Sunday, 31 December 2017

Taking the Plunge in 2018


I am not one to get all caught up in goal setting and new years resolutions to be totally honest.  I love a fresh start but I tend to get very fixated on goals so I try not to overdo it.  I especially stay away from any ‘weight’ or ‘diet’ related goals as a rule of thumb (don’t misunderstand me, it’s fine if you have these as goals but for me it’s not a particularly good/healthy road to go down).

I did it!  31 days of running for a total of 127 km!


Chilly last run.  -35C with the wind chill. 

The last few years I have joined the Briansport December Running Streak to end the year off.  The goal is to get through the holidays, and all the goodies , by counterbalancing it with a minimum of 1 mile/day run in the month of December.  The first year I made it to day 29 and but the last two years I have ran everyday.  This years total was 127 km, 4 tabata workouts, 4 yoga sessions in my living room, many miles on the treadmill due to extreme cold, 3 trips to the chiropractor and 2 to the massage therapist.  On Dec. 29th as I jumped on the treadmill to do an intense, interval workout,  I realized somewhere close to 6km  that what I was most thankful for was HEALTH, mine and my families.  Each step was one of strength, endurance and determination.  I felt strong and a sense of gratitude for how my body continues to provide me the opportunities to enjoy my family and my  active life.


For 2018 I have taken the plunge on a goal that I’ve had for a long time.  On the way to the lake two days ago I decided to look into adult swimming lessons.  I can swim but I have no endurance and can’t sustain a front/back crawl.  I need to learn the technique and also work on my stamina.  This inability has held me back for years of truly enjoying being in the lake, swimming with the kids and potentially contemplating any sort of mini-triathlon training.  So there you have it,  I registered for adult swimming lessons which will run for 10 weeks.  I hope to also get in another swim during the week to practice but I am leaving that open ended depending on our families schedule.  I will keep you posted on my progress.


A few other simple goals that I have for myself are:





1.  The "Wearing Your Closet" challenge I announced here.  Please join me for the month of January by using your clothing to recreate some favorite outfits or to create new ones while giving your wallet a break.  Follow along on IG and use the #wearingmycloset18 #shoppedmycloset.


2.  Reading:  I love to read but find it so difficult to find the time for pleasure reading with so much work related reading on the go.  So it may not seem like a lot but I would like to read a total of 12 books for the year, one/month, hopefully more during the summer.


3.  Cooking:   I am really excited to try out a new cook book that I received for Christmas. I have a six week meal menu but I'd like to add some new recipes into the mix so like the book goal, I am challenging myself to try a new recipe at least once every month.


4.  Family Time:  At the forefront of everything I just want to continue to practice mindfulness with my girl and family.  My brain is always working, searching for the next goal/adventure, that I often struggle to just stay in the moment.  I've been getting much better at this and part of my journey has actually been to set more realistic/smaller goals, which allow me to focus more on family rather than achieving things that I said I was going to.  One thing that I have let slip that I want to reclaim is reading in bed with Anya every night.  Halie reads now on her own, grade 5 and we still talk about the material she is reading, but Anya has only a few more years of reading bedtime stories or books together in her bed and I don't want to miss that. 


I will hopefully  keep you posted on my progress monthly


What are you going to try out in 2018?  Or what goal have you set for yourself or your family?  Leave a comment as I love to hear from you.  Happy New Year!

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Fashion Friday: Best of 2017 and a Challenge for January 2018

Hi friends.  I have been staying off of social media as much as possible during the last few days and focusing on enjoying the family festivities, as many of you are as well.  Life around the Krienke household has been filled with laughter, joy, food and drink while celebrating with wonderful friends and family.  To say that the girls were over the moon excited with their Santa gifts would be an understatement.  I am not one to spend and spend and spend but I do get carried away around the holiday season, which is kind of why I've decided to focus on 'shopping my closet' for the month of January.  Lately I've felt the pressure, self induced, to "keep up" "stay on top of trends" "find the best deal" etc. but that isn't why I started the blog and it's not really me.  I love putting outfits together, feeling good in my own skin and sharing my passion for everyday fashion with others.  That being said my bank account does have a bottom and I don't own a money tree, shocking I know, and I also believe in being mindful of what I purchase and spend money on.  The holidays are tough on the wallet and since I have a closet full of clothes I am challenging myself to shop my closet and to try to wear everything in there.  If I can't find a purpose for a piece of clothing, it's going to be placed in the donation pile.  Two birds, one stone.  Save money and downsize my closet.  If you'd like to join me or follow my journey on Instagram use the #wearingmycloset18 #shoppedmycloset. 



