Thursday, 26 March 2020

How to Feel Connected During Social Distancing

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2020- 25.3.2020

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




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

Friday, 20 March 2020

Our New Routine With Social Distancing

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

3:00 p.m.  We have another snack.

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



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

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

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

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

Monday, 16 March 2020

Home Reset 2020- Cold Room

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before:


After:


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

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




Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Spring 2020 Capsule Wardrobe Reveal

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

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










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





Monday, 9 March 2020

Home Reset 2020- Downstairs Closet

Our downstairs closet holds our off season clothes and equipment, shoes/boots and my maternity clothes.  I wanted to store our baby clothes in this closet so I had to make room.  I transferred my off season clothes to the closet in my bedroom and went through all the items.  I got rid of anything that was stained, didn't fit or wasn't being used.

Before:


The closet extends past the doors.  I stacked boxes of baby clothes and my maternity clothes back there because I won't need easy access to it.  I had been keeping off season items in that white rolling drawer system, but I switched to labelled containers that my mother-in-law gave us at Christmas.  The rolling drawer system found a new home upstairs.  I put the girls' art supplies in there and it has really helped us keep things in order.

After:


This closet is so much easier to use now.  I can quickly access items for each family member and I don't have to dive to the back to locate something.

Happy cleaning, friends!

Monday, 2 March 2020

Home Reset 2020- Laundry Room


My laundry room is where all the odds and ends of my life end up.  The laundry room houses our donation boxes, clothes that our daughters have outgrown, our old baby equipment, tools, craft supplies, deep freezer, and extra bedding.  When I go through the house, the laundry room is the landing place for items that I need to deal with.   It can quickly become a disaster.

I was able to tackle my whole basement over the long weekend while my husband and children were sick.  We were confined at home and the kids were content to just hang out and play.  It was a lot of work but it only took a few hours to sort everything.

Before:

See?  I really meant that this room is my landing zone.  This room felt overwhelming, but it just took some dedicated time and it all came together rather quickly.  I think that this room could have been much less overwhelming if I had made an effort to donate as I went through rooms and if I sorted through the girls' clothes as they outgrew it.  We don't have a donation center where I live, so I often just pile it up until we make a trip into the city.  Sorting through my children's clothes is often easier when I have had a bit of time and space to evaluate what I really want to keep.  This room has only looked this terrible for the 8 weeks it has taken me to go through my entire house.  I can live with that.

After:


Ahhhh.... It is so much better.  You can still see our donations piled in the right side of the photo.  Those have since been taken to the city.  We came up with 8 boxes for donation.  I also had a full bag of garbage come out of this room.  

I sorted through my kids' clothes.  I kept clothes for my youngest daughter, though I limited the number of items that I kept.  The items are sorted into diaper boxes according to size.  I know that there are 'prettier' ways of storing this, but I like to use items that I already own.  I labelled each box with the size and stashed them on the top shelf.  Items in poor repair were made into rags or thrown away.  I donated anything that I didn't think we would use.

I went through our craft supplies, games and puzzles.  I only kept what we use.  I did the same with the baby items and clothes, as we are open to having another child.  I tried to keep anything we might need for another baby.  We still had much more than we needed so I donated some of the items.  I went through our actual laundry supplies.  I recycled a few empty containers and organized what was left.

This room seems so open and functional now.  I am so happy that I was able to have the time to tackle this project.

Checklist:

  • Go through items.  Get rid of anything that is broken or in disrepair.  Removed items that don't belong in the room.  
  • Wipe shelves.
  • Put items that belong back into place
  • Vacuum floors.
  • Clean appliances.







Friday, 28 February 2020

Friday Finds- Finding Fred

I have decided to share something with you every Friday that has brightened my day or brought value to my life.  This week I want to tell you about the podcast Finding Fred .  The podcast is about Mr. Rogers and his work. 
My daughter's Daniel Tiger birthday cake.
I don't have memories of Mr. Rogers as a child.  I watched a lot of Canadian programming as a child and Mr. Rogers wasn't a show that I had seen a lot of.  Flash forward a few years and I was looking for a show for my daughter to enjoy.  I found Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood from the Mr. Rogers' company.  It is a great show that speaks to children on their level.  It talks about feelings and how to sort through them.  It is filled with love and sweet songs.  My daughter loved it and so did I.  The show is based largely on Mr. Rogers' work and uses many of the songs that he used on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. 

