Thursday, September 19, 2013

Expectations

 So here we are getting deeper and deeper into September and edging our way towards fall and I am still sitting on some Summer posts about our vacations.  I had these grand expectations of what I was going to write about these vacations, how much fun we had and all the amazing things we did.  We traveled to Toronto and went to Wonderland, and Niagara Falls, we went to visit family and had a magical time together. 
 
The funny thing about expectations is they can make it so nothing happens, at least this is what can happen to me.  I have it in my head what I want to do and how I want it done and nothing less then that will do.  The reality of my situation is I can't do it all.  Yes I want to write everyday, yes I want my house to be clean, yes I want all my laundry to be put away, yes I want all my meals to be homemade and healthy and delicious, yes I want to have time to myself, yes I want to have time with Mike, yes I want to be able to do nothing else but play with my kids.  It's a constant tug of war with all of the things that I want to do and what I need to do.  What I need to do is let go of some of my expectations, I simply can't do it all.  This is something we all go through, it's something we must all deal with and we need to take a step back and take a look at what is really important to us.  It's okay if my house is a little messy or if it takes 3 days to put away the laundry, it's okay it I lose my patients every once in a while, it happens to us all. 
 
I constantly tell my girls that practice makes progress, a few times they have corrected me and said, no Mommy practice makes perfect.  But again I repeat myself and say practice makes progress, that's what's important, try to improve yourself and what you are doing, striving for perfect can be a slippery slope.  No one is perfect, and thinking that you should be, or really can be, can give you false expectations in life and it can hold you back. 
 
If you're striving for perfection you can miss out on life's lessons and in the end you will be down on yourself and those around you.  The thing about negativity and positivity is they spread like wild fire, both can take over and it's like a domino effect.  Everyday I make a conscience effort to look on the positive side of everything, the silver lining if you like.  I have been through many ups and downs over the last few years but what I have learned, especially in the last year, is that I am the one in control of my life and I can choose to live a positive life or a negative one.  I still have my days when things get overwhelming or I hear something that sends me into a nose dive of negative thoughts.  I have a habit of making up conversations in my head and picking what the other person will say or how they will react, usually in a negative way.  I go around and around in circles until I have worked myself up and can't see the situation coming out well.  So a lot of the time I would decide it's better to not say anything at all and I just deal with my negative thoughts.  Well can you see how unhealthy this is, I do!  Now when I see this is happening I stop what I am doing, I realize the problem and don't let it snowball, I have a voice and I am no longer frightened to use it.
 
I have been working a lot on opening up more and saying what is on my mind.  Communication is key and I have learned that the hard way and it is something I will never compromise on again.  To keep things in and hold them against someone is toxic to a relationship and it is something I am not interested in experiencing again.  Trust me I have learned from my mistakes.  So these days I am more open about how I feel and what I want, I am not down on myself for those things that I can't do or don't have time to do.  I am doing what feels right for me and what works best in my life, I want to be the best Mother, and the best me, that I can be and in doing so I must let go of trying to be perfect and just be real.  We all make mistakes in life, and that's an important part of growing and changing, it's what we do with those mistakes and the lessons we learn from them that is the important thing.  I have faith in myself and my decisions and my life.  Right now at this point in time I am happy, I'm happier then I have been in years, I am grateful for my children and the life we are building together, we are changing and learning and re-adjusting everyday and as long as we are happy that is what counts. 
 
With that all being said ... totally not sure how I even got on that topic or how that whole rant just happened ... so ...  lets get back to the task at hand .....
 
my vacations
 
There are a couple moments that I want to write about but in light of letting go of my (way to) high expectations I will lay them out in point form because that is as far away from my planed post as I can get.  So here are some of the things that I loved about our vacations and some of the things that I learned along the way.
 
1. The girls were amazing on our road trip, lots of fun and games in the car
2. Hotels are the best
3. Quinn is a roller coaster junkie, and I love it, her favourite was thunderun
4. Aisley made us cry we were laughing so hard when she drove the bumper cars
5. Aisley's favourite ride was the snoopy planes
6. I love visiting my family
7. Camping is amazing with little girls
8. The girls love camping and want to get a trailer
9. On the first night I couldn't start a fire so I got a lot of paper and got some good smoke going off the fire wood, with that I sat back with a glass of wine and called that smoke a fire.
10. Why was everyone so shocked I took the girls camping alone?
11. Why was everyone so shocked that I set up the campsite on my own?
12. It was really fun when Mike joined us for the day
13. Don't let the kids play in the car, they will leave lights on and you will end up with a dead battery
14. The beach is our happy place.
15. Summer vacations are amazing!
 
And here are a couple of my favourite moments ... 


