Friday, 16 August 2019

Finding Your Creativity & DIY Paddles

Lately I’ve been pulled towards crafting.  Growing up I never considered myself a crafty or creative person.  I am not really sure where this narrative of myself came from, but I think it’s closely related to my once limited definition of “creativity” and how I closely linked it to just drawing.  Of course, I no longer hold those beliefs and I associate creativity to a number of different ways to express and create ideas and thoughts.  I started scrapbooking in my late teens and well into my twenties and LOVED IT.  I made several books and have several unfinished ones as well.  I have the most beautiful baby book documenting our oldest child’s first year of life.  However my second child’s book has been abandoned, and that’s one of my greatest regrets honestly.  Why?  Because it’s hard to remember all the tiny details after so many years have gone by, and with Halie I  was able to document it all.  Enter mom guilt.  I am sure many of your reading this have this same experience between your  first and second, or third, children in some way or another.  As life became busier and busier, and I threw myself into other wonderful pursuits, my work, running more and training more, doing my masters and enjoying being a mother, something had to go, so this creative outlet slipped away. 

 I’ve often talked about this blog being born out a desire to be creative with my clothes.  So when I did my very first GYPO style challenge several years ago, I became interested in using my creativity with my clothes.  I found a new and not overly time-consuming way to create.  But lately I’ve been drawn to more “project” type of creativity.  I generally don’t like long term projects but prefer short and quick little things.  I am someone that strives to get a check mark and cross it off my list, so quick gratification is important.  My first little project were these paddles for the lake to showcase our house number.  I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted and I quickly sketched it out and explained to my dad and my husband how I wanted the paddles to look on our cabin.  Their job was to figure out how to make a notch in the paddles so they could crisscross and I went to work on making the design come to life.

This is what I needed:
  • Chalk pain in white and dark blue (I got them from HomeDepot)
  • Sand paper (I bought a variety pack, you don’t need much)
  • Brushes (Home depot)
  • Painters tape
  • Artminds Varnish (this is the thing I researched the most.  I went with this glossy one that was created SPECIFICALLY for outdoor protection as I would be having it outside through all the harsh winters, hail and rain)
  • House number from Michaels

  1. Sketch out your design on a piece of paper.
  2. Sand the paddles lightly down.
  3. Pain the paddles white x 2.  Let the paint dry between each coat, approximately an hour.  I choose to paint them white first to give them a good solid base, like a primer.
  4. When the paddles were completely dry, I measured and marked the design that I wanted to paint the blue.
  5. I then painted the arrows with two coats of blue.  I didn’t take the painters tape off between each coat and that worked out well for me, but I did both coats within one afternoon. 
  6.  I bought the house number at Michaels and used Crazy Glue to stick it on. 
  7. Once everything was dry, I varnished the paddles with two coats.  They recommend that you let them curate for three weeks before putting them outside but I didn’t follow those instructions and the paddles have had no damage through the summer rains and wind.  They look perfect!

That’s it!

 I’d love to hear what your own creative outlets are in the comments below.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Wishing to Play Dress-Up

I am in a fashion slump to be honest.  I find myself here every summer, mid-summer, because to be honest my wardrobe at the lake is the same most days, denim shorts and a tee, bathing suit and cover-up, leggings and sweatshirt with either flip flops or my converse shoes.  That’s basically on repeat everyday and I find it difficult too justify buying anything new or super cute because I don’t really have anywhere to wear it.  I also take a lot of lake showers and live with my hair up.  I love this and honestly don’t have any desire to change it up or wish this time away.

What I wear every evening by the fire. 

That begin said occasionally, on a cool and cloudy day, I just feel like I could use a good scrub down, to do my hair and to put on a pretty dress.  ðŸ˜Š  I am currently really craving a date night, under the city lights, all dressed up and having a delicious cocktail on a fabulous patio, like Drift in our city.  Since that isn’t going to happen, I was searching through my photos from Mexico way back in February and I stumbled upon these pictures which totally match my current daydream state. This was my 2018 summer dress that I wore all the time and I still love it. I love the fluttery feel of it, the slightly teasing cold-shoulders, and the belt that adds just a little boho vibe and the added flower in the hair making it a perfect summer edition.  I went on a mass spring/summer purge this year, but this was a dress that has stayed safely in my closet and is completely wearable to work, with a cardigan or my kimono over top.

