REAL LIFE



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over-the-weekend1 over-the-weekend2 over-the-weekend3 We braved the cold (well, semi cold) to see Santa all those other sponsored parade floats. We are still in the wimpy stage of winter, when even -1C feels like death (aka, semi-cold).  Also I realized, there is nothing like a parade to remind you how much you love your kids, of course I’m reminded on the daily but braving those huge aggressive crowds (oh, but the people watching is A+) to stand around in the cold for hours simply just to see little smiles on their little faces? Now that it what I call unconditional love.

Our weekends have been getting a little less adventure-y and a lot more lazy (also see, low on family adventure photos), this usually happens when fall shifts into winter. It takes a little while to grow out of this wimpy winter stage, and just move on with our lives ignoring the weather. Do you guys get lazy around this time too, or just us?

Hope you had a great weekend, one that wasn’t too cold or wimpy!

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November 17, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE



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childhood before technology

Have you seen this quote? Every time I come across it in my Pinterest feed, I think “Seriously!?” then I get a little sad because then I think about my kids growing up in this computer age.

I had this post in my drafts for sometime, it’s been on the tip of my brain for a long time. Every time I talk about it or go to write about it, it instantly becomes a touchy subject and seems to come out all wrong. Most anything that relates back to parenting, becomes a touchy subject because there is no one way to talk about it – there are millions of sides to the parenting story because we are all different individuals doing whats best for our own little individuals. So because I think and am interested in how to navigate childhood in this technology age, I wanted to talk about it but not preach but rather share how we handle raising our 2 kids in this age of technology and then ask you how you do it. This is what works for us, and our kids with their temperaments, dynamics and at their current ages (it all plays into it). Which may not work for our neighbors, for you, or the family across the world. Everyone’s circumstances and family dynamics are totally different, so something that might work for you might not work for me and vice versa. Basically, no (I mean, NO) judging but this is what works for us. And I’d love it if you would also share how you raise your kid(s) so that this doesn’t have to be a sad childhood quote? Make sense?

The way I see it, the basic skills it takes to use an iphone, a tablet or a computer, are pretty innate (when you are young, key) and they don’t really need to be fostered (like other skills in life that do need to be). The importance of learning how to play, share, read, be social, be empathetic and interact on an eye contact human level, feel much more important and are skills that need fostering and attention. From my personal, everyday experience I know that it takes no time to acquire the skills to use  an iPhone or iPad (I was blown away when my kids first used my phone) and it also takes no time to become addicted to using them (again, from personal experience).

READ THE FULL POST

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November 11, 2014 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,Dear Diary,REAL LIFE



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Dear Canada I, as I’m sure the rest of my country is, am reeling from the events that took place in Ottawa yesterday. I am totally heartbroken, for Ottawa, for my country and for the family of Nathan Cirillo.

I am very thankful for the kindness and the total and utter selflessness that took place as a result of the criminal act – a reminder of who Canadians are in the middle of a dark moment. From the selfless person who ran to give CPR to Nathan Cirillo while shots still rang around, to the police who ran head first into the fire, and of course the Sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers who’s heroic act stopped the incident. I am holding my loved ones closer today, focusing on the good and the kind instead of the fear and the assumptions. Sending out lot’s of love and extra kindness to all you fellow Canadians.

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October 23, 2014 · REAL LIFE



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making-thoughtful-introductions [image via madewell because I couldn’t find one of my own to fit]

I’ve always felt strange about the most common question people ask when you first meet them. The totally harmless and innocent question, “What Do You Do?“. I even wrote a full post about it, mostly how I think we can do better at starting conversations and answering this question, to get to know people on less of a superficial autopilot way. There is nothing wrong with the question, not at all. It just also seems to bring instant flash judgements about someone based on their job. Most people I know, are not defined by their day job. They are so much more!

So thinking about the idea of starting conversations in a more meaningful way and answering the “what do you do?” question to direct the conversation to get a deeper answer (or cut the convo right off, it could go either way). I thought about how I personally introduce people, because this same idea of starting conversations better should most definitely also play into how I introduce others. First off I should start by confessing, about how truly bad I am at making even the most basic of introductions. It is something I fall short of almost every time it comes up, often I’m forgetful and other times it’s because I have forgotten a name (now you know why, every one). So for me, it’s about remembering to make introductions (and people’s names! this is a life long struggle) and I might as well focus on making those introductions, thoughtful.