I am leaving you with my favorite seven outfits of 2017.  For more info click on the following links, clockwise from the top (outfit #1, outfit #2, outfit #3, outfit #4, outfit #5, outfit #6outfit #7).  Just for the record I will be totally casual for NYE with friends and 8 kiddos running around, and loving every second of it. 


What are you all up to? 


Happy New Year!


Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Happy Birthday Anya: Saying Goodbye to 7 and Welcoming 8

Baby girl turns 8 years old today.  It's always a bittersweet feeling for me and this year is no exception.  I am not going to get all mushy and sad again, so I am going to give you 8 fun facts about Anya as she turns 8.  Each year I sit back and reminiscence about the year that has flown by and it's one of my favorite reflective traditions.  So here we go.  

1.  Daredevil or Scaredy Cat?
This is a tough one and we are  still trying to figure her out.  For whatever reason Anya is the spontaneous one when it comes to being out on the lake.  She takes risks and seems to thrive on the adrenaline of going fast behind the boat.  She also seems to have no fear of being in the lake and even ventured out several times on the paddle board into openness without the slightest worry in the world (we on the other hand were not as sure).  That all being said, she is absolutely terrified and has been since the age of 3 of going on rides.  In Disney World she went of the scary rides but only because it was expected and it wasn't without total and utter horror.  In fact she doesn't really want to go back for fear of having to experience the rides again but otherwise loves Disney.  

She is absolutely terrified and her face expression (front left) is priceless.

2.  Miss Smarty Pants
The kid is quick and loves to read, converse and explore all kinds of topics and concepts.  She has an extensive vocabulary and tries out new words, not always successfully, but she loves to play with words.  She enjoys reading and has finished 11 chapter books since October Fairy Ones and Princess Posey.   She loves learning and comes home on a daily basis full of information from school.  The one subject she doesn't feel confident with is math.  We will make this a priority in 2018 so that we help her build up her confidence.

3.  Social Butterfly
She hugs everyone.  She loves everyone.  She chats with everyone.  She is her mother.  Seriously the kid loves and feeds off of peoples affection for her.  She is a crowd pleaser.  Teachers pet.  She loves to be loved and craves the approval of others. 

4.  And then SNAP
Yep, gets that from me too.  She is happy, happy, happy until she is not.  Being an adult I tend to be able to control it a bit more than she can.  At school it's always positive but at home when it's not her way it's the HIGHWAY baby.  Doors are slammed.  Eyes glare.  Feet stomp.  The good news is that when she is in a mood, generally if she is left alone in her room, she calms herself down and plays with her stuffies or draws until he emotions are balanced once again.  She  reemerges feeling totally happy once again.

5.  Chef Anya
Anya has taken up a love of cooking in particular this year.   She has always enjoyed cooking with me but this year has really taken it to the next level.  She is using Cooking by Rainbow cook book and pretty much can follow a recipe step-by-step by herself.  She only really needs me to help with some of the chopping that requires an adult. 


6.  Skating
Skating continues to be her passion.  For her birthday this year she was gifted a pair of skates from my sister and parents.  We have now graduated from regular skates that you can just buy at the local Canadian Tire or Walmart into more specialized Figure Skates, which means more $$, but also allows her to develop her skills in figure skating by providing her with more support in the boot and a larger toe pick for jumps and a blade that is built for clearer edges.  We are all learning together about the art of picking out the 'right' skates. 

7.  Harry Potter vs. Descendants.  This is a toss up in Anya's world.  I would say Harry Potter ruled the majority of her 7th year of life starting off with our favorite birthday party of all time, Harry Potter theme read about it here.  The highlight of our Disney World trip was visiting the Harry Potter world at Universal Studios, read about it here.  Everything about this past year has been Harry Potter, backpack, reading books, games, puzzles, etc.  With the release of Descendants 2 she has now turned towards being obsessed with Mal and is getting a new bedroom Descendants spread and bedroom decor from Santa.

8.  Generosity.
Anya is extremely generous with her love and with her stuff.  She is not only willing to give away her toys, clothing and share her goodies, mostly chocolate, but she is also willing to part with her money in order to buy something for someone.  She is constantly creating cards, pictures, letters and gifts to share with friends and family.  She is extremely conscientious of making everyone feel equally loved and appreciated.  People were commenting at both birthdays how Anya ensures that everyone's gift is given extreme praise and welcomes them with equal enthusiasm.  As parents we are extremely proud of her.  