^^that little kitty!^^


^^can my girls pose or what!^^




What a happy Summer we had, I have been dreaming about this Summer since the last and it was everything I hoped it would be .... again with those expectations ;)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pinterest Challenge Week 37

Early this week I got one of those super annoying little rips in the side of my nail.  The worst part ... the rip was low, and I mean really low, I could not trim or file the nail and if it ripped it would have been bad! So I turned to Pinterest to see what I could find.  When I saw this little trick with a  tea bag I was excited, could it really work, would it save my nail?




I forgot to take a picture of my nail after but you could totally see the tea bag through the nail polish and it was the next day that my nail ripped even more.  So I'm sorry to say this most definitely did not work for me.


Pinterest Challenge Week 1 - House Key

Pinterest Challenge Week 2 - Cleaning

Pinterest Challenge Week 3 - Ivory Soap

Pinterest Challenge Week 4 - Quotes

Pinterest Challenge Week 5 - Painting

Pinterest Challenge Week 6 - Snack

Pinterest Challenge Week 7 - Valentines Day

Pinterest Challenge Week 8 - Pears

Pinterest Challenge Week 9 - Spice Drawer

Pinterest Challenge Week 10 - Face Mask

Pinterest Challenge Week 11 - A Couple Little Projects

Pinterest Challenge Week 12 - Military Diet

 
Pinterest Challenge Week 14 - Chevron Wall

Pinterest Challenge Week 15 - Soup

Pinterest Challenge Week 16 - Pom Poms

Pinterest Challenge Week 17 - Sensory Tray

Pinterest Challenge Week 18 - Health and Fitness

Pinterest Challenge Week 19 - Kissing Hand

Pinterest Challenge Week 20 - Dents in Carpet

Pinterest Challenge Week 21 - Jewelry Wall

Pinterest Challenge Week 22 - Cooking and Baking

Pinterest Challenge Week 23 - Cookies, Pierogies, Quinoa

Pinterest Challenge Week 24 - Organize Garage

Pinterest Challenge Week 25 - Crust less Quiche, Spinach Cubes

Pinterest Challenge Week 26 - Granola Bars

Pinterest Challenge Week 27 - Kitchen Cupboard

Pinterest Challenge Week 28 - Salad

Pinterest Challenge Week 29 - Glow Stick Lanterns

Pinterest Challenge Week 30 - Nail Polish Strips

Pinterest Challenge Week 31 - Under Bathroom Sink

Pinterest Challenge Week 32 - Painting a Fan

Pinterest Challenge Week 33 - Homemade Peanut Butter

Pinterest Challenge Week 34 - Hello Kitty Cake

Pinterest Challenge Week 35 - Clip Boards

Pinterest Challenge Week 36 - Hanging a Picture

Monday, September 9, 2013

Back at it

After an amazing summer that went all to fast we are slowly getting back into a routine of School and work.  The nightly rituals of packing lunches and picking out clothes, there is something soothing and calming about falling back into a routine everyday.  I loved the chaos of summer while it lasted but I am embracing the routines of September.  Today we spent a lot of time baking and prepping food and that is one of my favourite things to do.  Aisley did amazingly in the kitchen today, even cracking an egg all by herself.  Sometimes I forget just how big she is getting, I'm so thankful I get one more year with this little lady before she heads off the school.
 








I'm excited to get through all my photos from the summer and write about all of our adventures. Not to mention with the change of weather there is fall foods to cook, Halloween costumes to plan, and dare I say Christmas to think about.  Oh how I love me a good Season change.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Pinterest Challenge Week 36

This week I am so proud of myself for accomplishing this challenge and doing it well!  I have a magnetic board that I wanted to hang in the kitchen for my girls and for my daycare kids. I needed it to be secure and it is one of those tricky ones that have a hole in each side so you need two screws to hang it and that is very intimidating because my eyes have got to be crooked cause I can't eyeball anything for the life of me so to hang this was a challenge to say the least.  So finally the other night I decided I was going to bite the bullet and just do it and really what's the worst that can happen, I can mud with the best of them.  (OK so when I first started out on my own I was terrible at mudding but really now I got skillz)  Anyways .... I remembered a post I saw on Pinterest here and I thought it was worth a try. 
 
I simply cut my tape to cover from one side to the other and half way over the hole.  I did it vertical and horizontal so that I could step back and make sure I was happy with the placement.  To get the tape level on the wall I simply stuck one side down and put my level on the wall and had the tape follow the level.



 
From there I put the screws in, making sure I lined them up on the same spot on the tape.  My final test was attaching the board and putting the level on to see how close I got.
 
 
Can you believe it .... it's level!!!!!!  I've been procrastinating on hanging a lot of things in my house because I didn't want a bunch of crooked pictures everywhere but now with this trick I will be hanging everything.
 


