fired by the network (it’s trending right now) and I have to say her character was one of my favourites, but I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan my whole life. It’s one of the things my brother and I still bond over. None of my friends are into it at all, but that doesn’t bother me too much. The first season of The Mandalorian was slow, but the second season was so much better. It was fast-paced and exciting, and without giving away any spoilers (I somehow managed to avoid all spoilers even though I waited until all the episodes were out before watching), the ending would make any true Star Wars fan wipe a little tear from their eye. 

Second is along the same sci-fi lines; Star Trek Discovery. In Canada, I watched this on CTV sci-fi and I am fully caught up to the end of season three. Again, Star Trek is a huge part of my childhood, even though I didn’t like it at the time my brother would make us watch it every day after school. Now I think back on those days with fond memories and a love for Star Trek that is probably more nostalgia than anything else. Discovery is one of the newest series of the Star Trek genre and it of course has amazing graphics and intricate storylines that keep you on the edge of your seat. It definitely makes the basis of my love for Star Trek more deep seated than fond childhood memories. 

Third would have to be Superstore on Netflix. My husband discovered this one and we’ve been watching it every night to wind down before bed. We’re huge fans of The Office and Parks and Recreation which are very similar. It’s created by Justin Spitzer who was also a producer and writer on The Office so it has very similar humour in it and even some of the characters remind you of The Office characters. Definitely worth the watch if you need a good laugh!

My final pick would be WandaVision on Disney+. Not every episode is out yet so you can’t binge it all, but if you haven’t watched it yet I would definitely binge the first six episodes that are out. I’m a fan of the Marvel series and I wouldn’t say Wanda was one of my favourite characters but boy this series surprised me! It really doesn’t make sense for the first couple of episode but then slowly and surely it all comes together and now I can’t wait for each new episode! 

We all have a lot more free time on our hands even as parents, you might as well fill that time watching some really great new shows! 

My Favourite Influencers

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Social media has the ability to either make or break our days but we always have the choice of what we look at on Instagram, YouTube or Blogs that we’re following. I have always tried to make sure that the people I follow on these platforms have a positive impact on my mindset and I regularly go through and remove people who’s content isn’t doing that anymore. Sometimes that means taking a break from it as a whole which can be really refreshing, but whenever I come back there are some that I always enjoy following even years down the road. I’ll list a few of them and include their names in the platforms they have as well as why they’re my favourites. 

Lydia Elise Millen

Lydia is a blogger, YouTuber and Instagrammer in the UK. I’ve been following her for a few years now and even though we have nothing in common I find her content very enjoyable to watch. She’s very posh and buys brands that I could never afford but she still seems very down to earth. 

Her and her husband live in the countryside with their Bengal Cat and new Dachshund pup and their house (at least on YouTube) looks gorgeous and her decor style is right up my alley. Again, a lot of what she buys is not in my budget, but I’ve been able to get some more affordable options that are inspired by her choices. A little shout out to her husband Ali Gordon as well who does amazing creative content with Reels, definitely worth a follow as well! She also has a blog which I haven’t gotten to read a lot, but the posts that I have read are very well written. She’s a very positive and lighthearted person and that’s why I continue to enjoy her social media.

Instagram – @lydiamillen 

YouTube – @Lydia Elise Millen 

Blog – lydiaelisemillen.com

Victoria Magrath (In The Frow)

Victoria is very similar to Lydia Millen but more fashion focused. She is also in the UK and has the cutest little dachshund named Boe. Her style is very vibrant and colourful which is not really my style and again very out of my price range, but she pulls it off beautifully. She’s a very positive upbeat person and very creative with her content. Her Reels on Instagram is what caught my interest the most, I know Reels are fairly new but she has already mastered the art of them.

She has a big educational background in fashion marketing and it really shines through in her content and her name is actually very clever (I didn’t know what it meant until one of her recent Q&As on her Insta Stories). Frow is apparently a fashion world term for front row (at a fashion show), so In The Frow is definitely suitable for her social media platforms. Her blogs are also very enjoyable to read, she’s got a very conversational way of writing that I hope to master one day. 

