REAL LIFE

baseball1 baseball2 baseball3 baseball4 baseball5 baseball6 baseball7 One of the many awesome things about having school aged kiddos is doing fun stuff together as a family. Chris and I, had always wished to have friends to play sports with, turns out we just had to procreate (that’s what I call a family home run, if I do say so myself). Now we have our own little baseball, soccer or street hockey game going on almost every summer weekend. And yes, pretty dresses are very appropriate for a game of baseball – or so I’ve been told.

[H] Dress C/O GUESS Kids – moccasins: mini mioche  / [K] Shorts C/O GUESS Kids – Tee: The Gap – Shoes: Zara – Hat: Blue Jays

*It has been a bit more quiet then usual on the blog. Summer is kicking my butt, I am going with it and sharing only what feels good and right – rather than hitting you with a ton of fillers and myself with blog guilt. Hope you are all having an awesome summer. We are almost at our summer halfway mark, I’m nervous for it to end, nervous for what’s on the other side and nervous to have my full brain power back. Summer brain is a thing, just like summertime anxiety is.

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July 30, 2014 · Daily,Little Style,REAL LIFE



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what do you do? [an outtake from a post last week. It's me looking at you. so it works here too.]

You meet someone new or maybe you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while – usually the first question that gets shot your way “what do you do?” or “what are you doing now?”.  And you know they aren’t asking what you do for fun or what you do on the weekends, it’s all about what you do and where you work. I have always felt weird (but weird also isn’t really the right word) answering questions like this, half because (so I am often told) that I am humble (and charmingly awkward – I tell myself this one) but half because I have never felt like what I do defines me. Also, what I do these days is super complicated, but that’s another story all together. I have always loved what I do for work. And yet I still haven’t felt like I’m answering this common question, properly when I give an outright straight answer.

I lately answer “what do you do?” with a quick short descriptive word (lately it’s: “I freelance”) and then if they want to know more they will ask (they often don’t and that’s totally cool). Thinking back on these conversations I notice I always talk about projects, things I’m working on or things I’m working towards rather than “job title – company”. It seems to steer the conversation into a more meaningful direction (if they are into it, again cool if they aren’t) and there is often more common ground that is found and much more room for learning about the person (them learning about me and me learning more about them).

Does your day job define you? How do you feel about this question and how do you usually answer it? It’s a pretty run of the mill question, one that isn’t offensive at all (I’ve of course asked it many a time) – but I’m just thinking maybe there are better questions to ask to truly get to know someone and give a fuller picture. What do you think?

*I also find (just an odd little observation) in parent groups or when meeting new moms, this question rarely ever comes up. Maybe because we all already know what the most important job that we hold is.

On another but also sorta the same note: After I received such awesome feedback from the survey you guys did – last month, I don’t think I said it yet (seriously summer just puts my brain in a fog) but THANK YOU so much for those of you who took the time to take it and leave such thoughtful answers. I am trying to work towards flushing out some of the awesome topics you’d like to see more of. One of them a major one that came up, was that many of you are going through a career change, going back to work after kids, or trying to find yourself while at the same time becoming a parent – advice, guidance and inspiration was heavily requested. I am trying (in my foggy summertime brain) to get together a series (or a single post, just in case I’m biting off more than I can chew) that hopefully will offer different view points and maybe some inspiration around this area.  With all this being said, maybe you guys can help me…..have you gone through a career change or know someone really inspiring who has?

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July 22, 2014 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,REAL LIFE



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WIN-CANON-T3 Oddly enough (well, oddly to me) I get quite a lot of questions about the type of camera I use. Up until last month I have been using the same Canon Xi (the most basic of the basic DSLR cameras) for over 5 years (it’s not even a model they make anymore) she wasn’t very fancy but she did us well.  And then last month Staples Canada, sent me this (bit of an upgrade, and 5 years newer) Canon T3. I have been using it all of June, to take photos for Staples #30daysofsummer photo prompt on IG and Twitter (I fell behind a tad so was more of a 20 days of summer for me) – and the camera is pretty great, a fantastic SLR learner or hobby photog camera. So there’s the answer to which camera I use, want to own the same one?