Pinterest Challenge Week 1 - House Key

Pinterest Challenge Week 2 - Cleaning

Pinterest Challenge Week 3 - Ivory Soap

Pinterest Challenge Week 4 - Quotes

Pinterest Challenge Week 5 - Painting

Pinterest Challenge Week 6 - Snack

Pinterest Challenge Week 7 - Valentines Day

Pinterest Challenge Week 8 - Pears

Pinterest Challenge Week 9 - Spice Drawer

Pinterest Challenge Week 10 - Face Mask

Pinterest Challenge Week 11 - A Couple Little Projects

Pinterest Challenge Week 12 - Military Diet

 
Pinterest Challenge Week 14 - Chevron Wall

Pinterest Challenge Week 15 - Soup

Pinterest Challenge Week 16 - Pom Poms

Pinterest Challenge Week 17 - Sensory Tray

Pinterest Challenge Week 18 - Health and Fitness

Pinterest Challenge Week 19 - Kissing Hand

Pinterest Challenge Week 20 - Dents in Carpet

Pinterest Challenge Week 21 - Jewelry Wall

Pinterest Challenge Week 22 - Cooking and Baking

Pinterest Challenge Week 23 - Cookies, Pierogies, Quinoa

Pinterest Challenge Week 24 - Organize Garage

Pinterest Challenge Week 25 - Crust less Quiche, Spinach Cubes

Pinterest Challenge Week 26 - Granola Bars

Pinterest Challenge Week 27 - Kitchen Cupboard

Pinterest Challenge Week 28 - Salad

Pinterest Challenge Week 29 - Glow Stick Lanterns

Pinterest Challenge Week 30 - Nail Polish Strips

Pinterest Challenge Week 31 - Under Bathroom Sink

Pinterest Challenge Week 32 - Painting a Fan

Pinterest Challenge Week 33 - Homemade Peanut Butter

Pinterest Challenge Week 34 - Hello Kitty Cake

Pinterest Challenge Week 35 - Clip Boards

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pinterest Challenge Week 35

When we were heading out on our road trip to Toronto I knew that I needed lots of things for the girls to do in the car.  My girls love to colour, write and draw but these activities can be hard to do in the car.  When we were at the dollar store I saw a couple of clip boards and thought they would work perfectly.  They were just plain brown so I decided to customize them for the girls.  All I did was cover the clipboard with mod podge then slowly pressed and spread out a piece of scrap booking paper.  Once it was dry I put a coat on top of the clipboard so that it would harden and not tear.  I am really happy with the way that they turned out and they were very handy in the car.
 


Pinterest Challenge Week 1 - House Key

Pinterest Challenge Week 2 - Cleaning

Pinterest Challenge Week 3 - Ivory Soap

Pinterest Challenge Week 4 - Quotes

Pinterest Challenge Week 5 - Painting

Pinterest Challenge Week 6 - Snack

Pinterest Challenge Week 7 - Valentines Day

Pinterest Challenge Week 8 - Pears

Pinterest Challenge Week 9 - Spice Drawer

Pinterest Challenge Week 10 - Face Mask

Pinterest Challenge Week 11 - A Couple Little Projects

Pinterest Challenge Week 12 - Military Diet

 
Pinterest Challenge Week 14 - Chevron Wall

Pinterest Challenge Week 15 - Soup

Pinterest Challenge Week 16 - Pom Poms

Pinterest Challenge Week 17 - Sensory Tray

Pinterest Challenge Week 18 - Health and Fitness

Pinterest Challenge Week 19 - Kissing Hand

Pinterest Challenge Week 20 - Dents in Carpet

Pinterest Challenge Week 21 - Jewelry Wall

Pinterest Challenge Week 22 - Cooking and Baking

Pinterest Challenge Week 23 - Cookies, Pierogies, Quinoa

Pinterest Challenge Week 24 - Organize Garage

Pinterest Challenge Week 25 - Crust less Quiche, Spinach Cubes

Pinterest Challenge Week 26 - Granola Bars

Pinterest Challenge Week 27 - Kitchen Cupboard

Pinterest Challenge Week 28 - Salad

Pinterest Challenge Week 29 - Glow Stick Lanterns

Pinterest Challenge Week 30 - Nail Polish Strips

Pinterest Challenge Week 31 - Under Bathroom Sink

Pinterest Challenge Week 32 - Painting a Fan

Pinterest Challenge Week 33 - Homemade Peanut Butter

Pinterest Challenge Week 34 - Hello Kitty Cake

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Taking Some Me Time

So here is my disclaimer for this post ....
 