I’m really going to try to focus on improving a) my memory, so making sure intros are not forgotten or left out (only being honest)  b) be more thoughtful and stop using their job title as an opening line and instead focus on introducing people with the reason why I adore them – hand off the best first impression. Because I pretty much know from the “what do YOU do?” question, that a job is a part of every ones story but it doesn’t solely define us (as it is only part of mine). If we all make flash judgements on the first thing we learn about someone, why not introduce the people we love with that great impression they have left on us.

*A reader introduced me to a wonderful article on the same topic: A Better Way To Introduce Your Friends At A Party, it’s wonderful and much more eloquent than my thoughts.

What do you think? Are you good with introductions, or is it just me? How do you feel about the “What Do You Do?” question?

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



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theweekends1 We’ve seen Niagara Falls too many times to count. But every time it’s a little different, and always amazing (mother nature is amazing). This time it was three people on the right‘s first time seeing the falls, it’s always nice taking people to see something for the first time – especially the little people. theweekends2 theweekend3 theweekend4 theweekend7 theweekend5 theweekend6 theweekend8 I always think “I’m not gonna take any pictures” since I’ve seen this place so many times, but somehow my camera always finds its way in front of my face. I also, can’t help but think “Niagara Viagra” every time I say or hear the word, you’re welcome for that. It was a super quick trip, we zipped through on our way to spend time with family – quick enough for my dear old cousin and the two pint sized humans could catch a glimpse of the rushing water. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

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October 21, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE



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get the kids to help around the house I think it’s only fair if I start out this post by telling you, my tricks/tips to get the kids to help cleaning aren’t really tips, per say. See the thing is, my kids really love to help “clean” they ask all the time if they can “clean”, it’s the tidying up after themselves that feels like pulling teeth. It makes a ton of sense (sarcasm font), but mostly none at all. So because it’s really great (for everyone) and important for the kids to take part, learn responsibility and lend a hand in both the cleaning and tidying here are a few things we do to make getting the little people to help tidy and clean go a little more smoothly.

THEIR VERY OWN SPRAY BOTTLE AND PAPER TOWEL ROLL. There seems to be something magical about using a spray bottle and then wiping away the spray with a paper towel, that they got to tear off themselves I might add. Something about having their very own roll and very own bottle, that adds to the fun. We recently started using Viva® Vantage paper towels and the fact that they stretch and flex makes cleaning a little easier and less wasteful (since they last longer, absorb more and don’t fall apart quickly) helps the kids go through way less than the normal (and boring) non stretch paper towels.

We have a spray bottle that we bought at the dollar store (aka kid heaven) and I either use Mrs. Meyers or Method cleaner in the bottle or a mixture of white vinegar and water – safe cleaners for the kids to use and safe for all surfaces in our home (because you know they are spraying every single surface). I also, usually give them a paper towel roll that is close to the end and tell them that’s all they get – then they make them stretch (no pun intended, since this is a post sponsored by those cool stretch and flex paper towels) longer and we just have less waste all around. They usually take turns spraying and wiping, usually this means they will go over the same spot at least twice. Having the freedom to do what they want, with something that they feel is just theirs – makes this fun, plus the satisfaction of spraying and wiping there is just something about it.

getting the kids to help arund the house WHO WANTS TO VACUUM?! The Vacuum is their second most favorite thing to do (after spraying and wiping, is that what you would call it?) and it’s always a fight for who get’s to suck up dirt first. I usually say “who ever puts all their toys away first, gets the vacuum first” basically we make it a game – it’s win win win (they get two wins and I get one). Or you can lead with the old, “hurry up pick up your toys before the vacuum sucks it up!” everyone will move a little faster, but it’s def not as fun.

DON’T RE-CLEAN. Sometimes it’s hard, because sometimes something needs another wipe or another sweep after they are done. But it’s best for their little confidence levels, if you just tell them how helpful they were and what a great job they did. And go back and fix something later, like when they are sleeping or at school.

kids helping around the house SIMPLE TASKS. Don’t  start with an elaborate last like: “Clean the living room” or “clean your room”. Break it down, “dust this shelf” (oh dusting, my kids would also much rather use a spray bottle and a paper towel or two then an actual dusting cloth), “make the windows all shiny” or “put all the cars in this box”. As I type this, I laughed because the handing out of small tasks is always my goal – but in the heat of “come on let’s tidy” moments, I often fall short. So it’s a good reminder for me too!

