Monday 31 December 2018

New Year's Eve Reflection

2018 has come and gone in the blink of an eye.  This year has held some of my happiest moments and my most terrifying moments.  At the close of each year, I like to take time to reflect on the year's events and on my goals.

My word of the year for 2018 was "adapt".  It was a great word for a year that held many changes.  I feel like I did my best to roll with the changes.  I knew this year was going to bring challenges and learning curves and I felt confident in learning how to deal with it.

My resolutions went fairly well.  The only resolution that I didn't complete was catching up on photo books.  I usually make headway with my resolutions but I really dropped the ball on that one.

I sent more happy mail, I spent time reorganizing the blog and Hubby and I built our savings.  I am happy with the results of my other goals.

I have come up with my goals for 2019 and I am excited to share them with you.

1.)  Establish a Morning Routine.  In 2019 I am looking forward to implementing more routine in my day.  Our youngest daughter has become much more predictable with her sleep schedule.  I feel like it is possible to add better structure to our mornings now that we are getting some sleep!  I plan to start waking earlier than my kids (something that fell by the wayside in the last year).  I want to complete morning pages, pray, do my physio routine and get ready for the day before my kids get up.  I used to do this before I was pregnant and it really helped start my day on the right foot.  I require my quiet time before the demands of the day begin.

2.)  Treat the Earth better.  The planet needs some help.  We are supposed to be "stewards" of the Earth and, as a society, we haven't been doing a great job of it.  I love to bath daily but it is a huge waste of water.  I plan to limit baths to twice a month and take short daily showers instead.  I want to walk and ride my bike more instead of always hopping in the car.  I plan to work on reducing my food waste and try my best to mindful of what we purchase.  I am hoping that these small changes will somehow help.

3.)  Save.  Hubby and I are working toward a few major purchases that we need to save for.  We want to continue to increase our savings.

4.) Walk five or more times a week.  My poor patient puppy has been a bit ignored this past year.  With all of the changes, my dog didn't get walked nearly enough.  I want to rectify that this year.  I want to walk her at least five times a week, hopefully daily.

My word of the year for 2019 is embrace.  I want to embrace my own boundaries (something that I still struggle with), embrace the needs of my family and embrace those around me for who they are.  I want to be positive in the coming year and really work to find the good in everyone and everything around me.

How did your 2018 goals go?  What do you have planned for 2019?  I would love to hear all about it!

I will be taking the rest of the week off to enjoy some family time and my youngest daughter's first birthday!  I will return next week with my "New Year Purge and Clean" series.  Happy New Year!

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Leather Leggings for Everyday

I have only worn my leather leggings in one way.  I wear them with my red tunic sweater, heels and jewelry.  I have used this outfit for dressier occasions when I haven't wanted to wear a dress.  I have struggled to transition my leather leggings into my everyday wardrobe.  I don't like owning pieces that only have one function.  I decided to find a way to style the leggings in casual outfits so that I could get more use out of them.  I worked within the confines of my current Capsule Wardrobe and came up with some great outfits that I am excited to wear.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday 17 December 2018

Simple Holiday Season- Lend a Helping Hand

It is easy to get caught up in our own lives during the holiday season.  We all have many things expected us at this time of year and these things can take over.  It is important to remember how fortunate we are and that we have a responsibility to give to others.

There are a great number of charitable organizations who would appreciate any help that you can give.  If you are strapped for cash, many organizations would happily have you volunteer your time or talents.  If you are strapped for time, you could always make a commitment for January when things quiet down.  Simple acts, such as helping a friend with child care, shoveling a neighbour's sidewalk or visiting someone who is sick, can be the embodiment of the Christmas Spirit.

Friday 14 December 2018

Frugal Friday- A Gentle Holiday Reminder

We are down to the last few days before Christmas.  I want to remind you that you don't need to buy ALL the things in order for the people in your life to have a magical holiday season.  Toys and gifts are lovely but not necessary. The people in your life need love and attention and little else.  Don't try to keep up with the Jones', don't spend outside of your means and don't feel guilty if what you have to offer seems "less" than what others have.  We should use our holiday season to connect, show love and things will never be able to do that.  Take a deep breath and know that you are enough.  Enjoy the free magic that the season has to offer.  Beautiful lights, singing Christmas songs, and spending time with the people we love is the best gift of all.