Instagram – @inthefrow

YouTube – @Inthefrow

Blog – inthefrow.com

Shawn Johnson 

Most of the world knows Shawn Johnson as the USA Olympic Athlete, and now she’s a mom to a beautiful baby girl with baby number two on the way. I started following her when I was pregnant with Baby T and she was pregnant with her baby Drew. She gave birth a few months before me and the YouTube videos that her and her husband put out were so helpful with so many things. 

I think the nice thing about following her is that we’re about the same age and we’re in the same stage as life so the information and tips that she shares are very relatable and helpful. She’s not afraid to show you the good, the bad and the ugly and I think we all need someone like that on our feeds. She also just beat Covid-19 while being pregnant which is pretty bad ass. 

Instagram – @shawnjohnson

YouTube – @The East Family

Heidi Somers (Buffbunny)

I’ve been following Heidi since back in my gym crazy days. My husband and I used to go 4 nights a week together to the gym and I would spend a lot of my free time looking up new workouts to try and learning from people like Heidi who have been doing it a lot longer than I had (this was before Baby T). Not only does she write great workout programs (some of which are free), she also started a clothing brand in her house which has now grown to a thriving business called Buffbunny Collection. They make, hands down, the best leggings I’ve ever purchased. 

Not only is she a killer Boss Lady, she also seems very sweet and positive in all of her content. She’s always smiling and joking around which makes her YouTube channel very easy to watch. She’s also from Alaska originally so when she goes to visit her family the footage on her videos is breathtaking! I wouldn’t say I have a lot in common with her anymore since I don’t go to the gym as much but she’s still one of my favourites to follow and her latest free workout program is a goodie!

Instagram – @buffbunny/@buffbunnycollection

YouTube – @Heidi Somers 

Website – buffbunny.com

6 Things Every Mom Needs to Hear

Since becoming a mom, I have realized that it is a lot more of a roller coaster than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that it wasn’t going to be perfect sunshine and butterflies all the time, but the lows can be lower than I thought they could go. At times I feel like this is just a me thing, or because of the Postpartum OCD but I really don’t think it is, it’s just more of an unspoken thing because it’s hard as a mom to admit that you’re struggling. There’s so much pressure to be a fun, happy mom and to make everything look easy and the pressure is was makes you feel even worse when you feel like you’re failing to hit the targets. 

On the low days, there’s a list of things that goes through my head of what I would tell a friend who was feeling the same way, things that I feel like I need to reaffirm in myself or be reassured of by someone else. They’re thoughts and feelings that I have that I feel guilty of having, but really shouldn’t because they don’t mean I’m a bad mom or that I don’t love my baby. So for anyone who needs it, here’s a few things every mom needs to hear: 

  1. It’s okay that you need a break. It’s okay that you feel like you want to pack a weekend bag and go sit in a hotel room by yourself for two days and turn your phone off, binge watch movies or play video games all weekend so you can reset. Even if you don’t get to actually do this, it’s okay that it’s what you dream of doing. That doesn’t make you a bad mom. 
  2. It’s okay to have a cry on a bad day even if it’s in front of your baby. It’s not going to mess them up, it doesn’t mean you’re a helpless mother. As long as you’re both in a safe space and you can take a minute to have a cry while still smiling and loving your baby, it’s totally okay. That doesn’t make you a bad mom. 
  3. It’s okay that you still have passions and hobbies that you want to do, and that you get annoyed if your baby doesn’t nap or doesn’t nap long enough for you to have time to do these things. We all need time to unwind, as mothers sometimes we don’t get that time when we need it most, and it’s okay to be a little annoyed about it. Just set it aside, take a deep breath and save it for later. 
  4. It’s okay that you double guess everything you’re doing with your baby and think maybe they’re not having as much fun with you, or that they’ll never eat anything you make them because they’re a pickier eater than you are. They’ll eat if they’re hungry, just keep offering them things. It’s okay if all they want for dinner is snacks and a fruit pack. And you’re their mother which automatically defaults you as their favourite person in the whole world.
  5. It’s okay that the thought of having another baby makes you want to hide and cry because you feel like as much as you love your first baby you’re just not cut out to be a mom and that some days you really wish you didn’t have the responsibility of even one, let alone two, babies because it can drain you so much sometimes. And that the thought of being pregnant again feels more like a chore than a beautiful miracle. This doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby (or that you won’t love additional babies should you choose to have them) and it doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. 
  6. It’s okay that you worry all the time about your baby, not just with their health but also about how they’ll be when they’re older. It’s okay that you see the little spark of defiance and stubbornness in a one year old and all you can see is a rebellious, angsty teenager who fights with you on everything. Or that you see the things other babies their age are doing and worry because they’re not doing that yet. Every baby is different. 

