Friday, April 29, 2016

Five Tips for a Better Mother's Day

Maybe Mother's Day has always been perfect for you, but more likely than not, it has come with it's struggles. Whether the difficulty is with your own mother, your desire to be one, or even disappointment in how you were celebrated, I get it. My mom passed away a week before Mother's Day so celebrating other moms one week later, while six months pregnant with my first child, was not my favourite Mother's Day (hello, grief and hormones!) The year we went on a family walk to the grocery store was also not my first choice when I think of honouring a mom; I enjoy a good family walk but the location left a lot to be desired. So,with nine Mother's Days under my belt, I have a little experience with this, and I would like to share what I've learned.

Five Tips to a Better Mother's Day:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thankful Thursday

Hello, friends! Every Thursday I write down 10 things that I am thankful for.  This started over two years ago after reading "1000 Gifts".  It's a great way for me to reflect and focus.  This week I am thankful for:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How to Cultivate Connection

Connection doesn't exist without giving and receiving. We need to give and we need to need. {Brenè Brown, Rising Strong}

Receiving is hard for me–gifts, compliments, help, even a cup of coffee–they are all difficult. Why? The reasons range from "I don't want them to spend money on me" to "I don't want to inconvenience them" to "someone else deserves it more" and  "I don't know how to respond."

Monday, April 25, 2016

Hiking at the Sea to Sky Gondola

Do you love a variety of hiking trails with incredible views? Me too! We just discovered the beauty of hiking up at the Sea to Sky Gondola. Four months ago we experienced a winter wonderland up there which you can see here  (Summary: It's SO worth it!) and ever since then, I've wanted to return to check out the hiking trails.

Located in Squamish, B.C., these are the breath-taking views atop the Sea to Sky Gondola and the hikes for individuals at each level.

Hiking at the Sea to Sky Gondola

Sunday, April 24, 2016

#Spring30for30 Week Four

Hello, friends!  Are you tired of seeing me in front of my mirror posing yet?  I am.  This month brought the challenge of 30 items of clothing making 30 different outfits in 30 days.  You can see the first weeks here, here and here. I am so ready to add some more to my wardrobe.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Quarry Rock {Deep Cove Hike}

When I realized I had an opportunity to hike with the oldest two, I decided we would hike Quarry Rock in Deep Cove.  I needed a hike we could get to in an hour, would take less than two hours to complete, provided a gorgeous view, and would be a moderate level; Quarry Rock was perfect!  With the promise of a donut from Honey's upon completion, we set off.

Just a few things to note are that it would not be ideal for younger kids as there are a lot of steps and roots which is hard for little legs–my boys were fine. Also, there are many dogs on this trail (off leash) which can be hard when one of your kids is afraid of them. The nice thing about this trail is that it undulates–you're never climbing for very long which seems unusual for most hikes when you are getting to a viewpoint. Finally, there is one point where the trail veers off to the right without any signs (by the wires about 30 minutes in) so keep your eyes open and don't keep going straight. 

One Word That Can Change Your Life

As a former people-pleaser with a love for tackling To Do lists and a passion for productivity, it was inevitable that one day my body would say "No more" and my mind would say "I can't". Perhaps I could have pushed myself harder, but I was moving further away from who I was and who I wanted to be. It took being knocked down by an autoimmune disease to get me to listen to my body which was screaming out "Enough! No more stress. I need rest."  It took being burnt out by a side business to realize that I couldn't thrive off of making other people happy. It took having four kids to recognize that something (okay, a few things!) had to go in order to be the mom, wife and friend that I wanted to be.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Share Your Story

Hello, friends! I'm trying something new and I'm nervous that there will be a lack of participation. However, one thing I have learned in life is it usually doesn't hurt to try.  Well, unless it's snowboarding–hello, whiplash! So, here we go. Last year my friend Estelle shared her journey with infertility here and it reached over 1,000 people. That's 1,000 people that can either relate to her story or learn from it. As a life-long lover of learning, I appreciate hearing people's stories and gaining a new perspective–is this you, too?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Surrey Bend Regional Park

Surrey Bend Regional Park is the newest park in Surrey.  It is 348 hectares of forest, marsh and bog with great trails, a nature discovery area, interpretive exhibits, and three covered picnic shelters.  Located along the Fraser River near Barnston Island at 17529 112 Avenue Surrey, it is a quiet and somewhat remote location; if you follow 176th north, you turn right at the bottom of the hill.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

#Spring30for30 Week Three

Here we are in week three of the #Spring30for30 challenge already!  It involves 30 pieces of clothing making 30 different outfits in 30 days.  You can see previous weeks here: Week 1 and Week 2.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thankful Thursday

You guys! I'm not at home today.  This is very unusual as I've never spent two nights away from my family before but an opportunity came up (#9) and I was encouraged to take it. This week I am thankful for:

Monday, April 11, 2016

How Netflix Keeps Me Fit and Focused

Netflix is good for a lot more than just a date on the couch or keeping your kids occupied while making dinner.  I have discovered that it is key to motivation in exercising and editing photos.  I save documentaries, movies, or a series that my husband wouldn't watch for running my two miles on the treadmill in the morning.   I don't let myself watch it at other times so if I want to see what happens, I need to get right back on the next morning!

This week I watched My Beautiful Broken Brain.  It's a documentary about a 34-year-old woman who had a stroke and how it affected her language and ability to read and write. I found it very interesting. Recently I've used my work out time to also watch the Fuller House series and the movie Wild.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

#Spring30for30 Week Two

It's week two of the Spring 30 for 30 challenge!  Here we go using 30 items of clothing to make 30 outfits in 30 days. You can see week one here.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Five Things I Learned When My Son Wore a Fitbit

It's no secret that I love my Fitbit. I'm the kind of person who loves to quantify most things and enjoys a goal for each and every day. I always try to get 10,000 steps per day and I usually end up with about 13,000. I was curious just how active Kai (age 9) was as he always seems to be moving at home – did going to school prevent him from getting enough activity each day? I had an old Fitbit Charge and put it on him out of curiosity.

What did we learn after one month?

What I learned when my son wore a Fitbit.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Five Reasons to Visit the Abbotsford Tulip Festival

Looking for a gorgeous way to experience spring?  Do you love tulips?  The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is open from March 25 until May 1, 2016. It has a covered picnic area, sandy area for kids to play, and 10 acres of colour!  The hours of operation are 9 AM until 6 PM daily with the option of extra hours for photographers (for a $15 fee.)

Five Reasons to Visit the Abbotsford Tulip Festival

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for:

Sunday, April 03, 2016

#Spring30for30: Week One

The Spring 30 for 30 challenge has begun!  The purpose is to use 30 different pieces of clothing to create 30 different outfits in 30 days.  Each Sunday I will post my outfits for the week (we started on Friday so this will be short.) It is very interesting to me that people care about what I'm wearing so if you don't care, I totally get it.  I feel so awkward taking photos of myself because I feel like I'm saying "Hey everyone! Look at me!" but it's sort of the best way to see an outfit put together so...

Friday, April 01, 2016

Five Ways to Support a Grieving Friend

It was ten years ago that my mom passed away at the age of 53. Although I do think of what might have been almost every day, grieving throughout her illness and then after her passing has allowed me to move through the pain. I can still feel sad but it doesn't hurt like it used to. I'm thankful for all those who supported throughout that time until this day. Each person is entitled to their feelings when going through loss or struggle or pain and we can't decide who deserves to feel what amount. When you have a friend that has experienced loss – whether it's the loss of a hope/dream of physical loss  – what do you do? I'll tell you what I appreciated.

How to Support a Grieving Friend