Monday 10 December 2018

Simple Holiday Season- Make Yourself Cozy

Winter is the perfect time to make yourself feel cozy at home.  Take an evening off from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and create your own comfortable hideaway.

Here are my favourite ways to create a cozy evening:

  • Put on your warmest pajamas, fluffiest socks or slippers.
  • Light a fire in the fireplace, light a couple of candles, or turn on the fireplace channel.
  • Make a warm cup of tea, cocoa or cider to enjoy.
  • Grab your book, magazine or any other quiet activity that you enjoy.
  • Play soft music or simply enjoy the quiet. 
Taking an evening to relax can really help slow down this busy season.  We can learn to appreciate the quiet and embrace the more subtle aspects of the holidays.  A quiet evening allows time to reflect on the season.

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Holiday Season- Capsule Wardrobe Reveal.

This is quite a small capsule wardrobe.  I will wear it for about 8 weeks so I didn't think it was necessary to overload it with clothing.  You can find the planning for this wardrobe on my Instagram account on the "highlights" button.







That is it.  24 pieces that I hope will get me through the holiday season.  I have been wearing this wardrobe for 2 weeks and so far, so good.  Happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday 3 December 2018

Simple Holiday Season- Prioritize Your Health

The holiday can be killer on one's health.  There are so many opportunities to indulge in delicious foods that are high in fat and sugar.  We have many events to attend and often push aside exercise and sleep in all the craziness.  This week I am challenging you to make your health a priority.

Try to eat some plant matter.  Fruits and vegetables are so important, especially during cold/flu season!  Enjoy some of your favourite holiday treats, but try to really savour them.  You don't need to overindulge to enjoy the season, especially if you are mindful while eating.  Enjoy the taste and texture and truly appreciate the treat.

The other thing to remember is to move.  Walk, take the stairs and do some morning stretches.  If you have time to hit the gym, great!  If you don't, then try to incorporate more activity into your daily life.  Movement is key to feeling good and we often skip it this time of year.

Last, but certainly not least, get some sleep!  Sleep is so important to our mental health and your body's well-being.  We heal, fight off germs and regenerate while we are sleeping.  I know that it can be difficult but make a reasonable bed time and stick to it.

I encourage you to take care of yourself this season so that you can truly enjoy it!

Monday 26 November 2018

Simple Holiday Season-Nature

The holidays have many natural elements that add to the magic of the season.  Snow, trees, garland greenery and pine cones are prevalent in decor at this time of year.  We are intimately tied to nature and that relationship plays out in many ways over the holiday season.

I love to spend time in nature.  It can make the fast-paced holiday season feel calm.  Spending time in nature allows us to experience many different emotions.  It can gift us with a moment to breathe and recollect our thoughts.  It can bring us exhilaration and joy.  Nature is a wonderful teacher, a terrific playground and a place of peace. 

I try to go outdoors with my two young daughters every day, even when it is cold.  Sometimes we don't stay out for long, but I feel that it is important for us to be in nature every day that we can.  Here are some of our favourite outdoor activities:

-Walks (Walking is excellent exercise and a great way to explore your neighbourhood.)
-Making snow angels.
-Building snowmen
-Playing at the playground.
-Looking for birds.
-Checking out animal tracks in the snow. (We have a local park that has its fair share of small wildlife!)
-Cross country skiing or snow-shoeing
-Looking for pinecones
-Checking out frosty trees.

This week I challenge you to spend a little time in nature.  Even if you only enjoy a few moments outside; try to breathe in the calm, admire the beauty and maybe even have a little fun. 

Monday 19 November 2018

Simple Holiday Season 2018

As the holiday season approaches, many people feel their stress levels rise.  It is a busy time of year and we often bite off more than we can chew.  I know that many of us wish we could have more time to relax and truly enjoy our holiday season.  I hope that this 'Simple Holiday Season' series will inspire you to enjoy the little things in your holiday season.

In my 'Frugal Friday' posts I have encouraged people to identify what is most important during the holiday season to them and their family.  I then asked them to focus their finances on what they thought was most important to them this holiday season.  I ask you to do the same thing with your time.  Cut out activities that don't align with your focus.  Say no when you are stretched too thin.  We can't make more time, but we can use our time wisely.  There will be obligations that are unavoidable, but not everything can be a priority this holiday season.