These are six of the things I try to convince myself are true on a bad day. If you’re also having a bad day and reading this, take it to heart, you’re not alone in your struggle through motherhood. 

Blog Challenge: A Book I Loved

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We’re back! I had a lovely little break which I will talk about more in Thursday’s post, but for now here’s another Blog Challenge Post!

I skipped a few on the Blog Challenge and jumped right to this one. I’ve been a bit of a serial reader lately and have been through a lot of books, but most recently I read The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. 

It’s a story of a family in the 70s who pack up and move to Alaska with no money and no outdoors skills. The father it a Vietnam War Veteran and Prisoner of War who has PTSD and because it’s in the 60s there’s not any awareness of the mental affects those things can have on a person. He takes his anger out on his wife and when they move to Alaska they realize that there is more danger in their cabin during the winter months than there is outside. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, my husband bought it for me for our anniversary because he thought the fact that they were moving to the last frontier sounded pretty cool and he had seen it was on a lot of the top book lists. It’s probably one of the longest books I’ve read in a long time so between working and taking care of Baby T it took me some time to finish it. 

Even though it was long, it kept me intrigued the whole time. It made my jaw drop, it made me laugh and it made me cry my eyes out multiple times which is something a book hasn’t made me do in a long time (despite reading a lot of good books lately).  

My husband kept looking at me saying, “I’m sorry I bought you such a sad book”, but I told him that means it’s a good book when it makes you feel something. I also added that as long as it has a happy ending everything will be okay. 

I won’t spoil it for you whether it does have a happy ending or not, but I would definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a roller coaster read that gives you all the feels. 

How to Get Through a Sleep Regression

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I want to say wine, but sometimes that’s not always the answer. 

Sleep regressions sound like a really bad thing… and they can be. A baby that sleeps pretty much perfectly for months can suddenly decide they want to keep you up all hours of the night. Here’s a few ways to get through them and keep your sanity and also a couple of things to keep in mind while they’re happening. 

When Do They Happen? 

I had read that sleep regressions can happen at 6 months, 8 months, 12 months, the list kind of goes on. If you’re wondering if your baby might be in a sleep regression they’re probably not because when it’s actually happening you know 100% you’re in the middle one. Baby T had a sleep regression when she was 8 months old, she was going through a lot of developmental leaps at that time as well as teething and a growth spurt. She also had a cold and managed to fall and twist her ankle while playing; it was basically the perfect storm. She went from going to bed on her own and sleeping 12 hours a night, to refusing to go to sleep and waking up three or four times a night. We would have to put blankets next to her crib and sleep on the floor next to her just to get her to sleep.

Sleep Training 

Obviously she was going through a lot at the time so we did give in and coddle her to get her through it, but after three weeks of barely any sleep we needed to change some things. We went back to sticking to our bedtime routines, made sure she was nice and comfortable and made sure she was sleepy. We decided to try a gentle form of sleep training where we did pop ins to let her know she wasn’t alone and to coach her through it. The first night was awful, she cried and cried and it broke my heart but in the end she went to sleep on her own and slept through the night for the first time in weeks. It only took one more night of pop ins and she was back to being an amazing sleeper. 

You know your baby best and if sleep training isn’t for you or your baby that’s 100% your choice. With Baby T it worked great and we’re very happy we did it. It takes a lot of patience and even though the crying is so hard to hear we had to make sure we were the calm soothing ones in the situation. I always took a deep calming breath before going in for a pop in because if she could tell that I was freaking out it would make her worse. 

