Wednesday 28 March 2018

Mommy Diaries: Life of a Single Mom

I am writing this post the night before it’s due because it wouldn’t be a true reflection of my life had I completed it any sooner. I am single mother to a ferocious brilliant firecracker of a six year old who challenges me with more than I ever realized I had the capacity to handle.



I write this as he sits beside me, refusing to go to bed.  I write this at the end of an exhausting day where he stayed home with me while I worked because it was his first day on the new kind of medication he is taking.  

I write this because he has unleashed a level of attitude I have not been prepared for. And I write this, because as parents we are in this together.


My name is Jodi and I am a mother, a baker, a chef, a yogi, a teacher, and a working professional.  Sometimes, rarely, I am the person I was before I had a child.   I am trying to define what “I”  looks like now with so much of myself dedicated to so many different  roles to act out. 




I am blessed to work from home and make my own hours working for a non profit organization providing homestay opportunities for international students studying in Saskatoon. I also teach yoga, it’s my passion, my fitness and quite frankly my mental health medicine.





I have a penchant for cakes and bake to my heart’s content in my tiny kitchen, making pretty things that taste divine. Sometimes this is my side hustle for a little extra money.


I also love to cook and before I had my son I was obsessed with reading about Le Cordon Bleu in France, but not obsessed enough to incur more student loans after having just paid them off from university. Now I cook to create warmth and social connections around our dinner table, often inviting friends to stay and join us for a meal.




My sweet boy was diagnosed with ADHD, it’s been a long road with beautiful supportive friends holding me up, opinionated educators judging me loudly for not doing enough, and health care providers commending me for all that I have done. This world of parenting has taught me to use my voice, and it took a long time to use it loudly, to advocate for my child, to love him through tears (both his and my own), and to embrace new paths where I was nervous to take them.


We have started a new school, we are becoming a part of a new community and we have been welcomed and supported in our new adventure.




Sometimes I get grouchy, I cry, I complain and feel as though I can’t possibly take another day. Sometimes I float, I get my hair done, I have coffee with a friend, I go to a sweaty yoga class, I drink a glass of red wine, and I watch This Is Us so I can cry just a little bit more. My life is messy, it’s beautiful, it’s blessed.  My life is with a sweet six year old boy who is always in my arms when I need a hug and a kiss. 

Thursday 22 March 2018

A Little on the Flirty Side & Thursday Moda Link-Up




My usual Fashion Friday post is coming live to you one day early this week as I co-host with the wonderful Ada over from Elegance & Mommyhood.   This is the second time Ada has invited me to co-host her Thursday link-up party with her in the past year and has showed me a tremendous amount of support since I've started my blog.  Ada, mom to the sweetest 5-year old girl named Vivian, who also makes a lot of appearances on the blog. This blog showcases Ada’s personal style as a mom, a woman on the go and as a career woman. She often shows Mommy+Mini Outfits of her and her daughter. It is also a blog about real life updates, current events and her poetry. Ada has been running her successful Thursday Moda linkup every Thursday for two years straight. She can be found on InstagramBloglovin and Pinterest. She thanks you for joining her linkup, today, and welcomes you back!



One of the color combination that really caught my eye this year while perusing Pinterest was moss green, light blue and mauve.  I had the idea to put the moss green with my chambray top for a cute transition into spring look.  Unfortunately the day I was going to take pictures also happened to be the day right after we had a massive dump of snow :)  To see this look with little booties and a more  appropriate office version, click HERE. 


For a fun little twist, I decided to tie a front knot in my chambray shirt.  Generally, I am on the shy side when it comes to showing my mid-riff but I think it's pretty cute and still age appropriate.  The knot dresses the classic pleated skirt down a bit and makes it just a tad flirty.  This outfit makes me feel young and carefree, which is not my regular state of mind these days.  Heehee.


I am very much looking forward to swapping my winter closet out and bringing in my spring wardrobe, which I started doing this past weekend.  I am ready to say hello to color, bight florals, open toed shoes, flats, and light layers. 

Shop This Post:

Pleated Moss Skirt (Simons; similar)

Chambray Shirt (AE; similar)

Crossbody Purse





Sunday 18 March 2018

Let's Talk About Hair


I am linking up with the ladies from The Blended Blog to talk about hair. When it comes to hair, I am a pretty basic girl.  I have exactly 4 hair styles. 


