Saturday, 17 October 2020

Thankful 2020: Pandemic Perspective

We all know that 2020 is basically going to go down in history as the COVID year, although I think it's critical for it to be remembered for much more than that and I hope that the current events of 2020 help us move towards assessment, reflection and positive change.  The pandemic itself has brought so many challenges, ups and downs, and yet I am so thankful for many of the opportunities that it has presented as well.  

This past  Monday, October 10th, was our Canadian Thanksgiving.  It's was a time to give thanks.  To reflect on the things we do have and the things that are within our control.  Currently our pandemic situation here in Saskatchewan is pretty good.  We are reopped, with many safety measures and protocols.  We can gather up to 15  people, it was 30 when I initially wrote this but a spike in cases has our government rolling that number back as an extra precaution, and our schools have reopened.    We are holding steady and our hospitals are no overran by people needing support, at least not for COVID.  So lets take  a peek at what I have to be thankful for and more importantly what are some of the positives that the pandemic has bestowed on our family.

1.  The health of our family.  Knock on wood we have all be able to continue to be healthy, in both my immediate household, as well as my parents, in-laws, grandmothers and extended family.  We have a couple of extremely elderly people, my grandmothers, two immunocompromised people (my dad and daughter), but we are all happy and healthy.  Having family at our fingertips and knowing we are close by anything goes wrong is extremely beneficial when we went into the  initially lock down.  I can't imagine if our family was far away and things weren't going well.  I am so truly sorry if you are in that situation.

2.  Our jobs and work -life balance.  We were so lucky to be able to do our jobs from home and not struggle finically.  I can't tell you how thankful I was that we would continue to be able to pay all of our bills and we wouldn't be needing support from the government.  Thankfully our government was able to support many that didn't have that luxury and I am also thankful for that.  

The other thing my eyes were opened to was my level of  stress and maybe a little bit unsatisfied.  There I said it.  I love my job but I was not finding a healthy balance to maintain the work, with all the other things that help define me.  A healthy and active lifestyle.  A mom and wife that's engaged and not just going through the motions.  A creative individual.  A woman who likes learning new things.  I found her again and I am managing work-life a lot better this fall then I did last year.  Fingers crossed I don't need another pandemic to keep me balanced.

3.  Our cabin.  If you follow me on IG you know that I always love getting away to my happy place at the lake.  It's calming and restorative for me.  Enjoying the natural beauty of the lake, forests and animals that are native to the area, all fill my soul with pure joy and calmness.  At the hardest time we were able to escape our home walls to some other, slightly different walls, while staying healthy and safe.  The summer there was more or less the same as it always had been as our bubble included our neighbors and we were able to be outside 95% of our time there.  Due to few interactions with people, we were able to host our good friends and family for a weekend here or there.  I suspect that this year we will be gong there a lot more throughout the winter months as we will not have many engagements and travel plans. 

4.  Remodeling.  When you are stuck at home what do you do with all that time?!?  Well, you finally tackle projects that have been nagging at you but you
 a) didn't have time 
 b) didn't have money. 
 Well we all of a sudden had both.  Our two main trips were cancelled and we were stuck at home.  We finally tackled our 1979 basement with all the carpet and decor and created a beautiful family space and gym space that we have been using non-stop!!!  

5.  Reconnecting.  I think it goes without saying that many people had to really reconnect during this time with the people they live with.  We spent a lot of time together!  Although this was both one of the most challenging things, it also brought us together in a way that I didn't think was possible, especially at the beginning.  We started doing a lot more family walks.  We were walking daily as a family, sometimes a few times a day.  I loved that.  We also relayed on each other for entertainment, meaning we were watching TV shows together, working out together, cooking together, and playing games.  I loved that.   I wish I could hold on to it forever, but I do find we've slipped into our old habits  and the one thing I 'll be honest we are struggling with as parents is how much out children  have relied on technology and how much they use their devices.  I'd love some perspective from parents of TEENS on this.  HELP!!!!

6.  Bank account.  Well this is a big one.  For the first time ever, we have a descent cushion.  I know you are supposed to have 3 months worth of living expenses saved but that hasn't been our reality.  We have a really good financial track record and have never had debt on our credit cards or anything, as we generally save and pay for things.  We also like to have some savings but also to have experiences and trips as a family.  Well since our two major family trips were cancelled, we ended up saving that money and honestly now I am pretty keen on not going below a certain savings amount again.  It's a nice little cushion for us to have in case of an emergency.  We have continued to save for future trips and when it's safe we have enough to do that.   Until then we will be staying close to home and reminding ourselves that although it's not always as exciting, the open space and air is what has helped keep our little part of the world relatively safe.

