Friday 29 December 2017

High Five For Friday- 29.12.17

I am writing this post on Thursday morning.  As of right now, Baby has not made an appearance.  If I make it to Friday, Baby will be one week past his/her due date.  We had a lovely Christmas weekend.  I am linking up with TifDellaKatie, and Becky to share 5 highlights from the past week.

1.)  We celebrated Christmas with my family on Christmas Eve.  It was a really fun day.  The girls all played together quite well.  The food was amazing (I love Mom's cooking) and it was so nice to spend time with family!

2.  I was pleased with how Miss. E's hair turned out for Christmas.  She is so wiggly that sometimes I have trouble getting a decent hairdo done!

3.)  Hubby's Oma always buys socks for everyone at Christmas time.  Elizabeth was so excited!  She sorted her socks, tried them all on and decided what outfits they should go with.  Ha ha.  It was so cute.

4.)  We had a lovely Christmas morning at home by ourselves.  Miss E had a great time opening her presents.  We relaxed and sat in front of the fireplace.  It was really nice.  We are experiencing quite a cold snap here so we enjoyed staying warm and cozy.

5.)  My last OB appointment went well and we are still waiting for our little one's arrival.  Baby should be coming soon!  Perhaps Babe is waiting for warmer weather...

I hope you all had an awesome weekend and Christmas.  Have a safe and happy New Year!

Friday 22 December 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Today I am 40 weeks pregnant and I am waiting for Baby's arrival.  We are all ready for Christmas and for Baby.  I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  I hope that you all have a beautiful holiday season filled with love, joy and laughter.  Thank you for visiting my little space of the internet.  I so appreciate it!  I really value the friendships that I have made through blogging and I am thankful for each and every one of you.

I have no planned posts over this holiday season.  I may pop in here once or twice to say hello.  It really depends how things are going.  Just in case I don't make it back here before 2018, thank you for helping to make my 2017 so wonderful.  Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Friday 15 December 2017

High Five For Friday- 15.12.17

Ahhhhh.... Today is my last day of work.  I can feel the relief spreading over me.  I am happy to embrace a few days off before Baby makes his/her arrival! 

I am linking up with KatieDellaTif and Becky to share the 5 highlights from my week!

1.)  Last weekend I got the basement all cleaned up.  I organized the laundry room and the playroom.  It was quite a bit of work but it looks so good!  I am so excited to have it all done. 

2.)  I had a visit with my best friend from school and her kids this week.  I love how she and I can always pick up right where we left off and not skip a beat.  I so enjoyed our visit and I am excited to go see a movie with her tonight!

3.)   Today, I am offically 39 weeks pregnant.  My appointment went well this week and I am excited to meet our new little one in the near future.

Last Friday's picture at 38 weeks

4.)  I went for a haircut on Tuesday and it felt so good!  My hairdresser is wonderful and I so appreciate her.  I have had some issues with my hair in the last few years and she has really helped me figure those out!  I cut quite a bit of hair and went for a lob.  It feels good to have it shorter!

5.)  Miss. E wore her princess dress for supper the other night.  She really cracks me up right now.  3 can be such a fun (and challenging...) age!  Her imagination really runs wild and it is so adorable.

How was your week?  Don't forget to check out the lovely ladies above for some great blogs!

Wednesday 13 December 2017

November- Goals and the No-Spend Year

Wow.  It is hard to believe how quick 2017 has slipped away.  I am very happy with my goal progress.  With only a few short weeks until the end of the year, I am quite happy with the results of my goals.

Goal #1- Complete a No-Spend Year

November was another successful month.  I feel like this goal has really taught me about my spending habits.  I am much more resourceful now.  I tend to search my own home to find the things that I 'need'.  It has given me pause and made me think more about my consumerism and how it affects myself and my family.  Shopping is no longer an option for my self care and that is a wonderful thing.  I have learned how to best care for myself without the temporary high that shopping gives.  I have really enjoyed my no-spend year so far.

Goal #2- Establish a Self-Care Routine

This goal goes hand in hand with the above goal.  Self care (for me) really boils down to getting enough sleep (oh boy, that one is going to take a hit soon!), being careful not to over-schedule myself (October is a great example of how that worked out), and taking time to be alone.  I am really an introvert by nature and I find myself recharged when I get to spend time alone.  This past month I have been really good at asking for help when I need and resting when I need it.  I haven't been pushing past my limits (much) and it has made a big difference in my health and well-being.

Goal #3- Say Yes To Family Time

This goal has gone well again.  I have learned how to prioritize family time.  External pressures always exist, but I am much better at letting those pressures go when my family requires quality time.

Goal #4-  Start School in September

On hold during my pregnancy and newborn phase.

Goal #5- Learn more about traditional prayers and incorporate them into my prayer life.

I think I finally have this goal figured out.  I have decided against trying to incorporate these prayers in a "schedule", but rather every time I have a certain intention.  I have quite a few mothers on my prayer list, so when I pray focus my prayers on them, I incorporate the traditional prayers.  It has worked well and I plan to continue this pattern.

Goal #6-  Establish a routine for the blog and stick to the blog's vision.

I have done more background work on the blog in terms of planning and narrowing the type of posts that I want to write.  I plan to implement these changes in the New Year and I am excited to do so.  My routine will have to change when Baby arrives, but I am hoping my planned framework for the blog will help me through those changes.

How have your goals gone?  Have you achieved your resolutions?  There are still a few weeks left!

Friday 1 December 2017

High Five For Friday- 01.12.17

Hello December!  I can't believe that it is the last month of the year!  I am looking forward to the excitement that December brings.  I love experiencing the magic of Christmas through my daughter's eyes.  I am also so excited because we will welcome our new little one this month.  That is, if they arrive on time!