When it Happens Again

Now she’s reached 15 months and has more teething and has been having a rougher time sleeping again. We did coddle her again because we understand if she’s in pain from teething it would be hard to her to sleep through the night on her own, but we reached a certain point again where she cried out of habit instead of actually needing us so we started the process again and even though it really really sucks its better for our family in the end. Everyone is way happier when everyone is sleeping soundly. 

If you’re in the middle of a sleep regression or sleeping trouble hang in there, do what’s best for you and your baby and it will eventually get better (hopefully before they’re teenagers). 

The Mom Bod

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The Mom Bod is something I think all moms know and stress about. It doesn’t matter how fit you are before your pregnancy it’s still a struggle to get used to the changes in your body after giving birth, no matter what there are differences. 

I know some moms bounce back pretty quickly from breastfeeding, and I fully anticipated this happening to me as well but it didn’t. I know some people will probably hate me for saying this but I’m not someone who struggled with losing weight before, I inherited my dads Dutch metabolism. Since having Baby T it’s something I struggle with physically and mentally, accepting that I do need to watch what I eat and try and exercise even though being a mom is already demanding on its own. 

It feels like everyone pays attention to how you look after your a mom and how you’ve bounced back from your baby body and sometimes it doesn’t matter how much people tell you that you look great, unless you believe it yourself you never feel that way. Women do have so much pressure from social media and entertainment to look a certain way even after having babies and it can be difficult to love yourself even though you know what amazing things your body has done to grow and nurture a tiny human. 

I think there should always be a balance between wanting to take care of yourself and be healthy, not doing extreme diets or exercising to the point of burning yourself out and accepting your new body as it is and appreciating the things it’s accomplished. Your baby will never look at your body and think anything negative about it, they see their comfort and their home. 

A mom bod isn’t something you should be ashamed about, but do what feels best to you. If you feel like trying to better yourself and push yourself a little to make yourself feel better then do that! If you have accepted your mom bod for what it is that’s amazing! We don’t have to be pressured to feel either of those ways, just do you, boo. 

How’s It Going?

We are just over three weeks into our lockdown here in Ontario, it was supposed to be ending January 23rd but they gave lockdown a new name (Stay At Home Order) and from that point extended it until at least February 11th. How’s that going, you ask?

At the beginning of lockdown I had plans of how to get through it and stay positive but that’s not always easy to do. You don’t realize you’ve taken for granted so much in your life until it’s all considered illegal activity and after a while it does start to get to you no matter how hard you try. Through lockdown I’ve learned to take every day one at a time, even though almost every day seems exactly the same. If one day is worse than the others I try to wake up the next morning and start fresh, finding something to smile about first thing in the morning like breakfast with Baby T and sharing tea and coffee with my husband before we start our day. 

At work, I can tell that the lockdown is getting to everyone, employees and customers. I work in a very small branch and with new policies and procedures that include screening customers at the front door it’s obvious that there is a new tension in the environment. As someone who stays as far away from conflict as possible, I find some of my days are very uneasy trying to avoid bothering people.

I consider myself lucky to be able to go to work part time at this point because at least it gets me out of the house and interacting with a handful of people, stay at home moms have it the hardest right now I think with no play groups to go to and no stores to go walk your baby around in. Even the two days I’m by myself with Baby T, I struggle to find things in the house to entertain her and with no where to go except for maybe a walk if you feel like bundling up in 5, and under, degree weather.

It feels like it puts more pressure on me to be more creative with activities for her but that’s hard when you’re not really a crafty or creative person. Sometimes I can sense that she’s as bored sitting at home as I am. 

All in all, I know this is a pretty down and depressing blog but also probably one I’ve needed to write for a while. It’s hard to put into verbal words sometimes how I’m feeling but putting them out there in writing is always very therapeutic. If you’re feeling the same way and need to put it down in writing feel free to put it in the comments, no judgements here. Also, have a look at my previous blog of getting through a second lockdown for a refresher of ideas and motivation to be positive, I might do the same myself. I will leave it linked below.