This week's task:

Sit down with your calendar this week and sort out all of your obligations, engagements and things you want to achieve.  Schedule in time to relax and practice self care (sleep, exercise, etc.).  Treat it with the same respect that you would give any other calendar obligation.  Plan your family fun.  Give serious thought to the items on your calendar and decide if they truly are necessary.  You are in control of your schedule and you can choose to say no to anything that detracts from your well-being.

Thursday 15 November 2018

Frugal Friday-Holiday Priorities and Budget

When planning for the holidays it is important to pick out what is most important to you about the holiday season.  Is it a church service, traveling to see family, a delicious meal or sharing a fun experience with people you love?  It is easier to properly budget for your holiday season if you can identify what makes the holiday special for you and your family.

In our house our first priority is celebrating the birth of Jesus.  Our next priority is spending time with family.  We also like to send out Christmas cards to our loved ones.  When we can afford it, we pay for professional photos to use for our cards.  Our last priority is gifts.  We love to give the children in our life gifts at this time of year.  We don't like to make gifts the focus of the season, but it is fun part of the holiday.

We don't need to spend any money celebrating the birth of Jesus, so we start our budget planning with our desire to spend time with family.  My family lives nearby.  My husband's family, however, lives hours away.  If we plan to travel to see them we have to budget for gasoline and a kennel stay for our pup.  If my in-laws come to our house we have to budget for the meals we need to make.

When planning our Christmas cards I budget for our photography fee, the actual Christmas card, and the stamps to send them.

Gifts are the last thing that I budget for.  I truly try to keep things simple in my house.  Santa brings each child one toy and one gift to share.  He also brings a few items for their stocking, but they are often practical (toothbrushes and socks).  This year my Hubby and I are giving our kids a family trip to the city in January.  We plan to take them swimming and to the science center.  We also got them each a book and a sweater so that they have something to open on Christmas morning.  I set a dollar limit for our spending and I stick within it.  I watch for sales and do price comparisons so that I get the best deal.  I also set spending limits on the other little people in our life. 

The rest of our gifts are homemade.  The kids make the grandparents a gift (with help from us) and our oldest helps bake for the uncles.

My best suggestion is to start saving for the holidays in January.  If this isn't possible then start saving when you can.  No one wants you to put yourself into debt just so you can give them a nice gift or meal.  It isn't worth it.  The best parts of the holiday season are free so set your focus there.  Be honest with your family and friends and cut back on your holiday spending.  Having a plan in place can help you focus your money where it matters and resist spending in places where it doesn't.

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Capsule Wardrobe Planning

I have received a couple questions about how I set up my capsule wardrobe and how I actually use it.  This week I plan to take you behind the scenes of my wardrobe planning on my Instagram account stories.  In this blog post I will break down the 'steps' that I take to create my capsule.

I often start with looking at my calendar.  It isn't easy to plan a wardrobe if you don't know what your plans are going to be.  My next wardrobe is going to start this weekend and go into the beginning of January.  It will cover the whole holiday season.  I will need to make sure that I have my Christmas outfit figured out and any outfits that I may need for Christmas parties or events.  This year we really don't have a lot planned so I can stick to a much more casual wardrobe.  I have had plans on other years and it pays to be prepared.

After looking at my calendar and knowing what my schedule looks like, I try to plan outfits that suit what I am going to be doing.  It is easy to plan a capsule wardrobe based on what you would like your life to look like, but it is much more important to be realistic about how you are going to spend your time.  I spend much of my time chasing my two young children.  I would love to have a fancy wardrobe, but it would not suit how I spend my time. 

Another important factor in a capsule wardrobe is weather.  I know that the next few months are likely to be cold.  I live on the prairies in Canada.  I need to dress accordingly.  I like to plan warm layers for my outfits so that I can brave the elements.

The next step is optional, but I think it is a lot of fun.  I will create a Pinterest board to help me figure out what styles I am into and what I want my wardrobe to look like.  I find that the Pinterest board helps me narrow down what I want and makes it easier for me to pull out similar clothes from what I already own.

At this point, I tackle my closet.  I consider the pieces that are weather appropriate, fit well and are in good repair.  I then narrow down my choices in my notebook.  I try to stick to a number between 30-40 pieces.  This time around I think I will try to stick to less pieces (20-30) because I plan to do another capsule in January.