I am linking up with KatieBeckyDella and Tif to share the five highlights from my week!

1.)  My favourite part of this past week was taking Miss. E on The Polar Express.  We had both sets of Grandparents with us and Miss. E had such a magical time!  I highly recommend the experience.  You can read all about it here.

2.)  I am 37 weeks today.  I can't believe that in a few short weeks we will be meeting our new little one.  Besides the odd ache or pain (or Braxton Hicks contraction), I am feeling really good.  I am very thankful for this as I still have a few things I want to do before Baby arrives!

3.)  This week, we were training the individual taking my maternity leave.  She seems friendly and capable.  I feel confident that I am leaving my clients and co-workers in good hands.

4.)  Hubby had a work party last night, which we attended.  To be honest, I was so super tired and I didn't really want to leave my house.  I am so glad we did, though!  We had lovely conversations, food and laughed a lot.  It was nice to have an evening out with just my Hubby.  I know that we won't get as much "us" time with a new little one, so I am enjoying our time together now.

5.)  It was my Mom's birthday this week.  We had a birthday party for her and it was so much fun.  I so enjoy getting together with my family.  My brother is in a relationship with a woman that we love.  She has 3 amazing daughters and they are so good with Miss. E.  Our family has really grown this year and for that we are thankful!

How was your week?  Do you have plans this weekend!  I would love to hear all about it!

Wednesday 29 November 2017

The Polar Express

My husband and I have really been trying to move towards experience based gifts.  As we work towards more simplicity in our lives, we are becoming much more intentional about making memories rather than collecting things.  In our family, the adults don't exchange Christmas gifts.  We do, however, always buy something for the grandparents from Miss. E.  This year we did something a little different.  Miss. E took both sets of her grandparents on the Polar Express in Stettler, Alberta.

I booked our tickets on the week that they became available.  I was only able to attend the opening weekend, so I booked us on one of the Saturday trains.  I booked by phone, as they don't do online bookings.  The person I spoke to was courteous and efficient.  Our tickets arrived shortly after in the mail and I made sure to put them in a very safe spot.  The person I spoke to gave me all the information that I would need and told me that we were encouraged to wear our pajamas on the train.  (Just like in the book or movie.)  I made sure to pass that information along to the grandparents, who all agreed to join in on the fun!

Hubby's parents came down the night before and we had a lovely time catching up with them.  On the day of the train ride, we all piled into my Jeep (I truly have easy-going, wonderful in-laws) and headed to Stettler.  Stettler is a 2.5 hour drive from where we live.  We had supper before we went to the train.  It felt a little strange to be out dining in our pajamas, but the restaurant workers seemed to know that we were headed to the Polar Express.

The train station was well set up with bathrooms available to all the guests.  I quickly ran to bathroom with Miss. E.  Bathrooms are super important to a 36 week pregnant lady and a 3 year old!  They had warm up tents available for the guests so we didn't have to stand out in the cold.  (Although, it was unseasonably warm that day.)  The experience began right away when a goofy "hobo" character approached my daughter and asked her to trade her ticket for a radish.  We politely declined and he moved about the crowd, asking all of the children to make the trade with him.

The train came into the station after a short skit on the platform.  The train came into the station while holiday music played.  The characters were all at the windows of the train waving to the crowd.  Miss. E was enthralled and excitedly waved back to all of them.  I got choked up that she was so swept up in the magic of it.  Ahhh... hormones....

We boarded the train and the inside was delightfully decorated in holiday decor.  There were lights, tinsel and Christmas music playing in the background.

The train ride included hot chocolate in a beautiful souvenir mug, a cookie (which my Dad traded with the 'Hobo' for a radish), dancing and singing from the crew and a lovely retelling of The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg.  We each received our golden ticket for the North Pole which was stamped with the word 'Believe'.  

When we arrived at the North Pole we saw thousands of twinkling lights, the North Pole workshops, Santa, Santa's sleigh and the Elves.  Everything was magical and Miss. E was so enthralled with the Christmas lights.

Santa then boarded the train and gave each child a sleigh bell.  Miss. E is usually afraid of Santa but did really well.  Santa was very kind and jolly.  As we headed back to Stettler, we were given songbooks so that we could sing along with the Christmas carols.  All of the children were having a blast, wildly jingling their sleigh bells to the music.  

We had a magical time on the Polar Express and would highly recommend going.  Miss. E had so much fun with all of the sights and sounds and her grandparents thoroughly enjoyed sharing the experience with her.  It is such a fun family outing and a well-run one at that.  I am thankful that the crew on the Polar Express was intent on making everyone's experience absolutely enchanting.

** I was not compensated in any way for my review of the Polar Express.  The kind people at the Alberta Prairie Railway in Stettler don't have a clue who I am.**

Thursday 23 November 2017

Peaceful Simple Holidays

Hi Everyone!  Happy American Thanksgiving!  With the holiday season upon us, I wanted to share a few tips on how to have a simpler holiday season.  Sometimes we can miss out on the meaning of the season when we are rushing around trying to do everything.  I prefer a 'slow' holiday.  This is how I achieve it.

1.)  Plan ahead.  If you need to save up for your Christmas purchases, start early.  If you have people on your list that you can pick things up for throughout the year, do it.  Sit down with your family and discuss your expectations for the holiday season before saying yes to anything.  A little planning goes a long way.  We need to be intentional about our holiday season and how we want to spend it.

