Friday, 22 May 2020

What I Wore: Belong Lifestyle Mini Course


Getting dressed is the topic of today's post.  Where is everyone at in regards to their daily dressing habits?  What about shopping?  Are you shopping for summer stuff?  I've been up and down like many of you, but for the most part I've been getting dressed and doing my hair/make-up probably close to 70% of the time.  Like many of you, I am working from home but do have meetings throughout the day, and also I tape my lessons, so for the most part I try to adhere to the casual office looks, so jeans have been in heavy rotation.  I also joined the ladies from Belong Lifestyle, for their April Mini-Course on colors, patterns and trends.  Katie, a fellow blogger and teacher colleague, and I decided to join together and it was a steal of a deal for only $20/person when you joined with a friend.  The ladies at Belong Lifestyle provided us with:
  • weekly trendy topics
  • articles to read about body type, trends, etc.
  • list of wardrobe pieces we would style in the upcoming weeks
  • a daily prompt M-F for the outfits
  • a closed Facebook group for encouraging each other and sharing out styles
  • access to their boutique and spring/summer line before it was made public
Overall, having someone do the thinking and emailing me the prompts for the weeks outfits, couldn't have come at a better time!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Let's look at what I wore for three weeks.  



Week #1 Was all about color!  Like bold color.  My discovery was that I have little bright and bold colors in my closet, and tend to be drawn to blush, white and black, with a few bolder pieces here and there.  





Week #2 My favorite!!!  This week was all about patterns and pattern mixing.  This was my jam.  I have a lot of polka-dots, floral, stripes and leopard in my closet so I felt like I could mix and match outfits for at least a couple of weeks just with patterns.  Hahahaha.  This was definitely my comfort level, and the floral and polka dot outfit was especially fun to put together and you can read the full blog post here.




Week #3 Rompers & Overalls.  Another prompt that I love, love, love.  I actually have a ban on wearing anymore rompers and jumpsuits because I have way too many in my closet, especially since out spring/summer season is rather short.  Also, my overalls are SOOOO comfortable, I could wear them everyday.  




As for shopping, I've been keeping my shopping to a minimum to be honest.  Stores aren't open and to go out and buy a bunch of stuff seems rather silly.  Most of the pieces I styled for the challenge are already in my closet but I did add a few cute pieces.


Tie-dye top (The Bay)
Floral blazer  (Belong Lifestyle)
Leopard Ruffle Top (older, Belong Lifestyle)

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!


*This is NOT a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own and I simply enjoy celebrating small businesses when I find one that I am inspired by.   

Friday, 15 May 2020

Where Did My Abs Go?


Me to my teenage daughter:  "Maybe I should start doing that ab workout with you."
Teenage Daughter: "But first you have to do fat burning exercise to get rid of the fat on your belly."


Hmmmm.  She wasn't trying to be rude.  She was stating a fact.  In order for muscle definition to be seen, you do have to have a lean body.  I laughed and explained that my muscles are there, underneath all my softness and extra skin, and honestly I am okay with it.


This got me thinking.  How come I am okay with this?  years ago this kind of conversation would of left me embarrassed.  Self-loathing.  Obsession would have taken over my days, hours and minutes.  Those days are mostly long gone.  This doesn't mean that I don't think about my body or sometimes have moments when I am full of discomfort and dislike for this or that.  But mostly, I don't really think about it much.  I have come a long way from the girl who binged and purged.  The girl who would spend 2-3hrs/day working out.  The girl who would wake up and go to bed with thoughts of how to avoid food.  These things were all part of my life for years, basically until I decided I wanted to become a mom.  At that point  I decided  to start seeing a nutritionist and therapist.  I went weekly while in my last term of my education degree.  It was a turning point in my life.  I wanted to leave it all behind before starting a new chapter.

Wow! Is it really that easy?  No, it's not.  It's work.  It's new learning.  It's pushing your ability to accept certain things little by little.   It's ongoing, even now there are days I have to check myself, remind myself, do positive self talk, but there is fewer of these moments and I have the skills to keep that feeling to a day, rather than seep back into my daily life.  I think when I was finally coming out of that place and learning new habits, the thing that struck me the most was the amount of time I had put it no planning my days around food and working out.  It was my number one priority on the inside, and it was making me miss on just living in the moment.  Once I was able to see that, I couldn't un-see, un-know how much of my life and energy I wasted away to my obsession.  As years went on, it continued to be less and less important to me, especially since becoming a mother, feeling confident in other avenues of my life such as my relationships, my career, my own self-worth. 


