Tuesday 19 June 2018

Good bye for now.

After some thought and consideration, I have made the decision to deactivate my blog and corresponding Instagram account.  I am not able to spend much time in this space anymore and it has been a small source of stress for me.  Our life is filled with many wonderful things and for that I am grateful.  I need to back away and focus on my real life right now.  Thank you for your readership.  I will cherish the friendships that I have made through this blog.  I will continue to read and follow your blogs.  Thank you for visiting my space, I truly appreciate it.

Friday 15 June 2018

Frugal Friday- Travel Edition

It is that time of year.  Everyone is hitting the road.  The weather is beautiful and we want to soak up all the fun that summer has to offer.  Travelling can be expensive (especially with sky-rocketing gas prices!) so I wanted to share some money-saving tips that my family uses.

Oh my heart.  She is so little here!

1.)  Pack your lunch.  I know.  I know.  Fast food is easier.  It is also more expensive and can make you sick.  (Car sick with kiddos?  No thank you.)  We try to pack our meals in a cooler and eat on the road.  This saves us time (my 4 year old can make a fast food meal last over an hour!) and money.  Eating at restaurants (fast food or otherwise) isn't cheap.  My oldest daughter loves "road lunch".  I pack a cooler with sandwiches, cut up fruit, cheese, crackers and a fun dessert.  She loves it!  I always make sure to bring her a small dish or bowl to eat out of.  We also fill our reusable water jugs at home and bring along a small camping water jug to refill them.  I have brought my own coffee in a thermos, as well, although Hubby and I sometimes get fancy coffee when we travel.  We don't have that option where we live.

2.)  Set your cruise control at the speed limit.  Yup.  We are those people.  We drive the speed limit and not above.  It is easier on your vehicle, your tires and it is so good for your fuel mileage.  Trust me.  Gas isn't cheap anymore.  Speeding tickets aren't either.

3.)  Find free rest stops on your way.  On really long trips we try to stop at a park or a rest stop that has free (clean!) bathrooms.  I really hate using gas station bathrooms if I am not buying anything so I really look to avoid this scenario.  Parks are great, because they often have bathroom facilities nearby and the kiddos can stretch their legs.  We also bring along a potty for our oldest daughter because sometimes the next stop is just too far for her.

4.)  Double check your list.  Before I leave on a trip I make really extensive lists.  It probably looks a little cray-cray but it helps me get organized.  Go over your list and really try to plan for the most likely scenarios.  This will help make sure that you don't forget something important like underwear or Tylenol.  It will also save you the headache of trying to purchase something you forgot.  I am not suggesting you pack your whole house, just make sure you write a list of all the things you need.  Don't trust your memory to store it all.

5.) Save money when you do eat out at a restaurantJuice and pop (or as my American friends would say, soda) cost quite a bit of money and can really escalate the cost of a meal out at a restaurant.  We just drink water, unless it is included in the cost of the meal.  We also don't always purchase a separate meal for our daughter.  She is 4 and is often so wrapped up in the noise and buzz of the restaurant, that she forgets to eat her meal.  We like to discuss what we are getting and as long as one of us has a meal that she will eat, we share with her.  Restaurant meals have massive portions and there is always enough food to go around!

What are the ways you like to save money on while traveling?  I would love to hear all about them!

Wednesday 13 June 2018

2018 Summer Capsule- Outfit Post #1

I switched to my Summer capsule because Spring was so stinking hot here and now the weather has cooled off!  Isn't that how it goes?  I love the cooler weather so I have been as happy as a clam.   The beauty of a small capsule is that I wear every item quite a bit.  The challenge is to come up with ways to make an item feel new or different.  I am having a love affair with vests, right now.  They help to add some dimension to my outfits, while hiding unsightly nursing bra straps. 

Nothing says summer like denim and stripes.

This maxi dress is very low cut.  I usually wear a tank underneath but it was in the laundry.  My vest did the trick to make it appropriate to wear in public.

I wore the same vest as a top and I really liked how it looked.

This off-the-shoulder top is quickly becoming my favourite top to wear.  It has a nice flow to it so it doesn't cling to my mummy-tummy and it is super lightweight. 

I really like the colour of this tank.  It also has a nice flow and is lightweight.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Summer 2018 Capsule Wardrobe

I have developed my Summer 2018 Capsule Wardrobe.  I did make a few purchases in order to have clothes that fit me.  I am unable to do my beloved HITT workouts, as I am still working on recovering from my diastasis recti (abdominal separation) so I am not back to my pre-pregnancy size.  I am happy and comfortable in all these clothes and think that this will be a good capsule to work with.

2 shorts (olive and black), 2 cropped pants (olive and black), olive joggers, black leggings, jeans

black cardigan, red sleeveless top, teal sleeveless tops. blue sleeveless top, floral off the shoulder tops, 2 sweatshirts in grey and black

pink rain jacket, turquoise fleece, olive vest, blue jean vest, blue jean jacket, trench coat 

Hawaiian print dress, black jumpsuit, black maxi dress, striped dress

black sandals, tan heels, brown sandals, black flats, floral running shoes

This capsule has 29 items.  I will add a black sheer sleeveless top if I can find one.  The one I owned got a really bad snag in it so I won't be wearing it anymore.  I am also on the lookout for a nursing friendly dress to wear to a wedding this summer.  