For example, our baby is due 3 days before Christmas.  I did my Christmas shopping for my daughter in August.  We stick to basic gifts and I already knew what we wanted to give her so I went ahead and got that part of my shopping done.  We also made a "no plans" rule for December because we can't be sure of when Baby will arrive or how I will be feeling.  Our families are both aware of this and are very understanding.  I said no to Miss. E performing in her Christmas concert as it falls just a few days before my due date.  I also said no to my staff Christmas party.  All of this planning ahead will help to keep our holiday season quiet, which we may need more than we know!

2.)  Cut back.  This is a tough one.  I know.  We like to go all out at Christmas time, but in doing so we often break the bank and burn ourselves out. For a lot of our family and friends, this past year was a nice step in the right direction for economic recovery.  Our local economy is slowly turning around and people are working again.  It has by no means been a lucrative year for most people that I know.  There is no shame in cutting back.  In my family, we have cut out all gift giving between the adults and we focus on buying only for the kids.  We have decided with friends to only gift on birthdays, rather than at Christmas.  We also spend less on the gifts that we do purchase.  Giving is a wonderful thing, but only if you aren't putting yourself at financial peril to do so.

I have also cut back on commitments this year.  Our situation is a little different than most people's so my cut backs have been far more severe than they would be normally.  We switch the holidays between my family and my husband's family every year.  I always mind my calendar to make sure that we are still carving out time to just be at home and get our housework done.  I make sure not to schedule anything on work nights so that everyone has enough sleep.  If we say yes we truly weigh the consequences and what we may have to give up in order to commit.

3.)  Give back.  This time of year can be really tough on the less fortunate.  It means a lot when we can give back to those around us.  This can be done financially or through volunteering.  I like to support my local food bank, especially since it's usage is up and donations are down.  Homeless shelters are vital at this time of year to help shield people from the frigid elements.  If you are able to help financially, please consider doing so.  If you are able to help an organization with the gift of your time, please do that.  Christ calls us to take care of one another.  Let's make sure we heed the call at this special time of year.

What are your tips for having a simple holiday season?

Friday 17 November 2017

High Five For Friday- 16.11.17

Baby time is getting close!  I am 35 weeks pregnant.  We had a good week.  I am linking up with TifDellaKatie, and Becky for H54F.   Let's jump in!

1.)  After a LONG week of recovery, Miss. E seems to finally be back to her sparky self.  This last stomach bug and cold really knocked her down.   I am happy to see her doing well again!

Cheering on Daddy's football team.

2.)  I finished almost ALL of my freezer meal cooking this past weekend.  It was a lot of work, but I am so relieved to have it all done.  I have one more soup to make and freeze, which I plan to do this weekend.

3.)  Work went really smoothly this week, which is always a wonderful thing.  I was super uncomfortable on Wednesday due to where Baby was lying, but I made it through the day.  I waddled a bit, but other than that I was fine.  Ha ha!

4.)  Miss. E (and Hubby) helped me set up the baby room.  I have everything washed and ready to go.  Miss. E was a wonderful helper and was happy to stock the change table with me.  Everything is coming together!

5.)  I had an ultrasound today to check on baby's growth and position.  I was thrilled to learn that baby has his/her head down.  I was so sure that Baby was still transverse.  The ultrasound tech showed me a few really cool things like Baby's heart, feet and the fact that we could see hair!  It was fascinating.   It is always fun to see Baby and I am very excited to meet our little one!

How was your week?  Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday 15 November 2017

Baby Prep- Frozen Meals

Baby is due to arrive in 6 short weeks.  I have been busy making lists and trying to get things in order before our little one makes their grand entrance.  This past weekend I made several meals and froze them.  It was a lot of cooking, but it will be worth it when we have a newborn and a toddler to take care of!  The original plan was for Hubby to be home on the weekend while I cooked.  He would have kept Miss. E occupied and I would have concentrated on my cooking.  Alas, he ended up working the weekend.  I forged ahead.  It took a little longer with hundreds of interruptions and a lot of 'help', but I managed to get everything done.  

When planning which meals to make, I chose some of our family favourites.  I find all of these meals easy to prepare and I know that they all freeze well.  I did my grocery shopping the weekend before my cooking weekend.  I measured out how much of each ingredient I would need and then shopped accordingly.

Freezer Meals

Squash and Carrot Soup
Sweet potato soup
Hamburger Soup
Banana chocolate chip muffins
Energy bites

I spread my cooking over 4 days.  One day I made the squash and carrot soup.  The next day I made all of my hamburger dishes (lasagna, hamburger soup and chili).  I spend the next day baking and made muffins, cookies and energy bites.  Everything turned out really well and I am looking forward to having these meals to enjoy after Baby arrives.

What are your go to freezer meals?  Do you do freezer meals regularly or just for certain seasons in your life?

Friday 10 November 2017

High Five For Friday- 10.11.2017

It is that time of week where I join TifBeckyKatie and Della to share 5 highlights from my week.  Let's jump right in, shall we?

1.)  Last Friday and Saturday I did 2 huge shopping trips.  I plan to make a bunch of freezer meals this weekend for when the baby arrives.  I got everything I needed on my lists, which is almost unheard of.  I usually forget something or the store will be out of something.  The shopping trips went well and I am excited to get some meals in the freezer.

2.)  I went in to work for a few hours on Sunday to prepare for our big day on Monday.  It was well worth it because Monday went very well.  I am so relieved to have that project over with.

3.)  I was going to take my family out to celebrate on Monday evening, but Miss. E came down with a nasty stomach bug that afternoon, so we stayed home.  Hubby brought home pizza for him and I which was nice. 

4.)  Miss. E is finally acting like she is feeling better today (Friday!).  She slept really well last night so I am hoping she kicked the rest of those bugs to the curb.  She was pretty lethargic this week and running a high fever so I was beginning to worry.  I am glad that she has finally perked up.  P.S.  Did you know that they make chewable Tylenol for toddlers?  I just found this out! 

