Thursday 24 January 2019

Growth & Pride: Halie From 11 to 12

Growth and Pride. 

Tanner is still her first love and he made it on her birthday cake this year.
Their birthdays are just one week apart, so they share a party and a cake each year.

Growth.  Pride.  These are the two words that come to mind when I reflect on Halie's past year.   Last year when Halie turned 11, she was still teetering that line between my little girl and that next step.  She checked in often.  She picked up a doll here and there.  She sought out our permission and advice.  She showed her insecurities.  One year later  and I am so proud of the maturing she has done.  Let's take a peek at the year and start out with the most typical coming of age changes, to the biggest impact.


1.  Babysitting.  Halie took a babysitters course last winter, shortly after turning 11.  This was a big step for her that I encouraged her to pursue (more like pushed, but you know).  She went without a friend to the course and learned a lot.  Through experience with her sister and support from friends who offered her some experience with their little ones, she picked up some hours and started feeling more comfortable.  Now she babysits pretty often and is earning her own $$$.


First job!!!!


2.  $$$.  Speaking of $, Halie has developed some pricy habits such as discovering Starbucks.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree as I discovered flavored coffee (more sugar than coffee) early on as well, but I wasn't about to hand her cash to spend on such things.  Make-up, coffee, extra clothing,  body lotions, etc. she has taken on buying herself.  Babysitting money is coming in handy and I am happy to let her start to make decisions on what is worth spending money on, what is worth saving up for.  Slow and steady she is managing it all really well and even has offered to pay (half and half) for private horseback riding lessons.  I am pretty proud of her.


Mother-daughter date.  She treated me with her Starbucks GC.

3.  Friends and communication.  Yup.  In my day, that meant I was tieing up the only phone line we had for hours.  No calls were coming in or going out.   Fast forward to 2017, our kids now communicate via chats, FaceTime, something called Musically (????), etc., you get it.   How do we deal with it?  Well we just take it one step at a time.  We learn alongside her.  We try to stay open to new suggestions and new ways, as long as she can explain the  purpose to us.  Sometimes we say yes, sometimes we say no.  One rule is not negotiable is that we have absolute access to all technololgy.  She still has to ask us when she wants to use it and there is a limit to how much.  She has a phone, but no data, and it's use is also limited and not prermitted during family time.  We feel fortunate that we have gotten to know her friends.  We have them over.  We connect and text with their parents.  We feel comfortable with all of them.  It's a great feeling.  When the girls come over they no longer need crafts or games  to be entertained.  They don't play with toys instead they talk.  They listen to music.  They do hair and make-up.  They are kind and respectful.  There is little girl drama and usually Halie is pretty open about it.  Honestly, we feel really good right now.

Best group of friends.


3.  New Experiences!  This is the BIGGEST one of all.  Halie not only took on a new experience this school year, but she sought it out herself.  My insecure, hold back until I know I am going to do it right, girl took initiative and voiced her desires to apply for a special program in our city.  This grade six program runs out of a community center for elders, who may have disabilities and/or special health needs.  The students who apply and are selected by a lottery system, learn from the elders that live in the center.  They listen to their stories, they seek academic help, but also participate in various clubs taught and led by the elders, along with many community experiences that they may not have had access to in regular programming.  It's truly a citizenship and humanities based learning program. This has been the greatest gift to Halie thus far in her life.  We have seen confidence, humility, compassion, empathy, realization, motivation, respect, understanding, all grow from this experience.  She has befriended not only new peers, but the elders, and has created a special bond with one particular elder.  When I went for a visit,  Halie prepped me in the most mature and companionate way.  She explained that some elders are difficult to understand when they speak, but to be patient, to take time to talk to them just like you would your friends, to sit with them, to laugh with them, and to just be.  I was so moved by her leadership and openness, and as I began to meet the elders, I was once again filled with pride.  As the  elders described my daughters characteristics, the love, respect, and friendship that they have built with her, I was moved me to point of tears threatening to come up to the surface.  I couldn't have asked for a better education, because my daughter is not only a kinder human being, but also one that's aware and more open to learn from people who have led a  different life than her.

Loving all the elderly in our lives.
Baka and great-baka.

Halie with Muzerka.  She loves him so much.
Her first horse show earned her a first place, 2nd place and a couple of third places.
Finding her own fashion sense.
Finding out that her heart is big enough for two dogs. 