What are some of the pandemic positives in your life?

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Fall Wedding Collaboration: Moody Florals and Ruffle Skirts


This weeks Friday post is coming to you a few days earlier as part of a larger collaboration project with my girl Ada from Elegance and Mommyhood, along with a handful of other beautiful fashion bloggers, make sure you check them all out below.  The collaboration has us thinking about fall wedding season, and although this year weddings are going to look widely different depending on where you live, you might still be attending one in a smaller venue and with dramatically less guests.  To be honest, we don't really go to weddings anymore.  Most of our friends are married with children or are not interested in  the whole wedding thing at this point in their lives.  Every once in a while one of Logan's much, much, younger cousins gets married and we go to celebrate them.  So with that in mind,  I like to keep dresses that can double up for multiple occasions including dinner dates, weddings, or special occasions that require a little dressing up.  This little dress is absolutely perfect for any of the above.  It's on trend for fall due to it dark, moody, floral print, while also being super flirty and fun with a ruffled skirt that makes you want to go 'swish- swish' and twirl on the dance floor.  I love the little tie belt which defines the waist and the shape of my relatively short body, not to mention the flirty, slightly deeper v-neckline that  just adds a tad of sex appeal, and I added a little H & B sparkle to elevate the look.  

During the cooler evenings of fall, but before a good wool coat is needed, I love pairing up my dressed up looks with my trusted black trench coat.  This coat has been in my closet close to  6 years and it's in mint condition.  I love the oversized and bold buttons , and the cinched waist created by belting it.  I wear it ALL the time and a good trench coat is worth spending a little extra on as its a classic staple.  

Let's talk wedding gifts.  Are you an actual gift giver, gift card or cash?  Do you shop from the register or random gift?  For me it's usually cash.  I know, that sounds boring and lame, but I just find many young couples are trying to start out and funds are limited, especially if they had to pay a good chunk for their wedding.  The odd time I'll go off of the register, but I almost never go rogue unless I know the couple super well.  What about you?

Now it's time to check out how the other 7 ladies dressed up for a fall wedding!!!!

EMMA (Style Splash): "I've had this dress for years and never had the occasion to wear it. The fabric is light but the style provides plenty of coverage, making it ideal for fall. I've picked out the mustard in the snake print pattern with my shoes and bag, and highlighted the purple with my jewellery."

ADA (Elegance and Mommyhood): "This beautiful silk jacquard black+silver rose dress with the bold ruffled hemline is perfect for a Fall Wedding - if I were to attend one. The herringbone black tights bring texture, interest and warmth to this look. And that fabulous fuzzy grey clutch with all the fraying and tassels brings more depth. With the right makeup and of course some heels in addition to fun statement earrings and some sparkly bracelets, this look would definitely be an elegant option to attend a wedding this time of year. Moto jacket is optional!"

AMBER (Avec Amber): "2020 has certainly thrown us all a number of curveballs, with many celebrations including weddings or wedding receptions being postponed until we can safely celebrate again. This jumpsuit is a piece that I purchased last year for a girls' trip to Napa, one that I planned to wear to one of this year's wedding celebrations. Rest assured I will be saving it for one of those rescheduled weddings next year, and I hope that everyone stays healthy and safe during this time!"

DARLENE (Aquamarina Style):  "Take that basic slip dress you wore in the summer up a notch for a fall wedding or any dressy event. Adding a satin boyfriend blazer gives the dress a whole new look! Just add neutral pumps and some bling and you are ready to party!"

JULIE (Fashion Trends and Friends): "I love attending weddings and planning what I'll wear for the event!  This fall we were supposed to have two weddings to attend, which I was really looking forward to as well as some long weekend getaways.  One in September (my niece) in Oklahoma and one in October (our friend's daughter) in Wisconsin. Sadly, both had to cancel their plans and simplify their attendance list.  I believe the type of wedding and the venue dictate what is appropriate to be worn.  I tend to be overly fancy; and for me a wedding is a perfect opportunity to pull out all of my sequins and rhinestones.  This is the look I would have worn to the wedding in Milwaukee, Wisc."