5.)  Hubby brought in the baby change table the other night and we arranged the room.  I ended up putting furniture in a different arrangement then I had wanted, but I think that this will work nicely.  It is all coming together and I am starting to realize how soon this little one will arrive!  (6 weeks!)

Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday 8 November 2017

October- Goals and the No Spend Year

We are nearing the end of the year and I can say that I am happy (for the most part) with the progress of my goals.  Only 2 more months left to go!  

#1-  Complete a No-Spend Year.

I bought something on my "Banned" list with my birthday money.  I bought myself winter boots.  I had banned shoes on my no-spend year list.  I took my daughter to daycare wearing my current boots in the snow.  By the time I made it to work, my socks were soaked and my toes were cold.  I feel strongly that I need to put my the health of my feet first so the other boots are hitting the trash.  I ordered quality boots that will last me many years.  I live in Canada and winter came early this year.  Our temperatures go as low as -40 degrees Celcius (-40 Fahenheit) and I am not risking my toes.  I knew that my boots were starting to leak last year so I am not sure why I didn't put it on my approved spending list.

#2-  Establish a Self-Care Routine

Let's talk about this.  I really thought that I was doing well with this goal and I was.  Life threw more than one curve ball at me in October.  I had a huge deadline at work, a major fundraiser for the local daycare (I am on the committee), pregnancy related nausea/dizziness/headaches/fatigue and I was working a LOT due to my co-worker being on vacation.  It all added up to one large meltdown where I was bawling an hour before the fundraiser was set to begin.  I have looked back at my busy month and I am not sure what I could have done differently.  Most of the curve balls were out of my control, besides the fact that I didn't take a sick day when I was feeling awful.  In hindsight, that wasn't practicing good self care.  I have been reading an interesting book by Gretchen Rubin called The Four Tendancies.  I am an upholder with obliger tendencies, which means that I am good at meeting both inner and outer expectations.  It also means that sometimes I work too hard to meet outer expectations and I occasionally experience burnout because of this.  I find my work to be a heavy expectation at times.  My work involves the health of my clients (I am a lab and x-ray tech in a small town) and I find it really hard to call in sick when I am ill because I know that my clients are often dealing with much worse situations.  I need to start putting my health first, especially in this last month and a half of my pregnancy so I am working to set up some clear boundaries this month.  The first boundary is working out well and my co-worker was able to lighten my schedule substantially which has already made a tremendous difference in my well-being. 

#3-  Say Yes to Family Time

This has been going well.  I am finding the "rules" that we set earlier in the year are working really well for our family and are surprisingly easy to follow.

#4-  Start school in September.

This is being postponed until after Baby's arrival.

#5-  Learn more about traditional prayers and incorporate them into my prayer life.

I am still working on figuring out how to make a habit of incorporating these tradtional prayers.

#6-  Establish a routine for the blog and stick to the blog's vision.

Ummmm..... yeah.  So that burnout that I mentioned above?  Well, that lead to a really bad blogging month.  I have worked to circumvent that this month with better planning and a lighter load at my job.  

October was a good month of learning for me.  I hope to apply what I have learned for a successful November.  How are your goals going?

Friday 3 November 2017

High Five For Friday- 03.11.17

Another week has already flown by!  I can hardly believe that it is November.  It was a fairly busy week with a few sleepless nights and one killer migraine.  Ick.  I am feeling better today and hope that this will hold out for the next few days.  I have a big work project coming up and I need to be at my best for the next few days.

I am linking up with BeckyTifKatie, and Della to share 5 highlights from my week.  Make sure to check them out and all the other great bloggers linking up for H54F!

1.)  I had 5 (!) wonderful days off from work.  It was very much needed.  I spent time catching up on housework, sleeping, and getting ready for the coming week.  My brother and his girlfriend moved over the weekend and we stopped by for a quick visit and a housewarming gift.  I was no help at all with the move because of my bump, so I figured I should at least bring them some goodies.

2.)  On Monday I had a good visit with my best friend from school.  Our kids played fairly well together and it was nice to catch up with her!

3.)  Tuesday was Halloween.  It snowed all day long.  It was super pretty, but it put me in the mood for Christmas, not Halloween!  Ha ha!  Miss. E and I went out and built a snowman and enjoyed the snow.  We were still outside when the trick-or-treaters began to arrive!  Miss. E enjoyed handing out candy with me and trick-or-treating with her Dad.  It took convincing to get her in a 'costume'.  Inside the house she was a ballerina (thanks to her play clothes) and when she went out she was a princess.  It can be hard to get a costume over a snowsuit, but we did our best.  

4.)  This week has been quite productive at work and I am hoping that today is the same!  My work project ends Monday.  I hope I can relax a little after that.

5.)  I have made my freezer meal grocery list for when the baby comes.  I have all of my meal prep days planned.  It makes me feel better to know that a plan is in place so that we will have some meals on hand after the baby comes!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday 27 October 2017

Life Update at 32 Weeks

Hello friends!  After having a successful month of blogging in September, it seems that I am not going to do well with my blog this month.  I do love spending time writing and connecting with my fellow bloggers but I have been struggling in the last few weeks.

A heavy work schedule coupled with me not feeling well has made for a rough few weeks.  I have felt exhausted and overwhelmed.  My last pregnancy was relatively easy.  I had only a few small issues to deal with and I seemed to maintain my energy up until near the end of my pregnancy.  This pregnancy has been very different.  I have had a lot of nausea (thankfully it doesn't result in actually getting sick!), headaches, dizziness and fatigue.  I really don't like taking things off my plate (something I clearly need to work on) so I have mostly just been powering through.  It came to a head last weekend when I just burst into tears and had a mini meltdown an hour before a fundraising event that I was helping organize.  Unfortunately, something's got to give.  I have focused this week on sleeping when I am tired, going to bed early and just saying no to pretty much everything that comes my way. 