Over the years, I have learned to appreciate my body more and more.  It's strong.  It can learn to do so many new things.  It's provided a safe space for two humans to thrive and then it has brought them to life.  Although there are days that I am just uncomfortable in my own skin, and don't like the feeling of being bloated, I do embrace and celebrate my body.  I  still wear a bikini but I also have a one piece when I just don't feel comfortable a two piece.  I have tight fitting outfits, as well as baggy sweatshirts and loose joggers.  I lean it to the good and the less good, but overall mt good days are 95% and my bad moments and feelings are only 5%.  I still exercise but a healthy amount.  It's good for keeping my anxieties and tendencies in check.  I don't over exercise, and I tend to switch things up so that I can't become compulsive about my routines.  If I miss a day, I am okay.  I have explored various types of exercise options and over the years have become much more relaxed about how I move my body.






So I may not be able to see my abs on the outside, but they are there pushing me forward with every running step I take.  Every time I get up on the wake board, or snowboard, they engage and support.  So even tough I'll never have a six pack,  it's really not important to me anymore.  I want something completely different at this point in my life.  I want to feel happy where I am.  I want to treat and use my body for longevity.  I want to appreciate it and care for it and also except as it's changes with age.  So even though you can't seem my abs, I sure hope you can see and feel my confidence and appreciation for this body, my body.





****This is a snippet of my own journey and it is in no way the journey others have had or the battles that they had to deal with.  I am not an expert or claim to be in terms of body image, or disorders.  This is simply me sharing a little piece of my personal self-growth.

Monday, 4 May 2020

Celebrating in Polka Dots & Floral


Today my post is a bit early in celebration of my blogger friend Ada's, from Elegance and Mommyhood, birthday!  Ada is a mommy to a darling little 5 year old girl, who she often twins with over on  her blog.  Ada was one of the very first bloggers to really show me support and encouragement.  I know that my girl Ada is going to have a fairly different version of her birthday this year, as are all people whose birthdays will land at this COVID-19 crisis, so I wanted to have a little drink and cupcake in her honor.  






These days we aren't having many events to dress up for, but lately I've been really craving the need to look and feel pretty again.  Maybe its the fact that the weather has finally warmed up, and I am dreaming of patio drinks with friends.  Or maybe it's the fact that it's been months since the last time my husband and I had a date night.  Or the fact that I can be totally dress casually for working from home.  Or all of the above.  Regardless of the reasons why, lately I am dressing up just for the sake of dressing up even if it's only for a few hours.  For example, sometimes I just dress up for work to recreate that sense of normalcy.  Or I put some heels on to go to the grocery store.  Or I might dress up just to meet up with my girlfriends over video chat.  Whatever the reason, I know that I am going to be dressing up in this little outfit again for Mother's Day dinner (which I may even order in, instead of cooking it myself).  I am hoping as things begin to lift and slowly we try to return to some version of normal in June and over the summer months,  I get to wear this out for a brunch or a real date night in a restaurant, with good wine, and no children.  I love them so much but I won't lie, I am looking forward to an evening with just my husband, without bickering and chattering.   We may even just sit in silence.  LOL!  


This darling top is on mega sale now, so check out the link below, and your can also see it styled here and it pairs so well with jeans and heels.  It's a top that just about works with everything and I adore the girly vibe it throws off.  


What are you missing right now?  





Come back on Friday to read a Mommy Diaries post.  This is going to be an honest and raw post, discussing how parenting is full of tough decisions and how to navigate through disappointments.  Also, I would love for you to follow me on IG!  


Shop This Post:
Floral Skirt (similar Gap)
Dex Polka Dot top (clearance for $17.95)




Friday, 1 May 2020

April Sentence a Day



1st Why mother nature?!? Why?!?  It started snowing again.  Like big, fluffy, white flakes.  How does that saying go?  April snow, bring May flowers?  Hahaha.  Nope!



2nd started officially online teaching 🤷‍♀️.  Wish me and my kiddos luck.  Also it's my first ever, virtual book club.


3rd   5 a.m wake up.  I think I have a LOT on my mind.  The upside?  I got my blog written and published.  I worked through some online trouble shooting with a colleague, and got ready for a big presentation all before 7:30 a.m..  I guess that's a win! 


4th Lazy mornings and afternoons at the lake are just what we needed.  Having a change of scenery and walking new paths, especially ones in nature,  felt so good.





5th Today I work up at the lake and then went by myself for 5 km run and saw nothing but open space.  It felt so peaceful.  In times of uncertainty and amidst a national crisis, I feel grateful to find that peace and serenity.



6th School officially started for the kids and they did pretty well getting on their various platforms and getting assignments done.  I also got my SeeSaw account running for my own students and have been working tirelessly to help families get on their as well.  


7th. I'll be honest today was hard with the kids.  There were many disagreements, attitude and ultimately I felt I was just not the best parent.  I had a glass of wine with dinner and reminded myself that tomorrow is a new day.