WIN-CANON-T3-from-staples CANON-T3 CANON-T3-from-staples To get right down to it, Staples Canada also wants to give one of you this same camera. In need of a new camera, maybe want to upgrade to an SLR or just want to just take a picture to make it last longer? Enter to win this Canon T3!

*The other thing is, before I forget – this is a giveaway open to Canadians only, sorry non Canadian friends.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

63 comments

July 15, 2014 · Daily,Giveaways,REAL LIFE



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discovery1 I was the little girl who “wasn’t really a big girl yet”, but also wasn’t a baby. And she was the “little bit” older girl, but really not much older. We were going for a walk and then going to play at the park. The slightly older girl started to push the littler girl around, calling her a baby and whispering in her ear that she was stupid.

I instantly had to stop the game, “where did you learn that!?”. She told me about a time, that an older girl at the park was saying those things and pushing her around. My heart dropped, I had to fight to hold back my tears. Instead of following all my natural instincts I went back into playing,  though I just wanted to pick her up and give her 10 million kisses (and then go talk to that girl myself). I figured since she didn’t tell me flat-out, she sorta told me through our play that maybe she didn’t want to talk about it,”flat-out” and then I tried my best to walk her through how to deal with a situation like that – but as the little girl astronaut Barbie, not as a Mom.

discovery2 Playing with kids is so amazing, listening to my kids play together is life affirming (I don’t know what else to call it) but teaching and explaining social situations and behavior through play – well that’s something else that’s truly amazing all on its own, and something new I learned that day. We try to teach our kids how to deal with bully situations, strangers or tricky/creepy situations, but telling them how to handle a sadly (but hopefully never) possible situation is not the most effective way for them to learn. We usually play role-playing “acting games” in order to teach the kids how to handle themselves in tricky situations, but I think I like this whole playing/teaching/trying not to get all emotional, way better.

Do you teach your kids through play? Do you find that listening to your kids play is a great way to discover things about them?

Screen shot 2014-04-07 at 2.40.44 PM This is part of a group of posts in partnership with #BarbieProject . All words and images are 100% organic and authentic. Thank you, so very much for always supporting our blog and for supporting the sponsors that help support our blog and our household.

 

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July 14, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE,sponsored



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food_huggers FOOD HUGGERS – These things are grand! Instead of wrapping all my half onions, avocados and what nots, up with plastic wrap; they now fit neatly inside one of these silicone food huggers. Also they are pretty cute and colorful and save space in the fridge. My favorite is the avocado one, rub a little lemon juice on the unused side and then pop on a food hugger – no wasting a perfectly ripe avocado (which I’m allergic too anyways, but that’s not the point).

flutterbye FLYING TOYS – I googled this toy, to find out what it was called so I could tell you about it. Turns out it was the top toy for 2013, so trend setters we are not. My Mom got Harlow this “flutterbye” (I can’t say it with a straight face without the quotes) her birthday, I literally had no idea what it was. Then we turned it on, it’s basically a helicopter toy but dressed up like a fairy. Obviously both kids hated it, just look at that grumpy face.

xylitol_mints FRESH BREATH AND CLEAN TEETH – My best buddy told me about this natural sweetener, Xylitol and that it is supposed to help reduce plaque formation. Having a mint (gum or lollipop) with Xylitol in it, after you eat can be really helpful for keeping teeth in tip-top shape. I’m no dentist, but I’m down for anything that can save on dental bills and keep my breath smelling nice (you can also read more about it on numerous sites). We like these mints and so far so good (teeth feel clean and not sugary like after regular mints, so there that) it’s def a ‘try for yourself’ and tell me what you think sorta thing.