Cheers my friends and enjoy the last weeks of summer.  Don't rush it or wish it away, just bask in its warmth.  

What season do you find yourself struggling the most with in terms of your closet or fashion? 

Friday, 2 August 2019

July 2019 in Numbers

8 sets of visitors at the lake.  This is our favorite part of having a cabin and we love that our family and friends make the trek out to enjoy it with us.  We kicked off the first weekend in July with my parents, my aunt and uncle finally made it out finally, and my in-laws.  The girls also had several friends stay with us for extended periods of time over the month.  We made sure all their friends got out on the boat to rube and try various water sports, as well as beached.  I had a couple of girlfriends come and stay while the girls were at camp.  We biked, we talked, we beached, we walked.  To end off the month we were lucky to have our nephews (3.5 years and 10 months old).  August will bring less visitors but some of our favorites are coming for their annual stays and we can’t wait!!!

5 Books 

Beach Read 

**** I finished off the Singles Game by Lauren Weisgerber at the beginning of July.  It was an easy read and a great way to start the summer off.

Skip It

*** Inheritance by Dani Shapiro.   I hear Dani Shapiro speak on a podcast so this book intrigued me.  It was a relatively  easy read but there were things about it that I just didn’t connect to on an emotional level like I thought I would.   I only gave it three stars but I'll be interested to know what the rest of my book club thought of it.

Take It, Or Leave It

***  I listened to Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis and it had a similar theme and message as Girl Wash Your Face.  It was easy to listen to while getting ready each morning but I am don't think it's at the top of my list of must reads.

Parenting Book
****  I also listened to Brene Browns, The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting: Raising Children With Courage, Compassion and Connection,  which I absolutely loved!!! It was a quick listen and this was my favorite reminder was, "our children our meant to push and test the boundaries.  We as parents are meant to hold them up."   I think it's so important to remember that some decisions they aren't really ready to make and that even when we aren't liked by our children, that we remind ourselves that our role is to love, protect and encourage them.  


***** Little Big Lies by Liane Moriaty.  Favorite book of the year.  I couldn't put it down.  Easy read.  Interesting characters.  Twists and turns.  Now I want to watch the HBO show.

2 happy campers!!!!  The girls went to an overnight camp for the first time ever and had the BEST time.  They both want to go again next year and I am so happy that their experience was so amazing. 

1 shed almost built.  Logan and my dad put this shed/bunkhouse together in a few days.  It’ll be completed fully with shingles and siding by the end of the summer.  I supervised.  😊 

2 DIY projects.  I am getting my craft on these days.  It started with the paddles, which inspired me to convert these old night tables that I found for $20 into these nautical inspired nightstands for the cabin.  I am thrilled with the final results.   I am so proud of them.


I also got a cricut and made my first project for the classroom.  I am adding some ribbons under each month so that I can display my students birthdays in the classroom.  I have many more projects that I want to use it for in my classroom and can’t wait to make them come to life.  Stay tuned and I'll share the final product on IG. 

37 years old!  I celebrated my 37th birthday here at the lake surrounded by my immediate family and friends.  Read all about it here.  

August long weekend begins today and it's going to be full of sunshine, good friend, family and good old fashioned fun!  Happy weekend everyone and stay safe on the roads.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Pattern Mixing: Polka Dots & Gingham

I love summer fashion.  I also love the easy lifestyle that comes with summer life.  Usually life in the city, during the school year is busy, busy, busy.  Most of you can agree with that I am sure.  A full-time, plus, working teacher/mom, the school year is busy.  I struggle to even get once a week content put together for the blog if I am being honest.  With warmer nights, longer days of summer, also comes a much-needed break and time for restoration.  I NEED this break from my teaching job.  Honestly, I couldn’t keep going.  I am so worn out by the end of June that I can hardly stand any talking or noise anymore.  I am tired of being over stimulated, working 10 + hours a day, and then coming home to another f/t time job.  I love the slow pace that summer brings.  I love it even more at the lake.  The day I wore this outfit my hubby and I went to the farmers market, craft show, took photos, read on our deck and still had a great day with the kids.  Now that’s a day of relaxation.