8th Hump day!  We bought flooring for the basement that my husband and dad are installing while we spend our days inside.


9th  Last day of work before Easter!  Woot, woot!



10th Today I got a creative spark and decided to make a little Easter sign for our home.  Notice one blue bunny (my husband) and three pink bunnies (us girls).  It felt great to open up my Cricut machine again.




11th The girls decorated the Easter 🐰 cake and had a great time doing it.  I think it turned out pretty good.


12th Easter Day!!!




13th.  Feeling disappointed this morning when our alarms dinged indicating our flight to AZ that we obviously didn't take.  This is what I would have looked like flying out of here.  





14th Our basement renovation is just about complete!!!  I am in love with our family room and I know have a beautiful workout space!!!! I shared some of it on my IG stories this week and  I can't wait to show you all in an upcoming renovation post!


15th -19th I forgot to keep track 🤷‍♀️.  I know I worked many hours on my online classroom, attended many meetings and tried to figure out my new schedule of working f/t while also supporting my children with their own school work.  It's going okay to be honest.


20th Back to work.  Full day of zoom meetings.  Also my friend and I committed to each other that we would run 3X week (M, W & F).  If one doesn't do it, they owe the other one a Starbucks coffee delivery to their door.  (Which I earned on April 29th when she missed 

a run 😃)


21st The kids and I had a little dance photography fun.  Since they won't be getting dance photos done this year we decided to do some on our own.






22nd Date night with my husband.  Did my hair & makeup.  Got dressed and even put on some jewelry.  We went for a walk by the river and enjoyed a glass of wine to end the day off.


 




23rd Spent the day hauling food boxes and handing them out to our school families, all while social distancing rules were in place.  Also, our province continues to have low numbers and our Premier announced the first two phases to reopen.  May 4th for dentists, chiropractors, etc.  & phase 2 on May 19th for hair salons, stores, etc.   All this is to be taken slowly and with lots of rules in place!


24th Fri-yay!!!  Connected with some families today that haven't been able to do online learning.  Talked to one mom that just filled my bucket.  I love my job.


25th Waking up at the lake it my favorite.





26th First hot dog roast of the year!




28th. Anya received a sushi kit for Christmas and we finally attempted to make California rolls.  this kid did it mainly on her own and they were delicious.  We all enjoyed the sushi, while sitting down as a family to watch Big Brother Canada.  We began watching the Canadian version for the first time this year, but it ended suddenly due to COVID-19, so now we are watching season 6 instead.  Great family time.


 







29th I was off all day.  Just couldn't figure and my groove.  Everything felt hard and uninspiring.

30th Absolutely the complete opposite of yesterday.  Began my day with a zoom meeting with some of my students who haven't engaged in online learning yet.  It honestly filled my heart to the max and I was flying high off of that feeling all day.  Seeing them, reminded me just how much joy they bring to my life.  I skipped with a pep in my step the whole day and it was a perfect +26C (a long way from the freezing cold and snow at the beginning of the month).  I ended April on an absolute high.  


See whole blog post on this outfit.




I hope May will bring everyone some hope and reprieve.  I hope we are all still working hard to flatten and keep that curve down, while also maybe seeing a glimmer of hope and light ahead.  


Friday, 24 April 2020

Tulips and Dresses: Ahhh Feeling Spring-y



I am happy to announce that spring has sprung (fingers crossed I don't end up jinxing it and we get another showing of snow, hahaha).  No, I really think it's here to finally stay and I couldn't be happier.  A couple of weeks ago, right after we did get a bunch of snow, I bough some tulips to cheer me up.  A simple bunch of tulips just brightens the day and I needed it.  Shortly after, the sun was out and the temps were showing sings of spring so I decided to shoot this outfit that I am dying to wear for a daytime trip to a wine tasting or a brunch, you know when we things reopen, but until then I've decided that I feel better when I get all dressed up even if it's just to stay home.  It makes me feel happier, more productive and also I find I eat less when I am not wearing stretchy pants.  


What are you wearing these days?   


Shop This Post:

Friday, 17 April 2020

Weekend Wellness: The Act of Gratitude




I hadn't shared my word for 2020 here or any social media platform, for no particular reason, I just never felt I needed to, or maybe I knew a time would eventually come when it felt like right.  My chosen word for 2020 was GRATITUDE, although most recently I feel like the word chose me rather than me choosing it.   I purchased a gratitude journal for myself and the girls for Christmas and had high hopes of instilling the practice of daily reflection not only for myself but also for the children.  This was a fail.   We talk about gratitude and we often highlight good things in our day at the dinner table, but the journaling  I just didn't push in the end.  While I failed with my girls in the journaling department,  I am happy to report I've been doing it myself.  Not daily but every few days, I steal moments of early mornings to reflect and jot down my thoughts.  It helps to have a beautiful little journal that's on my nightstand and also a special pretty pen just for this purpose.  It sounds silly but haven't a special extra something just adds to the ritual. 