Curled with my hair straightener which is my go-to look. 



Messy bun which means that I worked out before work and didn't have time to do my hair.



Messy bun after it dries, leaving me with my natural curl which is probably my favorite. 






And, straightened with my Nano Titanium BaByliss Pro.  This is worth the investment, especially if you use it on a daily basis like me. 



I actually have been told many times that I have fairly healthy hair and I'll tell you my secret.  I only wash my hair with shampoo twice a week, Wednesdays and Sundays.  Yup.  Even when I work out and am a sweaty messy, which is 4-5/week, I just let water run through my hair and that's that. 




The other thing I do religiously is use a thermal protector before I put heat to my hair.  I rarely blow dry my hair, but I do use my straightener almost daily which is terrible for my hair.  I love my new CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Spray.  Many of the ones I've tried in the past have been hit and miss.  This one leaves my hair feeling fluffy  and product-less; again this is a product that I feel is  worth spending a little extra on.  I end my hairstyle with a spray of hairspray,  which I also like to leave my hair feeling weightless.  My two favorite hairsprays are CHI Magnified Volume  and  Rusk Weightless, but I think the drugstore brands are just as good so I don't really think this is necessarily worth the price tag at the salon.  Sometime I finish it off with a sprits of Paul Mitchell Shine Polish Spray  which gives it a nice shine but its effects are temporary so don't bother wasting your money.





As for a shampoo/conditioner combo I have good stuff from the salon, like Redken Color Extend, that I use once a week and then a drugstore brand, my favorite being Pantene.  I alternate between the two.  A hair dresser told me a long time ago that your hair needs to switch things up to keep it healthy, plus it really helps keep the cost of the salon products down. I recently purchased this L'oreal hair repair mask and see no benefits to it.  It works just like a conditioner and nothing more. 



Recently I had my hair trimmed, colored and some streaks put in.  My inspiration was the Pin I found and am thrilled with how my hairdresser recreated it for me.  I love the rich red color, it totally suits me. 




What are your favorite hair products?  I am particularly curious about masks people use in the summer for keeping their hair healthy and from drying out. 


Anyone out there use hot rollers?  Tell me what you think. I am really debating getting a set but want to be certain before investing the $$$.

Friday 16 March 2018

Spring 2018 Needs and Wants List


Hello everyone.  On Wednesday, I released a Tween Easter Basket Ideas List and today I am focusing on my own needs/wants wish list for spring 2018.  I started to compile a list of things I NEED to replace and things that I really WANT to add to my closet.  I am Type A and lists are my thing.  They keep me from nickel and diming my monthly budget on things that aren't a priority to me and keep me focused when I become overwhelmed by all the choices in the store or online.  I took off January and February off from shopping and only shopped my closet and now I am back with my monthly budget of $100.  In less then a month I am going to Portland for a learning experience and also I will have an opportunity to do some shopping!!!!   This little list should keep me on track while shopping over the next couple of months.  Here we go!


Let's look at what I NEED  for spring. 


1.  White Jeans.  Mine ripped  a year and a half ago and I haven't replaced them.  I know, I know, that's crazy.  My plan is to get myself over to ON and get a pair of their Rock star jeans because the price is right, and I love their high-waist fit. 


Rock Star White Jeans ON



2.  Nude Heels.  These are a staple in my closet.  They go with everything and I wear them on a weekly basis to work.  Dresses, jeans, dress pants, pencil skirt, etc.  I can't live without a pair.  My favorite hands down pumps are the Nine West mid-heel. 




Nine West Nude Pumps



That's it for NEEDS, other than a new bra and bikini, which I am not ready to shop for yet.  Now onto the WANTS.  I WANT, I WANT, I WANT....


1.  Straw bag.  Yes, I am in love with this trend and this is one of my splurges for the spring.  I originally wanted the straw bag but wasn't able to ship it to Canada, so I found this great alternative from Zara!  I have ordered it and can't wait to get it next week (fingers crossed).  Zara now has free shipping and returns in Canada.  Oh happy day.



 Bamboo Handbag; Zara Straw Bag



2.  Statement Sleeves and Stripes.  This is my other March purchase from the Bay as it was on sale.  I really wanted a wrap shirt with an oversized bow.  This one has much more than that.  It has bow on the back, fun stripes, embroidery and balloon sleeves.  Oh man, I hope it looks good on me. 