I am lucky to have a very supportive Hubby who has been making meals all week, doing laundry and taking care of Miss. E.  I haven't had to do anything this week except go to work and come home.  It has really helped and I am feeling much better.  I have made the decision to take time to rest when I need it.  Growing a tiny human being is hard work and my body has been begging me to slow down.  It may mean that this blog suffers, that Hubby has to pick up the slack and that I might (gasp!) have to take a sick day from work.  I am determined to start paying attention to what my body needs because I can not keep functioning like this.  I also know that these last few weeks are precious and that I should enjoy resting when I can because that will all change with a newborn in the house!

The last few weeks have been quite the lesson in self care.  I really thought I was doing so well with that!  I guess I am still learning.  Thanks for listening.  Have a peaceful weekend!

Friday 13 October 2017

High Five For Friday- 13.10.17

How is it that we are nearly halfway through October.  Wow.  I need the rest of the month to go in slow motion so that I can finish a few projects at work.  Yikes!  I am linking up with TifKatieDella and Becky to share 5 highlights from my week.  I was a terrible photographer and didn't take any pictures this week.

1.)  I attended a baptism last Saturday as a Godmother.  This is the first time I have ever been asked to be a Godmother so I was very excited.  Afterwards, our friends had us over for a delicious turkey dinner.  Yum!  It was a fun day.

2.)  On Sunday we celebrated Thanksgiving with my family.  It was a lot of fun.  My Mom made a delicious meal and I so enjoyed visiting with everyone.  Miss. E thinks we are all pretty boring with wanting to sit and talk.  Ha ha.  We had a fabulous time!

3.)  On Monday (actual Thanksgiving) I basically did housework and froze beets.  It was great to get things done.  I was exhausted and had a migraine by the end of the day so I headed to bed early. 

4.)  By Wednesday, my headache was finally gone.  Wooo! It was a doozy.  It was nice to have a productive day at work.

5.)  I had my 30 week appointment yesterday and everyone is doing fine.  I learned that baby is laying in an awkward position  (across my belly, right under my ribs) so that explains the side pains and heartburn.  Ha ha.  I am hoping that the little one gets their head down in time!  We did maternity pictures last night and I am so looking forward to getting those back.  Our photographer always does such a wonderful job!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Happy Friday!

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Master Menu and Meal Formula

I have been working on a Master Menu.  I have also been working on a menu "formula".  The good thing is that my family and I have sort of fallen into a pattern with our meals.  It's nice because neither my husband or my daughter seem to get sick of our recurring meal schedule. 

Some people make their formula specific to the day of the week.  My work schedule varies far too much for me to do that so I only really have Sunday set as a specific type of meal.  All the other days are sorted out according to what we have going on that week.  Here is what I came up with for my menu "formula":

Sunday:  I always try to make a nice meal on Sunday.  This is usually a roast beef dinner, roast chicken, lasagna, or a ham.

Monday:  Sunday leftover meal.  The amount of meat that we get from a roast, chicken or ham is always way too much for my family of 3.  I like to use the leftover meat in a "new" way on Monday night.

The rest of the week is split up into a pasta night, a chicken night, a salmon night, a red meat meal and one easy meal.

I am going to share the meals on my Master Menu.  Honestly, I just trade out side dishes most of the time and call it a new meal.  I am that boring.  Whatever gets you through the work night suppers, right?

Chicken, Salmon or Pork Chops with:

  • rice
  • perogies
  • potatoes
  • salad
Lasagna or Lasagna Roll-Ups

Pasta and Sauce (Meat Sauce, vegetable sauce, or meatballs)

Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Hubby's specialty)

Stir Fry (chicken, pork or shrimp)

Roast Beef

Beef on a Bun



Roast Chicken

Breakfast Supper (Pancakes and eggs)

All together my master menu has 25 meals.  I do my best to match up what is on sale that week, what we have on hand and what we have planned that week.  I always do my big meal for Sunday supper, as I often have lots of time after church on Sunday to spend time in the kitchen.  Work night meals tend to be easier meals, as I don't always have a lot of time or energy those evenings.

Do you have a Master Menu?  Do you follow a menu formula?  I would love to hear all about it!

Friday 6 October 2017

High Five For Friday- 05.10.17

Hello October!  I love the crisp mornings that this week has had and I have also enjoyed the warm afternoons.  I am linking up with TifKatieBecky and Della to share my five highlights from the past week.

1.)  My Grandma turned 90 this past weekend!  We had a great time celebrating her birthday.  She seemed to enjoy her day.  It was nice to catch up with Aunts, Uncles and cousins that I haven't seen in a while. 

2.)  On Sunday, Hubby took me on a romantic date for our 7th anniversary (which was actually Monday).  We had a lovely afternoon at my favourite place (the lake), complete with lasagna (!) and cake.  It was such a nice date!

(I can't believe it's been 7 years!)

3.)  I have been participating in The Nester's #cozyfallhome daily photo prompts on Instagram.  It has been a lot of fun.  To see what I have been posting check out my Instagram account (@peacefulsimplelifeblog).

4.)  Miss. E has been so imaginative lately and she is really cracking me up.  I feel so blessed to get to watch her play and grow.  It is a lot of fun!

5.)  I have been feeling a lot better this week.  Thank goodness! 

I hope you all had a great week!  Have a fabulous weekend!  (Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian friends!)