Why did I choose GRATITUDE?


If I am being honest, it has  been an overwhelming  school year.  With a new job, that I enjoy and am grateful for, comes long hours and a steep learning curve.  I was having a difficult time managing all the responsibilities, the long hours, the tasks I was bringing home after being at the school until 6 p.m. and then still working yet another hour or two in the evenings.  I was finding my energy depleted to keep up with my own family, the activities, the cooking, cleaning, shopping, blogging, seeing friends, reading, etc.  It all felt like a lot and although I knew I loved all of those things, I found myself also resenting them at times or feeling "I have to...." rather than "I get to..." I tried to reflect and decide what I needed to let go of,  but that only made me more resentful because I didn't want to cut anything out.  Thus, came the exploration and research into the practice of gratitude.  I felt like I needed to change my internal dialogue and my outlook on my current lifestyle.




Resources?


I am a huge fan of podcasts and listen to them while I get ready in the morning.   So here are a few different episodes that really had me thinking about gratitude and practices surrounding it. 


The Mom Hour:  The Thank You Project with Nancy Davis
This really made me think about all the people I had in my life that I was so thankful for and that I wanted to have strong bonds with.  Although I loved the idea of writing letters to each individual, I knew I just wasn't up to that task.  Instead in my head I choose some people that I wanted to do something nice and special for throughout the year to let them know I was thinking of them.  I made time to go for lunch with my grandmother, and I remember feeling torn between going into the school to do work and sticking to my plan of spending time with my grandmother.   You know what?!?  I had the best time ever with my grandma, chatting, enjoying a lovely meal and my heart felt so full afterwards, that it kept me going through another busy work week.  Also, I've picked up little bunches of flowers to drop off at a friends doorstep, just because.  Take the time to think about the people in my life that inspire, empower and support me, is just the greatest way to put life into perspectives.


                                  



Live on Purpose:  The 3 Keys to Morning & Evening Routines
This had be really just reassess the importance around a ritual for taking time to reflect and write.  My journal is simple so it only takes a few minutes.  Although I enjoyed writing in the evening, I found that it was hard to find true stillness and I was often too tired.  So now, on the days that I don't wake up to go and exercise, I sit to reflect and write in the quietness of my home, with the coffee brewing and before I do my blogging.   This girl is having a session today on her IG stories, so go check her out.





The Science Behind Gratitude (and How It Can Change Your Life) by Derrick Carpenter


Final Thoughts


During this uncertain time in our lives, this practice is evolving and truly making me deeply reflect on our busy lives, mentioned above.  What I couldn't do before, deeply exploring and reflecting on our lifestyle and choices, I am starting to see more clearly during this time of solitude, slower pace of life, and I feel like I may be having a turning point coming to the surface.  I hope to share what this journey has led me to in another post in the near future.  It's not yet complete and I have not yet reached the surface quite yet. 


I would really love to get a necklace with the word Gratitude on it.  

Anyone have a recommendation where I might be able to find something like that? 



Remember to follow along on IG and have a lovely weekend.






Friday, 10 April 2020

Spring has Sprung! Floral Days Ahead




Well spring has spring at least in my outfit if nowhere else. Yes, we still have snow.  Yes, we still have to wear toques and mitts on occasion. Yes, we are still hovering around the 0 C (32 F) mark.  But, look at this cute dress from Belong Lifestyle.  It's perfect for EASTER, don't you think?   I love the mid-length and had been eyeing it up for months before I bought it.   They also have a maxi version of this dress but being only 5'4" I knew that wasn't going to really work for me.  I love the bold color combo in this dress, the floral print really pops against the navy blue color. I rarely buy anything navy but I love this combo so much that it wasn't difficult to choose, although this dress comes in many, many colors.  


Best part of this dress are the pockets!!!!  I love me some pockets, especially as a mom and teacher.  I am always needing to stash something in them and they are the perfect place to put your tube of lipstick if you don't plan to lug your purse around.  


I haven't been shopping really throughout this quarantine life, but when I do I try my best to support local business at this time of need.  Our small local businesses are the heart of our communities so one of my goals in 2020 was to balance out my spending between local businesses and my big store brands which I still love and am not ready to give up. 


Hope everyone survived another week at home, hunkering down.  We are still going to make Easter come to life this weekend, with an Easter hunt, a gift from our favorite bunny, egg coloring and a special dinner for our little family.  Happy Easter to your family from ours.  




Shop This Outfit:
Hair Clips  (big pack for $12)
Bracelet
Hillberg & Berk Necklace (old, similar)
Kate Spade purse (old, similar)