BOJANA (Bo's Bodacious Blog): "This little, moody floral dress is the perfect addition to your fall closet.  You can take it from work, to a dinner date, to a fall wedding without missing a beat.  The dress has it all, flouncy sleeves, ruffled skirt, a tie belt to define your waist and shape, as well as a deep v neckline for a little hint of sexy.  Pair it up with heels, a little sparkle, and a trusted clutch and you are wedding ready without breaking the bank.   Hop on over to the blog to see full details on how to style this dress for a night of dancing and celebrating. "

SHELBEE (Shelbee on the Edge): "I haven't worn my favorite green kimono in a few years and have been wanting to style it as a dress. So I layered a black lace trimmed slip dress over some lacy stockings and sassy high heels and added my green kimono with a leather obi belt. Then I ditched the belt and showed off the slip dress. I chose my furry yellow bag because I love the way it played with the bright colors in the kimono. Of course, my "Love" choker is a must for any wedding outfit!"

LAURA (I Do deClaire): "Although most weddings are put on hold right now (thanks a lot 'rona), this collaboration was a fun reason to dress up for a short time anyway! I've long said that skirts can be dressy enough for weddings and by pairing this dark floral maxi with a lace top and belting it- it almost passes for a dress! "

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Lounge Wear At Work

Who doesn't want to go to work in P.J.s every once in  a while?  Even as a girl who likes to dress up and put on some  heels, I wake up every once in a while just wishing I could literally just roll out of bed and go to work.  Well, that's were this olive romper comes in to save the day!  It's super soft, comfortable to move in, has tons of stretch and yet is completely acceptable for work.  Yes, I dressed it up a bit with some sparkle balls and also my favorite wrap bracelet, but other than that I kept it super comfortable and casual with a stripped butter soft cardigan and some flats.  The perfect fall, comfy and casual look for work, or anything else you want to do.  Coffee with friends!  Grocery shopping trip! Walk through town!  Cuddling up in bed and reading a book!  Other than going for a fancy wedding or evening out, I think you can swing this look to work for many occasions.  

What's your go to comfy clothes in the fall?

On another note, I reading the book The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham for book club.  If you are Canadian, you need to read this book and ......  It's a part of history that I had never heard of in any of my history classes in high school or university.  Children, orphans, from England were sold to Canadian families and many were put to work under catastrophic   and extremely neglectful conditions.  They were mistreated to say the least and many stories closely parallel to stories of slaves, in my opinion.   I had to look it up to ensure that this in fact really did happen, and although the book isn't based on a true story of one specific person, it is based on the historic events and stories.  It's an easy read, only 300 pages, and a great pace and learning opportunity.  



Shop This Post:

The Always Right Romper (Belong Lifestyle)
Stripped Cardigan (sold out; similar My Favorite Old Navy Cardigan)

Thursday, 24 September 2020

September At a Glance & Work Outfit Recap

Can you believe that September is just about over already?!?  I feel a little worn out to be honest, but at the same time, I feel like I am getting into the groove of working full-time, while also parenting.  We've all transition into back to school relatively well and although all the precautions and safety procedures are exhausting, we've managed them alright for the most part.  The fact that September has been absolutely gorgeous  has been a blessing.  Let's take a peek at the month..

Happy 17th Anniversary!!!!
Logan and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary on Aug. 30th.  We always take turns planning a weekend of celebrations and this year my husband was in charge.  We were kid free for one and a half days which we enjoyed and filled with golfing, going on a boat cruise, out for dinner and even splurging on some desert afterwards.  We also enjoyed sleeping in and watching shows without any interruptions.  I love this man and every year we are together seems to get easier and better honestly.  I think we just don't bother sweating the small stuff anymore.  LOL!

Mother - Daughter Date Night
Halie and I had a mother-daughter golf lesson together one evening.  It was a lot of fun and we both learned a lot and got some great tips.  Halie joined her dad in an annual family golf tournament this year and I think it's fair to say that she'll likely be his partner for years to come.  

Exercising and Appreciating the Outdoors
I was doing really well at exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes a day for most of the month.  I am trying to take time to get outdoors, clear my head after work, and have a variety of workouts such as running, biking, weights, cardio and walking with the pups.  That being said, I am also struggling to roll out of bed and do my exercises in the morning like I used to.  Lately I find sitting and blogging and having coffee, calms me and wakes me up in a more relaxing way before starting a busy day at work.  The only issue with that is that if I eat supper, then I don't feel like working out in the later evenings.  I am struggling to figure out my new schedule to be honest.  