Wednesday 4 October 2017

September- Goals and The No Spend Year

Another month is under our belts.  September really seemed to fly by for us.  We had so much going on with family events, birthdays and meetings that it seemed that the month was over before it started.  I did pretty good with my goals this month and I am happy with my progress.  Here is a look at my September:

1.)  Complete a No-Spend Year

This is still going well!  I am happy with all that I am learning with this challenge.  My parents gave me birthday money for my 30th birthday and I did spend a portion of that money.  Our coffee maker broke down about 4 months ago and I have been using my French press ever since.  The only thing with the press was that I really didn't like the coffee.  It just wasn't as good as the brewed coffee that I was used to enjoying.  With the upcoming arrival of Baby #2, I figured that it would be wise to invest in a new coffee maker now.  I bought a decent coffee maker that has a timer setting, 5 year warranty and the 2 hour shut off feature.  I am extremely happy with my purchase and I am glad that I delayed it for as long as I did.  It was a good reminder that not everything needs to be replaced right now.  Sometimes delaying a purchase helps you figure out if you really need to replace an item in your home. 

2.)  Establish a Self-Care Routine

This goal is still going well.  Even with my busy schedule this past month, I managed to keep on top of my self-care.  It is super important and I think it has really led me to have a better quality of life. 

3.)  Say Yes To Family Time

I am really doing well with this.  I think this goal has taught me how to balance different demands in my life.  We had a busy month with different events and meetings but we were still able to carve out some great quality family time with just the 3 of us.  It was a good month!

4.)  Start School in September.  

This goal is on hold until the New Year.

5.)  Learn more about traditional prayers and incorporate them into my prayer life.

This goal was better this month.  I am still trying to set it up so that I have more of a routine to attach the more traditional prayers to.  I am still working on how to go about this.

6.)  Establish a routine for the blog and stick to the blog's vision.

I had my best month since March.  Wooo!  I seem to have figured out how to stick to my blogging routine.  I posted twice a week, except for last week when I was feeling quite under the weather.  I am still working on establishing a routine for my blog, but I am seeing progress.  I am happy with my progress and I hope to continue on this path!

It was a great month!  How are your goals going?  I would love to hear about it!

Friday 29 September 2017

High Five For Friday- 29.09.17

I can't believe this is the last Friday in September.  September is always super busy and this year was no exception!  It seems like we are always booked to do something which is fun, but also exhausting.  I hit my third trimester this week and I am really feeling it.  I wasn't able to keep my eyes open and I felt quite queasy this week.  I didn't get my intended blog post done this week, but I really felt like it was more important to listen to my body and hit the hay early this week.  

I am linking up with the lovely ladies from H54F to share the highlights from my week.  To catch all the H54F goodness make sure you check out DellaKatieTif, and Becky.

1.)  I had a fantastic party on Saturday.  Family and a few friends came to celebrate my 30th birthday with me and I had such a wonderful time!  Hubby had ordered me a fabulous cake for my birthday and it turned out so well!  I had a book themed party and I was so happy to have everyone with me to celebrate.

2.)  I had a hair treatment on Friday and it felt so good!  At one point my stylist was called away to deal with a situation.  She asked me if it was okay that she was just going to leave me to "relax at the sink" for a few minutes.  Ummmmmmm... yes!  I am pregnant and I have a 3 year old.  I take any chance that I get to relax.  I nearly fell asleep.  Ha ha!

3.)  Despite feeling unwell this week, work went well.  Everything ran relatively smoothly so that is always nice.

4.)  We were invited for cake one night to celebrate a friend's birthday.  Oh my goodness.  The cake was so delicious!  We had a fun time and our kiddos had a blast playing with one another.

5.)  My parents gave me some birthday money for my gift.  I used the money to replace my coffee maker.  My coffee maker cratered four months ago and I was trying my best to get by without one until January.  My fatigue and the birthday money helped me change my mind, so I bought a new one this week.  I have to say... it makes delicious coffee.  I missed having a coffee maker more than I realized!

How was your week?  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Friday 22 September 2017

H54F- 22.09.17

This week was a good one!  I turned 30 on Tuesday and was treated like royalty.  It was a lot of fun!  I am linking up with DellaKatieTif, and Becky for H54F.

1.)  I had my 26 week appointment with my OB last week.  He is such a great doctor and got Miss. E to help find the heartbeat!  It was so sweet and she was so excited!  We had a nice time in the city and I even found everything I needed for groceries at one store!  It was a good day.

2.)  On Friday night we went to a local corn maze and petting zoo with my family.  It was such a fun activity.  Miss. E loved the animals and even walked most of the maze.  I was pretty impressed!  My brother is dating an awesome woman and we got to meet her three daughters at the maze.  Her daughters are as lovely as she is and we are so happy that they are all in our lives now.

Yup.  She is wearing her winter jacket.  It went from super hot to cold in a matter of days!

3.)  On Sunday we attended a birthday party and worked in the garden.  Both were tons of fun.  Miss. E enjoyed playing with all of the kids at the birthday.  When we got home she came outside to help me harvest the potatoes from our little garden.  She squealed every time we found a potato under the dirt.  It was so cute and hilarious.  She is quite a good little helper in the garden!

4.)  Hubby didn't have work on Monday and I came home to a BIG surprise.  The back story to this surprise is that when we bought this house Hubby agreed that I could paint the walls however I wanted, but he made it clear that he was not going to help.  Hubby hates painting.  I managed to get all of the main areas of the upstairs done before I found out I was pregnant.  When I found out I was expecting I made the decision to put the painting on hold until after baby arrived.  The only rooms left to paint were the master bedroom and the (now) baby room.  The master bedroom had a hideous dark brown accent wall complete with dings and scrapes.  I absolutely hated it, but I knew it would have to wait.  I walked into my room after work to change my clothes and I burst into (happy) tears.  Hubby had painted the room while I was at work!  It looks a million times better!  I couldn't have asked for a more thoughtful gift.