Speaking of writing being therapeutic, since I switched to only posting once a week I haven’t been writing as often as I’d like to. I have lots of content prepared for the next few weeks and I am already writing into posts for the end of February, so I have decided I would like to try posting twice a week… Monday’s and Thursday’s at 5 pm. That’s a bit exciting isn’t it? You get to hear more from me, hopefully less depressing!

Thanks for reading and keep your chin up (telling myself the very same thing in the mirror). 

https://evangelyntavares.ca/2020/12/27/lockdown-number-two/

7 Baby Things I Never Knew I Needed

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Even though there are endless lists of things to buy before a baby arrives at home, you never really know what you’re going to need (or how much) until the time actually comes because every baby and family is different. Here are seven things that I didn’t know I needed. 

Diaper Wipe Warmer – Our friends who had their baby six months before us got one of these and I remember thinking, “that’s a waste of money, babies don’t need that!” Well, six months later when we had our own teeny tiny baby that seems like the most fragile, delicate thing we had ever seen and she deserves warm butt wipes. She hated getting undressed and getting her bum changed it seemed like the last thing she wanted was something cold cleaning her up. While I still don’t think this is an absolutely essential thing for babies, I’m just saying don’t write it off because you will literally do anything to make that little baby’s life as comfortable as possible.

Blackout Curtains – These became an important purchase for two reasons. First, Baby T took all of her naps on me or on someone else for the first six months of her life until we finally trained her to take them in her own crib. When that time finally came one of the biggest tips was to make sure the room was dark which is obviously very hard to do on a sunny afternoon unless you have blackout curtains. Second, Baby T was born in November and where we live for the winter months it gets pitch black by 5:30, so whenever she was ready for bed it was nice and dark and there was no need for curtains. Once it got into spring and summer the sun would stay out until 7:30 or 8pm and her bedtime had moved up to that time. Having a good set of blackout curtains made it seem like it was nighttime in her room even when we were sat outside enjoying the sunset. 

A Laundry Bin – Not just any laundry bin, a big and sturdy laundry bin specifically for the baby’s room. There is a lot of laundry, and I do Baby T’s laundry twice as much as I do our own and keep it all separate so I can use the baby detergent on hers. It saves time on sorting everything out of one laundry bin. 

Dimmable Lamp – We have a little IKEA dimmable lamp on a table next to Baby T’s crib. The ceiling light in her room is a very bright white light and not very relaxing right before bed, so having this lamp which is a much more warm tone is perfect for helping her make the transition to bedtime. Before she’s even in the room to get ready for bed I turn off the ceiling light and turn on the lamp so that as soon as she’s in there she knows what time it is. The dimming is perfect as well for the odd time we have had to go in and check on her through the night if she’s sick and needs medicine, we only need to put on a little bit of light to see and we’re not fully waking her up. 

Lots of PJs – One thing I have always felt like I did not have enough of is pyjamas. For every size I have tried to have about five or six sets of pyjamas. When she was newborn we needed to make sure we always had extra incase she spat up on the ones she was wearing (which could sometimes happen multiple times in one night), and when she got bigger it helped to cut down on the amount of laundry I had to do. For a while, we only had three pairs in one size and I had to do laundry everyday to make sure I always had an extra set in case of a mess emergency. 

A Carrier/Wrap – There were some days that Baby T would not let me put her down and I thought I was going to go crazy. I wouldn’t be able to eat or drink because she was constantly falling asleep on me. My midwife recommended going to my local Babywearing Group (they were on Facebook), so one day my mother in law and I packed up the baby and took her. They had every different kind of baby wearing wrap and contraption ever made and they showed you exactly how to use them, they even had a lending library of wraps that you could take one home and try it out! After borrowing a woven wrap and trying it out I decided to buy my own and it was amazing! Whenever Baby T was fussy and clingy I would wrap her on me and she would fall asleep instantly in it so I could make myself something to eat and move around without disturbing her. I honestly wish I had gotten one sooner!