So with that, I am beyond proud to be her mother.  I am in awe of the young person she is becoming and I know that her heart of gold will continue to grow and to reach out to others.  I feel confident that she will strive to make her life, our home, and her community, a better place.

Sunday 20 January 2019

Winter FabFitFun Box Review


A gift just for me.  I love it.  Seriously the anticipation of waiting for my FabFitFun box to arrive sends me back to Christmas morning, every time.  What in our adult life gives us so much joy or giddiness?  I tried my first box in the fall, before committing to invest all of my birthday money into a year subscription, and I am so glad I did.  I would never buy most of these items on my own, I just wouldn't, but receiving them as a surprise or a gift, I just love it and feel like I am pampering myself.  After the first box, I decided that I deserved this little quarterly gift.  My winter box arrived just before Christmas and I also bought my sister one for her birthday and she LOVED IT!    Okay, let's look at what I received!


The boxes are always beautiful and there is always a magazine that goes through all the products, tips and tricks.  Love reading it. 


The Patchology sheet mask I actually purchased as an add-on, which you can do with every box.  I received a sheet mask in my first box and absolutely loved them so I was hooked and these are just as good.  The set of 5 sheet masks for like $9 and they are amazing.  The oils, Ecylptus and Sweet Orange, which I've used in both my bath and my diffuser.  I am super excited to try the Ahava Hydration Cream Mask, especially now that it's winter.  I was waiting to use all my sheet masks up before testing it out.  The BLAQ eye mask is fun to try but I didn't really notice much of a difference to be honest, but again, fun to try and test out.


LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this palette.  I don't have tons of make-up so this is really fun to get and try out various looks with.  I use it daily for the office and also when I am going out, there are so many fun shades to work with.  Matte and shimmer,  classy and glam.  You name it, you can create it.  Also the Thrive Eye Brightener stick is awesome.  I keep it in my little cosmetic bag at work so that I can touch up my tired looking eyes half was through the day!



These coasters have become a favorite and have been moved up to the cabin.  They were probably what I was most excited about and maybe the through blanket.

Again, never, ever, would I have purchased this traveling jewelry holder but it's been used several times already.  Brilliant was to organize all my jewelry that I need and nothing gets tangled up!



This fringed, cozy, colorblock throw was the perfect addition to our master bedroom decor.  Not only do I like to cozy up with it and a cup of tea, but it looks great on the edge of our bed.



Finally, I think the above was my favorite piece in my box, the BearPaw headhand and glove duo.  I have misplace my headband and am absolutely devastated it by it.  I love the look of it and it was soooooo warm and soft with the fleece layer on the inside.  I would buy this again if it was an option. 


There you have it.  My winter FabFunFit box right here.  If you are interested in giving it a try, just one seasonal box, or maybe an editor box, or a Pintrest box, do it for yourself or another lucky lady in your life.  They have lots of options and also have them on sale often so you can try it for less.  Each box is 49.99 US (even with the Canadian $ conversion I think it's worth it) and you get way more than it's worth.  You also get to customize a few things in your box, while others will be a surprise to you.  If you want $10 off your first box, you the link below!

Friday 11 January 2019

What to Wear in a Winter Wonderland

So far we've been having a fairly mild winter, I am sure as soon as I publish this post the frigid air will blow over our province to keep us on our toes.  We've had a few really cold days but we've also enjoyed some really nice mild days such as the day I wore this.  I shot these picture when I was at the lake and generally wouldn't walk around in this outfit but I was imagining I was at a ski resort like Mount Tremblant, Banff, Revelstoke, etc.  I love snowboarding and we are finally at a stage as a family that we have been tossing around the idea of doing a family skiing/snowboarding trip vs. a hot winter holiday.  So here is what I would wear to roam around the little ski village after a long day hitting the slopes.  Leggings may not be pants but they make my legs look way longer, especially when I wearing a over-sized poncho and big Sorels to keep my toes toasty warm.  Side note, if you have long and cold winters these Sorels are the way too go.  My toes always get cold, ALWAYS, and I've tried many types of boots and finally I paid the $$ and bought these ones.  There are two pairs that look exactly the same but you need the Caribou ones because they are good to -40C. 