5.)  I turned 30 on Tuesday and I was super spoiled by everyone that day.  A coworker brought me a cake and gave me a lovely card.  Another coworker gave me a bag of B.C. apples that she had got from an orchard a few days prior.  My boss bought all the staff pizza for lunch to celebrate my 30th.  It was a delicious day and everyone was speaking my love language: food.  When I got home my parents stopped by, which is always fun.  Hubby and Miss. E made me a yummy pizza supper.  Hubby had also made me a black forest cake, which was soooo delicious.  Hubby knocked my gift out of the park with a homemade bath tray.  I have been ogling them for months and he did such a fantastic job building mine.  Miss. E made me the sweetest card and repeatedly told me happy birthday.  It was a great day!

The birthday festivities are continuing here this weekend.  We are having family and a few friends over to celebrate on Saturday.  I am excited to see everyone!  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday 19 September 2017

A Reflection on My Twenties

This is my last night of my twenties.  I really thought that by thirty, I would have everything figured out.  I guess I have four hours to get that done!  Ha ha!  In all honesty, my twenties brought some of the best times of my life and a few of the worst times.  Although I definitely don't have it all figured out, I did learn a thing or two in my twenties that I would like to share with you.

Faith over fear.  This lesson was a big one and by far the most difficult lesson of my twenties.  My faith in God wavered a lot throughout the struggles over the last decade.  I pushed away from Him a lot in my early twenties.  I found my faith again in my mid-twenties but I still had my most difficult challenges ahead.  My husband and I faced years of infertility, which really threw me for a loop.  I became quite depressed and felt hopeless.  It was in my struggle with infertility that I learned a lot about having faith and learning to accept my life as it was.  When we suffered a miscarriage in 2016 I clung hard to my faith and it truly pulled me through.  Faith is the promise that God loves us and is there for us, even when we are struggling.  It is the quiet assurance that this life is not all we have, but that we have something much more beautiful to look forward to.  It is the promise of forgiveness and Redemption.  My faith solidified in my twenties and I am truly grateful for that.

I don't know everything.  I love people in their early twenties.  I love the bold confidence that most of them possess.  I was the same way.  I knew when I was going to get married, how many kids I would have, how I would raise said children and basically what I would do different from all of those people in the trenches who were doing it "wrong".  Youth carries a certain arrogance that is probably necessary in those first uncertain years on your own.  It also makes for a hard thump when reality sends you crashing down.  I met the man of my dreams nine years too "early" and got married 7 years before my "plan".  I learned that the number of children that I will have will never really be up to me.  I also learned that parenting doesn't come with a handbook and that most of us are just doing the very best that we can.  I learned to give grace to others because I myself needed to have grace given to me.  I am much less arrogant about "my way" of doing things.  I trust my gut and try to do what is best for my family and I give the same grace to others.  When someone is doing things different than I am, it doesn't mean that one of us is wrong.  It just means that we are different.  Different is a beautiful thing.

Embrace the little moments because time flies.  This one is cliche but it is also the truth.  Life is made in the everyday moments and it pays to be present.  I can't believe that I turn thirty at midnight.  I can't believe that I have been a wife for (almost) seven years and a mother for three years.  I really try to remind myself to slow down and pay attention to my life.  The smell of coffee in the morning, the feeling of my Hubby's hand in mine and the sound of my daughter's laughter.  It really is the tiny things that make life beautiful.

You never stop learning.  My coworkers are mostly women nearing retirement age.  Boy, did they laugh when I told them that I really thought that I would have had life figured out by now.  One of my coworkers assured me that we never really have life "figured out".  It makes sense because we are always learning.   We are always changing and evolving.  Life demands that we keep moving forward and through new experiences.  It has been in my most difficult experiences that I have learned the most.  The process is never fun but the outcome is a little more knowledge and empathy for others.  It helps you evolve into a better person and get to know yourself a little bit better.

I am grateful for my twenties and all the things that those ten years have taught me.  I look forward to the future and the experiences that await me there.

Saturday 16 September 2017

High Five For Friday (On Saturday)-16.9.17

I had a wicked headache on Thursday night that sent me straight to bed.  On Friday we rushed off to the city for my OB appointment and then we headed straight to a family event that night.  When I got home my fast food supper had made me very sick and I spent the rest of the night looking quite green.  (And all of the disgusting things that go along with that).  So there you have it.  My list of reasons this post is coming out on Saturday.  Ha ha!  I am linking up with DellaTifBecky, and Katie for H54F.

1.)  Last weekend was perfect!  We basically spent the weekend at home, which was something that I really needed.  I spent a decent amount of time in the kitchen preparing garden vegetables for freezing.  I also baked 4 rhubarb crisps and 2 apple crisps.  Yum!

2.)  On Saturday morning, Miss. E and I made pancakes for breakfast.  She loves helping out in the kitchen!  It was a lot of fun and the pancakes were delicious.

My favourite moments from the past weekend were when we were all gathered around the table, eating and talking together as a family.  I appreciate these little moments and they fill my soul with such gratitude and joy.  There is no place I would rather be.

3.)  We attended a friend's birthday party on Saturday afternoon.  It was a lot of fun.  The kids had a blast playing together and the adults enjoyed spending time together and chatting.

4.)  Work has been incredibly busy but it has been going well.  I am always shocked at how fast my day can go sometimes!