This podcast delves into Mr. Rogers' perspective on life and how he used the radical act of love to make generations of children feel seen, appreciated and loved just the way they are.  The podcast asks us to consider how Mr. Rogers would respond to our world and challenges us to meet the world around us with love.  The podcast is wonderful and I really hope you take the time to check it out.

Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Planning 2020

I don't have any outfit pictures for you today.  I spent most of my last two weeks in sweat pants, taking care of sick kids.  We have had a few warm days and the days are getting longer.  I just received my seeds for my garden in the mail and I am in a spring frame of mind.   I though that I could write a bit about my planning process for my next capsule wardrobe.  I plan to start using my new capsule wardrobe on March 17.

1.)  Spring is a strange mix of  winter and summer with some in between temperatures, as well.  I will need clothes to suit all of these temperatures.

2.)  I love colour in spring.  I will be adding more colour to my wardrobe this season.

3.)  The warmer weather makes it much easier to wear dresses.  I like wearing dresses so I am very excited about this.

4.)  Size and fit.  My body has changed in the last six months.  I made a few purchase to account for my body changes.  My old clothes don't all fit and I want to be comfortable.

My colour inspiration for my next wardrobe comes from my garden, of course!






Happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday, 24 February 2020

2020 Home Reset- Kid's Closets


I have two daughters and they each have a bedroom.  They are young (2 and 5) and I often find myself just shoving things back into their closets in the hustle of our daily lives.  I tackled their closets  during my home reset and it went a lot faster than I anticipated.

Miss. Em's Closet (2 year old)
Before:


I pulled everything out and removed anything we no longer use or that she has outgrown.  I wiped down shelves and replaced the items.

After:

Miss. E's closet (5 year old)
Before:


Miss. E's closet took a little longer, as she is old enough to help and provide opinions.  We took everything out.  We removed items that Miss. E has outgrown or won't wear.  We went through her jewelry box and she donated a few things that she doesn't use.  We went through her shoes and "small things jar" (where she keeps her trinkets).  She donated a few things and threw away a few things.

After:


Ahhhhh... So much better, right?

Checklist:

  • Remove every single thing from the closet.
  • Get rid of anything in poor repair, that does not fit, that doesn't get used.
  • Wipe the shelves, vacuum the floor.
  • Replace items neatly.



Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Winter Capsule Wardrobe- 19.02.2020

I don't really have a theme for this week's wardrobe post.  It is a lot of casual wear which is what you can find me in daily.  I found a new way to wear my sweater dress by tucking it into my jeans.  It looked cute and gave more versatility to the dress.






Happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday, 17 February 2020

Happy Family Day!

Today is Family Day in Saskatchewan.  We are celebrating by staying home to recuperate from our colds.  I have been working hard to reset more areas of our home but I won't be posting another room until next week.  Happy Family Day!  I hope you have a lovely Monday.


Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Winter Capsule Wardrobe- 12.02.2020

This year, I actually got a babysitter for Valentine's Day (well, actually the day before Valentine's day...).  I came up with a few date night looks for this post.  I always try to include a few dressy options in my capsule wardrobes in case something comes up.  I also like to use accessories (scarves, jewelry, etc.) to dress up my outfits.  Fun fact:  I was wearing the red scarf from this post the night I met my hubby.

This one is quite casual, but I like the pop of colour with the leopard print.


Of course, my beloved jumpsuit had to make an appearance.  This jacket is blush pink, even though it looks kinda beige here.


Happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday, 10 February 2020

2020 Home Reset- Kitchen



The kitchen is the most used room in our home.  I generally have to 'reset' it several times a year.  I tackled my pantry, cupboards and fridge.  Everything is much more organized.

Before:








After:









Checklist:

  • Remove all food from pantry.  Check dates and remove anything that has expired.  Wipe shelves and put food back in pantry.  Group like items together.
  • Go through cupboards one by one.  Remove every item from the cupboard.  Wipe the shelves.  Only replace items that you actually use.  (I got rid of a small box of dishes!)  Try to place your most used items where they are easily accessed.  Clear away clutter and anything that doesn't belong.
  • Remove all items from the fridge.  Wipe shelves, drawers and door.  Remove items that have expired and replace your items.
  • Clean your oven.  I like to make a paste with dish soap, baking soda and a little vinegar.  It helps messes wipe clean and it doesn't have a terrible odour.