Mostly at the lake my uniform includes nothing more than foundation at the beginning of the day, a messy ponytail, and either a bathing suit or shorts/tee combo.   There are a few days that I like to get a little dressed up and feel like my trendy self.  😊  I adore these classic gingham shorts that I picked up last year, see HERE two other ways to style them.  When I saw my new polka dotted tee in the closet I just had the idea that the polka dots and gingham would be an ideal combination.  I LOVE how this outfit came together.  It’s adorable and perfect for a farmer’s market stroll, an espresso in a Parisian café, or a lunch date.  Don’t you agree?  I am also still using my straw purse from my summer, but I’ve added these straw, statement earrings.  LOVE.  They make a statement all on their own and have been on repeat with everything, jeans and a tee, summer dresses, rompers, etc.  They are perfect with everything and on sale for like $15 bucks.  You just can’t say NO. 

Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for stopping by!

Shop This Post:

Polka Dot Tee (sold out; similar)
Gingham Shorts (old; Old Navy similar)
Etereo Earrings (sold out; similar)

Friday, 12 July 2019

This is 37!

This is 37.   Yup, as I type this I am official 37.  What does that even mean?  Truth be told, I have no idea.  There are pros and cons to turning another year older, as with everything in life.  I don’t have a birthday week, or a birthday month, it’s not important to me and it’s not a priority what-so-ever.  What is a priority for me is that I have a day that nourishes my soul.  At this age that means acknowledgment from the people I love, and thank you all for the phone calls, messages, texts, etc. It means slowing down and taking a deep breath.  It means acknowledging and reflecting on all that is good in my life and how I came this point in my life.  I don’t need a fancy party, or a large gathering, because let’s face it, who would have to plan and organize it all?!?  ME.  On this day, I want to do and oversee as few things as possible. 


Here is what I know to be true at this point in my life. 

1.  I have a family that I love.  I have a husband that stands by me, encourages me and supports me.  I have two healthy, vibrant, strong willed daughters who I am truly proud of.   I have parents who have been my rocks in life, have modeled perseverance, work hard, kindness,  love and ambition.  I have a sister that has my back every time that truly matters.  I have two grandmothers still alive.  I have extended family that I trust with my hopes, dreams and my childrens’well being.  I have a village. 

2.  I have true friends.  I don’t need mean girls, or cliques, in my life.  Long gone are the days of needing to fit in or be popular.  My two friends, Amber and Ashley, stood up for me at my wedding 16 years ago and to this day, they are my most trusted confidants. They are grounding, They will call me, gently, on my shit.  And they will stand up for me every SINGLE TIME.  They are my family just as much as any blood relative.   Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and adding to my tribe of friends, who like the above support and fulfill me. They are people that I admire, aspire to be more like, find calming, uplifting and supportive.  I can honestly say, that I don’t really have toxic relationships in my life and I when I do, it’s easier to just distance myself from them. 

3.  My career.  I am proud truly proud of the work I do and all that I have accomplished.  Is there more I want to do?  Sure.  But the difference now is that I feel more confident that I can and also in the fact that learning can come in many forms, rather than just that of gaining more school experience.  While listening to Rachel Hollis’s newest book Girl Stop Apologizing, I realized that over the years I had developed more confidence in myself, in all aspects but also in my career.  She mentions that men apply for jobs if they feel they have at least 60% of the qualifications, while women wait to apply for jobs that they have 100% of the qualifications.  The issue with this is that we are ever rarely 100% qualified for anything.  I used to fall into this line of thinking often but with age I am getting better at taking risks and knowing that I can learn the things I don’t know.  The people I choose to surround myself with in my career are those who are passionate, compassionate, are both teachers and learners themselves, and are celebrate others and their own accomplishments equally. 

4.  My life.  I try to live my best life.  This past weekend my parents reminded me that I am now just a smidge older then when they arrived in Canada.  Their lives in upheaval.  Scared.  Penniless.  Without the English language.  Without normality.  Without a clear path. 