Okay, back to the outfit.   How adorable is my FabFunFit mitts and headband set?  Seriously, can't get enough of this set and have been wearing it non-stop (to get $10 off your FabFunFit box click here).  I 100% love how this outfit came together, it cozy, chic, trendy and I would wear a version of this outfit to work, but I would probably switch the Sorels out for some OTKB :)  

Have a great weekend everyone!

Shop This Post:
Poncho (old; similar here & here)
Old Navy Green ShirtFFF Mitts & Headband
Sorel Caribou Boots

Thursday 3 January 2019

2019 Word of the Year & My Intentions

Welcome.  First and foremost, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog.  I want to wish you and your families a happy New Year and all the warmest wishes for a bright, joyous and healthy 2019.  

I am a type A, I am also what Gretchen Ruben refers to as an 'upholder' in her book the Four Tendencies (see below), which means I like goals, plans, clear paths.  It helps me focus and refocus when I am overwhelmed or lost.  I also like putting them out there because it helps me stay accountable.  So here is what I am intending to focus my energy on for 2019!

My Word of the Year & Family Time.  The whole concept of a word for the year has never really felt like my thing,  until the other day.  I was driving alone with my thoughts and  the radio in the background and suddenly, PAUSE came to mind.   Pause and enjoy the moment.  Pause and use my mind (not just my camera) to capture the memories.  Pause and think before I react. Pause and put away all technology during supper or family time.  PAUSE to take in the awesome life I am living.  So I am choosing to remember to PAUSE and really be with my family this year.  Not worry about work, chores, 'to do' lists, technology, etc.  

I will say that Mr. and I are also committing to getting out for walks in the evenings 2-3 times a week either with the kids, or just the two of us.

Fitness.  I am one of those people who doesn't make fitness goals at the beginning of the year anymore.  Exercise is just a part of my life,, and has been for a long time.  I do make new goals when it strikes me but at this time my only goal is to maintain what I am already doing (swimming, spinning, running).

Learn Something New.  One might say  I am a "life long learner".  I love learning from people I meet.  I like learning  from peoples stories, in school, taking online courses, learning at work, etc.  There are so many things I want to know about and explore, but just haven't had an opportunity to yet.  Last  year I decided that I needed to create these opportunities for myself, so  last year I decided to start the year off by signing up for swimming lessons and it was a huge success!!!! This year I've decided to sign up for a 52 week photography course through Shoot Along.  I received a new lens for Christmas and am excited to finally learn how to use my Sony Mirrorless camera and get off just using the 'auto' setting.
Picture courtesy of

Reading.   I loved my goal of one book a month last year and I am happy to announce I reached 16 books in total (4 which were audiobooks, but I am still counting them).  I know for most people that's not  a huge goal but I read a lot for work and working on the blog in the evenings, just doesn't leave a whole lot of time for reading.  My book club definitely keeps me accountable and I love to throw in some great easy reads along the way.  Read my book reviews for some of these books form 2018 here and here.

Hosting.  This year rather than focusing on cooking new meals, I am focusing on hosting my friends more.  We used to host all the time but this past year  we didn't do as many friend get together as I'd like.  Since I fuss, cook, clean, make extra grocery shop visits, think of things to do with the kids, I am challenging myself to this idea of How to Host a Crappy Dinner (And See Friends More) that my friend Amber introduced me to.  I just want to reconnect with friends and let go of the little things.  So I am hoping to host family/friends at least once a month in some form or another, drinks, appetizers, dinner, brunch, games night, etc.

Hosting December Celebrations 

Blog & Work.  At the end of the year I burned out and realized that I needed a step back from all the blogging/work I was doing.  My family.  My work.  My friends.  My blog.  In that order.  So my intentions for 2019 is to write when I am inspired.  To post once a week, Fridays, because that's manageable and enjoyable for me.  I'll also write and post any other time that strikes me because it's my creative outlet, my journal, my reflection.  I also hope to continue to meet people in this online world that inspire me.

As for work, I am anxiously awaiting my term as consultant to conclude at the end of the school year and then......  I don't know but I am happy to return to a school and see what new adventures and learning await me.  Stay tuned.

Do you do resolutions?  Set goals?  Intentions?  Word to live by?  Is it for you?  

What does a New Year mean to you?