Anya celebrated her friends birthday and family birthdays already.  She is so very loved by us all.  Today we will take her out for a special dinner and have a quite evening just the four of us.  We can't wait to see what the next year brings us.  We love you to the moon and back.  

Thursday, 14 December 2017

5 Holiday Looks: Blast from the Past

This year I've decided not to purchase a new outfit for Christmas.  I just feel like I have a closet full of clothes that deserve a little love and instead I decided to invest a little money on some home decor for the holiday season as well as hosting a holiday party for friends.   Sometimes I get a little too wrapped up in wanting the newest fashion trends when I have not given my current wardrobe enough wear.   Looking back  at some photos I realized I have lots of choices to choose from and more than enough to get me through the holiday season.  Here are a few  of my favorites from the past that would be perfect for a dinner out, holiday party, Christmas family dinner or church. 


What's going to be your go-to for the holiday season?

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Busy Mama Outfit Combo: Gray, Burgundy & Leopard

Yikes.  It's been BUSY!  I love this time of year but I feel like I am just moving from one event/task to another.  Busy at work with leading and learning from first notch professional development, to doing kids birthday parties, hosting friends, shopping for the Christmas, dealing with daily mishaps, and doing a ton of gluten free baking for our first GF Christmas.  I love it all but it's been difficult to care about getting dresses so as a result I tend to resort to basic outfit combos that still look polished for the daily events and the office.   My go to combo's are always basic bottoms, fun/colorful top, one accessory that makes a statement and heels, because I love heels. 
This outfit was inspired by Allison from GYPO post on IG.  I loved it but flipped the look and rocked my favorite pair of  Lord & Taylor pants (which come in tons of colors for only $39) and my burgundy bell sleeved top that I purchased last year from ON (similar here and here).  I love adding a little bling with  my newish statement necklace (I wear it ALL the time, which is good because it was an investment piece) and who doesn't love a little leopard booties  for fun.  

Just for fun the very next day I wore the exact same color formula to work but flipped and it worked perfectly and no one noticed that it was extremely similar to the previous days outfit.  

If you are into easy outfit formulas check out the GYPO Winter Style Challenge.  The winter 2017 style challenge is bigger than ever with 34 outfit formulas, a complete shopping list and the best part hands down is the FB group of women.  It's a really nice treat for any woman that needs a little fashion inspiration or really just wants to put herself first for only $39.  If interested use the link below to find out more. 

Easy peasy is the way to go when life is just a little crazy.  

Monday, 4 December 2017

Tween Gift Giving Guide

Last Friday I provided you a gift guide for 6-8 year old girls here, and today I am sharing with you a 'tween' guide.  Halie is turning 11 shortly and really struggled to find something 'realistic' to wish for this year.  Her top two wishes were a set of guinea pigs, we have a dog that we can barely spend time with, and a real gymnastics bar for our home, which is like $600 not to mention we don't have space for it.  Sigh.  We've always been able to deliver on the girls 'wants' but this year I was really struggling with what to get Halie.  Halie is  taking  horse riding lessons si we were tossing around the idea of getting her horse riding equipment for Christmas.  In the end I just felt like it wouldn't really be a surprise, especially since we have to take her to get fitted for everything.  I decided to go all TWEEN girl on her.  She is getting a chair, caboodle, make-up (blush, eye shadow, brush set) and a nail kit from Santa, all listed below.   I am pretty sure she is going to be thrilled and the more practical stuff will come from other family members for  Christmas and/or her birthday.  

1.  Funky Chair $40. Santa Gift!   Super comfortable and sturdy.  I am thinking she is going to love it!

2.  Manic Panic $13.  No bleaching.  Washes out within 3-6 weeks.  Perfect stocking stuffer.

3.  Glamour Girl Makeup  $25.  I am a big believer of facing change head on, so when Halie began expressing interest in makeup, and I wasn't ready, after a few days of watching from the sidelines, I decided to show/teach her how to make a more natural look rather then telling her not to wear it.  She only has a few items, mostly Claire's kids make-up,so she is some more appropriate separate pieces to fill her caboodle with.

4  Caboodle $40.  Santa Gift!!! I think this is awesome for any girl, really any age, that loves to play with make-up.  

5.  Onesie $35.  These onesie and the bunnyhugs from Urban Planet are extremely popular here and Halie loves how cozy they are.  

6.  Clue  $18.  Halie got this last year for her birthday and we play it all the time.  It's a great game to teach strategy and the importance of following along in the game to help you eliminate various possibilities.  