After I have chosen my pieces, I remove the other clothes from my closet and store them away.  I like to have only my capsule pieces available to me.  This removes any visual clutter and helps me to see what I really have to work with. 

I hope you will join me on Instagram and Pinterest this weekend as I build my next capsule wardrobe.  Happy Wednesday, friends!

Friday 9 November 2018

Frugal Friday- The Holiday Season is Coming!

I love Christmas.  I have fond memories of spending time with family, eating cherry tarts and gingerbread men, watching holiday movies, midnight mass and the magic of the season.  I love the sights, sounds and smells of the holidays. 

That being said, I think that the holiday season has become a bit twisted and overwhelming.  The stores are packed with toys, decorations and everywhere you turn there is an opportunity to spend your hard-earned money.  Children's gifts are getting out of control and the season has become less about love and more about excess.  People go into debt over the holiday season.  How can we avoid having the holiday season get out hand?  I think the answer is simple.  You have to plan and be intentional.

First you need to decide what makes the holidays special to you and your family.  That should be your priority.  Next, you need to decide what you are willing to spend on the holidays and budget accordingly.  You should do this early in the year, but if you haven't started saving for the holidays, there is no time like the present.  You need to stick to your budget and refuse to go into debt.  Spend within your means.

I also feel that it is necessary to mention that no gift will ever be able to convey love so we shouldn't even attempt it.  Gifts are a nice part of the season but should not be the focus.  Your children don't need a pile of things under the tree to make the season special.  We have found that our daughter is quite happy to receive any gift at Christmas and doesn't expect things to be extravagant.  Even if you have done this in the past, you can simplify this year.  Things are not love.  What matters most is time spent together.

I hope to delve more into holiday season prep in the coming weeks on Frugal Friday.  I would like all of us to be able to relax more around the holidays and truly enjoy them.  Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Wardrobe Wednesday-Fall 10x10 Challenge

I took part in the Fall 10x10 Challenge as put forth by Caroline from Un-Fancy.  Caroline was the inspiration behind my first capsule wardrobe.  I so enjoyed doing the 10x10 challenge.  I found a lot of freedom in having even less to choose from and I look forward to trying this again!  The basic idea behind the challenge is that you choose 10 items of clothing to wear for 10 days. 

I chose the following items:

  • black leggings
  • skinny jeans
  • red sweater
  • wine nursing top 
  • black sweatshirt
  • plaid shirt
  • leather jacket
  • black long sleeve nursing top
  • running shoes
  • tan lace up boots

Here are the outfits from my 10 days.  (There were some outfit repeats so I didn't include those.)

I am now working on my next capsule wardrobe which I hope to use for November and December.  I love designing my wardrobes and I appreciate the ease that they add to my morning rush. 

 Happy Wednesday!

Monday 5 November 2018

Simplify Fall 2018- Kid's Artwork

My daughter (like so many children) loves to draw and create.  She is constantly presenting us with her artwork and loves to see it displayed.  We used to put it up on the fridge.  We found a few problems with this.  Our baby, who is now mobile, seemed to enjoy removing the artwork that she could reach.  This was upsetting for our older daughter.  The baby also loved to eat the artwork.  This was upsetting for both my daughter and me.  I knew I had to come up with a different solution.  The fridge was cluttered and art was falling off every time we opened the door.

I found these cork board tiles at Walmart and I knew that they would be perfect.  The wall in our dining room was completely blank and I had not yet found anything to adorn the room.  I put the tiles up and I have attached my daughter's art to the tiles.  She is so proud to see her art on our walls and I like that it seems to give her art an organized way to be displayed.

How do you display your children's artwork?  I would love to hear your ideas!

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Wardrobe Wednesday-My First 10x10 Challenge

The weather here has been so beautiful.  It has truly felt like Fall over the past couple weeks.  Cool but not cold.  I love this weather!  On Monday I started participating in the Fall 10X10 challenge.  You can read more about it on Caroline's blog.  Caroline was the blogger who inspired me to start using capsule wardrobes and I have been enjoying her Fall 10X10 challenge.  The cliff notes version is that you pick 10 items to wear for 10 days.  I chose my red sweater, black sweatshirt, wine red tee, plaid shirt, black long sleeve shirt, blue jeans, black leggings, leather jacket, runners and boots.  The outfits in the post are from this past week and are not all part of the 10x10 challenge.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday 22 October 2018

Simplify Fall 2018- Entryway

At the change of seasons, I like to go through our outdoor closet and entryway.  Weather varies so much from season to season so we can't possibly keep all of our outdoor gear in the closet for the whole year. 

