Thursday, 28 May 2020

Peaceful Simple Loves- 29.05.20

I have decided to dedicate every Friday (in the foreseeable future) to something that is adding a lot of value or joy to my life.  It will be a podcast, Instagram account, or blog post that I think you may enjoy.



Let's kick off this week with a podcast that I have been loving (especially during these times).  Brene Brown (the shame researcher, author, TED talk giver and all around amazing person) has created her own podcast called "Unlocking Us".  I have been a huge fan of Brene's work for years and this podcast doesn't disappoint.  She even tackles the topic of coronavirus and why this time has been so strange and difficult for most of us to wrap our heads around.  

I hope you give her podcast a listen and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, 24 May 2020

My Daily Self-Care Checklist

As the mom of 2 young children, I have become pretty good at taking care of everyone else, but I am not always great at doing it for myself.  I can go almost a whole day before I realize that I haven't drank any water.  There are things that I just let slide that affect my overall physical and mental health.

Recently, I created a daily self-care checklist.  I am a list person.  I love lists and I love checking items off of my list.  I am generally realistic about what I can achieve in a day and I find that lists are a great tool for me to use.  I have a Samsung phone and the list app offers a checklist option.  (My guess is that most phones have this capability.)  I created a list of items that I need to do in order to practice good self-care every day.  The items are simple, but the list has been a game changer for me in terms of getting my list completed.


I have been pretty good about rolling out of bed in the morning to check a few items off my list.  I like to write in my journal,  write down 3 things I am thankful for, drink some coffee and do a 5 minute meditation before my kids are up for the day.  I am able to be a happier mom when I have started my day with some self-care.  The other items are just as important and I fit them in throughout the day.

I go over my list before I go to bed and this helps me to make sure I haven't forgotten anything.  I have felt my anxiety easing and I feel much more centered now that I have made my self-care a focus.

How do you practice self-care?  Do you have a routine that you stick to?

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Wardrobe Wednesday- 20.05.2020

We spent our weekend in the yard creating a new garden and planting our other gardens.  I am so happy it is done.  I love this time of year.  I love the birds chirping and the leaves budding out.  I am starting to consider the clothes that I want to include in my summer capsule wardrobe which I will start using in June.  






Happy Wednesday, friends!

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Wardrobe Wednesday- 13.05.2020

This week was cooler again, as is to be expected in a Canadian spring.  My in-laws ended up with snow over the weekend and I am so thankful that we didn't.  I had a lovely Mother's Day.  I got to sleep in and I was given breakfast in bed.  My oldest daughter was pretty excited to help orchestrate the whole thing.  It was very sweet.







Happy Wednesday, friends!

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Spring Capsule Wardrobe- 06.05.2020

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous.  We have been working in the yard a lot.  I haven't really gotten dressed on the weekends because I basically wear work clothes that are in poor repair.  Getting dressed has continued to have a positive impact on my mood and productivity.  I am enjoying my Spring capsule.  The few hot days have me mentally planning my summer wardrobe.  Always looking forward!  Ha ha!






Happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday, 4 May 2020

Goals Update

I have just started to track my goals again.  March and April were a bit of a wash as we started to deal with the pandemic.  My goals aren't difficult, but as I was dealing with the anxiety that came with the pandemic and with our life changes (Hubby changed jobs, my daughter does online learning from home and navigating relationships with social distancing), my goals fell by the wayside.  This is normal.  We are human beings and sometimes things need to take the backseat while we navigate big life changes.



My goals were simple.  I wanted to work towards three different goals.  I wanted to exercise, write and work on home projects.  My goal was to spend 20 minutes on each goal, 3 times a week.  I know that I was basically achieving this goal when it came to exercise.  My daughters and I were walking every day so that we could get out of the house.  I was also working on quite a few house projects to pass the time.  I didn't track these goals, however so I don't know my exact numbers.  I know that I really didn't do much writing.

I have decided to tweak my exercise goal.  Instead of aiming for 20 minutes of movement, I am now working to do 20 minutes of strength training.  I hope that this change will encourage me to continue my physio exercises, which I am quick to forget about.

I also want to spend a lot more time writing, both for the blog and creatively.  I love to write and I want to keep working on those skills.

There will be no shortage of home projects in the future.  We are adding a large garden plot to our yard and have a lot of digging and planting to do.  We are also working on our basement and have already made some big changes.  It is great to have projects to focus on during this time.  It helps calm me down.