H&M_ripped_black_jeans EVERYTHING IS JUST PERFECT, JEANS – My favorite jeans right now, also happen to only cost $49. It’s surely a fluke, but I’ll take it. These faded black, ripped skinny jeans just seem to fit perfectly in all the right places and have that skill of being super flattering every single time I wear them. I couldn’t find them on the website, but they are from H&M maybe you can stumble upon them in the store – they surprisingly have pretty great denim there, if you pick and choose.

magic_carpet_yoga_mat THE PRETTIEST YOGA MAT – Yes I talked about this mat yesterday. For a home practice, this mat is my new go to, it makes practice a little more fun and it’s perfect for a non hot and sweaty practice. I still have all the heart eyes and stand true to my Jade for a flow/vinyasa or hot yoga class (one is not a replacement for the other), but when I’m home and not doing a lot of sweating, this magic carpet is great.

dont_throw_it_grow_it IT’S KITCHEN MAGIC – One of my favorite books, it’s fun and so flipping clever. Basically you can grow anything from kitchen scraps and the best part, for someone who doesn’t have a yard – it’s all windowsill friendly. And just look how well this book goes with the food huggers, use the left overs of those leftovers to grow something totally new.

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July 9, 2014 · Daily,FAVORITE THINGS,REAL LIFE,SIMPLE LIVING



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a-day1 King of hat hair, I think I gave him a hair cut a couple of days after this – this tee is real (and it now comes in neon yellow). a-day2 a-day3 Days that start out soo great and then “ewww gross” something makes it go stinky right quick. I don’t know what it is about days like that (the ones that aren’t really awesome) if I’ve taken photos before we chose the wrong road in that fork, I never share them. Even if the photo is happy or more like the moment the photo was taken was happy, I feel like I’m fibbing by posting and making it appear that things were more awesome than they actually were. It took me a while to realize this, but after the stock pile of images (on both my phone and computer) I noticed the trend. I’m not mad it, or even against it – I like it. I’m very okay with keeping things real and in all honestly, it’s nice to not share everything with you guys (even though I do like you) – it’s really really nice to look back and see photos of days and know that we are the only ones who saw them and experienced them (it’s also really nice not to take photos at all). Since these photos of the kids (being cute) made me think of this whole, ‘not posting photos from days we kinda want everyone to go to bed early‘ – even though they weren’t taken on a grumpy day it was actually a really nice day, just slightly uneventful. Which happens to be a whole other pile of photos that I basically never share (or never capture at all), minus these ones that is.

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July 3, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE,SIMPLE LIVING



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how to keep summer awesome (and productive) Summertime anxiety, I swear it’s a thing. Even if it’s just a thing, that I just made up. Summer break is exciting, relaxing, awesome and it started a whole 3 days ago for us. Summer days are spent outside (entire days, since most days my kids can skip naps), being active and doing awesome summer stuff. Summer is tons of fun and staying at home to raise these two is probably at its most fun during this very season (don’t hold me to that, I might change my mind on that season thing later). All of this outside and being super active, also means that keeping up with the rest of my roles is sooooo flipping hard. I try my best to be very intentional with my thoughts and focus on King and Harlow entirely when I’m with them, but I’m usually left with anxiety at the end of the day for all the things I still need to do, mixed with total exhaustion, dried caked on sunscreen and dirty feet. We only have 2 months of this glorious (slightly anxiety creating) season before the kids are off in school (both kids for me…..so so bittersweet, I can’t even articulate) and in an effort to make it the best and hopefully most productive summer ever (high hopes) I tried to get extra organized.

CREATE A SUMMER CALENDAR – I stocked ical full for the next two months, in a rainbow of color coding. Using the color BLUE for classes and camps – the things we are already committed to doing (and have paid for). The color ORANGE, for things that we want to do, loose ideas for outings, activities and things happening around the city. The color RED for appointments, playdates, birthdays and meetings – the mostest important items.  The BLUE and RED items are set in stone but the ORANGE, those can be moved around – this gives me a loose idea that I can sorta plan the other duties of my day around (also a plan just helps, even if it’s loose). *color code or not, setting a loose calendar together is really awesome for seeing the summer (both the awesome fun parts and the not so awesome ones) all in one space.