7.  Canterwood Crest books.  If you have a horse lover get them these books.  Perfect for stronger readers, 9+, with extensive vocabulary,  an interesting story line and approximately 200 pages in length.  Halie has read  the first ten and continues to want more.

7.  Nail Spa Kit $20 (similar). I am hopefully the nail dryer will eliminate some of the wait time.  

8.  Duffel Bag  $27.  Every girl needs one for the sleepover parties as well activities.


There you have it!  Hope you've enjoyed the kids gift guide ideas for this season.  Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Gift Giving for 6-8 Year Old Girls

For the first time in years I think we have the kids pretty much completely shopped for already!  YIPEEE!!!  One difficulty we have around this time of year is that the girls not only receive gifts for Christmas from EVERYONE in our family, but they also have birthdays in December and January.  It's always difficult to keep  a lid on the toys around this time of year so we try to stick to fun gift at Christmas and something more practical, or money towards activities for birthdays.   This year we've kind of turned a corner because Anya is still into toys, whereas Halie is in new territory for us and thus, I 've created two separate gift giving guides.  Today I am showcasing one for 6-8 year olds and on Monday I will release the tween guide.    

This year Anya is receiving a new Descendants birthday bedroom, bedding and new stickers, from Santa.  She LOVES all things Descendants but the items below are also on her wish list or she has received the last few years.

1.  Project MC2 Ultimate Spy Kit $65 (they also have a perfume making kit and a science kit).  This high on Anya's wishlist.  It's a new show on Netflicks and she is obsessed with all of their products.  Needless to say she is getting it from one set of grandparents.

2.  Journey Girl Doll $40.  Any of the 18" dolls are super popular for little girls and the best part is they have endless accessories for them, bed, clothing, pet, etc.   

3.  Unicorn Surprise $40  This is a twist on a stuffy.  We got the puppy surprise last year and it's pretty cute.
5.  Horse Club Advent Calendar $30 - Our Elf is switching things up this year from the classic chocolate Advent calendar to this one we found at Indigo.  Both girls are receiving it because Halie is horse obsessed.

6.  Keva Planks $65 - Perfect for any little builder in your home.  Honestly this is in the top 5 of gifts we have ever purchased.  Completely open ended and provides endless hours of fun.  It's worth the price tag.

7.  Princess Posey books.  Perfect for girls that are just getting into chapter books and practicing their fluency.  

8.  Cook by Colours $45.  Another top 5 of all time gifts.  You guys, both girls love this gift.  The cookbook is real food, like meatballs, smoothies, pizza dough, etc.  It teaches kids step by step instructions using real ingredients and measurement.  All the recipes are delicious and mostly food that you cook as a mom.  I highly recommend this!

I hope you enjoyed this addition and hopefully it helped find something for that special girl in your life.  I'd love to hear any other suggestions you might have.  Don't forget to come back on Monday to see the Tween Girl Gift Giving Guide.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Red Velvet Crush: Holiday Outfits for Mommy and Me

Oh La La velvet.  I’ve been searching for a velvet piece to add to my close without much success  until I saw this on my Just Fab monthly boutique.  It took less than two minutes to click and purchase this lush, holiday perfect, bold red, slouchy sweater.  I have learned to size down in their clothing line so I went with an XS.  When it arrived and I rushed to put it on, even though it was freezing from being outside all day in the mailbox.  As I slipped it on , I felt instant relief wash over me because it was PERFECT!  It’s so soft on the outside and the inside is lined so it slips onto the body just right.  I wore it for our first family holiday outing ,to watch the production of Little Women the Musical.  I paired it up with my basic black skinny pants, black booties and my bold H & B necklace, also styled here.  Oh, and I let my hair go all natural with just a good blow drying and hairspray. 

The girls also got all dressed up in their newly purchased holiday dresses but weren’t too keen on taking pictures in the brisk, like -15 C, weather.  I took them shopping last week to the Bay, during their Bay Day’s sale, and Halie picked out a lacy velvet, midnight blue dress and Anya went with a bold red one (sold out but similar here and here).  Recently someone told me that I was going to be broke with two girls but I do love shopping with them.  Hahaha. 

We enjoyed a special lunch at a local crepe cafĂ© that has GF crepes and then we went to the show.  What a truly magical way to kick off the holiday season.  If you missed my post on Wednesday and do the Elf on the Shelf gig with your little ones make sure you check it out for some ideas and a couple of pintables here.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend and thanks for swinging by.