I basically cleared out any summer items and made sure our fall/winter items are ready to go.  I sort through the summer items, clean things for next year and store them away in our downstairs closet.  This summer, I had also brought a storage unit with drawers up from the basement to help contain our summer gear (bug nets, bubbles, swimming bag, sidewalk chalk, etc.).  Now that summer is over, I got rid of the unit.


(I organized the top shelf, but for some reason cut it off in the picture.)

Things are much better now.  It is easier to get out the door because we only have what we need in the entry way.  I am no longer digging through summer hats to find a touque.

  • Keep only what you need by the door.  It will help you streamline your morning.
  • Go through your closet seasonally.  Remove what isn't needed and clean up off-season items for storage.
  • Have a system so that your kids (even young children) can put away their own things.  My oldest daughter puts her shoes in her basket or on the shelf, puts her toque and mitts in her drawer, and can hang her coat on her hook.  
  • I like to keep baskets for our daughter's shoes.  My oldest daughter keeps her dressier shoes and any regular shoes that stay dry in her basket.  (Wet or dirty footwear must go on the shelf.)  We also keep Baby Em's shoes in a basket.  This frees up precious space on our shelves.

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Wardrobe Wednesday-Park Time

The weather has warmed up a bit so we made a point of hitting the park this week.  My clothes have to be functional, but I also want to look like I have put some effort in.  In Fall, I am all about plaid and layers. I actually had one other outfit to show you, but Miss. Em had other plans.  #momlife

What are your favourite Fall Wardrobe staples?

Monday 15 October 2018

Simplify Fall 2018- Playroom

Toys.  My children have so many toys.  It is baffling.  They are given toys (by generous and loving family members and friends) for every holiday and occasion.  While I know the intent is good, it just adds up to too much stuff.  I try to go through their things as often as possible.  I donate any  unused toys that are in good repair.  I also "rest" toys throughout the year.  When my daughter becomes sick of something that she normally loves, I put it away.  When I bring it out again in a month, she is generally thrilled to play with it again.  If she isn't, the toy is donated to someone who will use it.

My before picture isn't too disastrous looking.  What you aren't seeing is the MASSIVE fort that my husband built with my daughter.  She has been squirreling toys away in her "house" and things had gotten out of hand.


I dismantled the fort and dug out all of my daughter's treasures.  I rested a box of toys, donated several items, and then rearranged the playroom a bit.  


  • If you have young children, don't involve them in the process.  Every toy is their favourite (even if they haven't played with it in 6 months) and they will keep removing toys from your neatly sorted piles.  Ask me how I know...
  • If it is broken or severely maimed, let it go.
  • If you aren't sure if your child will actually miss a toy, hide it for a little while.  If they don't ask for it in a few weeks, donate it.
  • Less is more.  My daughter plays well when there is less to choose from.  Choice can be overwhelming for children.  If they have too much to choose from they will likely tear apart the playroom without actually getting into imaginative play.
  • Toys need a designated home.  Our kids don't keep toys in their rooms.  We have designated the living room for baby toys and the playroom for all of the other toys.  When items have a home, they can be easily returned to it when playtime is over.

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Fall Capsule Wardrobe 2018

I love fall and I love the clothes that go with it.  I had fun planning this capsule.  I have lost most of my "baby" weight and a lot of my favourite items fit me again. (Yay!)  This capsule is quite a bit smaller than many of my other capsules, but I think that is because I really know what I feel good wearing in the fall.  This year it has been snowing on and off.  It started in September.  I will use my winter boots and runners interchangeably, depending on the weather.

My wardrobe has 26 items.

4 bottoms:

12 tops:

2 jackets, 1 vest, 1 shawl, 4 scarves

3 pairs of shoes

I am excited to start working with a smaller wardrobe again and I am excited to wear some of my old favourites!  Happy Wednesday, friends!