A Bassinet That Vibrates – My boss sold me a bassinet that she had used only a couple of times for her grandkids. I hadn’t really looked into bassinets but it was like brand new so it seemed like a good choice. Little did we know it also had a vibrate function that would save our sanity! I don’t know if this is a bad habit to get some babies into or whatever but Baby T put herself to sleep at as little as one week old in that bassinet because of the vibrating function! I would feed her, swaddle her up and lay her down and before I was even turning off our bedside table and climbing into bed her eyes were closing and she was out. It had a 40 minute time limit so if she ever woke up in the middle of the night and wasn’t hungry, I would turn it back on and she would go right back to sleep. We starting thinking that when she moved into her crib and didn’t have the vibration that she wouldn’t put herself back to sleep anymore but I think it actually made her so used to it that it wasn’t an issue!

These are just seven things that I found made life as a new mom a little easier on top of everything else that babies need, but like I said, every baby and mom is different so there could be even more little things that I don’t even know about. If you’re a new mom what’s something you didn’t know you needed? 

Hello 2021!

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2020 has certainly had its moments and it’s a year that has brought challenges and changes. It’s had its dark times as well as hopeful times. We’re ending it off in a Lockdown in Ontario of course, but I have some hope that 2021 will be better. 

A Year In Review

Obviously we all know about the bad things that have happened this year. It was also a year that I had my first beach vacation with Baby T in Florida, I learned that I am capable of taking care of my baby on my own even through some difficult mental health issues but at the same time it’s okay to ask for help when it’s needed, and also how to juggle working part-time with spending time with my family. 

The New Year

With a New Year comes new goals. You already saw in my last post my goals for the blog, but I also have some goals for myself for the year. Of course, like everyone else, taking care of myself physically is a priority including working out and eating better. There’s also making the most of the time I get to spend with the people I love, planning fun activities each weekend to do as a family and hopefully getting to go on some mini adventures even if we have to stay close to home. 

All in all, I hope that 2021 brings better and brighter times for everyone and brings us a little closer to some normalcy again. 

What to Expect from My Blog

I wanted to give a little update of my plans for my blog, we’re coming up on almost seven months of blogging which is honestly more than I even thought I would do. I appreciate the likes, comments and subscribers so much! It’s been such a fun passion project for me and I have every intention of keeping it going for as long as I’m able to! 

Blog Schedule

In order to keep the blog going I though it would be good to make more of a schedule for posting, so starting with my next post (next week) I will be posting once a week on Thursdays at 8 pm. I’m a working mom now and I want to make sure that I keep my time organized to make the most of time with my family as well as my hobbies (and keep on top of the house work).

Pinterest

All of my posts will now also be posted on my Pinterest page which you can also follow here > www.pinterest.com/evangelyntavaresca if you would like or by clicking the Pinterest symbol on this page. 

Blog Topics

I will still be covering a variety of topics including Mom-blogs, Parenting Tips, Travel Series and continuing my blog challenge. I’d also like to introduce an Affordable Fixes Series for Home Decor and Fashion where I will share my finds for affordable items in these categories. 

Again, I want to say a big thank you to those of you who have been with me since the beginning and such a good support and welcome to newer ones! I hope my blog continues to give you new ideas to try and most importantly, makes you smile! 

Lockdown Number Two

We live in Ontario, Canada where they have decided to do a second province wide lockdown, in the northern regions it will last 14 days and the rest (where we live) for 28 days. If you’ve been with me since the beginning you know that the first lockdown took a toll on me mentally, and while I’m sure this one will have it’s fair share of rough days, I feel better prepared for it. My husband and I are both also essential workers which means we still have babysitters for Baby T, and still get out of the house on a regular basis. 

So, how do we get through a second lockdown when we know from experience how much it sucks? I already did a post about things you can do with your spouse, here’s some ideas I have to keep my own sanity as well as Baby T’s.