Happy Wednesday!

Monday 4 June 2018

Summer 2018

With summer finally here, I decided to make a list of things that we want to do or accomplish this summer.  Hubby's work is busy again, so there will be a lot of time at home this summer.  This actually suits me just fine.  I am a bit of a homebody and it will be nice to enjoy our yard.

1.)  Have 'pool' days when it is hot out.  We live 2 blocks from the local swimming pool and we bought a small 'kiddie' pool this year.  I plan to utilize both on hot days.  Miss. E and Miss. Em love the water so this plan will be a hit.

2.)  Go to the cabin.  We have already gone this year and we plan to go more.  The first weekend had it's rough points (weird weather, forgotten items, cranky kid), but we learned what we could and hope to be better prepared next time.  Packing for 2 kids is another curve but we are slowly getting it. 

3.)  Work on our garden.  We have already planted our garden and we have been tending to it.  Miss. E is really excited to see our plants coming up.  She can help me water and hopefully she will want to eat everything that we have grown.

4.)  Work on Miss. E's letters.  Playschool was wonderful and really helped Miss. E along with writing here name.  I hope to continue that work over the summer.

5.)  Play. All. The Games.  This one would make my family shake their heads.  When I was younger they had to force me to play cards and board games with them.  I wasn't that interested in games and would have rather spent my time reading.  Looking back, I am happy that they made me participate.  Those are some of my fondest childhood memories.  We bought a board game at a garage sale a few weeks ago and Miss. E loves it!  I will be on the lookout as we continue to garage sale over the summer.

6.)  Hit up garage sales.  I am really trying hard to buy used items.  It is better for the environment and cheaper.  I really want to do this with things like games and outdoor toys, so we will be hitting up garage sales to see if we can find the items on our list.

7.)  Find a splash park.  We don't have a splash park in our town, but my daughter loved playing at a splash park last year on our holiday.  I know of a few parks nearby and I think that we should check them out.

8.)  Go on our family's camping weekends.  We camp with each side of the family every year so we plan to participate again.  It is always fun to spend time in the great outdoors with family.

9.)  Paint the swing set.  Our swing set came from my Grandma's yard when she moved into the nursing home.  It is in great shape, but needs a little paint. 

10.)  Hit up a fair.  Mini doughnuts... need I say more?

What are you planning to do this summer?  What is on your list?

Friday 1 June 2018

Simple Birthday

For my daughter's 4th birthday, I decided to make a few changes.  When looking back on her birthdays, she is always enamored with her cakes and little else.  With this in mind, I decided to focus my energy on her birthday cake and to keep everything else super simple.  In the past, I have made the whole meal myself, baked and decorated the cake and decorated my home in whatever theme that we had chosen.  It was a lot of work and it also cost money.  It was all very nice but I wasn't really enjoying her birthday parties because I was running around so much.  We have little Miss. Em this year who is 4 months old and I knew that I wouldn't be able to do all the things that I had done in the past.

I decided that I would order the supper for the family party (2 for 1 pizzas), not worry about the decorations and focus solely on the cakes.  We did a party in the early morning for her friends and friend's parents and then we hosted family in the evening.  My amazing Mom baked sugar cookie mermaid tails for me to help me decorate my daughter's cakes.  I did cupcakes for the kid party and cake for the family party.

I had looked into buying a fruit tray for the kid's party but it was far too expensive for my tastes.  I just bought a watermelon, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries and prepped them myself.  This took minimal time.  I made cupcakes for the party and that was all there was for food.  Cake and fruit.  I had a cooler stocked with water and juice boxes for the kids and parents to drink.  I put a table cloth that I already owned on the table along with some borrowed seashells and called the decor good.  I had planned a few easy games for the kids in case they were bored, but we didn't end up using them because they were playing so well!

I worked on the cakes throughout the week during my youngest daughter's naps.  4 days before the parties I baked and froze the cakes.  3 days before the parties I iced the cookies and froze them. 2 days before the party I made the icing.  The day before the party I iced and decorated the cakes and then stuck them back in the freezer.  We don't have air conditioning and I was afraid that all the icing would melt off!

The sugar cookies were added at the very last minute so that they didn't fall apart before the party.

The only 'crafty' (I use this word loosely here) thing that I did for the birthday party was create a mermaid photo booth for the kids.  It took me all of 15 minutes to create and it cost $2 for the bristol board.  It was super easy and the kids liked 'becoming' mermaids.

The family party was kept super simple, as well.  I ordered pizza for our main meal.  I set out chips and watermelon and had the cooler stocked with juice boxes, water and pop.  

My daughter was thrilled with her parties.  She got to run and play with her friends, eat cake and become a mermaid.  She had so much fun.  It was a good lesson for me that I don't have to throw "Pinterest-worthy" parties in order for my daughter to have a good day.  Going forth, I will definitely focus my efforts where they count and not worry so much about the rest.  I will be sticking to simple birthdays from now on.