Wednesday 26 April 2017

Enjoying the Moments

I have noticed such a lack of human interaction lately.  At work, everyone stares at their phones during break time.  When you go out to eat, diners stare at their devices rather than their dining partners.  You don't see many people "waiting" in line or for appointments without having their phones out.  I am not immune to this, but lately I have been much more intentional about setting my phone aside and simply enjoying the moments.  I don't want to look back and realize how much I have missed while staring at a glowing screen.

We, as humans, crave (and require) human interaction.  We need to make connections with family and friends.  This has ensured our survival and helps us to feel fulfilled as people.  Phones and devices can help with this, but often they are a hindrance.  We interact with people differently when it is in person, rather than through a text or Facebook post.

I have learned a few things about using my phone and tablet in an intentional way and I have gained a lot of enriching connections with my friends and family.  I want to share my (small) insights with you today.

1.)  I don't keep my phone on me at all times.  When I am home, my phone is often on the kitchen counter.  I also like to keep it on silent.  I especially like to have my phone on silent while driving because it is dangerous to use your devices while driving.  If I can't hear the notification, I don't feel any need to respond.  I also don't check the phone as frequently when it isn't on my person.  This keeps me from being distracted from my "real" life.

2.)  I do not make myself available to others at all times.  I don't respond to messages quickly and I don't worry about checking my phone for messages several times a day.  My friends and family are aware that if they need to get a hold of me, phoning my house is the best way to do it.  They don't feel entitled to an immediate response back to their text messages, because they know I don't make a habit of checking my phone constantly.

3.)  I put my phone away when enjoying time with others.  My phone stays away on date nights, coffee dates with friends and family functions.  I do use my phone as a camera, but often I will snap a quick picture or 2 of the event and then put it away.  I use my time with others to talk, connect and make eye contact.  I try my best to enjoy the moments that I get to spend with the people I love.  Leaving my phone in my bag is a good way to show another person how much you care about them and that you are truly paying attention to them.  This is invaluable for building strong relationships.

How do you keep your phone and other devices from stealing your moments?  Comment below.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Friday 21 April 2017

High Five For Friday- 20.04.17

Hello!  I can't believe that Easter has come and gone.  We had a nice holiday, with the added bonus of a few extra days off!  I am linking up with KatieTifDella and Becky for H54F to share 5 highlights from my week.

1.)  Easter!  We had so much fun this year.  We did an Easter egg hunt downstairs (due to the snow that was falling!) and Miss. E loved every minute of it!

2.)  My in-laws drove to see us and it was so nice to spend time with them.  Miss. E loved playing with her grandparents and uncles.

3.)  Hubby had a birthday this week!  We celebrated with his family on the weekend and then again during the week!  It was fun to have multiple celebrations.

4.)  The weather has turned nice again.  Thank goodness!  I am hoping that we are truly in Spring, now!

5.)  Our provincial government is reviewing the library cuts, so I am hoping that they will reduce the cuts that they have made to our libraries!

How was your week?  Did your Easter have snow?  Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Easter Decor and Menu 2017

I really love Easter.  I have pared down my decor over the past year, but I still love to decorate for the holidays.  I love traditional Easter colours with pastel pink, green, blue and purple.

Our new house has a fireplace so I was so excited to decorate the mantle.  The eggs on the mantle are from Dollarama and my other decor is from Homesense.  I bought all of the decor a few years ago and I love pulling it out every year.

We have traditionally had Easter pictures taken of our daughter (this year's date didn't work out because we were out of town).  I enjoy displaying her Easter photos along with the other decor.

Hubby's family is coming down to celebrate Easter with us.  I am planning to do our 'big meal' on Saturday, as his family has to leave on Sunday.  Hubby's birthday is next week so we will be celebrating that, as well!

Our main Easter dinner will be consist of:

Maple Glazed Spiral Ham (Minus the mustard because I am allergic!)
Garden Salad

Hubby's Mom is bringing Pistachio Layered Dessert for his birthday cake.  She makes the dessert with Oreo cookie crumbs on the bottom instead of the nut bottom.  She then grates chocolate over the top of the dessert.

On Sunday, I plan to cook a roast beef in the slow cooker.  I will serve it will roasted potatoes, veggies and salad.  Our Mass doesn't begin until 11 a.m. so I need a lunch that sort of looks after itself.  I love using my slow cooker for this!