5.)  I didn't have work Thursday so Miss. E and I cleaned house and worked on harvesting our garden.  The weather has finally turned cool so I am a much happier camper.  We got a lot done before my headache hit.  Thank goodness!

Have a fabulous weekend, friends!

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Road Trip Essentials for the Potty Training Toddler

Potty training and travel do not always go together well.  We are working with our daughter to help her have success with using the potty but long car rides make it difficult.  We recently did 2 major trips with our 3 year old and we learned a few things I would like to share with you!

Things to pack:

A travel potty or small plastic potty.

We set up our daughter's little plastic potty in the back of the Jeep.  When she had to go she would tell us and Hubby would find a safe place to pull over.  We would take her to the potty and we were even able to close the back liftgate so she could have privacy.  Our travels took us to places where there were few bathrooms available.  Having the little potty meant that she could go whenever she felt the urge.


Accidents are bound to happen on long car rides.  We brought a couple towels to help soak up any mishaps in the car seat.


Honestly, you shouldn't go anywhere without these!  They are great for helping clean up mishaps, wiping out the potty and cleaning up your child.


We did our best to avoid using pull-ups.  Everything you read says to avoid using them so as to prevent your child from regressing.  This is great advice but I packed a few just in case.  As it turned out, Miss E's tummy was quite bothered by the water in one of our destinations.  This meant that she had about 10 seconds warning before she needed to go potty.  Yikes!  We used the pull-ups and encouraged her to try and make it to the bathroom, which she did most of the time.

Other tips:

Remember to make frequent stops for your little ones.  They don't have the ability to hold it as long as adults do.  We made a point of asking her if she needed the bathroom every 45 minutes and stopping at least every 1.5 hours.  This adds a lot of time onto the trip so make sure you build that time in if you are on a deadline.

Give praise and encouragement.  Like all other potty training, it is important to keep a positive attitude with your child.  We made a big deal every time Miss. E told us she needed to go and thanked her for remembering to ask.  We also praised her for every successful potty break and all the times she stayed dry.

How does your child do on long car rides?  I would love to hear any tips that you may have!

Friday 8 September 2017

High Five For Friday- 08.09.17

This week flashed by in the blink of an eye.  I am so looking forward to my weekend at home!  I am linking up with TifBeckyKatie, and Della for High Five For Friday.

1.)  We spent the weekend with Hubby's family.  Hubby went to the Labour Day football game with his good friend.  I enjoyed the company of Hubby's, brothers, Auntie and Oma.  We had such a wonderful time visiting with family.  Hubby's family also taught Miss. E to cheer on his team with great enthusiasm.  It was adorable to watch... even though I cheer for an opposing team!  Ha ha.

2.)  Pumpkin spice lattes are back!  I love them and don't often get them as we don't have any coffee shops in our small town.  I was pumped to get one this weekend.  I used a gift card that I had received so I think the coffee tasted slightly better because it was free!  I am terrible about remembering to take pictures, but somehow captured this awkward selfie with my drink.

3.)  I have been fortunate to receive so many delicious fruits and veggies from friends and family's gardens.  I have my work cut out for me this weekend and I couldn't be more excited!

4.)  I had 2 lovely play dates this week.  I absolutely love play dates and getting to visit with my "Mom" friends.

5.)  I had a really bad sinus headache that morphed into a migraine on Wednesday night. (Harvest time is rough on the allergies!)  Hubby was at a course that evening so I just shoved the leftovers from supper in the fridge and headed to bed with Miss. E.  When I woke up, Hubby had cleaned up the kitchen and had done all of the dishes.  It was a wonderful surprise.  I am really thankful to have such a wonderful husband.

I am keeping all of my friends in Cuba and Florida in my prayers.  Please stay safe.  I hope everyone else has a lovely weekend!

Wednesday 6 September 2017

August- Goals and The No Spend Year

Another month is in the books.  August was quite busy for our family and we had a really good month.  I am happy with my overall progress this month.

#1)  Complete a no-spend year.

This goal is going fairly well.  I did make a purchase this month, but I am unsure as to whether it is a violation of this rule.  I bought my family planner and calendar for next year.  I always use a planner and calendar in my home to keep all of us on track.  I decided to do my Christmas shopping early this year because our baby is due in December.  When I made my purchase (from one store online) I decided to go ahead and add the calendars to my cart.  I always have my calendars in advance so that nothing gets missed.  That was my only purchase for this month.

#2)  Establish a self-care routine.

This goal is still going well.  I have worked to bring back strength training to my regular routine.  I am happy that most of my routine is now habit.  Despite being quite busy this month, I still made time to properly care for myself.

#3)  Say yes to family time.

We had some great family experiences this month.  Hubby and I took Miss. E to Waterton Lakes National Park.  We had a great time with one another and made some great memories.  Family time was definitely a priority this month and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

#4)  Start school in September.

I know what courses I want to take.  I also know the direction I want to go.  I am not going to start school in September.  With a baby on the way, this goal will be pushed back until everything settles in the new year.  I don't feel like it is feasible to take on course work right now with being a Mom, working and being pregnant.  I will re-evaluate in the new year.

#5)  Learn more about traditional prayers and incorporate them into my prayer life.

This goal went fairly well this month.  I almost need to schedule the days that I plan to do traditional prayers because when I rely on spontaneity I tend to avoid the traditional prayers.  I plan to work on this in September.

#6)  Establish a routine for the blog and stick to the blog's vision.

I am slowly coming along with this goal.  I was better at posting in August and I am learning how to make sure that my blogging work is done.  I have a few ideas that I hope to implement in September.

How are your goals coming?  Does summer throw a monkey wrench into your progress?