I.N.C Embroidered Wrap Shirt;   Option 2: Free People


3.  Denim skirt.  I finally caved last year and got rid of two of my denim skirts.  One was more an office type of denim skirt that was just too big, and the other I picked up for a country concert that I absolutely loved but it always felt a little snug and therefore made me feel self-conscious about my body.  This year I want to purchase one that's just right, not too big, not too small, but just the right size for me.


 Zara Denim Skirt; Option 2: Zara Fringed Denim Skirt


4.  Colored denim.  I saw these lavender jeans at the Gap Outlet store on the weekend while shopping with my mom.  I didn't try them on but intend to go back and pick them up probably with my April spending $.  I can just see well they would pair with my new wrap shirt. 


 Gap Outlet Colored Denim


5.  SHOES.  I love shoes.  So I want a pair of mules and bright flats.  I found these great options at the Bay but I think I am going to hold off on purchasing them until I go on my trip.  As mentioned above my favorite shoes are Nine West so if I can score some good deals at their outlet store while on my trip, I would be a very happy girl. 


Rose Mules; Nine West Flats


6.  Statement earrings.  I am all over fun, colorful, bold, ball earrings this year.  And also colored tassel earrings.  They are such an inexpensive way to add a pop of color to any outfit and with the price being right, I don't mind if I only wear them for a couple of months or for many.


6.  Wrap/ruffle dress.  Okay this isn't for me, but for everyone else.  Dresses are my favorite, next to rompers, to buy.  The truth is I DON'T NEED anymore spring dresses in my closet but if I did, this is the one I'd be drawn to. 



Floral Wrap Dress; Option 2: Design Lab Floral Wrap Dress  



What are your needs/wants for spring/summer? 

What have I missed? 

Oh, and tell me you favorite place to buy a bathing suit. 



Wednesday 14 March 2018

How to Fill Your Tween's Easter Basket

Easter is just a couple of weeks away now and I have been compiling a list of things to put in the kids Easter baskets this year. 

MOM EASTER FAIL STORY.  Last year I wrote an  Easter blog post of ideas, and also a free printable Easter Egg hunt here.  The week of Easter,  Halie was flipping through my phone gallery  and found all the pictures!!!!  She asked why I had pictures of Easter candy and stuff on my phone?!?  I had to take EVERYTHING back to the store and start the shopping over again.  ARGH! Lesson learned, no pictures of presents should be left on the phone, ever! 


Moving on.  For tween gift you have to think Mini Adults! All the gifts are linked below.   Tweens, ages 8-12,  start really start to explore 'adult like' products and accessories.  For example, both of my girls just love products from Bath & Body Works such as the hand sanitizers and the fun little holders.  I just buy them a few to keep with their lunch kit and backpack in case they don't have time to go wash their hands properly in the bathroom before eating lunch (side note: our lunch hours are super rushed here and kids usually have like 10- 15 minutes to eat).  I also find that they enjoy getting 'adultish' gifts such as wallets, watches, purses, etc.   Generally I am a fan purchasing  books for any occasion but it's nice to shake things up and get them a magazine instead.  The American Girl magazines are so good for younger girls, up to 11, with  many positive messages and great articles to read.  This year I am excited to give Halie the Discovery Girl magazine as she is really into makeup, hair, etc, but not ready for some of the other brands out there.  Discovery Girl got excellent reviews for age-appropriate content on Amazon. 


In order to keep myself from going overboard I have compiled a minimalist Easter list to keep in mind while shopping. 

What do you include in your childs Easter basket?  What are you Easter rituals and traditions?