  1. Get outside (weather depending). We just had about 10 cm of snow where we live which doesn’t sound like a lot but it actually is a good amount. Thankfully, being the smart Canadian parents that we are, we invested in a good snow suit and pair of winter boots for Baby T. We got to go outside even if it was for a short amount of time and enjoy the fresh air and the fresh snow.
  2. Try to limit eating out and drinking during the week. I am all about supporting local restaurants during this time but I’m also about supporting my stomach. It always feels the best when we have healthy home cooked meals every night, and maybe one night of ordering in per week. For alcohol, I know it’s easy when you have to be home every night to crack open another beer or another bottle of wine and relax even if it’s only a couple of drinks, but for me it can make me feel more down about myself and what’s going on around me. A few on the weekends is a nice treat, but maybe try a nice herbal tea or good old water during the week.
  3. Exercise. Gyms are closed again of course, just as we were getting into a good routine of going back. Thankfully after the first lockdown we invested in some equipment for our garage like a squat rack, a bench and dumbbells. This time around we’ve had to invest in a propane heater so our hands don’t freeze to the bars. If you don’t have gym equipment there are so many other options; with a little motivation you can have a really good sweat session right at home. There are some really good workout apps and programs that involve no equipment like Kayla Itsines SWEAT and Alive by Whitney Simmons (by the way I am in no way affiliated with these companies or sponsored by them), both of these you have to pay for but if you can afford it sometimes the fact that it’s costing you money is the best motivation of all because you want to get your moneys-worth. There are also free options all over Youtube.
  4. Find a good book to read. Do you ever have those times where your eyes are straining from watching too much TV or scrolling on your phone too much and you just need a break from it? This is where all those books on your shelf come in handy. It’s easier on your eyes and if it’s a good enough book it’ll take you to a different place for a little while. If you’re into writing do that too! You can google ‘writing prompts’ for some ideas to get you started on Fiction and Non-Fiction writing.
  5. Find activities for your family to do together. I’m very guilty of just letting Baby T go with her toys and not doing anything that’s very engaging or fun for either of us but recently my husband and I have been trying to set up activities for us to do as a family. Thank goodness for Pinterest! There are so many ideas of activities for specific ages and a lot of them don’t even involve you having to buy materials, you just have to get a little creative with what’s already in your house.
  6. Keep the music going. Music often has a way of affecting your mood. First thing in the morning I turn on our Spotify to a happy, upbeat playlist to start the day. I’m not a morning person at all but it helps me to wake up and sets the tone for the rest of the day.
  7. Try not to watch the news. It’s good to keep up with basic information (like the fact that there is a lockdown), but watching the news all day everyday is never a good idea. It’s not a bad thing to forget about what’s going on in the world from time to time.

There you have it! Seven easy things to get through the next 28 days, if the lockdown goes longer than that then I guess we will have to think of some new things. I know readers on here are from all over the world, so wherever you are and whether you’re in a lockdown as well or not, I hope you all stay safe and make good choices! 

Comment below if you have your own ideas of lockdown activities for families! 

Blog Challenge: What Is Your Typical Daily Routine?

Baby T usually has us up around 7:30, I go in to get her and give her some snuggles for a minute in her room since she’s slow at waking up like her mommy. After changing her we go feed our dog Marley, it’s Baby T’s favourite new chore. We get coffee and tea going in the kitchen and start breakfast which is usually toast and some fruit. 

While my husband drinks his coffee and watches Baby T with his breakfast I usually shower and get myself ready for the day. From then on it varies depending on whether or not I’m working. If I’m not working, Baby T and I usually spend sometime playing, run an errand, go for a walk or go visit someone followed by lunch at noon and then down for a nap. During her nap I usually try to get things done around the house or if I need to, I’ll just relax and do nothing. Once she’s awake a couple of hours (hopefully) later we spend the rest of the time playing and doing activities until my husband is home from work. 

If I’m working (three days a week), after we’re all ready for the day I take Baby T to her Nana’s, or we wait for her other Nana to arrive to watch her so I can go to work. My typical day at work at a bank is not too demanding and is usually done when we close at 5. From there, I go get Baby T from her Nana’s again and get the biggest cuddle when I arrive which is probably my favourite part of the day. In her own little way she tells me about her day. 

I’m very fortunate because whether I’m working or staying at home, after about 5:30 when my husband is done work he makes dinner. Yes, he cooks every single meal. He’s been doing this for a few years now and it works so well because he’s a better and healthier cook than I am! If it were up to me it would be chicken, potatoes and garlic bread every night. 

After dinner, if I had the day off with Baby T, she gets to play with her Daddy for an hour before bed while I tidy up and try to get things done around the house that I neglected to do while I was relaxing during her nap. If I worked, I usually do the bare minimum and then go down to the play room and join them. 