SOME SAY REWARD, I SAY CLEANING IS THE REWARD. I know, stop being so cheesy! But really I’m not saying, “having a clean house is the true reward” this isn’t ‘Little House on the Prairie’. What I mean is, my kids actually like to clean, they beg to be the one to hold that roll of paper towels or spray bottle, so I go with it and don’t add something on top of it to screw with that magical logic. When the day comes that they realize cleaning isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, I will probably offer them a reward for hard work, but not before that. I need to keep some tricks in my sleeve for down the road.

kids helping with chores

Do you have any tips for getting the little ones to help out? Are there any specific tasks that your kids like to help the most with? If you would like to try these new stretch paper towels by Viva®, check here for a coupon – because what’s almost as awesome as having the kids help with cleaning, saving money!

 

Viva Vantage This is a sponsored post brought to you by Viva® Vantage*, as always all thoughts and opinions are my own. This was a post I had in the works, but thankfully Viva® Vantage* for making it that much more fun. For more information please visit www.vivatowels.ca Viva’s unique STRETCH allows it to flex and conform to take on ANY MESS, beyond just the spill.  And as always, thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible.

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October 15, 2014 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,REAL LIFE,sponsored



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Most of our weekend, was spent outdoors or eating good food with good friends. As far as long weekends go, it was a really great one and as far as Canadian Thanksgiving go it was de-licious. I didn’t pull out the big camera the entire weekend, which is just a really nice change once in a while. So here are a few photos from our weekend iPhone style, surprisingly no photos of food or friends, though we were with both a lot – the food and the people were just too good to even pull the phone out.

simon says, close your eyes Eye-Spy and Simon Says, two games that never ever get old always quick cures for boredom on the go. King is wearing the cowl hoodie from our mini mioche x Heart & Habit capsule collection. Harlow is wearing a Mummymoon dress.

long boarding thanksgiving-weekend3 thanksgiving-weekend4 5 During Freindsgiving dinner #1 at our good friends, we all took turns on their long board, and of course now we want one. I was the crazy lady running down the street after everyone snapping photos, some moments are just too cute not to capture even if you end up looking like a fool doing it.

scooter ride kisses It ended up being a weekend full of wheels, mostly skateboards and scooters. Sometimes when we run errands, we each take a set of wheels – super nerdy parents, I know.

abc123 clothes King wearing a thumb hole hoodie and tee from abc123me – a pretty cool (and really well made) new kids surf/skate line.

thanksgiving-weekend9 One of the many benefits of being a little sister, everything we teach him she automatically ends up learning too.

playing naptime Chris plays “naptime” and the kids just join right in, dream game – literally.

Thanksgiving, usually the weekend is pretty busy and I don’t often get a chance to think about all the things I’m thankful for till the very end, when I’m tucking myself in at night. It’s really not much different then any other night, when I lay in bed and go over the day in my head. Long weekends offer up something special though, Thanksgiving’s or not. Having the opportunity to spend an entire weekend enjoying life with the people you love, and then having that extra day tacked on (usually a day fulled with PJ’s, movies and relaxing – since I’m talking about us) just does something wonderful for bumping up my scale of thankfulness. Basically, every weekend should Thanksgiving or at least three days long.

I ended up taking a long (longer then expected) weekend away from the blog. Every once in a while I find I struggle a bit with finding my place among all the extremely talented content creators on the internet. This is not me looking for pats on the back or compliments – it just feels right to explain when I feel this way, especially since it will be on the tip of my tongue for a while. Every once in a while the feeling of not being able to meet the standards I have established in my head, the feeling like I’m not able to create all the ideas I dream up as adequately as my dreams illustrate, take over my thoughts. I don’t know if that makes sense?

Usually I just need a good kick in the pants, but that doesn’t come till I over think everything and then over think it some more. This weekend of over-thinking has shown me I need to get out of my head a little, I need to start working with more creative people around me to create that dream content and possibly even inviting a couple really well suited contributors.

The whole landscape of blogging has changed so much over the past couple years, and to be honest I’m still (and maybe always will be) trying to find how this blog fits into all that and into the vast sea of awesome content that is floating around. But breaks man, breaks are always good – absence (sometimes) makes the heart grow a little fonder.

But enough of that, Thanksgiving she was grand. Hope you all had a great long weekend, Canadian Thanksgiving or not!

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October 14, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE



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