Shop This Post: 

Eiffel Tower Watch

Cat Ear Purse

Magic Makeup Eraser 

Claire's Unicorn Makeup Brush

Claire's Unicorn Makeup Bag

Mini Hand Sanitizer

Mini Hand Sanitizer Holder

Mini Hand Lotion 

BonBon Water Bottle 

5 Second Rule

Spot It Game

Mini Eggs 

Lindt Chocolate Bunny

Cadbury Lil Scoops 

Discovery Girls Magazine

American Girl Magazine

Friday 9 March 2018

When Life Gives You More Winter, You Wear a Cozy Sweater

Will I never learn?!?  Honestly (insert sigh).  Just as I was getting excited at the end of February and ready to pack up some of those favorite winter pieces, what happens?!?  We get a HUGE dump of snow.  HUGE!  This is the most snow we've had all winter.  The good news!  It's the beautiful, fluffy, sparkly, white stuff that people dream of at Christmas time, but not so much in March.  Haha.  Anyway, the good news is it's warmed up and I love being outdoors.  We took the opportunity to shoot these pictures early Saturday morning before mom/dad life took over, and I was excited to pair this statement sweater, also worn here,  I received for Christmas with my suede skirt.  My mom had to fix up my skirt seam so I haven't had a chance to wear it for a while but I love the texture and the color goes with everything.  My suede skirt is like a good jean skirt for fall/winter.  

This weekend our plan is to get outside in the warm weather and do some tobogganing with the kids and friends before it all melts away.  Also it was International Women's Day yesterday, so I am taking my mom out for a lunch and shopping date on Saturday.   What are your plans?

Shop This Post:
Chickwish Suede Skirt (similar)
Expressions Booties (similar)
Urmiss Crossbody Bag (similar)

Guess Embroidered Sweater (similar on sale for only $39, mine is sold out)

Wednesday 7 March 2018

The "Ta-Da" List & February Break Recap

I don’t know about anyone else but sometimes I feel like I should be doing more.  Spending more time with the kids.  Being more engaged.  Being more fun.  Hosting more play dates.   Making time for just Logan and I.  Seeing friends.  Visiting family.  Etc.  I know we all probably feel like that and I know I find myself compering my choices to others when I see all the great things others are doing.  Consciously I know that we all share and celebrate the good things online and not as much the bad.  That’s great and I have no issues with that, but I do have to remind myself that what I do is also enough, even if it’s different.  One way I have come to appreciate how privileged we are as a family is by downloading all my photos to the computer at the end of each month.  As I go through the endless stream of photographs I am always struck by how lucky my children are to have so many opportunities in their lives and how much time we actually do spend together.  Recently I was listening to Gretchen Rubins podcast,  Happier, and one of the hacks she recommended was making a "Ta-Da" list.  She suggests instead of making a 'to do' list and crossing things off, you can switch it up and make a "Ta-Da" list to celebrate all the things you did accomplish, regardless of how small they are.      I adapted this idea to help me reflect on all the experiences and memories we create as a family as I go through our photos each month.  

Here is a snapshot of our February break "Ta-Da" list. 

  • 1 Escape room and dinner with friends (adults only).  I love making time to spend with friends, reminding ourselves that we are adults and have interests and needs beyond our parenting/work duties.

  • 1 adult trip to the lake, 15 km of cross-country skiing, and 4 adult only meals.  Thanks to my parents for keeping the girls from Friday  to Sunday.  It’s just what Logan and I needed.

  • 1 pleasure reading book completed, 2 professional resources read/skimmed and 4 hours of auto-book listened in the car. 

  • 2 Birthday celebrations, Cooper (2) and Logan (36).  We gave Cooper the Build-a-Bear experience as a birthday gift.  I am a BIG fan of experience birthday gifts.  Logan also had an experience gift, the  adult- only weekend getaway and the Escape Room experience.

  • 10+ hours of skiing/snowboarding lessons for the kids at Table Mountain.  The first tow days were frigid cold, like -30C, EEK.  On the last day Logan joined us and we spend the day on the hill as a family.  Both kids improved their ski/snowboarding skills immensely.

  • Countless hours of watching the Olympics in the evenings.  We mostly watched the skating and snowboarding events.  Halie was inspired by the Big Air competition in snowboarding which resulted in her trying rails and little jumps in the terrain park.

  • 1 sleepover with our friends Kelsea, Madeline and Zurie and one trip to the pool.

  • 1 trip to the outdoor skating rink.

  • 1 trip to the dog park to spend some time with Tanner.

  • 2 stomach flues and endless trips to the bathroom to wrap the week up. 

I encourage you all to focus on writing a "Ta-Da" list of things you’ve done in a course of a week/month as a family instead of thinking about all the things you didn't get around to.  You’ll be shocked to see just how many little things you do all together.