I hope you are all doing well.  If your goals are taking a backseat right now, don't fret.  Life is strange and requiring us to adapt quickly.  Staying alive and adapting is enough.  Seriously.  Take care, friends!

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Spring Capsule Wardrobe- 29.04.20

I have kept up with my plan to get dressed this past week.  I didn't really dress from my capsule wardrobe over the weekend because we were out doing yard work and that requires me to wear my old, beat up clothes.  I am not great at keeping my outfit intact when I am outside working.  The weather has been beautiful and my tulips are starting to pop out of the flower bed.  I am so happy to have the change in seasons.  I like to be outside in my garden in the spring.





Happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday, 27 April 2020

My New Housework Schedule

My housework schedule is ever-evolving and changing.  The new social distancing measures have changed things up once again.  I had basically been doing the bulk of my cleaning on one day every week.  I usually chose the day when my oldest was in school to do my cleaning.  I am now home with both kids all day, every day.  My routine has changed along with the rest of my life.  I have worked out a new routine that allows me to keep the house up, but also allows me to mostly focus on my kids.

EVERY DAY:

  • Make beds
  • Do dishes
  • Run at least one load of laundry
  • Tidy house

MONDAY:  Strip the beds and wash all bedding.

TUESDAY:  Clean the bathroom.

WEDNESDAY:  Dust house and water houseplants.

THURSDAY:  Vacuum house and wash floors.

FRIDAY:  Grocery shopping and meal planning.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY:  We work in the yard and prep for the coming week.





 

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Spring Capsule Wardrobe- 22.04.20

Getting dressed has really been helpful for my mood and productivity.  I added a piece to my capsule wardrobe.  I added back my black leggings.  It had been really cool out so I wanted to be able to wear my dresses and stay warm.  It has since warmed up, but I really love my leggings so I am getting my wear out of them.  Here are some of my outfits from the past couple weeks.








Happy Wednesday, friends!  I hope you are safe and doing well!

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2020- 08.04.2020

Our life during this pandemic looks quite different, just as I imagine your life does.  My plan was to get dressed every single day this past week.  I did not meet that goal.  I sprained my foot last week and was laid up for a few days so the 3 days that I got dressed were pretty good.  My foot is doing much better this week and I hope to put more effort into using my whole wardrobe.  Here are the outfits that I put together from the past week.




How are you doing?  Are you making an effort to get dressed or are you living in your PJs?  Honestly, I think that either is fine.  We basically have to try to do our best to take care of ourselves and get through this odd time that we are living in.  I do feel better when I put forth the effort to get ready.  Last week, I was in pain and lacking motivation so I didn't worry about trying to get ready.  I hope you are all doing well.  Happy Wednesday!

Monday, 6 April 2020

Home Reset 2020- The Deep Freezer

Our house came with a huge (and old) deep freezer.  It has been great for storing our extra food and we use it all the time.  I went through the freezer to take a bit of an inventory and to get rid of anything that was no longer good.

Before:

After:


I sorted the contents of our freezer by type of food.  Frozen meals are together, meat is all in one place and so is frozen fruits/veggies.  It makes it much easier when I am trying to find something. I try to keep it this way, but I do tend to just throw items in when I am in a hurry.  I try to reset the freezer every quarter to keep it from getting too bad.

Checklist:
  • Take every item out.
  • Check dates and get rid of anything that is out of date or badly frostbitten.
  • Replace items and group like items together.  You can use cardboard boxes to help organize the bottom of the freezer.


Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Self-Care During Social Distancing

Most of us are trying to stay home as much as possible.  People who have to go to work have the added worry of being exposed to the COVID-19 virus.  Tensions can be higher both at work and at home.

At home, our family has experienced our fair share of whining, crying and arguing in the kid department.  It grates on my nerves and wears down my composure.  I have found that good self-care can help combat fatigue and stress.  Here are some of the ways that I practice self-care during social distancing:

1.)  Go for a walk.  If you have access to outdoor space, going for a walk is a great stress reliever.  Moving your body releases endorphins and being in nature helps us to feel peaceful.

2.)  Find something funny to watch or read.  Humour can be very individual but the benefits of laughter are universal.  Laughter increases oxygen flow to the brain and releases endorphins.  My husband and I have been enjoying comedy sketches on Netflix and I have been doing a silly home wine tour on my personal Facebook page.  Laughing helps me feel happier and relieves stress.

We toured Bar-Bay mansion for this one.  Ha ha!
3.)  Take time to be creative.  Colour with your kids, do some sidewalk chalk art, design something encouraging to put in your window, sing, write or do whatever allows you to be creative.  I am not a terribly crafty person but I have felt great benefits from creating sidewalk chalk pictures and colouring with my children.  It helps to lift my spirits and is a wonderful distraction from our day to day.