Between 7 and 7:30, Baby T starts rubbing her eyes and getting a little cranky. She says goodnight to her Daddy and I take her upstairs for our bedtime routine and put her down for the night. That leaves a couple of hours to finish up whatever tasks need to be finished, usually folding laundry or doing more laundry. We will watch a movie or a show together or play some sort of card game until one of us loses and decides they don’t want to play anymore. 

Then it’s off to bed. 

That’s my typical daily routine. If you’re still reading, I’m impressed. 

Blog Challenge: Where Do You See Yourself in Ten Years?

Hopefully back in a world where we can travel, go to concerts and sports games, and not wear a mask. 

Besides those obvious things, I honestly see my life pretty similar to how it is now. Location-wise I would maybe be in a different house by then, maybe one more in the country. I would still be married to my husband, Baby T would be eleven years old and she would have a little eight year old brother. 

I would probably be in the exact same job with the exact same company; why fix what isn’t broken? 

We would still hang out with the same people every weekend and hopefully go to the same cottage in Calabogie ON every year as well as Myrtle Beach with my parents, all inclusive resorts and Destin, Florida. 

We’ve spent the last ten years building the life that we have now and it’s one that I want to keep for the long term. I like to keep things simple and I’m more than happy to spend every day doing the same things with my family and friends for the next ten years. 

Blog Challenge: 10 Random Facts About Me

To start off our Blog Challenge I will be giving 10 Random Facts about me.

1. I have been married for *almost* ten years (I got married young)

2. My idea of a perfect date is snuggled up by a fire watching movies with dinner ordered in and a glass of wine (hint hint Dan)

3. My favourite international place I’ve been is Ireland; specifically the Aran Islands

4. My favourite place I’ve been in Canada is my favourite cottage in Calabogie, ON (it’s a place I didn’t make that name up)

5. I do not like the beach unless it’s attached to an all inclusive

6. I have been working in the banking industry since I left high school (over ten years)

7. I graduated one semester early because I went to summer school and had a credit for taking registered piano lessons and exams for 8 years and because I hated high school

8. My favourite meal is a full British turkey dinner

9. My dream job was to be a teacher

10. I have music playing in my house all day everyday; silence creeps me out

What are some random facts about you?

Blog Challenge

Okay we’re going to try something here. I have found 30 writing prompts for new bloggers on Pinterest so I’m going to give it a try to get the creative juices flowing. In all transparency I think the idea is for me to write and post everyday but I think we all know that’s not going to happen. Feel free to follow along and write your own, you can even put some of your own ideas in the comments section!

Here is a list of all of the writing prompts, I have also linked the original writer below incase you want to check her page out as well.

  1. 10 random facts about you 
  2. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  3. What is your typical daily routine? 
  4. Your opinion on a recent news story
  5. A motivational quote and what it means to you
  6. A letter to your teenage self (that one could be a doozy)
  7. Express gratitude to three people
  8. What are your goals for this year? 
  9. A book you love 
  10. 5 Apps you wouldn’t be without 
  11. The meaning behind your blog name 
  12. Advice for people starting out in blogging/journaling 
  13. How to _______
  14. 5 Blogs you read regularly and why 
  15. Your top 5 productivity tips 
  16. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? 
  17. Who is your role model and why? 
  18. Best advice you received from your parents
  19. A wishlist 
  20. A favourite song lyric and what it means to you 
  21. 5 Books you recommend 
  22. If you won the lottery, what would you do? 
  23. What have you learned today? 
  24. An accomplishment you are proud of
  25. Create and share a vision board
  26. Somewhere you’d like to visit and why 
  27. What is one thing you want to learn? 
  28. Useful resources for people in your industry
  29. Describe yourself in three words and explain 
  30. Your current priorities in life

I’ll still share some of my own content in between these, but I thought this would be a fun way to close out 2020 and ring in 2021 blogging style! Once this is posted I’ll be starting a fresh page for Blog Challenge #1! 

Blog Challenge Ideas courtesy of http://www.kerryjohnson.co.uk/challenge-new-bloggers/