Dinner Date with my Dad
This was the highlight of September for me.  There was an evening when both my mom was away and Logan was gone to visit his parents with the kids, and I found myself inviting my dad out for a dinner date.  We see each other often enough but it's always all of us together.  This was such a fun, impromptu decision and one I will cherish for years.  You know all the chores that I had waiting for me at home.  Well they eventually got done and I can't even remember what they all were.  But this special evening out with my dad is going to become a lasting and favorite memory for sure.  

Coleman Inflatable Hot Tub
We purchased this inflatable hot tub this summer for the lake but decided to bring it home in August when we returned.  We have been using it probably 3 or 4 times a week as a family.  Sometimes the kids go in with just their friends, but we often all pile in there at the end of the evening and the kids chat away telling us all about their days at school and life in general.  It's honestly been one of our best "family" purchases, that we are contemplating getting a year- round one (well I am but my husband is unconvinced, LOL).

Trying Something New
A couple of weekends ago I cleaned out the freezer.  Oh boy!  So much stuff in there that I didn't even know I had.  It's such a good idea to take inventory every once in a while.  As a result I've  been using all the stuff up before buying more.  I came across two bags of butternut squash and I didn't know what to make with it, the recipe I bought it for wasn't one I wanted to make again.  Insert Butternut Squash soup.  Super easy to make and it tasted like FALL.  I was a huge fan and the kids liked it okay.  I'll definitely be making it again.  I also made fresh bread to go with it, because what could be better than warm, fresh bread.  

Fashion Friday
It wouldn't be a Friday post without fashion.  When the seasons are about to change I like to wear as many summer-ish clothes one last time as I transition into fall.  Here are a few of my favorite work outfits from September.  

How did September treat you all?

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Future Planning and Fall Floral

I admit this with a heavy heart, but summer is over for the most part.  Fall is here.  Brisk mornings.  Often chilly and windy days.   Although I love fall fashion and all the layers, it's always bittersweet to say goodbye to summer.  We have officially returned to school and so far so good, but for the kids its only been a couple of days.  Usually I would have my fall magazines, and be browsing the shops both in person and online but this year I am really struggling to be enthused about buying anything.  I am not really sure why the funk, but it's not so bad for the pocket book.  Hahaha.  At this moment I am all about using the pieces in my closet and giving them lots of spotlight.  A simple dark floral top, paired with some jeans or tucked into a pencil skirt, is the perfect way to transition from our carefree summers to a more structured fall.  I love a moody floral print for a top, dress or a blazer.  

I wore this outfit when we decided to make a Dairy Queen visit with the kids a few weeks ago.  You guys, BLIZZARDS are delicious!!!!!  Seriously, it's been years and I had totally forgotten that they were that good.  The DQ is across the street from the University and we decided to take a stroll through the deserted grounds.  It's sad to see it so quite, while I remember the energy and vibes of young people milling around the grounds, especially as we begin a new school year.  Our University grounds are gorgeous and walking them is always a treat.  As we were walking my girls were both asking so many questions about the different buildings, the process for getting into University, where people live, how many classes you take, how long you go, etc.  My oldest is 13 and it was really neat to hear her saying things like "When I come here"and "This is going to be my building."  That kind of talk tells me that she sees herself as a university graduate.  That she feels confident in herself as a learner.  That she has high hopes and expectations of herself.  No, we don't need them to go to university.  But I do want them to know that there are many options available to them.  That they have possibilities and that we will do our best to support them.  Also, like most parents I do want to know that they will be able to support themselves and choose paths that hopefully they are always passionate about, but that we also have to work hard to achieve our goals.  My 13 year old has her sights set on veterinarian school.  She would love to work specifically with horses, but is interested in all the animals from small/pet like, to large farm animals.  Not sure where this will all go, but I am happy that she is having a positive dialogue about her future.  

My youngest, was in awe of all the buildings and even though she doesn't have a clear goal at this time, I mean she is only 10 LOL, she knows that this is a possibility.  I think of so many children that don't know that this is an option, and even more importantly that it doesn't feel like an option.  That go through high school not having that even on a choice board.  So I write this because I am grateful that my girls do.  I am grateful that we will be able to support them, no necessarily pay for their education fully, but still support them emotionally and financially in some ways.  I am grateful that these are the stories they tell themselves.  

Here are my top fall floral picks for you!

What are your weekend plans?