4.)  Take care of yourself.  This one is simple but it can be a real challenge during times of stress.  Eat your fruit and veggies, drink adequate amounts of water (this is a constant struggle for me), take your vitamins, shower and try to get adequate sleep.  If you are struggling to achieve these tasks, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to complete them.  It really is difficult to take care of others if you aren't able to take care of yourself.

5.)  Do an at home workout.  If weather or circumstance doesn't allow you to go outdoors for a walk, try to do an at home work out.  Many of these workouts require very little (if any) equipment and the simple act of moving your body releases endorphins.

6.)  Give meditation a try.  I took a meditation class before this all happened and it has been extremely helpful.  I prefer guided meditations, but there are many types of meditation.  Headspace offers free trials and that can be a great space to start.  There are also great free resources on You Tube.

7.)  Treat yourself.  Sometimes you just need to indulge a little.  The other night, after the kids were sleeping, I took time to have a hot bath.  I ate a bowl of ice cream with Oreos and read a cozy mystery.  It was a wonderful escape and I felt relaxed once I was done.



How are you practicing self care during this time?

Thursday, 26 March 2020

How to Feel Connected During Social Distancing

This is a strange time to be alive.  We are being asked to stay home and to social distance ourselves from anyone who does not live in our homes.  It is so important for us to follow these protocols.  The sooner we slow the spread of COVID-19, the sooner we can get on with our lives.  The downside of social distancing, however is a feeling of loneliness and a feeling of disconnection.



Over the past week I have worked proactively to remedy any feelings of disconnection I was having.  I know that in order to keep my mental health in a good state, I need to be proactive.  Here are a few things that I have been doing:

1.) Make a list of people to stay in touch with.  Seriously.  This feels a little silly, but without a list you may be forgetting important people that you would like to be interacting with.  I also made a plan as to how often I plan to contact these people.

2.)  Text your friends.  Ask them how they are doing.  Send a funny meme or tell them something about your day.   

3.)  Call your Grandparents.  If your grandparents are not tech-savvy, pick up the phone and call them.  Ask them how they are doing and tell them what you have been up to.

4.)  Move your book club or meeting to Zoom  I run a Harry Potter book club locally and COVID-19 means that we can't get together anymore.  I emailed everyone and they were game to use Zoom for our meetings.  We had our first one on Monday and it went really well!  The app works great and we all got to socialize from a safe distance.

5.)  Have video message coffee dates.  I planned coffee with a good friend this week.  We both made ourselves a cup of coffee and then called each other on video chat (we used WhatsApp).  It was wonderful to see my friend and have coffee with her in real time.

These times are certainly strange and tough.  The good news is that we can do this.  We can social distance while maintaining connections.  How are you staying connected during this time of social distancing?

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2020- 25.3.2020

I really haven't spent a lot of time getting dressed into clothes from my capsule wardrobe, lately.  With social distancing, you can often find me in my cozy sweatpants and sweatshirt.  I have, however gotten dressed a few times and I am going to share those outfits with you.  I will be making more of an effort in the coming days to get dressed in 'real' clothes.  It does help me feel better and adds a sense of normalcy to my day.




Happy Wednesday, friends!  Take care and stay home (if you can)!

Friday, 20 March 2020

Our New Routine With Social Distancing

Wow.  This week has been long.  I am sure everyone is now feeling the full effect of social distancing and the closure of schools/workplaces.  These times are certainly different.  As a health care worker, I fully support the push for social distancing, but that doesn't mean that it isn't challenging.  So first things first:  You are allowed to grieve.  You are allowed to grieve the loss of what you thought this month would look like.  You can feel sad, angry or stressed about this.  That is completely normal.  I have calmed down for the most part, but I am definitely still experiencing anxiety and stress because of the pandemic.

Since we are all stuck at home, I thought that I would share what we have been trying to do with our routine.  This new routine has been working well for us.  I don't have a rigid schedule, because I would find that extremely stressful.  I am attaching times to this routine to give you a rough idea of what we are up to. 

8:00 a.m.  This is the time that my kids naturally wake up.  I have not kept them to school day wake up times.  We could all use a little more sleep in our house so I am happy to start our day when they are ready.  We eat our breakfast immediately upon getting up.  My 2 year old always greets me with, "Hi Mommy!  I want yogurt."