I am very much looking forward to celebrating with family this weekend.  I am thankful for the Sacrifice that Christ made for us and I enjoy celebrating the Resurrection.  He conquered death so that we could live.  It is an amazing event to celebrate.  I hope you all have a joyous Easter!

Friday 7 April 2017

High Five For Friday- 07.04.17

I am so excited that it is Friday.  I am hoping to get more work done in the house this weekend as our schedule was full this past week!  Here are the highlights from last week:

1.)  On Sunday I had plans to paint the living room.  It just didn't happen.  The weather was so beautiful when we came out of church that I decided to put the work off so that we could enjoy the great outdoors as a family.  We went to the lake where my family has a cabin and spent the day playing, relaxing and enjoying our supper outdoors.  We all had a wonderful time!

2.)  I have been doing the Minimalist Game and so far I have really enjoyed it.  It has helped me be more intentional about letting go!  You can find out more about the Minimalism Game at .

3.)  Our Provincial budget was recently announced and our government cut 58% of funding to regional libraries and 100% of funding to our city libraries.  The effects will devastate our library system.  I frequently use my local library.  There is no way I could afford my reading habit without the library!  Add my No Spend Year to that and I won't be able to read if they close my local library.  I took part in a protest today called "Drop Everything and Read".  People read outside of their MLA's offices and local libraries to bring awareness to the cuts to library funding.  If you couldn't take part in the protest by joining one of these groups, you could participate from wherever you were at.  I read for 15 minutes on my 30 minute lunch break at work and then shared it on social media.  Libraries have always been an integral part of my life and I am extremely upset with the decision to cut funding.  I sincerely hope that the provincial government reconsiders.

5.)  I finished painting my living room this week.  Wow!  What a difference!  I love the colour.  It feels so fresh and clean.  I hope to get more painting accomplished this weekend!

I am linking up with DellaKatieBecky, and Tif for High Five For Friday!  Have a fabulous weekend!

Monday 3 April 2017

March- Goals and The No Spend Year

Wow!  A quarter of the year has come and gone.  I am feeling happy with my progress this month.  I wasn't effective with every single goal, but I made some headway in a few of them.  Here is how March went:

Goal #1-  Complete a No Spend Year. 

This went well again.  I have had a few urges to shop as the weather has turned nicer.  I always like grabbing a new item to wear every season, but I stood my ground and avoided the stores.  I think that I accidentally donated my fleece jacket that I actually used ALL THE TIME.  Oops!  I am really disappointed about that and I am not sure how it made it into the donate pile.  There is a small chance that it got left somewhere, but I haven't found it.  I immediately thought of my $140 spending money, but I decided that I have enough coats and sweaters to cover the loss so I will not be purchasing a new one.

Goal #2-  Establish a self-care routine. 

 I was sick a lot all winter and I was finally fed up.  I decided to embark on Whole 30 because I was feeling sluggish, foggy and sick of being sick.  Whole 30 has been a bit of a challenge, but I really can't argue with the results.  My brain fog has cleared completely and I have way more energy.  I have also been keeping up with my workouts, which hadn't happened during the first 2 months of the year.  I am continuing to work towards a healthier lifestyle that will keep me from using shopping as an emotional crutch.  This goal went really well this month and I am super happy with the results.  I am currently on Day 23 of Whole 30 and I plan to do a post about it once I have completed the program.

Goal #3-  Say yes to family time. 

This goal has gone well.  We have been trying to do more activities as a family and get Miss. E involved in our many projects around the house.  Hubby is really good at engaging her in this way.  She loves to wield a screwdriver so he has been getting her to help fix broken closet knobs and she helped install the new vanity in the bathroom.  We took off to the lake last weekend instead of staying home to paint the walls.  We don't always have gorgeous weather and it was so nice out.  We decided to put the work off and seize the opportunity for more quality family time.  I am so thankful that we did!

Goal #4-  Start school in September.  

After much research, I have settled on a program and have gathered information about it.  Hubby and I have discussed it and I will be applying for the program soon.  I only have made it to the research stage of this goal, but I hope to have moved forward with it by the end of April.

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

This goal was neglected this month.

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

I did pretty good at this goal in March.  I posted much more regularly and I have done some brainstorming in my free time.  I am happy with my progress and hope to improve in April.

How are your goals going?  I would love to hear all about it!