MAKE A SUMMER BUCKET LIST – I know summer has already begun, but it’s not too late. You can use this list to pull items for the ORANGE color coding list on your ical. Seeing a list of awesome things that you want to do, helps reduce the anxiety of not doing enough awesome things in the summer, then you make sure you make it happen. Then you can focus on the not so fun stuff a bit better – so it’s not really a fix, but a bit of a help.

SUMMER CHECKLISTS – During the school year check lists, really help the kids stay on track (and to be honest us too). But really the same works for summer, so the kids still keep a sense of routine and we are able to squeak in all the things we need. I also really want to make sure the kids do a bit of workbook and just keeping up with learning everyday, sometimes giving them the responsibility to them makes everything go so much smoother.

And because I like you guys so muchdownload GET READY checklist (pdf)  and download BEDTIME checklist (pdf)(these are good for all year round, not just summer)

CARRY A NOTEBOOK – I bring my notebooks with me everywhere. They have as allll my to do’s, need to buy’s and don’t forget lists in it. And also tons of random ideas, beginnings of posts, works in progress, basically a place for all my work stuff on the go. I like these moleskin cashier notebooks because they don’t take up room in my bag, and I can jot an idea down or check off something while we are out.

LET SOME S**T GO – just “let it go, let it go!!!” – like it wasn’t already stuck in your head. Don’t try to keep up with the things that aren’t actually important. Things like social media and a super sparkling house can be let go a little bit, really it’s cool. Remind yourself (probably by making a list) what things are the most important, and give yourself some slack or just totally let go of others.

keeping-up4 So tell me, summertime anxiety, it’s a thing right? Is there anything that you do, to make sure summer is awesome and still productive – I’d say especially as a working mom, but really aren’t we all working moms?

*This started as a post about me telling you how worried I was about keeping up, and how I was already having a hard time making everything work (work and life). Then I sat on it for so long, that ended up coming up with a bunch of ways to fix my worries – rather than just complain about them. And half the words got switched out with tips, so there ya go.

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July 2, 2014 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,REAL LIFE,SIMPLE LIVING



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weekends1 weekends2 Since I took a bazillion photos last weekend and basically none the past weekend, here’s a two weekends ago (or maybe just last weekend, since this weekend is technically still going – I’m long weekend confused) post.

weekends3 weekends4 Photos by Harlow. These two kids of mine are killing it with the camera lately – not even a butt or blurry photo of strangers feet in sight.

weekends6 weekends8 weekends7 We enjoyed a day at the Harbourfront (last Sunday), they always have some sorta festival going on there – always a weekend win when you get to do fun stuff like play the bongos in front of a group of strangers. We learned that day, that both kids are just as shy and uncomfortable in the spotlight as their Mom is – so sweet and literally heartbreaking to see that super duper uncomfortable feeling wash over them. Who would have thunk that, being so uncomfortable you want to barf, when in the spotlight would be hereditary? weekends9 weekends5 weekends10 weekends11 Our weekends are usually spent just the 4 of us hanging out, we rarely ever split up or mix it up. We like hanging out with other people, other people are great – but having at least 1 full family day per weekend (if not 2) feels like it’s an unspoken rule. Chris and I created two little people we love dearly and truly love spending all our time with. Aside from the tantrums, there is no other people we’d (I’m speaking for Chris too, I can read his mind) rather spend our weekends and weekdays with for that matter. I had always wished for friends that I could dig in the sand with, make feather masks and slide down public walkways with – and then we procreated and all my friend, weekend, life and family dreams came true, in two magical moments.  Basically weekends are the best and it’s all because of my family.

It’s Canada Day long weekend here, tomorrow is a holiday. We’ll be celebrating the usual way: eating poutine, drinking maple syrup, while we say AY to each other in our igloos, and using our dog sleds to stock up on Canadian beer while we wear our toques. What are your plans? *This tee from my collaboration with mini mioche is the perfect way to represent this fine country, great for showing the love all year long.

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June 30, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE



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