I have EVERYTHING and SO MUCH MORE than I need.  I am LUCKY.  I am GRATEFUL.  Right now, I am sitting on my porch, at my cabin, that I can afford to pay a mortgage and bills on, sure it means I have to budget and make sacrifices, but I have that choice.  I am relaxed, drinking a mug of hot tea, as my girls and their friend are settling in for the night.  I am in a safe place.  I have kind neighbors that accept me and never make me feel less than.  I am listening to the birds and can see a deer grazing in the forest just across the road. The beach is a mere 5 minute stroll from where I sit.  My life is SO GOOD and I know it.

So what’s different. 

1.  My body aches.  You guys, it really aches already.  It breaks my heart to think that I may need to hang up my running shoes, or my wakeboard up soon.  I’ve really made it a priority to try to get a handle on my back the past few months by doing physio, rolling daily, chiropractor, massage, yoga, etc. and every time I feel hopefully something just goes out of alignment, or a muscle seizes and I feel discouraged.  I am not ready to give up yet, but that’s something I am struggling deeply with.

2.  Energy.  I used to run, like full on run, on 6 or less hours of sleep.  I was game and ready for anything.  I’ve always been an early riser, but this past year, and probably the past few years, I’ve felt the energy slipping away.  I am bone tired after work.  I drag myself out of my bed to workout in the am, dreading it but knowing that is’ the only time to make it happen.  I am falling asleep at the dinner table, so I now have a 10 -15 quite time that really does the trick.  I still do a lot but I am quickly realizing I don’t have the same energy I had in my 20s and once again I am not overly comfortable with that change. 

So there are just a few random thoughts about turning a year older.  I had an amazing day at the beach with my family and a more amazing evening with our lake family in the evening.  I was showed with cake, daisy’s and one of the most creative gifts in my life, all things from 1982.  It was simple and PERFECT. 



Friday, 28 June 2019

That's a Wrap

A little play on words today, that's a "wrap" on my role as a consultant with our school division and I am featuring this bright and cheery wrap top.  This is my last "office" outfit post for the summer and really indefinitely.  Today marks the last day of my role as a consultant.  The four years have flown by and it's hard to believe that that much time has already passed.  I remember it so clearly, coming into the office, feeling extremely unsure of myself, not having a clue what the role entailed and being terrified that they were going to discover I was an impostor.  Over the four years I was blessed to work with encouraging mentors, supportive colleagues and team members, and inspiring teachers.  So though I am sad to be leaving the role behind, I am also grateful that I had this opportunity.  The role lent me down a path of learning with, from and alongside many different people, from different perspectives, and as a result I am confident that I have gained the skills and friendships, that I can lean on as I enter a new role next year.  I will be taking on the position of vice- principal and also heading up a new pilot program for junior kindergarten in that school.  It's a new adventure altogether and I am excited to trade in some of my fancier day-to-day outfits for some more casual looks.  NOT to worry though, my high heels and pretty dresses won't be exiting completely they just may be in rotation to more casual outfits :)  


This outfit is one that I would classify into multiple categories, office, classroom, brunch, errands around town, etc. I purchased this bright and cheery top at the Loft while in Edmonton with my sister a couple of months ago.  Funny thing is we both purchased the same top so I likely won't be getting that one as a hand-me-down pile next year.  I was immediately drawn to the bright color of the top, and though I was adamant that I wasn't going to buy any more "yellow", I clearly had little self-restraint when it came down to it.  I really enjoy the wrap look on tops and dresses, so I wanted to add that detail into my closet.  It structures my body shape so nicely, cinching in at the waist with a pretty bow and separating my top and bottom, giving me definition. Overall, this is an outfit that will be on repeat for me this summer as it's super easy to pull together and the top would look super cute  paired with some denim shorts.  

Speaking of shorts, it's officially "summer" for me so we are packing up and moving to the lake for the next six weeks.  I am hoping to get some clarity on where I want to take the blog in the next year and what are some reasonable expectations.  See you next Friday!  

Shop This Post:
Top (sold out)  Option #1, Option #2
Zara Straw Bag (old) Similar