Be ready for an insane amount of selfies and lots of talk about me and what I did on my vacation.  This is a completely apologetically self absorbed post and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

 
I have been on a mission this Summer and this past week I fulfilled my biggest challenge within this mission.  I have been challenging myself to take more me time, and here's the tricky part, not feel bad about it.  For the first week that the girls went to their father's house for summer vacation I took the time to do things around the house and spend time with friends that I don't get a chance to see as often as I wish I could.  But I made an important decision for the second week I would go away and take a vacation without them.  I went back and forth on if it was a good idea and if I could handle being so far away from them but quickly realized I was being silly.  I deserve the break, I deserve the vacation, I deserve to travel and have fun.  I booked a flight to Vancouver to go and visit my sister and her family and I was determined to go and have an amazing time. 


One of the things I was most excited about was the very first day when I got to board a plane with only me to worry about and a whole five and a half hours just for me.  I haven't flown by myself in years so this was going to be a big treat.  As far as what to do while I was on Vacation ..... we decided to forgo doing the typical things we do when I go to Vancouver and to try new things.  It's been three years since I was there, but I did live there for four years so I've seen a lot of the city and done most of the "typical" Vancouver things.  So I scratched my normal check list for my trip there and we filled it with new and exciting things we wanted to do and try. 



Food seemed to be a big focus for us and we had a great mix of delicious home cooked gourmet meals, picnics with food on the fly, and we even got out to a couple of restaurants, including an amazing food truck.  One of my girlfriends posted on one of my picture in Instagram and said my feed read like a food porn diary.  We laughed so hard at this comment and then realized that it totally did and that was totally awesome!




We went to the PNE and Playland, which I haven't done since 2001 and my brother-in-law and I rode an insanely crazy ride that he had wanted to do for a long time.  I dragged my sister on lots of rides, because to my surprise she had lost her roller coaster stomach so I had to help her find it ;).  The day was a perfect mix of riding little kids rides, with a very excited 1 and 4 year old, and getting our rides in as well.  Both of those kids are going to be roller coaster junkies and that makes me a very happy Aunt.




 
video

On the weekend we took out the boat and toured around, we put out lobster traps and went to an incredible water fall that we climbed up (a little bit anyways) and had a BBQ in the most peaceful surrounds imaginable.  At the end of the day we pulled up the traps and we had 2 lobsters, which was very exciting, but unfortunately they were to small to keep so we played around with them for a bit then put them back into the Ocean. We had a dance party on the boat with my niece and docked in Vancouver to grab a drink and an appetizer.  That day was my favourite day of all on this vacation.  The views were breathtaking and the open spaces cleared my head.  I needed that day, I needed it more then I ever thought I did.  As my head cleared it quickly began to fill again with rejuvenating plans and ideas, purpose and direction and that is my all-time favourite.





 
 






when we packed we forgot plates, forks, cups and anything else you may need to eat or drink ... se we made it work :)




When we were talking about what we should do my brother-in-law suggested we climb a mountain, I laughed and said no thanks, but then he said the Grouse Grind and my response was hell ya!  It took us an hour and a half to climb the mountain but that feeling when you are getting to the top and then you finally get there, nothing beats that high.  Neither of us had done the Grind before so it was another first for us and we really had no idea what to expect.  One of the best moments was when we were hiking up and we thought we were coming up to the 1/2 way sign and to our shock and dismay we read a big sign saying 1/4 way.  Needless to say there was a lot of swearing and laughing at that point but the funny thing is that instead of this discouraging me it pushed me even more to go on.  The Grind was tough but it felt amazing to really push my body and in the end I can say that I hiked up the side of a mountain in Vancouver.  The icing on the cake was calling my girls from the top of the mountain to tell them where I was and what I had done.






Laura and I decided to have a girls day so she hired a babysitter and we went out to lunch and went shopping, this was a huge treat for both of us and really such a fun time.  We both love shopping and were inspired by all the new fall clothing in the stores.  Its very nice to shop when you have no kids around and another woman's opinion on what your trying on.  In the morning before we went shopping I ducked out and set up shop at Starbucks with a hot chocolate and my laptop.  Now talk about freeing.  I've only done this a couple times before and let me tell you it definitely needs to go on my "I HAVE to do this more often list". 


I made a point to really relax and enjoy this vacation, I tried to not dwell on the girls not being with me and how much they would have loved doing these things with us.  Instead I focused on the fact that it would have been a completely different vacation if they had come with me and I need to enjoy, embrace and simply be grateful that I could go on this vacation without them. 




 
As much as I missed my girls I loved every minute of this vacation and I am so thankful I was able to take this little time out for me to refocus and take some much needed me time.

So now here I sit in Edmonton waiting for my connecting flight to Ottawa, I'm excited to get back and see everyone and I am completely vibrating with ideas and plans that I cant wait to set in motion.