8:30 a.m.  We brush teeth, do hair and get dressed.  Getting dressed in daytime clothes is something that works well for my kids.  They usually throw a princess dress on top of their outfit anyway.  We then make our beds.  Even the 2 year old tries to make her bed.

9:00 a.m.    We have been doing Cosmic Kids Yoga every morning and it has been wonderful.  They tell a story while moving through the poses.  My 2 year old only does part of it before she runs off to play something else, but my 5 year old loves it. 



9:30 a.m.  We try to do a craft or a learning activity during this time.  Today we drew pictures and yesterday we worked on my 5 year old's sight words.  This doesn't have to be hardcore.  It can just be dedicated time to creativity, counting or reading.  We plan to do play dough and bake muffins in the upcoming days.

10:30 a.m.  Snack time!  I have designated eating times so that we don't graze all day.  My kids eat better at meals when they haven't been snacking beforehand.

11:00 a.m.  After snack, my kids run off to do free play and I catch up on my housework, schoolwork or any other task that I need to focus on.

12:00 p.m.  Lunch time.  I make lunch while the kids play, we eat and then I do dishes.

1:00 p.m.  Quiet time.  This is for my own sanity.  My oldest NEVER naps and my youngest is hit and miss, at best.  During quiet time the kids look at books, work on a puzzle and sometimes watch the Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari.



2:00 p.m.  We try to tidy up, play a game, head outside or have a dance party.  Koo Koo Kangaroo has some great videos for kids to dance to if going outside isn't an option.

3:00 p.m.  We have another snack.

3:30 p.m.  If we haven't headed outside already, we go outside.  It is still winter weather where I am, but I try to get us out every single day.  It makes the kids wildly happy and it helps calm me down, too.



4:30 p.m.  We head inside and start making supper.  While supper cooks we play, practice our music

or read books.  We also clean up all the toys before supper is ready.

After supper we start our night time routine, which takes longer than I would like to admit.  After that the kids head to bed.

How are you dealing with the self-isolation day to day?  Any ideas you want to share with me?  I would love to hear what you are all up to!

Monday, 16 March 2020

Home Reset 2020- Cold Room

**** I just want to write a quick note before I hop into our latest post.  I know that everyone is going through a lot with this pandemic.  It is confusing, scary and downright disruptive.  Our family will be adhering to the guidelines set out by our Public Health system.  We will practice social distancing and good hand hygiene.  We will work hard to do our part in flattening the curve.  We will not panic.  This one is hard for me.  I have a child with 2 different health conditions that place her in the 'at risk' group.  I have had ongoing anxiety over her health ever since she was airlifted to the PICU 2 years ago. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the social measures that our government is asking us to take, please understand that it is for the protection of our most vulnerable.  Cancer patients, people with heart and lung diseases and seniors are at risk of fatality.  We need to do our part to keep them safe.

If you feel your anxiety is too much to handle, please reach out for help.  There are many options for mental health help that still follow the guidelines of social distancing.  A quick google search can show you what is available in your area. 

Reach out to friends and family with Skype, Facetime or even your phone (I still have a landline that I love to use!  Ha ha.)  Stay off social media if it is terrifying you.

We are in this together.  Take care out there.  And wash your hands!****

My cold room stores my greeting cards, gift bags, my holiday decor, lesser used kitchen items, luggage and our camping gear. 

Before:


After:


This room is so much more functional.  I basically just went through everything and most of it went back into the room.  I tried to arrange items in a way that made the most efficient use of our space.  I didn't go through our seasonal decor as it gets looked at yearly.  I use every holiday as an opportunity to evaluate what we have and what we want to get rid of.

Checklist:
  • Take all of the items out
  • Wipe shelves/vacuum floors
  • Decide which items will get used and replace them in an orderly fashion.
  • Donate items that are in good repair and trash anything that is broken/damaged.




Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Spring 2020 Capsule Wardrobe Reveal

I have created my Spring 2020 capsule wardrobe.  I am ready for more sunshine and warmer temperatures.  My capsule wardrobe consists of 36 pieces, including shoes.  I do have a disclaimer, however.  My shoes won't come into play until it is nice enough to wear them outdoors.  We are still fully experiencing winter right now so I am still wearing my winter boots.  I didn't include my winter boots in the total because I will swap them out for shoes once the weather allows.

I made a few new purchases for my spring wardrobe.  A couple were made due to size changes and a couple purchases were made in replace clothes that have worn out or that have become stained.










I am so looking forward to using this new wardrobe.  Happy Wednesday, friends!